Is Mass Effect an jRPG?

Hollock

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Not at all. Besides Bethesda, Bioware makes the most western western RPGs
 

Not Lord Atkin

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Oct 25, 2008
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it's a Bioware RPG. that should be a genre in itself :D a bRPG. [/bad jokes]

in all seriousness, j in jRPG stands for Japanese. Now you can't really call a game that has not been made by the Japanese a jRPG.
Bioware games were always about the story and characters. Yes, there are a few cliches here and there and the setting is nearly always god-awful but the writing and the way Bioware can build a consistent world is nothing short of excelent. It's this focus on the world and characters in it that makes fanboys rage about Tali's mask and so forth.
So no, definitely not a jRPG.
 

akkronym

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I'm going to assume that you recognize the "j" in "JRPG" stands for Japanese and not simply say that it was made in the West (in other words, you are almost completely wrong at face value but I'll ignore your poor choice in label).

JRPGs did not invent linearity, nor are Western RPGs defined by being open world. Sure, Bethesda's games tend to be but the linearity you are talking about refers to following a specific character and learning about him or her, NOT creating your own and making almost all the decisions past, present, and future, for them. Yes, there is a certain level of plot progression that requires you to follow the main story in order to continue on in the game and no, it isn't self sustainable by hangout out on a random planet playing mini games. Neither of those are the definition of "an jRPG."

JRPGs did not invent character cliches, nor are Western RPGs absent of them all together. You may be confusing Final Fantasy's blatant reusing and re-purposing of old character archetypes, game mechanics, and themes (something that should not be read as an insult because its the familiarity that makes Final Fantasy a franchise rather than 13 games made by Square that don't relate to each other), as the basis for saying all JRPGs use character archetypes. Problem is those predate gaming. They predate film. Shakespeare had character Archetypes and Romeo and Juliet wasn't a JRPG. Does Mass Effect have characters with stories you've probably heard before? Sure. So does Gears of War, Left 4 Dead, Fallout, even the Need for Speed games. Anything that tells a story draws from the pool of character archetypes to start with and build from.

And your final point is that the fans write fanfiction it must be a JRPG? o_O Not even gonna go there.

As to the "Why don't the bring back the whatever instead of focusing on the in-game mystery not yet revealed of whatever?" They took the upgrade system out because they (keyword here, they - read Bioware) felt it was too cumbersome and required you to constantly pull yourself out of the action to manage your inventory. Personally I didn't mind it and the whole strip mining aspect of ME2 was less desirable than buying and upgrading weapons as I went and specializing them to my situation. The skill system you are talking about (I'm assuming it was the level up portion) was streamlined so that you didn't have 20 different spots to put points in for random characters without understanding what you doing. You want them to have a more powerful Slam attack, then give points to Slam. Not +2% Damage and +3% Duration like in the first game. I'm not saying it was for the betterment of the game but it broadened their audience without sacrificing really anything major from the experience. As for the Tali thing, for you, I will apologize on behalf of the entire ME community for character about anything other than "Does Shepherd save the Galaxy?" because its clear that in an RPG that is in question rather than the entire universe of other details that could be explained further in ME3. ME1 was a good game but its RPG elements overshadowed the shooter portions and it was criticized for its slow pace and few and far between action sections. ME2 was a little too much action shooter at the expense of the RPG. It's up to Bioware to find a blend of the two to please fans. We'll see.
 

Phoenix_XIII

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Cenequus said:
More exactly the second one. Now i know even Bioware said they were inspired by Final Fantasy and all but I always dissmised claims like that in general just because people always use classic games more often to say what type of games they loved/grew up rather than what their game actually looks up.

Now for Mass Effect 2,first of all I really enjoyed them game and the only flaws I could bring to it are how limited it is when it comes to side quests(still a 30ish hours game so not bad overall),almost absent if not lacking at all RPG elements(you can take almost any new FPS and it has pretty much the same in depth rpg elements) and some characters. Now I know putting big points like that one might think it's actually a big deal but even with those I really enjoyed the game.

Now what makes of it an jRPG: well for one to a certain degree the linearity but not by itself it's a linearity that includes side quest(not sure if I explained myself properly).

