Review: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – the best JRPG of this generation?

March 28, 2013

Review: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – the best JRPG of this generation?Its no secret that Japanese RPGs took a back seat during this generation of home consoles. During the golden era of the PS2 nobody referred to a JRPG as a ‘JRPG’ but simply referred to these games as RPGs. The anticipation behind Ni no Kuni has been immense especially with Level-5 and Studio Ghibli co-creating the game. With high expectation, could Ni no Kuni be the game to put JRPGs back on the map?

When Level-5 announced that it would be working on a game for the PS3 with famed Studio Ghibli, it wasn’t all that suprising when the Internet exploded. Level-5 is known for crafting top notch RPGs such as Dark Could, Rogue Galaxy, Dragon Quest and the White Knight Chronicles series. In addition, the work done by Studio Ghibli helmed by Hayao Miyazaki is legendary with anime films such as Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke and Spirited away.

Story

While the game may look like its geared towards a younger crowd, the story is actually quite mature dealing with adult subject matter such as death, domestic abuse and coping with depression. Some of the dialog, especially from Drippy (one of the main characters in the game) utilizes mature euphemisms quite often.

Unlike traditional RPGs where a lone protagonist is on a journey to seek revenge or to single handedly save the world, Ollie the main character in Ni no Kuni, is an average young boy coping with a difficult time in his life who sets out on a quest to save his mother. Ollie must leave the ordinary town of Motorsville and travel to a fantasy world in order to find his mother’s “soul-mate.” As it turns out, by saving his mother he will also be saving the fate of the fantasy world in the process.

Ni-No-Kuni-9

In order to achieve this, high lord of the fairies, Drippy will be helping Ollie along the way. While Ollie is overcome with emotions near the beginning of the game, Drippy a doll given to him by his mother springs alive, exclaiming that a curse has been lifted off him. With Drippy’s help, Ollie finds a wand and the Wizard’s Companion, which contains a spell that allows them to travel to the fantasy world.

Once there, Ollie learns that an evil Dark Djinn named Shadar, is bent on the destruction of the fantasy world. Shadar casted an evil spell over the land by taking pieces of hearts from many, leaving them in despair. Ollie will encounter a good number of these victims along his journey, with some lacking in ambition or enthusiasm or any of the other emotional states defined in the game.

An interesting hook the developers have implemented is the concept of parallel worlds. At times, Ollie and company will have to travel back to Motorsville in order to figure out why something bad is happening to someone in the fantasy world. In one section of the game Ollie encounters a girl that is in despair with a broken heart. When he travels back to Motorsville he finds out that her soul-mate is facing serious family issues.

Ni-No-Kuni-5

Clearly, the game is taking a different path from other RPGs in how it sets out to tell the story with quests and missions that are relatable and have some basis in reality. While the missions that bring you back to Motorsville can be an emotional roller-coaster, it does leave you wanting to escape back to the beautiful fantasy world.

The story in Ni no Kuni is moving and engaging with a surprising plot twist near the end. The developers have done a good job in showing personal growth of each character, as Ollie becomes a powerful wizard by the end of the game.

Gameplay

It seems like Level-5 took some elements from other RPGs such as Kingdom Hearts, Tales series and Pokémon, while adding a unique twist of their own. Fans of the Pokémon and Monster Hunter series will fall instantly in love with the game’s “Familiar” system with over 400 creatures available to collect. Gamers will be able to collect and level up each of the familiar’s captured in the wild. Familiars range from a Mitey, who is literally born out of Ollie’s heart to something that looks like a Zombie creature.

Ni-No-Kuni-4

The familiars also have quite a bit of depth, as Ollie can purchase weapons and armor for the little beasties as well as level up each of the creatures by feeding it treats such as cake and ice cream. Once the familiar reaches a certain level, the player will have the option to Metamorphosize it, changing the appearance of it to something new. The metamorphosed familiar’s level will be reset back to 1, but its stats will be higher than before with additional abilities unlocked for use. Ollie will meet new characters that will join his party and each member will be able to carry up to three familiars at a time.

