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Subject: Persona 3: FES
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Author Topic: interesting article on american vs japanese games.  (Read 4442 times)
Alisha
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« on: January 20, 2007, 07:04:53 AM »

http://www.1up.com/do/feature?pager.offset=0&cId=3155815
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2007, 08:44:34 AM »

I never quite thought of the save point and random encounters thing that way; that it's a way to build tension in the gameplay.  Still, I take the "western" viewpoint that save points and random encounters are a clunky, inconvenient, and archaic practice.

Still, one thing they got wrong was calling Touch Detective a "visual novel."  It's not.  Touch Detective is a western-styled graphic adventure with interactive environments, items, inventory, puzzles, etc.  Something like the games Hirameki publishes (i.e. Ever17, Hourglass of Summer) are visual novels.
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2007, 07:50:03 PM »

I'll just say this in regards to US shores games being "easier".

Grandia for example, I've heard people incessantly bitch about how the games are "too easy" because you can recover your  health, skill points and MP at every save point. Similarly in Skies of Arcadia, people have complained that having save points before every boss takes away the tension of having to win.

Well, here's a brilliant thought: Don't use them.

It's just in regards to this one dealy. But I find it laughable when people use a game mechanic they are not forced into using, and then complain about its effects on their gameplay.

Xenosaga 3, look at Erde Kaiser Sigma. The thing deals 800,000 damage and inflicts Break status onto the entire field. I killed the final boss in a single attack with it, and people complain about it.

Well if it's such a horrible thing, don't use it. While we're at it, get a modded system and play the imports after you've cleared a game so you can experience "hard mode".

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
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Dave
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2007, 08:43:07 PM »

If anything, I learned to expect the God Mode Move after Final Fantasy VII.

You could beat both final forms of Sephiroth with Knights of the Round. Like half the people here didn't immediately cast it upon entering each fight anyway, since it was their best move and everyone knew it. I mean, shit, I queued up that AND Omnislash. Cloud just sat there with a full limit break.

In fact, I say that because I specifically didn't cast it against the second form, because I wanted to watch the whole Supernova spell. Which was retardedly long. And paved the way for FFVIII's "Let's Summon Shit for an Hour and a Half Per Battle" system. :P
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2007, 08:43:16 PM »

Although the examples vary for how much this applies, part of the fun in conquering a challenge is putting your all into it, using every available resource, and just barely succeeding. It's great to set goals for yourself though, but it's just not the same if you're deliberately handicapping yourself.  However, that's not as valid for the Erde Kaiser example, or Omnislash/KotR in FFVII, where you have to take a lot of effort going out of your way to get those. It's not simply 'run from every battle to avoid EXP', it's 'blow 5 hours getting ingredients, breeding, racing, then finally earn the chocobo to access the summon', something that's far easier to avoid and has you holding back less.

However, save points are tricker. A lot of those recharge without you asking or not, so you basically have to abstain from saving, and thus go into polar extremes for difficulty. That, or be even more ridiculous in holding yourself back, and deliberately INFLICT damage prior to a boss so you'd have a challenge.

-

As for the article itself, it's an interesting read, though I've only read about 75%. I think I'm about middle in most of the areas, though I do want some of the other every so often. I prefer the graphical style of Japanese games for example, and a tighter story progression can lend to a more developed game.

However, Japanese games have as of late been way too linear for my tastes. It's not even the illusion of freedom, like an overworld map or branching paths to take, it's typically a straight road in an RPG or whatever. I'm guessing the 3D combined with the increase in data to use means they have to make bigger games, and as a consequence prefer to make them even more structured, while smaller, visually less complex games can be more open without you wasting too much time.

And while I don't /need/ to use the camera in games like FFX or Xenosaga, I just feel it increases immersion in a game. Games like DMC and (naturally) side scrolling platformers make sense in that gameplay hinges around the fixed camera angle... And being able to use the camera beyond panning up and down in a side scroller would be about as useful as... I don't know, an automated cereal bowl spinner. It doesn't help, it just makes a big god damn mess. Nevertheless, I don't really mind as long as there's technical constraints, but in this day and age that's not exactly plausible.

Japanese design also seems to just cling to a lot of archaic design, and not necessarily good/charming bits either. The save points is 50/50 for me - if you can seriously use it as an important part of gameplay, then great, have them. But for every RE, there's countless RPGs that gain nothing but irritation from not being able to use them right away. They could at least take a note from ToE or Zelda, where there's specific points you restart from, so as to prevent people from fucking up and saving in a place they can't get out of. Or just an ability to reliably return to the beginning of the dungeon/town entrance/last town/whatever. And recharge points could be used to nudge people into where to save.

By the way, I accidentally clicked submit too early. Whoops. Edited/amended the fuck out of this. :P
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2007, 09:04:10 PM »

I don't get the whole "save anywhere= easier" logic.  Persona 2: Eternal Punishment allowed you to save anywhere and that game was pretty tough.  I actually heard people complain that recovering SP as you walk would make the game easy but I'll bet those people never even made it past the first boss battle.  The MP recovery as you walk in FF12 is a godsend since, well, it's near impossible to find MP recovery items and I use magic a lot in that game.  

