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Dueling Works / Role-Playing Game: Eastern

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Initiator Imitators Description Misc. Winner?
Dragon Quest (1986) Final Fantasy (1987) Eastern RPGs based on long-running western series. Dragon Quest came first, aped Ultima, and is loved in Japan; Final Fantasy came out about one year and a half after the first, liberally cribbed from Dungeons & Dragons, and gets more respect internationally. On an international scale, Final Fantasy. In Japan, Dragon Quest by a few million per release cycle. They're both owned by the same people now, however, so they cannot duel anymore. So in the end, everybody wins. (Especially when you remember the last time the DQ and FF teams got together for drinks.)
Final Fantasy Phantasy Star Long-running flagship JRPG series, one for Nintendo consoles and the other for Sega consoles. While Final Fantasy is a third party franchise from Square, Phantasy Star was a first-party franchise for Sega consoles until Sega became a third party following the discontinuation of the Dreamcast. Both series have also changed greatly over the course of their runs, with Final Fantasy branching out into other settings and experimenting with different forms of gameplay from one entry to the next, while Phantasy Star transitioned to MMORPG. While both franchises are still going strong to this day, Final Fantasy is the clear winner, being an international best-seller that saved Square from the brink of financial ruin more than once, while Sega's fortunes suffered a devastating reversal in the late 90s that led to their bowing out of the console market.
Shin Megami Tensei (1987) Final Fantasy (1987) Eastern RPGs with a strong focus on storytelling and general Character Development. Shin Megami Tensei is more popular in Japan than stateside, but, with games like Persona 3, Persona 4, and the spinoffs, more exposure is given to the series as a whole. Final Fantasy retains worldwide fame. Final Fantasy, as always, remains an INSANELY popular franchise. While Shin Megami Tensei games get good reviews, they're very much a niche series of games. Persona, however, has managed to significantly narrow the gap.
Inindo: Way of the Ninja (1993) Super Ninja Boy (1991) SNES-exclusive JRPGs released in the spring of 1993 set in feudal Japan and starring a young ninja. Inindo is an update of a turn-based 1991 MSX game, while Super Ninja Boy is a follow-up to Kung Fu Heroes and Little Ninja Brothers on the NES, featuring action-based battles along the lines of Zelda 2. Pretty much a tie; although Super Ninja Boy is the seventh entry in the long-running Super Chinese series, Inindo was the better-reviewed and today the better-known game.
Skies of Arcadia Legends (2001) Tales of Symphonia (2003) Reconstructions of the optimistic JRPG, coming out on an RPG-starved console when everyone was still trying to out-angst Final Fantasy VII. Both have protagonists that wield two swords. Legends was actually a remake/enhanced port of a game for the ill-fated Sega Dreamcast, and took itself far less seriously than Symphonia, at least for the most part. Symphonia is an action-RPG that takes place in a world with some magitech and the normal fantasy races (elves, dwarves, etc.), while Skies is turn-based and has an Age of Discovery Ocean Punk flavour. When it comes to reception, both games received critical acclaim. In terms of sales, Symphonia by a country mile. Skies of Arcadia Legends has gone on to become something of a Cult Classic, and you'd have to sell both your kidneys just to afford a copy of the game today, especially on GameCube. On a related note, the Dreamcast version of Skies can be considered the winner between it and Evolution, another major Dreamcast RPG which was also remade on the Nintendo GameCube.
Pokémon (1996) Digimon (1997)

Medabots (1997)
All handheld games (primarily) where you play as a child who travels through exotic, futuristic worlds and capture/evolve new pet animals/robots to battle with. Medabots and Digimon both feature a far greater degree of sci-fi influence than most Pokémon games, which accounts for some of their appeal. The collecting aspect of Medabots features its own form of evolution by having "badges" that grant special powers to robots they are used in improving in power as you use them, and swapping out parts for new stats and abilities. Finally, Medabots and Pokémon are played on Nintendo products, Digimon on multiple platforms. Do you even need to ask? Pokémon continues to be the hottest thing since sliced bread for many children around the world, while Digimon remains fairly popular in Japan, continuing to get new series and video games produced. Medabots is a distant third, though a paired duo of games were released in 2012 for the 3DS, which remain un-localized in the West.
Final Fantasy VII (1997) Grandia (1997) Major RPGs for sixth-generation consoles. Final Fantasy VII was a Killer App for the PlayStation in 1997. Grandia was released for the Sega Saturn in Japan later that year. Both games uses a different kind of Sprite/Polygon Mix. Final Fantasy VII was a Killer App, while Grandia sold below expectations and wasn't released in English until it was ported to the PlayStation two years later. It's also worth noting that both IPs are owned by Square Enix now.
