I put Steal Princess down to start Rhythm Heaven. The first three stages were shown at E3 fully localized with English instructions. In the fourth stage players control a monkey that claps along to a singing pop idol. Nintendo doesn’t have to worry about a cultural barrier since American Idol is huge. The potential issue is the lyrics because the singer sings in Japanese.
Rhythm Heaven can appeal to their causal market and to core Nintendo fans so I don’t think Nintendo will risk releasing a game with Japanese sings. At the very least Nintendo will have to adapt the idol game with English lyrics and a new English singer. I haven’t got too far into Rhythm Heaven yet, but I’m wondering how much of the game Nintendo will have to change. The difference shouldn’t be as great as Elite Beat Agents and Ouendan, but Rhythm Heaven will have to go through significant localization when/if it comes out. Would you mind if Nintendo Westernized some of the games?
At E3 I was told the plan was to release Rhythm Heaven this winter, but the date on Nintendo’s page is TBA. Hopefully, they don’t can it at the last minute like DS Air aka Jet Impulse in Japan.
Images courtesy of Nintendo.