Operation Backlog Completion 2017
Jul 312015
 

After our recent discussion of concerns for Dai Gyakuten Saiban, here’s a curious situation that may or may not be good news. Capcom is cracking down on people who attempt to post DGS material online.

On the surface, this sounds bad. We won’t be able to enjoy Dai Gyakuten Saiban videos, which (at least if you could read Japanese) would be one way to experience the story if it’s never brought West. On the other hand, however, this is unusual behavior for a company that doesn’t go after the other Ace Attorney material online.

This is fine, but a song from DGS gets pulled for copyright reasons?

This is fine, but a song from DGS gets pulled for copyright reasons?

Cutscenes, walkthroughs, soundtracks… all of this material can be regularly found on Youtube for all other Ace Attorney games.

You can even find full Let’s Plays of Gyakuten Kenji 2 or its fan translation.

Yet multiple users report copyright strikes from Capcom after they posted Dai Gyakuten Saiban material.

For example, Youtube user Bolt2nd uploaded the DGS soundtrack, only to have it removed for copyright reasons. In contrast, his uploads of the Dual Destinies, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright, and Gyakuten Kenji 2 soundtracks weren’t touched.

So what’s up, Capcom? Why is Dai Gyakuten Saiban footage not allowed when all other Ace Attorney footage is?

I want to believe it is good news in disguise, an attempt to limit access to footage before the game’s Western release! Granted, they didn’t do this for previous titles, but video uploads might be rampant due to the fear that it won’t be localized.

Why do you think Capcom is being so strict about this game’s copyright?

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Jul 292015
 

Most JRPG fans are currently abuzz about Dragon Quest XI. It caught my attention, so I hope to hear more about it. (Should I dig out my GBC copy of Dragon Warrior III?) Then there’s the upcoming PC release of Grandia II.

But since we seem to be in some sort of JRPG renaissance, we’re going to talk about a different JRPG recently unveiled, Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky.

Famitsu-Exist-Archive-logo

Over the past week or so, Spike Chunsoft teased details about its new game developed by tri-Ace. It was finally revealed as Exist Archive for the PS4 and PS Vita, and the first details about it have reached us thanks to Famitsu.

(Note, all of my details come from Gematsu, since putting that Famitsu page through Google Translate really won’t help.)

An evil god named Yamatoga kills the game’s 12 heroes in an explosion. They become immortals, with part of Yamatoga’s soul inside of them.

Famitsu-Exist-Archive-charactersAnother look at the game from Gematsu suggests this makes the 12 characters “evil gods” as well, but that’s unclear. Either way, you can use this evil god soul power for powerful attacks in battle.

Story details are pretty scarce so far, other than that these characters get caught up in arguments between the gods, but the premise is interesting. It’s the gameplay that caught my attention.

It’s a side-view RPG, although the characters in dungeons will be 3D chibi models. In the dungeons you explore, you’ll have to use skills in order to solve puzzles. I enjoy puzzles in my RPG dungeons, so that sounds great! Enemies appear on the screen, and once in battle, you’ll use the “Active Chain Battle” system.

Each of the four face buttons corresponds to a party member, and you can chain their attacks together in different orders to get a higher battle score and increase your chance of getting rare items from the battle. (I would guess these attack chains form combos, with different combinations being more effective than others.)

Fans have said this battle system is similar to that of Valkyrie Profile. I haven’t played it–perhaps I should. Can any Valkyrie Profile fans weigh in on this sort of combat?

Party members can also be swapped between the front and back rows during battle. As is typical for battle systems that use rows, characters in the front deal more damage but will be attacked more often, while characters in the back deal less damage but are attacked less often. I’ve seen this system in many RPGs and have generally enjoyed it.

Famitsu-Exist-Archive-battle

The developers also said there will be an important choice that influences events in the game, it will be about 40-50 hours long, and it’s not a “typical rule of right” story. Moral ambiguity and shades of gray since the characters are all evil gods, I guess?

