Awhile ago, I made a post saying how I had a hard time getting into the recent console JRPGs. Yet, I find myself enjoying some of the old-school JRPGs. Well, maybe not too old but the RPGs that were made during the SNES/PS1 era.

Right now I'm playing the Star Ocean remakes on the PSP and I'm pleasantly surprised on how good the remakes are. But more than that, I find myself enjoying JRPGs again.

Yes, it's a little bit of nostalgia, but I beg to differ. I don't think it's all nostalgia at all. Because first of all, I never played these Star Ocean games before so they are new experiences for me. Yeah, they do have that old-school JRPG feel and gameplay, but it's more than that.

What's the difference? These games had more heart, which is why there was a certain charm to them.

I think I know why the older classic JRPGs give off that special feeling when you play them. It's because in that era, we weren't bogged down with the latest technology and graphics that would choke the presentation, story, and characters. Back then, the story and characters were everything to a JRPG success. Which is why I think the developers focused more on them which resulted in games that had more heart.

But the modern JRPGs lack this "heart" I'm talking about. I think it's because the developers are getting so caught up in the graphics, technology, and cinematic cut-scenes that they choke out the most important thing which is the story and characters. The graphics and technology become the main characters of the game while the story and characters become the afterthought, almost as if they were just part of the supporting cast. Likewise, the stories seen in recent JRPGs are so crazy and out there that developers are getting more and more insane just for the sake of making the game look more cool. But is that really good storytelling? I don't think so. This is why I think the modern JRPGs lack this heartfelt tone I feel when I play some of the older JRPGs. That's why there's a HUGE difference I'm feeling when I play Star Ocean 1 VS Star Ocean the Last Hope.

I'm not saying all modern JRPGs are like this. I'm sure there are a few exceptions. But I think overall, I feel this way on them. So that's why I don't think it's all nostalgia, I really think JRPG developers lost their way of what matters most in JRPGs.

It's not the graphics, visuals, or even gameplay, although these are very important. It's the story and characters that matter most and I think the developers back then understood this because that's all they had.  
Posted by ASK_Story Sat, 30 Jan 2010 21:46:06 (comments: 11)
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Sat, 30 Jan 2010 21:50:45
I think it's in large part unfair criticism of the genre.  Somehow making a game that still qualifies as a JRPG somehow makes it immediately stale.  There are some people that aren't going to be happy until every genre turns into a shooter with RPG elements.
Sat, 30 Jan 2010 22:06:57
Yeah. Stick with the modern remakes. The contemporaries kinda blow...

*Glory of Heracles and Sands of Destruction, I am looking DIRECTLY at you!!! WHAT disappointments!*
Sat, 30 Jan 2010 22:08:50
Yeah, you're kind of right about that, Leo. Sands and Heracles are slightly disappointing, to be honest. I'm still glad that I got them for my DS collection, but these remakes of the old classics are so much better. MUCH BETTER, like the FFIV remake.
Sat, 30 Jan 2010 22:25:13
I totally don't mean to rub this in --BUT-- I got so disgusted by Heracles and it's insipidness, I spring-shot it out of my DS one night and had to immediately do a complete quest in Phantasy Star 0 to get the rage out of my system...

...and I had already finished PS0 at that point!

*Of course, Hard Mode opening up after beating the game and the availability of post-ending missions helped... but my point is: PS0 is a game that has addictive and inspired gameplay and makes me WANT to return to IT. I HAD TO get rid of the other two as quickly as possible. I was offended they would actually publish two games like that one right after the other in this country and I was suckered into buying them!*
Sat, 30 Jan 2010 22:32:58
I guess I can understand that. Lately, I've been collecting these DS JRPGs. I don't know why, but I like collecting them.

Doesn't mean I play them every moment of the day, but they are comforting when I play them at night when I can't sleep, on the crapper, or on the road.
Sun, 31 Jan 2010 03:14:53
Having started playing JRPGs in the PSX era, and not having played any since (well, except for Valkyria Chronicles) I probably shouldn't comment, but I haven't really noticed a difference tbh. But I assume you're referring to even older ones! Going back to FFIV-VI which I haven't played a whole lot didn't seem to have much more soul to something like, say, FFVIII.

Sun, 31 Jan 2010 04:11:37
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door has a lot of heart. Happy

Sun, 31 Jan 2010 13:45:39

Skies of arcadia was 45 hrs of heart.

Well, in between the random battles Nyaa

Sun, 31 Jan 2010 21:11:13

Ravenprose said:
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door has a lot of heart. Happy

I <3 PM:tTYD a lot

Sat, 06 Feb 2010 21:27:01
I think it is just that the first time you go through the standard JRPG storylines they do seem epic and touching.  But nowadays, due to repetition, they are just hackneyed and generic.  The first JRPG I played was Sword of Hope on the Game Boy. The player was an apprentice to a wizard, and you essentially had to find some keys in the forest and then return to the wizard for a final dungeon crawl.  Not much of a story.  But at the time (and in my memory) it is one of the most heart-warming and rewarding gaming experiences.  
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