Japanese evaluate Western hits. (Bioshock, Ass Creed, COD4) Page 6

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  • Deleted user 1 April 2013 11:03:32
    Jin, please learn to edit your posts and bare in mind that brevity is good (pi r at least break them up into separate posts). It takes a fucking month to scroll down this page on my tablet.
  • Deleted user 1 April 2013 11:04:09
    New page! Ffs
  • Deleted user 1 April 2013 11:09:08
    Re squeaky voices and cringeworthy excitement. Isn't that part of the culture bred deference? E.g. in the west we would treat the way Vanile acts as very fake and insincere to the point of offensive. While the Japanese don't have this reaction. The increase in voices has in deed put me off my favourite genre.
  • Telepathic.Geometry 1 Apr 2013 12:19:01 12,422 posts
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    @mowgli: I think you need to look at your own country's speech patterns to realise that you do the same thing. If I'm talking to a kid, I tend to go into a higher register, or if I'm talking to an old woman or my friend's mother, I use a different 'kinder' voice. It's basically just that in my opinion, but to something of an extreme. In Japan, everybody I know (men and women alike) go into a higher register on the phone.

    I'll say this too, some of those voices you hear in games and anime, and the 'sexy' clothes and high-heels on junior high-schoolers and whatnot. They really exist.
  • Armoured_Bear 1 Apr 2013 12:50:34 22,179 posts
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    How has Bioshock Infinite been received ( if released)?
  • Triggerhappytel 2 Apr 2013 00:55:50 2,694 posts
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    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.

    In suggesting this, I meant that a lot of the enemies in Dragon's Dogma are from Greek mythology (chimera, cyclops, gryphon, hydra etc), and I'm pretty sure From Software have said that their design was inspired by medieval Europe dark fantasy. I just think with their general style and themes these games feel like they're trying to appeal to a western audience more than most RPGs developed in Japan.

    That's not a criticism, or an attempt to undermine either game's successes. Demon's Souls is my favourite game of the generation (I didn't get on so well with Dark Souls, although still appreciate the things it does well), and Dragon's Dogma was my favourite retail game of last year. Both games also have what are in my opinion the best 'social' elements in any RPG, without intruding on the single player experience.
  • mal 2 Apr 2013 01:01:13 29,326 posts
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    Must admit, I find Sarah Millican's voice intensely annoying, especially once I found out she can actually speak in a more normal register.
  • bobdebob 2 Apr 2013 02:01:54 601 posts
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    Telepathic.Geometry wrote:
    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.
    Racist towards other Asians or just in general?

    I hate high-pitched voices in anime, so fucking ear-grating, but then again I dislike most anime.

    Edited by bobdebob at 02:15:59 02-04-2013
  • Telepathic.Geometry 2 Apr 2013 02:33:15 12,422 posts
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    @bobdebob Well, it's a difficult question, but I think there's a general blanket racism for everyone who isn't Japanese that isn't so bad. It's not exactly like you'll be attacked or get any shit directly, but people will avoid you and exclude you if at all possible. Again, I put this down to inexperience and ignorance, not necessarily any malice. And I should also say that on the flip side, you get a lot of people who are really open-minded and interested in "foreigners".

    There's also a more particular kind of racism saved for Chinese, Americans and Russians. But again, there's a lot of history there, so it's understandable, and at least in the case of the Chinese, it seems to be mutual. South Korea seems to be pretty popular as far as I can see, but I guess you're better off asking Jin.

    Just as an Irish guy in Japan, I can say that the kind of racism I experience is basically a daily thing. Some people cross the road when they see me coming or studiously busy themselves with their phone or their bag in the elevator in case you might talk to them.

    There's also a general disbelief in your Japanese. My Japanese is pretty good, and even though I teach English, I speak Japanese 95% of the time in my daily work. And still, old Japanese men refuse to believe I can speak it. It's frankly extraordinary. I have had more than a few people stare at me with mouth agape and say "It spoke" or "Amazing, you speak Japanese! :o" or basically go into shock when they see me in the elevator in the same way you might if a fucking bear appeared in there.

