iwakura.p’s state of the union

“When’s CCC?” “Where’s Sakura Wars?” “Give Shadowrun plz” “SILVER CASE WHEN!?”

And so on and so on. Just a few of the many questions I get on the regular, and understandably so.

To that end, here’s updates on each of the three projects that I’m actively leading, and one that I’m actively helping on, as well as others that I’d eventually plan to do but have not even come close to starting yet.

Fate/Extra CCC (PSP)

fate_extra_ccc_psp_game

Translation Progress: ~10%

Team Members: Four(editor, two translators, programmer)

Script Size: Biblical (4000+ pages)

Difficulty: Fairly High (massive script, branching paths, unknown menu format)

Sakura Wars (PC)

1

Translation Progress: ~40%

Team Members: Three (editor, translator, programmer)

Script Size: Average  (300-400 pages)

Difficulty: High (due to very, very thin menu confines)

 

Shadowrun (Sega CD)

shadowrun-mcd

Translation Progress: ~20%

Team Members:  Variable (Editor, programmer, assorted freelance translators)

Script Size: Fairly Average (100-200 pages)

Difficulty: NIGHTMARISH (This is a very, very buggy game, and Sega CD hacking is fairly uncharted territory.)

 

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (PSP)

1

(Not an iwakura.p project, I am assisting on this one.)

Team Members: Three (translator, editor, programmer

Translation Progress: 60%(majority of the script is translated, but it ALL needs to be edited)

Script Size: Fairly Large

Difficulty: Fair (it’s an Atlus project, always Luciferian to program, but we have a very skilled person on that job.)

 

Moonlight Syndrome (PS1)

Team Members: Three (Translator, editor, programmer)

Translation Progress: 30%

Script Size: Medium

Difficulty: Fair (mostly JUST text, but we haven’t delved into it yet.)

(Not officially underway.)

The Silver Case (PS1)

(not officially underway)

Team Members: N/A, at least two when it begins

Translation Progress: N/A

Script Size: MASSIVE (this game is mostly JUST text)

Difficulty: Nightmarish (hybrid fmv, animation, and visual novel)

 

Hope this helps answer some of your questions. Hit me up on twitter if you have more(@cj_iwakura). And try to positive thinking.

 

 

cj iwakura’s Games of the Year

I didn’t play a lot of new games this year. In fact I played very few. So this is just the best ‘games I played in 2015’ list. So before you go all ‘omg where’s Bloodborne'(no PS4) or ‘where’s Witcher 3′(don’t own it) or ‘where’s Undertale'(same) do bear that in mind.

That said:

1426872935-mgsv

Mine was easily Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Yes, I know about the cut content, the stories of production hell, etc etc. But at the end of the day, it’s an emotional & gripping plot which brings MGS full circle. I played Peace Walker to completion, so I know full well that Kazuhira Miller deserves a lot more respect than he gets, and V certainly brings his tale to an appropriate close as well.

While I think Kiefer Sutherland was an excellent Snake, Robin Atkin ‘downward FUCKING dog’ Downes is every bit his equal if not his superior, and deserves all the accolades.

I fully enjoyed my time with MGSV, and will happily play it again. If nothing else, any game that lets me catch a helicopter ride to the tune of Only Time Will Tell can’t be all bad.

Runner-Ups

The Last Express (PC)

I’ve never seen a game as visually striking as this, and doubt I ever will.

Crypt of the Necrodancer (PC)

Roguelike + rhythm game. Addictive, hardcore, and has a pretty great story to boot.

Her Story (PC)

I dare you to try and put this down once you get started. Good luck.

Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters (PSV/PS3)

This is a weird fricking game. But it’s modern occult, very pretty, and spins a gripping tale. You could do worse.

Honorable Mentions:

Beyond: Two Souls (PS3), Hotline Miami 2 (PC), Brandish: The Dark Revenant(PSP), Cladun X2(PSP), Gone Home (PC),

 

Most Disappointing Game of the Year

(I won’t say worst because none of the games I played were bad.)

Corpse Party: Blood Drive (PSV)

I wanted to like this game. I REALLY did. It still has an interesting story, and some great characters… with a lot of junk. The game is janky, often not fun to play, and has a lot of stupid tropes that get in the way of an otherwise gripping tale. Pretend it ended with the original game. Sad, considering that Book of Shadows had an AMAZING cliffhanger, but BD does not provide a satisfying resolution at all.

That said,

this prick is my hero.

As an aside, the best film of the year?

IT FOLLOWS.

You will never see another horror film like it again, because no one’s that clever.

Rhapsody 2: Puppet Princess fan translation resurfaces

Disclaimer: I am in no way involved with this project, not to say I wouldn’t love to be.

 

Rhapsody 2 Preview

 

This is apparently in stasis since Gemini put the project on hiatus until he finds a new team, but maybe he’ll finish it if enough people show interest.
(So go show interest, like right now. Deluge the guy.)

enci2yy

This is a sequel to one of my favorite RPGs ever, and having played it on the JPSN a while ago, I can attest that it is pure joy.

Incidentally, if you’re reading this and love NIS games and want to translate a silly musical RPG, GET IN TOUCH WITH GEMINI NOW!

Love,

cj

Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine – In Appreciation

SMT Imagine was an interesting experiment by Atlus. They oversaw it to ensure it would stay true to the series’ canon, while Cave(yes that Cave) spearheaded development.

Yes, Aeria Games(mostly known for crappy FTP MMOs) published this in the US. Yes, their translation was awful. (And mostly outsourced to fans on the MB, true story.)

And yes the combat is repetitive, ultra grindy, and leveling up is slow to the point of being obnoxious.

But let’s talk about what it did right.

