You can join me in the corner there for a cry-off.
You can join me in the corner there for a cry-off.
I'm not big into JRPGs and every time I tried to play the widely acclaimed Final Fantasy games I just left them off due to boredom.
But since everyone seems to be listing their favorite games of the genre, heh, why not:
Lufia 2(SNES): You don't need to play the original. And it's a far better game than 1. Enemies are on the map and you just walk up to them to fight them(instead of the Walk X steps for random encounter crap), there's some mini-puzzles and hard puzzles in dungeons, combat is a bit hit or miss sometimes... I enjoyed it overall, played it on 2009.
Breath of Fire IV(PS1): This one's quite cheesy but entertaining I should say. While the maps are in 3D the character sprites are in isometric 2D. The combat has some really interesting combo-ING techniques, which later on you'll find you have to rely on them to even beat enemies because the difficulty has some interesting pacing! Plus, the protagonist has an interesting technique for when the situation needs it. :)
I use the word interesting too much.
Last edited by DarioSamo; 06-05-2012 at 05:53 PM.
The Last Remnant and the Ys games that are starting to appear on Steam are about your only options on PC. If you want good JRPGs, go buy a DS, you'll be much better served by it.
If you have a decent PC, as you should, pretty much everything from NES to the PS2-Wii+DS era are playable on emulators. Hell, I'd say they're way, way better experiences on emulators, since you can actually call on your graphics card to do higher resolution renderings even the PS3 compatibility mode can't do.
Actual recs depend on two things : do you like quirky, creative things, or do you like a more cinematic dramatic experience? Also, can you read Japanese? Recs will vary wildly between this, because, ah, Japan, so many interesting things never left your shores. (The entire PSP catalogue, for one thing. The PSP > DS for RPGs+Adventure games right now, seriously, but none of that is probably ever go to leave Japan.)
To stay on the safe side : I'd recommend the Persona + Kuzunoha Raidou series to anyone. Last Remnant is actually quite good on the PC. Shadow Hearts 2 is also rather wonderful, although it might not make as much sense without the less-than-stellar SH1. If you're interested in horror, the Siren games are a must. Also, Terranigma. And Sora no Kiseki...Trails of the Sky, IIRC? That one is wonderful. It starts off looking more cookie-cutter than the rest of these recs, but it's actually....good.
For RPG-ish strategy, there's Fire Emblem (my favourite things that side of the ocean) and Tactics Ogre, or the Disgaea series if you're feeling quirky. For crafting RPGs, there's Atelier. IIRC one of the DS ones were translated.
If you're really looking for strictly PC ports, however.....er, there actually are a couple, but I think Last Remnant, FF7 and FF8 and whichever Ys is on Steam are the only ones in English. (I like Ys a lot, btw, but it's a bit of acquired taste for me.) Seriously, Japanese PC ports tend to be shitty. They don't get the PC much. Falcom's about the only company making RPGs up from scratch for the PC, and I think they've switched to the PSP now with their new releases. Oh yeah, and there's Recettear, too.
Or you can go the indie route and go play Cave Story/Yume Nikki/go sift through the gigantic list of JPN indie rpgs. They're rather interesting. More 'To the Moon'-ish and less FF-ish, to be frank.
Bah! My blog is fulla bollox! What? Don't believe me?Here! Just look at it!
One thing I don't get about JRPGs is that I invariably get bored of them. Ok, I'm not alone in that, but the thing is when I get bored of them. I play and enjoy them all the way through and always get bored of them right before the last boss. You know, I could play for five more minutes and finish the game, but I very rarely can be bothered. While I've played many JRPGs, I've seen very few JRPG endings (notwithstanding the ones I watched my brother finish as a kid). I don't know why I have such a block against finishing JRPGs.
(Though I think it might be because I always feel like I should be as powerful as I can be before the final confrontation, which means that there's an awful lot of grinding to be done before I feel ready for that fight, which means the bit before the final boss is the most boring part.)
"Moronic cynicism is a kind of na´vetÚ. It's na´vetÚ turned inside-out. Na´vetÚ wearing a sneer." -Momus
turn based betrayal at krondor from back in the day on pc was great. you can get it on gog for like $6. its graphics are old school but i still have friends that play through it at least once a year.
coming up is Divinity: Original Sin for pc as well that goes back to its more old school roots and uses a turn based combat system in a top down view compared to its more action based 3d games that have released lately. it also ships with an editor the same one the game makers are supposedly using as well. it doesn't come out until march of 2013 though. but looking forward to it for sure.
Grandia 2 is available for PC and Dreamcast. It's a JRPG with nice colourful graphics, a brilliant soundtrack, and is exceptionally well localized into english. It's also got a very unique turn-based combat engine that determines the order of who attacks when.
JRPGs usually make me cringe but this one is gold.
Betrayal at Krondor is an American game!
Golden Sun is probably my second favourite franchise after PokÚmon, all three are great JRPGs.
Whatever you do, play Chrono Trigger. It was my first RPG and I didn't even know how famous it was the first time I played it. I thought "whoa those guys look like Dragon Ball Z" when my young self picked up the title at a local rental store. Heck I didn't even like RPG's until I actually tried a good one out. The story has so much character and it's still a gaming classic.
I would also recommend playing Final Fantasy X on the PS2 (or emulator) but that one is a contentious title for some reasons I'm sure others will cite when they say to avoid it. I liked and and I'm playing it again with my wife and still enjoying the story and characters. She doesn't even like video games all that much (prefers to watch the stories) and she likes the game. I'm sure we can all agree Rikku is annoying though so I won't fight anyone there.
