PAX '07: Japanese Gaming Culture 101

Panel addresses the distinct differences between Eastern and Western societal approaches to the interactive medium.


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SEATTLE--With the launch of Nintendo's Wii and DS in the US, gaming has rapidly been garnering a widespread appeal--and acceptance--in US culture. However, despite America's newfound enthusiasm for the interactive medium, it pales in comparison to gaming in Japan, where games are more a lifestyle choice than just a hobby. The verve with which the Japanese approach gaming is as foreign as their language to Americans, and at the last day of the Penny Arcade Expo, several resident experts took a look at this phenomenon.

Moderating the "Culture of Japanese Gaming" session and lending insight on the retail aspect of gaming in Japan was Nathan Paine, coowner of Seattle-based game import outlet Pink Godzilla. Also speaking at the panel were gaming journalist Dan Tochen on the Japanese arcade scene and Mike Norman on commercials for games in the Land of the Rising Sun. The panel also featured a special guest appearance by Koushi Kondou, president of Japanese tabletop role-playing game maker Bouken.

Paine opened the session by noting the drastic differences between retail stores in Japan and those in the US. As opposed to the lifeless, stark retail experiences that many Western gamers are familiar with, Paine said that the retail experience in Japan is often as exciting as actually playing the games. The primary reason for this is the massive appeal of retro gaming in Japan. In Den Den Town--a world-renowned shopping district in Osaka, Japan--Paine said that retailers go to great lengths to procure and stock rare and classic games, such as Radiant Silvergun on the Sega Saturn, because it enhances their reputation and helps them in the highly competitive market.

The approach is in stark contrast to American retailers, who have the opposite mentality of only catering to the latest and greatest games, said Paine. He went on to say that in Japan, you can be assured that all of the retro products you buy have gone through an extensive testing process, and are only made available in as pristine a condition as is possible. Retailers also know the value of rare games, and are more than willing to offer appropriate compensation for your trade-ins, as opposed to US retailers, who offer a mere fraction of the resale value.

Tochen then took over the panel to address arcade culture in Japan. Whereas the heyday of the American arcade died out in the '80s, Japanese arcades are a growing and vibrant industry. Last year alone, he noted, the Japanese arcade industry pulled in $7.5 billion, which is more than half of the US's total aggregate revenues in the gaming business. Nearly 40 percent of the Japanese gaming market revenues are from arcades, as opposed to a fraction of a percent in the US. Tochen also stated that a single play in a Japanese arcade is typically 100 yen ($0.86), with the more complex or involved games scaling up to around 200 yen ($1.72).

According to Tochen's research, there are more than 24,000 arcades in Japan. A sizable number, he noted, seeing as Japan is roughly the size of California. Further, each of these arcades average 30 games, and they're located in some of the most highly trafficked areas, such as near subway terminals. Subsequently, arcades are nearly always packed with people, with every machine filled and plenty of observers loitering around.

Mike Norman then discussed game ads in Japan. As opposed to the clinical approach to advertisement in the West, the Japanese launch into a full-fledged spectacle. To evidence this, Norman ran a montage of Japanese commercials that involved Segata Sanshiro, which translates to "You Must Play Sega Saturn." Sanshiro's antics included training on a near-constant basis to play the Saturn, as well as physically accosting those who are not playing the system.

Norman noted that this strategy simply would not be accepted in the US, especially the one where Segata beats a few grade school kids with their own baseball bats after they dared to emerge from their living rooms to engage in physical activity. Another strategy that would not work is the use of gaming icons to promote other products in Japan. He then ran a commercial filled with what appeared to be Dance Dance Revolution characters as they promoted their extremely well-fitting and leak-preventing feminine hygiene products.

Closing out the panel was a Q&A session with Koushi Kondou. Despitie several lost-in-translation moments, Kondou did lend interesting insight into why many Western games don't achieve the same magnitude of success in Japan. Referring specifically to Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series, Kondou noted that these types of games are simply too dark for a Japanese audience. Kondou noted that even in the most violent Japanese games, there is typically always a moment where the two opposite sides stop beating on each other and receive a peaceful resolution. The problem, he said, was the lack of a peaceful resolution or a lightening of the mood. "Someone needs to apologize at the end," he said.

