JRPG VS WRPG: The Difference and Why They Are Both Great!

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 Difference

So 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

 
Pros:
  • More Colorful
  • More Epic Feel to the main story
  • Character Development
  • Many different types (turn based, strategy, action)
Cons:
  • 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

 
Pros:
  • More Open World
  • Leveling the way you want to
  • Epic Side Quests
  • Less to no Grinding (if you dont like that kind of thing)
Cons:
  • 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.
19 Comments

21 Comments

Avatar image for chaoskiller2000
Chaoskiller2000

334

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 22

Edited By Chaoskiller2000

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 Difference

So 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

 
Pros:
  • More Colorful
  • More Epic Feel to the main story
  • Character Development
  • Many different types (turn based, strategy, action)
Cons:
  • 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

 
Pros:
  • More Open World
  • Leveling the way you want to
  • Epic Side Quests
  • Less to no Grinding (if you dont like that kind of thing)
Cons:
  • 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.
Avatar image for catolf
Catolf

2791

Forum Posts

3348

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 13

Edited By Catolf

I agree with you. While JRPG's do have hit and miss titles with everything tragicly cliche' the same could be said for WRPG's with not putting enough focus on the characters that you have to play with for 30-40-50 hours and getting you to connect to them. But everyone has thier preferences on what it takes for a WRPG or a JRPG to get them to spend endless amount of hours with a controler in hand. 
 
For me I do like WRPG's Mass Effect being the one that stands out for me, Dragon Age being second, to me the world of WRPG's are something new that I have yet to completely tap into. I spend most of my RPG time with the J infront of the name. Not that there is anything wrong with WRPG's it's just a preference thing. For JRPG's Persona 3 and FF12 (i like it so sue me) and Valkyria Chronicles (more like a Tactical RPG but still) stickout to me.
 
For the handhelds I think JRPG's have been doing best for me with Devil Survivor (tactical) The world ends with you and Fire Emblem (more tacticle) I get more time to play these rather than their console counterparts because of family and so on ect ect.
 
Both WRPG's and JRPG's should be able to share the same space without so much hostility between the fans. Both are great genre's and both have thier short comings.

Avatar image for chaoskiller2000
Chaoskiller2000

334

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 22

Edited By Chaoskiller2000
@Catolf:  Yeah I agree as far as WRPGs go for me Mass Effect and Dragon Age are the best! Persona 3 was a great JRPG but my personal fave JRPG series has got to be the Tales series! Thanks for the comment!
Avatar image for altonbrown
AltonBrown

1007

Forum Posts

61

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Edited By AltonBrown

Well put. You've earned a follow.

Avatar image for eviltwin
EvilTwin

3313

Forum Posts

55

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By EvilTwin

Anime is for jerks.  
 
Oh wait, wrong thread sorry.

Avatar image for thunderslash
ThunderSlash

2606

Forum Posts

630

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 2

Edited By ThunderSlash

How dare you say that both are good!? You must devote yourself to one side only, all the while claiming the other genre is the creation the Devil himself.

Avatar image for iburningstar
IBurningStar

2275

Forum Posts

49

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 0

Edited By IBurningStar

 
I like you, and I like this thread. That's why you get this.   

No Caption Provided
Avatar image for dtat
Dtat

1750

Forum Posts

546

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 9

Edited By Dtat

Very good appraisal. I think most people understand the difference, but have trouble putting it into words. Hats off to you for so eloquently breaking it down.
Avatar image for haggis
haggis

1674

Forum Posts

4

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 3

User Lists: 1

Edited By haggis

It is nice to have a thread where someone is capable of pointing out the differences between genres without hating. I play JRPGs on occasion, but favor western. Still, there are benefits to both. I'd like to see some innovation in the JRPG genre, as they seem to have become a bit stale. But hell, they're still enjoyable.

Avatar image for skald
Skald

4450

Forum Posts

621

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 11

User Lists: 7

Edited By Skald

Dragon Age had interesting characters that developed over time and a storyline about saving the world, so those features aren't exclusive to JRPGs.