Second the characters,while for one they aren't 13 yr old kids(I'm sure there are jrpg with adults somewhere) with few exceptions(Jacob and Miranda only come to mind now)the rest are pretty much jRPG clichès. A good example is the behavior a Jacob and Tali vs their respective fathers. But overall any can fit some jRPG archetype and those that know them better could actually make examples for each,this includes Liara,Tali,Thane,Legion,Garrus,Jack with personalities I probably wouldn't dislike that much if I didn't had "normal" personalities(Jacob,Miranda as i said) to compare them.

Now nothnig wrong in the end and I can say I finally liked a jRPG but I made one fatal error that made me reflect more on this subject and open to disscusion...I visited the bioware forum for ME. My mind exploded not at the amount of fanfic that can rival any anime,manga or japanese game but the actual war btwn fanbois of this char vs another. And I mean hundred of thousand of posts with threads having thousand of pages about how much they loved Liara or Tali.

Now I always thought Bioware will take the best of ME1 and ME2 and easylly make out of ME3 the best game ever but I don't know since people think unmasking Tali is a higher priority than bringing back the skill system or the upgrade/modding of weapons and armor.

TL;DR I liked ME2 even if it's an jRPG...kinda...both.
While teenagers are used in JRPG's a lot, 13 year olds are not the staqrs. It's in the older teen area and the younger kid area. And plus, since loads of JRPG's take place in different worlds and dimensions, maybe teenage to us is different to them. So people can finally shut the fuck up about the ages of characters and be fucking smart for once.

And there is usually a big thing about a JRPG:

IT'S MADE USUALLY IN JAPAN.

Look, I'm not trying to be an asshole, but I love JRPG's. And Mass Effect isn't on my love list. It's as non-JRPG you can get. Why? It's a sci-fi shooter with an in depth story too many people will kill each other over and has RPG elements.

And also tired of people listing fucked up stereotypes about JRPG's. Would any of you like to play a modern JRPG and come to realize that most of the characters aren't fucking 13 year olds who have fucked up hair? Hell, in Final Fantasy, it was mainly in the EARLY games that there were young kids.

And if people try to argue "Well what about in FF7? Cloud had fucked up hair and he was probably just a teenager." Well he could've been. But he was in basically the fucking army. He was apart of SOLIDER. His best friend died right in front of him and he had to watch as he fought his final fight.


AHEM.


Now that my little rant is over,

No. Mass Effect is not a JRPG. It's Bioware. And it's a Sci-Fi shoot'em up with RPG elements.
 

NotYetForsaken

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Sep 27, 2010
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Cenequus said:
Not such a big generalizion if you google search Mass Effect team tali without safe search. But hey generalizing is always wrong,the fact it's a copycat of the team twilight made me say that,and I'm one pretty neutral on subject(better read something stupid rather than not read anything at all).

Not trying to prove anything actually but at this point anything is ok since most posts are "it's not jRPG because it's not made in japan".
Did.. did you just try to win an argument about it being a JRPG-esque game by pulling Rule 34 for on me? The first and foremost rule of the Internet? I'm sorry, but you cannot get any more general than that.

In an equally silly maneuver I would like you to search Team Fortress 2 without safe search and see how long before pictures of Pyro start coming up as animesque.

Also how is Team Tali a copycat of Team Twilight? Both use alliteration to make their names more... fun, and both follow general conventions of fan clubs.
 

zerobudgetgamer

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Cenequus said:
Now what makes of it an jRPG: well for one to a certain degree the linearity but not by itself it's a linearity that includes side quest(not sure if I explained myself properly).

Second the characters,while for one they aren't 13 yr old kids(I'm sure there are jrpg with adults somewhere) with few exceptions(Jacob and Miranda only come to mind now)the rest are pretty much jRPG clichès. A good example is the behavior a Jacob and Tali vs their respective fathers. But overall any can fit some jRPG archetype and those that know them better could actually make examples for each,this includes Liara,Tali,Thane,Legion,Garrus,Jack with personalities I probably wouldn't dislike that much if I didn't had "normal" personalities(Jacob,Miranda as i said) to compare them.

