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It's about a Japanese high school and there are no real equivalents in English. It's not nearly as silly as it seems.
To be fair, the non-RPG halves of Persona 3 and Persona 4 are about living the life of a Japanese Ordinary High-School Student. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but at least the localization doesn't try to awkwardly mangle it into an ill-fitting American equivalent.
EDIT: And ninja'd.
edited 13th Aug '13 8:43:28 PM by Renewal
Seriously. Outside the first few times you hear it, it ends up sounding natural. And it's not like the dialogue uses a lot of Japanese for the sake of using Japanese; any that's used usually has an obvious reason for it.
edited 13th Aug '13 8:33:02 PM by Customer
@ Lu: Yeah, I have to say no to that, sorry.
Anyone here knew about Project Phoenix, and probably pledged?
edited 14th Aug '13 5:24:49 AM by onyhow
Depends on what you're looking for in a mons game. If you like the idea of raising something from square one into a killing machine and tend to get attached to your pixels, Pokemon's on top. SMT is a min/maxer's wet dream, and it's great if you don't give a rat's ass about your minions and like having unparalleled customization. Apples and oranges.
edited 14th Aug '13 6:21:06 AM by Hashil
Sometimes, I get a little attached to my SMT demons. Unless their elemental weakness leads to a Total Party Kill kind of situation. :/
Hiroaki Yura on Project Phoenix. Here's an interesting tidbit on JRPGs:
HY: Absolutely. I only make things that are missing. Currently what we are missing is what JRPG should be in the world today. Basically it comes down to the question: ďWhat is a JRPG?Ē People have different answers. Iím good friend with (Hironobu) Sakaguchi-san, and I spoke to him about two weeks ago in his office. I asked him what is a JRPG to him. And for him JRP Gs are about the characters and how they develop. Hiroki Hikuta, who is the composer of Secret of Mana and also a game director says the same thing.
For me itís not just about the characters, but itís also about the story of the characters. Thatís the most important thing: the story. JRPG for me is like opera. It exists to tell a story and to give emotion, like listening to music or looking at beautiful art. Youíre there to enjoy the show, the concept, the performance.
I donít think the game mechanic is as important. Game mechanics have to be fun and fulfilling. It doesnít need to conform to one type of gameplay like for instance turn based classic Final Fantasy-like. Thatís why I went for RTS. I think itís a very natural progression. The only reason why they did turn based back in the day was because they could do nothing else. Nowadays we can take things to real time easier.
Itís basically like Final Fantasy Tactics, but in real time, and it kind of feels like the team battles in Warcraft where you donít make units, you already have a small team that you have to accomplish a mission with.
He also says that the english voice acting won't go for an anime-like localisation, but a more serious one, like a film. So we have a director who is also a musician, Uematsu, a system reminiscent of FFT, and really cute graphics. All that's missing is Matsuno.
Colour me excited.
I liked turn-based battles though(in fact for JRPGS I prefer them) and I find some of the more interesting methods to make them more dynamic(like Grandia or Resonance of Fate) pretty enjoyable.
I agree about telling a story though, and really modern day JRP Gs just don't tell stories as well as they used to.
Yeah, that's true. I mean, I love stuff like Ar Tonelico, but while it's excellent at worldbuilding, the actual plot walks into cliche after cliche. Admittedly, the final twist being that Gaia's Vengeance is wrong and pursuing it will eventually kill off the planet itself was kind of unique. Admittedly, that's only clear if you look up the translation for the songs.
I think what happened was that the stories could get bigger and bigger. With the SNES era, the stories had a limit on how big they could be. With the PS 1 era, they could make the games as big as they wanted, but they were limited by graphics, so they had to focus on things other than look. The PS 2 era hit a good equilibrium with good graphics, but not enough freedom to drag attention from the story and gameplay. Then the current generation hit with graphics to do pretty much anything and that dragged attention away from everything else.
edited 18th Aug '13 9:34:51 AM by Zendervai
It depends. JRPGs can do both turn-based and more action-oriented quite well. I can play Star Ocean over and over because the real-time combat is great even though everything else is mediocre.
