1568
Toccata
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posted on
03/08/12 07:43:53
updated by
Toccata
03/14/12 13:41:26

Extra Creditz has had a really fascinating discussion of the difference between JRPGs and western RPGs over the past two weeks. I'm really interested to hear their thoughts on why JRPGs (the love of my youth) have fallen so far behind in part 3 next week. Personally I think the stories have just gotten stale, and the way that they're told is often alienating to players not already familiar with the genre. At the same time, Western RPGs have gotten much better at telling a coherent and involving story despite their open-ended nature.

Western and Japanese RPGs (part1)

Western and Japanese RPGs (part 2)

Edit: Part 3 is up!

Western and Japanese RPGs (part 3)

-Toccata


375
Suppanoob
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posted on
03/16/12 16:42:32
updated by
Suppanoob
03/16/12 16:43:38

Haven't read those articles yet, but I can agree that JRPG games just aren't what they used to be. There are a few reasons that come to mind. There are cultural differences, for one thing (Japanese like cute stuff way more than we do), but that's minor.

I guess I'll look at Final Fantasy, since it was the first RPG series that I fell in love with. In the olden days, we had lead characters like Cecil dealing with the conflict of duty and morality. Today, every character is a metrosexual, brooding teenager. And how did we go from games that required some exploration and character building to games that any moron could button mash through (was it even possible to die in FFX?). How did we go from simple sub systems like espers and materia to games with the most convoluted sub systems imaginable?

Bad memories are stirring up!

Where's Lunar 3, goddammit.

ಠ_ಠ


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Aven
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posted on
03/16/12 17:06:32

Square lost their way a long time ago, Suppa. Everything got more convoluted because they equated complexity with challenge. If it's more difficult for you to understand, then there is an entry to play, or challenge in the game without having to actually write any artificial intelligence. Everything in those games is heavily scripted, down to the boss battles.


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Aven
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posted on
03/16/12 17:26:25

Just watched the videos and they make some really good points. Especially about the "why" you play a "JRPG." This is why I couldn't get further than a couple hours into Final Fantasy 13. It's complicated enough that taking a break for a couple weeks and coming back means you have to learn everything all over again, and since they only ever explain it in the tutorial (it's not in any way intuitive) I feel lost and mashing X doesn't really help.

One of the best games I've played lately that fall into the abnegation fodder is "Journey." It's very short but the entire game is built to be understood visually with very little handholding. There's no HUD at all, everything you need to know is either in the environment or on the character standing before you. The mechanics make sense and you learn them very quickly. Even though you can't talk to your auto-assigned co-op player or even know what their account name is, we can work together towards a common goal.


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Suppanoob
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posted on
03/17/12 12:03:38

Square was always awesome. Square Enix, on the other hand...

ಠ_ಠ


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Aven
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posted on
03/17/12 13:40:40

Which is strange, because the Enix games are the ones that are still good.