Thursday, July 21, 2011


UPDATE: As of 9/13/11 this video is now at THIS LINK

I'm on my way out to see "Captain America" again, will post some details later; but let me just say that yes, I'm aware that Extra Credits "beat" me to this by several hours. If my rendering/uploading tech didn't decide to crap out, I'd have "beat" them by several days... but eh, a win is a win and you should DEFINITELY watch their show, anyway ;)


Okay, so, the main thing is that I encourage everyone to support Operation Rainfall by visiting their blog and maybe lending a voice to the campaign. Yes, it's starting out as just a thing for these three Wii titles; but there's a growing backlash against Japanese developers "cutting off" Western gamers... and maybe this is where it needs to start. Yes, fine, it's more the fault of the Western game market largely ignoring anything that's not an XBL-focused multiplayer shooter... but it still somehow "feels wrong" that gamers of niche and/or more-varied tastes are basically being punished for the economic "sins" of their culture...

As for the episode itself...

Yes, I agree - the opening credits were too long; and have now been compressed.

Did you really think it was going to be "go beat up a sprite for BunnyFace" every episode?

I'm glad to see that people enjoyed "Ivan the Intern." I maintain that a "recurring foil" is a benefit to the show's dynamic - if for no other reason than to make it so someone other than The OverThinker can issue a declarative statement (it's awkward when they pile up.)

I really wish I'd thought up "The Sharkcade" before needing something to blow up for this finale. I needed it to be something game-related that would also immediately "read" as a kind of nostalgiac local-landmark that OverThinker and Comissioner BunnyFace would both be aware of and upset about; and an Arcade seemed like the only logical choice because they're the universal symbol of vanishing gaming-history... thusly, burning one down makes PyroThinker that much more of a bastard. I don't remember where I got the name from, but once I had it it just seemed very evocative of a certain "type" of Arcade - maybe it was nautically-themed because it was near a beach or lake, or adjacent to a water-park... maybe there was a big tropical fish tank in the center of it, and guys walked around in big goofy Shark mascot costumes, and the concession stand served fish-sticks and fries in paper trays... eh, I dunno; that was the aim, curious to see if it conjured anything for anyone else - the main thing is, it was something good that the new bad guy burned down just to be a dick.

Yes, the fire-powered ninja-arsonist is called PYROTHINKER. Let me say three things about him right off the bat: 1.) That's me in the suit in these shots, it won't always be - why do no-budget productions love ninjas? Full-face masks make actor-swaps a breeze! 2.) If you're getting the sense that "____Thinker" is going to be a recurring naming-scheme for characters... yeah, probably. 3.) I want to be very, VERY clear on this: No, it will not turn out to be AntiThinker in a ninja costume. I promise.


Cole said...

i like the new character he seems pretty fun cant wait for more of ivan

RockPlazaCentral said...

This episode was great!

I agree that Nintendo should go ahead and bring those three titles stateside.

The Extra Credit gang didn't beat you to this. You guys are colleagues in the world of internet shows about games. You can both sound off on the same topic.

Darren said...

I really hope they at least release Last Story to the US that game looked awesome. Oh and now how many thinkers are there :/ I liked the Game Over Analyzer better :P

Darren said...


I would probably agree with that, also I think Extra Credits, while doing a great job on the first half of their video, could have said more on operation Rain Fall so it was probably a better idea that you (overthinker) did a video dedicated to that project and that project alone.

Arturo said...

Thoughtful as always, Bob

Axle said...

Hey Bob, I got some good laughs in on this one. Some people are probably gonna bitch about "pyrothinker" but I laughed because it gave me a feel of "yep going with a -thinker thing, deal with it"

On the topic:
You did go a bit more in depth than EC did anyway. I think Nintendo should look at Demon's Souls. Granted it was a PS3 exclusive not Wii and it's not a really JRPG in form or function, but it was a game that was originally not going to be brought to the US. It also turned out to be a surprisingly big success and really became one of the games to own for PS3.

Sometimes when we say we want something, we actually do.

TheWon said...

