: Ben's Week In Review: September 8

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Ben's Week In Review: September 8

I'm back and I'm tired (going cross-country in about two and a half days will do that to you), but the Week in Review must go on!

1.4 million isn't bad, but is it enough?

We learned this past week that the excellent effort from Level-5 and Studio Ghibli, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, had managed to sell 1.4 million units. That's impressive for two reasons: Firstly, we're talking about a niche genre that has been on the decline for years. JRPGs have suffered critically and financially, so this title's success is like a beacon for the fans. Secondly, it's always great when a top-notch new IP is given the respect it deserves. With that respect comes decent, if not fantastic, sales. However, all this being said, is it enough to prove that such games can continue to exist and flourish? It'd also be interesting to know how many people bought Ni no Kuni in this country; what percentage of those 1.4 million copies were sold here? I think it's higher than some might think.

For my part, I believe it proves that there is an audience for such games, although it's obviously quite a bit smaller than the mainstream markets. What does this mean for the future? I think it means teams like Level-5 and Studio Ghibli will continue to churn out titles that cater specifically to that niche group of followers. The games might go full-on downloadable, and the allocated funds for each project may drop off, but the passion will still be there. I just worry if the future market can sustain that passion, especially if it's only a relatively small group that harbors such intense adoration.

And speaking of smaller fan bases...

It was disappointing to hear that Sega currently has no plans to bring Yakuza 5 to the US or Europe. The game launched late last year in Japan, and fans 'round these parts have been used to waiting at least a year for localization. But this time, it seems Sega won't bring us the latest sequel at all, and that's tough to take. But the reasoning behind such a decision is pretty obvious, isn't it? Bringing the game here wouldn't be worthwhile to Sega. They'd invest a certain amount of money to get the localization done and ship it to US stores, and in the end, they'd probably struggle to make much on the game. While the series has received solid critical scores here, sales haven't been great. Therefore, should we really be tossing a lot of ire Sega's way? If I was Sega, I wouldn't localize Yakuza 5, either.

It's nice to see that it's appreciated by many, but there just aren't enough of those people. At least, not in this country. Let's face it: Yakuza is extremely Japanese in nature; it's immersed in the Japanese culture and all the narratives focus specifically on Japanese settings, characters and situations. I'm not sure any of the games even had an option for English voices. These days, that's a tough sell in any country outside of Japan. Maybe we should just accept that, as sad as it is.

Personal gaming update

I've been wicked busy so I didn't get a chance to play much of anything, but my Vita got a lot of use on the trip. I played Hot Shots Golf: World International and Wipeout 2048 on the plane rides, and that was a great way to pass the time. I also read a lot, but having the Vita along was a definite bonus. I did get a chance to play more Madden NFL 25, so you'll see a review for that this week, and then there's the upcoming reviews for Killzone: Mercenary and yes, Grand Theft Auto V, which I should have toward the end of this week. The fall lineup, coupled with the new generation, is going to be totally nuts, of course.

By the way, if you missed it, I have to remind everyone- Don't forget about Splinter Cell: Blacklist. If you're a stealth fan, you can't miss it. And followers of the series will be happy to know that Conviction is in the past, and we finally get a proper SC entry. It really does feel like the true successor to Chaos Theory.

Lastly, a big thanks to David Nelson (aka WorldEndsWithMe) he put up a bunch of stuff while I was gone. It just would've been too hard for me to work during the trip. :)

9/7/2013 Ben Dutka

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Comments (29 posts)

cLoudou
Saturday, September 07, 2013 @ 11:59:54 PM
Reply

Hayao Miyazaki has also retired. ):

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 12:17:59 AM
Reply

Thanks for the shout out Ben, I now have a new appreciation for your job here.

It was also a lot of fun having regular operations rest on me, I couldn't let the opportunity go to waste.

Enjoy your games everyone, I need to lie down now :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 12:35:43 PM

Yeah, there's a bit more work and toil that has to go on behind the scenes here, which most people don't fully understand. ;)

Thanks again.

