Serial Experiments Lain: The PSX Game

Disclaimer: despite iwakura.productions’ intimate ties to The Wired, we currently have no intention or designs on fan translating the Lain PSX game. This is merely for observational purposes. I believe there is a team currently working on it. Any further inquiries should be addressed to Masami Eiri at Navi Technologies(ltd.).

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The Lain PSX game is an odd duck.

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It’s not even really a game at all. It’s a simulator.

You navigate a Lain avatar through a cyclical interface to access her journals, voice recordings, and assorted clips of her interacting with society.

It gets VERY repetitive, but there is a ton of content if you have the patience and time to unlock it all.

As seen, her avatar is very playful and light-hearted, kind of like her original form before Wired-Lain takes over.

I don’t know who did the anime scenes, but judging from the wildly different style, probably not Nakamura.

There are moments very reminiscent of the show’s aesthetics, though.

The diaries are mostly Lain talking about anything from classmates to her parents. Is it meant to be the same Lain we know, or an alternate reality?

Either way, if you love Lain and want another dose of her strange world, it’s certainly worth a look.

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Shadowrun (Sega CD): In-game text, insertion underway!

Been a long time coming…

It has begun, chummers.

Esper managed to get the script inserted. We have yet to do any tweaking, but it’s there!

Basically at this point we need to fine tune it, correct any erroneous pointers(see the black screen in the battles), and hopefully apply a fixed-width font so the sentences actually fit.

Most of the cut-offs are due to the JP version having a three line limitation.

This is from one of my favorite scenarios. The runners are checking locations in Shibuya to find out the whereabouts of the Shadow Mage… and get more than they bargained for.

 

















First step in a brave new world and all that. See you on the flip side!

Post-Mortem: Deception IV: Blood Ties / Kagero: Darkside Princess

 

 

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I love Deception.

 

 

A lot.

 

 

 

Little wonder I was incredibly hyped for the fifth game.

 

Okay, you’re probably confused right about now.

 

Why is it called Deception IV when it’s the fifth game?Glad you asked!

 

The Story so Far:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each of the PS1 games was localized as ‘Deception’. I, II, and III, respectively.

The fourth, in a timelessly silly move, as ‘Trapt’.

 

So, TecmoKoei(or whatever they call themselves) localized the fifth game as IV.

 

I guess I’ll allow it. Moving on!

 

 

 

 

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Deception V existing at all is kind of a miracle. It’s the kind of ultra niche franchise you expect relatively big name devs like KT to give up on in favor of surefire cashcows like Dynasty Warriors and Ninja Gai-…. okay just Dynasty Warriors.

 

So a company undertaking this kind of project nowadays definitely deserves support.

 

Especially when the game isn’t ruining the legacy, but builds on it in every imaginable way. Deception V is one massive love letter to the series. The devs love the series just as much as I do if not more.

 

Firstly, bios.

 

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Would this be a Deception game without stupid people flocking to their death in droves? Hell no.

 

Secondly, the traps.

 

Oh, V’s variety of killing tools is delicious.

 

 

 

 

 

Traps in V have three flavors: Elaborate, Sadistic, and Humiliating.

 

Far more than the wall/ceiling/floor trap limits of old, now there’s flavors on top of that.

 

And with three flavorful Daemon followers to personalize them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also make requests/challenges of the player during each level, adding lots of replay value.

They’re great for discovering new combos, too.

 

Oh yeah, story.

 

 

 

Laegrinna, the Devil’s Daughter, seeks to revive her father, the Devil. She has three Daemons to help her do it. The means? Murder 12 descendants of the saints that sealed him away.

 

I’m not a fan of her outfit either, but hey…

(Millennia outfit from Kagero: Deception II)

 

It gets better with unlockables.

 

There’s also four new stages, each with a plethora of fun killing techniques.

 

My favorite being the amusement park with the deadly roller coaster and merry-go-round, but there’s also a factory with conveyors, a castle with armored chariots, and a massive cathedral with devil-powered crushing limbs and moats patrolled by mechanical gators.

 

 

Fun stuff.

 

Then there’s the enemies themselves…

 

 

 

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Oh, they are nasty now. Despite relying on a lot of palette swapping, enemies now have destructible armor, guns, elemental varieties of magic, and are more clever than ever.

 

Still, it makes it all the more satisfying when you crush their armor with a pendulum then drop a tombstone on their skulls, doesn’t it?

 

Deception V has all the series staples when it comes to traps: pendulums, bombs, bear claws, lances, arrows, washbins… then add in flaming boulders, pies in the face, and a Delta Horse, and you’ve got enough torture implements to take on an army of stupid invaders. (You’ll need them.)

