sumthing else

Insider Blog

In what may be my favorite video game promotion of all time, Io and Square Enix have introduced Gary Busey as Hitman’s next ‘Elusive Target‘. The voting public has chosen to #KILLBUSEY over actor Gary Cole (of Office Space fame) and as of today, players can find Mr. Busey wandering aimlessly, scaring and confusing the citizenry of Sapienza. You’ll have seven days and one chance to find the legendary actor/crazy person and take him out as only Agent 47 (or any of the various characters/unfortunate accidents/monsters of the following films: The Magnificent Seven Ride, Lolly-Madonna, XXX, Hex, The Buddy Holly Story, Straight Time, Lethal Weapon, Hider in the House, Predator 2, Point Break, Wild Texas Wind, The Firm, Under Siege, Drop Zone, Surviving the Game, Man with a Gun, Lethal Tender, The Rage Soldier, The Gingerdead Man) can.

To celebrate this creative and hilarious promotion, we’re providing a promotion of our own: 25% off our Hitman soundtracks. Just use the code ‘baneofbusey‘ at checkout with either Blood Money, Contracts or both in your cart. The discount will end only when Gary Busey no longer walks the Sapienzan(?) streets. If anyone is playing the new Hitman and successfully offs Busey, please, please let me know how it went in the comments. Stay weird, video games.

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TJ Pederson plays video games and listens to music.

Hey all,

I’ve been playing Overwatch on Xbone since its release. Since they nerfed McCree, I’ve found myself mainly playing support heroes. I find myself to be a pretty talented gamer so I like to be the backbone of a team, and any Overwatch player knows that a great support can mean easy victory for their team. I’ve been using Zenyatta due to his high skill cap, huge damage output potential, and ability to essentially cancel a lot of other heroes ultimates using his own, such as Reaper or Pharah. Nothing feels better than shutting down a potential team wipe!

That being said, I find myself contemplating whether the new hero, Ana will take my main man Zenyatta’s place as my favorite support hero when the new patch comes to Xbone. They both have high skill caps, the potential to shut down enemy ultimates, and high damage output. Below you can find a breakdown of Ana’s abilities as well as the HUGE buffs coming to Zenyatta in the same patch.

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ANA – A support sniper, mother to Pharah, and former wife or lover of Soldier 76

BIOTIC RIFLE
Ana’s rifle shoots darts that can restore health to her allies or deal ongoing damage to her enemies. She can use the rifle’s scope to zoom in on targets and make highly accurate shots.

SLEEP DART
Ana fires a dart from her sidearm, rendering an enemy unconscious (though any damage will rouse them).

BIOTIC GRENADE
Ana tosses a biotic bomb that deals damage to enemies and heals allies in a small area of effect. Affected allies briefly receive increased healing from all sources, while enemies caught in the blast cannot be healed for a few moments.

NANO BOOST
After Ana hits one of her allies with a combat boost, they temporarily move faster, deal more damage, and take less damage from enemies’ attacks.

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BUFFS COMING TO ZENYATTA

– Base shields increased by 50 (now 50 Health/150 Shield)
– Primary fire weapon damage decreased from 45 to 40
– Alternate fire weapon damage increased from 35 to 40
– Orb of Discord and Orb of Harmony Projectile speed has been increased from 30 to 120
– Transcendence movement speed is now doubled upon activation, healing amount increased from 200 to 300 health per second

Now that you are educated, what do you think? Will Ana win the hearts of the Zenyatta faithful? Or will his huge health buff and general overall improvements be enough to keep us throwing orbs?

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Todd (Badger) Christensen is a lifelong gamer with a passion for putting noobs in their place, be it at Watchpoint Gibraltar, in the rocket league arena, or winning a lane in DOTA. You can find him Twitch streaming on Xbox with the gamertag badger989. Feel free to follow him to see all of his sweet clips!

