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Japanese Role Playing Games: I've Played a Few More

Since I got the dumb notion into my head to alphabetize these JRPGs and that our list tech has "evolved" to limit ordered lists to 100 items or less, I guess I'm making another one of these to manage the excess. The first part can be found over here, for anyone curious.

Currently, this list is for every "S" game forwards, which will make a bit of room on the old list that'll hopefully keep me from removing every item that gets bumped off that list onto this one. Dunno what all this inside baseball talk is in aid of, but there you are.

(Because this is going to ping everyone's notifications, including ZP's, I'll just tell you all that it's safe to skip this one. Most of it is old news.)

List items

  • Unfairly maligned. Except the mazes, those are entirely justified in their malignity. But the rest is awesome. Especially the music.

  • What can you say about Secret of Mana that hasn't already been said? "There's no hardcore nudity so this game sucks"? Wait, this is the internet, what am I thinking.

  • Shadow Hearts is the shiznit. Lovecraft is underrepresented in JRPGs in general, unless you count dudes like Necron getting pulled out of the cosmos' ass in the eleventh hour.

  • This is when the franchise really started killing it with their off-kilter sense of humor, while maintaining its enjoyably surreal setting and vast scope. I don't need to tell you why a pro-wrestler fighting with a giant frozen tuna is funny. Do I?

  • As in, the GBA remake of the first one. The graphical update really did wonders for making me want to play this over the original, which I'm a little ashamed to admit.

  • Still holds up. The grid dungeon crawler format is as old as dirt, but this game threw enough things in here to keep it interesting. Odd to think that most people know the Shining series from its strategy RPGs, but it's really all over the place. I'm going to make more of an effort to chase the others down.

  • How do you eat a hamburger? I'm so rich. Ice break.

  • Check out that hoochie next to you, you'd throw her in the TV, right? She shoot you down? Right?

  • You could do a lot worse than Skies of Arcadia. I'm loopy for Loopers.

  • "Rebuild our village!" Yeah, I'll get right on that *kills slimes*

  • Poor Gremio. His revival depended entirely on his young master's obsessive need to catch them all. If only he was a retainer of the Ketchum family.

  • "You will all fight for me because I have two sticks and come from the boonies." Pilika is currently the only little girl in video games more tragic than Nanako Dojima.

  • Yo ho ho, a pirate's life for OH CHRIST THIS BLOWS. Justin Bieber can keep his damn Rune of Punishment for all I care.

  • Damn you Suikoden 4. It's not enough that I beat your dumb boat adventure only to then beat your dumb fishman monster spin-off SRPG.

  • Suikoden vee was really great. I dug that the commander of an entire army was an actual royal, and not just some silent kid with a Rune and a bunch of sticks for weapons. Well, he was all those things too, but still.

  • I've gone into a McDonald's without ever recalling there being one there before. I can totally relate to this game. The One King was a legitimately creepy concept too. Pity they gutted so much of the rest of the Suikoden experience to make it fit on a tiny DS cart.

  • Booster is the greatest video game antagonist ever made. Thrice as manly as Sephiroth.

  • Nothing like a confusing time-travel plot to introduce your series. Worked for Chrono Trigger I guess. And Final Fantasy come to think of it. There's no "dwell amidst the abounding light of heaven" in those games though. Ultimately to their detriment, I feel.

  • Stahn and his magical talking fire sword were just a few years too late to hit it big in the glam metal age. Leon's still a dick. I'm not calling him Lion.

  • This is my favorite one. It's goofy. Meredy's one of my favorite characters, because she sounds weird until you understand her language, and then still sounds weird because she's some speaking in some kind of pidgin purple-haired alien dialect. And then you meet all the other purple-haired aliens and they all talk normally. Meredy just bonked her head when she crash landed is all.

  • Innocence is just kind of there. It's not the worst Tales game, but neither is it the hidden gem of the series that had until recently been locked behind the language barrier. Appreciate the fan translation, which was well done, but maybe Namco was right about just leaving it alone.

  • Lloyd "two swords are better than one because two is a higher number than one" Irving perhaps personifying the "Good is Dumb" trope a little too well. His girlfriend's not a lot better. Their kids are going to be mental giants.

  • I didn't play this game, nobody can prove it, I'm striking it from the Mento canon. Problematic.

  • Vesperia's pretty great. Outside of its troubled protagonist, there's nothing too notable about the story or characters, but the Tales games largely rely on their goofy camaraderie and fun real-time combat. As a current-gen evolution of the series, there's nothing to suggest that the format is running out of steam.

  • "Ashley Riot" better be a real all-female punk band's name by now. People who never played this game seem to really dig its atmosphere and story. People who actually did play this game remember the block pushing puzzles in every other room.

  • This had a crazy system that needed some getting used to, but I totally dug it. I didn't even mind that they kept throwing curveballs at me (oh hai landmines) and forcing me to restart. Much.

  • Bastard hard and nigh impenetrable without a guide, but a rewarding experience overall. It kind of sucks that you had to give up your best dudes at the end of every chapter. But they're going to a better place: The celestial armies of some asshole with a big spear.

  • Kobold Community Theater is the best JRPG invention of the sixth generation. From now on I want every game to re-enact important cutscenes with anthropomorphized Yorkshire Terriers dropping "yo protagonist is so fat" jokes.

  • Arterial sprays all round! Yaaay!

  • Love that simultaneous movement system. Instead of slashing where I was, you should've slashed where I was going to be! Bwahaha!

  • Fantastic. Sorry to keep bringing it up, you guys. I know copies are like $200 over there. But yeah, the best JRPG I've played this generation easily. It's certainly not lacking for content, a fun battle system, excellent music and art direction and a fairly decent plot.

  • So yeah. Those going into this might expect the old Level-5 magic, but were unpleasantly surprised by its mediocre Monster Hunter style. But, it's an MMO, so of course it has a sequel and all of Level-5's attention that isn't already spent on that top hat fellow that does all the puzzles. Sigh. I want Dark Cloud 3 consarnit.

  • What I recall from this game were the fifty or so optional bosses liberally scattered across the barren landscape for your steampunk hovercraft to bump into. For a post-apocalyptic landscape, it sure was busy.

  • 4 focused a bit more on the puzzle bosses. A lot of inventive uses for its honeycomb grid (yeah, yeah, yeah!) I also like that a terminally ill girl with a sword was far stronger than the main character. Hey Jude, way to adhere to the fey protagonist stereotype. Take a sad song and make it better, why don't you.

  • This barely counts as a JRPG, but I'm including it anyway. This is a Wizardry game, and it's kind of fucked up.

  • These PC remakes are pretty, but the games themselves are almost as old as I am and were made long before Ys polished its craft to its present day fine sheen. Most of the game is in the final dungeon, oddly, though I guess that never stopped Castlevania.

  • Ysing it up. That kind of sounds dirty. Newer Ys games tend to seem like a throwback to those D&D RPG-brawlers that appeared in arcades, where it was all awesome boss fights and a little XP bar in the corner no-one gave a crap about.

  • Bosses are just as awesome (and huge) but there's way too much plot here for a Ys game. They should stick to one or two enigmatic maiden types and just have the rest of the game be Adol killing shit twenty times bigger than he is.