Whew, first blog-entry. Mark this day in your calendar with a red circle or cross, whichever you prefer, as the first time that I ever posted something here. Then keep it and give it to your children and let them give it to their children.
Long, by which I mean about five minutes, have I considered what on earth I could write about. I, as in, the guy who buys like, five games and then doesn't get to play any. Because I'd rather sit on my computer, dicking around on websites (such as this, with no remorse, though) or chatting with friends. I have games like Yakuza 2 and even Devil May Cry waiting for me. I'm somewhat half-way through with these and now they're just catching dust. What's even worse is that I also have Persona 4 waiting for me.
I bought that about a year ago.
I'm up to the last boss, the last challenge – spoiler-insecure bastard that I am myself, I won't say who or what it is – and it's just so frustrating to me. I don't know why I've smashed every other boss after no more than three tries and two or three days, and this final one just screws me right up the butte each time I try.
To be quite honest, I was indifferent to JRPG not too long ago. I didn't have any gaming-system that wasn't Nintendo and I never really was into RPG in general. When my friend first introduced me to Disgaea, that's when I started to feel slight opposition to the genre. I believe it was Disgaea 2. Seeing how in later parts of the game, damage-points in the 1,000s and 10,000 were possible, I started to understand that JRPG seemed pretty surreal and elitist for the most (though in retrospect, taking that fact to this conclusion is pretty fucking stupid. Not to mention that the Disgaea-games are still a great and incomparable franchise.)
HOLY SHIT I DID NOT SEE IT COMING.
The same friend introduced Persona 3 and 4 to me though, and I had fun with those (I only "borrowed" Persona 3 and didn't get too far, admittedly) but even playing those, I realized that JRPG are a special genre, if you will. They are, and some of you may beat me with a stick for that, "real games." Like, real games, only 100 times real.
That's how I feel. Allow me to make things even more incomprehensible.
I keep reading and agreeing to articles, especially here, that games are changing. Games are turning from what they used to be (Nerds playing, preferably alone, sometimes with friends) over what they are right now (Friends finding to each other and playing together, creating great memories; plus indie-developers leaving their little footprints in the industry and economy; plus those who play FIFA) to what we predict will be (something that other kinds of media are right now, e.g. movies, music, literature.)
And in this changing media, hopefully you'll understand me better now, I feel that JRPG-games are the kings of games. They really require effort, they really require dedication, they need you to know how to use a god-damned controller and a console; and at the same time they can be so simple – I look, especially, at Persona 4 and realize that it doesn't have a giant variety on the movement-animations of the characters or their facial expressions etc.. I see this and it reminds me of "those old games" back from the SNES-generation – sprites moving over your TV-screen, leaving you to imagine yourself what the scenario that is being explained visually and through text. That, I find to be one of the best ways of story-telling because it is simple, creates personal experiences in games for the player; but at the same time I imagine it to be the hardest of all tricks to pull off in a game.
So I truly appreciate that in JRPG.
That said, swiftly change to something else: Grinding is, to me, the most idiotic aspect of JRPG.
I understand the concept of feeling and seeing how you get stronger through the game, it is indeed a very important aspect. And what I said is not quite right: I DO appreciate grinding, it's simply a part of JRPG (and RPG in general, for the most). But what I don't understand is: Why would I spend 40 of 60 hours gameplay with walking around in a dungeon, desperately looking for enemies to fight and level up and then going back to a place to heal yourself? How is that fun?
The friend who introduced me to Persona (and Shin Megami Tensei in general) told me how he was looking forward to Persona 3 Portable. Sure, so am I. One of his main-arguments, however, was that he was able to grind when he was outdoors, going to places and the such. And I'm not twisting his words or anything, he didn't say he looks forward to playing.
He said he's looking forward to grinding.
So, what is this? Working for games now? I don't get it. You youngsters and your RPG and your grindan and your MP3 and your baggy pants and your lolli pops.
But I shouldn't be leaving a bad taste in your mouth. In general, I do love JRPG – probably not as much as others, but that's not what matters, right? Buying a PS2 a year ago just for Persona 4 (at that time) was definitely a good thing. Finding out more about this genre did not only earn me experience in the fields of gaming but also created above-mentioned memories. And at the same time, it brought me closer to a few friends and even had me meet a new one, and I'm very grateful for that.
So yeah, I really don't know where I was going with this in the first place, I just wrote this up as I went. I also have no idea how to end his properly, so here's a photo I took in Prague. I fucking love Prague, you guys. Dreamy town and architecture, splendid cuisine and Staropramen is the beer.