I enjoy RPGs. JRPGs as well as contemporary western RPGs, such as those released after Morrowind, Oblivion, and Fallout 3. I’m astonished by how well that passion is paying off in 2022, when I’m surrounded with amazing RPGs. Just so happens that most of them are older than 20 years.
Suikoden I and II, two of the best JRPGs available on the original PlayStation, have just been remastered by Konami. It’s always fantastic when Konami actually launches a game, but it’s also surprising news because Suikoden hasn’t received much attention since the PlayStation Portable.
Both of these games are excellent, and it appears like Konami is making an attempt to make them look wonderful on contemporary hardware with what appear to be enhanced sprites and more intricate backgrounds and effects. They appear to be a greater improvement than the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters.
Oh, and Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters were also released. The Game Boy Advance ports of Final Fantasy 4, 5, and 6 appear to be the only option to play the first six Final Fantasy games, despite a few wobbly issues and the unfortunate lack of further material. The first JRPG I actually finished was Final Fantasy 4 (2 at the time in the US; FF names were unclear here until 7 came out), and Final Fantasy 6 (3 at the time; FF names were confusing here until 7 came out) was one of the first games that really hooked me on the genre.
But it goes deeper than that. Live A Live was the last game to be released on the Nintendo Switch in North America a few months ago. Another fantastic JRPG that was never formally published in this country. But Square-efforts Enix’s don’t end with Pixel Remasters and Live A Live. The mecha-based strategy RPG Front Mission 1st: Remake releases next month for the Switch, and the second and perhaps third titles in the series are scheduled to release in 2019.
>Octopus Traveler II (Credit: Square-Enix) However, this is about more than just JRPGs from the 1990s. There has also been a recent influx of new JRPGs with traditional influences. Both Octopath Traveler II and Eiyuden Chronicle (Opens in a new window) , Suikoden’s spiritual successor, have just been unveiled. Even though Shadow Hearts is technically sixth generation, you should play it and especially Shadow Hearts: Covenant if you can. The developers of Wild Arms and Shadow Hearts have recently announced an double Kickstarter campaign (Opens in a new window) for a spiritual successor to those games. You face Rasputin, Geppetto, and a vampire from professional wrestling).
Fans of this genre are in for a real treat right now, and hopefully the trend will last. The many recent and upcoming remasters of these classic JRPGs demonstrate their continued viability and ability to compete with more contemporary, action-oriented RPGs like the upcoming Final Fantasy 16.
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