All JRPG needs to be liked again is to be gritty.

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I think JRPGs should allow the players to characterize the main protagonists and put all the drama around the world they are in.

This is one reason why I love the Dragon Quest series so much, especially Dragon Quest 3.

-You're the hero, yourself.
-You go to a tavern and create your own party of characters. You can use your imagination to personalize your party!
-The events in the fictional world is where all the drama is taking place. Tragic love stories, kingdoms falling apart, a demon warlord bent on taking over the world, legends of powerful artifacts, etc.

Op is absolutely right. That's why Nier is the best-selling JRPG of all time, and Ni-No-Kuni is currently getting terrible reviews everywhere.

...wait, what? It isn't, and it's not? Well hot damn!

Actually, as it turns out, I'm perfectly fine with JRPGs getting 'grittier'. However, this bit's important: as long as it suits the story and setting the developers have created. The last thing we need is JRPG developers forcing their games into dark and edgy templates in order to deliberately drum up controversy like seemingly every MMS game out there.

There already are darker, edgier JRPGs out there. Nier is possibly the most notable example from this generation, but there are others as well. And to offset that, there are also wonderfully colourful JRPGs like Ni-No-Kuni and Xenoblade. That's not a bad thing. You can tell the health of a genre by the breadth of styles covered by the games within it, not by how closely they're all sticking to one artistic formula.

I honestly find JRPGs for refreshing than the majority of WRPGs. And I find it hilarious that the OP claims that WRPGs have been mining A Song Of Ice And Fire, and benefiting for it. The majority of fantasy WRPGs are still ripping off Lord Of The Rings for all they're worth: hordes of orcy looking bad guys, evil dark lords in their evil dark towers, characters uniting the 'free peoples' to make a final stand, elves and dwarves up the wazoo... sticking some random racism or tits a la Dragon Age or The Witcher doesn't all of a sudden mean you're cleaving to ASOIAF. It just means you took Lord Of The Rings, and stuck some tits on it.

If that's what JRPGs are missing out on, then good. I'd rather have more games like Nier, which not only has adult material like hermaphroditism, themes of abandonement, as well as foul language and sexual themes, but also still manages to reflect on love, family and friendship. That seems to be a much better way to go about things than "HAR! OUR ELVES ALL HAVE TITS!"

You want a really dark/gritty jrpg go play tactics ogre for the PlayStation one "not the psp port/remake" or the vandal hearts series.

JRPGs need to be less like overblown melodramatic animes, and more like experiences that can appeal to all ages. Earthbound and Chrono Trigger were magical experiences, and I can't remember when the last time was that I played a JRPG that kept me involved like either of those did. Well maybe Lost Oddssey, that game was amazing.

All this talk about the importance/unimportance of grittiness suddenly has me wondering what would happen if someone made sickeningly sweet versions of Dark Souls and Gears of War.

Exius Xavarus:

This guy understands. Although I do enjoy stories that have a subtle darkness to them. But this is typically the reason I love JRPGs.

Persona 4 would totally be the greatest game EVER if the enemies were terrorists, every second word was a swear and if it was all dipped in lovely, gritty grey and brown!:-P

Honestly, I think JRPGs are the only genre not to have a really brown and "gritty" game.

OP: Look at a pic of The Gapra Whitewood from FF13 and compare that to a "gritty" game... for example GTA4. I know which game I'd rather play.

I can only speak for myself, but fuck this gritty shit. Just because it works for asiof doesn't mean it jrpg developers have to emulate it. I don't want everything to be the same gritty stuff, of course a jrpg that emulates asiof can be great, but it doesn't mean everything has to be like it.

I think what is more disliked about jrpg's is the way that gameplay and story is in general disconnected from each other. I can't think of many jrpg's where I couldn't emulate the experience by watching a movie/reading a book for a few minutes, then doing some monotonous task for a while before I continue the book/movie.
That's in my case the reason for not finishing almost every jrpg I have played, I got bored of the gameplay.

Another thing I would love about jrpg's would be if more were released on PC.

I don't play JRPGs and have never really been interested in them; from what I've seen, for the most part they aren't my thing. But for all types of stories, "grittiness" does not equal "depth."

