It's no secret that over the last few years, Japanese video game companies have been struggling to attract and retain the same foreign audience that once swarmed to play their products. In the spirit of constructive criticism, IGN writers Erik Brudvig and Ryan Clements published a top ten list of foreign players' top ten complaints about Japanese role-playing games on Monday. Less than a week later, a stack of Japanese replies and comments have appeared on the anonymous sanctuary of the 2ch BBS system.
As expected, one country's "problems" are another's cultural pride and joy. Oh, the humanity.... People, can't we just get along? Read on for a translation of some of the highlights.
"What!? Fallout is the SAME THING! You fight the same enemies, collect the same items... There's no sense of exploring unknown territory or anything. No matter how much freedom the player has, that's all there is."
"Oblivion and Fallout fanatics are exponentially more annoying than any Final Fantasy fanatic."
"Hey foreigners: we find your first-person shooters boring as shit. What do you say to that?"
"When I see all the 'sniping' and corpse-desecrating 'teabagging' going on in US games, the thought of what what foreigners do when they get mad [in real life] freaks me out."
"I'm sorry, but the battle systems in foreign games are totally boring."
"Yeah, like Oblivion's. But I guess it isn't the main focus of that game."
"Japanese RPGs are created for the express purpose of letting one experience the blooming of their full powers from a total zero starting point. They're necessary for keeping public order in Japan."
"Okay, so give us some foreign RPGs that are more interesting than Japanese ones. I just don't find foreign RPGs interesting at all."
"Oblivion's okay, but foreign games lack subtlety. They lack detail, and the character design and stories are bad."
"Americans can't understand complexity so a lot of the best stuff doesn't get translated. Like Megami Tensei!"
"That bit about "The Road Less Travelled?" #7? That's a common complaint... of inexperienced gamers. Like, I felt that way when I was in grade school."
"So sorry, but I LIKE Japanese-style RPGs."
"The real problem with Japanese RPGs is that the storylines aren't written by pros, only gamers."
"Oblivion didn't fare that well here, and Japanese don't really get into real-time strategy games."
"I call 'cultural differences'!"
"Show me an American-made RPG that satisfactorily addresses all of these complaints."
"Do foreign companies even make RPGs anymore? The only games that come to mind are first-person shooter action games. If we followed this 'advice' to the letter they'd have us making Grand Theft Auto clones."