Have you always wanted to play Japanese 3DS games on your North American/European 3DS, but couldn’t because of the region lock? Or lamented the fact that North America gets everything before Europe? Well never fear, because RegionThree is here!
Talk about a surprise announcement! Just before the holidays, UK publisher PQube has announced that they will be working directly with developer Mages to bring acclaimed visual novel Steins;Gate to PlayStation 3 and Vita to both North America and Europe in 2015.
So far, other details are scare: According to Siliconera, who followed up with PQube, it’s not set in stone whether the release will be physical, digital, or both, but PQube representative Geraint Evans is adamant that they will strive to release a physical version if at all possible.
What makes this announcement particularly surprising is the fact that JAST USA already released their own English version of Steins;Gate for PC earlier this year (both physical and digital), but at that time there was no word of a console release. When speaking with Siliconera, Evans said he was unsure at this point if they would be using JAST’s translation.
|(gif from the Steins;Gate anime adaptation)|
What I find interesting about the teaser site is that while it plays a revamped version of Dragon Quest‘s iconic theme, it doen’t have the same funky vibe that the revised Final Fantasy prelude has in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. Does this indicate a more traditional direction for the menu/background music in Theatrhythm Dragon Quest?There’s not much information about the game yet aside from the teaser site that reveals that a trailer for the game will debut at Jump Fiesta on the weekend of December 20th – 21st. Not only that, but it will be playable, as well! The game already has a release date of March 26th in Japan, and will retail for 5,800 yen.
Also, it can’t be said enough how adorable the Dragon Quest monsters look in the big-eyed Theatrhythm art style!
Do you think Dragon Quest has enough catchy tunes to make as meaty of a game as Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy? Unfortunately, none of the Dragon Quest games on 3DS have made it into English yet, so localization chances might not be so good for this one… Then again, as a rhythm game it won’t have anywhere near the amount of text as an RPG, so maybe Square Enix will throw us a bone!
When Marvelous AQL announced that the PAL release of Rune Factory 4 was canceled in January this year, the door appeared to have closed on the RPG/farming hybrid. Rune Factory developer Neverland shut down in 2013, which was likely the cause of the cancelation, meaning that European and Australian fans may have never gotten to play what could be the last Rune Factory game ever. In an exciting development, however, XSEED Games, publisher of the North American version, has announced that they will be releasing game in PAL regions next week!
While the game will be digital only, meaning no snazzy box art or potential collector’s editions, this is thrilling news for Rune Factory fans who do not own a North American 3DS. The game will retail for £24.99 / €29.99 and $49.95 AUD on December 11th.
Regarding the game’s delayed PAL launch, project lead Brittany Avery tweeted that after Neverland’s closure, XSEED had to negotiate to get the source code themselves, something that is usually left to the game developer. She explains that 99% of cases when the original developer is no longer available to assist with the code, the project is doomed to never release, making the fact that XSEED was able to pull off a PAL version of Rune Factory 4 a real feat indeed.
I don’t always feel the need to do news posts here on Chic Pixel, but with announcements as big and exciting as these, I just couldn’t pass them up! Manga Gamer, the bishojo game publisher, revealed their new game lineup at Anime Expo today, which included not one, but two titles aimed squarely at the otome and fujoshi demographic (aka me), OZMAFIA!! and No, Thank You!!!. I like to imagine those excessive exclamation marks were included in the titles because the developers knew how happy fans would be to have them localized…
The fact that OZMAFIA!! will be coming out in English isn’t exactly new, as the developer, Poni-Patchet, announced as much at the game’s one year anniversary event a week ago, but this is the first world we’ve gotten of who’s actually helping them bring over the PC-only title. According to Manga Gamer’s Anime Expo panel, they will be looking to bring the title to Steam, as well.
OZMAFIA!! is pretty much exactly what you’d imagine it to be from the title: it’s an otome game (romance visual novel for girls) that features a mafia… based on Wizard of Oz characters. While some of the romantic interests are loosely styled around memorable characters such as the Scarecrow and Tin Man, other rival mafias get their inspiration from Grimm fairy tales, among other classics. For those familiar with otome games, the artist behind all of the illustrations is none other than the woman who worked on Diabolik Lovers, one of the most popular otome game series in Japan at the moment.
No, Thank You!!!, on the other, hand, came completely out of left field. Otome games have been typically hard sell for western publishers, but BL games have been even harder (Is that a pun? Don’t ask). Well, Manga Gamer is ready to take on the challenge with what will be the first English release of a BL game since Enzai: Falsely Accused came out way back in 2006! No, Thank You!!! is, in my opinion, extra special as it really starts to blur the lines of bara (a general term referring to pornographic material aimed at gay men) and BL (generally for a female audience). Not only do the men have much more varied character designs than the usual BL fare, but they’re a wide range of ages, and players even have the option to toggle their body hair on and off at any time during the game! Now that’s something!