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I sorely miss arcades, and the fact remains that many excellent games never get ported to consoles or computers, so unless you buy the PCB or travel a long way you don't even get to play them at all. Sadly a lot of arcades, when they were popular here (UK) were dark and dingy places that were merged with the sorts of hang outs (eg - pool halls, gambling machine dark pubs) that you'd prefer to avoid. Japan's different from here.....even places like the Trocadero that still actually have arcade machines are filled with chav / ned gangs. Gaming culture in Japan = healthy; here it tends to be unhealthy. I'm not meaning that having no-daylight places for video games is always wrong, it's just that here that tends to attract a specific type of person that you just don't want hanging around, or watching you game. In terms of the style of games, what's different about most western games is the desire for photo-realistic graphics, so the game looks like a movie with real people. Generally speaking Japanese titles are more obviously video games - they are more stylised or cartoonish graphically. This was made all the more obvious to me on playing Mass Effect - I realised what I loved about it was that it was like an interactive sci-fi TV episode or film - it was that part I enjoyed and I found the game the same as I find most of those kinds of 3rd-person/FPS types, not very fun at all. Again with older releases and past machines there's a similar attitude problem over this way - that's not specifically western though and it's not just a problem in videogames, because even if you look at music tastes, in other countries (eg - Brazil, European) if music is good then it's good. Here there's this promoted attitude that if it isn't newly released then you shouldn't bother with it. Probably more to do with a lack of comprehension of time really than with anything else - for some reason a lot of folks here have a problem with being reminded of what they used to to, what they were just doing, and what other things were happening not so long ago.

Avatar image for Deloreanman

Lithus is right that gaming started here ,but he did get one thing wrong it didn't start with pong it had originally started with a game called hunter which was first persued by magnavox. America started video games ,but the american systems where expensive and didn't sell well then the Japanese came in and made it cheaper and more of a mainstream thing.

Avatar image for Deadman878

yea. you love your country. we know but the rest of the world hates you. btw japan has pulled out my favs: Metal Gear, Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy, Resident Evil and so on

Avatar image for LegionofClouds

Huh There are plenty of great stuff from Japan MGS series DMC series Many good RPGs FF series being prolly most popular of all them games from Jp Anwyays US and Euro companies do just as well as Japan but Japan houses a good number of super powers of the gaming industry liek for instance Konami, which was around for a long time, and Capcom which gives us Biohazard serise also known as Resident Evil So dont put off asian countries As for where gaming started...does it really matter?....we kinda talkin about now arn't we? Also, apologise? Huh dont really remember that There usually is always a good ending or liek something liek the bad guy being misunderstood or seomthing.... Games are usually on the lighter side though in Jp Compare a dating sim (most popular type of game in Japan) to the more popular games around here (Halo, CoD series, and lets not foget the notorius GTA series) and you will kindaaa see the difference between Jp and Americans On a final note Japan is more...asian so they usually will prefer the lighter stuff There are still plenty of pple liek all of us (americans) Not EVERYONE in Japan is a perverted no life otaku (aka nerd) There are normal pple there too you kno... I feel insulted that everyone think Jp pple perverted and stuff We are people too you kno damn.... We just more asian than you

Avatar image for lithus

Ibanez423 says: ...Also for those saying that Japanese/ Asian gaming sucks, you have to realize Asia can pull the carpet from under your feet any time and stop distributing games and consoles to your country. Without Asia the whole market might as well collapse. O'Really? Cause last I checked, the birth of the modern video game began in the United States. << LINK REMOVED >> And lets not forget Pong (which really started it all)...yeah, that was in the US too. So really, who's holding the carpet here? Do your homework pal.

Avatar image for lathan94

i dont like articles that make fun of th USA the best country ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Japan just play with their wiis and DS.

Avatar image for dj_b02us

god i love japan

Avatar image for Lonelynight

I bet this people had never heard of fallout fans :P

Avatar image for vaejas

KillFace910: when was the last time you saw Kojami Make a happy sunshine game?seriously is snake going to be wearing pink camo in MGS4? There was Valentine camo in MGS3. With red and pink hearts and everything. Do you know what you're talking about? Who's Kojami? Besides, many of the villains in MGS are tragic, and often they will choose to stop fighting Snake. One of the central themes across all the Solid games so far is "can love bloom on the battlefield", and there's always crises of conscience. Still, I think Kondou's comment is being interpreted too broadly. Plenty of live TV and movies, and anime in Japan is dark and utterly abhorrent with violence. He specifically refers to games. The more likely issue with GTA is that the Japanese can't relate to the satire & inspiration. Scarface, LA gang culture, random crimes, etc. Quite different than the Yakuza. If you were to carjack in Shibuya it would play more like Dead Rising, mowing down all the pedestrians. ;)

Avatar image for Eimin

Wow, lithus and others, calm doooown. It's been a while since I saw these kinds of 'overreactions'. No one is insulting anyone. And besides, the guys comment is "someone needs to apologize in the end" which is just funny. He's clearly not an expert which makes the whole thing even less insulting. Just have a look at an anime like Death Note and it's clear that this guy doesn't really know what's going on.

