Skyrim Becomes First Western Game to Nail 40/40 Famitsu Review

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Skyrim Becomes First Western Game to Nail 40/40 Famitsu Review

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The biggest source for videogame reviews in Japan has finally awarded a Western title its top honor.

On 11/11/11, tiny indie developer Bethesda released Skyrim, a modestly sized fantasy RPG that told the same, tired story of a hero fighting dragons. Perhaps you've heard of it. Since then, the game has sold a whopping 3,500,000 copies and received enviable heaps of critical praise. Now, the game can craft one more flawless sapphire into its crown: Famed Japanese reviewer Famitsu has given it a 40/40, making it the first game ever produced in the West to receive its perfect score.

Famitsu has been circulating around Japan since the mid-eighties, and since then, has grown a base of over half a million subscribers. That's not too shabby for a print publication in the twenty-first century. With a thriving series of magazines and an active website, it's easily become the largest source of game reviews in the country, and arguably the most influential. Still, no Western-made game has impressed them enough to slap with a 40/40, until now.

If you were wondering why a "40/40" instead of, say, a 5/5 or a 10/10, Famitsu gets its score from four separate reviewers who all rate on a much more standard ten scale, making it all the more difficult for games to join the ranks of the seventeen (counting Skyrim) titles to ever make the cut. Previous games making rank include Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy VII, and Pokemon: Black and White. In the spirit of full disclosure, Nintendogs is in there too (not that there's anything wrong with playing virtual fetch with virtual puppies, mind you).

Skyrim being a Western title also means that the West got it first, meaning Famitsu's vast Japanese readership is going to have to wait until the game is finally released to Asian shores on December 8th before deciding for themselves if the coveted 40 was deserved. I wonder what the word "Dovakhiin" sounds like in a Nordic Japanese accent?

Source: Eurogamer.net

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I wonder what the word "Dovakhiin" sounds like in a Nordic Japanese accent?

DOVA-KUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!

Seriously though, Bethesda must be celebrating :) A well earned score.

Unlike some other developers who try to manipulate the score...
*Stares in shame at COD-MW3*

VincentX3:

I wonder what the word "Dovakhiin" sounds like in a Nordic Japanese accent?

DOVA-KUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!

Seriously though, Bethesda must be celebrating :) A well earned score.

Unlike some other developers who try to manipulate the score...
*Stares in shame at COD-MW3*

They weren't trying to manipulate scores. They simply said basically: "Hey, if you honestly like our game, rate it up."

Because asking honest fans if they like the game to rate it up is as bad as:

"Rate our game up even if you don't like it!"

>.> I will never understand the escapist...

Plus it wasn't even professional reviews they were asking for, it was user reviews.

Hopefully this means that we will be receiving some sexy Japanese mods shortly.

Yeah, I know, I'm a sick and twisted individual.

VincentX3:

I wonder what the word "Dovakhiin" sounds like in a Nordic Japanese accent?

DOVA-KUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!

You deserve all the internets xP

But yea, Bethesda should be very proud of this, I just hope they can release the Creation Kit soon, the game will be perfect then!

I think they've turned Dovakhiinese, I think they've turned Dovakhiinese, I really think so.

Korten12:

VincentX3:

I wonder what the word "Dovakhiin" sounds like in a Nordic Japanese accent?

DOVA-KUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!

Seriously though, Bethesda must be celebrating :) A well earned score.

Unlike some other developers who try to manipulate the score...
*Stares in shame at COD-MW3*

They weren't trying to manipulate scores. They simply said basically: "Hey, if you honestly like our game, rate it up."

Because asking honest fans if they like the game to rate it up is as bad as:

"Rate our game up even if you don't like it!"

>.> I will never understand the escapist...

Plus it wasn't even professional reviews they were asking for, it was user reviews.

Tell that to the "Fan-Outrage"

Let me know how it goes =P

While I definitely think it's good Famitsu given the game a perfect score, I'm just worried about people over there who only consider it based on the trailer for the game. It is ENTIRELY different from the one we have, doesn't come off as vast and epic at all.

VincentX3:

Korten12:

VincentX3:

DOVA-KUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!

