Personally I got into Japanese RPGs because they looked fucking cool and had good music (for the most part). Most of that stays true to my current perception of them so I can still enjoy playing Final Fantasy now a days. Unfortunately I would say it’s the time that gets me now, as well as priorities; I’d rather play guitar for three hours with my friends than battle monsters in a video game for the same amount of time.
I have too been starting to get bored of JRPGs.
Despite it being japanese, it’s why I bought Etrian Odyssey. I needed a good ol’ Wizardry-style difficult game to kick me back in the rear.
I still enjoy JRPGs. I’m far more interested in a well-developed story than open-ended gameplay, so that’s me right there. 8p
I agree that Rogue Galaxy, while it had a few things going for it, ended up being an overall mess. There just didn’t seem any point to it. WA5 had a similar effect for me, though on a much smaller scale (WA5 does have an excellent game in there, it just seems to have a hard time banging on the box, screaming to be let out).
Planescape: Torment, etc.
JRPGs are more sensitive in the way they handle characters and their relationships. American RPGs have more elaborate and interesting systems of gameplay.
Compare FF7 to Baldur’s Gate II. Obviously, the Cloud and Aeris/Tifa relationships are handled more delicately than the Jaheira/Viconia/Aerie romances in Baldur’s Gate II. Cloud’s psychosis is a hundred times more convincing than the BG2 protagonist’s having strange dreams/becoming the Slayer thing. On the other hand, FF7’s battle and leveling systems are boring, compared to the complex advancement system in BG2 (based on AD&D rules). FF7 is better as drama; BG2 is better as interactive experience.
I think there are cultural reasons, why we as Americans tend to move away from “sensitive” games toward “systematically complex” games. Most Americans are not exactly emotionally sensitive, and those who are often have sensitivity weeded out of them. (“congrats you’re not a 10 year old anymore. now get over anime too.”) On the other hand, that non-emotionality lends itself well to the cool, rational analysis that’s needed to play American RPGs effectively. Also, what we lose in sensitivity of interactions, we gain in diversity of experiences – we like to encounter a bit of everything and everyone, rather than cultivate deep connections between a handful of characters.
I don’t think JRPGs or American RPGs are better. If you’re not enjoying one or the other, you’re probably coming at it from the wrong mindset.
While we’re talking about interesting systems, I once had an idea for a game with a triangular alignment system, based around the fact that the main character, in a Disgaea or Overlord-style “demon emperor” position, loves messing with peoples’ heads: in addition to “good” points and “evil” points, there’s “trickster” points, which you get primarily for your motivation for your choices instead of the choices themselves (i.e. helping a guy specifically because he expects you to kill him, instead of just for the hell of it). This would certainly provide at least one extra possibility besides “Mother Theresa” and “baby-eater.”
I play both equally, these days, though I dread playing BG2 again (Yeah, I don’t appreciate having to go through a whole crapload of installs that need to be done in an exact order or stuff breaks).
Different games when I’m in a different mood (for instance, in stuff like BG2/Morrowind you’re not limited to being good - you CAN be evil if you want, whereas in jRPGs, you’re forced into being good.)
Good, bad, whatever. Radiata Stories was ridiculously fun.
I don’t know. On the one hand, I have enjoyed Western RPG’s like Oblivion, Arcanum, PS:T, and Baldur’s Gate, but on the other hand, every time I play them, I always go back to my jRPG’s. Like Pokemon. I always go back to pokemon. No idea why, but there it is. I’ve also recently picked up DQM. So I dunno, maybe I just don’t like too much freedom (I’m looking on you Oblivion :().
For me this subject is a little hard for me to describe my personal opinion.On one side I throughly enjoy both genres(I incline more to JRPGs than WRPGs),but on the other I can clearly see what the complains of the people seem to be in both genres,let me try to describe my personal opinion on both.
1.Linear story:ok sure I know that most if not all JRPGs have a very linear story,but if you think about it WRPGs do too,in many WRPGs I have play give you choices and all that,but does it really change the overall story?sure many times you can be evil or good but you still fight the same enemies,and many times progress the same story,you get a different ending,different characters but many of them give you the same gameplay expirience.
2.Characters:In JRPGs you get characters and sure they may have many of the same cliches we have seen over and over again,but at least they try to develope them(some more sucessful than others)on the other hand WRPGs most of the time have the Lone hero trying to save the world(Elder Scrolls),and others you have characters that once you help them or something join you but do nothing to add to the story they just help you until they die(Fallout)Of course I know that this doesn’t apply to all games is just what I have seen,in this case I rather have characters that add to the story and my have the same cliches than no characters at all.
3Gameplay:Now this is something that is really a matter of opinion do you like the menu base system of many JRPGs,or more of the point and click of many WRPGs,I’m just generallizing here since not all games have the same gameplay style but I think you all get the idea that when you think JRPG one thinks FF or DQ,while one thinks WRPGs one thinks Fallout or Baldur’s Gate.For me I’m not very fond of point and click rpgs.
For me,the most important thing I have in my mind when playing a game is to have and open and fresh mind,each game is an unique expirience in each own,and cannot be compared to one another.That is what I try to do with Every game that I own and would like to play,that way I can play and enjoy many games that many others think suck,but even doing this they are games that I detest and think are just bad.Also once the game is over I think:What were the faults of this game,what did it do good,what did I like,what I didn’t like and that way I can try and give an honest opinion to somebody who is interested on the game in question.
Going into Blue Dragon expecting an ‘old’ JRPG experience was a bad idea from the start. It’s very, very childish in style, and should feel more like you’re watching your favorite action cartoon from when you were little. If you expected a typical “Epic and tries to make you rethink your life” type of game out of Blue Dragon, you were doomed to hate it from the start.