Western RPGs vs Japanese RPGs


Japanese RPG fans have been confronted by this provocative ad, pointing out some of the most hackneyed aspects of the genre.

The translated placards, coming as part of the Japanese release campaign for Fallout: New Vegas:

“I think it would be good if the hero had missions that weren’t only about destroying evil.”

“The player is weak, the enemy is weak. That’s way too convenient.”

“When did games become something you watch?”

“Because the story doesn’t change, what’s the point of playing it again?”

“Games nowadays are focusing way too much on photorealism.”

“What’s a game that’s moving in accordance to the scenario? It’s the same as living on rails.”

“Levelling up is time for motivation down!”

“The stage has been set. After that, you’re free to do whatever!”

Although the endless succession of Bioware-style RPGs with essentially identical structure and gameplay conventions hardly qualify as original, they may well have earned the right to take potshots at the unbelievably staid Japanese RPG genre by dint of sheer commercial success – whilst JRPG sales continue to decline even in Japan.

Fallout, like any top western title, can probably be expected to bomb hopelessly in Japan – meanwhile Namco plans yet another Tales game and Nippon Ichi already has the latest in its backwards Disgaea series lined up…

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  • Final Fantasy is fucked off, and all other heavy fantasy world are going in the same way. The only jRPG I’ve found great and innovative in the last years was Persona 3~4 and some titles of DS. The rest is all crap.

  • Allow me to respond to this piece by piece

    “I think it would be good if the hero had missions that weren’t only about destroying evil.”

    Fuck your couch.

    “The player is weak, the enemy is weak. That’s way too convenient.”

    Fuck your couch.

    “When did games become something you watch?”

    When Final Fantasy XII came out. I hate it as much as you do.

    “Because the story doesn’t change, what’s the point of playing it again?”

    Boredom. To see the story again. If a game is fun, it is fun to play it again even if it is the same. A lot like sex in a way.

    “Games nowadays are focusing way too much on photorealism.”

    Fair enough.

    “What’s a game that’s moving in accordance to the scenario? It’s the same as living on rails.”

    Work on your grammar mister translator.

    “Levelling up is time for motivation down!”

    Fuck your couch.

    “The stage has been set. After that, you’re free to do whatever!”

    Sandboxing, it is good. Deal with it. Furthermore, Fuck your couch.

  • I’ve always thought JRPG’s like Final Fantasy were lazy, because your always on rails. Why can’t there be a JRPG that is open ended like Zelda or Oblivion? That way you can create your own stories and it rarely gets boring.

  • “The player is weak, the enemy is weak. That’s way too convenient.”

    soooo…. do you want to keep getting murdered by strong ass monsters? yeah that sounds like a fun game

    seriously why are people complaining about this shit. It’s tradition to have JRPG’s cliched like this. if you have a problem then fucking ditch it and play some WoW or some shit.

    • i don’t know if you ever played wow… but

      players are weak and enemies are joke, and raids are roll your face on keyboard I’m doing 14K dps…. so yea…. i’d say “The player is weak, the enemy is weak. That’s way too convenient.” fits with wow….

    • My thoughts exactly, Taz. People love to shout the word “cliche” because they’re idiots who can’t stand any two things having any similarities whatsoever. They are the same people who consider anything remotely convenient or timely to be “Deus Ex Machina”.

  • “The player is weak, the enemy is weak. That’s way too convenient.”

    sooo… do you want to keep getting murdered by strong ass monsters and not progress in the game? that sounds like a fun game, definitely.

    like come on people, this is the style and tradition of JRPG’s, i wouldn’t like JRPG’s to be convereted to WRPG format, it would lose its value in my opinion. i mean, that’s why we have two different genres right?? so people can choose?

  • “I think it would be good if the hero had missions that weren’t only about destroying evil.”

    Duh! That’s what ‘heroes’ do, Dude! If they had missions like ‘Steal milk money from 3rd grader’ or ‘Knock over liquor store’, they would be called ‘villains’, But maybe it’s different in Japan?

  • I feel as if JRPGs have become so mundane and frankly obselete. The only reason Final Fantasy XIII will become a success is because of the fans undying loyalty, but where does it come from? The FF series has become a hype, and thoigh this may also be true for WRPGs like the Fallout series, Fallout is a lot newer with fewer titles yet has really risen in the competition and declared itself a vital componant to gameplaying. I for one am tired of the Final Fantasy series after XII came out, and I think that after FFIX, maybe the series should have stopped. Fallout however does offer a more satisfying replay. When the story doesn’t get so defined and the players actions matter more, that means more, instead of levelling up the right way or the wrong way.

    I am a huge fan of FFIII, FFVI, FFIX, but after that, the series died. X and XII were utter emo let downs.

    Fallout however, is still new, and has kept me interested in the post apocalyptic future, and I can’t wait to decide to play good guy/bad guy in New Vegas!

    Let’s face it, Japan is starting to suck…

  • and you wonder why 2ch hates us….but anyway final fantasy isn’t a bad game they’ve just taken it in a horrible direction lately even though persona rapes it and gives it quadruplets…siigghh its feels like theirs a silent world war 2going on between otakus huh guess some of them were right wold war 3 will be fought by the worlds greatest minds over the internet

  • YEAH! Final Fantasy SUCKS and YOU SUCK for liking it. Final Fantasy is ATTENTION WHORE that give RPGs a bad name. In fact games like Persona, Earthbound, or Pokemon are great JRPG. Too bad Final Fantasy – the attention whore game, ruins the scene.

    All we need is BETHESDA developing POKEMON.

  • “Because the story doesn’t change, what’s the point of playing it again?”

    Might as well be a criticism of Bioware games themselves. They do a good job of tricking you into thinking your choices matter, but when you go back and do everything differently you still see basically the entire same story over again.

    • It’s a criticism of both WRPGs and JRPGs in general, in truth, because both suffer from this in the modern age. In the past age, RPGs of both sides were excellent. The beginnings of Final Fantasy were good, Planescape Torment, Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, KOTOR, Drakengard, Drakengard 2, Suikoden. These were all good series coming from both sides of the market, with good stories and characters you could follow.

