When Concerned Fans Object: How is Mangagamer possibly Failing Higurashi fans [Must Read]

Mangagamer bringing you the horror in more than one way

News of the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni games being licensed came as one of the best surprises of the year. Being able to have the opportunity of play the original material which the anime version was based on was something fans always wanted. Like many would, I perceived this as a chance to express my gratitude and pay my respects to the author, support those involved and legally purchase the original games. Although, I’m not able purchase every single piece of merchandise out there I do it whenever it’s economically possible to give something back to the author. Be that in manga, games, or any other form of merchandise. I think we can all agree on this on some degree.

For those who aren’t familiar with the title. Let me tell you that Higurashi is a high quality thriller mystery worthy of high praise. The story is engrossing to the point that you’ll lose track of time and soon submerge in this insane most complex world filled with mind screwing situations brought to us by the author Ryukishi07 and 07th Expansion. To most of us who are more familiar with the TV anime version thought that it was rather unfortunate that we were only able play the 1st arc of the game since it was the only one translated (Sonozaki sisters) After seeing what the original game provided and that it also explained the story even more, fans were static to see more of it. Things aren’t so great as you will see.

Possible censoring/modifying – this issue was addressed, like many, in their Mangagamer blog. You can read other comments and posts by from their wordpress blog.

“As you all may know, the issues in Japan following the outcries of this past year have left many companies wary and overcautious when it comes to deciding what constitutes child pornography. With the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada cracking down and restricting content even more, we were no exception. As a company who hopes to offer our products to the entire English speaking world, we originally felt it necessary to take extra precaution to ensure that neither our company nor our customers would face prosecution or other action as a result of our products. This is why we originally felt it was necessary to remove Nanami’s CGs and replace Satoko’s naked sprite with the sprite where she covers herself with a towel. We wanted to ensure the safety of our staff, our consumers, and our ability to continue producing these games.”– Mangagamer

Hell, no. One wants to see Satoko naked but the bigger issue was that Mangagamer was even considering modifying the original game at some point. When this first came out I feared that if they were having issues with that they would start censoring whatever scene they found violent or unsuitable for the readers. It was good to see that they put their foot down and said no. Fortunately, this issue was solved, but the idea of messing with the games wasn’t gone.

You can say goodbye to some of them

– REMOVAL OF BG MUSICWhich was mentioned in their about the release of Higurashi entry.

– Replacement of BGM in some scenes
– Removal of the Music Room
– Removal of the Mini Game
– Removal of the Staff Room

“[..] We sincerely apologize for these differences between our version and the original, however the actual story and elements important to the story still remain just as they were in the originals. As a doujin game, Ryukishi was able to use many songs, characters, and topics without permission for these features, but as an official release we need permission from the copyright holders to use them. Since we couldn’t obtain all the licenses for all of the characters and products featured in these sections, they were unfortunately removed. If we ever have any new updates about these features, I assure you we will make the information available as soon as possible. Again, while these features have unfortunately been removed, aside from the few BGMs which were replaced, the original story and other elements important to the story have not been removed or altered.” – Mangagamers

Due to copyright issues Mangagamer was forced to remove certain BG music. In addition to that they also removed the mini game section found in the original game leading to an incomplete version compared to the Japanese game. I know well that such ‘small’ changes would not terribly affect my personal experience in Hinamizawa, but not everyone agrees with it. There is also a fair amount of dissatisfied and soon-to-be-customers who are mad to see that the version they’re getting isn’t the same as the Japanese one.

As for me, I see that both sides have a point. I’m still terribly disappointed at those who made it harder for us to get the original version and Mangagamer not being able to work something out here.  I’m not particularly thrilled to see that the version we’ll be paying for will be different than the original but I suppose I could live it with it. I rather see Mangagamer release the games than not do it at all. Easy to dismiss? Insignificant in nature? Maybe so. The best of the worst is yet to come.

Okyaku-sama isn’t so happy

No CD copy. Digital only – mentioned in their support page.

