If you follow DualShockers regularly, you probably know that we love JRPGs and Japanese games in general. While the genre may have become more niche since the glory years of the first PlayStation and of the PS2, even due to a relatively weak PS3 generation, things are looking up again.
The PlayStation 4 has quite a few JRPGs under its sleek black belt already, but the future is what really makes me smile. Below you can read a list (in no specific order) of most of the JRPGs coming to the console in the next several months. It’s by no means complete, because there are so many that some will inevitably be forgotten.
- Final Fantasy XV
- Final Fantasy VII Remake
- Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness
- Persona 5
- Tales of Berseria
- Valkyria Chronicles Remastered
- Valkyria: Azure Revolution
- Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization
- Black Rose Valkyrie
- God Eater 2: Rage Burst
- God Eater Resurrection
- Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
- Dragon Quest Heroes II
- Dragon Quest XI
- YS VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
- NieR: Automata
- Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force
- Kingdom Hearts III
- Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
- Summon Night 6: Lost Borders
- World of Final Fantasy
- I Am Setsuna
- Atelier Sophie: Alchemist of the Mysterious Book
- Odin Sphere Leifthrasir
- Toukiden 2
- God Wars: Toki wo Koete
- Zodiac: Orcanon Odyssey
As I mentioned, I probably missed some, and feel free to remind me of my small brain capacity in the comments. Some of them have already been released in Japan, but a localization is still pending or still has to be announced.
Localization is another element that is being affected by a very positive trend. While timing and quality still vary (but quality is much higher than it used to be, at least on PlayStation games), a lot more games get localized nowadays than in the past decade. Publishers like Bandai Namco, Koei Tecmo, Sega, Idea Factory and more, are much more open to try their luck in the west with titles that would have been considered too niche before, even thanks to the increasing installed base of the PS4 and to the lower costs determined by digital distribution.
We also get a lot of variety, from modern action JRPGs like Final Fantasy XV to 2.5D gems that look back to a glorious past like I Am Setsuna. Final Fantasy XV also represents an experiment with high-end graphics, but those who love the soft, anime-like style still have plenty to enjoy.
While the genre still relies a lot on established franchises, we also get new IPs, like Black Rose Valkyrie and God Wars. It’s a rich treasure chest with a lot of breath, spanning different sub-genres, settings and narrative styles, and demonstrating that Japanese developers definitely still have a lot of creativity to share with the world.
Interestingly, new studios that are not known for JRPG experiences are also joining the fray, with PlatinumGames and its NieR: Automata as a prime example.
In a gaming world dominated by western influences, this resurgence of JRPGs also brings a much needed intake of cultural diversity, which is something gaming and entertainment in general really need nowadays.
Personally, I couldn’t be more happy. There’s much more coming than I can practically afford to allocate in my free time, but this is definitely a merry way to inflate my backlog.
It feels like the PS2 era has come back. It was an era in which almost no day passed without news on an upcoming JRPG, and in which the shelves were full of colorful covers portraying cute anime-like faces promising adventure, romance, drama and countless hours of entertainment. I’m seeing that happening again, and it brings a smile to my face.
Now all I need is a revival of the Lunar franchise. Hearing about that would mark one of the happiest moments of my life as a gamer.