JRPG's, where do I start??

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#1 Posted by huerito323 (1371 posts) -

So I want to start playing JRPGs. I've never been able to get into them because I always felt the characters were cheesy and I'm not a fan of turn based combat. I wouldn't really give them a chance, and I would stop playing within 30 minutes. Every time I hear about the best stories in video games, most of them are JRPGs. I feel left out that I haven't played any of them. I want to experience these stories, I just want to know where to start. For a noob of this genre, which game would you recommend to start on?

What are the top 5 JRPGs in your opinion?

#2 Posted by Demonjoe93 (9442 posts) -

Well, since you can't stand some of the cheesy characters and turn-based combat that a lot of JRPGs have, I would strongly recommend Xenoblade. The characters are fairly likable and the combat is not turn based. In addition to both of those qualities, Xenoblade also has an awesome story, huge environments, a shit load of side-quests, great sound track, and, even though it's a Wii game, pretty damn good looking graphics.

#3 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8611 posts) -

Dude, incase you haven't noticed the story in JRPGs are either watched in many many cutscenes or read in many many texts. And what makes these stories so great is peoples perception of how much of a pain in the ass the gameplay is and they are rewarded for putting with it in the form of story.

Also it sounds like you're just looking to belong, don't force it dude, its just not worth it.

#4 Posted by pyro1245 (300 posts) -

Well if you have a wii and can get a copy i suggest Xenoblade Chronicles. Best JRPG i've played since I can remember.

Other good entry points: FF9 (or really any FF6-9, 9 is just probably the best representation of FF roots without getting too old school). If you're into strategy RPGs check out the Disgaea games. Everyone hates on FF12 but I love it and it uses a more MMO style combat which happens in real time. Chrono games have cool dimensional/time travel mechanics with lots of unique endings.

Just forewarning: cheesy characters are a pretty fundamental aspect of jrpgs. That and at some point in the game a character will survive a ridiculously long fall (that just always happens idk why)

#5 Edited by wiouds (4994 posts) -

If you want the story they watch a let's play of them.

JRPG have a number of cheesy just as much WRPG are filled with whiny characters.

#6 Edited by Yoshi9000 (377 posts) -

Nier maybe, it's an acquired taste of a game. The combat isn't turn based, but it can still get pretty repetitive at times because of the large amount of enemies you will encounter, although many can be skipped. The game also isn't really challenging, at least not on the normal difficulty. There are also many side quests that are boring, especially the fishing. Graphics aren't the best either.

The game really shines with the story and the uniqueness of its game design. Rarely characters feel cliché. Yes, you play as a macho hero who has to save his daughter from a disease, but by the end of the game this wont feel cheesy anymore. Dialogue is full of humor and emotion, and voice acting is great for a JRPG. There are moments when the game switches to 2D platforming, segments of text reading followed by riddles, and rooms where you have to follow specific rules of gameplay elements. The game is full of unique touches. Even though side quests can suck, some do open up new dialogue between characters, so they aren't completely useless. Boss fights are fun too.

Story is pretty depressing though, so don't get if you want a happy ending. It's not cliché though. You also wont understand all the backstory, but if you really get into the game, it relates to a PS2 game called Drakengard. Look some stuff up, it'll make more sense. There's actually a whole book about it that was released in Japan. If you are good at getting into fictional stories and like a dark and twisted plot, it can be a lot of fun to play. Look up some reviews.

#7 Edited by Jag85 (4267 posts) -

I'd recommend starting with one of the following five games:

Secret of Mana (SNES)

Chrono Trigger (SNES)

Final Fantasy VII (PS1)

Persona 4 (PS2)

Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)

#8 Edited by TTUalumni13 (453 posts) -

Xenoblade Chronicles for sure. Great game, great story.

I haven't played Ni No Kuni (sp?) but I hear its good as well

#9 Edited by withe1982 (450 posts) -

@huerito323 said:

So I want to start playing JRPGs. I've never been able to get into them because I always felt the characters were cheesy and I'm not a fan of turn based combat. I wouldn't really give them a chance, and I would stop playing within 30 minutes. Every time I hear about the best stories in video games, most of them are JRPGs. I feel left out that I haven't played any of them. I want to experience these stories, I just want to know where to start. For a noob of this genre, which game would you recommend to start on?

