Archive for June, 2009

Miami Law (Japan title:Miami Crisis)[DS] Review

Posted in Gaming Rant, Nintendo, Nintendo DS with tags , , , , , , , on June 21, 2009 by reasonjp

First of all, you can’t beat the title. Or the concept. A game called Miami Law (or Miami Crisiswhen it gets released here next month) about Cuban drug deals, terrorist conspiracies and undercover police work, wherein a gun ho misogynistic male cop is forced to work with a female FBI detective who has to do everything by the book and learns a little about himself in the process (natch). It could be the elevator pitch for any number of 80s movies or TV shows. Especially ‘Miami Vice’. Or, umm, ‘Martial Law’

Sammo was shocked at the sort of things you can get on the internet these days

Sammo was shocked at the sort of things you can get on the internet these days

Unfortunately, the opportunity to be a slightly tongue in cheek 80s parody in a Vice Citymould, or to be about a fat kung fu detective in a channel 5 mid afternoon drama series is passed up by Miami Law, which takes itself all too seriously from the moment you put the game in. Start the game up, and it begins to aspire to more gritty crime dramas. Like ‘CSI: Miami’, perhaps, if it were written by a team of monkeys locked in a room with typewriters.

Continue reading

Post E3 2009- Japanese devs strike back?

Posted in Gaming Rant, Japan, Microsoft, Nintendo, Nintendo DS, PS3, Wii with tags , , , , , on June 14, 2009 by reasonjp

The geographical centre of the games industry has shifted. Milking the cash cow PS2’s huge installed base created for too long has lead most Japanese developers to fall behind the times, and the pinnacles of modern game design are coming from the West, with the Japanese gaming industry in big trouble.

That was the consensus coming out of TGS 2008 and yet now, shortly after the games industry’s Great American Bash that was E3, it seems like some focus is coming back East. Or is it? Or IS it? Let’s take a look.

First and third party Japanese developers have been crucial to the success of almost every format from the mid 1980s on. There were great games which shifted systems and had tremendous cultural influence worldwide. Super Mario Bros. not only shifted Famicoms in Japan and affected Japanese lives to the extent that the term ‘B-Dash'(hurry!) is immortalised in katakana English that’s still being used today; it also shook the foundations of pop culture in the West. Suddenly Mario was a more recognisable face to children in America than Mickey Mouse. Sega’s Sonicin 1991 had similar importance, capturing a slightly older audience. In the Playstation era, Final Fantasy VIIand Metal Gear Solid joined the likes of the N64’s Ocarina of Time to be internationally hailed as some of the greatest games of their generation, if not of all time.

From Mario to MGS and Zelda OOT- Japanese games matured with their key audience over twenty years, but recent attempts to recapture the young have lost some of what was the core market

From Mario to MGS and Zelda OOT- Japanese games matured with their key audience over twenty years, but recent attempts to recapture the young have lost some of what was the core market

Continue reading