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[Opinions lol] Whatever happened to the RPG?

12467

Posts

  • LanrutconLanrutcon Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    No, no I don't mean frag refills. I mean does CoD have antidote, burn heal, and paralyze heal? Does it have repel and escape rope?

    And we have nailed it. Final Fantasy, Pokemon, and Suikoden are JRPGs. Call of Duty is not a JRPG. Primarily because it was not produced in J, but also because it lacks every standard feature of a JRPG created in the past few decades.

    It's one of those things that's often extremely easy to define with a cursory examination and people pretend its' difficult because they want to be argumentative.

    Xenoblade doesn't have antidotes, burn heal or paralyze heal. Goddamnit, Monolith Soft, why'd you have to go ruin everything? You're right, It's totally easy to define: if a game has antidotes it's a jrpg. Now that we've settled it I'm sure the internet will stop debating it once and for all. You're welcome, everyone.

    Wait, we haven't defined crpgs yet. If a game has antidotes AND talking skulls it's a crpg. Did I do that right?

    Lanrutcon on
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    Currently playing: World of Warcraft, because that's what people with huge backlogs do.
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I'm glad folks have already pointed out that JRPGs are still great on handhelds (Pokemon's sales show this) but I doubt that will be the case much longer except for Pokemon. As handhelds get closer to true console experiences, the simple top down RPG will probably disappear as well.

    To me, the appeal of JRPGs ended with 3d rendered graphics. When we went from short, squat characters in tile based landscapes to weird looking, superthin, emo looking characters in prerendered, linear worlds the games became much less appealing. A side note to that folks probably won't agree with either but to me that's also when I lost interest in the console Zelda games - until Wind Waker came along.

    To be fair, the concept art for a lot of the squat characters was superthin and emo looking. It was just hard for them to convey that at much lower resolutions and with sprites and all. :P

    That said, 3d did kind of take a bit of the appeal of jRPGs away from me too, since it took away a lot of the imagination (imo). Since you're being told everything, a lot of games just aren't as engaging.

    I think it's the overall charm of the characters that was lost for me in the move to 3d. It's an extreme example, but I'd rather play as the Black Mage from FF1 than try to play as anyone in FFXII.

    You know how in Japan they do subtle things to american games to make the characters resonate like giving Crash big funny eyebrows? I wonder if they've ever considered taking one of the recent JRPGs and actually facelifting the characters a bit for the western audience.

    Lindsay Lohan on
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  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Lanrutcon wrote: »
    No, no I don't mean frag refills. I mean does CoD have antidote, burn heal, and paralyze heal.

    And we have nailed it. Final Fantasy, Pokemon, and Suikoden are JRPGs. Call of Duty is not a JRPG. Primarily because it was not produced in J.

    Xenoblade doesn't have antidotes, burn heal or paralyze heal. Goddamnit, Monolith Soft, why'd you have to go ruin everything?

    As I added to my post, it's extremely easy to define what makes a JRPG and you're just being argumentative.

    Xenoblade is third person with sweeping fantasy vistas, fantasy weapons, an outrageous high fantasy plot, magic etc. But these things are not always necessary to the core of what a JRPG is; Earthbound is also a JRPG but isn't high fantasy, though it does feature ESP powers. You equip weapons and armor in the traditional sense, walk from town to town, speak to NPCs and do sidequests. There are dungeons and treasures, and the feeling that you can visit them whenever you like rather than being ushered from setpiece to setpiece.

    Think of it like a meter that fills up by a certain amount depending on which bits are present, and the more full it is, the more of a traditional JRPG the game is. Epic fantasy adventure with magic? That's 20% of the meter. Towns with NPCs to talk to separated by outdoor excursions? That's another 15%. Status effects? 5%. Weapons, armor, and accessories? 10%. Party members with situational usefulness that can be swapped out? Another 10%.

    At the same time other meters are filling up based on other criteria. First person, realistic guns, semi-realistic modern or future setting, modern political/wartime intrigue? Not typically JRPG fare, but it's certainly stuff to weigh against the game's other aspects.

    Not all typical aspects of a genre are required, but anyone who has been gaming for any length of time can easily identify what is and what isn't.

    That's what makes a genre a genre. You can literally never put any thing into any category because it will be missing some aspects of what other things in that category have, but it's still quite easy to do most of the time as long as you're not being disingenuous.

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  • CatshadeCatshade Registered User regular
    But in COD you're playing the role of a soldier!

  • AegeriAegeri Registered User regular
    Yeah Pokemon is every bit a strategy RPG as anything else I can think of (EG Final Fantasy Tactics). It even shares most of the standard RPG tropes, just replacing party members with pokemon.

  • LanrutconLanrutcon Registered User regular
    Lanrutcon wrote: »
    No, no I don't mean frag refills. I mean does CoD have antidote, burn heal, and paralyze heal.

    And we have nailed it. Final Fantasy, Pokemon, and Suikoden are JRPGs. Call of Duty is not a JRPG. Primarily because it was not produced in J.

    Xenoblade doesn't have antidotes, burn heal or paralyze heal. Goddamnit, Monolith Soft, why'd you have to go ruin everything?