Good episode overall!
Thanks for pointing out how the media has went all out when covering this issue. To help fuel their anti Nintendo they hate hardcore gamers agenda. Where was the same type of coverage when Sony removed Linux from PS3s. That belong to gamers who paid for it. Taking from customers will all ways be worst than not giving them anything. Being someone who has always believed in importing. If you want something really bad just go and get it. I guess I'm just a old school gamer with old school values. I believe business is always the reason why companies do anything. You take last year for example where Nintendo released 6 to 8 first party core games. Only 2 out sold their main casual title Wii Party in the US. Games like Metroid Other M, and Kirby Epic Yarn under performed in the US. Not because they were bad games, but because the audience didn't like how Nintendo handled them. So from a business side I also would think twice about bringing games over. To a audience who would let how a game looks, or how the character acts in a game. Decide on if they feel they should spend their money on it. In the future I hope Nintendo at least make their system region free. So gamers who want certain games can at least be able to play them.

rahvii said...

This episode was a lot better, the new character was actually fun, and it's actually clever to make it intelligent rather than just a random dumb character

SatansBestBuddy said...


*removes blog from bookmarks*

Hope you have a good run with this series, still gonna check out your Escapist stuff cause you're a really intelligent guy with a lot of good points to make and things to say and I still enjoy those shows.

But the Navi rip off is the last straw.

Your story sucks, your jokes are undercooked, your effects are laughable and you should throw it all out if you actually want something resembling an intelligent discussion to be started by your show.

I can probably tolerate more than just this, but I know that it's just going downhill from here so I'm jumping ship before I watch something that actually pisses me off.

Have fun.


Avistew said...

I really liked this episode. And I felt that way before you started pandering to me (I'm a translator).

I agree that working with translation from the get go is a good plan, be it only because it then has the framework to add more languages. From my experience, games that were made without any translation plans are a hell to translate and you need a whole team of programmers and stuff to make it possible.

But if it's there from the start, even for just one language, it's much easier to implement for other languages.

The story definitely didn't "get in the way", because it was completely in the background. I don't expect every episode to have that kind of ratio but it definitely didn't prevent enjoyment of your points, and adding another character for the discussion part allows for another point of view or someone to explain your arguments to, which is good.

I did think about you when I saw the Extra Credits episode and what it was about. Didn't turn out to be an issue though.

RocMegamanX said...


Taking from customers will always be worst than not giving them anything.

This is oddly relevant, seeing as how Capcom canceled Megaman Legends 3. And people are still reeling from that.

Being someone who has always believed in importing, if you want something really bad just go and get it.

But I don't want to risk destroying my console while "modding" it and I can't read or speak most Japanese. That's why I can't really import this stuff. And LEARNING Japanese will probably take me...what... DECADES and thousands of dollars?

Xolta said...

Good points over all. I just want new Nintendo ips is all. But what makes me mad is that noa is got giving what there consumers what, there is a demand so why not supply it.

Xenoblade was number one on amazons pree-order list for some time so there is clearly a demand for these games and like you said its the right thing.

Arturo said...

Just a little FYI:
I do own both No More Heroes and Madworld. Money well spent.

ZAENGO said...

damn bob, that was one of your best episodes yet! i think you nailed exactly what youve been aiming for all this time, virtually the perfect blend of story, information, and comedy. keep it up!

TheWon said...

People knew back in 06 that the Wii was not region free. Hell the Gamecube wasn't region free! So if you were really interested in Japanese only games like various games from anime series, JRPG, and fighters. Odds were you were going to have to import them. The same principle has been applied to anime before the US Market decided it could make money from it. Fansubs! Using that common sense I imported a Japanese Wii back in 06. Because I felt having those games were important to me. Now you have the option of Homebrew that is cheaper, and easier. Playing Imports is not a right it's another thing that separate your Hardcore gamer from your average gamer

About the Megaman thing and Nintendo of America. I found it funny myself that more people are making noise about not getting something. Compared to being lied too or robbed from console makers. That's the sad state of gaming we are in. As long as you give me what I want I don't care what wrongs you are doing.

antecedentless said...

Given the situation with "residuals" here in the U.S (see: the Silent Hill 2 remake... is his so-so "work" really worth more than a basic salary?) and voice actors getting a pretty raw deal in general...

...Maybe Nintendo and other Japanese game studios just do not want to deal with the actor's guild. Given how unions are now-a-days, the guild would probably accuse studios of "stealing jobs" if they only did subtitles.

Alphonso said...

"The Extra Credit gang didn't beat you to this. You guys are colleagues in the world of internet shows about games. You can both sound off on the same topic."

"The story definitely didn't 'get in the way', because it was completely in the definitely didn't prevent enjoyment of your points, and adding another character for the discussion part allows for another point of view or someone to explain your arguments to, which is good."

QFT. I'll also reiterate the point some other people made about needing a tripod for the bunny scenes. I saw that Ivan's apparently edited the credits to make them shorter, but I had already skipped them.

