Talk about anything and everything Squad-related here -- what you've been playing, what you're looking forward to, and how big your Pile of Shame has grown after that last Steam sale...
User avatar
User

A.I Impaired

Posts

127

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:16 pm

Location

Ottawa, ON

Favorite Genres

Computer RPG's

Now Playing

Doom, Overwatch, Dark Souls

The state of Kojima

by A.I Impaired » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:50 pm

http://www.usgamer.net/articles/konami-tries-to-quietly-erase-hideo-kojima-as-it-continues-to-bleed-talent

I have read a number of articles outlining some kind of happenings in regards to the employment status of Hideo Kojima, and indeed the whole of Kojima productions. The article above seems to be wildly speculative in parts, but is connecting some dots that really give me an unavoidable frowny face.

For the longest time I could say 'well at least Konami didn't end up like Capcom'. I cringe to think that this statement will be dated, and the role of the gaming auteurship and boundary pushing Kojima Productions was known for will be replaced with something more conservative.... Japanese Splinter Cell....

That said, its kind of irresponsible to speculate too far ahead right now. Metal Gear Solid V looks so grande, and I hope it is a success that legitimates more innovation.
User avatar
User

Angry Jedi

Posts

557

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Real Name

Pete Davison

Favorite Genres

JRPGs, visual novels, adventures

Now Playing

Sword Art Online: Re:Hollow Fragment, The Fruit of Grisaia, Hyperdimension Neptunia U, Final Fantasy XIV

Re: The state of Kojima

by Angry Jedi » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:53 pm

Konami is chasing the allure of the mobile gaming buck, and auteurs like Kojima don't fit into that vision of Get More Gold and energy bars -- games built around artistic vision (whether or not you like Kojima's vision, it's hard to deny that he has vision) are fundamentally incompatible with games built around business models.

Sad, but I'm sure he'll end up in a place where his talents will be appreciated. And in the meantime, MGSV is looking pretty wild. Hope it's a suitable send-off for KojiPro.
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: The state of Kojima

by RedSwirl » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:54 pm

USGamer did a good article on how this seems to be the cap-off to a year or so of departures from Konami. The Love Plus producers left, the Lords of Shadow main producer left, a Pro Evolution Soccer UK producer left, etc. It's starting to look like SEGA circa 2004 when all its teams left post-Sammy restructuring, and Konami seems to be headed towards the same fate -- becoming a gambling/pachinko company. SEGA at least has a good PC game publishing arm and the Yakuza series. Capcom at least still has Resident Evil and Ono managed to lobby for another Street Fighter. But Konami without Kojima is pretty much done as a traditional game publisher. It's already trying to hire for post-Kojima Metal Gear so we'll see how that goes. A lot of people are already fearing it'll turn out like Front Mission: Evolved, Lost Planet 3, DmC, and Lords of Shadow 2 -- a poorly-planned and meddled-in western death knell to a classic Japanese franchise.

Man. More and more it's starting to look like Final Fantasy XV really is the last hope of traditional Japanese console gaming. Of course that's surrounded by Square Enix's troubles over the last decade. There's been implications Dragon Quest XI is going to be a console game which could temporarily necessitate the regional industry.

Actually... is Namco the last old Japanese third party publisher that hasn't completely imploded? People argue the quality of Tales games has fallen but compare that to Suikoden, Breath of Fire, and Final Fantasy. We're still getting Tekken. I imagine we're still going to get a Soul Calibur VI. Namco has a good thing going with Dark Souls. All those anime fighters are doing well. The only franchise Namco has kinda dropped the ball on is Ace Combat.