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The full scope of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s score lies somewhere in the hundreds: hundreds and hundreds of songs. We, as the public, generously received no less than 3 officially sanctioned releases for MGSV; the tally of compositions when added together amounts to almost 200 tracks. It is likely, however, that this number does not even come close to encapsulating the entire spectrum of work done by lead composer Ludvig Forssell. Forssell and his collaborators’ (Daniel James, Justin Burnett, Harry-Gregson Williams, Akihiro Honda, and Donna Burke) outstanding collection of music caught the attention of the entire gaming community, including Sumthing.com.

The album impressed us so much that we awarded it our number one record of 2015. It was with this in mind that I went out to meet with Ludvig Forssell one very late April afternoon. In our conversation, Forssell detailed the extraordinary genesis of sound  found within the world of MGSV: the gritty, spectacular vision, the joys of collaboration, and the countless times he spent performing as an 80’s new wave superstar, as seen in Metal Gear Solid V: The Lost Tapes. Today, Sumthing is honored and pleased to bring you composer Ludvig Forssell.

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Listen: Metal Gear Solid V:Ground Zeroes: Camp Omega

 

SEMW: I’d like to begin by talking a little bit about Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. My approximation of the sound of Ground Zeroes is that of a very pregnant dusk. Where does the music of the world of Ground Zeroes exist in your head? How did you separate that universe from the one that exists in The Phantom Pain? Are there key elements you wanted to emphasize? Were there particular tones you thought best described trudging through Camp Omega?

Ludvig Forssell: Well, while we already had a very clear idea of what we wanted the music in The Phantom Pain to be and stand for, the approach to Ground Zeroes was more of a checking the waters with a more wide array of ideas kind of an approach; did we want it to sound reminiscent of the music of Peace Walker or did we want something more foreboding as to what were to come at the end of that story line, leading into The Phantom Pain? In the end we went for something in between, with a hard focus on synthetic sounds to emphasize on the aesthetic look of a military prison camp in the dark rain. I would say that Ground Zeroes definitely focuses on a version of Snake that is close to the original in that he is still the hero from the old games, a guy whose actions will always resonate well with the player. So we let the central tone be way more heroic than that of The Phantom Pain. That being said, there is a sadness and a darkness lurking somewhere beneath; as if to hint at that undertaking the main mission of Ground Zeroes will ultimately lead to Snake and his team’s demise. This is something that seeps out bit by bit as you progress and find out what’s really been going on in Camp Omega.

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s lead composer Ludvig Forssell

 

SEMW: Withered Peace, and Bloodstained Anthem walk very delicate lines. Do they represent the coming duality present in the Phantom Pain? Can you talk a little bit about their creation in general? Both are amazing.

Ludvig Forssell: Withered Peace, The Girl’s Gone and Bloodstained Anthem were all born from one longer cue that I first wrote  to test out with the gameplay to see what would fit. On a side note, this cue was later reworked and released on the Extended Soundtrack with the name “Paz is Dead“. I wanted something that started out really, really, small and could build up as the player progressed further and further while carrying and caring for Paz, hopefully feeling more and more stress from the pressure of trying not to be found while at the same time feeling like they’re getting closer and closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. I wanted Withered Peace to give the player some insight as to how damaged Paz had become, how she was beyond saving, but still making you feel like you just can’t give up on her. I tried to convey this uncertainty with the unsteady pitches in the main synth leads and the track constantly changing form, making it hard to tell where it’ll go next. Bloodstained Anthem is where the player gets to just throw all caution out the window and do what they must, give their all just to save Paz from the forces of all of Camp Omega firing upon you. It’s as heroic as anything we wrote for all of MGSV gets, yet there is still a feeling of loss, a feeling of giving up on a “cleaner” version of yourself in order to complete whatever task at hand.

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Listen: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes: Bloodstained Anthem

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Purchase WildStar Original Soundtrack

Sumthing Else Music Works, the premier record label dedicated to releasing video game soundtracks, Carbine Studios and NCSOFT® present the highly anticipated original soundtrack album for the free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game, WildStar. The game’s soundtrack will be released in multiple volumes – Volume One will available for digital download and streaming on May 31.

