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#1 Edited by cloud360 (46 posts) -

I think:

-Good FF games for one

-Better voice acting. Less popularity in other genres like FPS

-Less cliche stories

-Less kids as main characters, or male characters who look like females. Which people call "gay"

#2 Edited by Tomkang (250 posts) -

JRPG's have that super stylised look over the realistic look of WRPG's. I don't care if JRPG's are not the most popular genre of game, as long as they keep making good ones.

Some people do not like the turn based gameplay of JRPG's, so unless developers make them less japanese, they won't attract the west like Modern day shooters.

Kids these days look at competitive games where they can show they are better than everyone else sadly

On voice acting, I always use the Japanese option with subtitles, english dubs of high voices for kids and female characters does not work in my mind with the japanese art styles in games

#3 Posted by Brendan (8138 posts) -

I like it that JRPG's are different, but I find character tropes that heavily rely on anime targeted towards younger kids annoy me. Not anime in general, mind you, but anime that everyone in NA seems to like that is "shounen" or targeted towards pre-teens, or 12 year olds. Some games have excellent combat systems (FF13) but fall into this trap for me.

I don't have some magical formula to make JRPG's more successful in the west again, because I believe that the success of JRPG's in the 90's is a time and place thing, much like many other historical trends in gaming that won't necessarily be replicated again.

Online
#4 Edited by spazmaster666 (1991 posts) -
@cloud360 said:

-Better voice acting. Less popularity in other genres like FPS

-Less cliche stories

-Less kids as main characters, or characters males who look like females. Which people call "gay"

The reason why the voice acting in JRPGs typically aren't as good as western made games is because they are dubs of the original Japanese voice track. I would bet that foreign language dubs of English video games probably aren't of super high quality either. As for the younger age of main characters, that's mainly because most JRPGs are targeted toward teens and young adults, hence it makes sense to feature main characters that that age group can relate to. 
 
@Brendan said:

I like it that JRPG's are different, but I find character tropes that heavily rely on anime targeted towards younger kids annoy me. Not anime in general, mind you, but anime that everyone in NA seems to like that is "shounen" or targeted towards pre-teens, or 12 year olds. Some games have excellent combat systems (FF13) but fall into this trap for me.

Yeah, but the vast majority of anime IS targeted toward teens and young adults, so it makes sense why often feature teenage and young adult protagonists. Not to mention i t's generally easier for audiences to relate to someone who is younger than they are versus someone who is older.
#5 Posted by cloud360 (46 posts) -

@Brendan said:

I like it that JRPG's are different, but I find character tropes that heavily rely on anime targeted towards younger kids annoy me. Not anime in general, mind you, but anime that everyone in NA seems to like that is "shounen" or targeted towards pre-teens, or 12 year olds. Some games have excellent combat systems (FF13) but fall into this trap for me.

I don't have some magical formula to make JRPG's more successful in the west again, because I believe that the success of JRPG's in the 90's is a time and place thing, much like many other historical trends in gaming that won't necessarily be replicated again.

ff13 was an awful game. bad example

#6 Posted by UlquioKani (1182 posts) -

@cloud360 said:

@Brendan said:

I like it that JRPG's are different, but I find character tropes that heavily rely on anime targeted towards younger kids annoy me. Not anime in general, mind you, but anime that everyone in NA seems to like that is "shounen" or targeted towards pre-teens, or 12 year olds. Some games have excellent combat systems (FF13) but fall into this trap for me.

I don't have some magical formula to make JRPG's more successful in the west again, because I believe that the success of JRPG's in the 90's is a time and place thing, much like many other historical trends in gaming that won't necessarily be replicated again.

ff13 was an awful game. bad example

It's combat system was great, it was surronded by alot of cheesy ass charactors and linear world design. If they make these things better, it could be a pretty awesome game

#7 Posted by cloud360 (46 posts) -

@UlquioKani said:

@cloud360 said:

@Brendan said:

I like it that JRPG's are different, but I find character tropes that heavily rely on anime targeted towards younger kids annoy me. Not anime in general, mind you, but anime that everyone in NA seems to like that is "shounen" or targeted towards pre-teens, or 12 year olds. Some games have excellent combat systems (FF13) but fall into this trap for me.

