Arc Rise Fantasia Had “Unique Challenges”, Ignition Hopes To Turn A New Corner

By Spencer . June 25, 2010 . 1:05pm

image Like many Siliconera readers, I was concerned about Arc Rise Fantasia’s localization after seeing a few voice cutscenes. “The voice acting, to put it lightly, has gotten less than favorable reactions,” I said to Shane Bettenhausen, New Business Development Director at Ignition, during an E3 meeting.


“It’s a touchy subject. I would say that some of the actors are really good, some of them might not be to your liking. There were unique challenges with Arc Rise Fantasia because we came into it when it was already in progress somewhat when Ignition picked up that title,” Bettenhausen replied.


“I feel that the price point for that game, at $39.99, makes it a little more palatable for players who do not like the voices. And you can turn the voices off. I think people may be overreacting a bit to a few voice they heard. Overall, the voice acting I would say is on par, but maybe not the level of a Final Fantasy or a really high budget localization.”


I reiterated the importance of stellar localization — I mean, that’s what everyone wants — and asked if Ignition would improve the quality for future games.


“The realities of Arc Rise Fantasia are not lost on us. I feel we’re turning a new corner where our localizations are headed. With El Shaddai we’re paying very close attention, everything you’ve seen here still has Japanese voices, but it will be fully localized. The talent we have is on a level we never had before,” Bettenhausen avowed.


“We’re also working with different localization companies than we have at past.”


“Not just Entalize,” I pressed.


“We are working with very different localization companies,” assured Bettenhausen.

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  • BrotherCavil

    “I feel we’re turning a new corner where our localizations are headed.”

    Yeah. Back to the 20th century… >:/

  • jj984jj

    So it is Entalize working on this? I wish they had gone with a different localization company sooner.

  • ZeroBlitz

    “And you can turn the voices off.”

    No Japanese VA option, then?

    • brooklyngamer86

      I’d like to know this as well.

    • Originally, Arc Rise Fantasia was going to have only Japanese voice acting like Muramasa: The Demon Blade. Midway through development, Ignition switched to English voice acting.

      • Guest

        Because they are stupid.

      • lostinblue

        Apparently though… they blame XSEED for it and for how ridiculously bad it turned out.

        I wish this localization company would just go bankrupt already, and I don’t recall ever wishing for people to be out of jobs, but it’s games I want that they’re murdering.

        • JustaGenericUser

          Wait… What? Ignition blames XSeed? WHY? I mean, Ignition was the one who stole the game from XSeed right as they were close to finishing the localization!

      • Silly @IgnitionUSA, remember this: if you’re gonna localize a Wii game, FORGET ABOUT ADDING THE ENGLISH DUB. JUST ADD SUBTITLES TO IT.

        WHAT DID YOU TAKE ARC RISE FANTASIA FOR, A PS3 GAME? >_> GEEZ, just add the BAD English dub for a PS3 game.

        Hey, JRPG haters, I hope you’d enjoy BAD English voice acting.

  • There’s a hokey charm to some of Arc Rise Fantasia’s horrid voice acting – “Piece o’ cake!” – but Ryfia honestly makes me want to commission a wolverine to savage my eardrums, and as I understand it, she’s such a focal point of the plot that it’s damaging for her to be the worst in an already lamentable cast of voice ‘talent.’

    Many importers described her as hopelessly annoying in her naivete and this honestly won’t help. I’ll still buy the game to laugh at its localization and enjoy the battle system, but shape up, Ignition! And frankly, I’ll believe that when I see it.

    Also, oh my god lol @ “on par.” On par with WHAT, sir? Addled oatmeal-gurgling giraffes?

  • Justinzero


    You guys smell that?

    I smell the stink of PR.

    At least you can turn the voices off.

    • Kunio_kun

      Yeah, that’s a really great marketing strategy, right??? It’s like he’s saying, “The voices suck, but you can turn them off… And it’s only $39.99, so what more do you want?”

      • lostinblue

        I wanted to pay full price for something that didn’t suck.

        I already have a Japanese copy of it, so they won’t get my money, I refuse. Let’s hope Rising Star in Europe doesn’t use neither their localization nor their voice-over bullcrap, and then we’ll talk.

    • Hraesvelgr

      Being able to turn off the voices is nice, but I wonder… how does that work for FMVs? Will they be like silent movies or will I have to deal with Star Ocean 2 PSX quality voice acting for the FMVs?

  • zhemos

    Trash is trash, nothing more, nothing less.