Aiddon said...

I still can't blame Nintendo; even the "hardcore" gamers and Nintendo fans aren't going to necessarily buy these three titles. Every time someone has released a great hardcore like Zack and Wiki, Madworld, Muramasa, TvC, or so on the game was lucky to break a 100,000 units in its launch month. And of course when people who bought said games asked why people who CLAIMED they'd do so didn't they were answered by the same handful of excuses over and over again. And considering how much Nintendo has to have sunk in to developing the Wii U AND the 3DS, they can't exactly be liberal with what comes over.

Yeah, it sucks on Nintendo's part as they have no plans to bring them over but again: I can't blame them. This is how the world works, you'd think people would realize this by now

Chris Byrne said...

Yes VERY VERY VERY good call on the theme. I almost unsubbed from the vids because of the new opening, that's how much I disliked it.

Given every other thing you do is firmly situated near the top of my RSS feed...

mstieler said...

I think the only reasonable time for a company to not port a title is when it's in a niche that typically doesn't perform well in the market it would be ported to. JRPGs are not one of those niche markets. Even if it's not going to be a "2 copies sold for every Wii out there" game, you've likely already made a ton of money on it in it's home market; even if you break even on production costs & localization vs. copies sold for that localization, you've still made money.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm the "it's your blog, but jesus christ stop it with the story parts, you're no good at them" guy. I actually enjoyed this episode. See, I can handle small bits of badly edited storyline when they're firmly stuck in between comparatively longer thoughtful commentary you're known and loved for. I really hope you continue this trend.

Also, great call on cutting down the intro. Less is more, baby.

Anonymous said...

At least the story bits were cut down this week, thank you for that. I'd forgotten how much I loved watching your show when it was nothing but simple-but-effective imagery and sharp commentary, and this reminded me of the glory days of the Overthinker. You're headed in more of the right direction with this episode. However, I believe The Big Picture is your best show, and it's because it's well-edited, classy, thought-provoking, and simple, with VERY rare cases of silliness. Big Picture's format is perfect for the kind of show you do (talk about things and get people to think about them), and I do wish you would stick to that kind of formula with Overthinker as well. But that's probably not going to happen, so at least this sucks a little less than it sucked in episode 53. The story bits are still holding the show back rather than helping it, but if you're going to do it at least you're doing it less, and that's somewhat of a good thing.

spork said...

I agree it's not just nintendo. I so want Ni no Kuni to come over here for the PS3, but I think the chances of it happening are very slim.

Some Swedish Guy said...

It feels like you've been able to balance the story and the topic you're talking about in this episode, which is good. This was a really good episode!

vlademir1 said...

Lot's of good, salient points in this episode.

Once upon a long ago time I was a console gamer, but I haven't owned a new console since the N64 purely for the reason that there aren't enough games that match my tastes released on any of the consoles, but not PC, in the US to justify the cost of the hardware and higher cost of the games for me. I know there are plenty of others like me. If NOA really wanted to rebuild it's market share to where it was in it's heyday, they'd be releasing more of the well made "niche" games... consider the US success of Recettear as an example (over 100000 units with nearly no advertising says a lot).

SaviorGabriel said...

I haven't kept up with Operation Rainfall, but those games look interesting. I'd buy them if they came out in the US.

Situations like these make me appreciate companies like Atlus more, who is bringing Persona 2: Innocent Sin, and King of Fighters XIII to the United States.

Also, something else for Nintendo to think about. Tatsunoko vs. Capcom sold BETTER in the first month in the US than it did in the first 10 weeks in Japan. Tatsunoko, while popular in Japan, is largely unknown in the US.

Jetamungo said...

There hasn't been a decent game on Wii since, maybe, Kirby's Epic Yarn or Donkey Kong and that was 8 months ago.
Party games and Ubisofts garbage isn't enough to sustain my interest in between the good first party games.
Is this also how its going to be with Wii U?

NiGHTS Noob said...

The big problem that Nintendo had with releasing these games is that when they were deciding whether or not to release them initially nobody gave a crap. Maybe fans did, but there weren't any game sites promoting them or looking into them at all, they were all to busy with Black Ops coverage and the MvC3 roster rumors. Then when people finally did get interested the gaming sites hopped on board, not to promote the games, but to make Nintendo out to be the bad guy.

