Being an JRPG fan is great, but there are times where it feels like a tragic situation.
JRPGs are the games I love the most, but play the least (the least amount of them, that is). I can wrap up a platformer or Metroidvania in 10-15 hours, but I can only fit in so many 40-60 hour RPGs per year. I end up skipping so many that I even give out a “The One That Got Away” award at the end of the year. And with that end coming closer, I wanted to take the time to spotlight all the JRPGs I would love to support but can’t (yet). Let’s get started!
(Screenshots taken from the Nintendo games website, Steam store pages, and the Atlus game site)
10. Bravely Default. Thanks to Octopath Traveler, I found out that Square Enix also made this little RPG for the 3DS back in 2012 with a similar combat mechanic. This game and its sequel would be fun to play, but admittedly they’re low on the totem pole because Octopath is already so similar to them.
9. I Am Setsuna. I may not have played the game, but I have listened to its haunting piano soundtrack, and that alone has piqued my interest. Not everyone seems to be a fan of this game, but I like old school JRPGs enough that I’m looking forward to my eventual playthrough.
8. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana. I discovered Ys VIII thanks to RPG YouTubers who reviewed the Switch version of this game when it came out in June. Ys is a long-standing JRPG series that I’d never heard of, but Ys VIII appears to be a good starting point. I love the unique setting and the island survival twist on the RPG formula.
7. Dragon Quest XI: Tales of an Elusive Age. It looks so beautiful!! I want want want want it. Square Enix has just been on a roll this year with making tons of quality games, if you ask me. But I think it’ll be better for me to wait for the Switch version anyway. Good things come to those who procrastinate, at least for Nintendo Switch owners.
6. Tales of (Vesperia or Symphonia, I can’t decide). Like Fire Emblem, the Tales series has long been on my radar. Tales of Symphonia came out on the GameCube and has been praised to death, and I am excited that it is available on Steam now. But on the other hand, Tales of Vesperia is coming soon to the Switch and has a very clean anime style that I’m a fan of. Guess I’ll just have to get both!
5. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. Last year I was neck deep in Splatoon 2 and Breath of the Wild, and this game passed me by. The tactical combat looks right up my alley, and I love that it gives the player so much freedom to move around the map. I’ll get it during one of those Ubisoft sales, maybe after the holidays?
4. Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology. This one caught me by surprise this year. I’d never heard of the DS game before, but I played the demo of the 3DS remake early this year during my commute. I loved the unique 3×3 grid combat and the risk/reward system of manipulating the turn order. I need to get this one someday.
3. Ni no Kuni II: The Revenant Kingdom. This game released in the spring this year, which was a bad time for me. I had to defend a thesis, wrap up an internship, and prepare to move across several states. It is unfortunate because I love Studio Ghibli, so this one will always remain high on my To-Get list. I’d play the first one too, if it weren’t a PS3 exclusive.
2. Valkyria Chronicles (I or IV). This one, again, is all a matter of timing. It’s a tactical JRPG that actually makes me see its action / 3rd person shooter mechanics as something refreshing. Western Shooter RPGs like Mass Effect, Destiny, or Fallout just don’t appeal to me, so I am glad I could finally find one with enough Japanese quirkiness that I can enjoy.
1. The World Ends with You. I’d never heard of this game until Nintendo showed it off during a direct this year. But I love everything I’ve seen about it: the combat, the art style, the setting, the music. Ugh. If ever I make a video game, and Daft Punk says no, I’m hiring these guys to do the soundtrack. Unfortunately both my money and my time budget won’t allow for more games this year outside of Pokemon Let’s Go and Smash Bros.
Final Fantasy and Xenoblade aren’t on this list because I’m definitely budgeting time for those games in 2019. Some of the FF games I’ve waited literally over a decade to play/finish.
And yes, I do budget my time for gaming like I would my money. Like legitimately plan it out. I know that for some people that would make games feel like a chore, but for me, I love it. My backlog list doesn’t stress me out; on the contrary, it gives me direction. Heck, I even make spreadsheets and checklists for my blog posts, and I find it fun.
…Yeah I know. Let me push up my glasses to finish the effect.
What games do you wish you had more time to play? I’m also interested if you guys have any recommendations regarding the games I’ve selected, especially where I should start in the Ys and Tales series.