Is "JRPG" legitimate in its current usage?


Batou456

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After seeing a video series continuing this I thought I'd bring it up here.


The RPG genre involves games that create an immersive environment and are driven by a narrative. A game designer can decide to either make said narrative one where there's an emphasis on having your choices matter, or a predefined story is progressively exposed. Flexibility in turn needs to be balanced with things being purpose driven. These elements are important in any game and whether based in manual, cutscenes, or game engine have been a staple of good game design since the 8-bit era.


There's also questions related to how much of a simulation you want to create with your immersive environment, and whether to have direct or indirect control of the character(s). Direct control allows for a more involved feel to combat, and encourages more tactical fighting approached. Examples include the Zelda franchise, System Shock series, FallOut 3, Mass Effect, and Deus Ex:HR.


Indirect control involves giving your characters orders on what to do, and puts an emphasis on strategy. Examples include the Baldur's Gate series, FallOut 1-2, Knights of the Old Republic, and most of the Final Fantasy franchise. This in turn tends to mean that you want to try to enable a variety of strategies and strategic options, and make the interface for issuing commands as unintrusive as possible.


Indirect control schemes benefit greatly from having a mouse, as this allows the player to indicate where characters should go and what they can attack. A keyboard thanks to having over a hundred buttons and hundreds of key combinations also tends to enable a significant number of options that can be called directly, like was used by early Ultima games, Ultima Underworld, or System Shock. Consoles have tended to have to take a different approach due to the limitations of the available hardware. Thus the tendency was towards menus that popped up and gave a cascading set of options.


Japanese console RPG makers have made a point to try to overcome these limitations. Square introduced a system where you had counters instead of fixed rounds rather early. Wolf Team which became tri-Ace is particularly noteworthy for their work along these lines even with the original Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean.


I keep seeing the term “JRPG” used to reference this concept of a game that has fixed turns and a narrative. Often as a setup to deride Square Enix as being backwards, despite them having been using alternatives to basic turn based combat since the 1991 release of Final Fantasy IV, and being the big company behind Deus Ex:HR. Nested in this though seems to be legitimate question related to gaming trends.


Should all RPG be designed to accommodate the limitations of making it convenient to play on a Dual Shock/XBox controller, and should the market abandon indirect control schemes on RPGs? Is the experimentation Square Enix has done with their Final Fantasy series over the years not been worthwhile at looking at different approaches within the rather significant limitations of the control scheme provided? Are they actually stagnant as a company, or are people just ignoring their large and diverse IP catalog?
 

Foxgod

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maybe just me but i just took the JRGB acronym to be an rpg coming from Japan, nothing do to do with the style.

Well, Gameplay style doesnt really matter indeed.


J-RPG is best described as an rpg with an anime style, because thats the visual style they mastered.


IMHO Demon souls is not a J-RGP, even thought its from Japan, i consider it a W-RPG.


In my point of view anyone can create a J-RPG, but you must have mastered the visual style.


Nino No kuni is the perfect example of a current gen J-RPG.
 
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WizardStan

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Nah, traditional JRPG definitely refers to a specific style and differs from what is considering Western RPGs. I can't think of any specific descriptions used to describe these two styles (though Jebe's post hits some nails for sure), but 20 years ago you could look at certain games and it was obvious. It's like different breeds of dog. All breeds have things in common, but there are differences that may be difficult to describe. Can you describe a poodle for me in such a way that I wouldn't confuse it with a shih tzu? It's not easy, but if you had a poodle and a shih tzu side by side you'd have no problem pointing them out, yeah?


Anywho, just like dog breeds, there's been a lot of mixing in the game genre to the point that we don't just have poodle and shih tzu, but we have every combination in between. Where does one draw the line?


Blue-Red_256x256.png



Where in this image does it stop being red and become blue?


edit: 1+1 = 3 apparently. :p
 
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Foxgod

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Nah, traditional JRPG definitely refers to a specific style and differs from what is considering Western RPGs. I can't think of any specific descriptions used to describe these two styles (though Jebe's post hits some nails for sure), but 20 years ago you could look at certain games and it was obvious. It's like different breeds of dog. All breeds have things in common, but there are differences that may be difficult to describe. Can you describe a poodle for me in such a way that I wouldn't confuse it with a shih tzu? It's not easy, but if you had a poodle and a shih tzu side by side you'd have no problem pointing them out, yeah?


Anywho, just like dog breeds, there's been a lot of mixing in the game genre to the point that we don't just have poodle and shih tzu, but we have every combination in between. Where does one draw the line?


Blue-Red_256x256.png



Where in this image does it stop being red and become blue?


edit: 1+1 = 3 apparently. :p

I can make it even easier, if Red is JRPG, and Blue is WRPG, then magenta-purple are not JRPG and not WRGP either, its a mix.


Its only a JRPG if its red, and its only a WRPG if its blue, people should stop trying to categorize purple-magenta into blue or red.
 

2bit

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^^ Little less than 2/3 of the way down
 
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Sugar_Kane

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In my mind JRPG signifies that the characters are all going to be pointy-chinned 13 year old girly boys with multicoloured transvestite wigs, the story will have apparently been written by 77 different people with varying degrees of morphine withdrawal and at least one dangerous pervert. There will be a needlessly complex combat system often involving some kind of special feature, such as "XKO METER COUNTER GUARD CROSS DEFENCE BAR!", and the main antagonist will practically be highlighted with a neon arrow and glittering text which reads "THIS IS THE BAD GUY" within the first 17 seconds of the game.
 
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Null

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the characters are all going to be pointy-chinned 13 year old girly boys with multicoloured transvestite wigs, the story will have apparently been written by 77 different people with varying degrees of morphine withdrawal and at least one dangerous pervert. There will be a needlessly complex combat system often involving some kind of special feature, such as "XKO METER COUNTER GUARD CROSS DEFENCE BAR!", and the main antagonist will practically be highlighted with a neon arrow and glittering text which reads "THIS IS THE BAD GUY" within the first 17 seconds of the game.

