Saturday, March 31, 2012

Binary Domain & Yakuza Zombies Stuff

Hello kids.  About time I came back.  Was too busy completing my programming homework held together with duct tape.  It's great.

Now we all know that Nagoshi-San's two shooters are going up against some stiff competition.  Here we have Binary Domain You Guys which came out the same week as Mass Effect 3 (stupid!) and Yakuza: Dead Souls which feels like a slightly-tweaked Dead Rising/Resident Evil clone.  But that's okay, cause these are Sega games and Sega > everything else so....yeah.

Giant Bomb was so kind to do a Quick Look of both games (30+ minutes long..."quick" look my ass) although they haven't posted an official review of either.  Don't expect one from them since it's way past the time to do so.

Gameplay-wise, it's kind of cool shooting up robots.  Good for a third-person shooter.  The main problem that jumps out at me with the campaign is that your character plays the role of the "subservient idiot."  You know how in Call of Duty, Captain Price or whoever runs through the level telling you what to do so you keep following him?  It's kind of the same deal here.  In later levels, you get bigger teams and thus get more control over what to do and

Even though the levels look a bit color (some light blue/green hues), level design looks rather linear.  Then again, just about every damn shooter these days fits the bill so you can't blame Binary Domain You Guys all that much.

There's a few times in which Big Bo repeats himself in succession, like at 33:30.  Big Bo doesn't even shoot the enemies--he takes cover behind a computer and blind-fires at enemies across the room, ignoring airborne enemies.  So that seems a bit sloppy.


You can use voice commands to order or reply to your companions.  Surprisingly, this is probably the first game ever that actually encourages you to say "f***" and "s***."  No really, speed up to 9:45 and 10:55.  Voice commands don't work as well as they should.  Think Hey You, Pikachu! on the N64 but only marginally better.

My favorite parts are 7:20 (Big BO!!!) and 33:00 (control pay-nel).  The game does some thing well in that you can earn cash to buy better guns for your teammates and stuff.  I imagine this game is already blown over so really...what's the point of bringing this game up anymore.  Buy Binary Domain You Guys to make Nagoshi happy and he will make Daytona 3 (we can only hope).

A reminder: Binary Domain You Guys fared a 7.5 average on GameRankings which is okay but not the best. Must be because of all the Mass Effect hype which kept this game down.

So this is Yakuza: Dead Souls.  Unlike Binary Domain You Guys which is on Xbox, PS3, and (in the near future) PC, Yakuza is a PS3 exclusive.  Apparently the Japanese don't like the Xbox...I don't blame 'em, those XBL avatars are hideous and no one should go near 'em.  Sega has no desire to port the game to the 360 since I can't see the West making a big deal out of this...

So the biggest problem with the game is that the controls are just weird.  You run around in a third-person view shooting pistols with infinite ammo at zombies.  Now that ain't bad--Dead Rising 1/2 had very few guns so Yakuza capitalizes there.  But to shoot, you usually face in the general direction of the zombie and just pull the trigger and you auto-aim towards the guy.  Like Army Men Sarge's Heroes.

Now I'm not familiar with previous Yakuza games but overall, the controls are a bit painful to watch.  Had this game used a crosshair at all times (like Gears of War) it may be much better but here, you're just flinging the camera around in hopes you actually hit something.  You usually hit the target dead on or miss by a yard/meter.  Come on, Sega.

Another thing a bit distressful is that some of the special zombies look ripped out of other games.  There's the giant rock zombies...oh, a Tank from Left for Dead?  And that crawler zombie...a Licker from Resident Evil (the guys bring that up).

Then again, they talk about Nagoshi a bit and how he possibly had less involvement in this game due to Binary Domain You Guys.  Which explains why Binary Domain You Guys looks like the better of the two.

It's just strange since the only thing carrying this game is the zany cast of Yakuza characters.  And the fact it's Japanese as opposed to Western.  Probably explains why this game is so popular in Japan since the Japanese like to stick to their own games (it seems) while in the West, we tend to do the exact opposite (hmm, Mass Effect, Skyrim, Battlefield, you name it).  So no wonder Yakuza seems out of place.  Eyepatch Guy at 30:20 is a real badass.  When the Japanese do actual bad-ass stuff, you gotta love 'em.

Review-wise, GameSpot gave it a 5.5 and GameRankings has an average of 6.4.  But that's okay because Sega doesn't line their pockets with cash like EA, Activision, etc.  Even if it's not cash, I wouldn't doubt that game publishers give certain media types promos/advanced copies/other cool stuff in exchange for better reviews.  Look at GameSpot and every other media site up until Mass Effect 3's release--TONS OF MEDIA about just about damn everything.  That kind of stuff generates big hits.  Yet you saw very little of Binary Domain You Guys other than on the Sega blogs.  Also throw Sega of America's inept marketing into the picture, ESPECIALLY pertaining to Binary Domain You Guys which is supposed to contain more favorable elements for Western audiences.  I'm just throwing this out there.

