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Posts with tag localization

Horror, survival, and ... incest? Theresia localization announced

Aksys has announced that it will be localizing Theresia, a title jointly developed by Workjam and Arc System Works, for a U.S. release in October. Not to blow our own trumpet or anything, but we prophetic DS Fanboy blogger JC Fletcher totally called this move almost five months ago.

The game will join a small but growing group of DS survival horror titles played from the first-person perspective, and incorporates many staple features of the genre: corridor exploration, the collecting of clues, and deadly traps.

It also appears to have a fairly dark storyline, including ... unusual family relationships. Aksys Associate Marketing Manager Harry Chang notes that the female protagonist "loves her mom... a lot". Could this be a reference to something incestuous? We've consulted resident psychic JC for another prediction, and used our "incest" tag, just in case.

Nintendo 'localizes' DS systems for Asia

We may not be getting a redesigned DS in the near future (if you believe the company line), but there will be some "localized" DS systems flooding the markets in the near future. We're not sure what the differences are between a "localized" handheld and a good old-fashioned DS Lite, as Nintendo hasn't offered any specifics. What we do know is this:
  • They'll be releasing in Taiwan, possibly South Korea, and (eventually) China
  • They'll be sold in mobile phone stores
  • They'll be available by the end of the month
We wonder if the fact that these redesigned localized DSes are being sold in phone stores is an indication of cell phone support (or, at the very least, connectivity). We think guessing "yes" is a pretty safe bet, but in any case, we're waiting to hear more details from Nintendo itself before going crazy with speculation. This is certainly an interesting move on the Big N's part, though, in the company's attempt to revive sales and fight the popular PC beast in Asia. Being the analyst wannabes that we are, we can't wait to see if this has any impact on the hardware market.

Izuna 2 QA causes a lot of pink hair pulling

Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns is about more than mini-posters and sexy ninjas -- a lot of work goes into getting a game like this localized. Not only does a good localization team have to focus on the translation, but they also need to fix any bugs or problems that gamers found in the Japanese release. Apparently, fixing bugs for a roguelike is especially hard and frustrating, as you might have guessed.

Here's the Quality Assurance stat breakdown, according to Atlus:
  • Number of testers on Izuna 2: 6
  • Number of DS systems almost thrown against the wall: 6
  • Number of system-type bugs our testers reported: 104
  • Number of text bugs our testers reported: 259
  • Number of times the testers nearly gave the project lead a heart attack with a fake system bug: 3
  • Number of bugs our testers reported to which we responded: "That's not a bug, that's the way this game works:" 17
  • Number of monkeys we could have hired to do their job: 0
The production diary is actually a really interesting read that not only Izuna fans, but also people interested in the localization process should give a look. Besides, we always appreciate more insight on how the other side of the gaming industry works.

Gallery: Izuna 2

Marvelous/XSeed deal means more Wii, DS games

According to Marvelous director Yasuhiro Wada, the deal with XSeed to publish the company's titles in the U.S. is the result of success in Europe. Unlike most companies, Marvelous focused on Europe first (through Rising Star Games) before expanding into the U.S.

The agreement with XSeed is more than a simple deal to publish Marvelous games. In fact, Marvelous plans to do their own publishing, with XSeed distributing. They intend to localize other companies' games, as well, and the current plan is to focus primarily on the development and publishing of Wii and DS games. We suspect that their announced European releases -- Lux-Pain and Flower, Sun, and Rain -- are high on the list of potential American releases under the new announcement, along with Avalon Code.

Don't expect Spectral Force Genesis from NIS America

During his interview with NIS America president Haru Akenaga, Spencer Yip made a point to inquire about the company's plans for many specific games, including those from companies with whom NIS has worked in the past. Spectral Force Genesis, the new SRPG from Idea Factory, came up. With unexpected candor, Akenaga confirmed that a localization of that or any Idea Factory title was unlikely:

"We have a relationship with them, but unfortunately our mission is to release quality titles. Their titles are good, but not good as we expected. That's our reason. They always ask us to localize their titles, but at this moment we answer with 'we're sorry'."

Atlus, Mastiff, O3 (who did the amazing localization of Idea Factory's Chaos Wars) and other small publishers are still a possibility, but NIS definitely doesn't have interest in working with the company. Which is good, because that particular bridge is pretty well toasted.

