Musings Of A Mad Hatter: Japanese Love
JRPG’s are a weird breed of gaming. They’re just a massive mass of convolution and wide-eyed Japanese girls with squeaky voices and dudes that look like ladies. Their stories are sometimes just stupid or stem into the Hurr-Durr field of idiocy and just leave you there scratching your head or laughing the floor off just because of the sheer Derp of it all. There is sexual tension in every JRPG that has been ever made. Even if there wasn’t, it’s usually the player that constantly fawns over a certain female or even the male if they’re into dudes that look like ladies and stuff. JRPG’s are weird.
And that’s why I love them.
See, my first JRPG I’ve ever played (well, Pokemon was the very first, but that doesn’t count really) was Final Fantasy VIII. At first I felt like a trauma victim that has been thrown into a ring of wolves fighting over a rainbow Hello Kitty backpack and every second bark sounds like “I see…” Basically I was weirded out by the game because I had absolutely no idea what was going on. Turned-based combat was entirely new for me and I was still getting used to the mechanics of it all. After I got the hang of it, I just fell in love. The story had me so engrossed and pulled in and the characters with all their different personalities became like friends to me. That was the start of my love for JRPG’s.
Throughout the consecutive years of gaming I was searching for what I would call the “Next FF VIII” Something that had me so pulled in that I loved every minute of it. There have been quite a few failed attempts like Star Ocean: The Last Hope that just royally pissed me off with its inane dialogue and idiotic storyline. Then there was Infinite Undiscovery that just basically took all the clichés from every JRPG ever and just put them all into one game with no endearing quality about it. It was just horribly done. Some of these games actually made me consider just giving up the genre altogether, but then you got those glimmers of hope.
The first one was Lost Odyssey. Oh my damn that game was just all sorts of win. It had me near tears, laughing my ass off and challenged me as a gamer in one beautiful package. I never played a game that had me as engaged as that game in my life and I’m not even kidding. My heart was broken into pieces when my Disk 4 didn’t work at all (If you give me a working Disk 4 I will revere you as my own personal god and make you a shrine with pieces of your hair) and I didn’t have the chance to conclude the epic adventure.
The second one was Tales of Vesperia. It was this odd game I just picked up for cheap one day and started playing. I didn’t enjoy it. The obligatory starting village had me bored to tears and the characters didn’t interest me at all. I put it away on my shelf and it just laid there for a few months. Then one day when I had no more new games to play I decided to give it another go. The result was a magical and interesting experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
I’m a rare type of gamer that can actually tolerate JRPG’s. Not many gamers have the patience and determination that comes with JRPG’s because they can be shit hard at times. JRPG’s are an acquired taste. They’re like that soda that kinda tastes like shit, but you have so much of it that you start liking it after a while. They’re like the taste of a cigarette that you smoke for the first time. You get used to all the little quips and little girls with abnormally short skirts. They can either be magical or completely shit dependent on the game.
If you have tons of free time then you should really try out the genre and see if you like it because I promise that you will find at least one game that you would fall in love with.