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Topic: General JRPG Thread

Posts 81 to 100 of 254

VoidofLight

Also, I finished Persona 5 Royal about a week or two ago, and it was pretty great honestly. Not as good of a story as 4 was, but I still enjoyed it. I'm now currently playing through Bravely Default II. I find that one a bit too grindy, but I'm going to try and see it through to the end.

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TheJGG

@VoidofLight True but it's not as easy as saying any roleplaying game made in Japan is a JRPG per se. There's specific things that define them like heavy emphasis on narrative (and Pokémon), turn-based combat (or nowadays like Kingdom Hearts and Xenoblade prove, real-time), and characters. In my opinion Miitopia doesn't have typical JRPG elements , because of the heavy emphasis on Miis in the story, and all. In looking it up it has more RPG elements as I thought.

Even so the argument isn't completely... void. Ghost of Tsushima for instance isn't a JPRG because it was developed by a Western studio, and has a very Western feel to it. There's a lot of emphasis on graphics and scenery instead of story and characters, though I like Jin Sakai's character so far.

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VoidofLight

@TheJGG True. JRPG's usually have deeper mechanics, and Miitopia is pretty shallow on that aspect, with you controlling your main character only, and having more limited movesets.

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Dezzy

VoidofLight wrote:

@TheJGG Aren't JRPG's Japanese Roleplaying Games? So if the game's made in Japan, and it's a RPG, then it's automatically a JRPG right?

This is a long-running point of contention. People don't agree whether JRPG is the description of a country of origin (i.e any RPG made in Japan), or if it's a description of a particular style of game.

By analogy, think of examples of food. "English muffin", "French bread", "New York Cheesecake". They all mean a specific type of food. They don't mean any muffin/bread/cheesecake that was made in those places.

Edited on by Dezzy

It's dangerous to go alone! Stay at home.

VoidofLight

@Dezzy Ah. That’s true as well.

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Magician

@TheJGG @VoidofLight

Yeah typically jrpg is a term for command, turn-based rpgs.

Japan's attempt to streamline and digitize the tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons.

Switch Physical Collection - 802 games (as of October 2nd, 2021)
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jump

Yeah, I'd consider it a genre rather than a place of orgin. Like the South Park games are (fantastic) JRPGs despite not being from Japan.

Nicolai wrote:

Alright, I gotta stop getting into arguments with jump. Someone remind me next time.

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jump

Has anyone played Phantom Brave: The Hermuda Triangle Remastered & Soul Nomad & the World Eaters and does it hold up today? I've just seen a "Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 1" so a pair of SRPG on one cart sounds cool but I'm not that familiar with them.

Edited on by jump

Nicolai wrote:

Alright, I gotta stop getting into arguments with jump. Someone remind me next time.

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Zeldafan79

Hey guys here's a question for you. What's a really good modern RPG that you are almost as fond of as say Chrono trigger, Earthbound or some of the other old school greats from the 16-bit era?

Does anything come to mind? What game today would you say matches the greatness of those?

"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" Optimus Prime

jump

@Zeldafan79 Persona is today’s high standard but tbh I’m not sure what you’re looking for. It sounds like you want a JRPG which is similar to your nostalgic memories of the old skool rather than a modern JRPG.

Nicolai wrote:

Alright, I gotta stop getting into arguments with jump. Someone remind me next time.

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Snaplocket

@jump I've honestly never liked Persona even though I enjoyed Digital Devil Saga, SMT IV and SMT IV Apocalypse immensely. As in, all three of these are among my favorite games on their respective consoles.

On a side note, what does anyone think of the upcoming Pokemon Switch RPGs? I personally think they both look dreadful.

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Buizel

Snaplocket wrote:

On a side note, what does anyone think of the upcoming Pokemon Switch RPGs? I personally think they both look dreadful.

I don't think I've seen enough to form a solid opinion, but my initial thoughts:

1. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are safe remakes, so they'll probably at least be decent. My concern is whether they will model these more on the original Diamond and Pearl, or whether they'll take the improvements from Platinum. If the former - Platinum may remain the definitive way to play these games, if the latter, this could be the definitive version of Sinnoh. I don't mind the overworld style - it's actually the in-battle graphics that bother me more. Personally I don't think DPPt really needed remakes - they're the first games in the series that feel fairly modern by Pokemon standards IMO.