    As I added to my post, it's extremely easy to define what makes a JRPG and you're just being argumentative.

    Xenoblade is third person with sweeping fantasy vistas, fantasy weapons, an outrageous high fantasy plot, magic etc. But these things are not always necessary to the core of what a JRPG is; Earthbound is also a JRPG but isn't high fantasy, though it does feature ESP powers. You equip weapons and armor in the traditional sense, walk from town to town, speak to NPCs and do sidequests. There are dungeons and treasures, and the feeling that you can visit them whenever you like rather than being ushered from setpiece to setpiece.

    Think of it like a meter that fills up by a certain amount depending on which bits are present. Epic fantasy adventure with magic? That's 20% of the meter. Towns with NPCs to talk to separated by outdoor excursions? That's another 15%. Status effects? 5%. Weapons, armor, and accessories? 10%. Party members with situational usefulness that can be swapped out? Another 10%.

    Not all aspects are required, but anyone who has been gaming for any length of time can easily identify what is and what isn't.

    Sarcasm aside, I'm being dead serious. Stay classy.

    I'm going to drop the argument, because it's been had before and it will again (yay internet). I don't agree with your definitions and the silly meter went apeshit the moment your started using an antidote and some vague imaginary meter as key points of your stance.

    The lesson here is that introducing Pokemon to any discussion results in godless anarchy. Or something.

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    Currently playing: World of Warcraft, because that's what people with huge backlogs do.
  • InvictusInvictus Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Lanrutcon wrote: »
    No, no I don't mean frag refills. I mean does CoD have antidote, burn heal, and paralyze heal.

    And we have nailed it. Final Fantasy, Pokemon, and Suikoden are JRPGs. Call of Duty is not a JRPG. Primarily because it was not produced in J.

    Xenoblade doesn't have antidotes, burn heal or paralyze heal. Goddamnit, Monolith Soft, why'd you have to go ruin everything?

    As I added to my post, it's extremely easy to define what makes a JRPG and you're just being argumentative.

    Xenoblade is third person with sweeping fantasy vistas, fantasy weapons, an outrageous high fantasy plot, magic etc. But these things are not always necessary to the core of what a JRPG is; Earthbound is also a JRPG but isn't high fantasy, though it does feature ESP powers. You equip weapons and armor in the traditional sense, walk from town to town, speak to NPCs and do sidequests. There are dungeons and treasures, and the feeling that you can visit them whenever you like rather than being ushered from setpiece to setpiece.

    Think of it like a meter that fills up by a certain amount depending on which bits are present, and the more full it is, the more of a traditional JRPG the game is. Epic fantasy adventure with magic? That's 20% of the meter. Towns with NPCs to talk to separated by outdoor excursions? That's another 15%. Status effects? 5%. Weapons, armor, and accessories? 10%. Party members with situational usefulness that can be swapped out? Another 10%.

    At the same time other meters are filling up based on other criteria. First person, realistic guns, semi-realistic modern or future setting, political/wartime intrigue? Not typically JRPG fare, but it's certainly stuff to weigh against the game's other aspects.

    Not all aspects are required, but anyone who has been gaming for any length of time can easily identify what is and what isn't.

    The line you're giving now is that JRPG is what is sometimes called a 'cluster concept,' which is a concept where no features are either necessary or sufficient for membership in the concept, but instead each feature is more or less important in determining whether any particular thing is a member. (More on cluster concepts here.)

    But the problem is that articulating the full list of features which might contribute to some thing falling within a cluster concept is famously difficult, partially because there are likely to be so many features that are relevant, partially because getting clear on the weighting is very difficult.

    I have some sympathy for the claims that 1) the JRPG is a cluster concept, and 2) we can easily identify iconic, paradigmatic examples of the genre, but I don't know why you are so confident that others will come to the same conclusions as you as regards more borderline cases. The story you're telling about how we identify JRPGs is actually pretty complicated, and there are a ton of assessments others might make differently through using that story.

    Invictus on
  • VicVic Registered User regular
    Lanrutcon wrote: »
    Lanrutcon wrote: »
    Whoa there. Pokemon games are rpgs? I was under the impression that pokemon games are a genre themselves. I agree with you that handhelds have awesome jrpgs, just think your example is weird :)

    Uh yeah, Pokemon has always been an RPG. Just because you can recruit new party members and cast off old ones doesn't mean it's not a pretty traditional JRPG. Plot, dungeons, treasure chests, side quests, leveling, abilities...all of that.

    If it's the scale of the party that's throwing you off, think of the Suikoden series with its 108 party members per game.

    But you're not playing the pokemon, you're playing the character that uses the pokemon like tools. It's more like a tactics game (where you employee dozens of evolving, generic resources to engage in battle) than a regular jrpg (where your party members are each unique and of limited supply). Besides, by your description of the elements that make up an rpg we can start classifying things like MW as an rpg :P

    For me, this has always felt like the case in many JRPGs, and is one of the reasons I prefer WRPGs. When playing a final fantasy game I am not truly playing the role of any one character, at least not in the sense of having any control over their role in the story. Some of them do not even have a clear main character. This is fine, but I usually find that I care more about a story when it is presenting me with meaningful choices.

