Sections

Lost odysseys: are JRPGs about to explode?

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 08:10 GMT By Dave Cook

Ni No Kuni launches this week in Europe, but will it help rekindle the West’s interest in classic JRPG larks? Dave Cook argues that yes, it will.

“It’s incredibly smart design on Level-5′s part, and it treats you like an adult which, after the abysmal string of pre-Xmas games that intrusively held your hand last year, is highly refreshing.”

Role-playing games are in an odd place right now. Skyrim has done huge, brilliant things in bringing interest in the genre to the masses, and it has even converted the steeliness of naysayers into the stat-crunching, monster-twatting fold. But would the majority of Skyrim players try their hand at the JRPG forefathers of the genre? I’d bet all 99 of my Gyshal Greens that they wouldn’t.

Out this week, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is an exciting prospect in that Western gamers have been pre-ordering it in droves. One stockist even oversold its batch last week which, while annoying for customers, suggests that the title is firmly on the radar of many gamers. Even ‘everyman’ players seem to be aware of, and curious about the game’s existence. That’s highly encouraging.

I saw a superb tweet from columnist Rab Florence last week that read “This generation, the JRPG came back in style. Final Fantasy forgot to come with it.” As much as I adore the classic Final Fantasy games, the man is absolutely correct. It’s become a series that belies its roots in an attempt to speed up combat and Westernise its DNA with a string of concept misfires that truly began with dual pistols and a pair of hot pants.

I’d argue that Square-Enix doesn’t need to pander any more, given the visible resurgence of JRPGs today, and if anything, Ni No Kuni seems on-track to give gamers a perfect gateway drug to the many treasures of the genre. This interest could make the scene really explode. Perhaps this notoriety comes from the Studio Ghibli tie-in, or the fact that it’s a PS3 exclusive, but the game – quite simply – deserves to be played by everyone.

Level-5 has wisely included an easy mode for newcomers, while the ‘Normal’ setting delivers enough difficulty spikes to satisfy veterans. Plus, while the game’s combat mechanic – which sees boy-wizard Oliver and his chums battling monsters with a range of Familiars – is turn-based, players can still move around the field at will. It’s a hybrid that blurs the line between action-JRPGs and veteran franchises while retaining its purity.

It’s incredibly smart design on Level-5′s part, and it treats you like an adult which, after the abysmal string of pre-Xmas games that intrusively held your hand last year, is highly refreshing. Oh hello Assassin’s Creed 3, I almost didn’t see you there.

I’m a big fan of the JRPG genre – with Mistwalker’s impeccable Lost Odyssey standing as one of my favourite games of the generation – but even I have to admit that my interest has waned in recent years. Games like Dragon Quest XI and Bravely Default would have got me properly excited just a few years ago, but now I’m either too busy to commit to the length of your typical JRPG, or they simply aren’t grabbing my attention due to the glut of Western console crap clogging up my brain.

But now – thanks to Ni No Kuni – I’m interested again, eager to go back and re-play Lost Odyssey, keen to man-up and face Ornstein and Smough and to stop pretending they don’t exist. Maybe I’ll finally crack open that borrowed copy of Valkyria Chronicles I’ve had for almost two years? If the person who loaned it to me is reading this, I’m sorry, it’s truly shameful I know.

But if you’ve ever felt jaded with Western games or the few JRPGs you’ve tried to play but just couldn’t get in to, you should check out Ni No Kuni. It has the charm, plot and pacing to hold your interest. It’s a welcome splash of colour in a Western industry that gets greyer by the year.

Disclosure: To assist in writing this article, Namco Bandai sent Dave a copy of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. No merchandise or advertising was offered or accepted.

Latest

  • Hostile Takeover add-on pack for Tropico 5 out now on Xbox 360

    The Hostile Takeover add-on pack for Tropico 5 is now available for Xbox 360 and it comes with three different scenarios. Along with the three stand-alone scenario’s Generalissimo, Joint Venture and Mad World are three new buildings for all game modes: The Asylum, Fast Food Joint and Defense HQ. There are also three avatar accessories, […]

  • Get to Work expansion for The Sims 4 is now available

    The Sims 4 expansion Get to Work is now available, EA has declared. It will run you $40 or your region’s equivalent on Mac and PC. Sims can bow be a Doctor, become Chief of Police, own a business, have a look at Career Venues and learn new skills. They can even discover aliens which […]

  • Final Fantasy 14: Before the Fall – Part 2 is out today

    The finale for Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn – Before the Fall: Part 2 has been released with Patch 2.55. The conclusion to A Realm Reborn prepares players for the upcoming expansion, Heavensward, which releases on June 23. In order to access Heavensward, players will need to complete the final main scenario quest Before […]

  • Cancelled ZombiU 2 game would have contained co-op – report

    ZombiU 2, which popped up on Amazon France back in November, was apparently in development before being cancelled and contained co-op, according to someone in-the-know. According to a recent podcast featuring Unseen64’s Liam Robertson, ZombiU 2 development started in early 2013 but never left the pre-production phase. Robertson said he had seen a single image […]

  • Pac-Man invades the streets of Google Maps

    Google has updated Google Maps with the ability to play Pac-Man instead of looking at a road map to your destination. It didn’t work well when I typed in my location, due to the fact I live out in the middle of nowhere. This is despite the fact I am 4 miles from town and […]

  • Cities: Skylines in-development mod contains first-person multiplayer

    Here’s another interesting Cities: Skylines mod for you: it adds first-person multiplayer. According to its creator Fr0sZ, the project is very much a work-in-progress and he is currently taking suggestions on ideas to be incorporated into the mod. Have a look at the in-progress mod below. Thanks, PC Gamer.

  • Survarium launches on Steam Early Access later this week

    Vostock Games’ post-apocalyptic MMOFPS Survarium will launch through Steam Early Access on Thursday, April 2. At present the build offers only the PVP mode, and plans to expand with more variations of gameplay are in the works. The developer stated in its announcement it wanted to work out issues in PVP before offering freeplay and […]

  • Evolve’s latest content update with Behemoth and Observer Mode arrives today

    Evolve’s latest content update releases today, and as previously reported, it contains the playable Behemoth and four new playable Hunters. It also contains the free Observer Mode, and two free maps are available today. The maps are available first on Xbox One and will be available for PC and PlayStation 4 on April 30. You […]

  • Assassin’s Creed: Chronicles India and Russia coming, China episode set for April

    As promised last year, there are more Assassin’s Creed: Chronicles games coming your way. Developed by Climax Studios in collaboration with Ubisoft Montreal, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, the side-scrolling action platformer part of the Assassin’s Creed: Unity Season Pass, will be the first standalone release. Two more will follow. China is the first episode, and […]

  • GTA 5 official PC trailer debuts April 2 in 60fps

    The official GTA 5 PC trailer was supposed to release yesterday, but it looks like Thursday, April 2 will be the big day. According to Rockstar, the video will show the game running at 60fps, and it will be released at 10am EDT/3pm BST. The developer recommends you watch it on the most recent generation […]

  • Dishonored and Never Alone are two of your April PS Plus offerings

    Sony has announced it’s PlayStation Plus offerings for April, with Dishonored on PS3 and Never Alone on PS4 as just two titles too choose from. Other free games for the month include: Tower of Guns on PS4 and PS3, Aaru’s Awakening on both systems, and for the Vita crowd there’s Killzone Mercenary and MonsterBag. The […]

  • Going back to Jade Empire’s universe “comes up pretty regularly” at Bioware

    Bioware has said the idea of going back to the Jade Empire universe is a topic that “comes up pretty regularly” at the office, according to studio manager Aaryn Flynn. Speaking in a reader Q&A on Kotaku, Flynn said there is “always hope” for another Jade Empire, but for the present, the studio is rather […]

  • How to listen to the Vice City soundtrack while playing GTA 5

    Let’s improve Los Santos with a blast of cool 80′s power ballads. We dig the GTA 5 soundtrack. But we also love the Vice City radio stations. Now with the power of music streaming service Spotify on PS4 we can finally combine both. Of course this works for any music on Spotify and any game, […]

  • Completionists could spend over 200 hours in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is going to be a rather long game. If you are a completionist, you could spend over 200 hours playing the game, according to CD Projekt RED. Answering a question pertaining to game length on Twitter, senior game designer Damien Monnier said if “you do everything” the game will last […]

  • Limited edition Batman: Arkham Knight Steel Grey PS4 announced

    A limited edition bundle for Batman: Arkham Knight has been announced which includes a Steel Grey PS4 with a custom design based upon the Rocksteady title. It comes with a matching DUALSHOCK 4 Wireless Controller, the game on Blu-Ray, and exclusive bonus content the Scarecrow Nightmare that’s available to play on PS4. There’s also a […]

