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Japanese Style and Aesthetics Follow

#1 Jan 17 2010 at 12:47 PM Rating: Good
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I was browsing through Kotaku this fine sunday afternoon and they had a rumor post on a tech demo called "Final Fantasy Fortress" (FFF haha). Now This is the rumored game that was supposed to be in development by the former Grin Studios, which is now closed.

http://kotaku.com/5450203/rumor-leaked-tech-demo-footage-of-final-fantasy-fortress

you can read about it there.

What i want to talk about though is what about the visuals and presentation that make a game have that japanese touch. Even Square's most western designed games like FFXI and FFXIII have something about them that you can tell came from a japanese development house. And that something was what set FFXI apart from most MMO's for me and is something that i prefer. The Tech demo above is obviously some type of final fantasy game, and the graphics themselves look pretty good, but dammit does it look Western. I feel that even Demon's Souls, Monster Hunter, and Resident Evil have that certain aesthetic to them. And you can usually tell the difference between something that came out of japan and something that came out of Korea.

it isn't as simple to say anime looking characters make the game look japanese, because most of those games i listed dont have anime style avatars. And that's my question to you, what kind of aesthetic choices make a game look like it came from japan, and what kind of aesthetics do you wish to come into FFXIV?
#2 Jan 17 2010 at 12:56 PM Rating: Decent
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I'm one of the people who thought the Christmas screenshot update looked like FFXI:HD, which to me is a good thing. I'm not expert on Japanese art in games but I'm pretty sure FFXIV is not going to turn out as western as that leaked tech demo you posted.
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#3 Jan 18 2010 at 3:16 AM Rating: Good
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I don't have a particularly great art education, so I can't really provide a thought-provoking analysis on the visual trends that accompany eastern art. Anime-like characters would be the obvious thing to me-- that aside I would simply say "quality." Western MMOs rarely seem to emphasize artistic style, and when graphics are emphasized, it's usually in reference to things like resolution, framerate, and realism. So I guess idealistic art would be the one thing that sticks out to me about eastern productions.

I hands-down prefer eastern aesthetics to western, with some exceptions (e.g., some of the fashions).
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#4 Jan 18 2010 at 9:32 AM Rating: Good
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I don't know, but something about the body posture and movement just different between a Japanese game and Western game. Let's pick a game say Oblivion...the way the character move is just different compare to Japanese game. The way the character swings his/her weapon just seem...odd some time. The movement is fast alright, but somehow lack the fluidity of a sword swing say from FFXI or Devil May Cry or God of War.

Kinda like watching a fighting scene in movie. You can tell it is dirrected by a Chinese guy or a Western guy.

There are exception of cause. Modern Warfare and Ratchet and Clank come to mind.

Edited, Jan 18th 2010 10:42am by OneFatAngel
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#5 Jan 18 2010 at 9:59 AM Rating: Good
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Asian games and art are usually more fantastic, over-the-top, and elaborate in their design. This game looks to be much more realistic than japanese developers usually tolerate.
#6 Jan 18 2010 at 10:45 AM Rating: Decent
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For the phase that it was in, it looked great. The Chocobo skidding to a stop made my jaw drop.
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#7 Jan 18 2010 at 10:51 AM Rating: Decent
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Western game designers are usually traditional(or uninteresting) and basic while Japanese designers tend to be more sensational and/or stylistic. The effects of special attack and magic are usually way more elaborate than in western games an the character designs with relatively slim/girly looking men (bishonen) verses gritty looking manly men in western games. then then theres the texturing of the characters, objects and landscapes which tends to be a lot more elaborate than western games.

The was a recent action adventure game that came out that i saw trailers of and was in awe of because it was most definitely a western game visually but it had the latent aesthetics of a Japanese game when it came to sensationalist action. The aesthetics were reminiscent of WoW/Warcraft (games i consider to be extremely ugly in contrast) yet retained some sensational elements that made Japanese games appealing, some likening it to Zelda.