Composer Jeff Kurtenacker (Pirates of the Burning Sea) fuses musical elements together that bring space adventure to life. Using synthesizers, a wide array of guitars, and a 75-piece Los Angeles orchestra, Kurtenacker’s approach to the WildStar universe is highly thematic, creating memorable and exciting music that engages players throughout their MMO experience. Equal parts epic space fantasy and western frontier swagger, the music of WildStar delivers a unique blend that puts you right in the middle of the action.

Join the galactic battle between the Exiles and Dominion as they race to uncover the secrets of the Eldan—a hyper-advanced race that mysteriously disappeared long ago. Trek across the beautiful and dangerous planet Nexus, and find adventure, fun, and a hell of a good time as your skills are put to the test through high-intensity combat. Download and start your adventure at www.wildstar-online.com.

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Purchase Far Cry Primal Original Soundtrack

Sumthing Else Music Works, the premier record label dedicated to releasing video game soundtracks, today announced the CD release of the original soundtrack from Far Cry® Primal as well other popular titles in the award-winning series including Far Cry® 3 and Far Cry® 3: Blood Dragon. The soundtracks are now available for digital download from www.sumthing.com and will be available in stores on March 22.

Far Cry® Primal Original Game Soundtrack – Music by Jason Graves

Two-time BAFTA winning composer Jason Graves has composed the original game soundtrack for the next exciting chapter in the award-winning Far Cry® franchise, Far Cry® Primal. Graves is renowned for his textural concept scores and cinematic orchestration on AAA titles such as Until Dawn, The Order: 1886, Evolve, Tomb Raider and Dead Space.

As a classically-trained composer and world percussionist, Graves created an entirely live organic score for Far Cry® Primal, blending a diverse array of sounds from the natural environment and incorporating many animal effects into the score. The evocative soundtrack features a unique set of textures representing each of the tribes that players will encounter, including a ram’s horn and solo flute (Wenja); Aztec death whistles, female vocals, ritualistic percussion (Izilia); raw sounds from Far Cry‘s Stone Age natural environment including bushes, bones, antlers, clay pots, wooden artifacts and male vocals (Udam). Crafted together the sounds bring the rich and primal gameplay alive to players challenged to survive in a hostile environment and rise to become the apex predator.

The award-winning franchise that stormed the tropics and climbed the Himalayas now brings its innovative open world sandbox gameplay to a time when humans were not at the top of the food chain, but were fighting to climb it, bringing together massive beasts, breathtaking environments, and unpredictable savage encounters, in Far Cry® Primal.

Preview the album here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9RTEef2Byo

Sumthing Else Music Works will also release the following Far Cry® soundtracks on CD:

Far Cry® 3 Original Game Soundtrack – Music by Brian Tyler

Far Cry® 3: Blood Dragon Original Game Soundtrack – Music by Power Glove

TCTD
Purchase Tom Clancy’s The Division Original Soundtrack

Sumthing Else Music Works, the premier record label dedicated to releasing video game soundtracks, today announced the release of the original soundtrack from Ubisoft®’s highly anticipated online open world action role-playing video game, Tom Clancy’s The Division. Developed by Ubisoft Massive and published by Ubisoft, the game’s original soundtrack is now available for digital download from www.sumthing.com and a physical CD release will be available in stores on March 22.

Composer Ola Strandh (World In Conflict®, Ground Control II) has created the soundtrack for the pandemic-ravaged streets of a mid-crisis New York City. Immerse yourself in a moody mixture of synthesizers, percussion and acoustic instruments designed to complement the diverse locations and factions you’ll encounter while exploring what’s left of Manhattan.

