Imageepoch Unveils New Wave of JRPGs

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Imageepoch Unveils New Wave of JRPGs

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Imageepoch plans to revive the glory days of JRPGs by publishing a strong lineup of new titles.

Japanese developer Imageepoch recently teased that it'd soon put the JRPG back in a positive light. The company plans to do so by publishing its "JRPG" lineup of games that were revealed at a press conference in Tokyo.

Multiple games in the JRPG label spanning various platforms were shown off and discussed at the conference. The first game to be released is Saigo no Yakusoku no Monogatari (Final Promise Story), a PSP "dungeon RPG" that will have a "highly strategic command-based battle system" where enemies learn from previous skirmishes. Its "serious story" revolves around two warring nations: the player's relying on magic and the other on superior numbers and machinery. Imageepoch CEO Ryoei Mikage said Final Promise Story's concept is based around the idea that when characters die, they're gone for good. Similar to Heavy Rain, a character's death actually affects the game's story, an unheard of concept for a JRPG. It'll be out on April 28 in Japan.

A second PSP game called Black Rock Shooter: The Game was also announced. Black Rock Shooter's origin stems from an illustration posted up by a Japanese artist, which inspired a Japanese musician to create a music video that got millions of views, which led to the creation of a 50-minute anime. Now, Imageepoch is making a game. Black Rock Shooter takes place in 2051 where a war with aliens has decimated mankind down to a total population of 12. Humanity is aided by Black Rock Shooter, a powerful girl that wields giant weaponry, and must take on seven alien apostles to save the world. Details are slim, but the game's trailer shows a first-person shooter view, so it may be an action-RPG. It's scheduled for Japanese release in summer 2011.

Moving on from the PSP, Imageepoch revealed Chevalier Saga Tactics, which is both a downloadable PS3 title and free-to-play browser game on the PC. Chevalier is a more "orthodox" strategy/tactics game with battles taking place in an isometric view familiar to tactical RPG players. It's set in medieval times with players taking on the role of a knight that must regain his kingdom's territory. Chevalier will have two battle modes: one where players control individual units of various jobs such as mages and warriors, and a "large scale" mode where players control entire armies. It'll be released sometime in 2011.

Further, Imageepoch revealed its plans on four long term projects that include a JRPG conversion of a PC game and a collaboration with a known JRPG developer. It also teased a collaboration with Sega, with the companies showing a single concept art image for the project which Sega will reveal next year.

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All in all, Imageepoch's ambitions are very much like Level-5's, which has become its own force in Japanese development and publishing. There was no word on these Imageepoch games coming overseas, but I would bet that at least a few of them are going to be picked up.

Source: Andriasang, 1up

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Final Promise Story has a lot of promise and i really hope they pull it off this could help people take JRPGs a bit more seriously. I'm a big fan of JRPG's and don't like the stereotype that they get (i know the stereotype is completely right sometimes) which brings me to Black Rock Shooter: The Game *sigh* it sounded so good and had so much promise. Then i clicked played and saw the main character *Stereotype Alert* How old is she and how much of her body is covered? Not helping to put the JRPG back in a positive light. Well good luck to them and i hope they are good games

Well... personally I can't wait for Blackrock Shooter: The Musical next!
I'm at least curious by the first three things mentioned for it though, not all that sure about gameplay.

Chevalier sounds decent at best too, again not nearly enough info about the game to get any real sense off of it. The idea of the large scale might be a good addition. Last RPG I played that I can think of that included a large-scale factor to it was Suikoden 1 and 2 (never got far enough in the others to see if they had it too).

Well these all sound lie rather interesting projects, and I'll definitely keep an eye on them. I really hope they do comes to north America, I'd like to play some of these. I'm especially interested in that Final Promise Story game, more JRPG goodness for me and the concept seems fun.

Yay for JRPGs!

I'm glad to see that effort's being taken to bring back the JRPG. I've really been turned off to them recently. Bethesda and Bioware are just doing so much better than Squeenix or Sega, and there's really no reason for this.

