Japanese evaluate Western hits. (Bioshock, Ass Creed, COD4) Page 5

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  • JinTypeNoir 11 Jul 2011 04:28:06 4,386 posts
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    At long last, the Halo reviews. No, I haven't been working on translating these for three years, I just never got around to it. First, Halo, the original, and its reviews. And first out of that, professional online game site, Game Watch's review. In order to actually make progress in this thread (I refuse to give up) I'll try to post more moderate length posts in shorter time. It took quite a while to do the other games in this thread and its been a while, so I'm sure people have new requests and my list will get longer. Thus, this is only half the review, I think you'll agree its already long enough for one post.

    Brackets are my comments, there is a footnote to explain a reference and screenshot captions are only translated if they include the author's opinion and not simply information I'm sure you guys already know.

    In any case:

    "In the US, it was a heavily anticipated work that showed quite a bit of excitement before its release. And then, it broke a record in four months, one for the fastest time for a console launch game to reach 1 million copies in sales; in the American market place, this is what you could truly call the Xbox killer app: Halo. In Japan, where negative news about the Xbox has unfortunately stood out the most, whether the console can begin to light a fire or not depends on the existence of killer aps. In other countries, one of the popular genres that stands erect and prominent is called 3D shooting [incorrectly spelling "First Parson Shooting" in parentheses]--its basically "bang bang" shooting wildly from your point of view--but in Japan, where there is little familiarity with 3D shooting, will this find any popularity? With a little anxiety, and a little excitement, I'll try and review [Halo].

    Overseas, particularly in PC gaming, 3D shooting is a stalwart. Even in Japan, there is, among a certain set of core pc gamers, people who, in order to play their beloved 3D shooting games, will spend hundreds of dollars on video cards every year. But having said that, among consumer machines, for a majority of those playing games, it's quite certain that there's no love for this genre, which is hard-to-grasp and feel out properly. The reasons are many, perhaps like, 'because I get dizzy','control is irritatingly complicated', 'I can't feel any degree of freedom in my movement until I get used to it and that's annoying', and so on, but in any account it's definitely a genre that doesn't sit well with Japanese users. However, if I write a conclusion right here and not play this Halo game, I can decisively declare that that would be utterly wasteful. No, not just that, it overthrew my first impressions of it (that was rude, excuse me) and was actually very fun!

    But in the first place, your humble writer is someone who doesn't hate 3D shooting. No, rather, you could say I love them. That's all well and good, but a console with a 3D shooter? It makes me think things like, 'Could this possibly appeal to the general user? I've come, I've shot, I've played a mountain's worth of these games in my day, but just because I have played lots of them, why would I go out of my way to play this on a peasant machine?' So I began playing with quite cold and unloving eyes. I began to think offhandedly while playing, 'Well, let's analyze objectively how well 3D shooting mixes with peasant machines,' and in the midst of that kind of thought, somehow and in someway, I struck like lightning into The Age of the Mighty and Fierce Obsession. A little more, just a little more, and when I finally emerged after 16 hours of continuous play, my right wrist had started to hurt, yeow, and my eyes were drunk and tired, ouch; its been a while since I forgot to sleep or eat and got addicted to a game on a peasant machine.

    3D Shooting is ALL about the control

    In this type of 3D shooting game, the play control is quite important. Once you get used to the control and can freely walk around the game's world, it can become fun to just lazily mosey along in a touristy mood. If the opposite is the case, a game with a bad sense of control will be half as fun just because of that.

    On the PC, where 3D shooting stands firm and resolute as a popular genre, the normal control method is with a keyboard and a mouse, or at least the general idea is such. Your left hand manipulates the keyboard, taking charge of the advancing, retreating and strafing movements. Your right hand manipulates the mouse, which adjusts the sites of your gun up and down, and revolves to the right or left. Once you get used to this, you can capture targets, and tumble around their vicinity like a crazed ballerina dodging bullets and shooting your own, and furthermore, once you are able to perform this high-level movement easily and comfortably, devices like a joystick or a pad just really won't let you enjoy this on the same level.

    With this piece of work, I honestly thought, won't it be quite frustrating to play with the Xbox controller? The reason I was worried is because previously, when I played 3D shooters on The Little Peasant Machine That Could, the games themselves may have been well made, but eventually the controller didn't the match experience and I didn't end up playing too much.

