Game news Those J-RPGs of less than 30 hours that you are sure to finish
J-RPGs are renowned for their often long lifespan which prevents many players from seeing the end of it. However, some offer a more condensed adventure that is nonetheless effective. For all of these reasons, we’ve brought you a selection of the best short J-RPGs you can still get your hands on.
Before starting this selection, a few details about the selection criteria. First of all, the first is that it must be J-RPG of twenty hours of play, thirty at most. For this, we will use the site HowLongToBeat which gives an idea of the lifespan of a game from the experience of the players. Then the second is that the game should be easy to get hold of right now, that is, titles that are no longer available on current machines will not appear in the list. Thus, some obvious titles like Parasite Eve, Vagrant Story, Suikoden, EarthBound or Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII are unfortunately not present, but we allow ourselves to mention them to you here.
- The classics
- Chrono Trigger
- The Ys series
- The original concepts
- Child of Light
- Voice of Cards : The Isle Dragon Roars
- Switch exclusives
- The World Ends With You -Final Remix-
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country
- The compilations
- .hack//G.U. Last Recode
- Langrisser I & II
- The Mana series
Considered by many to be one of the best J-RPGs of all time, Chrono Trigger was released on PC in 2018 to say the least … complicated. Indeed, this version was based on the mobile port of the game itself based on the DS port which explains its disappointing rendering given the aura of the title. Fortunately, For three years, this version has been greatly improved since the game now displays a large majority of very positive reviews from Steam users. Thus, it is finally possible to take advantage of this title which offers you to travel from one era to another by playing Chrono, a quite lambda young man with an iconic look. Thanks to the team behind the project (Hironobu Sakaguchi, the “daddy” of Final Fantasy, Yuji Horii, the “daddy” of Dragon Quest and Akira Toriyama, the author of Dragon Ball), the game is a real gem and symbolizes all the know-how of Square from that time.
The Ys series
Despite its impressive longevity, the Ys series is much less well known in the West than in Japan. If you’re not familiar with the franchise, be aware that these are ultra-dynamic Action-RPGs, especially when it comes to the more recent episodes that have moved to 3D. Unfortunately, to take advantage of this nervous gameplay, it will be necessary to override an often very dated technique that characterizes the saga. If this is your case, then you can take advantage of many generous games that are also available on many media. We would tend to recommend Ys Origin, prequel to the very first episode available on many media, even if the graphic aspect may put off more than one. To take advantage of the series’ 3D debut, Ys: Memories of Celceta and Ys Seven are good entry points. Finally, we would have liked to suggest the last two episodes to date, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana and Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, but these do not fit into our criteria because of their long lifespan. Finally, note that the series remains fairly accessible since most of its episodes are available on PC and gradually land on PS4 and Switch and last on average twenty to thirty hours.
- Lifespan: 10-25h
- Available on PC PS4 Switch iOS Android
The original concepts
Child of Light
Although it was developed and published by Ubisoft, Child of Light remains to be considered as a J-RPG by its structure and its combat system which is notably reminiscent of Grandia. Behind this title that can be found at a low price on many media, we find a game with the appearance of a fairy tale that offers dialogues written in verse and hand-made sets of great beauty accompanied by a successful soundtrack. However, the game does not forget to deliver an interesting combat system with turn-based confrontations accessible but which also allow a certain strategy. And with its lifespan of around ten hours, it is only logical that Child of Light occupies a place in our selection.
First announced in 2019, Cris Tales caught the attention of the general public with its colorful, handmade graphics. Developed by the Colombian studio Dreams Uncorporated, the experiment is based on an original principle of manipulation of time to gain the advantage over the enemy. Indeed, the heroine, Crisbell, can wander between the past and the future to act on her present. For example, she can send a poisoned enemy into the future to succumb to their wounds faster, or plant a seed in the past to give a tree in the present. In addition to this efficient mechanics, the title benefits from neat graphics with a shimmering art direction, as well as an excellent soundtrack. Beyond its lifespan of about twenty hours, Cris Tales is included in the Xbox Game Pass which may convince some to give it a try.
