Discussing The Western Gamer

Last night, I was trying to get my brother, who is 17 years old, to play Chrono Trigger. He was hesitant and really didn't seem interested. I explained to him that it was one of the first games that actually made me fall in love with video games. Then I asked him to spend one hour playing the game. If he didn't like it after that, he could stop and I wouldn't ever ask him to play it again. He half-heartedly agreed and started a new game. It wasn't but 10 minutes later when he turned around and looked at me and said, "I'm sorry, but I really just don't want to play this game." In all reality, I wasn't surprised in the least bit.

You see, my brother's first game that he played on a consistent basis was Modern Warfare 2. He had played other games, mostly sports titles and the occasional platformer. But MW2 was the first game he really loved. I was dissapointed that he wouldn't even give the game an hour of his time because I know that if he had, he wouldn't want to put the game down. Chrono Trigger is still that engaging, even today. But I think the problem lies with the average Western game developer and what US gamers expect from their games now.

As I was going through some of my old Google Reader articles this morning, I came across an article on Kotaku from earlier this year. The article, written by Brian Ashcraft (Kotaku's Japanese editor) talked about the rise and fall of the Japanese RPG in the United States and a Nintendo round-table discussion with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, Xenoblade designer Tetsuya Takahashi, and famed creator of the Final Fantasy series, Hironobu Sakaguchi. They discussed how foreign films are often successful elsewhere in the world, mainly due to the fact that there are elements of film that most people on planet earth can relate to. On the other hand, JRPG's have traditionally been made for the domestic, Japanese market. It wasn't uncommon for a Japanese game to become a big thing here in the States, but it wasn't always expected.

RPG's are a staple of Japanese gaming. Everyone that knows something about the gaming industry knows that for a fact. However, here in the US, RPG's are not our "go to" game, first-person shooters are. FPS's saturate the western marketplace. Looking at my brother's game library, he owns 9 Xbox 360 titles. Of those 9, 6 are FPS games. 66% of my brother's library. And he has a relatively small collection.

And most FPS titles have the same type of fast, frenetic gameplay. You get in, get out, and get your entertainment in 7 to 12 minute increments. Most of the stories in the games are quite forgettable. Even Halo, a series I've really had a lot of fun playing since it's first iteration, is lacking in the content department. Sure, the games look pretty and they are fun to play, but what kind of content are we getting? Most of the time, it's shit. No character development or proper story-telling. It's just here are few characters, go run and do this, here's some plot-twist that doesn't really fit the story at all, and then BAM! an explosion. I have no problem with FPS titles, though. For example, I love the Battlefield series. It's fun and different every time I play a game. However, many people still favor the arcade style of Call of Duty over the the realism of  Battlefield because COD gives you 8 minutes of action-packed gameplay. It's like watching a Michael Bay movie every time you start a game. Whereas Battlefield has loads of realism and quality gameplay, but it's not as frinetic.

 

It's hard for me to believe that the average gamer in the States wouldn't love a game like Chrono Trigger. It has all the elements of a great video game: good story, good characters, good music, good gameplay. It's hard to beat a game like that. Yet, my brother will never experience it's greatness. And that actually makes me kind of sad.

 

It gives me hope when I see companies like Atlus and Irrational Games put so much emphasis on creating an amazing story and stellar gameplay and then working to combine those two elements. It could be that the rise in popularity of the casual games market has introduced another element in to how developers create their games. I just hope it doesn't become the future.

39 Comments
40 Comments
Posted by r2khimself

Last night, I was trying to get my brother, who is 17 years old, to play Chrono Trigger. He was hesitant and really didn't seem interested. I explained to him that it was one of the first games that actually made me fall in love with video games. Then I asked him to spend one hour playing the game. If he didn't like it after that, he could stop and I wouldn't ever ask him to play it again. He half-heartedly agreed and started a new game. It wasn't but 10 minutes later when he turned around and looked at me and said, "I'm sorry, but I really just don't want to play this game." In all reality, I wasn't surprised in the least bit.