  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    Aegeri wrote: »
    Yeah Pokemon is every bit a strategy RPG as anything else I can think of (EG Final Fantasy Tactics). It even shares most of the standard RPG tropes, just replacing party members with pokemon.

    Strategy RPG is a genre that indicates there is a higher level of strategy in battle than simply cast spell, hit with weapon, etc. Generally it means battles take place in some form of field of battle with characters moving around like chess pieces with environment, positioning and team work winning battles. There's nothing like that in Pokemon. Strategy RPG would be that new Pokemon/Nobunagas crossover game.

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  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Lanrutcon wrote: »
    Sarcasm aside, I'm being dead serious. Stay classy.

    I'm going to drop the argument, because it's been had before and it will again (yay internet). I don't agree with your definitions and the silly meter went apeshit the moment your started using an antidote and some vague imaginary meter as key points of your stance.

    The lesson here is that introducing Pokemon to any discussion results in godless anarchy. Or something.

    That's because they are key points of what make up JRPGs, though as stated they are not necessary. You were the one using minor parts of JRPGs as reasoning to re-classify what is obviously a first person shooter.
    Invictus wrote: »
    The line you're giving now is that JRPG is what is sometimes called a 'cluster concept,' which is a concept where no features are either necessary or sufficient for membership in the concept, but instead each feature is more or less important in determining whether any particular thing is a member. (More on cluster concepts here.)

    But the problem is that articulating the full list of features which might contribute to some thing falling within a cluster concept is famously difficult, partially because there are likely to be so many features that are relevant, partially because getting clear on the weighting is very difficult.

    I have some sympathy for the claims that 1) the JRPG is a cluster concept, and 2) we can easily identify iconic, paradigmatic examples of the genre, but I don't know why you are so confident that others will come to the same conclusions as you as regards more borderline cases. The story you're telling about how we identify JRPGs is actually pretty complicated, and there are a ton of assessments others might make differently through using that story.
    I am not confident that others will come to the same conclusions, but I'm also not worried about that; if 30% of the people say it's a JRPG and 70% say it's an adventure game (Zelda, for example), then I'll side with the 70% group. I'm not necessarily looking for objectivity, I'm looking for majority, and that's why it's laughable when people say things like "oh well technically Tetris is a platformer."

    UncleSporky on
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  • InvictusInvictus Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Invictus wrote: »
    The line you're giving now is that JRPG is what is sometimes called a 'cluster concept,' which is a concept where no features are either necessary or sufficient for membership in the concept, but instead each feature is more or less important in determining whether any particular thing is a member. (More on cluster concepts here.)

    But the problem is that articulating the full list of features which might contribute to some thing falling within a cluster concept is famously difficult, partially because there are likely to be so many features that are relevant, partially because getting clear on the weighting is very difficult.

    I have some sympathy for the claims that 1) the JRPG is a cluster concept, and 2) we can easily identify iconic, paradigmatic examples of the genre, but I don't know why you are so confident that others will come to the same conclusions as you as regards more borderline cases. The story you're telling about how we identify JRPGs is actually pretty complicated, and there are a ton of assessments others might make differently through using that story.
    I am not confident that others will come to the same conclusions, but I'm also not worried about that; if 30% of the people say it's a JRPG and 70% say it's an adventure game (Zelda, for example), then I'll side with the 70% group. I'm not looking for objectivity, I'm looking for majority, and that's why it's laughable when people say things like "oh well technically Tetris is a platformer."

    So your claim that Xenoblade is a JRPG is also a prediction that most people would agree with you? And if it turned out that most people didn't agree with you, you'd change your mind on whether Xenoblade is a JRPG?

    I am legitimately curious. This kind of stuff is very interesting to me, and I had not considered that you might think whether something is a JRPG doesn't depend on any facts about the game, it just depends on assessments people make of the game. It's not obvious to me that people in fact use the cluster concept methodology to categorize JRPGs; most of this thread seems to be looking for necessary and sufficient conditions.

    Invictus on
  • UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Perhaps the easiest way to put it would be to say that "it's part of this genre by majority vote" is like 50% of the meter. :P

    So it depends on facts of the game, and it depends on what other people think it is based on the facts of the game.

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  • DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Oh wow. Check back in, and 90% of this thread is arguing about what an RPG is.

    Anyway, to further elaborate on my response to the OP, no, Chrono Trigger could not be made today. Mainly because the game doesn't waste your time. It moves you along briskly, from location to location, and the story text can be read through in seconds. All the locations are vibrant and diverse, and interesting to look through. A comparison I like to make with what modern games do with your time is FF7 compared to a few recent games. The entire Midgar part of FF7, which few will forget, is about 6 hours. In 6 hours of Mass Effect or FFXII, basically nothing has happened and you are still waiting for "the good part". In ME, it eventually comes, in FFXII, I quit the game after so many hours of boredom. Learn some pacing, you cretins.

    There also is the problem that the art styles suck. The samish cartoony 3d character look that is in basically every Western game looks like ass. Compare the Witcher 2(which looks different) with Dragon Age (what I'm talking about). With JRPGs, its pretty simple. Modern anime style is terrible. There's colors everywhere and silly clothing, but no real feel.

