On 7 February 2015, it’ll have been exactly one year since Bravely Default was released to North America. It was also the day I picked up a copy of Bravely Default, my first ever JRPG.
I qualify this by saying that I have been playing Pokemon games all my life, which are a pseudo-JRPG, and that I’d played Fire Emblem Awakening, a Japanese SRPG that was actually what made me interested in getting into deeper, more mature RPGs.
That over, I’m going to go through the 6 JRPGs I finished in the last year in the order I played them, as well as the dozens more I haven’t quite finished, and give a few thoughts on the genre as well as some JRPGs I’m excited to play in 2015. It’s going to be a long ride, so get yourself ready for a hearty, warming bowl of JRPG goodness! I’m keeping everything spoiler-free, so don’t worry if you haven’t played any of the following games.
Developer: Square | Year: 1997 | List Price: 11.99 | Buy from Amazon
Say whatever you like about Final Fantasy VII. It’s undeniable that it is one of the most important RPGs, if not videogames, of the last 20 years. It’s hard to be a gamer and not to have heard of the Final Fantasy series, and VII is easily its most famous instalment. Following its 1997 release, it has seen many spinoff titles such as the likes of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and the Kingdom Hearts series of games. In fact, Final Fantasy VII is one of few games to have warranted a movie sequel, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. (On an unrelated note, my dad, who is not even remotely a gamer, mentioned that he once saw this Final Fantasy movie. I personally haven’t seen Advent Children, but judging by its critical and commercial response, it’s not unsurprising that it didn’t make him a Final Fantasy fan!).
Developer: Square Enix | Year: 2008 | List Price: ~$29.99 | Buy from Amazon
If you’ve been following Kantaloupe over the past 6 months or so, you’ll have seen me really get into JRPGs. I played my very first one back in February, Bravely Default. After beating that in June, I bought Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger DS at the same time, but decided to play the former first, since it came out earlier. After that I proceeded immediately to this game, which I have now beaten. (The marathon continues! I just bought a PS Vita on Thursday and downloaded Persona 3 Portable yesterday.)