You see, my brother's first game that he played on a consistent basis was Modern Warfare 2. He had played other games, mostly sports titles and the occasional platformer. But MW2 was the first game he really loved. I was dissapointed that he wouldn't even give the game an hour of his time because I know that if he had, he wouldn't want to put the game down. Chrono Trigger is still that engaging, even today. But I think the problem lies with the average Western game developer and what US gamers expect from their games now.

As I was going through some of my old Google Reader articles this morning, I came across an article on Kotaku from earlier this year. The article, written by Brian Ashcraft (Kotaku's Japanese editor) talked about the rise and fall of the Japanese RPG in the United States and a Nintendo round-table discussion with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, Xenoblade designer Tetsuya Takahashi, and famed creator of the Final Fantasy series, Hironobu Sakaguchi. They discussed how foreign films are often successful elsewhere in the world, mainly due to the fact that there are elements of film that most people on planet earth can relate to. On the other hand, JRPG's have traditionally been made for the domestic, Japanese market. It wasn't uncommon for a Japanese game to become a big thing here in the States, but it wasn't always expected.

RPG's are a staple of Japanese gaming. Everyone that knows something about the gaming industry knows that for a fact. However, here in the US, RPG's are not our "go to" game, first-person shooters are. FPS's saturate the western marketplace. Looking at my brother's game library, he owns 9 Xbox 360 titles. Of those 9, 6 are FPS games. 66% of my brother's library. And he has a relatively small collection.

And most FPS titles have the same type of fast, frenetic gameplay. You get in, get out, and get your entertainment in 7 to 12 minute increments. Most of the stories in the games are quite forgettable. Even Halo, a series I've really had a lot of fun playing since it's first iteration, is lacking in the content department. Sure, the games look pretty and they are fun to play, but what kind of content are we getting? Most of the time, it's shit. No character development or proper story-telling. It's just here are few characters, go run and do this, here's some plot-twist that doesn't really fit the story at all, and then BAM! an explosion. I have no problem with FPS titles, though. For example, I love the Battlefield series. It's fun and different every time I play a game. However, many people still favor the arcade style of Call of Duty over the the realism of  Battlefield because COD gives you 8 minutes of action-packed gameplay. It's like watching a Michael Bay movie every time you start a game. Whereas Battlefield has loads of realism and quality gameplay, but it's not as frinetic.

 

It's hard for me to believe that the average gamer in the States wouldn't love a game like Chrono Trigger. It has all the elements of a great video game: good story, good characters, good music, good gameplay. It's hard to beat a game like that. Yet, my brother will never experience it's greatness. And that actually makes me kind of sad.

 

It gives me hope when I see companies like Atlus and Irrational Games put so much emphasis on creating an amazing story and stellar gameplay and then working to combine those two elements. It could be that the rise in popularity of the casual games market has introduced another element in to how developers create their games. I just hope it doesn't become the future.

Posted by Twitchey

I thought this was about people who really enjoy the western genre of games.
Anywho.
There are two type of people who play games. Those who only play CoD, and those who aren't fucking retarded.

Edited by SethPhotopoulos

3 minutes until someone bashed people that play Call of Duty.  Forums.
 
Your title changed.

Posted by Bucketdeth

The only problem I have with Call of Duty and those who play it are that it is pushing the market in a ADD direction of instant gratification.

Posted by r2khimself
@Twitchey: Sorry for the confusion.  
 
I don't have a problem with CoD. At all, actually. It's brought a lot of people that might not normally play video games into our scene and I think that's always a positive. It's just that, from what I've seen, it has also created a sense of impatience among it's players.
Posted by Bellum

There are plenty of western genres that are more complex and compelling than the average FPS. JRPGs don't get much attention anymore because JRPG designers don't realize the grind-fest nonsense is no longer necessary to artificially extend the (not all that fun) gameplay for hardware with limited memory. The only JRPGs I've ever been able to stomach have been distinctly atypical in the gameplay department. I should make a blog post about how wonderful Devil Theory Alpha is....

