Why do people hate JRPGs?

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Okay, here is something i haven't been able to understand: what is up with no one liking JRPGs? it seems that everywhere i look on the internet, there is someone bashing this genre, including Keiji Inafune himself! Obviously every genre has a bad egg, but it seems to me that everyone thinks JRPGs are a horrible conglomeration of hitler and Mass Effect 3's ending.
in my opinion, i find them extremely underrated, for example, i would much rather play Persona 4 over say, Halo or The Elder Scrolls.So what is the reason behind all this hate? or is it just a bunch of FPS "hardcore" gamers acting as the voice of the community?

Hi, welcome to the internet. People hate things. People also love things.

Just remember, you are never the only one.

Eh, there's a difference between hating and just not being into that.

Personally, I am put off first and foremost by the anime aesthetic.

Also, the character archetypes and assorted tropes irritate me in ways that I am unable to adequately describe.

Well, at least you used a good JRPG for your example, but we just need to face facts that not every single JRPG is a MegaTen game...and hell, not every MegaTen game is super duper either.

You have to look at it more from an outside perspective. While a lot of JRPG fans look at games like Call of Duty or something and just think "Ugh, all FPS games are the same. Bunch of boring shooters starring tough unrealistic macho guys."

A lot of outsiders to the JRPG genre think they're all the same with whiny teenagers with horrible personalities.

I'm a MegaTen fan, but I personally can't stand most JRPGs. Whether it's Riviera: The Promised Land, Shadow Hearts - Covenant or Ar Tonelico, a lot of the characters are what ruin it for me. Archtype characters, cliched dialogue and incredibly long boring scenes can be a problem for people.

Of course there are good JRPGs, and of course every genre has it's share of bad eggs, but human beings tend to associate things with what stands out as bad over what's good.

My point is, even as someone who is a fan of certain JRPGs, it's really not THAT hard to understand what about the genre people don't like.

JRPGs as a genre tend to be judged by their worst offerings. It makes sense on a forum, but it's always pretty silly when someone who should know better releases an article on the stagnation and/or death of the JRPG.

I really enjoy playing the odd JRPG, but I don`t necessarily know that I would categorize them specifically as RPGs exactly. I feel they are more of their own genre. Sometimes, however, this sort of stance is taken as `hating` the genre.

As far as criticisms of the genre itself, I agree with the general consensus that they have gotten a little stale over the years as little changes from title to title in most examples.. and, when change is made, it`s often done in a way that diminishes the genre as opposed to elevates it.

JRPGs are seen to have stagnated, but this is, of course, not true. But when people think of JRPGs, they think of Final Fantasy, and it's true that the main releases for this franchise have completely stagnated in my opinion. However, Final Fantasy has still seen some decent releases over the past couple of years. Seriously, if you don't like Crisis Core, I probably won't like you. I just think that most of the people who hate on JRPGs aren't really looking enough into the genre to make any valid points. Others might be just jumping onto the bandwagon on hating JRPGs because Yahtzee doesn't like them.

Of course, there are a few small number who just don't like them even with an informed opinion, which is always going to happen. No genre is universally liked. But I think this is just a small minority of the people involved in all the internet hate.

EyeReaper:
Okay, here is something i haven't been able to understand: what is up with no one liking JRPGs?

Nobody? I'm pretty sure there is at least one or two people who don't not like them, otherwise why are these games made in the first place.

EyeReaper:
it seems that everywhere i look on the internet, there is someone bashing this genre

Don't worry, you're not wrong it's just the confirmation bias speaking.

EyeReaper:
including Keiji Inafune himself!

I've got no clue who that is.

EyeReaper:
Obviously every genre has a bad egg

Really? What's so obvious?

EyeReaper:
but it seems to me that everyone thinks JRPGs are a horrible conglomeration of hitler and Mass Effect 3's ending.

Again, everybody? But how come the games are still made - obviously if nobody liked them, there wouldn't be any point in creating unmarketable thing. I think you may be wrong.

EyeReaper:
in my opinion, i find them extremely underrated, for example, i would much rather play Persona 4 over say, Halo or The Elder Scrolls.

Good for you! I'd even prefer Tetris or Minesweeper to Halo. Pretty much anything that is not Halo seems more interesting to me.