A think Atlus (which SEGA now owns admittedly) is becoming the poster child heir to what Japan used to be 15 years ago.
User avatar
User

Angry Jedi

Posts

557

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Real Name

Pete Davison

Favorite Genres

JRPGs, visual novels, adventures

Now Playing

Sword Art Online: Re:Hollow Fragment, The Fruit of Grisaia, Hyperdimension Neptunia U, Final Fantasy XIV

Re: The state of Kojima

by Angry Jedi » Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:05 am

Final Fantasy XV isn't the last hope of Japanese console gaming by any means; the focus has simply shifted. Companies like Compile Heart/Idea Factory, Spike Chunsoft, Tamsoft, Marvelous AQL, Nippon Ichi and, yes, Namco are doing perfectly fine, even flourishing, in this new climate. Their stuff may not be quite as technically impressive as the Final Fantasies of this world, but we all surely know that triple-A as it currently exists isn't particularly sustainable. What's great is that we're getting more of these companies' titles in the West than ever before, too, and again, while they're never going to sell millions of copies like a Final Fantasy probably will, they're doing solid and consistent business to a dedicated fanbase. What's also great is that these devs are consistently supporting the 3DS and Vita even as more and more Western devs and publishers abandon dedicated handhelds.

Also don't forget Final Fantasy XIV! People tend to ignore it because of its MMO nature, but demand for the upcoming expansion pack is so high that the company opening preorders for it the other day actually saw Square Enix's whole website crash due to demand.
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: The state of Kojima

by RedSwirl » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:14 pm

Maybe, maybe. Outside Nintendo though I think Final Fantasy XV is basically it in terms of broad appeal. Well actually, when you go back in time and look at the numbers Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts are the only JRPGs outside Pokemon that actually ever had broad appeal outside Japan. People think JRPGs were more mainstream than they actually were.

Persona and Souls might be on the come-up because they seem to be skewed towards slightly older audiences, but we'll see what those developers end up doing with that opportunity. That's why what's happening to Metal Gear hurts so much -- it's one of those rare Japanese properties that can appeal to adult western audiences, like Ghost in the Shell or Berserk. People are just worried it'll suffer the same fate as Silent Hill and Castlevania.

And I feel like even those niche Japanese games probably have less broad appeal today than 20 years ago. But that's what's happened to all Japanese media -- laser-targeting the hardcore otakus to the exclusion of almost everybody else to cope with the economy. I'm gonna be honest: I don't like the art direction of today's niche RPGs like Hyperdimension Neptunia or Fairy Fencer F compared to older niche JRPGs like Breath of Fire IV or Tactics Ogre. And even producers in Japan are complaining the style of what they're doing today is much harder to export. It's like a slow downward spiral.
User avatar
User

Beige

Rank

Site Admin

Posts

342

Joined

Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:54 am

Favorite Genres

Arthouse, conceptually audacious, thinky, polarizing, masocore

Now Playing

Witcher 3, Axiom Verge, Monster Hunter 4 (STILL), Invisible Inc.

Re: The state of Kojima

by Beige » Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:12 am

My take: It's sad to think of Kojima leaving Metal Gear and Konami, but I agree with the contingent that says Konami hasn't been "Konami" in many years. Despite the ubiquity of the brand during the NES / SNES and PS1-2 eras, they have absolutely not adjusted well to the realities of current gen. Up Up Down Down is just Down Down Down. I (guiltily) loved Lords of Shadow 1, but it was a love I was called to justify when the time came. LoS 2? Justifying that one smacked way more of straw grasping. What else is there to speak of?

The great franchises have laid down and turned into oil at this point. No Contra, no Silent Hill worth mentioning since Shattered Memories. No recognizable Castlevania to speak of really for the entire last generation. Metal Gear (debatably) should have ended 2 games ago. For my money, no David Hayter, no deal. I love Kojima and will 100% support him wherever he ends up, but this breakup is for the best. Let it go Snake. Let it go. Be free.

I've wondered (as I play Monster Hunter on my 3DS portable system) why it is that so many Japanese publishers struggle with big-budget console gaming in 2015? With triple-A it seems down to a few things:

- Japanese companies (it appears to me) are insular enough that they have had extreme difficulty adjusting to the realities of a globalized production environment. Ever heard the audiologs from the Swedish guys at Grin who were trying to make a Final Fantasy game with Square? It was basically a no-go for various cultural/linguistic reasons. I just don't believe the Japanese are great at taking development 'outside of the house' as it were. Think about how Assassin's Creed has 6 studios operating simultaneously around the world in probably 6 different languages to produce its assets. Now imagine the Japanese trying to do that.

