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Subject: Persona 3: FES
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Author Topic: A possibly overlooked reason for the downturn of JRPG's sold in the U.S.?  (Read 5959 times)
Mickeymac92
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« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2012, 02:45:48 PM »

^Yeah, outside of some grinding and the occasional vaguity, you you don't see those problems in good RPGs. With that said, they are problems cropping up in a surprising number of modern RPGs, so take that for what you will.

The only barrier to entry I've ever seen with RPGs in general is that people expect turn-based gameplay to be boring (and for most people they're usually right, the combat isn't the most appealing factor to a lot of RPG gamers afaik), and for JRPGs some people just don't like anime art styles that so many games utilize these days. I can't think of much else. A lot of JRPGs aren't really that complex, compared to certain board games and sports that a lot of non-gamers play. Like mesh said, if you can navigate a menu, you can play a JRPG. It might take some effort to get down the rules and naunces, but that can be said about FPS games, too.
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« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2012, 02:59:43 PM »

Long names may be stupid at times, but Id say they are very low on the list of problems that plague modern jRPGs (if at all, sometimes a ridiculously long name actually helps draw attention to a game).
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« Reply #32 on: October 01, 2012, 03:38:41 PM »

I dont think it is the names that are the problem.  I would say that artwork, character designs, japanese tropes are the inital first impression problem.   The only JRPG I can think of that "looks cool" is Dark Souls.   The anime look is still pervasive in so many others and I think that will put off many a casual buyer.

Its a shame as some great games have suffered because of this (cough Valkyria Chronicles cough), but i dont see anything changing out of Japan.   I think it is interesting in that it is not RPGs in general that are doing badly - just JRPGs.   Just look at Skyrim and the Project Eternity kickstarter.

As for me I still love all types of rpg but i find a lot of time i will overlook the bad story tropes and character designs in a Jrpg as long as i like the gameplay.   I get most of my titles by mail order, if an old timer like me had picked up Atelier Meruru in retail, i would look like a pedo.   
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« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2012, 07:06:11 PM »

The problem with modern jRPGs is that a lot of the "game" portion is being replaced by what I suppose could be called "anime". Early jRPGs ware focused on exploration and battling. The genre slowly started shifting towards being story driven. The balance was struck around the PSO - PS2 era and then the scale started to tip the other way. It'll probably start moving back eventually, and I'm looking forward to the moment it hits the middle again, because that's what I'm most comfortable with.
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« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2012, 08:31:19 PM »

observing my brothers i think the real problem is multiplayer or rather a lack of it. though admittedly its hard to imagine a multiplayer FFX or Xensaga wich explains tails cotinued popularity and the growth of PSO clones.
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« Reply #35 on: October 01, 2012, 10:11:21 PM »

I've noticed that the most popular "real" definite rpg in recent memory is Skyrim, despite supposedly being 70~90% filler (quantity/quality) and trying to wow people with with as much photo realism as it can hold on a disc with that much (800 hours?) content, recycling a dreary swords/sorcery/dragons/elves/etc setting.
I get that a lot of this stuff is optional but it raises a question: why put that much filler in a game if it has no real purpose?
To boast about having made A REALLY MASSIVE GAME OMG and sell a ton of games, probably.
About graphics, nearly every mainstream game franchise (rpg or not) seems to be intent on using a style that pushes its console's capabilities and we end up with most games trying to emulate each other and to me at least, it feels/looks stale.
The only major exception to this seems to be Borderlands.
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« Reply #36 on: October 01, 2012, 10:49:06 PM »

Quote
i think the barrier of entry is just higher for an rpg vs fps or whatever else.

I don't think I agree. An FPS is out of my comfort zone and every time I pick one up, I make myself look like an idiot. I'm sure I would get better at it if I played games from that genre more often. And I might, if I find that one FPS that pulls me in. I'm sure it's the same with RPG's. Find that one game and you're set.

My brother got started with Suikoden back when he didn't consider himself a gamer. I have absolutely no idea why he picked that game. It was 2001, you'd think it would look old and boring compared to some of the fancier 3D games. He just did. Ten years later, he's played most of the series, but he still can't pronounce the title correctly.

