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

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canadamus_prime:
I would HATE to see a dark and gritty JRPG. Of all the things that are wrong with JRPG's of late I think a lack of grittyness is not among them. I HATE it when things are arbitrarily made dark and gritty.

every "Tales" game get morally grey towards the end, in tales of vesperia the bad guy ends up helping the party save the world from the destruction he wrought. and the is why i love the "Tales" franchise not only that but the characters normally grow out of their starting archetypes by the time you get to the end of the game.

Wow... when I read this thread title I was thinking it was satirical.

But no, you're actually serious. You honestly think the problem with JRPGs is that they don't have enough butchery, incest and backstabbing.

Dude... no. Just no.

hermes200:

gyrobot:

nykirnsu:
But You still haven't answered everyone's question: why must Japanese developers pander to western audiences? Why must they make an entirely secondary demographic play their games?

If you don't want to be the laughing stock and a running joke about how bad gaming can be, then this is the easiest way to approach to the issue.

Every time they try to act like they know what westerns want, they are the laughing stock. Whenever they go out of their way to have "more guns", "more drama", "more grit", without any idea of the sensitivity behind anything western, they turn beloved franchises like "Resident Evil", "Silent Hill" or "Devil May Cry" into running jokes.

Ninja'd
That pretty much summarizes my thoughts here, except that even western games don't understand what makes their styles interesting most of the time.

gyrobot:
Well lets think for a moment why people hates JRPGs? Because it doesn't fit the current standards expected by the current attitude towards the fantasy genre.

no...thats really not why...

gyrobot:

I mentioned that a lot before about Matsuno's works. That was the reason why people like his works. They are dark, blood hell he wrote the story for Mad World. He knows what the western audience wants. All it takes is a huge leap to CERO Z and he will hold absolutely nothing back. The variety of settings from JRPGs and the grit of WRPGs.

-wacks upside head- No, people like his work because he's GOOD at his job. He did that FAR before all the GRRM copying. You claim he knows what the West wants. Well...no, no he didn't. He NEVER catered his writing specifically towards the West. He made Tactics Ogre in 1995, a full YEAR before Game of Thrones was released and before JRPG makers ever gave a shit about "Western" appeal. It was pure coincidence, nothing more. I still think he doesn't really care about what the West thinks. And thank GOD for that.

gyrobot:
Well lets think for a moment why people hates JRPGs? Because it doesn't fit the current standards expected by the current attitude towards the fantasy genre.

But what do people expect from the fantasy genre now? To emulate ASOIAF, the political intrigue, the brutal cynicism and ultimately be as mature as possible. The funny thing is that JRPGs at one point was like that with Ogre Battle, Valkyrie Profile and Xenogears which served as the greats of JRPG. When JRPGs made the shift to making stuff lighter in content, WRPGs picked the ball up, using ASOIAF rather than Tolkien as their inspiration and has sold well compared to JRPGs which is becoming mostly kiddier.

So for JRPGs to be liked again, I recommend tossing in a bit of ASOIAF, some mature content and call us in the morning. We will dismiss the Turn Based stuff as part the genetic makeup of the genre. But the childishness is a disease that needs to be cured

What JRPGs need to be liked again is to just be... good. I don't care if a game is colorful, flashy or just plain over stylized. If it plays like shit, then it's just shit. And JRPGs are mammoth piles of shit. The rest of the world has moved beyond turn based combat, developed intuitive controls for people with five digit hands and sailed that boat to fucking awesome town. The Japanese simply do not know how to make games for non-mutants.

Hell, I'd play an MLP game if it didn't handle like a drunken rhino on roller skates. I'm not even a Bronie.

Keiichi Morisato:

canadamus_prime:
I would HATE to see a dark and gritty JRPG. Of all the things that are wrong with JRPG's of late I think a lack of grittyness is not among them. I HATE it when things are arbitrarily made dark and gritty.

every "Tales" game get morally grey towards the end, in tales of vesperia the bad guy ends up helping the party save the world from the destruction he wrought. and the is why i love the "Tales" franchise not only that but the characters normally grow out of their starting archetypes by the time you get to the end of the game.

