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Christmas Cheer Entertainment Games

Japanese Gamers, Retailers, Developers Sum Up 2003 54

Thanks to Game Science for their news story compiling the results of an end-of-year survey in Japanese videogame magazine Famitsu. Among the intriguing results: the most popular game of 2003 for readers was Namco's GameCube RPG Tales Of Symphonia, with another GC title, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, coming in second, and Square's Final Fantasy X-2 for PS2 was voted the most disappointing title of the year. Elsewhere, game developers and shops voted Western-developed Grand Theft Auto III the game that "sold better than your expectations", and Square Enix's Final Fantasy XII is the most-awaited Japanese title of 2004 among developers, retailers, and gamers, with that company's Dragon Quest VIII firmly ensconced in second place. Finally, as an aside, the Game Science site has collected a neat conglomeration of Happy New Year postcards from Japanese game developers.
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Japanese Gamers, Retailers, Developers Sum Up 2003

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  • by gasaraki ( 262206 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @08:37AM (#7834081)
    But I thought Gamecube was dead? At least, if you read helf the articles that seem to get posted on games.slashdot, that's probably what you'd believe.
    • by Zangief ( 461457 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @09:05AM (#7834177) Homepage Journal
      By some reason, American media is trying to present the gamecube as a dead console, and Nintendo as a company ready to fall in bankruptcy. This is hardly so, since they dominate the portable market, and are second (and by far lately) in the console war.

      The Gamecube is alive and kicking, and if xbox were the console of another company, like sega, xbox would be dead. There is no real reason to own a xbox now; if you love FPSs, you should get a PC, for almost the same price.
      • "There is no real reason to own a xbox now"

        Not true at all, I'd say. The exclusive titles are good fun, by and large, it frequently has the best version of multiplatform things, and the online experience is, for me, far superior to either the PS2's muddled and inconsistent attempts or the culture of cheating and other infantile behaviour on the PC.

        None of which is to disregard the fun that can be had with either of the other two consoles, of course - my personal most played of 2003 are Midtown Madness 3,
      • No good reason to own an Xbox?
        How about
        Halo (well, it was exclusive for 2 years) & Halo 2
        Project Gotham Racing 1 & 2
        Panzer Dragon Orta
        Amped 1 and 2
        Xbox Live (it's not free, but it's good, compared to Sony's offering)

        Plus about every game that comes out on the three platform plays best with the Xbox because of the better hardware?

        The only thing is misses? RPGs. Hopefully Fable and Sudeki will be great games.
        • The only thing is misses? RPGs.

          You may have forgotten a little title by Bioware called Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. It won game of the year at Gamespy [].
        • I wouldn't say most games play best on the Xbox. *Very* few people find the controller comfortable. Even the Controller S is awkward.

          Jumping from the PS2 to the GameCube or Xbox will give you a huge increase in graphics and a large decrease in load times. The jump from GameCube to Xbox is very small.
          • I wouldn't say I have big hands, but the other day I went to my friend's house and we played on his PS2 and I found the controller too small and ackward. It's a matter of taste I guess.
            • The PS2 controller is a little smaller than the GameCube controller, but more importantly, it's got awkward grips on it. That's why it feels weird.
              • I've never had the chance to play with the gamecube, but at first sight the button layout seems very odd. I'm sure they made it that way for a reason though, so I guess it must be confortable, since it's coming from Nintendo.
                • Both pads, PS2 and GC, are good. Yes, GC's button layout is odd, but not in a bad way. It depends on the game. With most games it makes almost no difference.
                  Some games like beat'em'ups or Tony Hawk work better with a classic button layout like the PS2 has.
                  Other games like Metroid Prime make perfect use of the GC pad - a PS2 pad wouldn't work with that game.
                  • Other games like Metroid Prime make perfect use of the GC pad - a PS2 pad wouldn't work with that game.

                    I played Metroid Prime using a PS2 controller (yeah they make adapters) just yesterday. It plays just as well as with the GC pad. The controls would hardly qualify as perfect, though... They should let you strafe with the left joystick and aim with the right "C" joystick, instead of having that damned L-to-target kludge. I suppose that'd make it too hard for the kids that make up Nintendo's fan-base anym
                • Like all Nintendo controllers, it was designed for the games Miyamoto had in mind.

                  The only problem with it is it tends to be either great or terrible for a game, whereas the PS2 controller tends to be general purpose, neither great nor terrible for almost all games.

                  Although it looks odd, the button layout works very well. It's near impossible to hit the wrong button, as they all have a unique shape. The large A button is nice, as games tend to center their controls around it. When you play a game designed
      • The media is always hyping doom and gloom on the GC, because they've got nothing better to do. But I like the moves Nintendo has made lately to push the GC.

