Do you dislike JRPGs? (Flamewars unwelcome)

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Disclaimer: First off, I'm aware a thread like this can easily explode. I'd like to ask everyone who contributes to keep it reasonable, and if for those reasons this thread gets removed, I understand.

So.. Basically, I'm simply curious. I'm a big follower of ZeroPunctuation, and the genre is one of Yahztee's regular punchbags. I don't hold it against him, I love his rants, even if they're against stuff I like. I don't take anything he says very personally. :)

The thing is, I start to get a feeling that this is a bigger trend, and that not all people who speak ill of JRPGs do it because they rant for a living. I don't know if this hunch is correct, but if it is, I'm curious why. It just seems a bit weird that a niche genre would be target of so much negativity, when no one is forced to play or care about it.

To put this into perspective.. I absolutely don't enjoy sports games. They don't reflect my real life interests, they don't provide me with interesting story or gameplay, in short I don't play them. But that isn't a reason for me to dislike them, to say they're bad games, or to insult their playerbase. They're just not my taste, that's all.

What's different for JRPGs? They very obviously aren't games that are meant to appeal to just anyone. Being born out of japanese culture, they have their own history, style and mentality, which happens to fit the taste of some people, and not fit the taste of others. I don't see anything wrong with this, heck, I wouldn't see anything wrong with this if I didn't enjoy them.

Yet I'm picking up this vibe, and it irks me somewhat to not understand where it's coming from. One theory, which I can't confirm as I haven't played a JRPG more recent than Kingdom Hearts, is that as production costs rose beyond the value of a small town, they tried to appease larger audiences. Kinda obvious how that would fail though, so if this happened, I won't even try to grasp the stupidity of it.

I can see a lot of things players might not enjoy in JRPGs.. Turn based combat, lengthy dialogs, no requirements of skill save a teensy bit of planning.. The thing is, I truly enjoy all these aspects, and I know a lot of people who feel the same. I could describe why these things can actually improve your experience, but I won't, because the best way to find out is to grab a JRPG and experience for yourself whether you like it. :)

Then of course, there's the story telling. Now, I can't speak for all JRPGs, because I haven't played many of them, but yes, all the ones I played had pretty much the same underlying ideas and plot elements, particularly the Final Fantasy series. I don't think that's bad writing, nor do I think it's something unique to JRPGs. I mean, Tropes Are Tools (Good luck finding out again)

So all in all.. I can't see anything fundamentally wrong with the concept of JRPGs. They're merely that, a concept, a collection of ideas, implemented in a variety of games. Maybe you don't enjoy any of those games, and that's fine. If there's a real reason to shudder at the mention of the word JRPG, I'd really love to know. :)

I think a significant number of people who claim to dislike JRPGs actually just dislike the artstyle and/or Final Fantasy games. Personally, I'm not of a fan of the linearity and grindiness that many games in the genre have, and I think that the writing often seems to lose a lot in the translation.

Then again, not all JRPGs are linear or (overly) grindy - one of my favorite recent RPGs was Devil Survivor, which I felt did an excellent job with combat and an even better job with the C&C-laden storyline. I also just turned off Shiren the Wanderer, which is what you get when a JRPG and Rogue have a baby. Similarly excellent, plenty of emergent complexity. Recettear is awesome, too. So I'm not about to write off the entire genre because I don't like some common mechanics in it, particularly when it's a genre that hasn't forgotten how awesome turn-based gameplay can be.

My main problem with JRPGs is that, while there are several types of them, I don't feel like they have changed much at all in 15+ years.

Its kinda like pokemon, sure the add weather and stuff but hats mostly gimmick stuff, the base gameplay of them is still the same and it gets.... old fast.

Most JRPGs use certain gameplay conventions that I'm simply not fond of, not to mention that I don't qualify JRPGs as actual RPGs but that's a whole other can of worms.

No I quite like some JRPGs, In fact one of my favorite games of all times in a JRPG (Tales of Symphonia for anyone who cares)

I think part of the frustration with them is sometimes they don't really change the whole set up. The settings change but often the same character archetypes and plots are kept.

There is also the issue of them often lacking the ability of the player to have meaningful choice.

And I think some people just dislike the more outlandish style or settings.

