8 Japanese RPGs to get you started

(Photo: Unsplash)
(Photo: Unsplash)
AMMAN — Whether they boast fancy graphics, dynamic characters, or are nostalgically retro, Japanese roleplaying games (JRPGs) will take you on unforgettable adventures. Here is a list of 8 JRPS to help you get into the genre.اضافة اعلان

Valkyria Chronicles

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Valkyria Chronicles takes the common JRPG setting and flips it on its head, throwing you into a World War II scenario where battles are waged with guns and tanks, and the combat mechanics are predominately squad-based. The narrative is equally engrossing, incorporating fantasy elements that mesh perfectly with its historical backdrop.

Prior to each battle, you create your ideal unit of soldiers and manage their inventory before throwing them into the fray. Combat is turn-based, (time passes whenever you move your soldiers in-game), which is done via the third person perspective. Carefully planning your squad’s placement while mapping out your attack plan is key to keeping your soldiers alive.

Release date: April 24, 2008
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3

Xenoblade Chronicles

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Mechanically, Xenoblade Chronicles draws from a variety of different JRPGs. The combat in this game is in real time, where players can put together a team of up to three characters (one under your control and the other two under the control of AI). While the combat seems basic and unfulfilling at first, it becomes fluid as the story progresses and the enemies challenge you. It is up to you to decide which party setups are best for taking on the bad guys.

If this game is up your alley, you can also play its sequel, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which stays true to its prequel while boasting evolved graphics, a refined combat system, and smoother story progression.

Release Date: June 10, 2010
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Wii, Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

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In games where tribes are in conflict, players are usually only shown the perspective of one side. Not only does FE:TH give us a peek into each side , it goes above and beyond with its storytelling and plot. You get to select one of three houses to start your adventure: the Black Eagles, Blue Lions, or Golden Deer. What you decide is critical to the plot, and each player will experience FE:TH differently so that it is difficult for two players to share the same plotline. With great character development, fluid grid-style combat, and a compelling storyline, FE:TH is a must-play.

Release Date: July 26, 2019
Platforms: Nintendo Switch

The World Ends with You

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It is surprising how little people have heard about this bizarre game. It takes place in an alternate Shibuya, where gods allow the recently deceased to battle for their souls. The art style is vibrant, while the soundtrack keeps you hyped and ready to battle it out with demons. TWEWY also stands out in its combat mechanics. In order to fight, the player has to select the character's abilities using the D-pad while swiping across the DS screen to perform the desired attack. Combined, these elements create an unforgettable experience.

Release Date: July 26, 2007
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo DS, Android, iOS

Final Fantasy VII

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FFVII is a game that everyone needs to play at least once. The storyline, which actively progresses, plays a significant role in its success. The plot is phenomenal with its twists and surprises. The game’s battle is quick and concise, and deciding whether to be on the offensive or defensive while managing your MP is crucial to your survival. Upon release, FFVII was ahead of its time graphically. Its cut scenes were monumental compared to other games. There really aren't enough good things to say about this highly-recommended game.

Release Date: January 31, 1997
Platforms: PlayStation, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Android, PlayStation Portable, iOS, Microsoft Windows

Persona 5 Royal

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P5R stands out in its melding of classic and modern JRPG elements. In P5R, the player teams up with a group of teenagers, known as the Phantom Thieves, who fight the corrupt. It’s relatable: Who wouldn’t want to do that? The combat is turn-based but never feels like it.

You strategically put together your party, each member with their own strength and weakness, in order to battle slews of enemies that are mechanically the same. With deep character building, smooth gameplay, and a fantastic soundtrack, there is never a dull moment in P5R.

Release Date: October 31, 2019
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5


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A classic, Earthbound tells the story of Ness, a kid whose world is battered after a meteor strikes Onett, his hometown.  EB utilizes turn-based combat, keeping things simple and comfortable. The game’s early stages are grueling and may seem a hassle to get through.

But, you must push through. EB is one of the best RPG experiences out there, balancing dark undertones, quirky dialogue, and humor. EB will put you on a roller-coaster of emotions and have you return for more.

Release Date: August 27, 1994
Platforms: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy Advance, Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS

Chrono Trigger

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Chrono Trigger, often referred to as the “pinnacle of the JRPG genre,” is a time travel epic. It deals with a group of bizarre characters, ranging from a cartoon swordsman to a goth magician who keeps an alien parasite from destroying the planet. CT introduced a number of elements that are still in use today, such as the “New Game +” concept. Enemy encounters, for example, are not randomly generated; You can see the enemies on the screen before you interact with them. The game's combat, as in the case of Final Fantasy, uses an “active time battle” system in which characters can execute actions whenever their timer runs out.

Chrono Trigger is one of those games that holds up to this day, which is a testament to its timelessness.
And that’s the list! There are plenty of other fantastic games out there for you to experience, but this list is a solid place to start. Let us know what JRPGs you recommend, and what upcoming releases you are looking forward to.

Release Date: March 11, 1995
Platforms:Super NES, PlayStation, Nintendo DS, i-mode, iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows.

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