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TGSA
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 1:21:06 PM

Great job World! Thanks for keeping us updated during Ben's absence!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 4:38:13 PM

You're welcome TGS


@Ban Especially pumping articles to social media and whatnot, it takes forever.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 5:16:37 PM

It can, but I've gotten so fast at everything that I hardly notice anymore. LOL

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Shams
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 12:52:47 AM
Reply

As English is really the international language, i don't see why Sega can't release a downloadable version of the game with English subtitles available over the PSN.

Playing through TLOU and Ni No Kuni right now. Lovin' both.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 9:19:47 AM

I'd be interested to know what it would cost to that with Yakuza 5, how could it really be enough not to warrant it?

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Shams
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 6:08:20 PM

Hiring one or two translators full-time for a couple months, and then not much programming required to substitute the English strings of text for the Japanese ones, plus the licensing of the English character software. But, you're right. I'm sure they did their fair-share risk/profit analysis before coming to such a conclusion.

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Temjin001
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 2:10:03 AM
Reply

I'll get SC Blacklist when the time is right.
There's been so many games coming out.

So we gonna have another user review contest soon? Lots of newer games now to sample from ;)

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Lawless SXE
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 2:13:47 AM
Reply

1.4 million is actually really good for a game in the vein of Ni no Kuni, IMO. I mean, White Knight Chronicles only managed to sell about the same in two iterations, if I'm not mistaken, and there are a lot of games that don't even do that well. I just hope that the relative success doesn't go to Level-5's head and prompt them to do a sequel. Sure, it'd be great, but they're a studio that I'd rather see continually developing new stories and ideas as opposed to building on what's already there.

Damn shame about Yakuza 5. I'd have bought it.

Personal Update:
14 hours into TLoU. I'm surprised by how quickly the Summer segment went compared to Fall. I mean, it was more about setting the scene and the tone of the world, but it just leaves the latter feeling less detailed. I'm not saying it's a bad design choice -I hate it when the second act of any story drags out unnecessarily - it just felt really strange. Anyways, it's a damn good game so far.
Started to read Heart of Darkness earlier in the week and quickly realised that it's the kind of book that asks to be read in one sitting. I should probably get to that.
Peace.

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Ludicrous_Liam
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 4:41:58 PM

I got a rebuttal waiting for you when you finish TLOU (it contains spoilers). It was on David's 'What gameplay improvement do you want next gen?' article, on the 6th.

Hopefully we can discuss the game in detail...I've been waiting since June 14th to do it, lol.

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homura
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 8:19:26 PM

@Ludicrous
About the Giraffe scene. My take on that is Ellie is still a kid after all, so she is still amused by things like that. And Joel realized that especially after what happened in winter. And I think Joel wants her to experience things like that. That life is not just brutality and violence. And that's why Joel said "I'm not gonna live that hospital without you (something like that)." when they go down the stairs. And that beautiful ending. That final expression of the face. Just amazing.

I finished it four times. And it's an epic game.

Last edited by homura on 9/8/2013 8:20:45 PM

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homura
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 8:33:11 PM

And I'll just add that when Ellie watches those Giraffe with Joel she also realized that she is the chance that kids like her can experience those amusing things again.

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Lawless SXE
Monday, September 09, 2013 @ 4:19:01 AM

I look forward to reading it, Liam, and I'd be glad to discuss the game then also.

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 2:16:10 AM
Reply

Too week in reviews!? This is lot to take in. I'm also playing through WipeOut 2048. I've reached the point where the skill level is too high for me and I give up. It's a nice game, but is lacking depth for anyone less than hardcore about there arcade racers.

Can't wait to get home this week and ironically play KZ:Mercenary. TLOU will also be nice to see again.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 9:21:27 AM

It was getting late and I thought Ben might be jet-lagged so it's a two-fer this week :)

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Dell Taco
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 10:30:51 AM

It was a nice surprise World :-) I really do enjoy this community of people and your posts were nice, thanks.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 12:08:40 PM

Thank you, anytime :)

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bigrailer19
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 3:21:07 AM
Reply

I still haven't gotten to play Ni No Kuni. Maybe some day. Glad it sold decent though. I think it deserves it.

PGU: Playing Diablo 3. Its got my full attention and thats good because as much as I love it, I need a break from Borderlands 2.

