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RPGs photo
RPGs

Tecmo: Atelier studio to include dual audio going forward


Publisher apologizes for Atelier Ayesha localization
Oct 25
// Kyle MacGregor
All future titles in Gust's Atelier series will feature dual audio, Tecmo Koei has announced. "We want to say sorry for the incidents of Atelier Ayesha; also a big thank you for letting us know your feeling regarding the voic...
Mugen Souls Z photo
Mugen Souls Z

Mugen Souls Z coming West, minus creepy bath minigame


No rub a dub dub in the tub
Oct 24
// Steven Hansen
Compile Heart's Mugen Souls Z, a sequel to PS3 RPG Mugen Souls, will be coming to Europe and North America in 2014 courtesy of NIS America. My guess is there is a "Z" in the sequel's title because it looks enough like a "2" t...
Idea Factory photo
Idea Factory

Idea Factory charters Western satellite studio


Former NIS America president to head up group as CEO
Sep 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Idea Factory is establishing an outpost in California. The Tokyo-based publisher announced the creation of Idea Factory International today, which expressly aims to strengthen the company's brands around the globe. Forme...
Final Fantasy Agito photo
Final Fantasy Agito

Final Fantasy Agito 'will definitely be localized'


Though no guarantee it will be released outside of Japan
Sep 18
// Steven Hansen
We recently learned about Final Fantasy Agito, an Android/iOS game in development at Square Enix that is a companion to Final Fantasy Type-0 (which was formerly known as Final Fantasy Agito XIII and was a mobile game before ...
Analogue: A Hate Story photo
Analogue: A Hate Story

Analogue: A Hate Story coming to iOS, Japan


*Mute and *Hyun-ae await!
Sep 16
// Josh Tolentino
Visual novels are cool games, but if there's a pet peeve I've developed with the genre lately, it's that most of them are PC-based. Visual Novels, dating sims, and the like are the perfect type of game to play on mobile and t...

EarthBound's English editor talks about his masterpiece

Aug 24 // Tony Ponce
Working from an essentially context-free text file was, as he described, "like free-form jazz." But such freedom allowed him to whip up real magic -- the jokes and Easter eggs are basically all Lindblom. He named a character after his daughter Nico, used his wife's name as one of Paula's default names, and called Pokey's mom "Lardna" just because he felt like it. He also confirmed and disproved popular myths. For example, the "BH" in Onett mayor BH Pirkle's name does indeed stand for "Bald Head." Also, the fact that Giygas sort of looks like a baby fetus is a complete coincidence. There's more at the Kotaku link below, so do give it a read and show some love for the man who helped make one of your favorite games that much better. The Man Who Wrote Earthbound [Kotaku]
EarthBound photo
Marcus Lindblom is happy that his writing is now remembered fondly
With EarthBound tearing up the Wii U eShop and finding its way into some gamers' hearts for the very first time, those responsible for breathing life into that world can look back on their handiwork with pride. Series creator...

Senran Kagura Burst photo
Senran Kagura Burst

Senran Kagura Burst will hit retail AND digital in Europe


Huge tracts of land
Aug 10
// Tony Ponce
Gentlemen, get your oils and scented candles ready, because Senran Kagura Burst will be arriving in Europe some time in Q1 2014. Americans received a localization confirmation from XSEED earlier this week, seemingly leaving o...
Senran Kagura Burst photo
Senran Kagura Burst

XSEED to release Senran Kagura Burst in North America


It's official!
Aug 06
// Kyle MacGregor
Senran Kagura Burst is coming to the Nintendo 3DS in North America, XSEED Games has announced. The Tamsoft-developed side-scrolling brawler will launch exclusively via the Nintendo eShop this fall.  A two for one followi...
Dragon Quest Monsters 2 photo
Dragon Quest Monsters 2

Dragon Quest Monsters 2 coming to 3DS in Japan


'Localization?' jests the monsters at Square Enix
Aug 01
// Steven Hansen
Foolishly, one of the bigger reasons I wanted to pick up a 3DS was for the remake of a Gameboy Color favorite, Dragon Warrior Monsters (Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry's Wonderland in Japan). Unfortunately, Dragon Quest Monsters...
Square Enix photo
Square Enix

