Rhapsody DS "Glitch" Actually Intentional
10.12.08 - 5:36 PM

In what is probably the biggest blunder of their career as a publisher, NIS America has cut content from a recent release despite having advertised the content's existence.

Even as I'm posting this news article, if you check the official site for the DS port of Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, there is talk of "additional content" in the characters section of the site, regarding female characters Cherie and Elly. This "additional content" was extracted from Angel's Story, the third game in the Marl's Kingdom series. And sure enough, after you beat the Japanese version of the DS game and save the clear data, a new option appears in the main menu that allows you to enjoy this content.

As a reviewer, I had not been made aware of this bonus content, as I had played the game at the same time of the Japanese release, and before NISA's official site for the game had been opened. As such, I was extremely pleased with the game, giving it high marks and an editor's choice award. But at the time of release, gamers who finished the game and saved the "game clear" content looked to the official site, as well as import gamers, to find out "what's next." When they found out there was some additional content to be unlocked, but they were unable to access it, message boards around the Internet went nuts trying to find the solution. A variety of theories were proposed, most being that NIS America had poorly programmed the game and the content was hiding behind a "glitch." After all, some purchasers of the game were running into other game-freezing glitches as they played.

Having stood behind the product so fervently, I felt it my responsibility to get to the root of the issue. After nagging every contact I had at NIS America, I received the following email detailing the nature of the problem.

"Hi Patrick,

We have located problem regarding Rhapsody.

I regret to inform you, but the reason why the extra content does not show up is not a bug. Instead what has happened was we had to leave out the extra chapter due to localization issues. The problem was that we posted the new chapter information when it wasn't supposed to be in the US version. This is simply our fault for not reconfirming the information and did a direct localized of the Japanese website. I know there's going to be very upset people and I sincerely apologize for it. I'm trying to figure out what I could do to reverse the miss up, so I'll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for being so patient.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns."

So there you have it. Like Atlus' decision with the "Snow Queen" content in Persona a decade prior to this, NISA decided to just cut a significant portion of content from the US release of the game. However, to further exacerbate the issue, NISA advertised that the content was there on their own site, because they didn't bother to do anything more than directly translate and post the Japanese official site.

If you purchased a copy of Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure from NIS America expecting to enjoy the additional content, which was not on the original PlayStation version, and are only now discovering that it is not available to you, we encourage you to contact NIS America through their support@nisamerica.com email address and express your displeasure about this incident. Let us hope that NIS America comes up with something good to make up for this mistake. We are still waiting to hear/see an official apology from NIS America, but if we're lucky, it'll come with a consolation prize for those who purchased the game.

Patrick Gann