Seriously though, Bethesda must be celebrating :) A well earned score.

Unlike some other developers who try to manipulate the score...
*Stares in shame at COD-MW3*

They weren't trying to manipulate scores. They simply said basically: "Hey, if you honestly like our game, rate it up."

Because asking honest fans if they like the game to rate it up is as bad as:

"Rate our game up even if you don't like it!"

>.> I will never understand the escapist...

Plus it wasn't even professional reviews they were asking for, it was user reviews.

Tell that to the "Fan-Outrage"

Let me know how it goes =P

What? Fan-Outrage? More like a bunch of trolls.

Korten12:

VincentX3:

Korten12:

They weren't trying to manipulate scores. They simply said basically: "Hey, if you honestly like our game, rate it up."

Because asking honest fans if they like the game to rate it up is as bad as:

"Rate our game up even if you don't like it!"

>.> I will never understand the escapist...

Plus it wasn't even professional reviews they were asking for, it was user reviews.

Tell that to the "Fan-Outrage"

Let me know how it goes =P

What? Fan-Outrage? More like a bunch of trolls.

Like I said, Fan-Outrage =P

TBH Famitsu has lost some of its prestige in the last 5 years.
Bayonetta for one, was not a perfect title (yes it was great and I do own it has its definite flaws in story delivery).
Nor was wind waker flawless, notably the sailing was mostly tedious and there are some minor plot holes if I recall correctly.
Smash bros brawl was and still is fundamentally flawed as a competitive fighter and SSE was a joke.
super mario bros wii was mario bros ds but on the wii and with some of the most annoying coop since battletoads.

Famitsu is just not the gold standerd of impossible to please it once was.

I could go on but I seriously do not consider their 40/40 to mean a game is truely a master piece.

That said, I am 28 hours into skyrim and massively annoyed that I am not further.

VincentX3:

I wonder what the word "Dovakhiin" sounds like in a Nordic Japanese accent?

DOVA-KUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!
]

Oh god i'm picturing it now:
Every woman in Skyrim is wearing one of those "sexy" catsuits
All the characters have huge eyes
The dragons have tentacles.

weirdguy:
Hopefully this means that we will be receiving some sexy Japanese mods shortly.

And instead, some cute mods, for me.

Japan does cute better than sexy, in my opinion. There's a lot of stuff about both in Japan, but I find that cute is clearly Japan's modern forte. And looking at their modern pop culture, I think that no matter how much Japan appreciates sexy, they appreciate cute far more. They're masters of the art of cuteness far more than sexiness.

And I, for one, have no interest in turning my RPGs into a porno.

I do, however, like nice frilly dresses, pink ones, pastel colours, and a cute little lady or sweet little guy to go in that dress.

There's nothing like plowing through and heroically saving a world you inhabit, as a cute little lady in a pastel pink frilly dress, with a gigantic axe.

ChocoFace:

VincentX3:

I wonder what the word "Dovakhiin" sounds like in a Nordic Japanese accent?

DOVA-KUUUUUUUUUUUN!!!!
]

Oh god i'm picturing it now:
Every woman in Skyrim is wearing one of those "sexy" catsuits
All the characters have huge eyes
The dragons have tentacles.

No, the bears will have tentacles.

So, before I came into the thread, I bet, "Ok, within the first 3 post there is going to be a reference about MW3..." Gosh I wish I wasnt right.

But anyway, im glad it made that score. Gives the US a boost, gives other developers something to look to, and gives us a great game. Only sunk about 15 hours into it and its good.

Also by them. 40/40 review for FFXIII.

Yep. They are trustworthy.

CommanderKirov:
Also by them. 40/40 review for FFXIII.

Yep. They are trustworthy.

Are people still not over this?

It's a JRPG. It was primarily developed for the Japanese market. It was EXTREMELY popular in Japan. Just because most Westerners don't like it doesn't mean it's a bad game.

And no, the battle system wasn't bland. `-` If you're sitting there mashing 'X', then you're playing the game wrong. Yes, there is a wrong way to play the game because if you try to do that later on, you'll get reamed. The complexity of the battle system lies in the Paradigms, not in the individual actions.

