Why is the question “What is a JRPG?” talked about in blogs and podcasts and how is a term for a whole genre ambiguous at all? When the industry started merging RPG’s elements into action FPS’s, this changed RPG’s into Action games… and gave RPG elements to Action games. Adding RPG elements to games is just part of making a game with character advancement of any kind. Making an RPG an Action game would be like taking away the time break elements that allow for strategy between every move. Blurring the original RPG/Action genre’s made the JRPG genre.
Below is Persona 3, a JRPG from 2006 that has elements of card games as well as dungeon crawling mixed with a dark and cool story about experiments with demons living in shadows. It has multiple game-play types but is still called a “JRPG”.
Odin Sphere is an Action game and it isn’t usually called so, it’s called a JRPG or Action-JRPG. It has more to do with the artwork, the well fleshed out characters and gameplay that makes a game a “JRPG”, not just a RPG from Japan. This makes the phrase “JRPG” a grey one I think it’s like saying games with good character development can not come from anywhere else in one sense though too, not a good thing but it it true? It’s hard to argue that games from Japan have been better than games from anywhere else in the world through out gaming history.
Final Fantasy V (SNES version) is a “JRPG” that moves with such a fast pace in battles it can seem more like an action game than a strategy game turn based is associated with. Despite this very peaceful screenshot…
There are a lot of sub genre’s of games too, within each genre we see horror, comedy, drama. “JRPG” is a convenient term for role playing game from Japan try not to base too many assumptions. I suppose it’s whatever game we played from Japan (Final Fantasy, Persona, Suikoden etc.) that makes it what it is. For me it’s a great gaming experience and one worth the money invested in it.