Illustration for article titled You Have a Lot of Time on Your Hands. Why Not Play a JRPG?
Graphic: Atlus Games

So recent events have left a good chunk of us with an ungodly amount of free time. Weeks have felt like years. You’ve probably gotten through Tiger King, caught up on your shows and you might have already even finally beat those games you got over Christmas (me). If you’re looking for something new to kill time, might I suggest a Japanese Role-Playing Game?

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A What?

It’s basically anime you can play. Dead-ass. The battle systems are traditionally turn-based but newer games in the genre have shifted towards a more action game approach. The stories are often epic in scale, featuring protagonists that are typically mad emo but crazy powerful; they often involve building a crew featuring a dude with a mysterious past and someone utterly useless and the villain is either trying to be a god, kill a god or, in some cases, both. They also tend to run hella long.

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So, Anime?

Bruh. That’s what I just said. So, if you happen to own a gaming console or mid-powered PC, let me put you on game, right quick.

For the Dude Who Still Thinks He Can Go Super Saiyan

Illustration for article titled You Have a Lot of Time on Your Hands. Why Not Play a JRPG?
Screenshot: Bandai-Namco
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Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot

Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

If you grew up in the ’90s, you probably popped a blood vessel or two trying to go Super Saiyan. You’ve also probably had numerous arguments about who exactly could beat Goku’s ass. (I believe a case could be made for Nine-Tails Naruto running fade on Goku but that’s a story for another day.)

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Should you fall into this category, I suggest giving Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot a chance. The game is a faithful retelling of some of the most memorable stories in the series including the Cell, Frieza and Buu sagas. The gameplay fully lets you recreate the super-fast, stylish action that has resulted in generations of cousins trying to kamehameha one another.

While the game does have some jank on it and the side quest system is bland, if you’re looking for a fun way to indulge in some nostalgia, I’d definitely consider giving Kakarot a go.

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For Those Really Tryna Be About This Life

Final Fantasy XV
Final Fantasy XV
Image: Square-Enix
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Final Fantasy VII-XII, XV

Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

If your initial reaction to my description of JRPGs was “Say less,” this is for you.

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If you’re looking for a primer on what JRPGs are, then I suggest giving any one of the Final Fantasy games a run. The reason I recommend VII-XV is simply because they are both the most accessible and most affordable games in the series. I-VI all have PC mobile ports and XIII exists, but all of those are ass so we won’t talk about them.

At its prime, The Final Fantasy series was the pinnacle of the genre. While the previous decade took a bit of the shine off the series, it’s still worth playing, if only so you can know why Cloud keeps showing up in just about every fighting game. The older games use turn-based battle systems while the newest entry, Final Fantasy XV takes a more action-oriented approach if you find waiting to sock a monster in the jaw isn’t your vibe.

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If you want to experience a traditional JRPG story and battle system, any older Final Fantasy game will do the trick.

The Ultimate Time Sink

Illustration for article titled You Have a Lot of Time on Your Hands. Why Not Play a JRPG?
Graphic: Atlus Games
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Persona 5 Royal

Platform: Playstation 4

Persona 5 is no doubt one of my favorite games of this generation. Hell, it’s probably one of my favorite games of all time. It’s also long as hell, clocking in at 100 hours to beat the main game with an extra 20 hours for the added content in the Royal edition.

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The game places you as a high school student in Japan. After you slap the shit out of some creepy rich dude for harassing a woman, you’re labeled a juvenile delinquent and sent to a school in modern-day Tokyo. Around this time, an app opens up on your phone that takes you to the shadow world. Long story short, you gather up the squad, head to the shadow world and get to stomping some monsters in order to reform society. It does the most but goddamn if it doesn’t do it well.

The game plays like a combo of Pokemon, Final Fantasy and a life simulator. During the day, you build relationships with your friends and family. The stronger your relationships, the stronger your power is in the shadow world.

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If you want the most fully realized version of Persona 5, cop the Royal edition. If you’re trying to pinch your coins, the OG release will only run you 20 dollars on Playstation Network.

So, to all y’all gamers out there tired of playing 2K who don’t want to have nine-year-olds dancing all up on your corpse in Fortnite, play some JRPGs. Trust me, they go hard when you give them time.

Jr Staff Writer @TheRoot. Watcher of wrestling, player of video games. Mr. Steal Your Disney+ Password.

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