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Japanese Role Playing Games

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A slime draws near

>Fight
The slime's hitpoints hath been reduced by 10.

The JRPGEdit

Despite falling out of fashion in recent years the JRPG is still going strong and will never truly die. No matter how many ATB's or moe lolis developers add.

JRPGs cover a wide variety of systems and everything from the classic turn-based to medieval strategy, so something here is bound to tickle your fancy.

ConsolesEdit

NESEdit

Title Style Description Screenshot
Dragon Warrior IV/Dragon Quest IV Traditional Turn-Based This one's pretty nice. You don't have to play any other DQ game before this. Has pretty nice pacing, and the chapter system is a means to help you learn the ropes while still giving a bit of challenge before the fifth and final chapter, which is longer than all past chapters combined. The twist there is that you only take control of the Hero character, and your other allies act on their own accord based on tactics you give them. The AI is surprisingly decent with the right tactics, though it does make some dumb mistakes from time to time.
There's a revamp on the DS that's just as good as this, if not better, but this one is still worth playing due to its curious quirks. If you want to learn a bit more about the series and its games, just click the title on the left to go to a semi-incomplete page that some jackass made.
Dw4nes 007
Magic of Scheherazade, The Action-RPG/Adventure/Turn-Based A diamond in the rough. Incredibly ambitious and, for the most part, actually follows through on it. Mixes action battles and exploration along with turn-based event battles. The ideas and puzzles are fairly well-executed, but it does have a few odd design choices, such as having "lives" and passwords. Still, you should give it a shot. Many would call it Culture Brain's masterpiece, and it's definitely not a bad game in its own right.
There's quite a few resources and fan-pages for this, should you bump into trouble. Like this one
Magic of Scheherazade, The Gameplay

SNESEdit

Title Style Description Screenshot
Metal Max Returns Traditional Turn-Based Although the Style category says otherwise, this game is hardly "traditional" in many ways. Starts out a bit weak with only a few options for equipment and very few places to go. Then you get your first tank (yes, there's more), then you unlock the region gate, and soon you realize there's much more to the world and many dangerous areas and foes await. Thankfully, there's many more weapons and items to find as well, along with new vehicles and equipment to customize said vehicles with. The best part is that the game doesn't hold your hand at all. Good luck!
Only released in Japan, but has a fan-translation patch. Has a spiritual successor released in US/English called Metal Saga on PS2.
Metalmax

Sega GenesisEdit

Title Style Description Screenshot
Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium Traditional Turn-Based The most refined of the classic PS series, adding in-party talks, macros, spell/skill combos, faster-moving everything, and more. You don't need to play the past games to enjoy this, though it may dull the impact of some connections if you don't at least read up on them first. This team would later make Skies of Arcadia on Dreamcast, which is also great.
Beware level 99 without a patch or cheat device to fix the bug.
Phantasy star 4 screen

Sega SaturnEdit

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Sega DreamcastEdit

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Sony PlaystationEdit

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Playstation 2Edit

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GamecubeEdit

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XboxEdit

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Playstation 3Edit

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WiiEdit

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Xbox 360Edit

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HandheldsEdit

Gameboy/Gameboy ColorEdit

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Gameboy AdvanceEdit

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Nintendo DSEdit

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Nintendo 3DSEdit

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Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D Traditional Turn-Based / Monster Collecting Remake of the first DQ Monsters game on Game Boy. Now uses gameplay akin to the Joker games (day/night cycle, visible monsters instead of random battles, DQ8 style skill trees, etc.) with some added features, like an extra monster slot which allows for up to 4 on 4 battles (as some take up 2 or 3 slots). BUT! There's still Meat and other GBC elements as well, too. Dungeons are randomly generated, like the original, but with more depth, having structures to climb, explore, etc. Has 500 monsters to collect and breed (even every monster from Joker 2 Pro), lots of side quests, and some great online features.
Note: Currently Japan only (region lock), so you'll need to import a Japanese 3DS alongside the game in order to play it. Or do some sort of loophole. Cough, cough (Not that there is such a thing.) Ahem.
Terry wonderland 3ds
Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan First-Person Dungeon Crawler Newest entry to the niche series. 3D graphics. Great soundtrack(first run comes with a free CD). The easiest game of the series with a new casual mode, but don't expect to breeze through it without some effort. Eo4 screen
Fire Emblem: Awakening Turn-Based Strategy The newest and biggest FE title borrows elements from JRPGs to create a more expansive world with more to explore, but the option to grind in between missions gels awkwardly with the gameplay and makes the story either too easy or populated with abrupt difficulty spikes. Character and script work have gotten a big boost with the return of detailed Support conversations and an emphasis on coupling and relationships as part of the story, and localization is great. Character and stage design are also wonderful and most everyone in the cast grows on the player. On the gameplay side you can expect the usual, but there's too much dependence on the Pair-up System and missions lack variety. There's tons of side content and DLC, including recruitable characters from all past games, and the game is in general a treat to series fans. If you're looking for a deep and challenging strategy experience this may leave you wanting, but it's full of fun and polish Eshop mini logo Fea screen
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Action RPG Happens after KH2, leads into 3. Play as both Sora and Riku, each now with unique skills, and both are in a dream world, so no Goofy and Donald. Instead you tame dream world enemies, each giving a variety of abilities, but features a pseduo Pokemon petting system to take full advantage of them. Gameplay is similar to Birth by Sleep (minus command fusion), but now with the lovechild of all the Drive form abilities in KH2 being at immediate disposal. Several new Disney worlds and characters. Also, If you care about the story, don't miss this, or KH3 won't make any sense. But, if you're new to KH, you can unlock a sort of recap to fill in any questions you need to ask. An HD collection of the originals is also available on PS3. Sadly, the TWEWY stuff isn't as important as you may have hoped. Also, Baloonga. Kh3d screen
Project X Zone Turn-Based Strategy / Fighting Fan service at its finest. Not only a crossover of Capcom, Namco Bandai, and Sega; but a crossover of genres too. Combines tactics gameplay with a "Cross active battle system" combo system for the battle scenes. Does get repetitive towards the end but the production values and the ability to use Ulala from Space Channel 5 makes it all worth it. Eshop mini logo Pxz screen
Shin Megami Tensei IV Dungeon Crawler / Monster Collecting The long awaited follow-up to 2009's Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, and the older SMT3: Nocturne. One of the most solidly crafted RPG's on the 3DS, providing the classic and balls-bustingly difficult dungeon crawling and demon negotiating the series has always been known for. It's also the first title in the mainline series not to feature a main cast designed by Kazuma Kaneko, though his classic demons are still here. First run copies include the usual Atlus soundtrack CD as well as a 180 page guidebook covering the first 30-40% of the game. Atlus says it's an artbook, but don't believe their lies, that only covers about eight pages of the book. Smt4 screen
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner - Soul Hackers First-Person Dungeon Crawler / Monster Collecting Port of the original JP-only Sega Saturn game. The 3DS version includes fully voiced dialogue, new demons, "Hacks" which allow you to do things like adjust difficulty and a bonus dungeon in which Raidou Kuzunoha from the PS2 Devil Summoner games makes an appearance. Story involves you playing the role of a member of the Hacker group, The Spookies, as they  unravel the mystery of the Phantom Society which seeks to steal all the souls of the inhabitants of Amami City via a virtual reality world known as Paradigm X. Since this game is fairly easy it would be a good starting place for individuals interested in getting into the SMT games. Eshop mini logo Smtsh3ds screen


Playstation PortableEdit

Title Style Description Screenshot
Spectral Souls:

Resurrection

of the

Ethereal Empires

Tactical RPG Known as Shinki Gensou: SSII Unlimited Side in Japan,Spectral Souls immerses you in agreat battle between good and evil. During this role-playing game, you can switch between characters from three

opposing kingdoms.

Spectral-souls-20061027062110705-000
Trails in the Sky Strategic RPG The game is the sixth entry in the "Legend of Heroes" series by Falcom, which is like the complete opposite to their other famous series "Ys" focusing on story, strategy, customization, sidequests and all you love in RPG games. Plagued by delays, but massive in scope and worth the wait. We have a detailed page on Trails in the Sky for more info. THE LEGEND OF HEROES TRAILS IN THE SKY PSP

Playstation VitaEdit

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