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"im sorry japanese guy!.......but your country's games are f------ terrible nowadays."

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I suppose one point is that for your typical European or American gamer, even if you lean towards Japanese games as I do, the games that make the journey from East to West are a tiny subset of Japanese gaming as a whole. So we just get a small snapshot of the state of Japanese development. Even Vanquish, a game that is enormously Japanese in my mind, is a Western game by their standards. Judging Japanese games on the output of Capcom or Nintendo doesn't reflect their industry as a whole.

When I see the weekly Media Create charts on GAF, outside of the Nintendo games, it's common for me to not recognise any of the other games. I think it was last month that a PS3 game debuted at number one and in the space of a couple of weeks, was one of the highest selling PS3 games. I'd never heard of it, and can't even remember its name.
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The main problem with Japanese games is that it seems the developers are only now catching up while in the past they used to be tech leaders, at least on the console platforms. Who can forget seeing games like Ocarina of Time, Devil May Cry or Ico for the first time? Japanese games were slick, polished and amazing while western games often felt quite clunky in comparison. These days it's the other way round, apart from a few notable exceptions (the From and Platina games for example), Japanese games often feel 'old' in the way they control - often twitchy with bad behaving cameras -, they often don't look the part and they are riddled with these old fashioned videogame idioms that now feel out of place (like showing seperate screens when picking up objects Resi style or confusing interfaces with pages of stats and obscure options). The gap between East and West seems to have increased, with many Japanese developers focussing on ever less accessible portable oddities and the West going for full blockbuster mode. I guess that's why a game like Dark Souls felt like such a fresh wind; it had great production values but at the same time felt exotic, in a good way.
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Its an interesting topic the west vs east thing,

It sometimes seems that western developers suffer from an inferiority complex and have to overcompensate with bold claims. on the other hand, some Japanese developers tend to put themselves down as well...I dont know why they have to do that. Miyamoto never goes around deploring japanese game makers...he even had something nice to say about Angry brids or something.

It seems to me quite a dialectical relationship...they reinforce themselves by their opposition. I think its shallow to look at the situation in terms of 'Japan losing the tech race'...because they dont seem to be even competing right now. some are, and these are the developers tham maybe wish Japanese games were more cutting edge, but its only a narrow share of the overall pie IMO.

In practice, for me the best thing western developers could learn from Japan is: mandatory time/score attack for all games.

the best feature Japanese developers could learn from the west: replay saving and uploading to youtube as a standard feature for all games.

Best of both words.
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The main issue I've noticed with japanese games, well Capcom and Namco at least, is that the DLC is often terrible. Expensive music remixes n ridge racer, unlock keys for Katamari, ludicrously expensive costumes that are already on the disc. All that stuff. Probably not a uniquely japanese issue, but there doesn't seem to be as much in the way of involved story based content post-release, for example.

If Capcom gave Street Fighter the kind of aftercare that Bungie and Valve provide then I doubt I'd play any other games.
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I don't think the Japanese have ever been tech leaders - it's just there was a focus on console and arcade development over there (so hardware dedicated to shifting sprites / scroll layers etc.) where in the west the focus used to be more on home computers (less powerful at face value but infinetly more flexible). And Japanese devs were always traditionally good at rock solid game mechanics, plenty of polish and a talent for honing ideas through itteration. In like for like comparisons in genres that were popular in the 8bit and 16bit eras western stuff usually came out lacking.

But where are the 8-bit Japanese equivalents to Elite, Stunt Car Racer, Fairlight, Mercenary, Thrust, Exile etc. games that achieved the impossible on ultra limited hardware? Who are the Japanese equivalent of Bullfrog or Looking Glass? I don't think I saw a single Japanese game with realistic physics or inertia before this gen. Environments were always very static and limited.

So in the west developers traditionally had a much more flexible approach to game design which has stood them well as hardware has become massively more powerful, and they've learned from the strong points of Japanese development where (typically) Japanese developers refused to even acknowledge Western design.

Peronally I mainly buy western games but my all time favourites are probably split 50/50 between Japanese and western.
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[quote name='Napole0n' timestamp='1334303182' post='8549998']
The main problem with Japanese games is that it seems the developers are only now catching up while in the past they used to be tech leaders, at least on the console platforms. Who can forget seeing games like Ocarina of Time, Devil May Cry or Ico for the first time? Japanese games were slick, polished and amazing while western games often felt quite clunky in comparison. These days it's the other way round, apart from a few notable exceptions (the From and Platina games for example), Japanese games often feel 'old' in the way they control - often twitchy with bad behaving cameras -, they often don't look the part and they are riddled with these old fashioned videogame idioms that now feel out of place (like showing seperate screens when picking up objects Resi style or confusing interfaces with pages of stats and obscure options).
[/quote]

Yeah, I've come to a similar conclusion. Horrendous difficulty spikes, poor checkpoint placement, terrible camera controls, strange and inconsistent button mapping, counter-intuative UI elements - things the west have sorted out in recent times don't seem to have carried over in the 3D era to Japan (even Nintendo, who have been leaders in 3D control systems in the past seem to have struggled recently).

Perhaps its a taste thing, but I see games like Splinter Cell as 'correcting' everything that's wrong with Metal Gear Solid. Both from a camera perspective, and a control one.

Feel free to disagree, but there's a reason why Capcom outsourced the Metal Gear controls and camera system to the West - they just seem to get these critical game aspects right.

Fighting games, turn based RPG's though, the West lag way, way behind, no doubt.
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[quote name='Venice Cull' timestamp='1334307589' post='8550123']
I see games like Splinter Cell as 'correcting' everything that's wrong with Metal Gear Solid. Both from a camera perspective, and a control one.
[/quote]
Those are literally the only two things better about Splinter Cell, the rest is the pinnacle of boredom compared to Metal Gear. And Solid Snake has more charisma in his bandana than Sam Fisher has in his entire body.

