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Binary Domain


The Sarge
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The Yakuza franchise is always well-received by the critics, even though it's not so huge in North America and US gamers often have to wait a long time to get new entries.

Now, the same developers that gave us the great Kazuma Kiryu are working on a new multiplatform title designed to cater to a wider audience. In development for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, Binary Domain has been revealed by Famitsu; producer Toshihiro Nagoshi dished on a few important details. The game is set in Tokyo in the 2080s and the city has been separated into rich and poor sides. Even more interesting is the fact that human life has been almost taken over by robots, and things are starting to get a little out of hand. Now, the setting was an area of contention: the overseas development staff wanted an environment more accessible to an international audience, but Nagoshi said that because he was born in Japan, it's easier for him to make a dramatic story in his home town. On top of this, enemy AI ought to be really slick and intriguing, and it appears we're looking at a third-person shooter. This may not be surprising, though, as Yakuza: Of The End features that new element.

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:)

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This looks canny good, like a japanese twist on The Terminator.

Za Terumineita!

Edit: it's also great how they use stills from the pre-rendered trailer as screenshots. Takes me back to the good old days of buying a C64 game with pretty screenshots of the arcade version on the back of the box :)

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Japanese developers forcibly trying to appeal to Western audiences FTL.

Yep.

In my opinion the thing Japanese developers have to sort out is their approach to localisation, not the content of their games, so they can release in multiple regions at the same time/over a much shorter period. Most still have a very old approach where they develop the game for Japan then a localisation company or part of them does their work, leading to some very long delays. We released Fable 3 in the US, Japan and Europe in the same week a game with a shitload of recorded dialogue and even more text. It's been the same for every game I've worked on and speaking to other devs I know here and in the US they take a similar approach of localisation during development, using text tags so all you have to do is switch the text database. Sure it means you have to fix localisation errors during the end of dev, but it's worth it. If they took this approach to Yakuza I think they'd get more sales rather than it appearing to something they're eventually getting around to doing to appease some fans.

Cut content probably doesn't help either.

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Okay, so it's got a big guy who's slow and heavily armed with lots of health, the skinny woman who's fast and agile with low health and not good ranged weapons, and the normal guy almost everyone will play who gets a good balance of guns and hand-to-hand combat.

They fight waves of identikit robots in a ruined undercity, interspersed with bosses, eventually moving to the rich robot-run capital where an obvious twist will happen (his wife is a robot/ a spy/ his bionic arm/ NOOOOOOO), and they'll fight all the previous bosses again before defeating the evil super-boss.

Only it turns out he's only partly dead/ not the real boss/ forced to summon his final form. Four rounds of health-bar emptying later, the credits roll.

Edge give it 5-7/10, it sells 20k, and everyone blames it on it being generic as hell.

Regardless, they greenlight a sequel instead of translating the latest Yakuza game at all.

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You're just annoyed there's no spacehostesses.

But it's true, it doesn't look very good. It's the sort of thing you'd expect a Japanese studio to come up with if someone gave them a written description of "a Western game", having never actually seen one themselves. Granted we haven't seen any actual gameplay yet, but judging by Of The End footage shooting isn't the studio's strong point.

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You're just annoyed there's no spacehostesses.

But it's true, it doesn't look very good. It's the sort of thing you'd expect a Japanese studio to come up with if someone gave them a written description of "a Western game", having never actually seen one themselves. Granted we haven't seen any actual gameplay yet, but judging by Of The End footage shooting isn't the studio's strong point.

I just think that the whole reason that people go for Japanese games is that they don't scratch that bit of the brain that the traditional American space marine title goes for. Vanquish, for all its guns and cover, is a mad score-attack game.

I dunno, it may turn out to be a lot more interesting. But the rate things are going Everybody's Golf 6 will be set on the Galactic Orbital Liberal Faction Computerised Organised Unified Reality System Experience and feature Marcus Fenix using his Cyber Logical Unit of Battery to fire Ballistic Aerial Lightning Launchers. Japan has always been interesting to Western gamers because of its differences, not despite of them.

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I think the problem with Japanese games that are trying to be western games is that they invariably look like they're falling between two stools.

We're coming at this knowing it's from a Japanese developer and wondering why everyone's wearing relatively sensible combat gear and doesn't have hair it'd take eight hours to style in real life, or shooting twelve enemies simultaneously through their legs while magically slowing down time as they leap fifty feet from a standing start and flip upside down.

By the same token, anyone hoping for a western-type game will wonder why someone is somersaulting into the air to catch and instantly load a clip into her gun in the middle of a firefight when she should be attempting a flanking manouevre or providing suppressing fire. Schoolgirl error.

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Japanese developers forcibly trying to appeal to Western audiences FTL. looks like they're milking their current Yakuza engine for all its worth (though I am admittedly really looking forward to Of The End)

Agreed on both counts. It's really kind of tragic. It's not as if Japanese developers can't do an action title which is stamped with their own identity (see Vanquish/Bayonetta), but this really looks like it's just a box ticker (I mean just look at the lead characters), which will almost certainly suffer the fate predicted by RJ. Not that I'm expecting the same sort of dross Tecmo put out with Quantum Theory, but it is sad to see a proven Japanese dev chasing western coat tales.

I think the problem with Japanese games that are trying to be western games is that they invariably look like they're falling between two stools.

We're coming at this knowing it's from a Japanese developer and wondering why everyone's wearing relatively sensible combat gear and doesn't have hair it'd take eight hours to style in real life, or shooting twelve enemies simultaneously through their legs while magically slowing down time as they leap fifty feet from a standing start and flip upside down.

By the same token, anyone hoping for a western-type game will wonder why someone is somersaulting into the air to catch and instantly load a clip into her gun in the middle of a firefight when she should be attempting a flanking manouevre or providing suppressing fire. Schoolgirl error.

Yup, that pretty much nails it.

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  • 4 months later...

During the press unveiling one of the producers for the game confirmed that:

Yes, we will have dog robots which'll have floating sunglasses drop on their faces. Whether or not we'll include a phrase like "Deal with it" (as previously rumoured) remains to be seen.

:)

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Yeah, it actually looks interesting from that trailer. The original vid is terribly cliched.

I just hope that the characters are fairly agile. After Vanquish, it would feel wrong not being able to roll / dodge things. I remember saying almost exactly that kinda thing about other 3rd person fighters after playing Bayo too. Amazing how one company has set the standard in two seperate genre in such a short space of time.

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Has water slide, DAY 1! I'm hoping for a little Resident Evil style cheese/charm to the dialog, looking forward to this :).

Music in the second trailer is really good.

Yes I hope that track makes its way into the game some way or another. If only during a cutscene. Good stuff. :)

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  • 1 month later...

Story Trailer

And some cam gameplay footage from E3.

Eh, looks pretty boring. Disappointing I thought the premise was pretty decent, but they had to go down the TP cover shooter route. What does a guy have to do to get an open world game where you're taking the fight to robots by destroying/sabotaging factories and stealing tech?

:(

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  • 4 weeks later...

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