Submitted by Spectator1 1191d ago | video

Japanese Games Shouldn't Get a Free Pass

gamrReview: "The Bearded Gamer talks about how Japanese games are perceived by gaming journalists and why there shouldn't be a double standard." (Industry, Persona 4: Arena, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, PS Vita, PS3, Rayman Legends, Rock Band 3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360)

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Spectator1  +   1191d ago
I don't think they do tbh (and I don't actually like most Japanese games). I think the fans of Japanese gaming often give them a free pass, but hey, they like what they like. Gaming journalists don't give them a free pass at all tho imo.
Whitefeather  +   1191d ago
Man grow a real beard.
ChickeyCantor  +   1190d ago
Not so good fap material you're seeing?
Whitefeather  +   1190d ago
Actually I'm straight but I happen to have a real beard and I'm surprised he is called the bearded gamer yet he doesn't not have a full beard. Thanks for the petty insult though.
ChickeyCantor  +   1190d ago
Hey, enjoy life more. Getting your panties in a bunch over someones beard. It's rather insulting that you had to call him out on his beard for your own manhood. How is his beard insulting your beard?
He has a beard. Just a trimmed one. Get over it.
Whitefeather  +   1190d ago
You tell me to get over it yet you don't get over some random person's comment and go and make a gay joke? Ironic and hypocritical.

About his beard firstly it was a joke about his name and the state of his beard, secondly I don't care about his beard nor his video or site.
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Lovable  +   1191d ago
*Look at Jrpgs that came out* what is he talking about?

*Look at bug fest games that western developers released* perfect 10s
TeaDouble_E  +   1191d ago
ZING! You hit the nail right on the head my friend. Your comment reminds me of Bugthesda game's and how lazy developers are this generation.
humbleopinion  +   1190d ago
Your point? Zynga games are pretty bug free, but they're plain copycat crap. If your game doesn't have any bugs AT ALL, it's probably just not ambitious enough.
HammadTheBeast  +   1190d ago
So all of the games like Zelda, Mario, most PS1-2 and all these other games aren't "ambitious"? Bethesda has the worst record for bugs, many, if not all, are completely obvious bugs that would be ironed out quick if they werent so eager for the money. Skyrim isn't all that ambitious from previous entries, all it really adds are dragons.
humbleopinion  +   1190d ago

Earlier Zelda and Mario had their share of bugs and were obviously very ambitious for their time.

But since you mentioned Bethesda: neither of the series today has anything which comes close to the scope of games like Skyrim. Come'on! Mario and Zelda games don't even include trivial stuff like proper audio for dialog, so lets not even mention stuff like AI, branching story, seamless world or HD graphics. The bigger the scope the more likely you are to run into corner cases and bugs - but the more likely you are to impress and break new boundaries. There is a reason Skyrim was the most respected game last year.

Oh, and not to mention that Zelda and Mario games are always designed for a single type of hardware in mind and are optimized for it, while Bethesda games this gen are multiplatform releases which have to support both the most top of the line PCs down to 6 year old PCs, and at the same time are released on 2 different consoles each with their own quirks, and need to make sure they can run on them without gimping the overall experience and ambitious design of the game. They simply don't have the same luxury Nintendo has for developing for one single platform (which THEY CREATED by the way).
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Outside_ofthe_Box  +   1190d ago
I see where you are getting at with that technical aspect of it, but at the end of the day when you rate a game you are judging it as game and not the technical aspects of it.

What's the point of pushing boundaries if bugs are going to kill the experience? The game is going to be remembered for the bugs.

There is no way a buggy game should get a perfect 10 that is Lovable's point. Japanese games do not get a free pass when you take into account that a handful of Western games get PERFECT 10s despite being filled with bugs. So who's actually getting the free pass here?
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Lord_Sloth  +   1190d ago
Shotty programming doesn't automatically mean the game is ambitious. Making the same game for the last decade and having each iteration be the exact same with the same bugs doesn't equate to ambition. It's crappy and lazy programming.
ALLWRONG  +   1190d ago
Yeah because it couldn't be that western RPG's are just better now. Just blame the media, western gamers, western devs, game sites, fanboys, americans, MS or anything else. Blame everyone but the Japanese developers that pump out mediocre games.
lodossrage  +   1186d ago
You couldn't be more full of it if you tried
Long story short

Japanese games are the same as what they always were. And that's WHY they were/ are loved the way they are. Both in Japan and to the animecentric gamer.