Posted by r2khimself
@SethPhotopoulos: Yeah, sorry about that. I was going to change it to something else, but I didn't want to make it seem like I was singling out CoD as a bad thing.
Posted by r2khimself
@Bellum: I haven't played Devil Theory Alpha. I've heard several good things, though.
Posted by Bellum

You should try it out. The first few minutes might be a little frustrating if you don't get the mechanics right away, but the rest is all rewarding. The worst part of the game was when it ended and I couldn't play anymore. D:

Posted by Twitchey
@r2khimself: Neither do I. I play CoD and enjoy it from time to time. I hate the people who ONLY play CoD and whenever they hear any other game that involves guns they automatically compare it to CoD. "Oh well can you play with other people in Fallout?" "No but you can call in giant laser beams from THE FUCKING sky".
 
I enjoy a casual game as well. I love Mario and I have fond memories of Jak and Daxter and Crash Bandicoot.
Posted by Twitchey
@SethPhotopoulos: I'm not bashing them. I play CoD and love the story of Modern Warfare. I hate the people who only play CoD and compare any other game that involves guns to CoD and use the most bullshit reasoning to justify their "fact" that CoD is dominant.
Posted by Fluxxed
@SethPhotopoulos said:
3 minutes until someone bashed people that play Call of Duty.  Forums.  Your title changed.
CoDwins Law.
Posted by Tim_the_Corsair

I love complex games, but I despise basically every gaming experience that comes out of Japan.

I find poorly structured mechanics and the typical Japanese 'wackiness' to be a massive turn-off.

I think it's unfair to tar all western gamers with the same brush. Call of Duty is prevalent because it is the game that dragged the hobby into the mainstream after being a niche hobby for decades. That doesn't mean that every western game player is looking for that as THE experience to have. Really, Call of Duty is no different to the Wii in that regard, it's just turned a different segment of the population into gamers.

Edited by PenguinDust
@Fluxxed said:

@SethPhotopoulos said:

3 minutes until someone bashed people that play Call of Duty.  Forums.  Your title changed.

CoDwins Law.
Ha-ha, clever.
 
I play more RPGs than FPS games these days, but I still have my fair share of the latter.  The thing is I'm not looking for rich character development or deep story-telling in those games.  I like to keep it as simple as the game play itself.  Just point me in the right direction and let me shoot stuff.  Honestly, I've played many of the COD games and I haven't a clue which one's "Soap".  How did Halo end?  There was some sort of evil space plant, wasn't there?  "Zombie horde mode" is the most focused form of game play ever.  Just kill everything that comes at you.  You don't even need to move to another room.  Now, all that other stuff about character and creating emotional bonds I get from RPGs.  My worry and wonder is if the two will evolve into one someday.  Elements from both are finding their way into each genre separately.  Mass Effect's all shooty, COD has level, etc... It will be interesting to see if anyone can make me care that much about story in an FPS.  I wouldn't rule anything out.
Posted by BraveToaster

Just because Chrono Trig@r2khimself said:


It's hard for me to believe that the average gamer in the States wouldn't love a game like Chrono Trigger. It has all the elements of a great video game: good story, good characters, good music, good gameplay. It's hard to beat a game like that. Yet, my brother will never experience it's greatness. And that actually makes me kind of sad.

I don't find it hard to believe. People have different tastes in games and that isn't a bad thing. There are plenty of "average" gamers that don't play JRPGs.
Posted by Orange

@Bucketdeth said:

The only problem I have with Call of Duty and those who play it are that it is pushing the market in a ADD direction of instant gratification.

Couldn't agree more. I'll admit, sometimes I even feel this way myself. CoD games are pretty entertaining to me, probably my favorite multiplayer game, BUT, I still enjoy the campaign and other awesome campaigns from completely different games.

