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41 comments

  • ParagonT - September 18, 2012 4:31 p.m.

    I think that its just a difference in tastes. Brutality vs. accessibility. Dragon's Dogma and a few like Star Ocean, Infinite, Phantasy Star, is some of the ones I liked, but they were pretty brutal when it came to messing up (including the examples). I liked them, but at the same time, I personally like a more streamlined game that doesn't make you revisit locations hundreds of times and makes the games pace pick up when I feel like my time is being wasted. Which is what I notice about many Japanese games. There is a good mixture of elements that I find in many Western and Japanese games that I like, but they never seem to mesh together the right way. I can't wait until Dragons Dogma comes out, but if they don't add some "western elements" into it, It's a no go for me. That game was so fun, but such a grind at times.
  • BladedFalcon - September 18, 2012 10:26 p.m.

    Um... Allow me to disagree there. Specially with the example of Dragon's Dogma. Sure, the game isn't easy, and if you try to fight certain kinds of enemies without knowing what you're doing, you're going to get your ass kicked, but actually, the game offers a LOT of accessibility and ways to make that far less frustrating. For one, as long as you're not in the middle of a fight, it allows you to save anywhere, any time, so if you know you have a big encounter coming, you can always save beforehand, and barely have to do any backtracking in order to try again in case you get killed. It's essentially the same save system Skyrim uses. Also another thing similar to skyrim, healing items. Yes, you have to mind your encumbrance, but the game allows you to pause at any time and heal yourself with plenty of options, and on that topics, you don't even have to worry if pawns get killed, because you can always revive them and they get back to half of their health, so it's not even like you have to baby sit. The game also allows you to change between vocations fairly early into the game, ensuring that if you didn't like or enjoy one vocation, you can experiment until you can find the one you want/need. A lot of RPGs don't allow for such kind of flexibility, if you chose a wrong class, you're usually screwed, EVEN in games such as Mass Effect, that otherwise allow you to re-spec your points, but not swap classes. Lastly, the game EVEN has an easy mode and offers it to you every time you die in case you simply can't get past a certain enemy. So yeah... No penalties for dying, save anywhere, heal anytime you're in a bind, change classes and start over whenever you need. How exactly is the game brutal? And honestly, I say all this... Because honestly, DD is seriously not a hard game, specially not if you compare it to the truly hardcore experiences like dark souls. And the fact that people complain about stuff like this, is why nowadays we have a lot of hand-holding, neutering game mechanics that pretty much removes any real challenge from them. Automatic regenerating health comes to mind. I'm not saying all games should be punishing or brutal, but one could actually argue that one of the main problems with gaming noways is that they've made it TOO easy, too streamlined, too neutered. And well... when people equate that with accessibility... Then yeah, publishers and developers would rather go the safe route of hand holding and accessibility instead of taking risks. And the fact that a lot of people nowadays don't even want to bother with a real challenge is rather worrying.
  • ParagonT - September 19, 2012 5:42 a.m.

    I've played through Dragons Dogma, and the traveling system "on foot" is ridiculous. I've had to fight the same enemies multiple times just to spend ten to fifteen minutes on foot to get to the spot that I wanted/needed to go to for a quest. Let alone don't get me started on the running system. Fairy-stones are a joke that really only helps late in the game, same with the (forgot it's name) crystal that allows you to set it down anywhere. One save-slot. I could go on, but I think Joe here notes them quite nicely. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGlgpncvNps When a game becomes a chore for a person to play, that's when I worry. I don't have time to sit down, travel for fifteen minutes fighting the same enemies I have before just to get to the next plot-line in a quest that most likely will send me to another area. You may have time for that, but I don't. I barely drudged through it over the summer and only because my friend and I set up LCD's next to one another cheering each other on which gave me competition to keep progressing. I love the game, don't get me wrong, but when people want something that takes too much time as if they have nothing else to do in life is worrying to me. I want to sit down, play a game, and chill out until my next class or work a have to do personally. This game is a marathon, a great game, but still a marathon. It's really up to personal opinion. Games don't have to offer a "real" challenge to be a good game. It has to entertain the audience with narrative, creativity, and more. If challenge is something you like, then that's good for you, more power to you that's why there's difficulties, but to say that all games need "challenge" or more of it is just your personal preference being painted across the board when there's much more fundamental things that need addressed which is what I'm referring to. I disagree with your disagreement.
  • BladedFalcon - September 19, 2012 7:29 a.m.

