Nintendo of America Localizing Itadaki Street Wii, JRPGs Still MIA!

I’ve been adamant of the Wii not being dead yet. Nintendo’s way of presenting it in this year’s E3 has been very poor, though. From Miyamoto’s comments that he’s moving on from the Wii to lack of coverage of the hidden games coming out this year — it’s been a disaster all around. NOA’s silent treatment towards titles such as Xenoblade and The Last Story has been particularly disturbing to hardcore Wii fans, especially since they’re publishing more obscure titles such as Rhythm Heaven outside Japan. Well, I have another piece of news that may excite yet disturb you all. For 20 years Square-Enix have avoided localizing this series outside of Japan because people just might not get it…until now. Thanks to a partnership with NOA, the most recent installment of Itadaki Street for the Wii will hit shelves, now known as Fortune Street outside of Japan. Since the most recent one crosses over Nintendo’s mascots with Square-Enix’s, it makes sense that NOA is handling the localization. What doesn’t make sense is the fact that this bit of news is from the E3 show-floor, yet IGN has just let us know about it weeks after the event. I’m not blaming IGN; I’m blaming Nintendo of America for not letting this fact known. Another weird factor is that Nintendo’s actually taking a risk on a rather obscure Japanese board game series instead of putting more effort towards safer and more consumer-friendly hardcore IPs such as Xenoblade and The Last Story. I’m rather perplexed by the whole situation. Perhaps it’s easier to localize Itadaki Street as opposed to JRPG which are voice and dialogue-heavy. That’s the only logical thing I can think of. But as many JRPG fans know, we actually don’t mind if the voice work stays Japanese as long as there’s English menus and subtitles. I know that Nintendo of America aren’t the best in providing games with solid voice-overs, nor do they have the will to hire talented English voice actors. At this point, I don’t even care about proper localization as long as I get my hands on those JRPGs. For God’s sake, just keep the Japanese voices intact!

Before I forget, IGN’s featurette also highlights another solid games in the works for the Wii: the next installment of Rune Factory by Natsume. While they completely forgot to mention Mario Party 9 and Rhythm Heaven, IGN does a pretty good job in highlighting the remainder of Wii’s line-up.

4 thoughts on “Nintendo of America Localizing Itadaki Street Wii, JRPGs Still MIA!”

  1. I dunno man. JRPG’s are not that good anymore compared to what the Westerns dev’s have been making for a while now. I’m sure some are still a lot of fun to play, but I rather play games from the Western companies over a JRPG.

    1. Agreed. There are a few diamonds in the rough though, Tim. Xenoblade and The Last Story are two of them because they don’t play like your standard JRPGs at all. Xenoblade has all the weight behind the people who made Baten Kaitos, which is still unique to this very day. And The Last Story is made by the guys who made Lost Odyssey, which is by far the best JRPG of this generation because it steps up to western RPGs in many things.

    2. I agree, but to an extent. I think part of it is that a lot of JRPGS have been moved on to handheld platforms. We see a lot of awesome Japanese role-playing games on the DS and PSP, but few on the major consoles, with some exceptions. As for the ones on the console, there are a lot of poor ones (which I’ve mentioned in a different post), but there are some high-quality ones as well, such as Lost Odyssey, Valkyria Chronicles, and Tales of Vesperia. Those are fantastic games. And Xenoblade and Last Story look like quality games too.

      Western-oriented RPGs have definitely overtaken JRPGS in popularity on home consoles, but you have to admit there are lot of terrible Western RPGs too. How many times can we see a generic swords and sorcery medeival fantasy RPG? I loved Dragon Age, but there are a deluge of other games that aren’t so good (like Two Worlds…bleh).

      In short, it’s not that JRPGs are any worse than Western RPGs conceptually, at least in my opinion.

  2. There’s a post I’m working on that everyone should check out if they’re interested in Xenoblade and The Last Story. Basically Nintendo of America purposely left these titles out of E3 because they have no plans to localize them for North America. Go have a look at what the #1 selling game is on Amazon.com and I think you’ll be in for quite a surprise.

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