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The Fake Success of Dragon Warrior

Last updated on 25 days ago
kitsunebikitsunebi
Admin
Posted 25 days ago

slider1983 wrote:

- Actually I believe he's been living in Japan since 2006 I think.


I've been living in Japan since 2008, but I'm still a foreigner, and will still be one even if I live here till I'm 100. You don't stop being a foreigner just because you've lived here a long time. You're either born Japanese or you're born gaikokujin (literally: person from another country) and that can never change.
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slider1983
Junior Member
Posted 25 days ago

kitsunebi wrote:

I thought the funniest thing about the video you linked was that the guy who made it shot most of the footage in "no cameras allowed" areas. Typical foreigner ignoring the rules.
Actually I believe he's been living in Japan since 2006 I think. But yeah cheeky isn't it? Cool

Also I totally get what that video was talking about with being able to make something that looks triple A but feels like what you would get in the 90's. Would love to see Shining Force resurrected with these production values.
kitsunebikitsunebi
Admin
Posted 26 days ago
Btw, here's a rather interesting video about the most recent mainline Dragon Quest game (DQXI) which might be of particular interest to people visiting a site like OGM concerned with gaming in the past, since it makes the case for DQXI being a modern AAA game that nevertheless scratches that 90s era retrogaming itch many of us have:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Utwqv...twqv-BK6Qw
kitsunebikitsunebi
Admin
Posted 26 days ago
I think you may be unaware of the definition of apologist. It has nothing to do with "apologizing." Word for the day - look it up and enrich your vocabulary! I teach English for a living - this is your homework. Smile

I thought the funniest thing about the video you linked was that the guy who made it shot most of the footage in "no cameras allowed" areas. Typical foreigner ignoring the rules.

So far as I know, there are no Dragon Quest Museums currently open. That video was from 5 years ago during the 30th anniversary. It's now the 35th anniversary, but due to Covid-19, there's unlikely to be anything similar this year.

There will be a livestream 35th anniversary event 10 days from now however which will be translated live into English if anyone wants to follow along.
https://gamerant.com/dragon-quest-35t...announced/
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slider1983
Junior Member
Posted 26 days ago
Apologist? I have nothing to apologise for being a Sega fan. Smile

By the way what did you think of the YouTube video I recommended?
kitsunebikitsunebi
Admin
Posted 27 days ago
Listen, I realize how hard a Sega fanboy/apologist might prefer if every topic was about them, but unless anyone would like to share their thoughts on the events surrounding the release and marketing promotion of the original Dragon Warrior on the NES in the United States (why this thread exists), then perhaps they should start their own topic to express themselves. Smile
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slider1983
Junior Member
Posted 27 days ago
[quote name=Kiwi post=304](except the SNES had better hardware that time around) /quote]Disagree here as well. SNES was only superior in hardware on the surface. Mega Drive did stuff with games SNES failed to do.
Edited by slider1983 on 16/05/2021, 27 days ago
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slider1983
Junior Member
Posted 27 days ago

kitsunebi wrote:

As for Master of Darkness being the best Castlevania game ever...GrinGrin That's hilarious!
As I say we'll have to agree to disagree, Master System always felt by far superior to NES. I only wish SMS had more third party support considering the great stuff we already got. Had the most potential of any console of that era.
KiwiKiwi
Super Admin
Posted 28 days ago
Only two things I can say to that ....

1. Like
2. Damn those Japanese blurry censor spots. Damn them ..... damn them to Hell .....
kitsunebikitsunebi
Admin
Posted 28 days ago
BWAHaha, you're not wrong. The 16-bit cartridge era was still aimed squarely at the kiddies. But just as had happened with computers, the CD storage medium allowed for more grown-up fare (not mature, just grown-up lol).

You weren't gonna find THIS on a Nintendo system, and the Mega Drive couldn't handle it, obviously. Grin
https://youtu.be/_y9nL-i36E8?t=303

The Japanese know what they like, and what they like is girls girls girls. Pfft
KiwiKiwi
Super Admin
Posted 28 days ago
That's because for some reason they released shitloads of RPG's and from the look of the ads in Japanese mags tons of semi-dodgy games for the system. It was likely helped by being a CD-Rom based console rather than utilising expensive cartridges which were short on the space necessary to have plenty of booby girl mpegs for the aforementioned games Pfft
kitsunebikitsunebi
Admin
Posted 28 days ago

Kiwi wrote:

The Mega Drive was their high point for consoles no two ways about it.


In the Western world this is true. But remember that the Mega Drive was not nearly as successful as the Saturn was in Japan.
KiwiKiwi
Super Admin
Posted 28 days ago
If you look at this picture it also plays out pretty much the same for the Mega Drive/Genesis vs the SNES (except the SNES had better hardware that time around) and you could also apply it to the Dreamcast vs PlayStation scenario.

