Soaps Horrible JRPG Challenge!

Ladies and gentlemen, I propose to you the stupidest idea to enter my mind in possibly, oh I don't know... a week? and that Idea? 
 



First things first, I feel I should clarify what this challenge is, and why I am attempting to do it. The idea is to play 12 JRPG's over 12 months taking me from Febuary 1st 2011 to Febuary 1st 2012. My reasoning behind this is simple enough, I used to consider myself a huge JRPG fan, Final Fantasy for example consumed most of my childhood playing time and I thought that is the way things always would be. 
 
In more recent times however I find I have almost an internal conflict between the JRPG player in me and the more sensible me, who enjoys playing good modern games. So that is why this challenge exists, by forcing myself to play 12 JRPG's in 12 months I should finally be able to put it to rest, ether I DO like JRPG's and that's fine, or I DON'T and I can finally stop throwing hissy fits at the endless whoring out of franchises such as Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts.       
 
So what are the games? Well here is the list of current contenders,  I feel it's worth mentioning that while this is "Soaps Horrible JRPG Challenge" it's not to say that any/all of the JRPG's mentioned are horrible, some of them seem pretty promising, but the actual Challenge itself is horrible.
 
1. Final Fantasy XIII


2. Rogue Galaxy
3. Final Fantasy XII
4. Blue Dragon
5. Infinite Undiscovery
6. White Knight Chronicles: International Edition
7. The Last Remnant
8. Star Ocean: The Last Hope
9. Tales of Vesperia
10. Enchanted Arms
11. Eternal Sonata
12. Steambot Chronicles
13. Resonance of Fate
14. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES
15. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
 
The more intelligent among you will have twigged that I have picked more JRPG's than there are months in a year . This is were you could possibly make an impact in this exciting* challenge! I'm giving myself a longer list in case I find it hard to find some of these games, or just can't face one of them. 
  
If you have any games to add to this list I'd be very grateful for it, but it must be said that I am only looking at more recent JRPG's, yes I'm aware of how amazing Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6/7 Xenogears, Vagrant Story e.t.c are but that is not the point of this challenge! The challenge is really about seeing if I can stand playing new JRPG's as they are churned out of japan or if it's time to hand in my fan card, take my coat and hat and leave.   
 
For some people this might not seem that difficult, but when you take into consideration that I only get to play about 10 hours a week on average these days and that most JRPG's stretch into the 40-50 hour mark easily this could be taking up most of my gaming time.  
  
 
So what do you think? I will probably start with Final Fantasy XIII as it is something I've been meaning to finish for a long time but sadly lost my chapter XIII save when my old PS3 died :( 
 

Soap

* your levels of excitement may vary.
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Posted by Soap

Ladies and gentlemen, I propose to you the stupidest idea to enter my mind in possibly, oh I don't know... a week? and that Idea? 
 



First things first, I feel I should clarify what this challenge is, and why I am attempting to do it. The idea is to play 12 JRPG's over 12 months taking me from Febuary 1st 2011 to Febuary 1st 2012. My reasoning behind this is simple enough, I used to consider myself a huge JRPG fan, Final Fantasy for example consumed most of my childhood playing time and I thought that is the way things always would be. 
 
In more recent times however I find I have almost an internal conflict between the JRPG player in me and the more sensible me, who enjoys playing good modern games. So that is why this challenge exists, by forcing myself to play 12 JRPG's in 12 months I should finally be able to put it to rest, ether I DO like JRPG's and that's fine, or I DON'T and I can finally stop throwing hissy fits at the endless whoring out of franchises such as Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts.       
 
So what are the games? Well here is the list of current contenders,  I feel it's worth mentioning that while this is "Soaps Horrible JRPG Challenge" it's not to say that any/all of the JRPG's mentioned are horrible, some of them seem pretty promising, but the actual Challenge itself is horrible.
 
