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Megane
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"So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Wed 29 Sep 16:15post reply

Says Capcom Unity






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sfried
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"Re(1):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Wed 29 Sep 16:30post reply

quote:
Says Capcom Unity

Says Mr. Inafune





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"Re(2):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Wed 29 Sep 16:47post reply

quote:
Says Capcom Unity
Says Mr. Inafune

Rockman Dash 3 and X Japan reuniting, both ten years or so after the fact? It's, it's emotionally too much...it's a sign of the endtimes!





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"Re(3):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Wed 29 Sep 17:08post reply

quote:
Rockman Dash 3 and X Japan reuniting, both ten years or so after the fact? It's, it's emotionally too much...it's a sign of the endtimes!


It kinda reminds me the new Berserk anime.... Except with Gackt instead of Hirasawa.





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"Re(1):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Wed 29 Sep 18:50post reply

quote:
Says Capcom Unity



My life will finally be complete





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"Re(2):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Wed 29 Sep 22:38post reply

My hope is that this is merely a prelude to the Tron Bonne sequel that I've been waiting for.





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"Re(3):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Thu 30 Sep 02:58post reply

With all these triumphant returns in these media we enjoy, I can't help but feel that these are the last desperate gasps of the industry. This last couple of years has been full of 'I can't believe it!' moments.


I'm all for more Berserk, though!





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"Re(4):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Thu 30 Sep 04:45post reply

quote:
With all these triumphant returns in these media we enjoy, I can't help but feel that these are the last desperate gasps of the industry. This last couple of years has been full of 'I can't believe it!' moments.


Why would you say that? Are we all collectively watching our video games lives flashing before our eyes as we die?





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"Re(5):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Thu 30 Sep 08:07post reply

Shenmue 3 will be announced next





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"Re(5):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Thu 30 Sep 14:17post reply

quote:
With all these triumphant returns in these media we enjoy, I can't help but feel that these are the last desperate gasps of the industry. This last couple of years has been full of 'I can't believe it!' moments.

Why would you say that? Are we all collectively watching our video games lives flashing before our eyes as we die?



We're definitely witnessing a pole shift. Most of my favorite companies from my childhood have gone under, and the ones that remain have almost entirely new staff (understandable as we've all been gaming for at least 20 years now--gah!). Beyond that console games are no longer the most popular or profitable form of video games. The next few years really could be the last hurrah for videogames as we recognize them.

I'm going to enjoy the ride as long as I an though. So here's to the future, whatever it has in store!

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"Re(6):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Thu 30 Sep 17:26post reply

quote:
We're definitely witnessing a pole shift. Most of my favorite companies from my childhood have gone under, and the ones that remain have almost entirely new staff (understandable as we've all been gaming for at least 20 years now--gah!). Beyond that console games are no longer the most popular or profitable form of video games. The next few years really could be the last hurrah for videogames as we recognize them.

I'm going to enjoy the ride as long as I can though. So here's to the future, whatever it has in store!

( ̄▽ ̄)ノ


This is definitely a much better way of putting what I said. It has been a strange couple of years in the industry.

In regards to Capcom, I wonder how long they can keep up the pandering. I just want to see some worthy IPs that won't have to rely on nostalgia.

*sits in wait for Ghost Trick*





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"Re(6):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Thu 30 Sep 19:56post reply

quote:
We're definitely witnessing a pole shift.


And let's not forget the power shift between Japan and the west. It's more and more obvious that most of the famous developers in Japan don't have what it takes to compete with the US or Europe in terms of creativity and technique ; most of them have just get used to repeat the same recipe over and over (including in terms of management) and fail to think out of their pretty box. And a lot of Japanese professionals start to understand it, not only Inafune.





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"Re(6):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Thu 30 Sep 21:44post reply

quote:
Shenmue 3 will be announced next



Fighters Megamix 2 with Ryo in it.





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"Re(6):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Thu 30 Sep 23:19post reply

quote:
The next few years really could be the last hurrah for videogames as we recognize them.

I'm going to enjoy the ride as long as I an though. So here's to the future, whatever it has in store!

( ̄▽ ̄)ノ



At first I was like "Are you serious?", but then I realized you might be right.
Lately I've been losing interest in video games. I've been thinking about what could be causing this: Is it the new era of video games? All these FPS and GoWs etc etc. I still find myself playing these games and even forcing myself to like them. But maybe it's just me, maybe now that I'm getting out of my 20s I'm actually losing interest on games. But then I find myself playing old games, which I really like and love. They make me feel at home.
So maybe, just maybe...the industry actually knows that there are people entering their 30s or 40s who are hungry for old games. And maybe that is the reason of all these comebacks. Same thing is happening with Hollywood.





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"Re(7):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Fri 1 Oct 01:02:post reply

quote:
The next few years really could be the last hurrah for videogames as we recognize them.

I'm going to enjoy the ride as long as I an though. So here's to the future, whatever it has in store!

( ̄▽ ̄)ノ


A colleague of mine made an interesting point in a recent conversation. He suggested that the vast number of nostalgic brands that have recently staged a comeback (now, realistically there is nothing new about this. The Gameboy Advance, just to cite one example, hosted a number of SNES remakes and pseudo-followups during its lifetime), along with the huge number of referential new games, may indicate that the games of our childhood are becoming the 80's and 90's equivalent of 60's psychedelia, or our popular image of the 50's as being nothing but leather jackets and cars with big fins on them-- everyone associates this cool kind of nostalgia for this element of those decades. I think he's got a decent point, and I think it's a lot of the reason why franchises like Street Fighter and even Duke Nukem are making comebacks. Or maybe Duke Nukem is just a weird elaborate joke still.

I think it is surprising, though, that Capcom would take a chance making a sequel to what (if I recall correctly) was not the best selling series ever. Street Fighter, I suspect, was a no-brainer in that regard.





[this message was edited by karasu99 on Fri 1 Oct 01:04]

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"Re(7):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Fri 1 Oct 11:38:post reply

quote:
... compete with the US or Europe in terms of creativity and technique....



If you think any of the big hits of this generation were especially creative, you're deluding yourself, regardless of where they were developed, although financial backing is definitely an issue at this point. Really, I think what.. somebody else said here is what hits close to the truth: the current generation of younger gamers simply like different genres than what people liked in the past. Video "games" are sort of dying, and being replaced by "interactive game/films". A large number of contemporary games focus much more heavily on storyline and presentation rather than simple playability/replay factor, and are in a sense "hollywoodized"; It just so happens that the big game markets of the west like bald guys with big guns. I also think the modern gamer often has a relatively short attention span; as anyone with live or PSN can probably attest to, the community for a given game online will be huge the first couple of weeks, then will almost completely die out, on a regular basis (of course there are exceptions to this, whatever the latest Halo is being an obvious example!).

Attempts at creating new franchises or series this generation have largely been disasterous )360/PS3/Wii), which is one reason I think companies revert to reviving older franchises or making sequels to long rested series. The nostalgia element, as is mentioned elsewhere, is also an important factor.

However, despite being a collector, I think the shift to digital distribution methods will largely be good for the industry; companies will be more willing to make budget, niche games again rather than staking it all on sink-or-swim "blockbusters" over and over... hell, we've already started to see this with things like live.

I'm out!





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[this message was edited by Red Falcon on Fri 1 Oct 11:53]

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"Re(8):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Fri 1 Oct 11:52post reply

I guess that if the Internet had existed back in 1992 we would had seen a lot of people protesting against dozens of fighting games being marketed all over the place.





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"Re(9):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Fri 1 Oct 11:55:post reply

quote:
I guess that if the Internet had existed back in 1992 we would had seen a lot of people protesting against dozens of fighting games being marketed all over the place.


Maybe or maybe not, as that was what was popular at the time. As I said, what is "popular" has shifted... people want lots of what they like. And the internet DID exist in 1992, ha ha ha. Anyone remember Compuserve?

What's more, I should have mentioned this in the other post, but I think a lot of older gamers feel marginalized at this point; as games have become a non-geeky (or at least, less geeky) hobby, the market has expanded massively and often times their interests simply aren't on the agenda for companies who are eager to make money, not please a marginal market; I think the real factor here is that western developers are better at producing games for the market-at-large, rather than for niche gamers. Again though, this is why I look forward to the era of digital distrubtion: cutting out production and the middle-man can only be beneficial to the industry and will (and has already) result in more entertaining, budgety titles, often with a small team of developers. Just like in the old days!





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[this message was edited by Red Falcon on Fri 1 Oct 12:00]

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"Re(10):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Fri 1 Oct 12:52post reply

quote:
What's more, I should have mentioned this in the other post, but I think a lot of older gamers feel marginalized at this point; as games have become a non-geeky (or at least, less geeky) hobby, the market has expanded massively and often times their interests simply aren't on the agenda for companies who are eager to make money, not please a marginal market; I think the real factor here is that western developers are better at producing games for the market-at-large, rather than for niche gamers. Again though, this is why I look forward to the era of digital distrubtion: cutting out production and the middle-man can only be beneficial to the industry and will (and has already) result in more entertaining, budgety titles, often with a small team of developers. Just like in the old days!



Just like Rugal said, the west is not really any more innovative or creative than than the rest of the other countries. To give you a better idea what the current mondus operandi is in the west, take a look at a wonderful quote by Zynga's CEO:

quote:
"I don't fucking want innovation. You're not smarter than your competitor. Just copy what they do and do it until you get their numbers."
http://www.sfweekly.com/2010-09-08/news/farmvillains/


You really can't create anything new and exciting in an environment like that. I am willing to bet something just as wacky happened at Capcom while Ono and Killian were trying to push for a new fighter to come out. The higher ups at Capcom wanted to churn out copycat/no risk games just like the west; and Ono probably had to put his job in the line just to get a new fighting game out.

There is plenty if not much more innovation outside of the US. But to get those games out they will have to adapt to systems similar to Steam. For example, the doujin game Recettear was localized by a small company, and as I understand it actually sold pretty well.

There is enough of market for more creative and traditional games, but it really doesn't belong in regular stores anymore. THEY WILL BECOME ART HOUSE GAMES, IF YOU WILL





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"Re(8):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Fri 1 Oct 17:54post reply

quote:
If you think any of the big hits of this generation were especially creative, you're deluding yourself

(and Juan as well, but let's not quote battle at this point)

OK, first, let's say that I am not talking quality or taste here; most of the games I like are Japanese, but that doesn't prevent me from seeing that the wacky days of experimentation are all but dead there. I'm trying to think of a genre, or a broad type of game, that would define this generation of consoles. JRPG is dead, massive action games with hordes of guys on screen is what the PS2/Xbox was about, and, pretty much what Red Falcon says, this generation has the cinematic experience, or however you're going to call it. Games like Uncharted, heavily scripted with beautiful scenery and not much of what grumpy old men like us would call "game", are the top of what the current generation has to offer. Or would it be open world games, who existed before on PC but truly shine now, GTA4 and Red Dead Redemption? Maybe some gritty brownish space marine FPS with, again, lots of scripts and ambiance?

I cannot think of anything released in Japan that would define that generation of console.
OF COURSE, Nintendo is not included in "Japan". Nintendo is a country of its own, and hopefully will go on for years to come. But what important game has Capcom released lately? Or Square Enix? Something of the scope of Bio Hazard4, or FF7? Or even Monster Hunter, if random outbursts of sheer luck are to be included?

Again, I'm not talking quality here, I'm talking innovation. Including in terms of management. Everyone who's worked for/with/in a Japanese company of any kind of size know how difficult it is to make anything move. These huge budget games are only doable if you have the versatility to do them. How long has it taken Japanese company to stop creating their engines game per game? Or to use tools created outside Japan? And what about stopping to do everything in-house? Capcom has already changed their policy about it 3 times in the last 2 years. The only safe bet now seems to use the MH formula and shit out clones on PSP, because that's what saved Capcom in Japan.

I'm not saying Japan is finished, like a lot of people at the TGS were saying, and I'm certainly not saying that I enjoy most of the western videogame that make the industry survive now. I'm not talking about art or good games, I'm talking about massive titles that allow to many people to pay their rent, make the consoles survive, and allow indies games to be created and released, since I agree that it's where new stuff are being made.

But behind Mario Galaxy 2, Wii Sport Resorts and Pokémon B&W, what happened in Japan lately? The only million sellers of the first fiscal half of 2010 were DQM and B&W. There is a problem here.





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"Re(8):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Fri 1 Oct 17:57:post reply

quote:
A colleague of mine made an interesting point in a recent conversation. He suggested that the vast number of nostalgic brands that have recently staged a comeback (now, realistically there is nothing new about this. The Gameboy Advance, just to cite one example, hosted a number of SNES remakes and pseudo-followups during its lifetime), along with the huge number of referential new games, may indicate that the games of our childhood are becoming the 80's and 90's equivalent of 60's psychedelia


Just a quick Q-- does anyone else get motion/simulator sickness from playing 3D games? The ones without fixed camera angles. I've known for a long time that I had issues, but it's becoming more apparent nowadays because of the shift to large LCD screens. I end up playing 2.5D games and the DS more often because of that. In a way, the nostaligic brands help out in contributing to the flat-plane library because they rarely return in 3D.



It should be interesting to see whether next-generation console sales takes on an effective surge next year in Japan given the termination of analog TV broadcast. Most households should be switching to HDTV sets since their prices look like peanuts after the cost of the reqired antenna replacement (indoor antennas are generally not used in the country). Though it depends on marketing, the high price of the 3DS may also work in favor.

The sales increase is already showing on the charts. I personally think that there will be a marginal but not phenomenal sales increase, given that many of the younger generations just don't use TV sets-- they just watch TV on their cell phones, and it's digital broadcast to begin with.





[this message was edited by Professor on Fri 1 Oct 22:07]

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"So you want innovation?" , posted Fri 1 Oct 22:43post reply

First off, my definition of innovation in the field of game design is creating new styles of gameplay with a new control scheme/user interface. Game designers get bonus points if the game is easy to pick up and put down.

The place I see the most innovation at the moment is with the indy game developers on the iphone. Here are some examples:

FlightControl- Airport management simulator where you direct aircraft by drawing their flight path with your finger.
Fastar! - Action RPG where you control your character through tilt and swipe.
Canabalt - Running game where you jump by flicking anywhere on the screen.
Gravity Hook - Hook climbing game that involves timing and managing movement through flicking on the screen.
SketchNation - Shooting game that allows the user to take pictures of his/her art and stick it in the game as objects.

That's a handful of games. They all get bonus points for being casual, pick up and put down games.

I bought Final Fantasy 1 for the iphone. I'm enjoying it but I'm frustrated with the fact that it uses an onscreen d-pad and button interface. The menus are also a little clumsy and cumbersome. Why couldn't Square make a new user interface that was suitable for the iPhone? Why are game developers squishing the old style control schemes on a device with much more versatility? The "awesomeness" of the iphone is the fact that you can create any kind of interface in it.

Getting back to the discussion of next gen systems-- yeah, its all a rehash of the PS1/PS2 era. I love RE4 on the Wii. That used the Wiimote in a good way. Zelda Wii had a sprinkling of newness to its control scheme. What else is there? Where are the new genre? New game play styles?

At the very least steal some interesting and new control scheme and build a game around that.





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"Re(9):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Fri 1 Oct 23:45post reply

quote:

Just a quick Q-- does anyone else get motion/simulator sickness from playing 3D games?


I don't get motion sickness. But what I have noticed is that 3D games make me feel tired. As if I had been using my brain for hours trying to solve complex mathematical equations. After one hour of play I will just be mentally and emotionally exhausted. I play 3D games all the time though; I just don't play as much as I used to.
With 2D games, my brain enters a completely different state of relaxation. It feels almost as sleeping.





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"Re(9):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Fri 1 Oct 23:52post reply

There are three or four different lines of discussion running through this thread. How many can I comment on before I run out of gas? Let's find out.

quote:
Beyond that console games are no longer the most popular or profitable form of video games. The next few years really could be the last hurrah for videogames as we recognize them.
You didn't specify where the games have migrated so I'm going to have to assume you mean iGames, Farmville and the like. Do you think the rise in these sorts of games is going to bring about a larger change in the video game landscape than what the shift from arcades to consoles brought on? Will anything change at all?

quote:
Again, I'm not talking quality here, I'm talking innovation. Including in terms of management. Everyone who's worked for/with/in a Japanese company of any kind of size know how difficult it is to make anything move. These huge budget games are only doable if you have the versatility to do them. How long has it taken Japanese company to stop creating their engines game per game? Or to use tools created outside Japan? And what about stopping to do everything in-house?
These are very good points. Lately I have been trying to figure out why the momentum in game production has shifted towards Western producers. While there's always the concerns of budget your post made me see that it's mainly due to the current corporate culture in Japanese companies. Small wonder the Next Big Thing hasn't come out of Japan recently, the studios aren't even set up to think that way.

quote:
I also think the modern gamer often has a relatively short attention span; as anyone with live or PSN can probably attest to, the community for a given game online will be huge the first couple of weeks, then will almost completely die out, on a regular basis (of course there are exceptions to this, whatever the latest Halo is being an obvious example!).

But hasn't there always been a section of games that are designed to appeal to this sense of instant gratification? Most arcade games weren't designed to be analyzed and mastered. Instead, a majority were built to attract the widest possible audience with the promise of a short burst of action for the price of a few tokens. Are the run and gun games of today that much different in spirit from something like Operation Thunderbolt?

Personally, I don't think that variety in what games want to do is a bad thing. Sometimes I want a quick fling instead of having to form a long term relationship with a game just to get anywhere with it. I'm a fan of fighting games because the good ones offer both outlooks simultaneously; I can take the time to dig into a game really understand the fighting engine while still getting the immediate satisfaction that comes with kicking someone in the head.

quote:
Just like Rugal said, the west is not really any more innovative or creative than than the rest of the other countries. To give you a better idea what the current mondus operandi is in the west, take a look at a wonderful quote by Zynga's CEO:


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"I don't fucking want innovation. You're not smarter than your competitor. Just copy what they do and do it until you get their numbers."
http://www.sfweekly.com/2010-09-08/news/farmvillains/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

While that Zynga quote is hysterically awful, hasn't this attitude always been around? Isn't Sonic, at it's most cynical, just a repackaging of Mario?

I also do wonder if output from smaller companies allowed by new distribution methods is really going to create a surge of creativity. While Recettear looks charming is it really doing anything new? I'm certain I'm looking in the wrong place, but for every interesting idea in a small game I've seen a dozen that are simply a clone of Asteroids or are yet another plaformer or some other game type that has been around for decades. Is this a path to new ideas or is it a cyclical return to game types that can be produced with a small staff?

quote:
It should be interesting to see whether next-generation console sales takes on an effective surge next year in Japan given the termination of analog TV broadcast. Most households should be switching to HDTV sets since their prices look like peanuts after the cost of the reqired antenna replacement (indoor antennas are generally not used in the country). Though it depends on marketing, the high price of the 3DS may also work in favor.

The sales increase is already showing on the charts. I personally think that there will be a marginal but not phenomenal sales increase, given that many of the younger generations just don't use TV sets-- they just watch TV on their cell phones, and it's digital broadcast to begin with.
I wonder if this is also contributing to the difference between Japanese and Western games. Even the most modest house will often have a giant view screen of a television. Could the differences in production be affected by something as subtle as the preferred size of the screen in a given country?

Kudos to anybody who bothered to read all that. At no point in this post was I trying to play devil's advocate so I aplogize if I sounded as if I was questioning things just to be doing it. Instead, these posts got me thinking and this is the result.





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"Re(1):So you want innovation?" , posted Sat 2 Oct 00:00post reply

quote:
First off, my definition of innovation in the field of game design is creating new styles of gameplay with a new control scheme/user interface. Game designers get bonus points if the game is easy to pick up and put down.

The place I see the most innovation at the moment is with the indy game developers on the iphone. Here are some examples:


Well (and this gets into an extremely complex area that I think a lot about), I think that a lot of these kinds of games are an offshoot of the PC and Mac based indie games community, especially Canabalt, which happens to work extremely well on the iPhone because of its light control scheme. But I don't want to get sidetracked on the iPhone and its worthiness as a gaming platform. Anyone looking for crazy innovation can find it in indie games though.

In terms of innovation, I think indie games have gotten a lot of press and popularity in recent years because of the very innovation they represent in the face of some of the blase games that have filled consoles of late. I struggle a lot with this idea of innovation though, because once you recognize that original ideas are extremely hard to come by, almost every game idea seems derivative.

From a business standpoint, the lack of originality is definitely a question of risk aversion. Even on the smaller end of the business, clients would rather go with the same game-- literally-- endlessly reskinned to fit a current aesthetic than go with something that a player could conceivably have the tiniest question of how to play. It may be coincidence, but I feel as though this last bit has gotten worse over the course of the last two or three years.

As far as the Japanese dev community goes, I think it's probably a lot like the American one. Pokemon is a proven blockbuster, as is FInal Fantasy, to be endlessly churned out in various versions for decades. Now that you mention FFI, shin ramberk, I have to say I'm amazed at the sheer number of platforms they can port that exact same game to-- with only token changes added for each iteration since... what, Wonderswan? And for Nintendo's innovation, I feel a bit let down that there's been so much thinking outside the box in terms of hardware while at the same time relatively little in terms of software. I think they have come a long way from the early Wii days of 'every game has to have a waggle' but still, like with the iPhone, not every game fits well with that control scheme.

It's interesting to hear about the state of companies there from people who actually know something about it other than what casual reading can provide.

Oh, and Professor, I definitely know what you mean about motion sickness and 3D games. I have exactly the same thing. Oddly enough, I also have it with 1st person shooters, which is why I've hardly played any since the days of Doom.





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"Re(9):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Sat 2 Oct 00:41:post reply

quote:
The only million sellers of the first fiscal half of 2010 were DQM and B&W. There is a problem here.


Yes, I agree (and the new quote system is weird, so just as a comment to Ishmael I also enjoy "quick fling" games as you said, otherwise I wouldn't enjoy some of the games I do... my point there was that I think modern gamers have no patience at all, and even though you mentioned a lot of arcade games to be "quick flings", as an arcade collector/gamer I find a lot of them can be enjoyed on multiple levels; if you just want a quick "fun" session you can do that with them, or you can sit down and try and 1 CC them, which is often quite challenging) As you point out (and as I mention later in this post) I really am not concerned with "innovation" so much as I'm concerned with genres of games I personally enjoy, and I do think that the changing distribution methods will allow for small team, small budget games often more like "games of yesteryear" to be developed again, with moderately less risk involved.

But really, that random comment was a digression from my original point anyway!

Back to the main point:I really think even beyond budget and corporate culture issues, it all comes down to this:

As games have become less of a niche hobby, there are certain genres which have come to dominate the industry. Most notably FPS, "sandbox" games, and sports games. Japanese companies simply don't make games like this, which is one reason I think there is also an increase in the number of Japanese companies farming titles out to the west: they are well aware Western developers make games that are more inline with the taste of the contemporary mass market. I don't really think it's a matter of corporate culture; American game companies have been more or less doing the same thing they've always done, following the same processes they've always followed (you mentioned engine development, companies in the U.S. have been sharing engines since the days of Wolf3D and so on) it just happens to be what people want these days. So again, I'm looking forward to the change in distribution method, if only because being able to produce and distribute games on a shoestring more easily will also mean companies will be more willing to target the niche audience again.





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[this message was edited by Red Falcon on Sat 2 Oct 02:56]

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"Re(10):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Sat 2 Oct 02:36post reply

In response to the comment that modern or mainstream gamers don't have patience-- we don't.

That doesn't mean you can't have depth in modern games-- you just have to balance it a lot better. You have to be more flexible with the complexity of your game. There is no way around this.

