1. solidus5790

    OP solidus5790 Member
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    So, as a huge fan of the CRPG genre (Baldurs gate and its similar titles, original Fallouts, etc as well as new incarnations like Divinity, Pillars of Eternity, etc), I am wondering which JRPGs of old or new manage to take some of the better parts of the western CRPG genre. Although I love CRPGs, they are often best played with mouse and keyboard, and generally are suited for computers (hence then C in CRPG). I really love the streamlined nature of JRPGs, their ability to play well with a controller, their art styles, amazing music/storytelling, etc. But I cant help but feel like most of them really are just taking you along for a ride on a pre determined story on rails. Yes, I know this is really the point of the genre :)

    But I have been wondering, which JRPGs borrow more of the player choice, flexibility, character customization, etc from the western CRPG genre, while still excelling at their story? Gameplay is usually what JRPGs fail at for me, and I cant help but feel like I would love so many of them more if they made me feel like my choices in combat, dialogue, and play style actually mattered.

    Very often when a game is very open and gives the player a very sandbox feel, the story will naturally suffer since the writers have a harder time forcing its direction. So, can you recommend any games that have that JRPG storytelling, music, and general charm... but allow the player to really do things on their own terms like a western CRPG without sacrificing what makes JRPGs great?
     
    Last edited by solidus5790, Apr 11, 2021
  2. godreborn

    godreborn GBAtemp Legend
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    though it's not exactly an rpg (more an adventure game), but breath of the wild is supposed to be like a zelda version of skyrim. I don't like those sorts of games, so I've been very hesitant about playing it.
     
  3. solidus5790

    OP solidus5790 Member
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    Yeah Im thinking more in terms of a classic style JRPG like Final Fantasy, but with the sandbox feel of a CRPG like Baldurs Gate. Where dialogue choices really change the story, and your characters are really flexible in terms of how you build them
     
  4. godreborn

    godreborn GBAtemp Legend
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    not sure, but I know that jrpgs in general are becoming more westernized, because those seem to sell better. however, I like jrpgs the way they used to be with overworlds and whatnot.
     
  5. solidus5790

    OP solidus5790 Member
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    100% I agree. Im not really a fan of the totally open world western RPG either, which is why I mentioned the classic CRPGs like Fallout, Baldurs Gate, Classic Elder Scrolls (Pre Oblivion), etc. These games excel in their ability to give the player a huge amount of choice in how the move the story along, how they build their characters, and how they perform combat. I am not looking for a JRPG that plays like Skyrim... quite the opposite. I want a classic JRPG in the vein of Chrono Trigger, but with a heavy emphasis on gameplay, character customization, and dialogue choices that actually matter. I guess I am tired of the super linear JRPG where combat feels like Pokemon... where you spam some attacks and you dont really get much choice in how your characters develop
     
    Last edited by solidus5790, Apr 11, 2021
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  6. godreborn

    godreborn GBAtemp Legend
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    dunno. I know that you have chrono cross and I am setsuna is supposed to be a spiritual successor according to my friend. I haven't played the game, but I bought it on the eshop.
     
  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    There are plenty of modern CRPGs but they tend to come from Eastern Europe rather than Japan.

    If Japan is copying anything from western styles then it is usually the more action heavy gameplay (see something like Dragon's Dogma, though Resonance of Fate would still be my favourite approach).

    Technically you have the wizardry series that lived on in Japan for years but that is more dungeon crawler.


    If Japan wants to do a heavy plot style game then you tend to get a tactics game (though even then nothing resembling a CRPG), a card battler (though they tend to be about those cards, haven't even seen something like tainted grail if it is more the world building you are about than straight story), and one that theoretically you could talk though tends to be a visual novel (though visual novel for many these days is a departure from "slideshow version of old HTML adventure" that many will think of -- see the efforts of Cing on the DS if you have not already).

    Some might point you at legend of heroes mistaking the masses of side quests, character dialogue and more as that, and I could see it being something of note in this, but still not crpg.

    I don't know that there are none at all but I try to keep on top of the weird and wonderful, and untranslated efforts. I am now very curious to see such a thing -- if Dragon's Dogma and Resonance of Fate (and maybe Eternal Sonata) are the sort of things you get when Japan colours outside their lines a bit then consider me interested.
     