    Well, first of all, I think I misunderstood what you meant when you said grinding, and also of your use of the word "Brutal". Which made me think at first that your complaint was that the game was "Too difficult" and that's what I found to be kinda preposterous. But I see that wasn't the case, and yeah, I do agree that the traveling system can be a bother because, yes, the game doesn't really give you an option to fast travel until later, and even then it's pretty limited. Even Dark Souls was a little better in that regard. I mean, personally, i DID enjoy that at first, because it encouraged exploration and traveling trough different routes or daytimes, but yeah, after a while, it can get annoying. Also, I think my point about challenge was misunderstood. (Or more likely, I worded it poorly.) I never meant that challenge was necessary for every game, or that a real challenge was necessary to make a game good. I absolutely agree that this depends on the game and the focus it has. I mean, i absolutely love games like "To The moon" and "Journey" even though the "Challenge" in those games is pretty much non-existant. Same thing with Bioshock, which is a game that DID have good gameplay, but what stood out for me and what counts in that game for me is really the story and the setting. But my point was directed more about the overall direction of games as of late, that most games, even those who are supposed to be more about game-play and actual challenge than story or anything else, are taking the "safe" approach of linear exploration, hand-holding, and giving as little things for the player to worry about as possible. I Wouldn't mind the current state of say, FPS if there was just one or two that had the current. "walk trough this corridor, shoot dudes int he room, move on, and don't even worry to look for health packs or ammo because we have that covered for you." But my problem is that pretty much all modern shooters have taken that approach as of late, and THAT is what bothers me. Just for a last note, i will agree that "artificial" challenge is very bad, mainly the kind that doesn't require skill so much as it requires griding, repetition or pattern memorization. And yeah, some Japanese games are very guilty of that. (Disgaea in particular, comes to mind...)but then, I've also found that the most satisfying games that I've recently played in terms or real challenge have also been Japanese.
  • ParagonT - September 19, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    I'm just posting to said that I read your post, I'll type a response later in the day, I have to study for an Astrology Exam. Drink well my friend.
  • bobbystrange - September 19, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    Astrology Exam!!! WTF no said there would be a test.
  • taokaka - September 18, 2012 4:37 p.m.

    My opinion is that one of the real problems is the budget that most Japanese games have. First reason for this is lots of Japanese devs are lacking in the tech to make games whose graphics on a technical scale are comparable to western games, even if they do make up for it with the art direction. The problem this creates is many casual gamers buy games for graphics and usually their opinion on a good looking game is one that looks as close to reality as possible over a game with a colourful cartoonish art style. Another problem is of course marketing, when was the last time you saw an ad for a jrpg which you didn't intentionally seek out? while on the other hand a couple of months ago all the busses in my area had a huge max payne 3 ad on the side. My final reason for budget being an issue is the platform Japanese games are released on, most are on portable consoles instead of on home consoles. Other reasons Japanese games might not be doing so well is the voice acting. However the biggest reason in my opinion is the mentality of it, most casual/medium gamers want to play whatever their friends are playing because they know those games are good that way and just like a child with vegetables the casual gamer won't even try other games. And this creates a problem because the more people that play the popular franchises like COD, Assassins creed and battlefield then the faster they'll grow as opposed to less popular series.
  • J-Fid - September 18, 2012 9:13 p.m.

    Your last point is your best, I agree 100%.
  • shawksta - September 18, 2012 5:18 p.m.

    Platinum likes creativity and despite sales, they cares about the sales themselves, which was one of the special cases with Bayonetta, they didnt want it to die. Unique games like these, The Wonderful 101, Ace Attorney, Layton, The Trauma Center games and more need more credit, its a shame they dont sell well but the fans and support are there because they care and they dont want these unique titles to be covered by the highly selling big names.
  • Redeater - September 18, 2012 6:04 p.m.

    If they would just fix some of their awfull character designs I would be happy. Seriously, Kaim from Lost Odyssey was one of the worst designed heroes I have ever seen. A few strands of hair running down his face the entire game and armour that showed off his bare tramp stamp area......... And don't even get me started on that Poison reject from Ff13-2.
  • bobbystrange - September 19, 2012 1:08 p.m.

    just the character design? Lost Odyssey that whole game was crap! but that is a kick ass crow icon u got there!
  • bigwill1221 - September 18, 2012 6:38 p.m.