/rage

Nick Holmgren:
TBH Famitsu has lost some of its prestige in the last 5 years.
Bayonetta for one, was not a perfect title (yes it was great and I do own it has its definite flaws in story delivery).
Nor was wind waker flawless, notably the sailing was mostly tedious and there are some minor plot holes if I recall correctly.
Smash bros brawl was and still is fundamentally flawed as a competitive fighter and SSE was a joke.
super mario bros wii was mario bros ds but on the wii and with some of the most annoying coop since battletoads.

Famitsu is just not the gold standerd of impossible to please it once was.

I could go on but I seriously do not consider their 40/40 to mean a game is truely a master piece.

That said, I am 28 hours into skyrim and massively annoyed that I am not further.

Generally Famitsu have been rather good, its just that Nintendo entered into some under the table dealings with them a few years ago. You can safely ignore their review of any Nintendo game as its an almost dead bet it was a bribe. All others, though, its likely just honest opinion, and for Bayonetta, that honest opinion was "boobies".

All the ppl ITT reminding me that the Japanese will start having a hand in helping the modding community.

Thanks. You just made my day.

d-^_^-b

CommanderKirov:
Also by them. 40/40 review for FFXIII.

Yep. They are trustworthy.

XIII? It clearly says: XII >_<

OT: It better have tentacles in the japanese version else it can't be shipped!

I'm not trying to troll here, so please remember that if you bother reading this.

I see people on this site comment and complain every time Famitsu releases a perfect score, claiming that they're "doing it too often" and its "losing its meaning". I wonder if any of those people are going to be saying the same things this time around...

Personally, I couldn't give two shits about Skyrim, but all of my friends are loving it to death, so it must be doing something right. So congrats Bethesda, way to bring honor to western games.

Skyrim is extremely buggy. Not quite sure how it could get anything close to a perfect score due to that alone. I feel as though most reviewers review games based on what it could be, not what it is.

Nintendogs and a Pokémon game getting 40/40? Oh well, still extremely prestigious, Bethesda should be really proud. It's well deserved, now if only it could come close to CoD's selling figures the world will be right again.

GreatTeacherCAW:
Skyrim is extremely buggy. Not quite sure how it could get anything close to a perfect score due to that alone. I feel as though most reviewers review games based on what it could be, not what it is.

I've played the game for maybe 10-20 hours, have yet to experience a single bug. Everyone's experience is different, but for a Bethesda game, it's remarkably bug-free.

Kopikatsu:

CommanderKirov:
Also by them. 40/40 review for FFXIII.

Yep. They are trustworthy.

Are people still not over this?

It's a JRPG. It was primarily developed for the Japanese market. It was EXTREMELY popular in Japan. Just because most Westerners don't like it doesn't mean it's a bad game.

And no, the battle system wasn't bland. `-` If you're sitting there mashing 'X', then you're playing the game wrong. Yes, there is a wrong way to play the game because if you try to do that later on, you'll get reamed. The complexity of the battle system lies in the Paradigms, not in the individual actions.

/rage

I feel your rage. I'm sick of people who either haven't completed it or even played it or actually understands what a JRPG is just taking digs at what was in actual fact a very good game.

It wasn't a 40/40 though and in fact it actually got 39. But it was still a game worthy of a high score.

Much like Skyrim is good but doesn't deserve full points by any means. At least FF tries to do something different in each installment instead of mashing all the mechanics from Oblivion and the Fallout series together, putting some new graphics in, dual spell casting and some dragons and calling it a completely fresh and unique game.

OutrageousEmu:

Nick Holmgren:
TBH Famitsu has lost some of its prestige in the last 5 years.
Bayonetta for one, was not a perfect title (yes it was great and I do own it has its definite flaws in story delivery).
Nor was wind waker flawless, notably the sailing was mostly tedious and there are some minor plot holes if I recall correctly.
Smash bros brawl was and still is fundamentally flawed as a competitive fighter and SSE was a joke.
super mario bros wii was mario bros ds but on the wii and with some of the most annoying coop since battletoads.

Famitsu is just not the gold standerd of impossible to please it once was.

I could go on but I seriously do not consider their 40/40 to mean a game is truely a master piece.

