NIS America has finally confirmed that the PS2 game Sakura Taisen 5 (from 2004...), and its recent Wii port, will be localized. This should happen sometime in fall 2009.
This is the same translation company which brought out two Ar Tonelico games, so they're no strangers to eccentric games. NISA also includes two language tracks on its PS2 games (which, by comparison is rare with Atlus games). On the other hand, NISA is not perfect. I've heard the company's localization errors made Ar Tonelico 2 crash during a fight with a bonus boss.
So has the era of "console gamers don't care about RPGs with relationship elements" ended? We got Bioware games. We got GTA games. We got Persona 3-4. We got Avalon Code. And now an actual S.T. game in English...
Negligent testing (and the crash bugs remain unacknowledged....NISA simply ignored any inquiries) was only the tip of the iceberg. AT2 was just a poor job in general, from the mediocre translation to the cut down voiceovers.On the other hand, NISA is not perfect. I've heard the company's localization errors made Ar Tonelico 2 crash during a fight with a bonus boss.
AT1, Mana Khemia, and Rhapsody are all indicative of a downward slide, with each year's crop being worse than the last. Waning demand for PS2 games might be a root cause, with NISA merely catering (at as low a cost as possible) to those who will buy the games no matter what.
Well, the Wii port will be completely new for North America. Idea Factory is linked with the coming ST5 release, so this is probably a NISA initiative.NIS America has finally confirmed that the PS2 game Sakura Taisen 5 (from 2004...), and its recent Wii port, will be localized. This should happen sometime in fall 2009.
Hopefully, they'll throw more money into the ST5 project than they did for their recent PS2-exclusive games.
I'm not sure if that was ever an issue. After all, there were relationship elements in older games like Azure Dreams and Harvest Moon.So has the era of "console gamers don't care about RPGs with relationship elements" ended?
As for the typical JRPG, both gamers and developers favor a linear, controlled approach to storytelling - basically the template established by Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy - which is why we rarely see something as open-ended as multiple potential relationships. Romance is common to the genre, but open-ended storytelling isn't.
On another note, publishers still shy away from the moe/loli thing, which doesn't mesh with the mainstream market. However, given the reduced output from Japan (as well the popularity of anime), I think some niche publishers are experimenting more.
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That said, there's always been a subset of JRPGs with more open-ended relationship systems. Thousand Arms didn't do overly well, but Fire Emblem and Persona won thunderous praise, so I imagine that we'll see more and more console dating sim/RPGs start jumping the pond.
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This might be the last major PS2 game in English. Sure, there'll probably be some annual sports games and licensed games based on movie/TV, but I don't think any companies are currently planning to release original PS2 games.Blue Lemma wrote:Very visual novel/date sim/niche, so I'm pretty surprised they localized it. I'm on episode 2 so far...
That said, the end of a system's life cycle is not a bad time to release eccentric and niche games. In the last few years, the PS2 has slowly faded, but some non-mainstream games have been published in English, including but not limited to Arcana Heart and Chulip.
I haven't made too much time to play this game, but I've reached the beginning of episode three. Here are my impressions:
2a. It's a little disappointing that the translation is basically "dubtitled." In other words, the wording seems closer to the dub dialogue than what's being said out loud. But then again, I can't name a professionally released video game which not only had dubbed and subbed dialogue, but which had two separate translations for them. As an anime fanboy, I suppose I'm kinda spoiled...
2b. The dubbed dialogue seems out of sync. Decent characterization though.
3. The boss at the end of chapter one seemed quite tough. My team died about four times, and barely survived on the fifth try. I had more success with the battles at the end of chapter two.
4. Some of the LIPS on PS2 seem a bit gimmicky. I think they can be categorized as "quick time events." I'm not sure how far back in the Sakura Taisen series the player was asked to do things like precise controller movements within a few seconds. And some of these split second decisions seem rather important to progressing the story.
5. That said, I'm still impressed. This is a pretty good capstone to the PS2's legacy. I'm not sure how many other people bought it. And I haven't seen the Wii version ($30, but dub only) at a game store just yet, so I don't know if anyone bought that version.
1. Find a company interesting in translating at least one version of the classic games. The first two Sakura Wars games were released on Saturn, Dreamcast, PSP, and Windows. (If there's not much hope for a translation of the PSP port, then I think it might be wise to ask publishers who are willing to translate the PC versions. Incidentally, the Chinese and Russian translations are on Windows.)
2. Get a fan translation group together.
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It's a real shame though. I hope something like Disgaea Infinite will do well instead, so that NIS will keep trying with visual novels. (and maybe even convince Sony to be more lenient.)
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