Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

Is the RPG genre going downhill? That may be a bit of an extreme suggestion, but there are definitely a few things that make this genre of games a hassle to deal with sometimes. I grew up during the age of Earthbound, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy VI 5 High-Quality Final Fantasy 6 Remixes For You to Enjoy 5 High-Quality Final Fantasy 6 Remixes For You to Enjoy I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the OCRemix productions for Final Fantasy 6, which were released in a massive album titled Balance and Ruin, are some of the best video game... Read More , and other greats. I was spoiled. I love playing these games, but I have a burning resentment towards four things that probably won’t be going away any time soon. In this article, let’s talk about them.

Unskippable cutscenes

Cutscenes are awesome. Be it those additional CGs that they added to the PlayStation version of Chrono Trigger or the many shocking and beautiful visuals that are offered by games in the Final Fantasy series 5 Best Websites Dedicated To The Final Fantasy Series 5 Best Websites Dedicated To The Final Fantasy Series The Final Fantasy series of video games is 25 years old this year, with the first title, unsurprisingly called Final Fantasy, released in 1987. Since then there have been 14 games released in the main... Read More , the mainstream of the RPG genre holds cutscenes very close to the soul.

However, one thing that I can’t find any excuse to agree with is why some games have felt the need to make certain cutscenes unskippable. Square (once Squaresoft and now Square Enix) is famous for this. If you’ve played Xenosaga or any of the Kingdom Hearts games, you know what I’m talking about. Keep in mind that the umbrella of “cutscene” not only includes those lengthy CGIs, but also long story points in the middle of an RPG. Those text boxes can take forever sometimes.

I understand that these are important parts of the game, but not even giving the option to bypass these points isn’t a good idea to me. There should always be some sequence of buttons you can press that should allow you to cancel a cutscene or skip a long series of text spam. For me, it’d add replayability to RPGs. It’s tough to play through a game that you know is going to pound you with two hours of things you’ve already seen and read. Does anyone actually enjoy mashing a button to get past all of that text?

World map encounters

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not crying out against the system of random encounters that practically every RPG you’ve ever played has used, because that’d be hating a core element of the entire genre in general. I just really hate the fact that I can’t navigate through the world map without wasting time on these.

Ads by Google

Random encounters are important because they essentially force you to grind and reach a level of progression so that your character(s) should be ready for the next area in the game that you venture to. That can’t be disputed. With that being said, I feel as if it makes much more sense to corral these areas into entry points on the map. If you want to grind levels, you should be using the world map and going to a location where you want to randomly encounter monsters. Heard of the Sunken Gelnika in Final Fantasy VII Square Enix's Final Fantasy VII Re-release: Worth It? [MUO Gaming] Square Enix's Final Fantasy VII Re-release: Worth It? [MUO Gaming] Final Fantasy VII is the most beloved game of the series, and arguably the best JRPG of all-time (if we all forget about some guy named Crono). This re-release (not remake) comes with a few... Read More ? This is what I’m talking about.

Being a level 50 character and passing through a level 8 zone and getting into encounters that will damage you for 12 HP (while you’re hitting them for 800) is just silly. It’s a waste of time. Speaking again on the Final Fantasy series, they threw in items and settings in several of their games that will allow you to avoid random encounters. In FF4, there’s the Safe Travel augment. In FF7, there’s the Enemy Away Materia. This approach may be better overall than just eliminating them completely, because it offers the player something to work towards achieving. I like that.

Long summons or spells

When you find yourself avoiding the use of a certain attack type in an RPG simply because you’re not patient enough to wait for the amount of time that the game will take to complete it, there’s a problem.

Waiting a full minute for an attack to complete makes no sense to me, especially in a boss battle where you can assume that you’ll need to cast a particular spell more than five times. Can you just deal the damage already? I may be using an attack that does the most damage in the game, but it’s also damaging me as a person! You won’t find a single player to claim, “Yes, I absolutely love watching the same minute-long attack animation over and over. It’s a good investment of my time.” This has got to stop.

The “missing” character

Last but not least, we’ve got something that is sure to grind any RPG fan’s gears. You’re playing through a really great game, and you’re gearing up and grinding for your characters. You really want that next boss fight to be a breeze for you. You spend a few hours progressing your characters, and all of a sudden (during an unskippable cutscene) you learn that one of them is being removed from your party for some reason. This goes on, and you realize that it’s either a permanent removal or one that spans through such a long length of the game that they’re practically useless. In extreme and rare cases, the character even dies.

I’ll admit that some games have actually managed to pull this off pretty well. The disappearance of certain characters has been essential in the storyline of some games. In others, it’s just been annoying. The good news is that this happens in such few games that you’ll definitely not experience it more times than you can count on a hand.

