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Author Topic: jrpg hate in america.  (Read 24026 times)
Starmongoose
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« Reply #75 on: March 20, 2011, 07:18:17 PM »

What is wrong with her legs!?

Fish eye lens.


Ah that makes a lot more sense.
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Chronix112
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« Reply #76 on: March 20, 2011, 07:25:05 PM »

There  will always be androgynous looking male characters in jrpgs. Its what is popular  with the Japanese youth in general. The beefy meatheads we westerners like are considered hard-gay over there. Hell, just look at male J rock or J-pop stars. If you did not know any better some of them could pass for being female.
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« Reply #77 on: March 20, 2011, 07:29:52 PM »

Quote
In reality,  many are more likely to look at a commercial for a game, or look at the box, or screenshots and say "Dude, that's bad-ass!" or, as you noted, "Dude, that's gay!" and make their decisions based on that.  Hell, look at how many copies CoD: Black Ops has sold!

Welllll, some companies (cough cough Activision, Treyarch) also have way more marketing $$$ than most JRPG devs/pubs. JRPGs don't have a very wide audience these days to begin with especially compared to FPSes, let alone the resources for a good promotion campaign.

Agreed, but I'm not saying that makers of RPGs need massive marketing dollars and TV commercials to compete.  All I'm saying is that, for better or for worse, more 'normal' (less androgynous) character design would likely contribute to sales because even without commercials people would still focus on box art, screen shots they found online, that sort of thing.  Whether they should do that is another matter entirely, and is not a point that I'm trying to argue.

Its not about being normal its about not being retarded.

I mean look at Geralt from the Witcher. He's an 80 year old buff man with long white hair and cat eyes.
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« Reply #78 on: March 20, 2011, 07:33:06 PM »

maybe its eye candy for girl gamers in japan? not sure if a higher percentage of girls in japan play rpgs when compared with western girls. i know i was surprised when Naoto won the beauty contest in P4 largely due to female votes.
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« Reply #79 on: March 20, 2011, 07:34:50 PM »

Quote
In reality,  many are more likely to look at a commercial for a game, or look at the box, or screenshots and say "Dude, that's bad-ass!" or, as you noted, "Dude, that's gay!" and make their decisions based on that.  Hell, look at how many copies CoD: Black Ops has sold!

Welllll, some companies (cough cough Activision, Treyarch) also have way more marketing $$$ than most JRPG devs/pubs. JRPGs don't have a very wide audience these days to begin with especially compared to FPSes, let alone the resources for a good promotion campaign.

Agreed, but I'm not saying that makers of RPGs need massive marketing dollars and TV commercials to compete.  All I'm saying is that, for better or for worse, more 'normal' (less androgynous) character design would likely contribute to sales because even without commercials people would still focus on box art, screen shots they found online, that sort of thing.  Whether they should do that is another matter entirely, and is not a point that I'm trying to argue.

Its not about being normal its about not being retarded.

I mean look at Geralt from the Witcher. He's an 80 year old buff man with long white hair and cat eyes.

I put normal in scare quotes for a reason.  I'm not trying to argue that the sort of stereotypical musclebound meat heads you'll find in western games are superior, just that they may sell better.  That said, yes, WRPGs have some ridiculous character designs, too.  I think that Bioware tends to strike a nice balance most of the time, though.
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« Reply #80 on: March 20, 2011, 08:26:41 PM »


Agreed, but I'm not saying that makers of RPGs need massive marketing dollars and TV commercials to compete.  All I'm saying is that, for better or for worse, more 'normal' (less androgynous) character design would likely contribute to sales because even without commercials people would still focus on box art, screen shots they found online, that sort of thing.  Whether they should do that is another matter entirely, and is not a point that I'm trying to argue.

In no way am I suggesting an ad campaign like Black Ops (or any CoD) had. That was hugely extensive, and the TV spot was great. But no, JRPGs don't need that, it's impossible if you're not Activision. I'm saying advertising would help on ANY level. It doesn't have to be on TV. You get your game out there, people will ask what it is and look into it and talk about it. You don't, people will have no idea what the fuck it is and often not bother with researching.

In terms of JRPGs, we are not likely to lose the androgynous characters anytime soon. Japan seems particularly fond of them, even if some westerns aren't so much. I doubt they're as much a factor to many people as say, gameplay is.
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« Reply #81 on: March 20, 2011, 08:34:12 PM »

It's kind of funny the opposite generalizations of gay men in east-west society.
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« Reply #82 on: March 20, 2011, 08:36:06 PM »


Agreed, but I'm not saying that makers of RPGs need massive marketing dollars and TV commercials to compete.  All I'm saying is that, for better or for worse, more 'normal' (less androgynous) character design would likely contribute to sales because even without commercials people would still focus on box art, screen shots they found online, that sort of thing.  Whether they should do that is another matter entirely, and is not a point that I'm trying to argue.

