JRPGs “Not RPGs” “Just Action Adventure Games”


The Japanese RPG is now being derided not only as an exercise in guiding a party of overwrought adolescents around a clichéd science-fantasy world, but also as a sham RPG “more akin to an adventure game.”

An editorial published on a western gaming site and quickly finding its way back to the Japanese Internet dissects the term “RPG,” finding that the Japanese version is now something quite different:

The purest of RPGs in computer gaming are titles such as Elite. You can role play as a trader, a pirate, a bounty hunter, a bastard, or whatever.

With the absence of a structured story or any real exposition, the player is invited to use their imagination and the game environment to make up and enact the player-directed narrative and continue it with their in-game decisions, which is continually reinforced and progressed by the game outputs. The player creates a part of the fiction themselves within the playground of the game world.

In the same vein, MMORPGS follow this concept. They grant a great deal of liberty to the player and allow them a lot of freedom over the control, appearance, actions and fiction of their avatar.

I think that most Western RPGs are correctly classified so, too. Planescape, Fable, Fallout and Mass Effect all adapt significantly to the inputs the player makes and subsequently create a tailored experience for each player based upon the actions they take.

There are some games that appear to offer everything that an RPG requires, such as Red Dead Redemption. You are granted relative freedom and can make John Marston be a hunter, a merchant, an asshole or a saint.

But ultimately, if you want to progress through the game and access new areas, you must engage in the main missions. Although there is a degree of superficial choice (and thusly “role play”) in these, you cannot really change anything of significance.

Players will interpret their characters differently from one another; much like readers will use their imagination to perceive a protagonist in a book, for example.

However, my version of John Marston, a shrewd, unforgiving and untrusting former outlaw is all well and good whilst I’m controlling things, but when the story, mission and cut scenes conspire to make John do things I would never want to do (be foolish enough to trust character X, when for me, John would never have fallen for such an overt trap), it ruins the whole point of the role-playing dynamic.

Therefore, Red Dead Redemption is definitely not a RPG; it’s something else.


Similarly, what many consider to be true RPG titles, like Final Fantasy, Skies of Arcadia and Dragon Quest do not adhere to this notion of what constitutes an RPG. Somehow over the past few decades, the term RPG is strongly associated with features such as turn-based combat, fantasy settings, inventory screens, upgrade trees, fighting parties and enemy stats.

Oddly, very few of these types of RPG (most commonly labeled as a JRPG) actually include the key role-playing features.

Cut scenes occur with no player input. Players have relatively little control over dialogue trees.The player merely exists to advance the inevitable progression of the character, and consequently each player will come away with a very similar experience. The game is therefore didactic in its presentation of the controllable character.

The Persona series is one of the few that bucks the trend, allowing the player to choose how they interact with characters, making those relationships an important part of the gameplay and story.


So basically JRPGs have been mislabeled and are, in essence, no different to the majority of action/adventure games in terms of form. It’s only the presentation that differs. Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto and BioShock all present a number of role-playing features, from choice-making and freedom to combat upgrades and visual customisation, yet all three are lacking in true role play.

There is no overall, coherent scope to unite these features together to allow the player to impose their own mind upon the character, to mold it into something personal to the player. Of course I’m not saying this is a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, and the cut scenes, stories and characters would not be as fantastic as they are without the careful dilution of the RPG elements.

Nevertheless, JRPGs follow this formula precisely. Although they offer role-playing opportunities on some levels, ultimately the story and form is too narrow and scripted for the games to be considered RPGs at all. Who better to summarize the argument than Daniel Erickson of the RPG experts, BioWare:

“You can put a ‘J’ in front of it, but it’s not an RPG. You don’t make any choices, you don’t create a character, you don’t live your character. I don’t know what those are – adventure games maybe? – but they’re not RPGs.”

Bioware have been amongst the most dismissive but a number of western developers now seem to think similarly, and even some Japanese are adopting the view – in this view, the increasingly unfashionable JRPG is nothing more than a rather hackneyed stat-based dungeon crawler.

Leave a Comment


  • Japan cornered mindshare on the concept of what a VRPG is back in the days of the NES. PC game developers have been poopooing them all along.

    Now that consoles can hold their own against PCs, devs seem to realize that they have to do less work to port their games over and can start expanding their marketshare into console gaming. Except that having ignored consoles all along, they don’t know how to develop games in that paradigm, nor do they want to learn.

    What better way to divert the JRPG fanbase than to start villifying their favorite games as passe? Puhleeze.

    • How can you expect these guys to act if you did not point out their flaws? One must say things if we want something new or if we want growth, for the better or for the worse.

      Just look at FPS and how many people said “I cannot crouch”, “I cannot target”, “I cannot run”, “I cannot hear their footsteps”, “the goddamn music sucks”, “I cannot walk”, “it is mindless”, “it has no story”, “etc etc derp derp derp.

      And look at it now.

  • I think the western developes just feel threatened by the jrpg because as good as they’re doing the JRPG HAS A MASSIVE FAN FOLLOWING and they’re just trying to get the world to veiw their classification of an rpg and the fact that yu’re even trying to instill in the world the fact that this is an rpg nothing else is …is pure bigotry in esense “role playing” can be taken as shifting from one roel to another a human to a lvl 56 elf lord or whatever all games really do let you do that they do give you the role of the lead character of a game mind you all of them don’t give the freedom to develop that role but….its a role none the less

    The whole argument of this being an action adventure or this being an rpg makes no sense in essence what you really want to argue is game mechanics which brings it back down to what it really is a huge cock fight between developers that we as the consumers see fit to turn into a battle of opinion and rage and favourites because god know some of us just need a burning fire to throw oil onto just to feel alive …Mass effect was an awesome game The entire shin megami tensei series are awesome games If I was to make a list of the top ten current rpgs they’d be filled with both western and jrpgs bioware and bethesda just need to be calm about their western sucees because you know why it could fall out from under them and to top it off you’re not even the top selling game in the west that title belongs to infinity ward and the Modern warfare franchise and it’ll take a lot more than some upturned nose remark to knock the Jrpg off its pedestal and even then it won’t matter because fans are fans I,m a weeboo bastard fine then hate on my happiness while you grasp at dirt trying to silence my opinion

    P.S Hey Artefact How bout something else besides these fucking he said she saids about manga scantaltion v.s. authenthics and the jrpg versus the american rpg huh?

    • non-logged +

      Come to think of it, is their really even a pissing match going on here? What are Japanese developers responding with? Seems like they’re too good to even bother with this shit.

