Final Fantasy Director's Take On Western Vs. Japanese RPGs

Illustration for article titled Final Fantasy Director's Take On Western Vs. Japanese RPGs

How does Final Fantasy XIII director Motomu Toriyama explain the difference between Japanese-designed role-playing games and their western counterparts? By pointing out the divide between classic RPGs like Tomb Raider, Hitman and Final Fantasy.

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I know what you're thinking. "Tomb Raider and Hitman aren't western RPGs!" But Toriyama's argument was that western gamers—or, more specifically, players of Eidos games that let players control a singular protagonist—play from their own perspective. Japanese gamers play from the perspective of their character, comfortable playing as a third-party participant with a bird's eye view of the action.

Sure, it makes a strange slide and Toriyama's generalizing theory may have some huge holes in it, but there you go. Square Enix's perspective on the matter.

DISCUSSION

As I said before elsewhere in this comment thread, I'm tired of this argument. "JRPGs vs. WRPGs" is a bullshit, fallacious dichotomy that really doesn't even work.

Simplest put, JRPGs and WRPGs should be considered two entirely different genres. They're developed different ways and they have different aims in pretty much every regard. While they may have theoretically sprung from a similar source, they've diverged so far from each other at this point that there's really no reason to consider them the same type of game anymore.

It is perfectly possible to enjoy both Final Fantasy XIII and Dragon Age at the same time. They shouldn't be compared to each other because they aren't trying to fill the same niche. All this argument does is give people ammunition to troll each other over. Personally, I'm just glad we're getting some "RPGs" with actual protagonists instead of voiceless, personality-lacking puppet avatars for the player nowadays.