Ghost Of Tsushima Is Being Praised By Japanese Critics by Brian Ashcraft for Kotaku
Brian went around and collected some tidbits from Japanese reviews of Ghost of Tsushima. I find it wonderfully reassuring that Japanese critics seem to enjoy this depiction of Japan. These individuals know the place, culture, language, and history far better than I and most Western players ever will.
Earlier this month, among international players, there was chatter about the Japanese language on the menu screen, but to native Japanese speakers, there didn’t seem to be an issue. Akiba Souken’s reviewer also didn’t feel like the Japanese in the game was strange or off. The reviewer even went on to say the game could be useful for Japanese people to study kogo (古語) or archaic words.
This hullabaloo came about around the game’s main menu being revealed back when the review embargo was announced. Interesting that the folks I saw complaining about this were not native speakers, as far as I could tell. Google translate is not your friend when it comes to context and culture.
Weekly Famitsu gave Ghost of Tsushima a perfect score. This is only the third time a Western game has gotten a perfect score, with Ghost of Tsushima taking its place alongside The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto V.
Interesting company that Ghost of Tsushima is sitting amongst in Weekly Famitsu.
As Famitsu notes, when people outside Japan depict the country, they tend to pepper their creations with strange, incorrect language and mix Japanese culture with Korean and Chinese culture, collapsing Asia into a single monolith. Famitsu admitted that it didn’t know how real the game’s depiction of the era was but explained that nothing about it felt odd. This is a fictional account of the period, and in that regard, Famitsu believes the game succeeds.
This speaks to the level of detail and dedication that Sucker Punch openly talks about having. I feel like hearing this would be just as if not more satisfying to hear about the game if you worked on it.
…one nitpick Famitsu had was regarding the speed at which characters speak. For Famitsu, the dialogue’s tempo is much faster than it should be for the time, and there isn’t the same importance on pauses in conversation that are typical of period pieces.
And sometimes creators fall short of total accuracy. I wonder if this is simply due to a modern telling of a story set in the 13th century, the directors’ interpretation of the script and the performance they were after. Either way, I never would have even noticed a nitpick like this. I wonder how many Japanese players will notice this and share the sentiment. By no means does this sound egregious or even intrusive; just sounds like a critique of performances. People have those all the time around the world.