Localization Scares

Discussion in 'Mostly Harmless (Serious Discussion)' started by Dancougar, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

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    Edits are a tough thing to discuss, because honestly, I'm OK with them as long as they come across as "localization decisions" as opposed to "content censorship." And the line between those two is often very, very thin and hard to distinguish, and is constantly something I have to struggle with in my own job. I can't justify just directly translating a scene and calling it a day, as that would mean I'm not doing my job -- I'm a localizer, and my goal is to make the text read as naturally in English as it does in Japanese, which requires a certain degree of editing, and often calls for some rather drastic editing.

    But there is a line, and as with most things, I think it all comes down to intent. If you're changing something because you feel the idea of a scene will be communicated in English more naturally and effectively with that change, better matching the intent of the original Japanese, then I think you're editing the game appropriately. If you're changing something because it offends you, however, or because you're worried about how the public might react to it, or how it might tarnish your own image -- in other words, if you're changing it for reasons not based on the work itself -- then you're censoring.

    -Tom
     
  2. Terro

    Terro Well-Known Member

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    I was actually surprised with that in Persona/FE. It wasn't even that bad and not like FE or Xenoblade X ever had worse...
     
  3. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean by "Nintendo's Persona game." Has Nintendo ever published a Persona title? Do you mean Persona Q? If so, what was censored in that? I haven't heard anything about it.

    EDIT: Ohh, Shin Megami Tensei x FE! I don't know a whole lot about what was changed in that, but there WERE content edits made for the overseas version that aren't present in the original Japanese release, no? That being the case, I would likely not support the localized version of the game, electing instead to buy the original Japanese... iiiiif I were interested in the game at all, anyway. Which I'm really not. ;)

    Generally, my rule of thumb is, if it was in the Japanese version, it should be in the overseas version. If it wasn't, then that's fine. I don't support titles where the foreign publisher chooses to remove or alter content for censorship reasons (even if the foreign publisher is a division of the original developer, since despite operating under the same banner, they are still two separate teams that operate independently of one another), but if that content was changed or removed even in the original release, that's not on the publisher anymore. You can't really blame someone for releasing something exactly as it was handed to them.

    Gurumin on PSP, for example, is lacking some mild nudity and questionable dialogue that was present in the original PC version of the game... but that's true of the Japanese version of Gurumin PSP as well. Falcom removed that content of their own volition when porting the game from PC to PSP, so effectively, there doesn't exist any PSP version of the game, anywhere in the world, which contains that content.

    If a publisher chooses to "uncensor" a game by reinserting cut content like that, that's certainly something I respect, but it's going well above and beyond what's necessary.

    -Tom
     
  4. GlennMagusHarvey

    GlennMagusHarvey New Member

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    By that I meant "I'm sorry, I'm not going to buy your product", that kind of apology. The kind you say to be nice, basically.

    I'm quite surprised that this, of all things, is the one you'd still disagree with me on. Heck, in the case of Fortune Summoners, it even supports the creator's vision (a common argument of anti-edit types, as much as I don't think it's much of a big deal), as he didn't want his work to be misunderstood. The change also has no bearing on the story at all, and the original picture can easily be found on the internet. (If anything, the change actually gives the picture a tad more character.) Ideally, yes, having it patched back in would be the best, but the concern is so microscopic in its relevance to the work (and so negligible considering that the original image can easily be found).

    Furthermore, the game ends on a cliffhanger, and yet the dev has bowed out of game development, so there is reason on that end to prove that there is demand for a sequel, even if just a glimmer of hope that he might be un-disheartened by it. And in any case, it's a good, solid game, with nice artwork, a charming story, a wonderfully evocative soundtrack.

    Well, chalk me up to disagreeing with you on this. I decide these things on a case-by-case basis, rather than sticking slavishly to a principle, which I respectfully but disappointingly feel that you are doing in this case. But oh well.

    This may be a quite relevant observation. Between a familiarity with the original language and the power of first impressions, I think that a lot of the more dedicated (some call it "hardcore") fans of Japanese games (and other things such as anime) tend much more to be originalists in their opinion about how to handle the content -- such as insisting on Japanese titles, and preserving transliterated Japanese honorifics in the English script. By talking only to them, hanging out in places such as IRC channels for sub groups, one might wonder how even does there exist a market for dubbed anime, for example (when clearly it exists).