I swear this topic pops up at least once or twice a week in these forums, when did people who play jrpg decide they were some sort of persecuted minority or somesuch? It's getting silly. Seriously didn't the last Final Fantasy game, despite everyone saying it sucked, still sell a couple million copies? If that's hated I can barely imagine what loved would be like. Wow.

I don't hate JRPGs. I just don't like them. Most of them don't interest me for one reason or another, whether it be characters, gameplay mechanics, or the lack of real role-playing (I'll explain if anyone cares to listen).

Occasionally one will drop that grabs my interest. Resonance of Fate is one such game. While on the one hand it has several tropes inherent to JRPGs (characters are fully composed from the offset, for example), it's also so far sideways in terms of other things (gun-based combat? fuggit, I'll roll with it!) that I actually ended enjoying it.

im another that doesnt exactly hate them, i reserve that for platform games. the problem i see with them is that they are a directed narrative experience, they want to tell you a story, and the issue is you no longer need a jrpg to do that as other game genres can do it as well now days where as once upon a time the jrpgs were one of the best ways to do it.

Because most tend to have shitty combat systems, overly anime art style and extremely girly men. Three things I don't like.

The stories tend be shoved into game mechanics that aren't that engaging. And then the stories themselves tend to be silly, over-the-top, cliche, trite, confusing, or any other number of things. The characters are usually stock characters that can be spotted from a mile away and the dialog tends to be... interesting to say the least. Plot tends to just be all over the place and make little to no sense. Don't get me wrong, there are some JRPG's that I like, Chrono Trigger is one of my all time favorite games and FFVII and FFX are games that I enjoyed quite a bit. But when you get down to it a lot of these games just aren't that great. It's the same reason I avoid playing most modern FPS games. The story sucks, the game mechanics get boring fast, and once you've seen one you've seen them all.

That being said I don't hate JRPG's, or FPS's for that matter, but they need to bring something new to the table in order for them to break out of the rut that they are in. I would suggest going watching the three part episode of Extra Credits that deals with WRPG's and JRPG's for a better understanding of why people are so down on them lately.

Link - http://extra-credits.net/episodes/western-japanese-rpgs-part-1/

EyeReaper:
Okay, here is something i haven't been able to understand: what is up with no one liking JRPGs? it seems that everywhere i look on the internet, there is someone bashing this genre, including Keiji Inafune himself! Obviously every genre has a bad egg, but it seems to me that everyone thinks JRPGs are a horrible conglomeration of hitler and Mass Effect 3's ending.
in my opinion, i find them extremely underrated, for example, i would much rather play Persona 4 over say, Halo or The Elder Scrolls.So what is the reason behind all this hate? or is it just a bunch of FPS "hardcore" gamers acting as the voice of the community?

JRPGs are incredibly popular with a large niche audience, which used to actually be part of the backbone (if not THE backbone) of the gaming community. What your seeing now is the influx of casuals and the actual mainstream into gaming. In general JRPG players tend to be "serious" and "hardcore" gamers, where shooter players and those attracted to games on that level exclusively are actually casuals, after very shallow, immediate gratification. Shooters being the equivilent of say "Farmville" just for a differant kind of audience. Your typical shooter being something than an 8 year old with ADHD can play, and play successfully, leading to the quintessential problem of "kids annoying me playing CoD on XBL" and it's ilk.

JRPGs in comparison provide less in the way of immediate gratification, being more of an intellectual exercise, where satisfaction comes from watching slowly increasing piles of numbers representing effectiveness. Your casual gamer wants to jump right into a game, be the baddest dude on the planet, and be rewarded with towering explosions and constant barrages of awesome, instead of having to work for things, or seeing it represented abstractly while engaged in indirect control. Your typical mainstream gamer doesn't really get the satisfaction of stats and an intellectual exercise. There is also the matter of time involved, a slow creep of a story that could take a hundred hours to properly climax does not feed the need for instant gratification. The mainstream gamer doesn't want to say see the hero start as some weedy peasant in a small town, who grows into the guy who is going to kill some unstoppable universe munching divine force (or whatever).

