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Japan Vs. Rest of the World: Who has created the best games?

Japan Vs. Rest of the World: Who has created the best games?  

37 members have voted

  1. 1. Japan Vs. Rest of the World: Who has created the best games?

    • Japan
      24
    • The rest of the World
      13


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On 7/27/2020 at 7:39 AM, boxpressed said:

This is going to reveal my own ignorance, but I'm trying to think of truly world-beating games that were not from Japan and the US, and the only one I can think of is Tetris.

 

I'm thinking about games that even non-gamers would recognize and have played, but that's a little different from the OP's criteria, I think. 

Grand Theft Auto 5? You know, the second-best selling video game ever made? It's British.

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Western games have come a long way in recent generations and so today it's a wash. For me personally, when it comes to action games, in the 8 and 16-bit eras, Japanese developed games were typically much more polished than most games you would get from the West. There are obviously exceptions (a good example is some of the stuff RARE made on the NES), but Japanese games (especially the popular ones) usually felt tighter, with greater attention to detail in terms of both gameplay and level design, not to mention collision that was functionally sound.

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7 hours ago, Austin said:

Western games have come a long way in recent generations and so today it's a wash. For me personally, when it comes to action games, in the 8 and 16-bit eras, Japanese developed games were typically much more polished than most games you would get from the West. There are obviously exceptions (a good example is some of the stuff RARE made on the NES), but Japanese games (especially the popular ones) usually felt tighter, with greater attention to detail in terms of both gameplay and level design, not to mention collision that was functionally sound.

I would agree on the wash yes.  PC gaming, particularly in sims, have been West dominated for 30 years.  Console gaming was 50/50 back in the PS2/GCN/XBOX/DC days, but now there's just so much being done outside of Japan and Nintendo.  Later 8-bit, 16-bit, 32-bit was Japan dominated, though the arcades were very even through most of the 80's though eventually Japan took a big lead. 

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On 7/27/2020 at 8:04 AM, digdugnate said:

i just like games in general regardless of where they come from- as mentioned, UK had good ones, US had good ones, France had good ones, Japan had good ones, the list goes on.

 

i'd daresay the consensus will be 'everyone likes games from anywhere that aren't garbage bargain-bin shovelware'.

Agree. I never give a thought about country of origin for video games, other than the occasional regret/sadness that many great Japanese games never made it to western gamers with localizations. We missed out on a lot when we were younger, but so did the Japanese (ex: Super Punch Out!!). 

 

I know for a fact most western gamers regret the absence of loads of Japanese shmups and RPGs. That's just a fact, but I was never sure if the Japanese had the same feelings toward American consoles/games. Actually, I always thought in general, the Japanese rather shunned American games. Which I think is a strange irony, because we know that many business decisions were made for the American consoles not to bring Japanese games here due to what was thought would be poor sales for such games. A lot of marketing people made decisions on Americans behalf, so we didn't get a lot of localizations, especially for the Saturn. Like, it was assumed we wouldn't want their games, but in reality I think western gamers were starving for content and more open to all genres of games, moreso than the Japanese were.

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Until you get closer to 2010, it's really no contest; totally Japan. Just because there are a few exceptions of non Japanese games.. doesn't make the rule. 

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4 hours ago, Cobra Kai said:

Agree. I never give a thought about country of origin for video games, other than the occasional regret/sadness that many great Japanese games never made it to western gamers with localizations. We missed out on a lot when we were younger, but so did the Japanese (ex: Super Punch Out!!). 

 

I know for a fact most western gamers regret the absence of loads of Japanese shmups and RPGs. That's just a fact, but I was never sure if the Japanese had the same feelings toward American consoles/games. Actually, I always thought in general, the Japanese rather shunned American games. Which I think is a strange irony, because we know that many business decisions were made for the American consoles not to bring Japanese games here due to what was thought would be poor sales for such games. A lot of marketing people made decisions on Americans behalf, so we didn't get a lot of localizations, especially for the Saturn. Like, it was assumed we wouldn't want their games, but in reality I think western gamers were starving for content and more open to all genres of games, moreso than the Japanese were.

It's a good enough reason to learn Japanese, honestly. Being able to play things that never made it to the rest of the world is nice, as is being able to play modern games months or years in advance. Games in general are more expensive here, though... people are complaining about games maybe costing $70 in the USA now, but games here can cost up to 10,000 yen for the standard edition variants and even more for limited editions. Persona 5 The Royal is on sale right now, but check out the regular price of 9680 yen:

 

https://www.amazon.co.jp/アトラス-ペルソナ5-ザ・ロイヤル-PS4/dp/B07R14ZFRN?ref_=Oct_s9_apbd_otopr_hd_bw_b2inYTb&pf_rd_r=42W8J4THGJAGX8AKDC1Y&pf_rd_p=87e64326-2915-5064-a55d-cfa2fad08e40&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-10&pf_rd_t=BROWSE&pf_rd_i=2494235051

 

Anyway, on topic, I really don't care who made it as long as it's good.

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Posted (edited)

I vote Japan overall, but my two favorite games Marble Madness and Tetris (albeit the NES ports) were originally developed in the USA and Soviet Union.

