Super Mario RPG is a game that, when it was originally released, likely met with a lot of skepticism. Squaresoft’s RPGs are generally known as their huge sweeping tales that were not like anything that most gamers have seen at the time. Mario games, on the other hand, generally had no story beyond the typical excuse plot involving rescuing the princess. I can imagine the surprise when the two ended up going together like peanut butter and chocolate.
Since then, there have been two sub series that have been considered spiritual successors to Super Mario RPG; those being the Paper Mario series, and the Mario & Luigi series. Super Mario RPG was also one of the last games released for the Super Nintendo in 1996 and was the last game Squaresoft developed for a Nintendo system until Final Fantasy Tactics Advance in 2003. Super Mario RPG was the source of many technical achievements and innovations for the time of its release, but the real question is if it is as impressive today as it was in 1996. Read more
Time and Eternity has always been a pretty important game in terms of the impact it had on me. I will admit that I have this strange tendency to tell when a game is overhated before playing it and such a thing will irk me despite not even having played it yet. So I admit my opinion of Time and Eternity could have been stronger than if I just played it going into it without any clue what to expect.
This usually results in one of two possible outcomes. Either you end up with a game that, while it has a lot of detrimental flaws, it can still be enjoyed by plenty of people. Usually I tend to acknowledge these games as ones where, while they aren’t as bad as people make them out to be, I can still understand why people dislike them. Games like Lunar: Dragon Song on the DS for instance, had a lot of questionable design decisions and interface issues that caused it to be despised when it was in the same series as two of the greatest JRPGs ever made. I went into that game with negative hype, however, and found that it can be fun if one can get past certain issues. The same can also be said for more popular titles like Final Fantasy XIII.
JRPG Update is back folks… sorta. In order to make things easier on myself, I decided that some revisions needed to be made to how I would handle things, simply because I was overloaded the way that JRPG Update worked before. I tried to post weekly updates by covering as much JRPG related information as I could, even things that seemed insignificant. As such, I am deciding to do some vetting for the content that I cover and will try to avoid posting redundant news such as “such and such has new screen shots” or “details have been given about the shape of the hair of the NPC off to the top right corner in the second house in the games 13th town.” Also, updates will be posted monthly as opposed to weekly so I have time to actually work on other content.
Holy shit, how the fuck did I stay away from this series for as long as I have? I actually don’t know if I have even written about Neptunia for this blog yet, although I have mentioned it plenty of times. I absolutely adore this series, and seeing someone bashing it for being nothing but fanservice is an instant trip to my shit list. That’s not even a joke, seeing someone bash a series like Neptunia or Senran Kagura as being nothing other than fanservice just because it HAS fanservice tells a lot about their personality; mainly that they are misogynists who think women are “degrading themselves” if they ever show skin and that they project their own sexism onto anyone who has a sex drive, and I can only assume you’re a shitty person if you are this shallow minded. It is because of this that I got so pissed at Jed Whitaker and why I despise Jim Sterling.
The truth is that the Hyperdimension Neptunia series is one of the most pro feminist video game series of all time (ignoring the shitty harem spinoffs that is). To have such a strongly developed cast of female characters in an age where AAA developers need to virtue signal their inclusion of a single female protagonist as a key advertising point is incredible. This is something that I could go on and on about for hours, but it is not the point. Among the many incredible aspects of this series is its music.
Shadow Hearts was always an underrated series of RPGs. We do not have that many JRPGs that embrace such a dark and Gothic style outside of Shin Megami Tensei, and those games also have a high barrier for entry due to their difficulty. The original Shadow Hearts felt very similar to PS1 era JRPGs with the exception that it was a fuck ton darker. Your first town in the game is populated by cannibals and your main character is a schizophrenic for fucks sake! Naturally, this means there will be dark and ominous music to accompany it. One of those is the boss theme in the second half of the game, “Demon’s Gig.”
I’ve been meaning to try and bring back my JRPG Update series for quite a while now. It was one of the few things I did that was more than just spouting my opinion, and helped provide people with useful information, but it just wore me out and was too hard to keep up with. If I were to bring it back, I’m thinking of doing so with a different focus seeing as how a lot of the appeal was just showing off all the various different sections of the JRPG market.
Chances are, a lot of my reader base will be familiar with even the niche middle market titles localized by Atlus, XSeed, Namco Bandai, NISA, and Aksyss, but there isn’t a lot of attention paid to the notable JRPG influenced titles in the indie gaming scene. Unless something is entirely unique like Undertale or LISA, it’s usually not going to get much attention. After all, what even is there, RPG Maker Fantasy Quest VII (Featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series & Knuckles)?
If this hasn’t been made clear already, I LOVE the Lunar series. There is such an undeniable charm to the series that is lacking in so many games, even though they are as standard as JRPGs get story wise. It does seem unfortunate that Game Arts has not created anything that successful since the Grandia series (one that I still need to get to myself), and also that it is entirely likely that we only fell in love with the Lunar series because of Working Designs’ alterations to the script (hence why the scripts for the fan translation of Walking School and Dragon Song were bland in comparison, and why the series has fallen out of popularity in Japan). Anyway, this week’s VGM is the final boss theme of the first Lunar, “Go Go Go!”
Well this week’s update was hell to put together. It turns out that these pages lag horribly when there are too many embedded videos. As such, I am unable to fully edit this article and some things will be missing, such as a few pics, , links, and the updated release chart.However, I did introduce a new segment called “discoveries,” which is where I post about new games I discovered the existence of that were released his year. This has involved looking through Steam, Nutaku, DLSite, and Itch.Io (although I found nothing on the latter most because they all appear to be RPG Maker.
Well, another week has come and gone, and thank god I decided to write out all these announcements as they came up rather than doing them all in one day because I decided I wanted to enhance the presentation a bit, and that took some time to do. Anyway this week had a pretty good news line up for JRPGs and JRPG influenced games. This week has seen the release of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (3DS), Regalia – Of Men and Monarchs (PC), Akiba’s Beat (PS4/Vita), Operation Babel: New Tokyo Legacy (Vita/PC), and Chroma Squad (PS4/XONE).
Just a heads up, the reason the review is no longer up this site is because it is now up on Brash Games, and I figure they wouldn’t want their content hosted elsewhere. There was a lot that I had to say about this game seeing as how it is currently in my top 3 favorite RPGs (or games in general for that matter).
If you would like to play this game for yourself (which you should) it can be purchased here (PS4 Physical), here (PS4 Digital), and here (PC Digital).
If you would like to support me or this site, then please support my Patreon if you would like to see higher quality content with more resources to put towards it. If you don’t want to spend any money on me, then you can also help out by simply sharing my blog on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, or anywhere else where others will see it. You can also follow this blog if you would like to be kept up to date on my stuff, or you could follow me on any of my social media pages (listed at the top of the page) and could stop by The Guardian Acorn Discord chat if you would like to talk to me and my homies.