Decided to apply my game design skills to coming up with a reasonably definitive set of guidelines for what makes something a JRPG. -Major gameplay POV/context shift between combat and non-combat scenarios. (aka, has a 'battle screen', which really, almost completely defines the genre by itself). -Combat largely based on damage numbers over strategy/tactics (as in, given a combat scenario, it is more likely that winning is simply about doing a specific amount of damage, rather than finding an appropriate strategy) -combat is oriented around resource management over controls management (aka, more about numbers than action, ie. mana left, or strength stat, is more important than your ability to manipulate the controls to avoid being hit and to position yourself for attacks). I think that should about cover it. I think the definition is narrow enough to exclude both action and strategy RPGs (kingdom hearts/final fantasy tactics), while including every single JRPG I have ever played. There are some JRPGs that bend these rules to some extent, but not so much as to escape them completely, or land in a situation where any two of them don't apply. Also, interestingly enough, I compared the rules against popular western RPGs, and the ones I considered tend to never adhere to the first rule, and then break the second rule frequently.