    To be fair, it's not like I spend much money supporting so-to-speak "censored" releases myself. First, I'm very much a discount gamer, as in buying things on deep sales prices in most cases. And second, it just so happens that a number the higher-profile instances of such content editing involve visual novels, which aren't really my thing, and which I've bought rather few of, so I don't yet own If My Heart Had Wings or The Fruit of Grisaia or various other titles. Usually, the stuff I'm interested in is basically irrelevant to this issue of censorship -- it's rarely a thing in platformers or shmups, for example.

    ...come to think of it I oughta find some time to spend with Aselia the Eternal...I bought that a while back and the title screen has really pretty music but I haven't ever done much with it...
     
  5. Ammy175

    Ammy175 Well-Known Member

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    You've mentioned this before, but I forget exactly what you're referring to (if you even said). Are you just referring to the Pokemon's names? Cuz that's kinda understandable, IMO, since some of the Japanese names can be kinda hard to pronounce (I mean, same with English, too), and the meaning is lost.

    Heck, the same thing happens in 999. In the true ending route,
    when you find the q door, Junpei flashes back to the beginning of the game, when Zero says "find the number 9 door," and the dialogue changes to "find the number q door."

    Now, I'm not trying to say they should have changed that specific part, but it's still a plot point that's going to completely confuse anyone that doesn't know how to pronounce 9 in Japanese. Heck, I know how to pronounce it, and it took me a couple of years to put 2 and 2 together.
     
  6. Chaosblade77

    Chaosblade77 Well-Known Member

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    It's not out in Japan yet and doesn't have a western release date yet. We don't really have any idea what's going to be done during the localization.

    At this point I almost expect them to release it sub-only here due to the apparent complications with voice acting (due to the musical stuff/idol junk), at which point changing anything would be pointless given the target audience. Edit: Though I do recall mention/rumor of them possibly getting some Broadway folks to do the VA, so maybe not.
     
  7. Wyrdwad

    Wyrdwad Administrator Staff Member

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    See, that's the official line, but it's known at this point that CF specifically called for the edit to be made -- it wasn't the original creator's own idea, but an idea that was planted in his head by the foreign publisher. And of course, if you're told by your business partner that your work needs to be changed or people might get the wrong idea, you're probably going to acquiesce -- especially in Japanese business politics.

    It is thus my opinion that the creator should have never been given that suggestion in the first place, as it was pretty obvious what was going to happen at that point -- if you say something like that to your Japanese business partner, they will absolutely go along with it 99 times out of 100, so it's really just a way to justify unnecessary censorship -- by saying, "oh, but the original creator redesigned it, so it's OK!"

    ...And yes, that is really harsh. But as Popeye always says, I yam who I yam. ;)

    My take is, never suggest content removal to a Japanese business partner unless it's been mandated (either directly or indirectly) by your local government, ratings board or platform-holder. If it's just your own idea of how to make the game more marketable and avoid potential backlash in the future, then you should totally just keep those ideas to yourself IMHO.

    Again, it's not about what's being censored or how easy it is to see the original work on the internet, it's about the fact that censorship is occurring at all. It doesn't matter to me if it's a single pixel -- if it's being changed with the intent of censoring the game for a foreign audience, and that change wasn't necessitated by local laws or ratings boards, then I feel it is not right to make that change.

    Bear in mind I take this stance even on our own titles, as I've long advocated people NOT support our Senran Kagura releases due to the removal of the characters' ages from their profiles (save for Bon Appetit, where the ages were never present to begin with and thus no censorship of any kind occurred). That's also not a particularly important omission, as it's information that can be easily looked up online... but it was an unnecessary omission on our part, and is thus one I absolutely cannot back.

    Oh, I am very much slavishly sticking to a principle here. I fully admit that! But it's a principle that I feel is important to defend, as I believe the future of the gaming industry will one day be heavily impacted by these small decisions publishers are making now. And I feel it's my duty, as a representative of that industry, to take a stand.

    Honestly, I actually love watching anime dubbed, as long as the dub is good. And dubs, as a rule, have been MUCH BETTER lately than ever before.

    I also am very much an advocate of removing Japanese honorifics (even in games with a Japanese setting), as I feel they distract from the natural flow of the dialogue in English. And I'm also fond of appropriately localizing Japanese titles in lieu of leaving them Japanese, with only rare exception (I was an advocate for leaving the Senran Kagura name untouched, for example, simply because I felt the series was already so well-known by that title that it would be hard to market under a localized name without generating confusion -- but that is very much the exception for me, not the rule).

    So I don't entirely fall into that stereotype. ;)

    This is very much true of me as well, actually. Despite my constant anti-censorship postings and such, I rarely play games where censorship is even a concern -- I mean, my favorite genre is Metroidvania, for goodness' sakes!