- Next: Hardware. Obiously. Everybody in Japan has a phone, half of them have either a PSP or DS, but when 8 people live in your house and it's the size of a Brooklyn apartment the market demand for big-screen gaming on a 72-inch dedicated console is few and far between. This leads to a negative feedback loop where nobody buys X so nobody develops X, etc.

I also believe that there is an Economy of Scale "audience ceiling" to a lot of what Japan is doing. A generation ago when the world was all playing singleplayer in parallel there was a natural synchronicity between east and west, the ceiling was the same for both parties. Thematically, same swords -- production wise, same sprites, naturalize it and you're good. A pixel JRPG is a JRPG. Single player is a curated vaccuum in which the director has total control, you can tailor it to your audience and it'll be great. No personalities of the actual humans playing your game ever enter into the equation, it's all completely authorial top-down, like a movie.

Enter the Internet, which as far as I can tell is a gaming seachange that the Japanese STILL haven't really got a good handle on. They just do not comprehend multiplayer in any context besides "it's rude" so that rules out most things the West cares about outside of weird experiments like the Souls Series or Monster Hunter in which you can SEE people but not post a picture of a dick or make a racist threat. Adding "real people in your game" to the mix brings in a cultural disconnect factor in which the marked differences between Western player and Japanese player are much plainer to see.

- Lastly: The things that DO succeed tend to succeed in a big budget way often double down on existing Japaneseness which doesn't necessarily play well outside of the home turf. Yakuza is a great example. Fantastic game, totally a Triple-A success for any metric that actually matters... but so niche and specific to Japan's cultural sensibilities when it hits Western shores that its audience is by necessity only Japanese people and Japanophiles.

Now, the elephant in the room:

Take that cultural disconnect and multiply it a hundredfold for Neptunia or whatever passes for most Japanese development these days. I would in broad terms frame myself as someone who is "positive" towards Japanese Weirdness, which makes me a very illustrative case study audience-wise. I personally love Japan's macro-level culture and artistic sensibilities. I know what a Samurai and Ninja are... so, level 1 Japan Awareness, I guess. I also know what Yokai are, what a Nakama is, I can reference Japanese mythology and I know who Oda Nobunaga is, so, level 2 Japanese Awareness... and I even know what Chuunibyo, NEET, Susano-O, BOSS Coffee and Hikikomori are and I watch (good) anime regularly -- so... level 3 Japan-o-knowledge? which would put me in the 95th percentile of gamers likely predisposed to love Japan. And yet, AND YET...

...I just can't get behind what so many J-studios are doing these days, at least when it comes to what is being visibly greenlit and naturalized over here (which I 100% accept may not be "the completepicture").

Do I love Japanese games? I'm loving the hell out of Stein's Gate, I love La-Mulana, Saya, Phoenix Wright and Trails in the Sky. Nobody does twitch action like Platinum. I respect both the JRPG and the visual novel as a form -- but there is a certain types of "mature" game -- universal themes, relatable characters, nuanced and subtle writing worth the time to a wide, global audience -- that seems to be the exception to the rule more often than not these days.

If there was a strong presence of Japanese games like Ico and Silent Hill today we would not be having this conversation. Sadly, what I appear to be seeing in their stead is lazy stock tropes (which have always been a problem for Japan) and hardcore Otaku-bait material that crosses the line from universally endorseable to outright exclusionary.

I can throw a stick around and easily hit a dozen real "mature" in the lowwer-case M sense Japanese media products that exist OUTSIDE of the videogame space -- Mushi-Shi / Welcome to the NHK and Seven Souls in the Skull Castle spring immediately to mind. Movies? Sure, One Missed Call is bangin', Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and Drops of God class up the Manga joint simply by existing. Japanese fiction and Noir are still killing it. Japan is producing worthwhile, quality stuff.

But you'd be forgiven for thinking that very little of this is making its way into Video Games. As I said Xillia was one of the ultra-rare games that I straight-up quit on last year as was (now that I think about it) Atelier Rorona. To be fair, Lynette was playing those primarily but I think the proof is in the playing. If there'd been a strong desire on my part to seriously dig deep into it, I would have made the time.