It seems that MG isn’t in the habit of providing their loyal customers with a hard copy of the games they bought. Correct me if I’m wrong but this  is what I know so far. Higurashi is no exception to this absurd rule, as fans will not get an original cd of the game they just purchased legally from their company. This just may be the way the MG does things to decrease their work load or some other reasons. I’m no expert therefore, I won’t criticize the reasons behind how the operate, but I do criticize the foolish and absurd decision of not providing the fans with a hard copy of what their customers just purchased. It may sound stupid to those that don’t care about having a hard copy on their hands but I do, like others, care about this simple yet important fact. I think it’s perfectly normal and even expected to own a hard copy of what you just purchased. No matter what they say, nothing is better than having something you can see and touch. Something tangible to take it out, show off, or keep it to yourself whenever you feel like it. To get that feeling that you bought something you own. It’s like comparing a digital copy to a manga book. Sure, you can both read them but the later is just much better for many reasons. Mangagamers fails to provide the customers with this chance. Sadly, the horror doesn’t end here.

I wish they were lying, Rena

Less than perfect. Possibly bordering awful translation.

After the fans being partially dissatisfied with Mangagamer not keeping their promises by changing the release days, they came through and released the games. The enthusiasm massively quieted down when the fans who purchased the first batch of  4 games (questions arcs) were treated to a extremely poor translation. At first I was sure they were exaggerating and blowing things out of proportion after seeing a couple of mistakes. I went to check MG forums and found posts relating to the English translation and found mutual disapproval on the work they did. Grammatical mistakes, typos, poor tense agreement are to name a few, what I found. MG even previously had a Bug report post in their forum. After seeing that I figured that their final product was going to be much improved version. Sadly, for what I’ve heard this isn’t the case AT ALL. I was more than dissatisfied upon hearing that what I was planning on purchasing was going to be less perfect and will most likely fatally disrupt my reading. Higurashi a story which main selling point is the reading part in addition to the background music. It couldn’t be any more anticlimactic to see that you have to make up what they meant to say and try guessing what they probably meant. Fans, to be more specific customers, shouldn’t have to do this at all. Everyone makes mistakes every now and then. Fatigue, English being a second language, being pressured to finish up already, and among factors are what could’ve led to a less than perfect English translation. However, for the looks of it, Mangagamer’s proofreader team seem like either just skimped right through the material, was half sleep, or very bad and long day. Sure, it’s humanly normal to err but none of us get paid to do their jobs. I could understand fan translations like The Witch-Hunt to make mistakes since they are free but this? Witch-Hunt’s translation are great with few mistakes. Having played Umineko VN 1-5 I can vouch for them and say that I have never been dissatisfied with their work. They’re extremely polished and they put great effort into their work. I expected companies to at least be at that level but MG isn’t coming even close for what I hear.

Fans expected an almost flawless English translation but instead they got robbed and got a poorly made translation with errors in almost every page. Mistakes that could’ve been easily been corrected if the people in charge would’ve put more effort or taken their jobs more seriously and made sure the fans would get, without a doubt, their money worth. For the price customers will be paying for the Higurashi games this is unacceptable. I don’t have the pleasure of experiencing this as of yet since I haven’t played MG’s version yet but… Way to ruin the moment! I don’t have as much of an problem with the rest but for god’s sake you should’ve gotten at least that one right. The goal is the catch the culprit in the game not huge glimpses of abominable incompetence. It would’ve been better if they would’ve worked  harder on them even if it meant delaying the games. People expected quality and you aren’t giving it to them. Of course, anyone would not be happy.

– Fair? Extremely overpriced? – Questionable Prices – With the release of 1st Answer arc Meakashi-hen, this hit the fans in the face with force of a baseball bat.