As a somewhat minor point, sometimes the JRPG fandom can slip into the "glorious Nippon" mindset where the make JRPGs to be the sole bastion of good stories which can be infuriating.

I love JRPG's but damn I am so sick of fucking anime. I prefer JRPG's on handhelds but it seems that most of them have anime type graphics, I am sick of that look.

I want Tales of the Abyss for the 3DS but I just can't take more anime graphics.

I like interesting and engaging, non-repetitive gameplay and decent stories, genres be damned. The World Ends With You is an example of both.
Tales of Graces F is an example of one.
Final Fantasy I/II/III are few of many examples of neither.

Also, Sturgeon's Law.

Generally speaking my complaint isn't the actual gameplay so much as the style and art design that irks me. I'm not much a fan of anime and bluntly put the style of fantasy that most jrpg seem to employ, that sort of grand fantasy taken to almost ridiculous proportions. I just like even fantasy to have some grounding in reality; I can play The Witcher for example and see parallels between it's setting and story and that of true Eastern Europe. I can understand the mechanics of warfare, the tools in place and the means of combat. Magic adds an interesting spice to everything, a mystical edge, but the understanding is still there.

Now obviously this isn't always the case. Planescape: Torment is about as weird as it gets and I love that game, hell, I loved Final Fantasy 6 as well, even enjoyed 7 although I absolutely loathed 8 from what little I managed to tolerate. But at least FF6 I can understand as a sort of fairy-tale style story that if anything the simplistic visuals help me enjoy it. I can use my imagination to fill in the details. 7 is fantasy steampunk, a setting I'm fairly familiar with. And Planescape is based on DnD, which I understand just fine.

There's always some grounding for me. Somewhere to start.

Meanwhile I watch the trailer for the latest Final Fantasy game and I have no clue what the hell anything is or why or how. There's some girl on a... robot horse thing? And she's charging up the arm of a... evil robot god thing? With a... sword? Gun? Thing. Sorta fantasyish I guess, weird, but fantasy. Then some black guy in a trench-coat is there and he's got an afro and it modern? Sorta? I guess. Does gravity apply wherever they are because pretty sure what they're doing is impossible too, or is that just magic? I don't know. I have no clue what anything anywhere is.

I imagine for the majority who enjoy that their 'grounding factor' so to speak is anime. That's what I presume anyway. But since I don't watch that there's nothing for me to cling to and it's all just silly looking gibberish.

Do want to play Dark Souls however. Gothic medieval horror imagery is something I can get behind!

Ugh... text wall. I'll just go with the title question.

Yes I do, though not nearly as much as I use to. Now they just pop them out on a constant basis, and few are good. Also, the voice acting and general dialogue tends to suck huge asses (yes more than one ass.) Now... I began to think about that and came to the realization that the dialogue has always been kinda bad, but with the advent of voice acting, it's made plodding through a J-pop nearly unbearable.

They were much easier to deal with (and far more enjoyable) when I just had to read everything.

370999:
No I quite like some JRPGs, In fact one of my favorite games of all times in a JRPG (Tales of Symphonia for anyone who cares)

I think part of the frustration with them is sometimes they don't really change the whole set up. The settings change but often the same character archetypes and plots are kept.

There is also the issue of them often lacking the ability of the player to have meaningful choice.

And I think some people just dislike the more outlandish style or settings.

As a somewhat minor point, sometimes the JRPG fandom can slip into the "glorious Nippon" mindset where the make JRPGs to be the sole bastion of good stories which can be infuriating.

I hear you, brother (for I, too, enjoyed Tales of Symphonia).

What makes JRPGs memorable is not so much the story or gameplay, but the characters. Whether some memorable JRPG characters deserve all their hype and popularity is completely subjective.

I enjoy JRPGs not so much because of the characters or story, but how much it distinguishes itself from others in terms of gameplay, customization, and challenges.

I have a love/hate relationship with JRPGs because i think they have some of my favorite and least favorite RPGs of all time. A lot of their older games I still love and prob always will; a few are: Chrono Trigger, Persona 2, Tales of Destiny, FF VI, etc. Some of their newer games however, do not fill me with the same love and interest.Such as: FF XIII, Persona 3, Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia, etc. I'm sure there are some great ones out there that I haven't tried but lately I've been pulling away from them, let's hope I find something to bring me back to them with a smile on my face.

