The RPGamer Forums will be closing on May 2, 2021.

Pet peeves in JRPGs?

SonOfErdrickSonOfErdrick Full Members
edited February 2017 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?


  • Cassandra RamosCassandra Ramos Eternal Kyoshi Administrators
    edited February 2017
    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.
    Bravely second...
    The courage to try again...

    Twitter: BerryEggs

  • 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.
  • 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).
    "The flowers all over its body burst into bloom if it is lovingly hugged and senses gratitude."
  • Joshua CarpenterJoshua Carpenter RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    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.
  • daveyddaveyd Turn-based lifeform PAFull Members
    In addition to much of what has been mentioned, lack of ability to customize / generate the player character as I want. One of the things I really enjoy about WRPGs is the ability to customize and build my character; Not necessarily talking about changing his / her appearance (although that can be nice), but being able to choose my class (if applicable), deciding which attributes or skills I want to invest in, and perhaps most importantly being able to make dialogue choices / roleplay the type of character I want to play. There are of course exceptions to this (ex: Growlanser III & IV your character has a name and appearance but you get a lot of choice over their personality and make some moral choices), but by and large in most JRPGs I've played pretty much everything from personality to backstory to skills / abilities is set in stone. Playing a predefined character isn't necessarily bad (if you actually like the character) but it is very limiting and in some ways less immersive. It feels more like I'm watching a film and less like I'm actively playing a part in the story.

    Most everything else I dislike probably falls under the description of the game not respecting my time. Mandatory grinding, random / trash encounters (it doesn't really matter if they are technically random or not, I don't like having to frequently fight hordes of mundane enemies to get from point A to point B), Unnecessarily long cutscenes...

    And yes, the stories can be very cliche and full of the one dimensional characters and tropes we've all seen a million times.
    Currently playing (on PC): Hard West, Eisenwald: Blood of November, Dungeon Rats, Wasteland 2, Tahira: Echoes of the Astral Empire

  • XocoXoco Full Members
    As of today, an autoplay feature from Tales of Zestiria. I didn't even realized before, but I have always noticed that I sometimes perform really poorly in fights when I was about to lose. I figured it was just me being annoyed and not playing well. I would think that I was doing something, but my character wasn't doing it. Then I realized this morning in one fight that my character was using a skill that I had mapped to another button. I thought maybe my controller was running out of juice, so I held the PS button to turn it off. Except at that instant, my character was still fighting.
    So upon opening up the menu, I noticed that the character had been set to automatic mode instead of manual mode. And it seems to happen as soon as I go on low health.
    No wonder everytime I go on low HP, my character start to not dodge properly, or he seems to miss the combo a lot. The game was trying to do a different thing than me, rendering the input all wrong.
    I wouldn't mind some handholding in super difficult fights, but this one just make life really hard instead of easy.
  • ClixClix Former Listmaster Full Members
    For Tales games, they always start you on Semi-Automatic for some reason. Now, in battle, you can on the pause menu change your style to Manual or Automatic. I just played ToZ this year, and I never had my Manuel style switched to Automatic when I was losing. I think that you either left the system on Semi-Automatic this whole time or accidentally pressed a button on the pop-up menu and changed it to Automatic, likely when trying to instruct someone to use a Life Bottle or Gel.
  • SMEDIASMEDIA Full Members
    I have three.

    1. As you know, some RPGs favor healing magic over items; in others it’s the opposite. I usually prefer using the healing spells than using items. When I first played Chrono Trigger, I was certain Marle would learn a healing tech that hits all three players. But alas, she never does. I also was under the impression that Ayla was too good to be true, but no, she’s spectacularly useful.

    2. Lost of pointless side quests. When I played Arc the Lad 3; I patiently did all of the jobs/side quests, but didn’t get anything. I quit doing that and rushed through the end. After I beat the game, I found out that you can recruit a secret character if you are more patient than I was with the jobs.

    3. The difficulty. You would think that since the main demographic that plays RPGs is at least teenager age, they would grant the option to play on a higher difficulty. Oh well, at least there’s challenge play throughs.
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    Attack, attack, heal. Peeps who listen to RPG Backtrack know that I bore easily when a JRPGs battle system only requires constant attacking with occasional healing to get through countless random battles. *yawwwn* Games like Shin Megami Tensai, and Etrian Odyssey make you pay more attention to the combat through higher difficulty, greater penalty/bonuses for being hit/hitting elemental bonuses. Games like Grandia also make it better by adding in a layer of strategy (and giving you ways to knock enemies WAY up into the air!)

    Also, I hate it when they require me to figure out what NPC to talk to next to make the story move forward...especially where it does not make sense to me...forcing me to talk to everyone 2 times before something in the game finally clicks. This is made more maddening when I already KNOW what the party should do next, but the game refuses to allow me to do so until I find that ONE person to talk to first. EVIL.
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • xr2xr2 Member Full Members
    Here are a few of mine....

    Slow movement speed. Or slow text speed. Or long, unskippable cut scenese, especially before boss fights.

    A conflict between rewards and mechanics. That was vague, so here are a couple of examples. In Star Ocean 3, they spent a lot of time making a fun and interesting combat system with players that feel and play differently, then reward you for not taking hits, which means that the best thing to do is to hang back and play healer for the entire game. Or in Ni No Kuni, there are a large number of possible monsters to recruit, but leveling and powering them up takes so much time and effort that you can't really experiment with them and assemble a good team, instead you do the best with what you have, or spend an hour or two trying to get a new team member up to par.

    Forcing me to do stupid things for contrived reasons. The poster child here is in Star Ocean 2. There's a time when you get to a new town and someone steals you wallet. So you have to wonder all over town to get it back. Then, as recompense, they offer to give you a guided tour of the town I just got done exploring, so we take a second trip through town. Then the boat I want to board is finally ready, but I can't board it until I do some last minute shopping, which I've already done because you've made me talk to everyone including the shopkeepers twice already. And, of course, once you leave to go shopping, tragedy strikes and you can't get on the boat anyways.
  • TheLegendaryZoltanTheLegendaryZoltan Releaser of Heavy Metal Full Members
    edited July 2018
    xr2 wrote: »
    In Star Ocean 3, they spent a lot of time making a fun and interesting combat system with players that feel and play differently, then reward you for not taking hits, which means that the best thing to do is to hang back and play healer for the entire game
    So true about SO3. Hahaha.

    I have one: Cameras that auto-correct. I want to lock the camera in place so that it doesn't spin around behind my character every time I take a turn. I also want the cameras to zoom out MUCH farther than they ever do.
    Like JRPGs?
    Want to hear a JRPG podcast that actually has a unique format?
    Check out Turn Based Memories!
Sign In or Register to comment.