Let’s Talk About JRPGs

Let’s Talk About JRPGs
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Here at Kotaku, we don’t spend nearly enough time talking about JRPGs. I mean, sure, we have a column every week dedicated to JRPGs, and we’re usually pretty good about covering RPG news from Japan, and I do my best to cover JRPGs as much as humanly possible.

But, still. There’s just so much to discuss. Persona Q comes out in a few weeks; I’ve been playing! It’s good! If you’re into Etrian Odyssey-style dungeon-crawling, this game really hits the spot. (Expect more thoughts closer to release.)

Final Fantasy XV continues to seem like a Real Game That’s Actually Happening. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD looks great. Is Final Fantasy finally back in business?

Speaking of games with the word “Fantasy” in them, Fantasy Life came out of nowhere to become one of my favourite games of the year. God, it’s just so charming and well-written and fun to play.

Meanwhile, XSEED quietly admitted that they’re probably not going to ship Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky SC — one of my most anticipated games — before next year.

What else is going on in the world of JRPGs? What’re you playing? What are you looking forward to?

Random Encounters is a column dedicated to all things JRPG.


  • The main part of FFXV that turns me off is the cast look like the biggest tryhard jpop band I’ve ever seen.

      • Nah, they will instead be cliche badly written characters like every other final fantasy game. It’s not a better thing.

        When everyone else got better at telling stories and making interesting characters, squeenix got left behind.

        • Everyone else is a big call. Most games writing is still miles behind good film & novels.

          Sure, there’s the odd diamond in the rough like Persona 4 & the Last of Us but most games are still full of tired cliches & don’t even come close to the best story tellers out there.

          I guess we all get something different from games though. I can be VERY forgiving if the gameplay is fun.
          I wouldn’t put up with the same thing in film or literature 🙂

          • I guess, I still come out feeling less cheated of my money than by any lastgen squeenix jrpg. Also persona four? Nah.

    • I don’t disagree with you, but I think it looks like a bit of a sausage fest. I’m withholding judgment until I see how the story plays out though.

  • My main issue with JRPG’s is that we don’t get enough Action JRPG’s in the similar kind of style as older retro games like Secret of Mana. Most JRPG’s are turn based or at best use some kind of hybrid battle system (Tales of Symphonia and Xenoblade Chronicles are two examples of good hybrid systems), so what I really want is new JRPG’s that utilise the real-time battle systems like what we saw in the Seiken Densetsu series. Aside from the occasional game released on the 3DS or something, we haven’t really seen any of these since the 16-bit era.

    Having said that I am really excited for the follow up to Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii U.

  • Fire Emblem Awakening – really really good game. Tight tactical RPG mechanics and a pretty good story. Some nice characters. I’m liking Tharja, Sumia and Kellam. Morgan is a hoot as well.

    • See, I quite liked FEA s. gameplay but was never hooked by the story or characters.

      I did end up completing it in the end but it became a chore because I no longer cared for the dialogue.

      I actually preferred some of the unimportant character interaction over the main plot :-/

  • I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth into Persona Q. It’s been a while since I last got my Persona fix. About time I did something about that.

  • I finished Ar Nosurge last week (interesting plot, very unusual combat mechanic, and some key game mechanics are only explained in the manual, not in-game). There’s some weird 4th-wall stuff in there which really plays games with your head.

    There is an actual in-game response where one of the heroines asks who she is to you (not to your avatar, to YOU) and one of the optional responses is “you’re my waifu.”

    This week back to Sword Art Online, where I’ve just broken into the third Hollow area but am taking it slowly on working through the floors – am up to level 89 now (with Kirito at level 125).

    Also spent some time with Fairy Fencer F. It has that NIS America feel to it where all the characters are self-consciously weird and think they’re funny, but aren’t really. Not all that impressed so far.

  • Currently I’m playing Disgaea 4 (Vita version) and Etrian Odyssey Untold wrt JRPGs. Some JRPG news of (general) note:
    – Arcana Heart 3 (yes, it’s a fighting game but super J) and Tears to Tiara II are coming to Australia later this year which surprised me given how niche they are.
    – Disgaea 5 will be the reason I buy a PS4.
    – Squeenix is teasing something with the tagline “The legend is resurrected.” which could be a Seiken Densetsu game, though some people are theorising that it’s a Racing Lagoon game.
    – Shin Makai Trillion just blipped on my radar.
    – Ghostlight are bringing Agarest 2 to PC.
    – Eliminage Gothic is currently on sale on Steam.
    – P4 Arena Ultimax is out November 20th. (JRPG related license)
    – The second HDN 2 game is coming to Western Vitas early next year.
    – Phantom Breaker: Battlegrounds (A brawler but with RPG elements so close enough) is coming to PC later this year.
    I’ve been playing JRPGs for a long time and it’s been interesting to see how we’ve gone from having very few JRPGs localised for the West to having one come out every other week. I have far too many to catch up with now.

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