With more time on my hands, I’ve been enjoying a resurgence in my gaming time. I’ve already talked about the huge amount of time I’ve sunk into Rocket League, but today I want to talk about how lockdown has rekindled my love of JRPGs.

Way back in the days of the PlayStation 1, I first came across Final Fantasy 7, and I was hooked on JRPGs. The story, characters, and scope of the game just blew my mind. How could a small CD hold so much? It also helped that being a poor kid meant you could enjoy every single one of the hundreds of hours of gameplay in FF7 without having to buy any DLC or other games.

Fast-forward to adulthood, and the prospect of juggling a JRPG of several hundred hours with a full-time job and family life, and you can guess how quickly JRPGs took a back seat in my gaming life.

Lockdown and COVID-19 has changed that, though. I now have more time than I know what to do with. I’ve tried to occupy my time with reading, Netflix, Prime Video, blogging, learning dev work on The Odin Project, and all manner of other things.

Eventually I thought of the times I played JRPGs and decided to return to them on my Nintendo Switch. Luckily it’s petty easy to pick up almost any JRPG on a good deal, and I ended up with Dragon Quest XI, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, Okami HD, Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition and a few others.

How have I been enjoying them? A lot. There’s something really calming about playing a genre of game that allows you to control every aspect of your characters, especially during a time when control in your actual life is nearly impossible, thanks to the epidemic and how it’s affected me personally.

I’ve put in nearly a hundred hours across several JRPGs and I find myself starting a game and realising it’s crazy early in the morning, before dragging myself off to sleep. It’s worth it, though, as I’ve been enjoying my gaming much more than before.

As much as JRPGs are games from an older time, with stories and gameplay loops that have barely changed over time, they can be as rewarding and fun to play in 2021 as they were all the way back when I played Final Fantasy 7 on the original PlayStation.


I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting https://100daystooffload.com.