I don't have some magical formula to make JRPG's more successful in the west again, because I believe that the success of JRPG's in the 90's is a time and place thing, much like many other historical trends in gaming that won't necessarily be replicated again.

ff13 was an awful game. bad example

It's combat system was great, it was surronded by alot of cheesy ass charactors and linear world design. If they make these things better, it could be a pretty awesome game

no it wasnt. cast libra. press auto battle.

viola, sit back and watch as the game plays itself

#8 Posted by DeF (4977 posts) -

I think they were only ever popular because they a) happened mostly during the overall anime-craze of the mid-late nineties and b) Japan made most big games back then still and the West just recently caught up and hit us big with their RPGs. The fact that most JRPGs immediately LOOK Japanese probably puts a lot of people off now since they're either tired of the genre or have never played it and there now are alternatives. Honestly, I just don't see it changing much ... unless they change almost everything on the surface level that makes them "J"RPGs (visual style, writing, story, settings...). Japanense things need to be the "cool" thing in general again for JRPGs to be cool as well. Lord of the Rings shifted things to gritty Western Fantasy and that's where it still is...

#9 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@cloud360 said:

@UlquioKani said:

@cloud360 said:

@Brendan said:

I like it that JRPG's are different, but I find character tropes that heavily rely on anime targeted towards younger kids annoy me. Not anime in general, mind you, but anime that everyone in NA seems to like that is "shounen" or targeted towards pre-teens, or 12 year olds. Some games have excellent combat systems (FF13) but fall into this trap for me.

I don't have some magical formula to make JRPG's more successful in the west again, because I believe that the success of JRPG's in the 90's is a time and place thing, much like many other historical trends in gaming that won't necessarily be replicated again.

ff13 was an awful game. bad example

It's combat system was great, it was surronded by alot of cheesy ass charactors and linear world design. If they make these things better, it could be a pretty awesome game

no it wasnt. cast libra. press auto battle.

viola, sit back and watch as the game plays itself

No, it doesn't. I should know this; I played the game to completion, and battles consistently kept me on my toes. There are numerous enemy encounters, not boss fights, but standard enemy encounters, that would destroy me if I wasn't on my game.

Not that you'd care to listen to any of what I have to say given that you're little more than a foolish troll.

#10 Edited by Zelyre (1275 posts) -

Voice acting. Its all horribad. There's no reason for something like the primary, numbered Final Fantasy games to have crappy voice acting, yet it does. The Metal Gear series, while silly Japanese in terms of story and dialogue pacing, has great voice acting.

Remove the pre-rendered CG stuff. Its not needed in this day and age. You can save so much room without that crap and you can avoid having a game have nine different, jarring appearances for characters. It made sense in the PSX era, when blocky handed Cloud looked pretty dope in CG. Now? The pre-rendered models look nothing like the in-combat models that look nothing like the in-game cutscene models. Stop! Why does Tidus look white in game, like Meg Ryan in some cutscenes, and like a Japanese guy with bleached hair in others?

Better translations. We don't talk or act like the Japanese and its translations that make it so that ruin it for me. Without the pre-rendered crap, you've saved gigs upon gigs of space on that disk. Give me a proper, Westernized voice acted script and for those who like the Japan-isms of a JRPG, put in the Japanese dialogue with subtitles. The hrrrngh, uuungh, nnnnngh, oowaaaa sounds characters use for dialogue? We don't do that here and it grates on my nerves as someone who watches anime. The flow of dialogue is different, as well, and translations which work fine as text don't do so in voice.

"We need to get the Moonshadow Ultier"

"Moonshadow Ultier?"

"Yes, the Moonshadow Ultier. In 20x6, blah blah."

Western dialogue doesn't flow like that. As text, it's fine, but read out loud? Yuck. If a properly translated and re-written and English voice acted script bothers you, then the proper Japanese voice with a strict translation would be available.

