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View Full Version : BioWare co-founder: JRPGs suffer from 'lack of evolution'


nekrosoft13
01-03-10, 04:43 PM
While up at BioWare's headquarters in Edmonton, I had the opportunity to throw some questions at company co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk. I was curious about how the duo felt about the current RPG landscape in general, and why we're seeing more and more western-style RPGs while JRPGs have, at least among North American audiences, fallen somewhat to the wayside.

"The fall of the JRPG in large part is due to a lack of evolution, a lack of progression," Zeschuk said. "They kept delivering the same thing over and over. They make the dressing better, they look prettier, but it's still the same experience.

"My favorite thing, it's funny when you still see it, but the joke of some of the dialogue systems where it asks, 'do you wanna do this or this,' and you say no. 'Do you wanna do this or this?' No. 'Do you wanna do this or this?' No. Lemme think -- you want me to say 'yes.' And that, unfortunately, really characterized the JRPG."

Zeschuk admits that there are definitely exceptions coming from the East (Demon's Souls is currently one of his favorite games), but North American definitions of role-playing have simply evolved beyond those of their counterparts on the other side of the world. "We have big debates on whether GTA is an RPG, for example. It's got all the elements, it just doesn't have the numbers. And what gamers here want is that higher depth, that higher integration of features...Mass Effect 2 is in some ways a continuation of that evolution."

I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Zeschuk, but I no longer have any patience for JRPGs whatsoever (Half-Minute Hero notwithstanding, obviously). I'm curious to see what JRPG fans think of Zeschuk's stance, though. Do JRPGs really suffer from a lack of evolution?


http://www.destructoid.com/bioware-co-founder-jrpgs-suffer-from-lack-of-evolution--155782.phtml

|MaguS|
01-03-10, 05:27 PM
He hasn't played Persona 4, It's the most refreshing JRPG in the a long time.

Ninja Prime
01-03-10, 06:42 PM
I pretty much agree. Same anime-ish characters, spending a million polys to draw some anime character really isn't needed, just frickin cell shade it at that point. Same battle systems, same sh!t to collect, they are pretty much stamped out from the same mold. There is the occasional exception, but 99% of them don't deviate from the established order.

m3dude
01-03-10, 07:53 PM
its not exactly like bioware rpgs are any different. what have they innovated or evolved? the way of the crappy graphics engine?

|MaguS|
01-03-10, 07:57 PM
its not exactly like bioware rpgs are any different. what have they innovated or evolved? the way of the crappy graphics engine?

In 10 years they have changed far more then JRPGs have... JRPGs have been the same since the first one for the most part.

Johnny C
01-03-10, 08:29 PM
In 10 years they have changed far more then JRPGs have... JRPGs have been the same since the first one for the most part.

Dragon Warrior being the first JRPG....I'd have to say they've changed quite a bit....yet maybe not at all.....

Mr. Hunt
01-03-10, 08:51 PM
Are these the same dudes that came out with a game that is basically BG? Think so...

Viral
01-03-10, 11:56 PM
I agree to some degree. I was disappointed when FFXII's battle system was so ill received by fans, I personally enjoyed the change and progression forward and felt like the die-hards just didn't want change.

On the other hand, the same can be said about most genres. When something works and fans like it, change is not welcomed.

Maybe it's the general fan base that is the "problem" with JRPGs?

NarcissistZero
01-04-10, 12:47 AM
I used to freaking LOVE JRPGs back in the day. Mostly Final Fantasy but I played a lot of others too, we are talking SNES/early PS1 days.

Not sure if I would like them now, for some reason I have a real aversion to Japanese games in general now, they just seem so juvenile.

CaptNKILL
01-04-10, 01:40 AM
The only JRPG I ever really got into was Phantasy Star IV for the Genesis. Easily one of the best games I've ever played, but its one of the only JRPGs I could follow through and finish... which I actually did twice, despite the game's absurd length. I didn't even like the other games in the Phantasy Star series.

Breath of Fire was pretty cool but I never finished it. I also never got around to finishing Chrono Trigger for some reason, though I'd like to some day.

m3dude
01-04-10, 03:30 AM
In 10 years they have changed far more then JRPGs have... JRPGs have been the same since the first one for the most part.

no they havent, they have actually changed less.

Vardant
01-04-10, 06:48 AM
"My favorite thing, it's funny when you still see it, but the joke of some of the dialogue systems where it asks, 'do you wanna do this or this,' and you say no. 'Do you wanna do this or this?' No. 'Do you wanna do this or this?' No. Lemme think -- you want me to say 'yes.' And that, unfortunately, really characterized the JRPG."
That's funny considering in Mass Effect you get to choose yes, something in the middle, no and the result is yes, yes, no.

You won't notice that if you just play through the game once, but if you try some options you'll soon discover, that even though you get three choices, there are only two possible outcomes and even than they barely have any effect on the story. Sometimes my character would say something completely different than I wanted :thumbdwn:

It can be considered a change, just not a very good one. KotOR was much better in this regard, actually in every regard :D

I don't have any problem with JRPGs combat system, I still quite like it. FF XII was great after the initial shock and I wouldn't mind seeing it again. Persona 4 was just awesome all around. Too bad I've played it before 3, because that ruined it for me.

Johnny C
01-04-10, 12:28 PM
The only JRPG I ever really got into was Phantasy Star IV for the Genesis. Easily one of the best games I've ever played, but its one of the only JRPGs I could follow through and finish... which I actually did twice, despite the game's absurd length. I didn't even like the other games in the Phantasy Star series.

Breath of Fire was pretty cool but I never finished it. I also never got around to finishing Chrono Trigger for some reason, though I'd like to some day.

I forgot about that awesome game until right now....thanks Captn....

I'll have to find a copy somewhere...might even hook up the old genesis if I can find the damn thing.

nekrosoft13
01-04-10, 12:34 PM
i tried few jRPGs when i had PSX, but every single one was a disappointment and waste of money. all seemed to silly

crainger
01-04-10, 01:06 PM
JRPGs don't need to evolve as they are perfect...

LOL

I only like a few JRPGs, FFVII was k as was Lost Odyssey. I think the main area they haven't evolved in is tech, you still get walls and walls of text from main NPCs, what point is several DVDs or BDs if all you do is fill the things with filler ultra high res cut scenes. Please use more voice acting and in game cut scenes as per Dragon Age. Adding Ashley Williams also helps.