In no way am I suggesting an ad campaign like Black Ops (or any CoD) had. That was hugely extensive, and the TV spot was great. But no, JRPGs don't need that, it's impossible if you're not Activision. I'm saying advertising would help on ANY level. It doesn't have to be on TV. You get your game out there, people will ask what it is and look into it and talk about it. You don't, people will have no idea what the fuck it is and often not bother with researching.

In terms of JRPGs, we are not likely to lose the androgynous characters anytime soon. Japan seems particularly fond of them, even if some westerns aren't so much. I doubt they're as much a factor to many people as say, gameplay is.

I understand what you're saying now.  And you're right on point in regards to advertising, I think, most JRPG advertising is reliant upon e-mailing lists and game reviews.  (Essentially, word of mouth.)  I agree that we're not going to lose those androgynous characters any time soon given the Japanese market for them, I'm just suggesting that they don't hold an appeal to the western market of casual gamers which is at least some of what leads to the JRPG hate the thread is about.  There are some elements of game play that turn people off (turn-based combat comes to mind), but any time I see someone making fun of JRPGs it tends to be related to the image, not the game play.
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cj_iwakura
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« Reply #83 on: March 20, 2011, 08:48:12 PM »

It's not a JRPG, but Catherine built up a ridiculous amount of hype just on word of mouth based on how weird the dang game was.

I'd never seen a niche Atlus game pick up that much attention.
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« Reply #84 on: March 20, 2011, 10:11:10 PM »

I think there are several reasons western gamers don't like jRPGs. Some nationalistic, some cultural, some just plain ignorant (though probably less than we'd like to think).

First, look how many people in America refuse to even look at a Toyota? I mean, Toyota has HUGE MAN TRUCKS! Never short on the testosterone, hard-core image, and have an automobile to fit just about every american lifestyle. They get better mileage, last longer, etc. Honda, Nissan and Subaru too. Yet nationalistic pride keeps some from reaching outside of their culture for items. That makes up a certain percentage.

Then there's a few major cultural reasons:

First, there's the "freedom" issue. Americans / Westerners love their freedom (and I'm generalizing here, so bear with me). The concept of unbridled freedom is a bit of a rally cry to Westerners. Sometimes to a fault. Many times we'd lower our quality of living and/or happiness for one small freedom. Maybe it's something we can be proud of, maybe not. But it is something that plays into Western perception of jRPGs. Some people of the world find peace in feeling like they have a given destiny. Japanese culture and spirituality has had a long history of learning to enjoy ones place, and not having to feel like they have to spend their lives fighting an uphill battle. I think that has translated into Japanese people being much more willing to appreciate a pre-dictated story environment in a game. One of the biggest complaints about jRPGs I hear from american game critics is that they lack freedom. We may see that as a defect, while some may see it as a chance of exploring a rich, pre-determined world, and enjoying the artistry of its creator. The differences are very stark. Almost all wRPGs have user-creatable characters with intense decision making. Almost all jRPGs have pre-determined characters with their own un-modifiable personalities. There are obviously exceptions on both sides.

There's differences in aesthetic value. Americans have a strong love for stark realism. We took to photography (a German invention) extremely well, and cinematography (a French invention) even more. We're a young nation, and we came about during a period of scientific advancement, and I think it defined our national psyche quite a bit. Where-as nations like England and Japan have rich history of stylized stage plays, America got busy with making photography and cinematography as physically and scientifically "real" as we could hope to accomplish. We take a lot of pride in this, and indeed, we've made huge advancements in creating life-like entertainment. So it would make sense that American games (as in film) would strive toward stark realism, while other cultures may be more at peace with stylization. Even our fantasy and science fiction attempts stylistic realism.

Finally, there are different demographic comfort zones between different cultures. I'm not going to argue that Americans/westerners are obsessed with gender identity... on the contrary, I think that's pretty typical for all cultures. But gender and age identity is different between different cultures. To a Japanese person, a bishonan Sephiroth isn't any less masculine than Auron. We often mistake this for "Sephiroth looks feminine", but within Japanese culture, he has a distinctly masculine image. It's much more normal and acceptable. Similarly, the boundaries between what is defined as "childish" and "adult" are different. They're probably just as distinct as they are in the west, just different. An image or style that may be viewed as being with the "adult" realm of taste may be considered childish to a westerner. Hence, greater acceptance of animation and hand-drawn styling in adult Japanese entertainment.

