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Poll

Which do you prefer, Eastern or Western RPGs?

I enjoy both equally.
11 (39.3%)
Eastern RPGs.
15 (53.6%)
Western RPGs.
0 (0%)
I don't care.
1 (3.6%)
I don't like RPGs.
1 (3.6%)

Total Members Voted: 28

Author Topic: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs  (Read 10626 times)

Tharthan

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Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« on: July 02, 2015, 05:01:33 am »
For me, Eastern RPGs are more preferable due to the fact that they often don't take themselves super seriously. Some older Western (video game) RPGs were like this as well. And I'm not talking about parody RPGs, I'm just talking about a game that can have some fun with itself, even if it's just a little bit.

Western RPGs generally tend to be überrealistic, gritty and dark. Most of the humour is of the cynical variety, which is not my cup of tea.

So basically, Western RPGs aren't my style personally, but I can understand why others might like them. The Elder Scrolls is a series that is pretty fun, in-depth, full of lore and inspiring in certain ways, for one.

But they just aren't for me.

What are your opinions?
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 11:17:40 pm by Tharthan »

Bregalad

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2015, 05:58:03 am »
über realistic
The "über-" prefix usually transltes into english as "over-" :)

Otherwise I'd agree with what you said, but I haven't played much Western RPGs, so I cannot juge. I really don't like the lack of developed protagonists in the western RPGs I tried, though.

stuffgnome

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2015, 08:01:51 am »
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.

Isao Kronos

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 08:12:43 am »
I generally gravitate towards more Eastern stuff (some of the first wave of PS3 games I got for my refurb ps3 this week are Tales of Graces F and FFX/X-2 HD), I do enjoy me some Witcher and Elder Scrolls.
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Disch

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2015, 09:56:24 am »
Not being a wiseass here... but what's the difference?

Are east/west genres or something?  What are defining characteristics of each?

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2015, 10:07:06 am »
Western RPGs (Diablo, Skyrim) don't have the same artsy fartsy nature to them that I'm used to from Eastern RPGs (Final Fantasy, Tales Series, et al). 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.
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MisterJones

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2015, 10:34:00 am »
I will repost what I once mentioned over another forum:

I have noticed that WRPGs systems have usually an amount grounded on realism with minimal abstractions, while JRPGs tend to focus on something as realistic a blackjack would be. I must admit that I am a bit out of touch with most JRPGs, with my reference being anything mainstream Squareenix, and a bit of SMT as a whole. Plenty of them have combat that despite all the gimmicks put, boil down to just pressing A until enemy is dead. 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. That said, a few of the exceptions have fantastic systems that are intriguing to explore, regardless of how alien to real life would be - Resonance of Fate and Mario and Luigi are among my favorite examples. Narratively they all feel the same tho, with a given set of tropes that remain in effect all the time. Agree with Gimmy that beastiaries are more interesting in terms of looks.

WRPGs i feel have had generations where their games as a whole have similar mechanics and such, but the difference between generations can be rather notable, even between branches. There are the BG-clones and the Diablo-clones and the shit inbetween, the underworld-clones, the deus ex-clones, and so on. Baldurs Gate, Arcanum and Fallout 1 may have had a very similar mechanical feel, but they differ with Deus Ex and VtM Bloodlines, which are similar between each other. Most of their plots focus a bit more on mistery unwrapping escalation rather that events that change the overall world state, a few gems have some of the most intricate world building that compensate for their generic beastiaries (I often delight reading the books in Arcanum and the codex in Mass Effect).




I really don't like the lack of developed protagonists in the western RPGs I tried, though.

Yeah, they usually focus on having you faux roleplay your character, basically with the character being your avatar.


In general I prefer to explore the world within a WRPG, although most of them are usually uninteresiting
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FAST6191

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2015, 01:17:28 pm »
Just to be different. Euro RPGs.

Watch the older output of countries like Germany, and if you can deal with the bugs and language, then Russia as well. They share a lot in common with the stuff from North American devs but they are different enough that I do not want to lump them all together.