  • Super Mario 64 HD project receives takedown notice from Nintendo

    Nintendo has issued a takedown notice for Unity-developed Super Mario 64 HD, the fan project which created an updated version of the first level of the game and allowed users to play it in their browser. It was also downloadable, with no attempts from creator Roystan Ross to monetize the project. Still, the news shouldn’t […]

  • Dying Light players should use “extreme caution” handling Antizin injections tomorrow

    Dying Light players will be able to participate in “something unusual” which Techland says will “radically change the game experience” for one day only tomorrow, April 1. According to the developer, players will need to use “extreme caution” when handling Antizin injections as the latest batch has been sullied with a foreign contaminant. The chemical […]

  • Nintendo of America’s hosting a Nintendo Direct on April 1

    Nintendo of America will be hosting a Nintendo Direct tomorrow, April 1 of all days. The company will be discussing upcoming 3DS and Wii U games. The session will take place at 3pm PDT/6pm EDT/12am CET. Catch a #NintendoDirectNA about #WiiU & #3DS games on 4/1 at 3 p.m. PT. Don’t let the date fool […]

  • How eSports changed Call of Duty

    Betting on eSports for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has reinvigorated the biggest game on consoles and turned it into a spectator sport. “We were looking at the eSports scene blowing up. Every year it was getting bigger. Players were maturing and being more discriminating. We had to understand the impact that eSports is having […]

  • Destiny: how does the road ahead look?

    The future of Destiny looks very bright with House of Wolves and Comet releasing this year. But what about next year, and the one after that? Alex has a new video for you that tries to paint a picture of the future of Destiny. He goes over the timeline as we know it based on […]

  • GTA 5 patch 1.09 improves Heists matchmaking

    GTA 5 received a patch towards the end of last week. The patch, version 1.09, brought with it a few improvements to Heists and plenty of other fixes. Rockstar has released patch 1.09 (1.23 PS3 and Xbox 360) for all versions of GTA 5 to help make the Heisting experience better for all. The ‘auto-invite’ […]

  • Diablo 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and more make up this week’s Deals with Gold

    Deals with Gold is back for the week of March 30 with discounts on Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Lego Movie Videogame, and others. Xbox Live Gold members get a few good deals this week to spend money on. A large assortment of The Lego games is on […]

  • GTA 5: parallax occlusion mapping is gone, but framerate is better

    Patch 1.09 for GTA 5 has indeed removed the parallax occlusion mapping effect, but has in turn improved the game’s overall framerate – at least on PlayStation 4. Earlier last week a YouTube video came to light and showed what appeared to be the removal of effects from GTA 5 after applying patch 1.09. The […]

  • The Witcher 3 dev: DirectX 12 may not have impact on Xbox One games resolution

    DirectX 12 may not be the miracle that some are believing it to be, at least not when it comes to improving the resolution of Xbox One ports. Damien Monnier, a senior game designer at The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED has revealed through a Twitter conversation with fans that DirectX 12 may not […]

  • Get infinite items in Bloodborne with this duplication glitch

    Bloodborne has a nasty glitch that will let you duplicate all in-game consumables. The glitch was discovered by Kotaku and makes item duplication pretty simple. Note that doing this will trivialise a major part of the game’s challenge and that it will probably get patched soon. For this glitch to work, you’ll need to create […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for March 31: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    The weekly reset to Destiny’s merchants, strikes, and reputation caps is here. The strike for this week is The Nexus on the Ishtar Sink on Venus. Void burn will be your ally/enemy for the Nightfall. The Juggler modifier is also available on both Heroic and Nightfall. Inferno Crucible mode also returns with Clash, and it […]

  • Motivational Growth is the first non-documentary film to be released on Steam

    Motivational Growth will soon be Steam’s first foray into selling movies that are not based around video games Steam will release its first, non-documentary film later today in the form of Motivational Growth. The film is a sci-fi comedy distributed by Hotline Miami publisher Devolver Digital, who has itself produced other game-centred documentaries before, and […]

  • Metal Gear Solid movie in the works at Sony Pictures

    A Metal Gear Solid film is in the making at Sony Pictures. Deadline is reporting that Sony Pictures has closed a deal to make a film adaptation of Metal Gear Solid. The film will be written by Jay Basu, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts attached to direct. Michael De Luca is said to be heading production. There […]

  • Destiny: Inferno mode returns this week with Inferno Clash

    Inferno mode returns to Destiny this week. This time it’s Inferno Clash. The Inferno playlist will be back to The Crucible rotation in Destiny this week. Unlike last month’s Control, Clash will be the mode variant this time. The main changes Inferno brings to the game is the removal of the radar (mini-map), scoring is […]

  • Bladestorm: how 28 rogue ninja conquered Brittany

    The Hundred Years War wasn’t ended by the superior forces of the French cavalry: it was ninja. Bladestorm: Nightmare Battlefield sim. Take control of dozens of unit types. You play a mercenary, fighting for both France and England, usually at your own discretion. Unit variations liven things up; Lady Lancers replace Knights. Vikings replace Swords. […]

94 Comments

  1. Telepathic.Geometry

    TG argues that no, it won’t. It’s a very very pretty game, but at the end of the day, it’s just the same old grind-fest.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. friendlydave

    I agree with TG, I love JRPG’s and I can’t wait for this game, but all my friends show no interest in it at all. Skyrim has ruined the RPG genre for them, they now expect all RPG’s to be like it.

    “but now I’m either too busy to commit to the length of your typical JRPG”
    I hear this quite often from my friends, which baffles me, as they have sat and put 100+ hours into Skyrim.

    “crack open that borrowed copy of Valkyria Chronicles”

    Do It!

    #2 2 years ago
  3. orakaa

    “I’m a big fan of the JRPG genre – with Mistwalker’s impeccable Lost Odyssey standing as one of my favourite games of the generation”

    Oh, how I agree with you on that. Brilliant article, as always.
    I’ve played Final Fantasy VI 4 times in total, to get each secret, each character, etc. I felt that I lost my appeal towards traditional JRPGs… but truth is… it’s just that there haven’t been good JRPGs at all lately (or only very few).

    When I discovered LOST ODYSSEY (most underrated game of this generation in my opinion), I felt like playing a new Final Fantasy in HD. Got sucked into it just like old times and played it for dozens and dozens of hours, without counting. I’ve bought Ni no Kuni’s collector edition, even though I know I won’t have time to play it before next summer, but just to support the effort (and because I loved the demo so much, with my 5 years old daughter amazed at it).

    #3 2 years ago
  4. orakaa

    And unfortunately, I played Oblivion, Skyrim… and while the gameplay is a LOT of fun and opens a lot of possibility… I felt that the story was REALLY weak, as if it was really minor, in the background or even non-existent at times. WHATEVER you do, it doesn’t matter, and things don’t change.

    Seriously, played the sh*t out of both games, and see the exact same dialogs from all characters really feel awkward. You’re supposed to “save the day”, go into an epic quest… and in the end, it feels like you made absolutely no difference AT ALL. Not even a “oh thank you” from villagers or stronghold chiefs. It’s highly frustrating (to me).

    I prefer a well directed story over a sandbox game where nothing you do ever matters.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. IrrationalGamer

    @orakaa I recommend you try Fallout 3. Same team, but the story and mini-stories are infinitely more satisfying. I felt the same way about Skyrim. It has a nice overworld, but the combat is too basic, and I think I found only one or two mini-stories in the game that were decent.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Erthazus

    Why not to make it multiplatform first of all?

    “I recommend you try Fallout 3.”

    Lol

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DrDamn

    JRPGs as a genre seems to have remembered what it is and what it shouldn’t be. Real-time combat is not a natural progression from turn based, it’s just another valid approach. I love me a bit of turn based.

    Another fan of Lost Odyssey here too. That was very old school in a lot of ways but very well done … is it available on Games on Demand?

    I’m revisiting White Knight Chronicles currently – which is actually a lot of fun behind the awfully told story. That fuses the traditional JRPG stuff with MMO like elements and combat.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    Dave Cook might well argue that, but behind the first 5-7 hours, where literally ALL of the voice-acting and Studio Gibli stuff is, it may seem that way.

    The other 30 hours? No bespoke animation, almost no spoken dialogue and generic-as-hell, repetitive battles, limited upgrades and gameplay needless of strategy: not so much.

    Interested to find out how much of it he played before labelling it so worthy, because the head of this game is an entirely different animal to the body.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Telepathic.Geometry

    If I had to nail it down, I’d say the major sticking point for me is, a WRPG usually allows you to progress through the main quest quite quickly, and there’s loads of side shit there for you for when ya want a break. By contrast, JRPGs seem like the main-quest is really long, and occasionally, to get over difficulty spikes, you have to go and grind out time-consuming random bullshit which compounds the feeling of the story dragging on.