What are the top 5 JRPGs in your opinion?

I'd start of with Ni No Kuni TBH. It's incredible simple and intuitive and doesn't require an extensive background in JRPGs to master. That added to the fact that it's an incredible game as well and it should definitely be your first game in the genre.

I'd also not played many JRPGs (FF7 only) and found this an amazing starting off point for a beginner.

Have a google of it and you'll see the high praise it gets accross the board. It's a great Western friendly JRPG and has turned me onto JRPGs in a big way.

As a side note just to get you in the mood I'd recommend downloading some Shingeki no Kyojin (attack on titan). it's a fantastic series.

#10 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (18078 posts) -

You don't!

Just kidding.

Just kidding on that just kidding.

#11 Edited by Grenadeh (103 posts) -

Top 5 varies on every person but here are the games you MUST play. Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Super Mario RPG, Xenogears, FF1 through 10, Xenosaga, Suikoden, the first few Dragon Quest games, Resonance of Fate, Secret of Mana, Legend of Mana, Persona, Ni No Kuni, and that's about it. Maybe Valkyria Chronicles.

#12 Posted by Some-Mist (5630 posts) -

@Jag85 said:

I'd recommend starting with one of the following five games:

Chrono Trigger (SNES)

literally the best way to get into the genre (imo). I was in the exact same predicament, but chrono trigger got me hooked. the only problem is that it's hard to find jrpgs that match the quality of chrono trigger after you complete it.

I think it's definitely the most bearable jrpg to play for a newcomer to the genre.

#13 Edited by LoG-Sacrament (20395 posts) -

i don't think it's worth doing much with the genre if you don't like turn-based battles. it's not that turn based is inherently better so much as it is that a lot of the better games just happen to be turn based. here are some jrpg's i like (that wouldn't be very controversial to call them as such), regardless of whether they are action, turn-based, real time, or whatever:

dragon quest viii

fire emblem: path of radiance

paper mario: the thousand year door

persona 3

baten kaitos: eternal wings and the lost ocean

#14 Edited by turtlethetaffer (16439 posts) -

These are my absolute favorite games in the JRPg genre.

Xenoblade, Dragon Quest IX, Final Fantasy VI, Radiant Historia and Chrono Trigger. Each one is awesome in its own way, and every one of them are worth playing.

Don't forget Pokemon; with any of the games, you are guaranteed a traditional JRPG, and their light difficulties make them very noob friendly. I'd recommend Heartgold or Soulsilver as your first.

Honorable mentions include: Paper Mario Thousand Year Door, Tales of the Abyss, Fire Emblem Awakening, shin Megami Tensei IV (although the game's really, really tough at times) final Fantasy V.

There's also Knights in the Nightmare, although that game is a mash up of like three or four different genres, including JRPG. Definitely check it out if you want something truly unique, although prepare to practice the game a lot, simply because there's nothing else that plays like it.

#15 Edited by turtlethetaffer (16439 posts) -

Well, since you can't stand some of the cheesy characters and turn-based combat that a lot of JRPGs have, I would strongly recommend Xenoblade. The characters are fairly likable and the combat is not turn based. In addition to both of those qualities, Xenoblade also has an awesome story, huge environments, a shit load of side-quests, great sound track, and, even though it's a Wii game, pretty damn good looking graphics.

I second this. Xenoblade is incredible and filled with (non intrusive) tutorials, so getting into the game is quite easy.

#16 Posted by insanegame377 (332 posts) -

Xenoblade Chronicles for sure. Great game, great story.

I haven't played Ni No Kuni (sp?) but I hear its good as well

Played the first few hours of Ni No Kuni, but even though I'm a huge JRPG fan I find the story to be boring and a bit too childish for my liking. It looks nice enough and the battling is fun but the poor story is putting me off picking it back up. Each to their own though I guess.

