In my experience, JRP Gs
don't focus on story so much as they focus on giving the player a role-playing mechanic and wrapping a story around that. Some emphasize the story more, such as Final Fantasy
, but these games still include certain amounts of character customization, dungeon crawling, and using turn-based combat systems. Even the most linear of them, FFXIII, was made with the idea of being a 20-hour tutorial for the combat system (whether that makes logical sense or not is irrelevant). Most JRP Gs
define themselves by their mechanics rather than their storylines. The story is there to convince the player to keep interacting with the game.
Let's not forget that turn-based combat mechanics is also
a hallmark of role-playing games like Dn D
which Western RP Gs
theoretically mimic. Yet you can't find many modern WRP Gs
that use it - and the big budget titles have pretty much replaced it for stamina-based systems or straight up action and first person shooter mechanics.
Speaking of that last one, a number of die-hard WRPG fans have been pretty harsh on Mass Effect 2
for crossing into what they perceive as a shooter with a storyline instead of an RPG. That was sort of the other reason I wondered why BioWare
of all people wanted to suddenly bring up the question of what an RPG is.