• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

JRPGs: Welp, I tried.

BossLackey

Gold Member
I've played a LOT of genres over the years, including some of the more obscure sub-genres. From AAA budget games to 1-man indies and everything in between.

Japanese devs have always had a special place in my heart as almost all of my favorite series are Japanese. However, one genre always eluded me. The JRPG.

I played Chrono Trigger as a teenager and loved it, but outside of that only dipped my toe into the genre every few years. Lately I've been quite enamored with buying JRPGs, but seldom every playing them. Telling myself I'd get to it. And even when I did start one, I just never finished it or got further than 10 or 15 hours.

I really wanted to like the genre. There are a lot of attractive parts. The art styles, bombastic set pieces, absurdity, cheesy characters, etc. I like all that stuff. But at the end of the day, I can't stomach walking around and talking to NPCs and fighting the same boring enemies over and over and over for hours. I don't mind a grind, but the combat has to be fun (Monster Hunter comes to mind).

They're too long, have too much inane dialogue that doesn't move the story forward, and too repetitive.

I guess I just need the monkey brain stuff where I'm shooting/killing/punching/stomping something every five seconds.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I'm not including any Japanese developed Action RPGs in this. That's possibly my favorite genre (Souls, Nioh etc.). I'm talkin' your Xenoblades, Personas, Final Fantasys, etc.

EDIT EDIT: I have played quite a few JRPGs. You don't need to recommend anything. The genre just isn't for me despite being attracted to certain elements.
 
Last edited:

Komatsu

Gold Member
Try Vagrant Story. Or Final Fantasy Tactics. Or Final Fantasy IX.

Second all your recs, though I would not start with IX. And FFT is an SRPG, a bit of a different beast, but as a Matsuno game it has a very western feel to it so even people unfamiliar with the genre would like it.
 
I've played a LOT of genres over the years, including some of the more obscure sub-genres. From AAA budget games to 1-man indies and everything in between.

Japanese devs have always had a special place in my heart as almost all of my favorite series are Japanese. However, one genre always eluded me. The JRPG.

I played Chrono Trigger as a teenager and loved it, but outside of that only dipped my toe into the genre every few years. Lately I've been quite enamored with buying JRPGs, but seldom every playing them. Telling myself I'd get to it. And even when I did start one, I just never finished it or got further than 10 or 15 hours.

I really wanted to like the genre. There are a lot of attractive parts. The art styles, bombastic set pieces, absurdity, cheesy characters, etc. I like all that stuff. But at the end of the day, I can't stomach walking around and talking to NPCs and fighting the same boring enemies over and over and over for hours. I don't mind a grind, but the combat has to be fun (Monster Hunter comes to mind).

They're too long, have too much inane dialogue that doesn't move the story forward, and too repetitive.

I guess I just need the monkey brain stuff where I'm shooting/killing/punching/stomping something every five seconds.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I'm not including any Japanese developed Action RPGs in this. That's possibly my favorite genre (Souls, Nioh etc.). I'm talkin' your Xenoblades, Personas, Final Fantasys, etc.
Have you tried playing them on a mobile platform like the Switch or other handheld? I think they are more enjoyable on the go.
 
Second all your recs, though I would not start with IX. And FFT is an SRPG, a bit of a different beast, but as a Matsuno game it has a very western feel to it so even people unfamiliar with the genre would like it.

Yeah, true, would not start with FF 9. Probably Vagrant Story, then Tactics, and then 9.
 

p_xavier

Authorized Fister
Ys combat is known for its challenges/fun aspects. Plus most talkative scenes can be skipped.
 
Last edited:

AmuroChan

Member
Since you liked Chrono Trigger, I recommend the Trails series. They have similar combat systems to CT + great world building and characters.
 

Kacho

Member
I guess I just need the monkey brain stuff where I'm shooting/killing/punching/stomping something every five seconds.
Excited Stephen Curry GIF by NBA
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
guess I just need the monkey brain stuff where I'm shooting/killing/punching/stomping something every five seconds.
I guess trying to recommend games like Shin Megami Tensei is out of the question then.
 
