Please take the following list with a grain of salt. JRPGs are an old friend of mine, and I'm just giving them a bit of good natured ribbing (read: yes, yes, I know I'm going to get flamed by the wapanese, but I'm a big boy. I can take it.)
And I've nothing against that artsy chick from Starbuck's. She's really quite fetching.
Number Five) It's not as much fun as I remember from high school.
Did I honestly... I mean honestly... not mind those horrendously long cutscenes in Xenosaga? I guess my memories have been slightly polished by nostalgia, but all the eye candy seems to wear thin a lot quicker these days. It's fun for a little while, I'll give it that. But Xenosaga is definitely getting a fake number in the morning.
Number Four) The dialog is interesting for about thirty seconds, but lasts about thirty minutes.
Do these people ever shut up? Jimmeny Christ, I get it... the bad thing is bad, we're the good guys, and you're quirky. Honestly. Kindly shove a rag in your pie hole and let me get back to these random encounters. Which leads me to...
Number Three) Random encounters suck.
Okay, maybe I lost focus here. It's hard to come up with a clever double entendre, but crap on a crap cracker, has there ever been a gaming convention that's levied a greater penalty on exploration? And as if raw suckage weren't enough, irony is slathered on by the fact that it's a convention used in exploration based games. Who thought this garbage up? (I recognize that back when this was a good way to get a dungeon crawly feel on a system where the number of sprites on screen was limited. But Enchanted Arms has no effing excuse.)
Number Two) Weird things always seem quirky and cute at first, but eventually they're just weird.
I guess this applies to anime and all things Nipponese. Honestly though, what born and bred member of Western Civilization could ever take chibi seriously? Okay, so you're a bad-ass-cyborg-ninja-vampire-hunting-ronin-gravel-voiced-epitome-of-manliness. But somebody says something that embarasses you and you turn into a freaking Precious Moments cartoon? W. T. F.
Number One) No matter how many times I run through these bitches and gripes, I always come back for more.
It's true. Even though I may plug in Gears after each play session and cleanse my consciousness in a bath of Locust juice, I have a weakness for JRPGs. Oddly enough, the things I've complained about here are usually what I find most charming (except random encounters. god I hate random encounters). The pretentious dialogue usually contains something at least mildly entertaining (Barett is a prime example. If you hate Barett, you hate god herself.) The horrencously long cutscenes are handy for getting a beer or taking a piss, and okay... you got me. Chibi can be cute. But I hate myself for admiting it.