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How do you feel about Nintendo's current localization strategy? [roundtable]
 
No, not the face-rubbing or skimpy outfits or forced undergarments. Lord knows the internet has already discussed those enough.

I'm talking about their decisions about which games to localize. How confident are you guys that cool Japanese games on Nintendo platforms will actually get localized? Do you think it's worse or better than before? And which games are you still waiting for?

I think they've definitely made steps in the right direction recently. Making the 3DS region locked was an enormous step in the wrong direction, though. I'm not sure about the business vagaries of an unlocked system, but they don't seem to bother Sony or Microsoft. Or previous handheld Nintendo. So they should really cut that out. It just pisses off the most hardcore fans AND encourages hackers to blow their system wide open. In the name of justice, even!

But they seem to be localizing more stuff recently. The localization lag is inordinately long, in some cases (see: Picross 3D 2 rumors), but I think they've localized the vast majority of their games recently. Even going so far as to localize some third-party games, like the Dragon Quest remakes or the Bravely games, for gunshy publishers (mostly just greedy Squeenix).

Seemingly out of desperation to fill their platforms with content, they've even started righting previous localization wrongs. Which is awesome. The Mystery of Murasame Castle, Mother, and (probably) Mother 3 releases are nice, feel good events for everyone. My main wish is that they would go much further with this initiative. Especially since the Wii U Virtual Console can address pretty much any legacy Nintendo platform. Why not fill out the lineup with Custom Robo, Doshin the Giant, Another Code R, Kuru Kuru Kururin, and even Japanese games like Zangeki No Reginleiv? I mean, many of them need either minimal translation or no translation whatsoever. And there was a precedent for localizing untranslated games on the Wii VC. Why did that stop? Did parents complain or something? Let's Goemon it up!

As for the 3DS, as great as all of the recent localization announcements (and game announcements) have been... I DON'T LIKE RPGs. So they all kind of taste like ashes in my mouth. Especially when games like Rhythm Tengoku Best, Jam With The Band 3DS, and Culdcept 3DS already exist. I mean, Nintendo hasn't even given those last two series a chance in America, and they're SO GOOOD. At least let someone else localize them!

In conclusion, Nintendo is one of my favorite video game companies. Thank you for listening to my presentation.

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Posted: 02/10/16, 17:27:53  - Edited by 
 on: 02/10/16, 23:20:09
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Nice post. I totally agree about Jam With the Band, my favorite DS game and honestly one of the best new Nintendo series in the past decade or two. At the very least, though, it's nice seeing NOA take more strides towards localizing stuff over here now. I think there's been a bit of a cultural shift (especially since the 90's) where gamers are more interested in quirky Japanese stuff.

The 3DS region-locking is ridiculous, but if we really do get Mother 3, all will be forgiven~
Posted: 02/10/16, 17:31:23
@TriforceBun
Jam With the Band is awesome, but I can see how it would be difficult to localize, unless the track list is just ten versions each of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Bingo. But Culdcept is an awesome, accessible, unique series that Nintendo is just sitting on. And, in this, our age of Hearthstone, it could be a huge hit.

As for the cultural shift, it might just be that we didn't even KNOW about the quirky Japanese stuff back in the day. And also that the ONLY thing we had to play was quirky Japanese stuff. Maybe growing up in the 80's conditioned many of us to enjoy quirky Japanese stuff (qJs).
Posted: 02/10/16, 17:57:12
To be totally fair, hackers will rationalize what they do no matter WHAT Nintendo does, so I imagine they're worried less about those people and more about the hard-core pirates operating out of places like Hong Kong and whatnot. No idea, since I'm not in their closed-door meetings, but I just don't think "It's Nintendo's fault the hackers are hacking!" is a valid excuse.

As for their current localization strategy, I'm pretty much fine with it. Of course, I don't have much of a choice in the matter, so I'll choose to be fine with it regardless, most likely. I never got Giftpia, and those wounds have almost started closing by now, so at this point I can probably deal with anything they do.

Posted: 02/10/16, 21:20:54
Weird timing: apparently Kuru Kuru Kururin is coming out on the Wii U tomorrow, for $5 (so it might not be a VC GBA game?).

How insane is that!?

I'm loving Nintendo's current localization strategy!
Posted: 02/10/16, 21:56:03
I'm cool with what they've been doing so far. I already have so many games to play, I have little to complain about.

By the way, just for clarification. Nintendo is only taking the burden of PUBLISHING costs when it comes to the Square-Enix games. An outside, third-party company (that has no direct ties to Nintendo) does the localization. (company name is Binari Sonori, you can Google them if you want)
Posted: 02/10/16, 21:56:10
@Guillaume
In America?! Wow, Nintendo really DOES listen!

Seriously, though, that's awesome. It's gotta be GBA, because I don't think it would be the Gamecube game. KKK... came out in Europe, and Kururin Paradise came out in Australia, I think, so they shouldn't need localization.

@GameDadGrant
Noted!
Posted: 02/10/16, 23:19:12
If nintendo is the company translating Dragon Quest 7, then SE can screw off with their inability to translate it. I am glad nintendo steps in when it comes to the dragon quest franchise, because SE clearly has no interest in building that brand in the west.
Posted: 02/10/16, 23:33:00
It does sort of seem that not getting enough 3rd party support has forced them to bring more stuff over than they would have otherwise, and I can't complain about that. I honestly haven't paid much attention to what exists and hasn't come over though, so I don't really know if there are some major games missing here.

Like, there is a Rhythm Heaven game on 3DS that didn't come over? WTF is up with that?!
Posted: 02/10/16, 23:37:35
This current strategy where Australia gets quite a few releases before NA does is pretty sweet.

It should be more widespread.
Posted: 02/11/16, 00:09:46
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