Little Backstage Tales

Jul 21, 2021
Jul 21
Janet Hsu

Hello, everyone! I’m Masakazu Kougou, the director and game planner of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. So far, we’ve heard about this game’s English translation, voice recording, and music recording sessions from each section’s leader, so I think I’ll start today off by talking about how the new ‘Story Mode’ feature came to be.

Story Mode

Originally, we had only planned to implement that staple of the modern visual novel genre, autoplay mode, into the game. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have anything like Story Mode at all. Rather, we had a debug function that did basically the same thing.

Note: To “debug” something is the process by which we look for errors in the game and fix them, and “debug functions” are helpful tools that assist in the debugging process.

One day, a request came down to me from one of the producers.

  • The Conversation:

I want you to add a new feature that we can use as a selling point.

N-Now? At this juncture?! Um… Let me check the project schedule…

By the way, how much additional time do we get to implement it?

Zero.

Huh?! Then…do we get more peopl—

No extra money means no extra staff. That will be all. I look forward to the results.

This is insanity…

*The producer wasn’t really as intimidating as Lord Stronghart, I swear!

I suppose anyone who’s worked in games, or in any other field for that matter, has come across this kind of situation before. But the producer wasn’t doing it out of spite, of course. He only brought this topic up to us, the dev team, after discussing it with a bunch of other divisions and determined that it was a truly necessary feature.

Still, I was suddenly tasked with this mission to find something worthy of being a selling point. But without extra time, money, or staff, the range of things I could suggest was severely limited and anything we’d want to do would be difficult to implement under such circumstances.

That’s when the producer approached me and asked about formally implementing that debug function.

  • The Conversation:

As I recall, there’s a debug function that goes through the game all by itself, correct?

Yes, we’re not done making it yet, but it’s in the works.

I want you to put that into the main game.

You what? I mean, it’s just a tool. It’s not that simple to turn it into something usable for actual players…

Hm, in that case, I suggest you get going and talk with your team.

B-But, putting an auto-clear mode into a game like this is…

We have neither the time nor the money, so we will use whatever we have on hand.

Mr. Producer… sir!

It’s time for my next appointment. Confirm what you must. I expect a report next time we meet.

… understood.

*The producer wasn’t really as intimidating as Lord Stronghart, I swear! Again!

Yes, we did have a debug ‘auto-progression’ tool, but the steps required to turn it into a proper game feature were many. First, we had to check with our QA division to see if implement such a feature into the main game would cause any problems, and confirm what sorts of adjustments we would need to make. From there, we had to adjust our development schedule and talk amongst ourselves to iron out the logistics. Finally, after many more discussions with the QA division, we were finally able to implement the feature into the game.

Thus, the new Story Mode came to see the light of day. I have nothing but deep gratitude for the dev members who worked so hard to make it possible.

… if only we could’ve had just a little more money or time – or even personnel – we could’ve implemented any of the numerous other features I’d thought up, including a hint system instead of a straight up auto-clear mode, but that’s life, I suppose.

As a side note, before Story Mode got its name, we used to call it ‘Auto-Clear Mode’, but our overseas branch offices informed us that that name may not go over so well in the West, so we were asked to change it. Here are just a few of the other ideas we had:

・‘Great Ace Attorney Mode’ – in which Ryunosuke would never make a mistake in solving the case
・‘Assist Mode’ – in which the game would help players along
・‘Guiding Sword Mode’ – in which the game would help players and have a name more in line with the story’s setting

I sent these and a few other names along, and after many talks between the producers and our overseas branches, we settled on the one we know and love today. But personally, I’m also very fond of ‘Great Ace Attorney Mode’.

Special Contents

Now, I’d like to talk a little about the Special Contents section of the game.

Some of you may have noticed this already, but the Japanese name of this section, 特別付録 (tokubetsu furoku / lit. ‘special supplement’), comes from the original name of the Nintendo 3DS version’s add-on contents section, 電信付録 (denshin furoku / lit. ‘telegraphic supplement’). In this Special Contents section, we’ve included a selection of items from the original 3DS version’s The Randst Magazine DLC along with the special costumes from the second game. To this, we’ve added other goodies like Accolades and Moving Pictures, along with the credits for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.

This screenshot was also in the first blog article, but…
  • Accolades

Like PS4 Trophies and Steam Achievements, we’ve created a similar feature for this title dubbed ‘Accolades’. We did this because we couldn’t stand the thought of Switch players being left out of the fun after we’d worked so hard to create them for the other platforms. So, we created a special screen within the game from which you can check them out.

Even if you’ve played The Great Ace Attorney before, I really hope you’ll consider replaying this and trying your hand at getting every Accolade!

You can even check your progress on the more complex ones!

  • Gallery – Portraits

For Chronicles, we’ve taken all the main characters’ illustrations from the original issues of The Randst Magazine and organized them by character. For the side characters and other standalone illustrations, we’ve brought them all together in the Miscellany section under their own separate headings. In addition, we’ve redone the layout of each illustration so that they’re bigger and easier to look at than before. We accomplished this by moving Mr. Nuri’s comments into text windows that you can show or hide at the press of a button.

The first screenshot is from Chronicles, while the latter is from the 3DS version. The reason the 3DS version looks yellower overall is because the 3DS screen is bluer in tone than a regular PC monitor. So, to compensate, the original dev team placed a yellow filter over their illustrations and textures to create the actual colour they intended onscreen.

  • Gallery – Moving Pictures

This is another section that wasn’t in the initial plans. And this, too, was another producer request that came sometime before Story Mode.

  • The Conversation:

I wish to include some videos in this title, as a selling point.

Huh? Um, well, let me check the project schedule.

Please do.

And what if we need to extend the schedule…?

No extensions, and no extra staff. I look forward to the fruits of your struggle.

… I’ll certainly give it my all.

*The producer wasn’t really as intimidating as Lord van Zieks, I swear!

And that’s how you end up with more and more work to do. But compared to Story Mode’s implementation, this feature wasn’t as big of a deal. However, there was the problem of deciding just how much memory could these videos take up. We had to calculate the total size of the game itself (but because we were still in the process of making it, we could only come up with a rough estimate), and then figure out how much of the remaining space we could devote to the videos. We strove to use every last byte available because if we were going to include these videos, we wanted them to look nice at the very least. So, we played around with the resolution, and with the help of the video production team, even adjusted the frame rate to keep their quality as high as possible.

The little animal caricatures are seated in a few different arrangements.
See if you can discover them all!
  • Auditorium – Instrumentals

There are three tabs in the Instrumentals section: Music, Miscellany, and From the Vaults (DLC). The Music and From the Vaults tabs are filled with background music, while the Miscellany tab houses sound effects and some special voice tracks. Background music tracks are set to automatically loop as they do normally in-game.

Initially, each tab was quite the mess, with some tracks looping automatically while others would stop after one playthrough. In trying to bring some order to the madness, we decided to make background music tracks loop and sound effects play only once.

… but honestly, aside from trying to make things more consistent, there were a few people on the team who reeeally wanted to listen to the new tracks in the From the Vaults tab over and over, so that’s the other reason why we ended up with looping background music tracks. Both ‘Baker Street Ball – Waltz for Chronicles’ and ‘Partners (Arrangement)’ are fantastic pieces, so if you’d like to hear them on loop forever and ever as well, I hope you’ll consider pre-ordering or purchasing this game as soon as possible!

  • Art and Music From the Vaults Bonus DLC

Actually, this is yet another feature we hadn’t planned on implementing at the beginning of the project. This was around the end of the game’s development cycle, after the whole back and forth regarding Story Mode. Game development very rarely goes as initially planned, does it?

  • The Conversation:

I wish to include an early purchase bonus for this title. Don’t you?

