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#1 Posted by Triumvir (492 posts) -

I've been living with a girl for about two years now. I own every current console, a DS, a 3DS and a gaming PC. She's had pretty much unlimited access to a good portion of the best new games out up-to and during that time and has tried a fair share of different games and genres. She's been pretty enthusiastic about it, but most of the stuff that I play doesn't seem to interest her. Overall she's gravitated toward the Wii. With the inexplicable exception of Warhammer 40k: Kill Team on 360, she's mostly enjoyed relatively casual stuff that she bought herself (Animal Crossing, Rhythm Heaven Fever, Kirby's Epic Yarn, etc). Even then, she hasn't really played those that much. In fact, I've played more of Kirby than she has.

Recently, however, she picked up a copy of The Last Story that had been sitting on my self since I had picked it up more or less accidentally from Amazon and kept it as a lark. I hadn't touched it myself yet, but she was drawn to it, and it's actually got its hooks in her. She said she once played her brother's copy of Persona 4 on the sly for a while, back in 2008 or 2009, and enjoyed the turn-based combat in that, too, but stopped playing shortly afterwards because it wasn't her game or system. So, it's pretty clear that she likes JRPGs and doesn't have a preference for real-time or turn-based combat. It's actually no surprise, as she really enjoys manga and anime, but she's never had access to the genre up until now because I just don't play JRPGs at all. Hell, I haven't really played a new JRPG since Final Fantasy IX first came out. I certainly know very, very little about the state of the genre today.

Right now, she's on track to beating a game for the first time in her life, and, if she wants to keep going, I'd like to get her some more JRPGs to check out. Granted, I'm already planning on picking up Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for myself when it comes out this month, and she will likely be all over that, too. Xenoblade Chronicles is a pretty obvious choice, but it's really hard to find short of paying way, way too much on Amazon or eBay. I don't have a Vita and can't afford one right now, otherwise Persona 4: the Golden would be a great choice. I don't have an early model PS3, either, so I can't just get the PS2 original Persona 4. I've been thinking about reintroducing her to Dragon Age: Origins, but she was really intimidated by it the last time I showed it to her.

Anyway, I'd like to know what you duders would recommend in terms of current-gen JRPGs that would be fairly accessible for folks new to the genre and/or relatively new to video games. Bonus points if you think they are similar to The Last Story or Persona 4. I think she digs the exploration of areas, story, and character interaction more than anything. She also doesn't mind a little melodrama (which she thinks is funny in small doses), but she did mention to me that she didn't like how much of wuss-bag the main character of The Last Story was early in the game.

tl; dnr: My girlfriend found out she likes JRPGs, and I know almost nothing about the current state of the genre. Aside from Ni No Kuni, Xenoblade Chronicles, and Persona 4, what are some JRPGs she could check out on current hardware?

#2 Posted by UlquioKani (1169 posts) -

Tales of Vesperia is very good.

#3 Posted by Animasta (14718 posts) -

Resonance of Fate is pretty good, though it is definitely complicated at first (it's really less complicated than it seems though), and area exploration is definitely a big part of it.

You can also try Nier, though that is definitely more of an action RPG, but if you want great story and characters you can do no better.

#4 Edited by Epidehl (323 posts) -
#5 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2414 posts) -

Lost odyssey

#6 Posted by ShadowMountain (226 posts) -

@UlquioKani said:

Tales of Vesperia is very good.

#7 Posted by HarlechQuinn (451 posts) -
#8 Posted by mwng (947 posts) -
#9 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4849 posts) -

Tales of Symphonia for the Gamecube should work on a Wii, right? Get that, best JRPG ever made.

#10 Edited by Chaser324 (6716 posts) -

I'd suggest downloading Persona 3: FES from PSN. It's the best version of Persona 3, and it will totally work on your non-backwards compatible PS3.

Moderator
#11 Posted by YI_Orange (1170 posts) -

Anything Atlus. Persona and Digital Devil Saga especially. Nocturne is pretty awesome too, but the story is way more implied. Tales of Vesperia is also pretty good from what I've played of it so far. Playing it 3 player co-op though, so that helps. If you can, Super Mario RPG is awesome. Paper Mario and Thousand Year Door are both great. I never finished it due to RPG fatigue but Radiant Historia is good. If tactical combat is an option, Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem(any really), and Valkyria Chronicles.

