Like many old school gaming nerds I grew up with JRPGs. From the NES to Playstation 2 it was always the genre I looked most forward to.
After the Playstation 2 I thought maybe the genre was just dead. I knew some stuff was around that was probably fun or good but nothing stood up to the old days and the games were fewer and more homogenous. 2019 has seen that idea slowly change for me.
When I picked up Final Fantasy VII for Switch I got totally sucked in like the old days. With Dragon Quest XI being enhanced and ported to the Switch, Dragon Quest Builders 2 coming, Fire Emblem: Three Houses looking pretty solid, a remaster of FFVIII and Ni No Kuni coming to Switch, the new Tales game looking like it has a lot more investment than other Tales games, the Mana Collection, and other games coming I feel like I’m finally going back to my youth. The Switch’s portability makes playing JRPGs in bed the relaxing experience it should be. JRPGs are an aging genre, there’s not enough change in them, even with these new offerings. But the portability of Switch makes JRPGs inherent repetition much more manageable. With the quality of JRPGs seemingly increasing I’m really hoping the genre continues to change and grow. Persona 5 stands out as unique in the genre in the last few years for its new ideas. FFVIIR may end up being absolutely incredible...or it may fail. Time will tell.
For now all I know is the Switch has helped me revisit my youth due to its hybrid nature. The slight resurgence in quality JRPGs coincides with the Switch’s portability. I want the genre to grow and continue and to do that it needs to change. The Switch will only make it palatable for so long and there may always be another lull in production of good JRPGs. Whatever happens I’m definitely here for this feeling while it lasts.