But again, I agree with the "A.D.D. Instant Gratification" attitude with the majority of this industry's newer gamers.

Posted by 27thRed_Martyr
Call of Duty is made for everyone to get in, anyone who has never played a shooter before, addicting them, making them close and narrow minded and worst of all making them incapable of playing more complex games
Posted by r2khimself
@Axxol: I agree that people have different tastes. I also agree that's a good thing. Just speaking from my own experience, though, I know several Call of Duty 'only' players that won't even give others a chance. But, then again, I know a couple of CoD players that also call FFVII their favorite game of all-time. I think it really depends on the player's background and what their first game was.
Posted by r2khimself
@Tim_the_Corsair: I understand your feelings towards Japanese games. It's a much different culture than in the States. And I didn't mean to say that the only games that provide meaningful experiences come from Japan, either. The System Shock series and also Bioshock are some of my personal favorites. Irrational Games is a fantastic developer, in my opinion. 
 
I also didn't mean to say that all or most Western gamers think CoD is the 'end all, be all.' It just continually surprises me that CoD moves so many units every year. Don't get me wrong, it's an impressive franchise numbers-wise. But BLOPS and MW2 are continually the most played online games these days. So, there's definitely something to say about what is now the "average" gamer.
Posted by BraveToaster
@r2khimself said:
@Axxol: I agree that people have different tastes. I also agree that's a good thing. Just speaking from my own experience, though, I know several Call of Duty 'only' players that won't even give others a chance. But, then again, I know a couple of CoD players that also call FFVII their favorite game of all-time. I think it really depends on the player's background and what their first game was.
I don't think the first game you play has anything to do with it. Either way, don't be disappointed it's kind of ignorant to assume that all average gamers will enjoy a game that you love; we're not some hive mind. Deferring opinions and all that noise.
Posted by NorthSarge

i don't believe games like COD will age well. multiplayer focused games will have their heyday, but in the end it is the single player experiences that are the most memorable and easiest to return to. ten years from now someone can still pick up a copy of Chrono Trigger (great game btw) and enjoy the same game. But ten years from now COD as we know it now will be pretty much inaccessible and will take form in some other rendition/remake.

There has been a COD every year since MW came out and there is a very little audience left in the games from the past. and they are still pretty new comparatively to Chrono Trigger, everyone just moves onto the bigger and better shooter.

I also hope i'm wrong though. For the sake of great multiplayer experiences. Like Halo 2, i sunk many hours into that game, then 3 came out and the servers shut down, gone forever.. In my many games i would say that had the most lasting impression on me multiplayer-wise. But i don't believe that it's possible to bring back the experience i had playing that game. Being one of the first big online shooters for consoles it became special. Pretty much everyone i knew played that game and made for memorable experiences... but again, if they rereleased halo 2, it wouldn't be the same. Just like i don't think COD will be the same in the future.

But Single player experiences can't change.

^

who knows if any of that makes any sense. i just typed. backspace is overrated.

Posted by Tanikaze

Honestly I could not find a way to disagree more vehemently with the OP. Let me address what concerns me most.
 
"I was dissapointed that he wouldn't even give the game an hour of his time because I know that if he had, he wouldn't want to put the game down. Chrono Trigger is still that engaging, even today. But I think the problem lies with the average Western game developer and what US gamers expect from their games now."
 
This is your assumption. It sounds fine on this forum, because, to be perfectly honest, this forum isn't a convergence of disparate perspectives. It's an echo chamber for niche demographic. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that this forum is literally 90% white males within whatever age range, say 16-24, in a certain middle class income bracket, who are pretty much all gaming enthusiasts and probably all got into video games the same way. That's not a criticism of the site(or gamers), it's just the reality of the probable demographics. They do, without a doubt, echo each other's thoughts and feelings about who the best characters are, what the best franchises are, and so on. You'll never receive any legitimate criticism if you decide to pass off Chrono Trigger as good without justifying it on a gaming enthusiast forum because on these forums, Chrono Trigger is beyond criticism. Hardly anyone would think of telling you they didn't like it. I didn't like it that much. There's shocked gasps when I say that, seriously, and i don't even hate it. I think it's alright. It's my favorite JRPG, but I don't really like JRPGs as such(this is kind of an unfair way to brand Japanese games, but that's a discussion for another time). 
 
