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Author Topic: What will bring RPGs back?  (Read 6199 times)
insertnamehere
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« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2010, 07:10:27 PM »

I'm a huge Ar Tonelico fan, but it has nothing to do with the innuendo. It's pretty easy to find stuff in them to object to but if you think that's all there is then you're doing yourself a disservice.

I love the Ar Tonelico universe and mythology, the music is fantastic, the combat systems tend to be fun and at least reasonably original (though also kind of easy, unfortunately), and the games explore interesting aspects of human psychology that you rarely see in a video game (in between the boob jokes, anyway). Yeah, you're going to need a certain amount of tolerance for fanservice stuff to get through them but they really are deep and interesting games and I read enough manga and watch enough anime that I'm pretty desensitized to that kind of stuff.

For reference, Ar Tonelico got 91% here and Ar Tonelico 2 got 81%, but I think a lot of that lower score was due to the now infamous localization issues and bugs it had more than the actual gameplay. They're good games.

If they just got rid of the fanservice crap and turned up the difficulty a bit Ar Tonelico might actually be my favorite RPG series of all time.

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GrimReality
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« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2010, 09:45:09 PM »

To each his own, I suppose, but those games look to emphasize the exact reasons I've all but given up on jrpgs. If the battle system is good that's one thing. But if it's surrounded by all sorts of goofy nonsense then I'm not going to bother.
You guys HAVE made me curious about the music, however. I'll have to look it up.

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« Reply #47 on: November 19, 2010, 09:53:13 PM »

Is this too inappropriate for my signature?

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« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2010, 10:03:05 PM »

^- RPGs nowadays are like finding out the cool, worldly uncle you knew as a child is now 200 pounds overweight and selling porn out of his basement.
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« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2010, 10:35:46 PM »

^- RPGs nowadays are like finding out the cool, worldly uncle you knew as a child is now 200 pounds overweight and selling porn out of his basement.

:(
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howitis
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« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2010, 11:56:58 PM »

there is a four step program for saving the jrpg

1. bring back the world map.  western rpgs have side quests, jrpg shine on having entire towns you stumble upon with their own history and quest.  bring some sort of exploring and sense of having traveled the world.

2.  no random battles, and no battle screens to load.  meet enemies on the map and immediately enter turn based fight.  no ridiculous cutseens for every attack making the fight last 5 min each. turn based battles will be under 40 seconds with no loading.

3.  npcs with nothing to add to the story or history of the world do nothing when you try to talk to them. every  npc you can talk to provide actual info on the history, back story, or optional/main quest info.

4.  stop relying on anime cliche characters.  the spikey haired 17yr old kid with a since of adventure.  the 17yr old feisty girl who gets him into trouble (childhood friend maybe).  the shy, beautiful soft spoken girl who will probably get kidnapped at some point.  the hot nerdy girl with glasses.  this is the biggest problem with jrpgs.  saving the world never gets old.  but saving it with these bozos does.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2010, 11:59:12 PM by howitis » Logged
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« Reply #51 on: November 20, 2010, 12:20:53 AM »

The only thing that can save RPGs is restoring sanity where narrative is concerned.

I've heard complaints from developers about how expensive a good writer is, or how many dollars go where, etc etc. But if you're complaining about the cost of a good writer, then as a developer you really don't get it. Writing isn't the biggest issue JRPGs face. If anything, the writing can be excellent at times, but still fall flat on its face. The writing can also be terrible, but get a pass because it didn't interfere with the experience.

The Japanese need to stop taking a flat formula approach to the genre and start incorporating system refinements. Don't add stat tables, don't add minigames. Refine the systems already present. But also look at how those systems fundamentally could be expanded to include diverging narratives and allow for meaningful character growth.

The Americans need to stop focusing so much on pulpy grit stories and start diversifying. Write more humour into RPGs and make it part of the narrative, instead of just the dialogue. Start expanding and investigating new artistic directions. Let things look different and interesting.

RPGs as a genre are stagnant because outside of BioWare and, dare I say it, Bethesda, almost no company is really addressing the fundamental needs of of a narrative. It has to be woven into the dialogue, the art, the characters, and the systems. Things need to be cohesive. Tutorials should be transparent, battle systems fluid, and dialogue believable while still maintaining the need for interesting personalities.
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« Reply #52 on: November 20, 2010, 01:31:07 AM »

Is this too inappropriate for my signature?



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xXMelancholiaXx
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« Reply #53 on: November 20, 2010, 06:11:30 AM »

there is a four step program for saving the jrpg

1. bring back the world map.  western rpgs have side quests, jrpg shine on having entire towns you stumble upon with their own history and quest.  bring some sort of exploring and sense of having traveled the world.

2.  no random battles, and no battle screens to load.  meet enemies on the map and immediately enter turn based fight.  no ridiculous cutseens for every attack making the fight last 5 min each. turn based battles will be under 40 seconds with no loading.

3.  npcs with nothing to add to the story or history of the world do nothing when you try to talk to them. every  npc you can talk to provide actual info on the history, back story, or optional/main quest info.

4.  stop relying on anime cliche characters.  the spikey haired 17yr old kid with a since of adventure.  the 17yr old feisty girl who gets him into trouble (childhood friend maybe).  the shy, beautiful soft spoken girl who will probably get kidnapped at some point.  the hot nerdy girl with glasses.  this is the biggest problem with jrpgs.  saving the world never gets old.  but saving it with these bozos does.
Not this again.

