Is Famitsu turning soft?

Famitsu is Japan’s top videogame magazine and is known also out of its frontiers for its lack of perfect 40/40 scores. It debuted in 1986 as a NES only magazine and over the years it turned to all the other platforms that have existed since then.

Recently Modern Warfare 2 has been reviewed and has turned into the 2nd non Japanese game to receive an almost perfect score of 39/40 next to Grand Theft Auto 4.

Modern Warfare 2 is also the 18th game in all of Famitsu’s history in getting the almost perfect score next to other classic games like Zelda:A Link to the Past, Super Mario 64 or Metal Gear Solid 3 among others that just didn’t make it to the top.

There has been only 13 titles to score the 40/40 perfect score in the story of the Shukan Famitsu magazine. The list of titles can be discused by many (considering there are no non-Japanese games in the list) but it is the following:

  1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998, Nintendo, for Nintendo 64)
  2. Soulcalibur (1999, Namco, for Dreamcast)
  3. Vagrant Story (2000, Square Co., Ltd., for PlayStation)
  4. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2003, Nintendo, for Nintendo GameCube)
  5. Nintendogs (2005, Nintendo, for Nintendo DS)
  6. Final Fantasy XII (2006, Square Enix, for PlayStation 2)
  7. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008, Nintendo, for Wii)
  8. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008, Konami, for PlayStation 3)
  9. 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de (2008, Sega, for Wii)
  10. Dragon Quest IX (2009, Square Enix, for Nintendo DS)
  11. Monster Hunter Tri (2009, Capcom, for Wii)
  12. Bayonetta (2009, Sega, for Xbox 360)
  13. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (2009, Nintendo, for Wii)

Seeing this list I was surprised to see that there are three games of the year 2008 and four of 2009.

Two things: Either quality of games in the last 2 years is risen incredibly or the traditionally unreachable 40/40 is starting to be more accessible. Can we think that many of the games that in the past were not given a perfect score could now achieve it? Is New Super Mario Bros. Wii a better game than Super Mario 64 was in it’s moment? Is Super Smash Bros. Brawl, a sequel, better than the original for the N64 (which received a 31/40)? I have nothing to say about the first 4 games in the list which probably did deserve that score but it seems to me that the old stern critics in Famitsu have obviously retired after those.

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