RPGs: A geek’s escape and my love for them

I love a good story whether it’s a book, TV series, or a movie. RPGs, Role Playing Games fit that exact bill. From the moment you load up a new RPG, you’ll be immersed into likely a 30hr+ storyline with plenty of side quests which can easily add another 10-20+hrs. Today’s games now have achievements/trophies which easily make a game replayable as you embark in trophy/achievement hunting.

I’m a 80’s baby/90’s kid and grew up to SquareSoft owning that space as the King of JRPGs (Japanese RPGs) before they became Square Enix. My first JRPG, Final Fantasy VII for the PSone which opened my eyes to the genre. Back then, PSone games that were too large would get spanned to other discs and FFVII was a 3-disc wonder! Final Fantasy as I remember was well established long before FFVII but this entry is what made a significant impact on the West. SquareSoft made other titles of have left a mark on all of us such as Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Xenogears, Vagrant Story, Parasite Eve, Saga Frontier, Kingdom Hearts and the list goes on.

There are several mechanics at play when you step into an RPG/JRPG. You have the main storyline which tells a story like a movie. You have the battle sequences that make you strategize effectively in two parts: Effective placement of your party as each character has their own strengths and weaknesses and strategizing battles. You have side quests which compliment the main storyline but aren’t required to complete that tend to reward you with special items or growth or simply a quick laugh. You even have a character creation menu in some of these games as you start which can easily add up some time just like in MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games). To put it plainly, a RPG/JRPG is a type of game you can’t pick up for 10 minutes then put back down. It pulls you in and before you know it hours can easily pass by when you realize how long you’ve been playing.

As a gamer and as a geek in tech, RPGs soothe me as they reap a long term benefit. It’s a smaller mountain I can conquer and enjoy at the same time. It provides a lengthy escape that relaxes me at the same time. It does become a commitment as I do want to continue progressing through the storyline to see what happens. Let alone the grinding, or leveling up of your characters. If I’m overwhelmed or just tired from studying and labbing, I’ll turn on one of my consoles or flip open my Razer Blade 15 laptop and fire up a game. They provide instant and long term gratification and recommend them to all that want an enjoyable adventure!

RPGs/JRPGs I’ve played and/or recommend: (Some of them. Not going to be a complete list I’ll be honest 😅)

  • Final Fantasy series (you can’t go wrong on any of them)
  • Xenogears
  • Xenoblade series
  • Xenosaga I-III (haven’t beaten them but they’re good)
  • Kingdom Hearts series
  • Parasite Eve series
  • Persona series (currently playing Persona 5 Royal on my PS5)
  • Yakuza series
  • The Bouncer (currently on the PS2)
  • Fire Emblem (latest entry is FE: Three Houses)
  • Pokemon series (yes this technically a JRPG)
  • Chrono Trigger
  • Chrono Cross
  • Tales of Vesperia
  • Octopath Traveler series
  • Suikoden
  • Saga Frontier
  • Vagrant Story

If I missed your fav RPG/JRPG, it’s not because I think they’re bad, I probably missed it as the genre has exploded since the ’90s. Trust me when I say, I’m still going through my backlog of games. I’m not going to remember to list them all.

Comment below on which ones are your fav and which I should add to the list. Also if you liked this post, let me know. I wouldn’t mind covering other genres like RTS (Real-Time Strategy) and my love for Starcraft I & II.

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