 

 

 

 

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I played the Vita version and had a wonderful time, but I’m sure the PS3 version is just as good if not better… despite the extra $20 cost involved.

Post-mortem: Soul Sacrifice

Full disclosure: I was a little skeptical of what Keiji Inafune was capable of once he left* Capcom. (*Some might say ‘was freed from’ is more accurate.)

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Soul Sacrifice didn’t seem like the type of game I’d associate with the whimsical guy responsible for Mega Man, Legends, and lovable scamps like Tron Bonne.

As a huge fan of Demon’s Souls, which I’d heard brought up in comparison to SS, I was obligated to try it at some point. The fact that I recently picked up a Vita and got the game for free via PS+ helped expedite the process.

 

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Sadly, Soul Sacrifice has about as much in common with Demon’s Souls as Monster Hunter does with Wizardry.  There’s no dungeon crawling or exploration, or a sense of reward for delving into the unknown.

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What it does have is some fantastic boss fights, difficulty to spare, and one of the best stories I’ve been exposed to in years.

The world is a dark place. The mad sorcerer known as Magusar(no relation) has gone crazy, and has taken to sacrificing countless sorcerers and innocents on the altar of his immortality.

The player is a new victim, trapped in a desolate cell with nothing to do but wait for his time to die at Magusar’s hands.

Until he finds a book… a Librom… who promises to give the player a chance at salvation and maybe even defeating Magusar. All he has to do is read, and learn about the past.

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Soul Sacrifice is basically a Monster Hunter-like, just more mission based. A comparison to God’s Eater is more apt. Once you choose the target, you go into an arena-like instance where the monster and lesser targets await. Kill them all and continue with the story.

What sets Soul Sacrifice apart is the Sacrifice/Save mechanic. By saving the souls of slain monsters, the player gets more life, and becomes (presumably) a more light-hearted person. By sacrificing them, you get more magical power(and also recharged spell uses), but the player’s heart also turns darker.

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Certain parts of the story also branch based on whether you save or sacrifice a vanquished boss. Sometimes it only amounts to a new page or two of text, but hey, it’s something.

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The text is easily the most engrossing aspect of Soul Sacrifice. Accompanied by the music of Yasunori Mitsuda(composer of a little game called Chrono Trigger, you probably heard of him), the player can easily get engrossed in the hundreds of pages encompassing the lore of Soul Sacrifice’s characters, world, and bestiary. Especially the bestiary. A terrifying amount of prose is dedicated to explaining how the monsters became the vicious beasts they are today, and the player may even find them sympathetic.

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The Cyclops, for instance, was a Blacksmith who offered up his eye to forever keep his craft intact. He did, but at the cost of his humanity in addition to his sight. From start to finish, if nothing else, I assure you the story of Soul Sacrifice will keep you engrossed, and I hope learning the truth about the Librom and Magusar proves as enjoyable and shocking to you as it did to me.

The dark world Inafune helped create is one that easily merits multiple visits.ss7

Iwakura Productions Fan Translation Panel @ Animate Miami Convention: Sunday, January 19th, 2013, 3-4PM

Update: Rescheduled to Sunday instead of Saturday.

 

http://animatemiami2014.sched.org/

Just got approved yesterday. Your truly will be hosting a panel to discuss fan translations, forthcoming projects, and the basics of how a project is undertaken. See you there, hopefully!

http://animatemiami2014.sched.org/event/a7abfb296af0308ad5f09e477310fd74#.UrtAOLTN6uI

Another Suda 51 Trip: Flower, Sun, and Rain

Fortunately we don’t need to translate this one.

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But thanks to Vermillion and yours truly, you can have a much better OP than the one in XSeed’s release.

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FSR is not a pretty game. But it is very unique, and I like unique.

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Sumio Mondo is a Searcher, a man who takes odd jobs to find lost things for people. He’s on vacation at the world-renown Hotel Flower, Sun, and Rain, on the peaceful Lospass Island, where you can go to forget your past. Or so he thought.

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FSR involves walking. Lots of walking.

Also puzzle solving, and some great ambient music c/o GHM’s former maestro, Masafumi Takada.

It’s certainly a memorable trip.

Although the DS version lacks the PS2′s breathtaking opening, the rest is just as good. It’s also dirt cheap, so there’s that. Also, any of you who’ve been crazy enough to delve into The Silver Case may recognize a face or two… Image

Pay a visit, why don’t you? Edo McAlister never forgets the faces of his guests.

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