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JAPANDEMONIUM
Dissidia May 13, 2007
Konnichiwa

A day late, and a dollar short. Story of my life. I spent almost every waking hour (as well as 'should have been sleeping' hours) translating the gobs of info coming in from SQUARE ENIX PARTY 2007. There were blogs and reports and interviews galore. I was hoping to get my weekly column and editorial in, but my mind demanded time to unwind. Writer's block gripped me like a Wii-mote and shook away my determination.

There's been controversy on the forums over RPGamer's coverage of Dissidia. Is it RPG-ish enough? Maybe not, but they should totally make "RPG-ish" a game genre. Regardless, the top 3 criteria for appearing in Japandemonium are
1) Japanese-related
2) RPG-ish
3) Entertaining for the readers
(I bumped "easy to report on" down to #4)

I also have a whole other entire letter to answer. So, look forward to that!

Dengeki time! And the number one slot goes to, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings again! Super Paper Mario snuck back up to second place.

Otherwise, several RPGs shot up in rank, even if half of them involve enslaving wildlife to engage in deadly combat. Nintendo dominated as usual, expanding their ivory-colored plastic grip across all top 15 slots. PSP broke the streak with Monster Hunter Portable at #16.

Position Title Publisher Platform
1 Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings Square Enix
2 Super Paper Mario Nintendo
16 Monster Hunter Portable 2 Capcom
19 Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker Square Enix
21 Pokemon Diamond Nintendo
25 Final Fantasy Square Enix
27 Pokemon Pearl Nintendo
28 Tamagotchi Appure! Niji Adventure Namco Bandai
32 Persona 3 Fes Atlus
48 Kingdom Hearts II ~Final Mix~ Square Enix
49 Digimon Sunburst Namco Bandai
Source: Dengeki
Square Enix

Announced as the culmination of 20 years of Final Fantasy history, Final Fantasy Dissida is anticipated to be a landmark game in the series. Little is known at that point, but using my journalistic mirror of truth, I shall reflect what little light was shown on the subject into your eager eyes. Please, wear protective glasses.

"What is this new Final Fantasy title!? It's ACTION!!!" shouted the premiere magazine article. Well, not shouted... but I bet the guy who typed it pressed really hard on the keyboard. It claimed that protagonists from all over the Final Fantasy franchise would be placed in a 3D battlefield.

Apparently, Comos and Chaos have called forth their heroes from light and darkness, respectively. Representing the forces of light are a Light Warrior and Zidane Tribal. Mr. Light Warrior is a fastidious defender of justice! Can he get along with Zidane's lackadaisical lifestyle? Representing the forces of darkness, we have Garland and Kuja so far.

The screenshots depict Garland and the Warrior of Light in a "deathmatch" that re-tells the epic struggle of good vs. evil. From the blurbs littered about the page, the main theme of the game seems to be giving the player complete control to relive classic battles of the Final Fantasy series. Almost like a "make your own clip show" for this 20 year milestone.

According to reports from SQUARE ENIX PARTY 2007, Final Fantasy Dissidia will employ a RPG-command style system for activating special attacks. It's said to have a very fast paced feel and the battle movies shown were action-packed. No new characters were revealed, but one of the scenes displayed near the end hinted at the appearance of Sephiroth. I don't think any of us would be surprised to see him make an appearance.








Source: Game Watch
Square EnixThe third installment in the Parasite Eve series for the cell phone was announced this weekend. Dubbed, "THE 3rd Birthday," the game will continue the adventures of Aya Brea and is set 8 years after the previous game.

Fan reactions were decidedly lukewarm, as this game will only be available for NTT DoCoMo cellphones. Apparently, Square Enix was competing with Sony's PSEye for smallest niche market ever.



Source: The Magic Box
NintendoAlright, I'm going to try and get through an entire story on Pokemon. It will be tough, but that's the kind of dedication I have towards the readers. Beer: Check, Spicy Ramen: Check, Undeniable feeling that I'm still a man: Gone years ago. Here goes nothing...

Since 1998, Nintendo has hosted an annual "Pokemon Theatre." They began with "Mewtwo's Counterattack" and will continue this year with a nation-wide road show of "Pokemon Diamond/Pearl: Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai." Grown men everywhere are reported to be eagerly anticipating the event.

As a promotion for the movie, attendees who bring along their Nintendo DS with Pokemon Diamond/Pearl with be able to wirelessly download the mysterious, dark Pokemon, Darkrai. This is a particular relief to those who bring Pokemon to school, only to go home with mysterious, dark bruises.