    All in all, it's the most harmless racism you could possibly imagine, but every now and again it will get on your nerves. I think the notion of being silently excluded because you're not Japanese, or worse, included only because you are not Japanese is especially irritating to me, but I once again want to stress that compared to other countries where people are beaten to a pulp, raped or killed on account of racism, there's really not that much to complain about.

    I'm going on and on about this and probably derailing this very interesting thread, so sorry about that, so let me just finish up by saying a) Japanese racism is I think less intense but much more widespread than Irish racism, and b) If anybody disagrees with me or thinks I'm full of shit, I'd love to hear their opinions.
  • mal 2 Apr 2013 03:16:59 29,326 posts
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    I'm very surprised you say that the Japanese favour South Korea, but I guess KPOP pervades all, and it might be a youth counterculture thing, dunno.
  • JinTypeNoir 2 Apr 2013 03:43:46 4,392 posts
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    @Triggerhappytel I wouldn't take it as a criticism, nor would I be perturbed if it were, but I still think your thinking is a little off on that. Bringing in foreign fantastical elements is something that greatly appeals to Japanese tastes and has since the dawn of the genre way back in the early personal computer and Famicom days. You could say it is one of the reasons RPGs got so popular over here. Its been a very popular trend in manga as well.

    You may have forgotten, because now they look "Japanese" to you that Shin Megami Tensei, Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy took a lot of enemies from Western mythologies as well. Incorporating designs that look Western may be a help for them, but I don't think you could say that Capcom or From were aiming at a Western audience by doing that. Japanese gamers want to wrestle with a hydra or a cyclops just as much as Western gamers do, because they are neat monsters, both visually and conceptually.

    There were tons of other games that do the same thing, but I think a lot of people from Western countries assume that if it has manga or anime-like designs that its automatically oriented toward Japanese people and vice versa, which is not the case. It is more that there are a wide variety of RPG producers with a variety of visual tastes and if you go back through the ages, you'll see games with similar thematic and visual similarities to Dark Souls and Dragon's Dogma in every generation. Its simply that through a combination of events the press picked up on Demon's Souls and it gained notoriety. If that hadn't happened, things would likely have continued much the same over here.

    There are developers who for one reason or another have the same philosophies as some developers overseas. There are others who are in direct opposition to them. Some of them look at overseas developers and emulate parts or wholes, some do the same with domestic games, and some just ignore everyone else entirely. Its often coincidence with these things.

    It is similar to how the original Resident Evil is said to have copied the template of Alone in the Dark, which could come from a cursory examination, but an investigation of what was actually the case proves it to be wrong.

    In the case of Dragon's Dogma, I think you could say there was a definite pandering in the opposite direction toward Japanese gamers more than anything else. A lot of the visual style of Dragon's Dogma seems tailor made to bring in wider audiences in Japan as well.
  • Telepathic.Geometry 2 Apr 2013 04:17:40 12,422 posts
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    mal wrote: I'm very surprised you say that the Japanese favour South Korea, but I guess KPOP pervades all, and it might be a youth counterculture thing, dunno.
    I don't know very well myself, but it just seems like so many Japanese people I know like K-Pop, Korean food, Korean TV shows, and an awful lot of them have visited Korea.

    I've also heard it said that a lot of Japanese women are interested in Korean men because they seem tough. I also know a shit-load of Japanese people seem to be studying Korean, probably because it's close and the language is quite close to Japanese.

    But, ya know, it's all anecdotal on my part, so take it with a grain of salt.
  • Deleted user 2 April 2013 04:32:23
    It's interesting to hear your perspective telepathic.geometry, my only point of reference is Will Ferguson's Hokkaido Highway Blues and he puts forward much the same opinions, especially in rural areas.

    You have to wonder how much cultural perception and stereotyping plays in game development. Larger teams are much more multinational and diverse and there seems to be a shift towards being more inclusive rather than beating the same old drum. Of course, teams will always play to a market's strengths but hopefully devs will start being more flexible in wanting to break out of the same old routine.
  • Telepathic.Geometry 2 Apr 2013 04:58:12 12,422 posts
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    @HurbleBurble Cheers man, but I think it's important to remember that Japan is a big country, and the people are quite different from place to place. I mean, if you compare a typical Dubliner to a typical Cork man, it's like comparing apples and oranges.