1. Final Fantasy XIII


2. Rogue Galaxy
3. Final Fantasy XII
4. Blue Dragon
5. Infinite Undiscovery
6. White Knight Chronicles: International Edition
7. The Last Remnant
8. Star Ocean: The Last Hope
9. Tales of Vesperia
10. Enchanted Arms
11. Eternal Sonata
12. Steambot Chronicles
13. Resonance of Fate
14. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES
15. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
 
The more intelligent among you will have twigged that I have picked more JRPG's than there are months in a year . This is were you could possibly make an impact in this exciting* challenge! I'm giving myself a longer list in case I find it hard to find some of these games, or just can't face one of them. 
  
If you have any games to add to this list I'd be very grateful for it, but it must be said that I am only looking at more recent JRPG's, yes I'm aware of how amazing Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6/7 Xenogears, Vagrant Story e.t.c are but that is not the point of this challenge! The challenge is really about seeing if I can stand playing new JRPG's as they are churned out of japan or if it's time to hand in my fan card, take my coat and hat and leave.   
 
For some people this might not seem that difficult, but when you take into consideration that I only get to play about 10 hours a week on average these days and that most JRPG's stretch into the 40-50 hour mark easily this could be taking up most of my gaming time.  
  
 
So what do you think? I will probably start with Final Fantasy XIII as it is something I've been meaning to finish for a long time but sadly lost my chapter XIII save when my old PS3 died :( 
 

Soap

* your levels of excitement may vary.
Posted by JJOR64

If you want some extra credit, play Dragon Quest VIII.
 
Have fun with The Last Remnant.

Posted by Yummylee

Well, least I know you'll have a really great time with Tales of Vesperia.

Posted by Ben99

I challenge you to go the gym and study more every day and let me know how much XP you'll get from that .

Posted by Soap
@Ben99 said:
" I challenge you to go the gym and study more every day and let me know how much XP you'll get from that . "
Well I gym 4 times a week already, and I graduated with a 1st from University last year. So done and done? :D 
 
@JJOR64: Also I thought adding that, but wasn't sure as if I remember correctly it's like 70-80 hours long? :S
Posted by JJOR64
@Soap:   I think it took me roughly 30 or so to do the main quest.  It's been a while since I played it.
Posted by Romination

you're going to wind up killing yourself, man!

Posted by BraveToaster

Enchanted Arms... ewwwww

Edited by makari

Play Infinite Undiscovery first. If you can even bring yourself to finish even half of that game, then you may as well just cancel playing the others, your fate will be sealed.

Posted by ShiftyMagician

Hell Yea Last Remnant.  Nothing like a game that had an interesting mechanics only to end up randomizing what you are allowed to do in battle.  I enjoyed wanting to heal or revive my party teams, only to have no options to do so because the game felt like it wasn't the right situation.  Even better if it thinks that when you tried focusing every different party on the battlefield.
 
I suggest you give The Last Remnant a go Soap.

Posted by Smallerz

Of course you haven't lost interest in JRPGs, it's just that nearly every JRPG that's been released in the last half a decade has been poor to average quality, but games like Persona 4 and Dragon Quest IX prove that JRPGs can still be enjoyable. Honestly, I've played most of the games on your list and I'd say more than 75% of them are not the best the genre can offer. Some of them aren't even good games. By playing them you're only going to hate JRPGs even more!

Posted by StarvingGamer

I feel I can safely recommend about half of the games on your list. You also might want to consider Lost Odyssey or, depending on how far you want to stretch your definition of JRPG, Valkyria Chronicles.

Posted by Lautaro

Good bunch of games, should be fun.

Posted by EpicSteve

Good luck!

Posted by None
@StarvingGamer said:
"You also might want to consider Lost Odyssey"
 This. Lost Odyssey is one of my absolute favourite JRPGs of all time. I highly recommend it.
Posted by eroticfishcake

If you've got a PS3 you could always try your shot on NIER. From what I've heard that game has a really good story.

Posted by Cramsy
@None said:
" @StarvingGamer said:
"You also might want to consider Lost Odyssey"
 This. Lost Odyssey is one of my absolute favourite JRPGs of all time. I highly recommend it. "
That game fucked me on disk 3. Way underlevelled for a boss which is impossible to pass. I really wanted to finish it as well :(
Posted by RVonE
Posted by Grissefar

You might want to add these:
 
Valkyria Chonicles - If you need a breather and a game that is easy to enjoy.
Demon's Souls - Just in case.

