Gamecube gasping for air?

Capcom is releasing GTA3 in Japan soon, and it’s #3 on Famitsu’s Most Wanted list.

Edit: Er, what xahlt said.

As a matter of fact, its gone past speculation into investigative journalism dun dun DUN! Simplification of a long story: nobody wanted to publish it because of the content and apparently they had problems with certain approval organizations, so it was tough to convince anyone. So somebody (I believe it was Capcom) released it for Japanese PCs last year, and though it was swallowed up by the Warcraft 3 hype (also, I believe released by Capcom, funny, isn’t Blizzard and Capcom are quite similar, aren’t they?) it seemed to VERY WELL for a PC game.

Last year, two major changes hit the Japanese games industry in that we started having ESRB-like ratings for a games, done by an organization like CERO (previously, all you had to have was a notice of violent content). Its not mandatory or enforced, but its there now. The second change is that it became legal to sell used games. This is often very lucrative for smaller games with smaller runs (though GTA3’s was by no means all that small, but the places where you can buy PC games are few). This usually has the effect of making games like GTA3 where people may be hesitant at full price, double or triple in popularity (Mega Man would be a great example).

Now that we have a CERO rating, and the buzz from the PC release is high, it seems that Capcom found a way to release it on the PS2 and its coming out here in 2 weeks or so. Many Japanese have heard of the game and wanted to play it, but seeing as how the PC really isn’t very strong here, the anticipation for PS2 release is quite a bit higher. The original GTA was released in Japan for the PSOne and didn’t do too shabbily, BTW.

I honestly can’t tell you what I think about why it was so vehemently refused for distribution. In one way, its typical, Japanese tend to react stupidly to societal violence issues (such as the Tokyo train terrorist attacks by that cult, or the manga killer, or Neon Genesis Evangelion). But in another way, it makes no sense, because we have seen violent or disturbing Western games released here before, many of them and Japan certainly isn’t shy of producing them either (Silent Hill? Samurai? Hungry Ghosts, anyone?)

I don’t quite know what to make of it. I played GTA3 last year on some foreign lady’s US PS2, but we never really got to be good friends, so I didn’t see much more than a glimpse. That said, good translation or bad, (its Capcom, so I’m betting its pretty good) I’ll buy it eventually, when it comes down in price. I’m not one of those silly Tokyopia pricks who thinks its soooooo important for the advancement of the Japanese gaming industry, but I also can’t wait to finally try the game out seriously.

-Kitsune

Thanks Kitsune (and others). Interesting stuff.

I’m amazed you didn’t like Eternal Darkness. As far as I was concerned (and as a game programmer/designer who likes the whole Lovecraftian Cthulu joke I may not be your typical gamer) the game was nearly perfect. Admittedly replay value was low, and the boss monster midway through was a little too hard, but other than that I thought the atmosphere was great and the puzzle/action perfectly balanced. The Silent Hill games are clumsy in comparison (my opinion of course) - and slightly embarrassing.

In the genre of collect-em-up adventures Starfox does really well - of course if you don’t like that genre then I can understand not enjoying it. My only real niggle with it was that to win the strength competition and make progress you had to place your finger nail on the B button and slide it back and forth - since this was the only way to press fire fast enough. The game is very impressive technically - so I guess I might be over appreciating the game just because of that. In comparison I found Jak and Daxter to be boring, if technically interesting. It too suffers because of excessive cut-scenes.

It would be a dull world if we all liked the same things.

Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe as developers we should just be steering away from using any cut-scenes…

I think MICROSOFT and NINTENDO should partner up. Real simple formula, allow NINTENDO to make games for the XBOX, leave them alone to do what they do best on a platform that will allow them to use assets that they cannot on the GC.

Both parties would win.

That’s wacky ! The content in GTA3 is very tame. I mean come on Japan is the home of tentacle sex and schoolgirl porn ! :roll:

That’s wacky ! The content in GTA3 is very tame. I mean come on Japan is the home of tentacle sex and schoolgirl porn ! :roll:[/quote]

Ah, but in Japan they have to censor all the nasty bodyparts. :D

Nintendo’s doing pretty well on their own, why should they help Microsoft “win”?

Also, don’t you mean NINTONDO?

Next to Windwaker it is.

