These days there are often discussion about JRPGs. Where are they, why aren´t they selling anymore and is a certain system doing worse because it isn´t the number one-JRPG-system anylonger? But my answer to all of that is: The less JRPGs, the better!
Back in the days, JRPGs were the best type of game for a majority of gamers. Even in the beginning of the recent generation of consoles, future success was marked by the number of announced JRPGs. But here we are, and Microsoft´s 360 has the most JRPGs, yet even that isn´t that much. Wii also has many JRPGs, but not a single high profile-title of that genre. If you want JRPGs, the NDS is your system of choice.
To me, i am rather happy about the decline of JRPG´s popularity. Don´t me wrong, i loved them…5-10 years in the past. Big adventures and such, awsome. But now we have games that let us have these big adventures, without the resticition of non-gameplay, where you cannot interact with the game world, except for clicking the X- or A-button on every place until something happens…that´s not interaction, sigh. Also, JRPGs suffer from their archaic battle-system. I often hear from JRPG-fans how that´s not true, how there are games with innovative battle-systems and what not. Well, guess what: As long as i cannot have direct control over my character, it still sucks. There is no fun in watching a group of emos bashing random monsters until one side´s stats show to be inferior. Even exceptions like the Tales of-games don´t have such satisfying combat as many western RPGs. And speaking of emo, the cast of JRPGs simply sucks. I´m not complaining about stereotypes, because there only are stereotypes nowadays, but i complain about always the same kind of setup…at least that´s what it feels like. Add to that that people at the age of 30 are considered “old”, and you have all the negatives.
This is one hundred percent subjective, but to me, western RPGs are infinitely better than JRPGs, because they put YOU, the player, into an adventure. When you play Oblivion or Fallout 3, it is YOU that explores that world. Whereas in JRPGs you follow a preset path within a tightly preset story. Or, to conclude this entry:
I´d rather watch an anime than playing a JRPG. No silly battle-system, no silly grinding, no load-times, and only that what is the best part of a JRPG: Story and cutscenes.