The Ultimate JRPG Poll

Which series is better


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FrigidGaze

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Dragon Quest had to fight an uphill battle to win my love back in the day over Final Fantasy, because no DQ game was released where I live up until DQ8 where jRPGs slowly started becoming more prominent in the PAL region, haha, but even then, after finally being able to go back and experience all of the older games, I think DQ wins over for me.

That fact that DQ plays it safe and traditional is a big selling point for me, as Final Fantasy strays further and further from what I want out of a Final Fantasy game. (Still have no idea what to make of 16 the more videos come out of it!) And I was absolutely enthralled with DQXI from start to finish.

Of course, I still love Final Fantasy too and am in the midst of my billionth FF7 playthrough--so by favouring DQ in the poll, it's not like I'm saying FF is awful. I just think right now the more whimsical, classical style RPGs offered by DQ resonate with me more.
 

Accendor

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That's a really hard question, because let's be honest here - Final Fantasy 1-10 have been pretty consistent in the style of game they wanted to be. 12 was already a bit different, 13 started to be very different und from there on onwards (including the FF7 Remake) the Final Fantasy series is something completely different than what it was from 1-10.
Meanwhile, Dragon Quest stayed pretty consistent (which I find great), but overall FF1-10 left such a big impression on me, that I have to say FF.
 

Tai_MT

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I'll have to voice a similar opinion as was already voiced earlier:

Dragon Quest just... plays things too safe. Or, rather, the mainline games just aren't that "exciting" or "interesting" to someone like me. I, too, have had a lot more fun in their spin-offs.

Notably, Dragon Warrior Monsters 1 and 2, which are infinitely better and more strategic than Pokemon ever was and probably ever will be... Plus, the "Builders" series, which actually had pretty interesting storylines and compelling gameplay.

Final Fantasy may be hit or miss, but at least it isn't beholden to "create the same game every single time" like Dragon Quest seems to be. I like seeing "what are they going to try this time?". I also like knowing that if this Final Fantasy was bad, the next one has a chance to be pretty good.

Sure, Final Fantasy 7 and 8 weren't great... but Final Fantasy 9 was pretty great. So was 10. 11 wasn't that good... but 12 was pretty fantastic. 13 and its sequels weren't great, but 14 is amazing, and 15 was "okay".

Dragon Quest is really only fun to me when it's doing anything except being Dragon Quest and merely using the licensed characters/monsters. Final Fantasy is really only fun to me when what it's doing hits the sort of thing I'm looking for an RPG to do.
 

CleanWater

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I decided to vote on Dragon Quest because of two things:

1 - It's basically the father of all other J-RPGs and it influenced almost everything in the genre;
2 - The anime (Dai no Daibouken) is simply great and was a good influence at my childhood; xD
 

Oggy

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This is actually a great question. Because both game series have great lists of pros and cons. I own/played more FF games than DQ games, but FF7 (the original) and DQ7 are my favorites of both series. Of the games I have played in each series I really enjoyed the stories and systems in both, but the one thing that DQ offers is a better world depth. In DQ you can break barrels, open cabinets and drawers, search bookshelves, and in general more searchable/findable locations. To me this really makes the maps of the world (even houses) feel less like just another map to pass through and more like a way to really explore and find things. This is why I will always lean towards Dragon Quest.
 

Tai_MT

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@Oggy

The more modern FF games don't do that. But 1-6 did that pretty heavily. They removed it from the series because as it made the jump to "3D", they found it difficult to convey what was and was not interactable and where you had to click to even "check" the object. But, FF has leaned more and more heavily toward "better graphics" and "more realistic looking worlds" than DQ has... so they'll probably never have "search all the objects in the world" again.

So, the choice has to be made... do you want a world that LOOKS more realistic... or one that FEELS more interactable?
 

Danatoth

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IMO Dragon Quest is the most boring series of rpgs of all time. Simple, basic, boring battle system. Simple, boring, generic quests. Simple, boring, generic world. Simple, boring, generic characters.

The who series is just generic basic turn based jrpg. That solves a niche for people who are looking exactly for that, but I am not one of them.
 

Kes

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Simple, boring, generic

It's a bit like the 1930's film 'Stagecoach'. Watch it now and think everything in sight is a cliche - white hat for the hero, drunken doctor who comes good, tart with a heart of gold, the cavalry coming to the rescue over the horizon etc. etc. etc. But it was that film which set what were to become the cliches of cowboy films; it itself was original.