Conclusion

What about you? Is there something that completely ruined any particular RPG for you? Is there a problem with RPGs in the present time that you really just want to get off your chest? Let me know in the comments section below, and we’ll talk about it!

Otherwise, if you’re interested in checking out and playing some of the best classic RPGs through your browser, I’ve got five of them for you in this post 5 Great SNES RPGs Online & How To Play 5 Great SNES RPGs Online & How To Play Gaming sure isn't what it used to be. I haven't touched a console since the PlayStation 2 days, and I don't think you'll ever be able to convince me to purchase a new one ever... Read More . You won’t find too much to complain about in these!

  1. demars
    March 23, 2015 at 3:28 am

    One year late but here goes anyway.

    It is funny that you are talking about RPGs going down hill but you are talking about Older RPGs where as newer ones don't have the elements anymore in which you speak. I would kill for a world map with random encounters, no console RPGs have world maps any more and the is very sad for me. I liked the different scale, I like the sense of openly exploring the world. Now every thing is just paths or areas and fast travel is done by clicking on a stupid 2d map. I expected to have world maps much larger than say FF7 or 8 with more cities and other great things that it could provided but if anything they dumbed it down

    • Craig Snyder
      March 23, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      It's never too late!

      Hey man, I'm all with you. Although I've mostly put down the controller for RPGs that have popped up in the last year, I will admit that I have experienced and heard of poor execution in the map layout area. That being said, I won't allow my nostalgia goggles to let me think that games of the past have done it perfectly, you know?

      My major gripe about world map encounters is that there isn't some sort of cap on them. I really don't want to be navigating through an area as a level 50 character and have to sit through 30 seconds of a boring fight with level 5 monsters just so that I can progress. The reward is next to nothing, and the time investment begins to bore and annoy.

  2. Elad P
    January 31, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Your problem is with JRPGs, not RPGs in general, and I agree that they suck. Never played a single one more then 3 minutes. You should switch to western RPGs or even Action RPGs if you are looking for lighter, fast paced entertainment.

    • James B
      February 2, 2014 at 9:29 am

      This. I've never considered JRPGs to representative of RPGs at all, and really can't understand the kind of fanaticism that things like Final Fantasy generate despite being so formulaic. The Japanese game market in general completely lacks in creativity.

    • Elad P
      February 2, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Couldn't agree more, James. The fundamental difference between the two genres is that in JRPGs, by definition, you don't have any control over the story line or the behavior of the characters. The whole focus is to deliver you a complete story, and you are just an observer. This takes out the core RPG experience, as opposed to glorious games like Fallout or The Elder Scrolls series, where you CREATE the story. And don't get me started on that menu-based combat system ;)

  3. RPGFan1984
    January 31, 2014 at 6:03 am

    This to me sounds like a rant of someone who would much rather have their hand held through the game. The artwork, the story, the animation of some nifty skills/spells is what makes RPGs what they are. If I wanted to play a game with set encounters, skippable scenes, or forced to use the same 3-4 characters for the whole game....I'd just avoid RPGs and play mario. The ONLY gripe I truly have with RPGs of old, is setting a game down for a month and getting back into only to forget where I was going, and have all the townsfolk tell me the same useless shite and not telling me where I have to go unless I backtrack a couple towns.

  4. Howard B
    January 31, 2014 at 5:56 am

    How about all the boring and/or frustrating mini-games that FF saddles you with? Chocobo racing, chocobo breeding, having to collect x numbers of items from x number of creatures, or a 10 / 100 / 1000 level dungeon with one-hit kills (sheer luck if you can beat them)...it goes on and on and on. And usually it's to get the most powerful/most useful items in the game.

  5. mooooves
    January 31, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Unpausable cutscenes are nearly as bad as unskippables. On the first play-thru I actually want to see the cut scenes. Almost invariably when something vital to the plot is playing out, that's when somebody walks into the room to talk to me or the dog desperately wants to go outside. Not being able to pause and miss a chunk of story is a big hassle.

    I also hate the invisible random encounters that old JRPGs had. Luckily a lot of the modern ones have switched to being able to see the enemies on the map and avoid them. (The Final Fantasy games from XII for example.)

  6. Anonymous
    January 30, 2014 at 11:16 pm

    Im bored of RPGS, started playing tabletop RPGs instead with friends and i find its way more entertaining.

    • Justin P
      January 31, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Yeah, I love RPG video games, but the format works best tabletop.

  7. Dart
    January 30, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Hate random encounters. Unless a game lets me skip them/avoid them, i usually avoid those games. Shame

  8. Daniel
    January 30, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Seems that you have a problem with JRPG, are those problems also found in Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, or Icewind Dale? I don't remember having those problems there.....

    • Matt S
      February 2, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      They're not entirely missing from those games. Sure, you have fights that are not random, but there's at least some filler.

      Not going to argue that JRPGs are worse about it, though, which is why I've never played one to completion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *