I’ve never been a particular fan of Japanese role-playing games. Admittedly, much of this sentiment is anchored by game experiences from many years ago, but even modern JRPGs just don’t appeal to me.
I think the main reason is that I’ve just never liked the seemingly random, nonsensical, hodge-podge worlds and stories frequently featured as the backdrop against which JRPGS are set.
And it’s not just about mixing magic and technology — which many JRPGS seem to do regularly. It’s the lack of cohesion of those elements with the story, the mythology surrounding the world, and the seemingly random selection of characteristics that govern the worlds in which JRPGS are frequently set.
And then of course there are the usual cadre of very predictable, two dimensional characters clearly aimed at appeasing 13-year old male fantasies.
Additional, even more disparate elements only exacerbate the issue: Furries.Characters that look like they are 12 years old (even if they are supposed to be older). Random, weird cartoon characters. Impossibly huge swords. Pokemon (or pokemon-like) monsters, pets, etc.
I guess I just prefer deeper mythologies that, however fantastic, lend a greater sense of reality and cohesion to the world and the characters inhabiting it. I definitely don’t want childish Pokemon-like monsters or characters (I’m looking at you, Moogles) dipped in my Lord of the Rings. (And by the way George Lucas, thanks for f*cking over Star Wars with some of this crap.)
I’m sure that there are JRPGS out there that buck this trend. Most JRPGs are published on consoles, which is probably I’ve yet to meet a good one on PC.
[Note: In many ways I had been looking forward to trying Final Fantasy XIV Online in the hopes that maybe it would instill some appreciation for JRPGS. Suffice to say it didn't, because of the issues above, and because of extremely sloppy design/execution.]
JRPG fans don’t like FF XIV either.
Maybe try Final Fantasy XII. It’s a JRPG with kind of a WRPG feel to it. You’ll need a PS2, though.