Tom Clancy’s The Division takes place weeks after a devastating pandemic sweeps through New York City on Black Friday. One by one, basic services fail and in only days, without food or water, society collapses into chaos. The Division, an autonomous unit of tactical agents leading seemingly ordinary lives among us, is activated to save society. Team up with other players to investigate the source of the virus, protect civilians from dangerous factions, and reclaim the city from the overwhelming turmoil.

Stream 3 tracks from the album here.

Tom Clancy’s The Division is now available for Xbox One, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.

For more information about Tom Clancy’s The Division, visit www.thedivisiongame.com.


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Kevin Riepl’s original score to reboot of Eli Roth’s cult film out now!

Sumthing Else Music Works presents the original motion picture soundtrack for CABIN FEVER composed by Kevin Riepl (BATMAN UNLIMITED, CABIN FEVER: PATIENT ZERO, GEARS OF WAR). A reboot of Eli Roth’s 2002 film of the same name, CABIN FEVER follows a group of five college graduates who rent a cabin in the woods. Soon, all hell breaks loose, as the group falls victim to a flesh-eating virus that attracts the unwanted attention of the homicidal locals. Kevin Riepl’s CABIN FEVER Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is now available for digital download on iTunes, Sumthing.com and all digital music sites.

When searching for the right composer the film’s director Travis Z found a short film online featuring a driving, tribal drumbeat which he used in the rough cut for reference. He showed the short to producer Evan Astrowsky who recognized the composer was none other than Kevin Riepl, the composer of CABIN FEVER: PATIENT ZERO. Astrowsky commented, “As we were trying to give CABIN FEVER a new vision, we were hesitant to invite people associated with the other films to the table. Kevin’s work, however, is so powerful, so original, that it was impossible to resist.”

Kevin Riepl is an award-winning composer writing for multiple entertainment genres. His engaging, hybrid and atmospheric scores have enhanced numerous films including THE NIGHT CREW (starring Luke Goss, Bokeem Woodbine and Danny Trejo), CABIN FEVER: PATIENT ZERO, SILENT NIGHT, CONTRACTED and THE ABCs of DEATH. In addition he has scored cult hit sci-fi shorts such as ATROPA, HENRI (starring Keir Dullea) and RUIN. Riepl is also renowned for composing the epic, signature scores for blockbuster video games including GEARS OF WAR, the UNREAL series, ALIENS: COLONIAL MARINES, and many more. Most recently he scored Warner Bros. Animation’s movie BATMAN UNLIMITED: ANIMAL INSTINCTS and BATMAN UNLIMITED: MONSTER MAYHEM nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Music at the 2016 Annie Awards. Upcoming projects include Warner Bros. animated movie BATMAN UNLIMITED: MECHS VS. MONSTERS, Eric England’s black comedy-thriller GET THE GIRL and BATTLEBORN, the new first-person shooter from the creators of BORDERLANDS.

CABIN FEVER is currently showing in select theaters and available On Demand.

For more information visit http://www.ifcfilms.com/films/cabin-fever.

Today I’m counting down my  favorite records of 2015, and if there is one absolute in my daily routine, it is listening to videogame scores…repeatedly.  There is absolutely nothing I would rather be listening to. If you knew me personally, you would also know that there is nothing I enjoy talking about more. Congratulations to these tremendous artists.

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Listen: Broken Age: Vella Wakes

 

#3.) Peter McConnell and Broken Age–  Video games as a medium are still largely restricted to easily identifiable genres. Some war, some space…some war in space, gruff soldiers, sundries of murky, banal horror titles, and amnesia-ridden RPG protagonists. It’s all been done before and to death. The ideas inherent in these games have been savaged by every make and model of success and failure over the last 40 years.