That's about both games if you have pity on Sega.  The end.


  1. Your posts are getting more stupid with each passing week, seriously...

    Guess what, Binary Domain and Yakuza Dead Souls got a lot of media attention in JAPAN.
    You know Nico Nico Douga? You probably don't because you're American, anyway BD was kind of a big deal there, they even changed their site logo to advertise the game and a shit ton of comedy clips about BD was released.
    Quick fact about Yakuza: the game is very popular in Japan and they even advertised it on instant ramen cups.

    Sega isn't willing to spend a lot of money to advertise their games in the west, because western market only wants Mass Effect and Call of Duty/Battlefield code-copypasta.
    Spending thousands of dollars just to sell 10 more copies of the game makes no f*cking sense. When 1st trailer of Binary Domain was posted on Sega of America's Youtube channel, everyone was like "NAGOSHI LOST HIS TALENT", "IT'S GONNA BE GEARS OF WAR WITH ROBOTS", "NIGGER STEREOTYPES"
    After such initial reception, would you REALLY be willing to pay for a huge advertisement campaign? I sure wouldn't.

    Please do more research before posting.

  2. I don't know how much advertising SEGA does for these games as I don't have a TV, nor do I go into Game Gestapo and stare at the advertising monitors to get told what to buy, so they might not for all i know. I know that a lot of the youngins don't play these games, an d it's probably because they don't see the 9.5 in the reviews. Have you read the recent Game informer? There's maybe 3 ads total. The rest is paid coverage of course. How else are they gonna subside without ads? I didn't think their integrity could get any lower, but it did. what an easy job it must be kicking back writing biased bullshit and collecting all that sweet, sweet payola. If I could do such a thing, I wouldn't. Yeah, I know, that's a wonky notion. I'm a gamer/slacker ass and all of us dream of such, don't we? Piss in eye of that hurricane. Someone needs to make a site where hot naked ladies read reviews written by someone else and news articles. They could even possibly be playing with themselves, maybe even shoving the game up their asses if it sucks, or something. All the herk and jerk teen market would gravitate towards this website and voila, it's the new Destructoid. Other gaming sites have been mining sex appeal already, might as well turn up the heat and make the advertisers get the fuck out of the kitchen. Look at that brunette that smiles at ya when ya turn on your XBOX. At least she was on there, my xbox red ringed a few months back, and I have yet to give a shit to fix it. Anyhow there's one example. Look at IGN and Jessica Chobot. Sitting there giving us tips on games she's never played. Brilliant. Also, look at the Destructoid Show where they took the two most attractive staff members and gave them their own show. That sexy red head Tara for the guys, and that guy with the porn star name, Max Scoville for the grrls and gayboys. you might ask, where do we make revenue and or keep our stupid fucking website afloat? Ads, of course, but absolutely NO GAMING ADS. Every other type of ad goes, though. We're not greedy, we'll settle for the Pepto Bismo ads. Once that all falls into place and the 18-30 market get their gaming/stroke fix, all the other whore websites will be forced to do the same in order to keep their readership. Once everybody does that and video game payola goes the way of the dodo, we'll be back to basics. Good ol' word of mouth and valid opinions reign once again. That is how the video game industry will be saved, hahahaha.

    Hey, Anonomister, what research should he be doing? He's just an American guy sounding off on his own personal type of video game blog. So what if he doesn't care about these games? LET A MAN BREATHE. He's right, though, westerners don't really care about these games, well, at least the Yakuza series. Partly because of the non SEGA payola, also in part because Americans hate reading subtitles. But you have a point, too. Westerners just eat garbage games. High tech horspuckery at it's finest. A couple weeks ago I bought these two games together at the local Best Buy and ended up picking up the only copy they had of both games, while Mass Effect 3 had about 10 copies out. I wonder why? I also think the Yakuza series in general isn't such a huge hit in the states because it's an adult oriented game. Think about it. Most of the characters all in their fourties. Everyone's either having a mid life crisis or is trying to leave behind the ways of their youth and be responsible, mature adults. The third game even has you admonishing kids for fuck's sake! It's not quite On Golden Pond, but it's close. I for one appreciate the series as it's practically the only one aimed at old gamers. My drunken rant is done.

  3. Hey, moron, I don't like getting into debates with anonymous people on the Internet so if you're gonna shout at me, at least have the balls to create an account.

