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Author Topic: Japanese RPGs  (Read 838 times)
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ATB
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« on: March 15, 2006, 04:34:35 PM »

Ok. Ok. Ok. I'm late to PS2 so what.  Shut up about it :cry:.

My second game to play is Shadow Hearts as I've heard great things about the subsequent titles.

I'm about 3 hrs into it and TOTALLY HOOKED.

Sure the writing at times is just plain bad, but I'm riveted.

Questions about JRPGs.

1. What are the hallmarks?  Beyond the artwork
2. Do lots of japanese characters want to molest the heroines?  smile  :shock:  It's one of the weirdest things I've ever seen in a game...Unusual and uncomfortable Tongue frown
3. Is the FF series considered JRPG?  If so, is it worth playing this late in the cycle? Will I dig it?

That's all for now.
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hepcat
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2006, 04:47:56 PM »

love the shadow hearts series.  i picked up SH:New World, but i was so disappointed with it that i went back and am finishing the second SH game, Covenant.

There seems to be a deep rooted mysoginistic aspect to japanese culture.  objectifying women is pretty standard in a lot of computer/video games since the dominant market for this product is guys in their teens/twenties (unlike me, who has never grown up and plays them still as he approaches 40...good lord, where did i go wrong?  :wink: ), but the japanese take it to whole new levels quite often.  

i never could get into the FF series, myself.  the SH games only drew me in because the combat is really quite fun, and the enemies are (mostly) rather cool...unlike the standard JRPG enemy of "GIANT FUZZY WORM!".
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2006, 05:09:28 PM »

I thought the interaction between the male and female character early in the game was very bizarre.  It sorta turned me off for the rest of the game.

The Final Fantasy series is definitely worth checking out.  There's basically only one PS2 installment you want and that's Final Fantasy X.  Avoid Final Fantasy X-2 and Final Fantasy XI was an online MMORPG.

If you really like FFX (and you will... trust me) then you might check out the earlier installments which came out on the PS1.
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GGMark
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2006, 07:31:12 PM »

JRPG games can be very odd.  Keep in mind that they are pretty much geared for a audience thats growing up in a culture thats not our own.  One where you can buy womens worn underwear in vending machines, and one where they have womens only subway trains to avoid being grabbed by men.

I saw a interesting article awhile back on why eastern civilizations are 'wierd' about thier romantacism, and sex.  They never went through a romantic and rennesaince period like the west did, where out thinking on sex, and love and such was set as it is today.

I also tend to find that the japanese like the use of small children in horror games.  To tell you the truth, it creeps me out.  The Fatal Frame series is a good example of creepy asian kids.  

Never played Shadow hearts, but I heard good things about it.  

My opinion of FFX is mixed.  The graphics were superb, and the story was well laid down.  I really like the skills system as well.  I didnt like that if you missed some subplots it made it near impossible to advance through certain aspects of the story.  I was stuck for the longest time trying to beat a certain monster, and couldnt get by him.  I went to the store looked in the guide and found that if I didnt do a certain plot line, which I could not got back to, that it was near impossible to beat this monster.  I then sold the game.

I seriously enjoyed Xenogears till i got to a spot that required me to grind levels for all the characters.

many of us here are waiting on Rule of Rose to get a US release date.  BUT, with the trailer having little kids doing very bad things in it.  It prolly wont happen.  Very sad, that people here are hooked on the fact that video games make people do bad things.

Think of movies like Dark Water, Ringu, and such, where the main villian was a little girl.  Its a large market over there, and a niche market here.
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ATB
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2006, 07:48:25 PM »

Thanks for the answers guys...At risk of turning this into a recommend games for me thread, what are some you would recommend?

I'm planning to get DQ8 already as well as the other Shadow Hearts games (unless this one tanks it up).  What are some others?

There just seem to be so many established franchises that I can't keep them apart.
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Nth Power
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2006, 07:55:44 PM »

Definitely pick up DQ VIII.  Fantastic game all around.

There's also the Digital Devil Saga RPGs.  It's a darker game with a unique design.  Beware of the random encounters though.  DDS has loads of them.
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2006, 08:07:50 PM »

DQ8 isn't very JRPG. It doesn't really have the weirdness of other JRPGs. There are no children, really. The main character isn't a teenangster.
It's silly and quirky, but in a much more universal way.
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EddieA
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2006, 08:10:14 PM »

"2. Do lots of japanese characters want to molest the heroines?"
I believe this was the result of a bad translation.  After the initial awkward scenes, there's really nothing like that in the rest of the game, or in any other JRPG I've played.  If anything, JRPGs are better when it comes to female characters, as there's almost always a main female character, usually equal numbers of female and male characters, and they're usually fully clothed, something you can't say for most PC RPGs.  Don't let it stop you from playing Shadow Hearts, though, as the first game is very rough around the edges.  The sequels are much more polished and have much better translations.

I'd definitely recommend FFX and DQ8 as the prime examples of story-based and gameplay-based RPGs, respectively.  If you like those, there are a ton of games like them you'll enjoy.

"DQ8 isn't very JRPG."
It's funny you should say that, as DQ1 was the very first JRPG, and set the template (at least gameplay-wise) that the genre still closely adheres to.
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ATB
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2006, 09:44:21 PM »

Quote
If you like those, there are a ton of games like them you'll enjoy.


Like...smile?
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2006, 03:07:12 PM »

Quote from: "ATB"
1. What are the hallmarks? Beyond the artwork
2. Do lots of japanese characters want to molest the heroines? Smile Shocked It's one of the weirdest things I've ever seen in a game...Unusual and uncomfortable Razz Sad
3. Is the FF series considered JRPG? If so, is it worth playing this late in the cycle? Will I dig it?


1.  Hallmarks generally include a turn based or semi turn based battle system with two rows of combatants lined up facing each other, linear storytelling, random battles, and angsty teenage male leads.

As with any hallmark, there are many exceptions to the above and, indeed, JRPGs are almost defined by the ways in which they deviate from this core.  There also seems to be a general trend moving away from turn based battles and random encounters.

2.  As noted above, I think that is the result of a poor and inconsistant translation for the first SH game.  Japan *is* a different culture and it is certainly something to keep in the back of your mind but Yuri's interaction with Alice at the beginnig of the game are still rather bizarre even by the standards of the genre.  This behavior is minimized as SH1 progresses and is pretty much entirely absent from the following games thanks to superior localizations.

3.  Final Fantasy is pretty much the standard of the genre.  Dragon Quest, too, but that series has stayed remarkably true to form in the two decades since its debut while Final Fantasy has had a very clear evolution as the series progressed.  It's pretty amazing how closely Dragon Quest 3 (released in something like 1988) matches up with Dragon Quest 8 in terms of play mechanics.

If you are enjoying Shadow Hearts, I can unreservedly recommend Final Fantasy X, VII, and IX to you (and recommend VIII with some reservations).  And if you like what you are seeing so early on with SH then you should love Shadow Hearts Covenant.
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