Let me tell you something – I might have a hard time picking a favorite-favorite game, but Undertale is somewhere up there for sure. I had been waiting for it since I had first played the demo, in 2013, and it was well worth the wait. Hell, it’s a game you can reasonably beat in ~10 hours, and I had over 30h clocked by the time I felt ready to move on.
And now not only has this hit of an RPG been released on the PS4 and Vita, but it was also officially released in Japanese! Both on these two platforms and, just a few days ago, on Steam, which means a couple of things. One: it’s an easily-accessible, well-known RPG, in which you can switch freely between the two languages, and which doesn’t use a lot of kanji, meaning it’s great for practice.
Two: I was very curious how such a wordplay- and joke-heavy game would be localized. This lead to the birth of a YouTube series in which I aim to find out just that, and the first episode of which you can find right here:
In episode 2 of Let’s Discover we take a look at Soma Bringer – an action RPG released for the Nintendo DS in 2008. It was developed by Monolith Soft – the creators of (among other things) Xenoblade Chronicles.
Soma – a mysterious energy that permeates every living being. It can be harnessed using a device called a “Soma Cage”, and utilized in a myriad of ways – from something as simple as heating up water to enhancing peoples’ combat abilities. However, any imbalance in Soma causes parasitic monsters – Visitors – to show up and start wreaking havoc. The military organization Pharzuph was created to fight these beings.
Welt is on his first mission as a member of Pharzuph when he meets an amnesiac girl – Idea. Just where will their meeting lead…?
The video is a brief overview of the game: my personal thoughts are under the cut.
For quite a while I wanted to make a series of something – blog posts, videos – about obscure games. Games that never got much attention for whatever reason, and particularly those that never left their home country of (usually) Japan.
Well, the first video in this series is here!
一九九九 七月 恐怖の大王が降りた
1999, July. The king of fear descended upon us.
G.O.D ~Mezame yo to yobu koe ga kikoe~ （A voice calling for an awakening) is a role-playing game, first released in 1996 for Super Famicom. It was never released in English, and even in Japan it remained a fairly obscure title.
With that said, however, there are few interesting things about this game, notably – its story is set in modern-day Japan (which is quite rare for a game not in the Shin Megami Tensei series) and it has quite a few similarities to an SNES cult classic: Earthbound.
The video goes into a bit more detail about what this game is, what it isn’t, and just what it is about.
…AKA “Take the internet away from me, or else I’ll end up impulse-buying games at 3AM.”
Anyway. Are you ready to hear another story about me and my gaming history?
The time when I first got my Nintendo DS was a quite magical. It was my first gaming system period. It was a new dimension of gaming for me. I set off for a search of games I wanted to play. Everything was fresh, new and exciting. While nowadays I usually turn towards well known, critically-acclaimed titles, I didn’t have similar reservations back then.
…Partially because I buy my games now, while back then I mostly acquired them by… less legal means.
Also, I didn’t know Japanese back then. So in my search, I ran into quite a few titles that basically made the Western fanbase go: “Why didn’t they bring these over here?” I also remember looking at these games wistfully, wishing I could play them. That was six or seven years ago…
And today I’ve got two of these games right here.
So you want to start playing RPGs in Japanese
Maybe you’re like me and grab the nearest available Final Fantasy game (which in my case was FFX). After all, what could possibly go wrong?
Then you get to the status screen and it’s like “boy, what should I even be looking at here.”
So, I decided to put together a little guide on how to read the status screens in jRPGs. Of course, every game is going to be slightly different here, but they all tend to have some similarities. I’m going to look at the stats from a couple popular RPGs and we’ll see how they compare.
First, let’s look at the stat screen in Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken (released simply as Fire Emblem in the West).
Are you excited? I’m excited!
Ok, so, around two weeks a mysterious countdown had appeared on the official Persona 5 site, counting down to May 5 (because of course). Today, around 7pm Japan time a live broadcast began on Nico Nico Douga, showing… Tokyo Tower. A text in the bottom left said: “On May 5th we take over Tokyo Tower!”
The time of the announcement – 9:30pm. So, people waited.
And boy, what an announcement it was.