It only became a "problem" when a lot of western developers went from PC to console. Then all of a sudden everything is wrong under the sun in regard to Japanese games.

And this talk of a free ride is BS. Because last I seen, Western media loves to tear up almost anything that comes out of Japan these days.
smashcrashbash  +   1191d ago
Come on people stop with the Japanese games shouldn't get a free pass junk. Western games get free passes everyday.The hand out high scores to certain games and when you play them you wonder if it is the same game they reviewed and if they were either half asleep or drunk while they reviewed it.
Godmars290  +   1191d ago
"Western games get free passes everyday."
That's called payola. Through advertising of course.
MacDonagh  +   1191d ago
Nah. They were paid off. I always remember how Destructoid had all their staff proclaiming how The Old Republic was like the second coming of the Messiah. You can't trust any gaming site.
Romudeth  +   1191d ago
They don't get a free pass at all.

rdgneoz3  +   1190d ago
I do agree that they don't get a free pass (western devs), Final Fantasy XIII did deserve the meat grinder. The change to linearity from how the games have been in the past was big. Only one area where there was freedom to explore instead of corridor after corridor wasn't the funnest thing in the world. The past games had mini games, side quests, etc, while this installment had nothing till you got hours into the story to one location that you could do some side quests. Hell, the devs took note of the criticism and changed that a bit (along with the lack towns) in the sequel. Hell, versus if it ever sees the light of day (from what has been shown / told) has open areas and even back traveling to previous places.

You can say COD is a corridor, but that's how the games always have been and the story is never the biggest draw of the game. People play it for the multiplayer. And every release has always included that beloved feature, multiplayer.

Also, Dynasty Warriors might get a little flak for releasing games so often probably because there are only so many games you can make that are based on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. That's why they're now branching out into other series like the One Piece game (which is good). Kingdom Hearts gets flak because people keep calling for the one game they actually want to be made, Kingdom Hearts 3. And that won't happen till Versus is done. And you should already know why Capcom gets flak. Saying the survival horror genre is dead and turning RE into a guns blazing shooter that isn't scary at all... Though the AI partner in RE5 was scary at times - how dumb she was.

With Kojima, people ripped on him for (in MGS4) the install times between episodes and for the length of the cut scenes. Though the cut scenes were expected with his story telling style. Also, this gen he's really only don MGS4, Peace Walker, and a few ports / HD collection. Castlevania he only gave advice on, and MGR he isn't even doing anything on it (and the game was ripped on in the beginning).

Are there devs that get free passes in the East and West? Yes. Should you be providing better examples? Yep.
Romudeth  +   1190d ago
Actually you just proved my point.

All of those games, which were Japanese, got no free pass at all. Each and every one of them was ripped apart by journalists. Why they got flak isn't the point, the point is that Japanese games DO NOT get a free pass. If they did, none of those games you and I mentioned would have been as scrutinized as they were.
rdgneoz3  +   1190d ago
Actually, FFXIII and RE5 did do well for scores. XIII has a ton of 90+ scores and even IGN gave them an 89. RE5 was the same way. Check Metacritic for a list of their scores, a bunch of big reviewers gave them 90+ and even some 100s. They're both sitting on an average of 83 and 84 respectively. They were given free passes by many...

The ones that ripped them apart were the fans... And a few journalists that were not won over.
Xof  +   1190d ago
The thing is, most Japanese games don't get 'free passes'--they get the opposite. The endure greater, often invalid, criticism because of their place-of-origin.

Now, obviouisly, this is not entirely true. As you mentioned, rdgneoz3, there are some exceptions. Any Final Fantasy game. Any Resident Evil game.

So why is this? Well, I won't go into the deeply-ingrained bigotry against Japanese games today. That's a long conversation few people are inclined to listen to, let alone articulate. Let's save that for another time. Why is it, then, that some Japanese games -do- get a "free pass?"

