By Chaoskiller2000 19 Comments
JRPGs and WRPGs have always been different but I am not sure if the difference has been as noticeable as it has this generation. This topic is not just about this generation though it is about all RPG video games in general. There are certintly fans of both however some RPG fans hate the other which is strange if you compare RPGs to other game types. FPS fans normally don't hat 3rd person shooter games so why do WRPG fans hate JRPGs or the other way around? I will try to explain the difference between both and why I think they are both great in their own right. Along with at the end having pros and cons of both and which I think is better.
JRPG: The DifferenceSo JRPGs have been getting a lot of hate this generation and I want to just remind everyone that this is about all RPGs not just from this generation. Ok so from what I have found in my many years playing JRPGs and WRPGs is that the story for JRPGs for the most part aside from a few select WRPGs feels much more epic. It feels like the story is working on a much larger scale. There is generally bigger battles to be had in JRPGs and they tend to be much more main story focused then WRPGs. The story normally involves saving the world from something on an much bigger scale then say WRPGs (not all but most). They also tend to have a distinct anime look to them. Some find this to be bad and a turn off from JRPGs all together. They also tend to have more color to them because of the anime look. The worlds and city towns tend to have a structured look about them and in that I mean the NCPs do not walk around town and leave their spot where they were assigned.
JRPGs are normally more focused on the main story but there are still many side quests to be done. The level up system tends to decide for you where your points will go instead of you assigning the points to your character. They also tend to have more character development involved in the story, you really get to know the person you are playing and their party members. There are many stereotypes used in some JRPGs for their characters like: emo personality, overly positive personality, the determined hero, super evil villain just just wasnt to destroy everything, the dumb personality and lets not forget the badass. So those are mainly the difference I see that sets JRPG apart from WRPG but before I get on to WRPGs let me say something about JRPGs this gen.
JRPGs are not just Final Fantasy in case people don't know that there are many more like: Tales series, Star Ocean, Phantasy Star, Wild Arms and many more including many JRPGs that are not a part of a series. I am not saying Final Fantasy is bad I am just saying that there is more to it then just that. I just want to touch base on this generation of RPGs because it has been quite different then that it was in the past. In the past especially PS1/PS2 era of gaming JRPGs were more popular than WRPGs and they were very high quality. Now Ps3 era comes along and what happened? Are they really all that much worse then what they were? Or did WRPGs just get that much better. The answer is yes and no. There have been quality spikes down and up in JRPGs. There are some great ones out there this gen like Tales games (or the 1 but soon to be 2 that have been released in America). There are other good ones but the JRPG market is becoming much more niche then it was before. So you have many NIS RPGs that many people do not think has enjoyable for their quirks. I have personally found the best RPGs this gen to be on PSP and Nintendo Ds. I think part of it has to do with the development cost of HD gaming. There have been so many good RPGs on both those systems if you don't own them and love RPGs you are really missing out this gen don't get me wrong still good ones on the consoles but there are more for the handhelds.
WRPG: The Difference WRPGs really started to break out this gen and some last gen. They don't have the anime style of JRPGs and tend to more have a realistic look to them. They also tend to not have as much focus on the characters themselves (not all but most). WRPGs don' t always have the best stories either. Most of them are an excuse for the action (I am looking at you fallout 3/NV). The stories also tend to have a less epic feel to them. They tend to focus on smaller events however there are many that do have large scale events but in the grand scheme feel less epic for whatever reason at least for me.
There are not really many stereotypical characters in these games but part of that has to do with many of these games have no character development or very little in the way of actually learning about these people or who you are playing. Many WRPGs tend to more focus on exploration and freedom. This opens up the world more and gives the player the choice to do what they want. The main story is not as much of a focus and its more about what the player wants to do. They also tend to have a high focus on side quests which tend to be better than the main quest in WRPGs. The level up system is also more about what you want to do if you want to be a more magic person then put all your points in magic if you want to be a tank put it in health and strength.
The gameplay also tends to be more action while JRPGs either are turn based, strategy or action most of the time WRPGs are action. (If there is a turn based WRPG someone let me know I would like to see that). Sometimes WRPGs will have many elements from other video games in them like Borderlands where it is a FPS RPG. WRPGs also tend to have morality choices which is good or evil and you can play out the game either way. This is always fun and allows the player to play the game twice with two different endings most of the time. Those are the main differences for WRPGs that I can think of so lets move on to pros and cons.
JRPGs: Pros and Cons
- More Colorful
- More Epic Feel to the main story
- Character Development
- Many different types (turn based, strategy, action)
- Stereotypical Characters
- Some games can be very niche
- Sometimes makes player go through long grind fest to get to next part of the story
WRPGs: Pros and Cons
- More Open World
- Leveling the way you want to
- Epic Side Quests
- Less to no Grinding (if you dont like that kind of thing)
- Less to no Character Development
- Less of an overall Epic feel to the main story
- Tend to have many more glitches in them than JRPGs
Which is truly better?
Well there is no real answer for that question it is all based on taste. Do you like epic storys, coloful worlds and character development? Then go for JRPGs but if you like open worlds, exploring and doing just what you want to do (and morality choices) then WRPGs is for you. Both are great and really everyone should like both but there is a wide difference between them for sure. My personal favorite growing up was JRPGs and still is my favorite for many reasons over WRPGs. Many of them being the main story and character development. I still really enjoy WRPGs its just in a different way. Those are the main differences I can find if anyone thinks of anymore comment! Please DISCUSS! I always love discussing this kind of stuff so I hope to hear your opinion on the whole thing.