Square may yet release Dragon Quest X outside of Japan


And if they do, it will be different
Jul 10
// Kyle MacGregor
It's been nearly a year since Dragon Quest X first launched for the Nintendo Wii. Since then, Square Enix has released a Wii U version of the online role-playing game and there's a PC port in the works as well. Awesome. Sound...
PS Vita photo
PS Vita

NISA localizing Danganronpa and Demon Gaze for PS Vita


Cool dood!
Jul 07
// Kyle MacGregor
The localization-smiths at NIS America are preparing to bring a pair of PlayStation Vita titles to the West, the publisher announced during a panel at Anime Expo in Los Angeles this weekend. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, ...
Skylanders in Japan photo
Skylanders in Japan

First Skylanders hits Japan in July, gets Wii U port


That's... weird
Jun 25
// Tony Ponce
We are so used to waiting insufferably long periods of time for Japanese games to be localized and brought out West that we often imagine Japan as this floating island of privilege and good fortune. How easily do we forget th...
Super Mario Bros. 3 photo
Super Mario Bros. 3

Super Mario Bros. 3 had major regional differences


Japan had the harder game, of course
May 29
// Tony Ponce
I've mentioned on several occasions that my family lived in Japan for a few years, thus my first games console was not an NES but a Famicom. I grew up playing the Japanese versions of famed Nintendo classics, and it was only...
XSEED photo
XSEED

XSEED: Localizing Senran Kagura a 'scary proposition'


Physical release is unlikely, digital distribution 'plausible'
May 07
// Kyle MacGregor
Yesterday, Pandora's Tower publisher XSEED Games announced that it has acquired Atlus Online from Index Digital Media, integrating both companies under the common banner of Marvelous USA. Siliconera reached out to XSEED boss ...
NIS America photo
NIS America

Former NIS America staff form indie publisher acttil


Good luck, doods!
May 07
// Kyle MacGregor
A group of former NIS America employees have left the nest to stretch their wings as a new independent publisher, acttil. Based in Los Angeles, the budding studio plans to publish videogames and other digital media for consol...
Localized Wii U games photo
Localized Wii U games

SMT X Fire Emblem, Monolith Soft's X reconfirmed for West


Confirmed before, EXTRA confrmed now
Apr 25
// Tony Ponce
[Awkward Zombie by Katie Tiedrich] Two of the more mind-blowing Wii U announcements in the past few months have been Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem and Monolith Soft's "X," the spiritual successor to Xenoblade. For the soft...
Guild02 photo
Guild02

Nintendo Direct: All three Guild02 games coming to US


Yes, even Attack of the Friday Monsters!
Apr 17
// Tony Ponce
It was previously announced that two of the three games in Level-5's Guild02 compilation, Bugs vs. Tanks! and The Starship Damrey, would be localized for the US eShop. Missing from that news was any indication that ...
Ni No Kuni DS photo
Ni No Kuni DS

There may be hope yet for a Ni No Kuni DS localization


A Namco Bandai executive reportedly isn't opposed to the idea on 3DS
Apr 11
// Chris Carter
For months now, fans, or prospective fans who don't own a PS3, have been clamoring for a localization of the DS version of Ni No Kuni, which Namco Bandai shut down to due "translation issues and costs regarding the Wizard's C...
Muramasa Rebirth photo
Muramasa Rebirth

Check out Muramasa Rebirth's improved translation


Compare these screens from both Wii and Vita versions
Apr 06
// Tony Ponce
Muramasa Rebirth, the Vita port of 2009's Muramasa: The Demon Blade for Wii, is more than just a simple up-res. As noted in Steven Hansen's recent preview, publisher Aksys Games has re-translated the game, resulting in a much...
"Experimenting"

Final Fantasy Type-0 staff experimented with HD version


Meanwhile I'm busy experimenting with not getting to play the bloody game
Mar 15
// Steven Hansen
According to a recently translated interview with Final Fantasy Type-0 director Hajime Tabata, the team "did experiment with" an HD version of the game for consoles. Tabata continues to say that the team felt Type-0, which st...
Shmups photo
Shmups

