Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Game!!!!

This drawing's original concept as well as creation, comes entirely from the fertile mind of Rock Ray.
It conveys a funny idea. What would the westerns have looked like it they had been chinese from the start.
The gun would be a sword.
Isnt'it funny how the architecture and mood still remind of the
westerns even if it clearly takes place in the far east?

I particularly like the image composition. All in the Y axis.
The beam on the right, the slander silhouette of the protagonist, and the composition of the background which is darker to create a contrast that allows a clear reading of the character.
Dusk or dawn?
Hard to say.
The light hits the beam on the character's left side.
The the light source comes from his right, the East then. (as usually symbolized)
'Which suits for an eastern western'.
The rising sun, I say dawn. Only one man knows. (two, including the man on the picture.)

Speaking about dusk and dawn, I am currently playing Dawn of Dreams. (Onimusha 4)

First thing that strikes me is the main character's design.
How odd for a Blond westerner to be in a samurai game. I prefered Samanosuke Akeichi.
Or even Jubei Yagyu.

The good thing though is that you can play five different characters. (like Onimusha 2)
The main, and a assist that accompanies you. It is possible to boost them all up to level 100, but it's a long task that requires over perhaps a hundred hours of gameplay.
The best spot to level up your guys is the Dark Realm. I'll speak about it later.

First, you need to level up your weapon to level 10. (which can be quite fast to achieve.)
However, the weapon you are going to put souls in to boost it, will rapidely prove to be of insuffiscient power for the challenges ahead.
You will then need to find another weapon that suits you best later. (which will also become outaded by the difficulty level.)
This is for one character. You'll have to repeat the process four times for the other characters if you want them to be decent.
Roberto is my favourite by the way.

On to the core of the matter.
Can japanese game creators balance a game correctly?.
I think so, but some of them undeniably difficult time doing so.
I'm a hardcore one and I plan to spend around 300 hours playing this game.
Having played the whole Onimusha series, I must say I'm pretty at ease with the gameplay and combat system.
I go through the whole game effortlesslly, until I reach annoying bosses.
They are not so much difficult as annoying.
Since you might not spend any heal items doing the levels, you'll have plenty when you reach the boss. And it will be time to use them.

It seems like the whole item thing in this game is only for the bosses.
Nowhere else will you need them. But in the boss fight, you might end up spamming the heal in your inventory in which most of the fight will happen.
I favor the approach of finding the boss's weakness and then play along, but some of them are so annoying you will just charge headlong not caring of the damage you take.
If you go in the Dark Realm, you want to be at least level 60.
Reaching level 50 will take you about one to two hours.
At that point, the screen will be crowded with the most annoying creatures.
If you leave, you have about 40 bars of EXP. You then use them to boost up your armour, or weapon if you haven't done so.
If you dare keep going, and if you get killed, well, that's two hours of your life wasted.
You lose the Exp you've gained, and restart from scratch outside of the Realm.
I would for one, have put a saving point at every ten levels.
This design error could certainly have been avoided easily.
The Dark Realm certainly lessens my appreciation of the whole game.
The improvement, is in its location.
Easily accesible anytime.
BUT. 100 floors.
Once you start, you should make sure that you have four hours ahead of you otherwise, don't get in.
The previous Onimusha games had around 10 to 40 floors which you could easily clear in about an hour or less.
Why did they change that???

The other blatant example is Devil May Cry 3.
Why would one think, they make difficulty levels differently?
The japanese version had Easy, Medium, and Hard. (I'm excluding the Dante Must Die difficulty level which was in both versions.)
The thing is that the japanese levels were what they were supposed to be.
In North America, the 'norma'l level corresponded to the easy level in Japan.
The 'hard' here was 'normal' in Japan.
And the 'hard' here didn't have an equivalent in Japan.
Do they think we are better than them and that they need to adapt the game for the American market?
Or they take pleasure in giving us a bad time?
I always found that odd. But I don't relly mind, since I want a CHALLENGE.
(as long as it is fun and not annoying. It's called a game after all, and games are supposed to be fun.
Nonetheless, Japanese games are the shit!
They favour me, the hardcore gamer, and for that I thank them.
95 percent of my games are japanese.
I agree with my coworker Jason in that they are of superior gameplay quality.


Anonymous Gregory Belacel said...

Well, it seems that you can't be satisfied Louis. Either the game is too hard or it's too easy. Anyway, most of the time, the kind of '100 level with no save and if you die you have to start again' kind of level are made only to be finished by those who can stand to left a game without doing everything. And I might be wrong, but I am pretty sure it's not giving you much beside braging right "Yeah! You finishe the 100 craze level of Dawn of Dreams without going insane" :D.

And about the japanese game being superior gameplay wise to Western (US or Europe game), well I have to disagree. Japanese game tend to be outstanding on very specific genre, mostly Arcade game, fighting game, action game (3rd person) and certain type of RPG. However, Western game tend to experiment a lot more these days and take more risk than Japanses. There is some exception, like Katamari Damacy or Ico or Shadow of Colosus. But think about game like Half-Life 2 and how the physics is used and how the game is highly immersive. Or Prince of Persia and time rewind feature and the level design. King Kong or Call of Cthulhu, which feature a game with no interface. Oblivion, which try to bring a living world, with a very advance AI and an open ended game-play. GTA, which is one of kind (although it has spawn many clone) on both the scale, the theme and sand box kind of gameplay. And these are just some example of what are done by non-japanese developper. And these game will most likely influence other game developer in the future. Meanwhile, what is truly new or experimental in Japan.

I could also say, most Indie developer, which are the spearhead in experimental game-play and from which many interesting idea come from, are, for the most, westerner.

Japanese are good at what they do, but I won't say that they are doing the best game in the world.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Genotzarr said...

Finishing the 100 level dungeon in Dawn of Dreams lets you have the best weapon in the game for the specifice character that does it.

Other than that, you are right.
American and eastern are innovating a lot, especially on the technical side.
Unfortunately for me, they completely neglect the type of game I'm playing.
True they make good FPS,and good sport games, but All I see on the fighting and RPG is either nothing at all or franchise games like LOTR by EA. (which was awful)
So yeah. European and Ameican games are catching up and superior in a few places, still only the japanese gave me a Street Fighter Game, a Disgea Game, A DMCry game, a Resident Evil game.
The only thing I'm glad to have had on the other side is GOWar.

I'll keep buying japanese games cause they make what I want to play.

7:41 AM  
Blogger sofy said...

Louis l'├ęternel insatisfait !!!
Japanese > America in gaming?
That's for sure, Japanese are crazy,weird,fuc*up even. The aren't scared to create any genre even if it's totally non-sense.

Americains... play safe, only think $$$. Like Greg said 'However, Western game tend to experiment a lot more these days...'
Exactly, 'these days'...
They have a shit load to do to catch up...
I aint' saying the Japanese are Godly and it's impossible to create and innovate as much as them, but it's hard work and I really hope someday Americains will be less 'constip├ęs'...

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:04 PM  
Blogger Genotzarr said...

BTW, I need like i need to correct this.
Games, are extremely rarely too hard for my 'Passion'
There must be said something when designers cross the line between a healthy hard, and a flat out annoying and not fun.
Hard is good, ''attempted to make the game hard by implementing stupid stuff or design flaws'' is bad.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Bluemonarch said...

That pic is sooo well done. I really love the idea too.

11:36 AM  

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