    Also, because a lot of these so-called 'racist' Japanese people have never been to an English speaking country - and probably have no great desire to either, unless it's to go shopping and sightseeing - their experience of English speakers is of the guys who come to Japan for a year or two, fuck everything in sight, don't bother to learn Japanese or assimilate at all and then leave without paying their bills, closing their accounts or properly disposing of large waste.

    In other words, their experience is that a lot of those people are kinda cunts. And I feel like it is the fault of those people who tarnish the name of 'foreigners' in Japan. I've become kinda racist myself to be honest, and as a general rule I stay away from 'gaijin' unless I have to work with them or they're lifers like me.

    So it's pretty hard to blame Japanese people for their opinion of foreign people, considering that (at least in Japan) it's often not too far off the mark. :o Maybe I'm a racist now too...
  • Deleted user 2 April 2013 05:09:23

  • Telepathic.Geometry 2 Apr 2013 05:21:34 12,422 posts
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    XD Nice!
  • PazJohnMitch 2 Apr 2013 09:25:55 13,470 posts
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    The Chinese / Japan thing is definitely a mutual dislike. Particularly in the Shanghai region.

    The Chinese also do most of the similar mildly racist things but only to people with darker skin than them. White people are seen as a novelty and are often given more freedom than they perhaps should. With my job I frequently visit places in China that should have high security but they just wave me through because I am white.

    Some parts of China, particularly Shandong, are so welcoming and generous that it is impossible to get anytime for yourself as they want to entertain you continually.

    In Jiangsu a white south African colleague was asked if she had turned white because she had been out of Africa for too long.

    A mixed race white / Korean colleague who identifies himself as white British also confuses the hell out of every Chinese person he meets.
  • bobdebob 2 Apr 2013 14:13:30 601 posts
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    PazJohnMitch wrote:
    The Chinese / Japan thing is definitely a mutual dislike. Particularly in the Shanghai region.
    I don't think WW2 wounds have healed, but that's probably true for the rest of east and south-east asia.
  • senso-ji 2 Apr 2013 14:24:41 8,315 posts
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    Telepathic.Geometry wrote:
    mal wrote: I'm very surprised you say that the Japanese favour South Korea, but I guess KPOP pervades all, and it might be a youth counterculture thing, dunno.
    I don't know very well myself, but it just seems like so many Japanese people I know like K-Pop, Korean food, Korean TV shows, and an awful lot of them have visited Korea.

    I've also heard it said that a lot of Japanese women are interested in Korean men because they seem tough. I also know a shit-load of Japanese people seem to be studying Korean, probably because it's close and the language is quite close to Japanese.

    But, ya know, it's all anecdotal on my part, so take it with a grain of salt.
    I've just come back from South Korea, and although you don't see many Westerners, there were huge numbers of S E Asian tourists. I read up on 'Hallyu' (Korean Wave) and it seems that Korean Popular culture (not just music) is extremely popular in that region. My Hotel in Seoul was full of Japanese tourists, and the owner told me the Japanese were by far his largest proportion of guests all year round.


    I read an article about some Japanese women and their interest in Korean men, and apparently it comes from Korean TV dramas, where the men and ripped and good looking, but show complete devotion to their partners no matter what.

    Edited by senso-ji at 14:25:03 02-04-2013
  • ericsouthard 2 Apr 2013 20:48:46 2 posts
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    Hi Jin, I'm loving this thread, it's really interesting. I was wondering if you'd heard of a game called "Armed and Dangerous" on the pc and first xbox. It's one of my favorite games but it was kind of an underground hit and I have no idea if it was released in Japan. Could you post a review of it if you find one please? Keep up the good work :) [youtube.com/watch?v=xHmRNj8yi3I]

    Edited by ericsouthard at 20:55:06 02-04-2013
  • JinTypeNoir 3 Apr 2013 13:49:49 4,392 posts
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    Armed & Dangerous was not released in Japan, but I did find some reviews from 360 or Xbox enthusiasts who imported the title. Three translations, I think, will sum up what I found. But the first one is quite long, so I'll post the other two in the next post.