A mechanic does not make a game easier or harder.  FF12 has save points that cure all your ills and that game's no cakewalk.
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2007, 09:18:23 PM »

It's a bit give and take with save points in reality, I think. You can just save constantly, and retry over and over if it's hard. On the other hand, any game that lets you save anywhere either doesn't restore your health/magic when doing so, or has no health system in the first place, such as most graphic adventures. In the end, the biggest purpose I see for it are games like BoF:DQ and, to a lesser degree (since there's no tokens), Dead Rising. It's a deliberate mechanic that makes the risk of death that much higher, and the stakes are far more than in games like most modern Final Fantasy titles. And for RE, it just makes it a bit scarier since it means that, no, you can't just save, open the door, and woo there's a zombie.

However, that last point's deflated a bit when you take into account that System Shock 2 is considered one of the scariest games ever, and as I seem to recall that let you save whenever. Then they're either using it to make up for a weaker ambiance, or just have it in their heads that no, it isn't as scary, but haven't actually TRIED.
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Alisha
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2007, 04:01:11 AM »

at the very least this article gave me an understanding of why people like games like grand theft auto. but im curious how i picked up the mannerisms of japanese gamers when i was born and raised in america. i fit most all the explanations they gave of japanese gamers. ask me what i want for dinner without giving choices to choose from and you will probally get a blank stare.
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2007, 04:06:25 AM »

ditto to what Alisha said. That's exactly how I feel.

...probably explains why I strongly prefer Japanese games too.

Ramza
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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2007, 04:32:55 AM »

Admittedly, that article goes into extremes, and might be grasping at straws at times. There are strong counter points to their examples from each side - RE and MGS are fairly popular in Japan, yet have more realistic graphics, while God of War has quite a few design choices that, going by the article, are more of a japanese nature.

Personally for non-linearity... While it depends on the game design, generally I want /soemthing/ of guidance to start me off. Oblivion immediately has you fighting your way out of a dungeon, then thrown on a quest to deliver a pendant, so you have something of a starting point, then once you get more familiar (whether that's a few quests or most of the main questline), you can break from it and start doing whatever you want. However, if I was just plopped in the capital and not given any clue on what to do/where to go, then I really would just be scared off.

That makes me think of something else actually. Is it me, or are Japanese games way more overbearing with tutorials than American games are?
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CluelessWonder
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« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2007, 11:05:20 AM »

Oh my!  That article cleared up why I have horrible motion sickness when it comes to some games:  It's genetic!  Actually motion sickness (along with poor hand-eye coordination) is why I mainly play RPGs and Point and Click adventure games.  I never finished Zelda:WW because I would have to stop all the time and lie down so the nausea would pass.

Anyhow, I tend to side with the Japanese gaming culture on all issues but the save points.  I am a save-aholic.  Perhaps it's because I grew up an adventure gamer, but I'm always freaked out I'll make a bad decision so I save all the time with multiple save slots.  Allowing me to save all the time would be a relief, but on the other hand  it would feed my OCD.  Hmm.
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« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2007, 12:09:16 PM »

I'm not too sure how accurate the article was in saying how the Japanese don't talk about their problems, that life's problems are something personal. Not that I question it, I just didn't know that and I'd like some confirmation.

I was raised to talk about what I feel and have developed as a very sensitive person.  If society wouldn't accept the fact that I want to talk it out and not just "forget it or keep it to yourself", I could totally relate to why there's a high suicide rate in Japan.  Perhaps it is also directly related to another point mentioned in the article, the belief of reincarnation.  If I was cashing in, I'm sure I'd feel a whole lot easier about doing it if there was truly a minimal chance of being eternally punished beyond the grave for it.

And good find Alisha, I enjoyed the article.
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« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2007, 12:39:56 PM »

Quote
motion sickness


There used to be so many games I didn't get to enjoy..or got to enjoy, but regreted it later in the 90s because of motion sickness. Fortunantly though as technology got better it stoped. Once games started to be more fluid with less framerate issues it stopped being a problem.

 Half life I could play for hours. Doom, made me want to puke. In retrospect I wonder if it was motion sickness :P
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« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2007, 07:07:53 PM »

Quote from: "Dincrest"
I don't get the whole "save anywhere= easier" logic.  Persona 2: Eternal Punishment allowed you to save anywhere and that game was pretty tough.  I actually heard people complain that recovering SP as you walk would make the game easy but I'll bet those people never even made it past the first boss battle.  The MP recovery as you walk in FF12 is a godsend since, well, it's near impossible to find MP recovery items and I use magic a lot in that game.


Screw Persona 2.

Code:
I got to that boss where a bunch of people were kidnapped and you have to fight your drugged enraged friend in some club.  She kicked the shit out of me.  I kinda gave up after that, sadly.  Such a good game.  I'm not blaming persona 2 like it would seem:  i just suck at the game.


The part about the camera controls was pretty interesting.  Never knew.
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2007, 07:26:53 PM »

The secret to beating the Jokers is when they ready Old Maid, have everyone defend on the next turn.
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