Also, Rhythm Heaven Fever isn't casual. Shit's hardcore.

#12 Edited by Lego_My_Eggo (1068 posts) -

Download xenogears on PSN. I would hope she would be ok with PS1 graphics since she never really plays games, so check out the old PS1 games on PSN.

#13 Posted by Triumvir (492 posts) -

I'll definitely look into the Tales games, especially Tales of Vesperia, seeing as it is getting so many recommendations right off the bat.

@mwng said:

Valkyria Chronicles if that counts. And still Valkyria Chronicles if it doesn't count.

I actually picked that up in a bargain bin after playing through XCOM this fall. I'll see what she thinks, now that you mention it. I think tactical stuff turns her off, which is why DA:O might have intimidated her. I'll mention it to her though.

@Chaser324 said:

I'd suggest downloading Persona 3: FES from PSN. It's the best version of Persona 3, and it will totally work on your non-backwards compatible PS3.

I'd forgotten that was on there, but you are totally right. That would be an excellent choice.

@HarlechQuinn said:

Eternal Sonata

I think remember reading about this: it's a musical RPG set in Chopin's death dream, right?

#14 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4700 posts) -

Lost Odyssey is by the same people as The Last Story and is similar to the older Final Fantasy games. Plus the story is pretty good, mainly due to the dreams which are just text so I don't know if she would want that or not. Seeing how the best part is a series of 32 short storys.

As said, Tales of Vesperia is awesome. Eternal Sonata is fun and simple to get into with fantastic art and music. Sadly the writing is terrible squandering the premise. If you have a DS I would advice getting The World Ends with you.

#15 Posted by Triumvir (492 posts) -

@YI_Orange said:

Rhythm Heaven Fever isn't casual. Shit's hardcore.

Conceeded.

#16 Posted by UlquioKani (1169 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

If you have a DS I would advice getting The World Ends with you.

It's also on iOS Devices if you don't

#17 Posted by HarlechQuinn (451 posts) -

@Triumvir:

@HarlechQuinn said:

Eternal Sonata

I think remember reading about this: it's a musical RPG set in Chopin's death dream, right?

Yes, that's it... The story went downhill after a while but I still think it's pretty enjoyable for the music and art alone.

#18 Posted by Triumvir (492 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan: @Oscar__Explosion: I'll look into Lost Odyssey as well. It seems like it is easy to find and cheap to boot.

#19 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

Golden Sun is a fantastic starting point for JRPGs.

#20 Posted by Turtlebird95 (2575 posts) -

Dude, Chrono Trigger. Timeless classic you can play on virtually every device.

#21 Posted by Soapy86 (2638 posts) -

@UlquioKani said:

Tales of Vesperia is very good.

#22 Posted by crusader8463 (14427 posts) -

Get her a Vita and load it up with PSX/PS2/PSP games from PSN. Just go into the classics section and pretty much everything in there is great. I suggest Vanguard Bandits, Breath of Fire series, and the Final Fantasy Tactics games off the top of my head. There's a ton of other JRPG's but those are the only ones I can say for certain are on there.

#23 Edited by PenguinDust (12605 posts) -

If you have a DS or compatible device, The World Ends With You is a good one to check out.

I read it's on iOS now, too although I don't know anything about that.

#24 Posted by Manhattan_Project (2169 posts) -

Since you buy a ton of games, I'm guessing you have some money to spend on a used PS2 and Persona 4.

You should do that.

#25 Posted by Triumvir (492 posts) -

@Turtlebird95: I'd thought of that almost immediately, but I think that it might be a little inaccessible for her. I loved Chrono Trigger, but those games don't hold your hand like most games today or even for the last two gens and she is extremely new to gaming. She actually mentioned that the hand-holdy stuff in The Last Story was one of the reasons she thinks she was able to stick with it. She will have to check it out once she gets a feel for the tropes, though, I agree.