Lines have been blurred in recent times (which is no bad thing) but going back to the 90's and 2000's then it can get quite different. For a more recent example if you can find it then perhaps pick up a copy of Venetica.

On the eternal optimism of spiky haired protagonists then back in the real world I reckon it would go more like the following
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v850Ta4mMJY

MisterJones

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2015, 04:02:57 pm »
Now that you mention German RPGs, I was always intrigued by Darklands (not sure if made by germans, but it is at least inpsired by germanic mythology and shit), which seems like the closest thing to an actual game masterless RPG, but could never get much into it, probably because i never bothered to read the manual and the combat seemed flimsy because of it.
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PresidentLeever

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2015, 06:00:26 pm »
They both have their pros and cons; I tend to be disappointed with the aesthetics, slow pacing and esoteric elements of western ones. With eastern ones it's the shallow plots/mechanics and lack of freedom that tend to annoy me.
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SunGodPortal

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2015, 07:59:01 pm »
I tend to learn toward Eastern RPGs. I'm not saying that all Western RPGs are like this, but I got sick of the whole "medieval Europe" theme about 20 years ago when I was still a kid. I've just seen it too many times before, so just about anything resembling that tends to turn me off almost immediately. I also don't like what Tharthan refers to as "über realism". I tend to prefer cartoonish graphics whether of an anime nature or not. Something about realistic graphics outside of sports or shooter games iritates me.

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. I mean, I love big tits and cute anime girls as much as the next pervert, but some games I've seen in the past few years border on creepy/sad.
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Tharthan

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2015, 11:01:47 pm »
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.


the underworld-clones

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.

For instance:

Red from the POKéMON series was a great silent protagonist, and when
Spoiler:
he actually appeared as the final boss in Generation II
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:

Red: https://tinyurl.com/redchararthttp://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/thumb/2/2b/Red_PO.png/250px-Red_PO.png

Leo: http://static2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090503062710/pokemon/images/5/55/Wes.jpg

(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).
« Last Edit: July 03, 2015, 05:10:25 am by Tharthan »

SunGodPortal

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2015, 11:06:10 pm »
Quote
The "über-" prefix usually transltes into english as "over-"

Quote
I know. I am a native English speaker.

The über- prefix is used in English as well.

Exactly. With regard to what ever it is attached to, I always interpret it as "overkill".

Quote
Not being a wiseass here... but what's the difference?

Are east/west genres or something?  What are defining characteristics of each?

Are you sure about that Disch? It seems like I always see you pointing this sort of thing out around here. LOL And before you ask, I'm not going to dig up proof. :P
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Spooniest

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2015, 02:29:24 am »
I tend to learn toward Eastern RPGs. I'm not saying that all Western RPGs are like this, but I got sick of the whole "medieval Europe" theme about 20 years ago when I was still a kid. I've just seen it too many times before, so just about anything resembling that tends to turn me off almost immediately. I also don't like what Tharthan refers to as "über realism". I tend to prefer cartoonish graphics whether of an anime nature or not. Something about realistic graphics outside of sports or shooter games iritates me.

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. I mean, I love big tits and cute anime girls as much as the next pervert, but some games I've seen in the past few years border on creepy/sad.

Used to be all you needed was long red hair to be considered "the chick" in Final Fantasy 1, lol

But I agree, there is a massive titty overload in the genre. Uh...I kind of like to keep sex and computer entertainment separate. It's really embarrassing to even think of trying to play such a game with anyone. I really wish they'd start toning that shit down.
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SunGodPortal

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2015, 02:58:51 am »
Quote
But I agree, there is a massive titty overload in the genre. Uh...I kind of like to keep sex and computer entertainment separate. It's really embarrassing to even think of trying to play such a game with anyone. I really wish they'd start toning that shit down.

