I’m starting to wonder if JRPGs might be one of my favorite video game genres. Like, that would be a weird admission for me since I’ve had long periods of my life when I disowned them.
But on the other hand, a bad JRPG is often at worst a relaxing, nostalgic, anime story for me. And at best they’re exactly the kind of strategic puzzle solving I play Magic: The Gathering for.
I just, like, don’t like repetitive games or grinding, typically.
My speculation of why I prefer JRPG grinding, but loathe say, Diablo, seems to stem on the one hand from the fact that grind in JRPGs is a acted cow, and in Diablo it’s the entire game.
Like, you level up in Earthbound, but the point of Earthbound is not to level up. The point of Earthbound is the experience the world, leveling up is just a thing you do in that context. As opposed to Diablo where literally everything is window dressing for making numbers go up.
If you set Diablo in space, and fought The Zerg, you’d have the same game. If you set Earthbound in a fantasy kingdom, it would change utterly.
In addition to this, I like underdogs. American gamers seem like they’ll spend hours grinding for better guns in Borderlands, and in the same breath get pissed at Final Fantasy XIII for being repetitive. Final FAbtasy XIII has more variety AND LIGHTING FARRON WHO SHOULD BE EVERYONE’S FAVORITE CHARACTER.
(I’m sooooooo much a Lightning fanboy…)
Anyways, what I’m saying is I want to dust off my PS2, and finish up playing through Final Fantasy X and XII. And grab my copy of the hugely underrated Magical Starshine and play more of that. And Radiant Historia, and Etrian Odyssey IV, etc…