Here we are, my dear readers, at the conclusion of it all. Taisho x Alice Vol. 1 was released today. And boy, was it quite the game release!
Here’s some required reading before continuing on:
We all caught up now? Alrighty, let’s see the final chapter in this very twisted trilogy of posts.
E2 Gaming edited their last game announcement to let people know that the game is out rather than make an entirely new post with this info. Was this done so…it can look like a lot of people were instantly talking about the game and make it seem like it’s the hottest thing happening right now? Reading over the Facebook comments and all of the talk on Twitter, that is furthest from the truth.
I don’t know about you, but none of these people are hype about this game release.
The game was released on their own website and definitely not on Steam. The product page also had a PDF of the translated menu options… Hm, now why would this be here? And the translation on that really does look like it was plugged into Google Translate and slapped on this PDF. Also, please note the following sentence:
“Voices are in English with the option to display subtitles in both English or Spanish.”
No Japanese voice acting available… Only a dubbed version. Which means that whoever answered any sort of game queries over at their Oni-Con booth either flat out lied or had no idea what they were talking about, but wanted to remain in good graces with whoever spoke to them. Geez, this is a tough pill to swallow. But now the question that you’re probably asking yourself is “Why didn’t they use the JLOP funds that they got to get the rights for the Japanese voice acting?” They could have used that money for the voice acting, marketing staff, graphic designers, etc. However, what we did see out of them:
- Three out the four convention appearances (because if you remember, they didn’t even show up to the Supanova Pop Culture Expo)
- One of their appearances was a show that they sponsored
- At that same show, they had a show where Benyamin Nuss played a piano arrangement of Mardelas’ song, Phantasia, that was set to appear in the game
- Printed ad for a convention they weren’t even at
- A giveaway in which they sent prizes to around 20 people
- A cosplayer hired and promoted for their Oni-con booth
These are the sort of things that begin racking up costs. Costs that they could have used for the game itself to give it better care.
Brave and daring people began to try and purchase the game, some which ran into a few problems:
A few things would happen: the payment wouldn’t go through, your anti-virus program will detect the site as “unsafe”, or you wouldn’t get a link after your purchase has gone through and would have to wait awhile for it to show up in your inbox.
Alright, so a few brave souls purchased the game, so let’s see how the quality of the game is:
Yes, that’s right, the game’s image song WAS NOT CHANGED TO THE MARDELAS SONG that E2 Gaming heavily marketed since this whole saga began! The original theme song plays instead. Having heavily marketed Mardelas and their Phantasia song to then not have the actual song in the game… That’s some false advertisement that still is on their Facebook page as of right now (12:11am PST on May 10th). Mardelas even wrote in their blog about their song appearing in the game:
It looks like E2 Gaming did not hold their end of the bargain to have their song in the game. Ouch… This is not a good start.
Ahh, so THAT’S why that PDF file was listed in the game’s product page! Because they didn’t even bother to translate the menus within the game itself!
What we have here is an unpolished product.
Let’s hear what the voice acting is like:
The English voice acting is…not great. Also, some of the dialogue seems a bit off.
But then there’s this gem!
And if you want to hear it voiced, here it is:
I don’t think I have any other thought other that I can’t believe this is a line that’s in the game.
Here are a couple more screens detailing on the translation job:
Let’s hear more voice acting work:
“I, WIZARD” …Go on! This is the point where it’s apparent that all of the voices are sounding the same. Is it the same person doing ALL of the voices?!
Here is the introduction of a female voice. She’s not a native English speaker; the line sounds completely unnatural. Just who did they cast to dub this game? This is basically another Chaos Wars dubbing situation, isn’t it? There are no voice acting credits listed anywhere (until, I’m assuming, the end of the game), which means this was done in-house like I thought it would be.
Yep…this is looking like it was a one-man show with the addition of one other voice actor doing the lines voiced by women in the game. But who could this one voice actor be?
Back in the first article in this series, I recently updated it with some information regarding E2 Gaming and Babel Entertainment. A few Google searches revealed that there is one person who leads both of those companies: a man by the name of Shion.
He was even at the Wizard World held in Chicago last year. Some of you might have talked to him if you were there.
A further look unearths this:
A script for Episode 3 of Taisho x Alice… E2 Gaming is intending to release all of these games after all.