Having said that I’m enjoying playing it right now. The cutscenes are irritating and the story is awful, but it is fun.[/quote]

Windwaker is great until about the 75% mark and then it becomes a lot of busy work. The camera still bothers me even after hours of play.

I was dissapointed in Wind Waker. Some nice touches here and there but a lot of shameless rehashing and not enough dungeons.

Too much time on Fed Ex quests near the end.

I doubt Wind Waker is the reason why the GameCube is languishing, though. It sold pretty well, didn’t it? I’d guess it’s the lack of any other notworthy titles that are keeping the sales low. Nintendo’s “New Releases” list on EBGames makes even the Xbox look like a content powerhouse (which it isn’t). The “Coming Soon” list isn’t much better.

That’s really pushing it, Ben. Microsoft has had a lineup of all ports all summer long with one exception, KotOR. The Gamecube has been solid and has had real gems like Mario Golf and F-Zero GX along with Soul Calibur 2 which according to the Best Buy anecdotal figures I’ve seen at GAF is outselling the other two versions. The upcoming release list is full of exclusive games that people are definitely waiting for including Viewtiful Joe and Mario Kart just to name two.

I wouldn’t mind all the constant Nintendo bashing on these boards if it was half informed, but sometimes you guys are just way the heck out there. The sky is always falling at Qt3 when it comes to Gamecube. It’s pretty ridiculous. Didn’t you see Boss’s post up there? They outsold the friggin’ PS2 in Japan for one week. Ask Microsoft when they’ve ever outsold PS2 in one week in ANY territory.

Yeah. You want to know why I hated Eternal Darkness? BECAUSE I HAD PLAYED SILENT HILL.

<David Spade mode>
I liked all those games better the first time around, when they were called ALONE IN THE DARK.
</David Spade mode>

Okay, but I could likewise point out your habit of ignoring any information regarding Nintendo that you don’t like. Did you read the article that Mark linked to? “We outsold PS2 this one week” bragging rights are nice and all, but their quarterly performance was abysmal. The sky may not be falling, but when you have analysts saying things like “If they don’t do anything significant, Nintendo won’t sell any consoles next year,” I think it’s reasonable to speculate that it might.

I think the biggest sign that Nintendo is in deep trouble is that this thread went for nearly 30 posts before Dave Long showed up. :)

Seriously, though, as a huge fan of many of Nintendo’s titles, it pains me to see them falling behind the PS2 and Xbox so much. I’m strictly a layman to all this stuff, but it sure does seem like they’re going to have a painful Christmas.

 -Tom

I just wanted to add that, like Tom, I hope it doesn’t. I like my GameCube, and I’d miss all the first-party Nintendo offerings if it went away, even if the pickings have been slim this year.

You know, I really like Silent Hill’s approach to terror, although it never has really gotten so much SCARY to me as it just does a brilliant job of creating a sense of dread, that something was going terribly, terribly wrong, the way it can make the most ordinary-seeming things very disturbing, etc. Anyway, again, I love that oh so much. For pure creep factor it beats down every other game I’ve played very easily, from Undying to System Shock 2 to Alone In The Dark to whatever. Anyone who thinks SS2’s ghosts are the scariest thing EVER!!! has obviously never dealt with Pyramid Head.

But each Silent Hill title has had some pretty big problems. SH1 was a pretty good basic game, but the story was a convoluted mess. In some ways, that was really cool, but not when you finish the game and things STILL make absolutely no sense. SH2’s story is told very well, but the combat is so much easier as to be pathetic, and Tom’s preview of the game on this site says it perfectly with the “pulled punches” comment. It’s definitely not as vividly disturbing, and I don’t think that’s because I have somehow built up a tolerance for Silent Hill’s style. SH2 has its moments and not much else. And SH3 - I just don’t know, it’s sort of a jack-of-all-trades deal. The story isn’t bad, the combat has gone back to being fun and tense, the whole basic theme of the story is pretty creepy, yet it still doesn’t HIT me the way the original did, and I don’t think it’s as intriguing as the second.

They’re all good games, but not top-notch, and as a result I’m definitely intrigued by Eternal Darkness. I keep hoping that someone will make a truly outstanding action game that does as good a job of screwing with your head.

Kitsune, I hate to break it to you but VF is tiny in the US. It’s really too… hardcore for American audiences. Soul Calibur I and II were pushing the skill differential boundaries for American tastes.