So recently I started up Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits. It's okay so far as my first foray into the Arc the Lad series. I don't have much material to talk about.

Except, well Darc's voice. There is something ridiculous about it and thus I can't take him seriously.

Meanwhile I have been also playing Magna Carta, which has other issues besides voice-acting but the voice-acting is quite bad. It doesn't help that the way the cutscenes were designed, the voice-acted lines are given in interrupted chunks, making it even more unnatural sounding than usual.

Voice acting in JRPGs has become a topic for some gaming bloggers and seems to be a turnoff for many people. I personally find it pretty tolerable, unless the voice actor is making a voice that I cannot stand. Usually that is combined with a character type I can't stand, so I just hate on the character.

I do find it funny when these voice-acting bashers bring up the idea that FFVII would be ruined by voice-acting. As if the weird polygon people and the existing translation wasn't a turnoff. Even with bad voice-acting they would have fallen in love with the story. It seems like people like to find the one reason that turns people away from games like JRPGs, but it's clearly more than one thing that will turn people away, and voice-acting isn't all of it.

Sometimes voice-acting, even bad voice-acting, can enhance an experience as it makes it more fun for me. However, if a moment is supposed to be taken seriously, then it's probably not a good sign that I'm laughing. Like the voice acting in Wild Arms 5 made me laugh but the game was supposed to be funny. Meanwhile Darc is supposed to be going through a powerful moment and I'm like "your voice is just so ridiculous I cannot even".

And because I will slip in Xenoblade into everything relevant, the voice acting in that game is pretty good. I hear it is even better in The Last Story, so I guess it might be something to look forward to when I get to that :)
One of the oldest JRPG series has turned 25 today. Of the tens of games that has been released with the FF name, I have played only about 10 of them. I'll probably play a few more of them eventually, as FF Type-0 is on my potential to-import list and just got a budget release in Japan.

My brief FF history )

My favorite FF moments )

FF Fandom )

TLDR FF is a enjoyable series with plenty of good games and it was my first entry into playing JRPGs. However, I'm not into FF fandom and it doesn't help that many "FF fans" like to piss on each other and the games and act elitist.
This deadly combo will immediately make me ignore almost all of your opinions:

You say you used to love JRPGs and bring up FF7 as the best JRPG
You say JRPGs suck now because of FF13
You don't mention any other games

If you are going to make an argument against JRPGs, please make it look like you actually play them. Maybe try more than one series? One type of game? More than two games?

It's approaching the ignorance of crazy Japan fans who think all western games are mindless shooters. But it's okay to bash JRPGs without support in western gaming forums.

Then there's this other angle where people will say "JRPGs all suck now because they keep reusing tropes and themes" or "they are too anime-like now". How about JRPGs would have been the way they are now if the technology would have let them a few decades ago? How about the fact that Western gamers can still get a good many more JRPGs now than they could a few decades ago? It's perfectly logical that the increasing the number of games will lead to more mediocre games being out there.

For those casuals who focused on FF7 and FF13, they probably bought into the hype for each. FF7 fulfilled the hype while FF13 did not. Because some of the issues that come up as making FF13 "bad" are issues in FF10. Also, FF12 was a very divisive game for many JRPG fans (I personally dislike it more than any other FF game I've played) so you would think the "death to the JRPG" people would have started clamoring then. For personal reasons I wasn't gaming much the past few years nor keeping up with gaming news, but I think FF13 had a lot more hype than FF12. The higher the hype, the greater the potential fall.

The only type of people I sort of sympathize with who are saying "JRPGs suck now" are those who lament the loss of the amazing number of unique games that came out during the PS2 era. The PS2 era was amazing and I'm still catching up on game from then. I do hope those people realize that economic reasons caused many of those great producers to stop producing for big consoles and many things went to handhelds. And because handheld markets are so different in Japan and the west, many of those games haven't left Japan.

In other news, I stayed up until 1 AM yesterday playing Xenoblade. It ended up being almost 7 hours of playing, though an hour or so was just wandering around Eryth Sea trying to find Anu Shore. Of course in the process I killed all the monsters that I need to kill again for some quests. That's probably the biggest annoyance in terms of Xenoblade play for me at the moment - the fact that the game won't count previous killings of monsters for quest fulfillment.

Podcastic

Jun. 3rd, 2012 11:06 am
I'm currently watching a lot of tennis so I haven't been gaming lately. Instead I've been listening to video game podcasts while tennis is on my TV. It's kind of fun to see what happens to be somewhat "universal" among people who podcast at Retronauts and RPG Backtrack, the two podcasts that I have been listening to (though mostly RPG Backtrack). I also have looked at some blogs and forum posts whose opinions may accidentally get lumped in here.

Read more... )

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