Japanese evaluate Western hits. (Bioshock, Ass Creed, COD4)

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  • JinTypeNoir 7 Mar 2008 17:13:29 4,365 posts
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    Hello! It seemed to me that a lot of people seem to wonder what Japanese people think of Western huge hits (and why they don't do well over here).

    Obviously, I can't give you that. But I thought it might be interesting to translate a few opinions that I thought were representative of what I usually see from a Japanese perspective. I'll take one relatively short review per game from a Japanese site, translate it and I hope to give you some idea of how the game gets received from this point of view. :)

    First up, is Assassin's Creed, which just recently released for the PS3 and showed quite long legs. An Amazon review from the PS3 version:

    "Maybe This is Not Geared to the Mainstream... (Four Stars)

    Yesterday I won the PS3 version.

    When it comes to control, I'm used to MGS, so at the beginning, I was more or less perplexed (during battle I couldn't switch weapons well).

    The rough and mixed atmosphere of the towns, the buildings passing off a sense of the material they were made of, the cries and movements of the knights and soldiers in battle (it seems like they're speaking German, French and Arabic) seemed very middle-ageish and was quite good. Sometimes Japanese is mixed in too, but if it wasn't there, the game's content would become difficult to understand, so there's not much they could have done on that point.

    When you become surrounded by a lot of enemies, it gets so annoying to switch lock on targets. It often bothered me that when things like if I tried to deliver the blow to a person I'd flung down, I wasn't able to cut to them well and ended up cutting up someone else instead, would happen. In this situation, I would like it if they made the combat without lock-on.

    After that, perhaps it's my fault because I played it on a small TV (14-inch), but the maps and words were hard to read. Each time I wanted the map, I had to zoom in on it.

    Where difficulty is concerned, for a Western game, isn't this pretty easy? However, in the missions with the informants (especially in the later half), maybe the method I accomplished it in was bad, but I was always discovered instantly, for me these were harder than the last boss.

    Unlike the Musou [Dynasty/Samurai Warriors] series, there is no exhilarating rush to the combat, but if you accept and internalize the world view the game presents, I think you'll be addicted. If possible, I'd like to see a sequel in the same type of environment with more content and volume outside of the main story parts."

    Next up, Call of Duty 4! If you have a request of a game you'd like me to translate a review for, by all means, say it, though I might not be able to get to it soon. If you want to tell me to fuck off, please schedule an appointment with my secretary.
  • Cappy 7 Mar 2008 17:21:09 11,834 posts
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    I would love to hear the Japanese take on Silent Hill Origins.

    Bit of an interesting title since its influences are all over the place and now its passed over to Western developers for this iteration.
  • Fozzie_bear 7 Mar 2008 17:23:45 15,489 posts
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    What do the Japanese make of Western RPGs? Are they popular, hated, ignored? Is there an obsessive little group who adore them simply because they're western and different?

    Support the Mowgli Dirty Protest!

  • Deleted user 7 March 2008 17:24:24
    They ought to try to some proper RPG's not that gayifed rubbish that Squenix churns out by the bucketload. That'll blow their minds.
  • Triggerhappytel 7 Mar 2008 17:25:03 2,674 posts
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    It was quite interesting until he compared it to the Warriors series...

    I'd like to know what they think of God of War (if you don't mind!). Thanks.
  • RabidChild 7 Mar 2008 17:28:05 2,289 posts
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    Hey, ace idea. I'd like to know what they make of Half Life 2 and Portal
  • Retroid Moderator 7 Mar 2008 17:39:15 44,503 posts
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    Inquisitor wrote:
    Assassins creed is utter pap
    You are wrong :p
  • wuztrino 7 Mar 2008 17:45:38 131 posts
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    Inquisitor wrote:
    Assassins creed is utter pap, review a good game :D

    Bioshock is first rate, I'd suggest that.

    +1 for ass creed being "Pap"
  • BillyBrush 7 Mar 2008 17:47:48 137 posts
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    Very interesting....am intrigued

    Second HL2 and Orange box, i'd also be interested to see if anyone there commented on Condemned, having a lot of survival horror games i'd guess they'd not like no inventory and would not be fans of first person, but ya never know...i think there are a fair few western games out there the Japanese should like, what great games to have as cult hits eh
  • Anthony_UK 7 Mar 2008 17:50:56 2,463 posts
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    Retroid wrote:
    Inquisitor wrote:
    Assassins creed is utter pap
    You are wrong :p

    +1

    far from pap! I love it personally, just unfortunate that the hype and the devs own ambition seemed to get the better of it in the end.