Yes, but that's the thing, you can have a deep meaningful story that deals with heavy issues without being dark and gritty. Take Dragon Quest V for example, the Dragon Quest games are certainly about as far removed from dark and gritty as you can get, yet about an hour into the game

Aiddon:

gyrobot:

I mentioned that a lot before about Matsuno's works. That was the reason why people like his works. They are dark, blood hell he wrote the story for Mad World. He knows what the western audience wants. All it takes is a huge leap to CERO Z and he will hold absolutely nothing back. The variety of settings from JRPGs and the grit of WRPGs.

-wacks upside head- No, people like his work because he's GOOD at his job. He did that FAR before all the GRRM copying. You claim he knows what the West wants. Well...no, no he didn't. He NEVER catered his writing specifically towards the West. He made Tactics Ogre in 1995, a full YEAR before Game of Thrones was released and before JRPG makers ever gave a shit about "Western" appeal. It was pure coincidence, nothing more. I still think he doesn't really care about what the West thinks. And thank GOD for that.

Still, said coincidence is a good thing, that is a good indication of what Japan should go for more often.

You're right! Let's throw some guns and muslim in there to really make sure that the mainstream audience buys the games.

No, i'm not the biggest fan of JRPGs but even i know that you shouldn't give up your artistic vision and creativity just to sell out.

I completely dig the aesthetic of JRPGs but the storylines have gotten ridiculous and always revolve around crazy MacGuffins and a bunch of random terms. They just need likeable characters in relatable situations but in a fantastic settings rather than fantastic characters in fantastic situations in a fantastic setting.

Also I never feel like the settings are fleshed out enough. The settings of a lot of JRPGs now are essentially a weird abstraction of basic RPG systems - towns with inns and shops, dungeons, monsters in the wilderness, and some kind of demon lord. There's nothing to make me believe that a slime or a giant rat or whatever really fits into the world naturally like seeing a troll in its lair does in Skyrim.

Also there's plenty of political intrigue and mature storylines in JRPGs already (despite what some of the colorful visuals would have you think), but it's not something that people absolutely demand in any game, and there's no point in making things dark and bloody just because.

daibakuha:

Your Gaffer:
Oh please, not more of this "make is gritty, make it dark" bullshit.

I love dark games, I love gritty games. I also love Minecraft and Bastion and Rayman.

JRPG's don't need to go dark and gritty to be successful. They need to get rid of random encounters and they need to totally revamp their turn based combat systems. They can still be turn based but they need to have a deeper level of strategy so we can feel like we accomplishing something when we fight. Last of all they need to have a coherent plot that feeds you more bits and pieces of the story as you progress in the game, thus giving you a reason to keep playing. These are things a lot of JRPGs over the last 10 years have not done a good job with.

I hope there are some JRPG games that do the things I've talked about above, some of them can be dark and gritty, some of them don't have to be.

I completely agree with this. If Japanese developers want the west to appreciate and buy their games, they have to tell a good story well and make their game fun to play.

I will say this, however on the subject of maturity: I think all games, regardless of country of orientation, need to be more mature. Not in the gritty grimdark way, but in a way where they realize the audience for their games are adults. Right now it feels like most of the stuff being made is for teenagers and little kids and very little of it is being made for those actually make up the majority of the gaming population(or at least the so-called "hardcore" demographic).

So when the OP said that he wished that JRPGs would be more like ASOIF, I can sort of agree, but I wish ALL games were more like ASOIF. Not because it's dark, but because it's mature and adult. It knows it's audience and caters to it.

One of the games the OP mentioned was Xenogears, I remember playing that game when it launched in High School. That game was and still is amazing. It still had random encounters but the combat at least was fun, which kind of made up for it, but most importantly the story was great. It started small, introducing the characters and showing us their character traits and motivations. It dealt right away with feelings of guilt and remorse. It was definitely a mature story without being overtly violent or sexy.

What it really needs is to step away from anime character-stereotypes. Too many JRPGs use the same kinds of "moe" characters, making them bland and predictable.

Well someone clearly has never played a Tales game.
JRPGs don't need to be reinvented for people to like them, games like Tales of Symphonia are well loved by pretty much everyone who ever played it.

Well, I'd love pretty much any kind of well made game featuring political intrigue, no shying away from the brutality of reality, and an overall mature storyline. But quite a few JRPG's seem to pretty much be based around a more light-hearted tone and setting. I'm not sure Ni no Kuni would've gained a whole lot if there were political assassinations aplenty in it.