"And most FPS titles have the same type of fast, frenetic gameplay. You get in, get out, and get your entertainment in 7 to 12 minute increments. Most of the stories in the games are quite forgettable. Even Halo, a series I've really had a lot of fun playing since it's first iteration, is lacking in the content department. Sure, the games look pretty and they are fun to play, but what kind of content are we getting? Most of the time, it's shit. No character development or proper story-telling. It's just here are few characters, go run and do this, here's some plot-twist that doesn't really fit the story at all, and then BAM! an explosion.  I have no problem with FPS titles, though. For example, I love the Battlefield series. It's fun and different every time I play a game. However, many people still favor the arcade style of Call of Duty over the the realism of  Battlefield because COD gives you 8 minutes of action-packed gameplay. It's like watching a Michael Bay movie every time you start a game. Whereas Battlefield has loads of realism and quality gameplay, but it's not as frinetic."
 
Firstly, many, many people play Call of Duty for huge amounts of hours. There's Call of Duty esports. People will play it a ton and grind out all kinds of bullshit. 7-12 minute increments is for Angry Birds. A round might take 7-12 minutes, but that's no more a fair way to measure this kind of thing than distance between save points. I think 12 minutes sounds about right for the distance between save points in Radiant Historia, and I doubt you'd seriously tell me you think that game is anything less than brilliant if you loved Chrono Trigger that much. 
 
Next, this passage equates story with content. That's absolutely not what video games have become and it's really not what they started as. Many of the most popular and influential games in history have barely contained a story at all. I'm not talking Pong here; I'm talking direct inspirations for Squaresoft. I can tell you right now that the first batch of Wizardry games are definitely less plot-oriented than Call of Duty. Any Call of Duty.   
 
I think you're trying to get on this David Jaffe train of Battlefield having better gameplay than Call of Duty but you left out the part where he thinks that Call of Duty fails as a game because it's straight up not fun and only exists to be a progression treadmill. That's literally the only way I can see this argument working and frankly while I kind of agree on a personal level I don't think it stands on its own as a criticism. You have to tell me why this shit is bad. You've given me "it's frenetic! it's arcadey!" as criticisms of this game. Geometry Wars is frenetic and arcadey. Chrono Trigger isn't methodical or realistic at all. 
 
Fuckin' the whole JRPG genre as it stands originated from designers toning down western-made D&D dungeon crawlers and stripping out huge sections of the gameplay "depth"(I hate calling it that, even when these are the games I actually like) so that regular people could appreciate them more. That's where games like Final Fantasy came from, and it is ultimately the lineage of Chrono Trigger and any other JRPG you care to name.
 
"t's hard for me to believe that the average gamer in the States wouldn't love a game like Chrono Trigger. It has all the elements of a great video game: good story, good characters, good music, good gameplay. It's hard to beat a game like that. Yet, my brother will never experience it's greatness. And that actually makes me kind of sad."
 
You need to take a step back from all this. That may not even be possible; we're all gaming enthusiasts here with personal, emotional connections with these games. That automatically impugns our ability to declare games like Chrono Trigger as being timeless or even good. For what it's worth, as someone who reads a hell of a lot of books, I think Chrono trigger's story is bad pulp. It's "good story" and "good characters" only in the context of other video games. The bare minimum for a video game story is nothing and the maximum right now for the average "good story" game is Dan Brown with few exceptions. Chrono Trigger is not one of these exceptions, in my opinion.

