Listening to a podcast from a bunch of former 1up staff, I heard one them discuss their experience of being interviewed by the equivalent of the Japanese PBS and was posed this same question to them while viewing Child of Eden at E3 this year, and it got me to thinking, while it is certainly true that US and European made games seem to have been the dominant games this genre, what is it that has knocked Japanese games from the dominance they once held over the past few console generations. it was their conclusion that it was that western taste has gotten tired of Japanese weirdness because the game play innovation has not dried up, i think it is just more than that i think it is a lot of subtle things that add up to Japanese games decline in the West, and i believe it is affecting not only games but anime and manga sales as well.
While I will concede that there is a giant culture difference between the West and Japan, but the same can be said of the US and Europe, so what could have had the same effect in both markets to move them away from most Japanese titles aside from Mario, and the rest of the Nintendo clan, and cultural differences can attribute to be a big part of that. So what do I mean when I mention cultural differences? I am sure you can imagine as gamers about what is meant when I mention cultural differences, but for those of you who are not accustomed to Japanese games I will spell it out. Hyper sexualized ladies that wear outfits that would make a stripper blush, male protagonists that look and dress like girls, wielding weapons in a superhuman style, and almost all of the characters spouting the flamboyant flair that most Drag Queens would kill for.
What I think has had the biggest impact to the market for Japanese games has been, what I wouldcall the stagnation of the tried and true story line that always seems to come out of Japan in their RPGs, as well as the cultural differences between our different cultures and that is starting to cross over to almost every game that gets released out of Japan, that is especially prevalent in JRPGs boy or girl and his friends goes out to save the world/village/each other, and along the way discovers their inner strength between his comrades/family, and ultimately saving that that they sought to save. While not bad all on its own every JRPG I have played save a couple has this kind of story line, and I know I am not alone in this. Western RPG's always seem to have a more dynamic adult oriented story, and usually star adults instead of kids as well as tried and true conventions used in western fantasy and Sci-Fi to those of us in the west
This is why i feel that Japanese games are enduring some hardship right now, which is a shame as there have been a lot of great game play innovations from Japanese games that have been overlooked as these issues have scared many gamers off. i look forward to this being cleared up in the future as i know that i count myself amongst the many looking for a revival of what made Japanese games great, great story lines, and amazing game play.
back of the blog:
finished Transformers War for Cybertron on hard. this game is totally worth it, will be playing more multiplayer after i finish this blog up.
was going to go see The Last Airbender till i read a lot of reviews, saw Toy Story 3 in 3d, it was totally worth it.
Wanna get Crackdown 2, but it may have to wait.... wanna play either Darksiders or continue to work on Mario galaxy 2 first. choices choices