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Author Topic: Bioware founder says JRPGs "lack evolution"  (Read 32294 times)
Lard
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« on: December 19, 2009, 12:57:36 PM »

I'm surprised no one has posted about this yet.



http://www.destructoid.com/bioware-co-founder-jrpgs-suffer-from-lack-of-...

"The fall of the JRPG in large part is due to a lack of evolution, a lack of progression," Zeschuk said. "They kept delivering the same thing over and over. They make the dressing better, they look prettier, but it's still the same experience

Um - while I will be the first to admit that this gen's console RPGs have been terrible overall, this seems incredibly one-sided and overly simplistic from a guy that sticks exactly the same dialogue trees and moderately different endings in every game. (See? I can generalise too! It's easy!)

In all seriousness, console RPGs this gen have been weak, but the DS RPGs (and PSP to a lesser degree) have had some genuinely interesting games.

And, in part, there is a sense of "those stupid Japs can't do anything right - USA! USA!" in gaming this gen that really rubs me the wrong way. (Including Keiji Inafune's "Everything in Japan sucks - except for Capcom of course! LOLZ!"

Basically, this an incredibly gross oversimplification on the part of Bioware - and I think WRPGs can be accused of exactly the same faults that JRPGs have, if you're determined to find fault like he is.

Oh and is holding back content from the game and then charging ridiculous amounts for it (like Dragon Age Origins) the kind of evolution that JRPGs are lacking? Because I'll be happy if they stay stagnant if that's what he means.
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Parn
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2009, 01:06:01 PM »

oh look

the guy who wont play ff13 because of downloadable content is posting again
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ULTROS!
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2009, 01:12:41 PM »

The post is gone...

Anyway, how is the JRPG falling exactly? Dragon Quest IX is probably the most traditional JRPG ever and yet it surpassed Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect (on consoles) combined in terms of sales (and in just one region, that is Japan)!

But then again, different strokes for different folks. I don't mind JRPGs stagnation or their rare hybrid-evolution (ex. Persona 4 and Valkyria Chronicles), as long as I'm having fun with 'em it's alright.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2009, 01:18:38 PM »

This is from the company that makes Planescape and has spent the rest of their career getting more and more generic ever since.

Of course, you know, western JRPG community had this whole LOL EVERYTHING WESTERN SUCKS vibe for a long time.

The main problem with western RPGs is that they value concept over execution a lot so you get quasi-interesting concepts like Daggerfall that are completely fucking horrible because they're not anywhere near done and full of bugs.

The problem with JRPGs is that they value execution over concept so you get some incredibly well-made games with completely dull concepts behind them (DQ, Tales).

Of course, there ARE exceptions. For instance, Atlus is VERY good with concept and execution, whereas, on the other hand, I just think Square doesn't have a clue what they're ever doing.

With WRPGs, I must admit, completely smoothly executed RPGs are incredibly rare. I'm sure they exist. I just can't think of any. Even something like Ultima 7, which is maybe my favorite RPG ever, has a lot of bugs and wonky bits, although older wrpgs I can forgive a lot since they were written for a system with a very hostile memory manager (Not Daggerfall though. That's just incompetence and a case of graphics being valued over gameplay. Seriously, the VAST vast vast majority of dev time was spent on the engine).
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Eusis
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2009, 01:46:03 PM »

This is from the company that makes Planescape and has spent the rest of their career getting more and more generic ever since.

Nah, Bioware just supplied the engine and is on good terms with the Planescape/Fallout developers. What they've been doing is developing the sequels Bioware didn't care to (KotOR2 and NWN2) and now they're finally doing their own thing (Alpha Protocol, headed up by the guy behind Planescape Torment).
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Draak
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2009, 02:09:20 PM »

The problem with JRPGs is that they value execution over concept so you get some incredibly well-made games with completely dull concepts behind them (DQ, Tales).

Of course, there ARE exceptions. For instance, Atlus is VERY good with concept and execution, whereas, on the other hand, I just think Square doesn't have a clue what they're ever doing.

Agreed. However, Square sometimes get it right (eg TWEWY). It's a shame they prefer to stick to the known path.
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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2009, 02:38:34 PM »

That being said, I wonder if Square can still get it right with FFXIII, Versus XIII, Agito XIII, and 3rd Birthday. :P
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« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2009, 05:36:53 PM »

I personally hate Dragon Age Origin and one of my favorite rpg is FFIX, so I am taking his opinion with a grain of salt.  Also, there is a saying, if it is not broken, don't fix it. 
« Last Edit: December 19, 2009, 06:23:59 PM by xellos2099 » Logged
MeshGearFox
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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2009, 07:29:25 PM »

Quote
Also, there is a saying, if it is not broken, don't fix it. 

I just saw this review come up on GOG.com's entry for Beyond Divinity, in terms of its prequel, Divine Divinity. The problem, of course, is that Divine Divinity was horribly fucking broken. It chases constantly (literally, on my laptop, something like every 20 minutes. Going through doors made the game crash) and quests could break *very* easily, often as the result of the player either not doing anything, really, or doing something that they had know way of knowing they shouldn't be doing.

The thing was a goddamn mess and needed to be fixed, somehow.

The problem with a lack of evolution in JRPGs is that most JRPGs are horribly fucking broken and need to be fixed. Except nobody's fixing the problems inherent to the genre. There's this pervading sense that, instead of JRPG devs going, "Well, we tried doing XYZ in our game, and X worked really well, Y needed some polish, and Z was just bad, so next time we'll fix up Y and skip Z altogether", it's like, "Well, we tried XYZ in our game. Fuck analyzing how it worked out, next time we're doing ABC."

There's very little *progression* there. There's no learning from mistakes or iterative development or whatever. And when they do go down that rate stuff starts getting kind of tepid since it's mostly just refinement without adding any new ideas.

(And WRPGs have pretty much been set back infinitely by AD&D and Bethesda so whatever).
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cj_iwakura
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2009, 07:53:43 PM »

Pot to kettle: you are black.


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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2009, 08:01:02 PM »

We've had this debate how many times on the boards this year?  I've probably ranted till I was blue in the face about what conventions I would like to see redefined in JRPGs. 
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Lard
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2009, 10:50:52 PM »

Ironically, I picked up Fallout GOTY Edition today. Is the GOTY edition as buggy as I'd heard the regular PS3 edition was?

Anyway, I just think what that guy said is a gross oversimplification.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2009, 10:57:05 PM by Lard » Logged

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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2009, 11:06:30 PM »

We've had this debate how many times on the boards this year?  I've probably ranted till I was blue in the face about what conventions I would like to see redefined in JRPGs. 

Ever since games started having five year development cycles topics started getting repeated a lot.
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Ashton
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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2009, 12:06:32 AM »

JRPGs lack evolution is true. WRPGs being buggy a lot is also true. But I would rather deal with some bugs than sit through another damn JRPG about a lead character whose brash defense of justice and virtue overcomes a planet eating monster, with a battle system that hasn't evolved in ten years.
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ValendianKnight
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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2009, 02:27:29 AM »

Yup, he's completely right. While JRPGs were fantastic at one point, save for Demon's Souls(which is nothing like a JRPG anyways), JRPGs have come extremely short of the quality of WRPGs as of late. 'Tis a shame really.
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