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Author Topic: Is the traditional console RPG genre stale?  (Read 8008 times)
Hidoshi
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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2008, 11:20:31 PM »

Cheesus. The whole NARPG/JRPG thing is stupid. You're talking about national and international industry. It's like saying "bread from Germany sucks". Who the hell are you to condemn all German bread because the loaf you got wasn't to your liking, or because the bakery you buy from has been selling you stale crap?

Generalising a national industry this way is stupid. You'd do better to generalise a company, but even THEN you can't really do that. "All Square-Enix RPGs suck". Really? By which dev team? Please, choose one. You have to break it down THAT far to actually conclusively say one team is more qualified than another in terms of producing good games. At a more general level, the whole thing breaks down, until when you reach a national industry category, the case for critique is in factual breakdown.
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Lard
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2008, 11:30:59 PM »

There is definitely a lot of crap in the genre, gameplay and story-wise, that could really use a rest.

That could be said of any number of genres in gaming.

For me, an RPG needs three things - a good story, a good soundtrack (if I'm going to be playing it for 20-40 hours or more, I better not hate the music), and a decent combat system.

Ever diverging plot lines and moral choices are fine but sometimes they seem a little gimmicky. I have no problem with a linear story if it's done well.

And I agree, this is a silly discussion.

On that note - http://www.gamesradar.com/f/why-japanese-rpgs-suck/a-20080325134138142047
« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 12:09:25 AM by Lard » Logged

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Robert Boyd
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« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2008, 12:24:10 AM »

I wouldn't think the problem is a lack of innovation, I think it's more of an issue that there isn't enough building on what came before.  For example...

DQ4 had a fantastic chapter based system that kept both gameplay and story constantly changing and interesting.  Very few games have copied it (Mother 3 is the only one I can think of that's done it as well as DQ4 although a few other games like Wild Arms have dabbled in it).

Chrono Trigger had a fabulous combo magic system.  Few RPGs since then have made combo magic a priority and none of them have come anywhere close to being as polished or well done as Chrono Trigger.  This is a travesty.

Persona 2 & Soul Hackers offered the ability to save at pretty much anytime you wanted.  For reasons unknown to all, this has not become standard fare in JRPGs.

The Grandia series had a fabulous pseudo-action turn based system that makes battles much more exciting and interesting than usual.  No other series has decided to use this system.

Wild Arms uses a mini-hex grid battle system that adds some of the depth of a Strategy/RPG without the huge time requirement.  No one is copying this.

The Shin Megami Tensei games have various systems to make strengths, weaknesses, and defenses all more important than usual, thus making combat more strategic.  Again, no one is copying this.

FFXII, despite its many flaws, had some intriguing ideas regarding AI companions.  An Action/RPG that uses FFXII's AI system for support characters could be the most awesome thing ever and yet no one seems to be doing this.

And so on.  What's the point in coming up with good ideas if they're just going to be discarded after a single game or two?
« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 12:26:46 AM by Robert Boyd » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2008, 01:05:02 AM »

A problem that can crop up is patenting. The ATB is patented, and I'm pretty sure Earthbound's method of encountering enemies is too. Of course the point of patents is to force attempts at innovation, and while software patents can be a bitch in basically monopolizing a rough idea (Amazon's 1-click shopping, Namco on loading mini-games) we HAVE seen other games attempt their own spin on both (Grandia's system in contrast to ATB, and several other games with visible encounters).

Mark: Are you responding to Kyle there or just in general? Because it seems he's played enough to know what he's talking about, making it more like trying loafs from various German bakeries and just not impressed by many of them. Hell, I'm pretty sure nigh-everyone on this forum is qualified in that regard when it comes to Japanese RPG, just compare this to the computer forum. Which brings up the real issue, I see Western RPGs as the ones more likely to be unfairly shunned here.
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ChevalierEagle
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« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2008, 06:36:38 AM »

Quote

That guy can't be for serious....right? Some of his complaints are like complaining that big guns in some FPS are not realistic at all.

Anyway, i agree with what many have said about how this topic is already tiredsome because of how biased some people are. People that dislike JRPG is going to detest even the best of what Japan has to offer because of some dumb reason. In the same way, some people love predictable and redundant games, be from Japan or America, be RPG, FPS or some other genre. So, no big discovery there.