Kingdoms of Amalur had about as much grittiness as a Saturday Evening cartoon and it was pretty good.

Oblivion's politics were chocked up to "Dem demons hate you"

It doesn't need grittiness, the genre needs to stop being so damned silly and stop taking itself so seriously despite sed silliness.

No, what JRPGs need to do to be "liked again" (they still maintain a sizable fanbase, the gaming community has just expanded to include a lot of new people who don't care for them) is to do all the fun, crazy, interesting things that people liked JRPGs for in the first place. When I look at modern JRPGs, with their predictable assemblage of worn-out anime archetypes in increasingly samey scifi/fantasy worlds, I have a hard time recognizing any trace of Breath of Fire 3 (a game which opened by putting you in control of a baby dragon rampaging its way through a mine full of helpless laborers), Shadow Hearts 2 (a game in which your party included a luchadore wrestler vampire and you gained new powers by visiting a graveyard in your soul), Skies of Arcadia (in which you control a crew of sky pirates exploring an enormous fully 3D overworld in a customizable airship), or the PS2 Devil Summoner games (in which you played a detective who captured demons as if they were Pokemon and used them in excellent real-time battles to solve cases in Taishou-era Japan). It was that kind of crazy storytelling and world-building, combined with a willingness to experiment with gameplay, that made the good old JRPGs what they were, and after a glut of samey titles in the PS2 era killed off a lot of interest in the genre, especially internationally, most developers became increasingly afraid to fund that sort of bold and imaginative effort.

um, no.

Hell no

We have to much 'dark gritty' bullshit out there as is, we don't need to fuck up another genera with that cancer.

I personally don't much care for JRPG's anymore because of

Story. The story's are always the same thing. Different sequence, names are changed, but it's always the same thing.
Story isn't even the most important part of a game for me anyway, but just once it'd be nice to not skip through all the overly long and boring cut scenes.

Voice acting and dialogue. Are both almost always awful. I can't take anything seriously or get truly invested in the world or characters because of it.

JRPG's (the kind I like/used to like anyway) have always excelled at gameplay, and as long as it's not turn based, they still usually do, despite all the afore mentioned problems.

Gritty? is that the best you can come up with? I agree with Daystar Clarion, they have become like a great big soap opera and it needs to stop. Homogenizing the genre to be like western rpgs is not the answer.

I blame it on Final Fantasy X. It's still one of my favorite FFs but I think they're all trying to bank of its success. The game had the right mix of elements at the right time, just like FFVII. The same proverbial lightning does not strike twice.

FFT: War of the Lions has the political grit that you might be looking for. It's based on the War of the Roses just like ASOIAF, but it doesn't compromise the light-hearted aspects of the fantasy backdrop. As a result you have an incredible juxtaposition between Chocobos, job classes, and zodiac stones versus backstabbing, cross-class prejudice/injustice, and the orchestration of war. It keeps the aspects of fantasy that you would see in LoTR or Chronicles of Narnia but also has the seriousness found in ASOIAF.

JRPGs don't need to be like everything else, they just need to be good. FFIV through FFX, Legend of Dragoon, Xenogears, Star Ocean. They all had recipes for success, but then they tried to appeal to other people.

No. Why does every single game in the world need to be "dark and edgy"? What is wrong with giving a character a scene where he doesn't want to cut himself and is actively enjoying his life? What is wrong with creating a fictional world and trying to convince us that living there wouldn't be a miserable experience? Sure some mature tones would be fine, but dark and edgy aren't the same thing as mature.

If anything, we need fewer gritty games period.

I'm not saying none, but we have such market saturation that a few gritty games won't be missed.

No, JRPGs were in the hate trend before things went to samey and brown because America hates different cultural aesthetics.

erttheking:
No. Why does every single game in the world need to be "dark and edgy"?

Because different is bad and must be destroyed!

...no, I don't like this whole "we need a homogenous experience!" thing, anyway.

