Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Just another random thought 5/11/10: Civ IV and Japan

These days I don't really play video games that much anymore, but recently I've been playing a little Civilization IV, a strategy game for the PC. It's a fun, involving game with a lot of detail. One thing that has been bothering me, though, is that Japan seems to have been neglected. With the expansions, there are 34 different civilizations you can play as, each with its own unique leader(s), unit, and building. Many civilizations have two or three leaders to choose from, each with characteristics, which confer different bonuses. Unfortunately, the Japanese have only one leader. Yup, Tokugawa. And his bonuses are quite disappointing (How can you be Aggressive and Protective at the same time? Then again, I guess Feudal Japan is a good answer to that question). Anyway, how is it that the creators of the game could muster up two leaders for the Celts and the Ottomans, yet left Japan with only one possible leader?

(Sorry, guy - you're just not that good)

この頃テレビゲームあまりやらないけど最近「Civilization IV」っていうゲームちょっとやっている。楽しいし興味を引き付けるパソコン・ゲームなんだ。まあ、でもちょっと困ったことあった。34別の文明としてやれて、それぞれはちょっと違う。特別な得意や欠点あるんです。で、たくさんの文明は二人、三人の有名なリーダーの中から一人が選んで使える。でも日本は一人だけいる。徳川家康です。このゲームで彼の特性はちょっと微妙やから・・・日本としてあまりやらない。それは何でやろう?ケルト文明とオスマン文明さえも二人のリーダーいるんだ。もう・・・


  1. I think this has more to do with the history of the game than any willful intention to not give multiple leaders to the Japanese. The first and second incarnations of the game didn't include Japanese leaders. They also may not have been in the third one, whereas I'm sure the Celts were in Civ III. It's probably just laziness about research or recognition that the market in Japan for Civ is not big so it's not worth putting in more detail for the Japanese civilization.

    Personally, I always chose my leaders based on what the city graphics looked like because the AI acts on the tendencies (like aggressive or diplomatic), but the player can do whatever she wants. I haven't played Civ IV though, so there may be an issue with choosing a leader who doesn't follow your gaming strategy in that version.

  2. Yeah, I think you're right, Orchid. I didn't mean that the developers were being racist or anti-Japanese or anything, but I do think it's a shame that Japan kind of got the shaft. I mean, you're right about the market, but then I bet there are more developed civs in the game with small game markets like Japan (Russia, for example).

    I liked Civ II and III a lot, and Civ IV is another step up. If you ever feel tempted to play it, I'd give it my recommendation.

  3. It could be worse.

    I mean, the game's made in the USA, right? The one option could have been Hirohito.