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Just Why Is La-Mulana Taking So Long?

Posted by James Newton

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La-Mulana on WiiWare: it's not a myth, it's a real thing. Despite believing the game would be out months — if not years — ago, we're still waiting on the adventure game here, even with its recent appearance in Japan. What's the hold up? It seems the game has fallen foul of the ratings boards here in the West, according to the most recent developer blog.

The game has been passed by the ESRB, PEGI and OFLC, but apparently the German ratings board USK hasn't been in contact with the developer for months, and it's this that's causing the delay. As Nigoro is shooting for a global release as close to simultaneous as possible, that means North America, Australia and the rest of Europe must wait until USK gets its act together and rates the game.


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User Comments (48)



MasterGraveheart said: ratings board is keeping the game from EVERYONE?!

Call the Angry Video Game Nerd, I don't have enough profanities to explain my feelings about that frustrating bit...



Omega said:

Give the USK the fault. It's so easy. Why don't other developers have these problems with the USK?



x10power said:

Arg Germans they ruin all of my fault. Wait this is the first time I know they cause me any trouble. This is one the only one game I am looking towards to get from Wiiware.



WiiLovePeace said:

Ah, so that's why? Lame. I've been wondering where La-Mulana was for ages but at least now I know, even if the reason is just plain stupid.



OverlordMao said:

Huh!? That's what's causing the delay? I'm glad they're being cool and trying to release it as close to other countries as possible but...come on, USK, you're holding us back!



Vinsanity said:

That's stupid. I mean, it's noble to shoot for an international release, but not AT THE EXPENSE AT GETTING THE GAME TO PEOPLE!!! No one's even playing Wii anymore. They shouldn't have held this thing up past January or February. I'm not going to dust off my Wii - literally, it's in the den right now, unplugged - and jump through Nintendo's stupid Wii Points system and "put in your address every time" nonsense. You're dead to me La Mulana. Congratulations.

The moment they gave up on their international release idea was when they dropped it in Japan. They should abandon this idea officially and get it out everywhere else now. Screw Germany (sorry guys). But c'mon. You're not gonna sell very well anyway. But you better do something soon.



Bankai said:

What a stupid excuse. There are heaps of games on the other two consoles - PlayStation and Xbox, that get releases in Europe and Australia that are just not sold in Germany.

So no this is not a valid excuse. Either the developer, or Nintendo, is doing something very silly here.



tinman said:

From the USK website:


System: Nintendo Wii
Genre: Rollenspiel / actionorientiert
[RPG / Action RPG]

Publisher: Nicalis, Inc.

Altersfreigabe: Freigegeben ab 12 Jahren gemäß § 14 JuSchG
[12 years and up]

Prüfdatum [date of approval]: 24.11.2010

USK Nr.: 29469/10

Sprache: englisch

(Stuff in [] added by me.)



Omega said:

Why do I have the feeling the developer is not telling the whole truth? And Cave Story took forever too. Was this also the fault of the USK? Or was this due to cosmic radiation?



Burny said:

@tinman Yes, it certainly appears to have a rating. Don't know either what would prevent them from releasing it...

If anyone wants to verify: This is USK's the search page for rated titles. It's in German, but you'll find the rating by entering "La-Mulana" into the search form on the right side.



James said:

As that rating is from November 2010 and Nigoro hasn't heard from the USK for two months, I wonder if there was a problem with the original rating, or the game is sufficiently different to warrant re-rating? Interesting situation though...



theblackdragon said:

@tinman: thanks for that, i see what's holding the game up now: "Publisher: Nicalis, Inc."

... lol. in all seriousness, though, not holding my breath for it, that's for damn sure. it'll hit when it hits :3



sgotsch said:

Irony that I didnt hear about the game til now. :>

Whats up with these people dont wanting our money for Games, by just not releasing them? oO



HugoSmits said:

this is a real mess. It happend with Flipper as well. You can't really blame the developer. They basically NEED to release everything at the same time because of the LOTcheck system at Nintendo.

If you enter lotcheck without the german rating, you need to apply for a seperated lotcheck once you get the german rating. Even though this doesn't change anything to the game binary rom, the whole process has to be repeated (game testing,etc). Which can take up quite some time with a big game like this.



Bankai said:

So, it's Nintendo that's doing something very silly here.

Really sucks to be an indie dealing with those guys.