Well, the same reason Bethesda and Bioware games get free passes: advertising and brand-recognition. Square Enix and Capcom have the money to advertise extensively, and Resident Evil and Final Fantasy have the brand-recognition to ensure a high degree of sales regardless of merit. Most production/development companies can barely scrape together the money to localize Japanese games--even the big ones like Atlus and NIS--so there's rarely much of an advertising budget, if any.

Final Fantasy and Resident Evil, however, are marketed more like Western games in the West... that is to say, they are marketed. We're talking online ads, previews with gaming "journalists" (which leads to a friendly rapport between the two that doesn't really exist with most Japanese developers), television ads, etc., etc.

If you look at the review score Japanese games get, you'll see the games that are NOT part of old, established franchises (the Zeldas, Marios, Metal Gears, FF)--the "mainstream" Japanese games--seldom earn more than a 7/10.

There are a slew of euphemisms out there reviewers use to demerit Japanese games, and a nearly equal slew euphemisms out there to prop up Western games from big publishers.

Which is painfully obvious to all of the gamers out there who have been gaming for a long time, and following the pitiful drivel that passes for gaming journalism.

It's a problem. A huge problem. Bigotry always is.

But you know what? The fact that a small, small minority of games--from Final Fantasy XIII to Mass Effect 3--do get a "free pass" from the media is a problem, too.
TruthbeTold  +   1191d ago
Different cultures have different desires and expectations. Just because we in the west may put a certain importance on something doesn't mean that a Japanese game developer necessarily needs to do the same. And vice versa. There's no 'free pass' involved here. Just a style that so many people over here are now resistant to, we now want to act as though Japanese developers are flawed. Their continued varying successes make us act as though they get a free pass. Please.

If you haven't honestly tried to learn Japanese, and the way of the Japanese people, then how can you honestly comment on their method of story-telling? You don't understand how they think, or what they desire. They make games that they would like and hope that as large an audience as possible would enjoy playing them, just like our developers do.

We should be grateful that we have at least a few different ways of thinking when it comes to creating games. For better or worse, we see the same few repetitive ways of thinking shine through more often than not in gaming.
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SeekDev  +   1191d ago
Interesting view on the matter, never though of it.

I agree, however, it makes sense that most western "journalists" wouldn't understand why the make-up of a Japanese game might differ in construct to a western game (Western or western?).
Xperia_ion  +   1191d ago
When do Japanese games get a free pass ? Having parena as the image pisses me off.
hardandsloppy  +   1190d ago
*Persona. Grammar Nazi to the rescue!!
TronEOL  +   1190d ago
I think this is actually the complete opposite. Western developers get TONS of free passes regardless of game content.

In fact, some of the highest rated games aren't actually that good AND they're from western developers. Bethesda made developer of the year last year even though they released an unfinished game, riddled with glitches, on 2 out of 3 platforms! It even won tons of GOTY awards.

Usually journalists grill Japanese developers for not changing their formula, or "modernizing". And somehow Call of Duty remains as one of the highest rated games, year after year, AND can still win GOTY in some circumstances.

Talk about double standards.

Mind you I don't like many Japanese made games besides some Final Fantasy's, Gravity Rush, and Metal Gear Solid. I actually prefer the more rough style we use in the west.
MySwordIsHeavenly  +   1190d ago
I'll take a bug-riddled masterpiece over a clean pile of crap any day...
AHall88  +   1190d ago
If it's bug riddled how is it a masterpiece? O_o
MySwordIsHeavenly  +   1190d ago
Because it had hundreds of great stories, thousands of memorable quests, tons of activities, and various game play mechanics...more than most games.

I don't see your logic, AHall88. Even Marilyn Monroe had a mole. She was still prettier than most "flawless" actresses though.

Ocarina of Time had glitches.
Metal Gear Solid had glitches.
Borderlands had glitches.
Gears of War had TONS of glitches.

