More Oblivion Love in Japan

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This morning Claff spotted that Oblivion was rated as the second-highest reviewed game of 2007 in Famitsu, a popular Japanese gaming magazine. Oblivion’s cumulative review score of 38 only trailed The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, which had a score of 39. So what are these numbers based on? Well, each game is reviewed by four editors on a 1-10 scale. That means Phantom Hourglass was only one point from perfection on their review scale, with Oblivion being only two points off. Here’s a rundown of their top five:

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First Conquest Review

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This morning Losi let me know that Sam Bishop at IGN has posted the first review for Star Trek: Conquest. Reviewing the PS2 release of the game, IGN seemed pleasantly surprised by the game. The review’s standfirst states: “First sign of the apocalypse: a $15 Star Trek game ends up being the best in years.”

Here’s a sample from Bishop’s review:

Conquest does one thing, and does it well. Freed from all the TV actors and even the characters themselves, the game instead just rests comfortably in providing a tried-and-true game of strategy with enough variety and differences in play style to make every race feel like they can tackle the game differently.”

In addition to the PS2 release of the game, Conquest is also available on the Nintendo Wii ($29.99). If you’re looking for more impressions of the game, head over to our Star Trek boards, where a number of folks are sharing their impressions of the game.

Waldo: Not Game of the Year Edition

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Amongst comments I’ve seen on our blog, as well as other sites, we’ve definitely let folks know about accolades and awards our games have received. You can see examples of this here, here, oh yeah, and here too. We’re not out to brag about our games, but we definitely feel honored when the gaming industry and fans show enthusiasm for our products.

So what are we going to stick our chest out for today? Well, both Todd and Pete pointed out to me a pretty funny blog post about the “Worst Game Ever” over on the blog Quad’s Corner. In his most recent post, the author bestows this title to the NES un-classic, Where’s Waldo, a game based on finding a silly man wearing stripes and a winter hat. So who released this “horrible” and “unbelievably repellent” title? That’s right, it was us!

Below is a sample of the article. You can read the rest here

“The problem is that the art is so bland and terrible that literally any individual in the onscreen crowd can be Waldo, and you’re reduced to painstakingly poking through shoddily drawn pieces of art to find him. Each individual person in the picture has a featureless white face, tiny stick arms and legs, and the exact same matching outfit. Waldo, by contrast, has a featureless white face, tiny stick arms and legs, and the exact same matching outfit. It’d be easier (and more fun) to find a drop of fresh blood on red carpet, or a sliver of your toenail in the Pacific Ocean.”

PS – Anyone see Waldo’s friend Todd in the pic?

Domo Arigato, Famitsu

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So I found this out a while ago but didn’t want to say anything until the magazine came out.

Oblivion is about to come out for Xbox 360 in Japan next week, and Famitsu’s review crew had a chance to review the game (the fully localized Japanese version). They awarded the game scores of 10, 9, 10, and 9, for a total score of 38 and it earned their Platinum Medal. If you’re not familiar with Famitsu, they have a reputation for being pretty harsh, so we’re pretty excited they liked it, particularly since it is very, very different than your standard Japanese RPG.

My buddy Tetsu over at Spike (the folks helping us publish Oblivion in Japan) told me that across every platform they review games on, only 44 titles have gotten a score of 38 or better since September 1986. And, as you might expect, roughly half of those 44 are from Final Fantasy, Zelda, and Dragon Quest. So that’s nice company to be included in and we’re quite happy.