So there you have it. All but the lines voiced by a lone woman seem to be the fine work of one person. This is WORSE than Chaos Wars! And that’s one sentence that I thought I would never ever say. Wow…
More talk about this emerges on Twitter:
Quite a few people I know couldn’t access the E2 Gaming Facebook page later in the day, because they had a Japanese IP. This is what they saw instead:
And to top it all off:
This… is a hell of a release day for the localization of Taisho x Alice. I expected it to be bad, but not to THIS degree! The end result is a total mess that came from the complete mismanagement of the JLOP funds that E2 Gaming received. That grant money, if managed appropriately could have made this a solid release, but in the end, this is the end product that exists. What a shame…
Even though this is really bad, there are some humorous moments:
And that’s it! That completes a view into what happened on the very sudden release day for Taisho x Alice Vol. 1. Who knows what will happen next? Please do yourselves a favor and support actual otome game localization attempts and not this release. Period Cube just came out! Also, Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds is coming out real soon! And there’s plenty more coming out soon later this year to support.
….Don’t support this one. It’s not worth your money, even as a joke. This feels like a total mockery of how game releases happen in the West. The level of apathy shown by E2 Gaming is astounding and I’m not sure Primula knows about how their game was treated. Taisho x Alice is a beloved otome game series in the community and this is the localization we ended up with.
Just when I thought I was done with this, more info was uncovered; some info is new and some info corrects some of what I listed above. Let’s get to it, shall we?
To kick things off, at some point early on May 10th, Primula removed mention of the English localization of the Taisho x Alice games on their website:
Because E2 Gaming was quite the conversational topic online due to their…work… Primula distanced themselves from it by completely removing the button that linked to E2 Gaming’s page. That action already speaks a lot about their feelings regarding how this localization came to be.
Here’s an update regarding the voice acting: it’s not a one-man show as we thought it was, even though the voices sound so very similar to one another. The voices to the characters were provided by people who have work for Babel Entertainment and friends of the company and the company’s owner. And of course the owner of the company provided his voice as well, as detailed earlier in this post. Several of them posted on Facebook with news of their work while advertising the game:
These people are so excited to be a part of this project, but we never ever got to see their names in the credits (the credits weren’t even edited to be in English), which leads me to believe that they probably never got paid for their work, shoddy as it was.
I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that voice actors deserve to get paid for what they do; they breathe life into the game with their work. The people who provided the English voice acting were ecstatic to add something else to their belt, but with no credit, how are people to know about their work except for a Facebook post?
If you’re wondering whether E2 Gaming got their JLOP grant or not, they sure did:
If you read earlier in this post about how people tried to process their payment to get their copy of the game, the merchant name listed is “eSQUARED株式会社“. You can view a list of companies that have received the JLOP grant here.
Speaking of eSQUARED, some information about them was talked about on Twitter:
If you were curious about one of Babel Entertaiment’s early ventures, they worked on Oni-Con Hawaii, which didn’t turn out so great:
Their Facebook page also had the sporadic posts and updates while leaving people in confusion with not many answers. Seems like they didn’t improve on their social media skills.
What’s sad about this whole ordeal is that there’s probably nothing that can really be done. As long as Taisho x Alice Vol. 1 is listed on E2 Gaming’s website, they had produced and posted a product in which a grant was received to aid in the production of it. Whether that grant was used for the game or not, as long as a product is listed and able to be acquired, JLOP probably can’t do anything about it. I suppose we’ll see if anything happens as time goes on.
The ride doesn’t seem to want to end, my friends. That’s right, more stuff happened, so let’s get to it.
E2 Gaming completely deleted the Facebook post that talks about the game’s release due to the overwhelming negative feedback. If it’s gone, that means it never existed, right? But after being the topic of conversation this week, people won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
To replace the deleted post, they created a brand-new post with new info:
Hoo boy. Taisho x Alice Vol. 2 is apparently on track to be released this summer. But the kicker of this is the following sentence:
Vol 1 sales are are coming in far ahead of expectations due to the large amount of awareness we have received.
Oh dear… I don’t want to think about this, but given everything that has gone on so far, it might be a possibility: they may be looking at the number of times the game has been downloaded as opposed to how many copies have sold. The game’s download link wasn’t even secured properly and could easily be shared without forking over the $30, which of course meant that the number of times that the game was downloaded would be very high. Given the high amount of negative feedback and posts, I highly doubt that a lot of people would support this release.
This post was met with laughter, anger and frustration. Check out the feedback they got:
Yup, people are definitely spreading the word around about this spectacle. And it isn’t the thing they want spread around.