    However, when I actually tried this game, I noticed with this one, the control really comes through to your fingers. Of course, I'm using the Japanese Xbox controller. But! On the Xbox controller there are analog sticks on the left and right, and the left is the movements, and the right, the gun site adjusting. That's pretty much the the same placement as the pc's keyboard and mouse.

    And what do you know, when you compare it to a PC's keyboard and mouse control, in terms of the amount of freedom you have in control, it cannot measure up, but in the controller you have a unique feedback and this was quite a nice feel. Just like a real gun, the action of your index finger pulling a trigger and letting it burst out of the barrel is quite pleasing and when the rumble function adds to it, the feeling of blow back from the moment of the shot is conveyed to you directly. Especially, the types of weapons like rifles where you can shoot consecutive shots, when blasting away with those, it's somewhat akin to the feeling of exhilaration you can experience with electric air guns and is an experience you can't simulate with a keyboard and mouse, and I can nod in agreement with the quote about how the development team 'especially took interest and worked on control methods with a pad.'

    To people who hesitate because the controls for 3D shooting games are too hard, please, I'd like you suck it up, hang in there and try to play this (in my case, it took about 2 or 3 hours to get used to the controls). If you can get used to it for me, you'll be able to experience a certain degree of freedom in control even with a controller. Once that happens, I believe the game will become unbelievably fun and exhilarating for you.

    About that direction and story development...

    As you can see in the screenshots, the graphics are of course, thanks to the Xbox, at quite a level. Things like the character models and geography don't jump, flicker, distort and shake like a usual game would, and if you compare it to the the most recent PC games, there are areas that do not fade in comparison, or forget that, even outshine their counterparts by several levels in places. Halo's world is one where relatively saturated colors are used in abundance, its vivid and its various hues are its bragging point, from the darkness in caves to the sunlight leaking through the leaves to dapple the great bounds of earth, clear lines of shadow and brightness are understood intrinsically, and this creates a world with visual rhythm. By the way, in these types of 3D games, because if you don't look at a screen of it in motion, no matter how good the graphics may be, they'll lack impact and look cheap and shoddy, I'd like you to think from the perspective that the screenshots here have an impact several times as powerful when you're actually playing it. That can also be said of the sound, which can be routed through Dolby Digital 5.1.

    Basically, the first half of the games concerns the fight between earthlings and aliens called Covenant. The Covenant have an a unique culture and technology, resemble insects and the game's story develops in a ring-shaped planet (inside of which there is land with huge ring-shaped structures) called Halo. Escaping from a space ship, helping and protecting team mates, saving important people, destroying enemy structures, searching for a unit who has lost contact, there are lots of missions the players undergoes, but as the game nears its end, oh ho ho it develops in an unbelievably passionate direction. I won't write it here, but just when you've gotten good at fighting with the Covenant, the game shows that it can quickly develop and keep your interest swallowed into its world until without tiring till the end.

    From the start, since this is a 3D shooter produced overseas, I -- for good or bad -- predicted a game progression that was like that of overseas PC games, rough content thrust [onto the user] broadly, but in actually playing it, I was surprised that the details were meticulously crafted into the experience and even as a console title, I felt it was very considerately designed. It's especially in the story or the event scenes, that the direction is like a movie to the point of wild obsession. Drop ships release down allies right into the thick of enemy lines, you protect your group's camp against groups of aliens who come one right after another, there are lots of scenes that resemble Alien 2 or Starship Troopers and will be enough to send SF-philes into throes of delight.

    For instance, in one stage there's a situation where rain is falling, you can't see more than a few meters in front of you in the thin darkness, and your comrades are being attacked by grotesque army of enemies. From your radar, you can tell that you are surrounded by an uncountable number of enemies and they are coming for the kill. Around you are the screams and wails of your allies, and the revolving shots of rifles and such, it's truly a hell scroll of Abikyokan.* In any case, all around you its dark and you can't recognize the enemy, you can't even tell which way to run if you wanted to, and if you fire carelessly you may hit your allies like you're in an orgy of battle confusion. Even if you wanted to try to run away in tears, from all around you, enemies appear, swarm in, and crawl down, and behind you, one after other the cries and screams of allies who were couldn't quite get away......it's this type of scene that really made me tremble.

    [screen shot caption]An air lock door is blown away, those naval units who protected are also blown away. Enemies appear one after another in the door, this type of direction enflames the fire of this game's spirit right from the start.[screen shot caption]"

    So ends the first part of the review. Be back later for more.