Ni no Kuni’s combat system is a mix of real-time action with a battle menu system. Ollie and his party members will be able to run and evade attacks in real-time during battle, but the action will pause when Ollie is flipping through his capabilities such as magic or provisions.

Its great to be able to evade attacks by moving away from the enemy during battle. All enemies will usually have a tell-tale before launching an area of effect type attack. Usually Ollie can defend, resulting in minimal loss of health. The combat is well balanced and is quite fun. Every boss encounter feels challenging and fresh, with my character usually barely scraping by. Players may have to adapt to switching to defense quickly, failure to do so may result in casualties. However, this does get easier as you progress and unlock the capability to initiate a “defend all” command to all of your party members. 

Ni-No-Kuni-8

I did spend some time in between main quest missions grinding to level up and earn gold. For those that want to take it easy and avoid having to grind may want to start the game off on ‘Easy’ rather than ‘Normal.’ The game does offer a plethora of side quests to help break away from the main quest line. Ni no Kuni cleverly utilizes a stamp card system, where you can earn stamps based on the number of side quests completed. Having a high number of stamped cards will allow you to trade them in for rare items in town.

In addition to learning magic along the way, Ollie will pick up a genie that will perform alchemy in order to create weapons and armor from ingredients using recipes in the Wizard’s Companion.

Design

The world in Ni no Kuni is beautifully crafted using advanced cell shaded tech, that truly blurs the line between anime and video game. At times the transition from the anime cut scene were so seamless, I didn’t realize that I was back in control of my character. From an artistic stand point Ni no Kuni is one of the best looking games of this generation and is nicely complemented by an amazing orchestral performance that sets the tone and mood of each locale. The music will shift from the desert, to the icy snow covered country side as well as helping to set the mood in the swamps and forest locations.

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The world map is beautifully rendered with immaculate detail even when Ollie is coming up to a town or a village. Whenever I discovered a new town, I found myself taking a moment to span the camera around to look at all the little details of the city from a birds eye perspective. While you start out on foot travel initially, over time you will be able to travel to distant lands via ship, teleportation and finally by riding a flying dragon.

There is no random encounter in Ni no Kuni as you can see all of the enemies on the world map. As you get closer to them, the enemies will come running towards you. However, if you are strong enough, the enemies will all run away from you. There is a little bit of strategy involved when taking the enemies head on. If you time your encounter right, you can run up behind the enemy and get a preemptive strike against them.

In addition to the visuals and music, the voice acting is top notch. I now understand why Level-5 spent so much time localizing the game for the west. The work done by the Welsh voice actor that portrays Drippy has to be the best performance I have seen in a long time. The voice work definitely fleshes out Drippy and gives him a 3D personality rarely seen in video games. The voice work definitely feels like something Studio Ghibli might have a hand in. 

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Unfortunately, the downside to this is that everything is not fully voice. There is still quite a bit of text dialog you must read through, but given the length of the game its quite understandable why this was not done. I clocked in over 55 hours with the game and that was without completing all of the side quests and getting the best weapon in the game.

Wrap-up

Ni no Kun: Wrath of the White Witch is a game that will instill a sense of wonder that you won’t find in many other games out there. Studio Ghibli and Level-5 masterfully crafts a tale that feels seamless from start to finish. Even each minor plot points within the main story feel extremely important and big enough to be its own separate story.

While there are some minor grips with the amount of grinding and difficulty curve with the boss battles, most of these points can be addressed by simply starting a game on “easy” rather than “normal.” The game does do a bit of hand holding even ten hours into the game, which can be turned off in the settings. I suppose this is a testament to how deep Ni no Kuni truly is. While it may feel like there is a lot of game mechanics, it never really felt overwhelming due to how the developers spoon feed it to you over time.

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The amount of content in the game is astounding and the developers clearly know this as you still have the option to continue playing after beating the final boss to experience hours of post-story content. When you watch a Studio Ghibli film, you become engrossed in that world as it feels alive; similarly the developers have successfully created a game world that feels the same.

If you are a fan of RPGs, animes and games in general with a good story, I would highly recommend everyone to pick up a copy of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.