If you have the easy, fun and rewarding gameplay-- you'll hook the casual player. If you have the underlying depth in there also-- you'll have a much greater chance of making the casual turn "hardcore."

If you hand me a popular mainstream genre game (sandbox, racing, FPS, RPG, sports, etc.) and it has the same old game mechanics, design, control scheme and interface-- you are not going to grab my attention.

I really want to think of a modern Wii, 360, PS3 game that's used a popular genre and done something new/weird/interesting. I can't think of anything...

I love the old Tron Bonne game but I already know I won't care for ML3 (unless it has some interesting new mechanic too it.)





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"Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Sat 2 Oct 02:48post reply

quote:
I also do wonder if output from smaller companies allowed by new distribution methods is really going to create a surge of creativity. While Recettear looks charming is it really doing anything new? I'm certain I'm looking in the wrong place, but for every interesting idea in a small game I've seen a dozen that are simply a clone of Asteroids or are yet another plaformer or some other game type that has been around for decades. Is this a path to new ideas or is it a cyclical return to game types that can be produced with a small staff?



There will always be people copying each other and there will always be companies releasing shovelware. The main idea is that a different distribution method will allow the possibility of seeing games that are unique, weird, or that are along the lines of older games. Games like Protect me Knight will never really see a commercial release like they did before, unless you know the president of the company and you give him sexy penguin back rubs on a daily basis.





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"Re(2):Re(10):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for" , posted Sat 2 Oct 02:51:post reply

quote:


I love the old Tron Bonne game but I already know I won't care for ML3 (unless it has some interesting new mechanic too it.)



Last comment from me in this thread, but I think hoping for genuinely "new" stuff is also generally a long-shot; I think what is possible with electronic entertainment has in general been largely covered at this point, barring another big jump in technology. Really, I personally don't mind derivative or "same old" if it's done well and entertains me. I'd argue that the issue of "exhaustion of material" is a larger issue in entertainment, period; in truth, there are only a few basic stories that are possible to tell, and what makes them "interesting" is the twist put on it. Really, on a certain level human creativity in terms of core story telling was largely exhausted when stories were transmitted verbally. However, in this era of inundation with media, this has really become a problem. There is simply too much material coming out! Even the densest of individuals will start to notice the recycled story concepts in this kind of environment. But that is a discussion for another place and time.





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[this message was edited by Red Falcon on Sat 2 Oct 02:59]

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"Re(3):Re(10):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for" , posted Sat 2 Oct 03:54post reply

But, in my opinion, it doesn't matter that its recycled. I'm fine being playing the part of a robot hero, plumber, hedgehog, gangster, wizard etc...

Its just that I am done using a d-pad/thumb stick to do the same things I've always done in games for the last 25 years. Its time for something new. Give me a -different- way to interact with the environment or a new interface. Translation: Do something new with the d-pad/thumb stick or effectively use the wiimote/move/kinect.

I'm not trying to get on anyone's nerves but that's my new rallying cry: I am done with the d-pad.

Devil May Cry is getting rebooted. It'll probably sell very well because its a strong franchise. It'll probably have the same type of mechanics as the previous DMCs even though its going to use a new game engine. Are you guys super duper excited about it? What's going to catch folks interest in this game other then its DMC...





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"Re(3):Re(10):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for" , posted Sat 2 Oct 04:18post reply

Fantastic discussion. I wish I had more points to reply to in particular, but most of it would just be "wow, I totally agree!" or "well said!"

I'm happy to see one place on the internet where "Japan is dead" isn't the mantra(as I spend so much time playing these "crappy" games from Japan), but I am so frustrated with their consumer base right now. So many good games just don't sell enough (and that includes western ones).

It's a catch 22 situation because budgets are so high these days. You can't spend a lot on something that isn't a guaranteed sale, but if you don't spend enough, you can't expect it to sell (and if you're a 3rd party developer, you can't expect ANYTHING to sell on Wii).

People say the west is more innovative or whatever, but that's just nonsense...people talking about games they haven't even played. I don't know if innovation is the key to the Japanese slump anyway (financially, at least), as innovation doesn't necessarily sell. Japan can try to market to the west, but can they really expect to beat them at their own game?

Honestly, with the way people buy, I have no idea what the hell Japan is supposed to do. The best I can hope for is that all this focus on the west will result in some dialogue that will improve production on their end. Square, in particular, could use some help.

On the upside, I'm glad that the west is finally churning out games that I'm interested in. Before, when someone would mention a good western game, my response would be "but it's so ugly and glitchy and what's wrong with the frame rate!?" but now, at least 2 times out of 3, the game is at least decent.





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"Re(4):Re(10):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for" , posted Sat 2 Oct 04:20post reply

I think the DMC problem is that it's done by people who don't understand what series, as a concept, are about. They are essentially making a new game that has nothing in common with the strong point of the old ones, and calling it DMC because calling it "brand new game" would be too much of a risk. DMC suddenly shifted to the FF formula, which is precisely a formula for series that cannot work on big budget titles anymore.
Also, the new DMC is just self-inserted fanwank. But that's yet another topic.

Someone mentioned Pokémon and FF as long-selling series. I think you couldn't find two series more different than that in term of what make them series.
Pokémon is actually a fascinating franchise. It's DQ times ten. They are actually making the exact same game, telling more or less the exact same of lack-of-story since the very first game (B&W is slightly different as it has more story, but let's generalize). The mechanisms have seldom changed in 15 years.
But it's positioned in the best, and most difficult to grab, spot : the 7-10 years old branch. Essentially, this spot provides an endless pool of customers until the time when children will stop playing videogames. The social structure of Pokémon also forces the whole playground to buy the game. Finally, the kids will grow up, think Pokémon is for kids, and then hit 20 and start the famous process of nostalgia we all know, and Pokémon will be a blast from the past, a new game on a new console, and yet exactly the same as it has ever been and as you remember it.

You know that feeling of playing a game you loved years ago, and now you look at it, you think "how could I love this crap" ? This will never happen to Pokémon. It's shallow enough so that you'll always remember exactly how it was, and it will always stay what it was. So essentially, the prime customers are always kids for whom it will be the first Pokémon game, and there will be more and more kids, little brats treated as the 8th wonder by their overworked parents trying to compensate with toys, and you add to that already extremely strong public adults falling back to their childhood memories. Wait a few more years, when these adults will give Pokémon to their 7 years old kids because "that's what I played by then, and it's still so great", and you have essentially a license stronger than Mickey Mouse there if nobody screws it up until then.

FF is screwed. The concept of reinventing the wheel at each game, keeping only the title and some artificial flavour on top, is going to cost an arm and a leg with each new generation, until it becomes unmanageable. One could argue that FF13 was already unmanageable, and the escalating costs created the corridor we saw.





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"Re(4):Re(10):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for" , posted Sat 2 Oct 04:25post reply

quote:

I'm not trying to get on anyone's nerves but that's my new rallying cry: I am done with the d-pad.



No no, I totally understand your point. And there are a lot of games that either depend on touch or use touch effectively. A good example is Dodonpachi Daifukkatsu for iPhone. I find that the touch controls are actually extremely responsive compared to my stuttering d-pad or joystick abilities.

What I would like is for control changes and game changes to occur at the same time, which I admit is a bit of a dream.





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"Re(5):Re(10):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for" , posted Sat 2 Oct 05:25post reply

quote:
DMC suddenly shifted to the FF formula, which is precisely a formula for series that cannot work on big budget titles anymore.


I agree. Square-Enix will keep spending millions and sweating bullets trying to maintain FF as king. The result? Who knows...

Somebody said that this generation of video games could be defined by the "Cinematic Experience". Somebody else said that companies need to invest huge amounts of money in order to sell. And Cinematic games sell. These ideas really make me think. Do FPSs provide the ideal (or standard) medium for a Cinematic Experience? Is that the reason they get funding? (Thus selling more).
I think this particular environment will exist in any human industry. Toyota cars sell by the tons but car enthusiasts despise them. Maybe the video game industry is in the same situation in the sense that the simple, well thought-wildly marketed good (but not GREAT) standard will sell.





