Pretty great

I just got back from Konami’s annual BBQ event and boy are my arms — no, no, never mind.

I was only really interested in Lunar Knights and Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, and handily both were playable. They are both pretty great, which became today’s recurrent motif.

I cornered Ryan Payton from Kojima Productions to grill him about the recent revelation that came from Konami’s official Japanese Lunar Knights site — i.e., not only is the game called Boktai DS in Japan, main characters Aaron and Lucien are in fact just redesigned versions of Django and Sabata. These “Aaron” and “Lucien” names are but mere flights of localization fancy, and even Ryan admits he keeps calling the characters by their original names. It’s a very odd turn of events — it’s one thing for a US publisher to make name changes to a game when it first comes over, but I can’t recall a faithfully-localized series being completely reinvented midway through. I’m sure this will cause no end of heartburn among a certain contingent of people, although it doesn’t actually change the game itself… which is still Boktai, except without the troublesome solar sensor elements. So that’s pretty great. Plus you can rename the characters back to their original monkers if you’re that anal about it. In fact, you can rename them anything you like. I recommend “Ruff” and “Tumbull” to capture that “doomed low-budget Cartoon Network show” vibe.

I’ll probably have some detailed previews up at 1UP soon. In the meantime, check out my insanely lengthy Rocket Slime U.S. version hands-on write-up. The length mainly comes from the fact that it’s about 75% E3 developer interview by mass — since almost everything published during E3 is immediately lost to time, I held on to the interview until now. It was a pretty great interview, which means it’s a pretty informative preview via the transitive property of… uh, something or another. Maybe you should read it, because it’s also a pretty great game. See how that works?

Edit: The Portrait of Ruin preview is now available for your perusal. I tried to do something different and be positive for once, and already a thumbs-down response for my troubles. I guess I should stick with dourness.

Just as soon as I’m done with this Lunar Knights preview.

23 thoughts on “Pretty great

  1. Aaron and Lucien, eh? Reminds me of these two chuckleheads I saw Sin City with… Its really quite a story, let me tell you. But I wouldn’t want to waste your time.

  2. “It’s a very odd turn of events — it’s one thing for a US publisher to make name changes to a game when it first comes over, but I can’t recall a faithfully-localized series being completely reinvented midway through.”


    “Also, for the American kids, we’ve done away with a lot of the British spellings.”

    Damn. The cockney was the best part. :(

    Anyway, I just hope Rocket Slime is as good as Jerry Boy.

  3. i saw an interesting craigs list post saying that konami is looking for japanese translators to work with their QA group, but the thought of spending hours translating bug reports back and forth fills me with pain, so i just kinda moved on.

  4. Goemon’s the exact opposite of Lunar Knights — its first appearance in the US was ridiculous, while the N64 games were pretty faithful.
    Shivam, you should definitely put in an application with Konami. QA is a starting point for bigger and better things, and I know you’d die happy if you got to translate a Suikoden game.

  5. rereading posting.
    goddamn requiring native level japanese. my japanese is like a freaking migrant laborer’s. eh. i’ll send in a resume anyway. not like i have anything else to do.

  6. Man, what’s up with Aaron’s right foot there? It looks more like some sort of plated peg than a shoe.

  7. Sorry Aaron, but you’ll always be Django to me. And the Digimon look? Not workin’.

  8. Man, did you have to bring up the Digimon thing? I hadn’t even thought of that until you mentioned it.

  9. Original Django is so cool that New Django can’t be called Django. I don’t know about Sabata, though. Near the end of Boktai 2, he gave himself the title “Moon Beauty” so perhaps we’re better off with Lucian anyway.

    I would complain about blah blah translations blah blah Japan is superior, but Konami is bringing over an unpopular game that allows me to “purify vampires in the sunlight of the stratosphere” with a “Casket Rocket.” I figure they’ve earned my respect, like how plucky kids will challenge battle hardened veterans and lose but get what they were fighting for anyway because otherwise the plot couldn’t continue.

    sup Parish?

  10. Why does Konami of America hate Boktai so much? They released the first 2 during months when the sun does not want to come out and play, and they basically said “F- you, Americans” about the third game. Now this “Aaron” nonsense. I think I hate Konami of America.

  11. Guess they saw manufacturing more solar sensor chips as an unacceptable money sink.

    Afterthought: those white marks on Aaron’s cheek remind me of Nelly’s band-aid.

  12. btw, i have in my hands slime mori mori, milon’s secret castle, and mother 1-2. in california, no less.

  13. I’m getting this unpleasant vision of Castlevania demo stations being molested with sticky barbeque-sauced fingers.

  14. Kishi, I thought the exact same thing. Poor Otenko… I hope he doesn’t look like that in the game.

  15. Is Michiru doing the soundtrack for Portrait of Ruin?

    It’s the least they can do to make up for the horrid artwork.

    Oh, on gamevideos it seems we have some voice acting. And it’s apparently really bad, like SOTN bad. And for some reason I have no problem with that.

  16. Last I heard, not only was Michiru working on music for PoR, but the one and only Yuzo Koshiro was contributing as well. I’m pretty sold on that potential soundtrack.

  17. Hmm… well that makes things kinda odd. My first playing of Boktai I named Django “Aaron”, what with it being my real name and all. (Subsequent playthroughs/restarts he regained his original name.)

    So I guess now life can come full circle and I can rename Aaron “Django” on my first playthrough of Lunar Knights.

  18. Yes, stick with dourness, whatever that is.

    You don’t like the voice acting in SotN? Have at you!
    Bad voice acting is the ONLY way to go.

  19. “I’m getting this unpleasant vision of Castlevania demo stations being molested with sticky barbeque-sauced fingers.”

    I wonder if Shivan is involved somehow? Just said something about having “slime mori mori” in his(?) hands or something. If one were inclined to take that out of context and do absolutely no research whatsoever to find out what it is, that might sound almost dirty. Assuming one were also very juvenile. Check and check. And now I giggle.

  20. I’m fine with the name changes, but they better not change the voice actors, lest them Konami folk want me to do some petitionin’.

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