If JRPG developers want to bring back the glory days of the genre, they just need to emulate the soaring themes and moods depicted in those great gems of the SNES and Playstation eras, while continuing to experiment with deep, but approachable gameplay methods.

Also, there needs to be lots of potential for character customization and decent party dynamics, which is what I think games like FFXIII really lacked.

And the stereotypes: you really got to try to appeal to a broader audience Japan. Especially if you want decent sales over here in the west. Microsoft doesn't appreciate eastern sensibilities, so Xbox sales are low. Same concept.

Maybe they can balance this genre back out once again. I used to love JRPGs, but around the time of FF8, I just couldn't get the taste of bile out of my mouth. I hope this really can refresh things.

random123456789:
Final Promise Story has a lot of promise and i really hope they pull it off this could help people take JRPGs a bit more seriously. I'm a big fan of JRPG's and don't like the stereotype that they get (i know the stereotype is completely right sometimes) which brings me to Black Rock Shooter: The Game *sigh* it sounded so good and had so much promise. Then i clicked played and saw the main character *Stereotype Alert* How old is she and how much of her body is covered? Not helping to put the JRPG back in a positive light. Well good luck to them and i hope they are good games

The stereotype is ALWAYS right when it comes to JRPGs. Gameplay hasn't changed since the days of NES.

Well, it did...there was definitely uniqueness in some of them during the SNES era, but then it was widdled down to one or two unique ones during the PSX era, and now we're back to nothing but pure turn-based snorefests.

So many developers have had chances to make a great JRPG if they were to simply deviate from the formula a bit. I'd love to see a JRPG with a cross of Valkyrie Profile and Final Fantasy Tactics gameplay. Equip your team members, give them professions and etc, start the battle, gain the best positioning on the enemy that you can (high ground would deal extra damage), choose which attack/magic each member will execute, and then be allowed to attack manually with one party member assigned to each button. Which of course allows you to execute badass combos and make the game more exciting. Strategic, but just enough action to keep you truly engaged.

This would all be done on environments where you can actually move your characters across solid ground, randomly generated battle areas based on your position on the map, before pausing and engaging...no movement across blocks like FFT.

Isn't the mininum population that a species requires to surive 80? How is she going to save the world if there're only 12 left?

Really?
They are making a BRS game?
I don't get how that got so popular.
i actually do, hot chicks and stylish guns + cool music

But Final Promise Story looks interesting.

Though.....Fire Emblem has had the Death is Permanent thing from the start, though for the most part, unless its a main character that dies the story isn't effected that much.
So this looks to be interesting.

Must... have... black rock shooter... game... now...

so... the plan to revive JRPGs is to make them stay exactly the same? good game japan... good game...

Azaraxzealot:
so... the plan to revive JRPGs is to make them stay exactly the same? good game japan... good game...

this is exactly what i was thinking, and 3 at once instead of focusing on one at a time.

also, the names are all rips from other popular games:

final promise story (final fantasy, last story)

black rock shooter (black ops, ummm, shooter?)

chevalier saga tactics (seriously, how many saga or tactics rpgs are there? a million?)

these games also need more tween girls in thongs who somehow kick lots of ass. oh wait...

I predict the games protaginists will be an androgynous teen boy/girl with spikey hair and a big sword/gun.

archvile93:
Isn't the mininum population that a species requires to surive 80? How is she going to save the world if there're only 12 left?

It all had to start somewhere!

Tom Goldman:

archvile93:
Isn't the mininum population that a species requires to surive 80? How is she going to save the world if there're only 12 left?

It all had to start somewhere!

But that was an entire population (likely in the thousands or more) turning in to humans as the all bred together exclusively due to isolation with the rest of their former species. It wasn't just one turning into a human and going from there.

Said this before, just repeating myself:

People need to stop confusing "JRPG" with "Final Fantasy"

It's getting goddamn annoying

Tom Goldman:
Similar to Heavy Rain, a character's death actually affects the game's story, an unheard of concept for a JRPG. It'll be out on April 28 in Japan.