It seems to me like Japan is not making it easy to advocate for them these days. On the Western Indie space over here I can go from Papers Please to Firewatch to The Long Dark to Castle in Darkness to the Banner Saga to Hand of Fate and Dungeon of the Endless, This War of Mine, Ether One, Shovel Knight etc. etc. and on and on and on. In other words, my Steam playlist from 2014. All worthwhile fare -- intelligent, subtle, complex, objectively defensible on artistic grounds and interesting conversation fodder at dinner parties.

I invite and encourage Japan to step up to this bar - to produce whatever the J-version of This War of Mine or Papers Please is. Salaryman: The RPG. They have the soul for it, no question.

But the point is that by and large I am not seeing this happening -- and I cannot, just CAN NOT go in front of my parents or coworkers or business clients with something like a Catgirl H-Game or Hatsune Miku Project Diva X. Phoenix Wright vs Layton is understandible in a sort of Studio Ghibli way, as is Fire Emblem in a sort of D&D-meets-chess way, but even these games back me into territory where I'm going to have to to explain myself. Rationalizing why it is important that I marry my little action figures to one another puts me on my back heels before the conversation begins. Compare and contrast: I have no problem explaining the graphic novel series I am currently reading where characters stop time by having orgasms and then rob banks.

That said, fear of being "outed" is not what is actually taking the bloom of Japanese games. The same could be said for Grand Theft Auto. Let me rephrase:

More important than social castigation is simply my own declining interest level in what I would term the Gaming Ghetto. As an adult entering my middle age I just find that I have a difficult time caring about bog standard boilerplate time flllers in the same way I used to. I like (good) anime such as Silver Spoon but I dislike Dragonball Z if that makes sense. I like (good) movies but I dislike The Amazing Spider-man 2. I like The Last of Us, I dislike Killing Floor.

I would rather spend my time watching or reading something that delivers a sense of geniune takeaway. A good quantity of J-Stuff smacks more of sawdust than novelty these days. No, I am not going to play Legend of Dragon Sword Heroes Ultimate Neo any more than I am going to play Card Battler Match Three. I think what let me down about Xilia is that it was more of the same shit I'd seen before a thousand times and unlike Tales in the Sky it didn't grab my attention with compelling content. It's worth mentioning that Tales is from 2005 or something - 10 years old.

Lynette says that RPGs are like meeting new friends, and that an RPG will either "click" or not immediately. Those that click get their hooks in deep and carry you through to the end. Those that do not you'll lose interest in quickly. I think it's fair to say that most of what sells in Japan is designed towards servicing needs which I am not currently burning with a need to service. As Lynette (also) says "you are not struggling with issues of identity, belonging, "finding yourself" etc. etc. or other problems that JRPGs service. Nor are you looking for "comfort food" gaming these days." What AM I concerned with? Judging by my playlist an objective observer would say "challenge" - either mechanical, intellectual, thematic, etc. I don't want to be reassured or rocked to sleep, I want things that upset and provoke.

And let's talk about that loliporn "I just read it for the ARTICLES" aspect of Japanese gaming. Again, speaking as a man approaching his 40s, I need a pretty compelling reason to invest emotionally in a game in which my party is going to resemble doe-eyed children and caper around in pinafores and frilly skirts. I love many young adult fiction books -- Sabriel kicks ass and kids falling in love is a golden trope as old as time itself -- but If your game makes me feel skeevy for playing it I'm not going to continue the experience.

I want games that resonate with my current sensibilities and experience and themes that are meaningful to me. Lonesome Doves, Blade Runners, etc. Welcome to the NHK yes, Persona yes. The charming tale of a perky alchemist and her adorable cat familiar in frufru land puddingu where they fight giant rabbits and blush at the sight of boys is just not something that resonates strongly or speaks to me as a viewer (most of the time). Monster hunter has adorable Meownster Hunters and this is great. Space Dandy can stay.

I have no problem with porn, I read Oglaf along with the rest of you -- but most of the time polite company dictates we talk about something else unless specifically invited. I played Saya and it was fascinating... but... I dunno. Saya is the exception. I don't buy the argument that games like Senran Kagura teach us their meaningful stories at the same time that I'm tearing some chick's clothes off and touching witches with my stylus. Alan Moore has no problem admitting that Lost Girls was porn.

