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Xenoblade is starting to sound more and more epic


The Legendary Zoltan
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he makes some good points about the gaming media generally being terrible, IGN at the forefront of that, but a lot of it also comes off as a bitter fanboy diatribe where he seems to think that anyone being critical of nintendo here can't also be fans(or that there's anything wrong with not being a nintendo fan to begin with...)

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he makes some good points about the gaming media generally being terrible, IGN at the forefront of that, but a lot of it also comes off as a bitter fanboy diatribe where he seems to think that anyone being critical of nintendo here can't also be fans(or that there's anything wrong with not being a nintendo fan to begin with...)
Yeah, I got that too. It's funny, anytime some company does something arguably "wrong", and then a ton of people step up and start criticizing that company, people jump on that bandwagon. Then another third party pops up and says that the people criticizing the company are really full of garbage, and whether they give a plausible solution or just bitch for 5 pages, people eat that up too. They say "This is the best article I've read on the issue so far mister, you know your stuff".

It's kind of sad, really.

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Here's a brief quote from that blog post:

Nobody bought any RPGs on DS besides Pokemon. Nobody bought Crystal Bearers or Fragile Dreams. Nobody buys new Nintendo franchises like Steel Diver and Chibi Robo. Nobody bought ExciteBots. Nobody buys the various WiiWare games that are only released in America.

People were buying the RPGs on the DS (Dragon Quest IX apparently did pretty well, as did FF IV) if there was some sort of marketing support behind them. Crystal Bearers was a conceptually decent RPG slaughtered by the Wii's control scheme. I recall there being problems with Fragile Dreams as well. Steel Diver was a mediocre and downright boring game. Chibi Robo is creative, but it's arguably more of a niche title than RPGs are. I can't really say why nobody bought Excitebots other than the fact that I didn't buy it because it didn't seem overly interesting. And as for the various WiiWare games, there is still a strong segment of the gaming community that wants a boxed product. Couple that with terrible marketing for even decent WiiWare games and I have to ask, what do you expect?

Nintendo's biggest problem with all of these examples, it seems to me, is lack of good marketing. Marketing, by definition, sells stuff to people. I wouldn't have gotten LA Noire if not for its marketing campaign that got me really pumped to play it. If Nintendo wants to reduce its risk in bringing Xenoblade to America, it needs to generate hype (to the extent that the game can live up to it). TV commercials, magazine ads, internet presence, free crap for a preorder that isn't just some DLC garbage, and posters in every GameStop, Toys R Us, etc. That is how you market a game. I guarantee you they have each and every one of these for Zelda, a game that hardly needs it. If they put half the effort behind marketing Xenoblade that they do Zelda or Pokemon, it would probably sell pretty well, certainly better than a quiet release without any of that marketing.

If you don't get people excited to play your game, they're not going to play it. Likewise, if you do get people excited to play your game, there is a lot of money out there that could be coming your way.

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that was an interesting article, but i'm not really convinced that better media coverage alone will increase sales of unknown titles dramatically enough to make them safer bets. that probably sounds stupid (and i am stupid), but some games just aren't the type to sell a lot of copies in certain markets (for example - jrpgs in america that aren't dragon quest or final fantasy). i can think of a bunch of games that had pretty good marketing pushes and media coverage that didn't sell up to expectations.

there are a lot of different reasons for that, of course, and i'm not defending ign's lack of coverage (because it is shitty), but i think there's a bigger reality at play here that people don't really want to face: not that many people are going to buy these games. obviously the 4500 operation rainfall fans on facebook don't represent every possible person who would buy these games, but that doesn't mean that running a bunch of ads and getting coverage on ign and gamespot would be the cure. at the end of the day, the american mainstream market for jrpgs that aren't in established franchises has dried up a lot since the ps1 days. i think it's completely reasonable that nintendo would look at their production costs vs. their estimated sales for these titles in this region and go "no thanks." it sucks, and i don't think it's impossible that they'll change their mind (and i hope they do - i'd love to play these games), but i just don't think their current stance is that irrational.

edit: xzero posted the exact opposite thing while i was replying. whoops. to be honest, though, i still am not convinced that marketing alone sells games on the level we're talking about here. also, marketing is not cheap, and nintendo has to balance those costs against projected sales (which, for games not in established franchises, can be highly variable). i am really not sure that overloading the 40 million wii owners in the usa with ads for games like "xenoblade" and "pandora's tower" will result in huge sales.

