The Assassin's Creed III Creative Director recently spoke out about the apparent racism journalists have concerning Japanese games.
Sounds like this guy just doesn't understand a lot of Japanese games and therefore thinks they are just trash because of it. He's heralding how good Gears of War is, when at its heart its some of the most generic story telling to date. At least with Japanese games you occasionally get something new
Sounds to me like he does know what he is talking about. I've played many japanese games from Kingdom Hearts, to Final Fantasy, To metal gear, and to bayonetta. All of the stories are filled with vague symbolism, long narratives, in media res to confuse you, overly endowed women, and generic spikey haired characters. Journalists forgive them by saying "Oh, well that's just how japan does it." but if a US game had a story like that, it would get marked down for it. Maybe the right word isnt racism, but it's definitely bias.
I dont know... i think the guy kinda has a point. Lots of those games make little to no sense and are the corniest cheeseball sounding games ever. Im not saying bayonetta or the latest devil may cry games have bad gameplay... but the stories are so corny they make me embarrased to play them in front of other people.
Except he hardly got a point . Western games got equivalent cheese , albeit in different tones and genre . Tough macho marines/soldiers adventures with the occasional corny emotional scene straight from a Michael Bay movie are equally crappy and corny . The rest is personal prefs . And he completely lost the plot when he claims those games are well received by western medias . They are barely covered unless from major studios and when they do they are nitpicked to death , if not just ridiculed . Western medias wont waste more than a page on something like Dynasty Warriors if they can , yet will have a 4 page review on something as vapid and repetitive as Warhammer 40k Space Marine
This is a little weird subject to pull the racist card on, which could easily be flipped around and used on him for saying that Japanese games' storylines are "literally gibberish". I'm not gonna do that, but I wouldn't call the stories gibberish either. They're pretty far out there I'll give him that, but I'm sure most people would agree that that's the beauty of it. Gaming would be a pretty boring hobby if all the industry got was gritty and realistic games.
I'm not sure I'd call it racism, but there certainly exists quite a bit of bigotry in Western gaming media against Japan, and has been for the last decade or so--roughly since the advent of the 360 and the change in dynamic from Japan being the leaders of the medium to the West. And what's so bizzare in this case is that we have a Western developer so incredibly out-of-touch with reality as to proclaim the bias is angled the other way around! Generally speaking, you can take two identical games in every respect, one Western and the other Japanese, and the Japanese title will recieve lower scores, because--apart from the few much-hyped titles from Square Enix--simply being of Japanese origin is quite a demerit these days. And it's very worth noting, Instigator, that by making any overarcing generalization regarding a particular culture (e.g. Japan) you are succumbing to the exact same form of bigotry as Mr. Hutchinson, here. Japanese games are no more inherently X than Western games are inherently Y. Sure, each culture brings its own narrative tendencies to the table, but that's it.
I'm not claiming that one is superior to the other, but I'm not blind to the fact that they're different. In fact, if this was a Japanese dev saying the same about Western games I would probably take the West in defense. Hutchinson used the words "literally gibberish" and "there’s no way you could write it with a straight face", and then used Gears of War as an example of a great storyline compared to Bayonetta. That makes me think he considers gritty or realistic games as superior, to which I respond that an industry where something like that is prevalent doesn't make for a very entertaining hobby. The same is true in Bayonetta's case. If that type of narrative was the predominant one things would get equally boring after a while. It isn't even the best example of a good Japanese storyline, but it's the one used by Hutchinson. Now, I don't see how being aware of the differences between the East and West and thinking that one without the other could get boring makes me a bigot, but if it does, then... Oh, well.
Damn... why can't people just accept that different cultures are different?
Because knowing is different than understanding. Naturally we as humans fear change, so change from understanding our normalized culture to an outside culture will create rejection. Every person needs to learn to be accepting.
Reviews for Western games are often much more forgiving, especially if the reviewers themselves are Western reviewers. Bad reviews pretty much killed Nier, but now it's seen as a hidden gem. It's only hidden because of the bad reviews it got in the first place, but the people praising it now don't seem to remember that. I rarely trust reviews for anything, as everyone has different tastes and they may not match up with someone just because they have a website. Although it can be fun to read them sometimes.