    Is there a way to have your own ideas with out being criticized?
  • Viron - September 18, 2012 8:57 p.m.

    No
  • Viron - September 18, 2012 8:59 p.m.

    Eh, I doubt that American games sell that well over there. Different strokes for different folks.
  • BladedFalcon - September 18, 2012 10:31 p.m.

    I'd actually say that the ones that need "fixing" are the customers in general, and not so much the games themselves. I believe Japanese games actually shine their best when they focus on doing their own stuff, instead of trying to cater to the west... As long as they actually put some actual effort in creating their games, but of course, this applies to any developer, anywhere.
  • FoxdenRacing - September 19, 2012 7:41 a.m.

    Amen to that, dude. I greatly enjoy the Japanese games on my shelf...but then again, I put gameplay over graphics, and good design over 'Bro that was AWESOME' set-pieces. I'll also be a gamer long after CoD and its ilk are relegated to the 'dead horse' bin along with Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero; what will drive me away is customer-unfriendly business practices, not whether a specific franchise panders to me.
  • wheresmymonkey - September 19, 2012 3:24 a.m.

    The main difference i'd say between japanese and western games is simple. Japanese games outside of japan aren't given the same kind of marketing push that the likes of Elder scrolls and mass effect have, Everyone knows months in advance when a new bethesda game is coming out because we're told about it constantly. People that don't usually play games as a hobby know about them. So they sell shedloads. There's no problem with japanese games themselves apart from when they attempt to copy the west. It's safe to assume we don't want immitators and that's where the likes of Platinum and Grasshopper have made strides. By bothering to talk to westerners and ask them what we like about japanese games instead of making assumptions they've found out that we like japanese games, because they're different. I love japanese games because they are culturally different to Western games and i think that more western devs could learn a lot from that. The fact that we all get lumped together as western says a lot about how by and large our own cultural leanings are lacking from our games. They're there. Deep down but often western games end up all feeling a little like an attempt at trying to be american in many ways, with only a few notable exceptions like fable and Overlord which are at least in their humour incredibly british. Anyway i'm rambling now. Biggesst problem as always is a misconception born out of mutterings on the internet it seems.
  • profile0000 - September 19, 2012 6:43 p.m.

    Well damn, that was a good point. I think I agree with you there.
  • Mooshon - September 19, 2012 3:57 a.m.

    For my mind the general problem with Japanese development is that they've made their games too specific for their market. I'm mainly referring to the asian preference for repetitive/grind or statistic driven mechanics that they seem to favour. Where western devs followed the hollywood route of grand, exciting, accessible projects for the mass audience - japanese developers seemed to invert and rinse and repeat existing tropes for the home crowd. I feel a bit of a comeback though. Upcoming games like Ni No Kuni really highlight the dev magic that's slowly being lost amongst the COD fodder.
  • bobbystrange - September 19, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    i know how to "fix" jap games, stop putting mario in them and stop trying to make every other game so cute and fluffy. these games now r ok for little kids but im the one who pays $60 a pop.
  • n00b - September 19, 2012 1:42 p.m.

    dark souls anyone?
  • buttfaceninja - September 19, 2012 4:48 p.m.

    My only problem with most Japanese games nowadays is the the writing and the voice acting. For instance I would really like to play the newest Star Ocean for the 360, but HOLY SHIT that voice acting. Voice acting that bad with a script that bad makes playing through a story centric game like this almost unbearable.
  • zombi3grim - September 20, 2012 5:32 a.m.

    The problem with japanese games are two fold. Either they have no variety or their WAY too damn weird. You got games that feature the Japanese perversion of underage school girls. At the same time, Japanese game series dont tend to stray too much from title to title. They stick with what works and Japanese gamers eat that shit up.
  • Sjoeki - September 20, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    IMO Japanese games haven't really changed that much, except for the graphics. While I still enjoy JRPG's and games like metal gear I can see why some people had enough of those games. And might it have something to do with how big gaming has gotten? Everybody and their mother are gaming nowadays and I think a lot of people want instant satisfaction. Especially JRPG's are games that you have to put a lot of time in to get some results. Don't really think it needs to be fixed, they just should do their own thing without looking to much to the west.

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