        Seriously though, now is a good time to own all of the major consoles. There are so many good titles out and coming out soon, that having all three means you can choose the best of best. This is heresy for me, since I'm a developer, but it is the PC that is on the way out.

        I love to tinker with and build new PCs as much as anyone on /., but I don't wa

        • Until consoles allow mods to be created, non-central server/LAN multiplayer games, hi-res (>1024x768) graphics, 5.1 or other surround sound, and a decent setup for FPS and other high-precision-required games, the PC isn't going anywhere but forward as a gaming platform. ("Just running" works already with the majority of the big PC games. If I wanted things to "just run", I'd own a Mac.)

          Which platform is going to be the first to support AR (augmented reality) games, mm?
      • There's hardly no real reason to own an Xbox. No other system has the systemlink or online capable games that the Xbox does. No other system features such a handy storage medium for its save games (the HD) which also adds a whole bunch of possibilities that are being used -- like in PGR2, being able to record your replays without even thinking about buynig a new memory card.

        In addition to all live titles (Mech Assault, PGR2) and great driving titles (PGR2), the Xbox has a great deal of great Sega games.
    • In Japan, the GameCube sells about as many consoles per week as the Xbox sells in an entire year. Weekly GameCube sales are also on average about 75% the level of PS2 sales. The GameCube isn't doing bad in Japan at all. It would probably be a lot closer to the PS2 if the PS2 didn't have a year and a half jump on the GC.

      Bashing GameCube is the trendy thing to do, but it's not very accurate. Nintendo's games and well made 3rd party games (i.e. Soul Calibur 2) sell really well for the GameCube. The only stuff
    • It is too bad the sales in Japan don't benefit Nintendo of America, thus not really changing the fact that Cube sales in America are still not as good as NOA would like.
  • So, they award the latest Final Fantasy game the title "most disappointing this year" and still regard the next one as their most anticipated game? Kind of odd, really. But then, Eidos want to make another Tomb Raider game too, so its not exactly unique thinking.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      no, its not that unusual- FFX-2 was the first ever pure sequel in the series- IE where the successor game was directly based on events in the first. And, im playing it now, and yeah it is disappointing- Same world, same characters, except you only get to use 3 throughout the whole game (well, I can really only say that definitively for the first half), the real time battle system is ok, but the job/skill system it uses is in my opinion a bit on the weak side. The story too is kind of weak- they tried to be
    • First of all, "they" didn't. This is a reader survey, not an Award From On High. Note that Final Fantasy X-2 also showed up in third place for "What game were you most satisfied with?"... I'm gonna have to issue you a RTFA.

      Second, since there is no "they", there can easily be two groups, one who likes it and one who doesn't. And given the way fanboys work, often the second group is much larger, but the first group much louder.
  • trailer (Score:2, Informative)

    by qbproger ( 467459 )
    for those of you interesting in a Tales of Symphonia trailer without having to sign up for gamespot one can be seen here: sofsymp honia.html
  • as a person who railed against the idea of a final fantasy sequel, i must now admit that i enjoy this game. i've been playing it non-stop for a few weeks, and it's better than you would think. perhaps not as serious as previous outings, but what's wrong with having a sense of humor?
    • I actually agree, it's not that bad a game, just kinda...fluffy. I can do without Yuna singing and crap. I miss using the Aeons instead of just fighting them. The special spheres are neat but i dunno, FFX was much better. I've played every FF since FF1 (US version) and FF3 is still my fave. I want to see FFXII though, looks interesting.
  • I was confused for a moment when I saw that FFX-2 was rated Most Disappointing Game of 2003. I mean, most Americans know better than to have high expectations for a game that has a commercial with its main characters (all in ridiculous outfits) singing J-Pop in a concert, but the Japanese actually like that stuff.

    That said, from what I've heard from friends who have played it, its gameplay actually sounds pretty interesting. A CRPG-style quest system would make a nice change from the usual FF model, and
  • the "Tales of" series has always been just as popular in Japan as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Tales of Symphonia was the first 3D game in the series, but it still stays true to the 2D movement battle system. It's no surprise that the latest title in such a popular series, which delivers plenty of new content while retaining the basic elements of the series, gets the most praise by consumers.

    However, since there are far more DQ and FF games than "Tales of..." games, this fact
    • Part of that is Namco's (the publisher of the "Tales Of" series in Japan and, on rare occasions, the States) fault for never really giving the "Tales Of" series a fair shake. Sure, they released Tales of Destiny and Tales of Eternia, but they've had two opportunites to release the remakes of Tales of Phantasia (on the PS1 and most recently Gameboy Advance), but instead chose to pass on them. If there's one thing the GBA really needs, it's RPGS that most people haven't played a gazillion times before. And co

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