    Even the dialogue is just too long. In other types of games, a bugbear of mine is every time there’s a long cutscene, I feel like screaming “Let me get on with it FFS!” at the screen. In JRPGs, it’s these long LOOOONG dialogue trees. ;/

    #9 2 years ago
  10. IrrationalGamer

    @Erthazus Are you saying Fallout 3 has a bad story? Are you saying that Skyrim has better stories within it than Fallout 3? Really?

    One or two locations alone in Fallout 3 trump all of Skyrim in terms of storytelling.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. DrDamn

    @8
    Interested to find out how much of it you have played before making that comment.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. manamana

    #6 has a point, why isn’t it multiplat, inkl. WiiU and handhelds? It was first released on the DS and never available in english. Now you have the beefed-up version but only on one system? Come on!

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Erthazus

    @10, Both games have bad stories. Fallout 3 is Oblivion with guns compared to the old games (Fallout 1,2) where storytelling was something cool, fresh and interesting. Dialogs were simple and attached too much to your intelligence ability or speech skill.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. DrDamn

    @12
    DS version was a different game, same for of story arc and setting but a different game developed separately – at least according to the wiki.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. YoungZer0

    I never liked any of Gibli’s animes. I really, really hate the art-style. It looks like old-man anime drawings to me. That is reason enough for me not to check out this game. Apart from it being a JRPG i mean.

    Something needs to happen. JRPGs might have a story that is better told, yet the dialogs and characters are mostly written for mentally challenged people and children. I find them to be extremely boring, even Persona 3/4 had a few of the cliche character. Though they had a few twists and turns that would separate them from the shitty rest.

    And then there’s the combat, aka the grindfest, yes, my favorite Persona games also feature a lot of that.

    I don’t know about you, but combat in Western RPG’s always seems to be more fun. Apart from old school RPG’s that are just as tedious.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. manamana

    @14 of course it was a different game developed separately. The cutscenes and gameplay is the same, imo. But it’s still the Ni No Kuni game and just different developement because of the limited plattform.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    @11 Completed.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. hives

    I’m not big jRPG fan, but I enjoyed couple FF games – VI, VII, but I didn’t like XII at all… Don’t know why.

    And I really, really like Xenoblad Chronicles but… I don’t know if it’s 100% proper jRPG. Fighting was more like in action games there.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. DrDamn

    @15
    “Something needs to happen.”

    Maybe you just accept that it’s a genre you don’t like and play something you do? Why should a genre – a well loved one at that – change because you don’t like it?

    #19 2 years ago
  20. YoungZer0

    @19: Because videogames have to adapt to new things and try to actually battle the western market otherwise they will disappear?

    I’m not saying they should do the exact same thing, but something new would be interesting.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DrDamn

    @20
    They do change, there is loads of variety within the JRPG genre. Very rare that a battle system will be the same even within two games in the same series.

    One man’s grindfest is the core that makes another man’s game though. Have you tried some of the bigger action RPG examples? The Tales series for example?

    #21 2 years ago
  22. YoungZer0

    Nope, never liked the mediocre art-style.

    To add to the conversation: I don’t think the MMORPG battle system a lot of JRPGs seem to use is the right approach either.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. The Dude

    @15: “I never liked any of Gibli’s animes. I really, really hate the art-style. It looks like old-man anime drawings to me.”

    *speechless*

    *needs to sit down*

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Erthazus

    Personally, can’t wait to try this game. Hayao Miyazaki touched this thing, so I should do the same.

    @23, He likes new DMC. What can you say.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. YoungZer0

    Hayao Miyazaki also touches his own ass, does that mean you would too?

    #25 2 years ago
  26. DrDamn

    @22
    What about Nier?

    #26 2 years ago
  27. YoungZer0

    @26: Never had the chance to check it out. Is it worth it? What’s different about it compared to your usual JRPG?

    #27 2 years ago
  28. DrDamn

    @27
    Very underrated. Battles are proper real-time – just one character, story and quests really quite nicely done with some particularly memorable side quests. Should be very cheap to pick up now too.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. YoungZer0

    Gonna check it out, thanks. I hope it plays nothing like Folklore, because i was immensely disappointed by the combat. Soooo boring. The forced Six-Axis controls didn’t help either.

    But the art-direction is pretty unique and the music is fantastic. The story seems to be interesting, though i doubt i will finish it and see the whole picture.

    So far i have Valkyria Chronicles and Nier on my list. I’m only limited to two platforms, so that might be a problem. PS3 and PC. Always wanted to check out Lost Odyssey.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. friendlydave

    @28 Best part about Nier is the music. Brilliant soundtrack.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. freedoms_stain

    I spent from Christmas to mid-January beating Square’s The Last Remnant (PC version). Although the game has plenty of flaws, I couldn’t help but feel that if Square took all the good ideas (or at least complimentary ideas) from FFXII, The Last Remnant, FFXIII and Final Fantasy Tactics they could have actually produced an outstanding game.

    I think Square put too much effort into completely retooling their games instead of taking a step back and looking at their past to see what worked, what didn’t, what was a good idea and what wasn’t and what features across different games might have worked better if they were paired together.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Ireland Michael

    Be careful with Nier.

    It’s basically an interesting story with some amazing music housed in a shell of utterly terrible gameplay. It’s good… so long as you’re willing to ignore everything immensely wrong with it. Some will, some won’t.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. DrDamn

    @30
    I really liked some of the side quests too. The lighthouse one in particular was quite touching.

    Oh and the way they implemented faster travel. That was awesome :)

    #33 2 years ago
  34. Ireland Michael

    As for the JRPG genre…

    I think as gaming has become more popular, our consumption of games has become a lot quicker too. We speed through games because we want to play the next big thing coming out, to the point where many of us end up with quite an extensive backlog of unfinished games.

    Ten years ago, I wouldn’t leave a single game unfinished, and I wouldn’t even bother buying a new one until it was. Now? I’m sitting on a dozen unfinished RPGs that I never have the time to get around to touching…

    Why is this relevant? Because I think the JRPG genre is doing just fine.

    think people just aren’t aware of how much fantastic stuff is out there. The DS and PSP are practically drowning in the stuff, and both the PS3 and Xbox 360 have been home to some pretty great games in the genres. Sure, unlike first person shooters there isn’t a new one coming out every second week, but considering the time it takes to play them, thats probably a good thing.

    And complaints about the genre are just as true of any genre. There are plenty of terrible western RPGs, and many WRPGs are also depressingly simplistic now… ironic considering how JRPGs were very much influenced by the D&D formula, but simplified.

    I could name at least two dozen decent JRPGs released this generation that are worth playing, as long as you’re platform agnostic. The genre never want anywhere. I think Ni No Kuni is a great little title, but it isn’t going to set the charts alight or certainly make JRPGs big in the west again,

    #34 2 years ago
  35. YoungZer0

    I just wish we had more games like Vagrant Story. ._.

    @32: Can’t be worse than Folklore. It. Can’t. Be.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. ManuOtaku

    All i care is that iam still waiting for dark cloud 3, and persona 5 for that matter.

    Having said that i think JRPG games this gen has been strong, on all consoles from last oddisey on 360, to valkyria chronicles on ps3, xenoblade on wii, there are really gems of this genre, and the great thing about them is that they are new ips.

    Of course theres a lits of other great games which are also new ips like folklore, nier, blue dragon, eternal sonata, last story, etc and the usual suspects like tales of vesperia, star ocean, magna carta, etc, i think this gen JRPG games were strong, we did have a lot of great games, i dont think they need to explode, they alredy did this gen.

    p.s right now iam having a blast with persona 4 golden on vita an paper mario sticker star on the 3ds, talking about great RPGS

    #36 2 years ago
  37. NinjaHart

    I’m very much looking forward to this game in just 2 days now.
    I love the JRPG genre in general and Final Fantasy, but it feels like the Final Fantasy developers doesn’t care anymore. They just give out a beautiful game like Final Fantasy XIII, knowning that it removes about ALL freedom players has had in previous games. They are forcing people to go a straight path, which in my opinion is boring as hell. They are simply selling the Final Fantasy name, not the games.

    I have actually never played Lost Odessy, but my all time favorite JRPG games are Suikoden I and II. They are simply awesome and unique with their system to recriut 107 Stars of Destiny to get the best ending.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. Ireland Michael

    @35 I don’t even consider Folklore a JRPG. It’s an action game (and a very basic one, at that) with some RPG elements. I thought it was a fun enough game while it lasted, though it was incredibly limited in both scope and execution.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. YoungZer0

    @38: You might be right about that, though i don’t share you opinion that it’s fun. I’m at the second world and it’s just tedious and boring. I rather the game would just be walking around talking to people.