#11 Posted by UlquioKani (1182 posts) -

@cloud360 said:

@UlquioKani said:

@cloud360 said:

@Brendan said:

I like it that JRPG's are different, but I find character tropes that heavily rely on anime targeted towards younger kids annoy me. Not anime in general, mind you, but anime that everyone in NA seems to like that is "shounen" or targeted towards pre-teens, or 12 year olds. Some games have excellent combat systems (FF13) but fall into this trap for me.

I don't have some magical formula to make JRPG's more successful in the west again, because I believe that the success of JRPG's in the 90's is a time and place thing, much like many other historical trends in gaming that won't necessarily be replicated again.

ff13 was an awful game. bad example

It's combat system was great, it was surronded by alot of cheesy ass charactors and linear world design. If they make these things better, it could be a pretty awesome game

no it wasnt. cast libra. press auto battle.

viola, sit back and watch as the game plays itself

This is my opinion, I felt it was great. I'm just trying to say that it tried to distance itself from normal JRPG combat and succeded but the other parts of the game were just the same. The games don't need to be gritty or anything like that. The colourfulness of a JRPG is one of its strengths but the terrible dialogue and the same boring gameplay isn't. Your charactors must also be interesting themselves for you to invest in the story. Final Fantasy XIII solved the combat problem for me but it was lacking in the other areas.

#12 Edited by Bawlsz (84 posts) -

I don't really like the fact that most characters in JRPGs look like girls, I understand why, but I prefer characters I dunno, probably a more unique look or a dude that looks like a dude, FF13 for example, all the male characters look a bit too feminine, I don't want characters to look like the guys from Gears of War, but maybe more like Kaim from Lost Odyssey or Samanosuke from the Onimusha Series.

Even then I think JRPGs are still great, Radiant Historia and Xenoblade Chronicles are both brilliant games, the Tales have always been a solid series, my only disappointment is that the is no new Suikoden, Shin Megami Tensai, Chrono, Mana series games.

EDIT

I think the Genre has a lack of diversity, and IMO Square Enix seem to care only about Final Fantasy because slap FF on to anything and it tends to sell, they no longer seem to care about anything else apart from FF, because it's probably their biggest money maker.

#13 Posted by Master_Funk (741 posts) -

The only JRPGs of the last 10 years Iv cared abotu were the Persona and Dark cloud series. Thats why I'm holding out hope for Ni No Kuni to be great and show how awesome JRPGs can be.

#14 Posted by Conformunist (104 posts) -

Remove any and all traces of Anime and it's tropes.

#15 Posted by sanchopanza (247 posts) -

@spazmaster666 said:

generally easier for audiences to relate to someone who is younger than they are versus someone who is older.

What a load of shit, little kids have no trouble relating to/likin say Indy, Han Solo, Luke, Ripley, Batman etc. Anakin on the other hand...oh god. Don't ever remember liking something when I was younger just because the main character was a 12 year old retard, but maybe kids these days do, I don't know.

#16 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1821 posts) -

In order for JRPGs to become popular again, WRPGs developers need to fall right on their asses. The popularity of JRPGs in the 90's and early 00's was because they had no competition. WRPG developers were making games almost exclusively for the PC and JRPGs had practically a monopoly on consoles. Now that WRPGs have made the viable transition to consoles, the western markets have naturally switched to the games more in line with their cultural sensibilities.

#17 Edited by spazmaster666 (1991 posts) -
@sanchopanza said:

What a load of shit, little kids have no trouble relating to/likin say Indy, Han Solo, Luke, Ripley, Batman etc. Anakin on the other hand...oh god. Don't ever remember liking something when I was younger just because the main character was a 12 year old retard, but maybe kids these days do, I don't know.

Because little kids know exactly what it's like to be adults? That makes no sense what so ever. Kids didn't relate to those characters, they looked up to them, they idolized them. There's a difference between relating to a character because you can understand their circumstances vs. looking up to a character because they are the idealized version of heroic protagonist.
#18 Posted by MikkaQ (10344 posts) -

Newer and more interesting mechanics, or refinements of existing mechanics instead of an uprezzed SNES JRPG with multi-million dollar bajillion-poly graphics and meticulously crafted cutscenes. Save that shit for movies, focus on making the gameplay something that isn't complete garbage.

