Quite obviously Japanese Role-playing Game, or JRPG for short. I love love love them! As to the reason why, that’s a many-pronged answer.
The biggest reason would be the story. To me, games are the new platform for stories. It’s one step up from a movie because you can physically run around as a character and be immersed in their world. JRPGs are rather linear in their storytelling, meaning that there is only one “right” way to go to progress to the correct end (of course there can be multiple endings but when you see this, usually in the walkthroughs they are called ‘bad’ endings because that’s not the true ending meant for the player to experience). When I type this, I’m thinking of comparing JRPGs to a game such as Fable where there many functions in the game that can influence what happens (I’ve only played Fable III once through and did the ending where I was good, so I can’t say I know what happens with everything). Anyway, I diverge. I like the linear-ness (if that’s even a word, oh well, it is now) of JRPGs because that’s what I like in playing and making a game. I like to know where I’m going, where I should be headed. What I mean by that is I know what I need to do to progress the game to the next stage. If I know that, then I don’t feel I’m running around aimlessly when I go off to explore all the nooks & crannies or do side-quests/events.
The other things I love about JRPGs are the music and the visuals. Anime cutscenes (squeeeeeeeeeee! If a game has them, it makes me inexplicably happy) and a great soundtrack tops my list of wants along with a great story. JRPGs seem to succeed in these areas without fail (in truth, I haven’t found one that’s let me down yet). Stylised graphics are also a big plus to me. I’m not a big fan of making everything seem realistic. Real life is real enough for me thanks.
Hrm… I think that’s about it.
Oh, one more thing. The games I am designing seem to fit into the JRPG genre quite snugly. I wonder if that’s because I liked JRPGs first and thus tailored them to fit, or if JRPGs influenced my writing and design. Very chicken-egg.
Here’s a link to a list of some of the well-known JRPGs and some of their series: Wiki’s list
Image source: http://www.nintendojo.com/features/editorials/jrpg101-plot-writing-for-jrpgs