My sister is an even better example. She's not a gamer, no one would ever consider he a gamer. I don't think she knows what a RPG is and I doubt she'd be interested enough to learn. But sometimes she gets bored, really bored. She'll look through my games, pick something she's never heard of and play for hours on end. She got halfway through Lufia II within a matter of days because she felt like it. Two years later, she does the same with Breath of Fire II. Then Atelier Iris. She hasn't had many of these cravings since I moved out, but if my full collection was still within arms reach, I'd probably find her playing something like Etrian Odyssey or Sakura Taisen.

I was the same way. I've been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and since the NES came around I played almost nothing but RPG's. Friends got into FPS games and I held out for a few more years. I did get into them though. First playing Bioshock. I got that because it was touted as mostly an RPG, but it had FPS controls. So it helped me. Then I got Left 4 Dead and that really helped because it's not just you, it's you and your friends working together so they can help you along until you get the hang of it. Now I love both genres, and especially games like Borderlands that combine the 2.
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« Reply #37 on: October 02, 2012, 04:23:38 AM »

I remember asking "wtf is Qoga?", someone said, "it means 'life' in the ArTone language!!!!!"

WHAT THE HELL GOOD IS THAT TO ANYONE??  I thought that was a terrible name, without a doubt ostracized some people curious about the title and can't make sense of it...  it was bad enough "Ar Tonelico" technically means nothing beyond fancy being a video game name.

JRPGs can be pretty bad for these in-game referencial titles.  Radiant Historia is a bit of a mouthfull (and just down right confusing when people remember a similar-sounding PS2 title), and again, doesn't really mean anything.

Although actually these two titles do make sense in the context of their respective games.




!!SPOILERS FOR BOTH GAMES BELOW!!

"Qoga" translates to "end, finale, demise, death" from Hymmnos, and is a very direct clue to the fact that the game is not only the finale for the Ar tonelico series, but also to the fact that this is the one that decides the fate of the world of Ar Ciel. To put it simply, anything short from attaining any of the four true endings, and the planet dies together with everything living in it. As for "Ar tonelico", it has meant "The Only Divine Tree" since the first game, making a reference not only to the Ttwers being a symbolical representation of the Yggddrasil (world tree), but also to the fact that they are the only place in which life can continue existing and thrive after the catastrophe that destroyed the surface of Ar Ciel and rendered it uninhabitable. Maybe it have been better to leave it as Ar tonelico III, but still isn't as unwieldy as having translated the entire title literally. Or does something like "The Only Divine Tree Finale: Knell of the Only World" sound better?

As for Radiant Historia, if I recall correctly, the main goal of the game is to create an ideal timeline in which the world doesn't perish in the end due to the desertification. And well, we all know what "Radiant" means, while "Historia" is the Spanish, Italian, Portuguese (and several other romance languages) word for "History", all of which descend from the Greek word ἱστορία (istoria). So we can reduce the name to "Shining History", with the title referring to the ideal timeline that the characters are trying to create in it. Likewise, the place from which the traveling between the timelines and to different points inside them is called "Historia" as well.

!!END SPOILERS!!



Personally, I don't really think that a strange title has actual bearing on the sales of a game. Most people will actually look at the cover, read the summary on the back or seek information online before trying to buy anything.
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« Reply #38 on: October 02, 2012, 11:03:52 AM »

observing my brothers i think the real problem is multiplayer or rather a lack of it. though admittedly its hard to imagine a multiplayer FFX or Xensaga wich explains tails cotinued popularity and the growth of PSO clones.
we'll see if dragon quest 10 catches on i suppose.

Quote
there is all these thingss that we have come to expect almost since we've been playing rpgs forever that the laymen coming into it might be put off by.

Everything you've listed (grind, vague goals, easily missed items necessary for progression) are elements of /really fucking shitty/ game design, and if they're conventions inherent to JRPG, then JRPGs are an embodiment of /really fucking shitty/ game design.

