Does anyone play JRPGs for the party-members?

1 : Anonymous2021/03/12 19:27 ID: m3p2i2

So my first introduction to Japanese role-playing games was through Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow. There were a ton of parts that I enjoyed from playing Gen 1 Pokemon that I could have otherwise gotten from Final Fantasy VII around that same time period, just with more advanced 3D Playstation graphics as opposed to the more low-tech Game Boy graphics. But one of my favorite things was that I always had up to six pokemon to accompany me on my journey, and we form a meaningful bond of surrogate family with each other.

I then move on to other JRPGs, and I seemed to enjoy the ones that let me gather party-members for my journey, again for the sense of camaraderie, friendship, and surrogate family that I used to get for Gen 1 Pokemon. Like, I play through Tales of Symphonia, as one example, it almost always feels satisfying to enter skits that just have the party talk to each other like normal people and form stronger friendships with each other. That, as well as when I played through the Dot Hack quadrilogy, and I spent a lot of time giving my AI-controlled teammates gifts to max out my friendships with them.

This is especially true when I fight the final boss of each JRPG. The final boss is usually some sort of godlike entity capable of bending reality toward his every whim, or whatever else godlike powers he's given. Yet at the same time, the final boss just exists as one character going up against the entire party all at the same time, like the power of friendship could overcome even gods.

Does anyone else play JRPGs for the party-members, as well?

2 : Anonymous2021/03/12 19:53 ID: gqq4ndj

characters are the single most important part of a jrpg to me. If the cast is boring I don't care how good or bad the rest of the game is. The exception is if there's some absolutely incredible or groundbreaking battle system in there which has happened maybe all of once cause usually a game being that good has at least decent characters.

3 : Anonymous2021/03/12 19:30 ID: gqq1plk

The main cast is definitely an important factor for me. A good cast will keep me playing past when the story like finishes.

Symphonia is a big example of this for me too. I replay it once a year (10 or so years now) because I love all of the characters and want to get all of their unique scenes.

4 : Anonymous2021/03/12 19:43 ID: gqq3d9r

Omg I love the party, I've recently realized thats the biggest draw for me like Trails of series, persona, dragon's dogma, darkest dungeon, tales of series, valkyria chronicles.

ID: gqrl85q

Dragon's Dogma? Party? Plz explain.

5 : Anonymous2021/03/12 20:47 ID: gqqbn2d

A well done cast can make a good story great or even a mediocre story tolerable. I find a lot of JRPGs live or die by their casts.

6 : Anonymous2021/03/12 21:04 ID: gqqdtx2

The cast definitely makes or breaks it more than any other component. For example Tales of Zestiria I view as the worst tales game but I did enjoy that cast and I view Xillia as a better title but it is my least favorite tales game of the 7 I have played. Final Fantasy VIII story had too many ideas and poor execution but I like a good chunk of the characters and how they played off of Squall despite the lack of development.

ID: gqrxq6p

My biggest problem with FFVIII was that all the party members seemed so bland and generic except for maybe Rinoa and Squall. They all had pretty much the same backstory and their personalities were just never fleshed out that much.

7 : Anonymous2021/03/12 21:00 ID: gqqd9uz

It's the friendships 🙂

8 : Anonymous2021/03/12 20:03 ID: gqq5y3z

If you like party members you need to play the Star Ocean franchise.

Second Story is the best in the franchise IMHO. Two MC's to choose from. Depending on which you choose (you still get both, but one is "you") you can get certain party members.

When in town you get "private actions" which is talking to the different side characters.

Depending on what side characters you choose and what private actions you take the end of the game is different. I think there's over 100 endings or something like that.

9 : Anonymous2021/03/12 20:32 ID: gqq9p96

Yes. If I don't have a good party or characters that interest me it's very hard for me to get into the game usually in typical jrpgs. I need fun characters that I'm interested in and have great personalities.

10 : Anonymous2021/03/12 21:23 ID: gqqg6uv

Characters are really important to me, if not the most important. The way i decide to buy a game is I look at the characters first and if I like the look of them, then I proceed to find out more about the game before buying it. If a game has crappy looking characters, it would not even get in the door for me. That's the reason I gave up playing the pokemon games after ORAS as the main characters after that looked far too childish.

I love the casts in FF, KH, Tales, Persona etc. Nier Automata's characters were also cool and beautifully designed which is what got me to buy the game, even though I ended up not liking the story. I liked 2B and 9S which kept me going to the end of the game, otherwise I would have probably given up.

In Tales of Symphonia DOTW, I gave up after an hour because I hated the characters so much. Even though I like Tales and the story and gameplay may have been good, the shitty characters just couldn't get me to continue the game

11 : Anonymous2021/03/12 23:44 ID: gqqwg6u

Yup, Yakuza: Like a Dragon scratched this itch most recently.

12 : Anonymous2021/03/13 01:31 ID: gqr7pon

The party members are the main attraction in Tales Games. Usually, everything else in the games is good but not great. However, it's the interactions between the party members that make the games great overall.

You may also enjoy the Trails of Cold Steel series since you mentioned you like developing relationships with gifts and such. That's a pretty big element of the Cold Steel games.