I dislike about all of them (except pokemon). My problem is: The guys writing them obviously never heard of subtlety. I played "The world ends with you" the other day and man... reading exposition dialogue about stuff that was made clear in dialogue between other characters (not forshadowing, it was stated in about the same words) is just painfull.

I may anjoy them if I completely disregard the story or if the story is just silly (FF 13-2 and FF 10-2) but that's about it.

Mostly yes, but it's not so much a problem with the genre itself, and more a problem of the stuff you usually see in it.

Let me use a game that I think works as a good example here. Riviera: The Promised Land. In 2005, this game was released for the GBA. Now, if you haven't played it, it's a very anime-esque JRPG. You've got your pretty boy-ish protagonist, you've got your super powerful quiet loner might be evil, might not be type guy, you've got your quiet shy girl, your spunky pigtail girl, etc. etc.

When I got this game in 2005, I loved it. I got all but one of the endings.

Then it was ported to the PSP in 2007. And lemme tell ya...I could barely get through the tutorial. Now this isn't the games fault, it's just my own personal tastes. But in that time, seeing this dialogue new again, it was all so unbelievably cliched that it practically caused physical pain for me to read it (and listen to it since the PSP one is fully voice acted)

Basically, in the past 5 years, outside of the MegaTen franchise or Pokemon, I think the number of JRPG games that I've played and actually liked could probably be counted on one hand, and that's including ports and remakes of games I once loved. Every now and then I'll pick one up if I think it looks interesting, but more often than not these days, I'll find myself regretting that decision very quickly.

It may have been the strongest horse in my stable when I was a kid, but it's just not the genre for me anymore.

The main issue that people seem to have with jRPGs is that there's usually a very distinct difference between Story and Gameplay, and that one tends to happen in between instances of the other.

Battles in jRPGs tend to be completely self-contained; even if they don't take place in a complete alternate-reality bubble, they don't serve to actually advance the plot. Random Encounters are filler to keep you occupied and skilled between Bosses, and Bosses are the wall that stands between you and the next plot point. As Yahtzee said, Story and Gameplay "are on opposite sides of a wrought-iron fence made of lions".

And while, yes, it is basically impossible to avoid something which has at one point been called a 'trope', jRPGs tend to play them almost entirely straight. Even the twists are formulaic to the point where it's pretty easy to see where the continued storyline will take you. Not that wRPGs are immune to this. DA:O had a villain who, in pretty much his first scene in the game, did everything but twirl his mustache to point to "yup, he's going to become a bad guy"..

The biggest innovations that you see in jRPGs are the Battle Mechanics. We're probably due for a resurgence of the old "ATB System" from games like Final Fantasy IV-IX since everybody's been trying to hard to move away from that type of thing for the past several years. A lot of them seem to like using essentially MMO-esque battle systems, like Final Fantasy XII and XIII, or Xenoblade Chronicles. I like to single out the Tales series as excellent examples, since they add the element of fun and skill to battle by making them heavily action-focused.

Well... I don't really like most, but the MegaTen franchise is my favourite franchise of all time. Especially the Persona series.

370999:
No I quite like some JRPGs, In fact one of my favorite games of all times in a JRPG (Tales of Symphonia for anyone who cares)

I think part of the frustration with them is sometimes they don't really change the whole set up. The settings change but often the same character archetypes and plots are kept.

There is also the issue of them often lacking the ability of the player to have meaningful choice.

And I think some people just dislike the more outlandish style or settings.

As a somewhat minor point, sometimes the JRPG fandom can slip into the "glorious Nippon" mindset where the make JRPGs to be the sole bastion of good stories which can be infuriating.

ahem.

I love my JPRG's. However, I dislike certain types of them, mainly Final Fantasy. Its just so, ummm, repetitive? One of the main reason I like the Tales series is because it lets me run around in real time. However I am not completely against turn based combat, I find that if its hard or unique (Etrian Odyssey, Knights in a Nighmare) I enjoy it. However what I can't stand is the repetitiveness of grinding the same enemies over and over with no real challenge.