Voice of Cards : The Isle Dragon Roars
Announced discreetly in September, Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is the new project of Yoko Taro, author to whom we owe NieR Automata, NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139 … or the Drakengard series. Like he usually does, the Japanese creator offers us an original experience in a world where everything is represented by cards, from sets to characters, including objects and enemies. However, a little subtlety: Voice of Cards is a game WITH cards, not a game OF cards. In other words, there is no question here of build or deck of cards to be formed, the fights take the form of classic turn-based J-RPG clashes where each character has his own abilities. Thus, with its funny writing, its beautiful illustrations and its excellent soundtrack, Voice of Cards has all the cards in hand to be an effective fifteen hour adventure that we highly recommend.
The World Ends With You -Final Remix-
While its sequel, NEO: The World Ends With You, released earlier this year, the first The World Ends With You was released on Switch in 2018. In an adventure developed by the Kingdom Hearts teams, we play Neku, a talented teenager in the art of graffiti, who one day receives a message that obliges him to participate in tests on pain of disappearing. A young girl named Shiki joins him to help him defeat the dark organization behind this deadly game: the Reapers. To face the monsters that await him, our hero can use pins that grant him different powers through real-time battles. Players will also be able to enjoy Shibuya, this district in the heart of Tokyo, as well as a super punchy soundtrack. With its lifespan of about twenty hours, it was logical that The World Ends With You -Final Remix- is present in our selection.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country
If the Xenoblades are known to be particularly long titles, there is still one with a reasonable lifespan. Available in stand-alone in its physical version, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is an extension included in the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 season pass which acts as a prequel since it focuses on the history of the antagonists of the original game. We then follow the adventures of Jin and his pilot Lora who will witness the fall of Torna for an intimate and touching adventure. With its approach reminiscent of MMORPGs, the title offers a more accessible and readable gameplay which allows in particular to control the blades, these beings who accompany the pilots. Finally, this is the shortest content of the saga, since the experience will take you more than twenty to see the end of it.
.hack//G.U. Last Recode
If we rather know CyberConnect 2 for its anime adaptations in video games (the Naruto series: Ultimate Ninja, Dragon Ball Z Kakarot, Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles …), the studio has also created its own franchises. like .hack. More than video games, it is a cross-media universe created in 2002 which began with the anime.hack // Sign followed the same year of the game .hack // Infection Part 1. As a common point, the first four games take place in a fictional MMORPG called The World, much like Sword Art Online before its time, while the gameplay is more like an Action-RPG. But after years of discretion with us, the series came back with .hack // GU Last Recode, a compilation that brings the saga of .hack // GU up to date, which includes three PS2 games, namely .hack // GU Vol.1 // Rebirth, .hack // GU Vol.2 // Reminisce and .hack // GU Vol.3 // Redemption. Each of them has a lifespan of around 25-30 hours of play, these also enjoy HD smoothing with gameplay and cinematics at 1080p and 60fps in this collection.
Langrisser I & II
Little known among us, Langrisser is a series of Tactical-RPG started in 1991 on MegaDrive which takes place in a fantastic-Germanic setting. The first episode saw some success when it launched in Japan thanks to its full-scale battles in which players could control more than 30 units simultaneously. At the combat level, there is a rock-paper-scissors system where certain categories of weapons are more effective against others and weak against others. A mechanic reminiscent of Fire Emblem which was Langrisser’s great rival at the time. Following the recent success of Langrisser Mobile, the saga had the right to be put forward thanks to Langrisser I & II which is none other than a compilation of the first two episodes brought up to date with in particular a new character design.
- Lifespan: 10h-15h per episode
- Available on PC PS4 Switch
The Mana series
Famous Square Enix Action-RPG Series, the various games of the Mana franchise (known in Japan as Seiken Densetsu) are also renowned for their relatively short lifespan for Action-RPGs. Thus, you can try your hand at the three games of the saga, Mystic Quest, Secret of Mana and Trials of Mana, in their original version thanks to the Collection of Mana available only on Switch. If you want to do Secret of Mana, it is rather to this edition that we prefer to redirect you rather than to the remake of 2018. As for Trials of Mana, note that the 2020 version is doing everything. the same better. Finally, more recently, the fourth episode of the saga was entitled to a remastered version with Legend of Mana (2021) released earlier in the year.