It has the director and writer Masaki Norimoto from Valkyrie Profile, character designer Mino Taro from Love Plus, and composer Motoi Sakuraba, who did music for games like Valkyrie Profile, Star Ocean, and Tales, among many others.

Anyway, Exist Archive has my interest. I’m not very familiar with Spike Chunsoft, but I want to play its Danganronpa and Zero Escape games. Chunsoft also developed the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games, which I also hope to try. Meanwhile, tri-Ace (not to be confused with tri-Crescendo, a mistake I tend to make) has an entire lineup of games I want to play: Star Ocean, Valkyrie Profile, etc. The founders of tri-Ace also have ties to Tales of Phantasia.

I probably should play at least a few of these before Exist Archive: The Other Side of the Sky comes out. Which games should be at the top of my list?

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Jul 272015
 

Dai_Gyakuten_Saiban_cover_artDai Gyakuten Saiban, or The Great Ace Attorney, is the newest addition to the Ace Attorney series. After its release in Japan on July 9th, fans in the West have one big question: will Dai Gyakuten Saiban be localized?

So far, only one Ace Attorney game hasn’t been localized. Like Investigations 2, Dai Gyakuten Saiban is a spin-off, so the success of Dual Destinies isn’t a good guide. And while the crossover was localized, Professor Layton and Level-5 may be why.

The more time passes without a localization announcement, the more uncertain fans become. Let’s lay out all the details and look at the three biggest concerns for Dai Gyakuten Saiban.

Worry #1: The Setting

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, Jinxie Tenma

Your average California girl.

The earliest concerns began because the game is set during Japan’s Meiji Era. Localized Ace Attorney games try very hard, and often hilariously, to pretend they’re set in California. It would be difficult to keep up the facade with a game more rooted in Japanese culture.

First of all, most fans would be fine with Capcom dropping the pretense, although it might be a little late to retcon the entire series now. Second, and more importantly, Dai Gyakuten Saiban begins in Japan but switches to London for most of the game. While there could still be trouble with the first case, it isn’t as a big a problem as it first seemed.

As for the character coming from Japan… it’s not an issue. Ace Attorney’s California already has towns founded by Japanese immigrants, so it’s easy to say Phoenix Wright has a Japanese ancestor. Sure, it would be jarring if DGS’s protagonist was named “Wright,” but his name can stay Japanese. One of his female descendants married a Wright, and there you go.

Worry #2: The Timing

While some fans worried about the game’s content, others worried about the timing of its announcements (or lack thereof). Dual Destinies was teased in January 2012, revealed in September 2012, and announced for the West at the same time.

This makes the lack of a Dai Gyakuten Saiban announcement especially worrisome.

However, Dual Destinies may have been a special case–perhaps the quick announcement was even meant to reassure fans after the Investigations 2 incident. In contrast, Apollo Justice was revealed in June 2006. Forget Apollo Justice, Trials & Tribulations wouldn’t be announced for North America and Europe until April 2007.

Of course, the original trilogy was in a unique position as the GBA versions had been out in Japan for a long time already… but the point is that Dual Destinies’ simultaneous announcement isn’t the norm.

Worry #3: The Reviews

Dai Gyakuten Saiban didn’t receive a stellar reception in Japan. Right now it has an average of 2 and a half stars on Amazon. Most of the negativity comes from claims that the game is “incomplete.”

Dai-Gyakuten-Saiban-reviews

Apparently it was planned as a trilogy (which can cause problems) and left a lot of loose ends and cliffhangers as a result. This didn’t please a lot of fans. On the other hand, Amazon Japan has a reputation for low reviews, and the review from Famitsu was much more favorable.

Still, if Capcom decided to gauge reception before making up its mind about localization, this could be problematic. In fact, its nature as a planned trilogy also raises concerns. Will Capcom commit to the start of a trilogy without any idea of how the later two games will be?

As much as I believed DGS localization was likely (enough to not consider it a pipe dream), even my faith has been shaken. What are your biggest concerns for this game, and what do you think its localization chances are?

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