Japan's Favourite Games of 2012 Might Surprise You

Japanese people have different tastes from their Western counterparts (heck, many of our Culture Smash columns focus specifically on this sociological difference), and Japanese gamers are no exception. Every week, Japanese gaming magazine, Weekly Famitsu, collects user impressions of newly released video games. Users rate games from 1 to 10 and comment on what they liked or disliked about each game.

In this week's issue, Weekly Famitsu has collected and compiled all the user scores for games released in 2012 and ranked the top scorers. So which games were the Japanese user favourites? Take a look:

(Note: Games with the same average user score have been ranked the same)

#20: Rune Factory 4 (3DS) Number of User Reviews: 72 Average User Score: 9.25

#19: Persona 4 Arena (PS3/Xbox 360) Number of User Reviews: 73 Average User Score: 9.26

#18: Mario Party 9 (Wii) Number of User Reviews: 52 Average User Score: 9.30

#18: Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS) Number of User Reviews: 149 Average User Score: 9.30

#16: Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS) Number of User Reviews: 251 Average User Score: 9.31

#15: Rhythm Thief R: Emperor Napoleon's Legacy (3DS) Number of User Reviews: 93 Average User Score: 9.32

#14: Mobile Suit Gundam SEED BATTLE DESTINY Number of User Reviews: 60 Average User Score: 9.33

#13: Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (PS3/Xbox 360) Number of User Reviews: 104 Average User Score: 9.34

#13: Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side Premium ~3rd Story~ (PSP) Number of User Reviews: 86 Average User Score: 9.34

#13: Tales of Innocence R (PS Vita) Number of User Reviews: 114 Average User Score: 9.34

#13: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (3DS) Number of User Reviews: 140 Average User Score: 9.34

#9: Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland 3D (3DS) Number of User Reviews: 492 Average User Score: 9.40

User Comments: "The game incorporates all the good points from recent games while handily remaking the classic game Terry's Wonderland."

"I've played the original, so I was really anticipating the remake. The system has changed, but the graphics are upgraded and the additional scenario was fun."

#8: Kingdom Hearts 3D — Dream Drop Distance (3DS)

Number of User Reviews: 126 Average User Score: 9.45

User Comments: "This is my first time with the series, but there is a tutorial, so it's easy for beginners to pick up. The game also explained a good deal of the previous story which allowed me to get into it."

"I was moved by the quality of the opening movie. I liked how the tutorial was very easy to follow. The action was a little difficult, but once you get used to it, it's not a problem, making this the perfect game to celebrate the series' 10th anniversary."

#7: Resident Evil: Revelations (3DS) Number of User Reviews: 93 Average User Score: 9.48

User Comments: "The graphics were some of the prettiest I've seen for a 3DS title. I was happy to be able to play a Resident Evil game on a portable console, but, to be honest, I would have liked to play it on a big screen."

"This game has a lot of points that feel like it's going back to its roots. The new system helps build the fear of the darkness."

#6: 2nd Super Robot Wars Z: Saisei-hen (PSP)

Number of User Reviews: 102 Average User Score: 9.49

User Comments: "The most impressive point was the quality of the battle scenes! This level of quality on the PSP! No complaints here."

"Being able to get bonuses for playing the previous Hakai-hen game was nice. The story was a lot of fun, flowing quickly from beginning to end. It was unfortunate that some of the special abilities of certain robots could only be used toward the end of the game."

#5: Harvest Moon: A New Beginning (3DS) Number of User Reviews: 60 Average User Score: 9.50

User Comments: "This is my first time with the Harvest Moon series, but I was able to enjoy it without difficulty thanks to the tutorial. Veterans may find the tutorial a little pesky. Everything you can do in the game is a lot of fun."

"The added freedom make the game even more enjoyable than its predecessors. Being able to customise your character was a plus. The variety of crops and livestock made running the farm satisfyingly challenging."

#4: Gravity Daze (PS Vita) Number of User Reviews: 110 Average User Score: 9.60

User Comments: "The fast movement by the touch screen and motion controlled camera were innovative and enjoyable. The story was a little short. There are a lot of additional play elements like challenge missions and net ranking, but I wish there was more variety."

"It feels great to speed around through the air defeating enemies! The visuals and music are beautiful and the unique world is very immersive."

#3: Journey (PS3) Number of User Reviews: 70 Average User Score: 9.70

User Comments: "The fantastical world and game system makes you want to play again and again. This is a classic that every PlayStation 3 owner should play."

"The vast field is intimidating, but the controls are simple enough that anyone can play. It's a world with no words or text, so there's no dialogue, and yet I was in tears by the end of the story. I wish there were more trophies."

#2: Persona 4 Golden (PS Vita) Number of User Reviews: 132 Average User Score: 9.71

User Comments: "School life is a lot of fun! I like how Persona creation has been streamlined. Collecting cards for Persona fusion is fun and being able to set the difficulty made it easy to play. I would have liked the story to be a little bit more unpredictable."