 

I'm also a big fan of RARE (UK).

Edited by mbd30

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On 7/28/2020 at 2:26 PM, Austin said:

Japanese developed games were typically much more polished than most games you would get from the West

To me, Japanese developers tend to be more conservative as a whole. Like in other industries (cars, television, etc.), they tend to "copy" Western products and improve on it. Their 8/16-bit output was really refined indeed, but not necessarily very innovative if you think about it. On the other hand, Western developers tend to be ambitious in terms of visuals (scrollings, early 3D...) or gameplay (open world, physics based, AI, emergent gameplay...) - often a bit too much in my opinion. I could name countless games that have been delayed, sometimes eventually cancelled, and when they were released they didn't live up to the hype... A lot of Amiga games for instance were very impressive for the time, but are almost unplayable today (and back in the day I suspect most players forced themselves a little to enjoy them ^^).

I was disappointed with a lot of supposedly groudbreaking PC games (Half-Life, Deus Ex, Crysis, etc.), mostly because I played them several years after release when I had a machine powerful enough to run them, so they were not that impressive anymore and all the design problems became a lot more apparent. On the other hand, I remember being in awe with games like Resident Evil 4, that felt like a kick in the butt of Western developers. Its gameplay has aged a little now, but you can't deny the fact that every Western TPS afterwards stole from it, especially its over the shoulder point of view.

Of course I'm generalizing here and that being said, Japanese developers are a lot more secretive and there are probably a lot of ambitious, failed projets we don't know of. After all, there were several scrapped versions of Resident Evil 4 for instance...

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, roots.genoa said:

To me, Japanese developers tend to be more conservative as a whole. Like in other industries (cars, television, etc.), they tend to "copy" Western products and improve on it. Their 8/16-bit output was really refined indeed, but not necessarily very innovative if you think about it.

In general, I tend to agree with this, but as always, there are exceptions. I'd say the single most important evolution for home consoles around that time period was the PC Engine's CD-ROM2. As we all know, CDs have UNLIMITED STORAGE. Cartridges and HuCARDs don't, and as the first home console that I'm aware of to use optical media, I'd say that was pretty innovative on the technical side, seeing as we're still using optical media for games now.

 

That's ignoring the fact that the CD-ROM2 itself is incredibly fragile and is little more than a standard-issue 1986~1988 era CD player with a special port in the back, of course, and also that this thread is about software instead of hardware, but I think it's cool enough to mention.

 

PC Engine GT is pretty innovative, as well, but mostly just a cool piece of tech for 1990.

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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3 hours ago, Steven Pendleton said:

That's ignoring the fact that the CD-ROM2 itself is incredibly fragile and is little more than a standard-issue 1986~1988 era CD player with a special port in the back, of course, and also that this thread is about software instead of hardware, but I think it's cool enough to mention.

Of course there are exceptions (I said I was generalizing) and I was clearly talking about software. Plus I kinda disapprove of CD-ROM as a whole, which doesn't mean there are no CD-based games I like obviously. It's just that we were promised games that would be 400x bigger (even though I don't really care since I don't like RPGs anyway ^^), and we just got similar games with "CD-quality" (but necessarily good) music, and endless cutscenes we would only watch once. :P After all, it was just a matter of time before cartridge-like media offered as much storage as the CD-ROM.

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15 minutes ago, roots.genoa said:

Of course there are exceptions (I said I was generalizing) and I was clearly talking about software. Plus I kinda disapprove of CD-ROM as a whole, which doesn't mean there are no CD-based games I like obviously. It's just that we were promised games that would be 400x bigger (even though I don't really care since I don't like RPGs anyway ^^), and we just got similar games with "CD-quality" (but necessarily good) music, and endless cutscenes we would only watch once. :P After all, it was just a matter of time before cartridge-like media offered as much storage as the CD-ROM.

lol I think you quoted the wrong part of my thing, but yeah, I generally agree with you overall, especially since we are supposed to be talking about software.

 

Like you said, early CD console games primarily used the CD's space for music anyway. I am not complaining since that gave us things like Rondo of Blood! I personally am not terribly fond of discs over solid state media, either; carts are way more awesome than a boring disc is! They are also more durable, as well, and that's the important part.

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The capacities of the first systems supporting CD-ROM based games was like a dog chasing after cars. Even if they could catch it, they would not have the skills to drive it.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, carlsson said:

The capacities of the first systems supporting CD-ROM based games was like a dog chasing after cars. Even if they could catch it, they would not have the skills to drive it.

For computers, yes. For consoles, Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire on the PC Engine. I think most people wouldn't believe that's an 8-bit game.

 

But this is getting super off-topic, so...

Edited by Steven Pendleton

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On 8/6/2020 at 6:50 AM, Steven Pendleton said:

For computers, yes. For consoles, Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire on the PC Engine. I think most people wouldn't believe that's an 8-bit game.

 

But this is getting super off-topic, so...

It's not an "8-bit" gen game any more than Intellivision games are 16-bit gen.

 

It's only hard to believe if you ignore your eyes and ears and tell your brain to stop contradicting something silly your read somewhere.

