I want a JRPG.

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Icemael

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#1  Edited By Icemael

For a while now I've been craving a long, juicy JRPG to sink my teeth into. Problem is, I'm pretty particular about my JRPGs, and have no interested in sieving through a sea of garbage to find the kind of game I'm looking for. That's why I'm turning to you -- the people who have already done that. (Yes, I'm talking to you, JRPG nuts who know all about the Megami Tenseis and the Atelier Whatevers.) You're my only hope.

Here's what I'm looking for:

  1. Something with a real-time battle system. It can be turn-based, but if it is, it needs to have some real-time elements. (By the way: I do not count the Final Fantasy-style "active battle bar" or whatever it's called as a real-time element, even though it is.)
  2. Something with plenty of optional content. I'm talking side-quests, collectibles, mini-games, hidden dungeons, secret boss fights et cetera.
  3. Preferably (though certainly not necessarily) something for a portable platform.
  4. Preferably no random battles.
  5. Absolutely no randomly generated dungeons.
  6. Good music and/or graphics. If it isn't aesthetically pleasing, I'm not interested.
  7. It needs to have been released in Europe, or else be region free.

I think that's it. To give examples of JRPGs I've really liked: Tales of Eternia, Tales of Vesperia, Mega Man Battle Network (all of them, though 3 in particular), The World Ends With You.
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WinterSnowblind

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#2  Edited By WinterSnowblind

It goes against some of what you requested..  having random battles and a turn based battle system, but I'd highly recommend the Golden Sun games for the GBA, if you've never played them before and can somehow get your hands on them.  Both of them were excellent and there's a sequel coming out for the DS shortly, so now would be a good time to give them a go. 
 
Really good graphics for the system, a rather original plot and really awesome music.
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Icemael

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#3  Edited By Icemael
@WinterSnowblind: I'll try them out on an emulator and get physical copies if I like what I see.
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jacksukeru

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#4  Edited By jacksukeru

To bad about the randomly generated dungeons part, otherwise this might've entertained for the better half of its 100 hours: 
  

  Actually took me 131 hours, but I'm pretty slow.
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jacdg

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#5  Edited By jacdg

I've heard good things about Eternal Sonata, I think it fills most of your requirements, but I'm not completely sure. Tales of Vesperia is fantastic by the way.

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Icemael

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#6  Edited By Icemael
@RockmanBionics: I have that game. Fantastic soundtrack. Pretty good graphics. 

And yeah, overly long, generic, boring dungeons full of generic, boring enemies. Gave up on it when I reached the second area (the magical forest, or whatever).

@JacDG: I've played Eternal Sonata's demo, and I really, really didn't like the battle system.
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valrog

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#7  Edited By valrog
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Jeust

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#8  Edited By Jeust
  • FFXII
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HypoXenophobia

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#10  Edited By HypoXenophobia

The Sims (not Japanese but meets pretty much all you asked for). Disgaea 3. For the most part isn't randomly generated. The new Valkyria Chronicles psp game. The #6 is the one I have the problem with as I don't tend to pay attention to music in games as much, and I can tolerate any type of graphics.

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Tiwi

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#11  Edited By Tiwi

have you got Devil Survivor ? It fits almost all the criteria, and as far as I've seen, it'll keep you occupied for a long time
you should also get FF3 for the DS, or 4 for that matter. they're both phenomenal games EVEN IF THEY*RE STATIC AND SLOW!

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FancySoapsMan

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#12  Edited By FancySoapsMan

No Caption Provided
that or you could try something like Kingdom Hearts or Rogue Galaxy for the PS2.
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Faint

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#13  Edited By Faint

do the requirements really matter that much? why dont you just let us suggest some really good rpgs that would be worth your while regardless of whether they filled that criteria?

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jacksukeru

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#14  Edited By jacksukeru
@Icemael: Haha, I finished that game and hated for quite some time after the 7th chapter with the anticlimatic final boss battle. I still returned to it almost a year later and finished the bonus dungeon though . Listening to it now reminded me of how awesome the music was, and how tired I eventually got of it :/ 
 
But hey, if you like the Tales series and woldn't mind more of pretty much the same there's always Tales of Symphonia. I've played a little bit of Phantasia and Eternia, but Symphonia I've actually finished, even replayed a little. 
 