    We need a detective game in a parallel demon universe!

    But Nier’s gameplay is better, isn’t it?

    #39 2 years ago
  40. friendlydave

    @33 That side quest was pretty sad. The game definitely pulls of some touching moments.

    Just got the Confirm that my order has shipped. Hopefully be playing this tomorrow.

    #40 2 years ago
  41. Ireland Michael

    @39 No.

    It moves at a snail’s pace, and it takes a dozen hours before you get anything even remotely approaching decent abilities. By that point, it’s playing more like a free form version of space invaders and less like an RPG.

    Folklore’s gameplay is quantum physics in comparison.

    Still, it does have some great story and music. It’s a game that you really, *really* have to be willing to ignore / accept some glaring flaws to enjoy, honestly.

    #41 2 years ago
  42. YoungZer0

    Valkyria Chronicles it is then.

    #42 2 years ago
  43. Dragon246

    JRPGs are well , as Michael said. As a gamer who primarily uses handhelds, I seldom faced shortages on psp, and now vita has some good ones too.
    Japan pubs on whole have lost some of their sheen, but still good jrpgs are coming. VC, VC2, VC3, Crisis Core (psp), P3P, Phantasy Star portable 1 (2 was worse) and so on were great imo.

    #43 2 years ago
  44. Da Man

    Final Fantasy used to be the CoD of Japan, with the same screen swirling bs being churned out regularly on a yearly basis.

    Now it’s basically the same, but takes SquareEnix four times as long to develop.

    #44 2 years ago
  45. polygem

    i have never been the biggest fan of jrpg´s. i played some of the genres gems and while i sometimes really enjoy them, it´s still not my favourite genre. not a huge rpg fan in genereal. i am just not into the grinding. i really do like rpg´s on handhelds, not so much on home consoles though strangely. that said: ni no kuni has my full attention. i cannot wait to play it later this weeek. i´m on board of the hype train for sure. why? loveley artdesign, just nails it for me. beautiful. such a charming game, turn based but still fresh gameplay, mixed with a grain of pokemon. easy mode for starters…i think this is a true system seller too and a great coup from sony that they grabbed this as an exclusive. made me excited about my ps3 again…and that´s a great timing now with wiiu out and all.

    #45 2 years ago
  46. Clupula

    @30 – My only complaint about Nier’s soundtrack, which is absolutely haunting, is that there aren’t enough tracks. You hear the same song way more than you should, even if those songs are some of the best I’ve veer heard in music.

    #46 2 years ago
  47. Clupula

    As for the article…first, Dave, it is a crime that you haven’t opened Valkyria Chronicles. It’s probably my second favorite S/JRPG of all time (behind Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne).

    Ni no Kuni, I am about 30 hours into, and I am absolutely in love with the game and it pleases me to no end to see it get the amount of love that it deserves. Beautiful graphics, a very fun battle system, a story that has a great sense of wonder about it without being childish, and just stunning orchestrated music. I was hugely surprised when I went to Gamestop to pick it up and saw that they had about 20-25 other pre-order copies of it there. I figured this would be like the Atelier games or something, where I play it and no one else I know has even heard of it. But this, appears to be selling and that’s just great for me.

    I hope Tales of Xillia gets the same amount of love when that comes over and we can start on our way back to the PS1 days, where there were so many great JRPG’s that I couldn’t even afford to buy them all (still never played Wild Arms 2 and just got Legend of Dragoon a few months ago).

    #47 2 years ago
  48. PC_PlayBoy

    I can’t stand JRPG’s. The generic & emo character designs, cliché narratives, hideous voiceovers, over-long cut scenes, grinding and save points is enough for me not wanting to play one ever again.

    #48 2 years ago
  49. Clupula

    Strangely, I thought someone with the word “Playboy” in his screenname would enjoy grinding by himself.

    #49 2 years ago
  50. DLTDawnlight

    My favorite JRPGs this generation:

    #1 – Xenoblade Chronicles
    #2 – Ni No Kuni <- I'm not finished with this game yet, but it has the potential to be in this spot
    #3 – Tales of Vesperia
    #4 – Valkyria Chronicles
    #5 – The Last Story
    #6 – Lost Odyssey
    #7 – Resonance of Fate
    #8 – Radiant Historia
    #9 – Eternal Sonata
    #10 – Devil Survivor 2

    There are a bunch of hidden gem JRPGs that are way better than Final Fantasy XIII. The problem is that most these games listed above are likely to be overshadowed by Western games.

    Why do people call JRPGs cliched while Western games are equally as cliched as JRPGs? Western RPG cliche = Take to NPC, go from Point A to Point B while hacking and slashing enemies along the way. Shooter cliche = Go from Point A to point B while shooting enemies along the way (maybe even shooting down enemies with RPGs). See what I'm saying?

    #50 2 years ago
  51. Digital Bamboo

    I’ve been playing JRPG’s since the mid-90′s, first on SNES, and then PS & PS2. Now, between my DS, PSP, Wii & PS3 I’ve got more than I can handle. Actually, there’s always been more JRPG’s released than I could ever play.
    Missed out on too many to list–entire series even–but Rogue Galaxy looked particularly promising. Anyone ever play that?

    Ah, the musical brilliance of Nier is burned into my brain. I can hear it now.

    I look forward to getting Ni No Kuni ASAP.

    @Da Man: What’s your favorite Final Fantasy game?

    #51 2 years ago
  52. Da Man

    FF IV.

    #52 2 years ago
  53. Clupula

    @51 – Rogue Galaxy is a game that starts off great and then falls apart halfway through the game. The first 15 hours, I was in love with the game. The last 20 or so, I just wanted it to end.

    #53 2 years ago
  54. Kabby

    I’m pleased Level 5 got this out before PS4 was released. Perhaps this one won’t slip under the radar like Rogue Galaxy.

    #54 2 years ago
  55. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    Lost Odyssey>Everything else.

    #55 2 years ago
  56. Clupula

    @50 – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I do not get the love that Eternal Sonata gets. I found that game’s story and characters so tedious, even if the battle system was pretty fun and the graphics were nice.

    On the other hand, I don’t get all the hate that Star Ocean: The Last Hope gets, so different strokes, I guess…

    #56 2 years ago
  57. Clupula

    @54 – As I said, I think Rogue Galaxy was on a lot of people’s radars, but there was bad word of mouth from a lot of the first day players, like myself. I remember a big deal being made about the game, but then all the hype drying up once people got to play it. I think there’s definitely a group who love the game, which I guess you’re a part of, but most people I know who have played it say it was underwhelming and that’s a view I share about the last half of the game.

    #57 2 years ago
  58. DLTDawnlight

    #54 – I always relate Eternal Sonata to games like Flower on the PS3. It’s one of those “play to relax” type of RPGs.

    My problem with Star Ocean: The Last Hope is that the boss battles can get excessively long (the final boss took about an hour to beat) and the limited save points was such a pain in the butt.

    Saving anywhere should be a standard for JRPGs today.

    #58 2 years ago
  59. DSB

    JRPGs are forefathers of the genre?

    I’d say the western RPGs were born from the pen and paper scene. Rogue was directly inspired by Dungeons and Dragons, Stackpole and Pavlish from Wasteland were both pen and paper writers, and Black Isle famously jumped on DnD with a vengeance.

    #59 2 years ago
  60. Clupula

    Well, while we’re here and discussing JRPG’s might as well go into what got me into them… I had actually played the first Final Fantasy on the NES and was really, really bored by it. I had played text adventures and Kings Quest before that, so I was totally into the idea of a game that focused on story, but the first FF was just boring. I never finished it. Rented it, played it for about 3-4 hours and then returned it for Fester’s Quest or something like that.

    It was until I was an avid reader of DieHard Gamefan and they were really hyping up Lunar: The Silver Star for Sega CD, so I figured I’d give it a try, and that game blew me away. I had never gotten so emotionally attached to videogame characters before. So, from that point on, I was a fan of the genre. I got all the Sega CD JRPG’s and then started on the Phantasy Star series.

    I liked FFVII, thought FFVIII was awful, and absolutely loved FFIX, but what I think the best thing about Final Fantasy during the PS1 days is that its sales created such a huge boost in the genre. The PS1 days were so amazing. Every month, there’d be like 2 or 3 new JRPG’s to play. There were so many, I ended up missing out on Suikoden II when it first came out.

    Anyway, since we also seem to be making lists, here’s my top 15 of all time JRPG’s.

