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What japanese games do better than western ones, and vice versa?

Psajdak

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Putting aside the whole CAUSE ANIME!!!!!! thing, I think japanese games in general have stories, of rather characters in those stories that are usually more relatable, or interesting than in western games.

Also, japanese games often tend to be, or at least feel to be more experimental, quirky, like developers try to find some new, original ways to make their games fun, and/or innovating.

On the other hand, western games seem more mature, like you can show them to your family, without looking weird.

But they are fun too.

Enjoy in thread.
 

Danjin44

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for me is Japanese developers goal is to bring gamy fun in their games mean while westerns willing to sacrifice gameplay in order bring you realism and immersive experience.

Another thing I just find characters in Japanese games just fun and memorable while characters in western trying too hard to be grounded and feel old.

It’s just personal opinion.
 
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Jigsaah

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japanese games tend to have more variety and seem to mix reality and fantasy much more organically than western games do. Japanese games seem to take more creative risk and often times create more memorable experiences.

Western games (US and EU) seem to veer more towards realism. They can be better at handing the player a cinematic narrative, where the japanese games i play tend to be a bit more disjointed and obscure.
 

Khalid M.

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There's a lot that could be unpacked but for now I'll say Japanese games are generally more colorful and have way more variety in terms of character designs.

Also the variety and creativity when it comes to music beats that of western games by a landslide. Not saying that western games have poor music, of course there are fantastic soundtracks in western games, but the Japanese composers are more prolific, and have a wider range of styles. I just came across the soundtrack of Koudelka and I fell in love with the track "Waterfall". There's also a live rendition of a track where a Oud is played and I don't think I've ever heard that instrument being played in the context of a video game soundtrack.
 
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DrJohnGalt

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JP games are typically more colorful and more cartoony, Western games more realistic. JP games seem to be more casual fun without the political agenda of the west. Even the more in-depth RPGs seem to be more easy to pick up.

All generalizations with plenty of exceptions, I know. But overall I prefer JP style games. Except RPGs. Give me open-world action/RPGS over JRPGs anyday.
 

EightBit Man

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Japanese games tend to excel in linear gameplay (Japanese gamers like to be "guided"). And I think they have a tendency of creating something bizarre, while it becomes a enjoyable part of the overall experience. They are more light-hearted also, and have the most infectious soundtracks. They have a distinct signature that Western developers often tried to imitate, but failed to replicate.

Western games tend to excel in world building, are often quite serious in tone and subject matter, and are pushing for (often realistic) graphical fidelity.

These are broad generalizations, and just my observation.
 
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Generic

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Also, japanese games often tend to be, or at least feel to be more experimental, quirky, like developers try to find some new, original ways to make their games fun, and/or innovating.
This was true in the past but today japanese developers are very risk averse, while westerners are more experimental. I think japanese devs who struggled in the PS3/X360 era found out that they call sell games by pleasing their old audience. As a result they now stay in a safe habitat and avoid experimenting.
 
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I think japanese devs do "feel good" games better than western devs. Animal Crossing, Pokémon, Dragon Quest Builders, Harvest Moon... those games are so "pure".

When western developers try they either make Facebook-tier DLC-riddled drivel, hipstery stuff full of outdated memes, or simply terrible, "follow the leader" cash grabs.

On the other hand, I think western devs are the masters of digital exploration. Japanese open-worlds feel like MMOs, with always the same boring old "Get me 10 bear asses" quests.

Games like the Witcher, RDR2 or the recent Assassins Creeds have rich, interesting worlds with lots to do and see.

ED: I also think western devs push the envelope more. All the games that have "wow"ed me recently, graphically speaking, were western, except maybe Sekiro. On the other hand, I think japanese devs tend to care more for the artistic side of things.
 
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Danjin44

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This was true in the past but today japanese developers are very risk averse, while westerners are more experimental. I think japanese devs who struggled in the PS3/X360 era found out that they call sell games by pleasing their old audience. As a result they now stay in a safe habitat and avoid experimenting.
How so? I would say upcoming Astral Chain's combat system to control two characters to pull of combo is more unique than anything western developers done with their combat system.
 

SlashBringingHasher

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Japanese excell with motion quality of video game characters and attention to detail in general.
imo on average its the opposite. most japanese games that release over there look like last gen games. hell some look like ps2 games

their top notch japanese games are something else tho. from software games especially. infact its mostly just from software nowdays. it used to be a lot better for japan tho in PS1/PS2
era.

nintendo is hard to gauge because they work collectively to make games in many regions. its mostly japan but they do have staff from all over

i think your statement is definitely 100% accurate for games upto the ps3 generation. its been a bit downhill for them since.
 
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HE1NZ

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Japanese writes seems to be incapable of grounded worldbuilding. Everything is gotta be cuhrayze with tons of flashy characters and overdone unearned "emotional" scenes. It's all silly and fun, but I can't immerse myself into it.
 