Last edited:

ACESHIGH

Member
Same here. I bought a few cheap JRPGs since I really enjoyed playing Chrono trigger last year but had no luck so far.

Cosmic star heroine was decent. I also bought but haven't played Yes Origin. I have to try one of those trails games.

But post VII FF, Tales of, dragon quest and persona games... Big no for me
 

BossLackey

Gold Member
Try Vagrant Story. Or Final Fantasy Tactics. Or Final Fantasy IX.
Tried IX, definitely a good game but I got distracted and stopped playing. Haven't played Tactics, but I've given SEVERAL tactics RPGs a shot and they just didn't click with me.

I have heard very good things about Vagrant Story forever. I really should give that a shot some day.
 
They're too long, have too much inane dialogue that doesn't move the story forward, and too repetitive.
That has gotten worse. With good old RPG's I never skipped NPC dialogues because they were at least mostly interesting in a world building way, they would have gossip about characters, give hints, or were there to set a scene.

Modern RPG's? Ugh. Too much uncurated text and characters. But it really doesn't have to be that way.
EDIT: Just to be clear, I'm not including any Japanese developed Action RPGs in this. That's possibly my favorite genre (Souls, Nioh etc.). I'm talkin' your Xenoblades, Personas, Final Fantasys, etc.
Which Xenoblade, which Final Fantasy, which Persona game? :messenger_winking_tongue:

Otherwise doesn't tell us much.

Regardless, it seems like it isn't your cup of tea. If you enjoyed Chrono Trigger try games that are like it. I recommend Radiant Historia.
everything you wrote is so true except Persona.
Persona 5 sucked though. The equivalent of Paper Mario Sticker Star with a Persona/SMT template.

I'm not sure the future for that franchise will be sunny after that was successful.
 
Last edited:

saintjules

Member
I get this kind of feeling with Trails games. While I enjoyed with what I've played with some of them, there is so much dialogue that it's hard to stay motivated to get to the end.
 

Rat Rage

Member
Well, that's ok. A human character/soul is like a muscle. If you train it wrong/expose it to the wrong stimuli, you get weaker. Of course genetics play a role as well. I believe the excessive use of social media and the associated bombaredement of information modern humans have gotten used to exposing themselves to, have had a bad influence on their attention spans and their ability to enjoy slower paced video games.
There are two possibilities: either you are suffering from it too, or you are fundamentaly built in a way that you don't or can't enjoy such type of video game content. If it's the later, it's ok - I guess there's not much you can do about it -, but if it's the former, I suggest thinking about to what degree it actually bothers you. If it bothers you a lot, start thinking about your life and initiate counter meassures, e.g. cutting down on social media use, actively doing things that require attention for a longer time than 5 minutes like reading a book, doing math or painting and thus starting to rebuilt your attention span again.
 

Mabdia

Member
Op, have you ever played Chrono Cross? You might like it. Try Disgaia too. There are a lot of funny moments in the game.
 

WoJ

Member
I grew up in JRPGs but have struggled to enjoy the genre like I did as a kid/teenager. Part of it is the modern jrpg focus on weird anime tropes and sexualization of younger female characters.

But pacing has also been an issue. When I played Persona 3 I loved the art, the setting, the general story. But found the socialization aspect a real grind. I'd have preferred a clock more like Stardew Valley where I get out of school at 2pm (or wherever) and can basically roam free until whenever and do as much as I can.

Xenoblade Chronicles was also tough for me pacing wise. I'd play 45 minutes and feel like I made no progress battling through a couple areas because all I did was fight enemies and move a few floors in a dungeon.

I played FFVII remake last year and loved it. Was my personal game of the year. So I don't know. I enjoy the genre, but my relationship with it has changed.
 

p_xavier

Authorized Fister
Op, have you ever played Chrono Cross? You might like it. Try Disgaia too. There are a lot of funny moments in the game.
I loved Chrono Trigger but loathed Chrono Cross, I tried the remaster and I still don't like the gameplay, story, and especially the dime a dozen characters.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

World’s Biggest Weeb
JRPG writing is the absolute worst. They spend so much time repeating themselves or stating obvious things. Inane is the right word for it.

