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Community RPG Codex Top 55 JRPGs

Jasede

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Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
Chrono Trigger is a perfect B+ game. It looks nice, it sounds nice, it plays all right, but in the end it's just not that memorable. The best thing about it is the soundtrack.

Chrono Cross is worse in every way but also has a great soundtrack.

I like Chrono Trigger. It's a well-made game. But it's not especially great in any regard so it doesn't stand out compared to the real gems. Being merely good at everything isn't as valuable as being excellent in a few things.
 

Ash

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Oct 16, 2015
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A game that does not engage/feature relevant gameplay except that which provides context to the story is not a well-made game.

It's a nice B- interactive story for storyfag-in-the-making kids. F ranking as a game. There is nothing to appreciate about it. Even the heralded NG+ feature doesn't exist to add anything meaningful to the gameplay, but to provide more story content. Again, Pokemon shits on this as a game, brutally. Like a gang of juiced up pikachus take it out back and gang-rape it in the alley, then leave it for dead. It's that "hardcore" by comparison, despite being more on the casual side of RPGs and not really hardcore at all.

Edit: in hindsight, after exploring more of the JRPG and being met with many storyfag non-games, it seems that Pokemon actually is quite hardcore for the JRPG subgenre.
 
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Jasede

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Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
I think you're exaggerating. The combat is simple and standard but inoffensive. Some bosses have interesting designs. The combo attacks are fun. Nothing groundbreaking, not the crime against humanity you're making it sound.

The worst I can say about the combat is that it feels like it doesn't add much to the game. If you had removed all the combat it wouldn't feel all that different.

I would much rather play it than any Pokemon game.
 

Ash

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Oct 16, 2015
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Again people and their brain worms. I say gameplay, people respond "combat combat combat!". There is item management (potions etc), except it's basic and meaningless in CT. Build strategy, except it's the very basic equip the latest armor and then forget about it type system, and that's as many RPG systems as this supposed "RPG" holds. So there basically is no build strategy and RPG systems, the game is just pretending. The overworld, except there is nothing optional, it's on rails. it's purely set dressing. Again, the game is pretending to be a game. The level design @ locations (dungeons etc), except it's almost entirely on rails and non-interactive, and I'm not exaggerating. There is almost zero puzzle element or mental exercise, whether that be having to go around town investigating where character x is, or some dungeon puzzle. They don't make an appearance here.

As for the combat, it's complete trash. Everything said about FF7's combat rings true here, except FF7 has numerous optional encounters throughout the game that do deliver a genuine challenge, and otherwise tons more systems to play with to distract from how inadequate it really is in terms of difficulty.
 

Jasede

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Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
All right, you raise some good points but I just have to think, most jrpgs are of similar, uh, "depth."

It's a very casual game.
 

Jasede

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Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
Have we played the same Pokemon? I've played Red and FireRed and they were the worst games I've played in ages. You can't lose a fight, you only learn 4 skills per monster, you just go from place to place for no real reason...

I don't see what's so engrossing about using your one good attack on your best monster every fight which is entirely sufficient to beat the game if you focus all the XP on your starter.

Honestly, zero standards in gameplay? It's okay to play a casual jrpg with great graphics and music once in a while. I don't have to play Dwarf Fortress every day to maintain my gamer cred. I can play Lands of Lore, a very casual blobber, sometimes without suddenly losing all my standards...
 

Jasede

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Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
In fact, I don't think I even voted for the game. I'm just a bit baffled by the intensity of your dislike. It's like you're talking about Fallout 3.

Can't you just be like "meh, it's overrated and not for me" instead of claiming its bland but not exactly actively bad "gameplay" is the worst thing since the dawn of time?
 