      Modern days, this has changed so drastically, it’s basically just stale and stagnant on both sides of the fence. Dragon Quest is arguably the only series to keep me enthralled since the first. So, it’s kind of a fault on both sides, not just one side or the other.

      The truth is, we need some life put into these RPGs. Japanese or Western, we need something different, new, exciting, enthralling. Something that will, on both sides, take us off the edge of our seats, y’know? Otherwise, all I foresee is the same thing, over and over.

    • Uh but this ad belong to New Vegas,which is being made by Obsidian,which is formed by former Black Isle employees.And their games are known for having excellent choices and consequences,unlike Bioware and Bethesda.

  • Bronxdragon says:

    …..These people bitch way to much about each other….talking shit now isn’t really going to effect their sales….more or less they will lower them because of fanboys from either fanbase. As long as they are pumping out decent COMPLETE games who gives a flying fuck.

  • lol, Bioware makes its living by encouraging false value among gamers. These concepts were pushed heavily by game magazines such as GameInformer in “The Perfect RPG” and similar articles back in the late 90s and early 00s.

    Years ago, things like agency and karma meters didn’t matter to us nearly as much as a good story, which WRPG developers are habitually incapable of providing in comparison to their Eastern competitors. Arguing that it is “superior role playing” to have the player substitute for a personality-less blank slate (Even silent protags in JRPGs have a bit of unique qualities.) and participate in a dozen irrelevant quests is their substitute for competent storytelling.

  • One common complaint I have with JRPGs and WRPGs is that they all idolize your figure for the most part and generally makes the rest of the game tailor to the actions you make. I prefer what I’ve been seeing in a lot of Eastern European games in general where they have you as some average person pretty much no random person will care about, where the odds are completely stacked against you if anything. It’s a really fresh perspective to see in an RPG, and it can make the game quite challenging.

  • Some of things in that ad are also true about JRPGs. “When did games become something you watch?” Are you serious? Most JRPGs are five minutes of gameplay then switch to 30 minute cut scenes, its more of a movie than a game.

    • That could be said about a lot of Western games also. Mass Effect 2 had ample amount of cut scenes, Heavy Rain was primarily designed as a movie first with quicktime events thrown in. Movie/Cut scenes are found in a lot of games nowadays, it doesn’t really make a difference if it’s Western or Japanese. To target specifically on Japanese games only is pointless.

  • Square just should make games like Dragon Quest VI
    and stop all the final fantasy madness….its time for something new with less “emoness” i allready get depressed when i think of FF

    anyways i hate that western RPGs always have to be so “ughhhh! Manly western man ugh realistic style uugh how about new graphic methods”?

  • Super Nintendo was the golden age of RPGs. (In particular JRPGs) Where series such as Breath of Fire, Lufia, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger all got their starts. That time is long gone. As an avid gamer who loves RPGs I now have difficulty finding ones I want to play, I’d rather just replay Earthbound or Final Fantasy III (Japan’s FF6) than buy a new one. The cinematics, story rehashing and plain lack of originality leaves me wanting.

    • Try Fallout & Fallout 2 (Arcanum was made by Trokia, a company formed from the remnants of Black Isle which was also responsible for planescape)

      On the same premise, Obsidian is another company formed of the same team members. As is Bioware, So things like Star Wars KotoR and Dragon Age Origins.

      All of the above are shining examples of western RPGs, showing you do have taste (being drawn towards Black Isle) just you haven’t found the games that properly appeal to your tastes.

      While I really dislike Bethesda and Fallout 3, Obsidian has most of the reigns for New Vegas (besides really Bethesda’s retarded adaptations to the series thus far) and I have faith in Obsidian. It will end up good.

      Really most of the good western rpgs have Black Isle as a common trait in their lineage.

      • Planescape and system shock 2 are decent games, Planescape torment just has a lot of text to read, so ADHD idiots like you can’t understand it.

        Anyone saying Planescape and System shock 2 are bad clearly have never played these games.

  • It’s sad, JRPG used to be king. And a highlight in all of gaming, in which you really felt like you got your money’s worth to see those amazing graphics on the SNES, well laid out levels and battle systems, good storyline/plot, multiple endings, new game+, 60+ hours of gameplay, and the like.

    Now most of them have just become something plain and stale. It’s just like what happened with Rareware and Sonic games, why does everything good have to die?

    Even some of the best that is still left within the genre right now, Tales of games, are becoming completely isolated from the fans and even the ones in Japan are being betrayed.

    I’ve practically given up on the RPG at this point, aside from my desire to see if Square ever fixes itself, an interest in maybe trying out Fallout 3, Tales of games I’m never going to get a US release for, Pokemon, and just having a variety of gaming in general. … My gaming life has pretty much shifted to STGs and other type games at this point…
    And I used to play mostly JRPGs.

  • WRPGs have been the reigning king for a decade now. Any naysayers are just weeaboos. I’m aware of the site we’re now, but I’m only here to fap to delicious 2D & some 3D as well as read funny articles, I wouldn’t talk to the disgusting 95% of the site’s viewers.

    Regardless, we got some decent JRPGs like DQ, Pokemon along with new IPs like TWEWY but overall the genre is an ocean of urine & feces.

  • Although I enjoy most JRPGs I have to say that they really are becoming too focused on creating more realistic graphics, I personally enjoy the game more when the graphics are less realistic and actually look like their manga drawn forms. I agree with the concept that they have become too repetative, perhaps in an attempt to create another RPG legend on par with ff7 and 8 and perhaps Chrono trigger. Perhaps they should take aspects from both western and japanese RP games like combining the fantasy and designs of the final fantasy/ dragon quest series and combining it with the free roaming and path choosing capabilities like Fable etc

  • i don’t think it’s portray the whole Japanese game market. looks at the people holding the placard. they looks like people that only play casual games and never tried rpg before

    some people still enjoying the old style jrpg that’s why dragon quest series is still a hit there

  • As many have pointed out, I’d LOVE to see a game where these are mashed together. Through in the anime flare and overall coolness with the story like Dragon Age or Baldur’s Gate or pick whatever western game you like. Imagine them embellished with the Japanese style. Oh man.