When these things get called out by journalists (and rest assured, they do not always get called out), it is because these story telling tropes, successes, and failures are obvious and applicable to us. We know what they're trying to do and the extent to which they're failing to do so. This is not always true with game stories that come from other places. That being said, did anybody praise Bayonetta's story? I thought the most common praise/criticism from both fans and journalists regarding both Bayonetta and Vanquish were that they were among the best playing games of the generation, but had bad stories. I thought this was a thing.
Gibberish you say? Well, I guess Alex Hutchinson would know a lot about gibberish. Kind of like the whole animus thing in the Assassin's games? Or how you have Desmond using his ancestors' memories to find the apple of Eden to prevent the Templars from taking over the world. And don't get me started on some mind realm where you get stuck if you stay in the animus for too long. Know that is gibberish.
Well 3 is actually his first AC game so he wasn't involved in any of that. He was involved with Army of Two though which is crap, and probably explains his love for Gears.
I can understand where hes coming from after reading so much Naruto/Bleach/One Piece. Not to say I dont enjoy them but you cant take them too seriously either.
Forgiving to japanese games ? I feel the exact opposite , japanese games feel nitpicked to death , as if it was some kind of western revenge and false "patriotism". Like Skyrim being forgiven for sometimes the same sins and worse as Dragon's Dogma . Or the whole mediadom b*tching about Square enix and FFXIII , only to praise the constantly dumbified dragon and and mass effect game sequels
Honestly, beside Metal Gear Solid series and the old Final Fantasy games, Japanese game have gone down hill. Their story telling isn't as intriguing this generation nor strikingly great.
then you haven't played enough games this gen. NEIR is a superb game, with so much emotion in it. you have all those great RPGs made for PSP, 3DS, DS and Wii valkyria chronicles. Dark souls and Demon souls. Cathrine, damn it that game was awesome. Ni No Kuni oh, have you seen this new game, Rain? you want to call doom on Japanese industry? go ahead, they may sell less, but that is because of idiots that are willing to have same damn boring game be shoved down their throat every day, like AC. I'm a fan, but damn it, stop milking the damn cow, it is dying! Halo GEOW UC (barely changed at all) COD? BF? nothing changes! this consument system kills good IPs that is a shame now, you could argue back with just two titles that bring out the same amount of artistry, maybe one title with the same amount of story telling and Zero titles with the same amount of challenge.
I think Games like Remember Me, which is being published by capcom but made by a french company. That game gives a great sense of story, new interesting gameplay elements and a better entertainment value. Something you don't see in today's Japanese games. They even put DMC's newest game to be made by a New Zealand company. What is that telling you? Where's the faith in their own people? Tell me, why is it that when Konami put the Europeans to create a new Castlevania game, it was absolutely phenomenal. Honestly, dude, games like Ni No Kuni, Cathrine and valkyria chronicles aren't as appealing like today's western games. They are pretty much running on old ideas and old traditional gameplay elements we saw in the last console generation. Why is it that FF13 got so much crap when it was first released for being so "linear"? People want new ideas and gameplay experiences, that's why they even compared it to Mass Effect in how it was such a superior game than FF13. Even games like the one you mentioned, Rain, those are unique concepts but that's pretty much it, it's a unique concept that really gives you the impression that it wont be more than what you saw on that trailer. Even Hideo Kojima himself has admited that Japan has fallen behind in today's generation with great gaming. Japan is slowly being dethroned and western games are slowly reclaiming their spot. It's funny how SquareEnix is now plubishing so many western type games like Tomb Raider, Hitman and Sleeping Dogs. So now we have Konami, Square Enix, and Capcom. Sooner or later, Namco Bandai will jump on the western game development path and have their games made by westerners and probably buy western branded games. Just Watch~~~~
FF13 was bashed because it was a demise in gameplay. Story wise it was celebrated, gfx wise celebrated, music wise celebrated etc. Actually I hated the game but many Final Fantasy hardcore fans loved it. You call these games not appealing, then I assume that games like Cod and BF are what you consider good and appealing games, since millions buy them. you see, if that is your opinion, well good luck. And for Square Enix and konami and other companies making different style of games, it is just like thatgamecompany making games like flower, flow and journey,(definitely not western style) . They always made different games, that is why they have different studios!
I dont rlly care aslong As I can play a game and enjoy it despite whatever story flaws it has aslong as its decent.
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