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07 January, 2014

The ABCs of iPad RPGs - JRPG

Ahead of our full review of The Shadow Sun, which will appear in Issue 1 of Grab It Magazine, on sale January 24th, we thought it timely to have a look at some of the genres of role playing games, as there are many different styles. The App Store is thriving with quality RPGs and The Shadow Sun is already available for purchase, so you can jump straight in by grabbing it here:  

** Spoiler Alert ** It’s fantastic!

Welcome to Part 2 of our exploration of the RPG. (If you missed it, here's KRPGs, WRPGs, ARPGs and MMORPGs) Whilst I’d hate for it to sound too much like a disclaimer, which then allows me to continue on and make all sorts of wild and inaccurate claims, I think it is worth keeping in mind my cautionary statement from Part 1: Definitions are not black and white and lines get blurred and grey, with elements of one genre bleeding into others. I think this is true with many art forms, and this mixing and blending of genres is how our industry tends to evolve. So with that bubbling away in the background, let’s have a brief look at the main ingredients that make up a JRPG. 

JRPGs are Japanese RPGs. In more recent years, this style of RPG have come to be known for having a heavy focus on high-end graphics and elaborate cutscenes. A cutscene is a small animated non-interactive section of game that plays out like a movie in between moments of gameplay. These usually allow you to put the controller down and watch as an exposition of a main story point unfolds. This is required as a complex and often over emotional story is another recurring element seen in a traditional JRPG.

Typically combat is turn-based. The player waits for timers to cool down before being able to make another attack or action of any sort, and this style of combat tends to make JRPGs a more strategic experience than other RPG subgenres. In your next turn should you heal your character or risk all and stay on the offensive?

Possibly the most famous of all JRPG series is the long-running Final Fantasy, many of which are available on the App Store. But developer Square Enix - arguably the godfather of the JRPG genre - has also released its iOS exclusive Chaos Rings series, which are designed specifically for iDevices and therefore a great place to start your JRPG adventures.

Garry Balogh

Final Fantasy
Chaos Rings 
Chaos Rings II 
Chaos Rings Omega

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