Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Japanese PSN Is Getting The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky Second Chapter

So, The Legend of Heroes:  Trails in the Sky (Japanese Eiyū Densetsu VI Sora no Kiseki FC), a trilogy of games released in Japan.....years ago, saw its first State-side release back in March of 2011 as, well....The Legend of Heroes:  Trails in the Sky.  (Note that there's no FC, indicating First Chapter, thus giving no real indication that it is, in fact, a trilogy)  It was not only a game localized by XSEED, but a promise for continued efforts on the PSP in the West.  Not only was Trails in the Sky promised, but Second Chapter and The Third as well, which might have been a bit more than they rightly could have promised, considering where we are now.  We are more than a year past the anniversary of the first game's release and this, this mention of Second Chapter finally going on the Japan PSN is the first, the only bit of news about the process of getting the other TitS games we've gotten recently.

You see, Second Chapter provided a rather interesting problem for the whole situation - a problem I think that everyone underestimated, which culminated in the cluster of problems we've seen now.  Recall that, for the year TitS has spent being released here, it was originally released in Japan in 2006 for the PSP and the other titles followed suit in reasonable time-frames I should say, with Second Chapter officially releasing in 2007 for PSP in UMD format.  Dual-UMD format, I should say, which is the real rub here.  Yes, Second Chapter is one of the first (if not -the- first) and few games to require two UMDs for the whole thing, and it's even more of a pain than the days of yore (and....current-gen, if you're a 360 gamer, though cases are rare) when you were forced up from your playing position to meander to the console you were playing and switch out disks to progress further.  I'm not sure how, but by virtue of being UMDs, it adds a whole other layer of technical gubbins or somesuch which affected the entire way it was coded.  And thus made it coded in a way that was conducive to being on two separate things, and not one -thing-, like a digital purchase.

That one thing, and the fact that Second Chapter's script is literally twice as big as the first game's have been the two issues mentioned when asked what the hold-up with the localization has been.  Which is not an unreasonable thing, I should say.  "We're waiting for Falcom to make the game work" is as good a reason as any to hold off on doing a whole lot with it, though I do hope they've at least been able to get some preparations done.  Getting some of the script translated and paced out and such so that when they actually get the game to play around with in a state that means something, they can jump into it and hit the ground running instead of hopping in and starting on everything right that moment.  The localization process, admittedly, is a nebulous one to me, as I can likely place some of the things that occur in it, but certainly not all or even most of them, and it's all just based on my own notions which is not mired in anything resembling first-hand experience or even second-hand experience.

As you might remember, I quite enjoyed Trails in the Sky and the fact that it leaves off on a very, very wonderful cliff-hanger is one of the main reasons why I am a man who waits for Second Chapter like a man waits for water in the desert; not well, and is furiously cursing the powers that be when that next dune offers nothing more than the previous one did.  Beating TitS and then trying to find out about the localization of Second Chapter was painful as mum is the word, apparently, on progress and ultimately I found out that progress was more or less just a misnomer.  Or that's what it seems like at least as finding anything beyond XSEED saying basically "It'll happen when it can happen" has been a fool's errand.  Of course, I understand why it was an issue now, what with the whole 'game wasn't in a playable version of the format you're getting' thing and all, but something of a reminder or an official statement about that would have been nice.

Oh, and yes, I should mention that when we get Second Chapter, there's almost no chance that it will be anything but PSN-Exclusive.  Perhaps they might roll out an Atlus trick and make a physical version a 'Collector's Edition' which packages it with some stuff to validate a $40-60 pricetag (whereas I would imagine digital-only will be $30 to start) that include the game on its dual-UMDs, but even that, done in limited quantities (perhaps even with the caveat that you have to order it direct through their website or something) is likely not going to happen.  I would buy the shit out of it if it did, but it's not, so I'm fairly safe in assuming my money is safe.  I know I've been staunch in my stance that digital-only is not 'the future', nor is it even 'the present', but there is simply no way to say this without making myself a hypocrite:  I don't care, I'm buying it

I've sort of alluded that I am completely and totally lenient on digital things for handhelds but it does not match my blanket statement, for which I am kind of....well, embarrassed.  I have my own justifications of course, in that handhelds have been molded to more or less -be- digital platforms, whether you're trying to edge out Apple or just copy their success in the field, as well as the fact that it's just all-around safer in a sense.  If something were to happen, you could just yank out the memory stick, toss it into another system and, after setting it up with your account (and deactivating the old one) you are right back there, no real progress lost.  When my PS3 died, I lost everything on it and this would also be true for a PC platform if your PC shits the bed as they are wont to do.  Since you cannot really just yank the HDD out of the computer and put it in a new one with the same ease as a memory stick in a handheld.  Aside from all that, being a portable thing, it allows you to go to places that offer the internet, faster internet than you have, and make use of it which cuts down the annoyance of those download times considerably.  Just earlier today, I was at a place where a demo that would take me hours to download here would have been done in a mere 24 minutes.  It is not perfect, but it is also not hours of time spent waiting.

Justifications and qualifiers or not, Trails in the Sky Second Chapter is a game that I am foaming at the mouth over for a mere chance to be able to download.  I want it that much that I've taken the stance I've taken with all of the other games of its ilk (digital-only), and I've thrown it aside because there are no principles to stand on or excuses to hide behind with this game.  It is a simple thing - when Second Chapter comes out, I will buy it and I will go wherever the hell I have to go to download it if necessary.  I say when because I firmly believe that XSEED is committed to bringing over the entire Trails in the Sky series, and I applaud them for it.  Of course, I believe as I do because I suspect the backlash of not doing so would be legendary, since the game inspires as much verve, as much excitement in me as it does and I am certainly not even close to being alone in this.

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