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also the fact that not very many people in the US actually like jrpgs

the reason some of them are as successful as they are is because they are the best of the bunch - not everyone has the patience to sit down and play the mediocre examples of a genre that is by itself flawed

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xenoblade has gotten a lot of acclaim but...not best ever material.

to me it's absurd because NoA is more preoccupied with things like fortune street and mystery case files, they're literally letting the wii go out on 2 years of shovelware with only skyward sword to soften the blow. if they actually released any other halfway decent games it wouldn't be such a big deal to me, games have failed to get localized going back to the NES. but they're sitting on a complete game when they have nothing else substantial to begin with while talking out their asshole about how their focus is now on trying to provide a great gaming experience for everyone, not just the mass of non-gamers that have propelled them from last to first.

actually that's probably what pisses me off the most about it, if they did just let the wii die with no good games as they are doing but didn't blatantly lie about their target audience, it wouldn't really make me angry. it'd be disappointing, but I can accept that nintendo has moved on to a more lucrative market, it's the double speak that makes it infuriating

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from what I hear none these three games are anything to write home about

They got pretty high praise in Japan. Of course that's Japan and North America certainly isn't guaranteed to feel the same way towards them. Still, I saw some gameplay from The Last Story and Xenoblade and they both looked fairly promising, at least to my tastes.

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They got pretty high praise in Japan. Of course that's Japan and North America certainly isn't guaranteed to feel the same way towards them. Still, I saw some gameplay from The Last Story and Xenoblade and they both looked fairly promising, at least to my tastes.

i hate to be a total prick about this, but japanese reviews and the japanese market aren't a very good indicator about success in the us. blue dragon and lost odyssey both got high 30's out of 40 in famitsu and typically got 7's or low 8's here, and the last remnant got reamed in the us and apparently got a 38/40 in famitsu. these are just random examples, but still, i think it shows the kind of trend that bleck was talking about.

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yeah good and bad are subjective of course but the idea isn't here isn't really about whether or not they are good so much as it is whether or not they are good enough to make a profit on

video games are a business after all and the point I'm trying to make here is that nintendo probably isn't confident enough to spend money they don't need to be spending on localization for some video games that not very many people in north america are really excited about

i hate to be a total prick about this, but japanese reviews and the japanese market aren't a very good indicator about success in the us. blue dragon and lost odyssey both got high 30's out of 40 in famitsu and typically got 7's or low 8's here, and the last remnant got reamed in the us and apparently got a 38/40 in famitsu.

yeah this is pretty much exactly my point - the last remnant is perfect example, because it was rated very highly and sold very well in japan, and yet I've literally never met a person from north america who had more good things than bad to say about it

in fact, the good things they said about it tend to be the only good things I ever hear about jRPGs - 'a really good setting and story, and really good music'

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he makes some good points about the gaming media generally being terrible, IGN at the forefront of that, but a lot of it also comes off as a bitter fanboy diatribe where he seems to think that anyone being critical of nintendo here can't also be fans(or that there's anything wrong with not being a nintendo fan to begin with...)

Actually, reading some of the posts, even they criticize Nintendo, but I see where you're getting at.

If these games come here, something tells me all those fanboys professing they'd buy it, won't. Thus wasting everyone's time...

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So here's an interesting update. According to Operation Rainfall's blog post yesterday, Xenoblade is in fact coming to America and it's localization is complete. Last Story is getting the same treatment. No word on Pandora's Tower yet for either Europe or America.

http://oprainfall.blogspot.com/2011/07/source-ntsc-xenoblade-done-last-story.html

Now this has to be taken with a grain of salt because their information comes from an anonymous source at Nintendo (and thus is completely unable to be verified for its accuracy). I do believe wholeheartedly that the OP:RF guys received such information from someone claiming to work at NOA. It's just a matter of waiting to see what happens going forward. They have no reason to make something up like this if it weren't true, but it's conceivable that there's an ass out there who just wants to screw with them.

Xenoblade comes out in a little over a month in Europe, by the way, as it's release date was moved up by about 2 weeks.

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yeah there's also that elephant in the room where the more you know about japan-only rpgs the more likely it is that you regularly pirate video games

Yeah, I got an R4 to play Mother 3 on my DS. Which now means I can just pirate DS games in general. But now that I can try them out for free, I've actually been buying more games since I can try before I buy.

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To be fair, it's more on the publisher rather than the dev side, as they're usually the ones who make the most absurd decisions(obviously with some developer input of course), but the point still remains.

Then developers need to start understanding the way business runs, so that they can quit getting screwed by publishers and better assist/treat customers. But of course, they'll decry that that would "stifle their creativity." :roll:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bit of a necropost here, and no, there's no new news to present at the moment, but I wanted to share a really funny video some guy made that IGN posted:

http://www.ign.com/videos/2011/07/25/nintendo-why-wont-you-let-me-give-you-my-money-fan-plea?objectid=59789

I think this dude's whole video sums up the situation perfectly, and he presents a fairly logically sound (and presumably well-researched) rationale for why the Big N should release its heretofore unreleased and unannounced RPGs in America.

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I would really just like a chance to play an actual game on my Wii that's not shovelware.

I haven't played my Wii since DKCR.

I mean, FUCK, I've only had the damn thing for 2 years because woop-de-doo I was tricked by the whole bullshit THIS CONSOLE GENERATION WILL LAST AT LEAST 7 YEARS shit everyone said a few years ago.

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