    *Hell scrolls are visions of hell, often the Buddhist hell, which is pretty complex. It was thought that there were ten lands of hells surrounding our world and in them are levels that continued in concentric rings. Which level you went to depended on what you did to deserve it. The last and fourth level were Abi and Kyokan respectively. Kyokan means a certain type of pained screaming in this level since its prisoners are boiled in great cauldrons and kept in steel rooms of fire, where they scream and drive their wardens to go crazy and torment them more, while other prison guards chase them, shooting them with bows, while at the same time the burning floor scalds them and their bodies get pierced through with steel rods. Abi means Avici, the last level of hell, since its the last until you finally get to the bottom, you fall for 2000 years being tormented by a demon with 64 eyes and a tongue with 100 nails on it that lashes at you before you fall into the forests of nothing but swords, mountains made of nothing but blades, and a place where no water exists that isn't boiling or ruled by massive snakes that breathe fire and poison over your body. Abi is said to make the last seven hells seem like paradise in comparison. Thus, Abikyokan is a four-letter proverb that means, "Damn, shits some mad fucked up" in Japanese.
  • Khanivor 11 Jul 2011 06:09:54 40,753 posts
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    I dunno if it's the translation or the author themselves but there seems to be a lot of sexual language in this review.
  • redcrayon 11 Jul 2011 08:03:37 4,558 posts
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    Could this possibly appeal to the general user? I've come, I've shot, I've played a mountain's worth of these games in my day

    Hey Jin, did this originally mean 'I came, I saw (as in 'I came, I saw, I conquered, Veni, Vidi, Vici, Julius Caesar etc), or was the sexual tone actually there?

    'The little peasant machine' reminded me of 'The Good Life', with Gerry leaning over the fence and talking to Tom- 'Hello, Peasants!'

    Anyway, thanks for the translation, always a good read.
  • sirtacos 11 Jul 2011 08:05:06 7,280 posts
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    I always thought Jin was a Japanophile who always wanted to remind everyone he lives in Japan, don'tyaknow.
    Turns out he's actually Japanese and I like him because he seems nice.
    Learn something new every day.
  • PazJohnMitch 11 Jul 2011 21:06:55 8,045 posts
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    Wow my favourite thread has returned from the grave.

    Thanks Jin.
  • itamae 11 Jul 2011 22:09:53 9,882 posts
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    JinTypeNoir wrote:
    Even in Japan, there is, among a certain set of core pc gamers, people who, in order to play their beloved 3D shooting games, will spend hundreds of dollars on video cards every year.
    You can almost hear the sound of dozens of angry Japanese PC gamers writing pointed but respectful replies. :-D

    Also, "the little peasant machine that could"? Either that's a somewhat liberal translation or the gentleman didn't value his life much.

    Very entertaining review. Thanks Jin.
  • JinTypeNoir 30 Mar 2013 05:16:25 4,386 posts
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    So...I bet nobody thought this thread would be back again, but here we are again.

    I decided to start going at it again, because I'm determined to finish it. However, to be honest, there are two rather large problems that make it difficult.

    One is that Dragon Quest IX happened in the interim, which was kind of a big deal. In order to run a negative campaign on that game, before it was even released, Dragon Quest "fans" with too much investment in the series hit up Amazon to post as many negative reviews as they could. Amazon responded by starting a rule that reviews can only be posted since release and deleted a great deal of the reviews.

    This affected the entire internet reviewing, as before, if you had a reasonable review to post, Amazon was the place to go. These days, within seconds of of the release, these type of people will flock to Amazon to post negative reviews. Even years afterward you can see it happening. You can tell because of obvious troll language that it nowhere near as, shall we say, genteel, as a Japanese person should speak. It sounds like a nerd rage-venting.

    Are these real opinions and should I translate them to show you what's going on, or is this a smokescreen for one of many, many gaming controversies hardcore gamers get worked up about? In the case of a review with suspect language, but seems to be valid, what should I do?

    It's just not Amazon, a whole freaking culture has sprung up over the entire Japanese gaming internet since that incident, with people going in the opposite direction to actively stealth market for publishers they have no affiliation with.

    Some measures have been taken to rectify this, such as a wiki started to track all the arguments in a more even-handed manner. But the damage is still done. Its basically chaos to figure out whether a review is stealth marketing or negative campaigning these days; reviews you may think are completely benign turn out to be a part of some weird internet war when you investigate a weird piece of language they use.

