Rundown (9/03-9/09) Natalie Forgets Easily

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Over the past week, I decided to go through a list of the games I have reviewed since I started this blog long long ago, and I’m not sure what surprised me more. The fact that I somehow wrote about 300 game reviews over the span of 6 years, or the fact that I barely even remember playing through so many of them, let alone reviewing them. I mean, I legitimately forgot that I wrote a Rayman Legends review back in 2013. My memory has legitimately been getting worse and worse as of late, and I tend to forget most things very easily. Heck, I do not even remember a single game I reviewed a month ago.

Following the announcement that Final Fantasy XV would be coming to PC with full mod support, many people quickly thought of the possibility of introducing nude and sex mods into the game, and director Hajime Tabata, who previously said that he would leave this sort of thing up to the morals of the playerbase (implying that nudity and sex are somehow immoral), has come out and said “if things are taken a little too far” then it may affect the modability of future Final Fantasy games. A warning that I cannot tilt my head at. Modders are not a designated community who you can simply ask to not do something, and if people can turn something into porn, you better believe they will do so. Also, I think there is a direct correlation between positive sales and nude mods, so what exactly is the problem here?

Speaking of ports, Rockstar games have announced that they will be rereleasing L.A. Noire, a detective adventure game originally released in 2011, that has been partially overshadowed by the horror stories that surrounded its original developers Team Bondi. Anyhow, the game is set to release for the PS4 and Xbox One with the expected visual updates, along with a 4K mode for the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. A Switch version that, while less graphically impressive, will feature Joy-Con and touch screen support. Along with a version for the HTC Vive, entitled L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files, which will contain seven cases from the original game, reworked for VR. All of these new version of L.A. Noire are set to release on November 14th, strangely landing right in the middle of the holiday season.

I brought The Lost Child up a few times since its announcement earlier this year, mostly because it is a bizarre sounding dungeon crawling JRPG centered around a magazine writer who opens up Pandora’s box, involving the fusion of both demons and angels, set in modern day Tokyo, and also somehow being a successor to the 2011 action game El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron. However, my initial worries about a niche game like this being left in Japan were thankfully dismissed as NIS America announced that they will be bringing this title over to the west sometime next year, where it will launch for PS4 and Vita. I would comment on checking the game out upon its western release, but I will likely never own a PS4 and my Vita is currently in a bin somewhere, possibly covered in cockatiel excrement.

News was a bit slow this week, as you can tell, but there is something that I wanted to originally address in the opening section of this Rundown, at least until it spiralled out into something far more complicated than I would ever assume. Anyways, two weeks ago, I reviewed the first installment of World End Economica, and hinted that I would get to the second one shortly. I actually planned on starting my playthrough of the game this past week, but I discovered that doing so would not only be a bad idea, but I should have also held off on playing the first installment. I’ll explain, but I’d rather explain the full story.

World End Economica is the brainchild of Isuna Hasekura, a writer best known for his long running light novel series, Spice and Wolf, which I know nothing about. After the series saw a spike of popularity in the late 2000s, he started an doujin visual novel group named Spicy Tails, and through that group began working on World End Economica. A three part series that was first released at Comiket in 2011, with the latter two installments coming out annually.

Around the time the third game in the series was completed, Spicy Tails released an English version of the first episode of World End Economica themselves, having hired a group of translators. The original release, colloquially known as the KiriKiri release due to how it ran on the KiriKiri visual novel engine, had numerous problems, and only saw a limited release. However, Sekai Project felt that the series had promise and launched a Kickstarter for the localization of the other two episodes in 2014.

Due to the Kickstarter’s success, Sekai Project began work on translating the remaining the latter two games in the series, while also claiming they would completely retranslate the first episode, and would bring all three games over to the Unity engine, in order to allow them to be ported to other systems, namely the PS4 and Vita. In order to do this, Sekai Project actually worked out a way for Unity to support the versatile visual novel engine Ren’py, rather than recreating a new engine all together as Sekai Project initially announced.

Everything sounded great on paper, and shortly after the Kickstarter, in August of 2014, the first episode of World End Economica was both converted to Ren’py and somewhat edited by Sekai Project. Since then, Sekai Project has released both of the remaining episodes of the series, in 2015 and 2016 respectively, but only the KiriKiri versions. Neither game has been converted into Ren’py, and the first game has not received a new translation, three years after being released by Sekai Project. They have taken so long that a group sought to retranslate the game, and did so by December of 2016. I had to dig around and discover most of this just to answer the question of “why does World End Economica 2 appear to be part of a different and worse engine?”

I was honestly expecting the remainder of this series to be bad, but this mess of a localization process has been something else entirely…

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