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On 8/6/2020 at 12:52 AM, roots.genoa said:

To me, Japanese developers tend to be more conservative as a whole. Like in other industries (cars, television, etc.), they tend to "copy" Western products and improve on it. Their 8/16-bit output was really refined indeed, but not necessarily very innovative if you think about it. On the other hand, Western developers tend to be ambitious in terms of visuals (scrollings, early 3D...) or gameplay (open world, physics based, AI, emergent gameplay...) - often a bit too much in my opinion. I could name countless games that have been delayed, sometimes eventually cancelled, and when they were released they didn't live up to the hype... A lot of Amiga games for instance were very impressive for the time, but are almost unplayable today (and back in the day I suspect most players forced themselves a little to enjoy them ^^).

I was disappointed with a lot of supposedly groudbreaking PC games (Half-Life, Deus Ex, Crysis, etc.), mostly because I played them several years after release when I had a machine powerful enough to run them, so they were not that impressive anymore and all the design problems became a lot more apparent. On the other hand, I remember being in awe with games like Resident Evil 4, that felt like a kick in the butt of Western developers. Its gameplay has aged a little now, but you can't deny the fact that every Western TPS afterwards stole from it, especially its over the shoulder point of view.

Of course I'm generalizing here and that being said, Japanese developers are a lot more secretive and there are probably a lot of ambitious, failed projets we don't know of. After all, there were several scrapped versions of Resident Evil 4 for instance...

I guess you're thinking more about localized games that you happened to have played. Endless unique games stayed in Japan because publishers rightfully thought that Western players wanted cookie cutter games more than new or unique experiences.

 

You can thank the end users for things like the many revisions of SFII. They voted with their money for new coats of paint.

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1 hour ago, Black_Tiger said:

I guess you're thinking more about localized games that you happened to have played. Endless unique games stayed in Japan because publishers rightfully thought that Western players wanted cookie cutter games more than new or unique experiences.

 

You can thank the end users for things like the many revisions of SFII. They voted with their money for new coats of paint.

Absolutely!

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Posted (edited)

This is a really bizarre poll, as though the only way we can compete with Japanese games is to combine forces worldwide lol.

 

I voted for "rest of the world" even though I've never played games from 99% of the countries in "rest of the world" haha.  The Japanese excelled at side-scrollers during the 8-bit and 16-bit console generations (after all, their hardware at this time was designed specifically for scrolling tiles), but fell far behind companies like Origin, EA, New World Computing, Interplay, and Sir-Tech when it comes to such crucial genres as sports (other than baseball, I guess), RPGs, simulations, and adventure games.

 

On the other hand, Japanese developers seemed to really enjoy exploring the new possibilities offered by consoles with built-in 3D hardware (i.e. the PSX/Saturn [and to a lesser extent the N64 due to that console's somewhat shallow library]).  It's as though they finally had access to hardware that wasn't "just" a tile-scrolling monster and suddenly you had bizarre experiments like Germs: Nerawareta Machi and LSD (both PSX).

Edited by newtmonkey
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I'm sure there is a joke to be made of this thread using the title from the game Xenophobe :ponder:

 

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2 hours ago, high voltage said:

Sega, always an American (Hawaii) company to me

How many of their games were made in Hawaii, though? ;) (and yes, I know some of the best SEGA games were made in the US)

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I was a computer gamer first and foremost, so Japan wasn't even on my radar until 2010 when I started collecting for the nes/snes/genesis. The vast majority of my games came from europe or the USA.

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Badaboom said:

I was a computer gamer first and foremost, so Japan wasn't even on my radar until 2010 when I started collecting for the nes/snes/genesis. The vast majority of my games came from europe or the USA.

 

 

You obviously missed out on the X68000!

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6 hours ago, high voltage said:

I'd say it's a tie.

 

 

Sega, always an American (Hawaii) company to me

I really hope you're kidding 😂

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12 hours ago, newtmonkey said:

This is a really bizarre poll, as though the only way we can compete with Japanese games is to combine forces worldwide lol.

 

I voted for "rest of the world" even though I've never played games from 99% of the countries in "rest of the world" haha.  The Japanese excelled at side-scrollers during the 8-bit and 16-bit console generations (after all, their hardware at this time was designed specifically for scrolling tiles), but fell far behind companies like Origin, EA, New World Computing, Interplay, and Sir-Tech when it comes to such crucial genres as sports (other than baseball, I guess), RPGs, simulations, and adventure games.

 

On the other hand, Japanese developers seemed to really enjoy exploring the new possibilities offered by consoles with built-in 3D hardware (i.e. the PSX/Saturn [and to a lesser extent the N64 due to that console's somewhat shallow library]).  It's as though they finally had access to hardware that wasn't "just" a tile-scrolling monster and suddenly you had bizarre experiments like Germs: Nerawareta Machi and LSD (both PSX).

It's like this: "Who's made the best cars in the history of cars? Japan or the Rest of the World?" The answers to "video games" are obviously going to be polar opposites if we look at the libraries of Atari consoles and compare them with Sony's products.

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