Also for turn-based with real time input there's not many better than the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi games, unless you're really put off by their kiddy visuals. Can't recall them having much in the way of fun side content though.
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Video_Game_King

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#15  Edited By Video_Game_King
@tiwi said:
" have you got Devil Survivor ? "
Don't get it. Instead, go with what few people mentioned, somehow: Star Ocean.
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GunslingerPanda

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#16  Edited By GunslingerPanda

Kingdom Hearts ticks all those boxes.

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rubberluffy

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#17  Edited By rubberluffy
No Caption Provided
No Caption Provided
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shadow Hearts 1 and 2.
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WinterSnowblind

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#18  Edited By WinterSnowblind
@GunslingerPanda said:
"Kingdom Hearts ticks all those boxes. "

Perhaps, but I'd recommend cutting your wrists while reading bad internet fanfiction over playing KH.  Results in much the same experience.
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nvmfst

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#19  Edited By nvmfst
@rubberluffy: I'd recommend the first over the sequel.
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skrutop

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#20  Edited By skrutop
@rubberluffy said:

"Shadow Hearts 1 and 2. "

Seconded on that.  Combat is turn-based overall, but there is a little ring mini-game that you use for every action in the game.  It's really well done system.  They do have random battles.  I'm not sure if they came out in Europe, but they're set in Europe :P 
 
I'd also second the Golden Sun games for the GBA. 
 
Lost Odyssey for the 360 was pretty good, and hits a bunch of your requirements.  The battles are turn-based, but have a quick-time event associated with physical attacks.  There's also random battles.
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NekuSakuraba

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#21  Edited By NekuSakuraba
@WinterSnowblind said:
" @GunslingerPanda said:
"Kingdom Hearts ticks all those boxes. "
Perhaps, but I'd recommend cutting your wrists while reading bad internet fanfiction over playing KH.  Results in much the same experience. "
Wait, what? I didn't get any of that.
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WinterSnowblind

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#22  Edited By WinterSnowblind
@Einherjan said:
" @rubberluffy: I'd recommend the first over the sequel. "

Really?  Was about to suggest the oppososite.. I felt the first game was rather mediocre but it's definitely worth playing as it builds up to the sequel which was far superior and probably one of my favourite games on the PS2. 
  
There was also a third game but I've never played it.
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Elazul

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#23  Edited By Elazul
@RockmanBionics said:
" Also for turn-based with real time input there's not many better than the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi games, unless you're really put off by their kiddy visuals. Can't recall them having much in the way of fun side content though. "
I'll second that. I've yet to see a series handle turn-based battles in a more fun, approachable way than the Mario RPGs. Paper Mario 2 is still one of my all time favorite games to this day.
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rubberluffy

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#24  Edited By rubberluffy
@skrutop:
Yeah, Shadow Hearts: Covenant might be my favorite game ever (although it fights for the spot with Persona 4).  Yuri Hyuga is the best protagonist in a JRPG.  And I did check and both had PAL releases.
 
@WinterSnowblind:
Yeah, Covenant is a much better game (but not as dark, which isn't that big a deal), but you pretty much HAVE to play the first or you'll never understand a lot of the stuff in Covenant.  Shadow Hearts 1 is somewhat ugly and clunky, but with a lot of heart (hurrr).  And while the  third game is a good game mechanically (battle system is a more refined version of the Covenant one), it is a somewhat poor Shadow Hearts game.
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Icemael

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#26  Edited By Icemael
@Faint said:
" do the requirements really matter that much? why dont you just let us suggest some really good rpgs that would be worth your while regardless of whether they filled that criteria? "
Because JRPGs that fail to fill at least most of the criteria aren't worth my while, no matter how much you guys like them.

Everyone else, thanks for the recommendations. I'll look the games up.

@WinterSnowblind
said:
" @GunslingerPanda said:
"Kingdom Hearts ticks all those boxes. "
Perhaps, but I'd recommend cutting your wrists while reading bad internet fanfiction over playing KH.  Results in much the same experience. "
Pretty much. I've played some Kingdom Hearts. It's an ugly, clunky, annoying mess of a game.
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mnzy

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#27  Edited By mnzy

Just play Lost Odyssey.

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Brendan

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#28  Edited By Brendan
@mnzy said:
"Just play Lost Odyssey. "

I couldn't stand that game after a while.  Good first impression, but the random battles were so long it was ridiculous.  I got bored with the chore of trying to get to the end of a dungeon by the end. 
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NekuSakuraba

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#29  Edited By NekuSakuraba
@Icemael said: 

@WinterSnowblind
said:
" @GunslingerPanda said:
"Kingdom Hearts ticks all those boxes. "
Perhaps, but I'd recommend cutting your wrists while reading bad internet fanfiction over playing KH.  Results in much the same experience. "
Pretty much. I've played some Kingdom Hearts. It's an ugly, clunky, annoying mess of a game. "
Some Kingdom Hearts, you can't judge a game from the 5 minutes your spent with it. You should try playing it more, it seems it would be an RPG you would like.
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McPaper

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#30  Edited By McPaper

Grandia if you dont mind sprites on 3D planes.