I find it interesting that everyone is so quick to make the supposition that something is wrong with JRPGs. I surmise that many of the people making these types of criticisms are actually former JRPGs enthusiasts who have been enamored by the western approach to RPGs. I think most of it can simply be attributed to a change in tastes which can easily happen over time. But lets get down to the heart of matter which is this, Japanese RPGs are just that, Japanese and they are designed with the Japanese audience in mind. When I see people criticizing JRPGs for having anime characters or being narrative driven rather then having moral choices or an inordinate amount of quests, it almost approaches the realm of the absurd. It makes about as much sense as criticizing WRPGs for always taking place in some medieval environments or always being first person shooter based. Different audiences, different approaches in mind. That's really all it comes down to, and lets not mince words here either Japanese tastes are very much different from American tastes and I think many of the reactions here to the content in Ar Tonelico, Neptune, and Record of Agarest War, which were met with subsequent approval, more then adequately prove my point.

Its actually quite reasonable and I'd even say very much expected for western RPGs to be more palatable to western tastes because they were made with western tastes in mind. While I realize that this is not always the case Final Fantasy, Shin Megami Tensei, Tales and a few others being a special cases because of their cross over appeal but for the most part I find that Eastern and Western regions have their own ideas about RPGs should be like and they each pursuit that vision respectively. That doesn't mean that I think it makes them immune from criticism but some of the criticisms I see from people are simply outrageous and would only to serve to make JRPGs into WRPGs. With that said, there is nothing wrong with JRPGs if you don't like them don't play them. You can excoriate to your heart's content but they aren't going to change anytime soon. There is a reason they only appeal to a niche audience.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2010, 06:13:02 AM by xXMelancholiaXx » Logged

Lord Scottish
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« Reply #54 on: November 20, 2010, 07:54:38 AM »

The way to save RPGs is to only make ASCII roguelikes from now on.
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Yggdrasil
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« Reply #55 on: November 20, 2010, 07:58:32 AM »

nvm.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 08:33:11 AM by Yggdrasil » Logged
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« Reply #56 on: November 20, 2010, 08:17:31 AM »

The Americans need to stop focusing so much on pulpy grit stories and start diversifying. Write more humour into RPGs and make it part of the narrative, instead of just the dialogue. Start expanding and investigating new artistic directions. Let things look different and interesting.

We saw this a lot with LucasArts graphic adventures back in the day and are seeing it again in games like DeathSpank. 
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« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2010, 09:06:08 AM »

I find it interesting that everyone is so quick to make the supposition that something is wrong with JRPGs. I surmise that many of the people making these types of criticisms are actually former JRPGs enthusiasts who have been enamored by the western approach to RPGs. I think most of it can simply be attributed to a change in tastes which can easily happen over time. But lets get down to the heart of matter which is this, Japanese RPGs are just that, Japanese and they are designed with the Japanese audience in mind. When I see people criticizing JRPGs for having anime characters or being narrative driven rather then having moral choices or an inordinate amount of quests, it almost approaches the realm of the absurd. It makes about as much sense as criticizing WRPGs for always taking place in some medieval environments or always being first person shooter based. Different audiences, different approaches in mind. That's really all it comes down to, and lets not mince words here either Japanese tastes are very much different from American tastes and I think many of the reactions here to the content in Ar Tonelico, Neptune, and Record of Agarest War, which were met with subsequent approval, more then adequately prove my point.

Its actually quite reasonable and I'd even say very much expected for western RPGs to be more palatable to western tastes because they were made with western tastes in mind. While I realize that this is not always the case Final Fantasy, Shin Megami Tensei, Tales and a few others being a special cases because of their cross over appeal but for the most part I find that Eastern and Western regions have their own ideas about RPGs should be like and they each pursuit that vision respectively. That doesn't mean that I think it makes them immune from criticism but some of the criticisms I see from people are simply outrageous and would only to serve to make JRPGs into WRPGs. With that said, there is nothing wrong with JRPGs if you don't like them don't play them. You can excoriate to your heart's content but they aren't going to change anytime soon. There is a reason they only appeal to a niche audience.

Great post, I couldn't agree with you more.  

My problem is I am someone who lives in the west but prefers the design of JRPGs.

I am all for bringing the JRPG back, with how they have always been. Not saying I need every aspect to be the same. Like I can deal with getting rid of random battles, and can appreciate a more mature storyline. The biggest thing for me is going back to their combat.  With SE trying to 'westernize' their Final Fantasy games has just frustrated me more than anything. Faster, more real time battle system approach.  FF X was the last combat system I actually enjoyed.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2010, 09:58:52 AM by Hobbun » Logged
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« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2010, 09:53:54 AM »

I agree with Prime Mover on everything he has said in his two posts. He pretty much said why I haven't played too many JRPGs in this generation also.
Ditto.
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« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2010, 12:49:49 PM »

There's nothing wrong with JRPGs, but I think those of us who were 15-20 during the release of the PS1 and the "golden age" of RPGs have to realise that the people who are 15-20 now are a totally different market than back then.

Unfortunately they've been trained on crap like Ass's Creed and Call of Doodie, and the market has shifted. Maybe by the time the next gen of consoles are released - not Move and Kinect, but the PS4 and Xbox 720 etc. there will be some players who get interested in console rpgs because they played some on the DS or PSP, which is where they are all now. Who knows.
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