So, yeah, this illustrates the difference between Western and Japanese games nicely indeed.
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[quote name='matt0' timestamp='1334306362' post='8550081']
Who are the Japanese equivalent of Bullfrog or Looking Glass?
[/quote]

If by this, do you mean who are the Japanese developers whose output is better than Bullfrog and Looking Glass, the answer is: all of them.

Clive is right in one regard. Japan has alway favoured -- hmm, what's a nice way to describe it -- unique controls. At least the bulk of Japan has finally seen the light and adopted dual analogue controls. There have been far too many control scheme horrors from Japan over the years. Kid Icarus being the latest.
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A developer better than Looking Glass? I wish such a thing existed!

Edit: it's really silly comparing Japanese and Western devs directly like that. But man, saying that whatever dev (Japanese or not) is better than Looking Glass is like saying you rate Spice World higher than the Godfather - fair enough, but don't mind me thinking you have the worst taste ever. Anyway, as you were with the playground disagreement.
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Looking Glass are just a really odd team to highlight, that's all. They might have nailed a niche genre favoured by their own region, but there's a long list of Japanese devs who have done the same.
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I can't believe the guy who directed the cutscenes for Silent Hill and Silent Hill 2 now works at EA making fucking James Bond games.
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Western games, at least the non-indie ones, all seem to go for realism. Splinter Cell vs MGS is a good example. I'd much rather play MGS than Splinter Cell, even though SC looks and controls better... SC is just so dull and po-faced. It takes itself far too seriously. The people who play it take it far too seriously. I'm playing MGS3 just now and it just utterly bat shit insane. Those bosses?? Totally out there. Even the credits at the beginning - there's no way a major western blockbuster would go as crazy as that. RE:R recently as well - again, it's just utterly insane. It makes no sense at all... and that's what's great about it.

No one in the west would ever have a character in a 'survival horror' game like this one:

[img]http://images.wikia.com/residentevil/images/8/84/Merchant_re4.jpg[/img]
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[quote name='SPE' timestamp='1334310761' post='8550230']
Looking Glass are just a really odd team to highlight, that's all. They might have nailed a niche genre favoured by their own region, but there's a long list of Japanese devs who have done the same.
[/quote]
And that's one the reason why such direct comparisons don't work, the thread topic is already threading thin ice and starting to argue which Western dev is the equivalent of which Japanese dev just makes the whole thing implode under the weight of its sheer silliness.
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there is a comparison though with the 'approach' to the games... In general, the sheer mentalness of Japanese games makes them memorable. I've played countless western games that I've really enjoyed, but can barely remember... ironically, I think one that does come pretty close is Modern Warfare 2. I think it had strong characters and crazy plotting...

Can you imagine ANYTHING like Killer 7 coming out of the west?
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[quote name='scottcr' timestamp='1334310933' post='8550238']
Western games, at least the non-indie ones, all seem to go for realism.
[/quote]
Are they? How do you define realistic? Personally I don't see much realism in games like Batman Arkham Asylum/City, Fallout or Uncharted even though they may have character models that don't look Nickelodeon cartoon rejects.
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Fair point on Batman and Uncharted... U2 being one of my all time favourites.... but I see lots of realism and extremely dull characters in Fallout - part of why I thought it was an utter crushing bore of a game.
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[quote name='Forsaken' timestamp='1334239006' post='8548652']I don't think I know a small interesting game that's come from the jap indie scene. Not defending a stupid generalisation.
[/quote]

Because they are mostly available on Japanese mobile/hand-held gaming platforms and/or will never get released outside of Japan.
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[quote name='SPE' timestamp='1334281444' post='8549861']
As far as I'm concerned, the best retail games this gen have all come from the top tier of Japanese developers.

Nintendo, Platinum Games, From Software and Capcom.

Even if the games the above produced aren't your thing, you can't argue about their quality, polish, inventiveness and art. Doing a like for like with their closest Western counterpart, and I'd say that the Japanese games easily beat their highly acclaimed Western equivalents. Bayonetta or Batman, Vanquish or Gears, [b]Demons/Dark Souls or Skyrim[/b], Street Fighter IV or MK, Nintendo or, well anything.

[/quote]

what pipe are you smoking?
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[quote name='Oh Danny Boy' timestamp='1334311925' post='8550274']
what pipe are you smoking?
[/quote]

The pipe of truth.
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I don't dismiss the games - where a game comes from doesn't bother me...I'll still play them... unless, of course it's from Nintendo and therefore it trumps everything purely by default...

I suppose I'm still reeling from my massive disappointment in Skyrim. That type of game has so much potential, but, for me at least, it's being taken in the wrong direction.
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[quote name='scottcr' timestamp='1334312808' post='8550310']
I suppose I'm still reeling from my massive disappointment in Skyrim. That type of game has so much potential, but, for me at least, it's being taken in the wrong direction.
[/quote]
You should check out some of the stuff coming from indie devs, it's in the exact opposite direction of Skyrim and Mass Effect. Legend of Grimrock, Scott, Legend of Grimrock :wub:
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[quote name='Mr. Gerbik' timestamp='1334313065' post='8550322']
You should check out some of the stuff coming from indie devs, it's in the exact opposite direction of Skyrim and Mass Effect. Legend of Grimrock, Scott, Legend of Grimrock :wub:
[/quote]

Oh don't worry - Legend of Grimrock is getting BOUGHT THE FUCK OUT OF.
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