Final Fantasy VIII (1999) The Legend of Dragoon (1999) Eastern-styled PlayStation RPGs released near the Turn of the Millennium FFVIII is an entry in Square Enix's insanely popular Final Fantasy series, while Dragoon is an original IP published and developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. FFVIII did better overall in terms of sales and critical reception, but Dragoon still did quite well for itself and retains a loyal following even to this day. Interestingly enough, fans of The Legend of Dragoon consider it and Final Fantasy VII to be dueling games.
Mega Man Battle Network (2001) LEGO Ninjago: Spinjitzu Smash (2011) Grid-based card battles. Ninjago is a browser game Mega Man, no doubt. The series is much more well-known, has a storyline behind it, and has several installments. The Lego title is largely seen as a ripoff, especially due to the fact it was found to have Mega Man graphics in the source data.
Nostalgia (2008) Black Sigil (2009) Genre Throwbacks to the SNES generation of RPGs. Both games had the same goal, to elicit feelings of nostalgia. Nostalgia is compared to Skies of Arcadia, while Black Sigil is most like Chrono Trigger. Nostalgia's considered the better game. Black Sigil sold more. Overall it's a push.
Final Fantasy XII (2006)

Final Fantasy XIII (2009)
Xenoblade Chronicles (2010) Final Fantasy XII and Xenoblade Chronicles are similar in gameplay, with both sharing MMO-like battle systems and world layouts. Final Fantasy XIII and Xenoblade Chronicles are similar in narrative and themes, revolving around humans rising up against Gods to defy destiny and fate. As for platforms, Final Fantasy XII and XIII were on the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 respectively (with XIII also available on the Xbox 360), while Xenoblade was exclusive for the Wii. XII predates Xenoblade by a few years, while XIII was released around the same time as Xenoblade, though it took a couple of years for Xenoblade to make it to western shores. Xenoblade development crew is also comprised of Square Enix alumni who worked on the earlier Final Fantasy titles, whereas XII and XIII were developed and published by Square Enix. XII and XIII are also mainline sequels in a Long Runner franchise, while Xenoblade is a Spiritual Successor to both Xenogears and Xenosaga. Financially speaking XII and XIII sold very well, as usual for Final Fantasy, with the former selling six million units and the latter selling seven million, and while the sale numbers of Xenoblade Chronicles were never disclosed, it still became a Sleeper Hit due to Nintendo underestimating demand for the game. However, XII and XIII were both seen as initially divisive upon their respective releases, with many lambasting them for diverging from the series' norms, and their respective protagonists (Vaan and Lightning) proved to be polarizing characters. Meanwhile, Xenoblade Chronicles received universal acclaim from both fans and critics, with protagonist Shulk becoming popular enough to join the cast of Super Smash Bros., from which the series gained even more publicity from, and the game is routinely held up as not only one of the greatest JRPGs of The Seventh Generation of Console Video Games and one of the best titles on the Wii, but as one of the greatest games of all time, and proved to be popular enough to receive a remake ten years later.
Dark Souls (2011) Dragon's Dogma (2012) Third person Hack and Slash Action RPGs set in a Medieval European Fantasy and Dark Fantasy setting. Both are Western Styled RPGs that just happened to be made in the east. Dark Souls is primarily a single character Action RPG with the option of recruiting up to other two human players if the player is playing online. The player can also recruit NPCs like Solaire of Astora for certain boss battles. Dragon's Dogma allows the player to have up to three NPC party members called “Pawns.” For multiplayer, players playing Dark Souls online can leave hints and messages on the ground to help or hinder other players. Players can also team up with each other when going through areas to defeat a boss or invade another player’s world to assassinate them and steal their Humanity. Dark Souls also has a rather large PVP community complete player scheduled Fight Clubs. The only online function Dragon’s Dogma has is the ability to exchange “Pawns” in an online like marketplace. Both games have also seen an Updated Re-release with “Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition” and “Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen.” Dark Souls when it comes to overall reception, although Dragon's Dogma was well-received also. Dark Souls has garnered multiple accolades and nominations ranging from Best RPG all the way to Game of the Year from multiple review sites. It also helps that the Dark Souls fan community is much larger than Dragon’s Dogma's. From Software announced in April 2013 that Dark Souls had sold 2.37 million units worldwide. As of September 30, 2013 Dragon’s Dogma had sold 1.3 million units worldwide. Also, Dark Souls got two sequels released in 2014 & 2016 while Capcom has no plans to release a Dragon’s Dogma 2.
Undertale (2015) Citizens of Earth (2015) EarthBound-inspired RPGs on Kickstarter with self-aware humour and combat which allows you to engage enemies by talking. Undertale is mostly linear with many branching paths, following a small child trying to escape form a strange fantasy world. Citizens of Earth is a very open-ended game with Loads and Loads of Characters, in which the Vice President of the world deals with an alien invasion. No contest. Citizens of Earth received average review scores and the sales numbers were never released. Undertale, on the other hand, received critical acclaim and sold over 1 million copies.
Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky (2015) I Am Setsuna (2016) Eastern RPGs that are Genre Throwbacks to classic Square Enix games — Valkyrie Profile for Exist Archive, and Chrono Trigger for Setsuna. Setsuna was developed by a new studio within Square Enix specifically for classically inspired RPGs, while Exist Archive was handled by normal Valkyrie Profile and Star Ocean developer tri-Ace, but not published by Square Enix. Setsuna takes the win here, with a better first-week sales report in Japan (62,000 across PlayStation 4 and Vita, vs. 37,000 for Exist Archive), and slightly more favorable critical reception in the West (74 vs. 69 Metacritic review score aggregate).
Final Fantasy XV (2016) Persona 5 (2016) The first eighth generation installments of two incredibly popular console RPG franchises, and the biggest releases yet from their respective creators. Both released in late 2016.note  Persona 5 released on both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Final Fantasy XV is eighth-generation only, and released on PS4 and Xbox One. Before either game released, Square Enix sent out surveys to Japanese gamers asking which game the player would choose if both 5 and XV were to come out at the same time, suggesting Square is well aware of the growing popularity of the Persona brand. After a delay bumped XV back to release a few months after P5, the latter's preorder sales jumped over 400% on Amazon Japan. Although P5 put up fantastic sales numbers for a non-Square Enix, non-Pokémon JRPG — the best in Atlus' history — Final Fantasy, being the Goliath that it is with ten years of hype, rather unsurprisingly trounced it — Japanese sales were over twice as much as P5's. Worldwide, XV sold over five million copies in twenty four hours, while it took P5 a few months after the English release to hit two million. When P5 was finally released outside of Japan, it became the clear winner in terms of reviews, with a 94 on Metacritic to an 81 from Final Fantasy.
Yo-kai Watch 4 (2019) Pokémon Sword and Shield (2019) The first Nintendo Switch, as well as main home console, titles to two major mon-based RPG franchises. Yo-kai Watch 4 is a sequel featuring the original male protagonist Nate alongside several other playable characters, including his daughter from the future. It features a new battle system and takes place in the 1960s, 2010s, and 2040s. Pokémon Sword and Shield is the first mainline Pokémon title on console. It's a traditional Pokémon title that takes place in a new region. Yo-Kai Watch 4 launched at number 1 in Japan, but quickly fell after the release of Super Mario Maker 2, and has only sold around 280,000 copies to date. Pokémon Sword and Shield launched at number 1 and ended up selling over 6 million copies in its first week (once the fastest-selling Switch game until Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched); and while both games were not without issues from fans (Yo-kai Watch 4 for the changes in gameplay style and framerate slowdown, Pokémon for rolling back features from previous titles and alleged lack of graphical fidelity), both games also received relatively positive critical reviews. Though Yo-Kai Watch 4 received an Updated Re-release on both Playstation 4 and Switch (which neither version made into the Top 10 upon launch, with the PS4 port not even making the Top 30) and will be receiving an English localization, despite divisive reactions among some fans; Pokémon Sword and Shield looks to be the early winner. Sword and Shield also received a pair of expansions in 2020, a series first as opposed to the Updated Re-release or sequels previous games had.
Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition (2019) Persona 5 Royal (Japanese Release) (2019) Two Updated Rereleases of RPGs released a few years earlier by their respective creators—a rematch of the FFXV vs. vanilla P5 from a few years ago. Both released in late 2019.note  The Console Wars are also at play here, with DQXIS making the jump from PlayStation 4 to Nintendo Switch (though a PS4 port of DQXIS would later be announced) while P5R is exclusive to PS4. TBD
Final Fantasy VII Remake (2020) Persona 5 Royal (English Release) (2020) Persona 5 clashes with a Square-Enix release for a third time, this with the English launch of its Updated Re-release coming out during the same month as the long-awaited remake of Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy VII Remake is, as it's name suggests, a remake of a classic JRPG from 20 years prior, one that was hugely influential and responsible for popularizing the genre outside of its homeland. In addition to the expected visual upgrades, the gameplay has also been overhauled to be more "modern", with the resulting game being more of an Action RPG than a traditional turn-based game. Persona 5 Royal, on the other hand, is a more modest Updated Re-release of a much newer game that nonetheless plays in a very traditional manner. On a financial basis, Final Fantasy VII Remake beats Persona 5 Royal by a country mile. Royal had sold 1.4 million copies worldwide more than a year after its launch in Japan. Remake managed to sell more than twice that number within the first three days of release, making it the fastest-selling PS4 exclusive title of all time. On a critical basis, Royal wins, though Remake is still rather well-received for a remake that differentiated itself from the original quite a bit.

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