    The second issue is that embroiled in this are contingents at work: one who believes all Western games are superior Japanese games and games from Japanese publishers who publish Western games are ruining the original versions intentionally, one who is sick of this attitude and tries to fight back with an equally misguided rhetoric.

    Of course you can still find good reviews, but they are increasingly only about Japanese games nobody cares about. Even the long-established review places are weary of posting about anything popular because of the disgusting comments and threats they receive.

    So every time I come back to try and reapproach the games in this thread, I find a good chunk of reviews have either been deleted to the silly net wars or they are operating on a frankly bizarre level that makes me retch reading them. There aren't enough trustworthy ones for me to pick one that could represent a position I've seen a lot that seems like an opinion an actual human being might keep. (And no, the developers deserve to die because I couldn't hear all the voice acting is not a reasonable opinion I believe an actual person would think.)

    I know this is long, but I've gotten repeated requests to restart this thread via PM and so I wanted to ask the people who would like to read what they would find a reasonable compromise. Should I just translate twitter-like messages from super casual people and call those reviews, since they seem to be oblivious to all this, despite the fact that what they say isn't very insightful or give much an idea on how Japanese evaluate Western hits.

    I dunno, maybe this post says enough about the situation as it is.
  • PazJohnMitch 30 Mar 2013 05:37:05 8,045 posts
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    Thanks JTN!

    The same review trolling has existed in British / American sites for a long time. Looking at Metacritic you find many users reviews that give either 10/10 or 0/10 and very little in between. In a way it makes it very easy to find an honest review as it is simply one that is not extremist.

    I am guessing from your post that a similar filter cannot be applied to Japanese user reviews?

    Many western journalists have also suggested that the Japanese developers have lost their way recently. Essentially everyone is trying to appeal to the Americans and in doing so have lost a lot of individuality. I hate this. I want Japanese games to be Japanese in the same way I want British games to be British and French games, French. I like developers to work to their own strengths and not try and immitate others. By copying you just end up with something inferior.
  • JinTypeNoir 30 Mar 2013 05:52:30 4,386 posts
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    PazJohnMitch wrote:
    I am guessing from your post that a similar filter cannot be applied to Japanese user reviews?
    I try. I really do. But then I see something that makes me a little suspicious, my curiosity gets the best of me and it leads to idiocy that paints that review in a whole different light.

    Many western journalists have also suggested that the Japanese developers have lost their way recently. Essentially everyone is trying to appeal to the Americans and in doing so have lost a lot of individuality. I hate this. I want Japanese games to be Japanese in the same way I want British games to be British and French games, French. I like developers to work to their own strengths and not try and immitate others. By copying you just end up with something inferior.
    I understand what you're saying, but I think a good and solid survey of console gaming up to this point would reveal that Japanese games that have been hits elsewhere have always had a certain amount mixed in that were directly aimed at foreigners more than Japanese people. It has been going on a lot long than those journalists realize.

    At the same time, try coming at it from my viewpoint. I see tons and tons of games marketed and made directly toward my taste and the odd one aimed toward foreign markets, so I'm never very perturbed, because I have such a rich choice over here.

    Others are not so reasonable. Many gamers over here either want Japanese developers to completely be assimilated in a Western approach and many want Japanese developers to completely ignore the West (and when I saw completely ignore, I don't mean develop to their strengths, I mean COMPLETELY IGNORE, as in never translate anything into English, Spanish, French, etc.)

    People who aren't aware of these civil wars go online and look for reviews for a recently released game and what do they find? A scant few shrug and post their own reviews. Others are scared off entirely. The entire fiasco is making a culture in which Japanese publishers have to be so careful to cater to fickle Japanese gamers or they get their sales cut off after the first week from the bad press these idiots create.

    It's really a big problem. Especially because since this in Japan, admitting it is a big problem in Japanese to other Japanese is a much, much bigger no no.

    So the issue for a lot of Japanese developers right now is threefold, you either aim at a completely ignorant market that doesn't follow anything, you sycophantically aim everything as these hardcore obsessed nerds or you forget Japan and aim at foreign markets, with your own as a "bonus."

    It is not surprising that each Japanese publisher seems to be making a little of each when you think about it pragmatically.
  • dominalien 30 Mar 2013 06:32:47 6,860 posts
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    Somehow, I never saw this thread before. I just read it start to finish and it's probably the best thread on here.