If creation under this aged model of repackage, recycle, repackage sounds arduous…imagine scoring the same thing, the same scenes near verbatim over and over and over. It’s the hard fact that comes with laying brick, and it is one that most game composers must grapple with on a daily basis: boss encounters, the hero’s walk on, the antagonist smirk, the difficult decision, all are necessary pieces, all require a similar methodology. The question then becomes, how does one stay above the water when it is made so easy to drown in a parade of your own clones? The re-tweaked, the worked-over, all from the same sea of brittle, familiar overtures? Celebrated composer Peter McConnell is one of the very select few unwilling to shuffle alongside the bloated and the capsized as McConnell himself is the embodiment of constant reinvention. No two of his recordings sound like they were drawn from the same stock: not a single one. Nothing inside his brilliant works for 1998’s Grim Fandango could play understudy, adlib for 2005’s bizarrely opulent work as seen in Psychonauts. His voice is a distinct one, and one that’s almost without peer. Broken Age is a foothold, a bottling that actually captures the presence of space where objects exceed your grasp as they float at once near to desolately far beyond reach. Echoes are miles, light years in real-time, and they carry with them the ring of both the ponderous and the unexplored like I have never heard before. In contrast, McConnell’s duality as seen in this record’s flip-side is coruscate, warm, candidly spoken, and hand in hand. Making all things new.

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Listen: Axiom Verge: The Axiom

#2.) Thomas Happ and Axiom Verge- 

For the masses of uninitiated, those who do not play video games in any sort of setting, the aural assault of 8-bit chip-tunes is defined by a series of absolute capitulations. To begin, it is a rudimentary instrument by design: nothing more than a toolset of frangible wires. Despite this, it’s a deceivingly tricky tablature: one that is seemingly easy to master but almost impossible to alchemize in correct proportion. Thomas Happ, composer of 2015’s Axiom Verge, plays his stunningly, sybaritic verse without misstep or apology. Axiom Verge is a sumptuous framework, a land mass of low, desolate flange and cold yet hedonistic swirl. It is a representation of some of the very best the genre has ever produced, as it carefully marries the tried and faultless master-techniques of its past operators into a symbiotic union of organic and ambient sound. While most have a tendency to over-emphasize one channel over the other, Happ strikes a balance that is perfectly measured in audience threshold: just as you feel you might be overtaken by the machines, Happ dispenses an expressive edict of live sound. For those new to this chorus and for those who’ve become disaffected by the glut of the disingenuous, Happ presents a manifesto that bookends the old guard, and provides a full measure as to how to proceed and advocate from this point forward. Look beyond.

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Listen: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: V Has Come To

#1.)  Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Ludvig Forssell, Justin Burnett, Daniel James, Akihiro Honda, Donna Burke, and Harry Gregson-Williams-

It was never going to be easy and that is the simple fact of it. Scoring for one of video games most divisive and influential series is but one single, exceedingly difficult factor. Couple that with the knowledge that this will indeed be the final pure-blooded mainline entry in the Metal Gear pantheon and the weight begins to multiply one hundred-fold. As if to follow suit, The Phantom Pain isn’t a collection of easily drawn lines. So much of its subject matter is a cortical, gray meringue of open interpretation: what is so easily defined as morally black could just as well be identified by a spectrum of colors from another point of view.

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Listen: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Disarmament

Chief composer Ludvig Forssell’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s score is a dangerous and unflinching collection of swerving vignettes expertly pieced together. It details in full the dearth of sunlight present in the subject matter, and accurately recounts the severity of those myopic stretches of night driving that so consume the majority of the Phantom Pain. Forssell’s faultless approach means to ground the proceedings in the incalculable grit of actual despair, and it’s also one of the first in the series to appropriately gauge and ballast the mood of Metal Gear’s tactile world. A full symphony amongst the wreckage of the Phantom Pain’s backdrop seems an unlikely variable, and so Forssell wisely presents material that is by-and-large stripped down, scaled back and uncomfortably up close: the larger the room, the greater the percentage of emotion lost.

