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Total posts: [33]

Culture in Video Games:

Jonah Falcon
Jonah Falcon
 2 Rebochan, Fri, 24th Sep '10 9:29:17 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!

I'd elaborate, but I actually said all I wanted to in the article's comments. - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
 3 Pykrete, Fri, 24th Sep '10 9:38:59 PM from Viridian Forest
While I agree with the spirit of Nomura's stance, I find it quite ironic that he of all people was the one to make it.

Always Right
Slightly related, since it was linked from the article TC linked(click "BioWare's Daniel Erickson said in an interview with Strategy Informer —")...but I just gotta point it out...

Wow what a douchebag. I don't know if I can even call this snobby or some other term.

So the article is basically about...don't put cultural labels on an RPG?

edited 24th Sep '10 10:10:36 PM by Signed

"Every opinion that isn't mine is subjected to Your Mileage May Vary."
That article had no definitive purpose it just rehashed things people have been saying for years.

^ That annoyed me. By his reasoning Bioware RP Gs aren't RP Gs they are just character development games. Also still railroaded to hell.

Doesn't matter anyway. Everyone knows that guy is a moron and a dick.
"Genius: 1% inspiration and 99% thuggery and concept theft." - Truthful Thomas Edison
 6 Rebochan, Sat, 25th Sep '10 12:22:04 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!
The article actually talked to Japanese developers about their games, from their perspective, and not from the usual loaded question of "So why do Japanese games suck so much?".

There was probably more journalism in that editorial than there are in most so-called news articles on the gaming press circuit. - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
 7 Pykrete, Sat, 25th Sep '10 12:30:12 PM from Viridian Forest
Interesting comment right below yours:

When I think of a JRPG vs. a western RPG, I don't necessarily think of culture; I think of fundamental design choices. I associate JRP Gs with linear stories, linear character development (both mechanically and narratively), certain repeated themes in worldbuilding (crystals, airships), and very tactical combat. I don't mean for that to sound derogatory, because I enjoy the occasional JRPG, but I also agree with Erickson that JRP Gs aren't "role-playing games."

JRP Gs don't offer any decision-making — the player doesn't have any agency over the avatar. You're playing the one role that the developers have provided for you. I don't see JRP Gs being about role-playing any more than any other game because, technically, all games are role-playing games; you're pretending to be someone else, in another world.

 8 Rebochan, Sat, 25th Sep '10 6:18:39 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!
It's the same silly logic that makes a game with binary choices and moral alignment "depth", though. To me, a JRPG is no different than playing a Dn D module with a really strict DM.

Really, if our standards are "Character customization" and "Moral choice" and "Explorable World", well, someone needs to inform Sucker Punch they made an RPG.

I'd also point out that it's silly for people to try and retroactively alter the definition of an RPG to exclude games that have been considered RPGs since the inception of console gaming while praising games made decades later. Something Erickson attempted to do when his games were compared to a franchise that routinely outsells BioWare's. That's why I thought the comment was tacky. Trash talking is bogus.


edited 25th Sep '10 8:18:13 PM by Rebochan - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
Always Right
Final Fantasy is a jRPG....

It's made in Japan in a mostly japanese style, hence the J. We're playing the role of Cloud and his party, hence the R. And it's a freaking game, hence the G. some other essential RPG elements. Usually involving character improvement(mostly by levels and sometimes gear as well) and an emphasis on story.

They don't have to be good stories, since that's subjective as hell, but there needs to be an emphasis there.
"Every opinion that isn't mine is subjected to Your Mileage May Vary."
 10 Rebochan, Sat, 25th Sep '10 8:38:48 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!
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. - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
Jonah Falcon
" That annoyed me. By his reasoning Bioware RP Gs aren't RP Gs they are just character development games. "

Uh huh. You mean like Baldur's Gate?
Jonah Falcon
 12 Brutal, Tue, 28th Sep '10 8:17:59 AM from Be humane.
Be humane.
A role playing game is a game which involves getting into the role of a character. JRP Gs, due to the utter lack of things like customization, free choices, and (for the most part) any real way to define the character's abilities, are role playing games in name only. That's not to say they aren't good, or can't share similarities with certain WRP Gs, but they are not role playing games.

They are similar in certain areas, yes, but they are by no means the same genre.
Be humane.
 13 Sgt Ricko, Tue, 28th Sep '10 8:43:30 AM from Guam, USA Relationship Status: Hounds of love are hunting
There are other things that are distinct between western and JRP Gs. For one, JRPG stories/settings are usually more optimistic and upbeat, and kids are a lot more empowered. You won't see half as much crapsack worlds, either.

Western RP Gs will almost invariably play somebody under 21 as naive or unlikeable, unless if they're snarky or a horrifically traumatised child soldier. Characters being more macho or having a ton of crowning moments is another thing as well.
Would you believe I never fully watched the original Indiana Jones trilogy? I gotta correct that someday.
I think RP Gs are defined by gameplay mechanics just as much as concept of character role, which both JRP Gss and WRP Gs have been doing forever.

Personally I prefer JRP Gs. They tend to have better atmosphere and music, are easier to get into, more story driven, and have a style of creativity that I enjoy more personally.

 15 Known Unknown, Tue, 28th Sep '10 10:09:01 AM from Here. There. Everywhere.
Fresh For 2014

JRPG's are more traditional, in that they're games that tells a story, and the player is going through that story. I like them, but I prefer more RPG's where I forge my own path - which is why I'm still looking for an RPG for me. Personally, my favorite so far is Patrician III / Port Royale. My favorite JRPG is My Life As A King.

