Another great show, guys! If any of you have heard me at all on EBP, you know I stand close to Jeff on the issue of Japanese games.

When Mass Effect 2 tells and entire, epic story with phenomenal gameplay, fantastic characters with actual relationships, and gorgeous graphics in the time that Final Fantasy XIII’s tutorial finishes, there’s a problem. Let’s take this into perspective. The Uncharted and Mass Effect games (that’s two games each) were created before Final Fantasy XIII. How does that happen? It’s not like Square Enix is some tiny little studio. I really believe the “Japanese” way of making games is in for a rude awakening. Clearly, something needs to change about the way things are done over there.

Pete talked about how Japanese games have you in the role of some super expert. From Cloud to Bayonetta, they’re already ass kickers. I like how in Dragon Age I went from a fairly typical son of a noble to the Commander of the Grey Wardens, slayer of the Archdemon. I loved going from a kid in Vault 101 to the savior of the Wasteland. Guy in a jail cell to hero of Tamriel. Even Commander Shepherd goes is technically just a commander. But (s)he gets shit done!

As my final point on the matter, I think I just hate melodrama. It’s why I can’t stand the way Samus has been characterized. As soon as what’s his name in The World Ends With You said “Nobody gets me” as his first words, I groaned. I want my character and the characters I’m with to be likable. Particularly since I’ll be spending anywhere from 30 to 100 hours with them.

Also to answer your question, Lord of the Rings: The Third Age was basically a western developed jRPG. It was FFX with a LotR skin. Actually wasn’t bad.

In other news, Halo: Reach! I spent the day playing the campaign, FFA multiplayer, and creating what I think is a really cool single flag CTF map in Forge World. Expect to hear me ramble about it all on this week’s EBP, but this is truly great stuff! I’ll be playing a lot this week, I’m sure. So look for me if you want to jump into a game.