We've seen a lot of articles written in the gaming media about the death of the JRPG, the death of turn based play, and how there is no room for such classic RPGs any more.

But might we be seeing a rebirth, a sort of phoenix rising from the ashes?

PSXExtreme has written a few pieces too.

Well, let's not be too hard on ourselves, PSXExtreme has also show high regard for JRPGs.

However, to paraphrase Samuel Clemens, JRPGs seem to be back and saying "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated".

The questions remain though, and perhaps the biggest question of all is; Why do people assume that the JRPG, turn based play and classic RPGs are dead? I pulled together a quick list of JRPGs, turn based RPGs and classic RPGs with JRPG style that have already released in 2016 or are due for release this year. It's quite a list. You may be pleased to know that there are more coming next year also.

JRPGs, turn based and old school RPGs released or due for release in 2016 on PS4 (in the West – the list for Japan is far longer);

Japanese companies seem to be really warming up to the PS4, this should also drive sales of PS4 in Japan.

But, that's not all, there are also these, from developers/publishers not based in Japan;

So, at least 33 games that are either JRPGs, turn based JRPG style, or classic RPGs with turn based combat and JRPG elements. With 24 of those  from Japanese developers and publishers. This is games that have either released or are planned for release on PS4 in 2016. A more general list of RPGs would be even larger.

Perhaps we need to reevaluate our perspective on JRPGs?

Is the JRPG dead? Not Hardly.

Related Game(s): Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir, Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness , Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky, I Am Setsuna, Megadimension Neptunia VII, Atelier Sophie, Final Fantasy XV, Valkyria Chronicles Remaster, Tales of Berseria, Kingdom Hearts III, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 5, Phantasy Star Online 2, Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, Fairy Fencer: Advent Dark Force

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Jbumi
Jbumi
6 years ago

I haven't heard anything about Edge of Eternity & Earthlock in quite some time. Are they still scheduled to be released this year?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
6 years ago

According to the articles I found they were. If I have time later today, I'll double check their release schedule – assuming I can find it.

If we talk more about these games, perhaps it will help convince their indie developers to get 'em done?

I'm still surprised by the number of games coming from Japan, the ones I listed are just the ones I could find references to a western release in 2016 for. There are many other JRPGs coming in Japan with no mention of a western release yet. Combined with a visual novel games and other games that are on the fringes of the JRPG genre that makes quite a rich future for the genre. Of course some of those games may eventually earn a western release too.

There have been rumors of a Dark Cloud 3 for PS4, and Dragon Quest XI is confirmed but I couldn't find anything about a Western release.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of the games we're talking about don't get a full western release but get a release in Asia with English subtitles in place. Quite why they (Sony) doesn't simply allow those games to be sold outside of Asia is beyond me.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 4/26/2016 12:24:16 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
6 years ago

Elysian Shadows for Dreamcast is looking good too. Soul Saga really has my imagination as a fan work. I think fans of old JRPGs have a better chance of making them than the companies who have lost sight of what made them great, effectively just putting JRPG wash on action games.

FFXV will likely just have a little Disney and anime wash with a light coat of Final Fantasy on top of a bad action open world game.

Still the point is good here, there seems to be a resurgence in interest now that it's cheap and easy to bring the actual games to PS4. I've always said if you just bring the games and the gameplay the gamers will come. This nonsense that you have to change the genre to keep it going into this generation or the last generation never held water because there was never any proof of it.

Temjin001
Temjin001
6 years ago
TheHighlander
TheHighlander
6 years ago

EarthLock is still looking at a Summer 2016 release. Their dev blog posted after the GDC 2016 suggests that console certification should start in April with a summer release.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/171497873/earthlock-festival-of-magic/posts/1526921

Nothing definite on Edge of Eternity. I can only find supposed release dates in articles on various sites, but not on the devs own site. The screen shots and what not make the game look near complete, but It's possible that this one will slip to 2017.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 4/26/2016 1:44:35 PM

Jbumi
Jbumi
6 years ago

Thanks for looking into these. They've been on my radar for quite some time. I've never understood why some people think of turn-based as an "outdated" mechanic. I always looked at it as a form of chess – it's all that planning & strategy that makes me prefer it over the "action" RPG genre.

I'm currently replaying Final Fantasy XII. Not only does it hold up, but I find it's still my favorite ff!

Hexen
Hexen
6 years ago

Big props to Gordon, I myself wanted to write something like this but it wouldn't have been as good as your post.Funny enough the only games that don't interest me from your list are the Kingdom Heart games and the Final Fantasy's.This is going to be a great year for all the genres.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
6 years ago

We all know the PS3 Era was very lacking in the JRPG department, but yes JPRG's seem to be sprining back into action! XV, Star Ocean 5, Persona 5, Dragon Quest XI, Ni No Kuni II just so much to look forward too!