  • Its a game, you play it, not fight over it. who fkin cares what or which is “true” RPG or “fake” RPG. instead of picking up useless arguments, these game devs are better off making newer and better games. Besides, what is the definition of RPG?? well it stands for role-playing-game and in it you should find the playing a certain role with a fixed story that the devs made up or just imagine your own role with your own created character. it doesnt matter which one is the true one cuz as far as im concerned, both types have some interest points, like: “oooh, i like playing FF cuz the story rocks” and “well, i like playing red dead redemption cuz i can do anything i want”. the crowd wants to have nothing to do with their fights, why cant they see that?? it saddens me to see old grown ups fighting for some stupid reason just because of their ideals. dont you?

    • Its not “True or fake”. This issue’s take is about “miss-classification”. The definition and concept of RPG have been established before video games were created, so yes, there’s validity in this argument. Its like calling Super Puzzle Fighter a fighting game.

  • Well after reading about half of the posts here I just really have one question to ask everyone. Is this even about what an “RPG” is or is this just about the difference between how America makes it’s “RPG’s” and how Japan does?
    Cause it seems to me that the argument has nothing to do with what an rpg it has more to do with where they came from. I mean it could just be me that sees this.

  • All I got to say is….

    I don’t really give a shit if JRPG is not exactly RPG, I play it for the characters, the humors and the adventures.

    The thing I love about RPG is really the adventure and characters, it’s not because it’s a RPG.

    • Then do not call it an RPG, call it an action adventure game. Read a book about adventure or watch an adventure movie but saying that you are “role-playing in an JRPG is by definitely wrong.

      Hell, you are an audience watching a group of roleplayers playing a game. “YOU” are not part of the game.

  • “The Persona series is one of the few that bucks the trend, allowing the player to choose how they interact with characters, making those relationships an important part of the gameplay and story.”

    You mean the shitty multiple choice question test system where not picking the “right” choice basically breaks the relationship?

    If this was a real RPG, you would actually be able to play the game the way you want basically. Hell you would have been able to join Adachi in P4 and go on a shadow joy ride.

    • The hell you are so ignorant on the word “ROLEPLAY”

      Linear stories are “Stories”, you are just watching it ‘but’ you are NOT affecting the flow of the story because the story is impossible to be changed or conformed on ‘your’ decisions or choices which in turn does not make it an RPG idiot.

      In a true RPG, choice is.. no must be everywhere in a story. Good choices and BAD choices. Not every hero will be tolerant of every ass hole move. Most villain has standards of being evil. Not every town will be happy of you saving their asses. Learn how to make a choice and learn what the word “RPG” means.

    • From what I read about it, it surely is an RPG and it will be something that wasnt ever made before. Fact that you will have to play as a partialy premade character is little bad, but even games with premade characters can be true RPGs. Again I will say Pathologic as an example.

  • What a dumb article. “Here are a bunch of modern RPG tropes that I have selectively acknowledged and now I will apply them retroactively to games I don’t like so that they will seem illegitimate.” Yawn.

  • I think what they are getting confused about is that what they define as “RPG” is actually a “sandbox rpg”. After searching around the interwebs for a bit I have found that the definition of an rpg seems to be something where you control 1 or more characters which you develop and level up through a game similar to in D&D. D&D seems to be deemed the first popular paper and pencil rpg which video game rpgs are based on and in that the player has not got as much freedom as in modern western rpgs as the game master controls most of what happens. So really both western rpgs and jrpgs are rpgs just different kinds. It sounds like these people do not like jrpgs (probably thanks to games like ff13 giving them a bad name) and as such are trying to disassociate the rpgs they like from them. Oranges and Apples are both fruits, just because you don’t like one does not mean it is not a fruit anymore.

    tl;dr western rpgs are generally sandbox rpgs. japanese rpgs are generally adventure rpgs. They are both rpgs no matter what you say so just stfu.

  • i dont really see a strong point in biowares points from past articles or this guys from this article. all they are trying to do is bash JRPGs for attention now that they have gotten on their high horse. ive played most of biowares, and bethesda(since they also bashed on a previous article) games and honestly i never really felt satisfied when playing or when i finished. just recently i finally tried to play dragon age, and after the first mission i stopped and gave it back to my roomate. the game was just not interesting enough for me, actually it was quite boring, the walk animation made it the worst for me, i was merely gliding on a fucking plane the whole time. same thing with oblivion, oh i got to create my character and skill him up how i wanted it, but there really wasnt much of a change or impact on the story my character had, it was still the generic thing, you be good, you kill bad, end of story. same thing with biowares DA or ME1-2 its the same deal, sure you get to kill off some characters here and there and you can chose what to say to people, but that shit gets boring fast. some times i just want to move ahead not having to choose between 2-6 lines of dialog of what i could saw every time my character has to talk. it gets old quick. with most JRPGs i have honestly had more fun playing cuz i dont have to bother with all that other random stuff, it lets me just get to the story of things. besides most RPGs from japan change many things. bioware, bethesda’s games are already pretty much the same just different environment and worlds. they do that same things, and all this freedom they talk about going anywhere you want when you want, thats capped of by strong monsters (fallout3) so there really is only one way to go, i just end up getting lost thinking i can go somewhere else but the only way to progress the story is to keep going to point b, then c, and so on. at least most of the JRPGs dont feed you lies that you can go where you want, you have a clear objective of where to go next and thats just as fine. besides Bioware, Bethesda, should learn a lot from Demon’s Souls. ill say thats more of an rpg than their games. you make your character, you level him up how you want, and any decision you take up against and npc is very critical, once you kill them they are dead until you either start a new game or do the new game+, the story you get from the world it self, i really loved that they did it that way, instead of putting me through an erroneous amount of dialog just to know what the fuck is going on. the world of Demon’s souls is the story it self and you play in it, making your choices as you go along, and you always know where to go, but you do have the freedom to chose where to go next and what to do, even if its go through this boss first to get to the next, there is more freedom of choice there. you play the world, you choose who lives and who dies, and in the end you choose be good or be bad, thats more than enough. the freedom your granted in building your characters makes a big difference in how you play and how long you will be playing, mass effect, dragon age, or oblivion and fallout could not match it, they merely try to lie to you with all that other extra shit you can do or think you can do and they call it a day, just dont bullshit me and tell me that they are very different from each other when they are just the same. make meaningful changes dont fabricate useless lies. the thing i like most of bioware is there animation quality for CG, they are really good at that, very cinema oriented but aside from a few character designs or character development, they have few that they have done right.
    all in all, just play the fucking game that you want and call it a day, and to bioware and bethesda GET OFF YOUR HIGH FUCKING HORSE!!

  • lalala bla bla bla damn it these article….I play both games from Japan and Western…and I like some and hate some, so producers stop finding a way to thrashing each other, instead find ways to make better games

  • this shit again??man i like Persona and Oblivion both are rpgs…the diference is…Persona and other series them have a japanese graphics(manga stlye,scripty stye animes and others)Oblivion and others western rpgs..them have a western histories and costumes(a history havier..and other things)Final Fantasy was the first rpg,Today Jrpgs are the same+-…….fuck Bioware….the Japaneses are the king of Rpgs…..Sorry for poor English….and i am not Japanese…..