#26 Posted by C2C (858 posts) -

Pokemon games are like the most by the numbers JRPG's you can get without getting swamped by systems. I recommend those games to anyone who wants to get started on JRPGs. If she needs a lot of hand holding then Pokemon Fire Red/ Leaf Green GBA games are probably up herr ally. Though really, the recent Pokemon games are not all that complex and all are good starting points as well.

#27 Posted by Jeust (10823 posts) -

Recently, however, she picked up a copy of The Last Story  that had been sitting on my self since I had picked it up more or less accidentally from Amazon and kept it as a lark. I hadn't touched it myself yet

That sounds vaguely sexual... but I'm happy for you two.
#28 Posted by flasaltine (1695 posts) -

Are there any JRPG's that don't have that terrible anime art style like Tales of Graces and are not for the wii? That crap really turns me off. Ni No Kuni looks good but isn't out yet.

#29 Posted by soul101 (106 posts) -

@UlquioKani said:

Tales of Vesperia is very good.

Yes! The only reason I wanted to respond to this thread was to say "play Vesperia" and it was the first response!

#30 Posted by RE_Player1 (7574 posts) -

@Chaser324 said:

I'd suggest downloading Persona 3: FES from PSN. It's the best version of Persona 3, and it will totally work on your non-backwards compatible PS3.

I dunno dude Persona 3 Portable for PSP is a pretty good version as well. Sure it's missing The Answer but that is mainly a drag. Persona 3 Portable allows you to control your entire party, Persona 4 style, and you can play as a female, which his girlfriend might enjoy.

#31 Posted by soul101 (106 posts) -

as for older games..

-Final Fantasy III/VI (it will always be 3 to me)

-Chrono Trigger (as previously mentioned)

-Shining Force I/II

-Ogre Battle (pretty hardcore but super fun)

-Final Fantasy Tactics (strategy RPG)

-Dragon Quest/Warrior series (most games are pretty solid)

-Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete

-Breath of Fire Series

-Grandia 2

Screw it just go here! I'm not a huge fan of IGN however most of the later games in the list are pretty solid JRPGs

ign.com/top/rpgs

#32 Posted by oraknabo (1514 posts) -
#33 Posted by endaround (2147 posts) -

The Atelier series from Gust for the PS3.

Tales games are good especially Vesperia but that is real time combat. Same thing with Eternal Sonata to a degreee. The Resonance of Fate combat system is really complicated.

You also might still be able to get a copy of Sakura Wars for the Wii.

#34 Edited by Chaser324 (6716 posts) -

@msavo: I agree that "The Answer" isn't that great in P3:FES, but I still prefer the overall presentation in that game over some of the streamlining and "visual novel" style presentation of P3P. However, P3P is by no means a bad way to experience Persona 3, and there are definitely elements that some people might prefer.

Regardless, Persona 3 sounds like a great match for what he's looking for, and I think his girlfriend and him could really enjoy playing together.

Moderator
#35 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1877 posts) -

@Oscar__Explosion said:

Lost odyssey

This.

@Chaser324 said:

I'd suggest downloading Persona 3: FES from PSN. It's the best version of Persona 3, and it will totally work on your non-backwards compatible PS3.

And This.

@msavo said:

I dunno dude Persona 3 Portable for PSP is a pretty good version as well. Sure it's missing The Answer but that is mainly a drag. Persona 3 Portable allows you to control your entire party, Persona 4 style, and you can play as a female, which his girlfriend might enjoy.

The lack of the animated cutscenes and freedom of movement is a big loss for that game. The lack of party control isn't that big a deal, you can pretty much get them to do what you want them to at all times anyway. The 25 straight hours of grinding in the answer can get really monotonous, but there is some good character stuff in there. For these reasons FES is definitely better.

#36 Posted by gamefreak9 (2398 posts) -

I think FF is the greatest series, although the new one is kind of annoying because its too timey and not enough control, I would highly recommend final fantasy 12. That one has thinking but its all sort of pre-meditated and I find it epic and accessible, though the characters aren't very memorable...

#37 Posted by punisherkaos (277 posts) -

Lost odyssy is a good choice. Star ocean 4 is also really good.