At THIS point in the project?! We never had any plans for a DLC, so I’m afraid I’ll have to check the schedule and…

Hmph. Then you’d best get started on your inquiry, wouldn’t you say?

Oh, and of course, you won’t be getting any additional staff, or money, or time.

…Right. Let me look into it, sir.

*The producer wasn’t really as intimidating as Lord van Zieks, I swear! Again!

If it happens once, it’ll happen again and again… and again. I honestly couldn’t believe he’d come to us at such a late stage with such a request, but the dev side seemed capable of handling it, and Mr. Nuri and the sound team were also able to provide us with the assets and commentary we required, so we started down the road to implementing this bonus DLC.

It was a very last-minute request, but thanks to the dev team’s hard work and Mr. Nuri and the sound team’s cooperation, we were able to pull it off somehow and bring it into the world. Especially with Mr. Nuri and his comments, he had so much to share that he consistently went over the page limit we’d set, so we had to quickly figure out how to add more text window pages to each illustration. All Janet (who had to translate that huge volume of text) and I could do was laugh wryly as we failed to contain his enthusiasm. *laugh* So if there’s one thing you can look forward to, it’s pages upon pages of art commentary from Mr. Nuri.

Each comment contains previously published information and some new titbits as well!
  • Auditorium – Voice Recitals, Tailor, Escapades

These three sections are also taken from either The Randst Magazine or the second game, The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve. We had wanted to make it so that you could use the special costumes in the first game as well, but the character models are just a little different between the two games. Sadly, the cost of adapting the models to work for the entire first game was so prohibitively high that no amount of tears could make it happen…

We even considered making new costumes or letting people play as Inspector Sholmes or Ryutaro, but, as with the other costumes, these ideas fell by the wayside due to a lack of time and money…

These two would make for some fun visuals though, wouldn’t they?
  • Credits

You can see the names of all the people involved in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles here in the credits. The background music is a new piece commissioned specifically for this game entitled ‘Baker Street Ball – Waltz for Chronicles’! You can’t help but listen to it, even when you’re not looking at the screen. The little Shrewnosuke and friends that appear during the credits also take part in some memorable moments from Adventures and Resolve. I hope you’ll give it a look!

Is it just me, or does something seem different about this courtroom scene…?

The main credits at the end of each game are basically the same as the original versions. But the English version is actually a little different in the way it presents people’s names, so please check those out, too!

Even though I only talked about Story Mode and the Special Contents section, it looks like I somehow wound up writing quite a bit… There are a lot more of these little backstage stories to share, but I’ll have to save them for another day.

Thus, ends my short run here, but there are still a lot more dev blogs to come! Especially noteworthy are the ones from our localisation director, Janet. Her blogs are chock full of information, so if you’re interested in what goes into a localisation, definitely give them a read!

Thanks for sticking around until the very end!

The Adventures and Resolve of Music Creation

Jul 21, 2021
Jul 21
Janet Hsu

Hi, everyone! My name is Yasumasa Kitagawa and I’m the music director and lead composer for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. I’m thrilled to be here today to celebrate this game’s release on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Steam.

Working closely with the game’s director, Mr. Shu Takumi, and my fellow composers, Mr. Maeba and Mr. Terayama, we gave birth to the soundtrack’s distinct sound through a lot of trial and error. In deciding the musical direction of this title, I first researched the Meiji era itself to get a sense of the background that would serve as the setting of the story. Unlike the mainline Ace Attorney games, I refrained from creating anything that would sound too digital or synthesized (and when I did employ such sounds, I made sure to use them in a way that would pair well with the surrounding analogue instruments), and used mostly period instruments in the instrumentation. I then add the finishing touches by making sure the pieces conformed to Ace Attorney music standards; which is to say, more than their musicality, I worked to fine tune each track’s ‘game music’ elements in order to make sure the songs would work properly as gameplay background music.

Beyond each track’s value as a song, the music of Ace Attorney must first and foremost serve the overall function of ‘game music’. In other words, they must fit with the feel of the game’s world and draw the player further into it. After clearing that benchmark, I would then focus on ensuring that the pieces would perfectly portray the key aspects of each moment or situation they are used in. For example, the Dance of Deduction piece must give the impression of two people making a series of deductions, and the Pursuit piece must instill the thrill of the chase within the player. Without this solid foundation, the pieces would fail to pass muster as The Great Ace Attorney music. In fact, Mr. Takumi was especially uncompromising on this particular point.

As for character themes, they required a different approach when composing them. Gameplay segments such as trials or a Dance of Deduction require that the background music prioritizes the overall mood of the piece. But for character themes, the real challenge is in how well I can capture the full breadth and depth of each character’s zany personality – something I can’t do through the overall mood of the pieces alone. So, to accomplish what I must, I highlighted the many facets of each character’s personality by distilling them into their own signature sounds. The tap, tap, tap of Sholmes’s shoes, the drip, drip, drip of Iris’s experimental solutions – and for Madame Tusspells, I gave her the skritch, skritch, skritch of a stick rubbing over a washboard. It may seem like a no-brainer that a listener should be able to instantly envision which character’s theme they’re listening to, but it was something I had to pay great attention to and be very disciplined about as I wrote.

Following these methods, I was able to create a rich musical soundscape for The Great Ace Attorney. I’m very happy to have received so many positive comments from players who’ve already played the game. I’m truly grateful for all your feedback.

This time, I’ve composed a few new pieces for Chronicles, including an arrangement of ‘Partners – The game is afoot!’, which is only available through the Early Purchase Bonus DLC. Featuring Mr. Akihisa Tsuboy on the violin and Ms. Yuka Fujino on the accordion (who also performs the The Great Ace Attorney pieces at every Ace Attorney Orchestra Concert), the hot fire of their passionate playing really brought the whole exciting arrangement together. Nothing would make me happier than for you to enjoy it as much as the rest of the music from the game itself.

And with that, I hope from the bottom of my heart that you’ll look forward to the release of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Steam with great anticipation (and an ear out for the music)!

A Most Miraculous English Dub

Jul 13, 2021
Jul 13
Janet Hsu

Hello, again! I’m Janet Hsu, Localization Director of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. Continuing from my last installment on localization, I thought I’d share a bit about the English dub and how we went about doing it in the middle of the pandemic.

From the beginning of the project, I’d had a few ideas in mind about what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to use a UK studio, and that I wanted to cast actors with similar backgrounds to the characters in the game. As you can probably already guess, this is related to my want to make this title as authentic as possible.

It may seem strange, but up until the last couple of years, English game voice dubbing was primarily done in the US, specifically Los Angeles. But with the London setting being such a core element to the story this time, I wanted to be able to aurally paint with the entire pallet of accents that we were already using in the in-game text. This is not to say that there aren’t talented actors all over the world who can’t put on a mean British accent or two, but for the variety of accents and characters we were going to be portraying, I figured the largest pool of talent was going to be in the UK.

But, before we could pick out an exact studio, the pandemic struck, and the dev team and I were left wondering if we were even going to be able to record an English dub. One day, back when Japan was still relatively unaffected, the team leaders and I sat down to talk about what to do. Given how the pandemic was playing out and how severe the lockdowns were, we even floated the idea of using the Japanese dub and simply re-dubbing the necessary lines to Herlock Sholmes – it really was a situation in which no one had enough information about anything. We didn’t know how many actors had home studios or some other sort of recording environment capable of doing remote recordings, and we didn’t know what kind of contingencies the sound studios themselves would have – there were so many industry firsts to figure out. But in the end, it was thanks to the hard work and cooperation of our recording partner, SIDE UK, that made this high-quality English dub possible. To this day, I am thankful beyond words for all they did.