So much of personal enjoyment is based on what we're told, by our cultures, is appropriate for our demographic. Something that is aimed at a totally different demographic often makes us feel uncomfortable. "I shouldn't enjoy this because only young girls are supposed to like this... enjoying this must mean that I'm like I'm a young girl, not a adult man". So when one culture's stylistic boundaries are different for different demographics than another culture's, it can be very confusing, and can be uncomfortable for the same demographic in the other culture.
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« Reply #85 on: March 20, 2011, 11:07:46 PM »

I think there are several reasons western gamers don't like jRPGs. Some nationalistic, some cultural, some just plain ignorant (though probably less than we'd like to think).

First, look how many people in America refuse to even look at a Toyota? I mean, Toyota has HUGE MAN TRUCKS! Never short on the testosterone, hard-core image, and have an automobile to fit just about every american lifestyle. They get better mileage, last longer, etc. Honda, Nissan and Subaru too. Yet nationalistic pride keeps some from reaching outside of their culture for items. That makes up a certain percentage.

Then there's a few major cultural reasons:

First, there's the "freedom" issue. Americans / Westerners love their freedom (and I'm generalizing here, so bear with me). The concept of unbridled freedom is a bit of a rally cry to Westerners. Sometimes to a fault. Many times we'd lower our quality of living and/or happiness for one small freedom. Maybe it's something we can be proud of, maybe not. But it is something that plays into Western perception of jRPGs. Some people of the world find peace in feeling like they have a given destiny. Japanese culture and spirituality has had a long history of learning to enjoy ones place, and not having to feel like they have to spend their lives fighting an uphill battle. I think that has translated into Japanese people being much more willing to appreciate a pre-dictated story environment in a game. One of the biggest complaints about jRPGs I hear from american game critics is that they lack freedom. We may see that as a defect, while some may see it as a chance of exploring a rich, pre-determined world, and enjoying the artistry of its creator. The differences are very stark. Almost all wRPGs have user-creatable characters with intense decision making. Almost all jRPGs have pre-determined characters with their own un-modifiable personalities. There are obviously exceptions on both sides.

Translators Note:
"Will you help me?"
Yes
[No]
"C'mon please?"
Yes
[No]
"C'mon please?"
Yes
[No]
"C'mon please?"
[Yes]
No
"Enjoy your Quest"

There's differences in aesthetic value. Americans have a strong love for stark realism. We took to photography (a German invention) extremely well, and cinematography (a French invention) even more. We're a young nation, and we came about during a period of scientific advancement, and I think it defined our national psyche quite a bit. Where-as nations like England and Japan have rich history of stylized stage plays, America got busy with making photography and cinematography as physically and scientifically "real" as we could hope to accomplish. We take a lot of pride in this, and indeed, we've made huge advancements in creating life-like entertainment. So it would make sense that American games (as in film) would strive toward stark realism, while other cultures may be more at peace with stylization. Even our fantasy and science fiction attempts stylistic realism.



"12 million fans of Stark Realism"

Finally, there are different demographic comfort zones between different cultures. I'm not going to argue that Americans/westerners are obsessed with gender identity... on the contrary, I think that's pretty typical for all cultures. But gender and age identity is different between different cultures. To a Japanese person, a bishonan Sephiroth isn't any less masculine than Auron. We often mistake this for "Sephiroth looks feminine", but within Japanese culture, he has a distinctly masculine image. It's much more normal and acceptable. Similarly, the boundaries between what is defined as "childish" and "adult" are different. They're probably just as distinct as they are in the west, just different. An image or style that may be viewed as being with the "adult" realm of taste may be considered childish to a westerner. Hence, greater acceptance of animation and hand-drawn styling in adult Japanese entertainment.

PhD on Japanese Culture folks right here. Sephiroth = Auron. Target demographic for JRPGs and shonen/shoujo anime are 40 year old Japanese Businessmen. Nobody in Japan considers JRPG characters childish.

So much of personal enjoyment is based on what we're told, by our cultures, is appropriate for our demographic. Something that is aimed at a totally different demographic often makes us feel uncomfortable. "I shouldn't enjoy this because only young girls are supposed to like this... enjoying this must mean that I'm like I'm a young girl, not a adult man". So when one culture's stylistic boundaries are different for different demographics than another culture's, it can be very confusing, and can be uncomfortable for the same demographic in the other culture.

