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RttS 2008 - NIS America Interview


NIS America

It was just less than a month ago that RPGamer was invited into the NIS America offices to try out the upcoming tactical RPG, Disgaea 3 for the PlayStation 3. At that time, we tossed out a few questions to see if they would bite like they did last year with Disgaea DS. They said that they would think over our thought provoking interrogation and get back to us. Though slightly delayed, this interview with Jack Niida, Localization Director of NIS America, is better late than never as we've uncovered a few nice little bits of information for you.

Let's start off easy. Is there going to be an English subtitle for Disgaea DS?
Jack Niida: Unlike its other counterparts, Disgaea DS will not have a subtitle. We sort of wanted to distinguish it from the other 2 games.

There has been lots of talk about how the PlayStation 3 is overpowered for Disgaea 3. How is the PS3 better able to handle Disgaea 3 than the PS2? Since the PS3 can manage downloadable content better than the PS2, any plans to take advantage of that?
JN: Graphically we haven't made major changes, but game content wise there's a huge difference. The amount of units, size of battle maps, the things you can do on the field--all has greatly expanded. The development team tried to cram as much game content into Disgaea 3 as possible, so players won't be bored after playing 30-40 hours. With all the additional features you could play for a good 200 hours. A good example is the Geo Blocks and a new Item World. Geo Blocks are essentially 3D Geo panels that add a whole new strategic element to the battle and coupled that with even more Item World variations, you got a massive game.

In regards to downloadable content, yes, Disgaea 3 will have downloadable maps, characters, and even story chapters. This new content will be available through the PlayStation Network and it will be updated at least once a month. Please look forward to what's going to be available.

As a result of so many previous NISA RPGs being released for the PS2 and PSP, does NISA as a company feel any sort of loyalty to the Sony brand?
JN: Both NISA and NIS grew to be what we are today thanks to Sony. It's been an absolute pleasure to work with them, and we will continue to maintain our great relationship. That being said, we will release more games on various platforms for our fans who may not have some of Sony's game consoles.

The PlayStation 2 is still alive and kicking. Since it is still alive, is there a chance of Ar tonelico II or Mana Khemia II making it to our shores?
JN: Those are two exciting games that we would love to work on, but we're not quite ready yet to make any announcements. Don't worry. We're not saying that these games aren't coming to the States. When the game is ready to be revealed, we will make sure to notify everyone.

There are a few series that have never really found a solid home here in North America. Once of those series is Super Robot Wars. We know that Atlus has worked with prior games in the series, but is there a chance you could cut in on their action?
JN: In regards to Super Robot Wars, Atlus has been doing a fantastic job on localizing those titles. Therefore, if a new game were to come out it would most likely be from Atlus. Quite frankly I hope they release more Super Robot Wars titles here in the states because I'm a huge fan of that series.

The Sakura Taisen series is another one that people want. What about any games in that series, do they even have a chance here in the states?
JN: Sakura Taisen is one of those amazing games that never really made it to the states. Many of our fans have been asking us to localize that game, but haven't really had the chance to do so. We'll see how this game goes as well.

A while back in Japan, Nippon Ichi announced that Rhapsody would be coming out for the DS, are there any chances of it making it to the states?
JN: Rhapsody ~A Musical Adventure~ is coming to the Nintendo DS here in North America. Some hardcore gamers might know this game, since it was released here by Atlus back in 2000 for the PS1. It's a musical RPG that has a wacky storyline and a simple battle system that really caters towards a wide RPG fan base. It's loads of fun and if you're interested in any type of classic Japanese RPG, I think you'll get a good kick out of it.

Does NISA think that X Edge has even a remote possibility of coming to North America?
JN: Ahhh, I'm assuming you have seen X Edge from some of Japan's press releases. It's an awesome looking game with an amazing cast of characters. All of us in the office are craving to work on the game, but we aren't sure what's going on just yet. As soon as we get word from Japan about who's working on this game, we'll notify you.

Anything else you'd like to share with us about your upcoming lineup, as it seems full of Disgaea at the moment?
JN: We've got some surprise announcements to be made on June 6, 2008 at our San Francisco event, so please look forward to them. Also some of the games that you mentioned above...we are working on them right now. :)

Jack, on behalf of RPGamer and all of our readers, I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us. We would also like to thank Nao Zook for organizing this interview for us; all of us are looking forward to seeing all of your upcoming titles in action. RPGamer will be attending the NISA San Francisco event featuring Mr. Niikawa from Nippon Ichi Software, Mr. Yamamoto, the head programmer for Disgaea 3, and the President of NISA, Haru Akenaga on June 5. Check back soon for more NIS America information as we are going to try to break even more of these secret upcoming games.

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