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Among all the RPGs that have come from Japan, some stand out more than others. Final Fantasy. Tales. Persona. But there are many other good JRPGs that, for whatever reason, don’t receive the same attention or popularity.

Today, let’s take a look at a few underrated JRPGs.

(Note: I’ve only included games I have personal familiarity with. There are many other underrated JRPGs I haven’t had a chance to try yet.)

Glory of Heracles

In the West, Glory of Heracles is a turn-based JRPG that came out in 2010 for the DS. In Japan, however, it was the sixth game in the Glory of Heracles series, which started in 1987 and focuses on Greek mythology.



Mythology is popular subject matter for video games, but JRPGs with such strong Greek mythology themes are rare. Most of the games, including the localized DS game, was written by Kazushige Nojima, most famous for his work on Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts.

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon

Fragile Dreams is an unusual game, starring a young boy who searches an abandoned world in the hopes of finding other humans. Although it’s an action JRPG, it has many similarities to survival horror games, including its eerie atmosphere.

It’s certainly not a traditional JRPG, but it’s a haunting, enjoyable experience that deserves more credit than it gets.

Recettear

Recettear is a dōjin soft JRPG for the PC, which was eventually picked up by an indie localization company. Much of the game revolves around the item shop, as you must run a successful shop to pay off a large debt (with the catchphrase “Capitalism, Ho!”) before a certain date.

However, you also venture into dungeons to get items. These are (surprisingly tough) action RPG sections where you pick an adventurer and battle your way through randomly generated levels.

Magical Starsign

This one is another DS JRPG, and the sequel to the never-localized Magical Vacation.

Magical Starsign is a turn-based RPG about six magic students who travel throughout the solar system to save their teacher and stop a band of space pirates. Its combat system has some nice twists, and how can you say no to fighting space pirates?

Glory of Heracles, Fragile Dreams, Recettear, and Magical Starsign are only a few underrated RPGs from Japan. What are some of your favorite underrated JRPGs?

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