    Here it the first one, this is from a blog from a guy who's clearly been writing about Western games for a while, so the writing style is...well, you'll see:

    "We are the Lionhearts, honorable thieves bound together as one! Jonsey the mole is my old friend and a demolitions expert. So when the very same Jonsey and I were thrown into the brig, that's when we met Q. Despite being a droid, he was a weirdo who loved his tea. I've heard Rexus was once a powerful magician, but now if you ask me, he's just a completely blinkered loon. And me, I'm Roman. I'm not just the leader of the Lionhearts, but this game's main character. That means you louts with the controller are controlling me, got it? And if there was a well-proportioned chick, neither friend or foe, who gussied up our plot, things would be perfect, but unfortunately, in this world, you'd better not get your hopes up for the charms of the fairer sex.

    This time, our target is a magical tome called the Book of Order. However, King, the tyrant who commands every sphere of the political globe is salivating himself to get his hands on it and its powers too. Get to the Book of Order before King can and release its powers. Its just the thing to make this despot blow spit bubbles and keel over, and that's what you'd call the duty of a band of honorable thieves.

    This a joyous third person shooting joint LucasArts released in '03. The developer who was in charge of this is Planet Moon Studios, the maker who crafted that shining masterpiece, Giants: Citizen Kabuto. One of their recent works was the bloody-minded PSP shooter Infected where they took that holy night called Christmas Eve and dyed it in blood.

    The stage is set in Milola, a somewhat Eastern European-looking country. Take a cursory look and you may think this is a country of rugged unsophisticates with black ambitions who happen to work out their lives via agriculture and stock-farming. Because you know, its the sheep, man, they're all over the world! Here and there, lollygagging around like lemmings. It's their job to get caught in the wake of warfare our cheerful leads leave behind them. After all, the three Lionhearts do pride themselves on having enough firepower for a small platoon. Duuuude, you can't fault our heroes, the lemmings just happened to saunter into the line of the kiss kiss bang bang conga line.

    As a game, Armed & Dangerous is a shooter that is quite like many others. The theory goes that with the black and white buttons, you can give simple orders to Jonsey and Q who follow behind you, but eh, giving these order is more like a lovely bonus element. Release them to their own devices, and the two will selfishly make blossoms of violence ahead of you by planting seeds of bullets behind you; if you put them in the same part of your brain where options from 2d scrolling shoot 'em ups like Gradius and R-Type go, I don't think you'll go too far wrong.

    Weapons are only ever your standard fare, with the sole exception being a pleasant little weapon called Land Shark Gun. This is a weapon that launches man-eating sharks that move through the ground, the sharks put up their fins as they finesse their way through the dirt, take it upon themselves to seek out enemies and eat them into like eager fatsoes with hunger pains. If you cut through the bull and said that this is entirely a visual weapon and when a great mass of enemies appear at once, it largely isn't helpful, you might be correct, but you would not be right. If you get your hands on a jet pack, battles become a great deal more fun; unfortunately the developers do things like limit the stages where you can use the jet packs.

    What I'm trying to say is that, while as a shooter Armed & Dangerous is made out of factory-pressed, standardized parts, this work's charm is in the black humor generously teased and stuffed into the story. And that humor is absolutely not at a level you might call timorous sprinkles. 'Not had enough? Well, here's some more!' They shout this in your ear. Who? The mountain of gags -- in some indefinable way reminiscent of that Monty Python-esque taste -- that insert themselves into the game as you play.

    I've played games for a long time, but...no matter how much trouble a band of heroes and the main character may run into in a desert where they are close to starving, I think its probably most likely only Armed & Dangerous that would have that same band stoop to cannibalism against the innocent tribes people of the desert. No...no, wait...there have been other absurd games with cannibals in them, but of all things, making the heroes, the band of honorable thieves perpetrate an act like that! Oh, there are some other bits of dead body humor too, like, somewhere in the middle, there's this mission where you save captured villagers and when you're leading those villagers around that you rescued, if it looks as if you could only be dragging corpses, well, forgive and forget, right?

