Recently I was playing an RPG, a relatively new one. It had so much in it but it wasn't really an RPG. It had all the basic groundwork for an RPG but it didn't feel like one. I turned it off and thought back to the RPGs I grew up with. The ones that relied on the story rather than the graphics or the amount of stuff you can do. I love Morrowind but it doesn't feel like an RPG. I might even go out and buy my own 360 just for Oblivion, but they really aren't the kind of RPGs I always knew. Earthbound, which I consider to be one of the best games ever. Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Terranigma(not released over here in the US), FF3, FF4, FF7, FF8, Super Mario RPG, Legend of Dragoon(it is an awesome RPG with an immersive story, I don't care if you can't wander anywhere). These kind of games were the cream of the RPG crop. Now all traditional RPGs are being pushed to handheld. Like Golden Sun 1 & 2, Mother 3, Shining Soul 1 & 2, even most of the handheld RPGs are just ports from the old consoles, such as Mother 1+2, a ton of the FF games, even Dragon Quest.
This may seem like a way to keep RPGs in our lives, but most people skip over handheld games and go for the console. Now RPGs seem to only be MMORPGs. I know this may seem like I am whining but, sometimes I don't feel like killing a hooker or paying trainers to upgrade my sneak skill. Sometimes I don't want to pay a monthly fee just to play something that remotely resembles a Final Fantasy game. Sometimes I just want to smack a cute UFO with a baseball bat, or raise a gold chocobo so I can run across water, sometimes I want to travel back in time and still feel at home.
There was a time that RPGs had an emotional attachment. We used to get to know the people whose lives we held in our hands. We knew they had secrets from eachother and sometimes even from us but we strived to keep them going so they could save the world. But now the story has been replaced by playability and graphics. Just once more I would like to see a console get a RPG that spent 3 years under construction and the storyline immerses you into a world other than your own. I was sad when Rose gave her life so Dart could live in Legend of Dragoon. I hurt when Aries was stabbed by Sephiroth and took pleasure in using Omnislash on him as my revenge. I felt guilty when Lucca's mother lost her legs when I could have prevented it. I prayed along side four brave warriors who were only children, as I am now. Maybe those days are gone forever... But do they really have to be? I guess I may just be proven wrong when Mother 3 is released. I still would rather see it on a console but, at least I might see it.