I am a HUGE JRPG fan, I love a lot of those niche series that a lot of other Americans do not seem to enjoy. The (US) gaming industy seems to be ignoring a lot of quality titles lately. Does it have to do with stereotypes? laziness? Money? Let’s see if we can’t draw some more insight.
When I was younger, All my friends would be playing things like: Tony hawk’s Pro Skater, Doom, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and pretty much anything graphic that appealed to us 90′s kids. I, However, Spent much more time on things like: Secret of mana, Zelda, Final Fantasy and the like. I remember taking my Game Boy on the School bus and gathering attention only to made fun of cause I was playing “a girls game” That game was Kirby, a series I am in fact fond of.
The Tales series, for instance, is one of my all-time favorites, But hasn’t really ever garnered that much attention here, so when we do get a release it’s like Christmas morning to me. I was actually very shocked that 2 of the recent entries saw a stateside release(Tales of the Abyss for 3DS and Tales of Graces F for PS3) But there are many more that have been released in the land of the rising sun that will never grace any of my consoles with their presence. I long for the new Vita version of Tales of Innocence R, But that may be just a dream as there are no (apparent) plans for a US release.
These days though, it seems less likely to find the kind of experience I enjoyed as a youngster. While there are good JRPGs and western made games that appeal to me, I rarely capture that same feeling. I will take a look at a release list for Japan, only to be angered that yet another great game was released that I will never get to explore. Big shots in the Biz have given some excuses as to why we don’t get these games, Some say that us Americans do not enjoy things like JRPGs while others may weigh cost versus profit. It may be true that it is not as popular here but i do think a market exists, a viable one at that. One company, XSEED JKS has been on a roll lately trying to get more of these gems into our hands, They most recently localized the last Story on the Wii among others. I believe without XSEED that would never have made it here, but even they can’t do it alone, we need more companies like them who will see the potential of foreign games.
Even as Nintendo and others keep releasing some of the franchises I used to enjoy, they just don’t feel the same. I do not get that sense of nostalgia, that drive to complete the entire thing and feel like I conquered a kingdom. I’m not sure if that has to do with not getting localized goodness or that I am just getting old and my tastes changed. Either way I think that we should definitely see more games brought here, Not just ones some suit says we want to play.