  • >definitions and semantics

    Okay, whatever, “this isn’t actually a ‘role-playing’ game” may be correct, but I don’t see what difference it makes.

    “This isn’t actually an FPS because technically you’re not shooting” would get the same response: “Okay, so it’s a first-person-whatever, big deal”

  • You know, back when I first got into RPG’s and found out what it stood for, I thought the R at the beginning stood for “roll”, as in rolling dice, rather than “role”. I propose that alternate definition, as any classified RPG has at one point an RNG (random number generator for the newbies) built into it.

    And besides, all those games do let you fill a role as a character in a story. Manipulate no, but fill yes. Play the role, and if it’s story driven consider it an RPG. Tell this bitchy critic to shove it.

  • Article is correct; fuck you weaboos and Japanese sycophants who argue otherwise. Old school games made by Japan might have been considered somewhat RPG-ish, but author is correct in that today’s majority of games labele RPG, J or otherwise, are quite simply not. Note the author does not extend the RPG label to GTA, RDR, etc., because he’s being fair.

    Also note the author isn’t saying that this doesn’t make it a bad game or not enjoyable. But they’re not RPGs. You, the player, don’t play a “role”, you play a game and learn about someone else’s role.

    • Playing yourself isn’t playing a role. Thats an oxymoron. The Elder Scrolls and Fable are NOT role-playing games for this very reason. Theyre more akin to sandbox adventures.

      To role-play means you play a role that’s clearly defined. If you role-play as the pope, you don’t have a choice whether or not you believe in god.
      D&D, the game most people would consider a “true” RPG, is actually a borderline RPG. The roles you play are framed within very generic alignments, nothing specific.

      Games of old wern’t considered role-playing games because there was little to roles to play. Pong? Frogger? Jumpman(Mario)? You wern’t really playing a role so much as you were playing a game trying to score points and pass a stage. Thats why RPGs of old were labeled RPGs. And thats why we need to get rid of the term RPG in todays world because the vast majority of what people would consider non-RPGs are actually RPGs.

      • If you are letting yourself be hindered by alignment then you are not good at roleplaying. Not every chaotic evil schmuck is out there to kill and destroy, not every paladins are self-righteous goody two shoes, not every wizards are good at spells, hell you may even be surprised that he can whack you with his sword anytime.

        If you allow written stat, alignment, and other miscellaneous things hinder you from what you want to roleplay, then well, you are not quite adept at it. 🙂

  • Good grief, why do some need to think to much on this, RPG is RPG. If there’s a story, you qalk around, look for weapon, earn money, developed your characters, leveling up, it’s a RPG, that all. For crying out loud, just play the game, no need for intense analysis.

  • Bioware is so nice. Back in the day western RPGs where dead, so baldurs gate came out, ripping of a lot of ideas of jRPG of that period.

    Without jRPG wRPG probably wouldn’t even exist. Besides Biowares “Good” or “Bad” Joices are in a lot of newer jRPGs anyway. To summarize – Way of the Samurai is way more RPG than all you ever done, Bioware, so stfu!

  • Does anyone else get the vibe that the article writer may not have played RPGs before Mass Effect? How many classic RPGs back in the days of the SNES or the Playstation fit that description?

  • IN MY OPINION, the “JRPG” (or old-school console RPG, like Dragon Quest) is an RPG. Take DnD or something for instance. In DnD, YOU make up your character’s backstory, personality, etc. The DM sets up the dungeon, blah-ty-blah-ty-blah. An old-school console RPG is just like this. But instead of having a DM who’s a person, you have a DM that’s digital, more visual, less textual. In old Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, etc, where you literally make the characters from scratch, YOU get to decide their backstory and such. Granted, there is the absence of decision making, but that’s because of the technological limitations.

  • ChaosAngelZero says:

    Everything that you have to know about defining role-playing games, EVER, is contained here: http://insomnia.ac/commentary/on_role-playing_games/

    Then, as for identifying non-role-playing games: http://insomnia.ac/commentary/the_rpg_conundrum/

    I guarantee you all, that you’ll leave those articles wiser men. Just don’t chicken out midway and start blurting out retarded, unrelated nonsense like “BUT GAMES ARE ABOUT FUN WHO CARES IF THEYRE RPGS OR NOT!!!1!11!!1″, man the fuck up and at the very least comprehend what’s the reason for this discussion.

    • Wow I read both of your links and I am amazed. The person who wrote this is obviously very intelligent and he has indeed persuaded me to his view point. I think this saying something because I am an otaku (non-Japanese definition) and when I first read this sankaku article I was rolling my eyes, but I see clearly now that I was wrong. There is no such thing as a true RPG outside of a pen-and-paper setup. The JRPGs I cherish so much aren’t true RPGs and, even though WRPGs are more concerned with non-linear progression, WRPGs are also not true RPGs. Even though I still love “JRPGs” (I am currently going through Dragon Quest 9) and even “WRPGs” (I can’t wait until Fallout: New Vegas comes out) I shall henceforth regard these labels as misnomers. I recommend everyone that is interested in the debate to read the articles ChaosAngelZero provided and man the fuck up.

      • Btw, read some d&d/gurps/world of darkness/ironclaw books then decide what table top RPG you like.

        Then go find a stable local group who likes to play table top and have a hell of a ride every week-ends.

        PS: do not step on the d3 for your own sake.

  • I agree with most of these statements; as the player’s actions and choices have no meaning in the narrative, than surely JRPGs are’nt really ROLE PGs.

    But then again, I believe these labels to be of commercial use only. They are only significant when you search for titles in categories when you go to a store.

  • Who the hell would say that Fable and Mass Effect are more RPG than any of the JRPGs? The two games has a completely linear development with a few “special” cutscenes or items to reward certain behaviour. You stil donn’t create your own character at all, you just play the premade content. Idiots.

    • Nope, idiot. At least you can decide if your character would be bastard or saint. That enough qualifies these games to be more RPG than any FF game where only things you can decide as a character are if you will carry the best sword or the second best one. So fuck yourself, you dont understand a shit.

  • FallsfromGrace says:

    This guy says rpgs now seem to be defined as :

    turn-based combat, fantasy settings, inventory screens, upgrade trees, fighting parties and enemy stats

    My first rpg experiences were 1st edition D&D in the 70’s and that pretty much is what they were, are and always will be to me.

    If he redefines what an rpg is to him it doesn’t necessarily apply to us too.

  • WRPG = Play as some beefed up fag with a gun and mild chance of lesbian alien sex.

