TGS 06: Rogue Galaxy Q&A

We chat with the American producer of Rogue Galaxy and come away with plenty of details on the forthcoming localization.

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TOKYO--Although Rogue Galaxy has been out in Japan for quite a while, it will finally see an American release this January. We sat down with the producers of the game here at TGS and managed to come away with more details about the localization procedure and the forthcoming version of the game for US players.

The American producer of the game, Nao Higo, pointed out to us that despite the fact that the American version of the game has been delayed somewhat, the development team has been spending the time afforded it to make "vast improvements" to the game, to the point where the team is calling this the "perfect" version of the game.

Level Five started with balancing issues. The Japanese feedback apparently revolved around some parts of the game that were either too hard or too easy or just plain annoying to play through while still advancing the main plot, such as some dungeons that required a significant time investment. The development team took this feedback to heart and, along with its own ideas (some aspects of which were curtailed by time issues), managed to incorporate it into the updated US edition of the game.

Besides balancing fixes, a number of new additions have been added, including an entire new scenario and a new world. The new world will come into play during the game's middle section, after you unlock the ability to travel around to various other star systems. At that point, one of the options will be the new world, which wasn't included in the Japanese version of the game.

Although details on the new world, called Alistia, were scant, Nao told us that it was a completely self-enclosed portion of the world, basically a side quest to the game's main plot. He says that it's going to be substantially different from the other worlds in the game, with completely different artwork. In addition to the inclusion of a new world, though, there are plenty of improvements to the existing planets.

As for substantive changes to the gameplay, the major one is the addition of the burning strike command. In the Japanese version of the game, you could perform combos with various party members, but it was entirely random. In the US version, the burning strike command will let the combo system come under player control for the first time, making for an additional method of dealing massive damage to enemies.

In addition, the insectron minigame, which involves capturing creatures and entering them into a turn-based strategy chesslike tournament, will be included in the US version, but it will also feature multiplayer play. We're not sure if this can be done with two memory cards, but if you want to fight against a friend, you'll be able to generate a code, which can then be given to another player and entered into that player's game, allowing you to play against your friend's stable of creatures.

All in all, the team at Level Five seems very pleased with the American version of Rogue Galaxy. Although it's apparent that the Japanese release of the game was disappointing to them on certain levels, they've taken the time necessary to clean up all of the small problems that were bothering them about the game, making this effectively version 1.5 of the title. Stay tuned to GameSpot for more information on Rogue Galaxy as it nears its January release date.

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