Categorized | Xbox 360

Bring On the East: J-RPGs for the Xbox 360

One of the hardest challenges that Microsoft faced with the original Xbox home console was the fact that they had little Japanese game developer support. This affected the console’s sales performance slightly in western markets and strongly in Japan. With the Xbox 360, Microsoft is showing that they are learning from their mistakes. The next generation console now sports a vast number of JRPG titles, and even a few special exclusives for the US market. Here is a quick peek at some of these great games.

Namco Bandai’s Tales of Vesperia

The “Tales Of” series from Namco Bandai is one of the longest running RPG titles in Japan and Vesperia is one of the latest titles. While the Japanese version of the game is available in both the PS3 and the 360, only 360 owners will be able to enjoy the English version of this game. ToV follows the adventures of Yuri Lowell, a former knight out in search of a way to restore balance to the Blastia cores which govern magic energy. His adventure brings him back in touch with his long time friend, Flynn Scifo and together, they try to unravel the mysteries of magic and ether. Vesperia makes use of a semi-real time combat system known as the ATB which adds a degree of action to the battle sequences.

Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIII

The latest in the famous Final Fantasy series originated by Squaresoft, FFXIII brings you the tale of Lightning, a soldier who takes on a system she once served in order to save her sister. While many of the older generation of FF fans find Square-Enix new RPG formulas to be a little dry and unimaginative, it is hard to deny that the game developer truly pushes the limits of the video hardware in today’s consoles. Originally meant to be released only for the PS3 in Blu-Ray format, the game went through several cuts and edits in order to shrink down content for the HD-DVD. While many fans cried foul at losing content, 360 users in the US finally had their first taste of the FF series.

Microsoft’s Lost Odyssey

Taking the lack of actual Japanese support for the older system into consideration, Microsoft has teamed up with Mistwalker and independent game company headed by legendary Squaresoft icon, Hironobu Sakaguchi. Their product: the ambitious Lost Odyssey RPG for the Xbox 360. This game rings back many elements of the original FF series that has been lost in the newer titles. A simplified items and inventory system, an easy to follow turn based, menu driven combat engine and of course, a plotline filled with plenty of twists and turns. While critics have panned the heavily political undertones of the game, many have also recognized the brave step that Mistwalker and Feelplus are taking in order to re-shape the JRPG industry. This game will certainly be a fan favorite of Sakaguchi purists and older-generation RPG fans, though the deep storyline and slightly reverse-experimental feel of the game system might put off newer players.

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