    DisruptorX2 on
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  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    Anyway, to further elaborate on my response to the OP, no, Chrono Trigger could not be made today. Mainly because the game doesn't waste your time. It moves you along briskly, from location to location, and the story text can be read through in seconds. All the locations are vibrant and diverse, and interesting to look through. A comparison I like to make with what modern games do with your time is FF7 compared to a few recent games. The entire Midgar part of FF7, which few will forget, is about 6 hours. In 6 hours of Mass Effect or FFXII, basically nothing has happened and you are still waiting for "the good part". In ME, it eventually comes, in FFXII, I quit the game after so many hours of boredom. Learn some pacing, you cretins.

    There also is the problem that the art styles suck. The samish cartoony 3d character look that is in basically every Western game looks like ass. Compare the Witcher 2(which looks different) with Dragon Age (what I'm talking about). With JRPGs, its pretty simple. Modern anime style is terrible. There's colors everywhere and silly clothing, but no real feel.

    So basically, what you're saying is that CT couldn't be made today with modern technology. However, if a certain indie group that wasn't tied to the problems of modern 3D graphics was to attempt the challenge in a few years... :)

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    Dhalphir wrote: »
    Kickstarter isn't going to give us any great games.

    Even if a game gets a million bucks funding on Kickstarter, that only pays for about 10 man years of work, which isn't going to produce many quality games.

    I will give you a copy of Wasteland 2 if you're wrong.

  • IDDQDIDDQD Registered User regular
    Anyway, to further elaborate on my response to the OP, no, Chrono Trigger could not be made today. Mainly because the game doesn't waste your time. It moves you along briskly, from location to location, and the story text can be read through in seconds. All the locations are vibrant and diverse, and interesting to look through. A comparison I like to make with what modern games do with your time is FF7 compared to a few recent games. The entire Midgar part of FF7, which few will forget, is about 6 hours. In 6 hours of Mass Effect or FFXII, basically nothing has happened and you are still waiting for "the good part". In ME, it eventually comes, in FFXII, I quit the game after so many hours of boredom. Learn some pacing, you cretins.

    There also is the problem that the art styles suck. The samish cartoony 3d character look that is in basically every Western game looks like ass. Compare the Witcher 2(which looks different) with Dragon Age (what I'm talking about). With JRPGs, its pretty simple. Modern anime style is terrible. There's colors everywhere and silly clothing, but no real feel.

    So basically, what you're saying is that CT couldn't be made today with modern technology. However, if a certain indie group that wasn't tied to the problems of modern 3D graphics was to attempt the challenge in a few years... :)

    I was SOOO hoping that you would turn up in this thread. OP, listen to this man.

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  • tehkensaitehkensai Registered User regular
    Man. There's a lot here.

    Anyway, I loved the old JRPGs, like FF6(3), stuff like Suikoden, and most of the old final fantasies, but somewhere along the lines they stopped being good stories, or rather, I should say, mature stories. If I have to listen to one more insipid fucking thirteen year old kid as a character Im going to throw my controller/mouse through the screen. Somewhere along the line they just stopped maturing with me. Its also one of the reasons I love the Witcher 2 so much, because it actually has a mature story. That's my problem in a nutshell.(Although Ive heard tales of graces has decent writing, so I might have to check that out.)

    And Disruptor hit a nail on the head here, I think. I absolutely loved Chrono Trigger because of its refusal to waste absolutely any of my time.

    And I'll start up the whole DA2 thing again: As much as I personally like to hate on it, its more because that game doesn't even feel like a sequel to the first game. The tactical combat that was a huge part of the first game was gone, and its place was some weird fast paced action...thing. By its own merits I don't think its a horrible game, it just felt like such a huge departure from the first one, combat style/story style and all that it was a huge letdown.

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  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    Yeah, that's the thing about the really good 16-bit RPGs - they had amazing pacing. Chrono Trigger & Phantasy Star IV are probably the best examples, with scarcely a wasted moment before something interesting would happen. Similarly, pacing is the #1 thing we've tried to focus on in our own games. Rain-Slick 3 is our fastest paced game yet, but there's still room for improvement. It's my big hope that Rain-Slick 3 & 4 will be widely successful with the result that we'll have the resources that if we want to, we can take a couple years and make a game that blows our past work away. The best in retro visuals combined with a game that is as devoid of filler as is humanely possible - a game where you can't say which part is your favorite because the entire thing is amazing.

  • Rex DartRex Dart Registered User regular
    Lanrutcon wrote: »
    Lanrutcon wrote: »
    Whoa there. Pokemon games are rpgs? I was under the impression that pokemon games are a genre themselves. I agree with you that handhelds have awesome jrpgs, just think your example is weird :)

    Uh yeah, Pokemon has always been an RPG. Just because you can recruit new party members and cast off old ones doesn't mean it's not a pretty traditional JRPG. Plot, dungeons, treasure chests, side quests, leveling, abilities...all of that.

    If it's the scale of the party that's throwing you off, think of the Suikoden series with its 108 party members per game.