I can't tell if you were being sarcastic or not, but there are plenty of JRPGs in which this happens. Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor (more the latter than the former) are two that come to mind.

Tom Goldman:
Imageepoch CEO Ryoei Mikage said Final Promise Story's concept is based around the idea that when characters die, they're gone for good. Similar to Heavy Rain, a character's death actually affects the game's story, an unheard of concept for a JRPG.

You have an avatar from Chrono Trigger yet you still say that? Sure, the guy does not die in battle, but you can chose whether or not you bring him back to life.

And what about Fire Emblem? Once a character dies you cannot bring him back to life and the story changes a little and you cannot get some other people later on.

Timbydude:

Tom Goldman:
Similar to Heavy Rain, a character's death actually affects the game's story, an unheard of concept for a JRPG. It'll be out on April 28 in Japan.

I can't tell if you were being sarcastic or not, but there are plenty of JRPGs in which this happens. Fire Emblem and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor (more the latter than the former) are two that come to mind.

OMG you ninja'd me you swift bastard >:3

008Zulu:
I predict the games protaginists will be an androgynous teen boy/girl with spikey hair and a big sword/gun.

I can't tell if you're joking around or just being a douche by saying every single JRPG is exactly like FF7

gring:
also, the names are all rips from other popular games:
final promise story (final fantasy, last story)
black rock shooter (black ops, ummm, shooter?)
chevalier saga tactics (seriously, how many saga or tactics rpgs are there? a million?)
these games also need more tween girls in thongs who somehow kick lots of ass. oh wait...

Wow, really? BRS precede Black Ops by a couple of years at least, and tactics is just the default way of saying you use grid based combat in your game. If you want to be angry about the overuse of it, get mad at the people who made Ogre Tactics and Final Fantasy Tactics such great games, popularizing the genre. "Final Promise Story" is the only one that sounds remotely like a riff on another title, and I'll put that down to overly literal translation.

seekeroftruth86:
And the stereotypes: you really got to try to appeal to a broader audience Japan. Especially if you want decent sales over here in the west. Microsoft doesn't appreciate eastern sensibilities, so Xbox sales are low. Same concept.

This is exactly the kind of thinking that gets them in trouble (didn't you see what they did with Nier?). Don't try to appeal to anyone, don't think about appealing at all. It's all about telling a story. When you get into demographics and crap like that, that's where you go wrong.

Also, thank you Tibydude and Ashlycks for calling BS on the "revolutionary" death system.

Ahlycks:

008Zulu:
I predict the games protaginists will be an androgynous teen boy/girl with spikey hair and a big sword/gun.

I can't tell if you're joking around or just being a douche by saying every single JRPG is exactly like FF7

JRPGs existed before ff7, and they all used this stereotype before ff7 made it popular.

008Zulu:

Ahlycks:

008Zulu:
I predict the games protaginists will be an androgynous teen boy/girl with spikey hair and a big sword/gun.

I can't tell if you're joking around or just being a douche by saying every single JRPG is exactly like FF7

JRPGs existed before ff7, and they all used this stereotype before ff7 made it popular.

Yeah. all of them. Suikoden. Dragon Warrior. Final Fantasy 1-6. Tales of phantasia. Wild arms. Phantasy star. pokemon. mother. ALL of them had huge ass swords and female looking chicks.

008Zulu:

Ahlycks:

008Zulu:
I predict the games protaginists will be an androgynous teen boy/girl with spikey hair and a big sword/gun.

I can't tell if you're joking around or just being a douche by saying every single JRPG is exactly like FF7

JRPGs existed before ff7, and they all used this stereotype before ff7 made it popular.

If by everyone, you mean ChronoTrigger, then yeah you are right.

If you mean, Earthbound Final Fantasy 4, 6, Terranigma, 7th Saga, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Brainlord, Robo Trek, Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma, Paladin's Quest, Fantasy Star 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sword of Vermillion, Shining Force, ShadowRun, Breath of Fire 1 and 2, Inindo: Way of the Ninja, Evo Search for Eden, and Wanders from Y's, then you are sadly mistaken.