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« Reply #86 on: March 20, 2011, 11:11:22 PM »

I have to admit, that was actually pretty funny for once.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #87 on: March 20, 2011, 11:51:33 PM »

Stuff.

I agree with basically none of your points. I will refute them as such:

Argument: Americans love realism.

Counterargument 1: The most popular WRPG ever has blue space cows and werewolves in top hats, also you can ride giant blue cats.

Counterargument 2: Most JRPG art is seriously just godawful and looks like it was pulled from DeviantArt.

Addendum to Counterargument 2: Same applies to M:TG art from the last eight years or so. Seriously, what the fuck?

Counterargument 3: The sort of realism you see in American games and cinemas is more romanticism revival anyway. Muted, natural colors? Bloom? Epic grandiosity? That's by the numbers romanticism.

Argument: Americans and Japanese have different views on gender roles which affects how Americans perceive JRPGs.

Counterargument: I haven't actually seen an WRPG player call JRPGs girly or refer to the characters as girl. I've only seen other JRPG players do that. Usually in regards to why Kefka is better than Sephiroth.

Addendum to Counterargument: Sephiroth's in-game art is more malproportioned and preternaturally aged than 'bishounen' anyway.

Argument: Americans perceive cartoons as childish.

Counterargument: The Simpsons, Pixar. Also bronies.

Argument: Americans love freedom.

Counterargument 1: A lot of WRPGs are not made by Americans.

Counterargument 2: The degree of freedom evolved out of the medium. More open ended games need bigger save files to track all the stuff you can be doing. NES games, by comparison, didn't even really have save batteries till later on and they didn't allow for particularly big saves anyway, so the degree of freedom you had was sort of constrained...

Counterargument 3: Except even then, even early JRPGs weren't THAT linear. Dragon Quest 1 technically let you go anywhere from the beginning. The only constraint was monster difficulty. Zelda wasn't linear. Phantasy Star 1 allowed for quite a bit of sequence breaking.

Counterargument 4: And even then, there were a lot of more Westernish/non-linear JRPGs that never got localized, so the US perception of JRPGs is sort of skewed from that anyway.

Counterargument 5: Extremely open-ended American-made WRPGs are hardly the norm and are pretty much restricted to The Elder Scrolls, Might and Magic, and a few sort-of-obscure titles like Darklands. I was going to list some other titles like The UnReal World and Mount & Blade except those are Finnish and Turkish. The other series that has TES style openendedness, I guess, was Realms of Arkania, except that was German.

Addendum to Counterargument 5: TES is sort of reviled outside of its fanbase. I mean, among WRPG fans. Contrary to popular belief, WRPG fans actually like storylines.

Counterargument 6: Gamers also have really weird notions of linearity and what it even entails. Non-linearity in WRPGs usually means you don't have plot-induced travel restrictions on where you can go in the game world. Storylines are still fairly linear in their basic layout although they generally allow for some branching.

Counterargument Fin: Gamers love to argue and will inflate minor differences until they seem huge to prove that their side is better out of some misguided sense of elitism.

Toyota

Americans don't like Toyotas because the brakes don't work.

---edit---

Oh fuck you WoW was my example.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2011, 11:53:26 PM by MeshGearFox » Logged

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« Reply #88 on: March 21, 2011, 12:34:43 AM »

Prime Mover's post is the biggest pile of horseshit I've ever had the misfortune of reading. If you haven't read it yet, do yourself a favor and don't.
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« Reply #89 on: March 21, 2011, 12:53:52 AM »

Prime Mover's post is the biggest pile of horseshit I've ever had the misfortune of reading. If you haven't read it yet, do yourself a favor and don't.

It's got a few points, but it's way, waaay too generalized. 

I think the biggest point in the differences is mostly a matter of culture.  It's a difficult notion to pin down otherwise, especially with the decline of JRPGs in the recent years.
I personally throw it to: tradition (JRPGs are moreso), aesthtics (sometimes over-sized key weapons, and hair that is made up of all sorts of diagonals aren't the best route to appeal to all), themes (WRPGs are more to the point, Japanese like inserting themes and have trouble not hitting cheeseball dialogue as they do it), and yeah, culture.

I think anime itself has been getting a bad rap over the years for it's over-the-top-ness, combining cute and sexy, epic and retardedly ludicrous, and odd balance of cartoon but potentially adult.  Audiences here may have trouble with it, we haven't grown with it the same way the Japanese have.

I've said it before; but I credit FF's constant success in the States part of the fact they diverted from the cartoon-y style that FF7 had and kept it real (which seems to work for audiences here). 

Nevertheless, numerous Japanese publishers enjoy a ton of success here too, no?
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