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Why JRPG fans hate Western RPGs?

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  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,768
    edited September 2016
    @Kamigoroshi
    Harvest Moon is as much a JRPG as Portal is an FPS.
    No idea in what context Zelda would count as a JRPG ...
    I never played Disgaea.

    No one ever said anything about there being more humans than non humans. It was stated that:

    most JRPGs have a cast of only human characters

    Which is just not true.
    At the top of my head I can only think of three actual JRPGs I played that have an exclusive playable cast of human characters: Earth Bound, Final Fantasy VIII and Ni No Kuni. (Not even sure about those, since I haven't played either of them through.)
    The arguably biggest contender is of course Pokémon which has aside from the main character no playable humans at all.

    PS: Regarding The Legend of Zelda: Hylians are pretty much elves, so ...

    @Vallmyr
    Rune Factory 4 is great, I can very much recommend it. Be warned though, you will need a walkthrough to complete it, since this game gives you zero clues on how to proceed story wise.

    Post edited by Buttercheese on
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,318
    @Buttercheese Harvest Moon is indeed a fully fledged RPG franchise. To be more precise it is a farming simulation RPG. And perfectly valid for the point you were trying to make as well. Given the dozen of nonhuman NPCs.
    Broadly speaking many consider the Zelda franchise in between Action RPG and Adventure Game, especially Zelda 2. Great game at that! :-)

    I also reccommend picking up Disgaea PC on steam when you get the chance. Its humour alone makes it worth the purchase.

    Anyway, you probably have noticed that I partially agreed with @ShapiroKeatsDarkMage precisely because the majory of RPGs tend to focus solely on humans. This is not wrong either. There are of course exceptions like the titles you have listed. But exceptions like these are seen less in Chinese, Korean or other Asian RPGs. Generally they tend to be more... historical in nature.

  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,768
    I think you got your definition of JRPG wrong ...
    At no time would I call Harvest Moon a JRPG, it has aside from the visual style none of the defining elements of a JRPG. No deep story, barely and world exploration, no combat, no leveling system, no party, characters with defined personalities, etc.
    And like I said, in Zelda you play an elf Hylian. And again, it's not even a JRPG, it's an action adventure.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,318
    Not really, no. You can readily read it up for yourself if you think I'm wrong on both accounts. Harvest Moon is an RPG franchise just like its spin-off Rune Factory, even with levels I might add (although not combat related). Same with Zelda II. But that's okay. They're after all a different sort of RPG than most.

  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,382
    Question: What is an RPG?

    Answer: Everything.

    AyiekieJuliusBorisov
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 859


    But that's about it. There are still more human centred Asian RPGs out there than non-human ones.

    That's probably true, albeit it would require a lot of squabbling over what constitutes human and human-centred. Maybe.

    But even if it is, is that particularly surprising or unusual? We are humans, after all. Most of our stories center on humans, and not all fantasy realms make sense to put elf-equivalents into (that's not even getting into the argument as to whether stock fantasy races like elves or dwarves really quality as "not human").

    By the same token, pretty sure you play a human in most or all of the Fallout games too.

    Buttercheese
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    Duck was a player-race in Runequest PnP RPG. Whatever happened to that?

    KamigoroshiVallmyr
  • ArdanisArdanis Member Posts: 1,691
    edited September 2016

    I'm the only one who wonders why most JRPGs have a cast of only human characters?

    Probably because of different philosophy behind the game design. WRPG school boasts the "be whoever you like, do whatever you like", i.e. making it a game about the character sheet you've generated - something that's what the player is every single bit is not. Whereas Japanese approach is more centered around the player's own experience, dragging them into the story.
    Which - surprise! :) - does make WRPG less of an art and more a pure entertainment, in comparison.

    Can't make player care about the problems of a drunken dwarf miner as much as about those of an average city denizen protagonist featured in most Japanese titles...

    JuliusBorisov
  • BelleSorciereBelleSorciere Member Posts: 1,946
    I wouldn't say it makes western RPG less of an art, and I definitely wouldn't establish a dichotomy between how artistic something is vs. how entertaining it is.

    ShapiroKeatsDarkMageVallmyr
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,768

    I like diablo, but it isn't rpg, it is for the lack of a better name, a h&s game. BG IS the rpg. Even games like Skyrim, with heavy roleplaying elements are not real rpgs, but a h&s rpg hybrid. Again, i like all 3 genres, i just don't like when non-rpgs are called rpg.

    This comment is old, but I can't agree more.
    Genre definitions in gaming are dumb and don't make sense and it annoys me to no end when people call a game a certain genre that it's per difinition not.