The hatred is largely because gamers tend to get annoyed at the idea of time being wasted developing games they don't like, and them having a time in the limelight. To your mainstream gamer, the time used to develop an RPG could be used fot say produce another big shooter game. Or at least that's the way the perception goes (there are a lot of flaws with it). Despite what most people might say, that tends to be the bottom line, and even most arguements come down to "OMG, haven't we moved away from this archaic stuff yet?" (followed by whatever action-centric experience the speaker likes as a counterpoint).

A lot of it could also be karma balancing to be fair, because the JRPG (and players of RPGs in general) did dominate the market for a long time. Those numbers never decreased, they are just no longer the biggest group. They are viewed the same way RPG gamers viewed those who played a lot of other generes of games once upon a time.

That said the JRPG is never likely to entirely go away, as the demand will always be there, and there will be money to be made. The same can be said of WRPGs. The worst that can happen is such games being reduced to the fringes (like they are now) with frequent droughts.

To be honest I expect RPGs to be about to make a big comeback despite a general lack of them in this generation. There is already a noticible reduction in the so called "mainstream gamer" which the industry itself has noticed, a lot of which has to do with a lot of those mainstream gamers "growing up" and becoming more demanding. I do not think that it's a mistake that we're starting to see a push for old school RPGs with new technology, it's just started but the fact that guys like Brian Fargo have picked right now as the time to try and re-launch "Wasteland" says a lot, as does some indie developers like "Almost Human" developing games like "Grimrock" and the latest "Avernum" game appearing on STEAM. It's a minor phenomenon so far, but one that I think carries some meaning with it if you look at the big picture and trends within the gaming audience. None of those products are nessicarly successful or going to be successes, the thing is the attempts all around the same period.

EyeReaper:
Okay, here is something i haven't been able to understand: what is up with no one liking JRPGs? it seems that everywhere i look on the internet, there is someone bashing this genre, including Keiji Inafune himself! Obviously every genre has a bad egg, but it seems to me that everyone thinks JRPGs are a horrible conglomeration of hitler and Mass Effect 3's ending.
in my opinion, i find them extremely underrated, for example, i would much rather play Persona 4 over say, Halo or The Elder Scrolls.So what is the reason behind all this hate? or is it just a bunch of FPS "hardcore" gamers acting as the voice of the community?

Personally, the turn based combat is what does it for me. I can get past the hair cuts and that alot of people look like their ten and label it as cultural differences but it ends at turn based combat. I'm not playing chess or checkers, I don't like turn based combat.

I love RPGs to death, but I completely see why people don't like them. Adherence to anime design and characterization, random battles, turn based battles, wordiness, minimal player input, occasionally absurd levels of complexity. Any of these might turn people away

Therumancer:
...being more of an intellectual exercise, where satisfaction comes from watching slowly increasing piles of numbers representing effectiveness.

Yes indeed.

Watching numbers get bigger is definitely a deep intellectual exercise.

Whoooo, boy.

Because people STILL think all JRPG's have spiky haired, brooding men with huge swords thanks to final fantasy 7. The hilarious part is cloud wasn't even a brooding character, people who fucking played the game know that.

They also never played a Shin Megami Tensei game. The best JRPG franchise.

Zhukov:

Therumancer:
...being more of an intellectual exercise, where satisfaction comes from watching slowly increasing piles of numbers representing effectiveness.

Yes indeed.

Watching numbers get bigger is definitely a deep intellectual exercise.

Whoooo, boy.

It is compared to a situation where you do something and immediatly see graphic response. A lot of the action and satisfaction happens entirely internally. What's more the process of raising those numbers involves controlling a lot of differant variables like balancing out differant skills, core stats, equipment, and abillities. Being able to say hit for say 120 points of damage at a certain point of progression when that's an inrecible amount of damage is a big deal for those into this kind of game, it's abstract enough where the guy who just wants to press "fire" and watch something explode doesn't really get his mind around.

The fact that you don't "get it" is kind of my point, and your mockey pretty much defines the advertsarial nature of the relationship between casual and hardcore gamers. :)

Therumancer:

The fact that you don't "get it" is kind of my point, and your mockey pretty much defines the advertsarial nature of the relationship between casual and hardcore gamers. :)

Wow. That has got to be one of the most condescending things I have ever read. Bravo, I guess. :/

OT: I think you are just looking at the bad apples. Tons of people enjoy JRPGs, myself included. Some do not, and that is okay. Many here do not like them because we are a largely PC-focused gaming community, and since most JRPGs never get released on PC, they don't have a lot of exposure to the genre... So see where I am going. But if people choose to hate JRPGs, whatever. They are the ones missing out on P4. :)

Some people just don't like the things that make JRPGs the 'J' part. Or even the 'RPG' part.

