Are RPGs Too Mainstream? - Counterpoint

One of the things I've found interesting, is that a number of RPG fans seem to believe that RPGs are somehow becoming a part of the North American "mainstream." This notion has always puzzled me, since the only RPGs released in America that even approach that title, are the Final Fantasy series. Any other RPG, being a stand alone title or series, is likely to be unknown outside of the narrow vein of RPG fans. I quote Darklink's editorial:

    "Also, this recent of popularity causes another problem: money (or the lack of it). Since so many RPGs are being released, which ones should a consumer buy? Should I spend my money on Grandia now, or get the upcoming Front Mission 3, FFVIII or FFIX, etc. Since most people are like me (cheap, and too lazy to work), the recent outburst has lead tons of games I won't be able to play anytime soon."

Forgive me if I'm less than sympathetic to his arguement. He IS correct that the average gamer will simply not be able to play all the games being released now. However, this requires the buyer be more selective, research their investments, and have a true comittment to the games they play. Not every game is for every gamer. Not wanting to work is a social problem totally separate from this editorial, but I'd advise Darklink to get over his laziness, and get a job. Any job, if he's that desperate to play every RPG, as that's the only way to do it.

    "Another problem is time. Seriously, who has the time to beat all the recent RPGs that are released? Unless you drop out of school, quit your job, or just cut off all communication to all of humanity, you aren't going to beat all of them anytime soon."

As I said earlier, when there is a larger market, you must learn to be selective... and sometimes, a gamer just has to be alone with their games. Someone who doesn't even work shouldn't be complaining about having too little time to play games. True, he may have school concerns that he didn't mention, but that's just the point.

    "And then theres one more problem this outburst caused: Uncreativity. A lot of the games are starting to seem like each other, and a lot of RPG cliches are still being used. Square seems to be getting lazier too. When I think about it, FFVIII is just a better version of FFVII. And is it me, or are RPGs just getting shorter and shorter...?"

Uncreativity plagues everything, whether it's in or out of the mainstream. I would also hasten to point out, that the reason many of the games we in America recieve seem uncreative, is that they are alomst invariably derived from a formula that Square proved could sell in America. Few have been daring enough to release something really new in America, and when they do, they're either ignored by the public or denied by Sony. Face it, in Japan RPGs are truly a mainstream entity, and there is a wide variety of creativity. We just don't get to see it often, and we partly have ourselves to blame for not accepting it. And isn't it funny how the same person complaining about not having the time to play RPGs is also complaining about them getting shorter?

This all leads back to another point Darklink tried to make...

    "Sure, the recent outburst of RPGs is fine and dandy, but is the genre becoming over-crowded and saturated? How many RPGs are being released in the US, and when they arrive, are nothing but average, so-so, or just plain crappy? Legend of Lagaia [sic] and Jade Cocoon are two examples that come to mind. And who could forget the masterful piece of trash that was Saga Frontier in 1998?"

Not every game is for every gamer. Darklink seems to indicate that his *opinion* on every game is the law of the land. Newsflash -- Not everyone dislikes Legend of Legaia, Saga Frontier, and Jade Coccoon. This is the most important reason why MORE RPGs should be released in America, not fewer. See, different gamers have different tastes, and the more games released, the more different tastes will be satiated. True, it also means that you have to be selective, and actually put forth effort in making your buying decisions. All that means is that gamers have no more excuses to be lazy and take all things headed their way.

Good enough counterpoints, Darklink?

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