Score

5/5

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75 Responses to “Review: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – the best JRPG of this generation?”

  1. FahKinSuPah:

    I hated the demo. The demo just throws you into the game, doesn’t really let you do anything at all.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the poor demo actually hurt game sales.

    Had the demo been more engaging I probably would have bought the game by now.

  2. Godless:

    Not interested in this game at all, In fact I got bored of it just reading the review.. . .cue Roca :D

    Off topic

    I watched a film last night called Splinter that totally made me think of The Last Of Us. similar kind parasitic concept, and actually a pretty good movie
    If you have a spare 90 minutes I would recommend it

    http://www.imdb.co.uk/title/tt1031280/

  3. dans:

    I’ve seen Splinter before. Solid 6/10 from me.

  4. oldschool1987:

    I saw Splinter on Netflix, I found I laughable. Pathetic film with poorly filmed scenes where the camera does random crazy shakes when a Splinter person is chasing them.

    Ignore Godless’ recommendation people, he’s trying to waste your time.

  5. Roca.:

    Best JRPG of this generation? No doubt about it!

    Don’t listen to Godless, he’s just hating because this game is not available on the 360.

  6. CarlB:

    Haven’t had a chance to play Xenoblade Chronicles or this one yet… though Xeno seems to trump it by a decent margin in the review scores.

    Is this one better than Valkyria Chronicles roca? (Is Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls considered JRPG?)

  7. phranctoast:

    ” (Is Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls considered JRPG?)”

    I’d guess they’re not. I think it takes more than a Japaneses developer to make a true JRPG. Those two games are striving to be more western which in return removes them from that genre they’re trying to differentiate from.

    Just my take on the whole thing.

  8. FahKinSuPah:

    @Carl

    Xenoblade Chronicles is an amazing game.

    Seriously the only area that Xeno wouldn’t hold up against Ni No Kuni would be the graphical difference.

    Despite that difference Xenoblade has been considered the best JRPG this gen by many reviewers.

  9. CarlB:

    “I think it takes more than a Japaneses developer to make a true JRPG.”

    What more, exactly? Anime? A bit of kanji, hiragana, or katakana in the background? Personally I think the distinction is fluff at this point considering how much western RPG’s have borrowed from JRPG’s and vice versa, let alone it was a distinction born arbitrarily from a few great game’s country of origin. They’re just RPG’s. Action, MMORPG, Tactical, Hybrid, whatever. Some are better than others.

    Each geographical region has their own history of product, sure, but saying “JRPG” as a label of distinction for gameplay now is almost as silly as saying CRPG or KRPG. One could argue cultural references, but we don’t categorize Sleeping Dogs as being in the “CAA” genre, just the action adventure genre.

  10. Godless:

    @ Oldie/Roca

    Firstly.

    I had no idea this was PS3 only.

    Secondly, I have a PS3 and own just about every exclusive that would appeal to me.

    Just because you two wouldn’t buy 360 games don’t transpose that crap on me.

    As for the film oldie. . .There are plenty of films kicking around with far worse camera work than this one.

    I think its a pretty good effort with some pretty plausible acting for a low budget effort.

    maybe not enough big explosions or fancy CGI for you. but for those who like the British style horrors, it’s actually well worth a watch and certainly better than 95% of the Hollywood SciFi shit we get.

  11. FahKinSuPah:

    There is a big difference in WRPGs and JRPGs. This gen has really helped define that. Saying that they have borrowed from one another is ridiculous. They are RPGs and RPGs generally have the same “building blocks”.

    JRPGs tend to play differently than WRPGs. It’s not just playstyle but graphics style that make a HUGE difference too.

    Compare Dragon Age and Final Fantasy and you will see just how vastly different they are.

    WRPGs

    Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Elder Scrolls, Fallout

    JRPGs

    Lost Oddyssey, Final Fantasy, Ni No Kuni, Xenoblade Chronicles

    These are all perfect examples to illustrate the differences between J and W RPGs.

    Yes there are some RPGs that are exception to the rules but most of them fit.

    Considering that I am an RPG fiend I think I know these things.