Edit: Darksiders was the game I was trying to remember.


Edited, Jan 18th 2010 12:18pm by baltz
#8 Jan 18 2010 at 12:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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I thought the Fortress demo looked absolutely fantastic. Take a glance at some of the concept art, especially the architecture and natural settings. And tell me this isn't a totally badass moogle.

I never heard much good about GRIN's products, but it looks to me like they had some real talent in the art department. I hope those guys were rehired. If there was a "western" look to that demo, it was probably the big, burly protagonist, who I'm sure is just a placeholder. I really hope this game is released.

There are various "Japanese aesthetics" that show up in games, but I tend to think that what we see in the more recent FF series isn't so much that as simply very high quality work with a lot of love put into it. FFXI had a level of detail that something like WoW lacks, and an originality that makes, say, Everquest and Age of Conan look awfully generic. But a western developer that's willing to make an effort can do just as well, I think.
#9 Jan 18 2010 at 1:14 PM Rating: Good
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Hmm...apparently the game is for PS3, XBox and...PC. That will make it the first non-mmo FF to hit the PC since FFVIII. Good times, good times. I haven't been able to play a normal FF ever since they switched over to exclusive PS.
#10 Jan 19 2010 at 7:34 AM Rating: Decent
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Grin has a pretty simple legacy before it closed. Basically, Capcom came to them to develop Bionic Commando and that's when other people started to come to them with other licensed products like Terminator and what not.

Bionic Commando: Rearmed, the remake to the original NES game was absolutely fantastic, but the bigger higher budget brother was not.

Now that Eidos is putting the game out theoretically, i am actually more nervous. Those Guys who put out games like hitman, tomb raider and kane and lynch dont strike me as artistically good.

As for the Japanese Aesthetic, i feel that it is the detail in the art and most japanese games do come from more of working artistic designs into the game instead of working the technology into a game. I think it is funny because they do tend to have very interesting and detailed environments, yet are usually the "gamiest" games out there. But most of of the time, the "gamey" elements does not break the illusion, for the most part.

Also, for a game that is set in FFXII's ivalice, i think Final Fantasy Fortress kind of lacking the overzealous eastern european design in some respects. especially if Ashe is still involved.

thanks for replying by the way. i think this is an interesting discussion.

Edited, Jan 19th 2010 8:46am by zhinse
#11 Jan 19 2010 at 11:49 AM Rating: Decent
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Quote:
And tell me this isn't a totally badass moogle.


I do recall saying something about "real" versus "ideal."
____________________________
Hyrist wrote:
Ok, now we're going to get slash fiction of Wint x Kachi somehere... rule 34 and all...

Never confuse your inference as the listener for an implication of the speaker.

Good games are subjective like good food is subjective. You're not going to seriously tell me that there's not a psychological basis for why pizza is great and lutefisk is revolting. The thing about subjectivity is that, as subjects go, humans actually have a great deal in common.
#12 Jan 21 2010 at 8:22 AM Rating: Decent
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Borkachev wrote:

I thought the Fortress demo looked absolutely fantastic. Take a glance at some of the concept art, especially the architecture and natural settings. And tell me this isn't a totally badass moogle.

I never heard much good about GRIN's products, but it looks to me like they had some real talent in the art department. I hope those guys were rehired. If there was a "western" look to that demo, it was probably the big, burly protagonist, who I'm sure is just a placeholder. I really hope this game is released.



I thought some of this looked slightly familiar, and so I had a look through some of my favorites on DeviantArt, and as I thought... Yes, I have seen some of this stuff before.

Here are links to 2 of the concept designers' profiles on DeviantArt:

Daniel Conway: http://arcipello.deviantart.com/
Tony Holmsten: http://tonyholmsten.deviantart.com/

They both have swedish sounding names, and seem to have worked on Bionic Commando, so they fit the profile.

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