The Red Mist

I’m getting agitated that I didn’t get angry today. I have no idea why. The hand of the Blood God must be upon me. Maybe I’ll fall to His frenzied bloodlusts soon. Been some time since Singapore had a serial killer, right?

Raging Raven
Nobuko Toda, Shuichi Kobori, Kazuma Jinnouchi
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Original Soundtrack (2008)
Konami Digital Entertainment


Anyway Square Enix recently made a speech regarding the differences between Japanese and Western gaming audiences. I’m not going to copy-paste whole chunks of text, but basically one issue they addressed was the need for a masculine character for the Western market for believability.

Now I do have a stronger preference to the protagonists provided by Western gaming developers. But I feel it boils down to cultural differences.

In the US, having a grizzled older man play the hero works. It brings up references of war veterans, men who’ve been through thick and thin and can take–and deal out– all sorts of punishment to save the day. If that’s not the case, then it’s the character having more experience as a result of his age. I’m in quite a rush so I won’t go into detail but you know what I’m getting at right?

Whereas in Japan, having a bunch of teenagers end up being heroes also works. Culturally, having a story that involves the coming of age, friendship and love are universal themes. Saving the day may or may not be the central plot that keeps things moving along.

Here are some comments that I do agree with:

“Frankly I think, as far people that can save the world/galaxy/universe go, it makes sense for them to have the “macho” look. I mean, it throws me for a loop whenever I see a bunch of silly-looking feminine men saving the day in these Japanese games. And yet, I really don’t mind seeing more feminine looking male characters as heroes. Really it’s more up to the writers to suck us in and make these characters believable.”

Exactly. The TYPE of character it is isn’t as important as how the character is PORTRAYED. It has, and always will be, about the quality of writing in an RPG. He could be the meanest/gayestcoolest looking man/boy in the world but who gives a flying pig if we don’t know or care about him? Immersion is the key-word in RPGs so if we hate the person we’re supposed to be playing as, that’ll just make for a bad experience.

Once you’ve nailed your character down, then you gotta work on your other characters. Your dialogs. Your interactions. Even all those NPCs that litter the world. It makes or breaks the immersive experience. This is where, in my opinion, Bethesda Studios really shine. The JRPGS made back in the old days, when they were still called Squaresoft: those were golden too.

“Shit. I just want a hero who isn’t clearly a twat. Or retard. Or you know, actually recognizing who is the real hero of the game. In FF6 who was the hero of the game? In FF5? The correct answer to this question is, All the characters you play as for more then 30 minutes.

In FF10 who was the hero of the game? If you answered Tidus, WRONG. The hero of that game was Yuna. Tidus was almost completely unnessesary to the game except as a way to move the plot forward. You get snippets and bits of info about everyone else, but the game doesn’t really go out of its way to make you want to play as each differant person to see what differant storys they have. In FF6 everyone had a story you could learn about, and everyone was the hero. There was no main character. Why can’t we have a game like that again? (No I haven’t played FF13 so if that actually did attain that, then maybe I’ll take a look at its corridor fest)”

I couldn’t agree more. I LOVED FF5 and 6. VII and VIII were great in their own ways but it felt more contemporary. IX went back to their usual style and I really enjoyed it. X was great simply because of the new platform and omg voice-acting! XII I never managed to finish because my PS2 died and my game’s still with V I think, haha. Haven’t started on XIII yet… (I lol’ed at corridor fest)

If you’re talking about sheer content of characters then it can’t beat Suikoden back during the PS2 era. We’re talking over a hundred different characters here. But with such large numbers they had to cut back on the stories by a lot, sadly.

I’m really looking forward to a JRPG that will blow me away. Valkyria Chronicles is refreshing and fun but the method they adopted to tell the story bugs me and I admit I haven’t finished it. And yes, FFXIII shines more in it’s visual and battle department but for me, RPGS are all about the stories man. I’m hoping it’ll be good but just thinking about having to deal with characters like Snow and Hope… err… sigh.

To be fair, over on the Western side of the world, this silly fascination with shooters, blood and gore is just getting out of hand. Where are all the good games that don’t require those aspects these days? All the good games in my book on the PS3 so far contain at least one of those elements.

Before I go and with some irony compared to my earlier statement on shooters and gore…

THE KING IS BACK BABY! DUKE NUKEM FOREVER!! Taken over by Gearbox Software who made epic Borderlands, this is gonna be sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!


17 thoughts on “The Red Mist

  1. @Luvi:
    Oh it’s OK, my PS2 has gone to glory in a wreath of smoke, remember? I’d have no use for them, haha. Hell, even my PS3 is collecting dust right now… >_<

    Btw, I like the tako.

  2. lol Just do what I did. I went MIA for like, 3 weeks just to complete Resonance of Fate. …And unlock most of the outfits. 8Db


    I’m considering doing the same thing for Way of the Samurai 3 as well. … And BASARA 3. orz

  3. @Luvi:
    What if I told you that were I to go MIA for 3 weeks, I’ll probably spend at the most, only 3 of those days gaming on my PS3? :x (I typed 3 three times *earned trophy etc.*)

    But I rather keep my job and have a favourable “previous employment testimonial” XD You mention games I’ve yet to play though…

  4. *ding*

    D: Resonance of Fate is a must try. It’s really unique with a… uh. Amusing gun customization system. For example…

    Plus, they have nude, superhero, and animal suits for the characters to wear. 8D

    And tell me you don’t want to play Way of the Samurai 3 after reading this article. XD; I dare you to.

    I pretty much caved and bought the game immediately after coming across a gameplay video on NND. orz

    Sengoku Basara 3, well. Masamune. Nuff’ said. <3

  5. @Luvi:
    Your comment hath been approved! *all-powerful*
    Nah just got tossed in for moderation, that’s all.

    Oh I pretty much know all about the quirky things about RoF, especially the gun customization when I first saw it. It’s the gameplay that threw me for a loop. Too much flying, leaping and twisting in mid-air. And there’s no traveling between towns; just menus and stuff right?

    I played Way Of The Samurai 2 and I loved it for the multiple-responses and ridiculousness. I remember farming for The Excalibur by having to challenge this French dude (I knew he was anything BUT English) at night near the harbor or something… but waiting for 2nd-hand/price-drop/someone who has to it to lend it to me!

    And I dislike Basara. Because of the horse. Which has four exhaust pipes. Yes, just that reason :x

    And honestly we shouldn’t be using my comments section of this post to talk, people might think there’s some deep debate going on about RPGs or what-not XD

    …Blasphemous Trinity! No idea what game but hell yeah. /gives thanks to the Dark Gods

  6. There is! o3o You even get random encounters!

    O.o I got mine at 30 bucks.
    But yes. It’s really awesome. XD I have this afro-yankii haired samurai who wears nothing but a red fundoshi, a pair of wings, a swan head at his crotch, a butt-drill, tiara, and a pair of shoulder guards. …And his name is Golden Swan. XD;

    … You do realize that the motorcycle-horse only exists in the anime, right?

    *shrugs* I do that all the time in my blog. XD But go ahead and direct me to some other place if you want.

  7. @Luvi:
    Oh? Hmm. Since you already have both games… *hint hint* HAHA :p

    Doesn’t matter, it’s tainted the name for me already. Besides it looks like another mindless hack-and-slash, I grew tired of those like half a decade ago. Unless there’s some redeeming quality to it..?

    Yes but it feels kinda weird. I still use Plurk you know XD

  8. XD I don’t mind, since I’ve already completed at least 70% of both anyway.

    Btw, just checked out your wishlist. You DO NOT want Demon’s Souls. orz

    Well… I’m in it for the characters and the story… but you don’t read Japanese… right? Or have you started taking lessons already? XD

    But don’t. XD It’s too much of a pain to have to keep checking so many sites in a day. x_x

  9. @Luvi:
    8AM? Seriously? …Don’t you sleep? ._.

    Oh my wishlist hasn’t been updated in ages. Haha but I want it! It’s so hard you just HAVE to own it. Sounds incredibly stupid I know.

    Well I did started learning on my own. Had a decent start, really. Then I got busy and in those three months I bet I forgot almost 90% of what I learned /facepalm

    You shouldn’t check every site in one go, it’ll become a chore XD

  10. 8D My sleeping habits never change.

    It’s not just hard, it’s… dumb. ._.

    See, that’s the problem with learning it yourself. You end up forgetting everything once you find something else equally shiny and distracting. XD;

    But how else will I be able to keep up to date with the latest otome/BL/PS2/PS3 games/merchandise/food/news? And Nendoroid/figma releases. D:


    …And MMORPG.


    …And internet memes. DDDD:

  11. @Luvi:
    I believe this post has long achieved the “Most Number of Comments” title, haha.

    Wait if Demon Souls makes you die because of bad programming and/or level design, then I’m out… if it’s just genuine insane difficulty then I’m all for it though, lawl.

    And no I had work! And… uhh… 40K… yeah ok so I DID get distracted ;_; But I had nothing to practice on! I was looking for a book with simple hiragana/katakana but nothing! Or maybe I was just looking at the wrong places.

    You do so at set periods of the day, tackling different genres of information each session. MMORPGs I don’t care much for anymore, there’s always some flaw in them. Oh but I’ve been missing out on my memes lately :<

  12. …I’m gonna have to make one of those PS3 trophy generator sites one of these days. XD;

    Bad level design. orz And. They kinda just throw you in without giving you any instructions. If you die during the tutorial… well. You’re wrapped to the respawn point and then you’ll /really/ be lost. x_x

    O.o You could… get one of those kids books. I think they have Thomas and Friends in Japanese. 8D

    …I just keep my feed reader on and refresh it every hour. If they don’t support RSS, then I’ll refresh the site. XD; RO does not have flaws! D: Ouh, did you know they’re making a female arch-bishop nendoroid? o:

    Really cute. |3
    …If only they’ll make one of a MALE high priest. Or Incubus. Or Injustice. …Or Hyegun/Bongun. Or Doppelganger. TwT I’d get 3 sets of each. 7 if it’s Incubus/Injustice. For my harem. ;3;

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