I honestly don't blame them on this, they took a chance on Tales of Symphonia, Baten Kaitos, and Baten Kaitos Origins last time. Only Symphonia made money, and now the Tales fans have moved over to the 360 and PS3 for the new ones. Even though I bought both BK games last time they completely bombed overall, and that's a big thing to consider when your releasing more games in the same genre.

Would I like to have the games over here? Yes. Is it Nintendo's fault in any way? No, in honesty it's ours.

Also Ivan's voice is annoying. Maybe that's the joke since Navi pissed everyone off, but it's just too annoying. Maybe lower it a tad, but keep the naive aspect, and you might have something good.

Joe said...

I don't mind that you and EC both did Rainfall this week. Their coverage basically amounted to a 60-second footnote FYI that broadly summarized most of the same points you made, while yours was a 10-minute long impassioned thesis elaborating on those points. I thought they complemented each other nicely.

It occurs to me that Ivan sounds a bit like "fast-forward" Bob of the early GO episodes when you used to speed up sections of videos to fit YouTube's 10 min limit. I thought that was pretty neat.

And Sharkade--awesome. I was listening to some other movie critics I follow who were reviewing the original "Tron" and noted arcade culture is one of the few childhood things as 20/30-somethings that went away and they genuinely miss and have nostalgia for. I understand arcade nostalgia quite poignantly.

JPArbiter said...

Ivan is awesome!

there are two possibilities I would love to see for the Pyrothinker. 1) The vehemently anti video game Jack Thompson propagandist. or

2) The kind of gamer douchebag who constantly goes onto forums to complain and start flame wars about how things are ruined forever.

but hey, if I am wrong about both, so be it.

BlueTurtleBro said...

Hey, itès G1 BlueTurtleBro here. I was wondering if you still read the comments on Screwattack, since all people seem to do there is rip on the storyline. I personally donèt mind (It is a bit cheesy, but I believe that is sort of the point) and I always get a couplr of laughs. Just wanted you to know that some G1s still appreciate your work and the fact that you do this for us and ask little in return. Thanks for doing what you love.

counterpoint said...

a fun episode bob! i'm happy to see that far fewer people around sounding off with the hater crap, and I find I enjoyed the sidekick quite a bit, and didn't have any problem with the commissioner or the new villain.
I'm somebody who voted for this topic, but I'm not particularly riled up about this issue. I am a wii owner, but i guess maybe i've sort of given up. the main thing I don't understand is how Nintendo's huge suggest this generation hasn't led to expansion in game development. Shouldn't crazy new resources lead to more jobs for more games being made? Why are there *fewer* games made by N these days? the casual stuff can't take that much dev time.... I guess, N should be able to AFFORD to take risks at this point.

9jack9 said...

There's a problem with your facts: a lot of those niche titles you mention sold much better in north America then in Japan. No More Heros sold double in the US what it did in Japan. As long as costs are controlled then this sort of makes Localization just common sense if a smaller developer wants to make any money.

OctoCamo said...

Funny thing about Xenoblade, The Last Story and whatever's Tower is that they're already getting English translation for European release.
Xenoblade is out here next month and two others has been announced for next year.

Kholdstare said...

Much better than the previous story things. I like that it was compressed to the beginning and endings of the episode. That makes it MUCH more bearable. Ivan is a cool new addition, I think.

As for the actual content of the episode, I agree completely. :( I really really want to play Xenoblade. I'd be more angry with NoA right now if my rage wasn't concentrated at Capcom's evil bullshit though.

Valium said...

Bunnyface/goomba joke? Quick. Opening? Short. Actual content? A big, solid block. The bulk of the story stuff I don't care about? At the end.

I approve. Ivan is fucking annoying, but I can put up with him cropping up from time to time a lot easier than I can whole episodes of AntiThinker.

Rob said...

Hey, the translation argument can be ignored. It's already been done, for Europe.

Hammbone said...

Great Show! I think that the addition of Ivan was a good move. I also prefer that inclusion of the story to the beginning and end and not spread throughout the show was a better move as well. the PyroThinker made me laugh, it reminds me of the old school "themed names" bad guys from countless other series. Keep it up! it's getting better and better.

PS: dont take too much to heart, its the internet after all, any change ruins anything forever. I like it and will still recommend it to my friends.

Sylocat said...

Earthbound didn't just "fail to become a major seller on the SNES," it fucking BOMBED, and I have nothing but contempt for anyone who whines about not getting an official release of Mother 3 when they didn't actually BUY the previous game when it was out. Gamers are a bunch of spoiled brats who don't pay for their toys and then complain when companies start catering to people who actually buy their shit.