    The way JTN describes the current Japanese sentiments towards domestic game development is downright scary. What some idiots write on the Internet is irrelevant... until it no longer is and is impacting sales and any company will have to adjust to account for that. I, for one, hope it doesn't come to the point where we get nothing from Japan, and not because we are not interested in buying it, but because the general Japanese public doesn't want it to leave their borders. This really sheds some new light on the whole "few games from Japan get brought over here" thing.

    Actually, perhaps it would be an interesting topic for an article on the EG front page. Maybe you can work something out with them, JTN? :-)

    PSN: DonOsito

  • JinTypeNoir 30 Mar 2013 07:02:27 4,386 posts
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    Well, I'm glad you're enjoying the thread, but don't jump to conclusions. In the grand scheme of things, people like that are less than 1% of the population who buys games. They are simply much, much more Internet savvy than the average Japanese person, so they know exactly what to do and where to go to cause a ruckus.

    No Japanese developer would ever lend a serious ear to them. Keep in mind developers have a lot more avenues for customer feedback than just looking on the 'net and Japanese developers have feedback coming in from their foreign partners and branches. This is unlikely to ever happen. However, the average gamer who just waltzes into a game shop and checks their cell phone for a review walks right into it and that's what is causing a problem.

    But again, Japanese developers have been in a lot worse predicaments than this and they'll figure out how to counteract the uncharacteristically (<--- Good Schmood, that's a long word!) vehement reactions. For instance, that's one reason why Nintendo has been putting such an emphasis on Nintendo Directs lately.

    The only reason its like it is right now is because of the rapid shift into the download market, social network services gaining so much traction and how cheap it has gotten to surf the nets on your phone compared to how expensive it used to be on older cell phones. This era, where due to a proliferation of smart phones, users are exposed to Internet behavior they were frequently oblivious to before, will pass. There will always be another positive change and another challenge beyond it.
  • dominalien 30 Mar 2013 07:09:52 6,860 posts
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    Well, your previous post, in words like "big problem" and "a lot of Japanese developers", made it seem like a nation-wide disaster, so I hope you'll excuse me if I thought this was shaking the very foundations of the Japanese gaming industry. Glad it's not a huge problem, then. :-)

    PSN: DonOsito

  • JinTypeNoir 30 Mar 2013 07:33:26 4,386 posts
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    No, no, no. You see it is a big problem because it affects the sales of everyone's games here, unequivocally. You either placate the hordes or they revolt with their torches. It is not a huge problem in terms of localizing games for foreign audiences, because no Japanese company run by sane people will pay them any attention.

    Either way, if you take a long view of history, problems like these always have solutions and I'm sure something will change eventually to ameliorate the problem. That's just my take on it.

    So in conclusion, I don't think you need to be worried about localization being affected by that, but its an issue that even the biggest players have to had to figure out a way to combat. To give you an example, the Ocarina of Time 3D remake? If you look around on Japan's corner of the internet you will find a wide swath who consider it to be the absolute worst kind of game and what we call a "shit game." Why? The biggest and most prevalent reason is because Nintendo improved the graphics. Yep, that's right, Ocarina of Time has gone from a masterpiece to worthless piece of shit because the graphics got better. You'll see that all over the place over here. It definitely affected sales of the game to an extent and Zelda's reputation to see weird behavior like that so prolific.

    But as you can see, the Zelda franchise is not in any danger because that happened. Even in Japan, Nintendo figured out a way to counteract it and it worked.

    That's the kind of perspective I'm encouraging. Its a big problem, but there's no problem that's too big to solve.
  • dominalien 30 Mar 2013 07:39:40 6,860 posts
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    Well, if it affects sales in a meaningful way, then any company will have to take measures to deal with that. I still think it would make a good article. Just imagine the headline: "The Japanese want to keep all their games for themselves".

    Interesting what you say about OoT. Very Japanese, as far as my limited understanding of your culture allows me to say.

    PSN: DonOsito

  • PazJohnMitch 30 Mar 2013 08:00:55 8,045 posts
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    The Ocarina 3D comment made me laugh a little.

    I find it funny how Japanese gamers hate that games have a graphical overhaul because on the flipside many westerners refuse to play older games because of "teh jaggies".

    I kind of feel that a sensible person would have the opinion that it is nice to have improved graphics but they are not a necessity because the original works fine. (Although that is mainly because this is my own opinion on the subject).

    Ocarina 3D is also the only game I have completed both the original of and the remastered version. I thought the remake was very good and it was nice to return to an old favourite. (I have also partially played both versions of Perfect Dark but did not get past the second mission on the HD version).