Posted by Bellum
@Tanikaze: It's true that we're all video game enthusiasts. It's probably true that we are predominantly white males. But don't make assumptions about this forum until you've been around a little more, this is a place where people have widely different views about video games. This is not a forum where you can't take the road less traveled. If you think Chrono Trigger sucks, feel free to tell us why. I'm not sure where you're getting off, implying that someone is wrong because they are gamers.
Edited by MysteriousBob
@Axxol said:

Just because Chrono Trig @r2khimself said:


It's hard for me to believe that the average gamer in the States wouldn't love a game like Chrono Trigger. It has all the elements of a great video game: good story, good characters, good music, good gameplay. It's hard to beat a game like that. Yet, my brother will never experience it's greatness. And that actually makes me kind of sad.

I don't find it hard to believe. People have different tastes in games and that isn't a bad thing. There are plenty of "average" gamers that don't play JRPGs.
I dislike Chrono Trigger and most JRPGs. I reached the prehistoric period on the DS (the SNES version was never even released in Europe), got stuck and gave up. 
 
FPS games are easy to understand. Whats so offensive about that notion? Not everyone has the patience for a 100 hour Japanese turn based role playing game.  To me, JRPGs are slow, tedious, have crap stories and shallow characters.  
I acknowledge that Chrono Trigger is a well made game, that doesn't mean I should enjoy it.
 
OH SHIT SOME PEOPLE DON'T LIKE CERTAIN GENRES CALL THE GAMING PRESS ITS A REVELATION.
Posted by Tanikaze
@Bellum said:
@Tanikaze: It's true that we're all video game enthusiasts. It's probably true that we are predominantly white males. But don't make assumptions about this forum until you've been around a little more, this is a place where people have widely different views about video games. This is not a forum where you can't take the road less traveled. If you think Chrono Trigger sucks, feel free to tell us why. I'm not sure where you're getting off, implying that someone is wrong because they are gamers.
That's not the point. The point is that he's basing his argument off of the idea that western gamers are somehow interested in the wrong games. As someone bewitched by his personal experience, he is making the assumption that the game he likes is the right one, and people on gaming forums are almost universally uncritical of this game, so it's very rarely challenged. If it's not clear which games he or his brother "should" be playing, the blog loses its thrust.
Posted by Joru

There is absolutely no reason why everyone should like JRPG's. They are a japanese product, like anime, and lots of people actively dislike that kind of stuff. Also, there's no getting away from the fact that Chrono Trigger is really old at this point. The standarts for production value, graphics and gameplay have changed and people who don't feel nostalgia for games like that may have a hard time enjoying them.

Posted by beej

@r2khimself: Woah I'm a western game player and I love chrono trigger.

Posted by Aronman789

In my experience the people that only play CoD are also the macho dudebros that say video games are "gay", and thus wouldn't give any other games a try, be it a JRPG of not.

Edited by phish09

I don't like JRPG's either, but I don't discriminate based on their cultural origin. I love Zelda and Mario and Resident Evil and plenty of Japanese games/franchises, but JRPG's, even the best one's like Chrono Trigger and FFVI just don't hold up well and are certainly not a good match for everyone's taste in games.  So yeah...stereotyping Western Gamers as only liking FPS games just makes you look worse than the person who you are trying to prove a point to.  That's my $0.02 anyway.

Posted by No0b0rAmA
@r2khimself: I think your really talking about the "Console Western Gamer".
Posted by benjaebe

@Aronman789 said:

In my experience the people that only play CoD are also the macho dudebros that say video games are "gay", and thus wouldn't give any other games a try, be it a JRPG of not.

Then your experience is extremely fucking limited, because there are plenty of people I know that started off playing Call of Duty and have moved on to different games and other genres. CoD marks an easy entry into games because it's simple, pick-up-and-play and since it's such a phenomenon most people have friends who play it as well.

Seriously, people need to stop demonizing others for their choice in games and realize that just because you like playing JRPGs (or any other niche titles) doesn't make you better than others, it just means you like different things.