Back then, the character had more than one personality other than emo with sword/gun. Some were actually happy people with weapons other than swords.

Ahlycks:
Yeah. all of them. Suikoden. Dragon Warrior. Final Fantasy 1-6. Tales of phantasia. Wild arms. Phantasy star. pokemon. mother. ALL of them had huge ass swords and female looking chicks.

Probably, can really only go off games over the last 15 years or so where computer power has started to get to the point where they could create their games as they originally wanted to.

malestrithe:
If by everyone, you mean ChronoTrigger, then yeah you are right.

If you mean, Earthbound Final Fantasy 4, 6, Terranigma, 7th Saga, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Brainlord, Robo Trek, Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma, Paladin's Quest, Fantasy Star 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sword of Vermillion, Shining Force, ShadowRun, Breath of Fire 1 and 2, Inindo: Way of the Ninja, Evo Search for Eden, and Wanders from Y's, then you are sadly mistaken.

Back then, the character had more than one personality other than emo with sword/gun. Some were actually happy people with weapons other than swords.

Not all those listed can truly be classified as JRPGs, just because they were made in Japan doesnt make it so. In any one of those examples was the protaginist happy as a lamb on coke that they had been called/forced to save the world/rescue the princess/recover the macguffin?

Besides, my original post was aimed at the current run of JRPGs in that they are virtually identicle.

B*RS RPG not being tied to the OVA = me not giving a shit about the game.

008Zulu:

Ahlycks:
Yeah. all of them. Suikoden. Dragon Warrior. Final Fantasy 1-6. Tales of phantasia. Wild arms. Phantasy star. pokemon. mother. ALL of them had huge ass swords and female looking chicks.

Probably, can really only go off games over the last 15 years or so where computer power has started to get to the point where they could create their games as they originally wanted to.

malestrithe:
If by everyone, you mean ChronoTrigger, then yeah you are right.

If you mean, Earthbound Final Fantasy 4, 6, Terranigma, 7th Saga, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Brainlord, Robo Trek, Soul Blazer, Illusion of Gaia, Terranigma, Paladin's Quest, Fantasy Star 1, 2, 3, and 4, Sword of Vermillion, Shining Force, ShadowRun, Breath of Fire 1 and 2, Inindo: Way of the Ninja, Evo Search for Eden, and Wanders from Y's, then you are sadly mistaken.

Back then, the character had more than one personality other than emo with sword/gun. Some were actually happy people with weapons other than swords.

Not all those listed can truly be classified as JRPGs, just because they were made in Japan doesnt make it so. In any one of those examples was the protaginist happy as a lamb on coke that they had been called/forced to save the world/rescue the princess/recover the macguffin?

Besides, my original post was aimed at the current run of JRPGs in that they are virtually identicle.

And here we go again...

Man, the strategy of saying "that's not really a JRPG" and then twist its definition to your own benefit is old (and annoying) as hell.

And besides, even in your last sentence you are wrong.

I dare you to play "Lost Odyssey", "Valkyria Chronicles", "Tales of Vesperia", "Demon's Soul" and "Persona 4" and saying they are "virtually identicle", either in gameplay or art style.

And when I say playing, I mean PLAYING.

Not seeing 5 screenshots in Google and two Walkthrough videos in YouTube, as 95% of JRPG haters do.

That's more like it!

I'd be happy with just semi-random encounters and real time battles like Tales of Symphonia, but this rocks my socks!

Xander_VJ:

And here we go again...
Man, the strategy of saying "that's not really a JRPG" and then twist its definition to your own benefit is old (and annoying) as hell.

And besides, even in your last sentence you are wrong.

I dare you to play "Lost Odyssey", "Valkyria Chronicles", "Tales of Vesperia", "Demon's Soul" and "Persona 4" and saying they are "virtually identicle", either in gameplay or art style.

And when I say playing, I mean PLAYING.