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"Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Sat 2 Oct 06:38:post reply

This is getting into some interesting discussions.

First and foremost, one of the things that's often overlooked when talking about videogames sales in Japan is that the working class == a huge portion of game consumers are centeralized into Tokyo beyond belief. So it's important to factor in the city life when trying to understand some aspects of the country's game sales. Small housing, remarkable public transportation, lack of time, stress and overwork, many entertainment options outdoors. The country is only about the size of California, so the young aren't too hesitant about moving into the capital or its outskirts-- it's a major social issue right now since the provinces are losing their youngsters to the city. While the population of Japan continues to be on a downfall, the population in Tokyo keeps rising by the thousands every month and knows no limits (it rose by about 57 thousand so far this year).

quote:
You didn't specify where the games have migrated so I'm going to have to assume you mean iGames, Farmville and the like. Do you think the rise in these sorts of games is going to bring about a larger change in the video game landscape than what the shift from arcades to consoles brought on? Will anything change at all?
I think it depends on the region and country, but at least for Japan, casual/SNS games are quickly starting to take the center stage in gaming. TV commercials for games during prime time are all either casual games for mobile phone, or Nintendo ads.

It's like.. "oh, there's a Monster Hunter Airu ad on TV, it must be the new PSP game!.. oh no wait, it's for the cell phone."

Statistic-wise, market sales for SNS game services in FY2010 is estimated at 76 billion yen for just the mobile sector. It's significant but still not big enough to be called a shift, considering that videogame software sales for the first half of the year alone was 125 billion yen. SNS games really just came out late last year and it's still growing. Keeping in mind all the time spent on playing them and the many players that aren't throwing in any money just yet, the potentials are quite remarkable.


quote:
These are very good points. Lately I have been trying to figure out why the momentum in game production has shifted towards Western producers.
There's a number of reasons, but one of the more interesting factor thing is.. some Japanese publishers have come to the conclusion that their country's culture is too different, and they simply can't make games that hits the taste buds of the Western consumers. So instead of learning from scratch or trying to imitate the ways, they're hiring Westerners.



quote:
I wonder if this is also contributing to the difference between Japanese and Western games. Even the most modest house will often have a giant view screen of a television. Could the differences in production be affected by something as subtle as the preferred size of the screen in a given country?
It's probably one of the potential reasons, albiet there's a lot of other factors, market size being the biggest issue. Bottom line, the general Japanese videogame consumption has been trending towards handhelds for the current generation since they match everyone's liftstyle. And though it's a bit of a chicken and egg issue, the next-gen home consoles just don't have enough attractive titles to lure the general consumers-- they're all coming out on the PSP.

The PS3 is starting to show signs of good sales, but I'm not sure if it'll last after March. August saw a massive rise in sales, but that was in part due to the retailer's nationwide dumping of the previous 120G model. The 360 continues to sell at its own slow pace, but its lineup at most used game shops is very abundant and cheap, so new owners should have a good time.

It's a pity that many of the consumers are buying 26-32 inch screens in Japan; the full HD 1080p experience isn't offered unless 37' and larger.



quote:
I don't get motion sickness. But what I have noticed is that 3D games make me feel tired. As if I had been using my brain for hours trying to solve complex mathematical equations.

Oh, and Professor, I definitely know what you mean about motion sickness and 3D games. I have exactly the same thing. Oddly enough, I also have it with 1st person shooters, which is why I've hardly played any since the days of Doom.
Tai-pan: Actually yes, that's how it feels at first when I get the sickness. Then it develops into a mild sickness which can get worse.

Karasu: It's not odd at all; FPS games are a real motion-sickness maker! Especially with the up&down bobbing.



[edit] too long, trimmed.





[this message was edited by Professor on Sat 2 Oct 15:12]

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"Re(2):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Sat 2 Oct 10:14post reply

Just a couple scattered thoughts to follow on everyone else's great ideas:

As far as the modern attention span being shorter (it must be), I ironically find myself losing patience with many "modern" games almost instantly, due either to unnecessary clutter (unlimited technology seems to mean no attention is paid to an economy of space and limiting the number of systems/fuctions in a game) or to bombast (too many cinemas) or to atrocious tutorials (the failure of anyone to invent as intuitive a tutorial of a game's mechanics as Super Mario Bros.' World 1-1 has been cleverly pointed to elsewhere). I'm not just talking about easy-to-pick-up classic platformers, either--I loved RPG's in the 16 and 32-bit eras--but it feels like it's wading through a swamp whenever I start a modern big-budget game.

Regarding the American games and the specious argument that America is somehow more innovative: I think it was just that there were VERY few American console games of any worth at all before Xbox or so. It was very much PC-based for them (do people even make many PC games anymore??). So previously consoles were really a place for Japanese games, by and large, and now that this has changed, the American market is dominated by people playing American games made by developers who migrated from the PC, players who never cared much for Japanese games to begin with.





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"Re(3):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Sun 3 Oct 00:54:post reply

quote:
Just a couple scattered thoughts to follow on everyone else's great ideas:

As far as the modern attention span being shorter (it must be), I ironically find myself losing patience with many "modern" games almost instantly, due either to unnecessary clutter (unlimited technology seems to mean no attention is paid to an economy of space and limiting the number of systems/fuctions in a game) or to bombast (too many cinemas) or to atrocious tutorials (the failure of anyone to invent as intuitive a tutorial of a game's mechanics as Super Mario Bros.' World 1-1 has been cleverly pointed to elsewhere). I'm not just talking about easy-to-pick-up classic platformers, either--I loved RPG's in the 16 and 32-bit eras--but it feels like it's wading through a swamp whenever I start a modern big-budget game.

Regarding the American games and the specious argument that America is somehow more innovative: I think it was just that there were VERY few American console games of any worth at all before Xbox or so. It was very much PC-based for them (do people even make many PC games anymore??). So previously consoles were really a place for Japanese games, by and large, and now that this has changed, the American market is dominated by people playing American games made by developers who migrated from the PC, players who never cared much for Japanese games to begin with.



The trouble I have with this is that for the longest time, the PC has been home to countless interesting and eclectic things; no platform is easier and more accessible to develop for than the PC. Some ten years ago, Flash entered the internet and anybody with spare time could not only make a game, but allow virtually anybody else on the internet with a PC to play it. If anything, the most vibrant creative environment should be on the PC.

And yet today, the PC is stigmatized as the most hardcore of all the platforms; yes, people that play "hardcore" PC games tend to be control freaks ("WHAT?! I CAN'T ADJUST SETTING XYZ?! THIS GAME SUCKS!!!" why can't I modify this game, etc. etc.), and by having two relatively high bandwidth controllers (the keyboard and the mouse) as standards, the expectations for how a game controls and consequently how the game plays are different.

The PC is home to both the most casual experiences possible (like Facebook games, where you click on buttons and see numbers go up), and the most preposterously in-depth simulations with the most arcane control schemes. Lately, with digital distribution, it is more possible than ever for people to make games on a shoestring budget and make some money for it. Sure that means that there's a massive influx of garbage, but there are also some gems.

But in terms of big-budget games, on PC, there are few now: there's always whatever Blizzard is making, but most of the rest are console ports. So if it is true that Western devs were principly influenced by PC games (which has varying degrees of truth), then we're now in a bizarro feedback stage where people that didn't care for making console games (which were Japanese games) are now making console games and then porting them back to the PC where most people will complain about them. Even BioWare, which has been one of the most famous Western PC RPG developers, is now developing with a console-first mentality.

Ok this post is getting really long.

I will conclude by saying that I really miss the DOS-era of games, what with their beautiful sprites and boundless desire to do things that other games aren't doing. I miss the NES-era for the same reason.





[this message was edited by Spoon on Sun 3 Oct 01:05]

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"Re(4):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Sun 3 Oct 09:04post reply

quote:
I will conclude by saying that I really miss the DOS-era of games, what with their beautiful sprites and boundless desire to do things that other games aren't doing. I miss the NES-era for the same reason.