    Ideally I would actually prefer developers to concentrate on new games instead of remastering older ones. Just make the definative version* of an old game available to all and focus on new ideas.

    I can partially understand why some Japanese people will be upset by Ocarina 3D if it stopped Nintendo from making a new Zelda for the 3DS. (Similarly I see little point in Windwaker U, unless they can make it with minimal resources). Yet on the otherside of the coin I never played MGS3 until the Vita remastering because the original version reportedly had a terrible camera and Subsistence seemed to sell out instantly. (Although a rerelease of Subsistence would have suited me. I played the PS1 version of MGS1 on Vita straight afterwards).



    *By definative I am referring to Nintendo's repeated rereleases of inferior PAL versions of SNES games in Europe. Please just give us the quicker, borderless NTSC versions.
  • dominalien 30 Mar 2013 10:05:32 6,860 posts
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    I'm not really a fan of the HD remasters. It's a good thing they bring good games to new platforms, but PS1/2 games on PSN or the games on GOG already do that. It's hard making a good new version which looks like it belongs on the new platform and usually the results are schizophrenic, like GoW or the PoP trilogy. OoT is the only one I can readily think of that has been so fully overhauled so as not to remind of its ancient history at every turn. It's on a handheld platform, though, so the same rules don't necessarily apply to it.

    PSN: DonOsito

  • JinTypeNoir 30 Mar 2013 10:25:56 4,386 posts
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    Well, the whole problem with these ultra fans is how far they take it. I don't think anyone can fault somebody for being peeved that Japanese publishers pay so much attention to international markets sometimes that you get cases like the newest Castlevania where you can only annotate on the map in English, even though its the Japanese version. But being annoyed and saying "FUCK THE ENTIRE WORLD" do not connect in any meaningful way.

    Similarly, wishing that Japanese developers would go toe to toe with Western developers is all well and good, but sending death threats to the actual developers is three steps into psychoville.

    All those gamers who are disappointed that so many games have such lavish presentations go onto message boards for games they haven't even played before, latch onto a semi-negative comment and then go spamming Amazon with a "review." Seriously, it means that much to you?

    So when people argue that Ocarina of Time's crude graphics made it a scarier and more primal 3D experience, and then actually rendering that in 3D would have been a freaky cool concept, I get it, but seriously, its like they are divorced from reality. Updating the graphics and the keeping the rest of the game mostly the same does not demote it from one of the best games ever to one of the worst. This is not the Silent Hill HD collection.

    I remember I was such a fan of Sierra's old King's Quest games that when I heard they updated the first game, I was like, "Oh cool, I wanna play that!" When I finally got my hands on it years later, I thought it was nice, but I didn't like it as much, because the crude charm of the original is missing. I totally get how updating a classic messes it with its appeal, because sometimes I too see those HD updates and think, "Really? If you say so."

    It's just, you know, sanity is a good thing.
  • Lukus 30 Mar 2013 10:31:01 19,111 posts
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    Whereabouts in Japan are you Jin?

    Paintings & Photographs

  • JinTypeNoir 30 Mar 2013 10:40:28 4,386 posts
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    Here.
  • JinTypeNoir 1 Apr 2013 02:02:47 4,386 posts
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    So, sorry to bump this thread again, but despite the interesting conversation of the last few posts, besides PazJohnMitch's idea of filtering them out, I didn't get any ideas or advice about what to do about this problem. Anyone?

    If I don't get a bright idea, I'm going to just update this thread whenever I chance upon a review that is worthy of translating. I'm not TRYING to be defeatist, its just that I've got no bright ideas in me at the moment.

    Edited by JinTypeNoir at 02:03:14 01-04-2013
  • Triggerhappytel 1 Apr 2013 02:32:26 2,695 posts
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    By all means keep this topic alive Jin; I think it's interesting to read these game analyses from Japanese reviewers and consumers.

    Out of interest, how does the market feel about games like Vanquish, Binary Domain, Dark Souls and Dragon's Dogma? These are all games I've really enjoyed; they seem to me like they maintain the Japanese feel you don't find in western games, but at he same time have clearly been developed with the intention of appealing to an American and European audience. Are Japanese gamers comfortable with this shift in design philosophy, or resistant against it?

    Edited by Triggerhappytel at 02:34:07 01-04-2013
  • JinTypeNoir 1 Apr 2013 03:35:11 4,386 posts
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    I don't know about Vanquish and Binary Domain, since they get little critical attention in the gaming echo chamber over here. A quick perusal of some opinions shows that they are both positively remained, Vanquish more than Binary Domain, but have a lot of arguments for and against the strength of their various game design.