    JRPG = you play as some guy who just got out of bed to hang out with his (usually loli) harem and save the world.

    Huge difference.

    • Whatever, you can switch these ideas and made full WRPG with loli characters saving world and JRPG with with muscular gun totting heroes. Neither of these clichés makes the genre. Its just a cliché typical for western or japanese market. What matters is the game and gameplay mechanics.

  • You have to be unbelievable dick to actually spend time writing this crap trying to prove people… what? That games they like should be called this and not this? Retarded.

    JRPGs are great fun, so who the hell cares how are they called? If “RPG” must mean only boring and ugly type of games western developers can make, I will be only happy to call beautiful japanese games adventure games.

  • To the Anon before that said Red Dead Redemption can be considered an RPG, I told you so. Okay, I’m done being an ass, now I’m gonna sit in the corner and wait diligently for a steampunk style video game. I can’t get enough of those overly complicated outfits and mechanisms!

  • Well, it’s just true. JRPGs simply aren’t RPGs at all, for reasons that many people have explained ad nauseam. If you applied the most strict definition of the term “RPG,” almost no computer RPGs are RPGs either.

    What I don’t get about JRPG fans is that it’s almost like their enjoyment of JRPGs depends exclusively on whether or not they’re classified as RPGs.

    • “What I don’t get about JRPG fans is that it’s almost like their enjoyment of JRPGs depends exclusively on whether or not they’re classified as RPGs.”
      Core point of all that missunderstanding. This and the previous comment are both the most truthful in whole discussion and everbody reading this should read them.

  • Lol, I like how everyone who makes this argument is purposefully ignoring the fact that Japanese RPG’s labeled themselves as “RPG” because they modeled their mechanics after PnP RPG games such as DnD.

    That’s all, period. It’s Japan, they never knew what RPG really stood for, just that RPG used to represent this game you did on paper with a pen, that has lots of stats and leveling up.

    So when they made games with stats and leveling up, they called them RPGs. It makes sense as long as you ignore what the acronym RPG is actually supposed to stand for, just as the Japanese unintentionally did (since most did not understand English lulz) when they brought the genre into the console market.

  • The people at bioware are assholes.

    Mass Effect one sucked. It promised “lots of differen planets to explore” when there were only like 2 or 3 different generic planets just with different skins and enemies.

  • This is really the most retarded and biased argument.
    I get it when they criticize character design for not being their taste or stories for being similar but the fact that they don’t use the same design philosophy as them and because of that, they’re wrong, its retarded.

    Sometimes you’ve just got to tell a story and thus you can’t just be a thieve or a doughnut baker or a pimp but you must fit into what the story needs specifically.

    But if they really are that xenophobic and need to alienate themselves from their japanese counterparts they’d have higher chances of making WRPG’s fit into a new genre than forcing JRPG’s out of the RPG genre.

    Call em Free and Open Western Role Playing Games or FOWRPG now or something.

    • WRPGs suck.

      They started the f***ing sandbox trend leading to a to of differnt games where the big feature was a sandbox world…yea freaking fantastic…to bad sandbox games get boring fast.

  • Western developers make their money re-defining what RPGs mean. “Re-defining” isn’t necessarily good.

    The original RPGs were games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Until recently we never had a true demand for agency and self-controlled narrative. (The latter of which doesn’t exist even in Bioware’s games really.)Even if it’s not a role you created yourself, you’re still playing it. How do you think actors become successful?

    If the Japanese want to preserve JRPGs as anything more than a niche, nostalgic genre of games, they have to fight back, because this is basically a war of propaganda. Bioware and other such developers are utilizing media outlets to fill the air with messages of what it means to be an RPG, shaping consumer opinion. Since there is no loud critic to counteract them, they are free to determine the consumer demand as they please. Someone should talk about the merits of JRPGs over Bioware games, such as a more coherent, original story, more sympathetic characters, less tedious mission-taking, typically better graphics and inventive takes on turn based and real time battle systems.

    • More coherent story that looks like movie and is similary interactive.
      More sympathethic characters for certain kind of audience, without any chance to live up the character if it doesnt suit you.
      Less tendious missions that needs as much players imput as putting food into microwave.

      Is that even still a game?

    • lol? the RPG genre was created by westerners.

      Dungeons and Dragons was a tabletop RPG and it served the basis for all RPG’s

      Akalabeth, Ultima and Wizardry are the First RPG’s ever made, without it there would be no WRPG and no JRPG

      they created both genres.

      Ultima III is a british game, yet it is the first JRPG ever made, so much so that the first dragon quest game is almost a blatant ripp off of Ultima 3

      Westerner’s created the genre and both sub genres

    • Bakamoichigei says:

      Funny, I thought the original RPGs were things like Dungeons and Dragons.

      But I guess it can’t be helped, Final Fantasy is probably older than you already, never mind D&D. I get it, and I forgive you for such a blatant oversight.

  • Just because they use different conventions as American RPGs does not mean that they are inferior.

    Let’s just consider JRPGs as their own genre, seperate from WRPGs, and be done with it.

  • u mad bro? Regardless of what genre you toss the game in, it’s the same game, so who cares? And the Persona reference… The choices don’t end up affecting the way the actual story unfolds, so it’s no different than any other JRPG. In this regard, visual novels make better RPGs, since the choices offered will change the scenes presented, and ultimately, the ending. But regardless of what you call them, these games are just whatever they are, however good or bad that may be.

  • All this conversation doesn’t matter!!! Where is my J-RPG for the PS3? I’ve been waiting for 3 years to have something good to come out and I’m still waiting. Less yapping, and more work from the producers…

  • I can not believe how many of you people are complaining about RPG games… the BASE definition of “Role playing” In Role playing game is to play as someone other than yourself. That is what it is, The definition they are giving is what they believe it should be. Same goes for JRPG they have their own definition about these types of games.

    Any game that allows you to be another person while playing can be considered RPG even if your playing as donkey kong.

  • I find these WRPG, JRPG arguments redundant. None of them are TRUE RPG’s. Real RPG’s are pen and paper, because that actually gives you full liberty to your actions. It also helps that you have a human Dungeon Master, who alters his campaign to adapt to the players choices.

    You will ALWAYS be railroaded in any WRPG or JRPG no matter what because you are always constrained to the way the game is programmed and designed. WRPG’s are just less obvious about it, but you still end up fighting the same bad guys, save the world, etc.

    And finally WHO CARES?!? This entire debate is over a single term. Should I care if I just enjoy a game whether the RPG is in it? I just wish I could kick anyone who keeps bringing up this Dead Horse in the nads.

    • WRPGs may be limited as well, but in the boundaries of technology they give you as much freedom in decisions as possible.
      JRPGs dont give you any freedom at all.
      Thats the difference why one of them have the right to be called RPGs and others dont.