There are plenty of people who dislike FPS's or RTS games because it's just not their thing. Granted the 'J' part can result in a clash of cultures where a bit more flames can be thrown around but I do agree that the stereotype criticisms weren't very valid then and even less so now.

Final Fantasy was what made them take off worldwide in the first place so it's easy to see how one could take an impression from that game and generalize it for everything. Especially when dealing with such different cultures like I said before.

Personally I like most of the JRPG tropes more than the WRPG tropes and would point towards the Tales series that should be the face of the JRPG instead of FF once you get past 10.

I don't like the anime look, and for some reason the gameplay mechanic's seem a little boring. I don't hate them, just plenty of games that yearn for my attention

Therumancer:
[snip]

Heh, funny how people always manage to describe their own preferred style of gaming as the mature one or the hardcore one.

Personally I don't think it has anything at all to do with the actual games and everything with the players.

It's entirely possible to play a JRPG for an hour a week and slowly finish it, playing it as casually as possible.
It's entirely possible to play a shooter extremely intensively and become the best player you can be.

It's entirely possible to play JRPGs for the instant gratification of all the flashy moves they usually feature and the loot of battles won.
It's entirely possible to play shooters for the satisfaction that comes from watching slowly increasing piles of multiplayer stats representing your effectiveness.

There's no golden genre that's being played by the "grown up" gamers. Everyone has their tastes and every genre has their kiddies and their adults.

Maturity isn't in what games you play, it's in how you play them.

The Madman:
I swear this topic pops up at least once or twice a week in these forums, when did people who play jrpg decide they were some sort of persecuted minority or somesuch?

It beats the 2 threads a week (or more) we used to get where people constantly bashed JRPGs. I fought many battles in those days...

And my previous statement answers your question.

Used to love jrpgs, started my Videogame rpg addiction with Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy VI in the days of the SNES. Final Fantasy VII is still a game I hold dear though it hasnt' aged terribly well for me.
But I also hate jrpgs with a passion these days. Why? Stagnation, repetition, a sense of worth that really isn't there. When I was younger the charm of being railroaded in a very linear plot and playing androgynous photo models was more bearable, but now when I play an FF game, or just try to start up any jrpg I'm put off by everything; aesthetics, soundtrack, combat, plot, characters. I know there's good ones of course, but for me the jrpg genre has lost all purpose.

EyeReaper:
Okay, here is something i haven't been able to understand: what is up with no one liking JRPGs? it seems that everywhere i look on the internet, there is someone bashing this genre, including Keiji Inafune himself! Obviously every genre has a bad egg, but it seems to me that everyone thinks JRPGs are a horrible conglomeration of hitler and Mass Effect 3's ending.
in my opinion, i find them extremely underrated, for example, i would much rather play Persona 4 over say, Halo or The Elder Scrolls.So what is the reason behind all this hate? or is it just a bunch of FPS "hardcore" gamers acting as the voice of the community?

A while back I was very much a JRPG fan. I loved the action and intense feeling of it all. One day however, as I sat playing my game, I fell onto an anomaly. I had been swearing to myself for well over an hour over a specific character I hated. Upon this realization, I started to see many other things that were bugging me during game play. As time went on, I started to see that the amount of discomfort I had vastly outweighed the amount of fun I was having.

Stay with me for a moment. The points I was focusing on were problems generally with the characters. The game play experience was a lot of fun, but every time I had to deal with the characters, I felt like my intelligence was being insulted. I started to think "This can't be a normal thing." So I started popping in other titles that I played before, I slowly became mortified with my discovery. The characters had no base in reality. There is a certain give and take to how much our suspension of belief is supposed to be stretched, but this was absolutely insulting.