  • Western game RPGs are superior because all JRPG’s do is crudely imitate them with an ‘eastern’ flavor.

    Though some had very good stories (FF7) overall most couldn’t hold a candle to works like “Ultima”. I find even things like “Elder Scrolls” much more fun than this or that JRPG by just walking around and slashing stuff.

    So, again, here are my fav suggestions just in case there’s someone from, or can get to some at these companies:

    1. “Littlewitch Romanesque Adventure”. Use a kind of “Odin Sphere/Princess Crown” thing where modern computer power is not used for polygons but 2.5D with excellent artwork and animation and a vast story/world. Make it “Ecchi instead of Hentai” then tie it to a “Trade Deal” and get the “Godzilla” legal team on it so we can help ram “ThoughtCrime is NOT crime” for a desperately needed legal precedent. It’d be really popular in the states. Disney uses the same theme, cute girls in fairytale settings. They young kids like it and the adults don’t mind paying $ for it or seeing the film on the VCR again and again. So a fantasy adventure to catch the last gusts of wind from Harry Potter, LOTR, about some cute girls coming of age in a fantasic setting would really sell well and open new markets. Remove the XXX stuff, but have plenty of skin, bathing, romance with Mr. Teacher, etc. And lots of that unique cartoon style combat with monsters, beautiful artwork, good music, etc.

    2. “Whore Knight” – ala get Youhei Kozou and use his “Punky Knight” character. 3D engine like Elder Scrolls but spend a little $ to improve some “Physics”. Then the characters can be sexy warrior babes who have sex and USE it as one of their weapons! His Phaia would be the base character, kinda good fighting but uses prostitution for extra $. There could also be a geisha/orian who’s primarily sex appeal and commands like a tactical RPG real time a squad of men she’s seduced. There could be a “Demon Priestess” for tentacle action for mystical power. There could be a “Loli” ala Galaxist/Blade catgirl who can do a SUPER “Energy Rush” for big targets but is then too tired/helpless for a little while and needs a “Protector” a knight she’s seduced and is very close to to keep her from being captured. On the last part, in case of a US release, make it clear she’s a genetically engineered and a ‘construct’ so any similarity to a child is coincidental!

    3. Last, but not least, if you want to get real “Ballsy” and re-invent the genre again…

    First, here’s “Western Wisdom” for you; “Too many cooks spoil the soup.”

    For a creative team, you need to select them and let them go. If you keep meddling, or letting investors/bankers meddle, the product becomes a mediocre one to please/not offend as many as possible. “Political Correctness” will ultimately be the death of the corporate economy, recognize that something that is as least offensive as possible is bland and tedious.

    Have a core team of three people.
    Get a “Storyteller” (not a hack, a real storyteller) a philosopher and an artist.
    Then, have them run a group of 7 top programmers to realize their vision.

    If you are worried, and you are, about $, just say; “We want you all to make a product that’ll be excellent and sell well, such as a new RPG game. You’ll be paid a modest but not too small wage making it, then you get good royalties if it sells well. You also have —- budget for developing the thing, but any you save you keep and any more comes out of royalties but we don’t want to be asked for more. We hope for a quick, timely release, especially if you want to do this again, but we won’t bother you because we trust you.”

    You do that, you’ll get something INCREDIBLE. There have been too many people “Dumbing Down” what they’d really like to do just to avoid being the one making waves. People would almost “Sell their souls” for such a chance as this. You’d really get their best work and it’d likely be something quite innovative. Also something like this wouldn’t cost that much, versus these huge mega attempts to make up for the “Too many cooks” rule by huge technological investments and large teams. What would happen is they’d talk with the programmers after they did their first brainstorm and outline how fast it could be completed, how much it would cost, etc. and end up making it very cheap to have the “Bonus” while waiting for the royalties to come in.

    • Because that’s how business works? Fuck budget, fuck logic, lets all hold hands and bullshit? How is using trite, heavy-handed symbolism going to improve your story, how the FUCK is adding more sex cliches to the “soup” going to help!? Really, “If you’re worried about money, just ask nicely?” why would a writers and etc. who must have worked pretty damn hard to get to the level of “recognition” want to help you, for peanuts?

      • I am a “Storyteller” I am a “Bard” and not just “Bard!? Bard on my face!”…

        There’s “The Story” you see, or rather you don’t.

        I just handed you three pieces of advice, along with some “Western Wisdom”… I just handed out some real good ideas for things that would sell and the last to re-shake, destroy and re-build the “Market” and be it’s master again.

        1. Marketability of an existing franchise that’d be real easy to work out. Note that “Princess Crown/Odin Sphere” is very easy to do on a modern console and will look fantastic, just costing for a lot of art, the animation/gameplay and a good story/world.

        2. Why pretend what the fanboys want when playing RPG games with all the scantily clad women?

        Youhei Kozou has it perfect. Some kind of in the future but retro world so it’s medievalist but without the real medieval stuff (face tumors! yaaay!) for nasty ‘reality’ to set in. So a world that’s gone retro but still kept the base technology (women are mostly pretty for a long time, wood houses but electric alarm clocks, ‘wizards’ who can do nanotech surgery…)

        Really, just make his F*cking world, using “Elder Scrolls” level technology but with some “Development” for better sex/females with a few character archetypes…

        -Phaia, read “Punky Knight”

        -“Adventuring Whore” – think Geisha/Orian in semi-transparent Kimono and a bit more MILF looking balancing delicately on high wooden clogs with a fan or pipe that can be a weapon. Surrounded by up to 12 “Seduced” warriors, she commands them like a “Overlord” type army controller game.

        -“Demon Priestess” get something out of “Queen’s Blade” like that tentacle futari whatever dancer. She “Renews her pact” by skillful tentacle scenes and at advanced levels can get succubi/incubi for more ‘power’ and attack options.

