The Golden Age of JRPGs

When was it?

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Last week, I joined Polygon’s Alexa Ray Corriea, Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, and game maker Adam Rippon in moderating our third PAX on JRPGs. Our discussion this year? The Golden Age of RPGs. After reviewing each of the ages, from 8-bit through today (and making fun of the guy that liked Legend of Dragoon), we all had to make a case for what we thought was the true golden age of Japanese role-playing games. And then we let the audience decide by measuring their applause for each case with a sound level meter. 

Even though I made a strong case for the PlayStation/Saturn era, and even with Schreier joining in for the cause, the damned SNES kids won. 

Look, I get it. My heart still calls out for those $70 cartridges, three save slots, and those dog bone controllers. Fond memories float up for sure. But my favorite games of all time came from the PSX era: Xenogears, Final Fantasy VIII (notice that I didn’t list IX), Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy Tactics, the Persona games, Breath of Fire, Suikoden, Valkyrie Profile, Star Ocean, Parasite EveI mean, c’mon!

Whatever. I’m not mad. Of course, I gave some love to my Sega Genesis favorites, as Phantasy Star II still stands in my top 10. And we’re spoiled right now will all of the handheld JRPGs — this may end up being the true Golden Age.

Jason took the fight to his audience at Kotaku, and now I’m doing the same with you all. So you tell me: What was the Golden Age of RPGs? Destructoid, you have my back, don’t you?


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