What's the difference? I guess it's in the aspiration. There are (few?) J-games that treat sexuality with nuance at the best of times but more often than not it's just spank bank material. I've heard that Hakuoki is a good place for people looking for genuine *romance* in a visual novel as opposed to disembodied dicks. I think Katawa Shoujo was remarkable in that it managed to pull off both dicks AND nuance, which is quite a feat. Broadly I would say that I'm more drawn to games who use sex in service of some kind of higher ideal or purpose - Saya was one of those as was Katawa Shoujo. The point was not the sex itself but the focus on the darkness of the human soul or an exploration of relationships. It's this later bit - the higher aspirational focus, the desire to speak to something greater and more profound using sexuality as a vehicle which elevates the content.
Oglaf is Oglaf. It's fine, it's fun, it's even art. But it also frames sex within the context of empowerment most of the time. It's sex-positive, fun, mature (despite being totally cheeky) and understands consent and whimsy. A lot of J-games come off as more problematic -- I have a pretty dim view of noncon and loli stuff, and I'll never agree with the Japanese when it comes to embarrassment, humiliation, disenfranchisement and disempowerment being sexy..

Wait. This was about Konami, wasn't it?

Right. TLDR: Here's what I'm saying:

I think that most Japanese games exist to service needs which are not currently much in demand here in the west. Japan struggles with its own set of issues brought on by a combination of economic, technological and cultural forces very distinct from ours. Their technology is different, their cultural bugaboos are different, their desires are different.

Japan has struggled to integrate, or perhaps simply diverged, from its once synchronous relationship to the West. What brings them comfort is not what brings us comfort. What they want is not what I want right now.

I had huge hopes for Hideo and Guillermo and I want them to succeed in whatever they're currently doing. There are precious few examples of Japan doing something in the gaming space which is both artistic and appealing to a mature palate, and I think that Hideo could be one of the few auteurs who could pull it off. I hope he lands on his feet.

Japan needs a kick in the ass to shake them out of their Otaku/Cellphone rut. Maybe their indie scene just needs to mature or needs to discover Kickstarter. The artistic chops are out there - all other forms of their media say so. Why has it not bled over more into gaming? I don't know.

Maybe the Souls series is the right metaphor. Before there was voice acting.. when there was only text, silence and gesture ironically, we were closer to speaking the same language.

At the point where we began to hear one another -- as in LITERALLY hear the voices of the other instead of just touching their silent bloodstain -- we began to see how genuinely far apart we are, culturally. Would we have glommed onto Cloud and Sephiroth, Link or Jill Valentine... or, dare I say Solid Snake... if we'd heard them in their raw natural (original) Nihon voice?
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: The state of Kojima

by RedSwirl » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:23 am

The thing is Beige, most "normal" Japanese people find that Otaku-bait just as weird as most westerners probably do.

We really need Alex to chime in here because the following is pretty much just hearsay.

A while ago I read a long-ass article that I probably won't be able to find illustrating how economic factors are having this effect on Japanese games, anime, music, and other stuff. I'll try to summarize:

Basically, around 1997 or something Japanese wages started to flatline, and consumer culture there has withered ever since. Most mainstream people of prime capitalist consumer age there are in some kind of survival mode economically. Generally, they just don't buy things. It's also a major reason Japanese people aren't getting it on with each other anymore as well. The only people left who do buy things are fringe niche groups, including otakus and "Yankees" (the latter of which includes the pictures you might have seen of those super-tanned girls), who partly define themselves through the act of media consumption.

AKB48 is sold as the most popular thing in Japanese music right now but according to that article it's just an otaku-bait group that depends on things like meet-n-greets and mega fans who buy 50 copies of the same CD. This happens because mainstream consumers pretty much just don't buy music anymore.

Anime is the same way. The industry has stayed afloat on the backs of otakus who will buy $60+ Blu-Rays that each contain three episodes. They need to appeal to the fans who will pay those prices. Anime producers have spent the last several years complaining about this vicious cycle. Now I'll admit some of that stuff might contain genuinely smart writing, but economic elements force producers to dump otaku-bait all over it. The same goes for video games. I haven't played Senran Kagura so I can't tell you if there's an actual smart narrative with some deep themes in there. All I can tell you is the outward image of the games immediately puts most people off. There have been some small efforts to cut in another direction though. Some of the stuff you mention is specifically part of an effort to appeal to more mainstream audiences. A whole anime block called noitaminA gave rise to stuff like Mushi-shi.