        -“Beast Warrior Girl” since you Japanese are addicted to the quasi pedophilia of “loli” stuff. Get a Glaxasist/Blade type Cat Girl -again explain she’s a genetic construct, not a child- who is a very powerful character but releases all her energy in one burst then has to rest so she needs a ‘protector’ who’s a studly knight she seduces. Then, sadly, when visiting shops in town the MILF ample ladies treat him like a pedophile piece of shit:-)

        See, nice open ended “Sandbox” with a few “Adventure Quests” for people who care. Some just like to run around and hack things up. Don’t wast 30 minutes on some bat shit “Story”, just have the players run around their pretty “Whore knights” and work on fun ways to get them richer, prettier outfits, kinkier sex situations.

        3. Hey, I told you straight how to innovate. Wanna wallow in complacency till you die off? I can’t force you to do “My” will. I’m just making suggestions.

        And, really, being raised in the paranoia/racisim/xenophobia of the 80s “The Jappy-Nese are BUYING America!!!” I should NOT give ANY advice I feel is good. After all, American “Complacency” literally gave away a device Americans invented but the giant companies only minimally used, the VCR… Like, what DID you Japanese DO with the VCR!?

        On your last rant, typed I think more as an insult than real conversation…

        >>>why would a writers and etc. who must have worked pretty damn hard to get to the level of “recognition” want to help you, for peanuts?

        Thanks to you “Big Corporations” 95% of all writers, artists, musicians FAIL. No matter how good they are, they never see any success because the big companies pick and choose who will be a success more based on personal bias and bland controllability than any real standards or respect for a creator. And those that do get replaced just when they think they have it made. Right now the writers, artists, etc. are desperate for any real expression, and they’ll certainly work with a “Marketable Product” in mind gratefully if given the chance.

        Make no mistake, I want big corporations to DIE for this alone. Don’t take my advice. DIE. You deserve it for all the misery you brought the “Bardic” class.

        You see, my suggestion was, in the most simplistic way, to actually give some creators a chance to actually tell a story. To express themselves, but in a dynamic transcendental way, rather than just churning out a turd the “Production Manager” and a dozen other potential “Censors” might stamp “OK, shit this out on the scum that is our customer base so the gullible fools give us their money…” Let something through that’s not smoothed and crushed and bland and like a big turd. Let something through with sharp edges, that’s shiny, spicy, unique. The markets such a sewer that even XXX stuff is “Intellectual”, anything with the flavor of “Uniqueness” will sell like mad.

  • what’s up with all the jrpg hate recently? first bioware, now this? why is it that western developers try to cheap at japanese developers? you don’t see any japanese developers mocking any western now do you? that’s probably the difference between the two sides.

    one’s a arrogant douchebag and the other is a kind and polite and tries not to let their ego get the better of them. it’s very childish not to mention very idiotic of them. not everyone prefers wrpg over jrpg or vice versa.

    i guess western developers love to boast themselves recently. it would be cool if we have more western company like blizzard who only cares about their fans and not bad mouthing anyone in the competition. but then again their recent decisions are a bit off(no LAN wtf?) all i can say, just leave the jrpgs’s alone fucking pricks.

  • SanCom is a bit hypocritical today no? They say that WRPG’s do not have any originality to them yet they did an article on dragon age 2. Something I have never seen in this site before. A different taste in games for the writters?

  • Wow, people are actually placing nationalistic prejudice in a video game argument?

    The same reason Japanese don’t like western anything is the same reason westerners aren’t keen to anime in general. ‘It’s ethnically uncomfortable and can seem strange’ and if that’s the case then I’ll just avoid it all together. What kind of logic is that?

    I’m not going to bitch about how, “they” always do this, or “they” always do that and I’m aware of different cultural preferences. Fallout 3 was an amazing game, so was Star Ocean Till the End of Time. The 1st Gears of War was epic but so was The 1st and 2nd Zone of the Enders.

    People’s taste in general sucks because they’re too specific in trying to please themselves instead being open to different styles. To add on to what a few others have said before me; why not like both, ‘if you can’t enjoy different aspects of good games, you you shouldn’t be playing them in the 1st place’

    • Not everyone who felt they wasted 60 bucks for a game are narrow-minded fools who are trying to group FFXIII(which is obviously the target of this ad) into a JRPG or a WRPG.

      FFXIII just plain fails as an RPG. It even fails as a game in general. It would be great as a 3-D animated mini drama series, probably, but not a game.

      Of course, there are people who just plain hate JRPGs regardless of quality, but they were never vocal pre-FFXIII. If time doesn’t heal this, FFXIII will be written down in history as the game that smeared JRPGs’ reputation.

      Wake the fuck up, Square-Enix! You might still be able to bask in your sales figures victory, but those ‘fools’ who have been swindled by ‘Final Fantasy’ label will be seeking vengeance for the 60 bucks they wasted on your glittery piece of shit. It’s time to tell your developers to keep their egos the fuck out(“townz are hard in HD”) and make people feel that cash spent on an FF title is justified once more!

      Or you will collapse into obscurity within 2 FF titles more.

    • JRPGs aren’t western enough to some people. This makes it s prime target for complaining why they’re different and turning each positive trait of JRPGs into a negative one.

      Example: FF13 was made linear to provide a more cinematic experience for consoles. Fans of western RPGs say it sucks because of it, calls it an action game instead.

      In reality though, JRPGs are in decline recently. The lack of new titles and praise makes the haters stand out.

      That add on Fallout, it’s not going to work since what they complain about also persists in western RPGs.

  • I’m getting so annoyed with WRPG developers trolling JRPG fans. Why can’t I enjoy both? And they’re both stagnating genres anyway. Just as annoying, though, are the “purists” who insist x or y aren’t “real” RPGs, because it’s not like words can have any meaning besides the narrow one some tabletop player uses right? Language doesn’t work that way.

