Tag Archives: Japanese gaming

10 Years On, Shadow Of The Colossus Signifies The Peak Of An Era

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As we hit the game’s 10th anniversary (another this month) I think in past blog posts I’ve said almost every good thing I can about one of my favorite games ever — Shadow of the Colossus. The occasion is also getting a bit more notice around the block than I anticipated. Looking back on Colossus in the context of its era though, I’m starting to see it as one of the last symbols of Japanese dominance of video games. Continue reading

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MGSV And The Changing Hype For Japanese Blockbusters

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This may or may not be my last blog post before Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain lands so I guess I should finally put words to how unusual the hype for this game has felt for me. It’s one of my most anticipated games of 2015, but my anticipation doesn’t seem to be the same as everyone else’s. I think it’s because as Hideo Kojima ends his involvement with the series it’s starting to become something that’s not quite for the same people who were enamored with the original Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2.

What I feel in anticipation for Phantom Pain isn’t what I felt in anticipation for MGS2, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, or Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The kind of hype I felt back then — akin to the kind of hype people felt in anticipation of Final Fantasy VIII or Final Fantasy X, honestly feels like it’s part of a different era now. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel that same communal mega hype for a boxed Japanese product again. Maybe Zelda, maybe Soul Calibur, but that’s it. Continue reading

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Just How Can You Predict Which Games Will Get PC Versions Today?

The announcement of a PC version of Azure Striker Gunvolt has me surprised and a little bit mad when it really shouldn’t have. The increasing publisher support of the PC, mostly through Steam, hasn’t quite reached the point where it’s ubiquitous and you can expect every third party game to end up on Steam. It is however reaching a point where you have to seriously think about the possibility with each individual game. The only discernible pattern of probability I can see is the publisher of each game. Continue reading

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Modern Tactical RPG Musings Part Two: The Possibilities For Japanese Strategy Games On PC

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Last time I gave a quick impression of Lord of Magna for the 3DS while briefly talking about other Japanese tactical RPGs and how they’ve been handled in the western market as of late. These observations along with some interesting solid information I’ve come across has made me start to wonder about the future possibilities for Japanese strategy games in western markets.

I’m starting to wonder if more western PC releases for Japanese strategy games like Valkyria Chronicles and soon Nobunaga’s Ambition might bring those games to more accepting markets. Would the traditional CRPG audience lap up a game like Tactics Ogre? Continue reading

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Is Mobile All-Bad For Konami (And Metal Gear)?

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I guess you can call this a “devil’s advocate” post regarding Konami’s shift as of late. I’m about as disappointed as anyone else hearing how Hideo Kojima has left and how the company has decided to prioritize mobile and pachinko games. On one level though Iv’e chosen to think practically about it, and on another level recent reports few are talking about cast Konami’s turn in a positive light. Continue reading

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What Are Japanese-Only Games Doing On Steam?

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I mentioned this game briefly in a bullets section a while back, but the question of what a Japanese-language-only game is doing on Steam still presents a lot of possibilities for the future of the store, especially as Japanese games become more numerous on it.

Particularly here I’m not talking about console ports, but the obscure world of existing Japanese PC games, RPGs and simulators to be more specific. I’m vaguely aware of a whole market of these games that has pretty much gone completely unknown outside its home territory.  Continue reading

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Plausible HD Remasters and PC Ports I’d Want From Namco

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A little under a month ago I covered a list of PC ports I’d like to see from Capcom that I thought actually had a chance of happening. I might end up just going down through all the major Japanese publishers on this subject. Right now it’s Namco’s turn.

With Namco however I won’t just talk about PC ports. Namco’s actually released a few games on Steam already. What we haven’t seen much of from Namco are HD remasters of any sort. They’ve released the first couple Soul Calibur games and Tekken Tag Tournament in HD on PS3 and 360, and that’s it, along with a PS3 version of Tales of Symphonia (oh, and Tales of Graces f if you count that). I don’t know if Tales is any indication of Namco moving forward with these plans — Namco did indicate HD releases of the Xenosaga games are possible, but there’s still a lot from them that I’d love to play in updated forms. Continue reading

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The Most Plausible PC Ports I Want From Capcom

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SEGA is pleased with the opening performance of the PC version of Valkyria Chronicles which should hopefully continue the company’s long trend of bringing its classics to PC. Different Japanese publishers have recently put games on the platform at different rates, and one I want to talk about right now is Capcom.

The PC versions of Capcom’s games over the last several years have been excellent in terms of optimization, but the company hasn’t done much at all in terms of reaching back in time and bringing its classics to the platform… unless it’s also bringing them back for today’s consoles. When I thought about this I started thinking about the Capcom games that would make the most sense to bring to PC. Most of the games that came to my mind are either relatively recent games or games with recently released editions. Continue reading

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So Japan Finally Decided To Arrive To The PS4

Honestly, what I saw from Sony’s pre-Tokyo Game Show 2014 conference has already exceeded my expectations in terms of PlayStation 4 support from Japanese developers. I’m still not sure if what we’ve seen so far will lead directly to big PS4 sales in that country (or those games being successful elsewhere), but it’s a decent start. Continue reading

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Tokyo Game Show Was Light This Year Wasn’t It?

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Man, to a lot of people the 2013 Tokyo Game Show kinda just came and went. That’s sort of how it’s been for probably the last two or three years of TGS, but this year the show’s light impact seems to sting especially hard as new consoles are about to come out.

We already got a taste of this at Sony’s pre-show presser where relatively few “next-gen” games were really announced by Japanese publishers, leading to a Japanese PS4 launch lineup that’s still mostly made up of western software. It’s definitely apparent that Japan hasn’t really transitioned to the new consoles, just as it hesitated to transition to the current consoles.

We got a lot of new footage of and information about known titles (Lightning Returns, Ace Combat Infinity, Dark Souls II, etc.), but not a lot of new game announcements were really made, which is a bit disappointing for a show that used to be compared to E3, but mainly for Japanese publishers.

Even in the handheld space, where Japan is said to have retreated, we didn’t get a lot of new announcements. Even while writing this I’m struggling to think of major announcements and information that came out of TGS this year. The release date of Dark Souls II is one thing I guess. Another thing is the true nature of Capcom’s upcoming Deep Down — a next-gen free-to-play game. F2p on consoles seems to be an emerging thing out of Japanese publishers like Capcom and Namco.

Maybe it’s because western outlets chose not to cover all the mobile games that almost certainly took over TGS. I think Capcom announced another new RPG (the kind of announcement people used to watch TGS for) that ended up being an iOS game — aside from the also-mobile Breath of Fire 6, which probably felt like a slap on the face to fans of that series. Even Yasumi Matsuno announces a new game and it turns out to be a mobile game, but I at least trust that guy to offer actual deep gameplay and not an exploitative monetization scheme.

From my point of view the biggest things to come out of TGS this year were the Vita TV and the gameplay presentation of Metal Gear Solid V (Konami didn’t even have a booth this year), which is also cross-generation and mainly current-gen. It’s probably a telling sign when one of the most significant game announcements for me was La-Mulana 2 — an indie game.

It’s really hard to say when even the big Japanese publishers will jump on board for the new consoles. Both machines aren’t launching in Japan this year, who knows when Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III will launch, and even western publishers are mostly making cross-gen games for the next 12 months.

All that said, attendance to TGS still rises year-over-year, so the show isn’t in any actual danger of dying any time soon. It’s really just more a case of the Japanese market growing further and further apart from the rest of the world.

BULLETS:

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