    15. Final Fantasy X (PS2)
    14. Persona 4 (PS2)
    13. Xenogears (PS1)
    12. Skies of Arcadia (Dreamcast)
    11. Tales of Graces F (PS3)
    11. Phantasy Star 4 (Genesis)
    10. Persona 3 FES (PS2)
    9. Final Fantasy IX (PS2)
    8. Xenosaga I (PS2)
    7. Ni No Kuni (PS3)
    6. Suikoden V (PS2)
    5. Lunar: The Silver Star (Sega CD)
    4. Shadow Hearts: Covenant (PS2)
    3. Suikoden II (PS1)
    2. Valkyria Chronicles (PS3)
    1. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne (PS2)

    #60 2 years ago
  61. Clupula

    @58 – I’m of two minds about saving anywhere. I think it’s pretty annoying when I can only save at churches or whatever, like in Dragon Quest, but I don’t think you should be able to save anywhere in a maze.

    Perfectly okay with saving anywhere in a town or on the world map (remember those?), but in an actual maze, there should be save points.

    #61 2 years ago
  62. Da Man

    #48 As you can see, Cu**pula’s level of intelligence can be obvious from their passionate list of favourite japanese computer software..

    #62 2 years ago
  63. Clupula

    @59 – Yeah, I’d assume they’d both, WRPG’s and JRPG’s, come from the Dungeons and Dragons type stuff and then from the early computer RPG’s, like Wizardry and stuff like that. The ones that were all text and you had to make a map of your own. Then that concept was expanded upon. Ultima and the like…

    I had always thought that JRPG’s were the Japanese attempt at making a Dunegons and Dragons type game in video form. I mean, if you look at stuff like Shining in the Darkness or Phantasy Star I, how different is that from some of the American computer RPGs of the time, you know?

    #63 2 years ago
  64. Ireland Michael

    @56 Entirely agreed. Eternal Sonata was pretty damn tedious. It has a nice idea going for it, but it suffered from every bad anime cliche possible. The storytelling was aaaaawful, and that’s saying a lot consider how bad a lot JRPG stories are.

    Star Ocean: The Last Hope had some great gameplay, but fuck, whoever created those characters and those cutscenes was a raging pervert. Another one or those horrible anime stereotypes that the medium is (rightfully) blasted for. It doesn’t benefit the medium in any positive way whatever.

    @60 Shin Megami Tensei 3. Yum. What a fucking masterpiece that game was.

    #64 2 years ago
  65. Da Man

    FAK!11 Must be really boring in the kitchen, lolcon :( . N33d sum medium to ease the pain of inferiority.

    #65 2 years ago
  66. Clupula

    @64 – Fun fact about Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne: It was the game that made me start playing the Devil May Cry series after having Dante try to fuck me up through half the game. I loved SMT 3 so much, I wanted to know more about the character that was stalking me.

    #66 2 years ago
  67. friendlydave

    I like Eternal Sonata because of how easy it was to just pick up. When I played it I was to busy with a new job to concentrate on a demanding RPG but still had that urge to play one. Eternal Sonata done a good job at fulfilling that.

    I never played Star Ocean: The Last Hope. I did purchase a copy for £3. The back of the case reminded me of Infinite undiscovery and I quite enjoyed that.

    #67 2 years ago
  68. GwynbleiddiuM

    @59 couldn’t have said it better myself.

    @Dave I never cared for JRPG, as I said many time in the past. It just isn’t for me. So, please don’t mix up JRPG with CRPG Dave, they have two very different fan-base, and if someone enjoys one of them, it’s not a guarantee that they will enjoy the other. Sinking hours into Skyrim is a lot more different than going through hours of insufferable amount of bishounen art works.

    A History of Western RPG, a good read if nothing else. The forefathers of RPG is in fact Pen and Paper, and goes way beyond the era of graphical advances of video games. We used to play text based RPGs like The Legend of the Red Dragon (1989) way before any JRPs were born. There were older PLATO based titles that I haven’t played myself. :P

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Western_role-playing_video_games

    #68 2 years ago
  69. Clupula

    @68 – You are completely right on the different fan-bases. I found Oblivion to be one of the most boring experiences I’ve ever attempted to suffer through, videogame-wise.

    Fallout 3, I liked, but the majority of Western RPG’s just are, as you put it, insufferable.

    #69 2 years ago
  70. Dave Cook

    @68 I wasn’t getting them mixed up, I know the differences ;)

    Id like to see some players of western RPGs getting into JRPGs too. More sales for jRPGs on these shores is always a good thing – more localisation, greater interest from publishers etc. It’s a good thing.

    #70 2 years ago
  71. Clupula

    @70 – It would be cool if more people got into them over here. I keep bringing up how awesome the PS1 days were. i think we certainly have a glut of WRPG’s right now.

    Then there’s games like Mass Effect, which are third person shooters, being called RPG’s for some reason. I love the Mass Effect series, don’t get me wrong, but the only one that really tried to seriously implement role-playing elements into it was part one and that did it very sloppily. Once it just accepted that it was a cover-based third person shooter with more story than usual, it was a lot better game, imo.

    #71 2 years ago
  72. silkvg247

    I hope they make a comeback.

    I still remember when I was 12 years old, literally hunting for my copy of Phantasy Star on the master system. It’s a wonder they released it in the UK at all! Found it eventually, good times indeed.

    My favorite JRPG is Xenosaga 1, which sadly never came out here.

    For FF, I agree with Da Man that FFIV is the best of the lot. I feel FFIX was the last “good” FF game.

    The phantasy star series is good, four is an average end to them though. Three is the black sheep, but still enjoyed it. PS2 is rock bloody hard, I wonder if anyone here has completed it.. I have, but only after obtaining a hidden “save anywhere” item for the last boss.

    A good JRPG is basically an interactive story with memorable characters. Gameplay, I daresay, hardly matters at all. I mean it has to be playable and non-buggy, but any fancy battle mechanics (FF13, sigh) just take away from the experience.

    #72 2 years ago
  73. Cobra951

    @72: Yes, I completed Phantasy Star 2. My problem with it, iirc, was the randomness of the difficulty. You could get killed summarily in one advanced encounter, or sail through it. Enough repetition conquered all of them.

    That was my first PS game. I later tried, but could not get into, PS1. I played through PS3 and enjoyed it. 4, not so much.

    #73 2 years ago
  74. fearmonkey

    I have pretty much lost interest in Japanese adventure games, as they are usually that and not really an RPG. The linear paths, the same old gaming experience in 90 percent of the games. I have rented quite a few this gen and found them all boring and lacking.

    I loved the genre on SNES, PS1, and Dreamcast but after getting an xbox and then the 360, i found myself not enjoying them, preferring western RPG’s instead. Im happy that games like Capcom’s Dragon’s Dogma and Dark souls exist now, but would love to see game in the genre transcend the gameplay of old. IF I want a retro game with that gameplay, my IOS devices have that covered.

    #74 2 years ago
  75. Hellhound30x

    I liked this article. I will say this, “I didn’t come away from it feeling like I’ve been pitched to.”

    #75 2 years ago
  76. Ireland Michael

    @74 I’m not sure what JRPGs you’re playing, but “90% of them” have completely different systems and gameplay mechanics to them.

    There is far more diversity and experimentation in most JRPGs than you’ll ever find in… say… Bethesda RPGs, which are all very similar experiences in slightly different shells.

    I’ll agree on the linearity thing, but thats very much a matter of preference, I think. Freedom and linearity both have different benefits and cons.

    #76 2 years ago
  77. Clupula

    @72 – Phantasy Star II was the only game I’ve ever needed a guide to beat. Luckily, it used to come with one. I’m not sure if that was from the first run or if they eventually packed in the guide because people were bitching about the difficulty, but I remember using the guide because the maps were incredibly confusing. Most JRPG’s at the time saved their teleporter mazes for the part leading up to the final boss. Phantasy Star 2 had the first maze be one. I hate using guides. I have not used one since or before, but I remember going in circles in the second maze for about an hour before I finally just gave in and started using the guide. And every maze afterwards, I’d say I wasn’t going to use it, only to get completely lost by the tiled graphics and end up using it.

    Also, the way to find the unlimited saves was absolutely ridiculous. You couldn’t buy it. You couldn’t find it anywhere. You had to bring a certain character to a certain shop and hope that she would randomly shoplift it.

    Of course, that is the one thing I will give Phantasy Star 2 over every other RPG I’ve ever played with a thief character: the thief was an actual thief. She’d shoplift on a regular basis and I’m surprised no one since has ever taken that idea.

    But yeah, I beat Phantasy Star 2 on the Genesis, but I did need a lot of help to do so. Phantasy Star 4 was actually my first of the series. If I had started on 2, I’m not sure I would have bought the rest.

    #77 2 years ago
  78. manamana

    Final Fantasy I and II are on sale for iOS right now. For those of you, who dig the oldschool pixelated stuff.

