Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where are the SRPGs?

The RE5 review is up on x360a!!! Hurray!!! That was about 18 hours of work over the weekend, so don't say I never did anything for you LOL. Oh, and the Stoked review is being posted on Wednesday (technically today considering when I'm posting this). I've been a busy bee lately LOL.

In the original draft, I had one phrase at the end of the review, which was left on the cutting room floor. So, I would like to post the original ending to the review here: "Special thanks to Bond x360a for the co-op playtesting assistance, and making excellent crocodile bait." Bond spent about 10 hours on Friday through Sunday playing through the campaign with me, and even helped me run a couple chapters again when my crappy internet connection at home punted me. The help is appreciated... I would have hated to play through the whole thing with the Sheva AI. I sent a request for help to over 50 people on my friends list... he's the brave masochist who volunteered to endure me (well, Ducky Dan volunteered too, but I don't think he would enjoy RE5). Silly fool =) I kid, but seriously, thanks for the help.

It's too late at night for me to go full-blown editorial here, but I've been thinking lately about Strategy RPGs, which could quite possibly be my favorite genre, and their near-total non-existence on the Xbox 360. Operation Darkness wasn't great, based on my demo play, Zoids Assault was one of the worst games I've ever played, and Spectral Force 3 seemed decent but bland based on my limited playtime with it. That's all we've got here in the States, and the 360 has been out how long?

Since the PS3 has Disgaea 3 on it (curse you Nippon Ichi and sticking to Sony consoles!... and the Nintendo DS...), I can make the claim that the PS3 is already kicking the Xbox 360's ass in this genre, as I'm certain that one game is better than the three we have combined. Right now, I own a PSP just so I can play Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness anywhere, at any time. Seriously. Where are the SRPGs?

If this genre is simply too niche to sell well in the US, I would understand why few games are made. I'd cry myself to sleep, but I'd get it. To my knowledge, the Final Fantasy tactics games sell well every time, and while I'm sure the FF branding helps, the point is that SRPGs are selling. The fact that they may not be selling well on the 360 may simply be because the ones currently available for the system aren't that good. Developers should look at the success of Civilization Revolution, a turn-based strategy game that is probably the closest thing available to a good SRPG right now, as a sign of hope for the genre.

I would love to see a new Final Fantasy Tactics for the Xbox 360/PS3. Square Enix has been doing FF spin-offs for everything these days, so why not a quality product for consoles? I'm as baffled by the fact that there have been no new FF Tactics games for consoles as I am by the fact that Nintendo has never made a full-blown Pokemon RPG for consoles... but that's a different discussion... Why have SRPGs been the exclusive realm of handhelds lately? I want to see the Front Mission franchise return to the US, but seeing as Front Mission 4 sold poorly here (that's a tragedy, by the way), it'll probably never happen. What if Nippon Ichi decided to broaden their reach and actually release something on the 360? A man can dream, right?

What caused the decline in this genre? Do we as gamers lack the patience for them, and can only stomach a diet of six-hour shooters? As far as I can tell, there seems to be no hope on the horizon for 360 owners to be getting a quality SRPG any time soon. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

And thus conclude my late-night ramblings. Am I the only one really, really missing this genre?


  1. Excellent crocodile bait , lol. Those things scared the shit out of me. I read the review, and I like how you said: when we saw the bosses and blurted stuff out, could not be typed on the site.

  2. And I use the name Bondfan626, because that was my original gamertag, incase you were wondering.