Recently I completed Mass Effect, a Western RPG with BioWare’s signature style. I started Fallout 3, a Western RPG with an entirely different style, several days ago and while it has a frustratingly high learning curve, I think I might be getting a grip on it enough that I want to continue.
The untouched realm would be the JRPGs.
Final Fantasy VII is the only JRPG I’ve ever completed. Personally, while I enjoyed the characters and plot, I didn’t feel it was a very good game and the dialogue was beyond childish. It took me well over a year of off-and-on playing to finish it. I suspect that was just falling for the world-wide fanboyism over the game and wanting to be part of the FFVII crowd more than anything else. I skipped VIII and IX altogether, though I was interested in them. I thought FFX was far and above a superior game to VII but I could never bring myself to actually complete it. I wondered if the JRPG fan in me had died somewhere, or if it was ever there to begin with?
I’ve been curious to at least give one a shot recently. Openedge was playing Infinite Undiscovery awhile back and I seriously considered getting the game on his recommendation. Then he turns around and blogs that he quit the game because it sucked. I have a few XBL/MMOG friends playing through Lost Odyssey so I picked it up used for $25. Surprise of surprises, I’m enjoying the hell out of it! I think I have 11 hours in-game over the past few days so far and I suspect I’ve nearly completed Disc 1 (of 4).
I’m still not sure how I feel about turn-based combat though. It sucks when I decide on a character’s action then before it’s that character’s turn, something happens that makes his action completely irrelevant and useless but there’s no way to change your mind.
Graphics and audio are superb, the only exception being the victory music which makes me double-check that it’s in fact 2009 and I’m playing an Xbox 360 not a SNES or Saturn.
As usual with JRPGs the dialogue is often dodgy, sometimes teetering on the edge of childish melodrama, but it’s tolerable.
If nothing else, it’s made me a little more open to trying other JRPGs. I’ve been very curious about The Last Remnant — despite all the technical problems with the Unreal Engine — and the new Star Ocean coming soon.