Now nothnig wrong in the end and I can say I finally liked a jRPG but I made one fatal error that made me reflect more on this subject and open to disscusion...I visited the bioware forum for ME. My mind exploded not at the amount of fanfic that can rival any anime,manga or japanese game but the actual war btwn fanbois of this char vs another. And I mean hundred of thousand of posts with threads having thousand of pages about how much they loved Liara or Tali.
OK, first off, "JRPG" isn't synonymous with "linearity." Your experience with JRPGs must solely be FF10 and 13, and NOTHING in between or before. 12 was probably one of the most sidequest-heavy RPGs I've ever played, and 7-9 all had their fair share of stuff to do that diverged from the set path. All games have a set story, and ask you to traverse that story at a set pace. Not only is no one genre that can be used to define the term "Linear", but your typical JRPG is probably one of the worst, since most versions of the subgenre are typically packed with sidequests.

Now, since I haven't played the game, I don't know the personalities of the characters therein, so I can't take the time I'd like to piece apart your argument. However, aside from age, which is an all-too important factor in JRPGs, most cliched characters in video games are universal, and by that I mean they extend even beyond video games into other forms of media. The Silent Protagonist, the Asshole with a Heart of Gold, Father/Family/Societal Issues, I could go on. The main difference is how these cliches are utilized, and to their fault, some JRPGs have used them in ways so as to pollute the mass opinion of JRPGs (The Emo Protagonist, for one).

Now, since I mentioned age being an important factor in JRPGs, let me continue with that. If you watch the Extra Credits episode Myth of the Gun you'll see that Japan and the US have very different ideals, specific to this episode in regarding to how the gun is treated. It actually doesn't end there. Japan is very focused on adolescence, on the "Springtime of Youth" as they call it. To them, your teenage years are your most epic, the time where everything amazing in your life is supposed to happen. I suppose we here in America have a very similar idea of that, but in Japan it's just turned up to 11. It's been a running joke for a long time now that if a Japanese kid hasn't saved the world by age 12, he's just not trying hard enough. Again, this is because, for whatever reason, Japan views a person's youth as their prime years, as the time when anything can happen, and everything should. It's why so many anime and video games that pour out of Japan focus on High School or Adolescence, or feature characters all in their Teen years. Meanwhile, in America, you see the complete opposite going on. Heroes aren't in their adolescence, but rather in their mid-20's to early-40's. (Typically Militarized) People who have seen the world, know it for the filthy land that it is, and in some cases have given up all hope, but are called upon in a time of need to save the world.

That's another stark contrast between U.S. and Japan. In several U.S. games, negativity reigns supreme. The mission is always one where we might not come back alive, the world is a wasteland, filled with filth that must be cleaned. In most Japanese games, the world is a paradise, marred by impurities that try to corrupt it. Sure, it's in Japanese media more than any other that I've seen Humanity referred to as a parasite, whose sole existence brings nothing but pain and destruction. But those same shows/games will try to push Humanity's drive to survive, their unending desire to progress and improve, and how, even if they can't better themselves, they'll still cling to "hope" and use it as a weapon to defeat the enemy. I could go on, but this is a long enough rant, and if I go further I'd probably simply begin to poke further holes in my logic for people to steamroll through.

The last thing I need to say is that ALL GAMES have fanbases, and there are SEVERAL that have fans so devoted that they will write their own fanfiction and bicker about elements within the game, both gameplay and story. A game like this, which has multiple characters, many with romantic options for the protagonist, and (to my knowledge) has NO imposed Canon to guide the discussion, simply compounds the problem a thousandfold. Keep in mind, also, that Bioware is currently the only non-Japanese game developer actually creating games that have multiple romantic options, and Bioware is well-noted as a developer that excels at story-telling, so it makes sense a lot of people get drawn into the world and want to feel like they're a part of it, either by shipping Shepard and "insert-other-character-here" as an OTP, or by creating their own fanfiction, or just by bickering about the games in some way. It's proof that Bioware is at least doing something right if so many people enjoy their games so much. But it's hardly proof that they created a JRPG, since, for probably the hundredth time in this thread, they are not a Japanese developer and (to my knowledge) only claimed to use Japanese GAMES as inspiration, NOT Japanese culture.
 

