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Kuju buoyant over Battalion Wars II success in Japan

Developer Kuju London is pleased with the game's reception in Japan - charting behind only Mario Kart and Wii Fit

Totsugeki!!! Famicom Wars VS - known as Battalion Wars II outside of Japan - launched in the sixth position on the All-Formats chart and is behind only Mario Kart and Wii Fit on the Wii charts for the second week running.

That's an impressive showing in a generally quiet market in Japan after the recent "Golden Week" holiday. It is also impressive when you consider that US and European games haven't done particularly well in the territory - although recent high-status titles may be starting to shift public opinion.

"I have the impression that a certain Western exoticism plays a part in attracting attention to the title," Kuju London's creative director Tancred Dyke-Wells told GamesIndustry.biz.

"In fact, the voice acting was deliberately left in English for that reason. And, the game has the charm, cuteness, and playful humour that can be popular in Japan - perhaps more so than the ubiquitous 'grim-faced man with gun' theme that so dominates action titles on this side of the globe."

The game's success is also certainly a matter of attracting a following over time. As its Japanese title implies, in Japan the series stretches back much further than the GBA Advance Wars title - all the way back to the Famicom (NES), in fact.

For Dyke-Wells, quality is key.

"It's all about that Gold Seal on the pack, and working closely with Nintendo has really taught us to smooth off all the rough edges - but not necessarily from the aspects of the game that a Western audience might care about so strongly," he siad.

"Subtle refinements to the interface, continuity in the storyline and ensuring that cut-scenes are framed in such a way as to be as explanatory as possible - all these were even higher priorities than you might expect."

Aside from the PSP's Monster Hunter franchise, the Japanese charts are currently dominated by titles for the Wii and the DS.

"Nintendo are certainly the platform holder to bank on, and they're a great publisher for us to have such a strong working relationship with," Dkyes-Wells said.

Battalion Wars II was released in North America last October and in Europe in February of 2008.

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