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RPGamer's staff has decided that our esteemed Japandemonium columnnist, Mr. Baker, has been spending entirely too much time producing interesting and informative columns for this site. I mean, really. He's reached the pinnacle of Japanophile culture: he has a Japanese girlfriend. Why is he wasting his time on us when he could be trolling message boards all over the internet claiming superior knowledge of Japanese games and cultures because he has a Japanese girlfriend? Thus, he's been sacked, and our editorial overlords have decided that I, the mighty Ocelot, shall be his replacement.
Now, I know this may be a bit upsetting, considering Mr. Baker's popularity, but I assure you that my Wikipedia-level knowledge of Japan is more than sufficient for the purposes of this column. After all, I've been working for RPGamer for over a year and a half now, and in that time I've been exposed to all sorts of really weird Japanese stuff. And yeah, it's true, I've developed an unhealthy affection for Harvest Moon and am a bona fide Suikoden fangirl, but sometimes the Japanese game industry just makes me say, "Oh, Japan. LOL." Thus, I've decided that this column must be reborn as lolJapan, with all your lolworthy Japanese gaming news! I'm going to start with an overview of my favourite lolJapan news from the past six months or so, so enjoy, and look forward to even more lols next week! Oh, also, I've re-imagined my feline namesake so that it's now SUPER KAWAII! Yaaaaay!
Sure, there are plenty of stinky video games released worldwide. Poor design decisions abound in this industry, no matter where the games were developed. Nobody, though, has ever managed to surpass the Japanese when it comes to game design that's downright sadistic. In that spirit, I'd like to declare my winner of this years Excellence in Sadistic Japanese Game Design: Blazing Souls: Accelate. Famously recorded as the game that threw reviewer Glenn Wilson into a frothing rage that caused him to exort everyone to BURN THIS GAME, Blazing Souls: Accelate isn't just a bad game, it's a mean one. Here's a prime example recorded from our staff chat:
[12:50] <@SeventhCircle> That Search thing she mentioned is where im stuck
Source: RPGamer Staff IRC Channel
Everybody loves a good controversy, and there was plenty of controversy to be had around the release of Final Fantasy XIV. Released with so many issues that players still haven't been required to pay a subscription fee, FF XIV has been a huge boondoggle for Square Enix. Naturally, fans looking into what went wrong formed various theories to explain why the lauch was mishandled so badly. Japanese fans quickly noticed that the game not only featured a lot of spelling and grammar problems, it featured spelling and grammer problems that were unlikely to have been made by native Japanese speakers. It also featured a number of odd names for standard Final Fantasy things using Chinese characters, the most obvious of which was that Chocobos were renamed to include Chinese characters that spelled out "Horsebird."
Although Square Enix claimed that the Chinese character names were created simply for the sake of adding "atmosphere" to the game, many fans were unconvinced, accusing Square Enix of having farmed out the development of FF XIV to a Chinese developer. Along with the spelling errors, they cited the inculsion of a fatigue system that sharply reduces/cuts off experience gains after a certain amount of gameplay. These fatigue systems are mandatory in China, but not in Japan or North America, so why were they included in Final Fantasy XIV? Conspiracy theorists blame some serious outsourcing, but we may never know the truth. At least we'll always have the noble Horsebird.
Source: Broken Toys
Sure, The Last Guardian isn't an RPG, but many RPGamers are also fans of Team ICO's previous works. Here's some interesting trivia about The Last Guardian. Originally, the main human character was supposed to be an adolescent girl. After some thought, however, team lead Fumito Ueda decided on a little boy instead, because he thought a boy's grip would be stronger for climbing and because he wanted to avoid "upskirt" shots of a girl in a skirt. Oh, Japan, you and your sexism. Apparently the legions of female rock-climbers worldwide have escaped Mr. Ueda's notice, not to mention the possibiility that a girl could wear pants.
Heck, in just 10 minutes of research on Tokyofashion.com, I have come up with ample pictoral evidence that a wide variety of young Japanese women are capable of the complex process of putting on a pair of pants.
Darn Japan, getting all the cool swag that we don't get over here. I'd kill to have one of these great adult-styled Pokémon shirts. Not everything from Japan should make the trip over, though. Check out these Monster Hunter boxer shorts. I'm pretty sure the second one down on the left would really not fly on a hot date.
I think now that Tales fans didn't get precisely the number of Tales games they desired, it's time for Tales fans to break up with the series. That's right, it's not them it's us. We just can't take the lack of commitment. Tales fans are ready to put a ring on the series' finger.
We're all like "Just give use Vesperia PS3 and Tales of Graces F" but the Tales series will only give us one of them. This just isn't going to work. There's plenty of other series that would have us, such as Suikoden!
We love you Tales series, but we're not IN love with you.
-Wheels, representing spurned Tales fans
DON'T MENTION SUIKODEN. Ahem.
Just remember, Tales fans. Namco hates you. Yes, you. Personally. They've got a list of each and every one of you, and they love nothing more than to refuse to give you what you want, what you really really want. So keep sending in those complaints, flooding their Facebook page, and organizing those on-line petitions. Namco feeds on your tears.
If chocobos say "wark" or "kweh," what do horsebirds say?
"Kweigh." Alternately, "Ni Hao."
Obligatory JuMeSyn Letter
The purpose of combining feline and feminine escapes my erudition. Would it not be equally as attractive (in theory) to combine the avian and the female, or perhaps certain forms of rodentia with large teeth and a name already indicative of a portion of the female anatomy? Is there any justification to forgo such obvious possibilities, in favor of animals that constantly shed and prefer to ignore human contact when it does not suit their unknowable purposes?
Like, OMG JuMeSyn. Catgirls are so totally kawaii because kitties are so totally kawaii! Everybody loves adorable widdle kittycats! Wid their widdle paws and their widdle whiskers and their cute widdle pointy ears!
Also, Japanese entertainment frequently features non-cat anthropomorphs. Fox girls and bunny girls are pretty popular, and I've certainly seen bird-girls, though I'm pretty sure I've never seen a *ahem* beaver girl. Do they even have beavers in Japan? Also also, my kitties are total attention sucks who wouldn't know what to do without human companionship, so there.
How dare you make fun of Japan at a time like this? Humor should never be used in times of crisis!
Herbert, I recommend that you file with our complaints department. I'm sure they'd be happy to do something about this travesty.
And that's it for this week. I hope you enjoyed it, and I'd like to take this time to thank all the people who learned to speak Japanese so they could translate stories and post them on the Internet. That way, I don't have to.
And that's the news from my house,
Your lady in Hogtown, Canada,
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