Like you push a switch and some hidden staircase appears. Then they’ll fucking break out into a conversation like:
- “what was that noise, did you hear that?”
- “it sounded like something moving”
- “I don’t remember this staircase being here, do you?”
- “no! I wonder where it goes”
- “maybe we should check it out”
- “Ok!!”


I swear JRPG writers must get paid by the word.
 

wolywood

Member
I loved Chrono Trigger but loathed Chrono Cross, I tried the remaster and I still don't like the gameplay, story, and especially the dime a dozen characters.
It's been over two decades but I can still vividly recall the characters and storylines of the 90s era JRPG heavy hitters like FFVI-IX, FF Tactics, Xenogears and Chrono Trigger.

Chrono Cross though...yeah I agree with you. Couldn't for the life of me recall who the main character(s) are or the plot in any detail. Nice soundtrack though.
 

kevm3

Member
ys origins is awesome. mediocre graphics, but great gameplay. Think I'll go play it very soon.

Ultimately though, everything isn't for everybody. If you haven't found a JRPG you like, no need in trying to force yourself to like or 'understand' the genre.
 

BossLackey

Gold Member
Have you tried playing them on a mobile platform like the Switch or other handheld? I think they are more enjoyable on the go.
Yyyyyep

I have a ton of games on Switch, but I don't love playing games on the go. I don't have a bus commute or anything, so I don't really have an opportunity to play games "on the go" very often.
 

BossLackey

Gold Member
JRPG writing is the absolute worst. They spend so much time repeating themselves or stating obvious things. Inane is the right word for it.

Like you push a switch and some hidden staircase appears. Then they’ll fucking break out into a conversation like:
- “what was that noise, did you hear that?”
- “it sounded like something moving”
- “I don’t remember this staircase being here, do you?”
- “no! I wonder where it goes”
- “maybe we should check it out”
- “Ok!!”


I swear JRPG writers must get paid by the word.

Yeah, I'm very confused as to why this is the case. This isn't even exaggerated.

I recently finished Tales of Arise and I was bored to tears over them just CONSTANTLY repeating themselves.
 
They're too long, have too much inane dialogue that doesn't move the story forward, and too repetitive.

I guess I just need the monkey brain stuff where I'm shooting/killing/punching/stomping something every five seconds.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I'm not including any Japanese developed Action RPGs in this. That's possibly my favorite genre (Souls, Nioh etc.). I'm talkin' your Xenoblades, Personas, Final Fantasys, etc.
I know you said not to include any action RPGs, but have you tried the Yakuza games? They have all the wacky, fun side shit of a traditional JRPG, but serious, engrossing story if you don't want to engage in that too. Random encounters, but super fun real time combat system. The modern, urban crime setting sets them apart too. 8 became turnbased, the Judgement series continue the real time combat.

As for the problems you have with the genre, like too much corny banter, too long, and too repetitive... that's kinda part and parcel for JRPGs, so maybe the traditional ones just aren't for you. I use to be into JRPGs, but I think I grew out of them because I realized a lot of the character personalities, archetypes, and interactions seemed written for teenagers discovering themselves and the world, girls, first time relationships etc, and that was no longer for me. The grinding is a pain too, since usually it's not realtime you can't overcome levels with skill, which is fine when you're a kid with unlimited time, not so much when you're an adult.

TL;DR - Forget JRPGs, the ship has sailed for you as it has for some of us.
 

BossLackey

Gold Member
I know you said not to include any action RPGs, but have you tried the Yakuza games? They have all the wacky, fun side shit of a traditional JRPG, but serious, engrossing story if you don't want to engage in that too. Random encounters, but super fun real time combat system. The modern, urban crime setting sets them apart too. 8 became turnbased, the Judgement series continue the real time combat.

As for the problems you have with the genre, like too much corny banter, too long, and too repetitive... that's kinda part and parcel for JRPGs, so maybe the traditional ones just aren't for you. I use to be into JRPGs, but I think I grew out of them because I realized a lot of the character personalities, archetypes, and interactions seemed written for teenagers discovering themselves and the world, girls, first time relationships etc, and that was no longer for me. The grinding is a pain too, since usually it's not realtime you can't overcome levels with skill, which is fine when you're a kid with unlimited time, not so much when you're an adult.

