Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Senran Kagura: Estival Versus's localization is a lot more complicated than you'd think.


Or at least, XSEED put a lot more thought and effort into a game that, on its surface, is simply about showin' off some righteous melons.  The first Estival Versus localization dev diary appeared on XSEED's Tumblr yesterday, and it shines a spotlight on the third-best thing about Senran Kagura's Sony iterations - the characters.

The first-best thing, of course, is that the combat itself is hella fun. (Review)

The second-best thing, naturally, is that it looks gorgeous running on a Vita. (Same review.)

The third-best thing is how well the game handles character (hey look a review) - how each of the game's heroes (and there are over twenty of them, in Estival) come across as developed, fleshed-out characters who actually grow and evolve over the course of each game - Estival Versus is technically the seventh Senran Kagura, after the first two on 3DS, the first one on Vita, the rhythm-cooking one on Vita, and the third one on 3DS),   A saying I've been fond of lately is "people don't change, they only get old," and while each hero retains the core, stand-out traits that make them so lovable - Katsuragi remains an incorrigible pervert, Ikaruga is cool, calm and collected, and Asuka just wants to be everyone's friend - motivations are actually revealed and character growth actually happens within each game and over the course of the series.

It's what makes the games' narratives so (surprisingly!) successful, and the titles' large cast so endearing - so it's nice to see the XSEED folks go "yes, yes, boobs - but we do actually spend a lot of time looking at their motivations and making sure we get their writing just perfect."

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