Also better writing really can't hurt. It's weird to see that JRPGs from 15 years ago have better written stories than the ones of today. The medium should be exploring different types of stories and settings, the Persona games are at least taking some initiative with that.

#19 Posted by jonano (366 posts) -

I'd say that you Keep all of the best parts of a JRPG but fuse it with a Western game developers style.

#20 Posted by dankempster (2254 posts) -

@sanchopanza: I think there's a distinct differentiation to be made between admiration for a character and relating to them. Sure, kids love Batman, but I'm not sure they can exactly identify with his circumstances and recognise aspects of his life that mirror their own - they just love him 'cuz he's fuckin' Batman! I'm inclined to agree that spazmaster is right - it's probably easier to relate to someone younger, because you have the memories of what it was like to be that age, as opposed to relating to somebody older who's been through stuff you probably haven't.

Anyway, I'm majorly impressed by this community for turning this thread around. This easily could have gone the way of trollbait (and I think cloud360 is definitely trying to push things in that direction), but for the most part I think the things being said in this thread amount to some justified and constructive criticism of the genre, as well as some valid defences in their favour. Good job, Giant Bomb!

#21 Posted by Tomkang (250 posts) -

Each region plays it's own games, with the Rise of WRPG's, JRPG's are becoming very niche in the west. People like different things, shooters are the most played in the US and EU while grind fest RPG's in Korea. Dota is major in China, but almost no one plays in America.

CGI cutscenes while pointless look really nice.

Games in general are targeted at Children and Students in Japan. Working hours are much higher (10-12ish hours) and family is of great importance culturally, so the demographic in the East is much lower than the West. Therefore Asian developers including anime themes and child like characters is a very good decision in the region.

#22 Posted by Zelyre (1275 posts) -

@SoldierG654342 said:

In order for JRPGs to become popular again, WRPGs developers need to fall right on their asses. The popularity of JRPGs in the 90's and early 00's was because they had no competition. WRPG developers were making games almost exclusively for the PC and JRPGs had practically a monopoly on consoles. Now that WRPGs have made the viable transition to consoles, the western markets have naturally switched to the games more in line with their cultural sensibilities.

All my buddies and myself, who were teenagers in the late 90's/early double Oh's, all enjoyed the shit out of some Baldur's Gate, Planescape, Fallout, Daggerfall AND Final Fantasy 4-6, Suikoden, Tactics, the first Parasite Eve, Legend of Mana, etc. For myself and my friends, there was a period where those genres could co-exist in our gaming lives.

But, where we've gotten DA:Origins, New Vegas, Skyrim, from BG, Fallout, and TES from the west, JRPGs have gone in a weird direction.

You can't imagine how excited I was for the PSP Parasite Eve when it was first announced. Then, as they released more and more information, it went from being this sweet, quasi-real time RPG to... a third person shooter? I'm not really sure, because they seemed to flaunt the bazillion outfits you could dress Aya up in and watch those outfits get ripped up until she's just in her pantsu. WTF. I don't get it. I also don't get the nosebleed thing at all. Argh, curse you Japan. You make all this crap that makes no sense, what so ever. But you also make these sweet, sweet, metal Valkyrie figures that transform.

#23 Edited by bananaz (259 posts) -

@Zelyre said:

Voice acting. Its all horribad. There's no reason for something like the primary, numbered Final Fantasy games to have crappy voice acting, yet it does. The Metal Gear series, while silly Japanese in terms of story and dialogue pacing, has great voice acting.

Remove the pre-rendered CG stuff. Its not needed in this day and age. You can save so much room without that crap and you can avoid having a game have nine different, jarring appearances for characters. It made sense in the PSX era, when blocky handed Cloud looked pretty dope in CG. Now? The pre-rendered models look nothing like the in-combat models that look nothing like the in-game cutscene models. Stop! Why does Tidus look white in game, like Meg Ryan in some cutscenes, and like a Japanese guy with bleached hair in others?

Better translations. We don't talk or act like the Japanese and its translations that make it so that ruin it for me. Without the pre-rendered crap, you've saved gigs upon gigs of space on that disk. Give me a proper, Westernized voice acted script and for those who like the Japan-isms of a JRPG, put in the Japanese dialogue with subtitles. The hrrrngh, uuungh, nnnnngh, oowaaaa sounds characters use for dialogue? We don't do that here and it grates on my nerves as someone who watches anime. The flow of dialogue is different, as well, and translations which work fine as text don't do so in voice.

