The JRPG genre is one of the most influential game genres out there. While Western RPGs are fun in their own right, they don’t have the same charisma as traditional Japanese RPGs. A fantasy setting, monsters, magical powers, and a variety of quirky characters are just some of the traditional tropes found in JRPGs. More often than not, a JRPG will put players in the shoes of a hero destined to save the world from an apocalypse. Players would then put hours upon hours into the game, progressing through a deeply well-written narrative and training their cast of characters to be able to challenge the final villain.
On the surface, JRPG’s formula is quite simple, but the scope of the games defined by this genre always has a sublime level of depth. Players can easily get lost in these fantasy settings for hundreds of hours. Charming graphics and deep lore aside, these games mostly consist of complex combat systems and game mechanics, which sometimes make them extremely difficult to play. A traditional JRPG mainly uses a turn-based combat system, which can be very difficult to master. More modern JRPGs have integrated real-time combat systems, but their difficulty remains unchanged. Here are five of the most stressful JRPGs that players have had trouble completing.
5/5 Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter World is an action role-playing game developed by Capcom and is the fifth main entry in the series. As the name suggests, this franchise is all about finding, capturing and hunting the wild animals that roam its world. Players take control of their custom character and set out on a quest to slay deadly creatures.
The concept of Monster hunter the series is incredibly funny, but the monster killing in this series is as frustrating as it is exciting. Each monster is located in a specific location that players must find; then they must search for its weakness. Each battle is unique as it requires different strategies, armor and weapons for successful completion. If a player isn’t prepared and doesn’t have a hunter’s precision, they’re just going to walk into death.
4/5 Final Fantasy XII
Square Enix’s Final Fantasy series might as well be the face of the JRPG genre, and outside of the mainline Final Fantasy games that have been released over the decades, none are as frustrating as Final Fantasy XII. Although the game is still praised for its story, the developers messed up the mechanics of this game so much that the original game remains largely inaccessible to most newcomers.
Players had to sell items to get in-game currency, which would be fine if everything wasn’t so expensive. The world was full of enemies, but hardly any checkpoints to give the progression a decent pace. The experience points earned after fighting barely amounted to anything, making players feel constantly under-leveled. Also, the boss fights themselves were very difficult to get through. Fortunately, the developers made a remaster of this game, with the title Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Agewhich balanced the game quite well.
3/5 Persona 5 Strikers
The Persona franchise has received a lot of attention after the successful launch and reception of the Person 5. Developed by Atlas, Persona 5 Strikers is a sequel as well as a spin-off of the original Personas 5 and sees the cast off Personas 5 come back to fight a new evil that is destroying the nation of Japan. Unlike its predecessor, the game’s combat system has been completely overhauled, shifting from turn-based to real-time hack-and-slash while still retaining some elements of the original.
Additionally, the in-game calendar system has also been removed, toning down the anxiety players felt with the original game. However, the difficulty and frustration of the dungeons and shadows remain largely unchanged. The combat is very fun and engaging, but since the map is filled with so many enemies, the camera issues during a fight sequence can become very frustrating. The bosses in the games are also cleverly overpowered, so if players don’t bring at least a handful of items that heal and restore stamina, they’re going to get wiped out over and over again.
2/5 NieR: Automata
NieR: Automata is an action role-playing game developed by Platinum Games, but it’s actually far more unique than most other JRPGs. It offers a very philosophical plot and is set in a world ravaged by alien machines. The game mixes a variety of genres including platforming, shooting, hacking and slashing, etc. NieR: Automata is a game that mostly excels at everything it tries to do, but that doesn’t mean this game isn’t frustrating to dive into.
The different game modes can take a toll on players, as they constantly have to adapt to the new fighting style. The story itself requires multiple playthroughs to fully understand, which is really cool, but it can lead to repetition, causing frustration for many players. The boss fights in this game are no joke, and with so much shooting and dodging going on in the fights, the camera can’t always keep up, leading to some very annoying moments.
1/5 Persona 5/ Persona 5 Royal
Personas 5 has not only revitalized Persona franchise in the West, but has also caused the JRPG genre to explode in popularity. This game checks all the boxes of a traditional JRPG, but pulls it off with such style and persistence that fans can’t help but be impressed. Part life simulator, part dungeon crawler, Personas 5 is the go-to JRPG for many players. However, this game is far from easy. Beneath the artistic style lies a tough combat system that will require time and patience to master.
Add on top of that a calendar system that threatens the heads of players to complete each task within a certain period, and you have one of the most frustrating games ever, but in the best possible way. The bosses in this game can literally wipe out players in minutes if they don’t have the right personalities and skills. Personas 5 is an excellent game that deliberately tries to frustrate its players so that they can learn to get better at their core mechanics. Persona 5 Royal improved on some boring factors from the original, but is mostly still as frustrating of a game as Persona 5 was.
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