Avatar image for Ibanez423

Man. A country encouraging gaming? Awesome. Also for those saying that Japanese/ Asian gaming sucks, you have to realize Asia can pull the carpet from under your feet any time and stop distributing games and consoles to your country. Without Asia the whole market might as well collapse.

Avatar image for KillFace910

Sounds like someones a little angry about hiroshima.No but seriously all kidding aside.What about europe?Gta sells great in the uk but they don't insult them do they?And Dude Better games come from japanese companies?Seriously Mario?A italin plumber jumping on turtles that can fly and eatting mushrooms compared to something Like Call of duty four?And anyways who is this guy?when was the last time you saw Kojami Make a happy sunshine game?seriously is snake going to be wearing pink camo in MGS4?this guy's an idiot.

Avatar image for lithus

Why do they always put such a negative spin on Western Gaming? They make American gamers sound like violent uncouthed nerds while Japanese gamers are the stylish revolutionaries. Ever play a popular japanese game? Seriously, ever really see what they're playing? It's so sophmoric, nonsensical and obscure. Even the Euro's turn their noses up at them. What's worse is Western magazine/online staff acting like they're above it all because they "get it" when it comes to Japanese gaming culture (and notice it's called a "culture" like it's something better) And god forbid one of them actually visit Japan. You'll never hear the end of it. They're gaming nerds like anyone else.

Avatar image for woody4077

dude playstation_wii last time i went to trade in games at gamestop i had 10 games and got a mere $8.50 for them when one game FF10 was on the used shelf for about 30 times the trade in price that is why i'm not doing trade ins at that place anymore and WTH i can't trade in PC games?? come on and to living wmd i agree i'd like to see more games like bioshock from american developers instead of the upteenith doom clone

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The US market needs arcades for sure. And GameStop, stop taking our trade ins for so cheap!!!!!!!!!!! :x

Avatar image for SlapBoxYaMom

Segata Sanshiro sounds AWESOME!

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I remember Vagrant Story, i haven`t played it in a while but I intend to, it`s a very good game

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"A lot of people here in the US still hang on to this myth that games are for kids or nerds with no our growing up with videogames but our society frowns on gaming to be anything other than an entertaining way to spend a few hours on." ---R3DN1N3 What decade are you living in? I know more people now in the past several years that play & have no problems telling people about it. I don't know ANYONE that is embarrassed in the USA about games. If anything, games are a growing addiction, attracted by people in the US of ALL ages. I know more 35-45 year old gamers than I ever knew 10 years ago & this will continue. Nobody in the US wants to play kiddie arcade games anymore. People in the US like dark stories to play through, nobody has to apologize afterwards, that would destroy the suspension of disbelief. And most of the US is not a subway culture. We have more personal space, we have Internet & games at home that we already pay for, so why would we want to go out to a public place to play a coin-op arcade? Nobody else is going to be there to see our stellar arcade performance. It would be a waste of money, fuel, & resources. As soon as the quality arcade games moved into our homes, there was no need for it to be in a public place. Japan has a need for the way they play their games based on how their society was built, it doesn't mean their games are better. Sometimes they come out with something good, but it seems a lot of the arcade-ish games that make it to the Xbox from Japan are always poorly received here. Plus I have little interest in retro arcade. Most arcade games in the past were designed to be hard as hell & eat quarters as fast as possible. However I (& other US folks) would have plenty of interest in retro PC-style games (or retro-console), such as Wasteland. I'd love to see Wasteland make its way to the Xbox 360 complete with achievement points. I'd pay $5 to download it & utilize the points & leader boards. I am aware it's a free game on the PC & I have my copy now, but still it's a valid point, as an example. I'm sure there are tons of old console games that can be brought forward to XBLA. No need to pay huge amount for an old copy, like they have in Japanese parlors. It's completely unnecessary in the US.