    BTW I prefer JRPGs

  12. phranctoast:

    Yawn. Carlb being intentionally argumentative for the sake of being argumentative.

    You asked the question, which means you were thinking that those games may not be considered JRPG’s…..

    Do you usually ask questions just to get into arguments?

  13. CarlB:

    I’m talking about an evolution over 35+ years, not just this gen. The classification came about due to cultural differences and geographical origin, not gameplay differences.

    You listed some turn based RPG’s and some Action RPG’s popular on consoles. Just because “western” RPG’s on consoles (you’re completely ignoring a ton of PC RPG’s btw) this gen tend to be more real time oriented than turn based only reflects the tendencies this gen. There have been plenty of turn based “western” RPG’s, just as there has been plenty of action “japanese” RPG’s.

    Anime (and anime style graphics which you mention) or cultural references, are the only real differences, and those exist in several other genres, not just RPG’s. To claim that Western and Eastern (not just Japanese) RPG’s haven’t influenced each other over the decades at all is ridiculous.

    We don’t call shooters with anime and art styles “Japanese” shooters, they’re just shooters. Jade Empire isn’t a “CRPG”, it’s just an RPG, or ARPG if you prefer. Lost Odyssey is a turn based RPG. Demon’s Souls is an action RPG. Seriously, what meaningful difference is there left, other than that which exists between all genres games, being graphics style and maybe some cultural references?

  14. Roca.:

    “Yawn. Carlb being intentionally argumentative for the sake of being argumentative.

    You asked the question, which means you were thinking that those games may not be considered JRPG’s…..

    Do you usually ask questions just to get into arguments?”

    LOL. That’s why I didn’t answer. I knew where this was going

  15. CarlB:

    So Demon’s Souls is not a JRPG, because… why, again?
    LOL. Go back to bed roca.

  16. CarlB:

    …and phranc, you gave your “take” (conveniently without answering the question as to what “more” is specifically required for a JRPG), it just isn’t mine. I asked the question because some believe they are JRPG’s, and if so, is this game better than those.

  17. phranctoast:

    I have my take and answered the original question. Why I should somehow predict what you’re going to ask after that, and should have had that already answered is beyond me.

    My bad. I’ll turn my clairvoyance hat back on……

    Demon’s souls took a more western approach with a look and feel closer to D&D (western) than the traditional Japanese style. The third person action style is also more suited to a western approach. The only thing that seems Japanese is the difficulty and the out of the box way they handle online interaction.

    I’d say the reason there’s not J in front of every other style game to differentiate it like there is with JRPG’s is the sheer amount of JRPG’s in comparison to the other genres.

    The style and way they play are night and day on all fronts. From feminine male characters to cheesy excruciating dialog to painful difficulty and poorer control schemes, all the genres differ on this front.

  18. CarlB:

    “Why I should somehow predict what you’re going to ask after that, and should have had that already answered is beyond me.”

    You don’t. All you had to do was read my last post. Before you replied. No “clairvoyance hat” required (though I wouldn’t doubt your tinfoil one gets good use) to answer: “What more, exactly? Anime? A bit of kanji, hiragana, or katakana in the background?”

    “Difficulty” isn’t “Japanese”, nor is a different type of online interaction.

    “I’d say the reason there’s not J in front of every other style game to differentiate it like there is with JRPG’s is the sheer amount of JRPG’s in comparison to the other genres.”

    So since they are making less and less now we can finally drop the “J” right? “The style and way they play” = some anime art and turn based tendencies. While the former isn’t as common, there’s more than enough turn based western games to not make it a factor. Everything else is cultural, as with any game’s setting.

    Thankfully most credible sites just stick with turn-based or action RPG as a subgenre, because “JRPG” as a subgenre is practically meaningless.

  19. FahKinSuPah:

    @Carl

    You clearly don’t get it.

    ” “Difficulty” isn’t “Japanese”, nor is a different type of online interaction.”

    DIfficulty per se may not be japanese but they tend to like some of their games more difficult than western gamers.