2. I think we've seen too little to say - we know little more than the concept itself, and we don't really know how representative the footage is of the final game. That said, I don't fall in either camp of "this is the best thing ever" and "Game Freak will epically fail" - I'm expected to see a decent but potentially flawed attempt at something new that will have its own fans. Personally I'm not expecting to like it more than traditional Pokemon, but I'm open to the idea.

Zeldafan79 wrote:

Hey guys here's a question for you. What's a really good modern RPG that you are almost as fond of as say Chrono trigger, Earthbound or some of the other old school greats from the 16-bit era?

Does anything come to mind? What game today would you say matches the greatness of those?

Have you tried Octopath Traveller? Or Dragon Quest XI?

Edited on by Buizel

Previously "timleon" and "HunterLeon"

Currently playing: who can keep track anymore.

TheJGG

@Slowdive @Zeldafan79 Good timing, I'm actually playing the game right now. I've played it twice, but I've restarted, and have entered Gondolia, just a minute ago. It really evokes the feeling of travelling the world, and experiencing different cultures. It's a really cool feeling.

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Snaplocket

@timleon "Dreadful" might be too harsh a word but after consistently underdelivering on Switch time and time again, I just can't star positive. Also, people said the exact same thing about Sword and Shield's initial trailer and look how the final game turned out.

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Zeldafan79

@timleon
I've been highly considering Octopath.

"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" Optimus Prime

TheJGG

Absolutely @Slowdive. It's like a 50 hour atlas, or a 50 hour field trip. It's a truly beautiful experience. The voice work hits this feeling home, the region and country accents are perfect. That, combined with the stunning architectural diversity, makes you feel like you're actually in Nepal, Italy, Cambodia and more.

The narrative is very episodic but isn't repetitive at all. It's my third playthrough but it's still very fresh. The emotional capacity is similar to a Disney film, and I'll go and say it now, this is like a Disney Renaissance movie, but as a video game. I criticised it in the past for having repetitive music but because it's orchestrated it's a bit easier on the ears.

I wrote some essays on JRPG music so I'll maybe take them and post them here, since this is a JRPG thread and all.

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TheJGG

I've written seven of these "essays", where I analyse video game music from games I love. I wrote this fourth, but Dragon Quest XI's being discussed. If you liked it please critique it, it'll improve my writing both in a personal and professional context.

Dragon Quest is the quintessential fantasy role-playing game series. It's also regarded as the FIRST fantasy role-playing game series. But healthy dosings of repetition and copyright stranglehold has established its reputation as the most generic fantasy role-playing game series I have ever played. It made its debut in May of 1986 for the Famicom (NES in the West) and featured the work of two big names in Japan at the time. The first was character designer Akira Toriyama, who created the Dragon Ball manga series. The second was Koichi Sugiyama, who was commissioned to compose music for the game after he sent a letter to Enix Corporation, criticising their work. Flash forward ten games and thirty-three years later, both Toriyama and Sugiyama (who recently turned eighty-nine) had slapped their names onto Square Enix's latest Dragon Quest game; Echoes of an Elusive Age.

When I got Dragon Quest XI for Christmas last year, I started the game and marvelled at the gorgeous CGI trailer, with the classic Overture theme (the main theme of the series) performed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. After that, I watched the CGI opening movie to start my game, but something was amiss. The music sounded terrible! But when I picked up the game, I had done some research and had found out that the Switch version contained many new features not found on PS4 or PC. The most prominent feature, and the one that still appals me to this day, is the inclusion of an orchestrated soundtrack. This feature puzzled me at first, because most games of the eighth generation that I had played, contained music that was recorded with real performers. But not Dragon Quest, as I had started playing the game with the original, MIDI soundtrack composed personally by Koichi Sugiyama, which sounded like it came from a video game thirty years ago. It was painful to my ears, and I spent a few minutes looking up how to switch to the orchestral soundtrack, and when I managed to do that, my ears let out a sigh of relief. There and then, I continued with the orchestral recordings until I eventually beat the game.

