Why Have JRPGs Become So Popular in the West?

JRPGs are probably the most influential things Japan has inflicted onto the United States. JRPG games can range from the children friendly Kingdom Hearts, all the way to the overwhelming difficulty of Dark Souls. JRPG is an acronym for Japanese Role Playing Game. RPGs in of themselves are known as Role-Playing-Games. RPGs differ from the usual FPS (First-Person-Shooter) in that they usually follow a story, some you have to save the world, such as Skyrim. Or to achieve a smaller goal, such as .  They usually JRPGs commonly has a turn-based battle system such as Final Fantasy 7, or Shin Megami Tensei, They can be free roaming games such as Super Mario RPG or Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix. If you had a SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) as a kid, you probably had a game called EarthBound, which is a very popular known JRPG that came out on August 27th 1994.

So why are JRPGs so great? More than any other genre of video game, JRPGs play with your emotions and make you feel that you’re fighting your way through exciting adventures. They tend to focus on narrative and exploration. The level of immersion is immense, when things get tense in the game, you can feel the tension in real life.

jrpgsA JRPG that I and many other people really enjoy, is Megadimension Neptunia VII. Megadimension Neptunia VII (7) is a JRPG that follows a format common in most JRPG games. There’s a turn based battle system(Though it’s different than usual), with some visual-novel-esque cutscenes, and a fun variety of different with unique abilities. It’s one of my personal favorites, and many others’ as well.

There are many reasons why JRPGs are popular in the west. One of them is because of the unique story and interesting characters. Another is because of the diverse game mechanics and fun battle system. A very large reason why JRPGs are so popular is because they offer a different experience from your usual RPG. How? You might ask? Well, it gives you a serious story experience, while still being able to maintain that fun, laid-back experience of friends and their shenanigans. Going back to Megadimension Neptunia VII, there’s a story arc where all CPUs are being attacked and overthrown, even so, they always have the time to throw in a joke. Such as the time when Blanc (one of the CPUs who were overthrown) decides to join their army and pulls a sword to prove herself worthy. Little did she know, thousands of other soldiers were also able to pull the sword.

JRPGs in of themselves, are fun and interesting experiences able to bring more and more gamers to buy their games each year. How they do it? Nobody really knows, but we do know that there’s at least one JRPG that everybody can enjoy. Whether it be Dark Souls or EarthBound.


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