Bitmap Books is publishing A Guide to Japanese Role-Playing Games, a massive 652-page book covering probably every JRPG you can think of, on June 14 for £34.99 ($48.54). As the publisher notes, Japanese RPGs originally had a good bit in common with western RPGs, but JRPGs swiftly became their own beast entirely, and this book intends to cover the full story: “From Dragon Quest to Final Fantasy, from Megami Tensei to Pokémon, A Guide to Japanese Role-Playing Games explores the expansive history of Japanese role-playing games, beginning on 8-bit microcomputers, and following them all the way up to the heavy hitters of the modern era.”
Hardcore Gaming 101‘s Kurt Kalata helmed the book’s creation, which ultimately reviews over 600 JRPGs and contains over 370,000 words compiled from assorted fans and journalists. Genres somewhat adjacent to pure RPGs are also included, such as strategy RPGs like Fire Emblem and roguelikes like Mystery Dungeon. Purchasing the physical book will come with a free PDF copy as well.
Additionally, there will be a collector’s edition limited to 2,000 copies that comes “housed within a heavy-board slipcase, embossed with metallic silver foil details.” It also includes a bookmark, set of postcards, A2 poster, and even a 2 GB pixel heart USB drive that comes packed with indie JRPGs currently in development.
Japanese RPGs have been my favorite game genre since before I could even read, as I would just watch my brother play them. So I’m pretty excited for A Guide to Japanese Role-Playing Games. What about you? Check out the listing for the full, enormous list of games. (It has Lunar and Illusion of Gaia, so I’m good to go.)