  • no news about pal release date?

    • Yeshua49

      So far Rising Star Game haven’t announced the game yet but it’s not a surprise since most of their WII games have been released several month to a year after the american release also they like good translation so they will most likely remake the translation or at least use the japanese script for French, German, Spanish and Italian translation.

      • lostinblue

        Praise the lord. They’ll get my hard earned moneys, yesthankyou.

  • Guest

    They said this before when they ruined all their previous localizations. They’re full of crap. Arc Rise Fantasia was the game that was suppose to prove they could do quality localization according to them but they butchered this too”We screwed up again……but…err the next ones gonna be a better! Promise!”Ignition is terrible at what they do. Period.

    • Hraesvelgr

      I think the thing that makes me saddest is that the game was originally being worked on by XSeed. They, at least, can get some halfway decent voice acting for their games.

      • lostinblue

        not only that, they’d go the extra mile to fit japanese voices in there, and would polish the darned script as it should be done.

        The voice acting got a lot of hate but the text wasn’t much better, it just didn’t “flew” well.

  • Feynman

    I’m don’t think Mr. Bettenhausen understands what the word “par” means.

  • deltazero

    Well, at least they don’t think that Entalize and good and stick with them… That gives me -some- hope for the future, at the very least :p

  • cowcow

    I don’t care about the voices. I’m no baby. I just want to play the game. Let me play it. Please.

  • epiphaniesarefun

    Well, I do hope your actions end up meeting your words, Mr. Bettenhausen. I’ll give it a chance again — mostly because I really, really WANT ignition’s localizations to be better.

  • I really love all the comments here, seriously.

    But they do deserve it for ruining a game I was planning on pre-ordering. No Ignition, cheaper price doesn’t mean that it’ll be any better.

  • why not give us jp audio with decent subtitles different from which ignition gave us in lux pain… and no i will never forget em for ruining such wonderful game

    • SeventhEvening

      I agree with this. Lux Pain had promise, but it was pretty much unbearable due to the localization.

      I wouldn’t mind something like Atelier Annie, where the text is fine and the voices are Japanese only.

  • I dont know why ppl are making such a big deal of voices, what is more important is how each sentence is translated, and it has to fit with each character, i still havent seen the game’s localization so i cant say anything yet, ignition is not a big company, and they gotta start somewhere, sadly they started with bad foot, but i wont start now to talk bad about everything they say just because some bad voice acting

    • Hraesvelgr

      *slow applause*

      • lol xD, i was actually expecting to get flammed, i just love siliconera community, true gamers :P, but seriously, i just learned to treat each game differently, i mean, is not like is always the same team working on it, and if is the same, now they have more experience. I hope the game localization meets my expectations now that the voice acting is not as good as i would had wanted, that’s all there is to it.

    • MrRobbyM

      I agree with you, though, why could they have started with smaller games and improve themselves there? They’ve ruined way too many good games and they pull this answer out the ass everytime they ruin a game.

      • Yeah.. i still enjoyed lux pain, even after all the typos D: ,i understand though, we are paying for a good work, it wasnt that bad though, i could easily enjoy the game ignoring those, after all, i dont think anybody else would had brought it, so at least i can thank ignition for that.

        • MrRobbyM

          Well, you’re lucky Lux Pain was mostly just text. And maybe you’re gifted and can actually tolerate listening to the english VA, but I definitely can’t. I know I can just turn it off but I rather not support Ignition.

          • Heh, i dont think i’m gifted…, i was just too focused on the story to bother because of that xD, i just loved that game, it absorbed me x_x, but yeah, i know there are people that just can’t see typos and stay quiet about it D=

          • MrRobbyM

            I was talking about Arc Rise Fantasia xD

          • ohh lol xD (cant reply anymore), yeah the VA sucka a lot -.-, depending on how bad it is when im actually playing it i may turn it off or not

    • Guest

      I won’t argue over which aspect of localizing a game is most important. I will argue that Ignition can’t really do any of those parts well enough to make buyable games.

    • It may seem trivial at first, but it can be pretty distracting. If they’d had a Japanese voice track option, I’m thinking people wouldn’t care. This game likely appeals to a niche market, and they’re making stupid decisions to make them upset. Plus, if consumers don’t complain, they’d never improve or feel they need to. I mean, how much longer is this company gonna survive, if they don’t listen or seem to care about what fans think?