    • Good point. The main differences in WRPGs and JRPGs video games (console or computer) is the role you are playing and choice making.

      WRPGs – You either create or use a character given to you and you determine the choices he/she makes in the course of the game that may affect what happens during the story.

      JRPG – You are using a predetermined character and your choices generally do not affect the story (or if they do it’s superficial). It’s like having a Dungeon Master in D&D that has already mapped out the adventure for you.

      Blah…these arguments are pointless…just arguing about the different sides of a coin.

  • lol at all you weeboo faggots. They are just saying that the classification of the JRPG as an RPG (read: Role Playing Game) doesn’t fit with how they handle their game. Not that the game is bad.

    Yoichi Wada, of Square Enix, even called the Tomb Raider series and Hitman series (in reference to Square Enix partnering with Eidos way back when) “RPGs” in the sense that you are “playing the role of Lara Croft” denoting the term “role playing game”.

    Clearly, nobody in Japan knows what the fuck to name things, not to say any of these games are bad, but they need to go back to school on classifying something into a genre.

  • Sad otaku whining because someone said something they don’t like? Check!

    Said otaku running to their bedrooms and having a weeping jerk session with their Aerith body pillow? Check!

    Artefact posting yet another shock article to make his reader base foam at the mouth? CHECK!


  • i am not enabling cookies >.> lol

    ok in any classic or present jrpg you do “play the role of X character” as in progress though the games scenarios and get sucked into its storyline as that character. the element that separates a rpg from a adventure game is a few things.

    1. growth and development – in the game will you increase your strength or skills depending on how you play?

    2. thought the game are you presented with some kind of a story to draw you into the game?

    video game rpgs started as text based games like pirates cove and zork. back then you seemed to have the freedom to do anything but you still had to go follow a path to get there.

    heros quest or quest for glory was a classic video game rpg from the west where you moved around and leveled up and again you ended up doing some kind of a story. because a sandbox is fun to play in but a sand box with a pathway to another sand box is more fun. and the story will drive you to discover the rest of the story. if it does a good job you are pulled in for the ride and become the main character.

    final fantasy always did this for me even back in the days of Final Fantasy 1 on the nes or my personal fav. final fantasy VI.

    the people who post negative towards jrpgs are just trying to make western rpgs sell. but i dont care for those. bring me final fantasy XV and make it as good as XIII! bring back more classic turn based final fantasy!

  • It seems to me that his hypothesis is purely based on his view of what ‘RPG’ actually means.
    If we strip it down into dictionary definitions:

    Role – A character or part played by a performer.
    Their are other definitions of the word ‘role’ but this is the one that springs to my mind.

    Play – As a part of a story you play one of the characters.

    Game – As long as you interact with other characters and make choices (particularly if skill is involved) then it definitely fulfills the premise of being a game rather than being a visual novel.

    As a great man once said: opinions are like arseholes, we all have them, but that doesn’t mean we have to share them with the rest of the world.

    While the OP might have a point that their is a great deal of difference between his interpretation of RPG to other peoples it doesn’t make other people wrong.

    • That’s like saying let’s break down the word “sandwhich”.

      Sand = a loose material consisting of grains of rock or coral

      Which = visisble choice


  • OK, I could understand complaints from Bethesda ( who was creating “open-ended” RPG’s long before BioWare was even founded ) but seriously…

    When it comes to BioWare games, the decisions you make storywise are superficial at most. “You” may be “good” or “bad”, but eventualy you will save the world. Well, untill “even bigger foe” will ascend.
    Storyline is as linear as in JRPG’s, maybe they do little more to hide it. You laughed at “FF XIII” gameplay? Look at gamebanshee’s “Mass Effect” walkthrough. You may have some corridors, but all missions are straightforward – you just go from point A to point B, sometimes making such decisions as “shot the bastard” and “let him live”.
    And I assure you – it’s always better to let him/her survive, because you have almost 90% probability he was molested by his father and he will later help you somehow.

    Well, “open ended” games like Oblivion aside, Persona games are probably the only ones you are doing meaningful choices. And they ARE JRPG’s, just extremelly clever made.

    • exactly my point. if you measure rpgs by their content of roleplaying, mass effect is gonna be quite far behind. the decisions you make have some influence on the story, but ultimately, they’re pretty superficial. most of the action happens in the battlefield, and with lack of free roaming, me1/2 is not much better than a fps.
      on the other hand, many wrpgs have very little character development, while jrpgs tend to not let the player control it. a really good role-playing game gives the player room to develop his character in his mind. it neither gives him options to choose from, nor decides who he is.

      also: who said adventures are a bad genre? they have less replay value, but discovery and puzzle-solving based gameplay can be as exciting and fun as full control.

    • Lol I don’t remember having to make any sort of meaningful choices in Persona 3. Other than in social links you have either the right choice (increasing social link) or the wrong choice, two wrong choices to either not raise social link at all or even lower it. Or however it worked, don’t really want to get into the actual game mechanics.

      But maybe I forgot something.

  • never liked wrpgs

    i hope jrpgs stays traditional turnbased with premade appearance

    when it comes to jrpgs, i want my anime cutscenes, none customizable appearances, 15 year old’s saving the world, cartoon graphics

    i dont really like biowares view of rpg..
    they think realistic means good, but im the opposite.. (probably why i never enjoy bioware rpgs)

    i like my character cartoon, childish and not too serious.

    ether way bioware just makes singleplayer mmorpgs..

  • What is it with these game developers going ape-shit over what is or isn’t an RPG . RPG’s are simple their character driven games , they have nothing to do with gameplay . Apprently these develepors have nothing to do with their time (like making games) and write up this crap .

  • Bioware -> New Gaming chauvinist

    (and probably some other Japan Devs that got the bait)

    Can’t we all just make 1 ULTIMATE GAME that HAS ALL ELEMENTS rather than just trying to destroy each other…>_>

  • What a RPG really is:
    “A role-playing game (RPG) is a broad family of games in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making or character development”

    These guys can go fuck themselves as they’re trying to skew what the definition of an RPG to be centered towards the definition of a WRPG.

    It’s like in religion where some sect thinks the other sect is not following said religion correctly.

  • Agree with this guy 100%. JRPGs are not really RPGs. Just like most things labeled Sci-Fi aren’t Sci-Fi. They are everything but in a space setting. Likewise, a panda bear is not a bear. It’s related to a racoon. Although, most people already know this and they just use the term (knowingly wrongly) just to keep things simple. I have people I talk to on an occasional basis. I will call them friends when refering them just to save time describing them as associates. These people are NOT my friends.