I’ve previously expressed my disappointment with western publishers passing over games aimed at a female audience in favor of more of the same, so it’s time to make some noise and really celebrate this news! While OZMAFIA!! probably wouldn’t have been a game I’d have specifically sought out myself, No, Thank you!!! has been on my radar since before it was released in Japan (in fact, I’ve written about it twice). If you’re at all interested in more varied games getting localized, please let Manga Gamer know how thrilled you are that they’re releasing these titles, and consider picking them up on release!
I love Gackt. I imagine a lot of people who got into Japanese culture in the late 90s and thought themselves to be somewhat alternative love Gackt. But, you know, my love with the somewhat-infamous singer isn’t the kind of all-encompassing love a lot of young girls express for their male idols, it’s an ironic kind of love. Yes, I love(d?) his music, but after seeing him on Japanese television and watching the film he wrote and starred in with fellow singer Hyde (Moon Child), as well as his international debut in Bunraku (with Josh Hartnett), I can conclude he is completely nuts. And I kind of love him for it.
In fact, the guy who once proclaimed he was an immortal vampire is turning 41 tomorrow, so happy birthday, Gackt! But that’s not what I’m here to celebrate today… Instead, I want to talk about the new Let’s Play series Gackt has launched in collaboration with Nestlé Japan. Every day for a whole year, videos of Gackt playing various retro video games will be posted to Nestlé Japan’s YouTube channel in what might be the strangest collaboration I’ve heard of in quite a while!
Does Gackt even like video games? What does this have to do with Nestlé? Well, they’re giving away some Nescafé coffee machines signed by Gackt, so there’s that… What we do know about this new series is that the episodes will be posted every day at 7 pm Japan time and will last between 5 to 10 minutes. He’ll also be playing between 5 and 10 different titles a month. So far he’s played Mega Man 2 and Super Dodge Ball and… he’s not very good at it. Nor does he look all that amused. Ah, Gackt, you’ve finally started to age… There’s something oddly charming about his nonchalant manner and the fact that he doesn’t ever take his sunglasses off despite all the weird mood lighting going on in the room they have him playing these games in.
Unfortunately the series is currently only available in Japanese, but some zealous fan might subtitle them à la Game Center CX. Still, I think it’s amusing enough to watch even if you don’t know what’s being said. I’m cheering you on, Gackt!
I don’t know why, but I haven’t seen a single piece in English on the upcoming BL game No, Thank You!!! since I first wrote about it back in February. Now, I’ll readily admit that its title makes it rather difficult to search for information that actually pertains to the game, but I’m inclined to think that this game may be going under the radar of BL fans in general.
As I wrote in my last post, the game is a PC-only 18+ BL (boys’ love) visual novel that has an interesting twist – it appears to be attempting to tap into the bara, or gay male, audience, as well. My thesis research is actually centered around BL manga that shake up traditional notions of what constitues “BL,” so naturally the idea of mixing BL and bara piqued my interest. When I heard the March 2013 issue of Cool-B, a Japanese magazine for BL games, would feature some new information and illustrations from No, Thank You!!!, I jumped on the chance to learn more!
Please forgive the separate images! The above pictures are of a two-page spread, but I couldn’t bring myself to tear apart the magazine so I could get scans that matched up to make one seamless image. The first half at least looks pretty okay on its own, though, don’t you think?
The second page features some text that describes a little narrative surrounding this Valentine’s Day-inspired scene.
Next is a two-page spread later on in the magazine that details the game further, including a message from developer parade asking fans to be patient and that the game will come out sometime in 2013 (they’ve been advertising No, Thank You!!! since 2011 at least, which is quite a long time for a BL game, I think).
My favorite part of this page has to be the new CG in the bottom-right corner. Seems like there’s quite a food theme going in this game! I can definitely get behind that.
This issue also features the opening scenario of the game, which is that big wall of text you see above. If anyone desperately wants it (or any other pages I have scanned) translated, do let me know! I’d be happy to do so, but I’d much rather know that people want to read it than go to all the trouble to translate it only to find out that no one really cares!
Anyway, the basic premise of the game is that 22-year-old Haru saves a man from being hit by a car, but wakes up with no memories of who he is or what happened. The man, Kouichi Inui (the dark brown-haired older man pictured with Haru in the aforementioned CG), takes Haru back to the bar he owns and offers him a job. Of course, romance ensues! Well, that’s what I imagine, but Haru’s defining feature is that he wants to have sex with any man or woman he finds attractive… I guess amnesia doesn’t effect one’s libido?
|No, Thank You!!!’s cheeky amnesiac protagonist Haru|
Finally, the magazine also comes with DVD featuring a number of exclusive items such as wallpapers and videos, including some for No, Thank You!!!. I double-checked the No, Thank You!!! website and they haven’t released these wallpapers yet, so I thought I’d share them with everyone. Follow this link for wallpapers of each main character, available in three sizes each. Hope you like them!