If its challenging just because it is a higher level then you are then it is boring. If its a challenge because your just doing it wrong then its more my type of game. I like games that are fun to play, if the story is good then its a bonus. If I just wanted a story I would watch a movie/anime/Show/book/play/etc. Yes I would watch a book. hah.

Almost all JRPGs of the new variety have all been just graphically intense, storylacking games with angsty teenagers...From what I've seen anyway. To make my statement less bile filled, anything before the PS3/360 era was just awesome.

Breath of Fire IV: Ryu is a tough looking hero without being a musclebound monster who has his share of troubles but makes it through.

Cloud in any new Final Fantasy roll by comparison drives me nuts, he's flipping around, upsidown with a sword that weighs 5x more than him but ..."I'm ...No hero..." Despite him not really doing any of this angst crap in his original game. Guess that happened after he BECAME a hero he declares he can't be a hero.

Chaz from Phantasy Star IV despite major loss does his small bit of crying and he pushes on and does what he has to.

Parasite Eve 3 (was an rpg-like series) Aya became a whiney protagonist despite being a strong one through 2 other games. Not to mention they butchered the hell out of the original story and then just loaded it up with fanservice. Yes shower scene in 2 bla bla bla, it wasn't covered by many angles and had clothing loss as a gameplay element with maid uniforms and sexy business woman attire. It's stupid, there's no defending that.

Even Persona 3 has a bit of a emo feel to the main character, however the game around him takes away from that and makes the game really good.

Do I hate JRPGs? Hell no I love a lot of the old ones but so many of the new ones just are grindy or angsty or have just dumb stories with characters that are silly powerful but angsty. Maybe I'm just a bigger fan of the classics, but I've found little to like in many new RPGs. Persona has been amazing so far, but grindy, but it's better than what happened to FFXIII.

Ever play the Persona series for PS2?

Perfect example of JRPGs done right. It even does a great job at making friendship in JRPGs feel less cliche.

Seriously, pick it up if you haven't, or just wait until the end of the year or next spring and pick up the reboot on the Vita.

I do like them but there are hardly any on PC.

first one i played was final fantasy 7 i tried ff10 and the last remnant but yeah they really didnt grab me.

i dont consider them rpgs personally and thats not meant as a put down they are just so different from regular rpgs that they deserve a seperate genre. a regular run of the mill rpg drops you into a world and lets you explore the universe while the jrpgs give you set characters and want to tell you a story.

so i tend to call them a directed narrative experience.

they are ok at what they do but yeah just arent my cup of tea

No, I don't really like JRPGs, anime, or manga well at least I haven't enjoyed any I have come in contact with. My foster brother is really into that stuff so I have tried out a lot of it, but it's just not for me. It all reminds me to much of the soap operas my grandma use to watch.

I always found JRPGs to be mind numbingly stupid.

And not for the reasons you might think me to rant about.

I will use Star Ocean: The Last Hope for example.

At the beginning, you fight bugs, but your ships marines get their worlds fucked up because OMG guns no work on dem bugs, quick use a sword...and a bow!

Then, a few hours later you come back to the same planet, with at least one character who uses guns, and he levels those bugs left and right.

Final Fantasy 7? WHY YOU NO USE PHEONIX DOWN?! Just things that make fuck all sense....plus angsty teens whos hair would make a porcupine feel inadequate.

Oh I love JRPGs, the Tales series, the Rune Factory series, anything by GUST and Atlus, if it's a JRPG on the PS3 or 360 I'll buy it.

I can't fault most people for disliking JRPGs, just like I can't fault people for disliking other series. I can even see why Yatzee uses them as the butt of some jokes, hell JRPGs make up some of my favorite Unskippables, but in the end I still love them just as much.

I do however get a little erked by the same people using the same old arguments against JRPGs, which leads me to write off any post using the the words "spiky haired angsty teenagers" to label all JRPGs.

Well JRPGs are in a pickle because what used to be hardware limitations is now used as features, and now the genre is stuck the people who still play are demanding the old stuff and devs feel nice and snug doing the same old stuff.

I just dislike the 30+ year old mechanics, alternate dimension combat, turn based something or other(it's a really time wasting system), scroll menu skills, ... it just makes the whole thing so disconnected, the continuity just isn't there.
And they could break away from angsty teens every once in a while or just tone it down a bit, it's hard to play a game where half the characters make me want to kill myself.

