Archive for December, 2010

12/21/2010

Namco doesn’t need the US market

by wfgodbold

Not when Japanese fans will fork over ¥400 per Tales of Graces F downloadable character costume.

They probably have some underpaid flunky code those up in an afternoon, and then sell the full set for half the price of the actual game; when they finally finished making costumes (I think they’ve finished, anyway) for the PS3 port of Tales of Vesperia, I think the cost of the costumes was more than the cost of the game.

Namco has done this before; the DLC for the PSP iDOLM@STER releases totaled more than the cost of the actual game.  I think the cost discrepancy was even more glaring with the 360 edition.

It makes sense that they would focus their efforts on nickel and diming their Japanese fan base with DLC instead of localizing the Tales games for foreign release; I don’t think the series has ever done as well outside Japan.  Their focus on DLC gets them a good return on a minimal investment, whereas localizing the games for release abroad could prove chancy should they not be well-received.

Of course, that’s not what non-Japanese fans want to hear.  Unfortunately, the poor reception of Tales in the US (relative to Japan) has made it less likely for future games to be released here; those that do get released will probably continue to under preform versus the Japanese releases, making it even less likely that the next game will be localized, and so on.

There really isn’t any way I can see to improve the situation; I bought the US release of Tales of Vesperia when it was released, and the Japanese PS3 rerelease.  I had hoped that the PS3 edition would make the jump across the Pacific, but it was not in the cards (a shame, since many people only have one major console, and I imagine many JRPG fans gambled on the PS3 over the 360, given its track record in the previous two console generations).

Tales of Graces hasn’t even been mentioned for prospective release in the US (in either the PS3 update or the original buggy Wii edition); since Tales of Xillia is initially being released on the PS3 (instead of first on one of the other two consoles, with a “complete” edition on the PS3 to follow), it’s marginally more likely that it will be localized for sale in other regions than Japan.  If it does, I’ll probably pick up a copy (not that any foreign release will be any time soon; the Japanese release doesn’t have a date beyond 2011 at this point, so I’d imagine the soonest any English version could be released is 2012) if only pour encourager les autres (I did the same with the Japanese and English releases of Valkyria Chronicles).

In the mean time, though, I’ll try to maintain my Japanese skills; after all, it’s one thing to be optimistic regarding an English release, but we would do well to prepare for the worst.

12/16/2010

Speaking of Ufotable

by wfgodbold

Aniplex USA has announced that they’re releasing the limited edition Kara no Kyoukai blu-ray set in the US; preorders are open, if you’ve got $400 to burn.

While I really like the movies (the animation is gorgeous, the action is fluid, and the story is confusing as hell; Ufotable did a great job with the production), I don’t like them quite that much.  I think the high price is to stave off any attempts by the Japanese to reverse import the blu-ray discs; Japan and the US are in the same region, and the set has a near-simultaneous release.  Since amazon.co.jp has the same set for roughly the same price (ordering through TSRI’s site saves on shipping and import duties, and on exchange rates, making it roughly $80 cheaper than amazon), all this does is make it easier for people in the US to buy a legit copy.

If, like me, you’re going to wait until the price comes down to a more affordable level (I hope; if this is the only US release, I’ll be very disappointed), then you’ll just have to hope the promo video doesn’t whet your appetite too much.

In other Type Moon news, Mahoutsukai no Yoru has been pushed back yet again, this time without a concrete release date.  I thought about preordering it back when the release date was in September, but I held off once it got delayed to December.  Now it’s been adjusted again, this time to “this winter,” so they have another three month window for the release.

12/15/2010

Tales of Xillia!

by wfgodbold

Behold!

Animation by Ufotable (of Kara no Kyoukai fame) instead of Production IG, theme song by Ayumi Hamasaki, music by Motoi Sakuraba, and character designs by *both* Kousuke Fujishima (Abyss, Vesperia, Symphonia) and Mutsumi Inomata (Eternia, Hearts, Graces)!

Tales of Xillia (pronounced ex-illia) is slated for a 2011 release on the PS3; everything in the trailer looks great, from the backgrounds and environments to the characters and their animations.

The two main characters we see in the trailer are Jude Matis (voiced by Tsubasa Yonaga), a brawler, and Mira Maxwell (voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro), a swordswoman who has some connection to the spirits.

Unlike past Tales, both Jude and Mira are apparently main characters; perhaps there will be points in the game where they will be split up and in control of two sub-parties, like in Final Fantasy XIII.

The trailer opens with Mira musing on the death of the spirits, and ends with a rephrasing of the quote from the opening of Tales of Phantasia, “If there is evil in this world, it lurks in the hearts of man.”

Update:  SiliconEra has some more info on the battle system.

12/13/2010

Thor!

by wfgodbold

The official trailer is out, and it looks awesome!

Marvel studios is doing a good job at churning these movies out every couple years, and they’ve all been pretty good.  Hopefully Thor will continue the trend.

12/07/2010

Ah, the hypocrisy of the elite

by wfgodbold

Ted Turner says we need a global one-child policy to save the planet!

That would be the same Ted Turner that has five children.

Just like I don’t find it credible when those lecturing on the dangers of global warming fly off in their private jets to the World Cup, or to a big conference in Cancun (can’t they use videoconferencing?), I’m not swayed by the arguments of a guy with five children who thinks I should only have one.

Even setting aside the whole hypocrisy issue, having a negative population growth rate is not ideal; we have enough problems with our entitlements as it is with a population that is slowly increasing.  If we end up cutting our population by half every generation, the young will collapse under the cost of the entitlements for their parents and grandparents.

Not that there’s any hope of everyone in the world agreeing on anything at all; we have to be realistic.  The UN is powerless and consumed by graft, and you have to figure there are people out there who would argue with anything suggestions coming from the US just because it was suggested by an American.

12/02/2010

I’ve been watching Firefly

by wfgodbold

Only one episode and the movie left to go, and it’s pretty good.  I can definitely see why it’s got the fan following it does, and Fox did the show a disservice by airing the episodes out of order and canceling it.  Maybe they’re owned by SEGA?

On the other hand, the big fan following wasn’t enough to push Serenity into the black (even if it was enough to get it made), so Fox chose wisely when they sold the rights to Universal.

I do like the high tech/low tech juxtaposition, though; Star Trek would have been far better with lever action rifles and horses.

I doubt I’ll finish watching the show tonight; there’s a new episode of Burn Notice starting soon, and then tomorrow I’m going to go see The Warrior’s Way (after all, the only thing that’s almost as cool as Cowboys and Aliens is Cowboys and Ninjas!).

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