    It’s funny though, people complain all the time about JRPGs stagnating, but FF13 tried something different, and especially on this site people complain even more–but FF13 still sold gangbusters (despite what posts on SC want you to think). It makes me wonder why game developers listen to fans at all sometimes, with the fragments of the player base at odds like this. Ads like this that stir up the pot needlessly don’t help since they just balkanize fans further when they should be expanding their market, not shrinking it.

    For the record, I like Mass Effect and Fallout 3 (I liked Oblivion only after I installed mods to fix that retarded leveling system). They are fun in a different kind of way than JRPGs for me. I’ve also liked most of the recent FFs, and their sales have been as strong as ever. However, about every other JRPG is selling worse than it did before, maybe because they’re catering to reactionary fans who complain loudly about the new gameplay choices in games like FF12 and 13, and that market is too small a vocal minority to support them.

  • Western RPGs only mask these with fake interactions and changing the name of stats. Example:

    WRPG: Level up speed, jump, etc. (time waster)
    JRPG: Level up agility. (simpler)

    WRPG makers and players boast superiority to Japanese ones in terms of evolution, but does turning the RPG into a shooter ala Mass Effect still make it a pure RPG? Does faking the idea of choices via selectable dialogue really make WRPGs(Dragon Age) that much better?

    • Exactly like FF XIII they changed Healer to Medic, Blaster to Ravager, Enhancer to Synergist, and even something as simple as Attacker was to changed to barbarian or some shit like that.

    • WRPG: I level up speed, now I run faster. I level up jump, now I jump higher.
      JRPG: I cannot run or jump.

      Also, RPGs have no defined gameplay structure they have to stick to.
      What is a RPG and what is not? How is Mass Effect any less of a RPG than Final Fantasy? Mass Effect has combat, leveling up and equipment, just like Final Fantasy does.

      Also, I’d rather have options than no option at all.
      Though you used a bad example with Dragon Age, since a lot of options do make a difference. Not only that, but people focus too much on the ending, and not the now.
      In Dragon Age at one point you are given the choice. Kill a boy, kill his mother, or go get help from someone. This choice does not effect the ending of the game. But it does effect the game at the point I made that choice, and how I will proceed to play the game.

      • I think making games more complex isn’t what defines “better”. Everyone has opinions, I think they should “wow” me.

        The comparison with FF is unnecessary. Mass Effect is part shooter. It makes it some-what original but you cannot deny that it takes it’s “originality” by mixing itself onto another genre, the shooter. I’m saying that mixing genres doesn’t make WRPGs more unique, JRPGs do it too. See Valkyria Chronicles.

        On Dragon Age… If choices do not affect the games outcome… How does that make it less linear than JRPGs now? To me, it only appears to be a mask, but you can decorate it.

        Not trying to sound arrogant, but what WRPG players take negatively are some of what makes JRPGs unique. Sure there are a lot of cliche stories, but it’s not greener on the other side. The stories of ALL RPGs are always “Save the world, person, yourself”. Do not pin that generic aspect to JRPGs only.

        • Can you live with moral consequnces?


          Wow, serious fucking business right? Especially when I can save scum EVERY choice, real fucking AWESOME, you know how it’s FUCKING FICTIONAL and you can turn off the console. You people don’t want “choices” you want easily reversable consequences.

        • Its not about originality, ner its about being better or worse game (even that in FFXIII case it is) it about what is and what isnt RPG. Making moraly questionable decision and living with it (even only in abstract world of videogame) is what makes RPG. Killing boss in unique combat sytem that uses mixture of turn based combat, card game and Dance Dance Revolution is surely original but hardly an RPG.

      • You shouldn’t lump all JRPG’s with FF XIII. Did you forget Devil May Cry? Pretty sure you can jump in that one, in fact you even double jump.

        FF VII was one of the first games to include separate dialogue choices, and in some parts actually changes certain parts of the game.

        • 1. The comment calling you an uneducated moron was my first comment on this entire post. This is the second one. Good job at assuming all anonymous are one person.

          2. There are no points in any of your statements. Trying to claim that Devil May Cry a RPG because it’s hack-and-slash because that term meant “RPGs with emphasis on combat” over 20 years ago automatically nullifies all intelligence in your statement. DMC is an action game. Having weapon upgrades doesn’t make it an action/RPG. If that would be the case, Gradius series would be considered a shooter/RPG because you can customize your ship in real-time in all of them.

          3. The point is that Final Fantasy VII isn’t one of the first. It’s not even in the first hundred of games with dialogue choices and multiple decisions. What you’re doing is basically trying to claim my examples don’t count because they’re very old games and might not be remembered by younger gamers. Normally, that kind of argument would make you a total idiot. When combined with your “Devil May Cry is a RPG because it’s hack-and-slash” argument, it makes you a hypocritical idiot.

          Next time you complain about how someone failed at understanding the thoughts you tried to communicate, try thinking first. It’s common for people to not notice something that doesn’t exist.

        • What since did people get that stupid. DMC is fighting, button mashing nonsense. Its clearly one of the first game types that comes to mind when describing what is NOT an RPG. I tought gamers coudnt get any dumber (or maybe they only try to troll).

        • ^ Devil May Cry is one of those games that blurs the lines of action RPG. The best way to describe it is probably action adventure with RPG elements. So there is no right and wrong in this case just opinions.

        • Cobaltiquity says:

          The term has an emphasis on combat much like Devil May Cry has an emphasis on action. It’s an action title–period. You can go ahead and call it a JRPG, but you’d be just as wrong as those you’re calling out for labelling JRPGs in the same vein as FFXIII. I can’t tell you how much this has been discussed to death. Even when it comes to Monster Hunter.

        • “Care to explain what Devil May Cry has to do with RPGs in general?”

          The main genre of the game is hack and slash which is a sub-genre of RPGs.

          Hack and slash or hack and slay, abbreviated H&S or HnS, refers to a type of gameplay that emphasizes combat. “Hack and slash” was originally used to describe an aspect of pen-and-paper role-playing games (RPGs).

