Japanese games you might have missed

dark-souls-4FOR CULTURAL reasons beyond my understanding, Japan make some of the weirdest and enjoyable games on the market. They always have and, hopefully, always will. No other country has such a flair for the weird and wonderful like the Japanese gaming industry. Here is some of my favourite Japanese games:

Asura’s Wrath

CyberConnect 2 – a company known for the Naruto games – was finally given leverage by Capcom to make a game they wanted to make, at least that’s what Asura’s Wrath feels like. It is an ‘Interactive Anime Action Game’. Which means some ways Asura’s Wrath is barely a game – the least interesting parts occur when you are controlling the titular Asura. The game’s emphasis is on a ludicrous art-style and story. For instance, after Asura is betrayed by his fellow demi-gods (roll with it), one early boss battle is with some Buddha statue looking dude who grows bigger than the earth and tries to poke you to death. To talk any more about the game would be a disservice. Lets just say that the developers attempted to out do Dragon Ball Z in the ridiculous department and they succeeded in every way.

Bayonetta

Bayonetta and Dark Souls are perhaps the most ‘game-y’ games on here. By which I mean games that emphasize game-play over story and graphics. Bayonetta is developed by Platinum Games, one of the best developers to come out of Japan.  You’d be hard pressed to find games that offer such deeply enjoyable game-play. Bayonetta epitomises this philosophy. The story pure nonsensical drivel which leads to some amazing set pieces; such as driving a motorcycle down a falling building whilst battling monsters. Also, the game has some beautiful moments but the graphics can be rather bland. Bayonetta, luckily makes up for all these shortcomings by being amazing to play. To summarise, it plays like a slicker Devil May Cry that emphasises on dodging and counter-attacking when ‘Witch-time’ (slow motion) is happening. It is very timing based and at points can lead to some very tricky situations, especially with the epic boss fights. If you want a game that can have infinite re-playability, this is it!

Dark Souls

Dark Souls is developed by Japanese developers From Software – a company famous for making difficult games. Dark Souls keeps up that tradition and then some. It is with no hyperbole when I say that this is the most difficult game I have ever played, outside of competitive games. Unsurprisingly, Dark Souls is an odd game. Its a dark fantasy action game where you seamlessly explore ‘Lordran’. As I mentioned previously, the story is secondary to the combat. You aren’t even explicitly told what is going on .The combat is incredible though. The difficulty is mainly from animations taking priority over your button inputs, so you have to time each attack carefully. This leads the game to feel INCREDIBLY hard. However, each death feels fair and you gradually learn the games little idiosyncrasies until, along with levelling up,  you almost feel like you have mastered the game. That is until you reach a level which kicks that assumption right in the genitals. If you fancy a challenge, you must try Dark Souls.