Almost done. The reason people don't sit right with JRPGs is that it used to be a great medium, such as old Fire Emblem games or the Earthbound series, that treated the games as something we could all enjoy. As much as I hate to say it, JRPGs seem to be interactive fan fiction these days. The fault does not go strictly to the businesses, but what they saw their crowd purchasing as well. Yes, JRPGs still have their good days, but overall the reason most people don't seem to like it is because it has been narrowed down to appeal to a specific group of people, and a specific group of people is not most people.

Personally I hate the concept of a 'J'RPG.
I mean should we really be embracing the idea that roleplaying games should be classified on the basis of where they were produced rather than the style of game and story they are conveying?

Case here being Anachronox, it is a style of RPG which matches the standard definition of what a JRPG is, yet isn't from Japan at all, its a matter of style rather than location of origin.

Anyway that pet peeve aside, onto the question posed;

Personally, I have been disappointed with the general quality of story telling and character development in the games from square enix and their ilk in their recent work, when they used to be giants in producing really well told roleplaying games.

My example of this would be to compare the original Chrono Trigger with a modern final fantasy game. The old game here has a really compelling and interesting story, I remember the characters, their motivations, their jokes you name it. A fantastic game I played several times, there was even a selection of interesting flavor choices.

Contrast that with Final Fantasy 13, and how do they stack up. The story telling is really poor, the characters are dull, the pace and delivery is painfully slow, it just doesn't grip me at all, and worse in a visual medium everything is told to you, often in massive text logs rather than shown.

This isn't just nostalgia talking either, I played CT after I played final fantasy 8, and CT was the superior product, one of the all time greats.

If I am anything of an indicator for the mass of people who express resentment towards the latest developments from these studios then I guess it comes down to being disappointed repeatedly leading to resentment towards their products.

I mean when I can pick up a copy of Lun's 'The way' or 'three the hard way' which are both in the 'JRPG' style and put together in a game maker tool by amateurs and yet deliver a superior story to the big budget titles.. well it doesn't help the big studios out. Perhaps they just need more money to writing and less to fancy art work.

(Edited several times, one a significant overhaul.)

Hagi:

Therumancer:
[snip]

Heh, funny how people always manage to describe their own preferred style of gaming as the mature one or the hardcore one.

Personally I don't think it has anything at all to do with the actual games and everything with the players.

It's entirely possible to play a JRPG for an hour a week and slowly finish it, playing it as casually as possible.
It's entirely possible to play a shooter extremely intensively and become the best player you can be.

It's entirely possible to play JRPGs for the instant gratification of all the flashy moves they usually feature and the loot of battles won.
It's entirely possible to play shooters for the satisfaction that comes from watching slowly increasing piles of multiplayer stats representing your effectiveness.

There's no golden genre that's being played by the "grown up" gamers. Everyone has their tastes and every genre has their kiddies and their adults.

Maturity isn't in what games you play, it's in how you play them.

I disagree, there is some absolutism to this which is where the problems come from. The problem with discussions like this is that you need to focus on the generalities without allowing for every possible exception. There are for example introductory RPG games designed for casual players, and some action/shooter type games designed for very hardcore players with a steep learning curve and a lot of nuiances. This is not about the exceptions however, and the generes I chose were just "typical" examples it's an issue that goes beyond the type of game played. Your right about the genres, but not about games themselves not being hardcore or casual, as well as it having to do with how people play. Many JRPGS for example are not going to be beaten by someone playing casually in gradual doses, because the save points might be set up specifically to demand substantial time investments. Heck in many cases some of the bosses might take multiple hours to chip away (as odd as that sounds) assuming you win.

There is a trend right now among game designers to try and play to both groups. You have that whole "Hepler mode" schtick about skipping gameplay entirely that has become a point of contreversy, and also situations where games will include "hardcore" features that are optional in an attempt to cater to both sides of the equasion.

A big part of the problem is that hardcore gamers don't generally want games that anyone can beat, basically if some casual can play the game and breeze through it and enjoy the same eventual pay off in terms of story and resolution, that defeats the entire point of the game taking skill. Basically hardcore gamers want games where beating them "means something" to those that do it, including the knowlege that many other players probably tried and failed to get as far as they did. A point designers miss in making games that try and play both crowds because they are mutually contridictory points of view.

That's because Persona 4 is the rare occurrence of a good JRPG. If I listed every problem with the genre than I'd have to go out and pick up a few energy drinks cause I wouldn't be getting any sleep tonight. And keep in mind, I really like the genre and really wish there were more good games within it but there's just to few.