"We need to get the Moonshadow Ultier"

"Moonshadow Ultier?"

"Yes, the Moonshadow Ultier. In 20x6, blah blah."

Western dialogue doesn't flow like that. As text, it's fine, but read out loud? Yuck. If a properly translated and re-written and English voice acted script bothers you, then the proper Japanese voice with a strict translation would be available.

This. Totally this. They're acting like they have the same constraints they did in the 90s. Ever play Odin Sphere? It read like it was written in English. It was great. They cared about telling a story for English-speaking people. Is that such a burden if you've already spent millions to make that game? Also, voice acting. It's the execution. These games used to be the best they could do, but it no longer feels that way.

@SoldierG654342: Spot on, but the thing is, they could have competed. They could have.

As for the anime thing, there is good anime that is popular in this country. They are mature and dark, and full of deep moral dilemmas. And yet seldom do RPGs follow their lead. I don't think it's the genre.

#24 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

virtual boobs.

#25 Edited by Beforet (2934 posts) -

I don't really mind the androgynous aspect of modern JRPG art.

Genre's rise and fall. Some keep high while others fall and never get back up. Maybe there will be another big anime craze where everyone loves japan, but otherwise I don't see JRPGs leaving their niche. What I would like to see is more creative freedom in Japanese game development. A lot of the stuff out of Japan these days seem to be committee produced to appeal to the largest demographics, hence the anime tropes. I get why they do it, and the same happens here, but I would like to see more weird shit. Shit like Nier.

Yes, I want Japan to get weirder.

#26 Posted by Andorski (5366 posts) -

The number of people that like JRPG games hasn't changed since the 90's. What has changed is that the total number of people who play video games has grown since the 90s, and those coming into this hobby never liked JRPG games in the first place.

#27 Posted by CptBedlam (4457 posts) -

- lose the androgynous emo characters

#28 Posted by stubbleman (292 posts) -

I don't think the decline of JRPGs has come from Western games outclassing them. I'm as sick and tired of elves and shit as I am of any of the numerous annoying Japanese conventions. There are a few problems that stick out most to me. The localizations for Japanese games are like, a bajilliondy times better than they used to be, but it does still seem like an exception to the rule when you get a good localization like Nier or something. The problem is, most JRPGs have gone down the toilet in terms of sales a long time ago, so blowing a ton of money on localization isn't strictly speaking a good investment. And that's a shame. Even good games aren't quite there yet. There are even super awkward translation issues in Persona 4, and that's a game that received a lot of praise for it's localization. Unfortunately, it's a problem that's going to have to fix itself. We can't expect NISA or someone to try to bankrupt themselves in the name of better localizations when there is so little demand from people who would actually notice or care.

One of the biggest issues with JRPGs in my mind, and it's a problem with all Japanese games, is the way they are designed on a conceptual level. The flow of gameplay and story is atrocious. A character will walk into a town, stop, look around, start walking very slowly, stop, overhear some text dialogue which stops every time a character animates to do some stupid pantomime like shrugging or jumping backward in surprise, then the character will walk forward slowly and look at the NPC and then they will start to talk in overly drawn-out dialogue. What could have been covered in a fourty second cutscene is now ten minutes of gameplay and it is infuriating. The Japanese might call this a flag system, but I just call it retarded. There are plenty of badly paced Western games with tutorials ruining the opening by teaching you how to jump over a knocked over tree or something, but Japanese games are about thirty times longer than they need to be simply by virtue of the fact that they can't walk and chew bubble gum at the same time when it comes to telling the story. They are stilted and lacking any kind of enjoyable pacing as a result. And I think that's one of the biggest problems with Japanese games today, and certainly one of the most glaring reasons why potential customers in the West are immediately drawn away from them.