Posted by Aronman789
@benjaebe said:

@Aronman789 said:

In my experience the people that only play CoD are also the macho dudebros that say video games are "gay", and thus wouldn't give any other games a try, be it a JRPG of not.

Then your experience is extremely fucking limited, because there are plenty of people I know that started off playing Call of Duty and have moved on to different games and other genres. CoD marks an easy entry into games because it's simple, pick-up-and-play and since it's such a phenomenon most people have friends who play it as well.

Seriously, people need to stop demonizing others for their choice in games and realize that just because you like playing JRPGs (or any other niche titles) doesn't make you better than others, it just means you like different things.

I said only play, as in it is the only game they've ever played, even though they've been exposed to other ones too. 
 
And I actually goddamn hate JRPGs myself.
Posted by MetalGearGeorge

You know there is a shitload of western gamers that play JRPGs and enjoy them? Why does every topic have to eventually become a COD-hater thread? JRPGs have become unpopular among western players in recent years because they just aren't as good as they used to be. I mean who could have thought that FF13 could be such a mediocre game after 4 years in development by such a stellar team? Also FUCK grinding.

Posted by sumdim

As someone who played and loved Chrono Trigger when it came out, I can understand why your brother didn't like it. I tried replaying it along with a number of my favorites like Xenogears, FF6 and they just don't hold up anymore. We'd all like to think that they're timeless classics but they just haven't withstood the test of time. The hardest part for me was the writing which was great when I was 12 but is absolutely intolerable now. PC RPG's can really hold their own though, Baldur's Gate still rules. 
 
PS: JRPG's have been dead since FF7.

Posted by crusader8463
@r2khimself said:
@Twitchey:  I don't have a problem with CoD. At all, actually. It's brought a lot of people that might not normally play video games into our scene and I think that's always a positive.
I couldn't disagree more with the underlined part. I think this recent trend of main streamers like your brother are hurting the industry for the rest of us that grew up loving a variety of video games. Games are being made for people like them because they out number the rest of us, and we are stuck with very little else, or what little we do get is always trying to be warped in some way to appeal to those people first. It's fine that they like those games, and there will always be a place for them and a certain cross over with the rest of us, but sooner or later the casuals are going to get bored with the COD fad and move onto some thing else and it's going to take a long time for developers to realize that and go back to making games for those of us that like video games and not just whatever the newest COD is. 
 
Your brothers utter refusal to even give a game that is something other then "bang bang shoot shoot" a chance for more then ten minuets is sad to me, becasue that's the audience of people this industry is making games for now.
Posted by AlexW00d

@r2khimself said:

@Axxol: I agree that people have different tastes. I also agree that's a good thing. Just speaking from my own experience, though, I know several Call of Duty 'only' players that won't even give others a chance. But, then again, I know a couple of CoD players that also call FFVII their favorite game of all-time. I think it really depends on the player's background and what their first game was.

The first game I played properly was Streets of Rage 2. Do I play nothing but side scrolling brawlers? Hell no.

Also I am a 'Western Gamer' (a fucking ridiculous term) and of my Steam catalogue, 14 of my 81 games are FPS, 1 of those being a Military FPS. 18 of them are RPGs.

Do I like JRPGs? Not really no. The story and writing is generall awful pseudo-convoluted melo-drama, the art-styles are mostly pretty horriblea animé full of androgynous children, and the gameplay is generally slow, boring, and repetitive as all hell.

Do we all like different things? Yes.

Should we all be expected to like something because you do? No.

Posted by GreggD

@sumdim said:

As someone who played and loved Chrono Trigger when it came out, I can understand why your brother didn't like it. I tried replaying it along with a number of my favorites like Xenogears, FF6 and they just don't hold up anymore. We'd all like to think that they're timeless classics but they just haven't withstood the test of time. The hardest part for me was the writing which was great when I was 12 but is absolutely intolerable now. PC RPG's can really hold their own though, Baldur's Gate still rules. PS: JRPG's have been dead since FF7.

