By AdzPearson 29 Comments
A Week of Gaming' will be taking a break this week. While I have advanced with FFV, I don't have an awful lot to say. I decided the best thing would be to put it off for a week. Instead, I'll talk about something close to my heart...
The Glorious World of JRPGs
I was about 12 when I first discovered the world of JRPGs. The game in question? Final Fantasy VII.
I first saw FFVII thanks to some guys who used to live over the road to me. My brother and I used to go over to their house pretty often. One day, I saw one of them playing it. I hadn't seen a game like it before, so I happily watched him play for a while. If you're wondering how I managed to avoid JRPGs before then, the answer is simple; I didn't own a console until around that time. Most of my childhood systems were computers (ZX Spectrum, C64 and Amiga). It was only in 1997 that my siblings and I got a PS1. Better late than never.
Anyway, after seeing FFVII in action, I eventually picked up a copy for myself. It went on to be one of the best purchases I've ever made. The story kept me hooked and I couldn't stop playing it for a while. But, most importantly, it made me think 'Wait...there must be more games like this...' (the 7 may have been a giveaway). It didn't take me long to find out that there was and my love for JRPGs was sealed.
While I can't really provide any real chronological order, I went on to play a lot other RPGs after that. The older FF games arrived a bit later for me, so I bought games like Jade Cocoon, Grandia (which I thought was awesome) and BoF IV (which I've since learned is not the best representation of the series). I continued buying RPGs on the PS2 (Shadow Hearts was my personal favourite from that era). When I could import games, I got hold of stuff like Chrono Cross and Xenogears.
Unfortunately, I haven't made the time for them in recent years. JRPGs, as awesome as they are, are usually on the long side. While it's a strength of the genre, it's also a negative point. Until recently, I've been a bit scared to start any in case I ended up neglecting it. I play a lot of other genres besides RPGs, so it's a case of balancing. After a long absence, I've finally returned to JRPGs in the form of FFV. While it's not the strongest RPG I've played, it's reminded me why I like them so much. The music, the exploration, the satisfaction of defeating a boss...all those are part of what makes them special. What's more, playing FFV has rejuvenated my desire to play through old JRPGs.
I made a list this week of the JRPGs that I've yet to play. It's right here on GB if you want to check it out. Some of the entries are entires franchises at the moment, but I may end up splitting them. I concede that I'm not going to play all of them in my lifetime. It's more of a 'I'm open to playing these games' list. That said, there are games I want to play more than others. Importing isn't a problem for most games, as I have an American PS2 for that very purpose.
Lunar Silver Star Story Complete (PS1) - I thought Lunar 2 was great, so naturally I want to play the first game. Unfortunately, the game is pretty expensive now. Not as hefty as some other games, perhaps, but still a lot to part with in one go. I think I'll definitely splurge on it one day, though. I've heard too many good things.
Radiant Historia (DS) - I'm very interested in it because of the time travel stuff. I've always been fascinated by time travel. There's not enough games with it, I reckon. It's still yet to be released in Europe, so I'll likely have to import it.
Breath of Fire III (PS1/PSP) - I actually own this already (for the PSP), so it could be a real possibility soon. I've seen it recommended by various places (including some friends), so I'm long overdue to play it.
Suikoden series (PS1/2) - I've only played the first game. Again, some of the games are pretty expensive to acquire now, but I enjoyed Suikoden. I like the fact that you can gain advantages by recruiting certain members to your army. I'll make sure to delve into the series again at some point.
Those are just four examples of the games I want to play the most. However, it'll be a while before I can grab hold of some of the games. Don't worry if you don't see any of your favourites mentioned. I know full well that I'm missing out on a lot of classic RPGs. I'll try to give each of them a fair crack. My greatest enemies are time and money. They may be strong foes, but they're not invincible.
'A Week of Gaming' SHOULD return next week. However, if you'd like me to talk about other things once in a while, just let me know. I enjoy talking about games at length.