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LordAndrew

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#31  Edited By LordAndrew
@drag said:

" How they hell did Dark Cloud and its sequel get mentioned straight away? Two of the worst perpetrators of awful random dungeoning. "

The best part about recommendation threads is that you can ignore the original poster's request and just recommend whatever the hell you want. At least, that's the impression I get from these threads.
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Icemael

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#32  Edited By Icemael
@NekuSakuraba said:
" @Icemael said: 

@WinterSnowblind
said:
" @GunslingerPanda said:
"Kingdom Hearts ticks all those boxes. "
Perhaps, but I'd recommend cutting your wrists while reading bad internet fanfiction over playing KH.  Results in much the same experience. "
Pretty much. I've played some Kingdom Hearts. It's an ugly, clunky, annoying mess of a game. "
Some Kingdom Hearts, you can't judge a game from the 5 minutes your spent with it. You should try playing it more, it seems it would be an RPG you would like. "
I played it for between 30 minutes and an hour. More than enough to judge the camera, the controls, the graphics, the voice acting et cetera. Unless it becomes an entirely different game after the first hour, I really have no interest in playing more.
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NekuSakuraba

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#33  Edited By NekuSakuraba
@Icemael said:
" @NekuSakuraba said:
" @Icemael said: 

@WinterSnowblind
said:
" @GunslingerPanda said:
"Kingdom Hearts ticks all those boxes. "
Perhaps, but I'd recommend cutting your wrists while reading bad internet fanfiction over playing KH.  Results in much the same experience. "
Pretty much. I've played some Kingdom Hearts. It's an ugly, clunky, annoying mess of a game. "
Some Kingdom Hearts, you can't judge a game from the 5 minutes your spent with it. You should try playing it more, it seems it would be an RPG you would like. "
I played it for between 30 minutes and an hour. More than enough to judge the camera, the controls, the graphics, the voice acting et cetera. Unless it becomes an entirely different game after the first hour, I really have no interest in playing more. "
I really don't see what you mean, the camera isn't the greatest but it works. I had no issue with the controls and the graphics, well you are playing a PS2 game. Also, the voice acting starts to shine when you get into the Disney Worlds etc.  
 
Just curious to why you wouldn't like it when it fits a lot of what you listed?
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endaround

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#34  Edited By endaround
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#35  Edited By excido

I agree with a lot of the suggestions mentioned here, I'm also interested in resonance of fate for myself, I never heard any one talk about it so I never picked it up.

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#36  Edited By sjosz

Star Ocean 4 (or Star Ocean: The Last Hope here in NA). Combat's realtime, I think most dungeons are not randomly generated, there's a lot of side-questing, battles can be seen coming, aren't random (and can be avoided), and is reasonably ok looking.

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#37  Edited By Marz

lost oddysey

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Doctorchimp

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#38  Edited By Doctorchimp
@Icemael: Jesus, I share the exact same opinion on the sea of garbage JRPG this gen. 
 
It felt like I was the only one left who still liked JRPGs but wasn't ready to put up with some light novel/loli bullshit or the mediocre offerings of like say a Magna Carta...
 
Lost Odyssey felt so generic to me I got to the city got my second party member and gave it back to my friend...but recently I felt like giving it another go, I think you should pick it up too. I heard it builds up steam pretty well. 
 
@Sjosz: Why would you want him to try it and then come back and scold for the terrible story and voice actors.
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#39  Edited By Doctorchimp
@NekuSakuraba: I understand you loved Kingdom Hearts (I thoroughly enjoyed it too). But when a man says the game didn't capture his interest you really have to let it go...
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#40  Edited By sjosz
@Doctorchimp: Because a) he did not mention the quality of story or voice-acting games needed to have, b) most of the games he mentioned have ludicrous stories and some with bad voice acting, and c) because we are talking about jRPGs; the strength of jRPGs does not typically lie with a well paced story or really well done voice-acting.
 