Our studio picked, we set about casting our voice actors. When SIDE asked if we had any preferences in casting, I wanted to answer that I wished to cast people of Japanese descent for all of the Japanese characters. But in the middle of the pandemic, it was highly possible that we wouldn’t be able to record in studio, which would’ve greatly reduced the pool of actors from which we could choose. Still, it was important to me that we had actors of Japanese descent to play our main characters, so I had to strike a balance and take the more realistic route by asking for Ryunosuke and Susato as ‘musts’ while the other characters would be ‘optional’.

Obviously, the reason why I wanted actors of Japanese descent was for authenticity as well. Aside from scenario considerations, I definitely didn’t want to make anyone put on an accent they didn’t feel comfortable doing, and I didn’t want to use some stereotypical, fake accent either. I also felt that whoever we cast would know what was best for their characters, so I trusted them to give the characters the appropriate accents for their backgrounds – something I’d only feel comfortable with if the actors were of that culture and/or life experience. For example, in the case of Ryunosuke and Asogi, they’re both studying English at university, so through exposure and practice, their pronunciation would be much closer to a British national’s, I imagined. Meanwhile, Susato mainly studied English at home by herself through essays and books (and ‘The Adventures of Herlock Sholmes’, of course!), so perhaps she didn’t have the chance to refine her accent to the same level as Ryunosuke. On that front, both Mark Ota (Ryunosuke) and Rina Takasaki (Susato)’s thinking aligned with mine, and I thank them for bringing that bit of themselves into their roles so beautifully.

I know for some people it might have seemed strange for the characters to have different accents, or to even hear Japanese characters speak with British accents, but I actually really like the fact that everyone is just a little different. As in real life, everyone has different talents and skills, and some people are better than others at speaking in another language with little or no accent, so it’s nice to have that kind of diversity being represented, I feel.

Going back to the casting process, we received around 4 – 5 demo reels per character from the casting directors and conducted a blind audition in which we didn’t know who the voice actors were. A few of us on the team listened to each and every reel, trying to figure out who we though sounded the most like Ryunosuke, or Iris, or Juror No. 3. Then, we compared notes and came up with our final list of top 2 picks per character like this:

And then, the first day of recording came. It really was a miracle that we were able to record in studio during that brief window when the UK’s countrywide lockdown had been lifted. Unfortunately, the sound director and I couldn’t go out to the studio ourselves as we normally would, which wasn’t ideal; it’s tough to make out small details and inflections in an actor’s read and listen for things like pops over the internet sometimes due to internet lag or network traffic. But with the studio’s help, we were at least able to attend the recording sessions remotely, which is a lot more than nothing. And, thanks to the time difference, we’d start recording at 5 p.m. Japan time, and wrap up at a mostly reasonable hour…if you count the occasional 2 a.m. wrap up “reasonable”, lol. (It would’ve been a lot worse had it been L.A., that’s for sure!)

During the recording, the sound director, one of our sound managers, and I were in one of Capcom’s mixing studios. There, the three of us sat like a team of ninjas with our black-colored face masks stuck firmly to our faces, while another of our sound managers was forced to sit all alone at his desk (everyone else had already gone home for the day) and join us virtually from a few floors up in the interest of social distancing. (Sorry, Kanaya-san! ><; )

An anime cutscene’s voice tracks.
The top is the English, and the bottom is the Japanese.

To make the best of our studio time, the translators, the dev team, and I prepared a number of things in advance. The first of these was the recording script. The translators really outdid themselves by taking such care when writing it that most of the lines matched the Japanese length perfectly, and I barely had to do any on-the-spot rewrites. This helped a lot in the mouth flaps department and with real-time cutscenes where the length of each cut was pre-determined for the English dub, and kept the recording session rolling smoothly. The other thing we prepared were detailed background profiles for each character and other reference materials. Having all that information in advance helped the actors and the voice director to become familiar with the game and the characters they were to play, so we could hit the ground running the day of the recording. And with our voice director’s incredibly sharp and empathetic directions, our actors were able to give some incredible performances, despite the great time constraints that come with dubbing to another language track’s length. As you can see from the waveforms above, the two line up so insanely well that I shed a tear every time I look at it. But then, I expected nothing less from such talented professionals!

A sample of the final product

And that, as they say, is that…right? Well, not quite. As you can hear from this clip, even after we’d finished recording, there was still work to be done. Because I had only heard the acting through the internet, I first went through all the recordings and double checked all of the OK takes and selected new ones if I liked another read better. After finalizing my choices, the sound director adjusted the volume of each line and added in effects like reverb or other sound effects to complete the scenes. He then had to implement these files into the game like any other game asset. Lastly, my scripting buddy Chester and I had to adjust the timing of the subtitles so they’d display when they should. Looking back, it really makes you appreciate just how much work and how many people it takes to produce just one new language track for a game. To everyone from our partners at SIDE UK and the voice actors, to my fellow dev team members – from the bottom of my heart…

Thank you for everything!

And now we’ve come to the end of this miraculous tale. I’m really glad I had the chance to share just a sliver of what went into the localization of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. I’ll be back for one more blog in the future, but for now, the main composer, Mr. Kitagawa, will be here next time to talk about how he composed the wonderful music of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. It’s sure to be full of fascination insights, so you won’t want to miss it!

Until then!

Ride On! Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is available now

Jul 09, 2021
Jul 09
Yuri Araujo

Saddle up and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure! Your journey in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin starts today on Nintendo Switch and PC!

Here’s everything you need to know to make the most out of your life as a Monster Rider:

Trial Version Save Data Progress

So first up, technically… you could’ve started your journey a few days ago with the Trial Version on Nintendo Switch, and have your progress carry over to the full game. So let’s start there.

Once you load up the full game for the first time, just select “Transfer from the Demo” and you should be good to go! Your story progress, Monsties, gear, etc. should all be there with you!

A couple of important things to note:

  • Some options settings (camera, language, etc.) may not transfer over, so please double-check those once you load into the full game.
  • On Nintendo Switch, please make sure you have downloaded the Trial Version and full game from the same eShop region to ensure save data compatibility.
  • On PC (Steam), the Trial Version just launched today; it works the same way as the Nintendo Switch version.

Game Size and Installation

Now let’s talk some important logistics for the full game.

On Nintendo Switch, if you get the physical version of the game, you can actually start playing straight away. Just pop in the cartridge and set out on your grand adventure. If you’re getting the digital version, however, you’ll need approximately 13.5GB of free space to download and install the game.

There is also a Day-1 Patch of approximately 0.5GB (500MB) in size, so be sure to connect to the internet and download that as well.

On Steam / PC, the file size is approximately 28GB. And since we’re talking PC, please be sure to review the Minimum Specs and Recommended Specs (both have been updated recently) on our Steam page.

Also: remember we have a hefty number of free post-launch content updates planned for Monster Hunter Stories 2, so keep some extra room open for them. If you wanna know what’s in the works, check out our Special Pre-Launch Program blog.


Launch Starter Pack

Alright! So you’ve got the game installed, got your Trial Version progress transferred over and are ready to get started in the full game. How about we give you a little extra boost?

To celebrate the game’s launch, we’ve prepared a handy Item Pack that you can get for free, just by talking to the helpful Felyne NPC, named Connecticat, and selecting “Downloadable Content.” This Item Pack can only be claimed once per character and contains 10 Potions, 3 Gathering Charms, 3 Lucky Charms and 10 Mahana Dunkers! Pawsome!


Deluxe Edition and DLC

By the way, while you’re talking to your friendly Connecticat, you’ll see our latest selection of DLC items as well, including the Deluxe Kit contents. If you’ve purchased the Deluxe Edition or any other DLC, that’s where you’ll go to claim it.


amiibo Crossover Content

If you’ve got the Nintendo Switch version of Monster Hunter Stories 2 and happen to have any of the Monster Hunter Rise amiibo, you’re in luck! Just scan any of those amiibo and you’ll get a sweet sticker set featuring Hunters, Palicoes and Palamutes from MH Rise. You can use these to communicate with your Co-Op partners and coordinate strategies in battle with a fun Kamura flair to them.