That said, that doesn't mean we can't have a reasonable debate about the ups and downs of the genre, both from Japan and the western world. We also have to take into consideration that not many titles come out of Japan over here, the market is huge over there. That said, i do think some companies down there should really re-consider their positions towards the genre, some are just playing it way too safe and not taking that many risks. For every Persona 3, The World Ends With You and Valkyria Chronicles there's plenty of titles that are more of the same. Again, both type of games need to co-exist, for both good and bad reasons, but so far in this generation i still feel a lack of more, better and solid JRPG titles. White Knight Chronicles looks quite ambitious, The Last Remnant so-so, can't think of any other future title that looks attractive. Not for the moment at least.
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« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2008, 09:56:31 AM »

The two biggest problems that come about when discussing RPGs nowadays is RPG preference and system wars, with the latter being the biggest problem unfortunately. I've enjoyed quite a variety of RPGs this year across most platforms and I don't think the genre is getting stale, there definitely needs to be a balance between new and old and with so many subgenres that's an incredibly difficult thing to do so I'm not that picky when it comes to choosing which games I'm going to play.

BTW, did anybody realized the kind of generalization the OP made here? He list an action RPG, a SRPG, and an unconventional turn-based RPG. And the title is "Is the traditional console RPG genre stale?" WTF is up with that?
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« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2008, 04:27:30 PM »

Game developers have stated that having a save anywhere system is tough to code, and I could see why, which is why we probably don't see it too often.
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ChevalierEagle
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« Reply #22 on: November 06, 2008, 05:38:20 PM »

I can't see why people would complaint about save points, maybe i already got use to where they are put, but for me they're usually just fine. At least the titles i have played so far are quite reasonable about where they put them.
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« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2008, 10:00:51 PM »

I can't see why people would complaint about save points, maybe i already got use to where they are put, but for me they're usually just fine. At least the titles i have played so far are quite reasonable about where they put them.

I didn't complain in the past, but now I'm married & have small children.  I can't always guarantee that I'll have an uninterrupted hour or two to game these days.

And it's not that hard to program.  I mean, if your average GBA/DS/PSP title has it, there's no reason why you can't put a save anywhere feature in your 360/PS3/Wii game.  If you're worried about play balance, then just make the save anywhere feature a temp save.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2008, 10:41:03 PM »

To me, RPGs don't really have to reinvent the wheel to be fresh and sexy.  A new spice to a familiar flavor would do wonders.  RPGs are like macaroni and cheese.  It tastes good and you like it, but it's not an exotic flavor.  On the other hand, a really exotic flavor may just be *too* exotic for the palate.  So perhaps taking mac-n-cheese but adding some salsa and diced chili peppers would add something fresh to the familiar.   Or perhaps changing the cheese from cheddar to parmesan and adding some wilted spinach to make a more grown-up mac-n-cheese.  It's still mac-n-cheese, but with a tweak.

Something like a change of setting will actually make the staid genre feel less staid.  A turn-based RPG with a cyberpunk setting would be cool.  Heck, more sci-fi in general would be cool.  Both JRPGs and non-JRPGs are lacking in sci-fi.  More done with modern or post-modern settings, like MegaTen does, would be cool.  I'd like to see more RPGs with urban settings.  Maybe a non-medieval historical setting like 19th century London.  A Tales game with a cyberpunk setting would be totally cool.  Take the gameplay I love but in a unique setting and I can dig it. 

A change of protagonist would spice up a familiar flavor as well.  Traditional RPGs like Persona 2: Eternal Punishment and Anachronox appealed to me because they had adult protagonist who spoke and thought like adults.  Characters had been in relationships, probably had a break-up or two, were likely *gasp* sexually active, and actually had life experience and stories to tell.  I can dig the fresh-faced wet-behind-the-ears kids embarking on their first life journey once in a while, but still...

A lot of independent game developers out there are the ones giving unique flavors to the classic genre. 

RPG is easily my favorite genre of video game.  I still play em, even after all these years.  But even within the supposed confines of classic turn-basedness and whatnot, there is a lot of untapped and unrealized potential in the genre.  That's why I still play them.  I'm looking for that next Wonka golden ticket and I'll keep eating the proverbial RPG chocolate bars till I find it. 

