Sunday, August 7, 2011

Operation Rainfall Makes it Rain

The gaming community is one that is unique and has the ability to come together when the time is right. The folks over at Operation Rainfall have done just that. Their aim? To bring three games to the Wii in America.    


The Last Story

Pandora's Tower

Operation Rainfall believes there's a large enough community of gamers in America that will support the sales of such games. One of their most contributing statements is that the Wii is in a drought of higher quality game software, and that Nintendo needs more Japanese Role-Playing Games and Action/Adventure titles. They have set up a strong Facebook presence, a blog, an email campaign and a mail-in letter campaign. The voice is loud and they can only hope their efforts will be heard.

It's fairly obvious the Wii is in need of more great games before its life cycle comes to an end at the release of the Wii U. But for now, we need games. It's no hidden fact the Wii is built upon a rather successful base of shovelware titles, and sadly its gems are far and few between. This has been disappointing for many Nintendo fans who've come to expect more from a Nintendo system. It's not a feeling of betrayal, but rather a slowly shrinking taste of questioning. Will Nintendo ever release more games that I am interested in? If so, when will it happen?

At E3 2011 Nintendo revealed the Wii U as a more hardcore gamer's delight. It will be able to render HD graphics and support those third-person shooters that Americans seem to love... But you know, why doesn't Nintendo just start early in appeasing its fans with The Last Story, or Xenoblade, or Pandora's Tower. It's a known fact that Xenoblade is coming out in Europe this month with an English translation. I believe The Last Story is in the process of being translated as well. There should be no issue in publishing these games in America.

I checked out Operation Rainfall's forums and learned that it's really a strong handful of people who come together to keep the campaign's momentum. They update the blog and regularly update their Facebook page. These individuals spend their free time planning and orchestrating the movement. It was interesting to notice forum member's own insecurity with the campaign pushing forward, marking a lack of effort in the last few weeks to blame. I can imagine running Operation Rainfall is similar to working with a group of people, only it's much more difficult in an online infrastructure.

I believe this only adds more strength to the community, as people are coming together to productively bring games to America. Yes, Operation Rainfall's strategies may have slowed, but they've bounced back with reassurance to their members that everything will continue as planned. The recent lack of strategy was due to the more active individuals dealing with personal matters in their lives. This only shows the utmost dedication to a great cause.

Operation Rainfall is now aiming at supporting Xenoblade's release in Europe. They want it to sell well there to better influence Nintendo in localizing the game here. They are also pulling together different talents to construct a public service announcement-type film that covers their goals and will likely spread their words even further. I've personally read a few drafts of their scripts and I hope they will be able to come together to reach their current goals. The PSA will also aim to eliminate the acknowledgement of false accusations to both Nintendo and Operation Rainfall itself. Some groups are claiming to be a part of Operation Rainfall, but they are taking a much different approach in their agenda. They state they will boycott Nintendo's future hardware and software if they don't bring over such games to the Wii, or that it would be a better idea to import the games and hack the system. This is far beyond OpRainfall's true intent and they now need to worry about such groups affecting their original image and message.

Thankfully such a different approach to bringing Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Pandora's Tower isn't very noticeable. At least not on the Facebook page, which seems to be the largest voice right now in Operation Rainfall's efforts. If you go to Nintendo's Facebook page, you will notice the company's status updates mentioning the 3DS price drop and their inquiry into who your favorite Star Fox character is. But the responses are largely the voice of Operation Rainfall. Almost every other comment asks for Nintendo to release these games in America. If this isn't evidence that the voice of Operation Rainfall isn't slowing down, then I don't know what is. 

Next up, Operation Rainfall has another mail-in campaign prepared for this month. Because Xenoblade launches in Europe on August 19th, they are aiming to have letters arrive at Nintendo on the day of launch. The letter will state not only the intent to purchase the mentioned games, but to purchase a Virtual Console title as well. This is to show Nintendo that Operation Rainfall is serious and wants to spend money on Nintendo's titles. Emails and Facebook commenting are also suggested.

I am going to become more active in Operation Rainfall because I believe it has the strength to get at least one of the games localized for American release. Whether that be the already translated Xenoblade or the more uncertain The Last Story and Pandora's Tower, I feel as if something will happen in the future with these titles. Let's hope Operation Rainfall's steam isn't coming to a stop just yet.

To find more information and become involved with Operation Rainfall's efforts, check for their official blog updates.

-Jared C.

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