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Rune Factory 5 has technically been around for a year, but only in Japan. But just this week, the game made its debut in North America and Europe thanks to the localization efforts of XSEED.

John Wheeler, Lori Snyder, and Katherine Sargent are some of the key people behind Rune Factory 5’s English version as they contributed to the project as the localization manager, assistant localization manager, and localization editor respectively. Recently, we were able to catch up with them to talk more about their work. You can read our full discussion below for insight into the localization of Rune Factory 5.

With more and more companies around the world from a variety of backgrounds, philosophies, and talents merging and being bought up, making sure content offerings are plentiful while still remaining strategically available and accessible is becoming more and more important. Since 2020, the pandemic has completely changed the way we consume media on just about every platform and device available, whether it’s your Kindle, smart TV, mobile device, Xbox, or just about anything that has a screen on it these days. Formerly closed and proprietary devices such as Xbox, for example, have gone on to create their own Xbox Game Pass subscription service that has been wildly successful, seeing millions of active users and subscribers each month not only on Xbox devices, but allowing games available on the service to be played outside of the console as well. The Xbox experience has become more accessible than ever, and it’s through this strategy that is allowing Microsoft to pave the way forward for innovation within games distribution and consumption without borders.

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This week, Nintendo dropped a new Switch firmware update with significant functionality. Version 14.0.0 has introduced something called groups, which is a way for system owners to organize their games and other content on the home menu. It’s the closest thing we have to folders at the moment.

With groups, you can organize things in pretty much any way you’d like. Some are choosing to create them based on their favorite games, different games in a particular franchise, and more.

We’re curious to see how you’ve arranged your groups, so feel free to share screenshots below. You can also tell us about by writing a comment.

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System: Switch
Release date: March 22, 2022
Developer: Hakama
Publisher: XSEED Games / Marvelous

The producer of the Rune Factory franchise, Yoshifumi Hashimoto, once summarized the games as “Harvest Moon where you wield a sword.” And while that’s technically true, it’s a bit reductive; not content in being merely another set of farming-focused slice of life experiences, the Rune Factory games lean deeper into the “role-playing” aspects of their fantasy settings, giving you more room to explore, fight, craft and shape your experience to your liking then Harvest Moon ever has. Rune Factory 5 is the first 3D entry in the franchise since 2011’s Tides of Destiny, and thus feels primed to capture the attention of more new fans than ever before. While this new entry may lack the overall polish in its mechanics and presentation that it deserves, Rune Factory 5 is still an overall rewarding experience full of charm that I thoroughly enjoyed.

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the newest installment in the long-running LEGO series. Recently as part of a press preview, I had the opportunity to watch more than 40 minutes of gameplay for the title ahead of its launch and I came away quite impressed.

The game appears to be a departure from the classic LEGO formula. New layers of complexity are added to the gameplay, making the whole experience feel more engaging and truly different from past games in the series. You can check out my full impressions and the gameplay footage in the video down below.

System: Switch
Release date: March 4, 2022
Developer: Square Enix / Artdink
Publisher: Square Enix

Square Enix’s Team Asano has been a force to be reckoned with on Switch. Their debut on the system, Octopath Traveler, was a showpiece at the first real Switch blowout in January 2017 and released the following year to great acclaim. Returning to the glory of their 3DS days, the highly requested Bravely Default 2 came out just last year. Now the third entry in the team’s Switch JRPG trifecta returns to Octopath’s HD-2D style, but delivers gameplay so different that it might as well be considered a different genre. That certainly doesn’t hold it back however: different as it is, Triangle Strategy is a tremendous overall package and possibly Team Asano’s finest work yet.

It’s crazy to think that after five years, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has started to receive some major content. Nintendo kicked off the game’s brand new Booster Course Pass this week. Two cups – with four tracks each – were added a day or so go. The fun doesn’t stop there, as we’ll be getting seven more waves by the end of 2023. With 48 remastered tracks coming to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in total, needless to say there’s a lot to look forward to.

With the first wave of the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass DLC having been dropped, how many of you have given the new tracks a shot? What are your thoughts? Which courses do you personally want to see added in the future? Let us know in the comments below.

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System: Switch
Release date: March 18, 2022
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has sold roughly a bajillion copies since it launched on Switch back in 2017 (and that’s on top of the sales of the original Wii U version), so I had been hoping for years that the game would receive some new content at some point in its life, but it was never a guarantee. Finally, though, that moment is here: this week marks the arrival of eight new courses in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, as part of a new DLC pack that Nintendo promises will eventually result in 48 (!) new courses being added to the game by the end of 2023. So how do the new tracks fare so far – and will these new courses be enough to get the community excited about Mario Kart again?

System: Switch
Release date: March 15, 2022
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher: NIS America

Long ago, a heroic man had a great battle with the tyrannical dragon king – but rather than slay his foe, the hero found a way to sever the demonic energy corrupting the king, allowing him to live on. Now kind and just, the dragon king watches over the hero’s daughter, raising her on stories of her father’s conquests and supporting her dream of becoming a great hero one day, herself. What adventures await little Yuu?

System: Switch
Release date: March 15, 2022
Developer: Mages
Publisher: Rocket Panda Games

Phantom Break: Omnia comes at a time when I believe there’s a resurgence of fighting games that not only revel in creativity and content, but take pride in bringing in a wider audience as to not feel left out. This doesn’t just mean making it easier to button mash – because accessibility does not equate to that – but the combos themselves and the understanding of the inputs have become streamlined and much more logical. Now with Phantom Breaker: Omnia, the game thankfully finds an incredible sweet spot of keeping things equal parts fun and approachable for all sorts of players while still retaining that exhilarating feeling and rush for those that want to excel in their style and focus on more ranked, competitive play.

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