Not seeing 5 screenshots in Google and two Walkthrough videos in YouTube, as 95% of JRPG haters do.

Shadowrun is a western rpg that was first made in to a computer game in 1986 by an Australian company. Technically its an ARPG (either A is for American or Australian)
Mario RPG is an action/platformer hybrid with RPG elements, this does not make it a JRPG.

Yes I have played them, try not to faint. Oh, FYI, I own Lost Odyssey and several Final Fantasy titles. And heres whats identicle about them;
1 Emo(ish) loner finds him/herself drawn in to a global war where the fate of all is decided, on his/her way he/she meets and gathers a small group of people to help him/her. There is the plucky comic relief, the love interest, the wise old veteran and the man/woman with a mysterious past. After a long and arduous journey, including self discovery, they finally meet the big bad who they defeat, though for some reason despite gathering a small army they choose to engage of a group of 4 or 6 at a time. Emo and Love Interest hook up. The End.

This is what was meant by virtually identicle. Too subtle?

sanzo:
Said this before, just repeating myself:

People need to stop confusing "JRPG" with "Final Fantasy"

It's getting goddamn annoying

So how's that talking to a brick wall going for ya? (btw, Laharl ftw!)

008Zulu:

Xander_VJ:

And here we go again...
Man, the strategy of saying "that's not really a JRPG" and then twist its definition to your own benefit is old (and annoying) as hell.

And besides, even in your last sentence you are wrong.

I dare you to play "Lost Odyssey", "Valkyria Chronicles", "Tales of Vesperia", "Demon's Soul" and "Persona 4" and saying they are "virtually identicle", either in gameplay or art style.

And when I say playing, I mean PLAYING.

Not seeing 5 screenshots in Google and two Walkthrough videos in YouTube, as 95% of JRPG haters do.

Shadowrun is a western rpg that was first made in to a computer game in 1986 by an Australian company. Technically its an ARPG (either A is for American or Australian)
Mario RPG is an action/platformer hybrid with RPG elements, this does not make it a JRPG.

Yes I have played them, try not to faint. Oh, FYI, I own Lost Odyssey and several Final Fantasy titles. And heres whats identicle about them;
1 Emo(ish) loner finds him/herself drawn in to a global war where the fate of all is decided, on his/her way he/she meets and gathers a small group of people to help him/her. There is the plucky comic relief, the love interest, the wise old veteran and the man/woman with a mysterious past. After a long and arduous journey, including self discovery, they finally meet the big bad who they defeat, though for some reason despite gathering a small army they choose to engage of a group of 4 or 6 at a time. Emo and Love Interest hook up. The End.

This is what was meant by virtually identicle. Too subtle?

Not to but in on someone else's conversation, but by that logic, then WRPGs are even more unoriginal than JRPGs. After all, every other Western RPG takes place in a medieval fantasy land, usually populated by elves, dwarves, humans, and some kind of orc-mook race. There's always some Evil Force of Ultimate Evil trying to take over the land, and you have to take up your sword, bow, and magic staff to defeat it. Generation after generation of games, all ripping off the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

I mean it. Baldur's Gate, Never Winter Nights, Dragon Age, The Elder Scrolls, World Of Warcraft, the various Warhammer (and 40K) games, Diablo... they're all Lord Of The Rings knock-offs. Nothing more than pale imitations of the original High Fantasy masterwork, with only token changes made here or there to avoid charges of plagiarism.

See, we JRPG fans can use troll-logic too...

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Not to but in on someone else's conversation, but by that logic, then WRPGs are even more unoriginal than JRPGs. After all, every other Western RPG takes place in a medieval fantasy land, usually populated by elves, dwarves, humans, and some kind of orc-mook race. There's always some Evil Force of Ultimate Evil trying to take over the land, and you have to take up your sword, bow, and magic staff to defeat it. Generation after generation of games, all ripping off the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

I mean it. Baldur's Gate, Never Winter Nights, Dragon Age, The Elder Scrolls, World Of Warcraft, the various Warhammer (and 40K) games, Diablo... they're all Lord Of The Rings knock-offs. Nothing more than pale imitations of the original High Fantasy masterwork, with only token changes made here or there to avoid charges of plagiarism.

