My Love Of JRPGs Is Dying
I very nearly titled this article, "My Love Of JRPGs Is Dead" but I have to admit, I might be interested in the upcoming Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, and I have enjoyed a few recent titles like Atelier Totori: Adventurer of Arland.
But there's no doubt that my adoration of the sub-genre is on life support. During the PS1 era, I was all about RPGs. That also included some WRPGs on PC like Baldurs Gate, Diablo, Icewindale, Heroes of Might & Magic, etc., but for the most part, I just wanted my JRPGs. I wanted every Final Fantasy, I wanted the Suikoden, Wild ARMs, Saga Frontier, and Breath of Fire franchises. I wanted Legend of Legaia, Legend of Dragoon, Legend of Mana, and even Granstream Saga. I wanted anything Squaresoft made, from Vagrant Story to Chrono Cross to Threads of Fate to Xenogears. I wanted RPGs and most of 'em were Japanese.
And despite branching out big time in the PS2 generation, I still needed my JRPG fix. I still loved the FFs, Dragon Quest VIII, and the Shadow Hearts titles. Nowadays, however, I can't remember the last time I was excited about the release of a JRPG, nor can I remember the last one I actually finished. I suppose you can count Final Fantasy XIII-2 but in looking at the nightmare that appears to be Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, this year's FF may be the last one I ever complete. And beyond that, here's a painful fact that I've had to accept- JRPGs just aren't very good anymore. The developers are lagging so far behind the rest of the world and it's painfully obvious. It's just really difficult to acknowledge.
If Square Enix hadn't lost its collective mind, I could've counted on Final Fantasy to keep my love alive. But obviously, that just isn't going to happen (and I've given up hope that it might). This all being said, however, the only classics I really want to go back and play are JRPGs. Why? Not just because of nostalgia, but because they offer a style of gameplay that really is dead, fancy technology or no. As for future JRPGs, I fear that I've dropped out of the fan group...perhaps forever.
11/11/2012 10:01:25 PM Ben Dutka