Why Japanese RPGs Suck

11 problems and smartass advice on how to fix them

Spending a childhood playing JRPGs has given me a great respect for them, but I'm not a child anymore and the games haven't grown up with me. I can't help but feel let down by almost every new game that fails to evolve and consider something new- say, having a hero who doesn't use a sword (gunblades count as swords).

Through the years, I've become mature, wiser and incredibly good looking, while JRPGs still have the same happy-go-lucky idiots running headlong into the same obvious fortresses of evil. Before you start moaning about how a great formula is great because it can endure the test of time, read my reasons that JRPGs suck. After that, go ahead and gripe if you think fixing these concerns wouldn’t make JRPGs even better (babies).

The only time it's appropriate to find 12 gold coins and a potion after a battle is when you’ve just defeated a group of potion-sellers. But does that ever happen? No, but take down a pack of wolves or an alligator and you're bound to find leather armor, a gem of fire magic and enough gold to start a college savings fund for the little alligator orphans you've just created. The obvious question is: what were the animals going to spend that money on? When you figure that out, ask yourself: where were they hiding those 12 gold coins?

Quick fix: This one's not very hard to figure out. If you're fighting a guy who fights by throwing fish at you, he should drop some fish. If you fight a fish, it should drop nothing but scales and fish meat. Fish don't carry manufactured goods.

In a perfect world: Instead of collecting gold from enemies, I'd like to be able to saw off the heads of everything I kill, tie them all together in a long chain and drag it around to freak people out. This is better than collecting gold from dead animals, because it at least makes sense in that everything I fight has a head. Well, except the things that don't.

Worst offenders: Outside of an MMO or two, if you can get loot from fighting, the game does this. Go ahead, think about it for awhile and see if you can find more than one exception.

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