By Spencer . October 23, 2009 . 8:39pm
Natsume, taking a break from the Harvest Moon series, picked up a customize your own adventure game from Global A called Adventures to Go in North America. We mentioned it here before, but haven’t heard much about the story or why Finn needs to save the world.
So, we contacted Graham Markay, Vice President of Operations at Natsume, and asked him about Adventure to Go’s plot and localization.
We haven’t heard much about Adventure to Go’s story. Can you tell us why Finn has to save the world from Arbitus?
Graham Markay, Vice President of Operations: Well, there’s a company in the town that Finn lives in called “Adventures to Go”. They specialize is training would-be-warriors for battle in a safe-ish way by creating environments that look like those in the Demon World for a fee. However, the reason that Adventures to Go is able to create environments exactly like those of the Demon World is that they actually summon these environments, monsters, and treasure directly from the Demon World!
Suffice it to say, when Arbitus of the Demon World finds out about this, he is not very pleased! He plans to destroy the Human World in retaliation for the humans’ hubris!
And who is this villain, exactly?
He’s the Administer of Justice in the Demon World. He’s frustrated at how demons these days have become lazy and less bloodthirsty than their ancestral counterparts, and is working to try to fix this problem.
Was the story localized or is this a direct translation of the Japanese game?
The plot is the same, but we took every effort to localize the story and dialog. The game has a lot of irreverent, wacky humor, so that gave us a lot of space to really have fun with the dialog. I think the end result is one of the funniest games we’ve done.
How did Natsume handle humor, which due to cultural differences can be tricky to localize?
Fortunately, the humor in this game flows a lot from the main character, Finn, who is quite sarcastic in the original Japanese. Sarcastic humor actually translates very well into English, so those parts didn’t have to be changed much. Of course, there were plenty of jokes such as puns and pop culture references that really didn’t translate. In those cases, we preserved the tone and flavor of the original text while changing the humor to something that would make sense U.S. audiences.
What makes the battle system in Adventures to Go different from a traditional strategy RPG?
Well, anyone familiar with strategy RPGs should have an easy time diving into the deep and strategic battles of Adventures To Go. That’s not to say that the game doesn’t have plenty of its own unique touches, though. For example, the magic system is pretty unique. Instead of learning new spells as you gain levels, you’ll find recipes for different spells throughout the dungeons you go to. To make those spells, you’ll combine elemental magical shards you find, and presto! A new magic spell at your disposal!
Global A is known for simul-dungeon gaming. How can players change their world?
In lots of ways! For example, say you need to summon a monster that drops a certain kind of treasure. First, you’d choose the environment that that monster is most likely to appear in. Next, you’d choose what kind of monsters you’d like to appear in that environment, and finally, if you’d like treasure chests in the environment as well. There are over 11 types of environments to choose from, and tons of monster types to take on!
What is Natsume’s relationship with Global A? How did you link up with them?
We have obviously known about Global A for years and have been fans of the great games they create. After we got the chance to play Adventures To Go, we approached them about the opportunity to publish the title in North America and Europe. So far, I’d say it’s been a very successful collaboration, and we hope it’s one that continues on future titles.
What are some of the pros and cons of releasing Adventures to Go as a Gamestop exclusive?
Adventures To Go is a niche title aimed at hardcore and casual RPG fans. GameStop is really the best place to go for gamers who want to find those niche titles that won’t necessarily be out on the shelves of all of the big-box retailers. So this lets us put our title in the store where it’s going to get plenty of attention and shelf space, and it really helps us focus our advertising on where it counts most.
Obviously the con is that, on some level, you’d always like to see your game getting the treatment of a Halo or Madden and have it out there front and center at every single retailer, but that just wasn’t a strategy that made sense for a niche title like this one. GameStop has a ton of stores across the county, so we don’t think anyone will have a problem finding this game.
Is a digital release also in the works for PSPgo owners or anyone opposed to Gamestop?
Currently we are looking into it, so most likely in the future it will be available.