Also, since so many people are mentioning FFXIII, I will say that the biggest problem that game had was the fact that the engine took way too long to design. That can be attributed to pretty much any complaint any person had with the game. Unfortunately, we see this all too often with other JRPGs. Fortunately, Japan seems to be aware of this issue, what with Square Enix's white engine and the Fox engine. It seems like, in the future, putting together a JRPG that doesn't look like ass won't be such an incredible undertaking that they don't have the time for the other things, like having a decent story, or making the gameplay actually fun. I'm not saying either engine is going to be any good, but it's definitely a step in the right direction for Japanese devs.

#29 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1821 posts) -

@Zelyre: I don't feel JRPGs have gotten any weirder, we've just become more acutely aware of that weirdness. Remember, in Legend of Mana the guy you learn to make Golems from is an anthropomorphic ball of hair that can levitate by spinning his head and punctuates every scene he's in by farting.

The reason JRPGs seem weirder is that most of the people who played them were/are in your age group and were also part of the big anime boom of the late 90's and early 00's. However, most who were part of that boom "grew out" of it and have become more aware of the strangeness and less forgiving of it.

#30 Posted by chrismafuchris (1080 posts) -

It was a right place at the right time sort of thing. At the time, nothing could weave the kind of enthralling storytelling that a JRPG could, but nowadays, you'd be hard pressed to find a game without some kind of innate storytelling. Also, I think that the transmogrification from spites to polygons and from text to VO has really damaged any chance of international acceptance, as it just provides this easy avenue for indulgent, gluttonous Japanese-ness that turns many audiences off, yet without modern graphics and sound, such games would appear dated, and would be dismisses by the greater audience as mere nostalgic panderings. All together, I do not believe that any game will ever match the success of the Square JRPG's of the 90s.

#31 Posted by sanchopanza (247 posts) -

@spazmaster666: @dankempster:

I was looking at this in terms of quality which is why I rote "relate/like" instead of just relate, I know what that word means, and am not a complete retard. spazmaster's original post made it sound as if you need a snot nosed protagonist in order for younger people to like something or for it to be targeted at younger kids, which, as my examples demonstrate is nonsense.

That aside, age is a sufficient condition and not a necessary one, you don't need to know what its like to be XX age in order to relate to someones plight. (I hope that does make some sense to you). This applies even more in the context of a story (a JRPG or anime for example) where you are told about certain events and/or a characters motivations. Sure, a kid might find a kid in a story easier to relate to, that does not mean he won't be able to relate to an older character. It irks me that someone would defend bad characters in such a lame and lazy manner.

#32 Posted by Chris2KLee (2338 posts) -

Something new, innovation of any kind would be nice, weather it be mechanical or setting. Persona is an excellent example of this. But it's also gonna take time, the whole system of how games are made in Japan has to be overhauled, and if that can't be done then I'm not sure they can make a comeback.

#33 Edited by Zelyre (1275 posts) -

@bananaz said:

@Zelyre said:

Voice acting. Its all horribad. There's no reason for something like the primary, numbered Final Fantasy games to have crappy voice acting, yet it does. The Metal Gear series, while silly Japanese in terms of story and dialogue pacing, has great voice acting.

Remove the pre-rendered CG stuff. Its not needed in this day and age. You can save so much room without that crap and you can avoid having a game have nine different, jarring appearances for characters. It made sense in the PSX era, when blocky handed Cloud looked pretty dope in CG. Now? The pre-rendered models look nothing like the in-combat models that look nothing like the in-game cutscene models. Stop! Why does Tidus look white in game, like Meg Ryan in some cutscenes, and like a Japanese guy with bleached hair in others?

Better translations. We don't talk or act like the Japanese and its translations that make it so that ruin it for me. Without the pre-rendered crap, you've saved gigs upon gigs of space on that disk. Give me a proper, Westernized voice acted script and for those who like the Japan-isms of a JRPG, put in the Japanese dialogue with subtitles. The hrrrngh, uuungh, nnnnngh, oowaaaa sounds characters use for dialogue? We don't do that here and it grates on my nerves as someone who watches anime. The flow of dialogue is different, as well, and translations which work fine as text don't do so in voice.

"We need to get the Moonshadow Ultier"

"Moonshadow Ultier?"

"Yes, the Moonshadow Ultier. In 20x6, blah blah."