Question Arcs 1-4: $36.95 EUR = $51.21 USD, $57.64 AUD
Question Arcs (per arc): 9.23 EUR = 12.79 USD, 14.39 AUD

Answer Arc 5 (per arc): $19.95 EUR = $27.65 USD, $31.12 AUD
Answer Arcs 5-8: $79.80 EUR = $110.60 USD, $124.49 AUD

Hopefully, your jaw hasn’t dropped to the ground. All of these slips up by MG could’ve been partially ignored or at least be bearable if the price was reasonable enough for the less than perfect job they did. The Question Arcs 1-4: have a price of $36.95 EUR ($51.21 USD) At first, I wasn’t that thrilled with the price seeing that the I’d be basically paying for the remaining 3 arcs since the 1st game is legally free for download at 07th Expansion page thanks to the kind creators of the game. And in case you thought, it’s not possible to purchase the Question arcs individually unlike the original version. Anyhow, like a good sport I sucked it up because I was just glad that there was someone bringing us the translated version of the games I thought I’d never be get to play in a very long time. I did because I knew that Higurashi was worth it and I wanted to support the company that was bringing it to the fans. I had already planned on purchasing the game no matter what the price (within the reasonable scope of course) so the bigger question was going to be how much eventually all of it was going to cost. Then things turned just plain ugly with the release of the 2nd batch of games, the answer arcs better known as Higurashi Kai (TV 2nd season) and MG questionable prices. Unlike the answers arcs, Mangagamers will be selling Kai individually at a price of more than twice than the question arcs!

– Comments of disappointed fans

“I can’t say I’m not pretty disappointed. I mean, look, I want to buy the answer arcs. Higurashi’s one of my favorite series. But the first arc was already pretty much at the top of my budget range at $50 (which is, by the way, more than I am willing to pay for an 80+ hour videogame, so frankly, I found it overpriced even then), but I’m just not willing to pay over a hundred dollars for the answer arcs. Period. I sympathize with your development costs, and the fact that you’re trying to recoup them off a currently very small market, but you’re quite simply pricing it out of my, and many other people’s range.

Frankly, at this point I’m regretting buying the first arc and am actively recommending my friends against getting into the games at least until you guys have finished releasing them, especially as you’ve been consistently overpromising and underdelivering. (Wasn’t the first release supposed to come out two months earlier? And contain the minigames and perhaps even the original music, considering it’s, you know, a sound novel?) Again, I sympathize with your problems with the content and your need to recoup your development costs, but after a certain point, it just doesn’t matter. I can buy 5 hardbacks for the price of Higurashi at this point. 17 paperbacks. A cheap ebook reader. Between 4-16 used games. A hundred bucks wouldn’t have thrilled me as the price of the whole series, but I would have dealt. But I’m not willing to pay over a hundred dollars just for the second half. I’m disappointed, because I was looking forward to it, and I refuse to pirate, but as much as I want to, I’m just not willing to spend over double what I was expecting to for the second half. Sorry dudes, but unless you lower the price dramatically (as I’m half expecting you to do once they’re all out and have been for a bit, but frankly, you haven’t struck me as competent enough for me to say for sure), you just lost a customer. And I very highly doubt I’ll be the only one.” – disappointed fan

“Dear Mangagamer,

I am reading a book at the moment; it is the third in a series. It has many chapters, which in turn make up the five divided parts of the novella. If I had to pay the same amount for the novel split into five I would see this as entirely acceptable. However if I had to pay a premium for the five parts, which in their entirety added up to much more than should be expected, I would as a consumer, despite my love for the story; decline to purchase. Why? Because as a lover of books I would weigh the worth of the book versus the other books I might buy instead and see that I could buy two or three books from other authors I likewise enjoy.

This would result in me not purchasing the book. I would not be contributing to the publisher or the author. Furthermore I would be bitter about the fact that an author/publishing house I respected had made their product unobtainable to me unless I submitted to their price gouging. It would especially sting considering the fact that I had obtained the first two books in the series for a much lower and reasonable cost, anticipating the same with further chronicles.

I hope the Mangagamer staff can understand what I am trying to say with this analogy, I would like to support you; I only ask that you make this possible. I acknowledge that the second part of the series is 1.5 times the length of the original four. Therefore I suggest lowering your pricing to 13.99 EUR, which is just slightly more than 1.5 times the price per arc of the original series.