I read another article from ANN I think, that said the same thing is happening to regular TV in Japan too. Particularly, a lot of shows have to cater to corporate whims that increase domestic marketability -- like not displaying guns or violence AT ALL. Producers have complained that things like this make Japanese TV basically impossible to export.

With games there's another element in the mix: the culture that keeps the target audience basically frozen at the 12-25 male demographic. A bunch of reports I've read and heard over the years state that Japanese people basically leave video games behind as soon as they get jobs. Producers at Square are totally fine if people grow out of Final Fantasy. It's the perfect explanation for most JRPG and anime protagonists being high schoolers. That still doesn't entirely explain the writing and tropes though, that's economic forces at work again. Look at Persona 4 -- all high-school characters, but written (and translated) well enough for adult players. In the west on the other hand, I feel like traditional publishers over the decades have constantly slid their games to appeal to one specific generation as it ages -- middle-class males born between roughly 1975 and 1989. Every once in a while Japan tosses out something that nails this demographic pretty well: Metal Gear, Silent Hill, Berserk, Cowboy Bebop, even Yakuza. It just doesn't seem to be the norm in video games and anime. Final Fantasy VII and a lot of the PS1's library just happened to hit at a time when that 1975-89 western demographic was in its teens, and it stuck with them. They expected those games to grow up with them, but they didn't, with Metal Gear as a notable exception. And Kojima even admitted he had to PG-13 Peace Walker -- a game that was supposed to be MGS5 but got dragged onto the PSP and into a Monster Hunter format by domestic market forces.

Capcom has actually analyzed this dichotomy pretty thoroughly. In a recent report it said most Japanese Resident Evil fans were teens who were interested in its fashionable characters, but most of its western fans were in their 30's and 40's and were in it for horror drama. It needs to be smart if it wants to avoid fucking up one of the few Japanese game franchises with legit western appeal.

Indie? Oh indie is definitely there in Japan. I don't have to elaborate on La-Mulana or Cave Story. It's just that the Japanese indie scene is still underground. A lot of the creators there have no ambition to distribute their work globally, or even sell it. To a lot of them it's still pure hobby. 1up's James Mielke has hosted a couple annual events called Bitsummit in an attempt to bring Japan's indie scene to the world. Playism is a whole PC publisher and distributor that's devoted crossing the streams (it did the Japanese localization of Papers Please). Look up Comiket if you wanna dive into the river of Japan's indie scene.

Another big issue though is Japan's indie scene (and game distribution scene in general) is still based on physical boxes. You're right that Japan is kind of afraid of the internet, or at least the internet outside its own country. I think a main reason is they don't need it as much for distribution. Distances aren't as much of an issue. I imagine if you live in the middle of Tokyo you might be able to run to the store and pick up a box in the amount of time it would take us to download the contents of said box. Japanese indies still sell their games in boxes at conventions like Comiket not unlike how Richard Garriott sold Akalabeth in 1979.

And then you have multiplayer. I remember 1up's Matthew MacDonald going over how different Japan's online gaming culture is. They just don't behave the way westerners do.

Anyway, if Japan does indeed need a kick in the ass, it'll have to be an economic one. Japanese creators can't start making exportable media until they can survive domestically on more than fumes from fringe consumers.
User avatar
User

Alex Connolly

Posts

477

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:40 pm

Location

Kagoshima, JPN

Favorite Genres

Early Access Curios

Now Playing

Helldivers perennially, knicknacks, paddywacks, dog bones.

Re: The state of Kojima

by Alex Connolly » Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:39 am

I'll jump in and throw down a few anecdotes. On my lunch break and this is as good a time as any to see what pith I can add. This thread is pretty fascinating and I agree with all of it, even if points are at odds.

Will answer more when I get a chance. Okay, to battle...