In which case the real reason for the downturn of JRPGs is just that they're terrible.
would you say ff4 is terrible? cause i remember playing it not to long ago trying to get on an island with my airship and not knowing that i need to ride a chocobo to it. i think a lot of jrpg's have these things but that doesn't make them terrible per se but they can definitely be a stumbling block that could turn someone off.
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daschrier
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« Reply #39 on: October 02, 2012, 01:09:40 PM »

JRPGs no longer cater to my 30's self, they did when I was in my teens and early 20's. I agree with the editorial that RPGfan wrote about JRPGs being the young adult novels of the video game world.
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« Reply #40 on: October 02, 2012, 06:35:36 PM »

I've noticed that the most popular "real" definite rpg in recent memory is Skyrim, despite supposedly being 70~90% filler (quantity/quality) and trying to wow people with with as much photo realism as it can hold on a disc with that much (800 hours?) content, recycling a dreary swords/sorcery/dragons/elves/etc setting.
I get that a lot of this stuff is optional but it raises a question: why put that much filler in a game if it has no real purpose?
To boast about having made A REALLY MASSIVE GAME OMG and sell a ton of games, probably.
About graphics, nearly every mainstream game franchise (rpg or not) seems to be intent on using a style that pushes its console's capabilities and we end up with most games trying to emulate each other and to me at least, it feels/looks stale.
The only major exception to this seems to be Borderlands.

Probably because its not a walking mass of terrible anime tropes that collectively have been long since run right into the fucking ground. Or possibly because everyone wanted to indulge in the hilarity of an unpatched Elder Scrolls game (such as bears getting launched into the horizon, horses that can run up sheer cliffs, arrows in everybody's knees, ect). And it having no major feature that requires living in Japan or attending a convention like PAX or Comicon to use to any meaningful effect might also be a factor as well.
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« Reply #41 on: October 02, 2012, 07:40:51 PM »

Probably because its not a walking mass of terrible anime tropes that collectively have been long since run right into the fucking ground. Or possibly because everyone wanted to indulge in the hilarity of an unpatched Elder Scrolls game (such as bears getting launched into the horizon, horses that can run up sheer cliffs, arrows in everybody's knees, ect). And it having no major feature that requires living in Japan or attending a convention like PAX or Comicon to use to any meaningful effect might also be a factor as well.

JRPGs in general don't require doing those, or at least not for me since I haven't.
But anime tropes are okay, people treat them like they're a plague, but I'd personally tolerate anime tropes in exchange for creativity and imagination, something JRPGs seem to have a bit more of than most western stuff.
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« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2012, 08:20:20 PM »

I agree. While the execution tends to be kind of...off, but there is so much creativity in the world design. Skies of Arcadia, Ar Tonelico, any Final Fantasy, Shin Megami Tensei and so on. There's even a jRPG about the console wars! Even Xenoblade, which has been hailed as the best of East and West combined has a fantastically unique world. I've found that on average, even the most bog-standard jRPG has a much more unique world than the average wRPG. Mass Effect is great, but there's no moment like Star Ocean 3's big twist (I thought it was kind of stupid, but I didn't expect it and it was a good idea, just badly executed). Fallout 3 is good, but it doesn't do the atmosphere nearly as well as Nocturne or Digital Devil Saga (which I hold up as some of the best post-apocalyptic games ever).

Both Japanese and American developers try to play it safe, but safe for a jRPG is so much more interesting (and colourful most of the time) than a wRPG. That's not putting wRPGs down, that's just my opinion.
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« Reply #43 on: October 02, 2012, 08:26:24 PM »

SO3's a terrible example of JRPG setting uniqueness period. Granted, it'd be OK if it were meant to be just a fantasy one, but for science fiction it's a disgrace, even with the post-bad plot twist area.
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« Reply #44 on: October 02, 2012, 08:33:01 PM »

JRPG sci-fi stories in general tend to have the habit of featuring no real science fiction at all, and at best you're dumped on some backwater medieval planet for the whole game.
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