    Anyone remember when Resident Evil 1 came out and all these japanese gamers were doing speed runs with knives?

    How many american gamers did that? Not many lmao

    Capcom turned around and gave japanese gamers exactly what they wanted in RE2 when they included Tofu as a playable character. Notice he is a giant block of Tofu and not a fucking Hotdog.

    Phranc said it right when he said that Demons Souls was done with a more western approach. We can add Dragon’s Dogma to that list too. However Japanese developers rarely adopt a more western style to their rpgs.

    For some reason you are the only one here not getting the differences.

    You must really hate RPGs or are just feeling pretty fucking miserable lately

  20. phranctoast:

    “Thankfully most credible sites just stick with turn-based or action RPG as a subgenre, because “JRPG” as a subgenre is practically meaningless.”

    IGN is no longer credible?

    http://www.ign.com/blogs/meghan-ign/2013/04/01/rpg-wrap-up-the-top-ten-jrpg-composers

  21. Roca.:

    @Fahkin

    Carl just doesn’t know what a JRPG really is… he asked us “Is Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls considered JRPG?”

    Clearly he has no clue as to whether DS USA JRPG or not. He’s just arguing for the sake of being an attention whore

  22. Roca.:

    “USA” should read: “is a”

  23. CarlB:

    I get why you guys need to latch onto the label to feel special about the games you love, but that’s all it is. Asian RPG’s outside of Japan share all the same characteristics, therefore adding the letter J is meaningless except to describe the country of origin. And yes, the blog refers to “JRPG”, as in RPG’s from Japan, whereas IGN (or any other major credible site) itself does not subcategorize RPG’s into “JRPG” for it’s game reviews, only action, turn-based, mmorpg, etc. I’m not arguing with you, that’s just the way it is. Sorry to break it to you.

  24. oldschool1987:

    “Demon’s Souls (??????? Demonzu Souru?) is an action role-playing game video game”

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demon's_Souls

    Not JRPG then.

  25. CarlB:

    “RPG’s made by Japanese people” don’t fit into any specific RPG sub-genre, art, or style:

    http://i.imgur.com/Z45QAlr.jpg

  26. CarlB:

    “Not JRPG then.”

    Very well then:

    “Ni no Kuni (????, literally Second Country, also called The Another World) is a role-playing video game”

    Not JRPG then.

  27. FahKinSuPah:

    @Roca

    Carl needs to get a clue then. Maybe if he played more games and sat at his PC and bitched on blorge less.

    My best friend was here yesterday when I was posting my last comment and she asked me what trouble I was getting into on blorge now, so I explained everything to her. She doesn’t play games a lot but even she knows the diff between WRPGs and JRPGs.

  28. CarlB:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ni_no_Kuni

  29. FahKinSuPah:

    @Carl

    You’re arguing against something that probably 99% of gamers recognize.

    The numbers are not on your side.

  30. FahKinSuPah:

    JRPG VS WRPG: The Difference and Why They Are Both Great!

    http://www.giantbomb.com/profile/chaoskiller2000/blog/jrpg-vs-wrpg-the-difference-and-why-they-are-both-/77299/

  31. phranctoast:

    Name any credible site you want and I’ll find JRPG referenced somewhere. It doesn’t need to be reviewed under such specific criteria sub categories to be relevant to the point everyone here is making. All it needs is acknowledgement which in itself distinguishes it enough.

    I also find it rather hilarious that people are taking time out of their day to care enough to be annoyed about the distinction to begin with.

    This may be the biggest orchestrated troll topic in existence.

    Carlb.
    Link to where this is an issue. It has to be an April fools joke.

  32. CarlB:

    I probably played through Phantasy Star before you or roca ever had a console, fahk, so get a clue. JRPG only means an RPG made by Japanese people. There is no neat little accurate definition you can put it in beyond the one I already gave above, try as you might.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_role-playing_video_games:_1974_to_1985#1974

  33. FahKinSuPah:

    @Carl

    Well given the fact that you’re practically an old fart compared to some of us here then yeah, maybe you did play some games before any of us here.

    However I was born in 82, and have been playing games since 84 so I think I have more than a clue.

