I’ve been playing japanese RPG’s for most of my years as a gamer. They have by far some of the best storytelling in the art form and even some of the best this world has ever seen. Ni no Kuni is one such game. This beauty for the senses was a project from two of the worlds best developers when it comes to expressing a manifold of human emotion via a screen.
One of these developers is one of my all time favorite video game developers Level-5. Level-5 has been praised for many years for having some of the best RPG’s on console and handheld, however their critical and commercial success does not end with only gaming. The studio has also pumped out some amazing anime for one of their most popular IP’s Inazuma eleven and even the Gundam franchise in the form of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE.
The other titan involved in Ni no Kuni is none other than the legendary Studio Ghibli. If I have to explain to you who this amazing master of the art of storytelling is then you my friend have not lived life yet. If you are a fan of anime and you have not seen their works like Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away, you my friend are no anime fan. At anime conventions or social gatherings the mention of any of Ghibli’s projects is reason for no less than a heated conversation of interest and admiration.
So with the bringing together of two of the greatest studios ever, they can do no wrong, right, “wrong!”. When i first heard about Ni no Kuni it was the Nintendo DS version that i saw in an E3 trailer. The game looked amazing and controversial at the same time to me. I remember watching with a friend of mine and turning to him with a gleeful smile, which slowly turned to my usual emotionless expression and saying “Bro that game looks amazing, but you know most religious and superstitious folks are gonna call it witchcraft and stuff with the tie in of that book of spells and symbols”. Now mind you me I am respectful of all religions and others beliefs so my statement was not one of offence, but one of careful observation due to the past witch hunts i have personally witnessed against titles like Pokemon and Yugioh.
A few years had past since that fateful trailer and without any news about the Amazing game i had seen in a E3 Trailer. I had long forgotten about Ni no Kuni, when all of a sudden there was another E3 trailer of the long forgotten game. this time it was for the PS3 and there was no Tie in book to be seen (I later found out that you can buy the special edition and get the book). The game look just as amazing as the first time that i had seen it or even more so. I then started asking myself questions like, wasn’t there a DS version of this game announced before? and what the hell happened to it? Soon it was brought to light that the original game was released in japan but not to other regions. Level-5 Akihiro Hino said that the localization of the game for other regions was considered, but that the bundled book that would have to go with every copy of the game for that added level of immersion would be too expensive to translate and print. Wait isn’t the game already translated for the PS3 and isn’t the book also translated in the game and as a physical copy for the special edition? #cough BS.
Ni no kuni is not alone in this sad plight of great games not being released globally. The same fate holds true for other Level-5 games like Inazuma eleven and Namco bandai’s One Piece: unlimited cruise Sp. Now I as an outer source looking in cannot claim to understand the amount of work that goes into translating these games, but in the cases where the game is already localized for another platform or region there is no excuse as to why they are not globally released. It’s almost like saying you don’t want my money, and that the only way some gamers are gonna play these greats in their lifetime is to get some fan subbed version (which i should note is illegal).
Ni no Kuni is is an amazing game that i will be getting for my PS3, but i don’t play much at home as is use to so the DS version would be idle for a gamer like me. Level-5 will forever be one of my favorite video game studios, however it seems will i forever have to speak of them with great admiration and disappointment at the same time? hopefully not, hopefully the game is translated for the DS or even ported to the 3DS either one will be a great move for the franchise. The translations are already there and the game has already been accepted by western crowds due to the success of the PS3 version. So level-5 give please give me the Ni no Kuni i want.
My question for this article is: Is their a game that you have wanted to play but have been able to because of translation issues?
Oh zingger is want to ask another this week What is your Favorite Studio Ghibli movie? mine is spirited away.
Also Check out the Button Smashers Giveaway page and enter to win a free game or two. The each giveaway contest runs for a week so go take a chance who knows you just may win Link