I can understand how they wouldn't appeal to someone, but I still have no idea how mentioning them can lead to people foaming at the mouth and insulting the genre. You can say it's the internet and it happens with everything, but JRPG bashing seems to be a lot more common and even acceptable.

xorinite:
Personally I hate the concept of a 'J'RPG.
I mean should we really be embracing the idea that roleplaying games should be classified on the basis of where they were produced rather than the style of game and story they are convaying?
Anachronox is a style of RPG which matches chrono trigger and final fantasy, but its not from Japan.
However, that little pet peeve aside, I guess its because there has been a huge drop off in truely great story telling from the studios who used to be the giants in this field.

What do I mean, well fire up a copy of Chrono trigger, and then fire up a copy of the latest final fantasy. Tell me which has the better and more engaging story. Bluntly the new crop of games from the likes of Square Enix and their ilk have just been massively disappointing, lacking in a decent story and vision, as if they spend all their budget on art work rather than story. I am not simply being nostagic here, I played CT way after I played final fantasy 8, yet CT is the superior title, and certainly better than anything I've seen in a long time.

So I guess people just are tired of putting their faith in those old companies and not getting something as good as they used to get, and thus resent them.

You aren't the only one with that pet peeve. That Extra Credits series they had recently was absolutely horrible with almost no research done, absolutely stupid statements and them claiming their bias as fact.

OT: I don't. The Ys series and Tales games are among my favorites though I didn't get Tales of Graces F once I saw the opening scene and someone told me it was indicative of the game's tone. I think there's plenty of good games made in Japan but many of them don't come out at all. We are lucky to have XSEED, Atlus and NIS America bringing many games over (among other companies I just know these 3).

Volf:

EyeReaper:
Okay, here is something i haven't been able to understand: what is up with no one liking JRPGs? it seems that everywhere i look on the internet, there is someone bashing this genre, including Keiji Inafune himself! Obviously every genre has a bad egg, but it seems to me that everyone thinks JRPGs are a horrible conglomeration of hitler and Mass Effect 3's ending.
in my opinion, i find them extremely underrated, for example, i would much rather play Persona 4 over say, Halo or The Elder Scrolls.So what is the reason behind all this hate? or is it just a bunch of FPS "hardcore" gamers acting as the voice of the community?

Personally, the turn based combat is what does it for me. I can get past the hair cuts and that alot of people look like their ten and label it as cultural differences but it ends at turn based combat. I'm not playing chess or checkers, I don't like turn based combat.

Turn based combat isn't really a definition of JRPG. Tales of (series) is one of the classic JRPGs and there are only a few spin-off titles that use turn based combat. Xenoblade is a JRPG which doesn't have anything even remotely turn based about it. Pandora's Tower, The Last Story there are plenty of JRPG games without turn based combat.

EyeReaper:
Okay, here is something i haven't been able to understand: what is up with no one liking JRPGs? it seems that everywhere i look on the internet, there is someone bashing this genre, including Keiji Inafune himself! Obviously every genre has a bad egg, but it seems to me that everyone thinks JRPGs are a horrible conglomeration of hitler and Mass Effect 3's ending.
in my opinion, i find them extremely underrated, for example, i would much rather play Persona 4 over say, Halo or The Elder Scrolls.So what is the reason behind all this hate? or is it just a bunch of FPS "hardcore" gamers acting as the voice of the community?

It was explained really well in an extra credits episode why JRPG's have gone off the boil. You'll be best off watching that for more insight.

TizzytheTormentor:
Because people STILL think all JRPG's have spiky haired, brooding men with huge swords thanks to final fantasy 7. The hilarious part is cloud wasn't even a brooding character, people who fucking played the game know that.

They also never played a Shin Megami Tensei game. The best JRPG franchise.

I thought Cloud was pretty broody. Wasn't his surname supposed to be Strife?

Wait, wait, hang on. Am I getting confused? Does "broody" have to do with babies?

I still adore the Dragon Quest series, seeing as they still manage to keep their simple charm when a majority of JRPGs go for overly complex flashiness over substance.

The one thing I hate the most in JRPGs though is how unsubtle and inconsistent their narrative can be.

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