    But you're not playing the pokemon, you're playing the character that uses the pokemon like tools. It's more like a tactics game (where you employee dozens of evolving, generic resources to engage in battle) than a regular jrpg (where your party members are each unique and of limited supply). Besides, by your description of the elements that make up an rpg we can start classifying things like MW as an rpg :P

    The Shin Megami Tensei games follow the same formula as Pokemon. Except you're recruiting demons, rather than Pokemon. They're universally considered RPGs.

    I think you're confusing the surface elements of RPGs with the underlying reasons why people play and enjoy RPGs. Extra Credits had a great episode on the subject. I recommend it.

    http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/western-japanese-rpgs-part-1 (Later half of the episode.)

  • LanrutconLanrutcon Registered User regular
    I don't consider the pokemon games rpgs. They don't have swords and platemail in them. Unless there's a new pokemon game with a lot of antidotes in them to make up for the lack of swords. Then I'll bite :P

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  • YarYar Registered User regular
    What happened to the RPG is that too many people got obsessed with properly defining the RPG genre and its sub-genres, and so I got sick of it and started playing Halo.

  • TurkeyTurkey Registered User regular
    As Rainbow said, jRPGs still have a place. The PSP (in Japan) and DS, plus the slowly growing Steam catalog are proof of that. However, you can't spend the kind of money on that genre that you would spend on something more mainstream, because the purer you go, the more niche it is.

    I found FF13-2 to be a pretty awesome game, and I think the reduced time/budget constraints helped at lot in its development.

    Another example I like is Pokemon, which is in no way as expensive to develop as any AAA titles, yet is immensely popular. Interesting to note is that, with Black and White, the game's story was closer to that of a non-Pokemon RPG.

    @CaptainNemo Resonance of Fate has a pretty cool combat system, and the characters are pretty cool. The story follows a "daily life" approach, which I found boring but others have enjoyed. The combat system's main flaw though is that you have almost your entire repertoire available from the beginning, with only one remaining weapon type to unlock in the story. Also, while you can customize your guns like crazy, the changes are not visually apparent.

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  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    True Story - I've never played a JRPG. I don't feel like I've missed anything in my life or gaming for it.

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Yeah, that's the thing about the really good 16-bit RPGs - they had amazing pacing. Chrono Trigger & Phantasy Star IV are probably the best examples, with scarcely a wasted moment before something interesting would happen. Similarly, pacing is the #1 thing we've tried to focus on in our own games. Rain-Slick 3 is our fastest paced game yet, but there's still room for improvement. It's my big hope that Rain-Slick 3 & 4 will be widely successful with the result that we'll have the resources that if we want to, we can take a couple years and make a game that blows our past work away. The best in retro visuals combined with a game that is as devoid of filler as is humanely possible - a game where you can't say which part is your favorite because the entire thing is amazing.

    I think this is a fascinating point though. Why was a game like Chrono Trigger so full of non-filler, yet would still take most people 40+ hours to beat? Some of it could be tacked up to grinding (I mean, who didn't grind the stairs in the Black Temple with Luminar? It was like a free 15 levels before you had to fight Twin Golems). But that's not all of it...was it just that the stories were grander and the idea of a Fed Ex quest hadn't been invented yet?

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  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    There were some fetch quests in CT... I think some of why CT and FF6 and the like were so successful was because they could leverage the strengths of the cartridge format. The load times in the dreadful PS1 ports of those games absolutely ruin the fun.

    Drawn out battle transitions, loading screens, slowly paced text to accommodate voice acting, lengthy animations... all of that stuff just exists to draw things out and ruin the pace. With the current consoles they won't be able to totally eliminate some of those concessions to the disc format, but anything that can be done to minimize them is absolutely welcome. In my opinion, the single best improvement that Squeenix made to FF13-2 over FF13 was ditching the initial paradigm shift animations. They also made their biggest mistake (likely due to the budget) in having absurdly long load times to transfer from the Historia Crux to different locales.

    Dehumanized on
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  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Yeah, that's the thing about the really good 16-bit RPGs - they had amazing pacing. Chrono Trigger & Phantasy Star IV are probably the best examples, with scarcely a wasted moment before something interesting would happen. Similarly, pacing is the #1 thing we've tried to focus on in our own games. Rain-Slick 3 is our fastest paced game yet, but there's still room for improvement. It's my big hope that Rain-Slick 3 & 4 will be widely successful with the result that we'll have the resources that if we want to, we can take a couple years and make a game that blows our past work away. The best in retro visuals combined with a game that is as devoid of filler as is humanely possible - a game where you can't say which part is your favorite because the entire thing is amazing.

    I think this is a fascinating point though. Why was a game like Chrono Trigger so full of non-filler, yet would still take most people 40+ hours to beat? Some of it could be tacked up to grinding (I mean, who didn't grind the stairs in the Black Temple with Luminar? It was like a free 15 levels before you had to fight Twin Golems). But that's not all of it...was it just that the stories were grander and the idea of a Fed Ex quest hadn't been invented yet?
    Just to pick at a nit, and not to belabor the point or attack you in any way, but Chrono Trigger takes around 20 hours to beat. If you take a look at howlongtobeat.com, the mean is listed at 25 hours, with a main-story-only playthrough at 22 hours. Chrono Trigger is quite well-paced (an exception rather than a rule, I feel), but it flies by relatively quickly compared to the long-ass epic JRPGs from that era (filled with filler and grinding).