Posted by ZeForgotten

What about Nier? 
I've heard that it's the best game ever to ever appear in stores on this earth. 
 
'cringe'  
 
Anyways, good luck with your challenge! If you make it, I'll buy you 20 new (and old) rpg games to get through! :P

Online
Posted by Soap
@eroticfishcake:  I actually thought about Nier but didn't know how much of a JRPG it was, I will look into it.  
 
@StarvingGamer: @eroticfishcake: @Cramsy: @RVonE: Thanks for the suggestion guys, the only reason Lost Odyssey isn't on the list is because I played it to 100% when it came out and loved it, I thought this would be a better challenge if it was all games that I either hadn't played or in the case of Enchanted Arms Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XIII, Steambot Chronicles, Blue Dragon and Eternal Sonata games that I hadn't finished. (only got about 30% through most of them, except FFXIII and Encharted Arms were both I got minutes away from the final boss before losing all my data D:)
Posted by kingzetta

you should play the whole altier iris series

Edited by mutha3

DON'T PLAY WHITE KNIGHTS CHRONICLES  OR STAR OCEAN 4
 you will commit suicide 

I'd recommend against playing FFXIII, Enchanted Arms, Infinite Undiscovery.
 
Blue Dragon,Eternal Sonata and the Last remant have some good aspects but they've got some pretty big issues to. The rest is good. Have a look at Valkyria Chronicles for the PS3. Its an excellent game.

Posted by Gaff
@Soap: While I give you kudos for bringing up Steambot Chronicles, I don't think it's an actual JRPG?
Edited by ryanwho

Last Remnant is kind of good on PC. 
No really. You can't grind out of a challenge cus your BR actually makes enemies stronger. So a lot of wimps gave up on that game. Though you may find yourself Digg grinding instead, so you can get money. Its not a perfect game but people who think you have no control over the outcome just kind of never figured out how to play.

Posted by TooWalrus

I just started Disc 3 of Final Fantasy XIII. I like it much, much more than I thought I would. As long as you know going in that there's not much exploring to do, and try not to get pissed off about it, it's pretty great.

Posted by Soap
@Gaff: I suppose your right, I just wanted an excuse to get it on the list, it's kind of similar to Persona 4 in a lot ways (except the battle system lol) 
 
@kingzetta: I actually got about 5 hours into the first one of those games and wanted to slit my wrists, literally nothing was happening o.O
Posted by Jambones
@EpicSteve said:
" Good luck! "
              
Posted by zityz

Good LUCK! Getting to number 7 WILL be a challenge...PLAYING number 7 WILL be the straw that could break the camels back cause......FUCK that game. It's not even a good cup coaster.

Posted by Jeust

You're missing both Nier and Lost Odyssey.  
 
Good luck on your endeavour. If it turns out too great of a waste of time, give it up. 

Edited by endaround

Are you avoiding handhelds?  Because there are some good ones on handhelds, at least in comparison to Star Ocean, Infinite Undiscovery, White Knight and The Last Remnant.  Crystal Gem Saga is decent, Radiant Historia supposed to be good, a new Golden Sun, Dragon Quest IX. 
 
And hey NISA has 2 new games coming out, Hyperdimension Neptunia and the third Ar Tonelico they may actually make it the UK! 
 
And if you want SRPGs, there are a bunch that would be better than some of those bad, bad games on your list. 
 
EDIT:You could also add Recettear for the PC.  And there are also rogue-likes like ZHP.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Wait, JRPGs aren't modern games? Why didn't I get the memo? Is it because I'm old school as shit?

Edited by Mooqi

The Last Remnant has some really uninspired level designs. Have fun capturing castles 1 till 5 (the devs didn't bother naming them).
 
On topic: you will have fun! I can't imagine playing JRPGs being such an annoying thing to do.

Posted by Soap
@endaround: Hadn't actually thought of handhelds! Thanks :D Probably a better way to get through a game as well as I'm on the move a fair bit. 
 
