If you are a long-time reader of the site, then you will be familiar with the result of the British publisher Bitmap books, which produced similar Game Boy: The Box Art Collection and The SNES Visual Compendium. You can as well pay attention to the talents of one Kurt Kalata, who contributes to Nintendo Life via reviews and functionality.
The news that these two powerful forces have combined to create A Guide to Japanese Role Playing Games should come as a welcome addition during a rather torrid time at global events, but before we allow you to get there too much excited, we should note that the book is now totally over sold out (don’t say we didn’t warn you).
However, while it is now impossible to purchase this volume from the original publisher (eBay is an option), we thought you might want to check out the book soon, as our copy arrived in the office recently.
Kalata is joined by a wide range of JRPG experts and the book delves into the history of the genre, highlighting classic examples such as Final Fantasy, Emblem of Fire, Dragon Quest and Chrono Trigger. However, this is not completely focused on known titles and gives way to darker games, including Romanica, Princess Crown and the rather bad ones Dragon Knight would be. There are several titles included that are found somewhere, too, such as the 16-bit cult classics Soul Blazer and Country speakers.
Each entry has an in-depth description or review, and there are screenshots and art boxes to accompany it. There are also chapters that discuss aspects of JRPG games such as location, anime adaptations and even the soundtracks of these often seminal releases.
A Guide to Japanese Role-Playing Games is impeccably designed and brilliantly written, as is the case with so many releases of Bitmap Books. An additional stock of the standard edition is expected to arrive in October, but for now, this complete catalog of great JRPGs is likely to remain tantalizing beyond the reach of many.