It doesn't have to be flawless to be a masterpiece. The Dark Knight had some pretty crappy dialogue, but God help me if that isn't one of my favorite movies.
madjedi  +   1190d ago
@tron Almost every game is unfinished, in that it needs updates or patching, if they(bugs/glitches) existed on nes or prior systems, it would only get worse as games get more complex.

"In fact, some of the highest rated games aren't actually that good AND they're from western developers." Subjective and i can think of a few japanese games, that aren't particularly good either. So don't try to turn it into one is superior than the other, because it is all about personal tastes.

"Usually journalists grill Japanese developers for not changing their formula, or "modernizing". Agree

"And somehow Call of Duty remains as one of the highest rated games, year after year, AND can still win GOTY in some circumstances." Highest selling game yr after yr, and isn't not considered remotely close to goty material or highly rated, by any significant group of gamers except cod fanatics. <-- Fixed it for you.

Stop trying to start a western vs eastern is the better dev/game argument, all it will do is divide gamers.

Why do people always act like bethesda games are unplayable, show me another game as large and complex as skyrim without the same issues, then i'll consider bethesda a bad developer. I wouldn't likely ever give them developer of the yr either.

User scores are more valid to me than metacritic/review sites.

If there is a double standard being applied, it's done differently to each side, since the approach to the way each side( i am generalizing ) makes it's games/puts emphasis on is the total opposite of each other.
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omarzy  +   1190d ago
The only Japanese games that even get approved to be localized are ones that publishes believe will be big hits. You cannot selectively choose every AAA popular Japanese game to bring to the west and then complain that they all get high scores. Frankly,i know of many games that would probably cause parents to go out rioting. Try bringing some hardcore otaku games over here and see how the west rates them. I'd love to see the scores to 'please give birth to my child' or any eroge/doujinshi game.
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MySwordIsHeavenly  +   1190d ago
Depends on the game.

Depends on the developer.

Depends on the reviewer.

How hard is it to explain relativism to gaming journalists?!?
AHall88  +   1190d ago
Meh, all I know is that most of my favorite games are made by Japanese devs.
I think the AC3 guy must have been having a bad day or something when he made that statement, that or he got smacked on the head really, really, hard before the interview.
I was sort of looking forward to AC3 since it would finally be moving the story forward, but knowing I would be supporting that guy make me not want to buy it anymore.
Smashbro29  +   1190d ago
So all I need to have a show is moderately interesting background and some facial hair? Jeez.

Also that name, I feel like anyone can take anything these days add "gamer" to it and have it instantly be a thing.

Look at me I'm The CandyCorn Gamer! Gimme a break already.
madjedi  +   1190d ago
Most japanese games don't get a free pass, 1 game almost always does. Any main mario game gets a free pass, because gamers wouldn't dare to criticise their first love of gaming usually mario.

I look forward to when mario games aren't cuddled by nostalgic gamers around the world and are actually held to the same standards as ms or sony exclusives.

You can love mario and think it is the greatest series ever, thats fine but don't pretend it is being held to the same standards as alot of other games. It isn't even remotely close, neither are alot of nintendo's other franchises.

There is a bit of a double standard for japanese vs western games, but other than a few devs like kojima, alot of japanese games seem to be, far behind the times engine/technology wise.

Having said that they( japanese games), aren't all given the universal free pass, this free pass this guy thinks they are. FF13 got ripped a new asshole, by disappointed ff fans, it wasn't that great and it's sequel wasn't anything magical either.

I am guilty of giving a "free pass" alot to jrpgs vs alot of western games, simply because i know the vast majority of them are basically still ps2 games running on a newer system.
omarzy  +   1190d ago
"I look forward to when mario games aren't cuddled by nostalgic gamers around the world and are actually held to the same standards as ms or sony exclusives."

Nostalgia? I think the Mario franchise is too old for nostalgia. You see kids and retro teens playing Mario today, do you really think 10 years olds have nostalgia for the NES days? I believe they are held to the same standard, they need to be good to get a good score. Some are rehashed, but if it is good, then it is a good rehash. Mario games are given high scored because they are good, like Mario Galaxy. You would really have to religiously hate Mario to give that game anything below a 7.5. Not all reviewers love Mario, but his games are good and credit must be give. Writing a paper for class is no different, the teacher can disagree with every point you made, but if it well written, and follows the guide lines then it must be given a high score. A western example would be CoD. Some people hate having the "same" game every year, and journalist rate the games very high even of no major change has been made, but that is exactly why the games are rated high. If MW gets 9s and 10s, then MW2 releases soon after that. What score would you think it would get?