    Can't wait for number 2!
  • absolutezero 7 Mar 2008 17:54:14 7,956 posts
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    That was an Amazon review?

    Its so eloquent and well though out! I am really quite amazed at that. It also seems that the reviewer appreciated the little things alot more than the average reviewer over here, like the feel of the city and the useage of language.

    This is a good idea, looking forward to more.
  • Deleted user 7 March 2008 18:07:26
    wuztrino wrote:
    Inquisitor wrote:
    Assassins creed is utter pap, review a good game :D

    Bioshock is first rate, I'd suggest that.

    +1 for ass creed being "Pap"

    I'll beef up your side with another +1.
  • JinTypeNoir 7 Mar 2008 18:46:18 4,365 posts
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    Call of Duty 4

    First, this one, because I think it's absolutely hilarious:

    "First FPS!! (Four Stars)

    I've mostly played things like Bio [Resident Evil], and Metal Gear, but one time when I happened to be at the shop on a release day, I was surprised by the pretty screenshots and bought it instantly!

    This is my first game on the PS3!

    Receiving the baptism of the FPS, being completely addicted to the absurd level of impact the game presents, when next I was aware, I had become sick and fell on the floor!

    VIRGIN!!

    The story is good like a movie YEAAAH!!!!

    I was deeply moved!!!! It can make me feel nervous and giddy!!!!

    But geez, enough with the FPSes already."

    I wish I could meet this person to see what they're like in real life. I'm sure it would be amusing.

    Next up, a more considered review:

    "Online is Very Fun (Five Stars)

    The amount of stuff to do and accomplish is, when compared to Recon [Ghost Recon], quite a lot. ^_^

    Because the sniper's alignment shakes, it's hard to aim and in a strict time limit, while you hold your breath, aligning so as to make a cool decision is demanded of the player.

    It can be fatal to be a sniper, but the times when you decide a life in one hit bring with it a very high amount of pleasant satisfaction and that's due to this: when your gun lets loose with the bullet, this will reflect with your position on the radar being known.

    When you die, there's times when you won't know where you will be relocated. If allies and enemies are in the middle of exchanging blows and you're right in the middle of them, that's troubling.

    Sometimes there are people with childish and harsh words you can hear through the mic.

    There, I can only wish for the improvement of each individual's manners, though."

    I really like that guy's description of the sniping, makes me want to play it. Have no idea how accurate he is though.

    Last one, a little middle of the road between the two extremes:

    "Although I'm Weak When it Comes to Gun Action... (Four Stars)

    This is not a genre I really like very much, and as such, the fact that the PS3's games are mostly gun action types and this is the number one best-rated one, well I bought it. In order to get used to the control, it was hard and involved a lot of distress on my part, but if I were to sum up this game in one phrase, "In-fucking-credible game...!" The presence it has, the feel of tension, the scenario, no matter which you take into consideration, it's extremely fantastic -- indeed, I especially felt moved by the depiction of Chernobyl.

    So if a Call of Duty 5 comes out, it's to the point where I wonder how they can evolve it more than this."

    I particularly chose COD4 because of something I suspected and I think I might have been right. I suppose on that level, some of you might want to hear what some Japanese opinions were on the old Medal of Honor: Rising Sun game?
  • Deleted user 7 March 2008 18:47:17
    /imagines "VIRGIN!" being accompanied by a pic of a geeky Japanese kid flicking a victory sign at camera with a big cheeky grin on his face
  • JinTypeNoir 7 Mar 2008 19:06:47 4,365 posts
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    Okay, first of all, the requests, the current order I'm going to post in, looks like this:

    3. Bioshock
    4. Silent Hill Origins
    5. God of War
    6. Condemned

    Did I miss one? I realize some people want to see Orange Box, but I'm not sure if it's been released here yet in a Japanese version, so I'll have to check that out. If not, it might be very hard to find opinions on it. I'll get definitely get on it though. :)

    Inquisitor wrote:
    Bioshock is first rate, I'd suggest that.

    It's a shame the Japanese don't seem to enjoy (or get the chance to, I'm not sure how many publishers bother with translation) typical western RPGs.

    These days you get loads of JRPGs translated for the western market and it's a shame you don't see an exchange of games in this respect, it's all one way.

    Fozzie Bear wrote: What do the Japanese make of Western RPGs? Are they popular, hated, ignored? Is there an obsessive little group who adore them simply because they're western and different?