This was the reason Last Story, Xenoblade Chronicles and Pandora's Tower weren't released over here. Every single fucking time people clamor to get a game released over here, instead of buying it they offer the same half-dozen excuses not to.

Anonymous said...

thank you for bringing up the voice-acting bit. It's worth noting that, not only are a lot of people purist enough to enjoy the Japanese voices (especially since Japanese games could be viewed in much the same vein as anime), but nowadays, it's downright controversial to replace them with a localized dub and not even provide an option for the original track (especially when they don't have a decent excuse for doing so; lacking disc space? On a blu-ray? Yeah, lots of people are gonna call bullshit on that). I myself spoke out against NISA when they stated that their Wii port of Phantom Brave would be English dub-only (NISA being a company that has usually upheld dual-audio in titles since their inception; also worthy of note is that the original PS2 release of Phantom Brave did sport such a feature). Thankfully, NISA did comply in the end.

Incidentally, I'm very into anime-flavored fantasy games while I abhor gray-brown shooters and sports titles, but despite learning a fair amount of Japanese over the past decade, I'm ashamed to say that I only got into the habit of importing no more than a couple years ago. I dunno why I didn't do so sooner, since for someone with my tastes, that really is the best solution, isn't it? It may be a little more expensive, but aside from knowing roughly 80% (est) of the language anyway, it seems a lot easier than letting localizers dictate what I can and can't play (to say nothing of the occasional release that actually dumbed down or removed features from the original). But with any luck, digital distribution really does make this just a thing of the past (if only Nintendo could get off the region-lock bandwagon already).

SecretSmoke said...

Personally, I loved that. And for all the haters, I like his lil' sidestories/special effects/battles and junk with the goombas. I find it funny, and I think he's having fun doing it, which adds a lot to the appeal. I mean, no one gets pissed off when the nerd battles ROB with all his old-school nintendo peripherals, y'all just need to stop being so insecure. xD
TL;DR Great job as always, Bob.

fox said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA PYROTHINKER thats so ridiculous it's AWESOME. I can't wait to see him in action, good to see you keepin the AntiThinker vibe around.

Also, great episode.

Aiddon said...


that's....pretty much how I feel, though not quite as angry. To modify a statement by Chris Rock "I LOVE games, but I friggin' HATE gamers." I've generally just turned cynical towards the community, the latest of which is the whole Ultimate Marvel vs CAPCOM 3 fiasco. Maybe I would still have a modicum of sympathy if CAPCOM's critics weren't a bunch of screechy, borderline thuggish net harpies

wally2069 said...

Well at least some progress is being made, but why did it take an entire user campaign need to happen? Why is it not sufficient to just ask nicely with the promise of exchanging money for goods? I thought that was how brand recognition was supposed to work. Argle bargle!?

Jensev said...

Well, subtitles for localization are good and all, but they can go horribly wrong.
I live in the Netherlands and have seen some really bad subtitles and translations of menu items in games.
It has been really obvious in Saints Row 2, I was actively looking for a way to turn everything to English, but that didn't exist.

So yeah, localization is a nice thing, if done right. If done wrong, the game will seriously turn off people to it,

Ralphael said...

brav-fucking-o Bob. This video was great.

My only complaint is that you're still a cam whore with the show... put ill put up with it for the time being

Scott_Lochmoeller said...

Okay, I'll say it. I think the pyrothinker is the return of the antithinker, and he's become fixated on the fact that overthinker used a fire flower to defeat him last time.

MovieBob said...


I can promise you precisely ONE thing about PyroThinker: He is NOT The AntiThinker in any way, shape or form.

Avistew said...

About the voice thing... People in France were pissed when FFXII was subtitled... but the voices were in English. With no option to pick Japanese. If it's going to be a language that people don't speak and requires subtitles, why can't it at least be the original one?
That was pretty stupid.

And I absolutely agree on zones. In the past 10 years I've lived three and a half years in North America and six and a half in Europe. And it's not a neat cut, but a lot of back and forth for a year or three months or whatever.
It sucks having to buy every console twice, but it's understandable when the power outlets are different.
But it sucks, sucks, sucks to buy every game twice. It's a real pain. That's why I favour handhelds, but now they're putting zones onto them too. ARGH!

Digital is okay, but it's annoying that Steam charges me more when I'm in Europe than in North America. Protip: conversion doesn't work by putting a euro sign instead of the dollar sign. Some games even have a higher number value (for instance 40 dollars turning into 50 euros. What the hell? It's all digital, it's the same product!)

kawaiiamethist said...