  • It’s an extremely legitimate point. Don’t get butthurt just because you love the genre. I do, but I can admit that they aren’t, strictly speaking, role playing games. You do not “play a role,” you follow a preset story with an RPG-esque combat system. Is that bad? Hell no. And I don’t think that’s the point being made here.

  • Technically they are right. In terms of what the word “Role Play” means, JRPGs do not fit that criteria. But for whatever reason, these are the terms we have used to define this genre of game, and it’s not easy to change it now.

    I do see JRPG as a genre of its own. Classifying Final Fantasy as action adventure doesn’t really work. Classifying it as a strategy game doesn’t make sense either. Perhaps ‘turn based adventure’ or something, but with an ever increasing leaning towards real-time strategic combat that doesn’t work either.

    I think this is just one of those idiosyncrasies within the vocabulary we use to describe games that we’re just going to have to live with. Yes, it doesn’t technically make any sense, but it does it’s job. When somebody says “JRPG” you know instantly what kind of game is being spoken about. As a label for a genre, does that not accomplish everything it needs to? Does it really matter? Even if we called them “Turn based action adventure strategy games” the game mechanics would remain exactly the same. Why is there such hot discussion over semantics, I wonder?

  • So I guess it doesn’t matter what the developers -themselves- choose to label their games as? This “debate” is getting really tiresome cause in the end no one gives a fuck and will continue to play what they find enjoyable. This is like me saying “I don’t like console FPSes cause they are not actual FPS. Real FPS use a key board and mouse control scheme.” Give me a break.

    • “Playing” implies to me that you have some sort of impact on the game by your actions. Play is a verb, which means action. If you’re essentially only along for the ride and unable to have any impact on the world you’re in, then you might be assuming a role, but you’re certainly not doing anything with it. YMMV.

    • Kyon Theorist says:

      No offense but that definition is one I’ve always hated because it now makes nearly every game ever an RPG.
      Mario: You play a role as Mario… rpg
      Metal gear solid: You play a role as snake… rpg
      Gears of War: You play a role as Marcus Fenix(sp?)… rpg

      You can just go right on down the list.

      • You play a role, not watch a character act however it wants and control him during action sequences.

        There is a huge difference between playing your character in a way you want, and playing a character in predetermined way.

        • In a RPG you play a role of YOUR CHOICHE, that is: you can choose what role to play and then try to play the game according to that role, if the game is a good RPG should respond differently to different choiche you make

        • Anon 05:20
          There is difference between playing role in theatre and in game. The difference is interactivity and it comes from the “game” term. In game you can win or you can lose, or just enjoy it. Thats why we play games and call them games not movies/books/plays/whatever. Otherwise no RPG term should even exist if the RPG is the same as movie as you said.

        • Anon 02:31,
          As Gitami said. For some reason or another someone decided that playing a role = writing a role. No, its exactly the opposite. When you play a role you play that role…I don’t see why there could be any misunderstanding. When an actor plays a role in a movie its the same. He does what the story tells him to do and that’s it. You are put in the shoes of the hero and you have to play out his story. I’m sure I speak for at least some fans of RPGs when I say that we prefer it that way – a good writer writes an awesome story and allows us to experience it first hand…we don’t aimlessly wander the game trying to make our own story. Tidus says “This is my story” (not yours!)

          I hope that’s clear enough for you.

        • You play the role of Romeo, you’re going to die followed shortly by your love in lover’s suicide. That’s my definition of RPG and seems to be the JRPG too.

          WRPG is you play Romeo, you then proceed to hack and slash your way to escape the city with Juliet at your side or convince your family to allow you two to marry. That’s also RPG in a way, you get to play the what ifs and tell the story the way you want but the deviation take away from the character’s traits that made us like them in the first place and turns them into random adventure #2041.

          Speaking of which, I think I’d actually welcome a Shakespeare RPG.

      • I still agree with 0:24 though. It may be true that per definition you play roles in all those games but that is not the whole point of the game (maybe a bit in MGS).
        You can say the same thing for almost any other game genre..plenty of games that aren’t called features action etc. In RPG games like Final Fantasy you play the role of a character/s not as a result of playing the game but in order to play as the character (if you know what I mean)

        In any case, we can forget about what it really should mean… when someone says he likes RPG games like FF and is then told its not an RPG he isn’t going to stop liking the game because all along he actually wanted to like RPGs. He meant he like the games that are commonly called RPGs. Words change over time..get over it..(BTW Kyon theorist, I didn’t direct that statement directly at you..I mean no offence.)

        • That is exactly what RPG shoudnt be – stats, levels and experience, without any other meaning for story or character. RPG originates from Role playing from psychology where you play some role to understand different viewpoints, different people, to understand yourself. Simply to gain some life experience and to change yourself, to evolve etc. Someone took that literaly and put it into numbers. Later added elves and dwarves for more fun. That made the RPG genre. But the levels, stats and all other numbers are not the aim of the game and its not necessary for the genre.

        • Kyon Theorist says:

          Where does the distinction come from then? Action is an easily definable concept, so having action in other types of games is something that’s easy to understand. My personal view of what consists of an RPG is actually the system of stats that most RPG games have that was derived from Dungeons and Dragons.
          The experience gain (or pseudo experience gain) from defeating enemies or solving puzzles causing stats to increase in some way that makes the character obviously more powerful, while also allowing for stats to be gained (temporarily or permanantly) from items, spells, events etc.

          Also I agree that what it’s called isn’t important, but I just really hate that broad way of saying it because it is too broad to be a useful qualifier. It feels (to me) like having a species of dog that would just be called dog while other species like German Shepard still exist.

  • Eh. I dunno what that Elite game is, but without a structered story, or exposition, what did people pay for exactly? Mass effect 2 had both, but the reason why it actually was an RPG, is because theres so many differant ways to play it through.

    As a side note, my favorite RPG’s (even though according to this, they are not) are Earthbound and Final Fantasy 6. From a time when there was in the first case, a really bizarre fucked up world, or when the story wasn’t half retarded. Granted they both don’t always make sense with what happens, but they were FUN. I still go back and play them, which is more then I can say for 99% of the games that have come out in the past 10 years.

    • There was exactly ONE way to play through Mass Effect 2 with one single decision at the end that might or might not mean anything depending on ME3.

      People paid for Elite (or not… copy protection was a joke even then) because with super ugly graphics all you had was your own fantasy and that kept you occupied for weeks. But calling it RPG instead of space simulation is going too far.

      RPGs had main storylines from day 1 because they developed from Pen&Paper adventure. Ultima, Pool of Radiance etc. all had storylines that had to be completed. Presenting this story well and reacting to the player’s actions (that means “bad end”s too) is the task of the designer/game master. Planescape: Torment was one of the few examples that accomplished this.