13 : Anonymous2021/03/12 19:53 ID: gqq4nck

It's a major factor for me, since a good story and characters can help me push through repetitive or less-than-fun gameplay

14 : Anonymous2021/03/12 20:16 ID: gqq7q6a

Its one of the main reasons i play jrpgs.

15 : Anonymous2021/03/12 20:27 ID: gqq94ja

I don't it's ever been the reason I've bought a game, but it sure as hell is a strong one to keep me playing!

16 : Anonymous2021/03/12 22:46 ID: gqqq1jp

I thought for the longest time that I played JRPGs for the story, but then came to the realization that the most important thing to me is a good character development. I want the characters at the end of the game to be noticeably different from how they were at the beginning.

17 : Anonymous2021/03/13 01:05 ID: gqr4xv4

It's basically the biggest reason I like playing them in the first place. The driving plot/story in a lot of JRPGs can often be sort of derivative (there's a reason "a band of teenagers uses the power of friendship to kill God" is a popular JRPG trope/meme) but a strong, charming cast of characters can make even a somewhat mediocre story a lot of fun to experience. I feel like Tales games do this a lot -- I can't really remember the stories or worlds from most of them, but I do remember almost all of the the party members really vividly.

The Pokemon games are a little weird in that they don't really have written party members with dialogue and development like other JRPGs, but like you said they actually do a great job of making you grow attached to your team and letting you roleplay your own headcanon and development for them.

18 : Anonymous2021/03/13 01:17 ID: gqr67s6

If the main characters aren't compelling and don't undergo interesting character development, then the story's just not good. I love Final Fantasy VI for providing such a huge party of fascinating party members that grow in meaningful ways. It's arguably the main reason the game is an utter masterpiece.

19 : Anonymous2021/03/12 21:03 ID: gqqdpp7

yes!! i rly loved chrono trigger cuz i got attached 2 the party members, especially robo

20 : Anonymous2021/03/12 21:04 ID: gqqdums

It’s kinda the difference between a western and jrpg. It’s why we all play them.

ID: gqr0d2l

Mass effect, witcher, planescape, divinity, pillars of eternity, dragon age, baldurs gate.

Its really only the sandboxy Bethesda style games that are different in this sense.

21 : Anonymous2021/03/12 21:17 ID: gqqfer0

You should play Suikoden. Recruiting all 108 characters in each game is like catching all the Pokemon.

22 : Anonymous2021/03/12 23:06 ID: gqqsapu

From the sound of it, you'll enjoy the Suikoden series. Give it a try.

23 : Anonymous2021/03/12 23:45 ID: gqqwj89

The real JRPG was the friends we made along the way

24 : Anonymous2021/03/13 00:41 ID: gqr2he8

I wish the gameplay of the Neptunia games was as good as the characters.

25 : Anonymous2021/03/13 01:28 ID: gqr7biu

Closely behind the narrative, the party is the #2 reason why I play RPGs (across the spectrum, not just the JRPG variety).

Sometimes, for me, games nail the character development but not so much the party chemistry (Final Fantasy VI), the chemistry but not necessarily the characters themselves (the Crossbell arc of the Trails games), or, rarely, they get both right (Persona 4).

I played Octopath Traveler recently, and I definitely felt it when I realized the game wasn't really even going to try to build a party dynamic. It certainly leaves a void. This sort of thing might be something I look for more because western RPGs tend to do it very well, too.

26 : Anonymous2021/03/13 01:35 ID: gqr82gv

How well characters interact can make or break a game, most jrpg plots can be boiled down to "go here, get this, use it to kill god" but its the way characters bounce of each other that makes it memorable, and their reactions to the events around them

27 : Anonymous2021/03/13 02:43 ID: gqrf0m7

I definitely value characters more than I do the plot. I don't need them per se (crafting my own party's also fun) but I'd rather have good characters in a bad plot than bad characters in a good plot (cough Golden Sun cough)

28 : Anonymous2021/03/13 02:59 ID: gqrgmpm

Characters are almost always the most important part of any piece of media for me, not just video games. It's the reason I love the Tales series so much.

29 : Anonymous2021/03/13 03:05 ID: gqrh8j5

Cast, Gameplay, and Story are my top 3 things in a game, and if there’s a good cast than usually I’m happy.

A good group of characters can literally carry a game through repetitive or bad gameplay.

30 : Anonymous2021/03/13 03:45 ID: gqrl7zf

I literally only buy JRPG games just because of party members lol. I love feeling the sense of friendship when playing. Like the other commenter mentioned, the main likable cast is one of the main factors in the genre.

31 : Anonymous2021/03/13 04:48 ID: gqrr34u

I mostly play them for gameplay and a sense of adventure and progression. Dragon quest 3 is one of my favorite games but it has no characters in the party

32 : Anonymous2021/03/13 06:37 ID: gqrzg27


33 : Anonymous2021/03/12 20:39 ID: gqqakk0

I avoid games without parties, but even if they have a party, I'd play one with more than 6 characters over one with less. But if I prefer large parties is for the gameplay and not for story reasons.


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