I know I’m beating a dead horse at this point, in the forest, where no one that matters is likely to be listening, but it still has to be said.
GameStop UK’s Youtube channel released a series of three trailers for Tales of Hearts R. These trailers reveal profound issues with the game’s localization that go beyond superficial matters like whether the main characters’ names make any sense or not. I’m sure I will rant endlessly about this so let me summarize the point for those of you who don’t feel like reading reams of text: Every step of this localization looks like it’s done in a total vacuum. I am 99% sure it goes like this:
– The subcontracted translator writes a script based solely on the Japanese text, without the context of the scene the text is in or the voicework that accompanies that text. The translator isn’t necessarily a good writer, but that’s okay because the editor will clean it up for him, so many of the sentences may sound like awkward Japaneseisms.
– The editor doesn’t know what the Japanese text was originally saying, doesn’t have the context of the scene, and hasn’t listened to the voicework, so it’s his job to take sometimes confusingly written half-Japanese sentences and rewrite them into relatively decent English. It’s possible that he didn’t even know that the game wouldn’t get a dub, and thus didn’t appropriately limit the extent of his rewriting.
– The quality assurance tester plays through the game and checks for weird or awkward translations and reports them to the translator/editor for review. He also notes any spots where some programming work might be required. Unfortunately, they forgot to hire this guy.
– The programming team hands the localization team tools to help streamline their workflow and implements the programming changes needed for the localized versions of the game. Unfortunately, Japan simply doesn’t care about supporting overseas localizations. Please, Mr. Baba, I like you and you’re a bro, but you have to get the Japanese side of the company more involved in this process.
– The Tales research specialist and/or localization director/producer, a guy who would be with Bandai Namco USA rather than with the subcontracted translation company, familiarizes himself with series conventions and terminology so that he can make sure that the games have a consistent use of terminology and general feel, resulting in the buildup of a coherent brand image. Unfortunately, after Peter Garza left, they don’t appear to have found anyone to take this role. Or at least, if they did, he wasn’t assigned to this project.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to drop the ball. It’s like a game of telephone, where the original ideas on the Japanese end get progressively more mangled in the process of coming overseas. The result is a mess of a promotional campaign, starting with a rather goofy localization announcement, a hilariously/depressingly poorly subtitled promo trailer, and now some rather disappointing gameplay trailers. Without further ado, let’s get to these trailers:
– Hisui’s line before the fight is incredibly off in tone. He sounds pretty angry and determined in his voicework, but is cracking silly jokes and sounding flippant in the translated line. This wouldn’t be a huge problem if there were a dub, but given that there isn’t, it’s a huge deal when you can tell something is off about the translation without even having to know any Japanese. For reference, what he’s really saying is, roughly, “I’m gonna kick this damn earthworm’s ass and take back Kohaku’s Spirune!” Was it so difficult to write something along those lines? What is the need for completely changing the feel of the line? Did the editor even know that the game wouldn’t be dubbed when he wrote the line? How was this not caught during testing, especially if they went ahead and made a trailer out of the scene?
– There are no subtitles for the characters’ voicework in battle. I can understand if they didn’t want relatively unimportant lines like “Hoo! Hah! Eat this!” popping up onscreen all the time, but there is plot-important dialogue that takes place during battle. There are similarly no subtitles for the victory screen after battle, where more important dialogue happens. This is 2014; there’s no excuse for not adding subtitles for this stuff. Hell, they added subtitles for Tales of Symphonia Chronicles when it was entirely unnecessary (at least, for the English version)! They added subtitles for Tales of Phantasia GBA (the European version, anyway). Might I remind you that fan translations that have to reverse engineer parts of the game just to add extra functionality regularly add subtitles? Almost every released complete Tales fan translation to date has done so (Phantasia PSX, Phantasia PSX by a different group, Tempest, and Innocence), as did the Hearts project before it was put on hold in deference to the official localization.
– The script is apparently manually linebroken to only use 2/3 of the width of the text box. What happened? Did they change to a thinner font partway through? Do they think leaving 1/3 of the box blank for no reason is aesthetically pleasing? This is another headscratcher. Honestly, the Japanese developers need to just get their crap together and implement word wrap in all their games. I know it’s a foreign concept to the Japanese, but literally every Western language uses it, so you might as well implement it in your text display routines from the start so your game is localization-friendly from the get-go. I might again remind you that fan translations also implement this fairly often so that editing the script isn’t such a chore. It’s also very useful for when you dynamically expand strings at runtime using sprintf() so that you can linebreak text like “Your party has obtained the [Super Cool Plot Whatsit]!” in a natural manner, where the stuff in brackets is a variable (“Your party has obtained the %s!”). It is logically impossible to achieve this via hard linebreaking in your script.
