JRPGs You Should Have Played
As I’ve established in my column, I’m a big fan of JRPGs and would love other people to also get engrossed into the genre as I have because it really is a magical genre to be a fan of and many, many hours of fun (and grinding) can be had. There are certain JRPGs that stand out from the crowd that even the more conventional gamers enjoyed, like Lost Odyssey and Final Fantasy VII, but then you get those hidden gems that nobody, or even just a few people played. We need to stop looking at JRPGs as stupid generic big-eyed squeaky girls infused games and just give them a chance to wow us. Here are a few JRPGs that surprised me.
Nier is a weird type of game. It’s an Action RPG in its core, but you can almost taste the Japanese influence that it had. So I’m classifying it as a JRPG and screw you if you disagree with me. Nier was excruciatingly mediocre with mediocre graphics, gameplay, designs, combat etcetera etcetera, but it had something a lot of games don’t have. Charm. Yes, charm. The story is so humble in its presentation that you can’t help but just love it. The constant humouristic bickering of your companion (who is a book, I know I can’t make this shit up) made you feel so comfortable and included and the story of a brooding father who is fighting for his daughter’s health made you sympathetic towards the events that happened in the game.
This is the core of any great JRPG. No matter how shit the gameplay is, if the story is good enough then you won’t even care. Ultimately that’s all the really matters. Nier is a budget game, sure, but it’s one that you won’t regret playing. Once you get past the mediocrity and just allow yourself to be immersed by the story then you can have one hell of a time.
I picked this game up in a random shop somewhere in the middle of nowhere for next to nothing. The boxart alone attracted me to buy it (dem jugs) and I’m not at all disappointed with what I got. MagnaCarta2 did something that I didn’t think possible. A JRPG with all the JRPG clichés that was actually good. The game was aesthetically pleasing and the combat was mountains of fun and the story (even with a bit of convolution thrown in at the end) was engrossing and engaging.
MagnaCarta2 is truly a JRPG worth your time and if you don’t like turned-based combat then I have good news for you. The combat is fast-paced and incredibly pleasing. You have super combos and intense cutscene-esque super moves that make you feel near invincible. It’s truly a marvel to play.
Tales of Vesperia
I often herald Tales of Vesperia as my “holy shit it’s actually good” game. I played it for about four hours before becoming bored shitless and just leaving it to gather dust for months. I went back to it when I had no new games to play and I enjoyed myself immensely. Once again like the other two games on the list, it was the story that pulled me in and made me want to play this game even more. The cartoony visuals were fantastic once you got out of the starting village (there’s always a goddamn starting village) and the combat was always fun and even a bit innovative.
The cutscenes were presented in a typical anime art style and were amazing to watch. Any fan of anime would just adore Tales of Vesperia to bits and rightfully so.
Final Fantasy VIII
Final Fantasy VII was a benchmark for the series and many gamers regard it as one of their best games of all time, but the sequel was strangely forgotten. Final Fantasy VIII was an amazing game and my personal favourite JRPG of all time. I often ask people if they have ever played Final Fantasy VIII and the answer is almost always no, but the people that have indeed played it shower it with praise and love. The story was such a marvel to behold and one that would stand the test of time. From the love interest to the impending doom, it was all very exciting. If you’re one of the gamers that played this then I commend you and wish you were my friend.
I put this entry in just for the lulz, but seriously, Dragon’s Dogma is a good game. It parades itself as a Western RPG, but seriously this game is a JRPG in its heart. It has a starting village (there’s always a goddamn starting village) and some pretty fucking weird dialogue. One of the newest games out there, but one surely worth your time. If you do indeed play it then be sure to stick around for New Game+ because that’s where it gets insanely fun. The criticism that you can’t fast travel disappears entirely because you can place fast travel stones anywhere you’d like and the stones you need to teleport to those stones are very cheap to procure. Not to mention you can fight the Ur-Dragon that is the most epic boss I have ever had the pleasure to fight. If you love both Western and Japanese RPG’s then just go play it.
All these games do have valid criticisms and I get that, but all of these games have charm and that’s all you need in a game really. JRPGs are an acquired taste and some people will always just hate them, but if you offer your time and patience then you can have one magical ride. Even if you don’t there’s always the option to add the game’s title in a Google search box and add the word hentai.