Ever since my childhood I’ve loved and played video games, just like most of you. And just like everyone I do favour some genres more than others, none more so than the JRPG genre. The emotionally gripping journeys they take us on and the dream worlds that they allow us to travel to, no matter how dark or colorful, is something I treasure. They embed into the player the sense of honour, justice, love, and ‘truth’ (I use ‘truth’ in this manner as the actual truth is not always as it appears) of any character from each game. To top it the soundtrack is often well orchestrated and memorable.
Let me make something perfectly clear before we carry on though, the above description is my own opinion and not by any way law or fact.
I do have quite a number of favourite series categorised in the JRPG genre, such as ‘The Tales of’ series, of course Final Fantasy series as well as the Pokémon series to name a few. Though I might love all or most JRPGs there is one that stands above the rest, which in my eyes is a ‘timeless’ masterpiece – Chrono Trigger.
This year alone JRPG fans have already had the pleasure of playing Dragon Quest VIII, Tales of Berseria, Digimon World: Next Order, Nioh, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and soon NieR: Automata (10 March), Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMix (31 March), and Persona 5 (4 April) with tons more to come later in the year. Indeed, JRPGs in my opinion is a blessing to the video gaming world. Elements from this genre can today be found in many other genres especially the grinding levels, battle systems/mechanics and micro-managing your character/vehicles stats. Although I have been plagued with a question that has often made me wonder, are JRPGs an acquired taste in South Africa with the exception of a popular series, such as Final Fantasy?
Admittedly before there was social media and before I was a member on a few local forums I honestly could count the number of JRPG fans I knew on one hand. Heck even now if I remove social media and the video gaming forums I can still count the number of JRPG fans I know on my two hands. This number is of course limited to South Africa. And don’t get me wrong, there really is nothing wrong with this. “To each their own”. It could be that for many, in this fast-paced day and age we live in, playing a 50-100 hour game is just not on the cards for them.
So my burning question to you is, do you think that JRPGs is a popular genre in South Africa, please also take into consideration casual gamer’s you may know before answering.