I would consider this an acceptable price. After the four arcs are released this would amount to an overall price of 55.96, compared to the original first four arc release at 36.95. This is roughly 19 EUR more than the questions arc. As an Australian that means I would need to pay $88 dollars for your four releases, which is at the very upper limit of my consideration. After all I could purchase 2 new release games for that price (If I had the consoles), 4-5 brand new books, 6 music cds or about 15 decent second-hand books.

At the current pricing of 79.80 EUR (124.50 AUD) I can pretty much guarantee that myself and many other Australians will not consider purchasing. At 110.60 USD, the citizens of the United States will probably likewise declined to buy your product. All countries outside the EU and England will consider your pricing structure prohibitive and/or excessive. If Mangagamer wishes to succeed you need to be mindful of your consumers, their needs and their limited income (which they can spend on many other things besides you product).

I do not wish to see your company disappear like Hiremeki or Himeya Soft. Best of luck regardless of what you choose to do, I hope your business does well and you continue to release quality titles. I just hope myself and other fans will be able to afford them.” – another disappointed customer.

Bad end?

As you’ve seen the outcry of the fans is obvious and understandable. Both of those well made comments above cover up just about everything fans of the series are feeling. Not everyone is going to be able to afford these games. There’s those who can easily drop a few hundreds like it’s nothing but not everyone can. First of all, not everyone has a job or is able to afford all the games for such prices. When was the last time you spend more than a 100$ for a few games anyway? What about those fans who thought they were going to be able to legally purchase the game? Do we just tell them ‘no’ just because Mangagamer’s price were too high and practically force the fans to pirate even though they wanted to get them legally? Or like the one of the comments above just refuse to play them altogether? That’s just not fair.

Part of me can’t help but feel Mangagamer are screwing fans over because they know they’re the only who are going to have all games translated. The other part still believes that it’s right to support them regardless what I think of the price. Mangagamer claims that localization, translation, among other factors fans aren’t aware of,  is what determines the prices for the games which I think must be partially true. In my personal opinion, the price of the Answer arcs are extremely high seeing that we’re getting the same number of games. It hasn’t been fully confirmed yet but it’s more than safe to assume that the Kai arcs will not contain past EPs therefore we’ll be paying for what we see. I know Kai is longer than the question arcs but doubling the price for them just doesn’t sit right with me. I thought that I was going to be able see the whole story through after having watched the anime but it might not be the case after all. I thought that Mangagamer was a competent and thoughtful company after seeing their Higurashi give away last year and more after knowing that they created a blog to keep in touch with their customers but I’m starting to think this isn’t the case.

I think that regardless of the price fans would gotten somehow over it if the quality of the product was top notch but this is far from the case as we can see, but add the overpriced price we’ll be paying to the less than perfect English translation and we have a bomb ready to go off. Despite MG’s less than perfect version I am still going to be purchasing the question arcs at some point seeing that we won’t be getting an English patch very soon but I won’t be looking forward to MG’s version as much as I wanted after hearing of all this. The Sonozaki Sisters did a perfect job with the 1st arc but realistically speaking, it’s going to take them A LOT of time to translate the rest of the games.  It’ s not like I don’t understand Mangagamer’s side at all but they’re doing a very poor job in bringing the Higurashi games to us that it’s very difficult to be more understandable of their situation. In the end they are the ones who decide whether fans might be forced to pass on the Kai arcs or the entire games. It’ll be bad if the fans decide to support the original author in some other way such as importing the original games, ignore Mangagamer and wait for a better done fan translation. If Mangagamer doesn’t revise their strategies and work something out like improving the existing translation (patch) and lowering the prices of the games, this might not end too well. Some fans already feel like they’re treated like crap by companies. Let’s not give them any more ideas. I hope that Mangagamer works something out so fans aren’t robbed of the chance of playing the original games and at the same time of showing their support for the author, otherwise they will be looking at one displeased crowd.

You’re probably already looking at one.

—————–

Problems, solutions, opinions, concerns? Read their side of the story along with other responses at Mangagamer’s respective Blog and forum.

