What is so special about them?
JRPGs are a genre that's usually heavily unfavored by Western audiences. This is mostly from prejudice due to the anime art style, with some exceptions, without looking into it carefully or being overwhelmed by the usually slow gameplay. What are these games really about though and why do l like them? I want to talk about this in detail.
First off, storytelling. This is the main reason why this genre is my favorite. However, this is also the biggest turn off for a lot of people. Storytelling in JRPGs are long and detailed, sometimes too long. There are even some games out there that if you compare the narrative parts of the games with the ratio of gameplay, it might be higher. Most players just want action and action only hence when they play these games, the amount of storytelling feels lame and like a snorefest to them. l play for the narrative. The work and time put into writing these detailed stories and how they are told is the main attraction of these games for me. They build up characters, the world and everything else in between from the ground up. Whereas this is overwhelming for players who prefer action over storytelling, it's absolutely perfect for me and anyone else who wants to feel as if they are reading a book while playing a game instead of just doing, well, simply put ''Run run run, kill kill kill.'' with usually almost no reason. Mind you, gameplay is not lightweight in this genre at all which brings me to my next point.
The gameplay. Simply because the genre focuses more on storytelling doesn't mean that it's gameplay is bad at all. Oh no, not in the slightest. In most games, the combat is built around strategy while occasionally there are some action games. No matter the case, it's almost always addictive. Probably the most fun part about it is how diverse character development is. In most games, you can build your character and party as you see fit, resulting in drastic differences each time you play the games, giving them great replayability, infinitely fun and fresh each time you start up a new one. Each game also has gameplay aspects that make them unique where even if games can look similar from an outer shell, they are wonderfully different when dived deep into and given a chance.
Depth. This is somewhat tied in with storytelling but l wanted to write it on its own because simply saying that the stories are deep wasn't going to be enough. The games themselves are too. Aside from the main content the games provide you, there is a plethora of side content you can discover in them, once again enough to be overwhelming for most players who prefer action over exploration. Every inch of the games harbor more information about the world that you can't learn from the main story, rewards for taking the time to explore instead of progress and finding so many more details that you would miss out on by just rushing through the game. NPCs have hundreds of different dialogue at different intervals throughout the main story, loot to further develop your characters by searching every nook and cranny along with plenty of side stories to discover. If a game was to take 30 hours by just rushing the story, it could take a 100 or more by doing everything it harbours inside it. 100 hours is actually quite standard for this genre, as crazy as that may sound. It caters to completionists like me greatly. Story alone doesn't make this my favorite genre. It's also how much the world complements it as a whole.
Finally, the music. The music in this genre is ecstatic. It captures whatever scene you are in perfectly at any given moment and can range from any type of music. I can't count how many tracks from some of these games l have in my playlists. I can't tell you much about the music without you actually hearing it... but just trust me on this one. You will not be disappointed by the music quality.
In conclusion, l am in love with this genre due to how wholesome it's games feel and how exhilarating they are to experience. The worlds feel so much more alive and real than anything else gaming has to offer. If you plan on getting into it, prepare yourself for long adventures, joyous but also tearful moments. You will find yourself emotionally attached to so many characters across so many games. You will feel that you are actually a part of the world and you will be amazed at how well most stories are written. All of these are the reasons why the genre is my favorite of all time and will always continue to be.