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JuliusHackebeil said:
Kyuu said:

I think he's a great and innovative designer and a good director. But his writing is inconsistent and for the most part convoluted (a common problem with Japanese writers) and pretentious. I adored MGS1 as a young teenager and I still do, but honestly it's the only MGS that feels authentic, cringe-free, and cinematically revolutionary in my opinion.

My first game that involved Kojima is Penguin Adventure on MSX, which remains my favorite game of its era. He's also responsible for Zone of the Enders (the 2nd Runner was one hell of a game), so I very much appreciate his contributions even outside Metal Gear.

You mentioned that it is a common problem with japanese writers to come up with convoluted stories. There must be some truth to this at least in video games. I tend to enjoy stories from japan way less. Does not mean that there are no japanese games with good stories. But there are hardly any with good and simple stories. Everything is always a bit of a mess. I wonder it this has something to do with translation, or with some cultural difference in perception and taste. (Again, not saying that is the case with literaly every japanese game. The storys of ICO and Shadow of the Colossus are just great. But they are also not the rule in how japanese games even tell stories.)

It extends to anime, manga, and visual novels. A lot of Japanese writers strive to make very complex and concept-rich worlds. More often than not they end up spreading themselves too thin and make convoluted stories filled with details that don't seem to add anything of value, stuff that confuse and exhaust the reader. Even when they do succeed at telling compelling stories (and there are plenty), they'd often require too much attention and effort from the player/reader/viewer to fully appreciate them. Examples: Umineko and Hidetaka Miyazaki's works... I love them but they certainly aren't for everyone.

And as you said, cultural and linguistic barriers add to the confusion. A lot of meaning is inevitably lost or somewhat altered through translation. As a fluent speaker of two completely different languages, I can relate to this. A translator has to choose between accuracy and eloquence. Complex Japanese stories therefore lose meaning or eloquence/poetry or both. This is without getting into the cultural/social/mythological side of things. A simple concept to a Japanese reader is a mystery or a weird concept to an outsider.

ICO and SotC are just masterclass in simple yet profound storytelling. We need more Fumito Ueda's!