Ash

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Oct 16, 2015
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Those combat combat combat worms really got a hold on you haha

Let's use Red as an example:

-Every pokemon dungeon has multiple elements of puzzle, e.g using H.M strength to push blocks around to clear a path, attempting to avoid a trainer's line of sight because you have low HP. or the teleportation puzzles in Team Rocket's hideout. They're not overly simple to navigate either, let's use the first dungeon as an example: the bug woods is designed like a maze. The level design is pretty great and leagues above CT.
-Dungeons are also a genuine battle of attrition. e.g Moon Cave (can't remember the name the first cave) getting assraped by zubats and pokemon trainers, it is a challenge to make it through without your party fainting. I would say the combat is better. A bit simpler, but at least you have to think about shit. Gym bosses can be hard too if you don't grind or use the correct party setup.
-there's always genuine strategic choices even if basic, e.g which old move do you overwrite when you level up or use HM/TM? Gym is fire, is my party adequate or should I go fishing?
-There's optional shit everywhere, from items found via exploration (and hidden/invisible items found from frobbing stuff), to an actual casino (LOL), to the safari zone, to the very premise of the game - catching them all (or not!).
-Item management and the economy are pretty well balanced. Can only have 30 items in your pack so you have to pick and choose. There's never enough money to buy everything you want till the end of the game.

In fact, I don't think I even voted for the game. I'm just a bit baffled by the intensity of your dislike. It's like you're talking about Fallout 3.

Can't you just be like "meh, it's overrated and not for me" instead of claiming its bland but not exactly actively bad "gameplay" is the worst thing since the dawn of time?
But FO3 is also > CT. Again, by virtue of gameplay. The story and writing is shit or borderline retarded, the aesthetics are shit, a lot of the content quickly gets samey, a lot of the quests are shit, and the player quickly becomes an OP tank. It's not even Fallout at all. However, there are nonetheless genuine choices, you'll still die a lot, exploration can be fun. Levelling up is exciting and gives you some cool choices. As a game, it's not terrible. It's decline, but I don't rank it in the same category I do dishonorable non-games or total shit like CT, Bioshock, Assassin's Creed, Oblivion/Skyrim, Suikoden, Final Fantasy 4...
 
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Jasede

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Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Codex Year of the Donut I'm very into cock and ball torture
Well, I do love that you give actual and factual arguments when called out. You're right, I don't care that much about the environmental puzzles (unless we're talking Lufia 2 or Breath of Fire 2). I'm a known omnifag, which is like having schizophrenia: combatfag for one game, storyfag for another, atmospherefag for what's left. But always fag.

Maybe I don't share your views or priorities but I have to admit they're well-reasoned.
 

Ash

Arcane
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
6,150
Appreciate it. Yeah I'm a hardcore gameplayfag; the entirety of the gameplay experience as a whole, and how every element interacts with one another. Everything else (story, music etc) is still 100% important to me aside from graphical fidelity, but gameplay 101% if that makes sense. If the game has unacceptable gameplay, then that game is shit and unworthy by my standards. But I can accept other elements being terrible, except maybe art style cause it's hard to swallow a truly ugly game.
 

Grampy_Bone

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Wandering the world randomly in search of maps
The question isn't really whether Chrono Trigger is an overrated game or not, it's whether it belongs lower on a list than ultra-niche obscurities like Dark Spire or nigh-unplayable trash like Unlimited SaGa.

Sub in FF7 instead if it makes you happy, it's still clear this is a very silly poll.
 

somerandomdude

Learned
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May 26, 2022
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650
Funnily enough one kid has just been trying to claim CT invented a ton of stuff which it didn't again :lol:

HA5kkyY.png


They're a weird breed.

Chrono Tards?
 

Gastrick

Cipher
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
1,700
I
Appreciate it. Yeah I'm a hardcore gameplayfag; the entirety of the gameplay experience as a whole, and how every element interacts with one another. Everything else (story, music etc) is still 100% important to me aside from graphical fidelity, but gameplay 101% if that makes sense. If the game has unacceptable gameplay, then that game is shit and unworthy by my standards. But I can accept other elements being terrible, except maybe art style cause it's hard to swallow a truly ugly game.
I'd say I'm also a gameplayfag, that the games I like tend to be gameplay focused, and even the rare game I care about the story like Xenogears I doubt I would like as much if the gameplay weren't fun as well. Going from Etrian Odyssey to Earthbound, you can really see just how weak these snes storyfaggot/graphicswhore games are in terms of their combat and build options. Also, I would say to these storyfags, if you want a story, read a book or watch a tv show, games are there to be played.

Also, this list is in two parts, pure and full.
 