    I think part of the creativity in The World Ends With You (a far more recent game) is the way they allow you to pace the game yourself. You choose when to battle, and you choose how difficult you want it to be. The game also is artificially structured in bite-sized "Days", akin to chapters, which helps the pacing.

    RainbowDespair's own game has some shitty pacing elements (Sorry, but randomly winding dungeons isn't good pacing or fun... this is just personal opinion and not an attack, and I realize that it's an homage to the genre), but they added the ability to fight the "random" battles on your own time and had a battle counter to prevent random battles from ruining the pacing on extended journeys.

    Hahnsoo1 on
    Steam ID: Hahnsoo, Steam Name currently: Hahnsopolis | PSN: Hahnsoo | Monster Hunter Tri: Hahnsoo, E8HJCA
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    I can't remember any true fetch quests in CT as we know them today. I am sure there was some "Get this, do this" kind of stuff, but it was integral to the story and had purpose. Beyond the coins at the fair at the start, there wasn't any real "Go get me 15 bear ass hairs" type of content in CT that i can remember. If it was there, it was very well hidden under a vainer of importance.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Yeah, also it's kinda weird how nostalgia (also, being 8), turns perception of those old SNES RPGs to be way longer than they actually are. I had thought of FFIV as this 50-60 hour epic game, but playing through one of the most recent re-releases I got to the end of the game in about 15 hours. Sure, I already knew what to do at all times, but it's also just much shorter than I remembered. Plus the sprint button.

    Dehumanized on
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  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I'm glad folks have already pointed out that JRPGs are still great on handhelds (Pokemon's sales show this) but I doubt that will be the case much longer except for Pokemon. As handhelds get closer to true console experiences, the simple top down RPG will probably disappear as well.

    To me, the appeal of JRPGs ended with 3d rendered graphics. When we went from short, squat characters in tile based landscapes to weird looking, superthin, emo looking characters in prerendered, linear worlds the games became much less appealing. A side note to that folks probably won't agree with either but to me that's also when I lost interest in the console Zelda games - until Wind Waker came along.

    To be fair, the concept art for a lot of the squat characters was superthin and emo looking. It was just hard for them to convey that at much lower resolutions and with sprites and all. :P

    That said, 3d did kind of take a bit of the appeal of jRPGs away from me too, since it took away a lot of the imagination (imo). Since you're being told everything, a lot of games just aren't as engaging.

    I think it's the overall charm of the characters that was lost for me in the move to 3d. It's an extreme example, but I'd rather play as the Black Mage from FF1 than try to play as anyone in FFXII.

    You know how in Japan they do subtle things to american games to make the characters resonate like giving Crash big funny eyebrows? I wonder if they've ever considered taking one of the recent JRPGs and actually facelifting the characters a bit for the western audience.

    I like Akihiko Yoshida's art and design, so my reasons for not wanting to play XII lie moreso in the gameplay and story departments. :P

    But Nier is an example of a game where the character has a more "westernized" appearance. If you played that or saw its design, what was your opinion of it? That would be kind of what you'd see if Japanese developers attempted to "westernize" their character designs. Is there a particular RPg you're thinking about applying this sort of facelift to?

    tastydonuts on
    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    I'm glad folks have already pointed out that JRPGs are still great on handhelds (Pokemon's sales show this) but I doubt that will be the case much longer except for Pokemon. As handhelds get closer to true console experiences, the simple top down RPG will probably disappear as well.

    To me, the appeal of JRPGs ended with 3d rendered graphics. When we went from short, squat characters in tile based landscapes to weird looking, superthin, emo looking characters in prerendered, linear worlds the games became much less appealing. A side note to that folks probably won't agree with either but to me that's also when I lost interest in the console Zelda games - until Wind Waker came along.

    To be fair, the concept art for a lot of the squat characters was superthin and emo looking. It was just hard for them to convey that at much lower resolutions and with sprites and all. :P

    That said, 3d did kind of take a bit of the appeal of jRPGs away from me too, since it took away a lot of the imagination (imo). Since you're being told everything, a lot of games just aren't as engaging.

    I think it's the overall charm of the characters that was lost for me in the move to 3d. It's an extreme example, but I'd rather play as the Black Mage from FF1 than try to play as anyone in FFXII.

    You know how in Japan they do subtle things to american games to make the characters resonate like giving Crash big funny eyebrows? I wonder if they've ever considered taking one of the recent JRPGs and actually facelifting the characters a bit for the western audience.

    I like Akihiko Yoshida's art and design, so my reasons for not wanting to play XII lie moreso in the gameplay and story departments. :P

    But Nier is an example of a game where the character has a more "westernized" appearance. If you played that or saw its design, what was your opinion of it? That would be kind of what you'd see if Japanese developers attempted to "westernize" their character designs. Is there a particular RPg you're thinking about applying this sort of facelift to?

    I haven't picked it up - but I've watched some videos of it, and it definitely would be more on my radar than most other Square offerings. My gaming time basically forces me to play RPGs on a handheld at this time, otherwise they never get played, so I've been mostly doing stuff on the DS otherwise I'd probably pick it up. The lead character does look a lot like the main guy from the Rygar remake a few years ago though.

