This week Alex Hutchinson, the creative director behind Assassin's Creed III, made quite a stir when he claimed that Western journalists give Japanese game developers a free pass, but is there any truth to it?
I will remember my first trip to Japan until my last breath. When I walked out of the train station into the games and electronics district called Akihabara the first time, I imagine it felt a whole lot like when a believer walks through Jerusalem. I felt like I was standing on hallowed ground where incredible things had taken place that I was not able to see with my own eyes. I felt envious that I had missed it and I wished I had been a part of it. I was home.
That was a long, long time ago, but I imagine that many players would feel this way if they stepped into Electric Town tomorrow for the first time. There's simply no denying that Japan has a special place in the hearts of most modern players. Many of them grew up in the 16- and 32-bit eras where Japan built its legend by unleashing one amazing experience after another for more than a decade. Or they championed either Sega or Nintendo at their school lunch table. It would be inhuman to not form some semblance of reverence.