I also miss the era when "mouse and keyboard" wasn't the prefered option of playing games on PC. In fact, I grew up on space sims such as X-Wing/TIE Fighter and other joy/flightstick oriented simulation games which really made full use of the keyboard layout to replicate a feel of a complex yet still automated cockpit. Of course, all of those didn't stand out as much as the variety of mission designs and crazy stuff they pulled off within their respective "genres", something I feel is missing on most games today.

I also miss soundcards. Roland MT-32s forever!





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"Re(2):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Sun 3 Oct 09:06post reply

Iggy's breakdown of the evolution of Pokemon and FF made for a fascinating read. Everybody talks about franchises in games but only Nintendo seems to know how to pull that off.

quote:
There's a number of reasons, but one of the more interesting factor thing is.. some Japanese publishers have come to the conclusion that their country's culture is too different, and they simply can't make games that hits the taste buds of the Western consumers. So instead of learning from scratch or trying to imitate the ways, they're hiring Westerners.

I wonder if the differences between the countries began to outweigh the similarities once games were able to contain increasingly complex narratives. There used to be a time when Japanese programmers were able to make games that featured material that didn't feel limited by region. The Rambo clones from Contra, Ikari Warriors and the like are good examples of games that are designed with the tastes of foreign markets in mind.

At first it would seem that those oily, shirtless men of yesteryear would have a lot in common with the bald space marines that clog up games today. But those old games were fairly straightforward; just have your pixely avatar blast everything on the screen that isn't you. Now, however, even the silliest of action games can feature plots that are at least as intricate as the 80's B movies that so many games drew inspiration from. Since even something as simple as a dumb action movie plays out differently from country to country does that mean games have also fallen into this cultural gap?

Or is the differences more rooted in technology? When the XBox proved that there was a segment of the gaming population that wanted online action Nintendo was busy putting tote handles on the Gamecube. Since I feel this East/West schism started back during that console generation I wonder if part of it comes from having a console on the market that wasn't designed with Japanese sensibilities in mind.

Again, there's no one answer to this. Also, since there are executives who sit up at night sweating blood trying to figure this one out I doubt we are going to stumble on the truth. Nevertheless, it's an interesting topic to mull over.

quote:
I'd argue that the issue of "exhaustion of material" is a larger issue in entertainment, period; in truth, there are only a few basic stories that are possible to tell, and what makes them "interesting" is the twist put on it. Really, on a certain level human creativity in terms of core story telling was largely exhausted when stories were transmitted verbally.
At this point I don't view the Street Fighter cast as characters but rather as archetypes that are almost Jungian in their universality. Ah, Chun-Li with your mother goddess figure combined with such physical power... what a potent symbol you are!

What in the world am I talking about?





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"Re(3):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Sun 3 Oct 09:21:post reply

quote:
Jungian in their universality. Ah, Chun-Li with your mother goddess figure combined with such physical power... what a potent symbol you are!What in the world am I talking about?
You are talking about The Truth. Chun Li's beautiful legs exist in the collective unconscious of all living things.

Spoon: My feeling is really that prior to Xbox, all superior American games were made on PC (both complex and simple). Their stuff on consoles was alomst universally garbage, or certainly not memorable. So, it had the effect of making console gamers very much Japan-centric, whether they liked it or not, simply because that's where unquestionably 95% of all the best console development was happening. Now, there's the simultaneous phenomena of Americans no longer needing to 'put up' with Japanese games on their consoles and of PC gamers heading over to consoles simply because PC gaming has been largely abandonned. It could be that the same number of Americans still enjoy Japanese games, in fact, but that whereas they once represented the core console market, their percentage has gone down as new players and former PC enthusiasts have flooded in. This would account for all the anti-Japanese game rubbish I read on English websites nowdays.





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[this message was edited by Maou on Sun 3 Oct 09:22]

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"Re(3):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Sun 3 Oct 09:45post reply

I'm of much the same mind as Iggy when it comes to Pokemon.

Pokemon as a franchise is like the teenage sex comedy as a genre: because there will always be new people that have not experienced it before, it will always be new to somebody. No matter what other directions Nintendo goes with in Pokemon, it would be folly of them to not continue making Pokemon games that are in the exact mold of the original.

The same goes with many other iconic games: unless you really do want to sell emulated versions of games for years, it's quite alright to keep making the same game with some technological upgrades because if you don't, you are missing out on a market that will always be there. Even if the game is stale to all the geezers (like us), it doesn't matter because it's not made for us.

-----------------------

Maou:
The guys at Icepick Lodge who are fearlessly pretentious like to talk about the development of a cultural identity and vocabulary with respect to games. For instance, Russian games can be universally identified with extreme bugginess, obscurity, and bleakness of world view. Ok, that's not what they really said about Russian games, but nevertheless: in much the same way that Russian cinema has a unique flavour, they argue that much the same can be achieved in games, and not just in terms of how they look or their genre. However, the pedantry of it all is quite intense and it's hard to talk about with a straight face for any length of time.

So in much the same way that it is with any culture struggling to define itself in terms apart from existing ones, it undergoes the typical immature response of thrashing around and throwing tantrums. Like a child, it neither knows itself nor how to express itself.

I'm almost done.

While there is talk about "watershed" games which were milestones in game development (usually for technological or sales reasons), but there isn't much of that in terms of what it may represent to the nation/culture that created it. There are many milestone/landmark movies in the 19th century, but many say Birth of a Nation (however propagandist) was not just one of the first great movies, but one of the first great truly American movies. Maybe we still don't have enough perspective on video games to make such an assessment, but it's something I wonder about.

Of course, that would make me wonder if the definitive Canadian video game experience is a BioWare RPG.





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"Re(4):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Tue 5 Oct 18:38:post reply

This is such a great discussion! So many great, refreshing points being brought up. I basically agree with what everyone's said. Here's some additions:

@Ishmael - yes I was specifically referring to Facebook games. They're monstrously popular and mainstream in a way that games have never been in North America prior. There are 70 million people playing Farmville. That's absurd. These games cost relatively little to make, and the returns are insane. Low risk, high potential for reward. The business model for game production and distribution have been changed forever.

@Karasu - I think the next century will stylistically be a rehash of the previous. Most new designs (fashion, visual art including fine arts and cartoons, industrial design etc) is a throwback to something between the 20s and 90s.

@Everyone - I appreciate the thoughtful discussion regarding why the Japanese videogame industry is in a slump. There's a million things I'd like to say on that topic. I'd love to launch into a deep discussion about how Americans really rock at marketing and branding (things we genuinely innovated on and perfected post WW2), but I think there's actually one very simple solution to all of Japans pop cultural problems:

Stop concentrating on North America, put all your efforts into China.

If Japanese companies just had more brains and balls, they'd concentrate on the Chinese market. It's the biggest market in the world, by far for games. Videogames are far more mainstream in China than any other country. Beyond that, the Japanese have every cultural advantage. Yes there's still bad blood between Japan and China for all the atrocities the Japanese committed during WW2 that they still refuse to fess up to, but that's neither here nor there. What actually matters is that in terms of taste, Chinese people basically like the exact same things as Japanese. There's no cultural schism. Both cultures are deeply Confucian (Japan even more so than China), comfortably Buddhist (as in mostly non religious), and let's face it, all traditional Japanese culture originally comes from China (mostly from the Tang Dynasty). Young people all across China (and Asia in general) love Japanese stuff. To them, it's not foreign, it's something warm and familiar. Almost everyone I've ever met from China under the age of 40 reads manga and plays games (like how almost every American I've ever has watched a sitcom at some point). From street vendors to millionaire entrepreneurs, men and women, they all read Naruto or One Piece or Bleach, they love Ghibli and they pay console games (pirated) as much, or more than PC games. Oh, and they ALL PLAY MONSTER HUNTER (pirated). And it's not cos of good marketing, it's because they genuinely love it (it might be the most distinctly Asian friendly game ever made). I'm willing to bet that there are more PSPs being actively used in China than Japan. Japanese games are much more naturally suited to Chinese tastes than North American or European games. The only problem is that Japanese game companies are so married to decrepit old models of production and distribution, so terrified of piracy, and very possibly have such a condescending view of mainland Asians that they don't have the good sense to enter the market. Notice I said game companies, because since 2005, China has been Japan's leading trade partner, not the US. Other industries have been savvy enough to make the move (Asahi has been kicking all kinds of ass), it boggles my mind why more videogame companies haven't taken the plunge. They have every advantage in the biggest, most profitable videogame market in the world. They just lack the brains, balls and heart to take action.






