E3 2010: Sitting Down With NIS America
June 29, 2010 - While I (Anthony Cara) was at E3 I had the unique opportunity to speak with a couple of classy guys from NIS America and what followed was a delightfully candid interview filled with giggles and moderately inappropriate comments. Okay, I’m not gonna try to bamboozle you and compromise my journalistic integrity in the process. I’ve made some friends at NISA (one of the big reasons you never see me reviewing their games) and this was far from a suit and tie sit down affair; nevertheless, their candor and comments were honest and the good folks at NISA really are a different breed of video game folk.
What follows is a highly edited and much better structured version of our “interview.”Me: So what are you showing off here at E3 today?Nick:
Trinity Universe! (at this point Nick makes a grand gesture as though he was unveiling the game’s station) We also have Rorona, but that’s not quite ready yet.Me: That’s understandable. Now then, what would you say sets Trinity Universe apart from other JRPGs out right now.Ryuta:
It’s really great seeing all the different characters from other games, and how they would interact if they were put together in one universe!Me: You mean like Cross Edge?Ryuta:
The dialogue is very humorous!Ryuta:
Well it may be a crossover title like Cross Edge was, but it’s a very different game. It flows much more smoothly and the dual story paths are fantastic.Me: What would you say is the most challenging part of game localization?Ryuta/Nick:
(in perfect unison and in a very emphatic tone) DEBUG!Me: Deal with any particularly difficult game testers?Ryuta:
Just Anthony (both men glare at me menacingly)Me: So what’s your favorite part then?Ryuta:
After months and months of hard work, that feeling you get just seeing everything finally come together – and then seeing that finished product!Me: Okay, I got kind of a random one – looking back through time, if you could have worked on the localization team of any classic Japanese game, which would you choose?Nick:
Probably any one of the old Phantasy Star games.
Ryuta: Kunio-Kun!!!! ダウンタウン熱血物語 (If you don’t have the Japanese language pack installed on your computer, that probably looked like gibberish. Sufficed to say, he was talking about River City Ransom – and it TOTALLY impressed him I knew that’s what he was talking about! Ahem…where was I)Me: So Trinity Universe and Atelier Rorona look great! Is there anything else NISA is working on that you would like to share with us?Ryuta:
(he looks around to see if anyone is looking) ******** part ******** and ********** *************. (Then he and Nick both began to laugh). Are you actually writing this stuff down? Wait, are you serious? Me: Deadly.Nick/Ryuta:
Okay, I took some liberties there at the end– sorry gang, but we will just have to wait for the official NISA press conference. I can tell you this however, I have a very distinct feeling that we can expect some fantastic games from NISA in the near future… perhaps even a sequel or two from among their most beloved IPs.
Disgaea Infinite 3? Viral Survival 5? Only time will tell…Published author and prior gaming website employee Nick Doerr is NISA’s latest script editor. He has already made a name for himself with his trademark wit and delightful humor. His hidden jokes and thinly veiled references betray his passionate love for Japanese RPG and anime, and his writing style betrays his experience wit.
Eccentric and entertaining Japan native Ryuta may not have such a strong gaming or anime background, but his fervor is undeniable and he strives for authenticity in all things. Aside from coordinating the localization process, he also plays and translates the games himself. Though he wouldn’t consider himself a gamer, he seems to have found a new love for the art and he has dedicated a great deal of time to such badass games as Yakuza 3, Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage, and Sakura Wars: So Long My Love.
As long as these two men (and the rest of the fantastic staff at NISA) are around, it seems that our beloved quirky JRPGS and SRPGS are in good hands. Despite what you may have heard – they deeply care about maintaining their games’ original Japanese…ness. Some puns may get lost in translation, but anyone who has ever looked into a foreign language knows that this is inevitable. Any and all changes are approved by native speakers and the heart of the humor remains constant.
So don’t worry Mamoru is not going to become Ted, and no one is going to pretend a rice ball is a doughnut- at least not at NISA.
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