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Listen:  Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: The Code Talker

Forssell’s flawless, brunt creation is also one of the most successful musical collaborations in recent gaming history. Composers Justin Burnett, Daniel James and long-time series guardians Akihiro Honda, Donna Burke and Harry Gregson-Williams effortlessly adhere to all of Forssell’s hard-lined cornerstones. Working in separate capacities and lengthy moments in tandem, Forssell’s extended cohorts fashion definitive inscriptions that are paramount and absolutely necessary to both lighten and shade Forssell’s lofty draft of working blueprints. Despite the staggering run-time of The Phantom Pain’s dual platters, never once does the collective’s aesthetic cohesion falter; all subtext remains intact and the strength of the compositions gorgeously disseminates the narrative without so much as a single lull in attention.

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Listen: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: OKB Zero

Whatever the goals, whatever the bullseye first marked and envisioned by Forssell and his team a near half decade ago is made flesh with this release. When one of these composers is remembered, all of them will be evoked simultaneously and in concert. There is no larger compliment than to be credited with complete and full understanding. The acknowledgement that of the millions of variations and outcomes that could have been, only this group was capable of delivering that final, eloquent eulogy. Unequivocally, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s score is the definitive series work as transcribed by those chosen few who’ve peered through its many assorted and  daunting masks: the practitioners responsible for uncovering its lifetime of heartbreaking concealments. A true seeing.

As a standing farewell: this is good.

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Having fallen in love only 4 times in his life Geno counts Double Dragon as his second and truest love. He has worked in record retail since 2000 and believes David Hayter to be the one true Solid Snake. Currently, he is putting together a band which only perform songs from Street Fighter 3rd Strike.

Sumthing Fans,

Next week, we’ll be giving away 20 digital codes (10 for PS4 / 10 for Xbox One) to download Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition. All you need to do to qualify is sign up for our newsletter! You can find the newsletter signup toolbar at the bottom of our home page. Go ahead and sign up now… we’ll wait.

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A newsletter will be sent out at 12PM Eastern on Tuesday, November 10th with instructions to claim the prizes. The first subscribers to follow these instructions will be gifted the download code for the console of their choice. Don’t worry; it’ll be a breeze. Sign up now, as you don’t want to miss out on this awesome re-master of an excellent game. The soundtrack’s not half bad either…

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Buy the soundtrack and get hyped!

IMPORTANT: The PS4 codes are only good for North & South America. The Xbox One codes are worldwide. Thanks and good luck!

These days, to any fan of Japanese games, it might seem that whether or not games get localized is completely up to a completely random shaking of a toy 8-Ball by localization companies. It can be tortuous at times, considering how much information flows between the continents thanks to the internet, to see the bounty of games that our friends back East seem to get that will never see an English release for. Indeed, sometimes the only options seem to be to either learn Japanese, or to have the patience and poise of the Buddha himself.

There are as many reasons for a lack of localization as there are unlocalized games out there; most of the times the games are too “Japanese” and any market in the west would be too niche and limited in scope to make the investment worthwhile. There are a number of notable examples of games that haven’t been localized, some condemned to never see western shores, and some with nothing but a gigantic question mark for their localization status. Some of the most exceptional games are listed therein, and as mentioned before, an 8 ball has been consulted about the chances of each game getting localized.

  1. Mother 3

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Developed by: HAL Laboratory.          Original Release Date: April 20, 2006.

Platform: Game Boy Advance.            Genre: Role Playing Game.

Mother 3’s lack of localization is one of the most baffling in the industry. Nintendo generally has a good record of publishing their first party franchises worldwide, but Mother 3 has yet to see an official English release. The absence of Mother 3 is more puzzling due to the fact that the franchise, known as EarthBound in the West, enjoyed a tremendous resurgence in terms of popularity with two of their main characters featuring in the Smash Brothers games. Lucas and Ness are fan favorites in Nintendo’s multi-IP brawler.

Mother 3 follows the same formula as EarthBound, an incredibly charming and quirky game with lovable characters and a fairly imaginative plot. The game has few faults, and none of these are major or even significant. Critics of the game mostly focus on the lack of gameplay improvements from the previous game, but that really doesn’t detract from the fact that Mother 3 is a fantastic RPG that is a must-play for any Nintendo fan.