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[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for AndyRaeside

Lets just face it... The Japanese are over there in a little world of there own and they love it. They are quirky... they think walking down the street and saying "cool" and "lets go" as loud as they can in English is hip and trendy thing to do. Of course you always have Engrish... I saw a TV show here in the UK once about cars in Japan and they showed you someones wheel which had written on them... and I quote :- "FULL OF SPORT MIND & LUXURY FEELING SUPER POTENTIAL IN WINTER WHEEL IVER JUST A ROLLER SKATE GRAND TOURING ALL OVER THE PHYSICAL IRONIC POWER" 0_o... What that has to do with anything... I don't think anyone will ever know. However... I often wonder if the Japanesse get TV shows showing US television programs and think... wow... what a wierd bunch of people. LOL.

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Sounds like the West sucks...oh wait. I'm in the West. :/

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I miss arcades. Online is alright, but a poor substitute. I'm so sick of the constant FPS's and GTA that us American gamers get shovelled down our throats. I've spent more money on the Virtual Console this year than anything else, with the DS in second and the last few good PS2 games third. So far, I am bitterly disappointed with the so-called "next-generation." Rock on, Japan. You saved American gaming from going down the toilet once, in 1983. Rescue us again!

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Gaming is just gonna become the next extreme sport as soon as they are able to develope more sophisticated games that can blow away anything that is real.. i mean cmon u wanna go hit a baseball or be able to explore every single house and building in an entire city killing innocent civilians... i mean... i heard that in japan their games are wrapped in like 5 diffrenet cases... just so the excitement of openeing up the game takes longer.... i mean here in the us.. we are like get the firggen sticky crap off... you need wolverine to open up a cd around here... japan boo... usa rules ur gaming market bklah...

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Game retailers here in America infuriate me. Badly. They need to follow Japan's example, meaning that they (retailers) should start focusing more on including everybody, whilst ending this "new is better" crap. The Old-School gamer that I am, it tore away at me to see arcades replaced with MMORPG's. Securing an old classic I don't already own is bothersome in the States; online shopping is an abomination in all aspects. Treasure is a great developer. Too bad it'd cost over $500 to play Radiant Silvergun, 4-in-1 considered.

Avatar image for Gursewak_rules

is this because usa has the best army or is it because usa is to into violence.Either way how is this about GTA4. I think were to into the hitman and gang seen.

Avatar image for other44

oh... right...

Avatar image for ppau08223

well that made for some interesting reading, and yes the japanese gaming scene is really differnet to the us one. they are both diferent and unique peopel shouls stop arguing which one is better and just accept them for what they are.

Avatar image for matrixman2k

retro gaming is usually seen as a throwback to an inferior and retrograde gaming scene. This is an ignorant common misconception, there are plenty of past great titles that compare equally to modern classics if not better, so its just a question of patience and persistence in appreciating this golden era offsprings. So the relevance of retro games shall always remain, and a market for people that prefer or want to sample the origins and history of their hobby.

Avatar image for R3DN1N3

Unholy_Smite News flash! Gaming is no fad in america and we have been gaming for over 20 years! In FACT the us is the worlds BIGGEST video game market with 33% of holding a console BEFORE the Wii! This isn't new and we sell more here than in Japan! The PS 1 and 2 sold more here than in Japan! We have more influence on the market trenda than Japan! Got that ebooker? GAMING IS NOT A FAD BUT A 20 YEAR GROWING TREND! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It's true that gaming is starting to grow in popularity here in the US but it's still not widely accepted with everyone when u compare gaming in Japan. Alot of people here in the US still hang on to this myth that games are for kids or nerds with no life. Honestly I don't think gaming will ever get the same respect here, it's gonna keep growing now that more and more of us our growing up with videogames but our society frowns on gaming to be anything other than an entertaining way to spend a few hours on. Ok heres a better way of getting my point across: How many of u guys can go in front of a room full of people and say "i love playing video games. I think video games should be taken seriously". U do that in front of a Japanese crowd and it's like whatever to them. U do that in front of an American crowd and sure enough your gonna get a few stares and maybe even some giggles. Trust me, everyone is starting to like games but alot of us here won't take them seriously.

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menciawatcher25 >>> They do, the rick is to find the stores that care. Nowadays most game stores (cough EBgames, and Gamestop) are VERY corporate america. If you find a local chain or mom and pop store(here in Nebraska there is a very nice chain called Gamers[dont know if its anywhere else]) You will normally find exactly what they are describing, older and new games well cared for, and they will give you better deals on your trades.

