Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rant 19 : The decline of JRPGs

Ok if anyone even cares about JRPGs anymore you may have noticed that they have declined exponentially since 2004. Perfect example is Final Fantasy. All the Final Fantasy's other then XI were good and then game like Dirge of Cerberus, Final Fantasy XII and X-2 spawned and dragged it down and look at XIII, it's linear and no sidequest, town and minimal NPCs. Any JRPG fan from the NTSC region will tell you that JRPGs were at their best in the 90's and from the ones I've played, even I have to agree to some point with them. Unfortunately being in the PAL region, specifically Australia I never got to play any JRPGs until the PlayStation era and I never played a JRPG until 2000 when I played Final Fantasy VIII. JRPGs were good in the early part of the last decade but some developers started to loose their way with the new generation we play today. Look at the majority of JRPGs being released for crying out loud. There mainly Action RPGs, I am sick of Action RPGs! Action RPG remove strategy from the RPG genre in place of bludgeoning HP out of enemies with no real variation. I am a turn-based combat fan and love the way those games are set up, while Action RPGs are fast paced and all you can do is just dodge attacks until you see an opening. Sure the western world prefer these games but why should Japan stop making them? The only Action RPGs I like aren't really Action RPGs. The Tales series, Kingdom Hearts series and the Star Ocean series while having a more active combat system then traditional JRPGs they keep basic JRPG strategies in them. Look at the Action RPG genre, they don't seem to use any strategies and have no element attacks/weakness while the Tales series,KH series and Star Ocean series do. While JRPG developers are catering to a wider audience, they are segregating the true fans and ultimately making crappy games in the process. Also I am sick of all these Tactical JRPGs coming out and have come out! Seriously when you look for JRPG these stink up the search and I'm not saying there bad, it's just that they are considered the main JRPG by most people who think they know what a JRPG is.

I hope that some more turn-based JRPG come out and that the Japanese developers stop making games for the majority of western gamers and concentrate on what their fellow Japanese and true westen fan want. Square-Enix just because you own a western developer, doesn't mean you can ignore your true fans to make more diverse and crappy games. Also linear games for JRPGs is NOT A GOOD THING!!! Linearity is bad because it shrinks the length of a game and stops people from wanting to replay the game. Sidequest are what give the game so much extra playability and ultimate weapons and special items were the rewards we reaped out of them and from what I've read about Final Fantasy XIII it's just story... it's Metal Gear Solid with turned-based combat and that doesn't make it much of a JRPG when you think about it.

JRPGs should never change outside of the graphics being used and the developers need to concentrate on story and depth of the game over graphics. I would honestly love to see a full 2D traditional JRPG with like 200 hours of content on the PS3 or even a 100 hour nice 3D traditional JRPG that's what I'd like to see. GRAPHICS AREN'T EVERYTHING TO A TRUE GAMER!

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