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I see alot of hate and anger and passion concerning JRPG's. You all know what im talking about. But thats NOT the purpose of my thread.
What i would like to see from JRPG developers is more a move toward a more historical japanese, chineese, or other regions of the far east approach to their games. What i mean by this is that the settings are based in eras like Medieval Japan or Ancient China (IE Three Kingsdom era).
For instance imagine a JRPG set in Japan in medieveal times dominated by feudal lords chalk full of Samurai, Ninja, Ronin, Historically accurate armor and weapons, castles, landmarks etc etc. Now add in some fantasy elements such as mythological creatures from japaneese legends. A japan which is over ran by Oni demons led by powerful Oni or even evil corrupt samurai. Add in other mythological creatures from japaneese and other asian countries and you have a compelling setting for a JRPG.
Just picture a quest which takes you as young samurai to track down and kill a rampaging dragon whose lair is located inside of Mt. Fuji so you can earn favor with a local kingdom in order to advance the main story.
Now as far as gameplay mechanics go as a fan of WRPG' i would prefer more of a sandbox open world and highly customizable game than the standard stat-padding, on rails driven storyline of most JRPG's.
Turn based combat is fine to a degree. I hear many people criticize JRPGs for turn based combat. I would like to remind alot of the haters that some of the BEST WRPG's utilized turn based combat such as KOTOR and Baldurs Gate. The problem isnt that it is turn based. It is how it i implemented. Many JRPGs have unwieldy menus to use for combat and the attack animations simply take way to long.
The artwork needs to change as well. No overly bright colors and ridiculously oversized weapons. Make the game look like it represents what Japan and its people would look like in medieval times. I want the NPC to look like Ken Watanabe's character from "The Last Samurai," and not some strange creation out of a Final Fantasy game or bad Anime.
Before some of you start saying im just a typical westerner hating on JRPGS and anime you are both right and wrong. There are some great Anime shows out there which i have become addicted to over the years. Fullmetal Alchemist, Ghost in the Shell, Berserk were my favorites as well as individual movies.
When i was younger i liked Dragon ball Z and later on Bleach until i realized it was the same old tired and obnoxious formula with these shows. I got tired of seeing Goku and Ichigo and all their friends getting beat by some more powerful enemy, suddenly discovering a new power while they lie bleeding on the ground and beating down the enemy who just creamed them. Then suddenly a new more powerful enemy than the last shows up again(even though the first enemy was supposed to be the most powerful in the galaxy) and the show just repeats it ad nauseum. This tired formula reminds me of what they do in today JRPG's. Its just the same old formula which worked in 1997 but is played out now.
Also leave out the overly cute sugary nonsense. no more chocobos, or pokemans, or talking teddy bears. These things that make no sense at all as well as the spiky gel'd hair and the main characters love interest who is always in a schoolgirls uniform are a huge pet peeve of mine and turn me off from any JRPG. Its ridiculous and has been done to death.
The genre has simply been pretty bad for years now. There will be room for other JRPG's no doubt which will still follow the same tired old formula as Final Fantasy so why not try and evolve the genre a bit and move toward a mix of JRPG and western?
Something along these lines would be incredibly appealing to me if JRPG developers were to create a game along these guidelines and start moving away from what has become a stagnant genre. I am willing to bet many people here will agree with me as well.