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Japanese or Western games?


Japanese or Western games   

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To me, this would be a total no-brainer.

 

Despite an upbringing of home micro computers and eventually the Amiga, all of which I was obsessed with at the time, I have no particular affection for those days or those games. I never got into PC gaming and I've never been very interested in the genres which grew out of the 90s PC scene.

 

My most profound gaming memories are NES, SNES, N64 and PS1. I then had a few lean years where I just wasn't interested before the Wii and DS brought me back in.

 

There is literally no choice for me. I would choose Japanese games in a heartbeat, but I would be very sad to lose Skyrim, TLOU, the original Tomb Raider and Wipeout 2097. Maybe the Forza Horizon series, to make it a round five. 

 

If I were to make a similar list for Japanese games, I think it would be in the hundreds.

 

What about yourself?

 

 

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I feel like this is a callout thread :P 

 

The main games I picked up this year were FFVII, Persona 5 Royal and Yakuza, so I definitely lean towards JP offerings. At the same time, there are some great indie offerings from east and west (and I pour endless hours into Destiny :blush: )

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If you asked me even three years ago then I'd say Japanese without hesitation, but since then, the majority of the best games I've played have been developed outside of Japan - TLOU 2, God of War, Hollow Knight, Inside, Disco Elysium, The Witness.

 

I've chosen Japanese in the poll as, historically, Japanese games make up most of my all timers, but I'm be interesting to see if that's still the case in another 5 years.

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If we're talking historically and upto about 2005 then definitely Japanese but if we're talking about the present day then without a doubt western, if only for the indies. I can live without all of modern Japan's game output with the exception of the Nintendo big hitters. I think I'd even take the modern western AAAs over the Japanese (non-Nintendo) AAAs.

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These are two pretty broad buckets to put things in, but I'll give it a shot.

 

Japanese development, bar a few exceptions, really lost its way around the PS3/360 era, conversely western development has gone from strength to strength.

 

You'd lose so many more games if you went purely Japanese now - not in the least because the kindest thing one could say about Japan's indie scene is that it is nascent.

 

In addition, so much Japanese development resource is now focused on mobile. They just aren't putting out the games they used to.

 

I'm just talking consoles too, if you play PC games in any capacity you'd be mad to pick Japanese unless you love visual novels and shmups.

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Western. The games from Western devs these days are almost immeasurably better than those from Japanese devs. Sure, every so often a Bloodborne, Yakuza 0, or MGS 5 comes along that really stands out. But those are few, the great games from Western devs are practically legion.

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Japanese for me, any day of the week. When I think of my favourite games the last generation - BotW, Nier: Automata, Bloodborne, Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Earth Defence Force, A.I The Somnium Files and 428 Shibuya Scramble, the only Western game I'd consider close would be Hollow Knight. 

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Easy choice!

 

My problem is I don't enjoy first person perspective.  I really dislike the feel of moving a crosshair around the centre of the screen and aiming, especially with a controller.  I much prefer to be in control of a character or avatar that I can see in front of me.

 

There are tons of really high quality western games, but a high proportion of them - US made games in particular - put you in control of the first person camera, aiming cross-hair, so I pass on most of these games, even though I'm missing out on some great, well made games.


The Japanese make almost none of these games, so I can play and enjoy pretty much anything from Japan.

 

After completing Witcher 3 (twice!), I'm really annoyed that their new Cyberpunk game has gone first person. 

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Tough call. When it comes to the crunch, I can't lose Ico, Shadow of the Colossus and The Last Guardian, so Japanese it is. But Dishonored is almost as hard to lose.

 

I'll have to console myself with all the Zelda and Yakuza games. And Splatoon! Does that get to be online forever in this theoretical world?

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All. No preference just depends on the game. Not a huge fan of RPGs. Love stuff like Gears but then appreciate the worlds such as ICO, Shadow Of The Colossus. However Western dev teams have brought us things like Journey and such like. 

 

Think one of the things the web and internet has done is brought cultures closer together so we get much more diverse games developed around the world. 

 

So for me there is no Japanese or Western just a huge melting pot of creativity that turns out absolute gems.