PS3 shoot-'em-up Mamoru-kun might be coming west


UFO interactive teasing western release for shooter
Mar 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Good news, everyone! One of the few shoot-'em-ups to come to PlayStation 3 this generation looks to be making the jump across the Pacific. As spotted on Gematsu, UFO has taken to Facebook with some teaser images for Mamo...
Malicious photo
Malicious

Malicious Rebirth gliding to western PlayStation Vitas


Alvion confirms Vita port for North American and European release
Mar 06
// Kyle MacGregor
Malicious arrived on PlayStation Network last summer and it sounds like its enhanced PlayStation Vita port isn't too far behind. Alvion has confirmed Malicious Rebirth for western release and is currently ...
Vanguard Princess English photo
Vanguard Princess English

Get yourself some Vanguard Princess in English


After four long years
Mar 03
// Josh Tolentino
Looking for another 2D sprite-based fighter to get your fix, between now and whenever Lab Zero release their Skullgirls DLC? Why not try Vanguard Princess? EigoManga have released an English-localized ver...
Guilty Gear Vita photo
Guilty Gear Vita

Guilty Gear Vita is headed West


Arc System Works confirms
Mar 01
// Chris Carter
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R, which was just re-confirmed on the Vita recently, will be headed West, Arc System Works confirmed. So far based on the video, the Vita version is looking really sleek, and Guilty Gear on th...
Etrian Odyssey IV photo
Etrian Odyssey IV

Etrian Odyssey IV will get you stiff


"Long and hard" indeed
Feb 27
// Tony Ponce
Dale North's review is taking forever because he keeps getting distracted by sh*t like this. [Swagtoise's Tumblr via Tiny Cartridge]
Keiji Inafune's Niece?! photo
Keiji Inafune's Niece?!

Aksys localizing game where you are Keiji Inafune's niece


Game of the year!
Feb 16
// Josh Tolentino
I have to hand it to Aksys. They've been taking a lot of risks on titles which, even in today's tolerant environment, would still be considered niche-within-niche. Games like this one, Sweet Fuse: At Your Side (Bakudan Handan...
Nintendo grammar photo
Nintendo grammar

Old Nintendo game translations were fun!


Return to the days of bad Nintendo grammar
Feb 02
// Tony Ponce
The adorable (and undeniably Canadian) Rinry used to be able to pump out fun, nostalgic videos at a fairly decent clip. But ever since she became a mommy, she hasn't had as much time for video production. 'Tis a shame, 'caus...
Rockman Xover photo
Capcom actually made a smart decision
[Header by samusmmx] Oh, Rockman Xover. What a foul, foul beast you are. I know it's not kosher to slam a game without having played it yourself, but just from watching gameplay videos, I think we can all agree that Xover is ...

XSEED photo
XSEED

PSP may live on, but the Nintendo Wii is just about done


As XSEED goes, so goes the Wii
Jan 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Long since abandoned by their makers, the PlayStation Portable and Nintendo Wii endure thanks to a select number of publishers that have kept the home fires burning. Among them is XSEED, the team behind localizing titles like...

C'mon, Level-5! Localize Ni no Kuni DS already!

