Protesting Japanese Role-Playing Games

Japanese role-playing games are different from Western ones. And by "different" some would say, "not as good".

During the 1980s and 1990s, Japanese role-playing games flourished, but critics would say that the current JRPGs seem trapped in time. Fans would say if something is not broken, then why fix.

You are looking at the Japanese ad for American role-playing game Fallout: New Vegas. A group of young Japanese hold protest-type signs that read:

• "I think it would be good if the hero had missions that weren't only about destroying evil."

• "The player is weak, the enemy is weak. That's way too convenient."

• "When did games become something you admire?"

• "Because the story doesn't change, what's the point of playing it again?"

• "You're not pursuing the recent, realistic-looking games?"

• "What's a game that's moving in accordance to the scenario? It's the same as living on rails."

• "Leveling up is motivation down time!"

• "The stage has been set. After that, you're free to do whatever!"

This ad is arresting, eye-catching. It is, without being too blunt, a publicity stunt.

That doesn't mean the messages on these sign hold any less true.

Games like Fallout, Mass Effect and Red Dead Redemption are doing their best to make the vast majority of Japanese role-playing games look horribly dated and worse yet, stale.

4Gamer.net - 「Fallout: New Vegas」予約&初回特典が明らかに。グラフィックノベルや限定アイテムを手に入れよう(Fallout: New Vegas) [4Gamer]


Comments

    “Leveling up is motivation down time!”

    hah, so true. I've been playing FFXIII and unlike pretty much everyone else in the world, I loved the lack of grind, it was just about the story and advancing it... until I got near the end, where it's all about overworld and grind. Now I'm bored and cbf finishing it.

    So disappointed by FFXIII so Loving DQIX.

    Also loving ME2 and DA:O...

    I've only played 3 JRPGs and I bother loved them. Lost Odyssey, FF13 and Golden Sun. They all looked really nice, had fun gameplay, interesting characters and an interesting story. Maybe if I played more I might see that they are all the same and get bored but since I haven't I can enjoy the ones I have. If they really are all the same though I agree they need to change.

    It's not like all Western RPGs are that different to each other though. The choices you are given all seem the same.
    For example if you just beat a bad guy you might be given the option to be nice and let him go or evil and kill him. I would like the option to shoot him in the leg and then let him go.
    Another example would be getting a treasure for someone and then having the option to lie and say you didn't find it and keeping the treasure for your self or giving them the treasure and then getting a small reward. I would like the option to keep all the treasure and in return I let him have sex with Tali.
    The main story for western RPGs is mainly about getting the bad guy as well. That's not always the case but it still happens quite a lot.

    My point in all that is it annoys me when people bash JRPGs for being all the same when western RPGs, whilst more diverse of each other, often feature similaritys. Do I think JRPGs need to change in terms of story and perhaps gameplay, yes I do. I would be saddened if they all changed though because I do enjoy a cliche story every now and again about the good guys beating the bad guys.

    They make plenty of incredible "JRPGs". I love the RPGs that come out of Japan. They have defined the RPG genre over the last 10-20 years. American RPGs barely exist.

    Anyone notice that the only GOOD JRPGs come from the 90s and 80s?

    Is there even one title that ISN'T a remake of an 80s or 90s game?

    Meanwhile, be it good or bad, at least Western RPG is moving forward in looks and plotting!
    (Not just the US too! FABLE III is incoming from Lionhead!)

    I've recently realised that, whilst jRPGs often dont innovate much on certain gameplay and story conventions, they are always very imaginative with their world and setting.

    Contrast with western RPGs which are always set in very cliched worlds (European medieval fantasy, standard space sci fi, standard post apocalyptic, etc.) Dragon Age was particularly dissappointing, they had a chance to create an original world and ended up just doing another Tolkien ripoff.
    There are exceptions like Planescape Torment (although that was based on a D&D setting anyways).

    So both sides have their strengths and weaknesses, I guess.

    JRPGs are not RPGs. They are adventure games.

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