          – Wikipedia

        • “There should be limits to how much of an uneducated moron one can become because of his obsession with a shitty game.”
          I don’t see how mentioning the game makes me obsessed with it. I simply refereed to it because it is a game most people are familiar with. You were giving bad example of JRPG elements so I added good examples to illustrate your inaccuracy.

          By the time Wizardry happened people were playing Dungeons and Dragons, since the early 70s and it certainly is an RPG where players are allowed to make choices. Wanna go father back and find the first game to have this feature? Go ahead if you want it’s a waste of good time for me which is exactly why I said “one of the first games” dipshit.

          BTW you missed the point of my first statement which is your horribly inaccurate depiction of JRPGs. If you learn something called “reading” you’ll come to something known as an “understanding” of how people communicate thoughts.

          So next time before your I-am-older-than-you-therefore-I-know-more-about-games mentality kicks in, stop and reread to find the actual point of the comment first. (≧∇≦)b OK?

        • Cobaltiquity says:

          “You shouldn’t lump all JRPG’s with FF XIII. Did you forget Devil May Cry? Pretty sure you can jump in that one, in fact you even double jump.”

          Care to explain what Devil May Cry has to do with RPGs in general?

        • > FF VII was one of the first games to include separate dialogue choices, and in some parts actually changes certain parts of the game.

          There should be limits to how much of an uneducated moron one can become because of his obsession with a shitty game.

          By the time FFVII happened, there were dozens of both WRPGs and JRPGs that had multiple dialogue choices, endings and completely different routes through the game. Some of them, like the Wizardry series, came out as far back as late 80s-early 90s.

          The only thing FFVII did first was sell big and spawn a horde of mouth-frothing idiots who keep worshipping the non-existent innovations in a very mediocre game.

        • Devil May Cry is not a RPG. It is an action game.

          Also, games have had dialog options since the 1980s. WRPGs in particular, as well as text adventures, adventure games in general and… Well most games that have dialog that were not a JRPG.

  • Want to know something ironic?

    Both Fallout 3, and Oblivion sold surprisingly well in Japan. Fallout 3 sold about 100k copies, and Oblivion sold about 110k copies.

    Doesn’t seem impressive?
    Disgaea on the DS did not even sell 50k copies in Japan.
    Tales of Graces sold just over 200k copies.
    Lost Odyssey (an Xbox 360 exclusive JRPG) sold just over 100k copies in Japan.

    You can’t really say either Fallout 3 or Oblivion bombed in Japan. Because they sold pretty well actually. And they actually sold better than a lot of JRPGs. Better than everything but the top 2-3 JRPGs actually.

    • Disgaea DS- Rerelease. Voided
      Tales of Grace- Wii. Voided
      Lost Odyssey- Xbox. Voided

      Wow some real top notch selections there, straw-stuffing aren’t we HOW in the hell are these the “top” JRPGS, as stated DQ9 sold 4 MILLION, FFXIII sold DOUBLE, and hey EOII 145,421, beat both, so play Atlus.

    • Modability. Oblivion was sold years after the west came out with nude mods. F3 based on the same engine and known structure for easy importing of Oblivion files.

      Nekomimi swimsuit loli Cirno VATing a behemoth with a 10mm. Oblivion seems more advanced in the sexual mods with tentacles, futas, sex actions and fantasy creatures.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the other hot WRpgs sold in Japan have mod editor kits.

      Sex sells.

    • Shippoyasha says:

      Good point. Another thing to note is that even Dragon Quest, the venerable series has gotten some bum rap online due to the lack of true online features when the game was pushing co-op and it being a bit of a regression compared to DQ8 which had full voiceovers and more involved characters and story. And we all know about the fallout for FF13 in Japan where it got a lot of hate (despite the amazing sales, it seems that the game didn’t push the innovations in the right places, especially with the linearity and the story/characters).

      So it’s not like the Japanese are all in firm agreement over JRPGs being the best. Not at all. Though sadly, it seems games overall just aren’t selling much in Japan and they do lean on the DQ/FF namesakes.

      • Eh…. co-op is something I am not really…. thrilled about. Seriously, in an RPG that is not made from the bottom up to be a ‘massively-multiplayer thing’ and where people are ANONYMOUS to a degree? Co-op ruins it, unless it is optional and when someone is not ‘online’ to co-op with you who you trust, the computer takes over.

      • DQ9 still sold over 4m copies and bum rap or not, it is still a superior experience to its predecessor. Since when was voice acting and involved characters/story considered the bar for a Dragon Quest game? Dragon Quest games are not about production values like Final Fantasy is. They are about being Dragon Quest, and DQ9 is almost perfect in that regard.

        • That’s because Dragon Quest 9 was made for the Nintendo DS which the Japanese focus on the Hand-Held Market.It wasn’t the production value it was the fact that it was cheaper to make games on Hand-held then it is making a HD game.

        • Shippoyasha says:

          I agree. I’m enjoying DQ9 for what it is. Just saying, even a ‘hallowed’ series like Dragon Quest isn’t exactly free of criticism, even in Japan. For a DS title it is great, though to me the only nagging point is the lack of online co-op. I have no friends to play it with >_>;

  • Didn’t Namco/Bandai try an inovative Idea a few years back only to rush it’s developement and doom the game completely? what was it called again Universal Century Gundam Online? Supposedly a 1:1 Scale of earth and space with Giant robot battles shame it really didn’t go far.

  • Personally, I enjoy grinding from lvl 1 to 99 (or in Disgaea’s case way, way past that). I agree completely with everything else though.

    For a nation/culture that has so many VN’s with multiple endings and dozens of additional playthroughs, I don’t understand why they can’t make an RPG that has a few different endings.

  • The entire ad is a joke but;

    ““The player is weak, the enemy is weak. That’s way too convenient.””


    This, coming from the company that AUTO LEVELS ENEMIES TO BE EQUAL WITH THE PLAYER AT ALL TIMES?!

    Western RPG’s are fucking retarded, easy, stupid and they don’t even realize it because of how many fucking idiots buy them.