In the way that a player playing the role of a character in a game is a definition of RPG, I prefer more Action RPG's, Sandboxes, and shooters with good storylines whenever I'm in the mood for a "story line" game, and I barely ever look towards actual traditional RPG's, but that's just my preference.

edited 28th Sep '10 10:09:17 AM by KnownUnknown

"My final prayer: O my body, always make me a man who questions!" — Frantz Fanon
I feel that defining a role playing game as a game where you play a role is (ironically) complete bullshit. In every game you play a role, so aren't they all RP Gs? And if we limit it down to just where you actually can influence the plot with your decisions, that narrows down the genre to a very select few games. The name of RPG is basically an Artifact Title: whether it involves decision making or railroading, it's an RPG if it includes skills, stats, and levels, more or less.
One of my few regrets about being born female is the inability to grow a handlebar mustache. -Landstander
 17 Arilou, Tue, 28th Sep '10 11:29:39 AM from Quasispace
Taller than Zim
The article kind of missed the point completely.

It's true that calling them "JRPGS" is a misnomer, but the point the Bioware Exec was making was pointing out that a lot of games given that label offer almost no opportunities for role-playing at all.

Really, if our standards are "Character customization" and "Moral choice" and "Explorable World", well, someone needs to inform Sucker Punch they made an RPG.

To be fair, inFAMOUS pretty strictly follows the definition of an action-RPG.

It's the same silly logic that makes a game with binary choices and moral alignment "depth", though.

Binary choices give more depth than NO choice. That's rather the entire point. It's not perfect, or even good, but it's a step in the right direction.

edited 28th Sep '10 11:33:50 AM by Arilou

"No, the Singularity will not happen. Computation is hard." -Happy Ent
 18 Rebochan, Tue, 28th Sep '10 12:29:59 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!
I think it's a misnomer to think that all that defines the RPG is choice. It's only been in this current generation that anyone has attempted to suggest its the defining characteristic, which to me implies that choice is less the one true definition and more a fad and a buzzword.

Even Final Fantasy XIII offers mechanical character customization, both through it's pseudo-job classes and through the grid-based level ups. It comes back to my original point - JRP Gs really fall into the genre because they use traditional role-playing mechanics.

By the way, my point with inFamous is that the term RPG is not well-defined by anyone and a lot of people with their own interests keep trying to force it to have one that would otherwise discard numerous prominent titles within the genre. When that person is at a company whose titles are still getting dwarfed in sales by the rival they're putting down, it just sounds like sour grapes. My attitude is - put up or shut up. I don't want to hear Company X trash the competition, I want Company X to just prove to me, through their games, that they've got something better.

I think it's rather telling at how blurred the line is when Ken Levine had to repeatedly emphasize to the press that BioShock was supposed to be an FPS only, and not a role-playing game. It's almost identical to Mass Effect 2 in its mechanics and approach, and I think nobody would have argued if Ken Levine had chosen to continue calling it an RPG. - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
^I was trying to say something like this in my post, but it turns out Rebochan is a much better writer than me.
One of my few regrets about being born female is the inability to grow a handlebar mustache. -Landstander
 20 Rebochan, Tue, 28th Sep '10 1:33:09 PM from Soaking up Rays
I've got Sunshine!


edited 28th Sep '10 1:33:20 PM by Rebochan - Filthy Digital Ramblings, musings on media.
Always Right
The way the definition of RPG is going, sooner or later, even Diablo2 will cease being a RPG.

  • Branching plot points? Nope
  • Anyway to remotely influence the story at all? Nope.
  • Character appearance customizability? Nope.
  • Skill customization? an extent...well they shown they put an effort into it...except, poor balancing means that almost everyone will only stick with one or two build for all classes, and those who do no adhere to that build will fall behind.(ever seen a Barbarian NOT use Whirlwind once they get to Hell? ever seen a bow-amazon NOT constantly use just multi-shot and guided arrow? ever seen a Druid choose wolves over a bear?) But I'll give the game this one anyways...even though in the end, there might as well be no choice.

With that said, it's stupid to only look at a certain game in each genre and pretend all games in it are like that. When people think JRPG, they only think Final Fantasy XIII, they ignore Etrian Odyssey, or Final Fantasy Tactics and such.

As for WRPG...most people use Mass Effect...and I'm reluctant to call it an RPG...well you do play a role...and you do play it...and it is a me, it's just another shooter, except this one isn't First-Person.

edited 28th Sep '10 1:44:30 PM by Signed

"Every opinion that isn't mine is subjected to Your Mileage May Vary."
^ In fact, there's a good chunk of people I've met on the net that doesn't see hack'n'slash as inherently more RPG than any other genre, and only classifies a game of the genre as an RPG if it possesses similar elements to those you have listed. Granted, to be pretty honest, since definitions and labels should mostly just help people orient themselves, I find these discussions largely pointless.
Jonah Falcon
JRP Gs are inspired by Ultima for the most part. You can see the germ of them in the NES version of Ultima III.
Jonah Falcon
Always Right
Well...I like to label games in order to help me choose games.

If I feel like playing a traditional fighter, I'd play Street Fighter...if I wanna play a mascot fighter, I'd play games labelled those, if I wanna play a JRPG, I'd play Etrian Odyssey, if I wanna play a WRPG....well...I beat Never Winter Nights already, so that genre is dead to me again. And if I wanna play nothing but Quick Time Events, I'd buy a copy of Heavy Rain....


edited 28th Sep '10 1:48:43 PM by Signed

"Every opinion that isn't mine is subjected to Your Mileage May Vary."
I beat Never Winter Nights already, so that genre is dead to me again

That's an awfully narrow way to view it, but meh, whatever floats your boat.
Total posts: 33

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