jRPGs; issues of laziness.

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Rydian, Nov 5, 2011.

Nov 5, 2011

jRPGs; issues of laziness. by Rydian at 6:56 PM (2,963 Views / 0 Likes) 47 replies

  1. Rydian
    OP

    Member Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    27,883
    Location:
    Cave Entrance, Watching Cyan Write Letters
    Country:
    United States
    Your standard jRPGS often seem unlikeable to western gamers that are used to playing western games, while gamers that have been playing jRPGs since the NES find nothing wrong with them... it's often hard for either side to say what exactly seems right or irks them, so this is an attempt of mine to find some of the points.

    I'll just go into the main one, since most games revolve around combat...
    • Generic concept of "Hit Points" and combat.

      Combat in most jRPGs is plainly unrealistic. You're walking along in a dungeon, suddenly you go on a 2-second acid trip and then you're fighting enemies. Turn-based or speed-based ("active" battle my ass, it's just that the frequency of your turns goes by your speed in most games with this setting), you and the enemy wail on each other, reducing some sort of number until you faint or die. There's three main problems with this setup compared to the way most other games work.
      • The enemies show up out of nowhere in an otherwise-empty area. The whole "random encounter" aspect, as it were... it's just lazy nowadays. In the NES days yeah, the systems couldn't handle dungeons full of sprites with their own radius of detection to cause battles...

        But hell, if the SNES can do it (Chrono Trigger for example), then a PS3 can damn well do it. Games continue to have the random encounter system because it takes less effort, and they get away with it because it's what jRPG players are used to.

      • Most characters will just stand there and let you knife them in the face. What is up with that? "Well I just stabbed you in the chest, I guess it's your turn to stab me now so I'll stand still and let you do it." This is almost a polar opposite to how many western games work, where a main focus is not getting hit in the first place.

        There's many alternative combat types to counter this, though... and games have been dealing with them for years. Even Tales Of Phantasia for the SNES had an alternative battle system, a live-moving side-on view.

      • Characters have this magical HP value that does nothing until it's reduced to 0, where it causes death/fainting. This is an issue inherent to many games across the spectrum, but it's most jarring in jRPGs because characters can seem to stand up to tons of incredible abuse (like having an elephant dropped on them), but then getting poked by a fluffy bunny causes instant death or something like that.

        There have been plenty of games that use more realistic combat, but the down side to these games is that combat tends to be a lot riskier and troublesome. Perhaps some middle ground could be reached to account for continued gameplay with the same character, but as usual the generic HP system is the easiest to implement so it's what most jRPGs stick to.

    Now, there's a lot else that jRPGs do that used to be done due to processing/storage limits (but is still done because it's shorter/cheaper/less work and they get away with it), but going into all of them would take too much time.

    I mean I could write an entire article about overdesigned characters and their weapons. Okay yeah Cloud from FF7 is supposed to have a unique weapon (it was custom-made for a lot of money by the original owners), yet all the stores in the game seem to sell weapons like his, sometimes for pocket change, and you can't find normal swords? Issues like this get into the issue of overdesigning characters putting limits on or otherwise altering the world while still keeping gameplay mechanics functional, and sometimes weird compromises have to be made that simply take believability away from the world.
     


  2. prowler

    Member prowler Sony

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Messages:
    9,473
    Location:
    Ragol
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Final Fantasy XIII would like a word with you.
     
  3. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    18,151
    Location:
    The Danger Zone
    Country:
    United States
    Not every game is meant to be realistic. Turn based battling, random encounters, etc are all gameplay elements that have been kept since the olden days because people enjoy them. Some people enjoy a game that doesn't have any of that, some people do.

    I wouldn't really call them "lazy" or "issues".
     
  4. Hop2089

    Member Hop2089 Cute>Hot

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    3,810
    Country:
    United States
    Play Tales of games if you want real time RPGs. Eiyu Densetsu (The Legend of Heroes) series is great as well.
     
  5. Hells Malice

    Member Hells Malice Are you a bully?

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,651
    Country:
    Canada
    You're basically just harping on "realism in mah vidyagaims maks em guud."
    While a lot of bro-gamers will jack off to realism, it's not actually something a good portion of GAMERS actually care about. Since realism =/= fun.

    HOWEVER the unintended point that turn based combat is complete shit and needs to go is certainly valid. The system works, and CAN be fun...but i'll be damned if most RPGs wouldn't be incredibly fun with an action combat system instead.

    Final Fantasy drives me nuts though, especially FFXIII. They went SO far trying to make their "turn based" system more action oriented that they should just freakin' make it an action game and stop restricting their gameplay. All they really did was make an on-rails action RPG instead.
     
  6. Hop2089

    Member Hop2089 Cute>Hot

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    3,810
    Country:
    United States
    FF13 should have been like Tales of and had something similar to a LMBS for freer movement.
     
  7. emigre

    Member emigre Has complex motives

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,919
    Location:
    London
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    FF13 shouldn't have even been made.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Augusta

    Member Augusta GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    120
    Country:
    Canada
    Take that back
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. prowler

    Member prowler Sony

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Messages:
    9,473
    Location:
    Ragol
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    FFXIII is fine the way it is. People are just mad cus they didn't get a game they expected, it was too 'different'. Same goes for the PS2 FFs too.

    With the points Rydian mentioned, I felt like it was a reasonable game to mention.

    Haters are louder than the people that like it, I guess.
     