    It's not like there are any straight-on depictions of gore, but, well, what can you say? From start to finish, the game continues with that kind of kick, so there was never any reason to expect them to sell it officially in Japan. It is a wee story full to brimmin' with the black humor gags, but for some reason the ending is comparatively pastoral and even behind THAT docile exterior, there's this devious personality cackling on the inside. The four Lionhearts are true gaming originals and extremely charming characters, but as bad luck would have it, games where these four appeared unfortunately ended with this one adventure. Is it really only my imagination, I wonder, or is my impression correct that LucasArts gives the short end of the stick to not just this game, but all their other non-movie-derived IPs?

    (This will run on an Asian/Japanese Xbox or Xbox 360.)"

    BRB with the other two reviews.
  • JinTypeNoir 3 Apr 2013 14:00:50 4,392 posts
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    And now for the other two!

    First another point of view from someone reviewing on a messageboard dedicated to this sort of game (BTW, these first two reviews were written in 2012, which makes quite a time comparison to the last translation you'll see here):

    "As of right now, its got the air of a fine wine made of explosions and screams, woo hoo! let's go shooting. Most objects are able to be destroyed, which will make them go up in flames or explode, and the enemy reactions are something you've gotta check out. But its not like one of those lalala shoot and run, I can't heeear you games; its closer to the feel of a ferocious gun firefight. And I think the skilled presentation of that ferocity and the high quality of the sound is something that could be displayed right next to the latest games with pride.

    Your allies will fight you, but the commands you can give them are simple: follow or wait. So because of that, even though there is an element of unit tactics, its as if there actually wasn't, at least where I'm at in the game. There are stuff like sticky grenades that your friends will help out by throwing them into enemies a lot, so there's a great definition of them giving it their best that tickles me in the right place. I mean, there's this big commotion, here, there and everywhere! (laughs)

    There hasn't been any loss of presentation from the processor struggling to render it that sticks out to me. If its not 30 frames, maybe its 60, I dunno, feels like anywhere in between, whatevs.

    Also, the funny weapons that are supposed to be a selling point. Somebody gave me a dirt-funneling shark gun. Glorious. Fire one bullet and for a set time they will happily circle around their pray for you. If you use them in a place full of enemies, they will go town like its a sale at the human buffet just for sharks, nom, nom, nom, nom! And the way the enemies wail and scream is truly something to laugh at. There's like bombs that reverse heaven and earth. On that level, it seems like there is a lot to go, see and enjoy.

    But the balance of difficulty might be on the trickier side, more so than I thought. I've already died, and died, and died quite some more. There's this theory going around that if you play with auto aiming on, the weapons lose their individuality, and because of that I turned it off, so maybe that's why. It looks like there might be a need to decide what priority your attacks should be in and proceed by defeating enemies well and efficiently.

    Also, the worldview, characters, the feel I got from playing is that it has a strong pungent taste. If you like it, you like it, but it doesn't seem like it would please the masses. In my head, it's a different feel and touch to Brute Force or Freedom Fighters. If you play Murder Death Kill or this company's other ones, you'd probably slide right into this game's atmosphere with no reservations, I think. If it continues darting along haphazardly with the content of this kind of action shooting feel, then personally, it's a keeper for me. Oh, and the music is brilliant, you need to listen to it!

    It is entirely made up of one single-player-oriented mode, so keep that in mind."

    And now for the last one. Personally I don't think this guy comes off as very good at judging anything, but my mission is to present you accurate examples of evaluations that Japanese people make that run the whole gamut, but are still worth reading to some extent, so here it is:


    I'm playing the Xbox version of Armed & Dangerous. It's a non-Star Wars LucasArts game. You give orders to two comrades, who defeat enemies (bipedal walking aliens?) behind your point of view, while you continue through the game going boom! bang! destroying buildings, but the feel is just a very strange thing! For example, beside rocket launchers and machine guns, there is something of a gun called a Shark Gun and if you shoot it, out comes a shark (!), which goes around swimming through the ground and jumps out above ground at the target point and gulps down said target! WHAT? What is this weapon? There are other examples, like right in the middle of battlefield, there'll be something like a pub to power up your character with, its just bizarre, bizarre I say!

