Hi. Welcome to Random Encounters. It's, uh, been a while.
When I first started this column, back in 2012, the JRPG genre was in a strange place. It felt like a lot of Japanese game developers were going through transitional phases as we all watched to see what would happen with next-gen consoles. Final Fantasy was at its lowest point thanks to an ongoing obsession with Lightning and the impossibly exploitative mobile game All The Bravest. And promising games like FF Type-0 and Bravely Default showed no signs of actually coming to the west.
So at the time it felt necessary to carve out a little corner of the Internet where we could talk about JRPGs every week, whether that meant hacking into old classics, verbally abusing bad Final Fantasy games, lamenting fallen heroes, profiling iconic JRPG localizers, bugging Konami about Suikoden II, or just making fun of Squall.
These days, however, it feels like there's JRPG news every week. Final Fantasy is having a resurgence; lots of developers both eastern and western are playing around with JRPG-like mechanics; and motherfucking Suikoden II is finally on the motherfucking PlayStation Network.
So I've spent the past few weeks thinking about what to do with Random Encounters. Writing weekly JRPG scrawls feels unnecessary now that we're regularly running news from Japan and holding interviews with people like Hironobu Sakaguchi and Hajime Tabata. And when I have something to say about JRPGs, it feels silly to wait until Friday at 3pm just to say it. What's the point in running a weekly JRPG column when I'm covering JRPG news all week anyway? Why stick to a weekly format just for the sake of having a weekly format?
This all leads to the question... What should I do with this space? What should I do with Random Encounters? Should I expand it into a weekly column that tackles other topics in gaming? What about a weekly Q&A? A rarer column that runs more randomly, like it has been for the past two months or so? Should I just kill it?
The final decision will ultimately come from me, but in the spirit of Kinja™, I want to hear your thoughts, readers. Voice all feedback below. I'll let you guys know what I wind up deciding.