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25 thoughts on “When Concerned Fans Object: How is Mangagamer possibly Failing Higurashi fans [Must Read]

  1. People have edited the question arc to hell and back in order to let people have the game the way it should be, or want it to be in the case of putting in the sprites from the PS2 version. Some are even completely reworking the script. Can’t remember how far along that is though.

    • I’ve heard of these PS2 versions too. I believe they have also or are working on the BGM that GM had to removed due to copy rights. It might be a nice alternative for those who chose the ps2 versions.

  2. Let’s be fair here – the question arcs are shorter than answer arcs, ESPECIALLY the fourth one.

  3. Regarding the lack of a physical copy, there are two problems I see that prevent that from happening. One is that in order to have physical copies, MangaGamer would need physical storage and staff to handle the shipment of orders, and as they are officially based in Europe, shipping would also be ridiculously expensive for people living in the US. From the looks of it, the European “company” is simply a shell, and all the work happens elsewhere, be it in Japan for the main staff or in various places for the translation contract jobs.

    The second and more important issue is that MangaGamer simply doesn’t have enough volume for their games. To realistically sell pressed CDs/DVDs of their games, they would need to be able to move 1000 units per game (the typical minimum print run) at the minimum. So far, this does not seem to be the case. One might think that it is a translation quality issue, and that probably accounts for some of the missing sales, but my gut feeling is that the bigger problem is that the (buying) market for these games simply isn’t big enough. JAST USA, a well-established player who sells similar types of games with erotic content, sometimes has a hard time selling their initial print runs, but they are financially fine, since they also have J-List revenue to buffer on.

    • There’s many negative factors working against these games due to many restrictions and other things that will apart some Higurashi fan for one reason or another. As for me the biggest issue is the translation part which for what I’ve heard leaves much to be desire. My second biggest concern is the cost issue which can work for some and not for others. In both of these I’m not alone but I’m sure everyone has a different take on the latter. I’m not overly familiar with MG before Higurashi came along, which it’s practically the reason I got interested in them so the information you provided is much helpful.

      There’s that Mangagamer isn’t such a big company. As a company I’m sure they need the money to continue to bring more games. That’s understandable from a business standpoint. I don’t agree with MG but I still wouldn’t want them to disappear since, for one thing, the English market for these games isn’t so big and I’d like to more sound novels become more accessible to non-Japanese speaking fans like myself.

      • I suggest that you actually try MG’s release before criticizing it. Just going with “I’ve heard that translation is bad, thus it has to be” makes you seem more than a bit arrogant.
        Question arcs are reasonably priced so you shouldn’t have anything against buying them, right?

        • I already mentioned I would buy them in the post. As for the rest, that’s why the title is includes the word ‘possibly’. It’s meant to gather opinions of others who have already played the games and thoughts on how MG’s decisions are affecting other fans. I have all intentions of playing the original games, of course.

          The readers can always to follow MG’s side of the story in case they’re interested clicking the links provided and form their final opinions since I’m sure everyone’s got an opinion.

  4. “First of all, not everyone has a job or is able to afford all the games for such prices. When was the last time you spend more than a 100$ for a few games anymore?”
    I recently bought Mass Effect 2, and that cost me 60 euros. I hear US price is about 50 dollars(the price difference between continents doesn’t matter here). And ME2 is probably around 40 hours worth of gameplay. There are very few games these days that go over that lenght and the ones that do are RPGs that require countless hours of grinding. This means that person who wrote following has very strange tastes.
    “But the first arc was already pretty much at the top of my budget range at $50 (which is, by the way, more than I am willing to pay for an 80+ hour videogame, so frankly, I found it overpriced even then)”
    I dare you to find a game (that isn’t RPG) with length of 80+ hours and that costs just 50 dollars new.
    If you buy just two new games in a month, that’s already around MG’s price for entire Kai. And you’re paying that in span of four months.