You know Ni No Kuni? That game proved that JRPGs don't need to be dark, gritty, and hyper-realistic corridor fests that try to knock-off Call of Duty. Sometimes, they can just as easily be colorful, funny, and charming, like if you were to give Dora the Explorer a 6,000 lbs broadsword and elemental magic, just to see if she could save the world from your average white-haired, bishounen villain with convoluted evil-schemes and backwards logic ideologies.

Imperator_DK:
Well, I'd love pretty much any kind of well made game featuring political intrigue, no shying away from the brutality of reality, and an overall mature storyline. But quite a few JRPG's seem to pretty much be based around a more light-hearted tone and setting. I'm not sure Ni no Kuni would've gained a whole lot if there were political assassinations aplenty in it.

At least it was brutally honest in light heartedness, but if you are not having that intention. Then making it like a HBO show will be the logical answer. Don't hold nothing back I say!

probably true, make it semi-realistic and gritty, bloody, dark. but i really dont want that to happen... i really hope it doesnt too. The whole reason i love jRPG's is because they arent another M-rated Western Bloodfest. I like jRPG's for the fun adventure and stupid cliche characters that are just fun to laugh at. Even the cliched characters of jRPG's are more interesting than the buff boring/silent guys in Western shooters and RPGs.

To be honest, i dont WANT jRPG's to be popular. i want them to stay niche and stay unique from the rest of the western market. still to this day, the best games ive played have been japanese RPG's or Adventure games. I just dont think Western developers understand game development yet. They still seem to put all their focus into the graphics and special effects and no effort in the gameplay or unique character design. (dont get me wrong though, im not saying that japanese developers are perfect, they're far from it but i do think they have a better idea at where to put their money in the development process)

btw "childishness is a disease that needs to be cured"? really? yeah because being a kid is a disgusting sin that needs to be exterminated with "mature" bloody buff men punching and gunning each other to death. what a great cure...

gyrobot:
I mentioned that a lot before about Matsuno's works. That was the reason why people like his works. They are dark, blood hell he wrote the story for Mad World. He knows what the western audience wants. All it takes is a huge leap to CERO Z and he will hold absolutely nothing back. The variety of settings from JRPGs and the grit of WRPGs.

You really don't get it, do you. I actually had to Google CERO Z to figure out what the hell you were talking about, and now your naiveté is even more obvious.

You actually and honestly believe achieving a certain level of explicitness makes something more mature. Wow. Just...wow. So that must mean, by your standards, Duke Nukem and Saints Row 3 are much more mature than Mass Effect or Half-Life, and pornographic games are the most mature games that can be made. You really have no idea what makes a story mature. The very concept is lost on you, and in its place you've adopted this weird parody of "matureness" based on a certain level of "grit" and explicitness. And here I thought you were at least older than nine.

Do yourself a favor and put this one to bed for a while. Learn more about maturity and narrative and come back in a few years, once you've figured out what you're talking about. The problem here isn't that you're wrong, it's that there are so many people telling you that you're wrong and all you're doing is sticking your fingers in your ears and acting like they don't exist. The very fact that you've been so met with ire in this thread proves that your concept of "what the western audience wants" is wrong. Just because you want it doesn't mean everybody wants it, and nor does that mean what you don't want shouldn't be allowed to exist.

I am done with this thread. Your concept of maturity is that of a child's, and it seems only time is going to give you an idea of what the real world is like. Maybe after you get out of gradeschool you'll grow out of this "dark equals maturity" mindset.

gyrobot:
Well lets think for a moment why people hates JRPGs? Because it doesn't fit the current standards expected by the current attitude towards the fantasy genre.

But what do people expect from the fantasy genre now? To emulate ASOIAF, the political intrigue, the brutal cynicism and ultimately be as mature as possible. The funny thing is that JRPGs at one point was like that with Ogre Battle, Valkyrie Profile and Xenogears which served as the greats of JRPG. When JRPGs made the shift to making stuff lighter in content, WRPGs picked the ball up, using ASOIAF rather than Tolkien as their inspiration and has sold well compared to JRPGs which is becoming mostly kiddier.