PALgamer said:

It's USK that only lets Tivola release all those learning German titles on WW and DSiW. When the world has no other games to play, we are all forced to learn German. Danke!



sykotek said:

My initial reaction to this was to propose the first solution to this issue that came to mind.

"Just don't release it in Germany, that'll teach them."

After writing my sentence though, it dawned one me how screwed up it would be to write something like that. It's not German gamer's faults that La-Mulana is delayed and they certainly shouldn't be the ones punished here.

So, here's my solution:
Germans gamers, if you please... help us contact the ratings board involved in this delay and tell them to please hurry up.

Ein herzliches Dankeschön - The rest of the world.



tinman said:

I contacted the USK via e-mail and Christine Schulz (head of their examination department) replied as follows:

"The legally binding [as in: ready for sale] approval process for the game [La-Mulana] under that very USK number was finished by November 24th by approving the game. Therefore it's all done as far as we can say. There's no new situation causing a hold-up from our side."

Press contact:
Christine Schulz:

[--at-- -> @]



Link79 said:

If this thing doesn't come out soon I'll be out of the mood.
I've almost forgotten it even existed.
Lately Wiiware has been one crushing dissapointment after another.
We need La-Mulana now so we can finally get one last good game before the Wii dies.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

@HugoSmits I very much doubt that. A quick look at the WiiWare release dates will render that false. There are tons of WiiWare games released in different regions that have "at least" a month difference between their release dates.



JayArr said:

Sounds like they want the want a global release to avoid other areas from hearing how awful and buggy their game is before it comes out.

At least that's how I am reading this. :3



Drake said:

We've notified Nigoro of the USK rating on Twitter, so they should be looking into it right now.



accc said:

@JayArr I haven't heard anything about the Japanese release being buggy or awful. What are you basing that on?



tinman said:

Maybe it's some sort of misunderstanding or mix-up. We'll hopefully be able to solve the problem so that I'll be able to give the folks at Nigoro some money for their work - although they won't see any until the game reaches the minimum downloads limit.
Cave Story for WiiWare is a great buy and I figure La-Mulana will be worth the money as well.



GreenSpleen said:

Apparantly the Germans are still mad about Indy 1 and this just brought back to many memories...



bro2dragons said:

@y2josh: Yeah, so La-Mulana and Cave Story and so many other games that I either already love or am excited for. But, I want to give my money to the developer for supplying the best version of the game available. I hate PC gaming, so that comment ultimately doesn't help me any in my wait for my most anticipated WiiWare game.



Meta-Rift said:

@bro2dragons: I think the WiiWare version was canceled. Nicalis's website says nothing about it, and the PC version was released back in January.



bro2dragons said:

@Rift: I hope it sees some sort of recurrence, then. Maybe as 3DSWare or WiiUWare at some point, both of which I think could actually work really well. I just loved the art style and the physics system really impressed me.



Varoennauraa said:

Are all the other games stuck in there too? This Year I have been mostly playing some german homework and Wheres the Waldo.




@MasterGraveheart: There's only one swear word to describe this situation. And that!!! Oh yeah, IT'S THAT BAD!
Seriously, this is just as bad as D3 being unable to translate the God Eater Burst DLC!



tanookisuit said:

Maybe they want it out everywhere, that's nice, and while the germans suck for holding back their rating duties ultimately only Nigoro is to blame being that stubborn and stupid in their ways. It's like they just don't want to get paid, at least that's how it comes off. Let the germans get it late already.



theblackdragon said:

@tanookisuit, et. al: but it's already been rated by the German board (see #20). it's not their fault... there's gotta be something else going on here, maybe a mix-up of some sort... :/



Drake said:

I just got a reply from Mr. Samejima (One of the Nigoro guys) on Twitter saying that they have to get a "new standard regulation" for the game, basically, I think it means that the USK rating was for an old version and there is some new stuff in it now which they also have to rate.



PSICOffee said:

Yeah I expected this after Cave Story. I'm more excited for Retro City Challenge at this point anyway. Where the hell is that one?



Link79 said:

@ PSICOffee
You mean Retro city Rampage?
Yeah I'm looking forward to that one too.
Hopefully we'll see it released before years end.



rwq said:

LOL crazy. I mean, a studio that develops something can basically never know when they will get return on their investment.



tinman said:

Recent news!

Ratings complete: CHECK! (USK confirmed theirs)

Now it's off to "lot check" and - hopefully - a release in the near future.

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