Falksi

Arcane
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Feb 14, 2017
Messages
10,408
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Nottingham
I
Appreciate it. Yeah I'm a hardcore gameplayfag; the entirety of the gameplay experience as a whole, and how every element interacts with one another. Everything else (story, music etc) is still 100% important to me aside from graphical fidelity, but gameplay 101% if that makes sense. If the game has unacceptable gameplay, then that game is shit and unworthy by my standards. But I can accept other elements being terrible, except maybe art style cause it's hard to swallow a truly ugly game.
I'd say I'm also a gameplayfag, that the games I like tend to be gameplay focused, and even the rare game I care about the story like Xenogears I doubt I would like as much if the gameplay weren't fun as well. Going from Etrian Odyssey to Earthbound, you can really see just how weak these snes storyfaggot/graphicswhore games are in terms of their combat and build options. Also, I would say to these storyfags, if you want a story, read a book or watch a tv show, games are there to be played.

Also, this list is in two parts, pure and full.

The bit what baffles me is when games like Chrono Trigger are hailed as being amazing for storyfags when they have wafer thin character development.
  • Chrono. A blank slate who says 1 line in the entire game. If he dies the nothing about his personality is missed at all. Awful character development for a nothing character. You just miss his stats, like you would a cyborg in another series.
  • Marle. Starts well as she unravels from everygirl to princess...but then we forget about that for 15 hours until she wraps up some daddy issues in her Rainbow shell quest right at the end, which is actually more her dad's arc than hers. Poor overall.
  • Luca. Does she have any? We do get a history lesson with her mother, but there's no real changes to her character and it's all over in a flash.
  • Robo. OK so he's a robot so on one hand I don't expect much CD from him. However, the game plays him as a tin-man with a heart too which is hard to ignore, and yet he almost instantaneously finds his purpose when we first meet him too. He gets and beats some pussy at the end, but it's no great shakes. Overall it's a mixed bag, but I can forgive it more because he is mechanical.
  • Frog. The one stand-out character with great development. No question here, his arc is awesome as is his story.
  • Ayla. "Unga bunga, man strong". We barely get any intelligible sentences out of her, never mind any meaningful character development. Again, really poor.
  • Magus. Meh. I mean kudos to the fact that his actual arc is a brilliant set of u-turns if it falls right, but he's also a missable character and again it all occurs in a condensed section at the end. So yeah, meh.

To me that's 1 character with great development, 2 characters with hit & miss development, and the rest are all pretty lame. HUGE chunks of the game see little interaction between these characters and little evolution either. Contrast that to say Phantasy Star 4, which was released 2 years earlier and sees constant coversations and character development throughout...

  • Chaz. Utterly fantastic. Starts out as a green trainee Hunter who graduates to a full partner swiftly, then has full leadership of the party abruptly thrust upon him, does some soul searching to recognize that money isn't all he was ever fighting for, and makes a conscious attempt to try and learn & grow more. Develops a love/hate relationship with a big brother type as he grows into the leader he needs to be. Faces his biggest emotional fear towards the end, and then emerges as a grown hero who holds the team together and leads them to their final battle and victory. Perfect.
  • Rune. Starts off as cocky, showy wizard who comes across as a big ego'd bellend with a lot of power but someone who carries no real value other than that. But then as the story progresses reveals himself to be a very wise, caring, and loyal person who has way, way more to him than initial appearances let on. He never loses his bellendness, but he does rightly justify his ego, and his arc provides a fantastic "WTF" moment for the other characters (one in particular). We also get strong hints at a relationship with Alys, and he develops a great brotherly bond with Chaz too. Top notch.
  • Alys. Short but sweet. Badass, weathered huntress who serves as a big sister and mentor to Chaz, she starts off grounded in practical focusses such as money & survival, but soon recognizes there's a bigger picture at stake. She bitch slaps pussy men who try it on with her, but then also shows she clearly has a very soft spot for Rune. Good stuff.
  • Rika. Again, brilliant. We constantly see Rika, a 1 year old who is learning rapidly as the game progresses, grow with almost every event in the game (this is also reflected with how rapidly she levels up too). As her growth slows, she develops a rapport with Chaz as the story progresses, which eventually evolves into developing romantic feelings for him (feelings he harbors in return). A superb evolution of girl to woman.
  • Hahn. Hahn's backstory tells us he was born to a family of blacksmiths but went off to study instead, and thus was disowned by his family. Whilst studying at the academy, his professor goes missing and he's suddenly caught up in an adventure with the hunters. Along the way he reunites with his family and reconciles with them, whilst we also get to meet his wife too. He's constantly painted as a coward in the early stages, but then finds the courage to confront the university authorities and train in waiting for a confrontation with Dark Force. Another good arc.
  • Kyra. Evolves into something of a big sister to Chaz and goes through a wonderful evolution of starting as a somewhat naive religious fanatic, to waking up the fact that religion is often a total load of bollocks. Again, it's good stuff.
  • -------- At this point in the game there's not actually that much more room for much more CD. So - quite rightly - we get support-cast level CD
  • Raja. This dude is in the game for pure comic relief, and he's fucking brilliant at it. He doesn't have much of an arc, but he literally is there just for laughs.
  • Gryz. Easily the weakest CD of all the living beings, Gryz' story is a very basic one of revenge and he serves as a very much blank-slate barbarian type. Thankfully, he's not the protagonist though, so I'm way more forgiving of it than I am Chrono.
  • The cyborgs - Wren & Demi. Both have a really minimal evolution of servitude, but it's certainly the weakest of the PSIV cast. That said, the Wren model's previous appearance in PSIII gives players something of a tenuous evolution if they have played PSIII, and the way both borgs evolve practically through installing upgrades give them something of a mechanical evolution too. Similar to Robo, it's not good but it's forgivable when put into context.
So to me that's 3 fantastic character arcs, 3 good ones, and barely any room for any more so 4 support characters built around it all. It dwarfs Chrono Trigger (as obviously does the character roster).