Defense

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Eduku said:
Does it really have to be made in Japan (according to so many comments here) to really be a JRPG? People call Demon's Souls a WRPG even though it's made in Japan. Inversely, Anachronox is called a JRPG even though it was made in the US.

Also, the use of JRPG stereotypes is astounding.
Although it's related to origin, many refer to games as part of J/W RPG depending on their mechanics and style. Demon's Souls is definitely a JRPG that shares none of the JRPG tropes.

I'm sick of this to be honest. I like the good old days when it was about Console RPG vs Computer RPG. At least then people didn't pull "LAWL CRAZY RAINBOW HAIR" out of their asses.
 

hermes

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Most people are comparing Mass Effect with current JRPG... the term is more open than that, and things like linearity and fixed storyline are not necessarily a part of the definition.

And no, its not a JRPG. Besides the obvious part of not being made in Asia, there is also that it has branching conversations and the main quest can be completed in almost any order. While there are JRPG than has those things as well, they are usually the exception more than the rule.
 

veloper

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turn-based combat?
a party of 4?
predefined protagonist?
positions fixed during combat?
world map with random encounters?
enough grind?
story strictly lineair?
anime visuals?

Seems ME2 meets none of the JRPG criteria.
 

Cenequus

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akkronym said:
I'm going to assume that you recognize the "j" in "JRPG" stands for Japanese and not simply say that it was made in the West (in other words, you are almost completely wrong at face value but I'll ignore your poor choice in label).

JRPGs did not invent linearity, nor are Western RPGs defined by being open world. Sure, Bethesda's games tend to be but the linearity you are talking about refers to following a specific character and learning about him or her, NOT creating your own and making almost all the decisions past, present, and future, for them. Yes, there is a certain level of plot progression that requires you to follow the main story in order to continue on in the game and no, it isn't self sustainable by hangout out on a random planet playing mini games. Neither of those are the definition of "an jRPG."

JRPGs did not invent character cliches, nor are Western RPGs absent of them all together. You may be confusing Final Fantasy's blatant reusing and re-purposing of old character archetypes, game mechanics, and themes (something that should not be read as an insult because its the familiarity that makes Final Fantasy a franchise rather than 13 games made by Square that don't relate to each other), as the basis for saying all JRPGs use character archetypes. Problem is those predate gaming. They predate film. Shakespeare had character Archetypes and Romeo and Juliet wasn't a JRPG. Does Mass Effect have characters with stories you've probably heard before? Sure. So does Gears of War, Left 4 Dead, Fallout, even the Need for Speed games. Anything that tells a story draws from the pool of character archetypes to start with and build from.

And your final point is that the fans write fanfiction it must be a JRPG? o_O Not even gonna go there.

As to the "Why don't the bring back the whatever instead of focusing on the in-game mystery not yet revealed of whatever?" They took the upgrade system out because they (keyword here, they - read Bioware) felt it was too cumbersome and required you to constantly pull yourself out of the action to manage your inventory. Personally I didn't mind it and the whole strip mining aspect of ME2 was less desirable than buying and upgrading weapons as I went and specializing them to my situation. The skill system you are talking about (I'm assuming it was the level up portion) was streamlined so that you didn't have 20 different spots to put points in for random characters without understanding what you doing. You want them to have a more powerful Slam attack, then give points to Slam. Not +2% Damage and +3% Duration like in the first game. I'm not saying it was for the betterment of the game but it broadened their audience without sacrificing really anything major from the experience. As for the Tali thing, for you, I will apologize on behalf of the entire ME community for character about anything other than "Does Shepherd save the Galaxy?" because its clear that in an RPG that is in question rather than the entire universe of other details that could be explained further in ME3. ME1 was a good game but its RPG elements overshadowed the shooter portions and it was criticized for its slow pace and few and far between action sections. ME2 was a little too much action shooter at the expense of the RPG. It's up to Bioware to find a blend of the two to please fans. We'll see.
Fair post and good read.