    I can't help but have an opinion, though, even when I'm not personally impacted by a decision like this. I'm a very opinionated sort of person, if you couldn't tell. ;)

    I also mean no one any offense, and I hope no one has taken any of what I've said here personally.

    And I should note that I don't ever "blacklist a company" or anything because of censorship decisions -- even if a company has censored every one of their games to date, if they release one uncensored title, I will still happily support that title's English release. Everything is on a game-by-game basis for me.

    -Tom
     
  8. GlennMagusHarvey

    GlennMagusHarvey New Member

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    I guess you can probably tell that I'm pretty opinionated too, at least once I've had enough impetus to form an opinion thanks to the internet blowing up about an issue all around me.

    I feel that that principle is being well-served by the gradual opening-up of communication and information dissemination thanks to the internet and the world's increasing interconnectedness, so I see a long-term trend that inherently points in the direction of openness and transparency. On the other hand, I also care very much about these games, and I hate it when fans misbehave and give publishers undeserved blowback who are just trying to bring some good games over, one such example being Fortune Summoners. And especially in today's world where it's so much easier to find the cut content anyway, I'd much rather a decent release be able to succeed than be hung up on minutiae. Of course, there's a point at which mangling the content does become unacceptable, but FS is absolutely nowhere near that point, and I find it unreasonable to penalize it for such.

    I guess what we can agree on is to be honorable fighters who have our own priorities and just happen to have taken opposite sides on this one issue?

    I am still incredulous that they bothered to dub AKB0048, for exactly this reason.

    Though, since they did that, I'm also disappointed that they didn't go full-bore and actually fully translate the songs.

    Yeah, I know, the show is meant to sell more AKB48 CDs. I don't care. Well-dubbed songs that I won't feel embarrassed about singing in front of a general audience because they have lyrics in the local language FTW.
     
  9. jivehonkey

    jivehonkey New Member

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    12/6/15: a parent used the term epic fail today. i had mixed feelings about the incident
     
  10. Dancougar

    Dancougar New Member

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    [​IMG]


    Just no please Nintendo

    I also found the webm

    https://my.mixtape.moe/ielesc.webm
     
  11. Nyaon

    Nyaon New Member

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    [​IMG] Regarding the new Dead or Alive game, I don't know how true it is but I read somewhere that the company is just making excuses to not release it in the west and garner attention. Their last installment didn't so well so they're trying to create a situation where gamers would go out of their way to support them and buy the game from their site. In other words: a publicity stunt. And to be honest, I kind of believe it.... the Dead or Alive series has been a part of the gaming community for a really long time, it's hard to believe they'll take such a drastic action because of a small group of people.

    In any case, fans should be happy that they get to purchase the uncensored version of the game from their website.
     
  12. Ringwraith

    Ringwraith Well-Known Member

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    Well, against expectations, they did go and localise the song from Fire Emblem Fates, so it's certianly not beyond them. (Also an in-character song in Bravely Default).
    Meanwhile Atlus seems to like making things difficult for their American branch by including things that either require more effort to localise (like Rise's song performance in Persona 4 Golden) or expanding on script changes they made already to include things they cannot alter to match (lately, most notably the fact Teddie's Dancing All Night Elvis outfit has KUMA in giant gold letters on it). :p
     
  13. Dancougar

    Dancougar New Member

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    Thing is from what I'm told culturally Publicity stunts aren't something many companies are willing to pull and to me not unless its proven without a doubt Temco is pulling this its pure [​IMG]


    Not to mention some opinion piece in Japan mentioned marie rose was possibly why which seems more plausible in this social climate.
     
  14. Theswweet

    Theswweet Active Member

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    That's all well and good, except for the fact that the previous games sold better in the west than they did in Japan.
     
  15. Nyaon

    Nyaon New Member

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  16. TiamatNM

    TiamatNM New Member

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    I retweeted that when Marvelous posted it. Seems kinda late to be doing an article about it when it was weeks ago
     
  17. Dancougar

    Dancougar New Member

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  18. Terro

    Terro Well-Known Member

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    Soooo they are also going to ban all ecchi anime and also red-band movie trailers too, right??
     
  19. Dancougar

    Dancougar New Member

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    I'd hate to sound too [​IMG] but it feels like they are trying to shake down localizers at this point. I god help us when the games come out
     
  20. Terro

    Terro Well-Known Member

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    That sounds more like a conspiracy though. Why would they have a personal agenda to get rid of localizers?
     

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