    VallmyrShapiroKeatsDarkMageJuliusBorisov
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,768
    Well, only qualified people can join the elite.

    Vallmyr
  • batoorbatoor Member Posts: 677
    I tend to play pretty loose with the RPG tag when referring to games as well, I probably won't stop either..But come on it's nothing to get worked up about^^

  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 859


    Genre definitions in gaming are dumb and don't make sense and it annoys me to no end when people call a game a certain genre that it's per difinition not.

    Umm... I can only hope you wrote that statement with self-deprecating irony.

    semiticgodKamigoroshi
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,768
    I didn't, when I am using genre defining terms with the meaning in mind they are supossed to imply.
    Unlike the vast majority of people on the internet and in the media who wouldn't know correct genre terminology if it hit them in the face with a baseball bat.

    Today's genre definitions are arbitrary and have often little to do the actual gameplay.
    Skyrim isn't an RPG because the focus is on exploration, dungeneering, etc. and not on roleplay. These days the term RPG is completely misused.

    Different example: TellTale's The Wlaking Dead. Everyone's calling it a point and click adventure even though it really isn't. The problem is that it developed from point and click adventures but ultimately became it's own genre.

    That's the same problem with Skyrim. People are completly blinded by the few things it has in common with RPGs, that they dismiss the major and defining elements of the game which have little to nothing to do with roleplaying. Yes, Elder Scrolls was inspired by D&D. But at some point down the road it devoloped into something different.

    Skyrim is at it's core a sandbox game. It has more in common with Minecraft and GTA5 than it does with any of the classic RPGs.

    And NO, RPGs are not defined by leveling systems, dungeon crawling and character stats.
    There are several RPGs that don't don't have any of those (LARPing for example).
    People forget that D&D is not the be all end all of what defines an RPG. It's just one of many many interpretations. Roleplaying is what defines an RPG. And at the end of the day the roleplay elements in Skyrim are rudimentary at best. It has no more roleplaying than any other game that let's you play as one defined character.

    Skyrim is the Pluto of videogaming.
    Everyone is so bloody fixated on calling it a fully fledged planet even though it doesn't meet the qualifications.

    So let me rephrase that:
    It's not "Genre definitions in gaming are dumb and don't make sense."
    It's "The mainstream genre definitions in gaming are dumb and don't make sense."

    We don't need a broken system.

    VallmyrTroodon80
  • VallmyrVallmyr Member, Mobile Tester Posts: 2,382
    @Buttercheese , I want to insightful, agree, and like your post.
    I hate genre definitions. I use to hate JRPGs because of genre definitions. I treated them like role-playing games. Now I realize that they do not focus on role-playing at all but character-driven stories so I actually like them better because I'm not judging them for things they don't facilitate.

    ButtercheeseTroodon80
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,768
    @Vallmyr Thank you.
    The term "JRPG" has to go away as well. It's completely misleading.
    But I have been angry at that since the dawn of time and I kinda gave up by now :neutral:

    VallmyrTroodon80
  • ArdanisArdanis Member Posts: 1,691
    Well, it's established enough that when people say "RPG" they usually really mean rocket propelled grenade "stats, classes and levels", even though it may be not literally accurate...

    Troodon80JuliusBorisov
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,768
    edited September 2016
    Ardanis said:

    even though it may be not literally accurate...

    And that's why I hate this definition so much and why it gives me yet another reason to hate humanity :smile:
    PS: I wish I was joking/ overstating.

    Mr2150Vallmyr
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    edited September 2016
    A lot of games these days have stats, classes and levelling of some description.

    It's the 'go-to' mechanism for progression of characters.

    Vallmyr
  • AyiekieAyiekie Member Posts: 859

    I didn't, when I am using genre defining terms with the meaning in mind they are supossed to imply.

    I will refer you to respected poster @Buttercheese, who said: "Genre definitions in gaming are dumb and don't make sense".

    @Buttercheese is right, BTW. You should listen to her.


    Unlike the vast majority of people on the internet and in the media who wouldn't know correct genre terminology if it hit them in the face with a baseball bat.

    There is no such thing as "correct genre terminology", because genre definitions in gaming are dumb and don't make sense.

    There are exactly two situations where gaming genre definitions have meaning:

    1) Common usage, which defines meaning

    2) Marketing, for the expectations of a buying audience.

    In both of those situations, the games you complain aren't RPGs are, in fact, RPGs. Anything else is your personal genre definition... which is, like all others, dumb and lacking in sense.

