What Makes a Great JRPG? - Part 4 - Wrap-Up

Ultimately, when discussing JRPGs, there are a ton of factors that will make a game in the genre great. We discussed storytelling and how critical it is, we discussed characters and their development, we even discussed a bit about combat and rewarding players for the long haul. (check the previous blogs in this series!) All of these factors and more feed into what I believe to be the major strength of JRPGs as a whole, and that's immersion. 


Now saying JRPG's strength lies in immersion isn't a new concept, especially to those of you who are familiar with the genre. Traveling across these unique worlds, with unique characters and deep combat systems for up to 60 hours sometimes will undoubtedly adsorb you, like it or not. It's more about why or even how these titles absorb you. I did my very best to put into words what makes JRPGs so special, whether it be your connection to the characters, the world, or other aspects of the game. I know JRPG completionists who do their best to get 100% of the game completed (when possible). I know players who don't even do side-quests, simply because they want to drive the narrative along. I even know players who get super addicted to crafting in JRPGS! In fact, at one point in my life, I was super into fishing in Breath of Fire 4...

Many an hour spent here....

In summary, I think I would say JRPGs are the most personal "genre" of gaming, simply due to the immense focus on narrative. When things are so focused on narrative, it's easy to feel parallels between the characters and yourself, or even themes presented in the world. Obviously, this phenomenon isn't exclusive to JRPGs, with games like The Stanley Parable, Little Inferno, and even Bioshock which are capable of making the player feel things on a personal level via narrative. I just strongly think beyond all the kawaii and waifu jokes there's a lot of very strong content to these games, and a ton of strengths. They require a lot of time, so they're solid for gaming on a budget and the soundtracks usually tend to be incredibly powerful. There's a ton of incredibly great JRPGs out there, and even though lately I haven't been playing them as much as I once did (WTB TIME), I have played A LOT. If you're interested in getting started in the genre or just want to share what JRPGs you love, comment below! I absolutely love this genre, and just want to discuss them. I'm currently juggling Odin Sphere Leifthrasir, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Suikoden Tierkreis. I have a ton of JRPGs in my backlog as well including, Trials of Cold Steel, SMTxFE and I Am Setsuna. To anyone that has taken the time to read this entire series, you're the MVP(s)!

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