My previous post may have sounded just a tad negative, as if I was skeptical about how much I would enjoy playing Xenoblade Chronicles. Well, I suppose maybe I am, but I should make it clear that I go into most games I play with the attitude that I will enjoy them. It is not my intention to nitpick or scrutinize, lest I sabotage myself of the fun I could be having if I just relax and enjoy the game. After my first few days of playing Xenoblade, I find that I am enjoying it more and more the further I get.
But that’s not what I wanted to address today. Rather, I wanted to acknowledge the job that Nintendo of America did in releasing it. On one hand, it could be seen as sort of rushed or half-baked. Indeed, it’s clear that NoA really had no original intention of bringing the game over to North America, as the version released in the region is in fact the European version, exactly as is (except you don’t have to mode your Wii to play it, of course). The British voice acting is intact, as was expected. The text still contains all British spellings. And despite that a new logo was created for the North American box art, the European logo is still displayed on the title screen and Wii channel menu.
None of this is really a bad thing. It must be remembered that one of the chief arguments for the game’s localization was that it was already in English, and NoA only really had to just bring over the European version. And that’s exactly what they did. Nintendo of Europe probably took no account of their localization being used in the Americas, but cultural quirks aside, I think they did a pretty fantastic job. In fact, I would even say that I’d like to see them handle more English localizations (and with The Last Story on its way to North America as well, I’ll definitely see more of their work).
On the other hand, lack of changes to the actual game aside, I think Nintendo of America did a pretty decent job with the physical release of the game. They included a fan-chosen reversible cover, just like in Europe. Pre-orders from GameStop were also accompanied by an art book. It’s small and non-essential, but it’s good quality and a nice little bonus. And of course, Nintendo is still one of the few big publishers that still includes thick, full color manuals with their games (even if it’s thick because it’s in three languages). These were things NoA did not have to do, especially considering the game’s circumstances, but they did. It shows that even within the confines of a rushed, limited release, NoA puts effort into what they do, and it’s a nice nod to their fans.
So, all things considered, I’ve really got nothing to complain about. Xenoblade made a good first impression on me simply with its packaging and presentation, and the game itself is only improving my favor. I am truly thankful this game made it Stateside.