Listen: Mother 3 OST – F-F-Fire!

Thanks in no small part due to Lucas’s appearance in Super Smash Brothers Brawl, fans have been clamoring for at least a Virtual Console release of this cult GBA classic. Nintendo has been quiet so far, but with the recent release of EarthBound Origins, the previously unlocalized first game in the series, the future isn’t nearly as grim as you think.

8-Ball Localization Forecast: Outlook good.

  1. Ciel nosurge

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Developed by: GUST.                         Original Release Date: April 26, 2012.

Platform: PlayStation Vita.                  Genre: Simulation.

I briefly talked about Ciel nosurge in a previous article, and the main reason this oddball of a game is listed is mostly because of the topic of said article, Ciel’s sequel, Ar nosurge. Both Ciel and Ar nosurge belong to the Surge Concerto series, and the way things stand right now in the west, the story of the Surge Concerto is woefully incomplete. For a series that focuses greatly on emotional storytelling and character development, the fact that half of the pie is missing doesn’t do these games any good. References to Ciel are lost in Ar, and it’s impossible to get the “ultimate” ending in the localized version of Ar, due to it requiring a data transfer from Ciel in order to be unlocked.

Being perfectly honest though, Ciel is not a game that could easily be localized. The scope of the script is massive, there’s  thousands of lines with voiced dialogue and tens of thousands without. Not to mention, that the gameplay for Ciel isn’t exactly something that would’ve appealed to broad western audiences. Simply put, the game is like a highly complex and very immersive Tamagotchi. The heroine of the game, Ionasal Kkll Preciel, has lost her memories and it’s up to the player to coax them back by performing various tasks such as talking with Ionasal, “diving” into her subconscious, and creating fairies known as Sharl by scanning barcodes with the PS Vita’s camera. The game is extremely “smart”, and the longer it’s played the more Ionasal’s daily routine matches up with the player’s. This makes it easier to accomplish the goals of the game. Afterwards, save data can be transferred to the PS Vita or PS3 version of Ar nosurge to unlock additional content and the “ultimate” ending.

Listen: Ciel nosurge OST – Neptlude (Class::NEPTLUDE=>extends.TX_CLUSTERS/.)

Unfortunately, Ciel’s lack of western draw ultimately condemned it. As Tecmo Koei has pretty much said that the game will remain a Japanese only release for the foreseeable future. Alas, the wonderful story of the Surge Concerto will remain halfway done in the western world. And the world is perhaps a bit darker because of it.

8-Ball Localization Forecast: Very doubtful.

  1. Legend of the Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter and Third Chapter

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Developed by: Falcom.                       Original Release Date: June 28, 2007.

Platform: Windows PC, PSP, PSV.     Genre: Role Playing Game.

It’s downright unfortunate what has been happening to the Legend of the Heroes: Trails in the Sky series in the west. The first part of Trails in the Sky was released stateside back in March 2011 by XSEED Games, a whole 5 years after its original release in Japan. In 2011, the PSP was already in its death throes as a platform in North America, and it came to no surprise to anyone that Trails in the Sky had a fairly poor performance in terms of sales. Nevertheless, the game was something special despite its age. Trails in the Sky had lovable characters, a very interesting setting, layers of complexity in its innocuous looking battle system, and a promise of things to come. Trails in the Sky was nothing but a fantastic prelude to the next two episodes in the series which garnered even more praise and near universal acclaim in Japan. XSEED Games promised that the localization for the second game would be forthcoming relatively shortly after the first one… but it’s been almost six years, and we’ve yet to see a release for it.

Listen: Trails in the Sky SC OST – Silver Will

Now, this isn’t to say that XSEED Games is to blame for this debacle. XSEED has been in the forefront of Japanese game localization ever since they started as a company and they deserve the utmost respect. Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter has a massive script and there’s a monstrous amount of dialogue, menus, battle scenes, etcetera to translate. Considering how the first game wasn’t exactly flying off the shelves, XSEED wasn’t able to put as many resources into translating the sequel as they would’ve liked to. And so we wait.

