Review – My Japanese Coach

I have no idea how to review a language learning game before I’ve learned the language. Stay tuned for my full review of My Japanese Coach sometime in the next seven years. For now, though, I can address some of the valid and not so valid complaints people have had about the game.

The most flagrant problem is Ubisoft published a Japanese game that teaches you the wrong stroke order for some kana and kanji. Writing characters and syllables in the correct stroke order is (I am told) crucial in Japanese and it’s embarrassing that this game doesn’t get them all right. There are under 100 syllable symbols in Japanese and My Japanese Coach teaches at least five incorrectly. I can understand teaching kanji incorrectly, there are thousands of them and they’re complex, but after a few weeks of using an actual textbook, I could write all of the kana correctly. →  Castle Readigami 2

Review – Prince of Persia

The games and film industries are currently obsessed with the concept of reboots. While this is not a new concept, traditionally reboots are greenlit for franchises that are fairly old, and only when the IP holder feels that it will remain commercially viable after a modern facelift. Certain entities in the gaming world have bucked this trend, prescribing reboots for series that are still currently popular, and have likely had at least one new entry in the last five or so years. From a theoretical standpoint, this makes sense. If you are choosing something to to reboot from a list of modern franchises, it is much easier to determine their viability when your audience still remembers them. It also allows a publisher to continue churning out sequels at a steady clip without the new entries feeling immediately stale. →  Readlevania

Ubisoft publishes crap on Wii, crap doesn’t sell, Ubisoft confused

North American Ubisoft president Laurent Detoc recently showed concern over his company’s Wii titles. According to a recent Gamasutra article –

“He acknowledged the Wii in particular has been difficult for Ubisoft to find success with. Pointing to the console’s generous sales, he noted that games published for the Wii made up only 10 percent of Ubisoft’s sales last year, and added that the company will need to work harder to create games that will ‘sell as well as Nintendo’s own Wii titles.'”

Let us run through the list of games Ubisoft has published for the Wii as it may elucidate the company’s problems.

No More Heroes – A great game, by far Ubisoft’s best reviewed Wii title, also made by a talented developer (so obviously not Ubisoft). Given zero marketing, guaranteeing this quirky ultraviolent title’s demise. →  50 Cent: Readproof