    FF I $3.99 instead of $8.99
    FF II $3.99 instead of $8.99

    #78 2 years ago
  79. mistermogul

    I know it’s not strictly a JRPG but IGN just gave the new Fire Emblem 9.6 which sounds like more Japanese loveliness!

    Problem with these types of games is they drain too many hours of your time!

    http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/01/30/fire-emblem-awakening-review

    #79 2 years ago
  80. polygem

    @mistermogul: thx for posting that the review is online! great score. will read it now. cannot wait for this game. really nice games coming out atm.

    #80 2 years ago
  81. PC_PlayBoy

    ANACHRONOX
    ARCANUM: OF STEAMWORKS AND MAGICK OBSCURA
    BALDUR’S GATE
    BALDUR’S GATE 2
    DARKLANDS
    DIVINE DIVINITY
    FALLOUT
    FALLOUT 2
    GORKY 17
    ICEWIND DALE
    ICEWIND DALE 2
    INQUISITOR
    LEGEND OF GRIMROCK
    HEROES OF MIGHT AND MAGIC 3
    NEVERWINTER NIGHTS
    NEVERWINTER NIGHTS 2
    PLANESCAPE: TORMENT
    SPELLFORCE
    STAR WARS: KOTOR
    STAR WARS: KOTOR 2
    TEMPLE OF ELEMENTAL EVIL
    TITAN QUEST
    TORCHLIGHT
    TORCHLIGHT 2
    WITCHER
    WITCHER 2
    VAMPIRE THE MASQUERADE: BLOODLINES

    …I could go on forever. Those are proper RPG’s and none of that fucking JAP crap every other numpty on here seems to love.

    #81 2 years ago
  82. Digital Bamboo

    @81 You must be great at parties.

    @Da Man – I honestly didn’t expect you to answer what your favorite FF game was. I was under the distinct impression that you hated the entire Final Fantasy series, JRPG’s, Japanese-made games, and perhaps even anyone who played them. I guess I was mistaken.

    IV, eh? I’m partial to VII myself.

    #82 2 years ago
  83. Da Man

    Ha.

    Yep, pretty much one of the last few good FFs. Didn’t try to be art or leverage the nonexisiting medium. Then they started releasing FFs aimed at overgrown nerds who make friends on the internet.

    #83 2 years ago
  84. YoungZer0

    That pretty much sums up everything i don’t want to see in any JRPG ever again:

    http://youtu.be/0e727H81IAs?t=2m10s

    I want to hurt myself.

    #84 2 years ago
  85. Zana

    Oh well, FF games are not trying to be RPGs anymore. If you don’t get that, you probably won’t enjoy them to the fullest. I’m amazed that some people are happy a game “didn’t try to be art”! If you want to play a RPG with no ambition, just go for Tales of.

    Final Fantasy is still a good series and I don’t see why main titles should be affected by crappy side games such as All The Bravest. Some people are *really* too passionate there.

    #85 2 years ago
  86. Da Man

    Tales of, despite that they used to have gameplay, and generally still have (which is rare in post Snes jrpgs) are for.. a certain niche audience.

    #86 2 years ago
  87. Deacon

    You play this game, so that makes you an inbred tax-avoiding baby-rapist. Your butthurtedness knows no limits DM.

    Your presumptuous judgemental attitude will see you go far in life, for sure.

    #87 2 years ago
  88. Da Man

    Now now, let’s not rrod ourselves there by trying to figure out why adults who play Tales, analyze Mgs storylines and watch anime tend to be inferior, if not mental. Keep fighting the Apple system and brainwashed casuals instead.

    One of the more fun jrpgs I played was Vampires Dawn for mobile phones a few years back. reminded me of their golden era, when they used to have more gameplay than 3 second long midi loops and passionate cutscenes.

    #88 2 years ago
  89. DLTDawnlight

    #81 – As expected from an anti-JRPG PC gamer.

    Can someone explain how WRPGs are so “innovative” and uncliched? I always look at them as being just as equally cliched as JRPGs.

    Go from Point A to Point B while hacking and slashing enemies = WRPG.

    #89 2 years ago
  90. Ireland Michael

    @89 In fairness, there are plenty of well written, well designed WRPGs, with great gameplay system. Likewise there are plenty of JRPGs with the same.

    Of course, both sides are just as guilty of cliched ideas as the other. Neither is better or worse.

    #90 2 years ago
  91. silkvg247

    @77 Haha, yes those mazes were utter bitches. The only time I ever used a guide was to beat the second to last boss, and it was then that I discovered the save game item. I think PS2 took me 60 hours to beat, a huge chunk of that was spent learning the mazes for sure.

    I forgot to give an honorable mention to the original Grandia, also on my favorite list.

    I think one massive difference between JRPGs and WRPGs that is almost always overlooked is musical score. I think back to practically any scene in any of my favorite JRPGs and I have the full audio track in my head, start to end. I cannot say the same about any WRPG. I feel music is important in games and good music makes games more memorable and enjoyable.

    #91 2 years ago
  92. Deacon

    @91 – good point on the audio.

    Skyrim aside, I don’t have any Western RPG soundtracks stuck in my mind like I do with pretty much EVERY jrpg I’ve touched. I’ve still got some tracks from Terranigma knocking about in my head, and that shit was way back in my youth.

    I think with the arrival of Skyrim most Western RPG devs will now pay a lot more attention to the soundtrack. The only caveat to what you said is that the Skyrim soundtrack beats Dragon’s Dogma hands down. I guess maybe Capcom were trying to ‘Westernize’ their OST on this one? Bar a couple of tracks, it really hasn’t moved me.

    The Uematsu days are all but gone. From what I played of Lost Odyssey the soundtrack to that game was fantastic.

    From my experience then, the JRPG’s generally have the more memorable score. All preference at the end of the day though. Music is a pretty broad field eh!

    #92 2 years ago
  93. Clupula

    @82 – I doubt he’s ever been to a party that didn’t have “LAN” in front of it.

    #93 2 years ago
  94. Clupula

    @91 – The original Grandia was a lot of fun, but the translation and dubbing were so incredibly bad that they ruined a bit of the fun for me. I had been used to voice acting in JRPG’s coming from Working Designs, which, while not exactly AAA quality, still put a lot of personality into their English dubs. Grandia’s was almost Resident Evil 1-quality. The gameplay and the story were very cool, but that dub…ugh.

    And I’m not even one of these people who insist on everything being in Japanese. I tend to play my JRPG’s with English voices. But wow, was that one bad.

    #94 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • Project CARS to receive a free car every month, starting with the Lykan Hypersport

    The Lykan Hypersport, the supercar featured in one of Furious 7′s action set-pieces, will be a free download for Project CARS owners. To thank the fans for their patience throughout Project CARS development and several delays, developer Slightly Mad will be giving all owners one in-game car for free each month. The first car will […]

  • Leaked Halo Online gameplay shows weapons, maps, and more

    Gameplay from the upcoming, Russia only, Halo Online has leaked online and it looks like a mix of Halo 3 and Halo Reach. Microsoft announced last week that a free-to-play Halo game is in development at Saber Interactive. The game will be available in Russia only, at least on launch. YouTuber Noble, with the help […]

  • Get PlayStation 4 with the PS Camera and The Last of Us for $399

    US retailer Best Buy is offering a free PlayStation Camera with the purchase of The Last of Us PS4 bundle. If you’re in the US, Best Buy is having a very good deal on PlayStation 4 systems at the moment. If you buy The Last of Us PS4 bundle, you’ll automatically get the PS Camera […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC comes to PS4 in May

    Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC has been given a release window for PS3, PS4, and Xbox 360. Jaws of Hakkon, the first story add-on to Dragon Age: Inquisition was released last week on PC and Xbox One. The release was a complete surprise, as there was no prior announcement. What was also surprising […]

  • Watch Rainbow Six Siege developers stream new gameplay right now

    Rainbow Six Siege developers are about to livestream new gameplay footage. Come and watch with us. The livestream below starts at 7pm UK time/6pm GMT. Ubisoft will be showing new gameplay footage and will talk more about the operator system, which was revealed today. The footage will be from the PC alpha build. Expect more […]

  • Advanced Warfare Exo Zombie Infected trailer shows new weapons, massive enemy

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies episode 2, Infected, has been shown off in a new trailer. The official trailer for Exo Zombies Infected is here with footage of the new gear and new enemies. All of which help set up the mess everyone’s making at Burger Town. John Malkovich and co are dropped […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition comes with a 120-page field manual

    Rainbow Six Siege will be getting a collector’s edition and it comes with a 120-page guide. The Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition has been fully detailed. It’s called the “Art of Siege Edition” and will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, priced £65. Here’s what you get: A copy of the game […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege trailer is all about the operators

