Jan 082013

I was going to review Elminage Original for the site but after playing it for a bit, I just couldn’t take any more.


The game itself seems like a decent enough old-school dungeon crawler, but there are a few major problems that preventing me from enjoying it.

The translation is atrocious. It feels like they did a rough draft over about 80% of the game, didn’t bother to edit it, and then used machine translation to cover the rest. It’ll start sentences in the middle of words from the previous sentence. In the same menu, some of the choices will be capitalized, some will have periods, and some will not. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a translation this bad; maybe the 8-bit era?

Menus & controls are clunky & unintuitive. To talk to stuff in dungeons, you press the Triangle button (what game does that?!). Items & even gold is distributed on a character basis so there’s lot of transferring stuff between characters before you can use it.

Very little in the way of tutorials or guidance. For example, there are several classes and races to choose from and the only way to figure out what they do and their strengths & weaknesses is through trial and error.

It’s REALLY old school. Items all need to be appraised, LVs can only be gained at the inn, D&D style AC, etc.

If it wasn’t for the translation, then I could see fighting past the interface issues if you really like really old-school RPGs with lots of classes & equipment, but this kind of release is completely unacceptable. I’ve played games with problematic translations before, but a translation this bad almost makes the game unplayable and certainly makes it unenjoyable. Do not buy Elminage Original! If you want a dungeon crawler RPG on your PSP, Unchained Blades is rather good & Class of Heroes 2 looks promising (should be out early this year). And if you’ve got a DS or 3DS, you’ve got other good options like the Etrian Odyssey series & Shin Megami series.

 Posted by at 10:59 am

  4 Responses to “Do Not Buy Elminage Original”

  1. The game is patched now, and the translation, races, and other things are fixed. Much better.

  2. While I can completely sympathise and understand to a large extent your complaints, I don’t know that I would go so far as to outright recommend people avoid it. While it’s true that they did a piss-poor job translating the game, the controls are indeed somewhat clunky, and overall the game does little to no hand holding at the start – underneath lies a pretty solid Wizardry style game.
    After spending about 30 hours with it so far, I honestly have had a blast with it and I easily have another 30 to go before completing it. The translation is sadly at it’s worst during character creation and the early part of the game, where you NEED it to be good.. in fact they even got several of the races wrong so that when you are making characters and selecting races, you are in fact not selecting the race you thought you were.
    A quick trip to the boards on Gamefaqs helped me to easily get around this and at this point in the game I have a kickass party that is beheading giants, finding awesome loot, and I even unlocked a new character class by finding and returning the body parts of an animated life size doll to the original owner…

    The game has lots of really original (if uninspired) encounters like that, and I can honestly say that I would have been sad to have missed out on this game, which I almost did after seeing what a shit job they did with the translation.

    Like I said though, this really only affects you in the beginning, you do get used to the controls after a while, and I honestly feel that the adventure is solid and fun. You just have to make the decision to get past the bad bits and begin seeing the good bits. Just my opinion of course. I am a fan of these kinds of games, and of Zeboyd games of course!

    Let’s hope that if UFO does decide to bring the others in the Elminage series over that they spend the effort to get the translation done RIGHT. It would be really, really sad if they killed the chances of that from botching the translation so badly.


  3. Unchained Blades it is then. Just got a PSP a week ago, since I am probably never going to be inclined to get a Vita, and I have some cash on the psn store. Just need a cheaper memory card……

  4. I made the mistake of getting it before reading this. It is very cryptic indeed when it comes to it’s systems, especially with how age affects your characters.

    The translation is pretty bad too, ah well. Good thing I’ve got Strange Journey and Unchained Blades to scratch that particular gaming itch.

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