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93 comments

  • omar-morhbi - December 29, 2012 7:43 p.m.

    Tbh, even though I voted for Henry, I still thought that Cooper was better on his explanations with the WRPGs. I actually played more JRPGs than WRPGs but I still think both are really good. I'm not a fanboy and I can go with any RPG game as long as it's good.
  • MrUnreal - October 2, 2012 1:35 p.m.

    Its quite arbitrary but simply been able to customise my characters appearance, back-story and abilities makes me a fan of WRPG's
  • Shinn - September 26, 2012 6:06 a.m.

    Polish rpgs win.
  • LordEvan88 - September 22, 2012 3:11 p.m.

    This really seems to be a case of apples and oranges. They are two different things and should be judged on their own games, rather than comparing the two. I've played 4 games these past 6 months that are perfect examples of this: Early in the year I got Mass Effect 3. Really has some of the worst qualities of WRPGs these days, extremely cliched characters, little options in developing your character, an overabundance of focus on running and gunning to attract the action crowd. They seem to have abandoned the pretense of choices having consequences. This is not touching the ending. Point is, I played it, put it down and I have no desire to go back because once you play it ever again. After that I played Final Fantasy XIII-2. This was largely due to the fact that I heard it was non-linear and offered more choice than its predecessor. But all I really got was brightly collored fluff doing ninja stunts during quick time events. All of the things that have been turning me off permeates the style of the game. Admittedly, it was too much for me. I couldn't care about the characters or world because they were so over-the-top. Now later in the year I sunk my teeth into Persona 4. And although the characters weren't terribly original the characters seemed really down to earth and fun to be around and the style of the game set itself apart from most other games I had played. It has a nice mixture of humor and melodrama, so that it never gets bogged down in itself, but also hits you hard when it decides to be serious. Rounding it out is my much delayed playthrough of Planescape: Torment. I hate the battle system, its pretty much all the worst qualities of DnD. Painfully old school. But the characters and the world and the quest and the sense of my choices, past, present and future having dire consequences for me and my followers (Even if they don't, actually) just draw me into what could be a very generic fantasy world. The writing is so sharp and treats the player like an adult, which is a welcome break from a lot of games which think being an adult means constant sex and violence being shoved in your face. There are 4 different games from two different genres and they are so incredibly distinct from one another I cannot put them on the same scale, so why try to force it?
  • Thedigitalg - September 22, 2012 11:59 a.m.

    Also, you're wrong on one point, Henry. FF13-2 ended with like 4 cliffhangers and loose ends, and low and behold there is a 13-3! Otherwise I agree with you.
  • DarthKato - September 22, 2012 11:57 a.m.

    I believe that it really comes down to personal taste. Neither can be said to be better than the other. I think that WRPGs are better, but I am sure that there will be people that agree and disagree with me. That is fine. It's not going to change my mind one way or the other. What I am trying to say is that this kind of article is useless, because it all comes down to personal preference.
  • Thedigitalg - September 22, 2012 11:55 a.m.

    Is this even a discussion? The two are completely different genres-within-genres (like Tetris and Portal are both puzzle games, but nothing alike). WRPG - Action-based, JRPG - Story-based. My opinion, if anyone cares, is that WRPGs are basically glorified FPS'. But that's just me.
  • TheInvincibleDragon - September 22, 2012 10:24 a.m.

    Myself, personally, I started out playing JRPGs when I was younger. My first RPG was the original Final Fantasy. While my heart yearns for the glory days of good ol' fashioned JRPGs, Western RPGs spin more compelling stories than JRPGs nowadays. I'm all about the storytelling in the RPG, and Western RPGs have a more stories that I can relate to. My vote is with Western RPGs.
  • brickman409 - September 22, 2012 9:55 a.m.

    would it be racist if I said all JRPG characters looked the same?
  • patbateman17 - September 22, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    Only if by "the same" you meant slanty-eyed, then yes that would be racist. Otherwise, this is an observation :)
  • Meleedragon27 - September 22, 2012 6:40 a.m.

    This is a tough one... both sub-genres have plenty to both love and hate, and while I personally prefer WRPGs for a number of reasons, I thought Henry made a more compelling argument. That conflict makes it hard for me to cast my vote. I'm personally amazed at the number of people who seem to think WRPGs aren't "true" RPGs because they don't utilize turn-based combat or because the protagonist is a largely blank slate. If anything, WRPGs are closer to RPGs than JRPGs because they put much more emphasis on actual role-playing - namely, the blank slate protagonist. While some may decry it as lazy writing, it's there to allow the player to better immerse themselves and act as if they're actually there. This usually includes having them make up the backstory and, of course, making their own choices on how to approach things during their adventure. The choices may often be tacked-on, you can argue, but it doesn't change the fact that you still have choices and the character in question is still shaped by YOU, the player. In a way, games like Skyrim are big, glorified LARP-fests.
  • Fox_Mulder - September 22, 2012 5:23 a.m.

    Coop, you destroy the competition as always. I think JRPGs are part of a dying breed. They need some new innovations, so we can stop playing essentially the same game we have for the past 14 years.
  • Errrrbo - September 22, 2012 1:01 a.m.

    I prefer JRPGs, personally. Being able to make your own story is cool sometimes, but at the end of the day, the game stories that I find most memorable are ones where characters act on their own will rather than waiting for me to pick a dialogue option.
  • robert-jenkins - September 21, 2012 11:48 p.m.