So for JRPGs to be liked again, I recommend tossing in a bit of ASOIAF, some mature content and call us in the morning. We will dismiss the Turn Based stuff as part the genetic makeup of the genre. But the childishness is a disease that needs to be cured

That seems to be what YOU want. People seem to be fine with Wrath of the White Witch. JRPGs just need to be less stagnant and cool it with the double digit features. Everything in gaming today is "gritty" at least in the mainstream triple A market. And that's the problem. JRPGs don't need to be added to that list.

Don't need jrpg's to be gritty I am currently enjoying Ni No Kuni, though I am bashing my head against a desk every time I'm told how to take/give heart.

Still want a dark jrpg how about Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, the human race is wiped out in the 1st 20 minutes and it is up to you to decide how the world will be reborn, if you decide to follow that path.

However many people have probably given many other greater examples of dark and gritty jrpg's and though fun it can be good to have a nice light-hearted experience as well. Variety is the spice of life after all, so why limit a genre to a single theme?

AzrealMaximillion:
That seems to be what YOU want. People seem to be fine with Wrath of the White Witch. JRPGs just need to be less stagnant and cool it with the double digit features. Everything in gaming today is "gritty" at least in the mainstream triple A market. And that's the problem. JRPGs don't need to be added to that list.

And people now dismiss JRPGs as something like a bad stomach flu. If you want JRPGs to be the constant subject of ridicule and eventually give up on the western market completely. Then don't recognize the situation. But it want some of it's respect had (which granted Ni No Kuni has done), it better be meeting the standard over here in terms of ratings. And right now the HBO audience is the right crowd to work with.

I am advertising the slap patch solution on Japan's growing irrelevance to RPGs at large which no one is taking even though it may well let the healing process begin.

gyrobot:

AzrealMaximillion:
That seems to be what YOU want. People seem to be fine with Wrath of the White Witch. JRPGs just need to be less stagnant and cool it with the double digit features. Everything in gaming today is "gritty" at least in the mainstream triple A market. And that's the problem. JRPGs don't need to be added to that list.

And people now dismiss JRPGs as something like a bad stomach flu. If you want JRPGs to be the constant subject of ridicule and eventually give up on the western market completely. Then don't recognize the situation. But it want some of it's respect had (which granted Ni No Kuni has done), it better be meeting the standard over here in terms of ratings. And right now the HBO audience is the right crowd to work with.

I am advertising the slap patch solution on Japan's growing irrelevance to RPGs at large which no one is taking even though it may well let the healing process begin.

What makes you such an authority on the gaming market? Are you a professional in the field? All of what you have been saying is mostly your opinion without any sources to back up your claims.

Look at the professional game reviews, look at how game companies mention they don't want to bring games over here anymore partially due to the opinion of professional reviews.

gyrobot:
Look at the professional game reviews, look at how game companies mention they don't want to bring games over here anymore partially due to the opinion of professional reviews.

All of which has little to do with story-context or style, but because the games themselves are (with maybe a couple of exceptions) bad. Even so, if the west is losing respect for JRPGs it has little to do with maturity, but because they just don't like the static and overly complex gameplay. Talk to any of the frat boys that might actually agree with your vision of mature content; very few would tell you they'd enjoy JRPGs more if you added Gears of War's aesthetic (they might enjoy the cutscenes more, but that'd be it). No, what the idiots want is for the genre to be replaced with more bland shooters, which is hardly a solution.

'Childishness' as you call it doesn't need to be cured, what needs to be cured is the disease we call 'grittiness.'

gyrobot:

And people now dismiss JRPGs as something like a bad stomach flu.

Really, because the way that I and most people see it, the big publishers/developers of JRPGs are losing their touch while new IPs are being lookat at with critical acclaim. You literally have no concrete sources to back up what you are saying.

If you want JRPGs to be the constant subject of ridicule and eventually give up on the western market completely. Then don't recognize the situation. But it want some of it's respect had (which granted Ni No Kuni has done), it better be meeting the standard over here in terms of ratings. And right now the HBO audience is the right crowd to work with.

What in the 9 circles of Hell are you talking about. If JRPGs started catering to your want for "gritty realism" they'd be just like the swath of major western RPGs that are doing just that. Keep in mind that the Western RPGs are being looked upon in a negative light recently due to the fact that, for the most part, they are trying to cater to people like yourself and sacrificing gameplay. (Skyrim's gutting of a lot of RPG elements, etc, etc). The "HBO" audience is not even close to the right crowd to cater to. If it was, then L.A. Noire would have sold a hell of a lot more than it did.