About an hour after that Facebook post was made, our good friend, Shion, posted on his Instagram that he was stocking up on vaping supplies:
Guess he’s gonna be celebrating tonight. However, the celebration is going to be short-lived. Fans had e-mailed Primula about the localization and how poorly it was handled. Matsuri_Kuu on Twitter reported that they got a quick response to their e-mail from Primula. Here’s the gist of it:
- They’re currently checking with E2 Gaming regarding this whole ordeal and apologized for having their users waiting for a response.
- The localization banner was temporarily removed because they needed banner space to promote the Taisho x Alice fandisc,「HEADS & TAILS」, since it was close to the game’s release. It was not due to the whole E2 Gaming saga as we previously thought, though it would be easily to assume that because it happened around the same time of the release of the English ver.
- E2 Gaming NEVER told them about a projected release date for the game. They also didn’t have any sort of communication that would let them know that the game was actually out, so they were unable to promote the localization.
- They will come up with a course of action after looking into this issue.
Here’s the e-mail for reference (Disclaimer: I asked for permission to share the details. As per their wishes, do not repost as your own image):
Primula had NO IDEA the game was even going to be released on the day it did. Seems like we weren’t the only ones that E2 Gaming had poor communication with.
And then comes the grandest moment of them all:
E2 Gaming either deleted their Facebook page or they have hidden so that no one but them can see and access it. This is pretty much THE LAST THING they’d want to do! It makes it seem like they’re going to bail out of this whole thing. This caused an uproar online with fans. Some were laughing hysterically, some were upset and some were very disappointed that they would do something like this.
While some people may be celebrating that their page seems to be no more, here’s a harsh reminder: E2 Gaming got the rights to the PC version of Taisho x Alice, which will probably prevent other publishers from picking up the game to give it the proper care. Ultimately, there was a loss, and that’s the ability to play this game in English. Will it stay that way forever? Probably not, but don’t expect a solution to arise tomorrow morning.
To close off this post (unless more stuff happens, which by GOD, let this ride END already), I’d like to point out how to get the Taisho x Alice games and how to properly support Primula:
You can also find the Vita version in other shops if you know where to get imported games online. Also, the Vita one has all of the four parts, which, if you have a Vita, it’s the way to go. Please, PLEASE, do not download any patch that restores the original voice acting. If you want to play and support the developer, buy the official release of the games. Besides, Taisho x Alice is a BRILLIANT game that Primula has made and they deserve the support.
You’d think this would be the end of it, but here are some minor updates as E2 Gaming croaks its last breath.
On May 14th, the Babel Entertainment Facebook page made the following post detailing that they’re not involved with the localization of Taisho x Alice:
Along with that, the same notification was posted on E2 Gaming’s website:
A bit late on the draw there, E2 Gaming… This information was known for months! Simply saying “it’s not us” this late in the game makes it more apparent that what was claimed was right on the target. After all that was said and done, there’s no way that anyone would believe whatever claim they would have to present at this point.
Then, around late May, they added a bit more info on their disclaimer in their website:
Pay attention to the bolded text:
E2 Gaming licensed the rights from Primula and is solely responsible for the English and Spanish localization. Primula had no involvement in the localization process.
This has several implications that are confirmed with Primula’s e-mail that Matsuri_Kuu previously posted. One, they didn’t contact Primula at all while they were working on the game and two, Primula contacted them a short while ago to get some insight as to what the hell is going on with their game and the lack of care it has gotten. E2 Gaming saying that Primula had no involvement must have been a thing that Primula had asked them to post front and center for all to see.
The only additional line in the website disclaimer is the very interesting line of:
Please direct any questions regarding the localization to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is hilarious, because if you recall from the very first post I’ve made of this madness, THEY NEVER ANSWER THEIR E-MAILS. Has that changed now? I’m too tired to even bother trying anymore.
Here’s a few other gems that previously slipped by me that are worthy of notice:
Even after this trainwreck, our good pal Shion still seems to be persevering working on “localizing” the game… Please, no. There’s nothing else to be done! 😩
Also, here’s a thing that had me in disbelief:
One of the voice actors got an interview on The Morning Blend… about being in Taisho x Alice. …It’s unreal and I can’t even believe this happened. Towards the end of this interview, it turned to his other work and music, so it’s definitely more to promote what he’s doing other than the game itself, but the fact that they used the game so they could do this is… Wow!
Will they bother making any further updates on their website now that their Facebook page is no more? Who knows! Tune in next time, folks.
Until then, goodbye and goodnight!
Never forget this gem of a drawing:
The game has a weird text glitch that pops up sometimes: