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Full Version: The Game In the U.S. Compared to the Game in Japan
Do As Infinity Forum > Downtown > Screenplay, Anime & Game Center
Has anyone noticed how much more epic a lot of the games seem in Japan??? I thought it was just a small thing but I was on Youtube and found out I wasn't the only one thinking this...

What I mean is... I was playing some game (I can't remember). Then, I went to Youtube to see some videos of it and it was the Japanese version... The music was great, they had more features, and better period. Don't get me wrong, I love the U.S. and the opening songs which are often orchestrated but I can't help but feel cheated when I turn on the same game here and listen to this... then in Japan someone turns this same game on and they have artists such as DO AS INFINITY, Bump of Chiken, Bonnie Pink, Misono, Ayumi Hamasaki, etc... during the theme songs... It's like a anime opening. Reference is Tales of games, they do this a lot. Can we at least get some B to D list artist doing some opening and ending themes?

P.S. - I can only think of one U.S. game that did... D.O.A. 3. AEROSMITH did the opening theme and lent one other song but still, Do As Infinity on tales of? Ayu on Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams? WTF guys?

I would make the arguement that they do this because of the language barrier thing but times are changing. Back in the 90's our anime themes had unknown music artist cover the japanese themes when they were dubbed for us in english... more often than not, you will take notice that the japanese opening themes and ending themes are shown.

I don't care as much about the secret characters and such, but at least give us the option to choose for ourselves to select the original opening themes or the english version that isn't bad, but is nowhere near as cool as the original versions...


P.S. (again since I kept going lol) Who was a fan of KOEI GAMES? Dynasty Warriors? Samurai Warriors? Anyone noticed they did give us the same ending themes, I say did because they don't anymore... but I believe that goes for in Japan too... I loved those ending themes....

But yo, that's just how I feel about it. What about you?
i dont really agree with what you're saying. in the current market, anything worth playing will get ported over to english eventually (except for maybe some really quirky things - but we got katamari eventually and they're porting FF1-6 now) and you only notice that japanese games are "better" or more "epic" cuz of the type of games you prefer.

first point - if you look at the gaming industry, of course japan has more experience; they are one of the key founders of gaming and in some way the ones to make home entertainment mainstream.. who hasnt played a nintendo console/handheld at some point in their life? this doesn't mean they make better games, they just make a lot more of them and have made more. the US will take a long time to catch up, and with many japanese games still coming across as imports, it's always going to be "japan has made more good games than US".

second point - 'epic'-ness i think you're referring to RPGs and their huge arcing stories. the japanese don't make very notable FPS games or racing games (please don't say mario kart). i think this is a pretty obvious thing. was street fighter epic? no. was mortal kombat epic? beings from another dimension coming to fight in a tournament against humans chosen by the thunder god in deciding who would own this realm? yes. epic.

third point - music choice i think is a little bias too. fair: japan use to use indy bands to compose music and they have grown big, and now japan are happy to let local bands/stars compose opening/closing music.. especially in the anime market. you have to remember that US (as a representative of the western game market) grew up with hollywood - orchestrated pieces created specifically for a film. it's not like you don't see this in japanese games either, re: "epic" rpgs have famous composers (Nobuo Uematsu?). it's a cultural thing.. but, if you're going to talk about anime, there are many shows that use bands to promote in terms of television in the US. Buffy? - cake, michelle branch, nerf herder. OC? - phantom planet, the shins, death cap for cutie.

i think at the end of the day we see what we want to see. some people get so into the japanese scene, they get a little out of touch with the west. and either way, gaming is gaming.. who cares where it's from?
i remember shelling out $70 for tekken and another $300 for japanese ps1.ahahah those were the days.but i cant keep up with games now.going too fast and i just said forget get redid every other year and its crazy.but to me japanese games seemed more interesting.maybe just because it was new to me.LOL
wow that was kind of hard to read/understand but after reading it i can see what your trying to get at.

Yea, games tend to be altered/change when its released in the US, reason why? my guess is that they have to try Americanize it. like for the Tales of Legendia game, in Japan the game opening features Tao, but in the American version it doesn't. Thats solely up to the company in America who is releasing it. You gotta think about it in a way like if you weren't a fan of the music or the game they have to appeal it to audiences that aren't familiar to the product.

but also, like when u said also you played this game and went on youtube and saw that the game has more stuff than it did in your version is mostly because they redid the game. Like take this for example, Final Fantasy X or X-2, it has its original release, then they remake its original release with an international release which has a lot of more things to the game. I hate it when they do that kind of stuff its annoying, its like why release the game and then remake it with additional stuff when they can just easily have added it in the 1st release. Square Enix tends to do this a lot. and some Capcom fighter games as well were some characters are only available in the Japanese release but not the American.
Ok... I'm not sure if you're talking about the transition of Japanese music into translated games, or high profile western artists in games, but...

In reference to the Tales series, they've been progressively getting better at this very issue.

Symphonia had an orchestrated track (which imo, fit the game better than that Day After Tomorrow trash), Abyss came out with the Bump of Chicken track with the vocals taken out. Now, Vesperia has Bonnie Pink singing a version of the same song in English. If that's not progress, I don't know what is.