I am advertising the slap patch solution on Japan's growing irrelevance to RPGs at large which no one is taking even though it may well let the healing process begin.

The very fact that you're advertising a slap patch solution at all is asinine. The problem with JRPG isn't that people hate them in the West. The problem is that people in the West hate when JRPGs are made with catering to the West in mind. People in the West want JRPGs made like they were in the SNES-PS2 era. We don't want Final Fantasy 13's linear drag you by the nose style game play(Friend of mine dubbed it Final Hallway XIII). Why the hell do you think people freaked out over not getting the Xenoblade Chronicles at first? Or Mother 3?

People want JRPGs, but the bigger publishers are putting out JRPGs made for mass appeal. This in turn is making developers who make more traditional but innovative JRPGs from localizing due to a fear of not selling.

Were you asleep a few years ago when Demon's Souls, a Japanese Action RPG, was localized due to word of mouth alone? Now we have a new franchise that sold well enough for a sequel. How about when SEGA was iffy on localizing Yakuza 3? The fans cried so hard that we now have Yakuza 3,4,and 5. I think its time to stop relying on Square Enix to give us the JRPGs that people want.

Seriously, you're idea of what JRPGs should become would sound great in a boardroom meeting of executives who want sales and don't give a fuck about quality, but it would help ruin an already hurting JRPG base. Making JRPGs "gritty" will only make them worse. All the shooters now are "gritty". A lot of third person action games are "gritty". And gaming sales across the board are falling for all of the big companies. THQ closed down, and they were making almost nothing but "gritty" games. People want to be able to go into a fantasy setting without having to worry about seeing the gruff marine with the gravelly voice.

Ni No Kuni is what modern JRPGs should be going for. Not Cloud Strife with a stubble and smoking a pack a day, all while sipping bourbon and crying over a picture of Aeris he pulls out of his wallet in every cutscene.

Yahtzee did put up a nice point about some of us, we are clinging on to a fading youth whereas the youth of today has embraced the world is a cold uncaring place and decided it was better to enjoy games and shows aimed at "realism" than to escape in a fantasy world that will shatter ineveitably.

Oh, peaches, there was an episode of Star Trek: Voyager ("Muse") from eons ago that put all of my thoughts on this into one nice, neat statement: "Find the truth of your story and you won't need all those tricks. I don't know how things are done across the Eastern Sea, but here poets have become lazy; they rely on manipulation to move their audience. It wasn't always that way." Why does crap need to be "gritty" to be interesting? Shouldn't we be more worried about the actual dang story? Do people need to be hating life in order to be interesting? Does the trope need to be the story, or should the story use the trope to be a better story?

As people here have also pointed out, there are a myriad of options if you're looking for something more serious (this site has reviews for a lot of interesting-sounding titles in the JRPG realm alone, and this isn't the only place to look). I honestly don't know if there are any Game-of-Thrones-clones-vidjagame-edition, but there could be. Just because you haven't seen it doesn't mean it isn't there. And just because it's rendered in more than 3 colors doesn't mean it isn't deep.

...And just because it isn't depressing doesn't mean it isn't really, really good. You just have to find what's believable to you. Then plot devices won't matter.

gyrobot:
Yahtzee did put up a nice point about some of us, we are clinging on to a fading youth whereas the youth of today has embraced the world is a cold uncaring place and decided it was better to enjoy games and shows aimed at "realism" than to escape in a fantasy world that will shatter ineveitably.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/6565-Call-of-Duty-Black-Ops-2
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/4763-Gears-of-War-3
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/1717-Dead-to-Rights-Retribution

And I'm sure Yahtzee would LOVE this fix.
/s
Anyway, you're still avoiding the arguments that completely prove you wrong. There are two just above your post that have a page-long analysis. If you want to start winning people over I suggest you take the time to talk to them individually, instead of just writing a solitary smug sentence in dismissal.
Also, add a poll, then we'll see how much of the public like this grim-dark style.

The only thing I "dislike" (not hate, two totally different things) about JRPGs are the anime stereotypes. They get older then anime itself.
Until I played Persona 4 of course (Special mention to the "Tales" games). Truly a spectacle of a game to have such fun and realistic characters, only rarely do they dig into the stereotypes only to smash them through the ground. That and the game has the most compelling story I've ever had the honor to experience. Dat Kanji Tatsumi...