    • Its actually diferent company but they are surely restricted by Bethesda. Anyways I know what you mean. That add is hypocritic in its own unique way. Personally I like the “Games nowadays are focusing way too much on photorealism.” part, because it sounds like excuse since they are using engine that was ugly even when it way new. F3 was a RPG fail, that game sucked from begining to end and I dont think F:NV will be any better. But – it doesnt mean that what is said above is not true.

      • @23:16
        i don’t know, i quite liked Fallout 3 and its engine. Not pretty, for sure, but it did represent the atomic wasteland quite well. As a, er, wasteland. Huge wasteland.

        Also, easter eggs in Fallout 3 were OK )

        and I found this comment upon photorealism confusing, too. What photorealism? Disgaea? One thing that’s remotely close to photorealism – Heavy Rain. Not JRPG blobs with BJD faces.

        Anyways, aggressive marketing is a big turn-off. I didn’t like Obsidian at their best times, and this ad is pissing me off completely.

    • what company?
      autolevel was only in Oblivion. At all times? You know nothing about elder scrolls, moron.

      also, Obsidian was not involved in Oblivion.

      also, autolevel was present in Final Fantasy II, does it mean that every game published by Squenix have autolevel?

        • They didn’t have a full autolevel system in Fallout 3. The system they had was where when you entered the area for the first time the enemies would be your level but then they would stay at that level so then if you came back 10 levels later then the enemies would be extremely easy because they would be 10 levels below you.

  • Okay first: “Games nowadays are focusing way too much on photorealism.” No shit Sherlock. Every game is. If Modern Warfare 3 looks like FFXIII you sure as shit won’t be hearing any complaining about how its “just superficial flare to mask a shitty game”
    (Though that’s true on both accounts)

    Second: Stop trying so hard, Bethesda. You’re starting to sound like Bioware, and despite the douchbags at Bioware making half-assed ports of PC “RPGs”, at least they come closer to what an RPG is.
    _And nobody start with the fucking “But every game is a role playing game, actually!” No. Really? And Iceland is actually green and Greenland is actually icey. Fucking idiots. I KNOW the literal definition. I use RPG as the industry uses it, and when it’s being classified, Fallout/New Vegas is a Shooter with RPG elements (exactly like ME2, but that’s a rant for another time).

    I’m sure that your game, no matter what it’s classified as, will sell well in the country whose hometown products you’re INSULTING. Work WITH the populace? BAH! That would NEVER be considered a fucking smart buisness practice! Let’s bring more Western stereotypes to a country that fucking hates WESTERN STEREOTYPES.
    I wonder how well Red Dead Redemption sold in Japan…

    • Western RPGs are on decline too. Its common practice to label everything with levels as a RPG just to pump up sales. But still there are games that fully qualifies to be called RPGs. In japan there never were.

      And about Achievements – they suck, if you play game for achievements only you suck too. Achievements are for wankers. Point is that these stupid wankers actually pays for games incredible money so they can have more and more achievements. So I understand why there are achievements everywhere. But, you know, game with achievements doesnt mean bad game.

      • @Anonymous 23:11

        It doesn’t matter wheter it’s japanese or western, ‘video-game RPGs’ are not RPGs.
        Whatever you would call RPG elements are only an illusion on both, you can’t influence the story, you’re only walking a pre-made path.

        • What friends? What morals!? What, Obviously Evil or Obviously Good, those friends don’t exist you know, and for all the Otaku-bashing at least they seperate 2D and 3D. And loyalty? That small little event trigger which turns on you lest you say ONE offending thing?

          Go play Atlus.

        • Yeah, I understand. But say – running through a corridor while bashing monsters or choosing from multiple ways to acomplish a task while trying to retain personal morals or loyal friends – Which is closer to an RPG idea? You cant have endless posibilities in a PC game, but when you have enough to make you feel like, its enough to qualify as a RPG in my eyes. Even in P&P RPG you are restricted by gamemaster. And you can take Bioware as a gamemaster. Gamemaster that is strict and maybe little dumb sometimes, but with very good narrating skills.

    • While I really do agree with you here, “Add pointless random tasks and label them “Achievements” to give players a false sense of satisfaction after accomplishing shit.” can basically define all games lol.

      Games are really pointless, but I love playing them for the pure entrainment value and false satisfaction of accomplishing said tasks.

      Japanese games are far more creative than western ones,but western ones usually sell a lot because of spoiled rich kids here in the U.S.

      • “spoiled rich kids here in the U.S.”
        like hell, not everyone’s rich
        people buy games if they seem interesting to the person whos buying them that is why some sell and some dont…

  • Well, Maybe I am old-fashioned but I prefer fighting for a fair cause rather than wander arround killing people/mutants/monsters/aliens/whatever without a clear objective at all.
    What happened to the RPG is the same that happened with some other videogames genres: The next generation of players. Gamers now are 12-year-old kids with annoying eerie voices that had nothing esle in mind than killing “things” and see sexy girls. They lost the hability to develop their knowledge, they lost their morality. So in order to reach them, the developers improve the grafics until the point that the rest of features of the game are screwed. Thus, new generation JRPGs had become something like corridor-boss-cinmatic because new generation gamers mind wouldn’t be able to bear anything more complicated than that

  • “When did games become something you watch?”
    “Because the story doesn’t change, what’s the point of playing it again?”
    “Games nowadays are focusing way too much on photorealism.”
    “What’s a game that’s moving in accordance to the scenario? It’s the same as living on rails.”

    Man.. the first thing which comes to my mind after reading these lines – is Final Fantasy XIII.. xD

    • And not any other Final Fantasy? Or Dragon Quest, for that matter? Or Tales? Or Breath of Fire? Phantasy Star? Wild ARMs? Have I iterated all the main JRPG title of all the major gaming companies?

      Discounting that photorealism part, of course. I have never seen a JRPG with photorealism…

  • Please don’t casually throw in the “Tales of” series there. It’s true that many of the afore mentioned conventions could possibly apply to these games BUT contrary to other long lived series, like FF and DQ, they still manage to generate enough charme and uniqueness, despite of everything else.