Jan 21 // Tony Ponce
[embed]242714:46443[/embed] The original Ni no Kuni was announced way back in 2008. It would be nearly two years, mere months before the DS game's release, before any mention was made of a PS3 version. Wrath of the White Witch is no mere update of the DS version, subtitled The Jet-Black Mage. From what I've gathered, both games were developed separately and feature several elements that differ in significant ways, even though the general framework is the same. Even if Mage and Witch were identical save for the graphics, I still believe there would be strong interest in the former. The large library of quality RPGs on the DS and PSP indicates that the genre has found a cozy home on handheld devices. It's ironic that a genre infamous for demanding massive time investments would adapt so well to the style of bite-sized gameplay fostered by portable hardware. Level-5 envisioned Ni no Kuni as a franchise, thus there is no reason why anyone ought to picture Mage and Witch as anything but complementary experiences. I understand that the big draw of Witch is how closely the in-game assets resemble the original artwork, but it's not like Mage is a slouch in the art department either. [embed]242714:46442:0[/embed] It doesn't end there! In order for Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi's score to sound as crystal clear as possible, Level-5 opted to use a 512 MB game card, the largest of any DS game. "Compromised," The Jet-Black Mage is not. More important than graphics and card space is the fact that Ni no Kuni is a major milestone for an animation studio that has historically avoided getting involved with videogames. Ni no Kuni is technically not the first time Ghibli had a hand in a game's art direction -- Magic Pengel on the PS2 holds that distinction -- but the level of involvement here is unprecedented. Why would you not want to experience such an event firsthand? But Wrath of the White Witch was announced for the West, while The Jet-Black Mage wasn't. Localization for Mage was definitely considered, but according to Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino, the big spanner in those plans was the book bundled with every copy of the game. For those unaware, the 352-page Magic Master book is a companion guide that details in-game lore, creatures, and magic runes that can be drawn on the touchscreen to cast spells. This book is a crucial element of the game, and its existence as a physical object was intended to add an extra layer of immersion. Apparently it was too expensive to translate, and even if it were translated, there would be the issue of printing enough copies for each game and expecting consumers to pay a premium for the bundle. I'm sure Level-5 could have found a decent workaround, but I do understand the cost concerns. Disappointing news, but that's the way the world turns, right? By the way, Witch also requires the use of the Magic Master book, but instead of being a physical object, it's an in-game item accessible from the menu. And oh yeah, US publisher Namco Bandai is selling a limited "Wizard's Edition" bundle that includes a physical version of the book, now called the Wizard's Companion. WHAT. THE. FUCK. So all that talk about expense and translation hurdles was just bullshit? I'm trying to be as rational as I can, but the only conclusion I can draw is that neither Namco nor Level-5 thought Ni no Kuni would have been able to sell on the DS. I don't see how it wouldn't unless Namco wasn't planning on advertising the game at all. Look, I'm glad that Ni no Kuni is coming out for PS3, but we are still being robbed of delicious Ghibli goodness! There has got to be a way for the DS game to make it out here somehow. Here's what to do The DS is a lame duck. There might be a studio or two still releasing new DS software, but most have moved on to its successor. Therefore Level-5 should port Ni no Kuni: The Jet-Black Mage directly to the 3DS. The team won't really need to touch it up too much -- as you saw in the footage above, its a very beautiful game, I would say even by 3DS standards. With this platform transition, Mage would benefit from the larger game card capacity -- cards at the 3DS' launch could already hold 2 GB, four times the size of the DS' largest. I'm going to take an educated guess and assume that Mage's card was fairly packed, thereby preventing Level-5 from -- oh, I don't know -- including a digital version of the Wizard's Companion. Because 3DS game cards are much roomier, the already translated book ought to fit in nice and neatly. There you have it! Players now have in-game access to the book, just as PS3 players do, and they won't be prevented from casting spells be drawing the runes. And for those who desire the original experience as intended, there could be a 3DS version of the "Wizard's Edition" as well. [DS version unboxing by Espelancer] But what of the argument that a currently two-year-old game from a previous generation platform would be a hard sell no matter the pedigree of the parties behind it? If Namco doesn't want to play ball, Level-5 should take its business to a progressive company like XSEED, which has recently shown great willingness in taking chances on niche but highly demanded RPGs on Nintendo consoles. XSEED has already been rewarded for localizing The Last Story, and even Xenoblade Chronicles, which Nintendo of America itself published two years after its Japanese release, has done "quite well" by the company's expectations. If Wrath of the White Witch performs to Namco's satisfaction, there ought to be no reason to hold off on localizing The Jet-Black Mage any longer. But if Witch does not meet its goal, Mage should nonetheless be given a shot for the sake of sharing one of the most beautiful-looking games in recent memory with the rest of the world. We have evidence that low-print software runs can pay off handsomely, just as long as the parties involved keep modest expectations. I just want some Level-5 / Studio Ghibli magic on the go. Is that so much to ask? Am I asking for the sun and the moon? Am I being naive in regards to the nature of big business?
Ni no Kuni DS, please! photo
And here's how to do it
Tomorrow, January 22, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch finally arrives on US shelves. The PlayStation 3 role-playing game is a collaboration between developer Level-5, and animation house Studio Ghibli -- two companies th...


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