Is Star Ocean: The Second Story actually set to be released in the west on PS4? I know it is in Japan, but I have heard zip about it corssing boarders – I'd love to have a full screen experience – Currentl playing SO: First Departure on PSP & loving it!

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
6 years ago

It's hard to tell actually, I found several comments by folks involved in that project that suggest they want to release in the west. I also found more than one article mentioning it as a game that will come here.

Honestly though given the way that Star Ocean sells; SO4 sold more copies in NA than JP, and more in NA/EU vs JP + rest of the world. I'd have to assume that the folks in charge can't ignore that more than 50% of their revenue comes from selling their games in the West.

So I anticipate a western release.

Riku994
Riku994
6 years ago

The Rainbow Skies link goes to the wrong place

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
6 years ago

Thanks for catching that, I thought I checked them all, it's fixed now.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
6 years ago

For me, the bottom line is that most of those aren't turn-based nor do they scream "old-school" in terms of gameplay to me. They're just all action games with an RPG shell, as far as I'm concerned. I mean, Kingdom Hearts is great and so are a lot of others but they're just not RPGs the way they used to be. Not that that's a bad thing; I'm just saying.

Ydobon
Ydobon
6 years ago

Ben beat me to the punch, but one thing I wanted to add, is that some of those are terrible games.

Also, I think people where pronouncing big budget AAA turned based jrpgs for home console dead or just simply not as big in the ps1 and ps2 era.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
6 years ago

I think we need to be careful not to overly restrict what a JRPG is. The genre is broader than simply turn based. Star Ocean is not turn based, but it surely counts. There is a mood, an aesthetic, a style to the content and story telling, battle and skill systems, writing style, and other factors that make up what it means to be a JRPG, Ithink that if we take a very narrow view of the genre, we're actually engaging in revisionist history.

I don't believe that the genre originally meant much more than an RPG from Japan,that brought their unique style of art nd story telling. Overtime it's become shorthnd for a specific subset of what were originally called JRPGs, Now wehave western devs going back to the older, classic aesthetics and systems,and the games are very JRPG like.JRPGs but not from Japan…

Either way, Idothink we too often narrow the definition and create the impression that there arefew JRPGs around, when in fact there are, we're just excluding them for…reasons.

HANZ64
HANZ64
6 years ago

So is a turn based system still important?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
6 years ago

Only to a scant few, unfortunately. The overwhelming majority consider it outdated and an unnecessary mechanic now that technology is better.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
6 years ago

Yes, turn based still matters. People dismiss it as something that existedvas a compromise due to lesser console tech. Thst completely misses the simple point that it is a valid mechanic and style, that a hell of a lot of people enjoyed, and still do.

Beamboom
Beamboom
6 years ago

Turn-based is indeed still alive, and I could add plenty more to your list of recent turn-based RPGs (without the "J") if we were to include games only released for PC.

And now we've not even mentioned turn-based *strategy* games with or without RPG elements.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
6 years ago

Indeed BeamBoom, indie developers and small Dev houses (big Indies?) seem to be very capable of making the kinds of game that many long for. Those developers maximize their return on investment by making sure their game is on PC and console, and with the x86 architecture on consoles, that's easier than ever now.

A lot of the games listed above are on PC also, not just the ones from the west, several of the Japanese ones will also appear on PC If I remember right.

Jbumi
Jbumi
6 years ago

I haven&#39t heard anything about Edge of Eternity & Earthlock in quite some time. Are they still scheduled to be released this year?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
6 years ago

Elysian Shadows for Dreamcast is looking good too. Soul Saga really has my imagination as a fan work. I think fans of old JRPGs have a better chance of making them than the companies who have lost sight of what made them great, effectively just putting JRPG wash on action games.

FFXV will likely just have a little Disney and anime wash with a light coat of Final Fantasy on top of a bad action open world game.

Still the point is good here, there seems to be a resurgence in interest now that it&#39s cheap and easy to bring the actual games to PS4. I&#39ve always said if you just bring the games and the gameplay the gamers will come. This nonsense that you have to change the genre to keep it going into this generation or the last generation never held water because there was never any proof of it.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
2 years ago

Yes, turn based still matters. People dismiss it as something that existedvas a compromise due to lesser console tech. Thst completely misses the simple point that it is a valid mechanic and style, that a hell of a lot of people enjoyed, and still do.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
6 years ago

Indeed BeamBoom, indie developers and small Dev houses (big Indies?) seem to be very capable of making the kinds of game that many long for. Those developers maximize their return on investment by making sure their game is on PC and console, and with the x86 architecture on consoles, that&#39s easier than ever now.

A lot of the games listed above are on PC also, not just the ones from the west, several of the Japanese ones will also appear on PC If I remember right.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
6 years ago

It&#39s hard to tell actually, I found several comments by folks involved in that project that suggest they want to release in the west. I also found more than one article mentioning it as a game that will come here.

Honestly though given the way that Star Ocean sells; SO4 sold more copies in NA than JP, and more in NA/EU vs JP + rest of the world. I&#39d have to assume that the folks in charge can&#39t ignore that more than 50% of their revenue comes from selling their games in the West.