OT: Yeah, I'm pretty tired of the arbitrary "lets make everything dark and gritty" idea always buzzing its way into media from other cultures. Then again I only have ever see that come out of the west.
It happened to DmC, it happened to Resident Evil, and I pray it doesn't happen to something like... I don't know... Katamari Damacy, cause those first two obviously didn't turn out well.

Also doesn't making everything dark and brown lower creativity and imagination just to boost up sales? Talk about selling out 'Merica gaming industry....

gyrobot:

But if that is the case, why do people love to watch HBO? Why are games emulating ASOIAF?

Because people are multidimensional and can like more than one thing? Seriously, I am currently 3/4ths of the way through A Feast for Crows, so I'm pretty well versed in ASOIAF, though I did get into it because of the show. Dragon Age Origins is also one of my favorite games, which is "dark" and "gritty", I suppose, and much more ASOIAF than Tolkien. But that doesn't mean that I don't also greatly love Tolkien and Tolkien-esque video games. I also love bright, cheery video games like Kingdom Hearts (at least the first one. They're kinda losing me with incoherent story and jumping consoles like a cracked out kangaroo). If I'm in the mood for darkness and grit, I'll pick up ASOIAF and read it. If I want happy colorful stuff I'll play KH or watch MLP. If I wants splatter-gore I'll watch Supernatural. See how I can like all these different things? It's amazing, really.

And if you're looking for a dark JRPG, look no further than Final Fantasy Tactics. It is the hybrid child of MacBeth and Hamlet, only it's possessed by the devil. Boom. Done. Actually, I'mma boot up my emulator and play it RIGHT NOW.

Remove or drastically tone down turn-based combat, random encounters, and ridiculously convoluted plots and I'd be first in line for a lot of JRPG releases.

Arcane Azmadi:
Wow... when I read this thread title I was thinking it was satirical.

But no, you're actually serious. You honestly think the problem with JRPGs is that they don't have enough butchery, incest and backstabbing.

Dude... no. Just no.

My thoughts exactly.
I keep seeing this on the "most popular topics" list for the last week or so, and I keep thinking "How does this nonsense keep getting popular?"

There are plenty of bad or mediocre "gritty JRPGs".
I'm staring at my copy of Infinite Space, and recalling that the only good part of that game was the story.
(once you figure out the combat triangle, the game is basically over)

Ragsnstitches:
My only issue with JRPGs is that they are, usually, overly long. Even my favourite titles, like Final Fantasy 9, have this issue.

The dull moments in Jrpgs are EXCEEDINGLY dull. And they can drag on for hours at a time. One could argue that this contrasts to the peak moments in the story and gives them a greater gravitas. But then I would still say it just feels like shitty pacing for the sake of padding out the narrative.

Longevity is a great aspect in games. But rpgs are notorious for artificially padding things out segments just to reach the magical 30-60 hour play times the genre is famous (infamous) for. And Jrpgs seem to be the grandmasters at doing this.

I think another detriment to Jrpgs is that they are still pushing archaic gameplay mechanics and there has been little to no innovation within the genre as a whole. As they say, if it isn't broken don't fix it, but I know of one series that does this and gets tremendous amounts of flak for it. CoD. Think about that. The equivalent to the CoD series (or spunkgargleweewee) in Japan, is a Jrpg. Heck, there are plenty of Japanese Developers who are decrying how stagnant their industry has become.

Anyway. No, Grittiness is not what is needed. More efficient design ethics (and perhaps some better writing/less cliche heavy narratives) is what is needed to rejuvenate the genre. "Rejuvenate" being the optimal wording, since interest hasn't really diminished, but criticism has steadily increased.

i agree with you that some JRPG's (FFXIII in particular)did need to speed up the pacing a bit, but the real problem is that they spend too much time re-iterating characterization plot points or just plain old not advancing the plot. however, at least Square learned its lesson there as FFXIII-2 cut out a lot of the fluff and actually had a fairly focused narrative while still leaving room to expand and grow the experience and the world, so kudos to them. In my experience though, the characterization, as a result of the play-system is done in longish cutscenes, which is why the stories tend to drag on a bit... anyway, next point

Honestly, I can see why JRPG's have stagnated on the gameplay a bit... its kinda hard to alter a concept like a menu. This is where the Tales games and the newer final fantasys have done an excellent job, the ABT system and its ilk have added a certain sense of urgency in player action, as anyone who barely survived a fight via clutch heals can attest. While COD does get lambasted for the same mechanics every game, context is everything. JRPG's are less about play and more about characterization and story for the most part, while COD hinges on its gameplay, with minimal attention payed to the story. Each JRPG with similar mechanics has other draws, while COD deservedly gets ripped for being a 6o dollar expansion/map pack, with a poorly scripted single player to have somthing in the commercials.