LazyParrot

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I find myself actually caring about the characters more often in Japanese games, particularly RPGs. I cared more about some of the side characters in Persona 4 than I did about the main cast in some of my favorite Western RPGs. IMHO it's just incredibly rare for characters in Western games to be likable and have much of a personality beyond what their role in the game requires of them.
 
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Generic

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How so? I would say upcoming Astral Chain's combat system to control two characters to pull of combo is more unique than anything western developers done with their combat system.
Platinum is a good example of what I said. They started with a diverse catalog of games but today they only make hack n' slashes. Also Astral Chain wasn't released yet so it's hard to go into details, but the second character looks more like some sort of weapon/tool than a fully controllable character (correct me if I'm wrong), kinda like the new God of War.
 
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Danjin44

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Platinum is a good example of what I said. They started with a diverse catalog of games but today they only make hack n' slashes. Also Astral Chain wasn't released yet so it's hard to go into details, but the second character looks more like some sort of weapon/tool than a fully controllable character (correct me if I'm wrong), kinda like the new God of War.
No, what God of War has AI companion. In Astral Chain you control each character with analog stick and pulling off combos together.
 

SLoWMoTIoN

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Japanese writes seems to be incapable of grounded worldbuilding. Everything is gotta be cuhrayze with tons of flashy characters and overdone unearned "emotional" scenes. It's all silly and fun, but I can't immerse myself into it.
 
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DansDans

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Subtitles

For some reason the Japanese have realised people actually want to read them, so their subtitles are nice, big and clearly legible

Western developers are all “fuck your subtitles” and seem to outdo each other with the smallest font possible

Even worse when it’s a sport game and the UI that’s meant to emulate a TV broadcast is so tiny that it looks nothing like a TV broadcast
 
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Heimdall_Xtreme

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Other example is Red Dead Redemption II

To play, its like almost know drive a car with clutch or a Mecha, for the every fucking move of the character
 
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hunthunt

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Im pretty sure that most japanese developers are actually really commited in make games fun to play as the most important aspect of their projects.

Rockstar, CdProjekt, Naughty Dog and others can tell deep and interesting stories which I dont think japanese are interested in but yet guys like Miyazaki can make a lore like the one in Bloodborme which wipes the floor with anything coming from here.
 
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This reply can apply to both Japanese developed and Western developed games, since many of the things I mentioned in it apply to my favorite Western developed games too.

For me, the games I enjoy usually have great gamefeel. The games I like to play have fun responsive gameplay. Related to the gamefeel idea, I feel like the games I'm drawn towards also have more unique control schemes that form part of the identity of the game. Having to experiment with the gameplay to learn a new control scheme is part of learning to love a new game. Also, the games I enjoy tend to have more memorable art styles and music that leaves lasting impressions on the player even after beating the game. Many of my favorite games tend to sacrifice realism in certain areas to better something else, like having more fluid gameplay as a result for example.
 

Chacranajxy

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Japanese developers understand how to make fun core gameplay mechanics. This is something that big Western developers still don't seem to have a clue about. Some might be doing a bad job intentionally, just to see if they can get away with farting out another crappy open world game. Okay, maybe not. But Assassin's Creed still sucks.
 

SLoWMoTIoN

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This is a Japanese game from 2004 wres/brawler

This is a current year Western game wres/brawler

This is a 2D Japanese fighter

This is a 3D Western fighter
 
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Fictive

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Was expecting someone to say “everything” but I’m glad no ones an asshole. 😎

That being said, I’m going to go with music if I absolutely had to. The instrumentation usually stands out but I’m probably just at fault for sampling. Just all around, I feel so...
 
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SlashBringingHasher

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am speaking upto PS2, start of PS3 gen because everything after that from japan was not very good.

I would say generally creativity in Japan then and different styles in games, western games did voice acting a lot better, light hearted kids games are also better from western devs. sports games etc.
 

Paltheos

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There's a lot that could be unpacked but for now I'll say Japanese games are generally more colorful and have way more variety in terms of character designs.

Also the variety and creativity when it comes to music beats that of western games by a landslide. Not saying that western games have poor music, of course there are fantastic soundtracks in western games, but the Japanese composers are more prolific, and have a wider range of styles. I just came across the soundtrack of Koudelka and I fell in love with the track "Waterfall". There's also a live rendition of a track where a Oud is played and I don't think I've ever heard that instrument being played in the context of a video game soundtrack.
Sometimes I think some western developers have taken a bad lesson from film: "Don't use music to tell an audience how to feel." Or applied it poorly.

So many Western games I play are just these silent nothings and I don't understand it. I'm playing a game - Music helps immerse me into the experience. Probably in no small part why Skyrim is one of my favorite Western games (the old PS2 God of Wars are also pretty good at this)

Ironically one of the few great games to do minimal music, Breath of the Wild, is a Japanese game. Japanese generally beat Western developers at sound design in general lol.
 

Otterz4Life

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I think western games offer more immersion and first person experiences while Japanese seem to prefer third person games. Japanese game in general feel better to play.

I think western games push genres forward and have been more innovative while Japanese games are more about refinement.
 

Danjin44

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I think western games offer more immersion and first person experiences while Japanese seem to prefer third person games. Japanese game in general feel better to play.

I think western games push genres forward and have been more innovative while Japanese games are more about refinement.
I ask this before, how so exactly?
 

Otterz4Life

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I ask this before, how so exactly?
Speaking more recently, as in the past 20 years, GTA 3 was quite innovative for the time and found a huge audience and popularized the 3D open world genre. Minecraft popularized the sandbox genre and H1Z1/PUBG and Fortnite popularized battle royales (despite “Battle Royale” being a Japanese film). Maybe innovative is too strong. Maybe western devs are better at bringing obscure genres into the mainstream?

Of course Japan has been innovative in their own right. We could call Hydlide or Zelda the first open world games, though I don’t think many would categorize pre-BotW Zeldas as “open world” games.
 

Northeastmonk

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Japan made the home console and arcade much better IMO. We could look at the founding fathers/mothers of gaming and say the west did the tech part right. You study further and you see Mario and Sonic come from Japan. Go even further and you see Final Fantasy and Resident Evil. The west has done their own job real well. Look at FPS like DOOM and Neverwinter Nights. The western approach is very D&D inspired and it feels more impacted by Japanese developers. Ninja Gaiden, DMC, Bayonetta, and etc are all Japanese made game(s). Silent Hill is from Japan. Japan does a lot with little technology and it shows. Look at Mario and some of the ambitious titles on the Super Famicom. A lot of hidden puzzle game(s) and platformers are from Japan. I can’t think of a western game similar to Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy. Those games defined the genre. In the arcade, games like House of the Dead and Time Crisis stood out as fun, Japanese developed games. The west can develop great game(s), but the development power of Japan is top tier. Which is why I think it’s incredibly stupid to say Japan makes bad game(s). Some of my all time favorite game(s) are made in Japan.
 
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As a general rule, I think Western devs design better male characters (they're more masculine) and Japanese devs design better female characters (they have more sex appeal).
 

Poordevil

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imo on average its the opposite. most japanese games that release over there look like last gen games. hell some look like ps2 games

their top notch japanese games are something else tho. from software games especially. infact its mostly just from software nowdays. it used to be a lot better for japan tho in PS1/PS2
era.

nintendo is hard to gauge because they work collectively to make games in many regions. its mostly japan but they do have staff from all over

i think your statement is definitely 100% accurate for games upto the ps3 generation. its been a bit downhill for
imo on average its the opposite. most japanese games that release over there look like last gen games. hell some look like ps2 games

their top notch japanese games are something else tho. from software games especially. infact its mostly just from software nowdays. it used to be a lot better for japan tho in PS1/PS2
era.

nintendo is hard to gauge because they work collectively to make games in many regions. its mostly japan but they do have staff from all over

i think your statement is definitely 100% accurate for games upto the ps3 generation. its been a bit downhill for them since.
Monster Hunter World is a good recent example of what I have in mind. Every time I play that game the computer art impresses me. Seems like the closer I look the more I notice. Iceborne may even kick it up a notch.
 

Outrunner

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It's simple. Japanese games focus on gameplay and not on telling a story to make a political statement like most western releases.
 
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GreyHorace

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Aside from gameplay and visual aspects, one thing I appreciate in Japanese games is how they handle taboo social subjects. As in anime, the Japanese treat these as just one part of whole experience, rather than focusing on it. In turn, they avoid becoming preachy about said subjects and turn away audiences.

Just two years ago Ninja Theory released Hellblade Senua's Sacrifice, and the gaming 'press' was treating it as a revolutionary work of art for exploring psychosis and mental illness. Nevermind that the game received a fair share of criticism for it's gameplay, the message was far more important than the end product. On the other hand, a game like Persona 5 had fun gameplay but wasn't afraid to tackle subjects like abusive authority figures, teen suicide, child abandonment, teacher-student relationships and others. But these social issues were just part of the story and in no way were the main focus of the game.

In short, I think western games in recent years have been pushed to focus more on ideas and videogames as 'art', rather than focusing on core gameplay features that we gamers always look for. Look at the abundance of walking simulators in the market and artsy games like Where the Water Tastes Like Wine. No doubt this is spurred by the SJW movement that's infected both the top developers and game 'journalists'. Not all western devs are doing this mind you. I think CDProjektRed is doing a fine job of ignoring the SJWs while making their games, as does Rockstar Games.

Another aspect that I've come to appreciate in Japanese games is because of the different culture and values, they can be politically incorrect and get away with it. Going back to Persona 5, the game features a pair gay men running around harassing some of main cast. So naturally a lot of SJWs were REEEEEing about it, especially in RetardEra who were calling on a boycott of Atlus' games unless they get rid of the offensive scene. Nevermind the fact that comedic gay stereotypes have existed in Japan for a long time and that the Japanese find it funny to this day. People were also bitching about the hostess clubs in Yakuza but naturally they were ignored. In this era of hypersensitivities, I'm glad that Japanese developers don't give a fuck about potentially offending someone.
 
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