And as you’ll see in the video below, you can also get MH Stories 2 themed stickers in MH Rise if you scan any of the MH Stories 2 amiibo.


Monster Hunter Rise Crossover Content

Speaking of Kamura, if you have save data of Monster Hunter Rise and Monster Hunter Stories 2 in the same Nintendo Switch, you’ll get a special bonus layered armor in each game. In MH Stories 2, you’ll get the stylish Kamura Garb, and in MH Rise, you’ll get the traditional Rider Armor. Both of these look really good in each game, and you can even customize their key colors to your liking!

Camera Options

We’ve heard feedback surrounding camera behavior in the Trial Version and wanted to suggest trying to adjust options within the Camera menu. You’ll find it under the “Options Menu,” then “Camera.”

What is Monster Hunter Stories 2 anyway?

Hey! I see you out there, reading this as your first blog on Monster Hunter Stories 2. It’s cool; I got you covered! Here’s a quick summary of what this game is all about:

Monster Hunter Stories 2 is a story-driven RPG set in the world of Monster Hunter, where you play as a Rider (not a Hunter!) who can form bonds with monsters (called Monsties) and take them with you on your adventure and into battle. The gameplay looks very different from traditional Monster Hunter games, as it takes the form of turn-based combat. However, the Monster Hunter roots are still very much present throughout: you have to learn monsters’ behaviors, tendencies and weaknesses to come out victorious. It’s the perfect game if you’re brand new to Monster Hunter, or a series fan looking to dive deeper into the world from a new perspective.

Sounds good so far? Check out our game trailers below to really soak it all in, and if you want to take the game for a spin, we have a free Trial Version waiting for you on Nintendo Switch and PC.

That’s all for now. At this point, you should be ready to go and uncover the mysteries behind Razewing Ratha and the “wings of ruin!” Best of luck to all of you, young Riders!

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is available now on Nintendo Switch and PC, via Steam. Happy Egg Hunting!

The Adventure of The Great Ace Attorney Localization

Jul 06, 2021
Jul 06
Janet Hsu

Hi everyone! It’s Janet Hsu, Localization Director of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles again, here today to talk a little about the localization of this long-awaited game.

I mentioned in a recent interview that my guiding philosophy for the localization of this title was ‘Authentic, yet Accessible’, and I thought I’d expand on that a little more here. I’ve long thought that unlike medical or legal translation, translating and localizing for video games is a sort of art: a balancing act of faithfulness to the literal words of the original text and correctly conveying the intentions behind them in a way that the audience can connect with. This also means each game – or indeed, any piece of entertainment media – has its own needs and limitations: What sort of game is it? Action? Adventure? Who is the intended audience and what should they be expected to know going in? etc. As with any form of art, what’s considered ‘best practices’ also changes over time as they are based on contemporary cultural sensibilities. Therefore, the concept of ‘Authentic, yet Accessible’ can mean different things in different contexts.

For example, I was reading an English translation of real life Japanese author Soseki Natsume’s ‘I Am a Cat’ the other day and I was taken aback by one of its feline characters talking about his owner making ‘a penny a tail’ and having collected ‘about half a crown’ off of his hard work catching rats. But the British English translation I was reading is from 1972 and was primarily for a Western audience with no access to the internet. Therefore, it would seem that back then, even simple things like monetary values were localized to ensure that the reader could more readily grasp a sense of the amount of money being discussed, despite the story’s Japanese setting. And while this is something most translators wouldn’t do nowadays because best practices have changed over time, the funny thing is, even with the slight loss of authenticity, converting Japanese monetary values into British ones has held up remarkably well in one respect as a localization choice: it made the English translation more accessible to me as a reader in the year 2021 – over 40 years later – because of my familiarity with Victorian monetary values (thanks, period dramas!). Having read Soseki’s original 1905 novel in Japanese as well, I can tell you I had no idea how much 5 sen or 1 yen 50 sen is worth off the top of my head, and neither does the average Japanese person it would seem. To me, this is a case of favoring accessibility over authenticity, which is certainly one way to assign weight to these two opposing elements. These sorts of balancing decisions are made all the time whenever a piece of work is translated, let alone localized.

But I have a feeling that even Soseki himself wouldn’t have minded these sorts of liberties being taken with his work. In fact, there’s a pretty famous story about our favorite mustached cat novelist and his own translation philosophy! In Episode 6 of the Escapades, we have this recounting of the well-known tale.

So what’s wrong with the answer Ryunosuke provided? Well, let’s let Professor Soseki explain his thinking to us.

And as Sholmes rightly points out, ‘Tsuki ga kirei desu ne’ is hardly what your textbook would tell you to translate ‘I love you’ as. Still, there is a very good reason.

‘Bad Sholmes!’ indeed! Because the underlying message Soseki was trying to convey is that in translating something, you have to take the cultural sensibilities of the target language into account as well. In this case, the more suitable ‘localisation’ in his mind is the more oblique and poetic one that better aligns with the Japanese spirit of the time in its rendering of such a declaration. In doing so, he not only preserved the romantic nature of the phrase but also made it accessible in a way that his fellow countrymen would prefer. So you see, he too would have to have made such calculations between authenticity and accessibility in his translations over 100 years ago.

But wait! That’s not all there is to this particular in-game passage. So let’s buckle up for a little ‘locali-ception’!

You’ll notice that Ryunosuke’s answer was ‘“Aishiteiru” or “Suki desu”’, but as those of you who are already familiar with the legend of Soseki and the Beautiful Moon know, it’s often said that the translation he told his student to use is 我、君ヲ愛ス (Ware, kimi wo aisu). In fact, that’s what the original Japanese text of this scene said. So then, why did we even change that in the English if it’s meant to be a Japanese phrase? Well, this is because of two big factors:

  1. To use a phrase that some people in our audience might possibly recognize thanks to anime or Basic Japanese 101 class as opposed to something no one would know unless they’ve had extensive Japanese training (or were a Soseki mega-fan)
  2. To set up two big wordplays that are coming up by defining these words in advance for people who don’t know any Japanese at all

In my greed, I wanted to make sure that the phrase was still Japanese to keep it as authentic as possible. But with the direction the dialogue ultimately goes in, it wouldn’t have mattered what I wanted if I couldn’t figure out a way to translate this passage for people with no knowledge of Japanese; it was also important to me that they, too, could understand the little jab Sholmes takes at ‘suki’ and ‘tsuki’ by saying it’s merely a clever bit of wordplay, which was a joke in the original Japanese text. So I used Ryunosuke’s line as a way to set up what’s to come. As for the ‘aishiteiru’, well that comes up again a little bit later in the Escapade… (This entire episode was a nightmare of an exercise in localization I even had to sketch out how all the wordplay is linked and how to tackle them beforehand why did you do this to me Takumi-saaaan…?!? ><; )

But this also brings up an interesting dilemma I had this time around. The mainline games feature a character by the name of Phoenix Wright, but this new game’s protagonist didn’t even have an English name yet. What was I to do? On the one hand, I could’ve continued with the approach I’d used for the mainline games and gone the complete localization route, completely favoring accessibility over authenticity, but instead, I chose to go in almost the complete opposite direction and favor authenticity over accessibility because the needs of the narrative willed it so. Here was a character whose identity and story is entirely grounded in his Japanese nationality. So while it was already my preference to keep him Japanese, the situation left me with no doubt in my mind that he had to be Ryunosuke Naruhodo.

