Dreamcast Famitsu Review Scores

Famitsu, the major Japanese gaming publication that is dodgier than a nun squatting in a cucumber field is well known for accepting "sponsorship" from companies to enhance a review score (Nintendogs 40/40 or Final Fantasy XIII  39/40 anybody?). In fact, you don't need to understand Japanese to see the brevity of the reviews often being only 3 or 4 sentences long and about as informative as a telephone call with a mute. I used to translate the reviews and it really brings to light the fact that they are incredibly short and vague, and not really useful, as a critique of a game at all. Yet, its scores create a lot of hype in both the Western and Japanese media and are recognised worldwide as a general indication of the Japanese gaming public's perception of a title. 

In recent years, the Famitsu review team examine have
become known for their lenient grading system;
especially if your name is Nintendo or SquareEnix

Anyway, I thought it would be particularly interesting to see how Sega, who were notably skint at the time, got on during the Dreamcast period and it's pleasing to know that games such as Soul Calibur and Phantasy Star Online were recognised for the masterpieces they were in Japan, as much as they were in the West. However, you know there is something wrong when Virtua Striker 2 scores the same as Shenmue and more than Jet Set Radio, Rez and Samba De Amigo, and a rehashed copy of Biohazard 2 scores more than all of them!  It is also noticeable that Famitsu didn't really rate the system's shooters at all and Seaman, despite its relative commercial success in Japan and critical acclaim in the West for its voice recognition technology, only received an mediocre score.
Here are the scores in full (all scores are marked out of 40).

40: Soul Calibur

39: Virtual On Oratorio Tangram

38: Sonic Adventure 

37: Phantasy Star Online 

36: Ikaruga, Sega Rally 2, Virtua Fighter 3TB

35: Biohazard CODE: Veronica, Capcom vs. SNK 2, Crazy Taxi 2,
      Space Channel 5 Part 2, The Typing of the Dead , D2 

34: Chu Chu Rocket, Crazy Taxi, Fushigi no Dungeon: Furai no Shiren Gaiden: Jokenji Asuka Kenzan!  Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Power Stone, Shutokou Battle 2, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike , Biohazard 2 

33: Eternal Arcadia, Marvel vs. Capcom, Moero! Justice Gakuen, Power Smash, Sonic Adventure 2, Shenmue, The House of the Dead 2, Virtua Soccer 2: Ver.2000.1

32: Dead or Alive 2, Jet Set Radio, Mr. Driller, Samba De Amigo, Shenmue 2, Tokyo Bus Guide

31: ConīŦdential Mission, Daytona USA 2001, Power Smash 2, Power Stone 2, Rez,  Segagaga, Biohazard 3

30: Capcom vs. SNK

29: 18 Wheeler American Pro Trucker, Border Down, Choukousenki Kikaioh, F355 Challenge , The King of Fighters '99 - Evolution, Napple Tale, Seaman, Space Channel 5, Blue Stinger, Virtua Cop 2 

27: Gigawing 2, Under Defeat

26: Sega Tetris

25: Garou: Mark of Wolves,  Karous, Trigger Heart Exelica, Karous

24: The King of Fighters 2002

23: Radirgy


  1. Anonymous3/24/2015

    I'm surprised virtual on had a near perfect score. And I'm disappointed phantasy star wasn't rated higher.


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