Avatar image for xbxman82

the only reason why we have no more arcades is cause of online yes i said it online.where to worried about whether said game is going to have multiplayer or this or that then of course if it dont have online it doesnt sell well or if it does have online does it have the features where worried bout it having.I like playing japanese style games cause not only do they know how to scare the **** out of you but they really make you get lost in the game and you cant stop playing do i think we need arcades yes do i think we will get them no which is truelly sad i liked going to the arcades and playing against somebody cause they couldnt cheat unlike when we online in multiplayer games oh i found how to get unlimited ammo without the game recognizing when you were at the arcades you got to meet new people and they sometimes even helped you out with showing you some tricks that helped them when they were starting out that plus we are to IMAGE OBSESSED oh god i cant play this game that girl over that i like might think im a stupid or something blah-blah im sorry but i would move to japan and be myself then worried bout if i said oh i like games this girl or that girl wont like me.OTAKU 4 LIFE

Avatar image for Unholy_Smite

mencia they do sell them here, try << LINK REMOVED >> They sell tons.

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i dont know why they cant sell alot of retro games here

Avatar image for Unholy_Smite

whats wrong with evil games? And isn't resident evil dark and sell well in Japan?

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Kondou noted that these types of games are simply too dark for a Japanese audience Totally and more! Not only its too dark, it's also too evil.

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Just keep churning out more Katamari like games and I'll be a happy gamer!

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"I think Japanese and western games have started to move in different directions. Japan seems to take the games are games approach while the west more often views games as being more of an interactive extension of movies. It's a very general statement but for Japan I think games are more like a sport while the west views them more as another mediam like books or movies." You hit the the nail on the head. Too bad you weren't there. I know I definitely want a book or movielike experience from my gaming. An immersive world with a decent storyline and I'm happy. Maybe you could even take it a step further and say the japanese want to enhance they're surroundings/lives while we wish to escape them. Thats what gaming does for me anyhow.

Avatar image for Unholy_Smite

Super Mario Bros 3 is still the biggest selling game ever, and that's hardly a game you can put into that category. The more serious a game takes itself, the harder it falls when it fails to pull it off, which, in my opinion is exactly what happened with Oblivion. That game is so damn shallow it's almost unbearable. In fact, I cannot stand the sight of it anymore and people using as it their examples of what makes gaming so great makes me cringe. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You mock me saying not in depth than call something shallow? Alright...And Mario 3 isn't the biggest, The first Mario is, sold over 40 million worldwide and MArio 3 only sold 17 million. So you are wrong there. You may not like elder scrolls but some do, I can easily say the same about casual games...If done wrong they come across as shallow and childish. It goes both ways.

Avatar image for Unholy_Smite

Hey Unholy_Smite I don't remember saying Fad but ok. Look at the facts. People get called a game freak and game dork. How many people get called Football Dorks. Video games untill recent have been not considered cool in the US. Dude I have a degree in softwared design I know from experience. And please dude, how many people are in Japan VS the US?? as long as people purchase a game system just to say you have it and never buy more than Madden gaming will be considered a fad by mass media. It is considered Taboo in the software market for years as a no serious profession. Are you kidding me dude you must be 10. Read the post by Gunraidan. Japan is the size of California, and we only produce 1/3 more game purchases. Gaming is finally picking up in the rest of the world where Japan has capitalized and made it a major means of comerce. I'm happy the rest of the world recognizes the game market. The same goes for the Anime market. We make out better as consumers and Die Hard game fans. Don't be deluded. And by the way Gaming is a 30 year market kid. That is why you don't have a clue about Collico Vison and Atari. Old school gaming Kid. Get you weight up on some knowledge. A 30 year growing fad that is finally gaining respect. Recognize Kid. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mind if I own you for a second? Good. The article said fad and you said it again in the last part of your rant.. game freak and dork? LMAO! Nice try but I have been gaming since before you were born and I have never been called that nor have I ever heard anybody be called that, in FACT all I heard was people fighting on which was better, the snes or genesis. Nice try but games have been mainstream and cool for years, unless you missed sony selling 100 million consoles worldwide and 40 million US the last 2 gens! Maybe you missed the movies and cartoons based on games that have been coming out since the 1990’s! They have been cool for a long time, since Mario burst onto the scene. Software design, I don’t buy that. Madden isn’t even the highest selling franchise, in fact Mario and GTA along with Halo easily outsell it every year! Madden is no fad and followed every year by ESPN and gaming has been followed for longer! No serious profession? WRONG! Gaming design programs popped up long before the current gen and is seen as valid, I have not seen any reason to doubt it. 10? Nice flame, I am older than you, 1/3 more game purchases? FALSE! The first Mario sold over 23 million MORE copies in America than Japan, Mario 3 sold almost 6 million more here and Mario sunshine sold almost 3 million more here, so your facts are wrong as that is a trend! Gaming has been huge here and growing for 20 years NOT 30! The FACT is the game market crashed in the early 80’s and was revived in 1985 by NINTENDO! That’s right, 22 years ago! NOT A FAD! You don’t know about COLECOVISION not Collico Vision, and that was released here in 1982 and failed by 1984! Nice try dude! May wanna recheck your “facts”! The first system was the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972, 35 years ago. And I have played Pong, you know that thing released here in 1975? You know nadda about that! And arcades were around in 1971! Might wanna weight up on some knowledge as the gaming industry is older than you think and has respect since the late 90’s and even more in early 21st century before the current gen. Recognize and you have been owned! Might also check out the street fighter movie from 1994 or mortal kombat movie from 1995..And cartoons based on games earlier than that! And you say it just now gets respect...LMAO!

