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Pet peeves in JRPGs?

SonOfErdrickSonOfErdrick Full Members
edited February 20 in Role Playing Games
What are some annoying things you come across in otherwise good JRPGs?

For example, my pet peeve is having to get into battles with weak enemies while backtracking in an old area, or how status ailment spells are mostly a waste.

So, what annoys you?


  • Strawberry EggsStrawberry Eggs Hands off the parfait! Administrators
    edited February 21
    No way to prevent random encounters. Why don't more games have repels, like in Pokemon? The encounter rate slider in the Bravely games is also amazing. Even when I enjoy a battle system, it would be nice to backtrack and do side quests without unwanted encounters. Related are visible encounters that are hard to avoid and may as well be random.

    Dull main protagonists. I tend to find that most main character have nondescript, general personalities. They tend to not be complex, rarely undergo character development of any sort, and they don't have personalities I find compelling. What's worse is that they tend to be indistinguishable from each other in terms of personality (like, say, all of the main characters from the Luminous Arc games. Alph isn't all that different from Roland or Levi, or heck, even Alto from spiritual successor Stella Glow). I suspect this is to allow some self-insertion by the player. I can understand having a "straight man" to allow other characters to bounce off of and ground the cast, but I feel the protagonist of anything should be the most interesting and likable character, or at least one of them. I can count the number of main characters from RPGs I really like, or even consider my favorite character in said game, on one hand.
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  • ChickenGodChickenGod Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderators
    Off the top of my head, its significant permanent missables and time-management systems, for sure.

    Regarding things that can be missed and not gotten again, stuff that comes to mind are characters, ultimate equipment, or entire quest lines that can be lost if you weren't paying full attention and immediately went out of your way to do them right as they became available. I'll admit, in recent years this hasn't been that big a problem for JRPGs. Developers have gotten better at warning players about points of no return and generally letting everything be available to do at some juncture just before finishing, which is good. Unfortunately some of my favorite games have permanent missables though, a great example is the Trails series that has hidden quests that will become lost forever if you don't discover them, or perhaps you pick a "bad" choice and are docked a certain amount of AP. In small doses like this where its known and there's sparse use of a guide I can manage, but still. I'd rather the hidden nature of them not exist at all, or at least not be punished by missing out on good rewards for good if you mess up.

    Time-Management sounds a little vague, but I'm talking about things like the Calender system in Persona 3/4 where you ultimately have limited in the amount of days you can spend building up relations and stuff. This goes back to the permanent missable aspect for sure, because I dont want to discover 60+ hours into the game that I can no longer max all of the Social Links, which I consider to be a significant portion of the story in the game, with restarting as the only recourse. Just want to play the game at my own pace and still have the option to get everything if I wanted to be lazy and progress the story or didnt feel like doing the optimal method of time spending. Its needlessly punishing for someone who wants to pick and choose to what to relax with and when. Ultimately this is a reason that P3, P4, (and possibly even 5?) will never be my absolute favorite RPGs, even if they are crazy good in every other category.

    Also, I agree with you Strawberry on the protagonists, even though its not something that personally bothers me. You're right, there are very few main characters that I count as a favorite. I don't need to project myself on a blank slate character type to enjoy a story, and in fact most of the time you play as this archetype I find it a tad more difficult to get absorbed by the fiction right away since its hard for me to imagine what a mute is saying to other cast members. It can even be worse in games where you get a choice and the 2 or 3 options aren't exactly creative, or perhaps swing so wildly from virtuous to evil that its difficult to take seriously.
    "Looks like Teach just got tenure!" - Teach
  • ShayminShaymin The Gratitude Pokemon Halifax, New SealandFull Members
    I'll second the uncontrollable random encounters.

    Also, over-lecherous party members I can't ditch (Ringabel single-handedly got me to dropkick Bravely Default in chapter 2).
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  • jscarpejscarpe Member Full Members
    As I get older, not allowing me to change difficulty mid-game is becoming a serious pet peeve. If I get stuck on a level or boss encounter, give me the option to turn the difficulty down rather than having to spend lots of time grinding.

    Ditto for random encounters; there just should not be random encounters in games anymore. Either enemies need to be visible or there needs to be a way to adjust the random encounter rate in the game. Persona Q was was bad about that; random encounters while you are trying to figure out puzzles wasn't fun and while there was an item to temporarily turn them off, it wasn't available till the end of the 4th dungeon. At least Persona Q had adjustable difficulty so I could switch to easy street and plow through the end of the game.
  • SeraphimKittenSeraphimKitten President of Soft Paws Full Members
    I'll third random encounters, blank slate protagonists, and missables. I put on a Let's Play of Tactics Ogre while cleaning and the youtuber kept complaining about random battles while streaming them. While realizing that it had probably been recorded years ago, I found myself still wanting to say "you can just hit cancel to skip any random battle. You don't actually have to play them."

    For missables, I've hit a point where I like to feel like I've seen the full story of anything I read/watch/play — an occupational hazard. Video games tend to include the most interesting content as a post-credits scene for the A++ Solid Gold Dancer ending and no one else gets to see it. If I don't feel like I can reasonably expect to see all of the content in a playthrough (new game+ is okay, too) then I don't want to pick up that game.

    My biggest pet peeve is just story. I'm tired of a hero journeying to stomp an incomprehensible evil. I'd like to see more complex villains and situations. When I look back at Final Fantasy 6, Secret of Mana, ChronoTrigger, and the other games of my childhood I can't bring myself to replay them for this reason.
  • SpartakusSpartakus One Knight Stand Full Members
    I don't there's a specific word for this, but it really annoys me when there are several paths you can take and going down the "right" path will trigger a story event that prevents you from exploring the other paths either permanently or for a significant amount of time. A typical example would be triggering the boss fight in a dungeon and then being transported somewhere far away after its won, knowing there was probably a chest down that other path you should've taken first. For this reason I tend to progress very tentatively, always wondering if the path I'm on "feels" like the right one and if so I should go back and check out the other ones. Couple this with a high random encounter rate and everything is set for some annoying gameplay.

    Otherwise I second weak storylines as a pet peeve (if this can be called a pet peeve). Defeating the big bad satan stops being satisfying after you've reached a certain level of intellectual maturity and realised that things are hardly ever black and white. The "humans can be cruel so the whole world should be wiped out" types are only marginally more compelling (sure, there's at least a rationale behind it, but it makes the villain sound like a teenager throwing a tantrum). I'm sure there could be plenty of reasons why a group of people would travel the world besides saving it from satan. There are plenty of games that start out with a different premise, but it never seems to last for very long.
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