Avatar image for blueaniman93
blueaniman93

620

Forum Posts

49

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 4

Edited By blueaniman93

yeah theyre both great 
i cant say i love kingdom hearts 2 as much as i love mass effect 2 
but that says more about mass effect 2 than wrpgs in general

Avatar image for animasta
Animasta

14948

Forum Posts

3563

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 4

User Lists: 5

Edited By Animasta
@extremeradical said:
" Dragon Age had interesting characters that developed over time and a storyline about saving the world, so those features aren't exclusive to JRPGs. "
they developed? really?
 
well put OP, I mean I'm weird that my favorite WRPG dev is Obsidian, because their characters often do develop: I thought AP did it very well, KOTOR 2... but that's really kinda it. and Tales games are a little cliche heavy (even the best of them all, Vesperia, has it's fair share of cliche's) but they do develop most of the characters, and have specific story arches attached to them that make it feel like they've changed in some significant way.
 
Of course best JRPG's are Atlus games, but I did enjoy Resonance of Fate much more than Strange Journey in 2010 :P
Avatar image for skald
Skald

4450

Forum Posts

621

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 11

User Lists: 7

Edited By Skald
@Laketown said:
" @extremeradical said:
" Dragon Age had interesting characters that developed over time and a storyline about saving the world, so those features aren't exclusive to JRPGs. "
they developed? really?  well put OP, I mean I'm weird that my favorite WRPG dev is Obsidian, because their characters often do develop: I thought AP did it very well, KOTOR 2... but that's really kinda it. and Tales games are a little cliche heavy (even the best of them all, Vesperia, has it's fair share of cliche's) but they do develop most of the characters, and have specific story arches attached to them that make it feel like they've changed in some significant way.  Of course best JRPG's are Atlus games, but I did enjoy Resonance of Fate much more than Strange Journey in 2010 :P "
Well, inasmuch as any video game's characters seem to develop.
Avatar image for chaoskiller2000
Chaoskiller2000

334

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 22

Edited By Chaoskiller2000
@extremeradical:  To be fair I did say that it is true for most WRPGs but not all...
Avatar image for frankfartmouth
frankfartmouth

1048

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 1

Edited By frankfartmouth

Overall, I prefer JRPGs, although they have been slipping as of late. Despite the annoying, androgynous main characters and overbaked storylines, JRPGs tend to offer, to me anyway, a more epic, engaging experience. I'm a big proponent of linearity in games. Open world games are cool, and I definitely play them, but they get old to me after a while. You don't have to log a lot of hours in Oblivion before the recycled audio and repetitive fetch quests begin to break the illusion of vastness, and the whole thing starts to feel like, a program. A cool program, to be sure, but all a bit lifeless. 
 
Dragon Quest 8 is the best RPG I've played in recent years. The story is classic and unobtrusive. No insane melodrama. The main character is a silent cipher, just a coat hanger for you to see the story through. The world is vast without feeling purposeless. The gameplay is tight, simple, and challenging. 
 
Doesn't get much better than that to me.

Avatar image for gstats
GStats

197

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By GStats

Xenoblade Chronicles X appears to break your dichotomy. Is it closer to JRPG or WRPG?

It's certainly been designed with a western audience in mind. I guess that's what you have to do for the big bucks nowadays.

Avatar image for ames
ames

108

Forum Posts

563

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By ames

Do you think its weird that I really like old jrpgs and old wrpgs like the single digit final fantasy games, and the infinity engine games, but I dont like new rpgs of any kind?

I just... I dunno... I think I have rpg fatigue? :s

Avatar image for somejerk
SomeJerk

4077

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@ames: What are some of these new RPGs you don't feel anything with?

I bought Eternal Sonata after taking too long not buying it and I lasted some 45 minutes before I gave up, couldn't connect with it the slightest, didn't feel anything for characters, story, world, music, graphics. Sounds like you've got that going for you, and I identify with that.

Avatar image for ames
ames

108

Forum Posts

563

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Edited By ames

@somejerk said:

@ames: What are some of these new RPGs you don't feel anything with?

I uh. I wasnt into the Witcher 3. Don't get me wrong, the game looks lovely, and it looks like it would be a lot of fun, but it looks... boring. I don't like the idea of controlling a character like a fighting game character, pressing buttons to swing and roll and stuff. The setting looks rich and... boring. The same of the main character. I think most of all, it was Geralt that turned me away.

For JRPGs I think they just went too... anime. I have no interest in a convoluted weird anime story anymore. I don't like to direct control my character in an actiony way, which seems to be what the new Final Fantasy games have done.

Both WRPGs and JRPGs have become more actiony and less tactical. I'm just not a fan of 3rd person "action adventures"