    Especially Vesperia and Graces probably have the best real time multi battle system found in any “RPG” out there. Plus you can always change to difficulty of the game to almost ridiculous levels, so there’s always a challenge.
    That’s also one of the big pros. You still have to actively PLAY those games, not just sit around and watch the pretty scenery. Which is not to say that Tales of games don’t have any pretty scenery. Fae from it, actually.

    Besides it’s not like people didn’t know about the shortcomeings of JRPG titles, but i have to say, Bioware is even worse for the wear because they insist that their games are actually better off on the whole. I’m not saying that one cannot enjoy Bioware titles but they suffer from the same problems as the JRPG titles, if not more so. That’s why i don’t give a damn about their hypocritical lies whenever they try to bash on competitors.
    Ever since BG1 it has been wash,rinse,repeat for this company, so they had better tone down their arguments a bit in the future.

    • Small problem with your stance.

      New Vegas isn’t made by Bioware, so they’re not being snarky in this case.

      New Vegas is being made by Obsidian Entertainment, consider it the spiritual successor to Black Isle Studios, the same development studio that made Fallout in the first place, though they weren’t called BI during the creation of Fallout 1.

      Oh and it’s being supervised by Bethesda, who’s most likely also responsible for the advertising, who were the ones who made Fallout 3.

      • That hardly qualifies as an argument. You would have to go into detail to support your statement.

        Bioware creates games just as much as japanese companies create their own games and in most cases they do so by the same conventions,restrictions and goals.
        Whether they succed in creating a good game is, for the most part, purely subjective.

        • I should have said that “its their way to let the player live through the story” because if the player dont want to live in their world he wont be able to finish the game (or to get the good end). In JRPGs you mostly need to gring while reading how are the characters suffering and struggling.

        • 30gb of CG movies and fights that are won even with player doing nothing is not game but a movie. Bioware have character progression, multiple routes, tactical combat etc. Its their way of telling a story and it works.

  • “whilst JRPG sales continue to decline even in Japan.”

    bullshit. all that’s falling is square-enix and their cohorts deathgrip on the genre. Shity games like Star Ocean 4 and FF13 selling under expectations is purely due to how awful they are.

    Meanwhile smaller companies like Gust go from strength to strength

  • PaperJunkie says:

    although i agree with this ad, this is the shittiest marketing i’ve ever seen. blunt and uncreative. you wouldnt even know what they were selling without the small fallout bit in the corner(not in this poster obviously)

  • I see what you did there Artefact. 😉

    I’ll bite though. 🙂

    But really, bioware’s storylines, gameplay, and characters are awesome and dynamic. You’ve so far proven nothing about your claims of it being “unoriginal”. Everyone that plays their games love it, the metacritic’s scores prove that. Well except for people like you Artefact…. *shakes head*

  • “I think it would be good if the hero had missions that weren’t only about destroying evil.”

    — ever heard fall out 3?

    “When did games become something you watch?”

    — what about your eroge’s aka H-games being made into anime?

  • Cobaltiquity says:

    After Fallout 3 amidst other WRPG titles, I can’t say that I’m anticipating this new iteration. However, I do like the message. Also as aforementioned, it has more to do with the boost in popularity for WRPG titles. Some people rag on the fact that JRPG titles are archaic, but that’s what I like about some of the more RPGs I’ve played in recent years. The newer titles seem to take a cinematic approach with an emphasis on visuals where difficulty and core gameplay take a backseat.

    • You shouldn’t compare this to Fallout 3 since it is by a different developer and the main problem with Fallout 3 is that the story and writing are not very good but that is Obsidians strongest feature so it should be way better.

  • Funny that this comes from Fallout developers. F3 was RPG fail and since F:NV is still strongly restricted by Bethesda it will probably be another RPG fail. At least its not interactive movie (instead its bad FPS).

  • A lot of people seem to forget that The Legend of Zelda is a JRPG and its the most popular RPG in the entire world including the west and Japan. Zelda always diversifies it’s titles.

  • I don’t disagree with some of the points made by this ad but I could come up with a similar one for WRPGs that’s equally as true. I really don’t understand the point of two unrelated but equally stale genres attacking each other. WRPGs has had its glory days but lately they’re just sequels with a few tweaks and a terribly short main quest sometimes compounded by retarded writers.

    • Main problem is that JRPGs are not RPGs in the slightest (and probably never were). Most of above sentences are what makes RPG. That all games have flaws that can be pointed out is obvious, but these are flaws of the gendre. This points out why calling FF series a series of RPG is a lie.

      • You don’t know what the definition of an “RPG” is do you? Because if you did, you would know it’s not “role-playing game” it’s defined based on mechanics, if you had actually did a little research instead you would know about “Core Mechanics” and how they define genres.

        For an RPG

        -“Progression” in game components based on “levels”

        -“Magic” or some form of “higher” level combat

        -“Skills” or mechanics between Magic and Basic

        -Numerical record system (Hp,Mp,etc.)

        And lastly it seems both the people in the ad, and you, have never heard of Atlus.

  • I think it’s time for developers to look at the other shores and see what is good about the others and incorporate them in their games. Not to make carbon copies, but to enrich.

    And regarding Bioware, I would say that their games, while similar in execution, are good because of the possibility to mold the character to one’s personality in several cases, even if the big plot points can be considered a line.

    • In reference to all of Bioware’s games, I believe there are more to personalities than Good Evil and Asshole Nice.

      Even the relationships you have with your party members have only 2 maybe 3 different results even though you have a ton of dialogue options. While I’m not harping on Bioware, just be aware that they are good at giving you the illusion that you have a lot of freedom in their games than there really is.

  • Shippoyasha says:

    It’s only funny because it’s true.

    Seriously though, it’s just that WRPGs has gotten pretty big on consoles lately, while JRPGs has largely retreated to the handhelds due to the costs and the economy.

    Also, it’s not like JRPG developers haven’t expressed these same frustrations about their own genre as well.

    Funny how the ad just goes in for the jugular though.