"The fast-paced battles are exhilarating! The story theme of family and friendship was heartwarming and made playing the game a lot of fun. The additional modes like the movie viewer and quiz were very satisfying. I had no problem playing through multiple times."

#1: Super Dangan-Ronpa 2 — Goodbye, School of Despair (PSP) Number of User Reviews: 87 Average User Score: 9.79

User Comments: "I had to know what was going to happen so much I couldn't put the game down and ended up clearing the game in no time. Wondering if a character you like is going to survive to the end keeps you on pins and needles."

"All the plot points laid down are taken care of satisfyingly. It feels great when you solve all the puzzles!"

For those who are wondering, here's #21 to #50-ish:

#21: Pokemon Black 2/White 2 (3DS) #22: Hatsune Miku And Future Stars Project Mirai (3DS) #22: Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS) #24: Kirby's Dream Collection (Wii) #25: Robotic Notes (PS3/Xbox 360) #26: Ore no Imouto ga Konnnani Kawaii Wakeganai Portable ga Tsuzuku Wakeganai (PSP) #27: Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (PSP) #28: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D (3DS) #29: Wagamama Fashion GIRLS MODE Yokubari Sengen (3DS) #30: Pro Baseball Spirits 2012 (PS Vita/PSP/PS3) #31: Fatal Frame: Deep Crimson Butterfly (Wii) #32: Yakuza 5 (PS3) #33: Yakuza: Black Panther 2 (PSP) #34: Dragon's Dogma (PS3/XBox 360) #34: Halo 4 (XBox 360) #36: Airu de Puzzle (PSP) #37: Pokemon + Nobunaga's Ambition (DS) #38: Mario Tennis Open (3DS) #38: Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (Wii U/PS3/Xbox 360) #38: Assassin's Creed 3(Wii U/PS3/Xbox 360) #41: Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk (PS3) #42: Armored Core V (PS3/Xbox 360) #43: Digimon World Re:Digitize (PSP) #44: Bravely Default (PSP) #45: Photo Kano (PSP) #46: Soul Calibur V (PS3/Xbox 360) #47: Hatsune Miku — Project Diva - F (PS Vita) #47: One Piece: Pirate Warriors (PS3) #49: GUILD01 (3DS) #49: New Little King's Story (PS Vita) #49: Dead or Alive 5 (PS3/Xbox 360) #49: Dragon Age 2 (PS3/Xbox 360) #49: Resident Evil: Chronicles HD Collection (PS3)

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Comments

    And I thought western media was generous with their review scores.

      This is based off of user reviews. No different really to going to Metacritic and seeing everyone giving X game 10/10 purely because it's their favourite game.

      At least they have better taste in games if this poll is anything to go by, compared to similar ones done for the western markets.

        Taste is subjective Shadwell, and in honour of that; these guys have shithouse taste in games. I wouldn't want to play a single one of them, except maybe Journey.

        Also people yak on about how Western games need to stretch their creative muscles when creating characters (Everyone's a bald (space) marine.), almost everysingle character on the cover of the games above could be interchanged and it wouldn't make much of a difference or upset their generic-as-fuck visual design.
        In comparison if you put one soldier from Gears of War in Halo, and he would look like some kinda freak monster, and wouldn't fit the aesthetic or design of Halo franchise.

          Of course taste is subjective, if what I am saying isn't my own opinion then what is it?

          I do know what you mean though; I was just hoping to get a response similar to yours. :P

    I've never heard of Super Dangan-Ronpa before, must be a decent game if it scored over Persona 4 Golden.

    The list doesn't surprise me though most of these games are of Japanese origin.

    #19: Persona 4 Arena (PS3/Xbox 360)

    And we still wait :(

      It's been dated. May I think.

        Rad. Now here's hoping they announce a speacial edition with art book. I think ASW Europe said we would get 'something special' because of the wait...

          Yeah, I hope so, like what that last Tales game got...Graces! Graces came in a box with an art book etc!

    Excellent taste thos guys have, hhhrrrmmmm

    Very interesting... only 3 of these games are console-based, which perhaps say a bit about the habits of the gamers in Japan. Or rather the ones they surveyed anyway.

    Rhythm Thief is a fantastic game but it would amuse me to see it in Japanese due to its already having a poor english subtitle translation, imagine it going through the translator again.

    To many portable games for my liking.

    Wow, 14 out of the top 20 are portable games.

    What sequel number is R

      In regards to Tales of Innocence R? It's more of a rerelease of the same game with updated content.

      From Wikipedia:
      "Tales of Innocence R is a remake of the game for the PlayStation Vita platform, released on January 26, 2012 in Japan. No North American release has been announced. The game will be "re-imagined" with scenarios, battle system and areas within the game being revamped. The game will also feature new graphics, new artwork for the characters, new music tracks including a new opening song, "New Day, New Life" by Kokia, as well as new extensive new anime cutscenes including an entirely new opening video"

      Unless, of course, you're just being facetious. :P

    How on Earth did Mario Party 9 make it into their top 20?

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