    You on the other hand..? Well I have you the Giant Bomb link. That should be a good enough start for you to figure out what JRPGs are.

    Look at what Phranc said

    “All it needs is acknowledgement which in itself distinguishes it enough. ”

    Then look at what I said

    “You’re arguing against something that probably 99% of gamers recognize.

    The numbers are not on your side.”

    The overwhelmingly vast majority of gamers recognize the term JRPG.

    Carl B, You are the 1%

  34. CarlB:

    “Well I have you the Giant Bomb link.”

    You gave me a blog piece by “chaoskiller2000″ who sounds like he has even less of a clue than you. RPG’s from Japan and NA were around long before Final Fantasy ever existed, which is what “most gamers” probably base their silly little term on anyway. The fact is RPG’s made by the “west” (largely NA) and Japan, and other countries span the range of characteristics, styles, and art.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Eastern_role-playing_video_games

  35. phranctoast:

    Great link Carlb.

    When looking through it the one thing that’s immediately apparent is the sheer amount of RPG’s from Japan in comparison to South Korea or China.

    The end result seems to have earned them the Acronym.

    I guess people could have been politically correct and called it ERPG or ARPG to include them all, but IMO Japan deserves the distinction alone due to the overwhelming difference in numbers of games they released that fit into that genre.

  36. CarlB:

    Thanks phranc, and yes, in looking at the list and whole picture over time, it is obvious that the term “JRPG” is now hopelessly outdated and a gross over-generalization at best… as it certainly isn’t a sub-genre in itself by any means other than specifying the country of origin at this point in time.

    “JRPG” and “WRPG” (NARPG would have been more accurate) might have meant something more back when only NA and JP were making almost all RPG’s, but that clearly is no longer the case.

  37. phranctoast:

    Unless you’re a Korean or Chinese game developer, and your game gets called a JRPG, I really see no other reason this should bother anyone.

  38. CarlB:

    Yeah. Suck it Koreans and Chinese.

    Unless one really likes over-generalizations and outdated, vague terms, I see no reason to latch onto this one.

  39. oldschool1987:

    So who here thinks Bioshock Infinite has the best game story ever? It has just over taken the place of MGS4 for me, the ending is fantastic. I’ve read people found it confusing, god knows why its such a perfect ending with no loose ends at all. If you think about the ending its very well thought out with no room for interpretation. The story is a copy of Fringe but who cares, they told it so well and the twist is better than the “Would you kindly” from Bioshock 1.

  40. phranctoast:

    Sounds like this really bothers you. Instead of wasting your time with it here with people who obviously disagree with you, maybe starting a petition will bear more fruit…

  41. phranctoast:

    Trying to avoid all Bioshock Infinite spoilers OS.

  42. CarlB:

    Not at all phranc, I just like using terms that are accurate. I can understand how this is important to you though, so maybe complaining about it more here will help you feel better.

  43. Roca.:

    Carl: “Is Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls considered JRPG?”

    Everyone else: “No”

    Carl: “I disagree because that’s how I roll…and you know, because I’m old as fuck. Nevermind I asked for your opinions. I don’t care if it’s a JRPG or not, I just wanted to start an argument”

    Everyone else: “It’s not an JRPG because…(detailed describtion and examples on that JRPG exists and why DS is not a JRPG”

    Carl: “I just like using terms that are accurate (based on my own assumption)”

    …now I’m just wondering, if you considered DS to be a JRPG and you clearly didn’t give a fuck about our opinion…why did you ask yourself “Is Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls considered JRPG?” in the first place?

  44. CarlB:

    I asked because some people consider it to be a JRPG, and if there was someone here who also considered it to be a JRPG, do they think Ni No Kuni is better.

  45. Roca.:

    “do they think Ni No Kuni is better”

    it’s hard to compare them since they are totally different, one is a JRPG and the other one is a action (more western style RPG). It’s like comparing Halo to Gears of War, or Gran Turismo to Need for Speed (or Forza ;) )

    They are both great games tho.