I will probably update this list in a few hours with all the suggestions then before making my final list on monday!
Posted by Hailinel

That's quite a list.  Though, if you have a PSP or DS, there are a number of RPGs for both that would be worthwhile additions to the challenge.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

I'm pretty sure I would kill myself (figuratively) if I had to do that challenge. I wish you luck in your foolish endeavor, while I'll be playing a JRPG that is at least presumably better than half of what you are going through in Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, which actually wouldn't be a bad thing to play before either of the Persona games. Kind of expensive though. It cost me $34 for what is a 6 year old game.

Edited by Animasta

Yeah, try Nier (GOTY 2010 baby); and if you haven't yet, I would definitely recommend SMT: Nocturne, Digital Devil Saga (that one's actually pretty short) also Resonance of Fate is also amazing, but it can be hard to figure out.

Posted by Aus_azn

Good luck! At least Tales of Vesperia and Persona 3/4 are all good, so it shouldn't be that dire an experience.

Posted by nintendoeats

Are you really going to play 2 persona games in 2 months? Those games are hella long...

Posted by TobbRobb
@nintendoeats: Can't say anything about persona 3, but 4 took me about 60 hours. That's including the true ending and skipping most of the fetchquests you get on the side.
Posted by RVonE
@Soap said:
" @eroticfishcake:  I actually thought about Nier but didn't know how much of a JRPG it was, I will look into it.  
 
@StarvingGamer:  @eroticfishcake:  @Cramsy:  @RVonE: Thanks for the suggestion guys, the only reason Lost Odyssey isn't on the list is because I played it to 100% when it came out and loved it, I thought this would be a better challenge if it was all games that I either hadn't played or in the case of Enchanted Arms Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy XIII, Steambot Chronicles, Blue Dragon and Eternal Sonata games that I hadn't finished. (only got about 30% through most of them, except FFXIII and Encharted Arms were both I got minutes away from the final boss before losing all my data D:) "

Fair enough.
Posted by JackSukeru

This prospect horrifies me. RPG's are long man, and usually slow as heck. I'd be completely burnt out after about 2 and a half I reckon.

Posted by JackSukeru
@Soap said:
" @endaround: Hadn't actually thought of handhelds! Thanks :D Probably a better way to get through a game as well as I'm on the move a fair bit.  I will probably update this list in a few hours with all the suggestions then before making my final list on monday! "
If DS is an option then I'd like to mention Golden Sun:Dark Dawn. The battle system is easy and the story pretty forgettable but it's staightforward, looks good and the puzzles are fun. 
 
As Ryan would put it; it's a JRPG-ass JRPG.
Edited by TheFreeMan

Soap, if you complete this I'll build you a shrine. 
 
this will take guts. 
 
and intelligence. 
 
and stamina.
 
maybe some wisdom too. 
 
TAKE SOME OF THESE WITH YOU 
 

Posted by Hailinel

Handheld RPGs I'd suggest off the top of my head:
 

  • Final Fantasy III
  • Final Fantasy IV
  • Shin Megami Tensei:  Strange Journey
  • The World Ends With You
  • Glory of Heracles (not the best or most exciting example that the genre has to offer on the DS, but it has its unique aspects.)
  • Dragon Quest IX
Posted by Cornman89

Godspeed, Soap.

/salute

Posted by SuperfluousMoniker

You know, I think I'm in the same situation. I used to love JRPGs, but all these new ones with their boring cutscenes and their campy voice acting and their crazy battle systems suck. On that note, you should play Dragon Quest 8! It's really good!

Posted by dankempster

Best of luck with your endeavour, Soap. I understand how you feel - I too play nowhere near as many JRPGs as I used to. Be sure to keep us updated with how this goes, along with your thoughts on the games as you play and (hopefully) beat them. Any praise is very likely to influence which games I end up deciding to pick up :)

Posted by Nasar7

I think you should space out P3 and P4 as they are VERY similar games. Also, you should add Yakuza 3 to this list if you have a PS3. It definitely deserves a spot over a lot of those other games.

Posted by Hailinel
@Nasar7 said:
" I think you should space out P3 and P4 as they are VERY similar games. Also, you should add Yakuza 3 to this list if you have a PS3. It definitely deserves a spot over a lot of those other games. "
Yakuza 3 isn't an RPG.
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