Reminds me of how sometimes when looking into new stuff I'll be thinking "I might actually like this, but if I just suddenly died and my friends/family were going through my stuff after the fact, what would they think of me?". The shame... LOL
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Eien Ni Hen

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2015, 03:15:13 am »
Reminds me of how sometimes when looking into new stuff I'll be thinking "I might actually like this, but if I just suddenly died and my friends/family were going through my stuff after the fact, what would they think of me?". The shame... LOL

To quote Bill Hicks, "One of my big fears in life is that I’m gonna die, you know, and my parents are gonna come to clean out my apartment, and find that porno wing I’ve been adding onto for years."

Soon the super karate monkey death car would park in my space. But Jimmy has fancy plans... and pants to match. The monkey clown horrible karate round and yummy like cute small baby chick would beat the donkey.

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2015, 02:04:35 am »
I prefer Western to Eastern, but have major complaints with both, despite absolutely loving RPGs in concept.

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2015, 04:22:28 am »
Eastern RPGs don't take themselves seriously? Western RPGs are gritty and realistic?

I don't mean any offence to the OP, but you kinda skewed the real difference between them, and threw the entire load of original RPGs from other countries into the dumpster. Maybe you need to play more games first, since TES series and Diablo are not exactly good examples of Western RPGs, imo.

Start with Wizardry series, or something.
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M-Tee

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2015, 06:34:58 am »
True, OP provided an utterly biased and unfair representation, as seemingly hinted at by Disch, but I reckon that I get the gist of the concept enough to be able to weigh in without taking his view into consideration.

That said, my main reason to prefer Western-style is that I like to actually role-play while playing a role-playing game. I don't want to just move a character around and grind while hitting story elements. So, I like my RPGs to be rooted in the tabletop tradition of designing and building a character that's somewhat representative of yourself and inserting them into a world. Then, having your decisions have actual consequences, and seeing how things play out.

JRPGs are (or were, it's been a very long time since I've played one) generally a long movie or novel for lack of a better word,  where either you move the protagonist around to progress the story... or you're a somewhat silent observer to the events, aka "a silent protagonist".

The problem is that I absolutely abhor generic art. I abhor generic anime art, and I abhor generic "realistic" art.

I don't want Final Fantasy. I don't want Mortal Kombat. I want something unique, and am willing to take it from either field. (Although I was biased against Asian pop art in my youth, I've since grown to find the variety in it and realize that I don't hate generic Asian comic art any more than I hate generic American comic art… which is a lot).

I also don't get into European High Fantasy (unless it's very strongly in the Sword and Sorcery, Conan, BeastMaster or Red Sonja variety). I do appreciate a lot of the unique world-building in JRPGs, but the effeminate male heroes and skinemax female ones kill it for me.


I always wanted to play Jade Empire. How was it?

FAST6191

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Re: Eastern (video game) RPGs vs. Western (video game) RPGs
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2015, 07:50:30 am »
On Jade Empire it is rightly considered, at the time and to this day, one of Bioware's lesser efforts, and if you have played something a bit more fighting in real time on newer systems (dragon's dogma might be a good example) then the example I will do next might be even more fitting. Bioware's lesser efforts though still manage to make good games. I doubt it will ever be called a hidden gem, ahead of its time, unfairly maligned or become a cult classic any more than it is right now but I do not think I would discourage playing it. Interesting world, a story that works and (eventually) a fighting/RPG engine worth taking a slightly closer look at to see some of the earlier examples of such things.

I think the best way I can describe it is think back to the end of the 16 bit era and then think about the start of the N64 style 3d. The latter produced some workable games but compared to the endlessly replayable stuff from the arcades and end of the 16 bit era...
Alternatively I try to keep lists of games in my head to give to people for when they ask similar questions to I want to get into some music genre/films/books.... Jade Empire, much like most N64 games, is unlikely to feature on the good or the bad list there.

On Mortal Kombat art. Other than the palette swaps I am going to have to stick up for it. It was not crazy memorable but at least the earlier stuff, which is what I mostly played, all worked together, the characters were recognisable (maybe not to the extent of their names and any info but visually) and made for an aesthetic it could call its own.