  46. CarlB:

    “JRPG as a genre title is obsolete…
    jrpg applies but only because those games are indeed JAPANESE developed rpgs…
    RPG from Japan. JRPG…
    labeling games based on where they originated in this day and age is a bit silly…

    Japanese RPGs come in as many flavors as western RPGs. And while JRPGs may lean toward certain designs more than others, technically, if it was made in Japan, it’s a JRPG. Simple as that…

    “JRPG” and “WRPG” were obsolete labels ever since they these terms were first coined in the early 2000s. Before that, the terms “console RPG” and “computer RPG” were used, but because of the increasing crossovers, the Western gaming media came up with the labels “JRPG” and “WRPG” as (equally pointless) replacement labels.

    Even the very idea of defining a video game genre by a culture is pointless, which is obvious from the fact that no other video game genre is ever defined in such a way. We already have plenty of far more descriptive genre classifications that have been around for much longer: Action RPG, Turn-Based RPG, Tactical RPG, Dungeon Crawler, etc…

    “JRPG” is a highly inaccurate term without any clear definition.”

    http://www.giantbomb.com/forums/general-discussion-30/jrpg-as-a-genre-title-is-obsolete-564396/

  47. oldschool1987:

    I left it spoiler free Phranc. I’d hate to ruin it for someone.

  48. CarlB:

    “it’s hard to compare them since they are totally different”

    Okay. So which, in your opinion, do you think is the better RPG?

  49. phranctoast:

    It appears to be a lot more important to you there slick. Since you probably won’t write to the publishers demanding they cease this inaccurate genre naming (in your own twisted mind) or start a petition of one, maybe complaining about it here with no one that agrees with you because it’s stupid will be useful… Not.

    Didn’t you also knock fahkins link because it was “some blog piece”. You’re about as consistent as Microsofts security as of late.

  50. CarlB:

    Not at all bub. Especially since the publishers aren’t the ones that made up the inaccurate genre name (though perhaps you have deluded yourself to believe that).

    Your mind is about as shallow as Sony’s net profit as of late.

  51. phranctoast:

    @OS
    “I left it spoiler free Phranc. I’d hate to ruin it for someone.”

    Thank you.

    @Carlb.
    Keep up the good fight. Maybe you can find a link where people actually agree with you without being ridiculed….unlike the last one…

    Oh.. And your comebacks are as original as Carlos Mencia :D

  52. CarlB:

    That’s okay phranc, that you put so much stock into a term without a definition doesn’t surprise me. Have fun with that type of vocabulary. ;)

  53. phranctoast:

    Says the guy that brought it all up to begin with……. ;)

  54. CarlB:

    Yes, which reminds me, which is the better JRPG (RPG made by Japanese people)? ;)

  55. phranctoast:

    Roca appears to have difficulty comparing the two as they’re so different from each other.

    From what I gathered, if you like more Western like RPG’s Demon’s Souls is more up your alley, and if you like games traditionally known as JRPG’s, Ni No Kuni would be more for you.

    Personally, the popularity of MMO style controls turned me off from JRPG’s such as FF12. I guess we can say turned based vs real time if we need to get technical.
    I’m sure if I put the effort into acclimating myself to new Western RPG’s and games traditionally known as JRPG’s today, I could probably find something I’d like in them again.

  56. CarlB:

    Kind of like how Final Fantasy 1 is so different from Final Fantasy XIV.

    From what I’ve played, Japanese people have a decent history of making some good RPG’s (JRPG’s), but they haven’t followed any standard formula over the decades.

    I think you meant to say FFIV as XII wasn’t an MMO.
    “traditionally known”? Maybe if the “tradition” doesn’t go before the year 2000, as there is practically no reference to it before then. Final Fantasy VII (1997) probably caused the term to come into existence years after it’s release due to it’s popularity, then people started backtracking to categorize past games under the made up label. But yes, I agree, sticking to “turn-based” instead would be a lot more accurate. I thought you liked Demon’s Souls?

  57. phranctoast:

    I meant the MMO adopted real time fighting where other than XII which is an MMO , FF12 was the first one I saw to adopt it.