So too with DQ. Yes, they can look as you describe, but perhaps the point is that at the time they were good enough to set what was to become generic, but were themselves original.
 

rpgLord69

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The only good Final Fantasy is FF7 Remake (minus the ending and the black spirits) and the original FF7 as a product of its time.

The only good Dragon Quest is...they're all average at best (ok, have only played a few, but still).

The best jrpg series of all time is the Legend of Heroes: Trails-series (w/voice acting update for Sky). Personal favorites: Trails in the Sky 1, Trails to Azure, Trails of Cold Steel 3.
 

Oggy

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@Tai_MT I would always choose interactable. It makes the maps less backdrop. But as a counter point DQ went 3D at DQ 8 and was still intractable in the same way as their 2D/2.5D games.
 
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Ms Littlefish

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@Kes Such an important thing to remember. There are definitely games that are “timeless” and have achieved the status of playable by anyone from any time. But most games, even awarded classics, will experience the ravages of time at least to some degree.
 
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Tai_MT

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@Oggy

It's not that going 3D is some hurdle to jump for interactivity. It's just that with a jump to 3D, you sort of have to choose your priorities. If you look at many of the FF games that went 3D they first attempted "sparkles" in the open world to tell you what could be interacted with. But, my guess is that it was too "immersion breaking" for the game, so they just dropped it entirely.

Final Fantasy decided to forgo "world interactivity" in favor of "visual immersion" and "storytelling focus".

Dragon Quest, on the other hand, decided that "world interactivity" was a very large part of its core identity and so has subsequently placed a very large focus on doing just that while not pushing ahead in other ares.

For me, I find all the "world interactivity" to be rather tedious. It feels like "filler" to me. Or, rather, "busywork for the sake of padding out a game". Clicking all 8000 dressers, 2000 pots, 800 barrels, AND the 200 treasure chests in a game isn't my idea of "fun" (or even an interesting expression of "exploration". It is less "exploring" at that point, and more a checklist of which things you've clicked in this new area.). Especially when I'm already going to be also clicking on switches and NPC's.

But, I play RPG's for these reasons, in order of importance:
1. Story.
2. Characters.
3. Worldbuilding.
4. Progression System.
5. How long it takes to complete (I try to stay under 50 hours, because most people can't write a good game that's 50 hours or more, and it severely drags, or gets tedious).
6. Combat.
7. Graphics.
 

padr81

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@padr81 I went to go see Distant Worlds in Toronto too. Such a great show. Really just a next level game composer.
I've seen his stuff at the Albert Hall, it was absolutely goddamn transcendent. Endless respect for that man.

I'm jealous of you both. Downside to living in Ireland is we just don't get stuff like that.

The other reason I go towards FF is I find the teams a little "braver". DQ is more consistent in terms of quality very rarely falling below a 7/10 while FF has some stinkers but FF's high are just so high (4-7) thats its almost impossible for me not to plump for them.

I think the run from 6 to 9 sums FF up best.6- 11/10, 7- 11/10, 8- 0/10, 9- 9/10. When they hit they don't half hit hard.
 

ATT_Turan

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final fantasy tactics is a thing and it alone pretty much blows everything else out of the water...Though I guess it is also technically not an rpg
How on earth is it not an RPG?

Final Fantasy 1-10 have been pretty consistent in the style of game they wanted to be. 12 was already a bit different, 13 started to be very different und from there on onwards (including the FF7 Remake) the Final Fantasy series is something completely different than what it was from 1-10.
I think that's a very valid point. I dig a lot of stuff about 12, but it had some weird gameplay decisions.

I'm also not sure I agree as much about 13 (I didn't like it well enough to play much, but I thought I recalled it went back to the turn-based system), but I have no interest in the series since they turned them into ARPGs or however you want to classify them.
 

Danatoth

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It's a bit like the 1930's film 'Stagecoach'. Watch it now and think everything in sight is a cliche - white hat for the hero, drunken doctor who comes good, tart with a heart of gold, the cavalry coming to the rescue over the horizon etc. etc. etc. But it was that film which set what were to become the cliches of cowboy films; it itself was original.

So too with DQ. Yes, they can look as you describe, but perhaps the point is that at the time they were good enough to set what was to become generic, but were themselves original.
Yes, I get that. One of my favorite games of all time is in the same way - Lunar. But Dragonquest games are still being made to the current day and haven't changed the formula at all. So while as those tropes and type of gameplay was unique and novel 30 years ago, doing the same thing over and over again is boring to me.