Too many people throw nostalgia with Japanese gaming, but the big series in Japanese gaming targets consumers who were not alive when the franchises started, these consumers are the same age or older then the first adopters.

Done ranting.
Freakazoid2012  +   1190d ago
Games for everyone does not mean games just for kids..

Sales really prove you wrong on that point anyway.

Mario has more sales now than he did 20 years ago.

Lots of older gamers still play it today. Sure new gamers come along and start playing too but its not all new gamers who support Mario.
madjedi  +   1189d ago

"You would really have to religiously hate Mario to give that game anything below a 7.5." Why because that is your opinion that particular mario game deserve no lower than a 7.5. Key phrase your opinion, nothing more someone else could rate it 7.4 does that make a religious mario hater.

Show me a critical review of a main mario game, not a fanboy review but a legitimate review admitting it's flaws. Because if it truly was held to the same standard as halo or uncharted it would have gotten points deducted for no story, minimal if any dialogue and zero character development.

Things that would count as a negative or flaw in those games, nintendo typically gets a free pass for because it's a nintendo title. How the hell is that remotely the same standard for sony, ms and nintendo games, it's not especially if mario or zelda is the example.

Maybe nostalgia was the wrong term to use, but if you really believe that mario is held to the same technical standards as uncharted or halo by gamers or reviewers. Stop drinking the koolaid, because unless it is complete ass like wii music, nintendo titles are treated with kids gloves by gamers and reviewers.

Again i am not stating you can't think nintendo games are the best ever made, if the only standard you judge by is fun factor, thats fine. It also explain why you think it is held to the same standard.

But some of us do expect gaming to move beyond the snes or n64 in certain areas, like voice overs, a personality, and useless females that have to saved. I still don't see how samus was created as a female, unless the head guy in charge of metroid was trying to send a subtle counter message to gamers.

"Too many people throw nostalgia with Japanese gaming" Okay so i used the wrong term, sue me.
amaguli  +   1190d ago
No game should get a free pass, no matter what region they come from. Thank being said, how can this guy say Japanese games get a free pass? Bug fests like Skyrim get GOTY awards, and Tales of Graces f gets criticized for being 'not innovative' enough.
knifefight  +   1190d ago
Does this idiot really think Japanese games get free passes or is he just saying inflammatory bullshit to get attention?
Freakazoid2012  +   1190d ago
Poor journalism should not be given a free pass.
Sonyslave3  +   1190d ago
Okay Show me a Japanese game on the level scale of Skyrim that not full of bugs o wait u can't.

Every games have bugs the bigger n complex the games the more bugs u will have.
Hicken  +   1190d ago
Show me a Western game with a story as deep and engaging as any FF, Tales, Breath of Fire, Dragon Quest... I could go on.

Show me one with tones as mature(and I don't mean sex and violence) as ATLUS titles(particularly SMT, Persona, and Catherine).

There's no excuse for all the bugs in Bethesda's games, no matter how big. If they can't make a game the size of Skyrim without bugs, then they shouldn't be making games that size.
Ben_Grimm  +   1190d ago
"There's no excuse for all the bugs in Bethesda's games, no matter how big. If they can't make a game the size of Skyrim without bugs, then they shouldn't be making games that size."

What open world games have you made for PS3, 360 or PC again? Could you point me in the direction of your gaming design portfolio.

Or are you just a backyard commentor on issues you truly have no idea about? I'm thinking the last part.
knifefight  +   1190d ago
Re: "What open world games have you made for PS3, 360 or PC again? Could you point me in the direction of your gaming design portfolio. "

^ Can you do the same, though?