#17 Posted by huerito323 (1371 posts) -

So I bought a game called Parasite Eve for the PS1. I like it so far. Really dark atmosphere which I love, and the combat isn't turn based. The story is kinda outrageous(mitochondria gone wild), but it's very mysterious and I'm finding myself wanting to know more. It's a creepy game, anybody played it before?

Xenoblade looks really good, I been wanting to buy a Wii for a while and I think it's the right time to do it.

#18 Posted by Archangel3371 (15165 posts) -

I'd recommend:

  • Lost Odyssey on the 360
  • Tales of Xillia on the PS3
  • Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii
  • Final Fantasy XIII on either 360 or PS3
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 on either 360 or PS3
#19 Posted by touchscreenpad (220 posts) -

I tried to force myself before into playing a JRPG for its story despite of the gameplay being turn-based. I'm not exactly sure if it would be worth it for you but after playing one game like that I never wanted to play another turn-based game though I did like the story a bit. It was FFX.

I can only remember a bit of JRPGs that aren't turn-based and those are the Tales Series, Star Ocean and the Ys Series. I'm not sure if you could count Kingdom Hearts as a JPRG though.

#20 Posted by GreySeal9 (23943 posts) -

Start with Chrono Trigger. It's not very grindy, it has a fun story with great characters, its accessible, etc.

#21 Posted by huerito323 (1371 posts) -

@GreySeal9: I'm downloading Chrono Trigger right now, can't wait to play it.

#22 Posted by pupp3t_mast3r (141 posts) -

@huerito323:

You basically described a number of the defining characteristics of 90% of the JRPG's out there in your initial post.

It is worth noting there aren't as many JRPG's in the market as when compared to the PS2 generation so you aren't really missing out any recent great games. Even the more recently released ones are just remakes of the older classics (the ones worth mentioning anyway). So speaking as an avid JRPG fan I would say look at some of the best rated RPG's from the generations PS2 and older and you'll find that almost all of them were JRPG's. Like some of the posts that have already mentioned like Chrono Trigger, FF series upto X (some say IX), also check out all games under the title of Shin Megami Tensei and the Disgaea games.

#23 Edited by nicecall (428 posts) -

have fun with chrono trigger, its the way jrpg should have gone instead of grindy boring hell that most are.

If you like Chrono Trigger try Chrono Cross, its a bit different but I liked it just as much as the first one... you may want to use a walkthrough guide of some kind if you want to unlock as many characters are possible since the game has so many non linear paths which provide different outcomes and different characters unlock depending on which you choose.

#24 Posted by DonkeyBrains (36 posts) -

@huerito323:

2D: Final Fantasy 6

3D: Dragon Quest VIII

#25 Edited by huerito323 (1371 posts) -

Just wanted to say that I've been playing Chrono Trigger(SNES version), and I am loving it so far. I've had the music stuck in my head ever since I started playing it.

#26 Posted by vl4d_l3nin (779 posts) -

Don't forget Pokemon; with any of the games, you are guaranteed a traditional JRPG, and their light difficulties make them very noob friendly.

Yes, get it if you haven't played one yet. The series is recycled as hell, but if you haven't played a single one, your in for a treat. The only downside is that at this point, the Pokemon are looking pretty stupid.

#27 Edited by The_Last_Ride (69112 posts) -
  1. Final Fantasy X
  2. Persona 4 Golden
  3. Final Fantasy 13-2
  4. Ni no Kuni
  5. Pokemon series
#28 Posted by GreySeal9 (23943 posts) -

Just wanted to say that I've been playing Chrono Trigger(SNES version), and I am loving it so far. I've had the music stuck in my head ever since I started playing it.

Awesome. I always love when a recommendation goes down well.

#29 Edited by contracts420 (1956 posts) -

DON'T! Just turn back now before it's too late. Go back to Morrowind, please... for your own sake.

#30 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16439 posts) -

@contracts420: Afraid he'll realize JRPGs are superior to WRPGs? ;)