    Let’s look into other stuff you might end up spending money to.
    Volume of manga can cost more than 8 dollars(they’re priced around 4-6 euros here) and if person follows four series that’s 32 dollars in month. Reading one volume will take less than an hour unless your reading speed is very slow. But for fairness’ sake, let’s say that’s 4 hours of entertainment.
    One music CD can cost about 20 dollars if you buy it new. Most albums don’t go over one hour in length, and the ones that do are priced much higher.
    DVD or Bluray can easily be around 20 dollars. That’s three or four hours, depending on length and extras they put in.
    One book with about 500kb(like Discworld novels) of text can easily cost 20 dollars. For comparison’s sake, on average one part of Kai is around 800kb. But this is not working comparison since on visual novels there’s also visuals, engine and music. You’re not paying for text alone.

    Kai is more than 1.5 longer than Question Arcs, and it has music arranged by Dai. When you put everything to perspective, whining about the price is silly.

    • Be that as it may, while the cost issue might be reasonable to some, it isn’t to others. That issue is only emphasized (at least for me) when Mangagamer shows us that their final version isn’t exactly what we thought it would be. Add that on the top of the issues already mentioned above and well, we get these responses.

      The price isn’t as much of an issue. It’s actually my second concern here. What I worry about the most is the lack of quality that of the translation since demonstrates that Mangagamers should’ve work harder on it to deliver a top-notch final product. If they need more time they should’ve wait until they get it right rather than rushing into things. Good things come for those who wait. It’ll be nice to see that everyone is getting their money’s worth.

      As for the price, it depends on the people who buy them so that’s why it’s debatable. Basically, it just means that less fans will be able to afford them thus Mangagamers will have less customers and less fans will be able to play the original games.

      • The translation itself is fine, it’s the quality control that’s lacking, thought that only shows up through some typos and few cases of awkward wordning, not once did I have a problem with understanding what translation meant.
        And even with those errors their translation is about on level with other commercial VN releases.

  5. I know, right :/? It’s so much cheaper to import the Japanese physical copies of all three compilations than it is to buy MangaGamer’s TL, and since my Japanese reading knowledge is sufficient enough to facilitate reading slowly with a dictionary, I figured the slight loss in comprehension and the extra required time was worth what will be $100+ in final savings ($70 vs your calculated ~$160 + whatever Rei will cost). Yes, that $70 includes shipping (although I used AmiAmi, which ended up being cheaper than the more oft-linked Himeya).

    I hate not supporting the English VN industry, but when they pull bullshit like this…ugh. I can kind of understand why their release might have to be more expensive than the original Japanese release, but randomly deciding to release the answer arcs one at a time and at a RIDICULOUS mark-up just doesn’t fly. If the answer arcs were all together and at a slight mark-up (or released in parts at a price that adds up to a slight mark-up), I’d understand, for the reasons people pointed out – length, actual music, etc. After all the Japanese complete release jumped from 1575 to 2100 yen from the question arcs to the answer arcs. But a 40 euro jump, and “hidden” in installments like that? You’ve gotta be kidding me.

    Few fair points you have to consider, yadda yadda – their prices ARE in euros (which sucks for most Americans thanks to the stupid weak dollar), and that’s not something they can help, I suppose (aren’t they technically in the Netherlands or something?). And as somebody pointed out they can’t handle physical copies. But if those were the only issues though I doubt anybody would have too many complaints.

    • Lucky you. Most of us will be stuck with Mangagamer’s version if we wish to read the novels. To make matter worse if I want an actual copy of the games I’d have to import the Japanese games which I felt I really shouldn’t since I’d already be purchasing the MG’s version. Yeah, there’s that issue that they can’t handle them. It’s understandable but it’s like not I’m supposed to like it anymore than I do.

      Mainly the reason I still plan on purchasing MG’s version is because a) I want to play the games of course b) I want to support the original author and legally purchase the game (which I could still do buying the Japanese version instead) problem would be not understanding what I’m reading thus the need for MG’s version c) I wanted to support the English VN industry like many since it isn’t the biggest. Sadly, MG is making it hard for some fans to do so thus problems. Euros suck if you don’t live in EU. End of story. I was looking at the Higurashi prices then I realized it was € what I was looking at. I knew that not everyone would be pleased.

