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Casinos and Gambling in JRPGs: Should We See More?

Rate this Article Casinos and gambling in general play a significant role in gaming, not just in western games but also in Japanese RPGs (or JRPGs). This raises the question: should we see more of them? Online Anime Games - Casinos and Gambling in JRPGs: Should We See More?

Japanese games are massive in the gaming industry. Our friends in the Land of the Rising Sun have made franchises like Mario, Dark Souls, Resident Evil, and the Tales games. Some of the best roleplaying games (or RPGs) today are JRPGs. Yes, most of them are anime-style adventures where you venture forth into the world, going through an anime-ish plot.

Many of these games have casinos or casino-like areas you can play in. After all, pachinko machines are popular, and although gambling is illegal in the country, it maintains a prominent place in Japanese society and fictional works. Just look at anime and live-action series like Kakegurui and Liar Game.

The whole thing brings us to ask: should we see more of these casinos and gambling mechanics in games? We agree. Japanese game developers have done a great job integrating them into various franchises and the games played are as authentic as those games in Gambling Sites in Thailand. If you’re not convinced, let’s take a good look at a few fantastic examples:

Pokémon: The Celadon Game Corner

Celadon Game Corner

Wait, what? Pokémon had some sort of a casino?

As early as Generation I, the Pokémon franchise already had one in the form of the Celadon Game Corner. Run by the nefarious Team Rocket at the time, it mainly offers slot machine games where you can earn a payout as high as 300 tokens. In the succeeding Pokémon generations, it changed form, offering Card Flip and Voltorb Flip games. If you manage to earn coins, you can exchange them for prizes, most notably Pokémon like Porygon and Dratini.

Unfortunately, the game corner had to be removed in future iterations, including the Switch remakes, “Let’s Go Pikachu” and “Let’s Go Eevee”, since it impacted the games’ PEGI classifications.

Dragon Quest XI’s casinos

Dragon Quest XI

Sometimes, even reincarnations of a hero of a forgotten past need some downtime. As the Luminary in Dragon Quest XI, you’ll fight hordes of monsters, travel intercontinental borders, deal with the relentless pursuit by the King’s army, and….play poker in a casino?

Well, yes. There are two casinos in Dragon Quest XI, and there are three games you can play, including the above-mentioned poker, slots, and roulette. Maximizing your earnings in both places is a must, considering that you can exchange tokens for prizes, with one being a bunny suit for Jade.

Yakuza Casinos

Yakuza casino

The Yakuza, the Japanese version of the mafia, are known for their strict code and are all affiliated with underground activities, including illegal casinos. It’s no surprise that the game franchise that features a rather wacky depiction of these organizations includes casinos in its game world.

The Yakuza franchise spans several games, including Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza 0. Both games have casinos, and in the latter, you can play several staples, including poker, baccarat, blackjack, and roulette. Some even have eastern games like Cee-lo and Cho-han. Meanwhile, the newest game, Lost Judgment, has its own gambling parlor.

Considering that casinos are a fixture in Yakuza, we don’t think that there’s absolutely any way they’ll disappear.

Overall, casinos and gambling mechanics will always be a welcome addition to JRPGs. They provide not only a welcome break from all the fantastical adventuring and world-saving encounters but also items (or prizes) that can help you in your journey. Here’s to hoping we’ll see more of them in the near future.

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