With his name squared away, the next question to answer was, ‘Will he still be Phoenix’s ancestor?’ to which my immediately response was, ‘Yes, of course!’ Perhaps you’re wondering how I could reconcile the two characters’ backgrounds so easily, but as an Asian American, the answer couldn’t be plainer! Why couldn’t Phoenix have Japanese ancestry when he lives in such a multi-cultural country in the first place? In a way, in reconciling the American setting of the first game with the Japanese elements I had to keep in the subsequent games, I suppose the America of Ace Attorney has become something of a more idealized version of itself for me, and maybe there’s a part of me that wishes I could’ve grown up in such a place as well, as it reflects a bit of my lived experiences in its unique blend of East meets West.

As you can see from just these few examples, this is why I find it very hard to directly compare one localization’s approach to another. Due to external factors surrounding the localization itself such as the target language and culture or the era in which it’s being made, and the philosophy of the translator or localizer, each localization is crafted in a way that best caters to its goals and needs. It’s the reason why things like the American versions (or ‘localizations’, if you will) of tv shows like ‘The Office’ and ‘Shameless’ exist, despite the originals being in English, and why modern ‘translations’ of Shakespeare exists since time has changed the English language itself so much that his works have become inaccessible in some ways to the average modern reader.

But enough philosophy! Let’s take a look at a few more in-game examples!

Japanese English
■ナルホド ‥‥あの。ホームズさん。 これ、なんですけど‥‥ ■Ryunosuke Um, Mr Sholmes, what do you make of this?
■ホームズ しッ! 黙って。 ■Sholmes Shh! Quiet!
■ホームズ ‥‥ボクはね。スイリに夢中になると、 なにも目に入らなくなるのですよ。 ■Sholmes When I’m ruminating in the course of my deductions, nothing must disturb my mind.
■ナルホド あ‥‥す。スミマセンでした。 ■Ryunosuke Oh… So sorry…
■ホームズ ‥‥‥‥‥‥‥‥‥‥ カレーライス、かな。 ■Sholmes ……… Ah, an Indian curry, perhaps…
■ナルホド (‥‥ヒルごはんの献立を  スイリしているみたいだな) ■Ryunosuke (What’s he ruminating about? The lunch menu?)

So this is an interesting example of localising intent while staying authentic to the story and character. In the Japanese, Sholmes guesses that perhaps they’ll be having curry rice for lunch. However, the translators flagged this as strange since curry rice is what we in the West would call a distinctly Japanese dish. It also seemed out of character for Sholmes to reference it so offhandedly as an Englishman. The thing is, curry rice has a bit of an interesting history: it was the British who first introduced Indian curry to Japan in the mid-19th century, but it didn’t become the popular dish it is today until the early 20th century after its formal adoption by the Japanese army and navy. That’s when it really took off and evolved into the altogether Japanese dish it is today. So when a Japanese player reads Sholmes saying he deduces that today’s lunch will be curry rice, the idea being presented is that he’s thinking of a non-Japanese food that’s commonly considered ‘Indian’ in their minds. But without this cultural background, it’s hard to see why Sholmes would suddenly mention curry rice. That’s why in the English version, we’ve gone with Indian curry since that is the actual roots of the curry rice mentioned in the Japanese version, and fits better with the image of Sholmes as a British man to an English-speaking audience.

Here’s another interesting example of adding a little authenticity to the British setting for the English version.

Japanese English
有罪、無罪、有罪、無罪、有罪、無罪、
有罪、無罪、有罪、無罪、有罪、無罪、
Nibble nobble guilty bobble, nibble not guilty out.
Nibble nobble guilty bobble, nibble not guilty out.
‥‥おそらく。『花うらない』のような
ものではないでしょうか。
…Perhaps it’s akin to fortune-telling with flower petals
like people do back home?
(ドビンボー博士の運命が、1本の
 ’もろこし’にたくされるとは‥‥)
(So Professor Harebrayne’s fate is to be decided by a
cob of corn…)

Similar to ‘Eeny meeny miny moe’, this little ditty that the country girl sings as she typewriters her way through Colonel Cob is based on the English schoolyard counting song ‘Ibble obble’. The Japanese text simply has the girl repeating ‘guilty, not guilty’ over and over, but with this simple addition, the translators added a little London flavor and turned her ‘guilty, not guilty’ chant into an even more mysterious set of words to Ryunosuke and Susato’s ears, thus making their confused response all the more fitting. By the way, the flower fortune-telling game ‘花うらない’ (hana uranai) Susato mentions is actually remarkably similar to the ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ flower game in the West, and just like its English counterpart, is said to have originated from the French game, ‘effeuiller la marguerite’.

On the topic of adding more authentic English flavor, the translators did an absolutely amazing job of adding touches that I, as an American, would never have been able to do no matter how familiar I am with all things British. From the outset, I’d told the translators that they could write as Britishly as they pleased, and I would be here to dial things like grammar and phrasings back as necessary to ensure accessibility to a wider international audience. So beyond just witty quips, you can bet there are pun runs and alliterations galore! On the flip side, for the episodes set in Japan, we tried to preserve the original Japanese flavor and I even went so far as to keep the graphics untouched. Instead, I asked the programmers to implement a special ‘subtitle system’ for the Court Record so that when you mouse over pieces of text that are meant to be legible for a Japanese player, a  translation will pop up on-screen as a subtitle. This is only possible thanks to being on current gen hardware as there definitely would not have been enough system memory to pull this off in previous versions.

We also use the honorific ‘-san’ and the English titles ‘Mr’ and ‘Miss’ to differentiate when characters are thinking or speaking in Japanese versus English. In this way, I strove to bring out the turbulent ‘clash of cultures’ feel of the Meiji era that was present in the Japanese version.

To bring out the period feel even further, we took cues from the Japanese text where complicated or period kanji characters were often used and then labelled with a modern reading above it in smaller furigana characters to keep the text accessible to the player.

Restaurants were literally ‘occidental food halls’ (洋食堂/yoshokudo) but the kanji characters are labelled with a furigana reading that spells out the modern word ‘resutoran’ (レストラン). Another thing the Japanese did was use more dated speaking patterns. One notable example is the way Ryunosuke says ‘I wonder’ in Japanese. In modern Japanese, ~かしら (kashira) is a construction that pretty much only women or people who wanted to sound feminine will use, but back in the Meiji era, it was used by anyone and everyone. (One of our Japanese team members this time actually wrote this up as a bug because it’s such an unusual phrase for a male character to say in a modern game.  Needless to say, it was a little surreal when it was me who had to school him by sending the bug back with ‘It’s period appropriate!’ lol.) The game’s writer and director Mr Takumi talked about this once in an interview where he mentioned how he had to balance real Meiji era speak with what would be fun to read for a modern audience, ending up with a sort of ‘faux-Meiji’ middle ground style.

In this way, the translators and I set out to construct our own ‘faux-Victorian’ style by doing things like using mostly Victorian era words and grammar, and ‘he or she’ in place of singular ‘they’ when a character’s identity was unknown (which turned out to be a lot harder to do because we were all so used to singular they!). Japanese names were also written in English order: first name, surname. This is because back then, this would’ve been the expected way to write a Japanese name in English. But what about the way we chose to spell their names?

Well, of course we used an internationally recognized Romanisation convention to represent Japanese sounds with Latin alphabet letters, but did you know that there are multiple ‘Romaji’ systems? Many people throughout time have tried their hands at creating one, but the predominant system used today is known as the Hepburn system, developed by James Hepburn in the 1860’s. This is perhaps the one you learned in your Japanese class, but even within this system, there are a number of standardized deviations. We chose to go with a variant of Modified or Revised Hepburn for a number of reasons, but the four big ones were 1) conserving space, 2) increasing readability for people who are unfamiliar with Japanese words and how to pronounce them, 3) avoiding font support issues, and 4) preserving the intent of the original Japanese dev team who spelled the characters’ names in the same the way we’ve presented them in the final English version.