Gah, no. I get enough dark, gritty, political crap in other games and real life. I like my JRPGs to be about saving the world from some cliche evil, with the sappy dialogue along the lines of, "I'll NEVER give up!" and "She's special to me!" and other stuff like that.
Besides, didn't they try to do that with Final Fantasy XII and Tactics? And I still cannot, for the life of me, understand those plots and I felt very sad watching so many people die in Tactics.

Zachary Amaranth:

erttheking:
No. Why does every single game in the world need to be "dark and edgy"?

Because different is bad and must be destroyed!

...no, I don't like this whole "we need a homogenous experience!" thing, anyway.

I mean, there's nothing wrong with a dark story, but it's not a standard every piece of fiction in the world needs to meet.

I dislike JRPGs the same reason I stopped liking anime. Roles are more important than characters in my opinion. you'll need the Moe Girl, put a tsundere here or there. Make him the chosen one (a problem in both east and west). Have the majority of the plot not understood by anyone so they say 'what' 'are you serious?' 'but how?' so more exposition can be had. But these are my gripes. as it's my personal taste.

I didn't know JRPGs were reviled.

JRPG's aren't serious? I think the Shin Megami Tensei series would like a word with you (If you mention Persona 4, the story was pretty grim, especially towards the end)

Also, I like my upbeat games, give Final Fantasy 10-2 some credit, it was a lighthearted adventure and I liked that.

I don't mind dark games, but saying it's the only way to make them better is naive.

For me it's the random encounters and turn based combat. Never did like turn based 4vX combat. The grittiness is irrelevant to me. For instance, I loved the Tales games, except ToS2 naturally and dragon quest. Why? NO RANDOM ENCOUNTERS, you see the enemies and run from them or charge at them.

Can ask an silly question? What is ASOIAF?

As much as I do like gritty, grey on grey morality and political intrigue not everything needs to be this. I don't have a lot of experience with the genre because most JRPG's are console only and it not really my thing but I doubt changing it to be gritty is going to help them. I think it would just put the audience they already have off.

Res Plus:
Can ask an silly question? What is ASOIAF?

ASOIAF = A song of Ice and Fire.
It's a very popular book and tv series (they renamed it Game of Thrones for the tv series) at the moment.

Most of the responses in this thread make me very happy.
It makes me feel like those battles I fought a few years back in this forum were not in vain.

Thanks all.

Maybe it's time to put Maka back to sleep and bring Nisa back.

OP: No.

DementedSheep:
As much as I do like gritty, grey on grey morality and political intrigue but not everything needs to be this. I don't have a lot of experience with the genre because most JRPG's are console only and it not really my thing but I doubt changing it to be gritty is going to help them. I think it would just put the audience they already have off.

Res Plus:
Can ask an silly question? What is ASOIAF?

ASOIF = A song of Ice and Fire.
It's a very popular book and tv series (they renamed it Game of Thrones for the tv series) at the moment.

Ha ha, I am just reading part 2 of the seventh(?) book. Dances with Dragons. TV show has brainwashed me into thinking Game of Thrones. I love it. An JRPG with that scope would be great.

Yea no. Also please go play Xenogears or the SMT games such as Persona 3 or 4.

Zhukov:
Isn't that like saying that racing games need to have more dialogue and stealth sections?

Now question is- How you can hide tuned muscle car in shadows? I think neon, exhaust pipe and engine noise will give it away.

We don't need more 'gritty' we need LESS 'hey, lets kill brown people in a game with grey/brown/black/red and MC that come across as douche bags'.

I'd rather play a colorful JRPG with a questionable soap opera story then ANOTHER freaking CoD/BF/ect.

I hope to see another JRPG like Ni No Kuni.

Yeah...no.
So I started off with looking up the definition of gritty. So I'm guessing the demand is uncompromising realism. I let that sink in for a moment. Uncompromising realism in a JRPG...
No.
Just no.
I have no problem with realism in itself. It's a matter of personal taste, really. If you want a "realistic" game, okay. But no. Persona 4 was not in the strictest sense "real," but then if they did make it "real", they could've lost the true meaning behind what they were trying to do. It's supposed to be a psychological game, in terms of symbolism. Losing the fantasy aspect could very easily have cost it the symbolism that is a very strong part of it core structure.