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If I had to pick a single country's output, then Japan would top the list. But if I have to choose between one country and the entire rest of the world's output (I'm choosing to interpret the OP's use of "the West" to mean "everything else"), then yeah, I'll drop the single country.

 

Japan produces an incredible number of great games considering its size, but the sheer scale of, you know, everywhere else combined, can't help but win out. I couldn't face losing all the incredible indie games, the walking sims, strategy games, adventures, stealth games, immersive sims, rpgs etc. that come from outside of Japan.

 

Now, if the question was specifically regarding AAA developers, then my answer would be inverted, as the truly massive studios from outside of Japan produce almost nothing I care about, but that doesn't seem to have been the question.

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12 minutes ago, MattyP said:

All. No preference just depends on the game. Not a huge fan of RPGs. Love stuff like Gears but then appreciate the worlds such as ICO, Shadow Of The Colossus. However Western dev teams have brought us things like Journey and such like. 

 

Think one of the things the web and internet has done is brought cultures closer together so we get much more diverse games developed around the world. 

 

So for me there is no Japanese or Western just a huge melting pot of creativity that turns out absolute gems.

 

Yeah, that's the other point too, of course: games are a melting pot. Get rid of one set of games from history and other games won't go unchanged. As a particularly simplistic example: remove just one French game from history - Eric Chahi's Another World - and Fumito Ueda isn't inspired to create Ico. No Ico means no SOTC or TLG. No SOTC means a missing key inspiration for BOTW. And so everything changes.

 

What if is a fun, silly game, but it does highlight that simply removing one set of games from the world would have a massive, cascading impact. Games are not an island.

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Japanese, all day long.

 

It's got me wondering what I'd lose though. First person shooters? That'd make me sad. Roguelikes and roguelites, hmmm, now it's getting serious.

 

Just looked it up and it turns out the Japanese invented the ARPG, so they're safe.

 

Balls to it, let's just go Japanese, they're a resourceful bunch, I'm sure they'll invent all the things I liked eventually, and maybe they'll be faster and more arcadey!

Oh, hang on, I've just pictured doomguy and he's now a large breasted cartoon child.

 

1 hour ago, matt0 said:

Japanese and Western game design have benefitted immesearubly from each other.

 

At first, I wasn't sure I agreed with that. I think western game design has been a pretty bad influence. I've seen lots of games where they've tried to "broaden their market" and it's never made the games better.

but I thought about it more and realised you were making a bigger point. Great stuff has come from both east and west and they've inspired each other. The huge melting pot of gaming wouldn't be the same without either.

 

Gun to my head, Japanese. The hitbox would be a lot smaller and the bullet might miss.

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1 minute ago, ImmaculateClump said:

 

At first, I wasn't sure I agreed with that. I think western game design has been a pretty bad influence. I've seen lots of games where they've tried to "broaden their market" and it's never made the games better.

but I thought about it more and realised you were making a bigger point. Great stuff has come from both east and west and they've inspired each other. The huge melting pot of gaming wouldn't be the same without either.

 

Gun to my head, Japanese. The hitbox would be a lot smaller and the bullet might miss.

 

I think the influence of Japanese games in the West is sometimes easier to spot but it's really always been a two way thing.

 

The specific example I'd always point to is RPGs. The foundation of JRPGs is Ultima and Wizardry.

 

Even something like Dark Souls owes a big debt to Wizardry and Rogue. There's plenty of Dungeon Master in Kingsfield too.

 

There's more obscure examples like Ueda being one of a handful of Amiga enthusiasts in Japan and citing Another World as big influence.

 

There's no way Resident Evil doesn't owe a huge debt to Alone in the Dark and BOTW is blatantly cribbing from Skyrim and Assassins Creed. 

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With TLoZ: BotW, Mario Odyssey, AC: New Horizons, Bloodborne, DS III, Death Stranding, MGS V, RE2 Remake and The Last Guardian some of my favourite games of this/last gen, and TLoU pt.2 and Read Dead Revolver 2 some of its biggest disappointments, I think it's easy to see which side I would pick.

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I'd miss the grand strategy and 4X games, but otherwise it is a no brainer really. As much as I love my Series S there is a reason the Switch remains my favourite console and I will certainly be getting a PS5 when a few more exclusives and/or bundles are out in the wild.

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