See, we JRPG fans can use troll-logic too...

Ofcourse western RPGs are just as unoriginal as their JRPG cousins have become. It doesnt stop me from enjoying either when I play them. Its just hard to become invested in a game when the entire genre (East and West) has been reduced to a handful of stereotypes.

The Eupho Guy:

sanzo:
Said this before, just repeating myself:

People need to stop confusing "JRPG" with "Final Fantasy"

It's getting goddamn annoying

So how's that talking to a brick wall going for ya? (btw, Laharl ftw!)

Not very well; I'm pretty sure the last time I posted that was in another thread about Imageepoch

And yes, Laharl is awesome

seekeroftruth86:
I'm glad to see that effort's being taken to bring back the JRPG. I've really been turned off to them recently. Bethesda and Bioware are just doing so much better than Squeenix or Sega, and there's really no reason for this.

If JRPG developers want to bring back the glory days of the genre, they just need to emulate the soaring themes and moods depicted in those great gems of the SNES and Playstation eras, while continuing to experiment with deep, but approachable gameplay methods.

Also, there needs to be lots of potential for character customization and decent party dynamics, which is what I think games like FFXIII really lacked.

And the stereotypes: you really got to try to appeal to a broader audience Japan. Especially if you want decent sales over here in the west. Microsoft doesn't appreciate eastern sensibilities, so Xbox sales are low. Same concept.

I think there's a little more to this...

Square is stuck on reinventing the same concepts. The games that people want, they can't really update. Think about Chrono Cross vs Final Fantasy.

Japan as a whole hasn't done much save use better graphics. Still, there are games that shine such as Shin Megami Tensei. I just don't think it's fair to say that Square represents the entire RPG market anymore.

Gindil:

seekeroftruth86:
I'm glad to see that effort's being taken to bring back the JRPG. I've really been turned off to them recently. Bethesda and Bioware are just doing so much better than Squeenix or Sega, and there's really no reason for this.

If JRPG developers want to bring back the glory days of the genre, they just need to emulate the soaring themes and moods depicted in those great gems of the SNES and Playstation eras, while continuing to experiment with deep, but approachable gameplay methods.

Also, there needs to be lots of potential for character customization and decent party dynamics, which is what I think games like FFXIII really lacked.

And the stereotypes: you really got to try to appeal to a broader audience Japan. Especially if you want decent sales over here in the west. Microsoft doesn't appreciate eastern sensibilities, so Xbox sales are low. Same concept.

I think there's a little more to this...

Square is stuck on reinventing the same concepts. The games that people want, they can't really update. Think about Chrono Cross vs Final Fantasy.

Japan as a whole hasn't done much save use better graphics. Still, there are games that shine such as Shin Megami Tensei. I just don't think it's fair to say that Square represents the entire RPG market anymore.

Squeenix doesn't represent the JRPG market (I actually differentiate between WRPGs because they're so markedly different), or not entirely by itself. One of the problems I see is that it seems to be expected to, given its track record. Graphics have been improving but I think that's part and parcel with the advancements in technology. WRPGs have been improving as well, but rather awkwardly (look at Oblivion versus FFXIII, or even WoW versus Aion - although the Aion team isn't Squeenix).

It just feels like the glory days of the RPG as we knew them are gone. Call me a nostalgia fanboy, but games like FFVI and VII, Chrono Trigger, and Secret of Mana were the foundations of RPGs. How come we haven't gotten better? Maybe we have tech-wise, but the themes and moods they once evoked now seem trite and overdone. The effeminate, brooding protagonist in contrast to the hyper-masculine adonis isn't interesting anymore. It's annoying. They can be re-used but as I've said regarding the Buffy re-make, they need to take these themes in new directions. Try for some new IP that pushes the limits! But that doesn't bring in the ever-important dough now does it.

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