An interesting aspect of Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s Western release is the matter of its localisation.
I’m not talking about it from a “censorship” perspective or anything like that, mind you — largely because, in my experience, those sorts of discussions often tend to get bogged down and never really go anywhere.
Rather, Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s localisation is an interesting case because, more than anything, it appears to represent an honest attempt to bridge the gap between a genre of game that has come to be regarded as highly “niche interest” over the last few years, and the broader, mainstream audience Nintendo typically courts with its console platforms.
Continue reading Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Bringing the “Niche” to the “Mainstream”
With Omega Labyrinth Z being the first game to be refused classification in the UK for a decade — the last was Rockstar’s ultra-violent Manhunt 2 — there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the title.
With that in mind, I felt it important to express my own feelings on the matter directly to the Video Standards Council (VSC), the body responsible for refusing to allow the game to be sold in the United Kingdom, despite it already having successfully attained a PEGI 18 rating elsewhere in Europe.
If you feel similarly, I encourage you to reach out to the VSC yourself using the contact details on their website. I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will anyway: if you choose to do so, please keep your messages polite and respectful, whatever you may think of the decision. And whether or not anything changes as a result of feedback from consumers like this, we can at least say we tried to get our voices heard.
The letter I sent directly to the VSC follows after the jump.
Continue reading An Open Letter to the Video Standards Council
The fact that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 exists and, moreover, has been treated as a distinctly high-profile title for Nintendo’s Switch platform is nothing short of remarkable.
The Xeno series as a whole has been around for quite some time now and has been fairly consistently well-received by those who have played its various installments. But it’s been a long road for it to achieve the mainstream levels of acceptance and awareness it now enjoys. And a pretty interesting story, to boot.
So, before we dive into the game proper over the course of the next month, let’s look back at what it means to be a Xeno game, and how we got to where we are now.
Continue reading Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Introduction and History
As we’ve already seen, one of Inti Creates’ biggest strengths as a developer is its ability to understand what made the games of the past great while simultaneously updating them with modern conveniences and conventions.
Azure Striker Gunvolt, a relatively new series from the company but one which has already gone on to be popular and well-received, is a great example of this philosophy at work. Adopting a pleasingly chunky but detailed late 16-bit pixel art look and combining it with delicious 2D art, excellent storytelling and a well-crafted world, the game provides a wonderful experience, whether you enjoy it on its original host platform of the 3DS, its port to PC or its most recent incarnation on Nintendo Switch as part of the Azure Striker Gunvolt Striker Pack alongside its sequel.
Let’s take a closer look at where this game from and what makes it tick… or rather buzz, perhaps.
Continue reading Azure Striker Gunvolt: An Electrifying Action Platformer
Later this week, we’re going to take a closer look at Inti Creates’ excellent Blaster Master Zero for Switch and 3DS. So it’s only fitting that we devote a Waifu Wednesday to its heroine.
Blaster Master as a whole actually has rather more detailed lore than you might expect for… well, for something with a title like Blaster Master, and Eve has played an important role in the series’ backstory from the beginning.
However, she wasn’t directly “seen” until the novelisation of Blaster Master by Peter Lerangis (writing under the pen name of A. L. Singer) that formed part of the Worlds of Power series that novelised a number of popular NES games. And then she was completely reimagined for Blaster Master Zero anyway, which had the scope to make a lot more of its narrative context than the NES original did.
Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Eve
As gaming has evolved, the medium of “video games” has broadened considerably. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that a wide variety of disparate markets have started to overlap and mingle.
One of the most interesting things about gaming today is the wide variety of experiences we can enjoy from creators all over the world. Here in the West, for example, we can enjoy more quality games that hail from Asia than ever before thanks to the sterling efforts of localisation companies — despite the occasional controversy, of course!
But then there’s the odd company out there who does things a little differently; the odd company that “thinks global” right from the beginning rather than making sharply delineated distinctions between “East” and “West”. And one of those companies is Inti Creates.
Continue reading Inti Creates: On Being a Truly International Game Developer
Yesterday, DRM-free digital distribution platform GOG.com posted a lengthy interview with localisation producer Tom Lipschultz and team leader Ken Berry from XSEED Games, whose most recent localisation project Zwei has recently been released on GOG’s storefront.
Lipschultz in particular has been known up until the time of writing as someone who claims to hold a “zero-tolerance” policy towards content edits made during localisation of Japanese titles for Western audiences, but a number of his comments throughout the interview gave a few people pause.
And it’s worth talking about those points in detail, because some of what Lipschultz says unfortunately appears to demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of where his priorities should be as part of a successful and prolific localisation company that has brought a number of beloved franchises to the West.
Continue reading Altering Content and Self-Censorship Pleases No-One