    Bioshock is in the title! It's the next game I'm going to post! Sheesh! :p

    And BTW, generalizing, we do largely enjoy Western RPGs. There have been several hits in the past and even today there is a segment of hardcore gamers who love them dearly. There's even a Gamespot-esque site called 4Gamer that targets them, though their Western PC RPGs (and frequently insults console games). And yes, there are obsessive Western RPG fanatics who claim that their own countries RPGs are awful with bad art, writing and no charm and unappealing gameplay. Sound familiar?

    I agree though that Western developers should make a better effort to aggressively seek a market in Japan. I really don't think many of the common excuses given for why they won't do well apply. Wizardry, Ultima, Dungeon Master, roguelikes in general were or are huge over here. There's a great deal of love especially for open-ended, create-a-character games and first person dungeon hacks.

    I've seen everyone compare Soma Bringer to a Japanese Diablo, that's the most common comparison I've seen. How would we get that if we didn't like them? :p

    And well, I actually think I'm a pretty typical Japanese gamer, so I think my viewpoint about them counts too. :)

    FluffyTucker wrote:So the Japs just like our shit games then?


    Hey, I'm not terribly sensitive about this, but I still don't like it. Could you just use even JP if you don't want to type it out, please?
  • Freek 7 Mar 2008 19:20:45 7,687 posts
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    The combat in Assasins Creed got more or less the same response in the West. It sort of hit and miss. It tries to emulate sword fighting in a more strategic sense, gettting in the right position, having good timing, that sort of thing. But it doesn't always work and not everybody liked it.

    The platforming and exploration is diffently the games strong point, they really nailed that.
    Ubi just need to get the rest of the game up to that level and they'll have a really good game for the sequal.

    Mass Effect is also a good one to look at.
  • jozz 7 Mar 2008 19:41:04 4,871 posts
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    I'd be interested in seeing some negative reviews. Just to see what kind of complaints they have compared to a western audience.

    Any chance we can skip Silent Hill and get on with the typical western titles too? ;)

    /pulls chair closer
  • JinTypeNoir 7 Mar 2008 20:32:40 4,365 posts
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    jozz wrote:
    I'd be interested in seeing some negative reviews. Just to see what kind of complaints they have compared to a western audience.

    Certainly, I thought of that, but in the case of these two games so far, I wanted to pick reviews that seemed to get at the consensus opinion. And these games were mostly positive. So if I see mostly negative reviews of Bioshock, I'll post mostly negative.

    I see your point though for a balance and will try to do that when I can.
  • riz23 7 Mar 2008 21:05:48 1,169 posts
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    Those CoD4 reviews already seem to highlight the fact that the apparent differences between gaming cultures are less than we might think. The general gist of the comments are similar to western responses to that game. I am particulary interested in the quote:

    "Sometimes there are people with childish and harsh words you can hear through the mic.

    There, I can only wish for the improvement of each individual's manners, though."

    Is that from other Japanese players, or is he talking about his experiences globally? For me that's my the biggest problem with playing online CoD4, the 'childish and harsh words' that people say. Much of it, racist, homophobic and generally distasteful. Does that aspect of gaming culture pervade Japan too? Also I suspect the reviews you put here come from people very much like ourselves, the gaming otaku. If so, then I would expect the reception of western games to be balanced and generally favourable, after all, these are the true fans of games and lovers of all genres. I am interested in what the everyday joe gamer in Japan thinks of western games. Maybe get some Western DS games reviewed? That might reveal something?
  • SirScratchalot 7 Mar 2008 21:11:59 7,872 posts
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    Nice reading before bedtime, I'd just like to really know if there are any PC gamers over there at all.
    Did someone in Japan EVER play Ultima Underworld or Deus Ex?
  • rawburger 7 Mar 2008 21:38:07 245 posts
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    would like to know what the Japanese gamer community thought of the Duke Nukem game series.

    I realize there isn't one for this gen (yet), just interested is all.
  • Hughes. 7 Mar 2008 21:46:32 2,812 posts
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    Assassin's Creed, so good they named it "Ass" twice.
  • krokomkiller 7 Mar 2008 21:46:41 201 posts
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    Exellent thread!

    Im interested in the japanese response for... well a lot of games but perhaps Halo, Eternal darkness and Battlefield 1942 the most.
  • Tweakmonkey 7 Mar 2008 22:30:15 1,296 posts
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    Yeah great thread Jin - you put a lot of effort into your posts.

    My perception is that motion sickness as described by the funny COD guy is quite common. Is that true?
  • JayeM 7 Mar 2008 22:43:07 3,386 posts
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    Can you add Grand Theft Auto to your list? :)
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