    Yes, I do know about Nico Nico Douga--I watched a few Daytona 2 clips there once. Do I watch that site often? No. BTW, I'm sorry I didn't know that there were Yakuza ads on Ramen cups. I don't visit Japan or read tons of Sega blogs to know these things. I have a job to do. What do you do for school/work anyway?

    It just doesn't make any sense for Sega to even release these games in America if they're dead on arrival. I know that they can't compete with Mass Effect or that crap but I have heard NOTHING pertaining to this game anywhere around here. I'm not asking for a multi-million dollar advertising but it's better than nothing.

    And yes, about the West's antics of playing the same crap over and over again and bashing anything out of Japan--I get it. Advertising wasn't the focal part of this post so why are you singling that out?

    Whatever, I like these games because they make Sega lots of money. And that's what they need right now--money. I read the recent article about Sega's monetary losses which I was going to address later but Binary Domain/Yakuza was higher on the queue so looks like you'll have to wait.

    One more thing, Mr. Anonymous, if my posts are getting so much stupider, what would suggest I talked about instead? Daytona USA 2? OutRun 2? About how great the game is despite the fact there is nothing new on the horizon for either of these besides the 1% chance of a sequel/port? Or if there's something I don't know about that I should receive a tip from you guys rather than you blasting me from the sidelines? And another thing--what brought you to my blog in the first place and why are you still here?

    Thanks Shenmue Fan for getting my back.

  4. "Guess what, Binary Domain and Yakuza Dead Souls got a lot of media attention in JAPAN."

    He never made any statement that alluded to the contrary. Perhaps also because I'm also American, or that I've been reading this blog for a while, it's clear to me when he's referring to Sega of America (as with this post) as opposed to Sega as a whole. That's actually why he and several others are being so critical of SoA's marketing toward these games: We're only familiar with them because of their Japanese coverage, because we're Sega nuts, or look at Sega's blog. And people are even complaining about this on Sega's blog. "Great game, but no one else I know has heard of it or know what it's about," or "Great game, but it's going against stiff competition so it might not sell as well as it should." If people haven't heard of your game, especially considering the budget that it likely took to develop it, that's bad marketing, period. Now whether it's the fault of the marketing team or someone else in charge is another thing. And the timing of the release? That's hard to work around because it still needs to get out there.

    "Quick fact about Yakuza: the game is very popular in Japan"

    Eric's post: "Probably explains why this game is so popular in Japan". Actually, a lot of his posts have touched on the popularity of the Yakuza series.

    "After such initial reception, would you REALLY be willing to pay for a huge advertisement campaign? I sure wouldn't."

    If you have any experience in marketing, you'd know that's completely irrelevant. If the games didn't receive a huge American advertising campaign, that certainly wouldn't be the reason. You do whatever's possible to get your product heard and known, regardless of nit-picking or even if what you're selling is absolute crap (even if you're fully aware of it). But how you do it and what you're capable of doing is something entirely different. Of course in Japan, they can get away with a building-sized Virtual-On poster, VF tournaments, ramen cups and what have you. They know their audience and what they're receptive toward. From my understanding, the first Yakuza was initially a hit because most crime-oriented games at the time were western and weren't well-received, the Yakuza was something of an exciting taboo subject, the characters were middle-aged when a lot of Japanese media protagonists are young, and you got a good author to write a story that explores the Yakuza culture. In America, crime and mafia games are all too common.

    Only recently have Japanese gamers been more receptive of western titles when in the past they flat-out rejected them, and I think Binary Domain is taking successful elements of western shooters and giving it a Japanese flavor that's more in line with what their audience is receptive toward. Mention the same development team that made their beloved Yakuza games, score. You've got a winning formula.

    But over here, as we've all seen, BD is being compared to every other game out there. But I imagine (and perhaps what you were alluding to) that Sega was well aware of that risk in the American market, and why they didn't invest in a similar amount of advertising - they probably knew they'd lose out to the bigger names in the states. But that's also been a problem with Sega, whether their bigger Japanese games are worth releasing overseas. I thought Yakuza 2 and 3 would never see a western release, and 3 still wasn't the full deal. Kenzan never saw a release, and I imagine Binary Domain could've succumbed to a similar fate. But they probably anticipated low sales on all of them, but there was demand by Sega fans. It's probably why they've adopted the model of word-of-mouth and online to get the word out via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and their blog. But it's clearly not enough.

  5. Thanks for the summary dude, sums up a couple of miscues we might have. Of course it's Sega of America's job to advertise in the US, not Sega of Japan. And I thought Yakuza's popularity in Japan was a given thus why I hardly mentioned it.