ARGH! WTF! Why does this keep happening! Everytime I see a new JRPG they seem to be going to the action RPG style. The more I see this happen the more I just want to turn the clock back and stop this decision. Am I crazy? F*ck No! The old JRPGs used turn-based combat and strategy to attain victory, but now every Japanese game developer that makes JRPGs seems to be wrapping their lips around a more western style of gameplay. What's worse is the company I thought I could always rely on(Mistwalker) is now making a hybrid combat JRPG that uses action and command-based combat(it's called The Last Story... swan song again?). Now admittedly I'm going to get it regardless but because every Mistwalker game released in Australia has had a great story.
Why am I so pissed off about the way JRPGs have become? It's because the developers are forgetting the original fans and trying to get a new audience. Now Square-Enix is the biggest offender of this because of the way Final Fantasy XII and XIII were made and all the more recent games they're pumping out. Now Mistwalker is just trying something new so I can kind of forgive them for that but only because I'm hoping the next game they release is turn-based and The Last Story franchise keeps the style they chose. Now back to Square-Enix. They seem to like killing their IPs lately. Final Fantasy may as well be taken out back and put out of it's misery before it becomes like a Bioware RPG, Front Mission got killed and resurrected into Armored Core, Parasite Eve got mutilated into a generic over the shoulder shooter and I'm sure they have big plans for killing Deus Ex, Tomb Raider and whatever else Eidos has under their belt. Now it you haven't paid attention to the current JRPG releases then you haven't seen the trend of action JRPGs showing up with nerry a turn-based combat JRPG in sight. I know that action JRPGs have been around since the SNES but there weren't many and they were actually good like Star Ocean, Secret of Mana, and the Tales series and the Kingdom Hearts series of recent years but now the new IPs are all cookie cutter garbage trying to mimic western RPGs and it's all because the companies have gotten greedier then they should. I know that the average western gamer seems to be a drooling mess of violence and course language or a master of Bejewelled and Wii Fit but I wish developers would remember that there are gamers like me who still cherish the games of yesteryear and want more games like it. I myself am a long time gamer who likes games like Nintendo's major franchise, games with an old school feel like the upcoming Blade Kitten and any 2.5D sidescroller, arcade game and traditional turn-based JRPGs. I've been a fan of JRPGs for 10 years and I like the turn-based ones because I like to use my brain when playing a JRPG and I like the anime style stories a lot of them have. During my gaming I've played some under appreciated gems like the Shadow Hearts and Atelier Iris series and I blame the average gamer for ruining the JRPG by not buying them.
Back to the topic and in closing, JRPGs are becoming more western and what made JRPGs so good was the fact that they were different to western games. Having that Japanese anime style story with a decent strategic combat system that required actual thinking to effectively get through battles without trouble instead of mash attack until dead like most western game. Some of the action JRPGs were good but ultimately the developers should stick to what they know and avoid making more western style games because all they are doing is making bland games that nobody wants.