– Some of the Arte names are absolutely atrocious. Some of these are due to a lack of consistency with series terminology, but some are just headscratchingly horrendous even in a vacuum. For example, take Hisui’s first Strike Arte, Ara Taka (荒鷹). The kanji essentially mean “Wild Hawk”. A glance at his Arte list will tell you that all his Artes have a bird theme. Why, then, is this Arte named Mosquito Hawk, a type of insect? The first kanji sure as hell doesn’t mean mosquito or have any connection to mosquitos. There is no prior Arte in the series that associates that kanji with the word “mosquito”. What the heck were you guys thinking? Another great example is one of Kohaku’s Artes, Guren Kourin (紅蓮皇輪). You might recognize this Arte because it is simply Hell Pyre performed with a baton. Appropriately, the name is similar too, as Hell Pyre was Guren Ken (紅蓮剣) in Japanese (compare the first two kanji). You might also recognize this Arte because I previously discussed the logic behind naming this exact Arte. Based on the naming conventions established in the recently released Tales of Xillia, Hell Wheel or Pyre Wheel or somesuch might be appropriate, but really, anything that reminds you of Hell Pyre would work fine. What did they call it? Scarlet Halo. What the? It’s not at all a bad translation of the kanji in a vacuum, but it’s not even trying to be consistent with established series terminology. Let’s not even get started on Raijinga (雷迅牙, “Thunder-Quick-Fang”), whose lightning isn’t blue, becoming Blue Jet (an obscure electrical phenomenon involving blue lightning), or Shunjinken (瞬迅拳), sister arte to Sonic Thrust (瞬迅剣) and Sonic Dog (瞬迅犬), becoming Flying Jab rather than something sensible like Sonic Fist/Jab/Punch. Let us be clear here: You cannot rely solely on translation memory software and names you pulled out of your behind to name Artes, at least not if you want to build a coherent naming scheme across your series. Sadly, it appears that that is exactly what they are doing.
– There isn’t much text to translate in battle outside of Arte names and the voicework they didn’t bother to subtitle, but there is some… and they managed yet again to mess it up!
No, that gauge is not to indicate that you are in the process of using an item; you use items and apply their effects almost instantly. It’s a gauge that tells you how much cooldown time you have before you are allowed to use another item. Writing “Using Item” is thereby inaccurate and misleading. Here’s what it looks like in Japanese, by the way:
I know Japanese-to-English translation isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but I had always thought of English-to-English translation as being quite manageable. Obviously, I thought wrong. Has any of the staff working on this game ever played a Tales game before?
– This is a minor point compared to the others, but… there was a reason I chose the Calcedony spelling of the guy’s name. One, it’s more natural to pronounce than Chalcedony (no, there’s no ch sound at the beginning), and two, he is often called by his nickname, which is his name shortened to the first syllable: Cal/Chal. The problem is that there is already a character in the series whose name is shortened to Chal — Chaltier from Tales of Destiny (it’s pronounced differently — shal-tea-eh). This will probably only be an issue if Calcedony and Leon ever show up together in a future localized Radiant Mythology game or something, but if I were thinking about overall brand management, I would avoid such a situation wherever it’s easy to avoid and call the guy Calcedony so that the nicknames are spelled differently.
– Thank God they named her Lithia. I am vindicated, hurrah! Makes me wonder even harder why they reverted Amber and Jadeite, though. Also makes me wonder if they correctly named her sister Fluora, and whether they ignored the silly Incarros and Kreed Grafyte spellings from the artbook.
– Gall? What? Whatever, it doesn’t matter.
– Are they seriously abbreviating Arte names? They have THIS much space across the top of the screen:
And they have to abbreviate it as Lightning T.Blade? Really? Again, this is 2014… cannot the Japanese programming team spend a day or two providing the overseas localization teams with the support they need to avoid silly issues like this?