As I said I'm sure there are great jRPGs that aren't shallow and repetitive as I think they are and maybe not. Maybe it's a symptom and not a cause,after putting pieces together I assumed "Hey i played something similar to and jRPG and actually liked it". Nevermind the fact it's not obviously,yes labeling is bad but also it's easier to point things out and then try to explain them. I'd say it's not about clichès but it might be wrong,for example I couldn't play male Shepard after I tried like 4 times to make a decent looking one beyond that brown western clichè one. One the other side I liked the default female one even if i changed red to blonde(blonde=|=stupid).

Also I'm not talking about "normal" fanfiction i'm talking about Talimancers(new word I discovered researching more to try to make a better argument here)or Garrus fiction or Kaiden fiction. Some of those things are sick at best. Since another great japanese clichè are tentacles I wish i could unsee some hanar/shepard action.

As you I(if i understood corectly)I liked ME1 combat/skill system and you felt a progression using mods and putting points. On the other hand I also like ME2's combat system but in hindsight there was no difference in fighting from level 1 to level 30. They said they're combining the two and I can't see how it should go wrong there. My point in was seeing the latest polls bioware made it's like they find things that are just color additions at higher priority(romances).They were always great to have but don't make them your selling point(buy Mass Effect 3 and see Tali's face...wtf?).
 

Megacherv

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AlternatePFG said:
SpartanBlackman said:
Is KotOR 2, widely regarded as one of the best RPGs ever, a Waifu simulator?
KOTOR 2 isn't well regarded on this forum. People here treat it like it set their dog on fire or something. Personally, I love it.
FLUFFLES, NO!

*ahem* I agree, it's actually Kotor 1, and even then...
 

twistedheat15

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Cenequus said:
Brutal Peanut said:
Cenequus said:
Nothing wrong in having problems and as I said the difference btwn an jrpg character and an western rpg char is how they deal with them. Not gonna argue about chars beeing useless or not even if I always used Miranda because or her sqaud bonus hp and dmg but as I said there's a huge difference btwn how Jacob deals with what his father did and how Tali deals with hers.
Those are two very different situations, given to two characters who aren't even of the same species and culture. I'm a ME2 lore-hound and I could write a huge paragraph about the differences like I was going to do, but no one wants to read that and it will take too much time to type out.

You are trying to base your whole arguement on the fact that the characters have different personalities and handle things differently. Those are the RPG elements. Almost 'all' games have those. So, yes, ME2 may share RPG elements with other games, but that doesn't strictly make it an JRPG. You are also trying to avoid looking at art style,game-style, and in-game combat systems and say they should have nothing to do with the argument, but those things actually make up a huge part of certain game genres, like JRPGS.
Totally agree with you the main reason I can't stand jRPGs are the art style and obsolete combat system. But everybody and his mother always told me to try and look beyond that because of great story or whatever. That's why in my example I let those pass and focus on that. Also consider me superficial and insensible(I'm a guy after all)but they don't act like adults in those situations,forget Tali but look at Thane,Liara,Jack.
How exactly don't they look like adults in those situations? Where they suppose to embrace the situation with open arms, dismiss the past and start new just cuz they're adults?
 

GRYPHOM

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Jul 30, 2010
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God damn. People get angry to stupid shit. Who gives a damn about the romance bit? All I see is that some people are saying it acts a bit like a jRPG, but it isn't a jRPG because it was developed in Canada, not Japan. Calm down.
 

Elesar

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Well wikipedia tells me Bioware is not from Japan, so no.

And I'm sorry but it's that simple. A JRPG is not a genre technically, it's an RPG that's made in Japan.
 

NiPah

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Heh the funny part is the trend of spiky haired angsty teens has been dead for awhile, the new trend is now moe. Millions are made on new DLC to replace their cloths with bikinis and even if the gameplay is exactly the same as another recently released game it will still sell well.

If you're going to hate on JRPGs at least update your insults a little bit, otherwise you come out looking silly.
 

StBishop

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Because I've not seen anyone mention it. "An" is used before words starting with a vowel sound

An element
An octopus
An imp

but

A historical event ("Huh" sound at the start.)
A JRPG ("Juh" sound at the start.)
A eulogy ("Yoo" sound at the start.)
 

pspman45

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Sep 1, 2010
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no skinny 15 year old "boys"
no huge swords
no turn based combat
huh, I guess it isn't a JRPG