      • Oi. Fuck you. There were several ways to play through mass effect 2. You get to pick who you actually pick up to play the last mission with, and what you do actually changes the last mission. So fuck your couch for saying otherwise.
        Godamn retard.

      • FallsfromGrace says:

        A table top game has a GM to guide the characters through the story. Sure they could choose to go completely anywhere but they don’t tend to, as GMs that are idiots don’t tend to keep players.

        Is this guy going to say a D&D session is not RPG?

        If not then these are all rpgs, w or j, with the computer taking the GM role, for us sad people who can’t get a group anymore.

        There are already lots or words used to define what he is talking about, sandbox, free roaming, non linear etc. If he feels the need to specifically classify these, leave the rpg tag alone and give them a new name, not the games that have fit this category for 30 years.

        I would add Dark Queen of Krynn to the list, a lv40 mage with -15 ac spamming Power Word Kill was sublime

    • Current JRPGs have strong adventure characteristics. There’s nothing wrong about that. They developed to what they are now and are going to develop into something else.

      That guy can’t seriously expect the genre not to change and evolve…

    • @blaani


      That’s why Eastern RPG’s and Western RPG’s are different…

      If they were one and the same, it would be boring…

      Some people get off to muscular men acting as tanks with a few animal wizards and elven chicks behind him, other get off to a loli doing magical combos with her giant doll and chaining them together with a red-head protagonist and a pedo-scientist…

      In short: Choose what gets you off~

    • Shippoyasha says:

      I lost this conversation at the hilarious K-On photoshop as well.

      Seriously, who cares? JRPGs and WRPGs constantly come close to being other genres. Many games do this nowadays. No big deal.

    • “You can put a ‘J’ in front of it, but it’s not an RPG. You don’t make any choices, you don’t create a character, you don’t live your character. I don’t know what those are – adventure games maybe? – but they’re not RPGs.”

      Actually I’ve seen this part on sancon some month ago; so it’s not the writer who bring out this shit again, but the editor here who wants to make people hate jrpgs more.

      • Totally true…
        Specially I lol at the line “observed from Japan”. Really? All I read here are articles from “WRPG developers” bashing JRPGS, saying how FF XIII is the “failure of the century”.
        I also remember when this site used to love bitching at the PS3…
        Do some WRPG developers pay Sankaku to distort reality all the time?

    • One of the most stupidest claims that Westerner developers seem to always make is the non-linear claim in their games. Just because a game has a dialogue tree and multiple ending possibilities, doesn’t mean it’s non-linear. Every RPG is considered linear because the endings are already preset by the writers, even if it’s multiple endings. There’s no such thing as a non-linear game as long as there’s preset endings, even if it is randomly chosen by the game’s software.

    • These are usually comments by Western publishers who are angry they’re not as successful in the Japanese market with their games, in comparison to the traditional Japanese made games. So the only option they have left is to attack the games that everyone in Japan favours, because they think that attacking the games that the Japanese market prefers is a better way to show their Western made games are better in comparison. Personally I think it’s pretty adolescent and pointless, everyone has their own preferences, and attacking another society’s preferred system is not going to improve sales, in fact it’ll just make more people angry at them, even some who were supporting their games, since it just makes the publishers look more arrogant.

      • One fault on this argument – RPG is english term, RPG gendre does not originate from japan and thus japs dont even have right to redefine what RPG means. Noone said that JRPGs are somehow inferior to WRPG as a games or better said as a form of entertaiment. They only say that they are not RPGs.

    • Exactly. How absent minded can are some of these people. So don’t got any respect for some games at all. I’m not that leaning on any side of the spectrum, I’m in the middle.

      I play both american and japanese games. Don’t care what they look like. Do I need to say anymore?

      • It looks more like you are the absent minded. You dont care what you play, fine, but dont blame people who cares. Also they are not saying anything bad about any japanese games, they only say that they are different from what RPG means, thus they should not be called RPGs. End.

        • There’s a lot of views and perspectives on what people think. Yeah i’m in the middle too, and I too have to at least think about how other perceives other genre. hmmmm….Not that it’s a bother to go through this again. It could be all right for any other game as long as the idea is very fresh and original and sometimes might need go in a different direction instead of the same thing. I mean JRPG are still good in my opinion, the usual stuff in there is okay in Japan.

          The characters in the game just says it all sometimes. I mean, Japan makes their main characters young about somewhere around in their teens or preteens. I can only find a few characters that are adults in some games like Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden, but that’s a different type of game other than the ones we’re talking about now.

          Not that I find anything wrong with young characters and their development, it’s the way it goes with some games unless there are some games that has adults as the main characters, I can’t remember which game..it would be a bit helpful if I did.

          Anyway it’s looks stupid to called JRPG games action adventure games when the gameplay is turn based or real time and still acts like an RPG. Forgive me for not coming with enough evidence to prove that some JRPG has adults as main characters.

          I shouldn’t be surprised when people say a lot of nonsense and only a few makes sense here.

    • Don’t act all high and mighty. You might think it’s not important, and maybe a lot of people think so too, but it’s not because it’s unimportant, that it doesn’t need to be pointed out.

      For example, kids can quarrel about who’s at fault. It’s not important, but it doesn’t mean that there’s no one right or wrong.

      If these people feel the need to straighten the definition of RPG up, because it’s their hobby, and it’s relevant to their interest, then let them do it, even though you don’t care, and just like to play games.

        • Everybody bashing Bioware for not being unsuccesful with games FF fans dont like. And they have the courage to say that FF is not an RPG! As it would matter. Dont take it as a personal insult, these “what is a RPG and what is not” discussions dont say that JRPGs are bad, it just says that they are not RPGs. Thats all, deal with it – its truth, and dont blame Bioware for making games they like and people enjoy.

        • Bioware’s just another generic Western game developer nowadays, they’re not special at all. They got arrogant after a few successes, but in actuality all of their games are going to be similar to every other Western company’s games sooner or later, they just think they’re some sort of authority on RPGs. Dragon Age is basically a button mashing action game, and every Western developer is already copying the same system as Mass Effect, and they already sold their game engine for Neverwinters Night to other companies, which is why Obsidian was chosen to make the sequels for NWN and KOTOR.

      • Yes, this shit again.

        By the way: “The purest of RPGs in computer gaming are titles such as Elite. You can role play as a trader, a pirate, a bounty hunter, a bastard, or whatever.”

        Really? I just remember GRINDING FOR ITENS AND LEVELS! Not to mention in the Elder Scrolls series leveling doesn’t give you the sensation of power, instead, the enemies just become harder to kill, even the wolfs…

        • @NeverSleep

          Have you ever actually played Elite? “You can role play as a trader, a pirate, a bounty hunter, a bastard, or whatever.” couldn’t possibly be more true. And this opens up all kinds of options for playing the game:

          Don’t like fighting/haven’t got the weapons? Buy lots of stock from a planet that is selling it cheap, sell to a planet in low demand. Use the money to buy weapons.

          Don’t like following orders to earn money? Just shoot down the nearest ship and loot it.

          Shot down a ship and suddenly have a shitload of people hunting you down? Flee, dock in the nearest spaceport, and try to get the law on your side.

          Basically, if you’re “grinding for items and levels” in Elite, you’re doing it wrong. Of course, you can grind in Elite if you want to. Elite is a “true” RPG, far more than nearly every RPG since. (And it’s overdue for a remake.)

          Of course, that doesn’t mean modern RPGs aren’t fun; just that you have less of a choice in most. And really, how much fun a game is should be your primary reason for buying it, regardless of whether it’s a linear story or hundreds of different possible branching scenarios.

          I really shouldn’t post when I’m drunk.

        • Thats because if someone wants to play real RPG, like for example Fallout was, he has to go through ten millions of FF clones, 3D shooters and other complete game trash that are all labeled RPG to find one decent RPG that deserves to be called RPG.
          Common practice is to stick and “RPG” label to everything to pump up sales, because RPGs are so popular, arent they? Its lie and should be considered scam. At least Red Dead Redemtion is not called RPG by their authors.

        • I find it funny that during the 90s there was none of this kind of bullshit chest puffery. But now that western rpgs have become more popular than JRPGs, it’s like “oh yea FF? That’s not an RPG!! THIS is an RPG!!”

          It’s pretty pathetic..

        • The term of RPG in the video games has very little to do with actual role-playing, Its more of an emulation of the old table-top games in video game form. Meaning the fights are indeed in TURN BASED FORM and most importantly you have stats and youre hits always have dice rolls, this is why Fallout 3 is RPG instead of a shooter, even if you aim dead center to the head you might miss a shot.

          The part if events are scripted or not has very little to do with anything, im pretty sure theres not alot of interaction in ultima games (Note: I’ve never played them but i’ve seen them been played and I have heard about them) but no-ones denying that theyre RPGs. While JRPGs havent evolved much in terms of gameplay, I think theyre just trying to keep the more traditional Video Game RPGs alive. While you can have stats on your sthooter its not automatically an RPG unless your accuracy is also random (like in Fallout 3).

          And yes there are games that are labelled as RPGs that are not that but guess who’s doing it? Motherfucking americans once again. For example Borderlands is a shooter with rpg elements such as stats, but its still a fucking shooter no matter how you slice it. Its not a bad thing at all but thats example of unrightfully labelling your game as something its not. Ive personally yet to see a game from the east that is called an rpg without it beeing an rpg in those exact terms.

        • Anon 07:22, you are fucking retarded. Do you know what an RPG is? It’s a fucking role-playing game, where you play as a character that’s not you. In BioShock, you play as Jack, and unlike Japanese RPG’s of late, the story and everything actually changes because of your actions, and it doesn’t follow one set script. In this vein, Half-Life is also an RPG, even though it’s a shooter, get it?

        • bioshock as an rpg, hahahhh the guy that said this is fucking retarded, since when a shooter its rpg, he is just stupid, why e doesnt mention kngiths of the old republic, mass effect or scott pilgrim, nooooo he just wants the easy out.


        • Ultima, Dungeons and Dragons, Wizardry and Akalbeth created the RPG genre.

          Without it there would be no RPG. Not only that they introduced those who created Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy to the genre

        • Half of the games he mentioned are from the 90´s therefore they are not stone age.

          and the other half exist before Final Fantasy

          WRPG’s are the genre that started the RPG itself, hell Ultima 3 (or was it 4, I can’t remember) is a British game and was the first JRPG ever made.

          Just because final fantasy introduced people to the genre does not mean they are RPG’s.

          they are not.

          Ultima 1 is an RPG, Wizardry is an RPG, Baldur’s Gate is an RPG.

          Final Fantasy and Dragon quest are not

        • No one wants to play those shitty, stone aged “games”.

          A “jrpg” isn’t even a term. Console RPGs evolved completely differently because of restrictions brought upon the machine’s power in the old days, making structure a requirement.

          While they don’t fit the classical RPG description, the RPG has evolved in different directions, and what we see as modern day “jrpgs” is just one of them, an evolution of the classic styled console RPG.

        • U MAD, weaboo faggot? You obviously never saw a true rpg, so you have nothing to compare. Play Fallout (1 or 2, not that new crap) or Planescape, or just good old pen&paper rpg’s like Warhammer or D&D. You will feel the difference.

        • you lost me when i read titles like final fantasy and dragon quest that introduced most of us to the friggin genre in the first place are not rpgs.

          whoever wrote that editorial should’ve been fired on the spot, coz clearly he doesnt know what the hell he’s talking about. the guy’s probably just trying to sound smart and looking for some controversy.

        • I think the main point of argument got lost somewhere between the thrashing at each other’s good points on what served their regional preferences.
          I like lolis, you like errr…. big guns.
          End of story.

          Btw, LOLed at K-ON! vs FFVI

  • MetalGearFlaccid says:

    No matter what you call them, I still enjoy JRPGs. Even if they come up with a new name for them, they’ll still be there to enjoy and play. Why do we insist that the games we like have to be restricted within the name of a genre?

    I mean, yes, the term JRPG does bring certain gameplay styles and story tropes to mind and is a good way to get an idea of a game before playing it, but do we need to call them RPGs? Why do we all get so defensive when people point out the fact that these games are barely RPGs in the textbook sense of the word? Will a title really affect the entertainment value of the game in the end?

    I do somewhat agree with the argument, too. Technically, what we like to call these so-called “Japanese Role-Playing Games” are nearly anything but (except for the Japanese part.) The only thing that seem to relate at all to the Role-Playing concepts are stats (in plenty of other genres), item collection (ditto), and character interaction (ditto II: the son of ditto). These games we love really aren’t at all RPGs. They may have evolved from early RPGs (Wizardry, Dragon Quest I, Dungeons and Dragons), but they don’t really fit the mold. But that’s FINE. WHY DO WE CARE?

    In conclusion, we need to stop bitching when people challenge the idea of calling J”RPG”s RPGs. Just play them and have fun; don’t worry about what to call them.

    /self-righteous rant

    • Perfectly sane opinion. I agree. Saying JRPGs are not RPGs doesnt mean that you shoudnt enjoy it. But the classification of genre should be clear. Because JRPGs and WRPGs are clearly two different game styles but both are labeled RPG in shops/magazines/statistics etc. So if I like classical RPGs and I go to the shop looking for one – they present you brand new Final Fantasy because it is an RPG! Thats why these guys who wrote the article rant. Not because they want to prove that they play better games or that JRPGs are bad.