    Rainbow Six Siege has a new trailer available explaining the operator system. Operators are what makes any Counter Terrorist Unit and you will get to choose each of them individually before assembling a team. Any operator you choose will not be available for others though, so planning ahead will be crucial. The new trailer shows […]

  • Spotify now available on PS3 and PS4, lets you play music in the background

    Spotify has arrived on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The Spotify app is now available in 42 countries on PSN. The app was part of last week’s firmware update and can be found under PlayStation Music. Anyone can download it, as it doesn’t require PlayStation Plus. You can use your PSN account to subscribe to […]

  • Let’s talk Battlefield Hardline weapon balance

    The weapon balance in Battlefield Hardline is causing a controversy among the players. Are some weapons too powerful, or are other not powerful enough? Westie has been playing Battlefield Hardline since it the day it came out and he has some opinions about the state of weapon balance as it stands right now. Westie also […]

  • UK Charts: Bloodborne enters at No. 2, Battlefield Hardline defends No. 1 spot

    Battlefield Hardline has defended the No. 1 spot in the UK Charts against Bloodborne’s impressive numbers. The UK Charts for the week ending March 28 show Battlefield Hardline continuing to hold the top spot despite dropping 43% in sales. Bloodborne achieved the No. 2 spot and came only 22,500 copies short of becoming number 1. […]

  • Halo 5: Guardians release date and new trailers released

    Halo 5 is coming in October. Are you ready? Halo 5: Guardians has been slapped with a release date of October 27. Microsoft and 343 Industries also released a new trailer to mark the news; check it out below. “The Master Chief. Spartan Locke. Who is the hunter and who is the hunted?” Microsoft said […]

  • Denial wins Call of Duty Championship 2015

    In a weekend where favourites crashed out and non-US teams took a beating, Denial stepped up to take the title and $400,000 prize Denial have beaten Revenge to win the Call of Duty Championship 2015, claiming a $400,000 prize. Taking place in downtown Los Angeles, 32 of the best teams in the world battled it […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance DLC- check out new maps and the grapple ability

    Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC is looking pretty sweet in these two new videos. The Call of Duty Championships this weekend have given our very own Arekkz a chance to check out the new Ascendance DLC coming this month. Take a look at all four new maps as well as the cool new grapple ability (which […]

  • Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies gets a “mini boss” with Ascendance DLC

    Zombies mode gets an exo-kick up the ass with Advanced Warfare’s second DLC drop, Ascendance. When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC drops this week, players will be going up against some tougher challenges in Exo Zombies mode. “It’s all zombies, all of the time,” says High Moon Studios Matt Tieger, head of the […]

  • GTA Online user videos show out of character Lester, important Police Business

    You know, Lester isn’t as soft as he lets on, at least in these two GTA Online videos he’s not. The first one below is from YouTube user 10Phoenix01 Gamer, showing Lester kick a guy’s ass. It’s apparently punishment for running over the player – at least that’s the way it appears. A second video […]

  • Guild Wars 2 devs explain how the Map Bonus system, precursor crafting work in Heart of Thorns

    ArenaNet has posted information on the Guild Wars 2 website explaining how crafting mastery, and crafting a legendary weapon, will work in the Heart of Thorns expansion. There’s also information on the new Map Bonuses system, which will make acquiring crafting materials a more “directed activity” and streamlined experience. The new system will also add […]

  • Fly around your creations in Cities: Skylines with the Flight Cimulator mod

    Cities: Skylines players can now fly over their creations thanks to the Flight Cimulator mod. Created by Ulysius and available through the Steam Workshop, the mod allows the user to simulate flight through simple controls. According to the mod notes, it is still a work in progress as Ulysius plans to add building collisions , […]

  • The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul arrive on PlayStation Vue

    Sony has announced the addition of AMC to its PlayStation Vue service, which soft launched in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia earlier this month. Those who use the service can now get their Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead fix, and also watch the Sundance channel, WEtv and IFC. AMC and WEtv are […]

  • Play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser

    Thanks to Roystan Ross and the Unity engine, you can play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser. This little nugget came to my attention yesterday, and unfortunately it became lost on my worksheet. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyway, the level is free-to-play and if you don’t wish to play […]

  • Steam’s Discovery Update has helped increase revenue for smaller titles

    Valve has said its Discovery Queue has increased product page views across Steam by 30% since the company launched the Discovery Update. According to Valve, 75% of those views come from the Discovery Queue, and 16% of product views can be attributed to the Discovery Queue. Even Steam Tags clicks have increased. The system is […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection April update includes “more ranked playlists”

    The next content update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection will “address a variety of issues across the game,” according to 343 Industries, including specific improvements to ranking. New quit and betrayal penalties are also in the works as the development team prepares to roll out ranks to additional playlists. According to 343, the latest […]

  • Get Spec Ops: The Line for free through 2K Games sale on Humble Store

    A 2K Games sale is going on this weekend on the Humble Store with up to 83% off on select titles. Games on sale include Evolve, Bioshock, Civilization and other franchises. Plus, Spec Ops: The Line can be yours for free with the purchase of any -2K title on sale. To see the full list […]

  • Dota 2 The International 2015 tickets are sold out

    Tickets to Dota 2 The International 2015 are now sold out, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The tickets went on sale in two phases starting March 27. Phase one sold out in six minutes, and phase two sold out in four minutes. Each round of sales offered the same quantity of General Admission tickets priced at […]

  • Here’s what’s expected in Battlefield 4′s Weapon Crate DLC – video

    A new Battlefield 4 drop is on the horizon, and to give you an idea of what to expect, we have a video for you below featuring information on the Weapon Crate DLC. According to Battlefield expert Westie, players can expect five new weapons along with the return of the Gun Master game mode. The […]

  • Pillars of Eternity issues to be addressed in patch 1.03, expected next week

    Obsidian Entertainment plans to release a Pillars of Eternity patch next week to combat issues users have reported. Until the patch is released, the developers have posted workarounds for some of the most common issues. The issues reported span framerate drops, inability to launch the game unless in administrator mode, crashes on 32-bit machines, animal […]

  • Mortal Kombat X videos show Erron Black gameplay, Ermac fatalities, more

    Erron Black, the gunslinger which was outed for Mortal Kombat X in the achievements listing last week, was featured in the latest livestream from NetherRelam Studios yesterday evening. Along with gameplay, fatalities and variations for Black, the developer also provided a look at gameplay for: Ermac vs Mileena; Ermac’s brutality and fatality moves; Lui Kang […]

  • The Legend of Zelda Wii U: 2015 release not a “priority”, skipping E3

    The Legend of Zelda franchise producer Eiji Aonuma is featured in the latest video update on the status of The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, stating a 2015 release is no longer a “number one priority” for the team. While Aonuma never specifically says the game has been delayed into 2016, the announcement confirms […]

  • Destiny gameplay designer exits for Bethesda

    Destiny’s senior gameplay designer Josh Hamrick announced on Twitter overnight he would be leaving the company in a week’s time for Bethesda. Hamrick joined Bungie in 2009 after working two years at Midway Austin, where he created multiplayer maps, modified single-player levels, and other designer functions. He was in charge of fixing bug in code […]

  • What to expect from the Call of Duty Championship this weekend

    Just settling down to the Call of Duty Championship this weekend? Here’s a rundown of today’s matches and what else to expect over the next three days. The Call of Duty Championship is taking place in LA this weekend until Sunday, with 32 four-player teams battling it out for a prize pot of $1 million. […]

  • MLB 15 The Show video highlights improved graphics, updated grass patterns

    Sony has released a video for MLB 15 The Show which provides a look at graphical improvements made to the game. Along with the visual upgrade over MLB 14 The Show, the game contains new minor league stadiums, dynamic sun generated in real-time, and upgraded grass patterns which reflect each stadium’s unique look. MLB 15 […]

  • Valve to offer HTC Vive Developer Edition free to qualified developers

    Valve has said it will offer the HTC Vive Developer Edition for free to qualified developers in an effort to buoy projects before the tech launches commercially. Surgeon Simulator developer Bossa Studios and The Room studio Fireproof Games are just some of the developers which already have a free Vive in-hand. According to Valve’s Doug […]

  • DriveClub gameplay video features MotorStorm’s off-road buggies

    Some gameplay footage of MotorStorm’s off-road buggies in DriveClub has surfaced. Pictures of the buggies were shown on the Japanese PlayStation Blog earlier this month, which considering the game was developed by Evolution Studios – which developed MotorStorm – this isn’t too much of a surprise. The buggies were first spotted by Videogamer, which pulled […]

  • Mortal Kombat X live-action TV spot features the track Chop Suey

    The TV sport for Mortal Kombat X has been released, and not only does it contain a “spontaneous fight circle” taking over an entire city, but it features the System of a Down track Chop Suey. Mortal Kombat X will be released on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One April 14. The […]

  • Bloodborne Forbidden Woods progression bug caused by multiplayer summon

    A progression bug in Bloodborne is in the works, according to Sony and From Software. The issue occurs when players activate a multiplayer session in the Forbidden Woods using the Sinister Resonant Bell or Small Resonant Bell. It also appears the Lunarium Key won’t appear because of the multiplayer bug, and without the key you […]

  • Yo-Kai Watch game franchise has sold over 7 million copies

    The Yo-Kai Watch IP has sold over 7 million copies, according to developer Level-5. The figure included both physical and digital download sales. Yo-Kai Watch 3 will be unveiled during Level-5 Vision 2015 next month. The first title is in the works for the west but is still without a release window. Thanks, Gematsu.