    I'm definitely going to have to go with the Western RPG's on this one. People argue that western rpg's are often ont even real rpg's but i think that the most important part is to be playing some sort of role. As a savior common in WRPG's or w/e the case is. The Western rpg's have many rpg elements that can be found within the game but they have a free form of gaming. RPG does not mean that you must use turned base combat. You can make a first person RPG. A great example is the elder scrolls series. Although skyrim is a bit less rpg then iw ould have liked it sticks to classic rpg elements and i mean tabletop elements such as percent chanes of landing strikes in morrowind, different skills, items to increase skills or increase attritutes and other effects, potions for boosting those same things. Different items work on different enemies either not at all or with less effectiveness. In earlier elder scrolls games not sure aobut in skyrim you had to have a silver weapon or greater in order to inflict damage on specific enemies . And in morrowind you could even land a "miss". I think people forget long before we had the JRPG's there were tabletop RPG's and text based adventure games. WRPG's evolve from these games while jrpg's evolve mostly from tabletop mixed with japanese monsters instead. I think the big deal with the stories is that JRPG's tend to have strong core stories that anyone can pick up and gain an interest in while while Wrpg's have a much larger encompassing story which is typical of a free world where you get to run around. In the elder Scrolls a lot of people say the story sucks but its simply because they don't know the encompassing lore. If you know the encompassing lore then a lot of things that go unnoticed like peoples names, locations, creatures, items, weapons lose the true significance that a lore familiar person will have. I play skyrim all the time and my friends don't understand why i get so excited over certain locations because to me i'm like. this is the location i've been reading about in elder scrolls books for the past 7 years. this is the lost race ive been wondering about since my morrowind days. the overall encompassing story is great when you know the lore but the main story doesn't hold the drama that jrpg's have because jrpg's tend to have more cutscenes and dialogue. I really love the world created by the western rpg because its rarely created by the jrpg in that way. You feel a sense of history and meaning and belonging to everyting around you unlike random meaningless objects you will see in a jrpg just sitting around a lot of the time. Also i do not like the enemies to be found in jrpg's... its pretty damn annoyhing when you fight ridiculous monsters that aren't even scary or some monsters that just look... ridiculous. I kind of like my monsters to have a very refined look but instead in jrpg's you often get monsters who look like they are just constructed out of random items and body parts. From a biological standpoint they often make such little sense. thats just me personally though some people like that sort of thing. I also have to say i prefer free forms of combat it gives me the edge to really think my way out of a situation the way i see fit. But yeah pretty much i like the free form and class systems used by western rpg's. I enjoy perks and skills. The glitch department found is for one because the way the games ar emade are totally different. When you make an open sandbox type of game you have a lot of random objects and creatures doing things at the same time in a single cell over a very very large area. Everyting is also a container. You're a container, the monsters are containers, the rocks are containers sometimes even, dressers, animals, followers etc... Its hard to predict how everyting is going to react with each other when everything is not preset to happen a certain way. I do think japanese rpg's sometimes can have good music though but i'm not a fan of mos tof it and sometimes they are too similar too each other. I think they suffer from not enough uniqueness in the genre because there is such a heavy stream of them coming out from small to large game companies so a lot of junk is pushed out into the genre that hides the good stuff. but yueah end of the day i'm a western rpg guy... i like ot feel like my decisions and my skill specifications really made a difference in my gameplay and the story ending.
  • avantguardian - September 22, 2012 11:58 p.m.

    holy shit! paragraphs bro! paragraphs!
  • samsneeze - September 21, 2012 10 p.m.

    I find myself sticking to jRPGs as a whole. At least those try to innovate gameplay wise from time to time and don't work under the false illusion that making choices during your game is what makes a story interesting. Every game doesn't have to be a choose your own adventure book in order to be enjoyable. Heck, some stories suffer because of player choice. Then there is the fact that most fantasy wRPGs work under the Tolkien narrative of fantasy. Which leaves them severely lacking in identity as far as person to person population is concerned.
  • fullmetallegend - September 21, 2012 9:44 p.m.

    Even having grown up with JRPGs, I find them very lacking. Especially this generation. I've never played A JRPG with truly well done dialogue, and they like to talk non-stop in those. I felt like a lot of the arguments for JRPGs were just kinda of like saying "Well.... so what!?" I admit to playing a JRPG every now and then, when it's been a a good number of months or years, just because sometimes I miss the charmingly predictable, ridiculous, overly chatty characters. But I'll never play more than one in a row, or even finish one most of the time. Still, it's all just a matter of opinion, but from a REALLY technical stand point, Western RPGs dominate, the seem to put actual effort into it, instead of popping out "Teenagers save the world from pointless doom with charming, yet ridiculous personalities and snail pace slots and combat that let us slap 100+ hours of gameplay on the box" But hey, some people really like that. *shrug*
  • zombi3grim - September 21, 2012 9:14 p.m.

    I loved JRPGs as a kid. Hell, its no secret here that FFVII was and still is my favorite game and probably always will be. But I grew up. I matured and started looking for something different in my RPGs. And while the JRPG genre is still here (barely) its really not that different from what I played on the SNES a long time ago. I picked WRPGs only because the choice or illusion of choice appeals to me better then a typical anime cliche style narrative. I like picking dialoug options and having my character be an asshole or be an uppity up. I like picking perks and spreading out skill points where I want them.
  • Evanesco - September 21, 2012 7:55 p.m.

    The Quality control argument made was amazingly unfair. JRPG's have exponentially less Open World games the scale of a Bethesda game. Something that tightly controlled is going to by default have less bugs because there are less things that can go wrong with it. That aside, RPG stands for Role Playing Game. There are no defined rules for what else has to be in the game. If you're playing a role, its and RPG. It doesn't matter what you grew up with or what started the term. Assassin's Creed is an RPG. Mass Effect is an RPG. WoW is an RPG. Almost every game we've ever played was an RPG. You play the role of someone or something else. 'RPG' is a terribly inacurate classification what seems to just be fantasy games.
  • superdude22 - September 21, 2012 6:27 p.m.

    Can't I just play the best of both?

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