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Ys VIII's PC release slips to 2018 to allow for total re-translation

Ys VIII

It would seem that ‘measure twice, cut once’ isn’t just good woodworking advice. NIS America’s localisation of Ys VIII: Lacrimosa Of Dana, the latest in Nihon Falcom’s long-running action-RPG series, has now been judged so wobbly by the publisher that they’re delaying the PC release to allow for a complete ‘from the ground up’ rework of the English script and voice track.

There is at least some silver lining to this particular cloud. NIS America are going to be detailing the process through regular blog posts, the first of which details their reasoning behind the decision to push the PC release back, now with no fixed release date in sight.

If all had gone to plan, Ys VIII would be out by now. NIS America delayed the PC version a day before launch in September without explanation while the console release went ahead. A month later, following complaints from console players, NISA said they accepted the localisation was bad so they were reworking it and that’d handily be complete in time for the PC launch later in 2017. It seems their estimate was optimistic at best. The new localisation is now expected some time “early next year” and NISA are holding the PC release back until that’s finished. A shame, but it looks like it’ll be time well spent given the bizarre state of the original localisation that console players are currently having to wade through.

The degree of trouble that NIS America have had localising the game seems especially strange considering the relative ease with which previous entries have been localised¬† by fans, initially, and later small publisher XSeed. With NIS’s resources, it seems like it should have been a walk in the park, but instead they appear to have even mistranslated parts of the script that were already in English.

It’s a shame, because the Ys series could do with a little more love and attention in the west, and especially on the PC, where developers Nihon Falcom have persisted even when the bottom fell out of the Japanese PC gaming market. They’re fast, loud and entertaining action RPGs, owing more to loot n’ levelling-filled metroidvanias such as Symphony Of The Night than our Diablos and similar.

While recent games in the series have increased the amount of dialogue, thanks to switching to a more party-based dynamic, the stories themselves tend to be straightforward and optimistic fantasy fare – video game comfort-food. Adol Christin (protagonist for most of the series) is a particularly pleasant throwback to simpler times. A hero utterly devoid of angst, inner conflict or moral quandary; He wanders into a new land, befriends the locals, finds out what ancient cosmic evil is threatening them and runs off to stab it with a smile.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is still taking preorders on both Steam and GOG for ¬£45/$60, although given the current situation you’re probably better off waiting to see what happens.

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Dominic Tarason

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