#38 Posted by TooWalrus (13255 posts) -

@Chaser324 said:

I'd suggest downloading Persona 3: FES from PSN. It's the best version of Persona 3-

Fuckin' yeah it is. In this world of seven billion people, I knew I wasn't the only one who thought so.

#39 Posted by Animasta (14718 posts) -

@Flacracker said:

Are there any JRPG's that don't have that terrible anime art style like Tales of Graces and are not for the wii? That crap really turns me off. Ni No Kuni looks good but isn't out yet.

resonance of fate.

#40 Posted by byterunner (314 posts) -

if you wanna go off the deep end, you can have her play Star Oceans 3: Till the End of Time.

A fantastic JRPG. But goddamn, it sure is a JRPG

#41 Posted by Raven10 (1888 posts) -

Some additional thoughts -

Get the original 360 version of Eternal Sonata not the PS3 port. They really increased the difficulty to an extent that I wouldn't recommend it to the casual gamer. I haven't played Resonance of Fate but virtually every comment about it when it came out was that it was brutally hard so that might not be a great choice either. Definitely get Ni No Kuni and Level 5's last gen games if they are on PSN. Tri Ace also makes some pretty great stuff. Star Ocean series, Valkyrie Profile series, but again their games can be pretty challenging. Maybe Blue Dragon? I suggest that because it is really simple with a pleasant anime story. Not something I would recommend for hardcore gamers, but it is the same team that made Lost Odyssey and The Last Story. Finally, for the DS I would highly recommend the Mario and Luigi games. The first one for GBA is great if you have a DS with a GBA slot. The second one is super hard to find but the third one is pretty common.

#42 Posted by DonutFever (3561 posts) -

Persona 3: FES, Ni No Kuni (not out yet, but looks good), and Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

#43 Posted by Animasta (14718 posts) -

@Raven10: it's not brutally hard, it just has a long (optional) tutorial set up that's kind of required for at least the first half of them (there are like 10 and 5 are vital)

#44 Edited by Joeyoe31 (820 posts) -

@Epidehl said:

The Tales series might be good. I think there's a remake of Tales of the Abyss for the 3DS, which I liked a lot on the PS2, and Tales of Symphonia, which is awesome, for the Gamecube. There's also Tales of Graces F for the PS3 and Tales of Vesperia for the 360 which I haven't played and can't vouch for.

I second this. Most Tales of games are fantastic JRPGs and are on a multitude of consoles.

#45 Posted by Demoskinos (15119 posts) -

Personally I loved both Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 but I know a ton of people with argue with me that I'm crazy so...yeah.

#46 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4700 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

Personally I loved both Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy XIII-2 but I know a ton of people with argue with me that I'm crazy so...yeah.

Depending on what she likes these are not bad choices. FF13 is a game that in some areas is exceptional. If she likes games with more than combat or open worlds FF13 is a game to avoid.

#47 Edited by PK_Koopa (583 posts) -

Pretty much agree with everything here, but I want to give a shout out to Skies of Arcadia. It's on the GC so you can play it on a Wii. I really want to stress that the Tales series is really good too, but don't play Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of a New World. The original is fantastic though, and so is Vesperia and Graces F. Tales of the Abyss is kind of a grey area for me since I know a lot of people that hate it, but also a lot of people that like it.

Also heard good things about some Star Ocean games but I know Star Ocean 4 was pretty bad. The same company also did Resonance of Fate, which was really good but a bit slow in terms of the plot, and has a difficult combat system to learn, but it's satisfying when you pull it off. Much better than SO4, that's for sure.

#48 Posted by RHYMESCHEME23 (64 posts) -

If she's down for playing for long periods of time and grinding, get her Star Ocean: The Last Hope. The game is heavily story based. The graphics are a bit stiff, but it's anime. She'll like it.

#49 Posted by QuistisTrepe (628 posts) -

Nocturne, Digital Devil Saga, and Persona 4, that is all.

#50 Posted by RHYMESCHEME23 (64 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan: FF13 isn't much of an open world. Through the first 10 chapters it practically forces the player to move one place to another without any freedom to go elsewhere for the sake of the story. I think his girl will be fine with this one.

Now if she played through this title enough to want XIII-2, then that's a different story.