Games I see kids ages 5 - 12 playing or talking about:
- Yokai Watch
- Puzzle & Dragons
- Monster Hunter
- Minecraft

Games I see adults playing or talking about:
- Puzzle & Dragons
- Candy Crush Soda Saga
- Winning Eleven
- Metric tons of Pachinko parlour visits. This is where most adult gamers end up.

There just doesn't seem to be the market force or consumer willpower to drive adult gaming beyond investment-shy phone games, at least not in the way the entire spectrum of Western 80s and 90s kid-gamers are demanding, now that they're in their 20s/30s/40s. I don't think it's a question of space, either. Big flatscreen TVs are in every home. Proper PC gaming is slowly coming 'online', especially with Steam now a thing, but this is a country that has always seemed to have an issue with virtual ownership. This is still very much a cash-based society, even with the market and tech supporting credit cards, e-payment systems with phones and the like.

A classic example, and kinda inherent of the paradoxical inflexibility that runs rife through modern Japanese society...internet banking. Only available during office hours with some banks. Try that on for size. Apparently to stop hackers making off with your yen. Go figure. I don't know how the rest of the world survives.

Also, the micro-focus on serving niches has become such a strong force in pop-culture production that there's simply no need to dream a little bigger if you've built a solid base. This seems to feed into the ad nauseam iteration across the board, where only fans would dig deep enough to figure or acknowledge changes or design shifts.

There's a slow-motion shock in the works as Japanese society faces an uncertain future. The youth aren't interested in emigrating or learning English to any great degree, South Korea and China are already ahead in R&D, with massive tech sectors that 'get' Western thirsts and requirements, an unstable geopolitical future, a scary deficit in the domestic service industry, the strife that will be wrought by the TTP...this is bigger than just poor documentation for game engines, either side of the Pacific. I'm certainly worried about my daughters' futures and will be encouraging them to head overseas for study and work. By that time, I'll just be a aged stooge farming his rice in his paddy, harvesting his vegetables and enjoying the ashy sky over Kinko bay.

I love me some super-niche Japanese gear, despite falling out of love (not sure I was ever truly in love with Japanese games in the first place) a long time ago. I love playing my Air Traffic Controller sims and my A-Trains, my Daisenryakus and Armored Cores. But that's about it.
User avatar
User

Angry Jedi

Posts

557

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:10 pm

Real Name

Pete Davison

Favorite Genres

JRPGs, visual novels, adventures

Now Playing

Sword Art Online: Re:Hollow Fragment, The Fruit of Grisaia, Hyperdimension Neptunia U, Final Fantasy XIV

Re: The state of Kojima

by Angry Jedi » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:03 am

Don't be shit-talkin' Project Diva, yo. That game is the best thing in rhythm action since the PS1 era.
User avatar
User

Calin Kim

Posts

137

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:44 pm

Favorite Genres

RPG, Weird, Thinky

Now Playing

Dark Souls, Jagged Alliance 2, Uncharted 3

Re: The state of Kojima

by Calin Kim » Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:35 pm

A lot of the big Japanese companies that I grew up with are just exasperating these days. It used to be that I played JRPGs almost exclusively. In fact, I would bet dollars to donuts that I have played more JRPGs than any other poster on these boards with the possible exception of Shingro. But, that's changed as the trend has moved away from console RPGs after the PS2 era. Obviously the PSX and the PS2 had a wealth of great JRPGs that were localized, but that's the last time I remember being enthusiastic about a JRPG. The last great JRPG I played was Persona 4, and that was back in 2008, I think. Seven years between great games is pretty fucked up. I think this is partially my fault since Lost Odyssey is supposed to be great, and it's been collecting dust on my shelf.

All of the stuff that I used to get excited for in that sphere is nonexistent lately. The last great Silent Hill was in 2003. (Sorry, it's true. Downpour sucked. You have stockholm syndrome. It's okay.) I definitely need to try out Valkyria Chronicles and Trails in the Sky, but I don't think there are any J games on my shelf that I'm super eager to play outside of those.

I guess I'm looking forward to Persona 5 whenever that drops. That will be good.

It's hard to get excited about FFXV when I read things like this: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/final- ... 0-6426084/

Hard to get excited about Type-0 when I read about the upskirt shots and panties.
Image
Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Powered by happyfish | phpBB3 Style by Beige
cron