Great RPGs/JRPGs for tablet play?
January 5, 2013 11:51 AM   Subscribe

Are there any really, really great RPGs/JRPGs for either the iPad or the Kindle Fire?

I've got the JRPG itch again, but seldom have the long uninterrupted periods in front of the console required to enjoy one. I'm wondering if there's a truly great, well-written, compelling game for either of my tablets, the iPad or the Kindle Fire.

The two games in the genre that I've adored are Eternal Sonata and Valkyria Chronicles. I love the artwork, the music, the story, the emotion. Not a big fan of grinding, but willing to put up with a little bit of it if there's a great story underneath (hence Eternal Sonata).

I know that Persona is probably right up my alley, but a Vita isn't in the budget right now. Are there any RPGs or JRPGs for the tablets that will absolutely wow me? I've looked in the app stores, but they seem just crammed full of free-to-play social junk.
posted by jbickers to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
Not a JRPG but Baldur's Gate is out on iPad now. One of the best RPGs of all time, easy.

Avadon: The Black Fortress is also pretty neat.
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:00 PM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Square has been releasing a bunch of their old titles on iOS if you like their games. They're pretty spendy, though. I see Final Fantasy Tactics (which is excellent even with the grinding) as well as Final Fantasy III and IV (two of the best in the series) at a quick glance.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 12:04 PM on January 5, 2013

Avadon is good.

Spiderweb software also has Avernum: Escape from the Pit and Avernum VI available for the ipad. I like both Avernums better than Avadon. (The Avernums have been rewritten several times, that's why I and VI are out for iPad, but none of the others)
posted by pseudonick at 12:17 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ghostride: I've never played a FF title before. Given that my preferences are newer, slicker titles like Valkyria, do you think they'll be any fun for me, or will they feel dated? (For instance, I've got Vandal Story on my PSP, which everybody tells me is great, but I just can't get excited about it because I'm used to the newer/better graphics and sound.)
posted by jbickers at 12:19 PM on January 5, 2013

The World Ends With You isn't a typical fantasy JRPG party RPG, but it is well written and highly enjoyable--I played it first on the DS and rebought for the iPad because I loved it so much.

(If you have a PSP, you might also look into Persona 3 Portable.)
posted by angst at 12:24 PM on January 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

Final Fantasy IV was recently released. It's based on the DS port from a few years back. If you remember playing earlier versions of FFIV, it's a great way to relive that. If you want new, challenging gameplay, there's that too. FFIV can seem a bit cliched to contemporary JRPG players; that's because it invented the cliches.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:23 PM on January 5, 2013

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery is not really a JRPG, but it was well-received, it's playable on iOS devices, and it's a joy to play.

Bastion is available for iOS. It's a colorful and fun game in the classic Zelda mold.

Finally, there is an iOS version of Lunar: Silver Star. It's easy for an oldie (not much grinding), it's much beloved by fans for its sentimental story, and it's got sprites instead of polygons, so it may be easier on your eyes.
posted by Nomyte at 2:14 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you're looking for a "newer, slicker jRPG", you really can't go wrong with The World Ends With You. It was one of the freshest jRPGs for the DS, and the iPad version is thoroughly polished from there.
posted by Oktober at 2:40 PM on January 5, 2013

Yeah, the games I mentioned are sort of...they're like when you see Citizen Kane, you go "What, that's it? I've seen all that before," not realizing Citizen Kane is the entire reason you've seen all that before.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 4:37 PM on January 5, 2013

Ghostride's advice is spot on. If you're looking for old school JRPGs, open up your iPad, go to the app store, and buy Square games. The controls can be a bit fiddly, but they generally translate well. I believe FFIII is free - probably in the hopes that if you like it you'll buy the rest of the series. (Not a bad idea - $15 for a game that will take me over a week to play through seems reasonable.)
posted by BenevolentActor at 8:08 AM on January 6, 2013

Pocket Tactics RPG of the year article features a roundup of contenders.
posted by zamboni at 10:30 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

Chrono Trigger is on iOS, as is Final Fantasy Tactics!
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:31 PM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

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