      It’ll be good move if they’d make an special offer for both Q and A arcs to appease some fans. Oh, I totally forgot about REI. +€

  6. I’ll probably pass on this for a while. I can’t really pull out 80 Euro – 110 dollars out of nowhere, especially with the conversion to the currency of my country. Seeing that amount of money, for something whose quality is not the best, makes me cringe. I’d probably use that money to buy 2 “old” RPGs that can even double the amount of time spent. Because at least I can expect good quality from those.

    I do plan on buying them, eventually. I don’t mind waiting. I do mind paying a lot for not really good work. If the release had fewer problems, I’d take my time, but still buy it. After all, it’d be worth it.
    But paying a lot for something that has problems or that doesn’t balance out the price because of the quality is a huge deal for me and makes me want to stab my eye.

    “Good things come for those who wait.”
    I’m really hoping for that end. Until then, Mangagamer is not getting the money I got from selling my kidney. Figuratively speaking.

    • This is a valid point that goes beyond ‘the price is fair for me.’ The English version that is being released is not only limited to the US but to the World, to be more precise to those who are knowledgeable in the English language. Like in many cases it’ll take years (if ever) to get a version in everyone’s language (I know they released a French version) so this version is the one that most non-Japanese fans will have to pick up if they wish to play the original games. That being the case, the price the fans will actually spend will change based on the currency of the country they live in of course. We can’t just assume that a couple hundreds is pocket change for everyone. To some the price is fair, to others it’s ridiculous. It can’t be helped since it depends in what place of the world the fan lives in.

      Higurashi is a great title no doubt about that. However, priorities trump others, therefore some fans may ultimately decide to postpone buying the original games until they can afford it or see fit to do so, which can’t be helped. Like I said, hopefully something good does happen in the end. *crosses fingers*

  7. Sigh I think I’ll just have to buy them regardless. The story is really good.

  8. Oh wow, 36.95 Euros?. I was hesitant when I thought it was 36.95 USD, but Euros. Wow, that’s really pricey. Not to mention the 20 Euro a piece answer arcs. It seems like for that money:
    a.) they absolutely could’ve pressed and printed physical versions, even a small run
    b.) they could’ve replaced the original music that had to pulled because of copyright issues with something similar in its place

    The price is tough to swallow and is gonna cause me to at least delay buying the game until a future price cut (I hope).

    • I really wish that they would provide physical versions but I suppose that it cannot be helped, even though the high price should ensure us that we at least get that. BGM being taken out was something that they had to do but they should’ve done something else about it. If that was the least of our worries I think it’d be ok. But seeing it isn’t, the negative factors keeps adding up.

      “The price is tough to swallow and is gonna cause me to at least delay buying the game until a future price cut (I hope)” I think most of us are in a similar boat on this.

  9. Heh… I must be one of the lucky ones. My friend owned all the arcs of the games. He let me install them… But, they are in Japanese. I suppose I will play them the same way as Umineko EP6, with computer translation. There’s no way I am spending all that money on a few incomplete, crappy, English translations of part of a game. I was looking very forward to this, for I had all the arcs for the past 2 years, unable to play them. I am disappoint…

    • Do computer translation work well? I’d probably be interested if that were the case. Here I am waiting for Witch-Hunt to finish EP6. It’s going to take a looong time for what I can see. I’ll just have to sit patiently until they release it.

      • Computer translations are choppy, and don’t work the best. Some names don’t always work out, but they can be fixed to the regular names. But it can be worked with and you can understand the general storyline. But real translations are much better, I am cheap guy who has almost no money, so I do whatever is usually free.

        • Hmm. That doesn’t sound as bad as I thought. I may look into it in the future. Maybe not for Umineko since it’s crucial to know exactly what the’re saying but for others games where there shouldn’t be much of an issue.