  • Bloodborne trademark returned to Sony after accidentally losing it

    In case you were worried or anything, Sony has once again obtained the Bloodborne trademark. Earlier this week it was revealed that Sony mistakenly abandoned the Bloodborne trademark along with four others registered with US Patent and Trademark Office: Guns Up!, Kill Strain; How Games Were Made to Sound, and No Heroes Allows: No Puzzles […]

  • GTA 5 PC official trailer coming next week, 15 new screenshots released

    New PC screenshots of GTA 5 have been released along with word of a new trailer coming on Monday. The screens below are from the PC version and you can view them in 4K glory over on Rockstar Newswire. The PC version of GTA 5 releases on April 14.

  • PSN real-time server status page launching in Europe soon

    PlayStation users in Europe will soon have its own a PSN Service Status Indicator. It was released earlier this month in North America. The indicator makes it easier to check whether PlayStation services are down or running as planned. This includes account management, PlayStation Now, the store, social services, etc. Sony told Eurogamer the service […]

  • Exclusivity contract prevents Bioware from revealing Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC release on PS4

    Bioware is unable to discuss when the Jaws of Hakkon DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition will arrive on platforms other than PC and Xbox One. According to various tweets from executive producer Mark Darrah, due to the exclusivity contract between EA and Microsoft, the studio is unable to announce a release date for PlayStation 3 […]

  • LEGO Batman 3 demo, Namco Museum, more added to North American eShop

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a demo for LEGO Batman 3, Namco Museum on Wii U Virtual Console, and various sales. Below is the full update. Nintendo eShop Dot Arcade – Wii U LEGO Ninjago – 3Ds LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Demo – Wii U Harvest Moon: The […]

  • Square Enix’s Easter Surprise bundle contains five mystery PC games

    Square Enix offering another mystery bundle to customers in the UK, which comes with five mystery PC games for £3.99. As before, customers will be unaware of the games they are purchasing in the mystery bundle, but the bundle contains triple-A titles worth £40 combined. One of Square’s previous mystery bundles contained Tomb Raider, Just […]

  • From Software’s PSone game Shadow Tower coming to PSN

    Shadow Tower, the first-person action-RPG developed for the original PlayStation by From Software, will be released on PlayStation Network. In the 1998 title, players took on the role of a mercenary who has returned home to the Holy Land of Zeptar to find the place has been sucked into the Underworld. He must use the […]

  • PlayStation TV gets price cut in the UK, now £44.99

    PlayStation TV has received a price cut in the UK. After several retailers started offering the console for less than the RRP of £84.99, users on DealSpwn began to wonder whether this is an official price cut, and not just regular deals or stock clearance. Sony later confirmed the new price of £44.99. “Starting from […]

  • Fast & Furious expansion for Forza Horizon 2 is now available, for free

    You can download Forza Horizon 2 expansion Fast & Furious starting right now. Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious is available to download now through Xbox Live for Xbox One and Xbox 360. The expansion is standalone, so you don’t need to own Forza Horizon 2 to play it. It’s also free from now […]

  • Fire-based weapons come to PayDay 2 with the Butcher’s BBQ Pack

    The 20th DLC for PayDay 2, the Butcher’s BBQ Pack, is now available on Steam. The DLC will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: Piglet Grenade Launcher, 12G Steakout Shotgun and Mk1 Flamethrower Molotov cocktails and incendiary ammo Four new masks, patterns, materials and achievements The Butcher’s BBQ Pack is another co-development between Overkill and Croatian […]

  • Lords of the Fallen developer offers Hideo Kojima a job

    Amid the current turmoil between Hideo Kojima and publisher Konami, one studio has offered the legendary designer a position. Lords of the Fallen developer Deck 13 took to Twitter to extend a job offer to Hideo Kojima. Dear Mr. @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN In case you are currently searching, we have an open position as Head of Game […]

  • Destiny Xur update: should you buy MIDA Multi Tool?

    The question on every Destiny player’s lips today. And the answer, supplied by resident Destiny expert Paul Davies, is… Yes! We asked Paul whether or not he thought Xur’s Exotic weapon this week was worth the 23 Strange Coins. Here’s what he said: “It was already a great gun to own for PVP owing to […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 has an all-male cast to make it “more approachable”

    According to Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata, the main cast of the game is all-male because it makes the game “more approachable.” Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata spoke to Gamespot about the reason for his choice of making the core cast an all-male affair. “Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable […]

  • Hearthstone Blackrock Mountain is coming April 2

    Blizzard has given Hearthstone expansion Blackrock Mountain a solid release date. Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain adventure pack will be released April 2 in the Americas region, and April 3 in Europe, Korea, Taiwan, and China. Blackrock Depths is the first wing to be released, others will follow one week apart. Other than the 31 new cards, […]

  • Bloodborne: if you can’t load your save after installing firmware 2.50, this will help

    If you’re having issues loading your Bloodborne save after applying firmware update 2.50 to your PS4, this should help you out. Reddit user KBALLZZ encountered an issue after installing update 2.50 on his PlayStation 4. Bloodborne started reinstalling the day one patch again and when it was done he couldn’t continue his game or load […]

  • Use this code to get 10% off on PSN purchases

    Sony is offering a 10% discount coupon to anyone looking to buy games on PlayStation Store this weekend. Sony’s latest discount coupon code is here. You’ll receive 10% off your cart total when buying from the PSN Store. The offer is not valid on purchases made on PS Vita, PlayStation TV, PSP, or in-game stores. […]

  • Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin upgrade path announced, system specs revealed

    Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin will offer returning customers a chance to upgrade at a discounted price. Those who already own Dark Souls 2 on Steam and are interested in picking up the Scholar of the First Sin edition will be happy to know that publisher Bandai Namco is offering them an […]

  • Bloodborne: this is what happens when you have 40 Insight

    Insight is one of the currencies in Bloodborne, but it’s also a mechanic that affects the gameplay. There are MASSIVE SPOILERS below, so turn back now or one of Bloodborne’s gameplay mechanics will be SPOILED for you. Just like Blood Echoes in Bloodborne, Insight is used to purchase certain items from vendors in the game. […]

  • Phase two of Xbox One April update brings voice messages, dedicated servers for party chat, more

    The second phase of the April update for Xbox One is now open to members of the Preview programme and and it looks like there are even more features in store. Phase one of Xbox One’s April firmware update started a few days ago with improvements to party chat and achievements notifications. Today, phase two […]

  • GTA 5′s graphical “downgrade” is a bug, will be fixed in upcoming patch

    As of patch 1.8 for GTA 5 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, a few graphical issues have cropped up leading some to believe there has been a stealth downgrade to the game’s overall graphics. Over the past couple of days, Reddit went nuts over a video showing what appears to be a downgrade to […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for March 27, 28 – MIDA Multi-Tool edition

    Xur: Agent of the Nine has arrived at The Tower in Destiny to rid you of your Strange Coins. Xur: Agent of the Nine has once again made it to Destiny’s Tower to sell you Exotic weapons and gear in exchange for Strange Coins and Motes of Light. For this weekend, Xur can be found […]

  • Destiny vault space upgrade will have enough room for every Exotic

    Destiny is finally getting the vault space upgrade players have been begging for almost since launch week. Destiny players can currently use vault space to store 20 pieces of amour, 20 weapons and 20 general item stacks. In the latest Bungle Weekly Update, the developer revealed that as of patch 1.1.2, due before House of […]

  • Half-Life 2: Update mod applies some sparkle to the original title

    Half-Life 2: Update will be available tomorrow, and thanks to the modding community, those who own the vanilla version of the game can apply a visual update to the 2004 title. The comparison video shows you the differences between the original version, and the version with Half-Life 2: Update applied. Here’s what the mod includes: […]

  • Neverwinter MMO can now be pre-downloaded on Xbox One

    You can now pre-download the free-to-play Neverwinter MMO on Xbox One. The game launches on March 31, but you will still need an Xbox Live Gold account to play it. Based on the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, the game can be downloaded from the Xbox Store.