Longtime fan of your blog and the Escapist, so seeing your recent evolution as a film maker has been...interesting. I also spend a great deal of time at and its various spin offs - and I know you do too, as you mentioned Spoony in one vid. It seems you're trying to emulate the vids of that site, and while I admire your exploration of other presentation techniques, it isn't appropriate for the sort of show you've established.

We the audience love coming to you for information and related intelligent witty humour, not skits or loony toons antics. It especially didn't help last time when you spent more time reading your script from your laptop.

Please bring the focus back to the info and rants. If you really want to save time, a podcast might even be the way to go.

And Nintendo, bring on The Last Story, it's practically a new Final Fantasy!

fox said...

@ Scott

I can bet The Pyrothinker will be better then the Anti-Thinker. Look at the name man... PYROTHINKER.

Perheaps there will be an elemental/mega man-esque boss theme? FREEZETHINKER, THUNDERTHINKER, STONETHINKER, WINDTHINKER...

That'd be awesome.

Matthew Black said...

As usual, saying what I want to hear but with a ton more insight and dark humor. Go Operation Rainfall.

Screw the haters of the storylines. I liked mostly everything about the AntiThinker's arc. Pure rants about a topic aren't engaging in the same way as actual dialogue and setting and action based on issues.
But I would cut back on story for a little while longer. Having a space between conflicts makes them more satisfying.

Smashmatt202 said...

What's this? No opening this time? Or are you just getting this out of the way...

Oh wow, a fairy, what a FUCKING GREAT IDEA!!!! >:/

Also, you're accountant is a fairy? OR is he adopted? Either way, it's a stupid character and otherwise completely pointless.

"A small penis wearing sensible shoes?" Oh dear God, I thought you were above that kind of humor, Bob.

Also, I get the irony of Bob saying "no, we're not doing this every episode", even though he's the want who WANTS to do this every episode. Sort of... Rather, he just wants to do it, not do it every episode.

Yes, good call Ivan... on that one thing. Still, maybe it's my disability (I have Aspergers), but I can't tell if Bob really wants us to think he's a pompous douchebag or if it's all for the sake of comedy. Because comedy or not, that seems to be the direction he's going.

Yeah, it IS a huge dick move on Nintendo's part. Plus, this is what I've been saying every since I first heard about it: if they won't release Mother 3 overseas, and are able to ignore something as big as, I don't see this working...

Then again, he just said that two of the games will be released in North America, but still, it's interesting that Bob points out that it took active efforts to get these games released overseas. To me, it shows how passionate gamers are, but below the surface, it also shows that, the fact that it took this much to convince Nintendo otherwise, Nintendo of America doesn't seem to know what it's doing.

BTW, glad that Bob mentioned the Mother games. Boy, does THAT series have a history!

Oh yeah, The Legendary Starfy! I knew about those games for a while, and I've been hoping that Nintendo would released them overseas, now that the fifth one was released in the US. Unfortunately, they won't. Nope, not even the one for the Nintendo DS. Which I can understand the GBA games, since they don't really make GBA games anymore, but the DS? Who cares if it's weird to release the fourth game after the fifth game, we want it!

Oh yeah, that's right! Nintendo was originally going to have Super Smash Bros. be a Japanese novelty game! Yeah, why bother released what will eventually be their most popular crossover franchise anywhere other than Japan?

I also like how Bob goes into a broader subject matter, saying this should be about localizing games in general, rather than it be just an Nintendo thing.

That's something that's always bothered me, especially with Metroid: Other M. Nintendo is HUGE! Why can't they afford decent-to-GOOD voice actors for these kinds of games? Also, they get bonus points for having their mouth flaps match up to what they're saying.

Nice way to finish it off before going to the rabbit again.

Sharkcade? Cool name! Reminds me of EarthBound, and the arcade where The Sharks would hang out.

"Pyrothinker"? Really? ANOTHER Thinker? Geez...

Anyway, great episode, glad to see only the beginning and the end had that story BS. Also, I just realized that Ivan is Navi spelled backwards. Clever.

Greg said...

I think you're onto something. I mean, people loved it when the Sonic games started introducing a ton of new characters. And Sonic Colors has been universally hated because it stripped the cast down to Sonic, Tails, and Robotnik.

Smashmatt202 said...

Wait, I'm confused, I thought people LIKED Sonic Colors... For reasons that had nothing to do with the characters.

GoodbyeOverthinker said...