PS 2 has the best track for them, true. It's like modern JRPGs can't get the gameplay-story ratio right.
Unless you're Atlus.
I prefer more action-based combat I'll admit. There are games where I enjoy as turn-based combat as well, though quite a few of them aren't RP Gs. <_<
As for stories, some get them right and others don't. On the other hand, I can't really comment on Story to Gameplay Ratio at all. I've barely played RP Gs when I think about it. It's only recently that I branched out.
Meh. I love Xenogears and Xenosaga so it should be obvious where my preferences lie. I'd much rather have a focus on story more than gameplay.
I honestly play video games for story more than gameplay a lot of the time. This aplies to JRP Gs, fighters and Action/Adventure Games.
Regarding story in JRPGs, I feel that they're more important than in other genres... but at the same time, I wouldn't play a game with good story, but bad gameplay, because that feels like a slog to play through. At the same time, a game with a simple (even clichť) story, or a complicated slog of a story, but fantastic gameplay, or even just having gameplay be enjoyable, actually makes me feel much better about completing that game, and could actually make me want to play it through again.
Because of this, I feel that the Story-to-Gameplay Ratio in JRPGs has to be much more balanced than other games: The story has to be at least decent (or simple), but it's no use if you ignore the gameplay either. However, if you can't do a decent or simple story, at least ensure that the game is fun to play.
Looking it over, I need to stop overusing "actually".
I'm of the opinion Xenosaga uses the wrong format. It would benefit if it were a visual novel instead.
That's a good take. A video game with crippled mechanics is akin to a movie with bad camera movements. You can get past a good story by not paying attention or skipping the cutscenes (a feature which is almost universal these days, unlike the old games), but you need to at least understand the basics of gameplay to progress in the game.
edited 18th Aug '13 1:04:26 PM by lu127
I... couldn't have said it better myself, actually.
Also, one thing I really hope JRPGs will start to do away with is tiered attack spells ala Final Fantasy (Fire/a/aga, etc.). It's really redundant spellwise, only serves to make certain spells useless latter on, and I can only think of a few games where it actually works well. It's one of those old JRPG traditions that has overstayed it's welcome.
edited 18th Aug '13 1:20:11 PM by Folt
Yeah, what if there was a game sort of like Grandia's evolving skills, but where you only had one spell of a certain element or whatever, and it had to be leveled up through use? Instead of a couple weaker versions of, say, Fire that you are never going to use.
That sounds like Quest 64.
So I finally got around to playing Tactics Ogre for the PSP. That game is everything I think a good JRPG could be but so rarely are - branching story paths (attached to an already very good story), fantastic gameplay, the grind is largely cut out because classes level across the board for all your characters, so it's easy to hop around and experiment (though they have a skill system that's so robust your heroes can still feel very different), and it's got Yoshida's art and Hitoshi Sakimoto's music, two guys that make everything classier. My only tiny gripe is that the writing's a little pretentious but even than I feel it fits - it's not as bad as the Tactics PSP remake in any case.
What do you all think of more JRPG going the route of letting you control the story to a degree?
edited 18th Aug '13 7:57:38 PM by Hashil
As someone who is only vaguely familiar with the Tales series, what would be a recommended point of entry?
Any of them really. Just play Xillia before Xillia 2 if you wait that long to start. Also, the one for the Wii in English, Dawn of the New World, just ignore it. It's getting a compilation release with Symphonia on the PS 3. The PS 3 also has Tales of Graces F and Tales of Xillia. The 3DS has Tales of the Abyss. Any of those are good starting points since they all play somewhat differently.
I'm okay with it as long as they don't go too far. If I want a game with a weak central story but a million sidequests, I'll go play a Bethesda game.
edited 18th Aug '13 7:54:18 PM by Zendervai
Tactics Ogre is amazing. It's a testament to its strength how its age doesn't really come through after 15 years. And almost no JRPGs have required grinding ever since the PS 1 era, at least.
If you want this generation's consoles, Graces F has the most versatile and adaptable gameplay, though the story is mediocre. Abyss has the better story, but I dunno how the gameplay holds up.
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