Tag Archives: jrpg

Final Fantasy XV and Modern Japanese RPGs

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I was able to take a bit of time out to play the first few hours of Final Fantasy XV, and I’m a bit surprised at how much tries to feel like modern big-budget role playing games while preserving many of the common tenets of traditional Japanese RPGs. I don’t know if this game has had a polarized reception, but overall I like the direction of what I’ve seen so far. I just don’t really know how it lands the execution of its ideas compared to similar games. Continue reading

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The Real Situation With JRPGs In The West

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During a discussion on GAF stemming from Square Enix’s comments about the popularity of the Dragon Quest games outside Japan, someone posted a chart that, if legit, proves something about the Japanese RPG market in general I think a lot of people may miss. This has to do with the actual size of that market which has colored conversations on the shifting fortunes of JRPGs in western territories over the years. Continue reading

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Revisiting Tales of Symphonia, PC Port Progress, Sales Pitch, etc.

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Tales of Symphonia was one of those games I always wanted to see show up on PC so I wouldn’t have to worry about buying it on another console in the future, but the PC version we got started out as not only a disappointing remaster, but riddled with bugs and missing features. Namco and one very deidcated modder have apparently put more post-launch work into it than most people anticipated. Namco even went so far as to give it a free weekend during its publisher-wide Steam sale to bring attention to that, and I guess it worked enough for me to buy the game after trying it for a few hours. Continue reading

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Dragon Quest Builders Demo, Japanese RPGs, And Free-Form Gameplay

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I am one of those people who still hasn’t played Minecraft. When I realized Dragon Quest Builders was getting a demo for PS4 I saw this as a chance to see what one of these survival crafting games was all about. Plus this is supposed to be a somewhat unique take on the genre from a Japanese developer. Continue reading

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Backlog Chronicles: Sword of Mana

Sword of Mana-2 One night this past week when I didn’t have anything else to do and couldn’t get to sleep, I happened to have a charged-up Game Boy Advance next to my bed, so I went ahead and finished off Sword of Mana. My backlog of handheld Japanese RPGs is pretty ridiculous, and this was one of the ones where I had simply stopped at the final boss. Finishing it out of the blue like this has illustrated in multiple ways how typical it is of the strengths and other aspects of JRPGs.

Why this is concerning to me is because I’ve actually never played Secret of Mana, a game many people seem to hold as a highlight of the Super Nintendo’s library and the game to which Sword of Mana is a prequel. I still plan to get Secret of Mana on Virtual Console or something but I have no idea how how I’ll receive the game. Continue reading

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Tactical RPG Musings Part Three: Stella Glow And Mercenaries Saga 2 Demos

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It seems I was never really the only person wondering what happened to tactical role playing games on portable systems — why we never got a new Final Fantasy Tactics or something like that on the 3DS or Vita. The Vita got a new Disgaea game sure, and I think the 3DS got ports of the Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor (is that the right “Devil” title?) games, but it’s nothing like the growth the subgenre saw on the DS and PSP. I spent a little time this week playing demos for a couple more I didn’t realize were on the 3DS that at east try to satiate some of the thirst. Continue reading

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Is Dark Souls A JRPG? Probably.

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While trying to maintain a media blackout on Dark Souls III in the midst of double-digit minutes of footage being leaked some time ago, I started thinking about how far the franchise has come since the slow trickle of word-of-mouth that surrounded Demon’s Souls during the PS3’s early years. I’ve come to the realization (perhaps late) that the Souls franchise might be the most relevant Japanese RPG franchise on the market today, or at least one of the only really relevant ones to the mass market.

The problem is, many people seem to doubt whether it’s an JRPG at all, saying it looks and feels too similar to Elder Scrolls and too different from Final Fantasy. Once you go from there into the discussion of what defines a JRPG, you have to dig into the origins of the JRPGs and the Souls series itself which brings out its interesting relationship with both past RPGs and today’s popular western RPGs. Continue reading

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Indie Game Radar: CrossCode, Indie Demos, And RPGMaker

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With the back-to-back massive time-sucks of The Witcher 3 and Metal Gear Solid V finally behind me, I found the time to do a few things I’d been putting off… with one stone in fact. Not only have I been looking at quite a few demos that showed up on Steam over the last few months, but I’ve also been wondering about all these indie RPGs that seem to inundate my discovery que almost every day. Continue reading

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That Other Dreamcast RPG 15th Anniversary

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While Grandia II just got a PC re-release for the 15th anniversary of its 2000 release, we need to remember the competition between the two major Dreamcast RPGs that came out that fall, the other being Skies of Arcadia which came out 15 years ago in Japan today. It is one of my top Japanese RPGs and actually one of my top games ever.

Way back on 1up I did a “Favorite Games Of All Time” post for Skies, but instead of just editing and re-posting that one I think I’m just going to revisit and rephrase what makes that game great in its own time and today. I already devoted a whole post a bit more recently to why this game should be on PC just like Grandia II. Continue reading

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Modern Tactical RPG Musings Part One: Lord of Magna

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I managed to cut a couple of hours out of my time with The Witcher 3 to look at Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven which came out for the 3DS back in June. I obviously can’t give anything close to a definitive opinion on the game itself but it’s got me thinking about recent trends in Japanese RPGs in general, kinda like my experience with Lost Dimension. Continue reading

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