Watched to the one minute mark, saw more attempts at turning a commentary show into a plot driven web series, and stopped the video. Thank you for providing all the really interesting monologues that have been occupying the background noise of my workspace for the past year and a half. They really were fun to listen to, and I've enjoyed them. The plot driven stuff just isn't fun to watch, though, so I'm not going to. Good luck with the new direction- I'll still happily watch your features that still follow the old format on The Escapist, but I think I'm done following The Game Overthinker.

Sylocat said...

Hmm, since the Sharkcade is so important, perhaps your next episode (or one down the line) will be about the rise and decline of the arcade?

Foolish Fool said...

I'm disappointed that Pyrothinker's attack on the Sharcade was just to be evil. I had thought, considering the Overthinker's as well as your own, fond rememberance of the past was what Pyrothinker was attempting to destroy.

i.e.I had thought that the _____thinker's were of a particular ideology. Overthinker is clearly the "game as art requires contemplation as well as understanding the world in which it evolved." Antithinker was just as clearly the lowest common denominator, someone who would want boobs over plot everyday of the week.

I had come to the impression that Pryothinker was burning away the old to enforce taking on the new, like it or not. The recent episodes left me with an impression of the Overthinker leaning towards a "This future could be great, but let's hang out in the past because it works and grab on the future when it eventually comes. After all, the Powerglove is not the Wii remote." His (and I suppose, your) views on cloud gaming, PSN, multiplayer inclusion, etc. seemed to be of that persuasion. That is why I thought Pyrothinker's actions were sort of self-awareness on the part of the artist.

Pyrothinker has been making direct attacks against things that are old and had worked (arcades, videogame reseller) because they were crutches for those who refused to pick up the new. Online multiplayer killed arcades because the whole play the latest multiplayer, competitive quickplay games with your buddies went quarter free. Digital downloads will inevitably kill the resell a 1 month old game for 4 times the profit and none to the publisher: yes, people like to hold something in their hand, but artists (and their financial bosses) like to be paid for their work.

I was looking forward to that sort of protagonist/antagonist relationship. Batman doesn't need another Joker, he needs a Riddler and then a Two Face, Catwoman, Hush, Superman, etc. If the Pyrothinker is doing this for a specific, well thought out agenda then the conflict matters because the world (that the thinkers occupy) will hinge on the result. Antithinker showed that there was something at stake, but what that was isn't really known because we all knew Overthinker was gonna stomp the fool who was clearly wrong. Overthinker defeating the Pyrothinker because he was 'a bad guy' is just tacking on tacky stuff to the series. Overthinker defeating Pyrothinker because his thinking is better researched, is farther seeing, is...well, more thought out and even 'correct'-that's what legends (or at least the stand-ins Americans are fond of making) are made of.

Antonio Black said...

Well played Bob. Well played.

Gerkuman said...

While I'm happy that Project Rainfall's getting the press it needs, I'm not terribly happy that it's overshadowing an even more stupid example.

Yeah, I'm talking about Capcom not releasing Ace Attorney Investigations 2. At least Nintendo could say 'These are new, there's no pre-existing fanbase'. Capcom just said 'We don't think we'll get our money back'.

Because it totally makes sense to screw over one of your most popular franchises. Actually, Capcom did it twice thanks to the MML3 debarcle. *sigh* What's wrong with that company recently?

Avistew said...

As for Ace Attorney Investigations... They didn't even translate the first one here in Europe. I mean, they released it, but in English only, while all the previous Ace Attorney games had been released in French, German, etc.
Obviously they don't believe it's worth it for the franchise. They also released the third Ace Attorney after the fourth one. Although I guess it did get released in the end, which is good.

Clifford said...

Why is everyone complaining? How can they not see it from the perspective of Nintendo? A company needs to make money, and if they think something won't sell, they won't bother. They aren't going to take unecessary risks and blow their load on games that have a finite number of devoted fans abroad. They would go out of business if they did. And then you'd be getting no games.

Silly, self-entitled fans demanding games. Nintendo owes nothing to anyone.

Spooks said...

Bob, you really need to get a new microphone, the sound is terrible.

Varya said...

I'd love Japanese games with English subs. It's a pet-peeve with me and JRPG and anime, it hurt's my ears to hear it dubbed. No logical reason, I just think Anime-type animation is better with Japanese voices. With anime it's no problem, i just change language on my DVD but the fact that I can't do this in most games really bothers me. With most ps3 games at least there should be enough memory to have an extra audio file yeah?