    Dragon's Dogma and Dark Souls I can speak about.

    First of all though, I think you are quite incorrect what audience Dark Souls and Dragon's Dogma were developed for. I think if you visited a Japanese message board about these games and brought that up, the reaction would be skepticism and confusion. It would basically be this:

    Poster 1: They're not very different from many other RPGs over here, its just people think they're made for them because they share some similar characteristics.

    Poster 2: Yeah, but you can't blame foreigners for not knowing that there are many games like that and there have been like it consistently throughout our RPG history, some Japanese people do the same thing with foreign games.

    Poster 3: Yeah, some people even just assume Oblivion and Skyrim are Japanese games.

    Poster 4: Either way, it doesn't make much of a difference. Now about that Moonlight Sword...

    and it would forgotten just as quickly as it came up. Dark Souls has an excellent reputation one of the greatest RPGs of the generation here. Dragon's Dogma...I couldn't tell you really, because there's just too much of the aforementioned shit going on to get a real grasp of where people stand on it. But I will say that perhaps (a big perhaps) you could say that people praise the idea of the pawn system and the battle mechanics, Japanese gamers are so completely intolerant of any form of downloadable, for-pay goods that the fact that Dragon's Dogma even has it lowers its overall reputation over here among that set.

    So to summarize: its hard to say given all the extremist polemic floating around. but Vanquish and Dark Souls seem to enjoy a higher reputation than Binary Domain and Dragon's Dogma. (BTW, my opinions if you want them, is that Dark Souls was great, but I still like King's Field better; I've never played Binary Domain; Vanquish was confusing and flashy, but fun and Dragon's Dogma was okay, with hope that a sequel is better.)
  • PazJohnMitch 1 Apr 2013 04:26:34 8,045 posts
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    So will the Japanese start disliking Dark Souls now it has DLC levels and bosses? Or is it things like pay 80 MS Points for a new sword they hate? (I also hate the later).

    Oblivion had both extremes and all manner of levels inbetween.
  • JinTypeNoir 1 Apr 2013 05:44:23 4,386 posts
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    It's not really that downloadable crap = bad game in the eyes of Japanese people, it is that, as it is right now, gamers are extremely hard to convince. Even the reasonable ones. I guess you could also say that even those who don't play games as much are wary of it. Its not all Japanese, and the perception changes on the group you're talking about. Obviously, the extreme people I've been talking about are insane and think Nintendo should burn in hell for even thinking of New Super Luigi Bros. There are others who are completely gullible and will buy literally anything without complaining. But I feel the attitude toward all forms of downloadable trinkets is overall more negative over here. I don't think you can say "If it's done right, it is okay" is an opinion many hold, especially for the heavy users.

    I must admit that I'm of the same opinion mostly, I just try not to generalize about it or make judgments any games or download stuff I haven't played. It is the reason I refuse to use the word, "DLC." I honestly feel like using that term is getting used to a euphemism that helps gradually weaken the restraint to pay for it.

    I often encounter English speakers who say that little kid voices or high-pitched girl voices are annoying. Its odd to me, since many of us don't even blink to hear it. A lot of people here like that and think it sounds good. So what sounds good to one culture is an automatic turn off. I think there's something about consumer outlooks over here that makes people automatically assume that anything downloadable you have to pay for is an automatic flaw.

    BTW, you touched on a sore point there. Don't even get me started on the Elder Scrolls vs. Souls war over here. Imagine the Square/Nintendo/Sony thing, but a thousand times more epic and filled with, Holy-shit-will-you-please-calm-down drama. The basic gist goes like this:

    Group A: A certain group goes around saying Oblivion is god's gift to RPG design and Japanese designers should just give up out of shame (yes, these are Japanese saying this).

    Group B: A rival group develops that defends Japanese RPGs. One thing they point out is that some (SOME!) of the best Japanese RPGs do not have questionable business practices like Oblivion, but the problem is really taking a hold in the West. This group latches on to Demon's Souls and Dark Souls as the ultimate answer as why to they believe Bethesda's games are crap.

    Cue endless flame wars between the two groups. Skyrim releases and the wars heat up again. Group B translates some articles from the press that shows that some critics specifically praised Dark Souls to criticize Skyrim. Their endless cry, "Neener, neener, you don't got no wiener, Our Lord, Good From would never do this."

