The Best 30 Japanese Games Overseas, 2009

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A ranking of the Japanese games which received the most critical acclaim overseas in 2009 seems to indicate the industry is increasingly capable of delivering only handheld games of any great quality, not that this necessarily means bad sales

The ranking, based on aggregate scores from various English language publications:

1. 93% – Street Fighter IV (360/PS3/PC)

“By striking a balance between fresh and familiar, and by delivering the best aspects of Street Fighters past, Street Fighter IV is easily one of this console generation’s best fighting games.”

2. 92% – Bayonetta (360/PS3)

“A beautiful and graceful fighting game that lets imagination loose, and winks before slapping Dante, Kratos and every other hero back to the drawing board.”

3. 90% – Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (DS)

“Easily best in the series thanks to its focus on a completely outlandish script and the epic battles.”

4. 89% – Demon’s Souls (PS3)

“Tough and unforgiving, Demon’s Souls is nevertheless a breath of fresh air in a very stagnant games market.”

5. 88% – Blazblue (360/PS3)

“BlazBlue’s online system puts titles like Street Fighter IV to shame, and the overall beauty of high-def 2D sprites put it at the top of the graphics department as well.”

6. 87% – New Super Mario Bros Wii (Wii)

7. 87% – Little King’s Story (Wii)

8. 87% – The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (DS)

9. 86% – Biohazard 5 (360/PS3)

10. 84% – Dragon Quest V (DS)

11. 84% – Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (DS)

12. 84% – Half-Minute Hero (PSP)

13. 84% – Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor (DS)

14. 84% – Disgaea 2 Portable (PSP)

15. 83% – Ryu ga Gotoku 3 (PS3)

16. 83% – Rhythm Tengoku Gold (DS)

17. 83% – Pokémon Platinum (DS)

18. 83% – Dragon Quest Wars (DS)

19. 83% – Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 (PS3)

20. 82% – Tekken 6 (PSP)

21. 82% – Space Invaders Extreme (DS)

22. 81% – Muramasa (Wii)

23. 81% – Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G (PSP)

24. 81% – Madworld (Wii)

25. 81% – Patapon 2 (PSP)

26. 81% – Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi (DS)

27. 80% – Rune Factory Frontier (Wii)

28. 80% – Wii Sports Resort (Wii)

29. 80% – Wii Fit Plus (Wii)

30. 80% – Soul Calibur Broken Destiny (PSP)

Japan’s gaming industry seems not to be having much luck with non-handheld games of late, hardly a reassuring sign.

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