Perhaps those of you who know Japanese have looked at how Ryunosuke and Asogi are spelled and thought, ‘What happened to the extra ‘u’s that should be in there? Why were they dropped?’ The answer is simply that in the variation we chose, we’re supposed to drop unpronounced vowels such as the ‘u’s in this case. This more streamlined style, which is used by the Japanese government itself for English information signage around Japan, makes it a ton easier for people who don’t know what that extra letter’s real function is, and increases the chance that they’ll pronounce it correctly on their first try. It also saves us a letter on-screen, where every usable pixel is a big deal. ‘But then why not use macrons and spell their names as Ryūnosuke and Asōgi instead?’ is probably your next question, I’ll bet. This is where the technical side of things comes into play. Not every typeface comes with every glyph or letter that’s used in European languages. This is especially true of Asian language-based fonts. In fact, just to use the en-dash, the UI designer and I had to merge that glyph into the main text font from another typeset that was similar looking enough to pass muster. (You do NOT want to know how many fonts I had to look through on that day in search of one tiny dash… *shudder*) It’s also the reason why, ultimately, we had to go with ‘Esmeralda’ instead of ‘Esméralda’ for Madame Tusspells since one of the fancier fonts in the game doesn’t contain the é (e-acute) letter.

Speaking of UI troubles, there were a ton of other changes we had to make, not the least of which was to speed up the typewriter text here and there due to the sheer number of letters we needed to display. But increasing the speed of the text caused the tail end of the typewriter sound effects to get clipped, so I had new custom ones made for the English version. If you’ve got good ears and are familiar with the Japanese version, you just might be able to hear what I’m talking about when you play the game for yourself.

Phew, I talked about a lot today, but there’s still more to come! Next time, I’ll be taking a look at how we recorded the English dub in the middle of a pandemic.

Until then!

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Special Pre-Launch Program Recap

Jul 02, 2021
Jul 02
Yuri Araujo

Monster Hunter Stories 2 is so close to releasing, we can almost smell it! Ahead of next week’s launch, we have a carton-full of egg-citing news that just hatched today: a new trailer, info on post-launch updates, a co-op gameplay video, and more!

If you didn’t catch our live Monster Hunter Stories 2 Special Pre-Launch Program and want to watch it, here’s the archive video recording. It’s a 40-minute show, and there’s a really fun behind-the-scenes talk between producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and director Kenji Oguro; I definitely recommend checking it out:

Watch the whole thing yet? Cool, now you’re fully caught up. If you want, you can “make like a tree and leave” anytime. Before you go though, we also have a survey for this event, so if you have a few minutes to spare, please fill it out and let us know your thoughts. Click here to start the survey.

But if you want to see just a bit more, or simply like to read the news instead, stick around for a breakdown of the highlights.

Opening Theme Song

We opened the live show with what we thought to be the most fitting opening segment: the opening theme song of the game: “Scarlet Land Lit Up By The Heavens”. In the live stream, we played the Japanese version, but we also uploaded the English version to our YouTube channel.

Check out the video description for the lyrics, or just sing along with the subtitles.


Launch Trailer

The next big reveal was our launch trailer. Can you spot any exciting Monsties you’d want to add to your party? I can see a pretty strong Elder Dragon near the end there…

At the end of the trailer, you’ll also see a quick sizzle reel of the upcoming post-launch content we have planned, which happens to be our next topic so… maybe pause the video once the game logo comes up near the end?


Post-Launch Content

Alright, there’s a lot to cover here, so let’s get to it. And to help visualize things, here’s our Post-Launch Content Roadmap calendar:

Just one week after launch, on July 15th, the Palamute from Monster Hunter Rise will be joining in as a Monstie. This trusty companion will join you in battle with its signature Canyne Kamura Blade and Kamura Armor. And, of course, you can ride it outside of battle too, just like you would in MH Rise.

On August 5th, our second update will herald the arrival of Kulve Taroth, the Mother Goddess of Gold, from Monster Hunter: World. Much like her origins as a Siege Quest in MH: World, Kulve Taroth will be the target of a co-op Quest in MH Stories 2. You won’t be able to raise her as Monstie, but victory against her will eventually get you some dazzling and powerful equipment.

We know you like to collect and raise Monsties, though, so in that same update, you’ll be able to chase the Hellblade Glavenus and Boltreaver Astalos, returning Deviant Monsters from Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate.

In September, we’re scheduled to get two more updates. One coming early in the month, featuring more Deviant Monsters: Soulseer Mizutsune and Elderfrost Gammoth, in addition to the subspecies Oroshi Kirin. And the other update, coming later in the month, will up the stakes of Kulve Taroth quests by adding the High Difficulty version. That same update will also add the deviant Dreadking Rathalos and the rare Molten Tigrex.

And in October, the royal couple Silver Rathalos and Gold Rathian will join in as Monsties! There’s also one more co-op quest added, to take on a mysterious High Difficulty ??? Monster… get ready!

That’s quite a bit to chew on for now, and if you want to catch a glimpse of these updates in action, go back to our Launch Trailer and watch it to the end.


Co-Op Gameplay

In the post-launch content section, I mentioned “co-op quests” a bunch of times… wanna see what that’s all about? Pawsome! We got you covered then. Socks and I got our hands on some co-op gameplay footage from our teams in Japan and talked about what’s going on. In this co-op quest, our Riders set out to hunt a Tigrex (pronounced tee-greks) as they look for Palamute eggs (Yes, you read that right). Of course, that quest won’t be available until July 15th (see roadmap above), but there will be other co-op quests for you to take on in the base game.

Quick note about the Tickets that come up in the beginning: Only the host of the quest needs to use them in order to take on the quest. If you’re simply joining your questing partners, you can save your tickets for when it’s your turn to host.


Wrapping Up

That’s pretty much all we’ve got for today. Thanks for joining us in this journey. We hope you enjoyed all the news, and we’re looking forward to seeing all of you set out on your own grand adventures next week when Monster Hunter Stories 2 launches on Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam on July 9th!

Great Features of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

Jun 22, 2021
Jun 22
Janet Hsu

Hi Everyone! I’m Janet Hsu, the English text writer of The Great Ace Attorney series, and one of the scripters of the Nintendo 3DS version of The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve… No, wait, that’s not right…

*ahem* Let’s try that again.

I’m Janet Hsu, and this time around, I’m the Localization Director of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. (Yes, there we go!) Welcome to the first in a series of behind-the-scenes articles about both games in The Great Ace Attorney duology – The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve. As this is a new game outside of Japan, I suppose it’s a bit strange to introduce ‘new features’, but even for long-time fans of the series, there are a few firsts in here to help make your experience even more enjoyable. And I should know – I’ve worked on every iteration of this game and in both languages, after all!

So, let’s strap on our goggles and take a look at what awaits in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles!

Title Screen

First up, the title screen! This is what it will look like if you have a save file.

Fun Fact: The background changes as you progress through the game!

While it might look like your typical title screen, there are actually a few little features to make your life easier. Among these are the ‘Continue’, ‘Select Adventure’, and ‘Load Game’ selections. While ‘Continue’ and ‘Load Game’ seem to be the same thing at first glance, there is one key difference. ‘Continue’ automatically loads your latest save file, allowing you to effortlessly slip right back into the game from where you’d left off. Meanwhile, ‘Load Game’ allows you to manually choose which save data you’d like to start from. As for ‘Select Adventure’, this allows you to pick the game and episode – down to the chapter – from which to play. You can even do this the very first time you turn on the game! With these three options, it’s easier than ever to start playing from where you intend.

