Brian Glazebrook Interview

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On June 23rd, 2006, had an interview with Brian Glazebrook who works at Namco Bandai and is localization manager for "Naruto: Ultimate Ninja". Brian's role as localization manager was to to coordinate the overall production necessary to bring the game over to the U.S.

Could you describe the process you went through to bring the game from Japan to the U.S. How long does it usually take?
The process itself is usually pretty simple; however, with licensed titles, it takes longer. Things such as character’s name and moves need to be confirmed with what is used for the anime. Especially with Naruto, since it is still a relatively new anime series.

Do you know why the decision was made to call the game "Ultimate Ninja", instead of "Narutimate Hero", which is what they call it in Japan?
The name change is actually a part of the localization process. While “Narutimate Hero” works well with fans of the series, the casual gamer would have a hard time figuring out the name. We feel that “Ultimate Ninja” is a title that most people would be able to pronounce and get an idea of what the game is about.

Is it true the game will feature 2 new characters not seen in the Japanese release? If so, who are they and how were you able to make them fit in with the rest of the already existing characters?
You will have to play the game to find out! (UPDATE 6/26/2006, Game just Released: Two new characters are included with the game. They are, Curse Marked Sasuke & Nine Tailed Naruto.)

What happens when you run into Japanese words (like dattebayo), or attack names (kage bunshin no jutsu), which can be difficult to translate? Do you also look at VIZ's manga or anime translations to have the game fit in with what's been done before?
Exactly, we work with VIZ Media on naming conventions and terminology that are frequent in the anime. Essentially, we get everything translated and send text to VIZ for their edits and approvals. This way the game will match with the anime.

Can you tell us about what it was like to work with the voice actors? For example, did they need dialect coaching?
The voice actors are all professionals and know their roles well. Furthermore, we used the same studio and directors from the TV show, so everything went extremely smooth.

In Japan Narutimate Hero 2 and 3 are also available. Are you planning on bringing those games to the US? If so, what can you tell us about them?
In regards to part 2 and 3, we will have to wait and see. They are both exceptional (like the first one) games, which I feel fans would be happy with. Stay tuned to find out!

For more information on "NARUTO: Ultimate Ninja", you can head over to our page on the game in the Video Games guide, here.

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