List of great JRPGs:
they do have some nice turn based strategy games though.
YOOOO SHUB NIGGURATHS WUT UP! Kilometrik reporting from this here forsaken corner of the jungle, keeping it real.
I've seen a couple of good recommendations in this thread. Mostly the cannonic classics, though. I come here with some off-beat, left field recommendations!
Fisrt and foremost do yourself a favor and play the father slaying, mother fornicating and sister torturing Shin Megami Tensei series. I've seen it recommended a few times by a couple of dudes but they never recommed the older games because they are noobzorz. I've been playing this series ever since the translation patch for the SNES' games became available.
The SMT (Shin Megami Tensei, or, Reincarnation of the new Godess) series are a long series of crazy hard dungeon crawlers set in modern (or relatively modern) day Tokyo in which some sort of occult and farily crazy sect always lurks behind the politics and modern tecnological trappings of current japan. Politicians are secretly Odin in disguise, your party members are gods and demons and you must fuse your dying dog with a demon for it to live again. Most of the classic games have a negotiation system in which you can talk normal monster encounters to death.
They are balls hard and rarely have a traditional story or even the traditional trappings of a jRPG besides some aspects of the gameplay. Even better, most offer you multiple endings! The combat system is usually deep as FORK and, believe me, you will DIE. SMT I has a really clunky inerface but as i assume most here have played older PC games, it should be no problem.
SMT II, however, improves on all things what SMT I did and offers an even crazier story. Supposedly, at the end of SMT I, you did something that caused most of the greater gods and demons to die, if you chose the cannonical path, and you now live in a cyberpunk, dystopic, future in which the remaining godless angels, humans and devilless demons coexist in mega cities of insurmountable complexity. Word on the streets, however, is that the Angels have a secret organization with which they are trying to build a ressurected, mechanical, god to fill in the void. CRAZY STUFF HAPPENS. The game is father forking great.
Now for the ones available in english for the PS1. Persona 1 and 2. Persona 1 and 2 are incredibly good games but they are more in line with the traditional jRPG than mainline SMT games with a linear story and set party. That doesn't mean the story is bad though as it is balls to the wall wierd. In this world there are occult rituals which can grant you the ability to manifest your personality in the real world as a physical entity, these entities are called Personas, and are a source of great power. Some people abuse this powers for wrong and some do not. In the first game, the important thing is the story, which, i assure you, is good enough to play the whole game for, because the gameplay is a clunk fest of boredom. The second game, Persona 2, which was divided in 2 different games, is miles better and worth playing all of it simply because it's awesome.
Persona 1 and 2 are games about hidden meanings, the occult and paranoia. In modern day Tokyo, nothing, and i mean, NOTHING is as it seems. The paranoid delusions of crazy people who believed the Mayans were realy the MAIANS, a race of aliens from the Maian constellation, can become true. Hitler may return to life being secretly controlled by Nyarlatothep and rumors can become reality all thanks to an urban legend about a Hitma, who is suspected by some of being a Persona User, that will any person you want him to kill, provided you text him the name of the person you want dead. If you like the paranoia and crazy stories of writers like Grant Morrison and Thomas Pynchon, you will love this games.
The rest of the games are that exist in english are available for PS2 and DS and have been talked about already.
For two other games which i quiet like i'll recommend Valkyrie Profile and Earthbound.
Valkyrie profile is a unique blend between platforming, exploration and Turn based fighting mechanics. THe game is available for PS1 and is about the final war of the Ragnarok, which is coming soon. You are a valkyrie, Lenneth, which has been recently waken from her sleep to travel to Midgard and Recruit the souls of dead soldiers to fight for the gods in this battle. When you reach earth you are free to go anywhere you want. When you reach a town, and IF the town contains the soul of a recently deceased warrior, you will see how he died and collect his soul. For him to follow you you must solve his quest and help him find peace. There are about 125 different warriors, each with a unique quest you must solve and you CAN'T get them all in one playthrough. There are 3 endings and since you can only do a limited number of quests per chapter no playthrough can be the same.
The game has also incredibly well designed dungeons with lots of side scrolling platforming but once you touch an enemy the game becomes turn based instead with a really unique battle system in which each button press is maped to a party member and, depending on which skills you've taught to that party member, he will attack. You must syncronize each party member attack in order to fight effectively and rack up damage. Once your turn is over the enemy attacks.
And then there is Earthbound. A crazy, CRAZY jRPG for the SNES set in some sort of modern day world in which crazy hippies attack you on the streets and a Psychich fly from the future grants you psychich powers to try and stop an alien invasion!. The game has a pretty tactical combat with an innovative mechanic in which your hp rolls down with every attack, as if it were a slot machine, but since it takes time to roll down if you are skilled navigating menus then you can stop the slot by healing in time. The game is great and fun and the sequel for the GBA (recently translated due to a patch) is even better.
And as for other eastern asian games... GO FOR ALL OF CLOVER STUDIO'S CATALOGUEEEE!!! Once upon a time, when brilliant minds still worked at Crapcom, they al bande together to work on real games for awesome people. Shinji Mikami (RE creator), Hideki Kamiya (DMC and Bayonetta creator) and others got together and decided to make the best action games the world has ever seen. From that unholy union came Viewtiful Joe 1 and 2, God Hand and Okami. All these games were godly and awesome and you owe to yourself to play them if you like fast-paced and amphetamine-fueled romps of awesomeness (word of warning, these games, with the exception of Okami, are also so hard they hurt).
And with this unberably long post, i'm gone.