The cross-country tour is set to begin July 14th, 2007.


Source: Famitsu




Square EnixPresident Yoichi Wada, tear down this wall! Seriously, I see three requests for a FFVI remake in the first picture alone!

Below are some snapshots of a wall of Post-It notes. Japanese fans were allowed to scribble down some thoughts and stick them up for everyone to see. Here are some examples:

"Remake SaGa 2! (Final Fantasy Legend 2)
"I love Cloud! I love Nomura-san!"
"Xenogears 10 year anniversary: 2/11/2008"
"Remake Xenogears and make it better than PS Version" (that was already in English!)
"Please remake FF7!!"
"Release FF12-2 for the PS2!!"
"FF7 is the best"
"Final Fantasy is the greatest!!"
"I grew up with Final Fantasy!!"
"Don't kill Aerith so fast, bring her back!"





Source: Dengeki
Here's my letter for this week:

Melon Buns

Bret,

Howslife? I couldn't make it this midday, so that's why I'm sending it this evening. Well, it's already 1 in the morning, but luckily there's this time difference here! As I see from your portfolio I see that you did only 1 volume for a particular serie - I never thought it was like that! It sounds kinda strange when different people translate a whole serie - I mean doesn't that bring inconsistency throughout the series? Or is there somebody like a head translator who coordinates the whole project and hires other translators to translate? Could you tell us more about the whole process, because I'm wondering how the whole stuff works - I mean how does that freelancing work and how do you get selected (on what base) for the projects you do?

Counter-point

I did two volumes from two different series. For one series, I started on volume 7 and will continue on from there. All I know is the guy before me stopped. It's a freelance thing, so I'm not "in the loop" with all the company's decisions. Plus side is I can translate for as many companies I want at once. On the other series, I'm starting from the beginning. I don't plan to stop anytime soon, so that will help with consistency. However, after I provide the translations, there is usually an Adaptation guy who alters it for an American audience. That job is usually static, and will be a full-time, in-house position.

continued

About the left-right writing, I now understand that it comes from scrolls, but I still don't understand the logic of writing from up to down (the advantage of it), because it's also possible to unroll the scroll from left to right. The only logic I can think of is that it's easier to unroll, because you can just let it go and it'll be rolled out - like when you hang them on the wall. And the the reason why they write to side that they unroll (writing from up to down while unrolling the bottom part) doesn't sound logical to me: the only reason why it would be handy is when the sentences they write are longer than the width of the scroll. I would really think that reading a scroll would be easier when you write left-right (or right-left) while unrolling it to the bottom (or top), because this would take less space when reading a scroll (you could roll the bottom out, while rolling the top in). When you write the vertical while unrolling the document vertical would mean that when reading a sentence you have to unroll the shole scroll. If you know what I mean (I hope I'm sort of clear here). Please give some insight where I'm wrong here, because some of the points doesn't sound logical to me!

Counter-point

Think of it like this: a scroll wasn't originally a long sheet of paper for them, but a series a bamboo reeds.

{|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||}

It sort of looks like that. Each line is a reed placed vertically, but put together, make a scroll that unfurls horizontally. The Chinese would write with their right hand, leaving their left hand free. To them, the most logical way to write a scroll was to use the pen to write in their right hand, and use the free left hand to unroll it as they filled it with text. So since they are unrolling it horizontally right to left, the bamboo strips are vertically aligned, and therefore text is written top to bottom.

continued

Now for something different (yes the questions keep coming): a few weeks ago I ate a melon bun for the first time and I found it quite yummy! I always thought that it had the taste of melons, but it seems that it is called like that because of their shape! Now, are there any tasty treats like that that we see a lot of in anime/Japanese movies/manga/etc. but we can't get easily hold of here in the West - ones you only ate in Japan? And I don't know if you cook or bake, but do you have some good (lemon buns) recipes you could share?

Well, that's it I think - my "80 questions"! Before I knew it I didn't even have chance too ask some stuff about "Golden Week"! Well, next week then! Thanks for answering my questions (also in advance for tommorrow) and until next week!

Douggie

PS. Toro is also getting his own shirts: http://kotaku.com/gaming/meow/sony-cat-gets-shirts-259228.php - they actually look pretty cool!

Counter-point

I'm not much of a baker, but I do cook a little. As for recipes, you reminded me that my friend left a few detailed recipes when she left for Japan. They're all in Japanese so I'll have to translate. Perhaps I can scan and post them with translations for next week's column.

This weekend was rough. Next column should be up on time. Um, that's it!

Mata ne,


Bret "CactusLeaf" Mayer

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