    • I’m guess I’m on the same boat as you, not being a stickler to VA in particular, but appreciating the ones that go above and beyond.
      On the other hand, I can kind of see where fans get frustrated when time after time where they see the company making the same mistakes or focusing one thing, but lacking in other area. I don’t know if it’s just mismatching or being too ambitious or lack thereof that leads one to that path.
      If they’re really looking elsewhere for improvements then that’s fantastic.

  • SeventhEvening

    I hate to say it, but 39.99 doesn’t make Arc Rise’s voices easier to swallow. And I’d say the use of “on par” is a bit…questionable. They’ve really made that game a no sale for me.

    But if they’re trying to turn over a new leaf, I’ll give them a shot. I really want El Shaddai, so maybe they can pull it off. But even though they claim to have real talent there, they should make sure to leave the Japanese track if they can (I know they can on the PS3 version at least).

    It’s not impossible for them to turn things around. Atlus had a pretty share of terrible localizations on the Playstation, and they’re now one of the most beloved niche translators.

    So that promise is interesting, and I’ll still probably pick up El Shaddai. But if you fail me again Ignition…

    • Hraesvelgr

      Hey, outside of changing character names, portraits and locations in Persona, Atlus’ localizations back then weren’t that bad. There were some typos that really shouldn’t be in pro translations (“your stupid!”), but they actually kept the overall plot of the game the same. Also, Persona 2’s censoring of heavy profanity was hilarious at the time.

      • SeventhEvening

        Right, aside from changing character names, portraits, locations, and having spelling errors, they were fine. Oh, and dropping around 30% of the game content, which resulted in there only being a single ending, which is about as overall plot changing as I’ve seen in a professional translation.. Oh, and they completely rewrote one of the characters so he could speak stereotypical ebonics. The character names, locations and spelling errors were typical in their games before Persona, but Persona took it to a new level. The critical backlash from that game caused them to reevaluate their strategy, because everyone who reviewed the game applauded it, but commented that the localization was the worst part. In Persona 2 they…mostly turned things around.

        I mean, Ignition hasn’t REWRITTEN the plot to any games that I know of, just committed spelling and grammar errors that are unacceptable. Oh, and changed character and location names. And did a lousy job picking voice actors. See the similarities?

    • lostinblue

      Atlus did some bad localizations back when everything was not so good, mind you. Even Final Fantasy VIII had typos that I remember (on the credits even) and this was back when censoring was “in”.

      Different era here.

      The problem with ignition is that every time they release a game, and they screwed up on all of them until now… they say they’re working on it and it’ll be better on their next games. except it never is, hence why people is pretty tired of them.

  • Detective_Lincoln

    I think the game is already palpable enough. The translations seem a little more palpable than I think most people would prefer, in fact.

  • nyobzoo

    well this is BS, NISA and Atlus aren’t very high budget studios also but manages to get pretty decent voice actors. And now they’re saying it’s $40 to make up for the bad voices that you can turn off!? They should’ve just left in the Japanese voices if they were going to do this

  • rinshu

    This is what undubs are made for. I wont purchase the game until there is one available, if there isnt one made, Ill pass.

  • RAVENKam

    Proof, again, that it pays to do a ‘little’ research on your target market ‘before’ the localisation process. I’m sure anyone who consciously wants this game would rather it kept its original VO work with subs. It boggles my mind why Ignition u-turned on this original plan.

    • Hraesvelgr

      No, I think a majority of people would rather just have good voice acting.

      • RAVENKam

        I’ve yet to come across localised voice work that was ‘as good’ as the original source, but that’s just personal opinion, and yes, you’re probably right, ‘good’ voice acting ought to the aim here.

      • lostinblue

        tolerable would be the word. this is not.

        And the voice-overs in the original version were darned good to boot, they really did run the game into the ground.

    • I would prefer to play a game in English, myself. However, when the English voice acting is that bad, there’s no point.

    • It’s likely that most localization companies bow down to hatedom like The Spoony Experiment.

  • MrRobbyM

    Overreacting? It’s been a while since she’s heard the english VA hasn’t it? Anything they touch automatically dosen’t exist to me. That way I don’t feel so bad about losing something I could have enjoyed.

  • JustaGenericUser

    I think people are forgetting it’s not just the terrible voice-acting that angered people, it’s also the glaring inconsistency between the voiced lines and the text on the screen (ARF), turning three lines of voiced Japanese dialouge into a one-liner text “okay” (Muramasa: The Demon Blade), making every character generic and boring when the original was more colorful (Nostalgia), Lux-Pain (all that needs to be said), and so on…

    tl;dr They butcher everything they touch. Which is why I fear for Fate/Extra. I hope Capcom (who localized Fate/Unlimited Codes) or Atlus USA (who might jump on the opportunity to localize a “Persona-like game”) beat Ignition to it.

