Five best video games developed in Japan!
newsonjapan.com -- Aug 28
Video Games can date back as early as the sixties but has changed a lot since it's inception. One of the most interesting parts of Video Game history is that you can trace its history between the West and Japan as two divergent subcategories.

It’s similar to how western cartoons and anime, while both being animated cartoons mostly for young adults and children, are still distinct mediums because of the cultural differences between Japan and the West.

There are stylistic, thematic, and design decisions that can be attributed to what technology was available, the culture surrounding the developers of a frontier industry, and just a difference in expectation of what was wanted in a video game. While western mobile games might be bland and soulless, Japan has online casinos themed around school girls- because it’s always Japanese school girls.

While both Western and Japanese game development can trace their origins to Western text-based adventures and arcade games (and earlier than that, to Dungeons and Dragons), it’s how they’ve evolved since then that creates memorable, distinct titles that are beloved across the world, regardless of geographic location.

As an aspiring game developer, I want to pay homage to the Eastern game developers, by listing my favorite games developed in Japan in a blog post no one will ever see. Sorry Japan, this is the best I can do.

5) Space Invaders

When you see a lot of these kinds of lists, Space Invaders isn't exactly in most people's top tens. But hear me out! There are a lot of highly important design decisions that came out of this game. It's development in 1978 was influenced by the 1975 game "Breakout" (the one like pong except you bounce the ball up at bricks to break them and score points).

The gameplay sees a series of aliens descending towards you while you quickly have to blast them to protect the Earth from their invasion. The mechanics are simple, intuitive, and addictive. Space Invaders to this day is one of the most successful franchises ever, grossing nearly 14 billion dollars!

One of my favorite aspects of the game is how it’s developer, Tomohiro Nishikado, accidentally invented the difficulty curve. The original game was developed on arcade parts imported from the United States. The problem is, they didn’t have a lot of processing power. When the game tried to draw all the aliens on the screen, the entire system would slow down, but here’s the catch:

As the player blasted aliens and the computer had to draw less of them on the screen, the entire game would begin to speed up. In other words, as you played, the game would get harder. This increase in challenge as the player progresses turned out to be hugely successful and is a design philosophy now universally applied across the industry (with the exception of Animal Crossing, maybe).

How cool is that?

4) Resident Evil

Let me introduce you to one of the cheesiest franchises you've ever seen. It has it all: Zombies, terrible dialogue, convoluted and contradictory lore. The way it takes itself just seriously enough to still scare you, and yet has midget Napoleon, Jill Sandwiches, and Boulder Punching Heroes, gives the franchise a unique sense of character.

More fascinated still is that Resident Evil is one of the defining games of the “Survival Horror” genre. Limited resources, dangerous enemies, and claustrophobic environments that force you to run circles around zombies while you hunt for keys to the next room is a design approach that is still immensely popular. When they want to, these games can still be intense and scary despite our hero walking around with a grenade launcher.

The franchise though is anything but static. The original trilogy of Resident Evil games featured janky controls, fixed camera positions, and a lot of puzzle-solving. Resident Evil 4 changed everything by becoming a highly self-aware third-person shooter. Then Resident Evil 7 changed everything again by becoming a first-person experience of what we call "nightmare fuel".

If you’re intrigued and what to jump into the franchise, I recommend playing through these games with a good skip-list. Let’s just say that some are better than others.

3) P.T.

If Resident Evil is fun, quirky, and sometimes horrifying, then Silent Hill is “The Exorcist” compared to the “Scary Movie” franchise. What I’m trying to say is that while Resident Evil is scary, PT and Silent Hill will make you wish adults still wore diapers.

Developed by Konami, Silent Hill is still one of the most acclaimed horror franchises to date, and despite the hope behind PT, the behind-the-scenes story means it’s pretty unlikely we’ll see another entry to franchise any time soon.

After becoming stagnant for a while, Kojima Productions (a subsidiary of Konami), took a crack at developing a horror game. They released P.T. back in 2014 for free to download on the PlayStation store, to showcase what they could do. Let me state it as clearly as possible:

P.T. was one of the most terrifying experiences ever released and remains so to this day.

What really drove the internet into a hype frenzy was the reveal that Hideo Kojima was working with acclaimed horror movie director Guillermo del Toro on it, in the hopes of creating a new entry to the Silent Hill franchise called “Silent Hills”.

Unfortunately, the project was never to be. Konami and Hideo Kojima split on bad terms, and the project was scrapped. P.T. was taken down from the Playstation Store and is now only available on Playstation consoles that never uninstalled it.

Still, if you DO have the opportunity to play (or more likely, watch someone on YouTube play it), then it’ll absolutely be worth your time.

2) Pokemon Black

If the Resident Evil franchise is known for wildly changing things up, then Pokemon could be it’s opposite: Bright, happy, cute, and completely stagnant for the past twenty years.

In all honestly, it would be hard to find a list of Japanese games that didn't include a Nintendo game. They're some of the most consistent and highest quality games on the market and have found formulas that work and have stuck to them. I could have filled this list with Nintendo games, and it would be hard to disagree that they don't belong.

Pokemon is the second-highest-grossing video game franchise of all time beaten out only by Nintendo's other major franchise, Mario. Personally, though, I prefer Pokemon, which is why Mario isn't on this list. Sorry my Italian friend, but this list is completely subjective and I make the rules, mewahahaha!

It seems hardly worth the effort the describe the gameplay of pokemon. You catch little "Pocket Monsters" called Pokemon and train them to fight other Pokemon in the world's happiest animal abuse simulator.

You could jump into basically any Pokemon title without worry. If you're familiar with older ones, you'll feel right at home. If you're completely new, the games will introduce you to its mechanics quickly and easily. So if there's basically no difference between Pokemon titles, why is "Pokemon Black" specifically the title of this entry?

Because it’s the one I played most as a kid. Sue me.

1) Dark Souls

Fromsoftware has become one of my favorite video game developers of all time. While a lot of their older stuff is a bit obscure, their Soulsborne franchise they’ve been releasing for the past decade-and-a-half has been genre-defining.

Fromsoftware's Dark Soul's tells its story in one of the most immersive ways video games can: By NOT telling it.

Instead, you hunt for the story hidden away in item descriptions, the environment, character dialogue, and even the game’s mechanics. If you start exploring it, you’ll find Dark Souls to have one of the deepest, most immersive and thought-out worlds the fantasy genre has ever produced, across all mediums. However, if you just wanna run around and kill monsters, the game won’t stop you by shoving the story in your face. That, combined with gut-punching gameplay that refuses to hold your hand, makes for one of the most compelling RPG’s ever made.

This game isn’t for everyone though. It’s hard, and it doesn’t have an easy mode (which has spawned no end of online arguments and blog posts). The world Fromsoftware has created is grim, depressing, and brutal. I, for one, can completely understand why someone wouldn’t enjoy it.

If you can get over the initial hurdle, however, you'll be in for one of the most satisfying and ecstatic video game experiences ever made, and find immense rewards in perseverance and hard work.

News source: newsonjapan.com
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