A reader named “hadley” recently asked me a quick question that I’ve been meaning to answer for a while:
Just wondering if you ever read japanese sites on retro-gaming. Do japanese fans keep websites like hardcoregaming101 ? Do they think differently about final fantasy than we do ? I think It’d be an interesting topic to write.
First, if you’re reading this and haven’t visited Hardcore Gaming 101, bookmark it now! In my opinion it is one of THE best video game sites out there in terms of actual, meaningful content. I’ve recently been reading some of the articles on there about the history of gaming in Korea and it’s incredibly fascinating stuff.
Okay, that out of the way… I sadly don’t do a lot of Japanese Internet browsing. I occasionally check out Japanese retro gaming stuff from time to time, but when I do I usually find myself at either tiny, personal blogs, very small sites, or trying to wade through an ocean of 2ch message board threads. I feel like it’s a whole different world and culture and that there are surely some really good resources out there that I’m missing, so if anyone reading this knows of any good Japanese retro gaming sites or whatever that have some level of curation, share your knowledge in the comments!
As for whether or not Japanese fans feel differently about Final Fantasy, I feel like that’s probably a gigantic topic that would probably span multiple articles of its own. Even among English-speaking fans there seems to be a wide difference of opinion about which games are better than others, which characters are the best, etc. So trying to compare Japan to the West might be a bit tough. I’m not even 100% sure what English-speaking fans think overall about the series. Is VII still the all-time favorite? Or has it hit the “overrated” backlash phase yet?
Still, based on only my limited personal experience, I’d say most of the praise I’ve seen over the years on Japanese forums and blogs has been for VII and X. Consulting lists like this seems to confirm that too. I’d like to find out more conclusive info sometime, but that’ll take a bit of work and digging up of old Japanese magazines probably.
Anyway, even though I wasn’t able to give much of an answer this time around, maybe some readers can give more helpful info. So if you have any info about good Japanese retro gaming sites or any info about Japan’s (or the West’s) opinion of Final Fantasy stuff, let me know in the comments!