Western dialogue doesn't flow like that. As text, it's fine, but read out loud? Yuck. If a properly translated and re-written and English voice acted script bothers you, then the proper Japanese voice with a strict translation would be available.

This. Totally this. They're acting like they have the same constraints they did in the 90s. Ever play Odin Sphere? It read like it was written in English. It was great. They cared about telling a story for English-speaking people. Is that such a burden if you've already spent millions to make that game? Also, voice acting. It's the execution. These games used to be the best they could do, but it no longer feels that way.

@SoldierG654342: Spot on, but the thing is, they could have competed. They could have.

As for the anime thing, there is good anime that is popular in this country. They are mature and dark, and full of deep moral dilemmas. And yet seldom do RPGs follow their lead. I don't think it's the genre.

Atlus, as a publisher, does great localizations. While the voice acting in their titles isn't great, its no worse than what comes out of Square. But when it comes to how the dialogue flows in English? It's night and day.

@SoldierG654342: Yeah. You're probably right. I used to watch anything anime. Now? I think I watched Black Lagoon and Claymore to completion. The second I see pancake face or tear drop, that shit gets turned off. I'm sure a lot of anime-ism never translated into the 16 bit games I played, since I wasn't really aware of them. When a dragoon knight jumped off screen for his attack, he wasn't doing this "HWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGH!" leaping 9000000 feet up into the air, charging his power level up while screaming DRAGONU HUNTAH POWAH WAVUUU. He was simply being removed from the game board because the ability made him immune to any attacks hitting the party until he landed. Though, its a scary thought... fifteen year old me might have thought something like that might have been bad ass.

I'd probably beat the shit out of fiteen year old me.

#34 Edited by Mousse_gallon (211 posts) -

Jrpgs in general need to focus more on what has worked in the past and build out from that base. 
 
They need take there time with these games (most of all on the dub/translation side) rushing these games out the door is very detrimental to the end product and to the overall genre. 
 
I think the best Jrpgs are the ones not pushing to be graphical super AAA games.

#35 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Becoming different games altogether, or finding a new home on a different platform. I don't see a way for them to keep making those same games on consoles and having them sell.

#36 Posted by QuistisTrepe (628 posts) -

They aren't popular in the west? Um, OK.

#37 Posted by JasonR86 (9726 posts) -

I thought that the Tales games should have been popular over here but they had one problem...tone. In the west, the darker something is the better it sells. It's a bummer because the Tales games were some of the best JRPGs I had played in a long time. But, what it says about JRPGs in the future is that a darker tone matched with great gameplay (which the Tales games had) will lead to sales.

#38 Edited by Fajita_Jim (1458 posts) -

I was a consumer of JRPGs from the very first release of Dragon Warrior on the NES up until about the time of Final Fantasy VII. I played the greats in their day: Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Phantasy Star II-IV, Mother, Legend of Gaia, etc.
 
The thing about that specific time period was this: if you wanted story to your game, you played a JRPG. If you wanted a game you had to play for a month or more to beat instead of just one setting, you played a JRPG. If you wanted a game with any character development, you played a JRPG. 
 
Yeah, there was Wizardry and Ultima on the PC, but Wizardry was all about dungeon crawling and Ultima was the template for JRPGs anyway.
 
Nowadays, most genre manage to be able to pull off story telling, even the venerable FPS. We aren't forced to turn to the JRPG for a game you can invest a summer into.
 
All other genre have managed to evolve, the JRPG hasn't really changed all that much. It's a one-two punch of being old hat and no longer being the only game in town, so to speak.

#39 Posted by jorbear (2517 posts) -

More Chie.

#40 Posted by bananaz (259 posts) -

How about releasing them for platforms that are not the DS and PSP? That would also help a bunch.

#41 Posted by Manatassi (791 posts) -

Not being the same game over and over and over and...

The JRPG simply stagnated with most of the Japanese games industry as they stopped innovating and got bogged down with set ways of doing things. I used to love JRPGs now I just find them repetitive and boring.

