That sounds great, John, but then where are we going to lift our bestiaries from?
The Shin Megami Tensei series of RPGs has been gradually making headway in the West ever since Nocturne marked its local debut in 2004. (What? “Revelations“? Never heard of it.) Nocturne was only the second direct sequel in the series, but the brand’s various spin-offs outnumber the “real” games something like twenty to one. Amazingly, Atlus USA has seen those translated, too; albeit in notoriously scarce print runs, every offshoot from Devil Summoner to Avatar Tuner has been made available to a small audience appreciative of deep demonological gameplay and sterling localization.
Which is why it’s so weird that Megami Tensei Online: Imagine, one of the few exceptions, is being brought over not by Atlus but “Aeria Games & Entertainment,” a small-time MMO publisher that seems to get around Blizzard’s genre dominance by pushing a dozen of the things at a time. And while it’s cool that they’re bringing more Megaten out of Japan, their sense of syntactic grace compared to Atlus is, uh…somewhat lacking.
[[image:nn_080916_imagine_01.jpg:The motion of ”sexual harassment” suit:center:0]]
To a fan of the series, the text is especially catastrophic in its interpretation of standard terms like the Cathedral of Shadows (here spun out to the painfully literal “Heresy Mansion House”). For a more popular example, just picture a Final Fantasy game featuring “Shido” instead of Cid and “Magic Law Rock” instead of Magicite.
Aeria is apparently based in California, making their tenuous grasp on English even curiouser, but at least they posted a public plea for help shortly following the announcement. Even if they end up with zealous otaku working out of dictionaries, I don’t see how it could make things much worse.