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[this message was edited by Nobinobita on Tue 5 Oct 18:43]

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"Re(5):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Wed 6 Oct 00:56post reply

quote:

Stop concentrating on North America, put all your efforts into China.



The terrific irony of this is that more than a few North American companies have been focusing on this!

Ttrying to understand the markets of the three major Asian video-gaming markets is difficult. Japan, Korea, and China are all completely different from one another, and North America likes to think of Japan as being the "easiest" and "most important" one to break into, in part because the entire console gaming industry was built off of Japan's model. Trouble is, such a model is completely impossible in China because of piracy, and not that effective in Korea because it is dominated by (shock!) PC and internet-based games. It is pretty much universally understood that in order to turn a profit in China, a subscription or micro-transaction based model is required; delivering all the content in a single transaction is a recipe for failure.

Relic, makers of such interesting games as Homeworld and Warhammer Dawn of War, has been making the Asian-centric Company of Heroes Online for the past bunch of years. The Chinese version was co-developed with another studio, while the Korean/North American version was made by Relic. The Chinese version will not feature a single-player campaign. This game has only recently started testing in North America, in spite of all of Relic's previous games being targetted to the North American/European audience.

I guess it takes a Vancouver-based studio to possess the interest, drive, cultural openness and cultural awareness to dive into Asia!

PS If Koei made Dynasty Warriors an online game with subscription and microtransaction and frequent content updates and timed events/contests and pointed it at China they would obliterate WoW.





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"Re(6):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Wed 6 Oct 08:26post reply

quote:

Stop concentrating on North America, put all your efforts into China.

FF14 would have to have a few words with you.

Also, I've been using the time needed to reboot Civ5 everytime it crashes to imagine a way the game could be ported to consoles.
Fascinating. I could never be a game designer.





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"Re(7):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Wed 6 Oct 13:09post reply

quote:

Stop concentrating on North America, put all your efforts into China.
FF14 would have to have a few words with you.

Also, I've been using the time needed to reboot Civ5 everytime it crashes to imagine a way the game could be ported to consoles.
Fascinating. I could never be a game designer.



quote:

Stop concentrating on North America, put all your efforts into China.
FF14 would have to have a few words with you.



Ahhh FF14. That game looks like the most colossal waste of time and talent I've ever seen. On the plus side it's got beautiful art. It's one of the last old school high fantasy games out there. The look and feel of it has much more in common with classic fantasy literature and TSR era Dungeon's and Dragons than any other RPG on the market including those developed in "the west" (ironically, Blizzard games feel much more stereotypically Japanese --their design esthetic is really really similar to Yu-Gi-Oh). The game's even being released in China. And for once, they did something smart with their marketing, they had one of the Chinese members of morning Musume promote it.

TOO BAD IT PLAYS LIKE A DECADE OLD PC GAME.

FFXIV looks like it was developed in some sort of vacuum where no one paid any attention to all the criticisms leveraged towards FFXI, neither did they pay attention to advancements in MMOs, and worst of all, they didn't even consider what people like about Final Fantasy. There's absolutely no reason why you should begin the game fighting squirrels that take 20 swings of an axe to kill (half of which miss!).

Final Fantasy 7 opens with Cloud dispatching trained soldiers with one swing of his sword. You're immediately thrown into the action and feel like a hero. In FFMMO you live in fear of rabbits, squirrels and crabs for the first 10 hours of the game (albeit, very well designed woodland creatures that I'd rather look at than most boss monsters from other MMOs).


There are more Final Fantasy fans playing WoW than FFXI or FFXIV.

There is something very wrong here. The crew of FFXIV seem to be completely out of touch with reality and their fans.

The worst part is, there are so many great subtle touches to FFXI and XIV. For instance, there are unique sets of armor per class per race. Other MMOs just use rigging tricks to skin the same model and texture on everyone. The races even have different animations per weapon. For instance, the way an Elvaan holds a gun is totally different than a Human. It's also one of the only games out today where I can tell a character's class by the way they look. I'm sorry but everyone in WoW looks like a deathnight, and everyone in Dragon Age looks like a generic rogue. There's so many good things going on in terms of art direction in FFXI and XIV, I just wish they were paired with a game that made some sense.






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"Re(8):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Wed 6 Oct 13:49post reply

quote:

and worst of all, they didn't even consider what people like about Final Fantasy.


Like renaming their iconic avian species to Horse-bird. That one was a head-scratcher.






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"Re(6):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Wed 6 Oct 14:58post reply

quote:

PS If Koei made Dynasty Warriors an online game with subscription and microtransaction and frequent content updates and timed events/contests and pointed it at China they would obliterate WoW.


They've had a Dynasty Warriors Online for years now.





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"Re(7):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Wed 6 Oct 17:12post reply

This thread makes for a great time-killer at office!

Many sensible & interesting things have been said, but amongst them the one I agree most is the point raised by Nobita about China (and probably Southeast Asia in general) as a potential market for Japan's cultural industries.

Despite all the bad blood between Japan and her neighbors, somehow I have the feeling that nowadays they are still perceived as the "superior" culture on the area. By "superior culture" I mean on a pop, modern, trendy, fashionable sense of course. They really dig Japanese aesthetics in every field imaginable. Not only Asian cinema, comics and gaming industries are heavily influenced by Japanese models, even the cool kids in every Chinese or Korean town are nowadays dressed like your average Shibuya-dweller kogals.

Conquering Asian markets seems such an obvious step to take, yet they don't even dare to venture into it. It would be the key to solve this crisis that recently plagues Japan's cultural industries (i.e. manganime, cinema, gaming and the like).





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"Re(4):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Wed 6 Oct 17:19post reply

quote:
...On deep principle, I hate to even touch on politics in the board...


Didn't count on me having a copy of your deleted post on my iPhone didja!

I also find unsolicited discussions of politics to be distasteful. I apologize for even bringing them up, I was just trying to make a dramatic point that even though there's historically very bad blood between the nations, it's not really truly standing in the way of business. Money always comes first.

quote:
There is definitely receptivity to Japanese things in China, and everyone has read Slam Dunk there, too, though I wonder how much that translates into 'active fandom' per se. Think of how many Americans watched the old adaptations like "Speed Racer" "Robotech" and "Voltron" without knowing or caring that they were reworked Japanese items. Does that mean the market isn't as large as thought?

And again, piracy is so utterly crippling that I can't see that much value, especially when the healthiest parts of industry in Japan are currently not very deliverable online (portable games).


The presence of Japanese pop culture throughout Asia isn't a niche thing like Anime has been in the US, it's extremely mainstream. Manga is as common in China (and Thailand, Taiwan and maybe Indonesia) as it is in Japan, which makes it about as common as watching TV dramas in the US. Part of the reason it's so widespread is because of Piracy.

Piracy is a global problem, it's just much more out in the open in China. There's no way to stop it, but there are ways to leverage it. Companies need to start looking at piracy as free marketing and find alternate means of revenue.

The most obvious example is merchandising. For instance, Doraemon has incredible brand equity. Whenever I see a good looking product related to Doraemon, not just toys, but shirts, shoes, hats, anything .... I can't resist! And I know that alot of Chinese feel the same compulsion, because there's tons of legit Doraemon merchandise all over China, and it's mostly aimed at adults who fondly remember Doraemon from their own childhoods and will surely pass this love down to their own children.

Game companies can get in on this. Uniqlo is very popular in China and I saw lots of gaming related shirts last time I was in there. Japanese companies probably have no grasp of just how far their reach is in China (I saw a little kid in Putuo Shan, one of China's 4 holy Buddhist Mountains, slowly snaking his way across the beach on his belly ala Solid Snake. It was unmistakable and this was only a few days after MGS4 was released).