#42 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4885 posts) -

This problem isn't just endemic of Japanese RPGs, but almost entirely Japanese media as a whole. They have this weird insistance to tell you everything instead of showing you. From their animated shows to their live-action motion pictures, comic books, whatever, Japanese storytelling revolves around telling you every minute detail about a character or an event through words. More often than not (granted this problem is also more specific to Japanese comic books, animation, and video games) there is no less than a baker's dozen of scenes revolving around someone explaining something while everyone looks around with dinner plate eyes. Punctuated with those weird-ass sounds Japanese voice actors love to make.

It's probably just a cultural disconnect, but it's a pretty large one and a valid reason to not like JRPGs or Japanese storytelling in general. The best games/media from over there come from the studios/authors who understand this problem, which is why a lot of people will love the batshit insanity of, say, an Atlus game rather than the latest Tri-Ace thing. Atlus does do exposition scenes as well, but it's highly contextualized in conversations and isn't just a random "YO WE NEED TO GIVE YOU THIS INFO SO HERE IS THIS INFO" moment. Catherine is a perfect example of fusing Japanese themes and western storytelling, I feel.

#43 Posted by TorMasturba (1089 posts) -

Less linearity and more freedom of choice in how the story plays out, these are my only qualms with the JRPG genre, I actually like them though, except for Final fantasy XIII, and just wish they get out of 12 - 17 years ago and into current times and tastes.

#44 Posted by PenguinDust (12629 posts) -

Hard to say because what I want from a JRPG isn't necessarily what will make them popular in the West. In fact, some of what I look for are the very things which alienate Western gamers (of which I am one myself). I like the anime character design with crazy costumes, spiky-haired androgynous guys and barely wearing-armor girls. I like the Japanese-ness of the stories and dialogue. I'm one who'd prefer publishers don't bother to dub the games into English, but that's certainly something that would put off most Western gamers. I'd like to see more "dating sim" aspects and more turn-based combat applied to games. If there is something I'd like less of it's fantasy settings but that true for all RPGs; Eastern or Western.

What would probably appeal more to Western gamers is something more action-RPG-like. Mix something like Bayonetta, Resident Evil and Mass Effect together and that might be a good start to lure Western gamers in. But then again, a Japanese developer then runs the risk of alienating their homebase market. Plus, games made in the Western tradition don't always sell that well in the West such as Shadows of the Damned which sold just 84,000 globally. What it comes down to is Western gamers want different things from their games than what Japanese gamers tend to prefer. It seems now more than ever harder to create a new game that appeals to both audiences.

#45 Posted by PixelPrinny (1050 posts) -

These sorts of threads bring out all sorts of blanket statements and generalizations and never really result in anything productive :( Oh well. I still like JRPGs. I'm not worried about them being popular. I'm just gonna enjoy what I enjoy and let others enjoy what they want to enjoy.

#46 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

Tits.

#47 Edited by Vorbis (2750 posts) -

The voice acting argument doesn't really hold true anymore, the same voice actors in JRPGs are the same ones in all western games. Sure there are always exceptions like Vanille, but I'm sure you don't think VAs like Nolan North, Troy Baker and Laura Bailey are bad (overused maybe, but that's a different argument).

#48 Posted by kashif1 (1428 posts) -

@TorMasturba said:

Less linearity and more freedom of choice in how the story plays out, these are my only qualms with the JRPG genre, I actually like them though, except for Final fantasy XIII, and just wish they get out of 12 - 17 years ago and into current times and tastes.

Linearity is not inherently bad, case in point

Linear but great

Anyway two bad ff games does not mean the whole genre is dying, they are doing quite well on handhelds. Less grindy gameplay would be nice though.

#49 Posted by Mr_Skeleton (5154 posts) -

They should be less pandering to the Japanese audience and have a little more western sensibility and structure, although one could argue they would no longer be JRPG's if you did that.

#50 Posted by The_Ruiner (1139 posts) -

The one thing they don't need to do is try to become all western looking and realistic. Putting new shader tech on the same 15 year old gameplay helps no one. The thing that makes JRPG's so great is the crazy character designs and weapons. The fact that you can have frog knights and robots or flying ships and mechs. They should focus on refining the gameplay experience. Give us more player choice. More side quests. A character creator. Try not to include the same 5 characters as every other JRPG since forever.....