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Level-5 and Region-Locked Time Travel

Posted by: Ryan

I might be working near Level-5. Well okay, I'm under no illusion that they're developing games there, but it is a small brick building with the Level-5 logo in the corner. And I wonder if that building contains the eight people who probably make up Level-5's entire North American branch.

Level-5 seems to be known mostly in the US for their work on the Professor Layton series of games, but they were also the developers of Square Enix's Dragon Quest XIII and Dragon Quest IX. But to be honest, I've never played a Level-5 game outside of borrowing my girlfriend's copy of DQIX for a short while. And even then, I think of the Dragon Quest games more as the work of old-school Enix than Level-5.

So I'm not nearly as excited for the next game in the Professor Layton series—or even the Phoenix Wright cross-over game announced at their "Vision 2010" event—as I am for another game that they've recently announced. A 3DS game that I'm not sure will see release in the US.

It's called Time Travelers, and it looks beautiful. It's being directed by Jiro Ishii, who also directed the Japan-only game 428, the ninth game to ever receive a 40/40 in Famitsu magazine. According to the info I've been able to find, the girl in the trailer can see the future, and the creepy guy is some kind of "future" terrorist, who presumably causes the destruction of the city. It's being described as a "mystery suspense" game, and is being produced by Akihiro Hino, the President and CEO of Level-5 (who has actually played 428). Hino has some high hopes, referring to the game as something that could potentially sell 500,000 or a million copies.

In an earlier Famitsu interview, Ishii explained that his game has "the theme of the calamity that has become a trauma within me." Ishii is from Nishinomiya, a city affected by the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995 which killed over 1000 people, and echoes the destroyed city at the end of the trailer. To be honest, I can't remember any game creator hinting at putting that kind of personal touch into their game, except for maybe Shigesato Itoi (EarthBound).

And though Hino seems confident in Time Travelers and is taking the producer role, I'm still worried that I might not get to play it. None of Ishii's games have ever made it to the United States. And I don't know if anyone who has any say in the company works in that building, but I've been seriously considering leaving a note on their door for about a week now. A note politely asking them to please publish Time Travelers in the United States, and with a promise that I'll definitely buy it when they do.

Edit: I left a hand-written note under their door. I have no idea who that letter may have reached, or even if they just threw it away, but at least I tried.
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About LK4O4one of us since 1:47 PM on 05.07.2009

Hello there.

My name is Ryan and I work at a pretty prominent web company. I'm 24 years old, which makes me one of the youngest people at the company (out of over 100 people). I have half of a college degree, a full-time job, and now I've got a place to hang out and talk about awesome video games.

Feel free to talk to me! <3

== Currently Playing ==
FTL: Faster Than Light
Slitherlink by Nikoli

== Recently Finished ==
Thomas Was Alone
Fire Emblem: Awakening
FTL: Faster Than Light (Easy)
Hotline Miami
Little Inferno
Analogue: A Hate Story
Mark of the Ninja
Atom Zombie Smasher
Time Fcuk
Thirty Flights of Loving
Lone Survivor
Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes
Dynamite Jack
Slitherlink by Nikoli
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Ghost Trick
Mighty Switch Force
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords AE
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
Mighty Flip Champs
Donkey Kong (Game Boy version)
Escapee GO!
Aura-Aura Climber
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
Shantae: Risky's Revenge
Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime
Elite Beat Agents (Normal Difficulty)
Paper Mario
Sonic Colors (Wii version)
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride
Mother 3 (Fan Translation)
Muramasa: The Demon Blade (Both Second Endings)
Portal (Steam version)
Cave Story (Wii version)
Spartan: Total Warrior (GameCube version)
LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias
Half-Life 2 (original Xbox version)
The Lost Vikings (Genesis version)
Pokemon HeartGold Version
Bangai-O Spirits (All 160+ Levels Cleared!)
Super Mario 64 DS
The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minnie
The World Ends With You
Ninja Gaiden Black (Normal Difficulty)
Chrono Trigger

== Systems I Own and Love ==
Sega Genesis
Sega Dreamcast
Game Boy Advance
Nintendo DS Lite
Nintendo 3DS

== 3DS Friend Code ==
5241 1905 5146

== Wii System Code ==
4688 2108 9135 7828

== Tatsunoko vs Capcom ==
4297 4386 7686

== Monster Hunter Tri ==
Mii code:4688 2108 9135 7828
3DS Code:5241 1905 5146


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