    I can't think of a specific recent game - but how about this (and this isn't a turn based traditional JRPG, but I think a good example). Let's say you had a Kingdom Hearts side story game and you eliminated most of the Square characters and had the game star a new lead character who is completely the opposite of the leads they've had in the KH series. No anime looking characters, no stupid jpop ballad, no drawn out cinemas. I would buy that game and I lost interest in that series years ago.

    How about a Final Fantasy game where the characters are designed in more of a Fable (ie traditional knights and magician) style? It seems a bit like JRPGs would have more appeal if they looked less like JRPGs.

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  • Ragnar DragonfyreRagnar Dragonfyre Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Yeah, that's the thing about the really good 16-bit RPGs - they had amazing pacing. Chrono Trigger & Phantasy Star IV are probably the best examples, with scarcely a wasted moment before something interesting would happen. Similarly, pacing is the #1 thing we've tried to focus on in our own games. Rain-Slick 3 is our fastest paced game yet, but there's still room for improvement. It's my big hope that Rain-Slick 3 & 4 will be widely successful with the result that we'll have the resources that if we want to, we can take a couple years and make a game that blows our past work away. The best in retro visuals combined with a game that is as devoid of filler as is humanely possible - a game where you can't say which part is your favorite because the entire thing is amazing.

    I think this is a fascinating point though. Why was a game like Chrono Trigger so full of non-filler, yet would still take most people 40+ hours to beat? Some of it could be tacked up to grinding (I mean, who didn't grind the stairs in the Black Temple with Luminar? It was like a free 15 levels before you had to fight Twin Golems). But that's not all of it...was it just that the stories were grander and the idea of a Fed Ex quest hadn't been invented yet?

    I attribute the length of the game back then due to the lack of GameFAQs (and the like). The proliferation of online guides has "shortened" the length of all games on average. There were a couple spots in Chrono Trigger that I got stuck on when I was younger (though after having come back to the game a year later then, I promptly figured it out and never could understand how I got stuck at all).

    Those sorts of roadblocks artificially lengthen the game because you end up having to explore all over the place, combat ensues and your gametime ticks up. Back then, it was almost a local community effort to beat a JRPG. Everyone had their circle of gamer friends and you'd pick each other's brains to get by. Today, if you get stuck, you just grab your smartphone and google what to do next. Getting stuck in a game is a choice nowadays.

    There was more than a few JRPG's that I couldn't figure out in my younger years. I got major stuck in the original Breath of Fire too (during the ocean exploration)... had GameFAQ's been around, I would have beaten a few more games as a kid I suspect.

    Ragnar Dragonfyre on
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  • RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Yeah, that's the thing about the really good 16-bit RPGs - they had amazing pacing. Chrono Trigger & Phantasy Star IV are probably the best examples, with scarcely a wasted moment before something interesting would happen. Similarly, pacing is the #1 thing we've tried to focus on in our own games. Rain-Slick 3 is our fastest paced game yet, but there's still room for improvement. It's my big hope that Rain-Slick 3 & 4 will be widely successful with the result that we'll have the resources that if we want to, we can take a couple years and make a game that blows our past work away. The best in retro visuals combined with a game that is as devoid of filler as is humanely possible - a game where you can't say which part is your favorite because the entire thing is amazing.

    I think this is a fascinating point though. Why was a game like Chrono Trigger so full of non-filler, yet would still take most people 40+ hours to beat? Some of it could be tacked up to grinding (I mean, who didn't grind the stairs in the Black Temple with Luminar? It was like a free 15 levels before you had to fight Twin Golems). But that's not all of it...was it just that the stories were grander and the idea of a Fed Ex quest hadn't been invented yet?
    Just to pick at a nit, and not to belabor the point or attack you in any way, but Chrono Trigger takes around 20 hours to beat. If you take a look at howlongtobeat.com, the mean is listed at 25 hours, with a main-story-only playthrough at 22 hours. Chrono Trigger is quite well-paced (an exception rather than a rule, I feel), but it flies by relatively quickly compared to the long-ass epic JRPGs from that era (filled with filler and grinding).

    Yeah, Chrono Trigger is 20-30 hours depending on the player and how thorough you are. I'd still much rather have 20 hours of great than 60 hours of pretty good.
    RainbowDespair's own game has some shitty pacing elements (Sorry, but randomly winding dungeons isn't good pacing or fun... this is just personal opinion and not an attack, and I realize that it's an homage to the genre), but they added the ability to fight the "random" battles on your own time and had a battle counter to prevent random battles from ruining the pacing on extended journeys.

    Completely agree with you. The huge winding dungeons in CSTW was our #1 regret with the game. Rain-Slick 3's dungeons are much denser and more interesting.