I mean really, you don't seem any more qualified than anyone else here, Captain Irony.
Ben_Grimm  +   1190d ago

Nope i can't, but then again i never said that any company who CAN has no business making games and i never said i was qualified. So i really don't see the irony...Captain Wrongterm.
knifefight  +   1190d ago
Then I guess you're just a backyard commentor on issues you truly have no idea about. And we've come full circle.
Ben_Grimm  +   1189d ago
Again, that makes no sense since I wasn't the one who commented on the issue. But then again you did bring a knife to a gun fight.
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knifefight  +   1188d ago
Then I guess you need to check yourself before you go jumping on other peoples' backs about stuff, eh?

"Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself."

Life lessons, yo. Learn 'em.
3-4-5  +   1190d ago
Either should Western Games.

We act like just because it was made in the US it must some how be better than anything that ever existed.

Pure ignorance really.

Both game styles offer something unique because of the different cultures.

We complain about their games, but I'm 100% sure you'd rather game online with people from Japan than American's.

They are actually polite and get along and help.

All we do is brag about how good we think we are and talk about how " awesome I am " or something like that.

We are like the young kid who thinks he knows it all, and they are the wise older brother who doesn't buy into all the hype.
HonestDragon  +   1190d ago
Back to this again, huh? Okay, where has this guy been living? Because it sure isn't my reality. Japanese games, in particular their role-playing games, do not get free passes. Yes, the more popular Japanese games are critically acclaimed or are very favored among the video game community. However! There are many journalists who are just clear detractors of Japanese role-playing games (i.e. The Last Story, Xenoblade).

"...explain to me the narratives behind Resident Evil or Metal Gear. Seriously, no one understands what's happening in those games at all. I'm sure there's a few people, but it's really convoluted."

No, there are in fact more than a few people who know what's going on in the Metal Gear and Resident Evil universes. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know the narrative of any of those games. If you actually paid attention to them, you probably wouldn't have that problem. Looking at them as a whole via all of the games, it could be hard to understand where to begin and learn about them, but if you go from one to the other, you won't have a problem.

"If a Western developer tried to do that, they would be torn apart by journalists, by fans, by everyone."

Tried to explain the narrative of a Japanese game or tell one of their own? A story is only as strong as the skills of the writer(s). Are there plot holes? Are there confusing elements? Is there a sudden deus ex machina? Is this for parody? If the story is cohesive in its own rules and settings, then I think it'll be okay.

"Is this racism?"

What racism? I think it's just that journalists are playing favorites to some companies and games, while others are flaunting superiority for their side of the world. Starcraft was made here and it's very popular in the East. Super Mario was made in Japan and it's very popular in the West. It's all about personal preference and experiences with the games.
gamerben  +   1190d ago
The problem with western games is that they're usually hell-bent on being realistic as possible.
ShaunCameron  +   1187d ago
Indeed. Not just that but also trying to make that "cinematic" experience. You know. More cutscenes, less gameplay.
JeepGamer  +   1190d ago
Well I'm glad to know Japanese games shouldn't get a free pass... Because the last few years that's precisely the opposite of what has happened.

It's American games that have gotten the free pass lately.

For some strange reason putting the "J" in front of "RPG" seems to make the gaming press turn in to a bunch of hyper critical pricks.
Max-Zorin  +   1190d ago
The average Call of Duty gets a free pass compared to Japanese games.
triplev16  +   1190d ago
No they don't. And their style of story-writing and gameplay are needed in this industry just as much as any other game from other parts of the world. Not every story in this industry has to be compelling and modern. I loved No More Heroes storyline just as much as I loved Halo's. It all really comes down to how the story revolves around the gameplay and style of the game in question, which I think is what matters most. I can listen to a ridiculous story like Bayonetta's (my opinion) because I loved how the game played. But I can't listen to an amazing story if the gameplay is garbage—I don't care where the game comes from.
Afterlife  +   1190d ago
Wtf. It's the complete opposite in my opinion. I'll give some examples of games I've played that don't get bashed for being mediocre. Skyrim is a glitchy mess, the animations suck and the combat is simplistic, Brutal Legend is glitchy and the combat, animation and the rts sucked and Call of Duty is Call of Duty but still scores well every year and all you do is run, duck and shoot.
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