    • Moriken

      “making every character generic and boring when the original was more colorful (Nostalgia)” <- If we mean the same game, the original characters and writing WAS generic and boring…

  • Vino (Tim N)

    At the time of saying “We are working with very different localization companies then we have in the past”. Does he mean with El Shaddai? Because I am very excited for this game, but with Ignition manning the localization of El Shaddai, I’m trying not to get TOO excited.
    People may be over reacting, but its not like this is are first experience with sketchy voice acting from an Ignition localized game. Its been building up slowly, our reactions.
    I do agree with him that SOME of the voice acting is good, as Bettenhausen put it.

  • Slashlen

    Is there an option to turn Ignition off?

  • Guest

    I liked your magazine, Shane. But you’re forcing me to hate your company, and you as a person. Every game you localize is a game you ruin for us. How is your company even still in business? I can only assume you’re doing these localizations insanely cheaply to manage a profit.

  • It’s probably unprofessional of me to do this as someone in the industry, so let me say this as Nick, the person… I did quite a bit of sales/marketing/PR studying. It’s my degree. I also worked in the ‘biz of editorials/blogging/nonsense for big sites. I know spin. Let me dissect a few choice quotes:

    “There were unique challenges with Arc Rise Fantasia because we came into it when it was already in progress somewhat when Ignition picked up that title”
    Translation: “It’s not our fault. The people before we got it are to blame.”

    “Overall, the voice acting I would say is on par, but maybe not the level of a Final Fantasy or a really high budget localization.”
    Translation: “On par but not to the level… oh what the hell, I need to put a high-profile game’s title in here to create a consumer mindset correlation… to try to mask our performance to date.”

    “I feel we’re turning a new corner where our localizations are headed.”
    Translation: “We’ll only do first/second party games and focus on ‘Western’ markets in the future because we’ve shot ourselves in the foot pretty hard in the hardcore/niche market.”

    I don’t trust people in business suits with no passion for the games or the industry. They can say what they want, but without heart and soul, your work will always fall flat.

    • That’s what I found funny about the “on par” quote. I read interviews where the PR try to save face when confronted with a question like that, and they’re honest about it. I respect that. No big deal. But here, yeah, I read that the same way as you, heh. They may as well say the whole game isn’t “on par” with series like FF, right?
      I don’t know, but it seemed liked they backhanded their own game with the way they worded that. Then again, there probably is much else can you say in a situation like this, anyway :P

  • regreto

    i can’t wait to play this game <3

  • Hmm…I like Shane, so I’ll reserve judgement. It sure as hell better be decent though (I’m not expecting Shakespeare). My only real experience with them is Muramasa’s localization, so I can’t speak for their other games, but jeez it had a few problems.

  • Hours

    It’s always the same story from Ignition; “Next time we’ll do better!” And do they need to name drop El Shaddai in every interview? The did the same thing with Muramasa, and that localization was as bland as dry toast.

    Stop making promises you can’t keep. They already know that the voice acting in ARF is horrible and they do nothing about it, and they won’t even give us the option to use the Japanese voices.

    To say that it’s “on par” is a bit ridiculous, the two main characters sound like they’re being voiced by emotionless cyborgs with absolutely no cadence or rhythm.

  • ForeverFidelis

    Hey, Tidus!
    Come on, read this! You wouldn’t Believe it!

    “Overall, the voice acting I would say is on par, but maybe not the level of a Final Fantasy or a really high budget localization.”

    Tidus: HA HA HA

  • Complete BS. Atlus is a small company and they can do a better job than this

  • Gee, I wonder why you came into it when it was “already in progress”?

    BECAUSE YOU POACHED IT FROM ANOTHER COMPANY YOU ASS HAT. Way to foist all the problems off the people you stole the game from.

    This isn’t the first game they’ve screwed up, nor the first XSeed title they stole halfway through localization and slapped a quick and dirty translation on to get it out the door. Nor even the first time they said they’d do better.

    • Zeik56

      I’m not sure why you’re acting like they literally sneaked into Xseed’s offices and stole the game right from under them. I’m no fan of Ignition, but there was clearly some behind the scenes issues going on for Ignition to get ahold of the game’s that they did.

      Blame Ignition for the localizations, but blame Xseed for losing the rights to those localizations in the first place.

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