TL;DR - Forget JRPGs, the ship has sailed for you as it has for some of us.

I'm not really sure why this thread turned into recommendations, but yes I have played Yakuza 0. I really liked it for a while but got bored. Too much dialogue for my taste.

I love reading, but I guess not much in video games.
 
JRPGs quality wise always seem a step below their wester counterparts. I gave tales of arise a shot and it just feels empty, grindy and kind of ugly. Then you get a game like elden ring which laps it. The genre seems stuck because the fanbase is adverse to any change. More power to them but I stay away from the genre now unless it gears more towards a WRPG style ie FF7Re
 

BossLackey

Gold Member
JRPGs quality wise always seem a step below their wester counterparts. I gave tales of arise a shot and it just feels empty, grindy and kind of ugly. Then you get a game like elden ring which laps it. The genre seems stuck because the fanbase is adverse to any change. More power to them but I stay away from the genre now unless it gears more towards a WRPG style ie FF7Re

I forced myself to finish Tales of Arise (played Symphonia back in the day). I strongly disliked several aspects of the game. The enemies were just damage sponges at every level. Dialogue was torturous. The last several dungeons were an absolutely abysmal slog and the game as a whole feels like they had a strong 20 hour rpg that they stretched to 60 hours.

The vast majority of positive reviews I've read are clearly of only the first half of the game (which was quite good I thought).
 
Last edited:

Filben

Member
I've recently played Lufia 2 because I thought old school JRPGs are better because they're less anime. Until I've reached the point very early on where I must go after thieves and a stolen crown and I'm thinking to myself: why should I bother? Why am I the one who have to go after them, which has nothing to do with the main plot whatsoever.

Why can't they be on point with their pace and dialogues? Why has everything dragged out until tediousness?

I like the combat and the general twists, but it just takes too fucking long with these games.

I enjoyed Cosmic Star Heroine though. That pace was amazing, straight to the point.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

World’s Biggest Weeb
I've recently played Lufia 2 because I thought old school JRPGs are better because they're less anime. Until I've reached the point very early on where I must go after thieves and a stolen crown and I'm thinking to myself: why should I bother? Why am I the one who have to go after them, which has nothing to do with the main plot whatsoever.

Why can't they be on point with their pace and dialogues? Why has everything dragged out until tediousness?

I like the combat and the general twists, but it just takes too fucking long with these games.

I enjoyed Cosmic Star Heroine though. That pace was amazing, straight to the point.
Yeah that’s the old Dragon Quest style where the whole game is basically: go to the next town on the map -> solve some quest that has nothing to do with your main mission and you don’t give two shits about -> get some breadcrumb that points to the next town -> repeat.

And I’ve totally been there, many times. When it’s gaming time and I realize I have zero interest or motivation in whatever bullshit chore the game has assigned to me. And the combat meanwhile is just picking “attack” from a menu over and over with no challenge, variety, or interesting decision making at all.

I loved all the old JRPGs growing up. Nowadays I can’t stand most of them and wonder what I ever found enjoyable.
 
Shining Force III and Panzer Dragoon Saga. Great variety in these games.

Phantasy Star IV is also really fast paced.

Can recommend all three of these; playing SFIII right now and the story's very good. It's more a SRPG though. PSIV had a good story and random battles aren't obnoxious, neither is grinding (you rarely ever need to grind). It's on the easy side as well, more or less (some like that, others don't).

PD Saga is very unique for a JRPG especially of that era and you won't really find too many others like it, so it's worth trying for the uniqueness alone. All three of these games also have pretty awesome OSTs.

OP says they've played a lot of JRPGs, but I wonder if they've played any of the more obscure ones. But hey, if JRPG aren't their thing, they aren't their thing. We all have a genre or two we just don't click with (I'm not that big on FPS, sports, or puzzle games for example).
 
If something like Persona or Final Fantasy doesn't do it for you it's probably best to move on.
 
Last edited:

lachesis

Member
I like select JRPGs because for the storytelling wise, I tend to think of it as an extension of Manga/Anime - than epic fantasy middle age movies.
It's exactly opposite that I don't really play WRPGs much, like Witcher, or Elder Scroll series - as much as I wanted to like.