I mean I compare these two games from a CD POV and it's night and day. Furthermore Phantasy Star IV used cross-class combos before CT; it has a fantastic "talk" feature which means you can leave the game for weeks and pick up where you left off; it has more challenging and engaging combat (including vehicle combat); and it is presented with those absolutely delicious comic-book cut-scenes which are present constantly throughout. And yet folk are questioning why CT isn't ranked up as high as games like Phantasy Star 4? lol

It's because CT is nowhere near as good at doing half the things which it does. Like not even close. Literally everything good about CT is at a superficial, suggestive level such as graphics, music, or the promise of complex combat which never emerges. Whereas Phantasy Star 4 was absolutely lightyears in front of it in almost every respect.

Final Fantasy 6, Shadowhearts: Covenant, Lost Odyssey, Yakuza Like A Dragon etc. All these games blow CT out the water when it comes to character depth, and it's just fucking crazy how highly regarded CT is when so many other JRPGs destroy it in so many areas.
 
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perfectslumbers

Arbiter
Joined
Oct 24, 2021
Messages
1,198
Imo the best quality of Chrono Trigger is that it's totally frictionless. There was never a point in the game where I felt bored or exhausted or started skimming through dialogue. Sure it may not make me cry or make me think deeply or challenge me, but it's one of the only games I would ever call frictionless. It contrasts a lot with most JRPGs where I end up sick to death of cutscenes and random encounters and weird anime shit pretty quickly.
 

Alex

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Jun 14, 2007
Messages
8,750
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São Paulo - Brasil
Chrono Trigger's story is good when you compare it to JRPGs. Most of those have a huge clusterfuck of a story that goes nowhere and just have crummy themes. CT, on the other hand, is simple; you discover the world is doomed and then you rush out to save it through time travel. It is a bit like Back to the Future; BttF's use of time travel makes no sense, but it fits the objective of making a fun adventure out of it.
 

Lucumo

Educated
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
635
Let's use Red as an example:

-Every pokemon dungeon has multiple elements of puzzle, e.g using H.M strength to push blocks around to clear a path, attempting to avoid a trainer's line of sight because you have low HP. or the teleportation puzzles in Team Rocket's hideout. They're not overly simple to navigate either, let's use the first dungeon as an example: the bug woods is designed like a maze. The level design is pretty great and leagues above CT.
-Dungeons are also a genuine battle of attrition. e.g Moon Cave (can't remember the name the first cave) getting assraped by zubats and pokemon trainers, it is a challenge to make it through without your party fainting. I would say the combat is better. A bit simpler, but at least you have to think about shit. Gym bosses can be hard too if you don't grind or use the correct party setup.
-there's always genuine strategic choices even if basic, e.g which old move do you overwrite when you level up or use HM/TM? Gym is fire, is my party adequate or should I go fishing?
-There's optional shit everywhere, from items found via exploration (and hidden/invisible items found from frobbing stuff), to an actual casino (LOL), to the safari zone, to the very premise of the game - catching them all (or not!).
-Item management and the economy are pretty well balanced. Can only have 30 items in your pack so you have to pick and choose. There's never enough money to buy everything you want till the end of the game.
I agree with Jasede. I used my starter pokemon in Blue and Gold to just beat everything with it. There was never any need to use any other pokemon, except for the HM slaves which didn't enter actual combat. And pokemon dungeons didn't have "multiple elements of puzzle". Avoiding a trainer's line of sight (not that that is even a puzzle) is pointless if your pokemon one-shots every one of their pokemon. Teleportation tiles in Silph Co. are just trial and error, I don't see how it's an actual puzzle when you don't have to think. The bug woods aren't a dungeon but a simple route and they aren't a maze at all, unless you want to count the beginning where you can go left/up instead of right a maze. And ideally you go into the up/left dead-end because you will find an item.
Combat was spamming one attack. The only worry was that you might run out of PP for all your moves which says a lot when the earlier, weaker moves have like 35 PP.
No strategy needed, even with your plant starter pokemon, you can easily beat the fire Gym.

Pokemon had three great things which made it worthwhile. Exploration (lots of (mostly useless) items to find), collecting pokemon (collecting cards, stickers etc was booming at the time) and the world itself with how it's connected and how relatively different and memorable it is.
 

somerandomdude

Learned
Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
650
Chrono Trigger's story is good when you compare it to JRPGs. Most of those have a huge clusterfuck of a story that goes nowhere and just have crummy themes. CT, on the other hand, is simple; you discover the world is doomed and then you rush out to save it through time travel. It is a bit like Back to the Future; BttF's use of time travel makes no sense, but it fits the objective of making a fun adventure out of it.
It's the newer JRPGs that got too much dialogue in them. Phantasy Star IV, or Dragon Quest V got good stories without being too dialogue heavy. I would say Xenogears as well, but most of Xenogears disk 2 is a gauntlet of cutscenes, but disk 1 was perfectly fine. Some people need literally everything explained to them in minuscule details, or they're not satisfied, and those people might want to stick to reading books. I do not need to know all the minuscule details, just a general idea of what's going on, I'm OK with surprises or plot twists as long as it doesn't require a gauntlet of cutscenes and dialogue to explain it. Also, there's the general presentation of the game's world itself, the artwork, and music, and this was probably CT's strongest area, but there's plenty of better games than CT that also nailed this. Look at games like Phantasy Star IV, or Terranigma, or Dragon Quest V, or Xenogears for example.
 

Ash

Arcane
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
6,150
No. We talk about Pokemon now like real men.

I used my starter pokemon in Blue and Gold to just beat everything with it. There was never any need to use any other pokemon...even with your plant starter pokemon, you can easily beat the fire Gym

Bull. Shit. Even the very first gym is borderline impossible with Charmander-only unless you grind a ton or know the metagame.

You're telling me you beat the Elite 4 (5) with your starter pokemon only on your first playthrough with zero difficulty? Bullshit.

If true in some particular exception or other (Bulbasaur is OP, so maybe he is viable. No way Charmander is though), well I played the game properly with an averaged out party as intended and got the proper experience. Why you would want to make the game boring for yourself spamming the same pokemon, same move constantly IDK.

And pokemon dungeons didn't have "multiple elements of puzzle"

Yes they did. Why bother arguing with facts?

Regarding navigation: Sure the bug woods wasn't the best example, it is the tutorial-phase first dungeon after all, but even this has more than one direction to go in, with optional loot/encounters. They progressively get more complex, so going "nuh uh!" is just disingenuous.

Example map

Chrono Trigger's story is good when you compare it to JRPGs. Most of those have a huge clusterfuck of a story that goes nowhere and just have crummy themes. CT, on the other hand, is simple; you discover the world is doomed and then you rush out to save it through time travel. It is a bit like Back to the Future; BttF's use of time travel makes no sense, but it fits the objective of making a fun adventure out of it.

One thing I'll give it is that it's not filled with animu cringe quite like most other JRPGs. Based 90s Squaresoft, most of their games were the same in that regard.
 
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