But that was not the only time Square Enix had allowed this to happen. Super Smash Bros., Ultimate, a game revered for its sheer amount of fighters, received four Dragon Quest heroes as paid DLC. The game came with a few songs from the four different games, and though there were orchestrated renditions of the songs available (the Hero trailer contained such a piece), Smash players were stuck with the MIDI renditions available by default in the game. But this wasn't the first time Square Enix had done that in Smash. Another fan-favourite franchise had gotten the Smash treatment, but Square only offered up two tracks from the 1997 game; Final Fantasy VII. Other fighters in the DLC pass, such as Joker from Persona 5, Banjo-Kazooie from Banjo-Kazooie, and Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury, had received scores of tracks, including various remixes of iconic tracks. But Square didn't do this, and as a result, the words HOES MAD appeared in the comments section so often that if Famous Dex got a dollar for every time it had been said, he could buy the rights to those games and make some better songs.

Another concern that I have with Dragon Quest XI's soundtrack is its blatant homages to its previous entries. I counted all of the songs in the official soundtrack from previous games and came to the conclusion that 37 songs out of the 75 available were from previous games. Over half of the songs in this game were taken from other games, for nostalgia points. But that is not to say that they were poor choices. Some songs from prior games are simply that good to justify playing them in another game. The sea theme is mesmerising to the core, even more so with an orchestra. Despite the diverse world of Dragon Quest XI, only one overworld theme from Dragon Quest 8 covers the entirety of it. But this song is extremely serene, and it's orchestral renditions make this song one of my favourite overworld songs of all time. Ironically, a song from another game became my favourite song in this one. But what the music from prior games accomplishes so well, is to capture those tender moments in the game, like, for example, when one of the main characters dies. That music cannot capture the 'adventure' part of Dragon Quest as much as it captures the 'camaraderie' part of it.

But the sparse amount of original songs that are actually good can be counted on one hand. And even then, multiple songs share the exact same melody, just with different backing tracks and tempos. For example, four songs of differing lengths share the same motif and are played on some sort of flute, or a harp. The three original village themes have the exact same core melody, tempo and instrumental choice, just with one different backing track for each one, and they have different 'pacing'.

But I haven't mentioned the two worst offenders yet, starting with the battle theme. It tries so hard to be different from normal fighting music but it falls flat on its face. It seems to mimic a sixties spy cartoon theme song, with the tempo, and the way the trumpets slope down the notes. But, it's just bland and feels empty. Just like the regular overworld theme. The overworld theme from Dragon Quest 8 is, frankly, a godsend. Because players get to swap that song in and replace this monstrosity. First, it's unbelievably short for an overworld theme, clocking in at 1:06 for a loop of the song. If this was for one specific area, this would be fine. But this plays in every single region of the world, and that world is gargantuan, trust me. In Xenoblade Chronicles, each area had a different theme. Each of them were so long it was virtually impossible to find them repetitive. Each piece had some energy, some fervour. But not this theme. The only direction from the conductor seemed to be 'loud', and there's no time to decrease the intensity and relax. And it suffers from it.

To conclude this post, Dragon Quest XI, from a musical perspective, is a half-finished work. Half of it is an original (but mediocre) album and the other half is a 'Best of Koichi Sugiyama' compilation. While the music from previous games can sometimes earn its spot in the game, the same cannot be said about the original music; the tracks feel lacklustre when compared to the existing ones. Sugiyama's choice to create this hybrid soundtrack has significantly crippled it musically. The existing tracks that are good are unforgettable. But the rest are more than unforgettable.

Edited on by TheJGG

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jump

@Snaplocket to be honest the more you have moaned about the Poke games through the various threads the more I’ve liked them. They probably aren’t gonna be perfect 10/10s but the more you have put them down the more legit potential and positives come to my mind despite me not being sold on them just yet.

Nicolai wrote:

Alright, I gotta stop getting into arguments with jump. Someone remind me next time.

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TheJGG

@Slowdive Thank you very much! While it would have been better if we had varying battle and field themes, at least we have the Dragon Quest 8 overworld theme for our listening pleasure. As soon as I'm able to apply the new theme I do.

SoundCloud - Xenoblade Novel

Currently playing?
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Death Stranding (PS5)
KH III (PS4)
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Snaplocket

jump wrote:

@Snaplocket to be honest the more you have moaned about the Poke games through the various threads the more I’ve liked them. They probably aren’t gonna be perfect 10/10s but the more you have put them down the more legit potential and positives come to my mind despite me not being sold on them just yet.

Look if the final game somehow manages to deliver an experience on the same level as something like BOTW or Horizon Zero Dawn I would be absolutely ecstatic, expectations met or not. But after Sword and Shield or Let's Go I just see being negative as the safer option. ESPECIALLY after how subpar Little Town Hero was.

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