Third time is finally a charm

We've got our hands on some kind of confirmation (after a scare) that Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations is actually coming to Europe. Despite bunging it up just a little bit, fans of the series still wanted to wait around for the conclusion of the original trilogy -- before enjoying the adventures of a new young hotshot attorney with everything to prove.

In an official Nintendo interview, producer Minae Matsukawa stated outright that the team is "in the middle of localizing it right now." It's playable, and they just need to make some final adjustments on the text. After that, it should be all systems go for Europe, in multiple languages.

The only problem? Still no release date, which is all kinds of suck. Non-English-speaking fans will have to put up with the wait just a little longer, while all others might be better off shopping around online. Then again, if you go through those channels, you've probably done it already. Good for you!

Gallery: Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney 3: Trials and Tribulations

[Via Aussie-Nintendo]

Etrian Odyssey localization lead on 'The Naming of Stuff'

Nich Maragos, localization product lead for Etrian Odyssey 2 (and Gaming Intelligence Agency alum), has taken us inside the English naming process for Etrian's characters and items in a new Production Diary post. Like classic RPGs, Etrian has an 8-character restriction on all monster, character, and item names. This isn't so much of a problem in Japanese, in which a single kanji can express a very complicated concept, but in our phonetic writing system, it's a bit more of a restriction.

This means that not only is Maragos and his team encouraged to be a bit creative with English names, they are required to be creative. They have to condense concepts like Fundo No Gankou-Nushi "Owner of the Malicious Glare" into something that can fit into eight characters: in this case, "Illgaze."

A lot of work goes into translating text-rich RPGs like this. Mythological references, in particular, are trouble, as some random Japanese word could actually be a transliterated Old Norse name.

Nanashi no Game getting localized outside Japan?

Spencer over at Siliconera has stumbled onto something interesting. A trademark by Square Enix for "Last Hope," he deduced that the long line of Dragon Quest remakes has been depleted, so what else could this possibly be for? Well, he's wondering if it's not Nanashi no Game and we're hoping he's right.

Of course, this could all just be completely and utterly wrong, so we won't place any kind of verdict (not that we're qualified to, anyway), but know that we're hoping this game gets a release here in the States. How about you all? What do you think?

Gallery: Nanashi no Game

Square Enix aiming for simultaneous game releases

One thing that we constantly gripe about is localization. There are many games that we'll never see translated, and the ones that do make it over often take (what seems like) forever. Our mothers always told us that patience is a virtue, but as far as we're concerned, patience can take a hike.

Maybe we're natural born whiners, or maybe companies like Square Enix just like to torture us by releasing games in Japan so much earlier than they do in rest of the world. Take, for example, Final Fantasy IV and Dragon Quest IV, which have been out in Japan for months and not even announced for localization. We also have The World Ends With You, which is coming to America and Europe in April, although it was released in Japan last July. It's understandable because most Squeenix games are text-heavy RPGs, but it's still not fun to wait, nonetheless.

The company is trying to cut down on its localization times, however, and Square Enix's president Yoichi Wada is aiming for simultaneous worldwide releases. In fact, he said that the company would be "making simultaneous releases the norm." While it's hard for us not to laugh out loud and praise Wada for making such a funny joke, we think he's actually serious.

Does that mean it will happen? Probably not. But we appreciate any effort by the company to shorten the waiting time for those of us who don't live in Japan.

[Via NeoGAF]

DS Daily: Localization blues

One great thing about the DS is that it's region-free. Without region locks to worry about, we can import games to our heart's content. However, there's also the little, teeny weeny issue of language.

It's always a bummer when the only thing stopping us from playing games we covet is our inability to read Japanese. Yet, are we just "the grass is always greener" kind of folks, or are there some DS games out there that you're hoping to see localized, too?

If so, which games top your list?

The localization of Advance Wars: Days of Ruin

Gamasutra has an excellent interview up with Tim O'Leary, the man who heads Nintendo's North American localization team, and who helped prepare Advance Wars: Days of Ruin for the U.S. market.

O'Leary reveals how feedback from western gamers was a major influence on the new direction taken by Days of Ruin, and describes the various thought processes behind the game's art direction and characters. This leads into a wider discussion regarding the art of localizing games to match different cultural sensibilities, with O'Leary using the likes of Animal Crossing on the GameCube and the Pokémon games as examples.