Continue reading

The Fate/Extra CCC Translation Project

As anyone who follows me on twitter knows, this baby’s been in the oven for a LONG. DAMN. TIME.


This was originally being done by Neoxephon at GBATemp. NX was making mad progress, but then sadly had to give up. See the thread here.

So NX handed over the work he’d done so far on the code to anyone who was willing.

It turns out we are. (The former translator sadly does not want to be involved, so we will respect their wishes and start over from scratch.)

Without further ado, the first buggy-as-hell screens of Fate/Extra CCC.
DISCLAIMER: THESE ARE ALL TESTING BUILD PURPOSES ONLY.  That said, have an enjoy.

MENU_00000 MENU_00001 MENU_00002 MENU_00003 MENU_00004 MENU_00005 MENU_00006 MENU_00007 MENU_00008 MENU_00009 MENU_00010 MENU_00011 MENU_00012

Myself and EsperKnight are hard at work at fixing the bugs and we have a new translator potentially in the wings, so please be excited, etc.

[EDITORIAL] Playism and ZUN’s treatment of Touhou is unacceptable.

I usually don’t use this site to soapbox, but if you’re reading this, I assume you’re into niche games, and at very least have heard of the omnipresent Touhou franchise.

If by some chance you haven’t, it’s a long-running shmup series basically created by one guy: a doujin/indie developer who goes by ZUN. He does it all: programming, music, art, and story.

ZUN is an extremely talented and prolific individual, and I’ll never contest that.

What I will say is that he comes across as one of the most stubborn, prideful developers in the industry, and he’s only doing him and his works harm as a result.

ZUN is notoriously protective of Touhou, to the point that he has yet to allow anyone to make an anime out of the franchise, despite what I can assume are dozens of lucrative offers.

He additionally has refused to let the games see official localization. Although there is a very devout fan community that continue to translate and patch his games for them to receive wider notice, his pride continues to belittle their efforts by refusing to let the games get any proper release, dooming them to a tiny niche.

This brings me to Playism.

The Touhou community was abuzz with the news that Playism had struck a deal with ZUN to release the newest title, Touhou 14: Double Dealing Character, digitally on PC.

This was unexpected, and a great cause for optimism. Maybe ZUN had lightened up! Maybe Touhou was finally getting the official globalization it deserved!

Except… the game was completely untranslated. Menus, story, EVERYTHING was left in Japanese.

http://playism-games.com/game/215/double-dealing-character

At ZUN’s insistence.

That neither the media or community has expressed outrage at this is beyond me.

It is unacceptable in this day and age to expect players to pay money for a lazy localization.

I’m sure there’s people out there who think that this is just a shooting game, and localization doesn’t matter.

Well, people say the same thing about BlazBlue in regards to its story mode. But there are people who play those story modes. There are people who care. And they deserve just as much respect as those who play the games to dodge ridiculous amounts of bullets. (Personally, I play them for both.)

It’s entirely possible that Playism had no control. Maybe ZUN’s stipulation was that they could only release it untranslated.

If that really is the case(and I believe it is), then were I in Playism’s shoes, I’d have told ZUN to get lost. It’s not worth the reputation, the insult to fans’ intelligence(especially when they had it patched within days), or catering to ZUN’s foolish pride.

As an aside, some may mention that Touhou games have begun to finally see some official release on Sony’s platforms… except these are only fan made ones.


All the games so far have been derivatives of Touhou works, nothing from the mainline series.

If this is the precedent that ZUN hopes to set in western territories with his franchise, then maybe it really is meant to stay over there. If ZUN doesn’t care about us, then we have no obligation to care about him.

Post-Mortem: Tokyo Twilight Ghost Hunters

This was a fascinating little game. Sadly it’s also very experimental, and part visual novel, meaning it’s going to get overlooked by reviewers and gamers alike.

TTGH is difficult to classify. It has elements of SRPGs, VNs, and modern occultism.

The big appeal here is the story, because I love modern day plots and the occult, and TTGH has plenty of both.

Aksys’ localization team again prove their work to be some of the best in the industry. Every character’s personality comes through with wit and charisma, and even the less likable characters(Mifune starts out as a total bitch) still come across as fleshed out and well developed.

Sadly, due to the episodic nature of the game, a lot of the more interesting characters wind up resigned to being important in a single chapter, but at least you get to hang out with them at the HQ.

What really brings the game down is the obtuse battle system.

While it makes sense that fighting ghosts should be a difficult venture and they should not be easy to confront, the implementation of it just feels kind of haphazard.

Battles are somewhat like SRPGs such as Eternal Poison and Fire Emblem… in theory.

Movement occurs on the grid, then the actual attacking gets displayed in 3D visualizations.

TTGH uses a very unique graphical style with hand-drawn art animated into short scenes, and it really makes the visuals pop.

It’s just a damn shame that most of the battles boil down to guess work. Maybe the ghost will be there when you attack it, or maybe it’ll move right past you and run into you, negating your turn altogether.

It makes the battles thrilling when your attacks do connect, but insanely frustrating when they don’t. It becomes less about strategy and more about guess work.

Of course, you can easily break the game when you unlock skills like Eagle Eye and buffing, which instantly show you ghosts and let you boost your ATK through the roof, but someone’s bound to get frustrated long before those skills come into play.

If you can adjust to that glaring flaw, then you’re in for one hell of a ghost hunting occult tale, one well worth experiencing again in the future. I can’t say I’ve ever played a game like it, which is usually the highest praise I can offer.

As an aside, although I happen to be straight, I couldn’t help but think that the two gay characters who appear in the game are borderline offensive. They’re caricatures at best, insulting at worst.

Maybe the community wouldn’t take offense by it, but I feel developers can do better than falling into gay stereotypes.