The "über-" prefix usually transltes into english as "over-"
I know. I am a native English speaker.
The über- prefix is used in English as well. It has been used in English for a fairly good while now (sometime in the '90s it picked up in use).
I think the best games come when one is influenced by the other. In a strange way I prefer both and neither, that strange subset between the two is where the excitement lies for me.
I like this response.
Are east/west genres or something? What are defining characteristics of each?
There are plenty of differences, such as the ones mentioned by me in the original post, and those mentioned by others in their posts.
If you want some history, I should direct you towards the Wizardry series by SirTech.
Over here, that series actually has elements of what modern Japanese RPGs have today. That is because, although the series died out over here, it flourished (and still has presence even after the demise of SirTech today) over in Japan. Japan's RPGs prior to Wizardry's introduction over there, for the longest time, had been known to be full of humour. Many Japanese people were quite fed-up with the essential parody RPGs that they kept receiving, and thanks to the fact that Wizardry received a poor translation and essentially no localisation when it was brought over to Japan (Wizardry had plenty of silly things in it over here: the Cuisinart Blade, Werdna [one of the developer's names backwards] Trebor [one of the developer's names backwards], but they were localised as (IIRC) "a legendary sword made by the famous blacksmith, Kushinado", Wadona, and Toreba (IIRC).
So it helped to create the "funny but not too unserious" JRPGs that we see today, in stark contrast to the Western RPGs of today.
The message of the power of friendship and never giving up hope and stuff from Eastern RPGs, as cheesy as it is, is like comfort food to me. Western RPGs are perfectly happy to present the message that life is meaningless and hopeless, a la Kurt Cobain, and that's just not my thing. I acknowledge the artistic statement, yes (just like with Kurt Cobain), but I wouldn't survive on a steady diet of it. I need that super sugary "Triumphing over evil" aesthetic, it's just part of the experience for me.
I agree with this wholeheartedly.
Plenty of them have combat that despite all the gimmicks put, boil down to just pressing A until enemy is dead.
Well, I mean, so is fighting in real life in general. You hit something till it falls over.
I understand where you are coming from when it comes to cheap, mindless RPGs that are just "Press A to win!" but the statement you just made is a little too general I think.
You level up, just like one might get stronger in real life, but you are still trying to be Garland and knock all of the enemies down.
I don't see what the problem is with that, really.
I dont think many of them push the player to actually take advantage of their own systems, encouraging a huge degree of grinding, and equipment mostly just has linear growth.
This I can agree with to a point. I too get ticked off when games expect the player to grind till the cows come home. That is one of the biggest turn-offs that an RPG can have.
With that said, if the game has a fun battle system, then I suppose I can (and in the past, I have) let it slide. But there still comes a point in which it becomes too much.
beastiaries are more interesting in terms of looks.
Bestiaries are wicked neat, I will say. I love reading them.
I was actually writing a story some time ago in which I felt compelled to have a bestiary in it that would help explain why some of the "fiends" (the monsters) acted the way that they did.
Are you referring to Ultima Underworld, or something else?
Yeah, they usually focus on having you faux roleplay your character, basically with the character being your avatar.
I don't mind silent protagonists meant to vaguely represent the players.
Red from the POKéMON series was a great silent protagonist, and when
they did a good job working that into his character.
Similarly, POKéMON Colosseum's Leo (or Wes, depending on which version of the game you are playing) was also a great silent protagonist. This is made even better with the fact that he is a villain who slowly becomes a hero later on.
Here are pictures of both for reference:
(In case you were wondering, POKéMON Colosseum was made by Genius Sonority, which is composed of former Heartbeat developers. Heartbeat made the SNES Dragon Quest III and VI, as well as the Playstation Dragon Quest VII and Dragon Quest IV, so that is the reason why Leo looks like a generic JRPG protagonist character, whereas Red does not.)
In general I prefer to explore the world within a WRPG
The open worlds that a lot of Western RPGs have are wicked awesome, and I wish more JRPGs had them.
I dislike excessive linearity as much as the next guy.
On the eternal optimism of spiky haired protagonists
Spiky-hairedness is no bad thing. It can work well, or it can work shabbily depending upon how it is put into use.
Having said that, one thing that bothers me about some of the more modern Eastern RPGs is how I get the feeling that they were designed to appeal to lonely teenage boys/young adults.
This annoys me as well.
When there are buxom female characters in skimpy outfits galore in some medieval setting, it bothers me because it is stupid, moronic, as well as impractical. I am happy that Shovel Knight (which has nothing to do with this thread at all, but I thought that I would bring it up as the company that the company that made it drew a lot of its developers from took a fair bit of influence from Japanese games, and had all of its female characters portrayed mostly the same way visually [and sometimes behaviourally] in Shantae, but by their own admission went out of their way to not supersexualise their female characters in Shovel Knight, which I give them props on).