“Select Adventure” and “Load Game” screens

Now, eagle-eyed fans may have already spotted something else that’s new to this series in that Load Game screenshot above – an autosave slot! Yes, this game features an autosave function, so even if you forget to save (and you can save anywhere in the game, including the Escapades mini-episodes), there shouldn’t be too much gnashing of teeth involved…

‘Wait, what are the Escapades, ’ you ask? Well, they happen to be a part of the next stop on our tour!

From the Title screen, a plethora of Special Contents are available for you to peruse.

There’s the Gallery and the Auditorium, where you can view and listen to the gorgeous art and music of The Great Ace Attorney, but that’s not all. You can also sneak a peek at the various accolades we’re challenging you to collect, apply special costumes to Ryunosuke, Susato, and Sholmes, and play the 8 slice-of-life ‘Escapades’ stories.

*Costumes only available for use in TGAA2: Resolve

But fair warning: if you’re the type to avoid spoilers, then maybe you should hold off on the Gallery and the Auditorium until after you’ve finished the two main games. The Escapades also contain small spoilers for the first game, The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures, so proceed with caution.

Maybe save these fun side stories for after the first game…

Options

Next, let’s look at some options.

*Options will differ slightly depending on the platform.
The screens shown are from the Steam (PC) version.

As you can see, we’ve added a number of options to this version including individual on/off settings for things like background music, sound effects, and voices. We’ve also got options for controller vibrations, screen flashes, and even an option to set how long the game waits between each line of dialogue in Autoplay and Story Mode.

By the way, you’re not limited to using just your controller – you can play using the touch screen on the Nintendo Switch version and your mouse in Steam by interacting with the key guide that appears in the bottom right of the screen in-game.

When it comes to the voice language for cutscenes and interjections, you can change them at any time through the Title screen’s Options menu. Mix and match to experience the game in a way that’s authentic to you. Play with Japanese voices during the episodes set in Japan and English when the story moves to London, or stick with the amazing English dub all the way through – it’s completely up to you.

Now for some PC specific settings for Steam players.
In addition to key configuration options, I’m pleased to announce that ‘The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles’ supports 4K monitors. I hope you’ll enjoy the game in all its glorious beauty…if you can handle it!

In addition, we’ve created a bunch of goodies exclusive to Steam including trading cards and badges, as well as emoticons, profile and mini-profile backgrounds, and animated avatars, avatar frames, and animated stickers that will be available for purchase in the Steam Points Shop.

Autoplay and Story Mode

Many fans of the visual novel genre will already be familiar with the Autoplay feature, wherein the game will advance the text for you until you come to the end of a conversation or have to make a choice, but we’ve also created a clever little ‘’Story Mode” for people who just want to sit back and enjoy the story. Story Mode will do everything in the game for you, but beware! If you’re out to collect all the accolades, you’ll have to be a little clever yourself and consider carefully when and how to use Story Mode; there are certain accolades you won’t be able to obtain during that one playthrough if you do use it. For example, turn on Story Mode even once, and you won’t be able to obtain the accolade for clearing that episode.

That said, the game is set to Autoplay by default, so you can’t accidentally turn Story Mode on. Rather, you’ll need to go to the Options screen and then ‘Reader’ to manually turn Autoplay Mode into Story Mode. What a relief, right?

And that’s it in a nutshell! I hope you’ve enjoyed your first look under the hood, but there’s plenty more to discover. Join me next time on a deep dive about the localization of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.

Until then!

Capcom @ E3 2021 Recap

Jun 14, 2021
Jun 14
Kellen Haney

Miss something from our E3 showcase? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Read on for a recap of our stream and more info on our announcements.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

TAKE THAT! If it pleases the court, we’re submitting a new trailer for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles into evidence. Courtroom chaos and intense investigations collide with two amazing adventures in one collection coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Steam on July 29, 2021!

For all the latest on Ace Attorney, be sure to add the Ace Attorney Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to your own court record.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin

Your epic adventure in Monster Hunter Stories 2 is about to begin, with the game releasing on Nintendo Switch and Steam on July 9! To keep your hype levels charged up to max Kinship level, we had some exciting reveals for E3 2021: a “Trial Version” demo is on the way, coming to Nintendo Switch on June 25, and Steam on July 9! With the “Trial Version,” you can create your own Rider, start your journey, befriend and raise some Monsties, and eventually transfer all your progress to the full game at launch. Also, shortly after release, we’re bringing the Palamute, from Monster Hunter Rise, as a Monstie in Monster Hunter Stories 2. This free update will be available on July 15.

Catch all the details on these reveals here.

Monster Hunter Rise

We’ve got more Monster Hunter Rise content on the horizon too! In just a few days, on June 18, our first “Capcom Collab” Event Quest will go live. The reward for completing it will be materials to craft Layered Armor for your Palico based on the character Tsukino, from Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin.

Also, keep an eye out for even more Event Quests and fun rewards starting with update “Version 3.1,” available June 25.

You can also find the latest on Event Quests and all things Monster Hunter on the official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages!

Resident Evil Village

We’re happy to announce that additional DLC is on the way for Resident Evil Village, as confirmed during our E3 2021 livestream! We’ll have more details on it at a later date, so be sure to follow the Resident Evil Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest info.

This eighth main entry in the beloved Resident Evil franchise sees Ethan Winters awaken in a remote part of Europe after tragedy befalls his family once again. After surviving the madhouse that was the Baker estate, can Ethan endure the horrors that await him as he seeks answers and searches for his kidnapped daughter? For more info, be sure to check out our launch blog!

Resident Evil Village is available now for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Steam, and Stadia.

Street Fighter V Esports

We got the lowdown on Street Fighter V Esports from expert commentators Vicious and RobTV of the changes coming to Capcom Pro Tour 2021, including info on registration, prizing, and more! Think you’re the best in your region? Check out the Capcom Fighters website, Twitter, and Facebook for info on how to register for CPT 2021 and rule the ring! You can also catch all the action live on the Capcom Fighters Twitch channel or watch the matches on demand on the Capcom Fighters YouTube channel.

If team play is more your style, the next season of Street Fighter League is coming soon. Instead of one-on-one action, six teams of three compete in a battle tournament series leading to some amazing matches with teammates supporting, coaching, and hyping each other up. Stay tuned for more info on the next season of SFL! That’s everything we shared at this year’s E3 presentation, but be sure to stay locked in to the Capcom USA Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest Capcom news!

E3 2021: Monster Hunter Stories 2 gets a new trailer, Trial Version and free update details

Jun 14, 2021
Jun 14
Yuri Araujo

The Capcom showcase at E3 2021 brought us exciting updates on our latest games selection (for the full debrief, check out the Capcom E3 recap blog) as well as much anticipated news on Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, including the announcement of our “Trial Version” demo and the first free title update! Keep on reading to get the full scoop:

New Trailer

If you’ve been keeping up with our trailers, you can piece together where some of the characters stand in the story… but we’ve still raised some key questions for you to uncover in the full game.

Ena tells us a bit more about Red (your character’s grandfather) and the legend of the “Wings of Ruin”, while everyone is getting more and more concerned about the strange appearance of the Rage-Rays everywhere. Meanwhile, Kyle, bringing in the perspective of a young Hunter, questions how someone could place their trust in a monster he thinks is only capable of destruction. Hopefully the bonds between Riders and monsters can help you overcome all the looming questions without answers for now…

You can catch up on all our Monster Hunter Stories 2 trailers, including this latest one, in our YouTube playlist:

Trial Version

Feeling ready to dive in and start your journey as a Rider? We’ve got good news on that front too: a “Trial Version” demo for Monster Hunter Stories 2 will be available for Nintendo Switch next week, on June 25th!