So I anticipate a western release.

HANZ64
HANZ64
6 years ago

So is a turn based system still important?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
6 years ago

Thanks for catching that, I thought I checked them all, it&#39s fixed now.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
6 years ago

I think we need to be careful not to overly restrict what a JRPG is. The genre is broader than simply turn based. Star Ocean is not turn based, but it surely counts. There is a mood, an aesthetic, a style to the content and story telling, battle and skill systems, writing style, and other factors that make up what it means to be a JRPG, Ithink that if we take a very narrow view of the genre, we&#39re actually engaging in revisionist history.

I don&#39t believe that the genre originally meant much more than an RPG from Japan,that brought their unique style of art nd story telling. Overtime it&#39s become shorthnd for a specific subset of what were originally called JRPGs, Now wehave western devs going back to the older, classic aesthetics and systems,and the games are very JRPG like.JRPGs but not from Japan…

Either way, Idothink we too often narrow the definition and create the impression that there arefew JRPGs around, when in fact there are, we&#39re just excluding them for…reasons.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
6 years ago

EarthLock is still looking at a Summer 2016 release. Their dev blog posted after the GDC 2016 suggests that console certification should start in April with a summer release.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/171497873/earthlock-festival-of-magic/posts/1526921

Nothing definite on Edge of Eternity. I can only find supposed release dates in articles on various sites, but not on the devs own site. The screen shots and what not make the game look near complete, but It&#39s possible that this one will slip to 2017.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 4/26/2016 1:44:35 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
6 years ago

According to the articles I found they were. If I have time later today, I&#39ll double check their release schedule – assuming I can find it.

If we talk more about these games, perhaps it will help convince their indie developers to get &#39em done?

I&#39m still surprised by the number of games coming from Japan, the ones I listed are just the ones I could find references to a western release in 2016 for. There are many other JRPGs coming in Japan with no mention of a western release yet. Combined with a visual novel games and other games that are on the fringes of the JRPG genre that makes quite a rich future for the genre. Of course some of those games may eventually earn a western release too.

There have been rumors of a Dark Cloud 3 for PS4, and Dragon Quest XI is confirmed but I couldn&#39t find anything about a Western release.

I wouldn&#39t be surprised if some of the games we&#39re talking about don&#39t get a full western release but get a release in Asia with English subtitles in place. Quite why they (Sony) doesn&#39t simply allow those games to be sold outside of Asia is beyond me.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 4/26/2016 12:24:16 PM

Riku994
Riku994
6 years ago

The Rainbow Skies link goes to the wrong place

Hexen
Hexen
6 years ago

Big props to Gordon, I myself wanted to write something like this but it wouldn&#39t have been as good as your post.Funny enough the only games that don&#39t interest me from your list are the Kingdom Heart games and the Final Fantasy&#39s.This is going to be a great year for all the genres.

Temjin001
Temjin001
6 years ago
Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
6 years ago

For me, the bottom line is that most of those aren&#39t turn-based nor do they scream "old-school" in terms of gameplay to me. They&#39re just all action games with an RPG shell, as far as I&#39m concerned. I mean, Kingdom Hearts is great and so are a lot of others but they&#39re just not RPGs the way they used to be. Not that that&#39s a bad thing; I&#39m just saying.

Jbumi
Jbumi
6 years ago

Thanks for looking into these. They&#39ve been on my radar for quite some time. I&#39ve never understood why some people think of turn-based as an "outdated" mechanic. I always looked at it as a form of chess – it&#39s all that planning & strategy that makes me prefer it over the "action" RPG genre.

I&#39m currently replaying Final Fantasy XII. Not only does it hold up, but I find it&#39s still my favorite ff!

Beamboom
Beamboom
6 years ago

Turn-based is indeed still alive, and I could add plenty more to your list of recent turn-based RPGs (without the "J") if we were to include games only released for PC.

And now we&#39ve not even mentioned turn-based *strategy* games with or without RPG elements.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
6 years ago

We all know the PS3 Era was very lacking in the JRPG department, but yes JPRG&#39s seem to be sprining back into action! XV, Star Ocean 5, Persona 5, Dragon Quest XI, Ni No Kuni II just so much to look forward too!

Is Star Ocean: The Second Story actually set to be released in the west on PS4? I know it is in Japan, but I have heard zip about it corssing boarders – I&#39d love to have a full screen experience – Currentl playing SO: First Departure on PSP & loving it!

Ydobon
Ydobon
6 years ago

Ben beat me to the punch, but one thing I wanted to add, is that some of those are terrible games.

Also, I think people where pronouncing big budget AAA turned based jrpgs for home console dead or just simply not as big in the ps1 and ps2 era.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
6 years ago

Only to a scant few, unfortunately. The overwhelming majority consider it outdated and an unnecessary mechanic now that technology is better.