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March 5th, 2012, 23:53
Interesting article. However, one part really bugged me:
"At first blush, this seems like more of a similarity than a difference: all RPGs feature a linear main plot, in the sense that there is only ever one main plot line in the game. Having a narrative that is truly nonlinear from start to finish would be prohibitively difficult and expensive–so much so that only one game [links to Witcher 2 review] has tried anything even approaching the scale of such an undertaking."

Uhh.. what? Even if you argue that all RPGs are linear in some general way (although that's already a contentious claim), I'm not sure how Witcher 2 is the best example of nonlinearity at all. If anything, it's a profoundly linear game.

Don't get me wrong. I loved it. But having an alternate middle chapter to a linear RPG does not a nonlinear RPG make.

Edit: I also don't get how 'random battles' are one of the main differentiating features between jRPGs and wRPGs. If I had to pick 10 major differences, this certainly wouldn't be one of them. Also, there was little to no discussion of differences in class development, art style, type of story, difficulty, etc. Honestly, it's maybe not that great of a comparison.
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