Finally, there's also quite a lot of talk about the inner workings of the Treehouse, the name given to the Nintendo U.S. localization division. Turns out that the localization of Nintendo games is one hell of an intricate process, with every last pixel scrutinized so that it makes perfect cultural sense. All in all, it's a fascinating read, so hit the link below!

People of Europe to receive improved faces in Q2?

Remember Otona no DS Kao Training? Non-game. Free camera. Facening. Well, the folks at French site JeuxActu are just absolutely goshdarn convinced that Intelligent Systems' face training non-game is packing its bags and heading to Europe during Q2 this year.

As Nintendo has yet to pass official comment on this, we're cautiously treating this as rumor for now, but the incessant popularity of training games in Europe makes us think there could be some truth in the speculation. If it does turn out to be correct, it also means Europeans will be getting that rather dinky camera add-on. As well as having totally awesome faces.

German Apollo Justice screenshots are a good sign

Siliconera's Spencer Yip came across some screenshots of the German localization of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney and rejoiced. Not because German is awesome (although we suppose it is a pretty neat language) but because evidence of any work being done on a version in any European language portends that the English version is even farther along. In fact, if Capcom is even thinking about a European release, we estimate that the US version must have been out for about two years already.

More information about the European version can be found at Nintendo's European site, which lists some very Teutonic-sounding names for the twin lawyers known as Garyuu Kirihito and Garyuu Kyouya in Japan: Klavier and Kristoph Gavin. In addition, Apollo's assistant, called Minuki in Japanese, is called Trucy in the European release. Could these be the American character names as well?

DS Daily: Talking cookbooks

As you may have guessed, we're super excited about the localization of Cooking Navi, the chit-chatting cookbook for the DS. We can't wait to see what recipes appear on the various English-language versions. The Japanese software is, of course, filled with Asian recipes ... and while we certainly appreciate many kinds of Asian cuisine, we assume the localized version will feature different fare -- mostly because Reggie told us that would be the case. But what will be in ours? Creative uses for ramen noodles? Here's one from us: for salad crunchies, you can break up the noodles and fry them in a little oil and their own seasoning packets. Throw in some almonds for extra flavor and texture, let 'em cool, and toss them with greens. That makes a nice change from piles of soggy sodium noodles!

We expect some very basic things, like hamburgers and spaghetti, as well as numerous desserts (anyone up for amaretto trifle?), and we hope for some complicated things as well for those of us who actually look forward to using a talking cookbook to expand our cooking knowledge. We just experimented (to great effect) over the weekend with adding pomegranate juice to the stock in the bottom of our roasted turkey pan (verdict: slight tang, very juicy) and we ache for more tips like that. So share your predictions, your thoughts, and what the hell ... if you want, let's share some recipes, too.

Atlus confirms Ontama, Touch Detective sequel, Draglade for US

If there's one thing to love about E3 -- even the all-new, scaled down E3 -- it's the flood of new game announcements that tend to come with the show. On that front, Atlus has certainly not disappointed us; this morning, they let fly with a bevy of localization announcements. One -- Touch Detective 2½ -- we expected, but the announcements that Draglade and Ontamarama are headed to English-speaking gamers are news indeed. For rhythm game enthusiasts, those last two are very good news indeed.

Ontamarama follows the story of Beat and Rest, two "Ontamaestros" who discover an evil demon (as opposed to all the good ones) is cajoling villagers into trapping Ontama, the sound spirits who bring music to the land. Of course, that means our heroes have to get their rhythm on in order to save the day. Also, the word "Ontamaestros" demonstrates why we love Atlus-style localizations. We've been cooing excitedly over this game for months, so unless you've been living under a rock that didn't have wifi, you've probably seen a screenshot or two.

Draglade is the intriguing mix of rhythm and fighting that the world has been waiting for. Well, we've been waiting, at least. In the world of Draglade, the premier spectator sport of the day is "Grapping," which sorta makes us think of breakdance fighting -- just with more potential violence. The game tracks the rise of four hungry Grappers, Hibito, Guy, Kyle, and Daichi, and their struggle to make it to the top. Can someone get us a hip hop version of "Eye of the Tiger" up in here?

Obviously, Touch Detective 2½ is the sequel to the BeeWorks game released last year. We have such a love-hate relationship with this game that we can't help but look forward to the sequel, if only because we're masochists.

[Via press release]

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