Even though the Sega 16-bit platform had 3rd party support their indigenous IP was oriented around arcade type play ... Sonic was simply a rush around arcade platformer without any of the finesse of Mario. In fact EA probably saved the Mega Drive from complete failure in reality with their massive load of sports games being far more influential on the console than anything from Sega themselves.

Things only went downhill from there with their Saturn and Dreamcast. The Mega Drive was their high point for consoles no two ways about it.
kitsunebikitsunebi
Admin
Posted 28 days ago
Yes, we will have to disagree. I can see how Alex Kidd in Miracle World became popular with Master System owners - it was the only decent platformer available on that system for years. But that doesn't mean it holds a candle to the Mario games - it's not even close, in my opinion.

As for Master of Darkness being the best Castlevania game ever...GrinGrin That's hilarious!

At any rate, as I said, I've played most Master System games (there really aren't that many), and I've certainly played all the ones that are touted as being the best. I played these on emulators years after-the-fact, so my opinions aren't tainted by nostalgia - and my opinion is this:

The Master System deservedly failed in Japan and the USA due to a complete lack of 3rd party support, and a relative lack of quality games to allow it to compete with the Famicom's impressive library of titles. However, the UK and Europe was a different story, since the system entered the market two years after the Japanese launch and one year after the American launch. By that time, there were more games available, and additionally, they didn't have nearly as strong competition with Nintendo, since Nintendo did not directly market the Famicom in Europe/UK. This completely different playing field gave Sega the chance to reach the Europe/UK market in ways it failed to do in Japan/USA.

As I said before, the hardware itself is superior to the Famicom/NES (it should be, since it was released two years after the Famicom). However, it's my opinion, having played through the Master System's game library, that despite there being plenty of good games available (many of which are exclusive to the European/UK markets since the Master System had long been abandoned in its home country by the time of their release), there are very few if any "essential" or revolutionary games that demand to be played by a modern gamer looking to get a sense of the evolution of video games. So unless you grew up with the Master System and have nostalgic affection for it or else you've got some extra time to kill, my opinion is that you could skip the Master System entirely and not miss out on much that you couldn't experience elsewhere. That's certainly how I felt after playing all of the Master System's "classics," at any rate.
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slider1983
Junior Member
Posted 29 days ago

kitsunebi wrote:

But the Master System lacked "killer-app" "must-have" games, and anyone living in Japan or the USA for the most part could either play similar (often better) games that in many cases were the games that inspired the Master System games in the first place, or else play more advanced/better versions of the same games on other platforms like the PC Engine or Mega Drive.
Have to disagree there. Master System had tons of classic games but they didn't get the exposure they needed. Alex Kidd in Miracle World is a classic and Master of Darkness I would say is probably the best Castlevania game ever made. But that's just my opinion... Wink

By the way I just saw this video on YouTube and thought of you. You have have already seen it but I thought I'd post it just in case you haven't:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4bq4...4bq48lkpvo
kitsunebikitsunebi
Admin
Posted 1 month ago
Nah, the Master System was well and truly %^#$ed in Japan, and thus by proxy, in the USA. It launched in 1985, giving Nintendo a two year head start, and put it into immediate competition with not only a slew of classic Nintendo arcade ports, but original classics like Super Mario Bros. as well. The Master System eked out just 8 games in 1985, none of which are really worth mentioning. They followed in 1986 by releasing just 17 more games, again consisting mostly of mediocre arcade ports, and none of which are enough to offer stiff competition for some of that year's Famicom games like The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Castlevania, and yes...Dragon Quest.

Also, don't forget that the PC Engine was released in 1987 and was a superior piece of hardware to either the Famicom or the Master System, and it initially specialized in arcade ports, which put it directly in competition with the Master System's strengths. R-Type on the Master System is certainly a great port, and the Famicom wasn't even up to the task of porting it. But the PC Engine release of R-Type was almost arcade-perfect. So it isn't surprising that the PC Engine would ultimately sell 8 times as many units in Japan as the Master System.

At any rate, in its first two years, Sega had only managed to release 25 games for the Master System. Meanwhile, by this same time, 185 games were available for the Famicom (*which was already more than the total of 155 games that would EVER be released for the Master System in Japan). Not only that, but every single game released during that time came directly from Sega themselves. In fact, during the ENTIRE life of the Master System in Japan, only TWO games were published by someone other than Sega, and only 16 games were developed by someone other than Sega. That kind of abysmally piss-poor third party support alone should be almost self-explanatory for why the system was a complete failure there. A single developer/publisher does not a successful console make.