  • Future BluesFuture Blues Registered User
    edited May 2012
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Yeah, that's the thing about the really good 16-bit RPGs - they had amazing pacing. Chrono Trigger & Phantasy Star IV are probably the best examples, with scarcely a wasted moment before something interesting would happen. Similarly, pacing is the #1 thing we've tried to focus on in our own games. Rain-Slick 3 is our fastest paced game yet, but there's still room for improvement. It's my big hope that Rain-Slick 3 & 4 will be widely successful with the result that we'll have the resources that if we want to, we can take a couple years and make a game that blows our past work away. The best in retro visuals combined with a game that is as devoid of filler as is humanely possible - a game where you can't say which part is your favorite because the entire thing is amazing.

    I think this is a fascinating point though. Why was a game like Chrono Trigger so full of non-filler, yet would still take most people 40+ hours to beat? Some of it could be tacked up to grinding (I mean, who didn't grind the stairs in the Black Temple with Luminar? It was like a free 15 levels before you had to fight Twin Golems). But that's not all of it...was it just that the stories were grander and the idea of a Fed Ex quest hadn't been invented yet?

    I attribute the length of the game back then due to the lack of GameFAQs (and the like). The proliferation of online guides has "shortened" the length of all games on average. There were a couple spots in Chrono Trigger that I got stuck on when I was younger (though after having come back to the game a year later then, I promptly figured it out and never could understand how I got stuck at all).

    Those sorts of roadblocks artificially lengthen the game because you end up having to explore all over the place, combat ensues and your gametime ticks up. Back then, it was almost a local community effort to beat a JRPG. Everyone had their circle of gamer friends and you'd pick each other's brains to get by. Today, if you get stuck, you just grab your smartphone and google what to do next. Getting stuck in a game is a choice nowadays.

    There was more than a few JRPG's that I couldn't figure out in my younger years. I got major stuck in the original Breath of Fire too (during the ocean exploration)... had GameFAQ's been around, I would have beaten a few more games as a kid I suspect.

    Yep. We live in a world where game reviews specifically point out "average play time" and then people look at that and know that they can beat the game in half the time by reading a FAQ. A lot of game developers are so focused on hitting a certain amount of play time that they just hamfist a bunch of time sink stuff into their game to appease reviewers and preempt arguments that their game sucks because it isn't long enough.

    I mean, look at the Diablo 3 beta conversation. Most of it is centered around people worried about the length of the story (which isn't really what Diablo is about and even if it was, the D2 beta should be a good indication of how comprehensive Blizzard's betas are as far as story content is concerned) and the difficulty curve (which people have no way of knowing except that Diablo 2 was pretty hard at the highest level so much so that people bitched and moaned about things like elemental immunities, etc.).

    Everybody wants to be entertained in perpetuity while simultaneously being presented with an epic, novel story dictated by their choices and their choices alone that's never been done before.

    It doesn't help that we have to water down anything that could be construed as even a little bit offensive (religious themes, anything having to do with sex or sexuality, etc.) to make sure it hits a specific rating and can be marketed to the right group of people. I mean look at Hot Coffee. That stuff wasn't even in the game proper and people lost their collective shit over it because "games are for kids and what if a kid learned about intercourse from GTA?!"

    Future Blues on
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  • Flippy_DFlippy_D Digital Conquistador LondonRegistered User regular
    I chose the right tag for this thread.

    Also, this has been pretty interesting. Keep it up =D

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  • PhurrehPhurreh Registered User regular
    On the "What is an RPG?" front, I think emphasis on character rather than player is a major component to one.
    Success depends on the character's abilities (like, say, FFXII), rather than the player's skill or reflexes (Monster Hunter).

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  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    @Future Blues: The stuff about D3's length makes me shake my head. Blizzard has pretty clearly stated that the only content in the beta is the first part, of the first chapter. It's like people want to be obtuse on purpose.

    For that matter, who cares? Diablo has never been about engaging story and hours of unique content. The fact that Diablo historically has even had a somewhat interesting story to follow is an anomaly.

    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    Yeah, the content in the beta was pretty clearly the equivalent of like, playing up through the Countess in D2. It made for a relatively disappointing beta, but can't be judged as representative of the final product... much like how SC2's beta was an obvious disappointment if you cared about the storyline. The game was ultimately fine, and it's 100% not Blizzard's job to supply the beta as an extensive demo of the game.

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  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited May 2012
    Yeah, Blizzard was always very clear that the beta was for network and system testing. There is a reason the beta content had almost no updates over the course of the beta: It was basically done before the beta started. What wasn't done was the networking and the game system code. As evidenced by the endless consternation over said beta changes.

    "ZOMG Blizzard doesn't know how to design a game, they keep changing it!"...from the same people who complain when a company doesn't change anything during the beta.

    It is amazing how much people complain about content length these days. I never really realized it, but it's true. To some extent, I get it. Things were swinging a weird direction there for a while, where games were 10 hours long for 60 bucks and people were a bit pissed. But the idea that ever game needs to be 40+ hours is silly. If every game I bought was 40 hours, I wouldn't ever finish any of them.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh
  • -Tal-Tal Damn right I like the life I live Cause I went from negative to positiveRegistered User regular
    -Tal wrote: »
    COD Multiplayer is absolutely an RPG.

    nope.avi

    why not?

    1TkM2R.png


  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    -Tal wrote: »
    -Tal wrote: »
    COD Multiplayer is absolutely an RPG.

    nope.avi

    why not?

    No bard class.

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