8-Ball Localization Forecast: Signs point to yes.

  1. Fatal Frame 4: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse

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Developed by: Grasshopper Mfr.        Original Release Date: July 31, 2008.

Platform: Nintendo Wii.                       Genre: Survival Horror.

The Fatal Frame series is close to many a horror fan’s heart. The pulse pounding suspense, the relative weakness of the protagonists, the encroaching terror of the supernatural all create an experience that’s uncomfortably hard to describe. Fatal Frame enjoyed moderate success in the west, with critics praising its unique mechanics and intensely creepy atmosphere. There were three games released for the PlayStation 2, but as survival horror declined as a genre, so did the sales for Fatal Frame in the west. Once Tecmo decided to jump platforms from Sony’s Playstation brand to Nintendo’s Wii system for Fatal Frame 4, the game was not released in North America.

Nintendo of America and Tecmo seem to have had communication issues over the game, as Tecmo had stated that NoA were the publishers for Fatal Frame 4 outside of Japan, but Reggie Fils-Aime stated in an interview with “MTV Multiplayer” that “[Nintendo of America is] not the publisher of that title in the Americas. So I can’t comment on it…”

Listen: Fatal Frame 4 OST – Tsukimori Song ~ Piano

Horror fans were deprived of the pleasure of playing Fatal Frame 4, be it by corporate shenanigans or another ulterior motive. The game will most likely never see an official localization effort, but not everything is lost, as the sequel to Fatal Frame 4 has been confirmed for a worldwide release this October. Fans of the franchise will finally be able to fight evil spirits with the Camera Obscura one more time on the Wii U.

8-Ball Localization Forecast: My reply is no.

  1. God Eater 2

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Developed by: Shift, Namco-Bandai.  Original Release Date: November 14, 2013.

Platform: PlayStation 4, PSV.             Genre: Action Role Playing Game.

Namco-Bandai’s God Eater is an absolute phenomenon in Japan; there’s statues of the giant enemy monsters scattered throughout Akihabara, an anime series by legendary animation studio ufotable, more merchandise than you can shake a stick at, and of course, the games themselves and their many expansions and spinoffs. All of this makes it perplexing that Namco-Bandai’s only effort to bring God Eater to the west was with the localization of the very first game. Admittedly, the game did not do the greatest in terms of sales due to it being released for the PSP way past the prime of the device. Regardless of poor sales, God Eater gathered a tremendous cult following in the west.

The series is fantastic in nearly every aspect; it integrated the meticulous and pattern-based combat of Monster Hunter while making it extremely fast paced, along with having an interesting and original story with memorable characters. Composer Go Shiina of Tales of Legendia, Tekken 6, and Ace Combat fame was in charge of the scores throughout the series, and it shows on the excellent soundtrack that is present in every single game; featuring big names such as Donna Burke, and May J.

Listen: God Eater 2 OST – God and Man

So far, Namco-Bandai has been completely silent about God Eater 2 and the remake of the first game coming to the English speaking world. There hasn’t even been a peep coming from them in the matter, and considering their previous track record with some games, that’s not particularly encouraging. But not localizing a franchise as popular as God Eater seems to be a blunder of terrifying proportions that one can only hope Namco-Bandai doesn’t make.

8-Ball Localization Forecast: Reply hazy try again.

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Playing video games since he has a conscious memory, Bernard has fond memories of the Super Nintendo and the 16 bit MIDI symphonies emanating from it. Since then, he has acquired fairly atypical tastes in games and game music. Nowadays, you can find him dodging bullets and bobbing his head to the music in the Touhou Project, or fighting against gigantic monsters in Monster Hunter, God Eater, or Toukiden. Deep down, he believes portable consoles are king, long live the PS Vita and 3DS!

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