  8. solidus5790

    OP solidus5790 Member
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    Thanks for the thoughts! I knew it wasnt going to be a common thing... and this proves it. The fact is that a staple of the classic JRPG is storytelling, interesting characters, music, etc. Its just hard for the creators to craft a perfect story and characters if they allowed the player to make a ton of decisions on their own.

    So if there arent really any JRPGs with a 'tabletop RPG' style of freedom... what would you say are some JRPGs with the most engaging combat? Something that is turn based (or real time turn based like Chrono Trigger) but actually requires more than just spamming powerful moves? I would love to play a game that really requires you to use alot of the status effect moves and other things besides straight on bashing.
     
  9. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer
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    Resonance of Fate. No hesitation there. After burning out on Final Fantasy clones it is what got me paying attention again to Japanese efforts. The engine takes a little while to get warmed up to, or indeed only starts to come into its own once you unlock enough crystals to always be doing hero runs, and looking at gameplay tells but a fraction of what it actually plays out like but once it does. tri-Ace's other games are also often quite good, though they have their off days.
    I usually also add Eternal Sonata (the engine changes as you advance through the game, you having action time and placement concerns, though you can lose the changes if you really want) and MagnaCarta 2 has some interesting stuff (short version, magic ability here depends where you are on the map) but might not quite scratch the itch or could be a "nice to see, want a bit more to it". Also MagnaCarta 2 is technically Korean and not so turn based if that matters (they do however generally share a storytelling philosophy much like the JRPG-US RPG-European RPG split).

    El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron could be worth a look but was arguably more straight action and might then be better off leaning into that (nobody would really be playing that and not wishing it was Bayonetta or a good Ninja Gaiden), was a PS4 RPG sequel as well but I had not heard of it before a few weeks ago so who knows and opinion is sharply divided when I go looking.

    Nier and its efforts on later consoles could be something to look at, though turn based... not so much.


    I tend to play CRPGs to learn about a world someone dreamt up rather than necessarily a story or choices along the way (I have not mentioned roguelikes yet but it was close, and there is a reason I went off and pondered things like Tainted Grail), such things just being a really really nice perk that truly sets things off. To that end we might end up talking past each other a bit for recommendations. Though for interesting engine, story, world and maybe a few choices along the way I have no hesitations of resonance of fate.
     
  10. RealMilk

    RealMilk Newbie
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    This is probably going to seem weird, but in my opinion the closest thing to what you're describing would be Final Fantasy XI. Yes it's technically an MMO, but the current game is largely a solo experience (with AI party members) that to me feels like a traditional JRPG with online elements. The world is enormous, the game does not guide your experience, there's tons of armor with unique effects and even the necessity to switch between armor sets/pieces on the fly in end game content. There are 22 jobs and you can make any job a subjob, most jobs allow you to find a unique way to play as well; i.e. you can focus a ninja on dealing damage or tanking, blue mage can do just about anything well provided you have learned the spells, and something like corsair is a hybrid that can deal good damage while buffing. It mostly just depends on your gear what route you're gonna go with that. As for the story, music, and atmosphere, in my opinion it's some of the best in the entire FF franchise. I say this with actually no nostalgia for the game either, I only started playing within the last few years. The game is still fairly grind heavy, though, and while progressing through various older story lines the combat can feel a bit trivial. Keep in mind the game is definitely not for everyone, I just believe it's what best matches your idea. I think it gets a bad rap just for being an MMO, but quite frankly it's become not only one of my favorite FF games, but one of my favorites just in general. I personally love the game because to me it simply feels like a squaresoft JRPG done on an enormous scale, despite the dated graphics I often find myself feeling immersed in the world, the music, and the lore.
     
  11. solidus5790

    OP solidus5790 Member
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    Thanks for the suggestion! Funny you mentioned roguelikes, as they are one of my favorite types of games. Especially games like Brogue, DCSS, etc that give you so many ways to progress and freedom to fight using the environment and other tools.

    Ill definitely check out your suggestions
     
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