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Did Elden Ring/Botw put Japan back at the top of game design?

Do those games changed how Japanese are viewed?

  • Yes, both of them

    Votes: 48 24.9%
  • Elden Ring did

    Votes: 30 15.5%
  • Zelda Botw did

    Votes: 14 7.3%
  • Changed how Nintendo games are viewed

    Votes: 9 4.7%
  • Changed how from software games are viewed

    Votes: 14 7.3%
  • No, not really

    Votes: 100 51.8%

  • Total voters
    193

justiceiro

Marlboro: Other M
Well, it's been around a decade since the infamous answer from Phil fish telling japanese fans that modern Japanese games... Suck.

He was not alone on this opinion, I remember a piece written in IGN about how the west have stepped up since the 3rd videogame generation and measured up to the classics. Even when Phil gave that answer, the other designers at the table reluctantly agreed. And at the time, most japanese games were indeed going more niche be on artstyle or plain game design, struggling to adopt more modern approaches, like avoiding loading screens.

But then, enter Zelda Breath of the Wild. That game not only adopted modern approaches like dynamic difficult scaling on the entire world, but also rewritten the rules on exploration and interac. The game was so acclaimed that tons of other games were soon accused copying it, like immortal Fenix rise, genshin impact, and etc.

The most impressive part is that if there is anyone who managed to capture that magic was another japanese developer: from software. Elden Ring released this year to critical acclaim and, PC performance apart, is deemed the best game released in a long time.

With all those hits coming from Japan, i was wonder if that country regained the attention devs and the public once gave to it.

In short: do you think those two games changed how Japanese games are viewed? Which games do you think were influenced by it?
 

Hugare

Member
Elden Ring's design is exactly what people thought of when imagining an open world Souls game

It's my GOTY, and I love it, but it's not doing anything new design wise. It's a Souls game, but open world with no minimap.

And BotW, oh boy. To me it's the most overrated piece of shit ever released in gaming.

The towers are exactly like any other Ubisoft tower, but there's a catch: you have to mark the points of interest by yourself. Very revolutionary.

Tons of land with nothing interesting to find besides lame shrines and korok seeds, lack of cities and NPCs, lack of real dungeons, terrible breakable weapon system ... I could go on and on.

Funny that you put oth ER and BOTW in your post, because I think that ER did everything that Zelda wanted to do, but better
 

Elder Legend

Yoir Aee Member
Elden Ring's design is exactly what people thought of when imagining an open world Souls game

It's my GOTY, and I love it, but it's not doing anything new design wise. It's a Souls game, but open world with no minimap.

And BotW, oh boy. To me it's the most overrated piece of shit ever released in gaming.

The towers are exactly like any other Ubisoft tower, but there's a catch: you have to mark the points of interest by yourself. Very revolutionary.

Tons of land with nothing interesting to find besides lame shrines and korok seeds, lack of cities and NPCs, lack of real dungeons, terrible breakable weapon system ... I could go on and on.

Funny that you put oth ER and BOTW in your post, because I think that ER did everything that Zelda wanted to do, but better

Agreed. I tried getting into BotW and I don't understand it.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Ironically they both did it by adopting western design philosophy
Bullshit. I've heard this argument before. FROM was considered crazy by western gaming press when Demons Souls came out. It was 100% Japanese eccentric design.

Japan caught up on western open world tech after the ps3 crippled then briefly for 1 gen. The west makes great games as well but I hate crediting the west for Japan's accomplishments. Its ridiculous. Japanese games are Japanese, and their accomishments are their own.

Zelda was definitely influenced by Ubisoft and Bethesda but thats a small part of the total package. Everyone has been influenced by Nintendo but we don't call western games " Japanese design."
 
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64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
the western competition is too busy trying to innovate on finding new ways to sell you rushed products and finding better more exploitative ways to wring money out of children. Oh yeah, and sexually harassing female employees, lobbying the government, fighting pointless wars on who gets to consolidate the industry, etc....
Japan in comparison is just giving people what they want. And the rest of Asia's catching on too with Korea and China stepping into the scene.
 
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mortal

Gold Member
One or two titles cannot put an entire country or region at the top. There must be a consistent trend of highly influential and/or innovative releases, from multiple studios, originating from said country or region.

Also, BotW in particular was influenced by western game design. The video game industry has become much more globalized relative to 90's & the early aughts when Japanese talent was arguably at the top.
Many developers, both big and small, are drawing inspiration from a myriad of games that aren't native to their homeland, and I think that should be taken into consideration.
 
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supernova8

Member
And BotW, oh boy. To me it's the most overrated piece of shit ever released in gaming.

The towers are exactly like any other Ubisoft tower, but there's a catch: you have to mark the points of interest by yourself. Very revolutionary.

Tons of land with nothing interesting to find besides lame shrines and korok seeds,
lack of cities and NPCs, lack of real dungeons, terrible breakable weapon system ... I could go on and on.

I initially had the same thoughts on BOTW but after playing it for the second time and also playing a bit of AssCreed and FarceCry, I think the part about it forcing you to find stuff by yourself is the engaging part.

Also, I came to the conclusion that the land with nothing to see (there is but I'll concede it can be barren at times) offers a nice break from the cities/villages. Actually makes me appreciate the cities more.

Lack of real dungeons yeah true, but I was never a dungeon person anyway so I guess it never bothered me.

Breaking weapons hmmm I did a 180 on this. I originally hated it but then I realized it was a great mechanic to force me to try out all sorts of different weapons.
 

ungalo

Member
Real innovation and genius game design come from indie devs, mostly from the west.

If we're talking about AAA the simple fact japanese companies tend to still follow traditional genre but to make them evolve in their own way put them higher in my book than western devs that all have the same magical recipe that was never magical to begin with.
 

Kacho

Member
Japan is still king when it comes to mechanics and gameplay systems. They just lag behind in every other area. I feel like we need to merge the production values and technical abilities of western devs with the craftmanship of Japanese devs. Then we will have a utopia.
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
Japan is still king when it comes to mechanics and gameplay systems. They just lag behind in every other area. I feel like we need to merge the production values and technical abilities of western devs with the craftmanship of Japanese devs. Then we will have a utopia.
Capcom's up there on tech. Yoko Taro is at the top in writing. But mostly you are correct.
 

j0hnnix

Gold Member
Eldens rings game design isnt anything special lol.
Shocked Excuse Me GIF
 

brian0057

Member
They're both great games.
But everyone (From and Nintendo very much included) are still living under the shadow of Daggerfall.
 

Kataploom

Member
Back at the top? No. Japan makes amazing games, but they’re in no way better than what comes out of the west.
A matter of tastes, I don't understand what many see in most popular western games, to me Japanese games play and feel way better, they're even more artistically sensible, which to me western games need that urgently
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
They’ve only really been behind in graphics tech, still is even though FROM have amazing art designers that makes their games look great.
BOTW with all it’s short-comings is still a better game than almost everything in the industry, that’s why a panel of western devs sat and gushed over it at some event and basically asked if it was even made by humans.
Elden Ring is even better, it’s essentially a successful BOTW+Demon’s Souls combo and arguably the best designed and most content-rich open-world game yet.
 
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Neff

Member
Japan was never dethroned. They went through a period of being unfashionable among the press during the rise of indie and Western AAA cinematic games, especially when they unsuccessfully attempted to imitate the latter, but they still continued to put out the best in the industry nonetheless.

Well, it's been around a decade since the infamous answer from Phil fish telling japanese fans that modern Japanese games... Suck.

He was talking out of his ass and the fact that his panel of fellow pretentious indie developers agreed means nothing.
 

Skelterz

Member
Japan puts out more good games than the west and they have for a long time, Phil Fish didn't know his head from his ass and I'm glad he doesn't make videogames anymore.

Yeah totally agree, In fact I’d argue Japanese games in the X360 & PS3 generation weren’t very good due to following the western trends and gameplay philosophy’s. I feel now there’s making games they want to make how they want to make them and they’ve always been the best at doing it.
 

RoadHazard

Gold Member
Those games were Japanese developers making open world games inspired by what western devs have done before, BUT with a larger emphasis on good gameplay. And they are both amazing. So maybe?
 
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