It did often seem like Japanese publishers that tried too hard to make a game appeal to the west missed the mark terribly... the recent BotW is something of an exception.
At this point there's not really a genre that looks alien to anyone in the west like they once did. Focusing on originality is the surest way to get some attention.
In the case of BOTW, it provides enough twists that keeps it fresh in the crowded open-world genre. The allowance to choose your own waypoints when most open-world games tell you to go to this spot in the map is a simple, but rather effective twist.