  10. Yeah, because of all the logic and mystery terms that most people will not be familiar with, I would argue against using computer translation for Umineko. I mean, Higurashi might be okay (kind of), but Umineko has a lot of meta in it, so, if you have problems understanding the arguments people are throwing back and forth…

    Anyway, I’m playing through mangagamer’s version of Watanagashi-hen, so I can comment on the translation: It’s not that bad. I’m a complete grammar nazi, so subject verb agreement or verb tense mistakes really annoy me, but I’m not finding it that bad in their version so far. I remember someone saying once that there’s like 100 mistakes every 3 or 4 pages…yeah, that person’s either a liar, or on crack, cause it’s no where near that much.

    I do agree that for an official release, they should definitely not have been so careless to have as many mistakes as they do (as you mentioned, Witch Hunt and the Sonozaki Sisters were almost flawless in their translations, and they AREN’T charging people for it). But, it’s not nearly as bad as people are saying. I think it’s more outrage that they paid for something with mistakes in it that is prompting people to act as if the sky were falling.

    Also, I’m not really sure why people are blaming Mangagamer for the music issue. It’s not as if Mangagamer decided on a whim that they would just not use certain tracks to screw people over–they just couldn’t get the copyrights, and yet people are blaming Mangagamer for this.

    I’ve even seen some people complaning about the graphics and saying Mangagamer should have used the graphics from the PS2 release! WTF people!?

    Anyway, the whole issue annoys me, because my Japanese is good enough that I watched both live action movies in Japanese with no subtitles and understood it, but my reading ability is poor enough that after about 3 pages of Meakashi-hen in Japanese, I gave up, lol (though interestingly enough, I was fine reading through the first two volumes of Minagoroshi-hen’s manga…maybe it’s cause the VNs are literally like walls of text…also they’re more like real novels, whereas the manga is mostly dialogue and conversational…). So it’s really annoying for me, where I could probably understand it if there were voice acting, but since there isn’t, I have to rely on mangagamer’s less than perfect release.

    But honestly, the only people who would even know anything’s missing are the ones who’ve played the JPN version anyway. Aside from the completely readable if sometimes slightly annoying translation, mangagamer’s version is completely enjoyable as it is.

  11. I think I’ll just pick up the Japanese version and get a pirated version of MG’s release of the answer arcs. Not that I have anything against MG personally, but I have put up with companies charging for crappy translations/localizations (mostly manga) all my life. When compared to the fans who release the same manga not only faster(at times) but with MUCH better overall quality, it is all just inane, even the paper it’s printed on is of such crappy quality..
    There are times when I really feel like screaming into the faces of these people “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!!?” but well, I digress, my problem rarely lies with price, as I have bought products that are overpriced before but in compensation the quality and service has always been excellent. True I cannot always afford the things I want, but I do not mind paying more if what I get in return is that much better.

    The ironic thing in all of this (not talking about MG specifically, just things like this in general) is that if someone chooses to pirate the copies, or get them through some other method, their actions would be considered illegal and they would be considered criminals or worse, un-sportive of the original creators. Yet the ones who offer sub-par to quite literally shit encrusted copies of it and have the nerve to charge, better yet, over-charge and expect people to pay are actually protected by the law.
    I have long since lost faith in society and humanity, the amount of crap that litters our “world” is suffocating and maddening. So while I have no personal dislike of Mangagamer, I cannot help but feel scorn towards them.

    And before anyone asks, I have played the game, yes the translations are not that bad, yes it is understandable. The problem is that while reading, far to often I had to stop and go “what the heck?” and spend a few seconds figuring out what that sentence or paragraph was trying to say. That just spoils the immersion, and that is an important aspect of VNs and similar forms of media. The only time I expect to pause to think while reading barring outside influences is when I am trying to piece together something in a mystery or when I am reading something from Lovecraft.

    • That’s odd, because although I’m not finished with it yet, I haven’t come across a single sentence where I had to figure out what was being said. Not even once. I’ve never had a problem understanding what was going on, I never had to reread anything to find out what they were trying to say. Not one single time.

      The only thing breaking the immersion for me are the occasional spelling/grammar errors–but they haven’t even almost impeded comprehension so far. There hasn’t even been a single time where I could point at a sentence and be like “Someone might have trouble understanding that part because of the way they phrased it.”

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