  10. s4mid4re

    Member s4mid4re  

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2011
    Messages:
    1,669
    Country:
    United States
    For one thing, I love turn-based combats and random encounters (I know it's weird). Random encounters aren't supposed to be realistic or w/e, it's the perfect system to make jrpgs fun (but tedious to some). The Hit-Point system can't really get any better either. This is fact, regardless of jrpg or not (as long as it involves defeating enemies/being defeated). Even fps games have set number of HP in which you die, once you've been severely damaged. It's not like one shot will automatically kill you; you're able to suppress some bullets, which is not so realistic, either.

    Not all jrpgs fit into that category. Megaman Battle Network series had a very unique system (and is one of my fav). Random encounters still apply, although I especially love them in this game. Your enemy and you are each given a 3*3 gridded area to move upon. Before each round begins, you're able to chose a maximum of 5 battle chips (equivalent to skills in other jrpgs) from a given number (ranging from 5-10 depending on customization to your megaman) of random chips out of the total number of battle chips in your folder (which is 30). Each battle chip has its own range and movement pattern, which makes timing and position very important before using them. Each battle chip is given certain letters (ranging from A-Z and asterisk); during each round, you can only chose one letter to use (i.e. if you have 3 chips with A and 2 chips with B, you can only chose either A or B for that round). Asterisk chips can be used with any letter you want. Choosing battle chips in certain order and combination can yield powerful combos, compared to when you chose them in a poor manner. You have to wait until a gauge fills up in order to chose a maximum of five more battle chips for the 2nd round.

    Defeating enemies isn't all you want to do in this game either; depending on how you perform (no damage taken, defeated enemy fast, defeated many enemies at once, etc), you are given a rank for that battle. Depending on the rank, the amount of money or the quality/letter of battle chip you obtain changes. This makes random encounters fun to look forward.
     
  11. wrettcaughn

    Member wrettcaughn Misunderstood Moral Elitist

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,785
    Country:
    United States
    I don't think jRPGs do any of these things out of laziness. There are plenty of people who play these games for exactly the same things you listed as negatives. It's a genre. It's kind of like saying reggae music is lazy because it uses such standard rhythms and cadences. Well, people make reggae music because they like it and because the people who listen to it like it. Companies are in the business of making games people like. Whenever they break from that mold people bitch (see: FFXIII, Rage, LA Noire, every other game that didn't meet "everyone's expectations") so they continue to make the games people buy and play. That goes for all genres though... People bitch about CoD being the same game every year...yet they continue to buy it every year. Then, when a game like Brink comes out that tries to mix it up some, it gets hate due to bugs or a learning curve.

    That is why companies don't "innovate" anymore. Not out of laziness, but because they really don't have to.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Taleweaver

    Member Taleweaver Storywriter

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Messages:
    5,121
    Location:
    Belgium
    Country:
    Belgium
    @OP: the points you list as negatives are reasons I tend to stay away from most jRPG's. You're supposed to be some "guy" who carries around more numbers than your average accountant. Those numbers are supposed to represent various stats, but it takes some imagination to actually UNDERSTAND what that stuff means. Mostly because, as you mention, only critical changes actually matter (HP being zero). And turn-based combat just isn't my cup of tea (I always get the impression the other guy is just lucky having a high random dice throw). Oh, and the armor system is usually ridiculously complicated. Up to the point of me being afraid wearing the wrong pants means some guy will score critical hits on my ass.

    However, I know others just like it that way. My friend got me into giving fallout a chance. And indeed: this is almost a social game. There's nothing REALLY sneaking up on you. If you want, you can take fifteen minutes the time to hit back. In fact, the whole success of the genre could be because you can easily play these games while chatting on IRC or msn. Or even to real life friends, if you wanted to (I remember discussions of him, me and one or two other friends who were like "shoot him in the head!", "no, he's too far...the chances of missing are too big". "why don't you hit that guy instead? he's closer by!" and so on...you can't get that sort of things on FPS games ;) ). So...in the end, it's just what you consider fun. :)
     
  13. BORTZ

    Global Moderator BORTZ wtf, nintendo

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,638
    Country:
    United States
    Tl;dr version?

    I like jRPGs lol even if they are mediocre.
     
  14. impizkit

    Member impizkit Lazy Lurker

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    Messages:
    943
    Country:
    Australia
    Shouldnt this be in blogs.
     
  15. prowler

    Member prowler Sony

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Messages:
    9,473
    Location:
    Ragol
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    No?
     
  16. dills2

    Newcomer dills2 Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Messages:
    67
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    just cos u hate jrpgs dosent mean everyone else does
     
  17. Necron

    Member Necron Lurking~

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    861
    Location:
    Mi casa
    Country:
    Chile
    Well, I have complained several times with my friends when we talk about that, but still I like the games. The idea is not to have realism, normal things most of the time are boring.

    Don't know, but most games are not meant to be realistic. If that were the case, games shouldn't exist at all.
     
  18. dills2

    Newcomer dills2 Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2010
    Messages:
    67
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    name one game that is completely realistic
     
  19. prowler

    Member prowler Sony

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Messages:
    9,473
    Location:
    Ragol
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
     
    3 people like this.
  20. Guild McCommunist

    Member Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    18,151
    Location:
    The Danger Zone
    Country:
    United States
    There are plenty of games that are incredibly realistic but it's impossible to make a game that's completely realistic.

    He's just saying that JRPGs are highly unrealistic.
     

Share This Page