I mean, you gave your honest try and just didn't like it. I wouldn't think so much about it.
As I get older and older, I'm becoming no problem of accepting what I like and I don't like. And when I am proven wrong and end up liking something else - it always becomes a pleasant surprise! :)
 

manfestival

Member
I have always viewed the more traditional jrpgs to be more of a niche thing these days. Absolutely love the genre and playing the games from time to time. Only downside is how long they can be. Originally I hated seeing games that were like 6-8 hours long. These days... well I am totally cool with a game being that long so I can move onto the next title lol.
 
I tried hopping back in with FFVII Remake. The fan service is top notch, I had a lot of fun with them in 16 and 32 bit eras. Even a long fling with Skies of Arcadia on Dreamcast, but for whatever reason it doesn't click anymore. I'm 20 hours in and the side quests are just such a chore. I'm gonna push through because when I heard the battle theme remade the first time I damn near cried. But yeah, the luster wore off on the gameplay. If not for the familiar faces and sounds, I'm not sure I'd play it.
 

Fbh

Gold Member
I love and hate JRPG's.
I still like playing them for many of the reasons you listed: Fun and unique worlds and characters, fun combat, nice music, nice art style, over the top setpiece moments, etc
But I fucking hate how there's some sort of unwritten rule that they all need to be an overly long, repetitive bloated mess with terrible pacing. Every JRPG I've played over the past 20 years, even the good ones, would have been much better if they had just trimmed some of the fat.

Which is why almost 30 years later, Chrono Trigger with an under 30 hours playthrough length is still one of the best games in the genre.
I'm playing Tales of Arise right now and even though I'm enjoying it, I know that in another 10-15 hours I'll be tired of it because god forbid they made a fun well paced 30 hours story.
 
Last edited:

Northeastmonk

Gold Member
Does this include the Tactics genre of JRPGs? Jeanne D’Arc, FFT, Tactics Ogre, Front Mission, Ring of Red, and etc. It’s mainly battles and group management between dialogue.

I don’t exactly have an issue with it because you can just save, play something else, and then go back to it.
 
Last edited:

BossLackey

Gold Member
Does this include the Tactics genre of JRPGs? Jeanne D’Arc, FFT, Tactics Ogre, Front Mission, Ring of Red, and etc. It’s mainly battles and group management between dialogue.

I don’t exactly have an issue with it because you can just save, play something else, and then go back to it.

It does include them, yes. Played Jeanne D'Arc and more recently Triangle Strategy. I respect them a lot, just never clicked for me.
 

recursive

Member
I've played a LOT of genres over the years, including some of the more obscure sub-genres. From AAA budget games to 1-man indies and everything in between.

Japanese devs have always had a special place in my heart as almost all of my favorite series are Japanese. However, one genre always eluded me. The JRPG.

I played Chrono Trigger as a teenager and loved it, but outside of that only dipped my toe into the genre every few years. Lately I've been quite enamored with buying JRPGs, but seldom every playing them. Telling myself I'd get to it. And even when I did start one, I just never finished it or got further than 10 or 15 hours.

I really wanted to like the genre. There are a lot of attractive parts. The art styles, bombastic set pieces, absurdity, cheesy characters, etc. I like all that stuff. But at the end of the day, I can't stomach walking around and talking to NPCs and fighting the same boring enemies over and over and over for hours. I don't mind a grind, but the combat has to be fun (Monster Hunter comes to mind).

They're too long, have too much inane dialogue that doesn't move the story forward, and too repetitive.

I guess I just need the monkey brain stuff where I'm shooting/killing/punching/stomping something every five seconds.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I'm not including any Japanese developed Action RPGs in this. That's possibly my favorite genre (Souls, Nioh etc.). I'm talkin' your Xenoblades, Personas, Final Fantasys, etc.

EDIT EDIT: I have played quite a few JRPGs. You don't need to recommend anything. The genre just isn't for me despite being attracted to certain elements.
Why are you here posting this if that is the case? Thanks for telling us I guess bruv.
 
Top Bottom