FF9 would like a word with you.

Posted by tourgen

@Bellum said:

There are plenty of western genres that are more complex and compelling than the average FPS. JRPGs don't get much attention anymore because JRPG designers don't realize the grind-fest nonsense is no longer necessary to artificially extend the (not all that fun) gameplay for hardware with limited memory. The only JRPGs I've ever been able to stomach have been distinctly atypical in the gameplay department. I should make a blog post about how wonderful Devil Theory Alpha is....

yes, also, Crono Trigger isn't all that great. Sorry truth hurts I know.

Posted by NC_Yankee

Funny. Reminds of back in 96 when my friend told me to play Chrono Trigger. Ten minutes in I turned to him and said,  "I'm sorry, but I really just don't want to play this game.", and I proceeded to play Duke Nukem 3D.  
 
I've always found JRPGs awful. I don't know how they got tagged with the good story and character game genre, but they really aren't that great. Its a bunch of weird Japanese stuff that I don't get. 

Posted by c0l0nelp0c0rn1
@r2khimself said:

Even Halo, a series I've really had a lot of fun playing since it's first iteration, is lacking in the content department.   

Did you even look at the multiplayer suite for Halo 3 & Halo: Reach? Those games have far more content than a frog with a mustache can shake a stick at.
 
@r2khimself said:

However, here in the US, RPG's are not our "go to" game, first-person shooters are. FPS's saturate the western marketplace. Looking at my brother's game library, he owns 9 Xbox 360 titles. Of those 9, 6 are FPS games. 66% of my brother's library. And he has a relatively small collection. 

Yes, FPS games saturate the market today, but don't forget the PC roots of those FPS games and the PC roots of classic CRPG games like Fallout, Bard's Tale, Wasteland, and Baldur's Gate. To say that western developers never "go-to" make RPGs is just being ignorant of all the great games that came before.
 
Your view just seems to me like it is super rose-tinted. Do you not remember all the contrived BS that JRPG developers use to artificially lengthen their games? Allow to clarify with a paraphrased scene from FFVII...
 
Cloud: "Alright, time to go save the world from the evil Sephiroth!"
 
Aeris: "Yes......but first we should go gambling and betting on Chocobos and doing scenes from made up plays that nobody cares about and we should be stalked by a cat piloting a machine that totally wants to kill us and doesn't want to help us at all, but we should trust him because he's got a good heart and then we'll go on a date where the developers will contrive a reason for the player to care about me with some vaguely philosophical talk and reminiscing about my past.....then we can go save the world."
 
Cloud:
 Cloud is understandably upset with Aeris.
  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I had this problem with other games too. Dragon Quest VIII, for example, was terrible at keeping you interested in the main story thread.  
 
From the Giant Bomb page for DQVIII

With the sun going down, they [the protagonists] decide they must find a place to stay for the night, settling on the nearby town of Farebury. It is here that they are looking for a Master Rylus, the person who taught Dhoulmagus his magic.... Asking around town for his whereabouts, they discover from a disgraced fortune-teller that he [Master Rylus] has been murdered by none other than Dhoulmagus. With no leads, they decide to leave the town, but as they are doing so, King Trode is attacked after being mistaken for a monster. Fleeing the town, they conclude that Trode can never enter towns again, forcing him to sleep in a wagon from then onwards. Just as they are leaving, they are approached by a young girl who is the daughter of the fortune-teller. She tells them that he was once a great magician and pleads with them to find his crystal ball so he may return to his former glory.

What does this disgraced fortune teller's plight (bolded) have to do with the plight of the main characters? Nothing, it is simply a contrived way to pad out the game and then give the characters a lead on the antagonist when they have completed the quest. Maybe it's just me being impatient, but it seems more like lazy game design and lazy storytelling to me.