“Ugh, this English dub sounds awful!”, “I wish they picked better voice actors!”, “Gahhh… My ears!!” – These are some example of the common things you’ll hear people say about English audio tracks on their favourite Japanese-developed Role playing Games (RPG). Through the years we’ve seen the best (Disgaea) and worst (Arc Rise Fantasia, Xenogears) that English audio tracks can inflict on all games, from the mediocre (Arc Rise Fantasia) to the very great (Xenogears); yet over the years there has been great strides taken in providing gamers with good localizations. We see this in games which are text-heavy, such as the Ace Attorney series, where a lot of Cultural jokes and references are molded towards a North American audience, to games which feature a lot of audio, such as Valkyria Chronicles or Disgaea 3.
When I last mentioned Arc Rise Fantasia here on Axis of Bozz it was in a somewhat festive mood. At the time not only had the game won an award from IGN at the 2009 E3 Expo as the Best Wii RPG, but the North American localization and publishing rights were transferred to Ignition Entertainment, the company responsible for the localization of Muramasa: The Demon Blade, from previous license holder Xseed Games. Although my interest in this series has waned over the course of the last several months, my initial interest was due to the presence composer Yasunori Matsuda and character designer Kenichi Yoshida amongst the game’s staff, I was devastated when I first learned that the English audio for the game was fairly awful. After hearing the news I couldn’t help myself from asking, “If it’s true, how could things have gone so wrong?”
It’s funny how even in this modern age of gaming, in which we have highly polished and detailed 3D graphics mimicking real life, that there are still several great games out there that are still using 2D graphics that not only can entrap a gamer into playing it over and over again but launch a successful franchise.
There are some games, such as the Disgaea series, where the gamer replays the game due to the immense epilogue content in the form of dungeon crawling and extra bosses to battle or additional, multiple endings, and then there are story-driven games like the Ace Attorney franchise.
It looks like the promised developers’ blog has finally hit! A few days ago Mistwalker founder and Game Designer, Hironobu Sakaguchi, posted a blog entry on the official The Last Story website providing some details regarding the game and even threw in a little extra in the form of pieces of game artwork, and boy are they beautiful!
A little over a month ago we finally heard of Mistwalker Corp’s latest project after months of speculation. Over the past few months we’ve heard bits and pieces on the blog of Mistwalker’s head, Hironobu Sakaguchi, as well as illustrations that were posted on the Mistwalker website were at best cryptic as to what the new game would be. Since the vague announcement last June it was expected that the newest game might be released on the X-Box 360, in light of Microsoft’s financial assistance when Mistwalker was founded, or even the Nintendo DS, as their most recent games were released for the DS. It came as a surprise when the new title was unveiled as coming to the Nintendo Wii with the launch of an official website which includes the game’s logo and a piece of music.
Just a few minutes ago Nintendo Everything posted up a very brief video of the battle system that is feature in the new Final Fantasy game for the Nintendo DS. The following images are screenshots from the trailer which can be found at Nintendo Everything.
The battle system looks interesting in that the actual on-screen battle is not blocked by any menus, which I assume based on the details discussed earlier are shown in the touch screen portion of the DS.
So the first game play trailer for the new Final Fantasy game for the Nintendo DS was released as well as some new details. According to an article on IGN the game will indeed be focusing on turn-based random battles with a classic RPG gaming style while making use of of the DS’ unique features. For instance, selecting commands will be done via the stylus as well as using the touchscreen portion of the DS to perform out spells; whether this means it will use techniques similar to the Ninja Gaiden game for the DS or something else entirely no one is quite certain yet.
According to the director, one of the main themes for the game is of traveling and adventure and the story will make use of crystals and dragons as a crucial story telling element. There also seems to be some focus on the 14th birthday of the main character, Brand. The game will also sport a unique Job system called the Crown system in which the player will set the abilities for each character and will be able to view these abilities in the touch screen on the DS. The game is expected to arrive this fall in Japan.