That said, I am 28 hours into skyrim and massively annoyed that I am not further.

Generally Famitsu have been rather good, its just that Nintendo entered into some under the table dealings with them a few years ago. You can safely ignore their review of any Nintendo game as its an almost dead bet it was a bribe. All others, though, its likely just honest opinion, and for Bayonetta, that honest opinion was "boobies".

that does explain the huge number of nintendo titles on the "god tier" list.

Still, not found of the 39 list either, some items on that really are questionable and I feel the nintendo favoritism is slowly undermining their integrity.

You can ask Adam Sessler what having your integrity encroached on as a reviewer feels like.

OutrageousEmu:
All others, though, its likely just honest opinion, and for Bayonetta, that honest opinion was "boobies".

Boobies make sense, but what about that Nintendogs perfect score?

That aside, Skyrim deserves it, great game.

To Nick H: So you're twenty eight hours in and what? The story is almost finished? I'm sixty two hours in and i've only done four main story quests. This game can almost literally last as long as you want it to. And I understand being critical, but can you really look at that game and say that its not at least some kind of masterpiece? Its immense, it looks gorgeous, every other person in the world has something for you to do, hundreds upon hundreds of weapons, fifteen different skill types that progress as you use them, multiple races, guilds, and clans, a wide range of crafting options, a wonderful skill tree system with awesome perks, unparalleled freedom of choice game play that wonderfully shapes your game play experience around you as you go, each race has a unique skill and power, the vast varieties of game play options you have ensure for great replay value as you will need to play with multiple different characters to make sure that you really get everything this game has to offer you (and even then you probably still wont have the time or ability to experience everything this game offers), and to top it all off you randomly run into life sized dragons, and not just a few but most likely an infinite amount are generated. What else would you want, speaking practically. The only other games I can think of that did the very same thing were the other elder scrolls games, and the fallout series. Bethesda's real world RPG format is not perfect, but its epic and captivating always and it is especially skyrim that has freed the fantasy RPG genre (at least for itself) from the ultra nerdy condemnation of that genre. They do this by adding realism, the image of a dark, shattered world (much like our own), and great looking violent brutality instead of the usual fairy tale(ish) feel of conventional fantasy RPGs. And all the vast complexity is still there, bringing the game to the masses but not turning it off to its die hard fans and players of Morrowind (which I'm sure alot of morrowind players were probably turned off by it just because you can fast travel...) In conclusion I just really find it a bit ridiculous to be so critical of this fantastic feat in human technology. You really need to dig deeper into this game because there's apparently alot you've missed. For all this game has delivered I find it harsh and cruel to not call it next to perfect. Of coarse there's room for improvement and in the next generation of gaming Bethesda will make another Elder Scrolls/Fallout game that will blow this one away, but for the time being I doubt you can find a better fantasy RPG game.

Nothing personal, just opinions. Peace out.

Wow, it saddens me to feel that I have standards far higher than supposedly 4 of the hardest-to-please critics.

Denariax:
HOW. Is this worthy of a perfect score? I was fine with the crap in Oblivion and Morrowing, with its entirely unimmersive gameplay that could only be improved with playermade mods. But this game was horrid. I played on a PC, and from that the default control scheme, the one that you'd expect to be done right considering it was made for PC's like Oblivion and Morrowind, but apparently wasn't because the WASD setup no longer functions, and the completely humiliating intro that has you handcuffed and sent to death (again, I might add, but this time with less care) only for 'gasp' something to intervene.

Maybe I find most people to be generally retarded, but come on. This was no better than half the trash I saw this year.

People have different taste than you therefore they are retarded. Way to perpetuate the pretentious gamer stereotype.

Anyway. Hopefully this sells well in Japan as well, good positive reinforcement for Bethesda to keep up the good work. Hopefully that wouldn't convince them that yearly releases are a good idea.
Also spending the time to make a PC style PC version wouldn't go amiss.

Edit: Also of all the complaints this game may warrant I haven't run into any problems with WASD... Care to elaborate?

Bethesda knows its stuff better than some people give credit. It's polished, but it has enough of those familiar Bethesda flaws that it feels comfortable.