Final Fantasy has the same thing, but it's not as strong there as it is for the Shin Megami Tensei series because it doesn't tie into the stories throughout the series as much. But it is there.

On the other hand, games such as Dragon Age and Mass Effect aren't gritty, either. Yeah, they're dark, but there are a number of JRPGs that are very dark as well. But these such games share a fantasy setting. Okay...Mass Effect is Sci-Fi, but it's still not "real." You have magic and biotics, respectively. You tell me how that's gritty.

The only thing that could strike a chord as very as gritty goes at this point is the art style, which is anime for JRPGs, but that in itself as largely cultural, as well as a matter of personal taste. In that case, asking JRPGs to be gritty is unreasonable, because you're asking the developers to surrender something cultural for the sake of popularity. If you or anyone else does not like, as others have put it, seeing "emo androgynous teenagers with bad fashion sense", then that's just your taste. It is not your job to slap others with your opinion.

As for why JRPGs are in some decline, I can only imagine that it's because JRPGs are more story-driven and that does not strike a chord with the more action-oriented Western audience. Mind you, that's just my guess, but between that and your vision of the need for "gritty," I'd say mine's more likely.

Res Plus:

DementedSheep:
As much as I do like gritty, grey on grey morality and political intrigue but not everything needs to be this. I don't have a lot of experience with the genre because most JRPG's are console only and it not really my thing but I doubt changing it to be gritty is going to help them. I think it would just put the audience they already have off.

Res Plus:
Can ask an silly question? What is ASOIAF?

ASOIF = A song of Ice and Fire.
It's a very popular book and tv series (they renamed it Game of Thrones for the tv series) at the moment.

Ha ha, I am just reading part 2 of the seventh(?) book. Dances with Dragons. TV show has brainwashed me into thinking Game of Thrones. I love it. An JRPG with that scope would be great.

A Dance with Dragons is the fifth book, not the second. If you're reading that without having read books 2-4 (A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows) it will get confusing.

On one hand I disagree with the OP, not everything needs to be gritty. On the other hand I can see where he is coming from. I just started tales of graces F and that game is so lifelessly saccharine that I think next time some starts prattling about the power of friendship I'm going to use the disc as a sporting clay.

FFP2:

Exius Xavarus:

This guy understands. Although I do enjoy stories that have a subtle darkness to them. But this is typically the reason I love JRPGs.

Persona 4 would totally be the greatest game EVER if the enemies were terrorists, every second word was a swear and if it was all dipped in lovely, gritty grey and brown!:-P

Honestly, I think JRPGs are the only genre not to have a really brown and "gritty" game.

OP: Look at a pic of The Gapra Whitewood from FF13 and compare that to a "gritty" game... for example GTA4. I know which game I'd rather play.

While I'm not a large fan of FF13, I'd rather play that, than play GTA4. Largely because I dislike GTA as a whole. :x

major_chaos:
On one hand I disagree with the OP, not everything needs to be gritty. On the other hand I can see where he is coming from. I just started tales of graces F and that game is so lifelessly saccharine that I think next time some starts prattling about the power of friendship I'm going to use the disc as a sporting clay.

Hah, yes that kind of thing is very grating. It really is a matter of touching upon those kinds of themes without being brainless about it.

Gregory McMillan:

FFT: War of the Lions has the political grit that you might be looking for. It's based on the War of the Roses just like ASOIAF, but it doesn't compromise the light-hearted aspects of the fantasy backdrop. As a result you have an incredible juxtaposition between Chocobos, job classes, and zodiac stones versus backstabbing, cross-class prejudice/injustice, and the orchestration of war. It keeps the aspects of fantasy that you would see in LoTR or Chronicles of Narnia but also has the seriousness found in ASOIAF.

That's the thing, back during the PSX era, they did everything right but everything shortly after that was slow long crawl to mediocrity whereas WRPGs have been prospering from being grittier than usual.

AW HELL NAW!
JRPGs are my favorite genre because they aren't gritty, and as much as people complain about stereotyped characters western games aren't any better they just use a different set (see white 30 something dark hair protags).

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