Have I made anyone hungry yet with all my talk of macaroni & cheese and chocolate bars?

« Last Edit: November 06, 2008, 11:19:53 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2008, 11:20:26 PM »

Quote
The whole NARPG/JRPG thing is stupid.

It's not so much as that as it is traditional versus non-traditinal RPGs, I think. Western RPGs aren't typically turn based (save for three or so), while Japanese RPGs are either turn based or very traditional in their action presentations. There are definite differences between Western and Eastern RPGs, and I think that's what is up for debate here. Is the Eastern RPG formula stale?
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« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2008, 09:30:37 AM »

Cheesus. The whole NARPG/JRPG thing is stupid. You're talking about national and international industry. It's like saying "bread from Germany sucks". Who the hell are you to condemn all German bread because the loaf you got wasn't to your liking, or because the bakery you buy from has been selling you stale crap?

Generalising a national industry this way is stupid. You'd do better to generalise a company, but even THEN you can't really do that. "All Square-Enix RPGs suck". Really? By which dev team? Please, choose one. You have to break it down THAT far to actually conclusively say one team is more qualified than another in terms of producing good games. At a more general level, the whole thing breaks down, until when you reach a national industry category, the case for critique is in factual breakdown.


No. They are talking about the style of game. It isn't like saying "bread from Germany sucks" it's like saying "German bread sucks" if German bread was typically characterized in a certain way. It's semantics, but it's an important distinction. JRPGs are typically characterized as turn based battle RPGs where the Protagonist wields a giant sword and is an angsty kid. Even without the giant sword and angsty kid, JRPGS are TYPICALLY characterized a certain way and NARPGS another way.  Get off your high horse, get your head out of your ass and actually read what people are saying.


Though the initial argument is tired and overstated. Seriously people? This pops up at least twice a year. It's all a matter of taste. There is no end all opinion about whether they are stale or not. If you enjoy them, play them. If not, don't.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2008, 09:32:34 AM by Daggerstrike » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2008, 12:09:15 PM »

Like in every genre you have games that are innovative and sometimes groundbreaking, some that are good but use old and tired formulas, some that try to innovate and fail miserably and some that are just plain bad.
The rpg genre is alive and well and both the sales and the quality of the games show that. From Persona 3 to Fallout 3, from TWEWY to Valkirya Chronicles, from FFXII to Mass Effect, each one of these extremely different games is a fantastic addition to a genre that today has more diversity than ever.

It's funny that SE tried to innovate the FF series by taking some hints from western rpgs and many complained about it. But the quality and diversity of the games I listed and many others prove that these are good times for rpg gamers.

I'm playing fallout 3 and looking forward to persona 4 and there's nothing in any other genre I'd rather play right now.
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« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2008, 12:02:24 AM »

This is hardly a silly discussion.

The fact is, anyone can make a jrpg, not everyone can make a good one.

Someone could make the most cinematic appearing JRPG on the planet, but it could contain no redeemable qualities and would thus be souless and fail.

That's why you need little extra things in JRPGs to give you a reason for playing them. Some people like being able to customize stats/skills/classes/equipment/units in their game. Some people enjoy -good- 2D artwork like capcom used to make. Some people want a co-op action rpg. Others might want a single player JRPG with gameplay like Ys origin. And some people like exploring dungeons in the first person view. Others might want to be able to use 6 people during random encounters who all attack at lightning fast speeds. Some people might want no random encounters and would prefer to see monsters before the combat initiates. And some people enjoy really good music in games. Others might want "Tales of" combat.

These things are -important-.

For example. If Wild arms 1 had tales of combat mixed with gunners heaven/gunstar heroes/sunset riders style combat during random encounters with 2D sprites, that would have been one hell of a game.

Anyone can make some game where you have a party of 4 guys, crappy anime sprites, HP/MP, healing items, spells, monsters, turnbased combat and some crappy variation of "save the world". Nothing guarantees it'll be good.
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« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2008, 01:51:52 AM »

This is hardly a silly discussion.

The fact is, anyone can make a jrpg, not everyone can make a good one.

Someone could make the most cinematic appearing JRPG on the planet, but it could contain no redeemable qualities and would thus be souless and fail.

Are you referring to FF12 then?
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