Cheap merchandise is just the beginning. There's an incredible untapped market for luxury goods. They released an Evangelion themed phone in Japan a while back that sold out immediately. They probably could have sold a few hundred thousand more of those in China.

OK I'm beginning to rant. This is the culmination of a few years of globe trotting and ruminating on the future of games as I like em.

I honestly think that companies like SNK can find a new home and new audience in China. Chinese people LOVE those characters. Every city I went to (and not just the major ones) had an arcade with a healthy selection of SNK games. Alot of the top Chinese MMOs are 2d and very very capcom influenced. It would take alot of guts and smarts, but they could actually find an appreciative audience in China that likes them for what they already are, instead of spending hundreds of millions of dollars struggling so hard and to develop games for "the west". Building a new business model is tricky, but feasable. Rebuilding your culture, that's something that takes far more effort.






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"Re(5):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Thu 7 Oct 03:58post reply

The news that the special edition of FFIV comes with a tumbler that cannot hold either liquids or solids told me everything I needed to know about that game.

quote:
@Ishmael - yes I was specifically referring to Facebook games. They're monstrously popular and mainstream in a way that games have never been in North America prior. There are 70 million people playing Farmville. That's absurd. These games cost relatively little to make, and the returns are insane. Low risk, high potential for reward. The business model for game production and distribution have been changed forever.


I'm certain I'm missing something, but I don't see how the success of Farmville and other Facebook games can be replicated. The titles that become popular on Facebook are the ones that compliment the simple, twiddly nature of Facebook, not because they are great in and of themselves. Don't get me wrong, I'm not slamming these titles or claiming they aren't "real" games or anything like that. Instead, I don't see how the blueprint for future titles. Do you see more games being built for phones, computers and the like that offer a soothing bit of repetition during the day? Without something as massive as Facebook in which to showcase these games I would suspect most of them would be too slight to find an audience. Again, I'm certain I'm not connecting all the dots here.

quote:
The guys at Icepick Lodge who are fearlessly pretentious like to talk about the development of a cultural identity and vocabulary with respect to games. For instance, Russian games can be universally identified with extreme bugginess, obscurity, and bleakness of world view. Ok, that's not what they really said about Russian games, but nevertheless: in much the same way that Russian cinema has a unique flavour, they argue that much the same can be achieved in games, and not just in terms of how they look or their genre. However, the pedantry of it all is quite intense and it's hard to talk about with a straight face for any length of time.
Interesting, I had subconsciously realized it for some time I had never actively thought of games as having national identities. As you noted I'm certain that line of talk would get stupid very fast but if something as basic as food can define a culture, why not games? Now that games have more going for them than just blips on a screen this sort of thing is worth pondering.





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"Re(6):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Thu 7 Oct 04:48post reply

quote:

I'm certain I'm missing something, but I don't see how the success of Farmville and other Facebook games can be replicated. The titles that become popular on Facebook are the ones that compliment the simple, twiddly nature of Facebook, not because they are great in and of themselves. Don't get me wrong, I'm not slamming these titles or claiming they aren't "real" games or anything like that. Instead, I don't see how the blueprint for future titles. Do you see more games being built for phones, computers and the like that offer a soothing bit of repetition during the day? Without something as massive as Facebook in which to showcase these games I would suspect most of them would be too slight to find an audience. Again, I'm certain I'm not connecting all the dots here.



Facebook recently streamlined their method for 'hosting' games, making it a lot easier to hook games in to sharing, score posting, etc. so I would not be shocked to see even more fiddly handheld games that are on Facebook in the sense that they can be accessed through FB, but that can also be played through a mobile Web site, etc. I think it also opens the door for hobby and indie game makers. Trust me, several of the earlier API's for Facebook were truly horrendous and baroque.

As for the quality of Facebook games... well, it depends on a lot of things. Zynga et al have set a very dull bar for the quality and type of games, and even some of the game industry heavy hitters have been making plays to enter the arena (I'm specifically talking about EA's purchase of Playfish a while back), so who knows what kinds of games will result.

I'd like to be optimistic and imagine that great games will make it to social media. Given the outrageous numbers of players of some Facebook games, there's a huge potential market, but who knows how many of them are interested in something other than Mafia Wars. I'd like to think that it would be a huge-ish number, but we'll see I suppose. I just worry that the largest contributors will go with the lowest common denominator.





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"Re(5):Re(10):So uhh... wall of text for 3DS?" , posted Thu 7 Oct 15:05post reply

quote:
Didn't count on me having a copy of your deleted post on my iPhone didja!
Crafty man! I had a disputing post about the 'no apology' bit but thought better of it since I'd just be continuing the thing; in any event, I do agree with the point you were making about the viability of the Asian markets for Japan despite lingering tensions, whomever I think they're stirred up by.

I'm still not sure how merchandise and luxury goods based on popular Japanese items that are massively pirated can make a sustainable market, though. And why wouldn't people buy knock-off merchandise, which China also excels at? Piracy is indeed almost unstoppable, but I'm not sure what the "free advertising" will actually be advertising for outside of the people who are so into a series that they'll spend ten times as much for something legit...and these people must be the tinest fraction of the people digging the stolen goods. Does Japan have to wait for the rule of law to figure in more into the Chinese economy for games to work there? I just don't know.





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"Re(1):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Fri 29 Oct 21:33post reply

There is a rumor that Inafune left Capcom? Can anyone confirm/deny this?
quote:
Says Capcom Unity







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"Re(2):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Fri 29 Oct 22:34post reply

quote:
There is a rumor that Inafune left Capcom? Can anyone confirm/deny this?
Says Capcom Unity


So it seems. I guess it really is the free agency period in games.

His initial and somewhat meandering blog post about his reasons for leaving can be found here. If you're going to have a mid-life crisis I suppose this is a more productive method of handling it than buying a sports car or dating someone who is too young for you. Considering Inafune's latest efforts resulted in work like this it may be best for both Capcom and Inafune if they pursue different projects.





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"Re(3):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Sat 30 Oct 10:44post reply

Inafune leaving has to be the biggest blow to those people anticipating Dash 3. Hope he has prepared everything or pehaps keep in close contact with the staff like Ron Gilbert does with Telltale on the Tales of Monkey Island games.





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"Re(4):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Sat 30 Oct 15:47post reply

quote:
like Ron Gilbert does with Telltale on the Tales of Monkey Island games.

... But Tales of Monkey Island really sucked, anyway. :(





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"Re(5):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Sat 30 Oct 16:26post reply

quote:
like Ron Gilbert does with Telltale on the Tales of Monkey Island games.
... But Tales of Monkey Island really sucked, anyway. :(

Was it because of the episodic format?





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"Re(6):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Sun 31 Oct 17:55post reply

quote:
like Ron Gilbert does with Telltale on the Tales of Monkey Island games.
... But Tales of Monkey Island really sucked, anyway. :(
Was it because of the episodic format?


That too. I dislike the episodic format because, for one, you can start from any chapter you want, and so you don't keep anything specific from the previous chapters, your game just gets "reset" to what it should be like at this point. While in Monkey Island 1, for example, you could have different items depending on what you did in the previous chapter, and some puzzles could be solved with various items.

Tales of Monkey Island is simply poor. It feels like the game budget was $50. They reuse the same 3D models like crazy. Basically, they made 3 different NPC models (short and fat, normal, and tall and slim), and keep reusing them everywhere, by adding a mustache or changing their skin color, and pretending it's a new character.

I digged up some screens, so you can see a little example of that.
4 different characters (short and fat model):

Character 1
Character 2
Character 3
Character 4

You get the idea.

Also, the game is quite repetitive (both visually and in terms of gameplay)... You get through something like 3 forests, and they all look exactly the same, while they're on different islands.

Oh, and the controls suck too. I played it on computer, you have to hold the left mouse button to move around...





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"Re(7):So uhh... Megaman Legends 3 for 3DS?" , posted Mon 1 Nov 08:17post reply

quote:
Oh, and the controls suck too. I played it on computer, you have to hold the left mouse button to move around...
...or use WASD.