So by the end of 1988, the Master System was completely dead in Japan as Sega cut its losses and focused all its attention on the Mega Drive, which had been released earlier that same year.

Look at any "best of" lists of Master System games (in English) and you're likely to notice that most of the games on the list were published AFTER 1988. In other words, those games were exclusive to markets other than Japan/USA. But did Japan/USA really miss out? It's a matter of opinion of course, but I personally don't really think so. Many of them are touted as "Sega's answer to (fill in the blank with a better designed and more popular Nintendo game)" like not-as-good-as-Mario platformers such as Alex Kidd and Psycho Fox, or not-as-good-as-Zelda games like Golvelius and Golden Axe Warrior, or the shameless not-as-good-as-Castlevania Castlevania clone Vampire: Master Of Darkness. You also get a lot of decent ports of Sega arcade titles, but better versions of most of those were also available for the Mega Drive/Genesis. Other games such as the Sonic titles and Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck titles are quite good but really don't offer anything that the Mega Drive games they're based off of don't.

So, having played most of the Master System's library via emulation, it's my personal opinion that there are plenty of good games for the Master System, and anyone who owned one (provided they lived in Europe or Brazil) could have easily amassed a decent collection of fun games. But the Master System lacked "killer-app" "must-have" games, and anyone living in Japan or the USA for the most part could either play similar (often better) games that in many cases were the games that inspired the Master System games in the first place, or else play more advanced/better versions of the same games on other platforms like the PC Engine or Mega Drive.
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slider1983
Junior Member
Posted 1 month ago

kitsunebi wrote:

Meanwhile, Sega, having failed to find any success with the Master System in either Japan or the USA, had more incentive to try their luck elsewhere. And no doubt due in part to the void left by Nintendo's absence, the Master System found success in the previously unexploited European and South American markets.
A shame Japan and the USA didn't get to experience Master System more eh? A very underrated console.
kitsunebikitsunebi
Admin
Posted 1 month ago
Yes, I literally just said that within the same post you quoted from. It's one of the main reasons Nintendo chose to test the waters with international distribution in the USA rather than the UK. (The fact that PAL is incompatible with the NTSC standard used in both Japan and the USA also probably had something to do with it). Meanwhile, Sega, having failed to find any success with the Master System in either Japan or the USA, had more incentive to try their luck elsewhere. And no doubt due in part to the void left by Nintendo's absence, the Master System found success in the previously unexploited European and South American markets.
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slider1983
Junior Member
Posted 1 month ago

kitsunebi wrote:

Apparently, concrete sales numbers are difficult to pinpoint, but according to some discussion in a Spectrum forum (https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/forum...php?t=1428), many of the best selling/most popular Spectrum games of all time probably sold less copies than the USA Dragon Warrior's "disappointing" number of 500,000.
I'm not surprised when you consider more people live in America than the UK. Any sales in America are going to dwarf sales in the UK.
kitsunebikitsunebi
Admin
Posted 1 month ago

slider1983 wrote:

Dragon Quest could probably be compared to the Dizzy series in that it's a game series that did great in its own county region but failed to gain traction outside.


In general, perhaps, but it's a pretty weak comparison. The Dizzy games not only didn't gain traction elsewhere - they were never released in the first place. The only Dragon Quest games not released in North America were 5 and 6, and since DQ8, all games in the series have had worldwide releases. It's true that DQ has sold much BETTER in its home country, but that doesn't mean it's sold poorly elsewhere. More recent games in the series have had quite good sales worldwide.
Also, the Dizzy franchise itself was relatively short-lived, dying off in the early 90s, while Dragon Quest has been regularly releasing best-selling games for over 35 years. And so far as impact on the gaming industry as a whole goes, there's no comparison, as Dragon Quest more or less created the entire genre of JRPG and is considered one of the most influential games ever made. Most JRPGs to this day continue to utilize mechanics first introduced in older DQ games.

I'm not crapping on Dizzy, btw. Nor am I much of a Dragon Quest fan. There are tons of games I like WAY better than Dragon Quest. But I can at least admit that they might not be as IMPORTANT as Dragon Quest.

Edit: I should also point out that different countries measure success differently. So while the USA release of Dragon Warrior was considered a failure compared to its Japanese counterpart, it still managed to sell 500,000 copies (this does not include the 1 million copies given away with Nintendo Power subscriptions). The European market is much smaller, so a game can sell significantly less copies and still be considered a success. Apparently, concrete sales numbers are difficult to pinpoint, but according to some discussion in a Spectrum forum (https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/forum...php?t=1428), many of the best selling/most popular Spectrum games of all time probably sold less copies than the USA Dragon Warrior's "disappointing" number of 500,000.
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