I am not gay, but I’m pretty sure I know what it feels like to be one of them. Like a teenager raised in a conservative Christian household who finds his gaze lingering just a little too long on the Ryan Reynolds cover of Men’s Fitness, I too feel very conflicted inside, questioning everything I thought I knew. I’ve always thought of myself as a hardcore JRPG fggt, to the point where I wouldn’t even touch a game if it had a Western name on the box, but lately I’ve come to the uncomfortable conclusion that I think I like Western games better now :(
Final Fantasy XIII (that’s pronounced ‘eks-eye-eye-eye’) is the ultimate example of the Japanese ‘decorated line’ design philosophy, in which the game consists of the player walking from the beginning of a line to the end of it while pressing X a lot
It all started when I got a PS3, which has no Japanese gaems. With no JRPGs to choose from, I picked up a bunch of random used games that got good reviews on 1UP because yolo: Just Cause 2, Red Dead Redemption, and some other sandbox-y games. At first I was liek, ‘No angsty protagonist with spiky hair? NOT VIDEO GAME,’ but my butthurt slowly gave way to addiction. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, those games were sweet. Especially the part where the game doesn’t force you along the path of its cliched, predictable narrative: “Do u want to saev da kingdom? Answer yes or I will keep repeating myself forever.” After I got Arkham City, Skyrim and Fallout 3 I was completely ruined… I sank over 100 hours into my Khajit thief/archer, and I can barely even look at a JRPG anymore :(
The best part of Just Cause 2 is that your character is named Scorpio, and when you liberate a village of savages they chant “SCOR-PI-O! SCOR-PI-O!” and you feel like you just conquered the fuk out of them
I feel like I am betraying someone, but after spending a few hundred hours on Skyrim it is completely obvious to me why their game industry is in shambles: non-linearity is fucking awesome, and Western developers are way better at making non-linear games than they are. I still think the art direction in most Western games is shitty (y u no use colors other than brown, grey and olive green??), but games like Borderlands 2 suggest that the West is catching up to the Japs in that department too. I hate to say it but dear Japan, unless u change and fast, I have no choice but to leave u :( I think we’re growing apart.
Wat u think brahs?? Are the Japs dunzo? Will they learn how to make modern games, or just keep using the same basic design as Dragon Quest 1 with better graphics and make themselves completely obsolete?? Will I ever be able to go back to the warm, familiar territory of Fire Emblem and Super Robot Wars, or has Skyrim ruined it for me? Halp!