Mike "pheriannath" Katsufrakis
DS - Ignition Entertainment/Marvelous
1/2 oz Persona 3
1/2 oz The World Ends With You's "imprint" system
1 oz strong art style
2 oz awkward translation
Gently stir Persona into TWEWY, and serve in the most stylish glass in the bar. Serve chilled over stilted conversation.
In all seriousness, Lux-Pain is a game that pulls me in several different directions. It's more or less your standard DS adventure game of Japanese origin, much like the Ace Attorney series. The story borrows incredibly liberally from Persona 3 (an organization investigating strange/dark happenings, taking place mostly at a high school), and even cribs its art style a bit, which means it looks really great. There is an ASTOUNDING amount of voiceover work recorded for this game- every important character and scene is fully-voiced, which is a rarity for DS titles. Unfortunately, and this is pervasive throughout the game, the localization is inconsistent and at times, contradictory to itself. There are several instances where a voicover will say something like "Are you CRAZY?!", yet the text will read "Yeah, I can be a little bit crazy". It really seems as if the localization team changed their minds about how to translate something when they wrote the voiceover script. It's incredibly sloppy and it drags the entire experience down.
Everything before this paragraph sounds like I'm condemning the game, but there is something compelling about the way the story does unfold. If you can look past the severe localization issues, the story has been interesting and it really is a treat to look at, especially considering the expressive character sprite work. If I were Ignition, I would definitely look to Atlus' titles for ideas on how to translate a niche Japanese title for American audiences.