A comparative look at the role-playing game industry on both Western and Japanese shores yields a strong dichotomy: one of consistent innovation, and one of arguable stagnation. At least, that is the belief that Bioware co-founder/director Greg Zeschuk recently expanded upon in an interview with video game website Destructoid.
“The fall of the JRPG in large part is due to a lack of evolution, a lack of progression. They kept delivering the same thing over and over. They make the dressing better, they look prettier, but it’s still the same experience.” He added, “My favorite thing, it’s funny when you still see it, but the joke of some of the dialogue systems where it asks, ‘do you wanna do this or this,’ and you say no. ‘Do you wanna do this or this?’ No. ‘Do you wanna do this or this?’ No. Lemme think — you want me to say ‘yes.’ And that, unfortunately, really characterized the JRPG.”
“We have big debates on whether GTA is an RPG, for example,” said Zeschuk. “It’s got all the elements, it just doesn’t have the numbers. And what gamers here want is that higher depth, that higher integration of features…Mass Effect 2 is in some ways a continuation of that evolution.”
Do you agree with Dr. Zeschuk? Or is there more innovation in JRPGs than many realize? Comment below with your thoughts!