Most western gamers don't really appreciate not understanding portions of the game. I remember playing Breath of Fire 4 for the first time and just being completely lost in the intro because they didn't subtitle/dub the Japanese dialogue at all. As a 13 year old, I didn't appreciate that very much, understandably.

I think, if it's appropriate, publishers should freely have the option of changing an opening theme if they feel like it. They can do their market research. They can see if it would appeal to a western audience. I'd usually have enough faith in certain publishers to make the right decisions (Atlusyay!).

One of my favorite game series, Digital Devil Saga, had really different English and Japanese openings in the first game. The second game, they both used the same Japanese song, but the first one, I preferred the English one actually.

Digital Devil Saga - Danger

Digital Devil Saga - Pray

If you're talking about the other issue, please. COMPLETELY different industry. When was the last time a high profile artist did a drama, sitcom or cartoon theme song in the states? Never?...

If something that's a staple in western life such as television isn't even getting that kind of attention regularly, what makes you think videogames would?

At least we get epic commercials sometimes. I don't know a single person that didn't get the shivers when the first saw the Gears of War commercial with the song "Mad World" in it. I don't even like first person shooters, but that's one of my favorite game commercials ever.
Are you talking about localisation of games/anime/manga in general?

I'll start with anime. Firstly, anime is big business in Japan, whereas in the west, homegrown animations tend to be met with lukewarm reception. Frankly, at this moment I'm struggling to think of any decent shows from recent years that would appeal to teens or young adults. Nowadays, you ask someone to think of any non-Japanese cartoons and they'd probably get abit nostalgic and reminisce about shows from the '80s and '90s, like Thundercats, TMNT, Centurions, Transformers, and uhhhh..... Captain Planet. Of course, some shows get reinvented (and watered down in most cases) for today's youngsters, but the market for teens-adults is still fairly non-existent. I guess some people believe that we all "grow out of cartoons." Obviously that doesn't apply if you live in Japan. For every manga, there's an anime, and for every anime, there's probably a game to go with it. Our big business in the west are movie/game tie-ins.

Anime is a vastly superior market in Japan, so it's no surprise if they get a big artist/band to promote their shows. I don't live in the US, but I can imagine that Japanese animation hasn't really left much room for homegrown animation. I think Smelly's comments wrap it up in a nutshell. I do agree that they are making more of an effort to include original soundtracks in games, and less of the "oh it's not in English, we can't have that."

When Faye Wong did the FFVIII song I admit I got over excited and told the world. To me, that was one of the first steps in breaking the language barrier. The following iterations reinforced that idea, that language doesn't matter. Well... unless it doesn't have subtitles. I was quite fond of how MGS3 used a relatively small indie band from the UK to do the ending song. When you finish the game and listen to the song, it just feels right. Oh, and the Snake Eater theme is different for the Japanese version.

And just for the record, I think all translated games should include original as well as localised language, to consider those of us who aren't particularly fond of dubs.

And again, for the record, nobody really pays attention to "storylines" in fighting games. Even if they are epic. rolling.gif
Last I checked the games in Japan just had a lot more niche-titles =P
On a sidenote, though, I think the qualifier *console-* as opposed to PC-game has to be added, too, if we are truthfully to talk of Japan having made more total games than USA.

On the adding features for int'l release: at times there are true flaws with the first release; at other times they may be fishing for kids in Japan to import. I am just winging it here and it's Jpop not games but didn't Exodus sell like 10K in all of North America and about 1mil in Japan?

On FF songs: Faye Wong was fine in 8. I think Emiko Shiratori did both Eng and Japanese lyrics for 9, I am actually partial to the English version but both were fine. J-only was fine for X. X-2 was ehehehe anyway.

Overall, I think once game composers get to be as facile as Ms. Kanno with writing lyrics in made up languages the music bit will cease to be an issue.
Pink Spider
Well Persona 3 / FES do have a japanese theme song in the end, Kimi no kioku and Brand new Days and I can bet my ass that Persona 4 will feature Nevermore, so we're really experimenting some type of progress regarding the us of japanese songs on rpgs here in America. smile.gif
Dude, the Persona/SMT games were pretty damn "niche".

...In fact almost all of Atlus' games are pretty damn "niche".

They can pretty much do whatever the hell they want, lol
Pink Spider
^ For me ATLUS has stopped of being too "niche" on their Megaten's since Persona 3. It's obvious that they're trying to cater a more wider audience not as big as the FF one of course, or that's what I'm feeling by reading some of their interviews and by watching all the changes being made to the Megaten / Persona franchise so I don't know how much longer will ATLUS be a niche company on the rpg department, at least on their main games lineup.
While that is true, I'm still thinking in terms of the western market, not the Japanese one.

I was also shocked at the difference from Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuners to the next rpg, Persona 3. Such a change... o_o

I stand firm on my belief that all their titles will be niche titles in the western market. Most RPGs are, I suppose... not counting Final Fantasy, and more recently Tales.
Pink Spider
Only time will tell, don't you think that they're going all out with P4? I mean, all those extras, promotion & stuff... it's a bit too much for a niche title (in my opinion), tho I support your point of view since they publish a lot of niche titles, I believe that in a future (if not know) ATLUS market will change.
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