You’ll be able to create your character, get introduced to the world and story, befriend and raise some Monsties, and best of all, eventually transfer all your progress to the full game at launch.

The Trial Version will also be available on Steam on July 9th, alongside the release of the full game.


Monster Hunter Rise Crossovers

Coming up in just a few days, a new Event Quest will be dropping into Monster Hunter Rise as the first of our “Capcom Collab” series. Tsukino, from MH Stories 2, will be pouncing into action as a Layered Armor set for your own Palico on June 17th. Of course, you’ll have to clear a special Event Quest first, so gear up and take your best Palico with you.

The crossovers between MH Rise and MH Stories 2 don’t end there. Looking a little farther into the future, we also revealed the first free title update for MH Stories 2. The trusty Palamute that stole our hearts in MH Rise will join your party as a Monstie on July 15th! Naturally, you’ll be able to ride your Canyne companion to traverse vast fields in no time, and take it into battle with some flashy moves. Palamutes are now a Rider’s best friend too!

As a friendly reminder, if you have save data from both MH Rise and MH Stories 2, you’ll get some crossover goodies as well. In MH Rise, you’ll get Layered Armor fashioned after the “Rider” Armor from MH Stories 2. And in MH Stories 2, you’ll get the “Kamura Garb” Layered Armor from MH Rise.

Monster Hunter Rise is available now on Nintendo Switch, and just had a big update recently (Version 3.0), adding Crimson Glow Valstrax, Apex Zinogre and a new ending to the story! And Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin will be available for Nintendo Switch and Steam on July 9th.

Keep your eyes on the Monster Hunter channels on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for more news as we get closer to the MH Stories 2 launch!

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, and Nintendo Switch!

Jun 01, 2021
Jun 01
Kellen Haney

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, and Nintendo Switch! The valiant knight Arthur returns in this new addition to the Ghosts ‘n Goblins franchise, a legendary series of games known for challenging and rewarding gameplay. Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection comes complete with multiple difficulty modes for knights of all skill levels to enjoy, and a two-player local Co-Op mode for seasoned veterans and newly christened knights to play the game together.

Over 35 years ago, the original Ghosts ‘n Goblins made its debut in arcades, and few players knew what would await them when they dropped that first quarter or token into the machine. The game’s haunting music box melodies, vivid graphics, expressive animations, and incredibly challenging gameplay quickly cemented it in the minds of many as an instant classic. Anyone skilled enough to beat the game at their local arcade was worthy of praise, a living legend in their own right who could best the many fearsome foes, tricky traps, and devious deceptions that stood between them and their goal. Defeating the game once, however, revealed a shocking surprise: A message reading “This room is an illusion and is a trap devised by Satan. Go ahead dauntlessly! Make rapid progress!” To see the game’s true ending, you’d need to play through an even more difficult version of the game, typically called a second loop, to finally rescue the princess from the malevolent Demon Realm and claim your victory.

Staying true to those arcade roots while building on the series’ legacy, Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection takes a page (or, perhaps, a scroll) from both the original Ghosts ‘n Goblins and its sequel, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts. Seasoned knights will feel right at home among the dark forests and burning hamlets. Familiar weapons, like the Lance and Dagger, are joined by new armaments, including the Spiked Ball and Hammer, providing noble knights even more ways to fight their way through hordes of enemies on their quest to save the princess. With the whole game presented in a visual style reminiscent of paper puppets on a picture-book background, Resurrection provides a perfect mix of challenging old-school gameplay and unique modern visuals.

While Ghosts ‘n Goblins games are well-known for their challenging gameplay, multiple difficulty modes are available for players of all skill levels to enjoy Arthur’s adventure. Squire difficulty mode is the perfect choice for newcomers to Ghosts ‘n Goblins games, offering a more gentle experience that’s still plenty of fun. Instead of losing all his armor at once as he does in older games, Arthur can take three hits before losing his armor completely. If he takes one more hit with no armor, he’s down for the count! Fortunately, special checkpoints called Banners of Rebirth are also available in this mode, and each one provides an additional, optional points to restart from. The number of enemies are also reduced from higher difficulties, so you’ll have a bit more breathing room to discover each stage’s twists and turns as you venture into the Demon Realm.

Knight modeoffers an increased level of challenge for players who aren’t afraid to taste defeat as they reach for glory. The number of hits Arthur can take before losing his armor is reduced to two, and the number of enemies is increased to the standard amount, too. Optional Banners of Rebirth remain in this mode, allowing you to restart in between checkpoints if you so choose.

If you’re looking for the greatest challenge Resurrection has to offer, crank up the heat to Legend difficulty! On this difficulty mode, Arthur can only take one hit before he’s down to his boxers. One more after that, and he’s reduced to a pile of bones, same as in other classic Ghosts ‘n Goblins games. Banners of Rebirth are also removed on this difficulty, leaving only regular checkpoints in each level. You’ll need every ounce of your skill – and maybe a little luck – to see each stage through to the end. Hardcore GnG fans take heart – THIS is the Ghosts ‘n Goblins you remember!

For players looking for a casual experience, and those looking to introduce newly christened knights to what Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection has to offer, an additional Page mode gives Arthur a blessing of eternal life. If he falls in battle, he’ll be resurrected on the spot, able to jump back into his quest right where he left off. This is a great option for little knights who want to enjoy the game!

No matter what difficulty mode you choose, Arthur is anything but defenseless. Alongside an assortment of weapons and his trusty armor, Arthur will also have access to a variety of skills and magic that can turn the tables on his foes. As you explore each stage, you’ll come across what first appear to be little balls of rainbow light bouncing around. These are Umbral Bees, friendly little critters that you can collect and return to their home in the Umbral Tree. The Umbral Tree, as its name might suggest, is literally a skill tree. Returning Umbral Bees unlocks new and more powerful skills and magic that can be assigned to Arthur’s Magic Waistband.

Surrounded by Zombies? Cast Thunderstorm to call down lightning! Need to bowl over some Skeleton Murderers? Emboulden turns Arthur into an impervious rolling rock. There’s lots of magic to uncover, including turning enemies to stone, creating a doppelganger that copies your attacks, and a secret spell that’s sure to delight long-time fans. A variety of skills are also available, including the ability to increase the number of weapons that Arthur can hold at one time! Be sure to collect those Umbral Bees when you see them, as they’ll certainly be a huge help on your journey.

Offering a different gameplay experience from Arthur’s solo adventures, couch Co-Op is available for two players to enjoy the game together. Barry, Kerry, and Archie, the Three Wise Guys, can assist Arthur by creating a temporary barrier, carrying Arthur out of danger, or creating temporary bridges and platforms for Arthur to cross. It’s a great option for seasoned veterans and little knights to play together, and for family and friends who want to try a new, different way to play Ghosts ‘n Goblins.

If you want to see everything that the game has to offer, you’ll need to complete the game once on Squire, Knight, or Legend to unlock sinister new remixes of places you’ve been before. Calling back to the series’ tradition of playing through the game multiple times, Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection introduces a new spin on that concept: Shadow Stages. Each stage you’ve previously completed has a remixed, shadowy version with different enemies, gimmicks, and hazards that create a new experience. No matter how familiar you are with the original stages, you’ll need to adjust your game plan if you hope to conquer each Shadow Stage – and completing each regular stage and Shadow Stage might open up a new path, too. Why not give it a try?

There’s lots more to discover on your own, too. Hidden treasure chests dot each stage, mysterious pits called Hell Holes filled with enemies and rewards can appear if the right conditions are met, and there are other secrets that await those who are up for the challenge. We hope you’re ready to challenge again… and again… and again… on Arthur’s latest adventure!

Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam, and Nintendo Switch!