From Ys to Final Fantasy, Japanese role-playing games, have been a staple of gaming for decades. Whether solo or with other players, it is thrilling and challenging to spend time leveling up your characters, fighting enemies, and experiencing an engaging storyline. While there isn’t usually much competition involved, the elements of strategy and character customization might make JRPGs become an exciting part of eSports.
In 2018, Square Enix released Dissidia NT, a 3-on-3 player vs player brawler bringing together Final Fantasy characters from different games. An MCV article stated that the game’s popularity in Japan has resulted in people coming together and holding tournaments. The Playstation 4 game involves the characters beating the crap out of each other with flashy attacks in a manner similar to other fighting games like Smash Bros or Powerstone.
If other JRPGs were to follow suit, it could be a way to put a fresh spin on JRPGs while still maintain what originally drew people to them. By combining a solo, offline story mode with a co-op or multi-player battle mode, players could hone their skills with a character or make their own battle stages before fighting others. Here are some games that could make a splash in Esports.
Even though Square Enix already has one PVP brawler, there is certainly no harm in them making another. Kingdom Hearts is an action RPG franchise that mainly combines Disney characters, Final Fantasy characters, and original characters in an epic, convoluted world saving adventure. Although most games are solo player, the three party team mechanic could easily translate to PVP gameplay. Not only do the original characters alone have interesting combat mechanics, a character building option similar to the one in the Kingdom Hearts Union X mobile game would make things even more fun.
The iconic monster taming RPG already has a PVP mode that launched in January 2019. Using your phone, you can battle other players that are nearby locally or at a distance (though you have to be a certain level to do the latter). These PVP battles are special because they are a test of how well you have leveled up your Pokémon on your own and they are a way to bring fans together in the real world. As much fun as the three-on-three battles are on a small screen, it would be awesome to see the Pokémon duking it out on a giant Esports arena screen or as a hologram!
While not as well known as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, the Tales Of franchise certainly packs enough of a punch to be a PVP experience. Each game has characters with unique abilities, so putting them in a PVP setting would be exciting. While typically a console game, the game could also work as a PC game similar to that of the MMORPG Tales of Eternia, which was active exclusively in Japan from 2006-2007.
The Legend of Zelda
By taking the same combat mechanics the Legend of Zelda has in the Smash Bros games and applying them to a PVP fighting game exclusive only to the world of The Legend of Zelda, interesting things might happen. You could have the Phantom Guardian Zelda from Spirit Tracks fighting Sheik from Ocarina of Time. You could have stages inspired by different dungeons or different overworlds from different Legend of Zelda games. The possibilities are endless given the amount of games in the franchise.
For those who want a more tactical approach to RPGs, Valkyria Chronicles is a go-to game. Using a battle system called BLITZ (Battle of Live Tactical Zones), the player can control each individual unit through Action Mode and Target Mode. Different characters have specific roles; one might be a rifle toting scout and another could use tanks. This game combines the mechanics of a first person shooter with a tactical RPG, so it would make a unique additional to the Esports world.1