Like I said the main problem is people who buy JRPGs expect and demand that sort of thing, so maybe the only way forward is to expand into a new genre.

NiPah:
Oh I love JRPGs, the Tales series, the Rune Factory series, anything by GUST and Atlus, if it's a JRPG on the PS3 or 360 I'll buy it.

I can't fault most people for disliking JRPGs, just like I can't fault people for disliking other series. I can even see why Yatzee uses them as the butt of some jokes, hell JRPGs make up some of my favorite Unskippables, but in the end I still love them just as much.

I do however get a little erked by the same people using the same old arguments against JRPGs, which leads me to write off any post using the the words "spiky haired angsty teenagers" to label all JRPGs.

Are there JRPGs that don't have any "spiky haired angsty teenagers"? < This isn't a snarky remark. I'm actually curious if there is or not.

I don't like what they've become, if that makes sense. I don't like lengthy cutscenes in any game if it looks like the characters are having more fun than I am. I can put up with some of the more ridiculous stuff but there's a point that most JRPGs cross that I just can't follow. Final Fantasy VII is about the extreme I'm willing to go for these games, they become too angsty and too .... ridiculous(?) too "love and peacey" after that.

For instance: I haven't been able to get into a FF game since FF7 and even then I wouldn't call myself a fan of FF7. But a friend of mine bought me FF12: Revenant Wings or somthing for the DS a couple Christmas's ago and I kinda enjoyed it. There were virtually no cutscenes, little brooding and no voiced dialogue (Eeeeh!). Granted the gameplay wasn't very good but it was a good kind of time waster like Pokemon is. In all I enjoyed it enough to play through it 3 times, which is twice more than most games get and all in all I pretty much enjoyed it. But then I tried to watch a friend play FF12 and I walked out of the room 20 minutes later.

Different strokes, I guess.

Vhite:
I do like them but there are hardly any on PC.

I would give the genre more of a chance if I could find good PC titles. I don't play consoles for a variety of reasons. If you're wondering, most of them are practical and not because I'm a PC elitist.

I've watched a few Let's Plays of recent JRPGs and I always find myself thinking at some point, "Jesus, do you ever shut up?" And the combat never looks very fun. Valkyria Chronicles looked interesting, but I don't have a PS3.

TheVioletBandit:

NiPah:
Oh I love JRPGs, the Tales series, the Rune Factory series, anything by GUST and Atlus, if it's a JRPG on the PS3 or 360 I'll buy it.

I can't fault most people for disliking JRPGs, just like I can't fault people for disliking other series. I can even see why Yatzee uses them as the butt of some jokes, hell JRPGs make up some of my favorite Unskippables, but in the end I still love them just as much.

I do however get a little erked by the same people using the same old arguments against JRPGs, which leads me to write off any post using the the words "spiky haired angsty teenagers" to label all JRPGs.

Are there JRPGs that don't have any "spiky haired angsty teenagers"? < This isn't a snarky remark. I'm actually curious if there is or not.

There are plenty of jRPGs that have normal-haired, slightly-angsty (because aren't we all) people of varying ages, that happen to be teenagers most often becuase that's who's going to be playing the game, and it's a bit jarring for a 16-year-old male gamer to play a 50-year-old female character.

I tend to like most of them, the only thing that puts me off is...well I can't really explain it, its that uncomfortable feeling you get when someone is watching you play it, with all the squeaky, cheesy dialogue and the kinda-lame, for-kids feel to it. I'd feel more comfortable playing something a bit more....manly. I know thats open to discussion but being a SAS soldier running around a russian nuclear silo is a lot cooler to do than watch a 10 minute cutscene about how my character(s) actually do have feelings for each other, despite their crazy hair, and annoying noises, and are getting all emotional whilst fighting against all odds...I don't know. Its like comparing Dante and Nero in DMC4. When I had to explain the series to my girlfriend, I showed her Dante being all cheeky and cool to a demon frog, not Nero jumping in slow motion after his totally-too-placid girlfriend.