    I have yet to play DS. Once again plus is paying for itself.

  58. CarlB:

    No doubt. Now I can sell my old copy and that will pay for next year’s plus subscription.

  59. CaptBirdman:

    I don’t get the fuss over the term JRPG…

    Hell, I’d include games that were obviously made in the style of JRPGs. KRPGs like Magna Carta (If you’ve never seen the art style of this game, you’re missing out really bad) would fall under the distinction of JRPG to me, although as a Korean person I might be (slightly) offended that we didn’t get the recognition.

    Whether people want to acknowledge this or not, there is a distinct style of JRPG… difficulty and art style being huge indicators, and then some subtle ones like level 100 caps.

    Why is Pokemon being left out of this discussion? Gosh you blokes are just haters! (Except Roca. He told me he may try out Pokemon after playing Ni No Kuni ;) )

  60. oldschool1987:

    I’m a hater? I’ve bought every Pokemon game ever, except Black 2.

  61. CarlB:

    “there is a distinct style of JRPG… difficulty and art style being huge indicators, and then some subtle ones like level 100 caps.”

    Sounds like Demon’s Souls ;)

  62. CaptBirdman:

    Demons Souls is a JRPG, as far as I’m concerned…

    Relax Oldie, that was tongue-in-cheek mate

  63. oldschool1987:

    Roger that. But you do always call people haters if they don’t like something so I didn’t see it that way. My bad.

  64. oldschool1987:

    And why did she add all your friends? Fucking weird

  65. oldschool1987:

    Last comment was for another article in response to Godlestroll.

  66. oldschool1987:

    Last comment was for another article in response to Godless-Troll.

  67. Roca.:

    “Sounds like Demon’s Souls”

    Demon’s Souls has a western art style and doesn’t have level 100 caps. It also doesn’t play anything like a JRPG.

  68. CarlB:

    “Demons Souls is a JRPG, as far as I’m concerned…”

    Agreed.

  69. CarlB:

    Although set in a medieval environment, Demon’s Souls has a distinct eastern style and level 792 caps. It also doesn’t play anything like a WRPG.

  70. CarlB:

    *fantasy European-like medieval environment*

  71. CaptBirdman:

    Roca, I’m not entirely sure where you stand on this buddy, but my .02 is thus:

    Look at fighting games. More specifically, look at Soul Calibur. Very Medieval/ Renaissance, even Gothic. Compared with Tekken, or Virtua Fighter, it has a ‘western’ feel.

    But it’s still Japanese.

    DS is also very medieval (I’d say it has Gothic influences, especially as far as architecture), but it’s still very Japanese. Think about its control system and the learning curve/difficulty spike. That game is as old school as it gets.

    Final Fantasy is almost always set in a fantasized European inspired setting. It’s art style kind of gives it away, but say it had the art direction of Demon’s Souls. I do not think that would detract from it being a JRPG at all…

    Not arguing with anyone, just sharing my opinion, so take it as you’d like.

  72. phranctoast:

    I’m on the opposite side of this Capt. While some things can still seem Japanese feeling, like the brutal difficulty and the outside of the box online integration, the fact that they tried to make it so different, and western excludes it from the JRPG subcategory IMO.

  73. CarlB:

    Some of the designs remind me of Lost Odyssey.
    As much as Japanese developers may try to make a game different, the game itself almost always winds up with some reflection of their culture (as is likely the case with Korean and Chinese RPG’s, or any other country’s for that matter). The fact that so many “JRPG’s” are so very different, and that so many gamers have a different opinion of what “JRPG” means only reinforces the idea that the term has outlived it’s usefulness.

  74. CaptBirdman:

    @Phranc

    Yeah I see what you’re getting at. But there is one trope that Japanese devs never ever seem to get over and that is a shitty (non-streamlined) user interface/menu system.

    Can’t find one Japanese RPG (game?) that makes using an item or getting through a menu SIMPLE. Not one.

  75. phranctoast:

    LOL. Yeah, That extends to all Japanese games. Need to revive your health in a RE game. open menu, and select green herb, then use.

    They really do like to make some simple things difficult.

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