Diablo 3 is actually a super good game. Its got a good pick up and play style but in depth enough to keep you grinding for hours and hours if you wish. They did a super good job bringing it to consoles amd even added a few things as far as gameplay mechanics go, the pc versions didnt utilize. Its a solid Dungeon Crawler, easily the best on a console since Champions and Baldurs Gate.

Its also pretty lengthy. Been playing all week for a couple hours a night atleast and just got through Act 1 of 4 last night. Of course im playing it like its meant to be played and exploring, grinding and trying to get some good loot. Speaking of the crafting is pretty good. You dont craft yourself but instead gp to a blacksmith. However you choose what to be crafted. You also level up your craftsman to better his abilities to get better results. Anyways im having a great time woth it and the drop in and out co op is great. Take notes RPG devs, Borderlands 2 and Diablo 3 nailed it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 9:22:32 AM

Do you create your own character in Diablo 3?

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bigrailer19
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 12:05:38 PM

No world. Like the Baldurs Gate and Champions games you choose from one of 5 character classes: Monk, Wizard, Barbarian, Demon Hunter amd WWitch Doctor.

You can customize the abilities and powers. As you play amd level you unlock abilities and you can choose which to use and each abilitity has a sub abilitity. Also you collect loot and can customize your gear you wearr. Oh and you can change the name! ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 12:09:30 PM

I see.

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xenris
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 4:54:19 PM

I hope its better on the console than the PC because I was a tester for the PC version and I hated it. I was also a tester for Torchlight 2 which i ended up falling in love with.

I might check this out later when it gets a price drop.

I'm still grinding the heck out of Dragons Crowns :P

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bigrailer19
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 9:43:42 PM

Xenris -

I cant comment on the PC version. However, the devs have said they created this game from the ground up for the console and it shows. I plays like it should on a console. Bing that you have a controller they also have added some gameplay mechanics thay were not in the PC version.

Also its the best top down dungeon crawler game released this generation and since the PS2's Champions games. Its super good, I wouldnt judge it by something you tested, but if you're worried I highly recommend a purchase when the price drops. Also the grinding potential is unreal too if you like that.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 7:02:14 AM
Reply

sounds gud guys i'll look forward to kz:mecenary review keen for that game i'll look at get blacklist when i have got money thats not going towards the ps4 and related things.

happy gaming =)

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Dell Taco
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 10:36:57 AM
Reply

I'm torn between getting Killzone:Mercenary or puppeteer this week, have to be picky if I want the ps4 this year.

PGU; I've been playing Rayman legends on the vita most of the week and it just is awesome. I have mixed in some Saints Row 3 which I find pleasantly amusing,should have played this earlier :-)

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Knightzane
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 11:28:23 AM
Reply

Glad you had a safe trip Ben.

I wanted to comment on both week in reviews so i tried to think about what to say. I'm looking forward to Wind Waker on the wii u. I played that game in like 3rd grade. Hoping there's going to be a bundle or something with a Wii u and the game. It would make it a little more worthwhile buying a Wii u.

I tried to play Ni No Kuni again and i couldn't do it. I feel bad killing the adorable little monsters. Soon as i finished playing it, i went and played Onimusha 3. That intro is still as epic as it was when i first saw it.

FF14 is awesome. I've never played an MMO before so im pretty glad my first experience with one is good. I do remember playing 30 minutes of WoW, 23 of which was spent trying to get a name that wasnt taken. So i don't count that. If i had to complain about something i would say the lack of Katana's is really upsetting. That, and all the roleplayers who spam the chat box. Otherwise wandering into a swamp full of lv50 Malboros, and i literally mean 30 or more Malboros, really gives the game a fun factor with exploring. I've also taken 238 screenshots. So many pretty environments and cool looking enemies. Ifrit's design is probably my favorite out of the Series.

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shadowscorpio
Sunday, September 08, 2013 @ 12:33:30 PM
Reply

Personally , I feel that nearly half of 3million isn't bad for a jrpg. AAA no less. There is clearly a hungry market for them . If it sold something like 60,000 total i'd be very worried.

There is still a market for jrps. Turn-base ones sell on handhelds just wish they would take more of a risk on consoles.

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