David said...

Sorry, Bob, but I cannot shut up on this, since it touches my line of work.

Because I WORK in videogame localization. For real.

You can find my name in the staff credits of some Nintendo games (European version) for Spanish QA, and I'm a videogame translator right now.

And yes, it IS expensive, even just subtitles.

VERY expensive.

It hurts me Bob.

The way you speak in this video proves that you don't know the first thing about how videogame localization works, and still you pretend to sound like you know all about it.

I would like to send you a more direct mail for explaining this, since it's long to do.

AVISTEW: I don't doubt you might be indeed a translator, but your comment also proves that you don't know how videogame localization works.

Translating a game as it is being developed is not easier. IT'S THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE!

Game text changes the whole time while development to almost the very end, so you end up RETRANSLATING everything again, and again, and again.

It only makes things easier to make worldwide releases, but everything else is waaaaaay more complicated and time consuming. And as you would know, time consuming equals expensive.

Avistew said...


I'm not a videogame translator, that's true.
However I was speaking from what I heard from people in the field. I can totally understand the fact that lines change, but I meant that if a game is created with translation in mind, then the infrastructure can be there.
If not, then it's much, much harder. And at the receiving end you can tell the difference when the list you're given has just, say "Right" as one of the entries, and you don't know if it's the direction, or the opposite of wrong, or the opposite of responsibility, or what, because there is no context.

If translating during development, the early stages should be spent working on things such as translating names and the like, which can take a lot of reflexion sometimes and is less likely to be changed at the last minute. But if at least the game was worked on with translation in mind, I have been led to believe it would avoid a lot of problems down the line.

Now, you work in the industry, so I'm sure you know a lot more about it than I do, especially since I get my info from the programing side of it all - I know more people in programing than I do in translating. Videogame-wise.

I definitely understand the "wait till it's over" aspect of things though. It's the case with a novel, for instance, you wait until it's over. And if it's prepublished and you translate each chapter as it's released, you can end up with big problems later on when something is revealed that, with the translation you used, makes no sense in your language.

But... at the point when they're dubbing the games... are you really telling me they'll keep changing lines? Wouldn't it be just as much of a pain for the voice actors as it is for the translators?

Antonio Black said...

IVAN is an anagram of NAVI.

Oh my did I NOT realize that sooner?

Avistew said...

@Antonio Black:

It's not just ANY anagram, either. It's Navi spelt backwards.

David said...


First of all, sorry for taking so long.

Yes, making a game with localization in mind makes things easier, but even if you have an infrastructure as you say, doing it while the game is being developed is still way more long and difficult than doing it once the text is finalized.

And as I said, text is NEVER finalized until almost the very end.

That's why voice acting is ALWAYS done last.

You would say "Wait a minute! I've seen English trailers MONTHS before a game is released!"

And yeah, that's true. But there is a catch. Those trailers normally show just lines that have been pre-dubbed for marketing purposes. Normally the rest of the game is, either not dubbed yet, or the process is still underway.

And in any case, voiced text is not the only text that's localized. Often is not even the half of it, even in cut-scene heavy games. For example, "Xenoblade". Even though it has TONS of voiced lines, most it's text is voiceless, due to the insane amount of sidequests and menu entries.

In any case, localizing a game while you develop it is something that only really big franchises and/or companies with HUGE in-house localization departments can afford.

A new numeric "Final Fantasy" game you can easily bet for localization during development. Actually, I know for a fact that that's the way Square Enix does it.

But niche games like "Disgaea" or "Tales of"? You are already taking risks by doing the localization after the text is finalized (HUGE risks in the case of a European multi-5), so doing it while development that risk is up to eleven.

Well, everything that I'm saying is in case of GOOD localization.

There are developers that don't give a crap about localization, so they don't spend much money on it. They hire cheap translators and/or cheap voice actors. Or they translate with very little time. Or even worse, they don't take much time in testing the game text. Worst case scenario, they don't test it at all.

And the result is always the same: "Final Fantasy VII"-like translations.

Actually, FF VII was the game that made Square realize that you MUST spend money in localization in a text-heavy game if you don't want to low the overall quality of the game.

That's why, after the AWFUL translations they made for FF VII with a cheap external translation agency, they created their own localization department.

THE Artisanprophet said...

thank you for saying what ive been telling my hardcore nintendo fan friends for decades...nintendo will only send out games to the US that they feel will make them money....also they always have a very poor showing when in comes to fighting games rpgs and action adventures.

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