I profoundly agree with you that grittyness would serve no benifet to the genre as a whole so ill sum up my ideas.

JRPG's tend to get caught up in over-long exposition for even basic character development and plot advancement at the cost of crushing any sense of pace and separating narrative moments to the point they seem disconnected. Cutting down redundancy or putting less fluff between scenes would aid narrative and character cohesion.

The gameplay does need some innovation, but the slow and steady changes seen in the various franchises are enough for fans of the genre, though they should feel free to experiment(Valkyria Chronicles was a fantastic example of experimental gameplay)

Really the biggest problem with JRPGs is unnecessary corridor and exploration fluff disconnected to the narrative and mild gamplay stagnation, to get to the core of the issue(to me anyway)

gyrobot:
Well lets think for a moment why people hates JRPGs? Because it doesn't fit the current standards expected by the current attitude towards the fantasy genre.

But what do people expect from the fantasy genre now? To emulate ASOIAF, the political intrigue, the brutal cynicism and ultimately be as mature as possible. The funny thing is that JRPGs at one point was like that with Ogre Battle, Valkyrie Profile and Xenogears which served as the greats of JRPG. When JRPGs made the shift to making stuff lighter in content, WRPGs picked the ball up, using ASOIAF rather than Tolkien as their inspiration and has sold well compared to JRPGs which is becoming mostly kiddier.

So for JRPGs to be liked again, I recommend tossing in a bit of ASOIAF, some mature content and call us in the morning. We will dismiss the Turn Based stuff as part the genetic makeup of the genre. But the childishness is a disease that needs to be cured

I would not consider myself a huge fan of JRPG's. But it's not because of the lack of 'grittiness'.

Really what gets me about a large portion of them is that every character has to have exactly one (1) character trait. i really get tired of the 12 year old super-soldier girl bouncing up and down in excitement at having received the collector book. I would really appreciate if they would show some restraint on the characters. They don't have to be more mature or gritty, they just need to not freaking grate. A little subtlety would go a long way. Just have some more complex and less obvious personality traits.

Also, alot of jrpg's make themselves to complex, especially to newcomers to a series. Sometimes they add dozens of gauges and bars and meters that all dictate another mechanic...sometimes still adding them all the way to the end of an 80 hour journey. Not only do they do that, but at the core alot of them are just a simple game underneath it all, being button mashers or turn based rpg's. They would be better served just refining the mechanics and adding enemy variety and location variety rather than mechanic overload.

Honestly, I would love to see MORE whimsy in video games, I would just like them to be more restrained with the over-the-top in-you-face tropes, and with more refined gameplay.

Hyenatempest:

gyrobot:
using ASOIAF rather than Tolkien as their inspiration and has sold well compared to JRPGs which is becoming mostly kiddier.

Also, alot of jrpg's make themselves to complex, especially to newcomers to a series. Sometimes they add dozens of gauges and bars and meters that all dictate another mechanic...sometimes still adding them all the way to the end of an 80 hour journey.

Honestly, I would love to see MORE whimsy in video games, I would just like them to be more restrained with the over-the-top in-you-face tropes, and with more refined gameplay.

As a massive Tolkien and J-RPG fan, tolkien does relate very well to J-RPG's due to the depth they go into, not only in story, but in the 'gauges' and unique skill-sets often brought into J-RPGs.

I love games like the FF series much more-so than, say, the COD franchise. Each game has its own unique battle system and completely separate and in depth storyline for you to be enticed with, whereas COD is just the exact same game over and over. Because of the depth in the story and the time you spend perfecting different skills and customising your characters the way you want, you connect much more to the characters and storyline, making J-RPG's much more worth while in my opinion.

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