    You can imagine what happened next and how Group A went into hyper drive troll revenge mode.

    These days when you make an RPG thread anywhere it is common to see a disclaimer that warns not to bring any of that BS near the thread. Because IT IS EVERYWHERE. It is the exact same thing as PC RPG elitists vs. Japanese RPG elitists, just the roles and language are different.
  • mal 1 Apr 2013 06:19:28 22,534 posts
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    Wow, Japanese boards sound just like the crap in this place's comments section.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • PazJohnMitch 1 Apr 2013 08:06:57 8,045 posts
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    @JinTypeNoir

    Do you have a feel for how the general Japanese public felt about Resident Evil 6?

    In the west this game was pretty much slated as a very poor attempt to copy Gears of War. Many reviewers said the changes ruined the game and pretty much destroyed the series' credability.

    I was under the impression however that the Japanese people generally thought it was very good. Where the west found it tired and lacking they found it new and inventive?

    I have not played it yet. (Still not played Resi 5 yet either which is sitting on my shelf).

    If my observations are right then this is a Japanese game that tried to appeal more to the west and failed on that front. However managed to inavertedly appeal more to Japan, seemingly by accident.


    As for squeeky voices I am afraid that I am one of those people that hate them. Blue Dragon was made unplayable for me by Marumaro. It is not just the voices but the entire comedy, cute, cartoon, character thing. The only one I have ever liked is the Heropon Rikki in Xenoblade Chronicles.

    And then there are characters like Vanille who sounds like she is on the edge of orgasm for the entire of FFXIII.
  • mal 1 Apr 2013 09:01:53 22,534 posts
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    Must admit, my interest in certain RPG series has waned as the number of voice acted scenes has increased.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Telepathic.Geometry 1 Apr 2013 09:09:07 11,322 posts
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    Jin: "I often encounter English speakers who say that little kid voices or high-pitched girl voices are annoying. Its odd to me, since many of us don't even blink to hear it. A lot of people here like that and think it sounds good."

    I absolutely hate that high-pitched bullshit. It's like when people constantly praise you and say how great you are, and smile constantly. Of course I recognise that people are doing their best to speak in a register that pleases the listener and they always wanna make you feel comfortable, so in my brain I know where that's all coming from, but in my heart I hate it, because it's not real.

    But anyway, I actually wanted to go back to something you said quite a few pages back, when translating the degree of awesome compulsiveness or something like that. Years ago when I was helping my then girlfriend write a thesis on translating Monty Python into Spanish we came across a German translation theory expert with a very interesting theory.

    He said that one viable avenue for translation was to transport the listener/reader to (in this case) Japanese. So, rather than choosing the best fitting expression in English - in order to bring the Japanese expression to the reader/listener - you translate it raw to best transport the reader/listener to the original Japanese expression. In some cases I think that this is really the best way, especially if you have a young or mentally active reader/listener. Anime subtitlers often use this tactic a lot, and I think it's EXTREMELY beneficial. ^-^

    Also, as regards racism in Japan (that was a few pages back too), I think it's rampant and widespread. I know that that won't be a popular opinion with a few people on here, but today is my 5 year anniversary in Japan, and I've met literally hundreds of Japanese people here. The majority are quite racist. I will say that they're not violent or anything, it's more a kind of casual racism born of ignorance and a lack of contact with the outside world. I don't live in Tokyo, where I suppose there must be a more cosmopolitan open-minded populace, but up here in Hokkaido, that's how it is.

    || PSN Barrysama || NNID Barrysama ||

  • JinTypeNoir 1 Apr 2013 10:34:25 4,386 posts
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    PazJohnMitch wrote:
    Do you have a feel for how the general Japanese public felt about Resident Evil 6?
    I couldn't tell you. It may be too soon. (I have to laugh. This is ridiculous. It makes it sounds like someone died!) There is an absolutely abnormal amount of reviews at Amazon still, which usually means they haven't gotten around to culling all the dummy reviews, which usually means the hate brigade hasn't died down quite as much.

    As a kind of trivia, Dead Space (the original only) is considered a timeless masterpiece over here.

    And then there are characters like Vanille who sounds like she is on the edge of orgasm for the entire of FFXIII.
    She sure doesn't sound that way to me in Japanese. I'm guessing the strangeness Square Enix animated her vocal reactions in Japanese and had to insert something for her to say in English. She and Hope are generally the most popular and most well liked characters over here. *shrugs* I thought she was charming.
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