Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Japan Onry" Versions of Games

Anybody else getting seriously pissed over this? You might refute this by saying that most Japanese games won't translate well overseas. That part is all fine and dandy, and I completely understand why. Case in point - the Yakuza spin off game: Ryu ga Gotuku Kenzan, where the game dabbles in child prostitution. That alone will get some people in the West very mad, and even though the Yakuza series is pretty niche, I can see why Sega won't risk localizing it here.

But that's not why I am mad. The thing that is really getting into me is when a Japanese company releases a game here in the West, but then to completely turn a 180 and subsequently release a "more special, more complete" versions of their games exclusively in Japan. That is a god damn slap in the face. The big offender here is Square Enix, putting out an "International" version of their products but then only to have it be completely Japanese. I won't even be so surprised anymore when Final Fantasy XIII: International comes out and be "Japan Onry."

Another Japanese company that is known to do this is Bandai Namco. Putting out Tales of Vesperia for the 360, calling it exclusive, but a year later, they announce a PS3 version. It had tons of new content, as if the PS3 version of Vesperia is the "definitive" version of the game. Namco Bandai even heavily implied that the 360 version was essentially a beta. While all might have been forgiven, the most aggravating thing was they refused to make a Western localization. There are other "Tales of" games that were given the same treatment, but this whole fiasco with Vesperia is the most well-known and recent one.

While other companies are guilty of this, those two are the ones that really stuck to me. Even now, the former is once again pulling a fast one on us as a "Final Mix" version for the latest Kingdom Hearts game for the PSP have been announced. For those who didn't get that, yep, it will be Japan Only.

With the rise of globalization, refusing to sell their products overseas seem to be a moronic thing to do. But what really makes me so god damn mad is that I want to play their games, and, understand it in a language I know and love at the same damn time. Seriously, what is the logic behind this? It's no wonder that, asides from Nintendo, most Japanese games are seen as a joke these days.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Game Review: Final Fantasy XIII (Role Playing - PS3/360)

Everything about this game sucked beyond belief. I won't go into detail with this review, seeing as how everyone in the internet has already stated what was wrong with Final Fantasy XIII.

When I first started the game, I was actually in awe over how pretty the visuals are. A high budget game with actual colors in it? Great! But it was quickly dispelled by the next few moments when every character in the game seemed to talk gibberish, mentioning obscure words every now and then in an effort to make this game's plot sound "deep." Yes, it was that bad. The characters are nothing special as well. It's hard to even call them "characters" at all, as the Japanese seem to have a thing for putting "Archetypes" in all their media instead. Too bad the actual story is nothing short of bland, just another generic JRPG plot where you and your friends try and kill the god of their world in order to save the planet. It wouldn't be too bad if the characters didn't spout "L'Cie, Fal'Cie" etc. every waking moment.

The battlesystem was actually pretty fun, but that's about all you'll be able to do in FFXIII seeing as how the creators had this brilliant idea to make everything linear as hell. Since there are no towns and NPCs to interact with, just about every sidequest consists of hunting down a monster (a "Mark") and kill it. In addition, there is no sense of exploration as every area has already been mapped into one long disappointing line.

A single playthrough of this game will take you at least around 40 hours, even more if you do all the hunts. Sadly, this game did not live up to its years of hype. Why wade through the first 20 hours worth of crap just to see if this game will actually turn a 180 and be considered good?


+ Amazing visuals

+ Arguably one of the most fun FF battlesystem to date
- Very, very, very linear maps
- Bland characters and bland dialogue
- Bland story
- A very long thinly veiled "tutorial" segment that takes around 10 to 20 hours.

This game deserves a score of 4.5 out of 10. Spectacular visuals and Brand name won't save this from being a pile of trash.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

On MOBA games

Why are multiplayer online battle arenas so goddamn fun? It started with DotA (Defense of the Ancients), eventually got bored with years of playing and jumped to LoL (League of Legends)when I got wind of it.

I can't really pin point what makes it so, but I can always see myself playing hours on end. Is it the sense of satisfaction when you successfully ganked an enemy? The rush of adrenaline as the entire team is chasing you down in the bushes, with your comrades located at the opposite side of the map? Or the feeling of victory when your team completely turned the tides of an already losing game?

Sure, the player base is one of the worst types around online, but you just have to admit, that without humongous crybabies like them, games online overall would be a lot boring.

And MOBA games have them in spades.