And considering the state of JRPG's lately, which feel more like movies you have to pause every half hour to rearrange your furniture and take out the garbage, it's not hard to see how people would be attracted to an RPG that actually lives up to the genre's definition. I think even our Japanese brothers and sisters are getting tired of all the sizzle with none of the steak.

Kopikatsu:
It's a JRPG. It was primarily developed for the Japanese market. It was EXTREMELY popular in Japan. Just because most Westerners don't like it doesn't mean it's a bad game.

Was it? Because I've heard quite the opposite.

I love jRPGs, but I'm not sure I would consider one of the better jRPGs.

But I hate to say this because I think XIII deserves someone defending it sometime. Which it doesn't often enough get, and is at least a playable game if the characters and their plight grips you. It can feel rather claustrophobic, though. And while the battle system doesn't come down to just pressing the same button, there are certainly better battle systems than the one present in the game. And it feels much like a rhythm game where the key to winning is hitting the right chord(battle formation) at the right time and knowing just when to heal, just when you use more magic, and just when to use more physical attacks(which is simple, because most of the time you want to start a battle with a mixture of physical and magical, in order to push it's "limit" or whatever you call it, then switch to all physical while it's in the air and do much greater damage. And heal a little or heal a lot depending on how much the opponent does damage to you). Honestly, after getting past all the claustrophobia and getting attached to the characters, I found myself actually finally putting the game down once the game became non-linear and you could hunt monsters, because there was no longer any tension and after all of that squeeze-box of running away and running toward all of the time, the big open monster fields relaxes all my tension and I couldn't get up the effort to do all of these side quests. I still mean to go back, and finish the game. But it definitely has it's flaws that many previous Final Fantasy games, did not.

But again, I do respect y'all for defending the game for once. It deserves it.

As for what a jRPG is, people who often bash it and don't know what it is, often do so on these sorts of grounds: that jRPGs are about grinding and other such. A commonly made statement by ignorant wRPG fans that don't realize that grinding isn't the point of jRPG like it is a MMORPG, it's about strategy. Grinding in a jRPG is merely a crutch for those who want to be powerful or see the story instead of work on their strategy. In general I see a lot more battle strategy in jRPGs than wRPGs. Battle strategy based upon the Dungeons and Dragons stat system is a hallmark of the jRPG. So when judging a jRPG, one of the things one should heavily judge it upon, is the intelligence of the battle system. Whether there is any strategy involved. There's a reason why the sRPG or tRPG, similar to the RTS, is a jRPG genre. jRPGs are more heavily rooted in the tactical RPG than the Western RPG. While because of this, the norm of WRPGs now, the Action-RPG, has been considered a fusion genre in Japan. And is very long and wealthy RPG tradition that deserves respect, a hallmark of all old-school RPGs, but doesn't get enough respect today because jRPGs have lost face in the Western world and a common joke among people who don't get them, and don't like old video games or strategic video games.

If jRPGs weren't about strategy instead of grinding, you wouldn't be able to beat most jRPGs at the beginning level, but you are. There are a plethora of handicap jRPG plays out there if you search them, many of them avoiding leveling altogether.

I could name some of the other misunderstandings, but we're getting off topic and I shouldn't feed it more.

Anyway, I'm more interested in how well Skyrim is selling in Japan.

If nothing else, it's good to see Japan's tastes opening up a bit.

Hammeroj:
Wow, it saddens me to feel that I have standards far higher than supposedly 4 of the hardest-to-please critics.

Yes. You disagree. You obviously must have higher standards.

K84:

OutrageousEmu:
All others, though, its likely just honest opinion, and for Bayonetta, that honest opinion was "boobies".

Boobies make sense, but what about that Nintendogs perfect score?

That aside, Skyrim deserves it, great game.

I just said, a bribe. Disregard any and all perfect scores for Nintendo games from Famitsu, and the reviews more or less make complete sense....well, I say more or less. I've heard theres a bit of controversy about the Peace Walker review, as the game supposedly contains a minor promo for Famitsu's parent organisation, which you could argue may have influencced the review more than it should have.

That said, they also gave a near perfect review to Modern Warfare 3, so maybe they're just whores.

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