posted ago by AnarcrotheAlchemist ago by AnarcrotheAlchemist +3 / -1

You may have seen this tweet before from VG247, which has been making the rounds on Twitter:

Direct archive:

This article is made by Alan Wen, a "contributor" for VG247. Essentially, the premise of the article is that Ghost of Tsushima (GoT) doesn't really focus on and give enough depth to Japanese culture, degrading GoT to a "superficial cultural toruism [sic]". However, as I said in the title, he actually has a massive hate streak specifically for GoT.

Notably, two of said game's directors were actually made ambassadors to said island, despite not being Japanese themselves, and, for most people, that would actually be sufficient to counter the article above to demonstrate how much the game is loved both in the Japanese community and how much attention was given to the location itself.

But that wasn't sufficient for me, and I had the (unfortunate) idea of doing a dive into said person.

First is the fact that Alan Wen actually has a review for the game:

He gives the game three stars, which pretty much means that he sees the game as average. You can read the article for yourself, but the important bit is not the review itself; it's the date of the review (July 14, 2020).

If we look at his Twitter account, there are notably two tweets from him that stand out against GoT:

But Ghost of Tsushima could be pretty cool. Just a shame it’s not a Japanese dev. Sounds a bit racist I know #SonyPGW 4:49 PM · Oct 30, 2017

Plus absolutely cannot deny the distinct Japanese aesthetic, so [Sekiro] really could be the Japan-inspired [From Software] game I’ve been wanting (and forget about Ghost of Tsushima, this is the real deal here) 10:20 AM · Dec 8, 2017

Notice how these tweets are several years before the game is even out. Also note that this is even before the time when the same game, developers, etc., were memorably labeled as racist for having an actual master of the shakuhachi flute for a presentation of an E3 demo because said performer was a white guy, meaning that this guy actually hated the game when it first premiered (GoT was announced in October 2017, and the performance was for E3 2018).

Now, you may think he actually is one of those kooky journalists who thinks Japanese things should be made in Japan and should not be produced outside of Japan (he even made one of these tweets to "promote" his article for VG247), but that is actually not the case.

Trek to Yomi looks terrific, the samurai game that Ghost of Tsushima wasn’t

Okay, forget Tsushima, [Trek to Yomi] looks like my kinda samurai game

Trek to Yomi is a currently-in-development side-scroller distributed by Devolver Digital, directed by Leonard Menchari, and produced by Flying Wild Hog. In case you haven't seen the trailer, it is a game heavily designed after classic Akira Kurosawa films, complete with epic samurai fights gawd, I want this.

By the way, Flying Wild Hog is a Polish developer. In case you don't understand the implications, other than the different gameplay genre, Trek to Yomi has the same premise as GoT (Western developer literally making a love letter to Akira Kurosawa films and even getting Japanese VAs), but have completely opposite reactions from Alan Wen.


If you think this guy is a newbie to mining for that SEO gold, here's a blog post from February 2016 (that is now deleted):

10 Hours as Leigh Alexander – The Notso Harrowing of a Female Games Journalist

which features this line:

So I decided I would formally catalog, all @ mentions toward Leigh Alexander, not just a woman in games (and we know how terrible their online life is) but one who has constantly spoke about how gamers, particularly the fanatical boogieMAN that is GamerGate, treat women so terribly in games on twitter.