Deviluk:
I tend to like most of them, the only thing that puts me off is...well I can't really explain it, its that uncomfortable feeling you get when someone is watching you play it, with all the squeaky, cheesy dialogue and the kinda-lame, for-kids feel to it. I'd feel more comfortable playing something a bit more....manly. I know thats open to discussion but being a SAS soldier running around a russian nuclear silo is a lot cooler to do than watch a 10 minute cutscene about how my character(s) actually do have feelings for each other, despite their crazy hair, and annoying noises, and are getting all emotional whilst fighting against all odds...I don't know. Its like comparing Dante and Nero in DMC4. When I had to explain the series to my girlfriend, I showed her Dante being all cheeky and cool to a demon frog, not Nero jumping in slow motion after his totally-too-placid girlfriend.

Some people like manly games, where the only real thinking you have to do is figure out which weapon to use to shoot someone else to death with, and the maturity is ensured, because every other sentence pf dialogue contains a swear word. And that's perfectly fine.

I don't dislike JRPGs in general. How could I? I practically grew up on them. No, I hate what JRPGs have become.

This is a vastly unpopular opinion, but to me, a game is not a real RPG if it does not have turn-based combat and a heavy emphasis on number-crunching. That's partially why I get irritated when people call Mass Effect an RPG- to me, it isn't. It's an action game with some stats in it.

Even Final Fantasy, once the bastion of old-school JRPG conventions, has strayed from the path, trading substance for style and ditching compelling gameplay for overly dramatic visuals and excessively long animations.

I personally dislike turn based combat but as an anime fan, love their visuals. I'm also a HUGE fan of how despite at least being partially "fantasy," the settings are almost never derivative of Tolkien.

SajuukKhar:
My main problem with JRPGs is that, while there are several types of them, I don't feel like they have changed much at all in 15+ years.

Its kinda like pokemon, sure the add weather and stuff but hats mostly gimmick stuff, the base gameplay of them is still the same and it gets.... old fast.

The Japanese seem to love it though. I mean Dragon Quest is as popular as ever and that's about as formulaic as it gets for JRPGs.

The only jrpg i can remember playing is "Secret of Mana" on the SNES a long time ago. I havn`t touched one jrpg in 10-12 years. I started to dislike japanese storytelling in games. Even in series that aren`t jrpg like Yakuza. They always put in some kind of extra drama and wannabe heartmelting scenes with kids. I`m pretty sure that there are examples without these elements but then the artstyle puts me off.

I don't want to hate jrpgs. Or anything Japanese. These forums and other things have thought me to be civil, and try to understand things that are different or just be cool about them.

But I just can't get rid of this annoyance and sometimes hatred I have for seeing japanese games, and other media. Every line of dialogue is awkward. In every scene I would slap the characters for saying the things they are saying. There's so many annoying scenes of slapstick humor, and awkward sexual scenes. There's no character that I can relate to, all men are cold and distant (and stupid), or shy and awkward(and stupid) or just there for awkward humor. And all females are there for sex appeal, or are similar to the men in their stereotypes. I especially hate those characters who are over the top shy, and go nyaa and shit all the time. And then there's the storytelling. It's so slow most of the time, and even when it isn't, nothing interesting seems to ever happen.

Simple things are shown overdramatically. A huge freaking sweeping noise for a simple jump or something. And those really weird lines of dialogue repeat themselves over and over. The most asinine traits are given to characters, seemingly to define them, but they are just the stupidest things. Oh this person really likes fuckin' lemon bread or some shit. That's character development right there!

When I did like Anime and such, which was years ago. I liked it for the things I now hate it for. The silly humor, and the romance parts of the storyline. The day I swore off anime was the day in which I finished some 30 part anime, in which NOTHING HAPPENED AT ALL. There was no character development, the big bad was defeated and it was not shown what effect that had. There was just nothing. The main characters where the same as they were at the beginning, the mystery was not solved, and they just stood there and said: Yay we did it. End credits.

And I just thought to myself: "Fuck it! Fuck anime. I'm done with this shit." I really don't want to insult this broad genre/style, but they just don't seem to be able to write well. (In they way that I would say is done well. As I know this is all just my own opinion)

I'm really not a fan of the "stop and start" combat of those games- turn-based combat, I believe it's called.
Plus I can never really get behind the characters of JRPGs; I usually find them too ridiculous.

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