Avatar image for HighlyToxic

Personal preference, I guess, but I like Western-styled RPGs better than the Japanese ones. Stars Wars:KOTOR was the first RPG that got me interested in the genre. Jade Empire was great, too. I'm sure Mass Effect is going to be awesome. Man, I love BioWare.

Avatar image for Harvestbuddy

i love where i live, in california, there's two japanese arcades that includes Initial D version 4, Guitar freaks & DrumMania V3, beatmania IIDX 12, and all that good stuff :] street fighter is all they play though =.=

Avatar image for Agermemnon

ThePickle hey no problem man everyones taste is different and fingers crossed for fallout 3 , as for japanese rpg anyone remember a game called vagrant story by squaresoft on ps1 ? did it get a sequel ? would love a follow up on 360 or ps3

Avatar image for ChopstickBoogie

ebookerd1 "Arcades Rule...BRING BACK OUR ARCADES!!!" I'm not going to quote your whole post ebookerd1, but I just wanted to say that I agree wholeheartedly. I live in the UK, and arcades are fast disappearing in this country. The city I live in used to have a good one (I mainly played the SF cabs), and since it went part of where I live seems to have died. There are some good arcade games still being produced, but for a resurgence in the western arcade market we would need a few things: 1. Put them where people can easily get to them. The Japanese Subway example is perfect. Dedicated arcade gamers like ourselves go out of our way to play the games, the masses are less likely to. 2. Realize why arcades are so good. Not only are they a great place to play games (especially when they're not overpriced), but there is the social aspect as well. I almost get as much enjoyment watching a great player as I do from playing the games myself, and it's a good place to meet gamers. 3. Reduce the price of play. Back in the 'golden age' of Western arcades, which unfortunately I just missed out on, the games were much cheaper to play. Consequently, people would play for longer, and actually be able to develop some mastery of the game. This would lead to people shelling out more money in the long run. When I started playing arcade games in the early 90s, 1 credit was normally around 30p. In the UK now, average price of a credit is £1 (100p). That means people will try it once or twice before walking away. If reducing the price means the more expensive cabs have to go, then so be it. 4. Develop more games that get the best out of the arcade experience. In an average arcade, I'll see quite a few driving games, light gun games, dance games, sport games (Virtua Tennis for example). If I'm lucky I'll see some beat em ups and puzzle games as well. For the arcade to thrive again, we need some more game types, especially those that have the arcade spirit of fun, fast paced gameplay. This is the hardest part. Interesting article GameSpot.

Avatar image for TehPickle

Agermemnon--Fair enough, it's not my place to jude :) Personally I found it slick but shallow. It just winds me up that people use that as en example of what makes western game "better" than the east, that's all.

Avatar image for Agermemnon

@tehpickle as for fast travel well it saved time if you didn't like it DONT use it walk run or ride ? and the quest arrow don't make the quest active in the log so no guidance to the location ? I am sure that was added to assist the rpg novice or first timer anyhow

Avatar image for TehPickle

Damn Adramelech-, that was well said!