    And a further surprise are the movies. What the hell are these supposed to be? It makes you think that the framerate may be around 8 fps its flickering and shimmering so much; its so crummy you wouldn't easily believe that its a product of recent times! To give you something close to the impression that the quality of those movies gives me...Riglord Saga, an early days Saturn game. This is supposed to be LucasArts, but is it really okay to do something like this, I wonder?

    Eh, the game itself, the various parts its crafted of, are proportionally well executed and its fun, so its all good, I suppose, but I've got no hesitation about totally skipping those movies each time I play. (laughs)"

    Armed & Dangerous came out well before the whole hoopla I mentioned on the last page started, and its a really obscure title, so fortunately I managed to find reasonable enough reviews for it without waging through pages and pages of junk.

    Better yet though, your request gave me an idea of how find more like them, at least for older games, so if my idea is successful I may be able to restart translating again. You're a genius, ericsouthard, without your request, I never would have come upon unlocked this new Google-fu technique.

    (P.S. mowgli is probably going to get mad at me for not breaking this up into even more posts, but I don't see how that's going to make it any easier to scroll down on a mobile, and I hate posting multiple times right after another of my posts because it makes me feel like I'm talking to myself in an insulated, white-walled nutso chamber, so 2 posts is my limit.)
  • Telepathic.Geometry 3 Apr 2013 23:40:46 12,422 posts
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    Don't mind mowgli, his request was unreasonable. If wall-o-text is in your blood, then go with it I say...
  • ericsouthard 4 Apr 2013 01:37:44 2 posts
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    Great job Jin, thanks :D I would also like to recommend a youtube channel called Gaijin Goomba. [link url=http://www.youtube.com/user/GaijinGoomba[/link]

    It's run by an american who spent a few years in Japan as a teacher and he talks about the differences between eastern and western game design.
  • mal 4 Apr 2013 01:49:57 29,326 posts
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  • aonepostaccount 22 Jun 2015 09:56:44 1 posts
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    JinTypeNoir wrote:
    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.
    Sorry for the necropost, but this is something I've got to talk about.

    That IS devaluing the original in the same way as drawing a McDonald's in the background of the Mona Lisa or gluing underwear onto the Statue of David. Ocarina of Time is so good because of the level of technology for which it was developed. Updating it diminishes it's significance and integrity.

    You don't update art.

    It's a commercial sellout move that turns "art" into "fastfood." It's pandering to an audience of superficial selfish children that demand everything be relevent to their interests. It's these kinds of actions which give credence to the idea that video games will never be art and deny them their place as an art medium.
  • Rivuzu 22 Jun 2015 10:10:24 17,262 posts
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    And the award for most useless Necrothreadery goes to someone who wont post again because his username dictates it.
  • MrSensible 22 Jun 2015 10:13:29 26,523 posts
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    Though I do appreciate being reminded of this thread as I really enjoyed the idea of it :D

    Edited by MrSensible at 10:13:38 22-06-2015
  • dominalien 22 Jun 2015 10:54:13 8,530 posts
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    The thread is great, the necropost is shit.

    I have the old Majora's Mask and have played a tiny little bit, but now the remake is out I'm certain to get and play that.

    It's like remaking movies. People who have seen them back in the day would generally think it was pointless, but for new generations it's the only sensible option to watch them, since the old one looks so bad now.

    Books get old after maybe 50 years, films after maybe 10-20, games get old after 5. That's the way it is.

    Oh, and I'll take a Milo Manara drawing over the Mona Lisa or any old shit any day of the week.
  • Psiloc 22 Jun 2015 12:30:21 4,515 posts
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    Hmm, OP seems to have left. I'm quite interested in what the Japanese make of The Witcher.

    I'd also be interested to know from the horse's mouth about why they won't give home consoles the time of day any more. I've heard lots of (western) analysis that all seems perfectly reasonable, but a few first hand accounts would be interesting.
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