There is a market for people who like the same formula, I'm just not one of them. It's why I like FF better, each game tries something new. Although TBH, after FFXI the games went in a whole new direction that doesn't really FEEL like FF to me anymore. When I was younger I assumed the graphics in games would get so good that the games would someday end up looking like Amano's concept art...but no. No, instead we got something....well different :<
 

Iron_Brew

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Yes, I get that. One of my favorite games of all time is in the same way - Lunar. But Dragonquest games are still being made to the current day and haven't changed the formula at all. So while as those tropes and type of gameplay was unique and novel 30 years ago, doing the same thing over and over again is boring to me.

Out of interest, and without meaning to sound combative whatsoever, how many DQ games have you played? While thematically they remain consistent and things like the core bones of the battle system remain similar, I'd argue that every entry radically differentiates itself from its predecessors in the nitty gritty.

That then becomes an iterative approach to the curation of the franchise, which has led to consistency, and also XI (the latest entry) being the best one, while FF is arguably overly similar from games 1-5 (with obvious experimentation and a similar iterative approach to DQ, albeit less innovative in those early games than DQ1-4 were), peaks in the 90-2000s with 6, 7, 9 and 10, and then falls off the face of the Earth by refusing to be an RPG and relegating what fans of the early games enjoy to side games like Bravely Default.

I dunno, when people call the DQ games boring I'm always confused because they do get radically different, they just don't look radically different, or have the wild variation in themes (and quality) that FF do. Sure, you're getting less in the way of aesthetic variety, but what you lose in that you gain in consistency and sheer comfort.

It's the same as Mario and Sonic - Sonic is wildly inconsistent, and at his best can't touch Mario at his absolute blandest, while Mario is consistent even if some of his games can feel overly similar and his aesthetic almost never innovates post-N64.

Mario's games are arguably less exciting in terms of new themes and gimmicks, but they consistently deliver on quality and what the audience wants. If you see a Mario game you know what you're in for, and you know you're gonna get a good time, and the same can be said for DQ; but with FF - especially these days - it's often a crap shoot as to whether you're gonna get a masterpiece or Nomuracore nonsense.

Edit: Also, don't get me wrong, I'm a huge FF fan and 9 is in my top 5 games of all time, but I just love DQ so damn much!

Edit 2: I also love sonic, pls no bulli :LZSlol:
 
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AquaEcho

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I dunno, when people call the DQ games boring I'm always confused because they do get radically different, they just don't look radically different
Because it's a very generic JRPG, even if it defined the genre to begin with. Even if you've never played a Dragon Quest game before, if you play 11, it will all feel very familiar, bog standard, and nothing will really surprise you: everything from the midieval fantasy setting, character tropes, collecting 8 treasures, the turn based battle system, world map, weapons and spells, etc. It's a high effort, very polished experience but it's nothing you haven't seen before. My favorite thing about 11 was being able to beat up enemies and ride their mount, especially the bumblebee, which I thought was pretty funny.

Mario isn't immune to the problem either. I remember New Super Mario Bros 2 for the 3ds getting criticized for being a generic Mario game with the standard 8 worlds, power ups, etc while doing nothing new.
 
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Sword_of_Dusk

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There's not really much of a comparison here, at least to me. FF has been the daring, risk-taking sibling for some time now; never afraid to mix things up and try something new. It keeps you on your toes because you don't know what kind of game the next one will be.

Dragon Quest is the sibling that knows what it is and keeps that consistency. Traditional, but not quite static. Familiar, but not boring for those who want and appreciate that sense of familiarity. Dragon Quest does generally make improvements with each outing, but they're smaller improvements to the formula that some people might not see.

I understand that some may find the latter kinda boring, but DQ is far from that. There is a reason it has maintained a dedicated fandom throughout the years, and why the most recent game did as well as it did. That's not to say FF isn't well-loved, because it is too, if not moreso. It's just . . . FF stories go in many different directions, with players always being at the center of something major.

DQ though . . . well, it generally goes for more understated quests. Sure, you may be out to slay a Demon Lord and save the world, but so much more importance is placed on the smaller scale than you sometimes get in FF. Perhaps you visit a town whose residents were turned to stone, or maybe you come across a town that was wiped out by monsters and is completely empty during the day, yet at night the spirits of the people can be seen acting as if everything is normal. Another game may see you struggling to save the lives of key people the villain is hunting down while trying to break a curse on some people you care about, while another game may force you to watch your father slowly killed, only to have you thrown into slavery for the next decade.

In the end, what I'm trying to say is that, while I personally have a deep and wide love for Dragon Quest, I'm not gonna rate it against Final Fantasy, as they're two series that go about things very differently.
 

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