Sounds like a cool game, what's it called and when is it going to be released? ;)
 

xiongxioi

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I can't call my self a big Jrpg fan through i had good times with quite a few of them. The main problem I have with most of the main stream JRPG is that~ they are just silly.


Boring grind(Dragon quest on the DS), repetitive and lengthy combat(final fantasy), annoying design(strong enemies jumps out of thick air and one-shot you, cause you to restart from last save), bad ironic jokes (I almost want to include Metal gear seriers they aren't rpgs); these are all bad things about JRPGs( and a few western rpgs).


However, the biggest problem I got is Jrpgs are linear games, through they may try to tell you otherwise (Such as thousands of collectibles); but, they are not very tight. Their stories are not either unoriginal: skinny 15-year-old whiny girly boys go on quests about saving the universe OR retardedly trying to be ironic: no story at all, just go and grind until the cows come home.


I usually lose interests and motivations quickly in Jrpgs; they are just not fun to play anymore unless you are an easily satisfied child.


Anyway, I think rpgs nowadays are like adventure games in the 90s. They are going to either die or evolve into Action rpgs, shooter with rpg elements, sandbox rpgs. There are just no good reason why action should be kept from players or why story-telling should not be more straightforward. This is just my opinion.
 

Batou456

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The main problem I have with most of the main stream JRPG is that~ they are just silly.
Aww but that's part of what made Recettear a success, and helped to lead to the US starting to see digital distribution of the rather significant Japanese library of Zelda style RPG properties. And let's be honest would Baldur's Gate have been half as great without the various quirky quest like the talking chicken?

Their stories are not either unoriginal: skinny 15-year-old whiny girly boys go on quests about saving the universe
How many games actually meet that description? I personally can't think of any that meet all those qualifiers, and the associated concepts didn't really exist until the PS1 era.

Anyway, I think rpgs nowadays are like adventure games in the 90s.
Having their golden era leading up to when it's possible for Indie studios to explode on them?

I'll point out those have seen a resurgence when The Longest Journey showed up in 1999, and have seen something of a renaissance in the Indie scene and Kickstarters. That's of course if you decide to not count the amazing backlog of fan created text-adventure games.


It'd be more accurate to say that the late 90s to early 2000s saw the rise of 3D. This led to many studios choosing to use 3D before 3D was ready to challenge sprite based graphics.The result was games that were rather weak, and wasn't considered a happy time for Adventure gamers. All of which wasn't helped by Blizzard having taken control of Sierra, and after acting in a fashion most associate with EA or Activision, liquidated Sierra's adventure game studio thus effectively killing the company. That left LucasArts as the other major adventure game manufacturer, which like with their X-Wing line versus Origin's Wing Commander again demonstrated its a habit of losing interest in a genre as soon as there isn't a strong competitor.


Then Telltale came in, in 2005 and picked up some of the LucasArts IP and has established themselves well enough to start pulling in IP that hadn't been associated with Adventures games like Back to the Future.

There are just no good reason why action should be kept from players or why story-telling should not be more straightforward.
I take it you felt that the changes in Mass Effect 1 through 3 involved stripping out unnecessary elements to what you consider to be a better game then? I'm also going to guess you've either never played or have no appreciation for Infinity Engine games like Planescape: Torment or Baldur's Gate, and you never played Secret of Mana or similar JRPG game engines.

It could be argued that System Shock from 1994 is the father of shooter RPGs and Ultima Underworld from 1992 is the father of FP direct control RPGs. For context Wolfenstein 3D is from 1992, Doom is from 1993, with Doom 2 and Heretic being from 1994. I'll let you draw your own conclusions from that.
 
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2bit

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How about we stop segregateing RPGs and play them all or none of them as nobody gives a rat's bass guitar whether you do play them or not ! Instead let us speak of the wonderus feeling we all get inside when we have found a way to make minecraft poket edition suck less ! Or Mabey just Mabey we can all go read " The Wind In The Willows " as I only have one chapter left and is probably one of the better pieces of children's litature ever penned by a Brit !


I'm tired :p
 

ZXDunny

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I keep seeing these JRPG games recommended on the forums, and I can only conclude that you're all attention-deficient morons. The only one of that style that was even remotely fun to play was Earthbound and that's only because it was slightly humorous. These days I see "JRPG" as a pejorative.


D.
 

2bit

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I keep seeing these JRPG games recommended on the forums, and I can only conclude that you're all attention-deficient morons. The only one of that style that was even remotely fun to play was Earthbound and that's only because it was slightly humorous. These days I see "JRPG" as a pejorative.


D.





I point you to my previous post .
 

ZXDunny

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I keep seeing these JRPG games recommended on the forums, and I can only conclude that you're all attention-deficient morons. The only one of that style that was even remotely fun to play was Earthbound and that's only because it was slightly humorous. These days I see "JRPG" as a pejorative.
I point you to my previous post .
Ahh, yes. In response I would like to echo your sentiment that "The Wind in the Willows" is indeed a work of art in children's literature.


D.
 

2bit

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I keep seeing these JRPG games recommended on the forums, and I can only conclude that you're all attention-deficient morons. The only one of that style that was even remotely fun to play was Earthbound and that's only because it was slightly humorous. These days I see "JRPG" as a pejorative.
I point you to my previous post .
Ahh, yes. In response I would like to echo your sentiment that "The Wind in the Willows" is indeed a work of art in children's literature.


D.
Playing as Toad would translate into a Secret Of mana esque experience .


D.*


Is that a appropriate place to say that ? :p
 
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