    "Genre" is not a real thing. It is arbitrary. It is a loose and imperfect sorting of things that are seen to have shared characteristics.

    There was never a time when "RPG" was used "properly" the way you want to define it, and there most certainly was not any time when it was used "properly" with regards to computer and console games. Nor has the emphasis EVER been on "roleplay" (whatever that is, it's also completely arbitrary) in the genre on computer or console. Virtually all of the earliest CRPGs were dungeon-crawlers where party members had no or nearly no personality. By those lights, Skyrim and its focus on exploration and dungeoneering is far truer to the roots of the genre than any game focused on "roleplay". But because game genres are dumb and lacking in sense, it shares a genre with many games that are like it in some ways and unlike it in others.


    Different example: TellTale's The Wlaking Dead. Everyone's calling it a point and click adventure even though it really isn't. The problem is that it developed from point and click adventures but ultimately became it's own genre.

    The Walking Dead, and all TellTale games, are visual novels with quicktime events. However, the Western audience by and large isn't familiar with visual novels, so they are not marketed as such. That genre doesn't exist, to Western mainstream marketing, so it's mashed into the closest thing available. This is because game genres are dumb and lacking in sense.


    That's the same problem with Skyrim. People are completly blinded by the few things it has in common with RPGs, that they dismiss the major and defining elements of the game which have little to nothing to do with roleplaying. Yes, Elder Scrolls was inspired by D&D. But at some point down the road it devoloped into something different.

    By the by, people can and do do plenty of roleplaying in Skyrim, and even more in Morrowind. Plenty of people do NO roleplaying in Baldur's Gate. "Roleplaying" is, again, just as arbitrary a term as "RPG".

    For that matter, plenty of people play D&D and do no roleplaying. I've played with people like that many times.


    Skyrim is the Pluto of videogaming.
    Everyone is so bloody fixated on calling it a fully fledged planet even though it doesn't meet the qualifications.

    The definition of "planet" is also completely arbitrary. Pluto didn't change one iota between when it was called a planet and when it wasn't. The difference, of course, is that this arbitrary definition is for scientific classification, as opposed to "RPG", which is an arbitrary definition used for fan discussion and marketing (and in both of those, you are going against majority view).

    Troodon80ButtercheeseNonnahswriter
  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,037
    i just need to correct one small thing. telltale games post walking dead are visual novels. everything prior to that are point and click adventure games.

    Troodon80
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,768
    @BelleSorciere
    You don't call a sandwich a salad just because you put a lettuce leaf in it, do you?
    I never denied Skyrim having RPG-elements, but they are hardly the focus.
    Games should be categorized by what they focus on.
    In Skyrim's case that is exploration, adventure & sandboxing. The roleplay elements are a sidenote.

    @Ayiekie
    Thanks for that.
    Though I do believe that genre categories have their uses, if actually thought through.
    The visual novel thing is a great example, btw.

    @megamike15
    That's why I mentioned Walking Dead specifically, up till Tales of Monkey Island they actually did make fully fledged point & click adventures. Which makes me sad in a way, because ever since then a lot of people (especially critics) act like Walking Dead and Co. is the best thing that ever happened to the genre of point at click adventures. Even though it's really not part of that genre anymore.
    That's like when a jazz band suddenly starts playing rock'n'roll and everyone goes "This is the best jazz you ever played!" No mate, it's not jazz, it's rock'n'roll.

    Troodon80
  • ButtercheeseButtercheese Member Posts: 3,768
    In the end it comes down to this argument:
    How can two vastly different games that only share similarities in settings and very few, very basic gameplay mechanics and appeal to different audiences be part of the same genre?

    Calling both BG and Skyrim RPGs renders the term "RPG" meaningless.
    They are both too different from each other to be part of the same genre.

    Why do you think terms like "Diablo Clone" or "Rogue Like" exist?
    Because both Diablo and Rogue did their own thing and ultimately ended up creating new genres.
    Elder Scrolls and Co. did the same.

    Certainly, one could use "RPG" as an umbrella term, but then what happens to all the games who do focus on roleplaying? What do you call that genre? This is how we got that stupid term "CRPG"
    "Classic" is just a synonym for "original" and "true" in this case. So every so called RPG that isn't "classic" is therefor not a true RPG. (I am aware that the term CRPG also refers to other elements within the genre, but that makes it an even dumber term.)

    And that's why I refuse to call anything an RPG that doesn't have it's main focus on roleplaying.

    VallmyrTroodon80
  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 1,824
    @Buttercheese - Elder Scrolls and GTA aren't Sandboxes, that's a big misuse of the genre, man :P

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