Additionally, you should really give Lost Odyssey another shot. You are right, the start of it all is dreadfully slow and generic, but it gets a lot more interesting as the game progresses. Plus, the music is kind of phenomenal, and so is the writing in all of the memories (short stories of the history of a certain place and characters in it you come across)
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Doctorchimp

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#41  Edited By Doctorchimp
@Sjosz: Yeah my roommate just got a job at borders and she gets a 40 percent discount on stuff. Along with trying to figure out if they sell point cards they have discount games like lost odyssey over there so I think I'll pick that up soon.
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FancySoapsMan

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#42  Edited By FancySoapsMan
@rubberluffy said:
"
No Caption Provided
No Caption Provided
          Shadow Hearts 1 and 2. "
I really need to play both these games, though I'm holding out till next summer so I can fully enjoy them.
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Seppli

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#43  Edited By Seppli
@Icemael: 
 
You are talking about the type of JRPGs that's gonna be made in a decade, after the big JRPG crash that's on the verge of happening. When Square/Enix goes belly-up and all them oppressed youngling developers have to go indie.
 
Japanese gamedevelopers need to play more WRPGs and then go and do their take on it. Much like Vanquish is a successful 'japanification' of cover-based shooters, only for WRPGs.
 
Such says the crystal ball of clearvoyance I've stored up my keyster. Pulling out future truth out of my ass.
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Bloodgraiv3

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#44  Edited By Bloodgraiv3

Dark Cloud. 
Kingdom hearts 
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Swoxx

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#45  Edited By Swoxx
@Sjosz said:
" Star Ocean 4 (or Star Ocean: The Last Hope here in NA). Combat's realtime, I think most dungeons are not randomly generated, there's a lot of side-questing, battles can be seen coming, aren't random (and can be avoided), and is reasonably ok looking. "
Yeah this, i really, really liked the story in this game and the battles were fun. 
 
On a side note that is the only JRPG i've ever finished and one of the two i've played, i don't know if that tells you anything though 
 
cheers
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#46  Edited By Deadlypixels

Eternal Sonata.
 
You're welcome.

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#47  Edited By Brians

Final Fantasy 4

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NekuSakuraba

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#48  Edited By NekuSakuraba
@Doctorchimp
@NekuSakuraba: I understand you loved Kingdom Hearts (I thoroughly enjoyed it too). But when a man says the game didn't capture his interest you really have to let it go...
Yeah I know, but I was just curious as to why he wouldn't like it since it fitted his taste.

But that's alright, I don't really need to know. xD
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Jost1

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#49  Edited By Jost1
@Jeust said:
"
  • FFXII
"
This game is a true gem.  Under-appreciated as hell.
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#50  Edited By Icadae
@Icemael:  
 
Resonance of Fate sounds exactly like what you're looking for. Only one mention so far :/ 
 
 Here's what I'm looking for:
  1. Something with a real-time battle system. It can be turn-based, but if it is, it needs to have some real-time elements. (By the way: I do not count the Final Fantasy-style "active battle bar" or whatever it's called as a real-time element, even though it is.) - Check
  2. Something with plenty of optional content. I'm talking side-quests, collectibles, mini-games, hidden dungeons, secret boss fights et cetera. - Check
  3. Preferably (though certainly not necessarily) something for a portable platform. - Non-portable.
  4. Preferably no random battles. - You can liturally walk away from then in seconds, or combine hexes to turn them off all together.
  5. Absolutely no randomly generated dungeons. - Check
  6. Good music and/or graphics. If it isn't aesthetically pleasing, I'm not interested. - Check. The music in this game is amazing.
  7. It needs to have been released in Europe, or else be region free.  - Check (PAL version)

I'm current clocked at around 60 hours, having the final end-game available for me but going through all the optional content that I've missed as there's 1 secret level and 1 level that the game doesn't mention or show you. Plus I guess there's some 10 hours also in the Arena, and second playthrough on New Game+. You can opt to skip pretty much all of the side missions since nothing is forced on you, but doing so is missing out on the meat of the game. 
 
 
Speaking of JRPG's, NISAmerica just recently last week I think, announced PAL releases for 4 new games coming out in mid-/post november, and they specifically make games for PS3/PSP. Which is great, but all PS3 and PSP games are region free >.> Still, minor detail, it's nice that we get these sort of bonusses once in a while. Hell we're even getting PRINNY 2 before the US (Hah! :D) 
 
 CLADUN: Mid-Nov
Z.H.P.: Nov 3rd
Disgaea Infinite: Mid-Nov
Prinny2: Mid-Dec 

http://www.nisamerica.com/index.php?nav=g&euro=y&cat=a