– Again, Beryl’s line was edited in a vacuum. Here she is screaming and freaking out like the uguu moeblob she is, and the English line sounds calm and sardonic. What? Even if there were an English dub, this still wouldn’t fly due to her comically panicked character animation. For reference, what she’s actually saying is, roughly, “AAAAAAYYIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! S-So high! This is way too scary for me, let alone Kohaku!” In this case, the meaning is on point, and I like the second sentence as-is. The problem is simply one of tone, where her lines should sound more excited and scared. For example, maybe replace the first line with “Eeek! Oh my god!”.
– Hisui’s line as well. “Wh-What’s happening?!” Umm… are you blind and/or deaf? You just heard Amethyst, who you met before and who you know is your rival in this event, taunt you from out of nowhere, and then an airship just pulled up. You know exactly what’s happening. “What the?!” would be more appropriate here.
– I’m not sure Amethyst’s hilarious lines are really coming across here. He has a really silly monologue, all in his ostentatious Westerner accent. The translation has the general meaning right, but the way in which it is presented is just really obnoxious, rather than obnoxious yet hilarious as (I think) it should be. A rough, somewhat stilted translation, switching his ludicrous Engrish to Spanish to give you an idea: “The ability to figure out loopholes in the rules… Intelligence! ADEMÁS! That which I trained beyond my limits by taking ample advantage of my fount of money and free time… Strength! And finally… what allowed me to arrive at the peak by airship just as my rivals were feeling the effects of fatigue… Timing! I, who possess all three, am surely the one most fit to be crowned with the title, REY DE LOS HÉROES!” Hisui then says, “What do you mean, hero? You’re just a cowardly kook!” The key point here is the flow. Hisui isn’t just insulting him in passing; he’s specifically drawing attention to the fact that bypassing the entire trial with an airship is cowardly and cheap. Amethyst responds with: “You don’t understand… To so boldly enact such a cowardly plan in fact takes an incredible amount of courage!” A sound effect accentuates the crux of his argument. It’s extremely silly, but it flows. The way the script in the trailer has it, his argument about him having an abundant amount of courage is completely non sequitur. Hisui says he’s dethroned, and then Amethyst says he has a lot of courage. ??? Okay, so? This kind of flow preservation is really important to have the dialogue make proper sense.
– Bamco pls:
Okay, enough, now I’m just nitpicking. You get the idea. I’m hopeful that these videos are preliminary and that they still plan to add in subtitles and do a testing/revision pass, but I somewhat doubt it. If they’re aiming for a holiday release, I’m guessing that it will go gold in a couple months, so they’re going to have to work really fast to fix this up. They chose these scenes to represent the progress on their product, so I think we can assume that the rest of the game is in a similar or worse state. Personally, I find it quite lacking. I really want to support this localization, I really do. Mr. Baba seems to have worked hard to make the argument to bring it overseas. Fun fact: I preordered Tales of Graces f even though I didn’t have a PS3 at the time (and still don’t). It’s still sitting on my shelf, brand new. I bought it because I wanted to express my support of the localization team’s efforts with my wallet, regardless of whether I end up playing it or not. I was planning to do the same with Tales of Hearts R when I first heard the announcement (and perhaps pick up a Vita or Vita TV to actually play it). Now, I’m not so sure.
Come on, Bamco. Get it together and convince me, and everyone else, that your product is worth my $40-$60.
47 responses to “You Guys Need a Localization Director”
June 12, 2014 at 2:54 am | Permalink
main reason not to buy bumco recently localized game except one piece, see what happened to sword art online hollow fragment done?!! i pretty sure 100% the same thing will be done copy and paste on R1 region too
June 12, 2014 at 4:33 am | Permalink
This isn’t a remake. This is a shitty and cheap port using a generic Tales engine. And now, it also has a shitty translation. I have 0 reasons to buy a Vita, but now I think they’re more like -1 reasons.
Kaji, please, tell me you’ll release your original DS translation in a year or two.
June 12, 2014 at 6:46 am | Permalink
Do you think it’s possible to fix this translation in a patch?
June 12, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink
not possible to fix in a patch cause vita game is not hacked yet! only possible way is play this on nds
June 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm | Permalink
I get why his name is now “Kor Meteor”. It sounds like “Core Meteor”. With Japanese name conventions, it would be “Meteor Core”.
It’s a good try, Bamco, but please give us a ‘rename’ functionality, even if it won’t affect the spoken dialogue.
June 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink
They probably pumped out something quick for E3.
June 12, 2014 at 11:46 pm | Permalink
Honestly, this translation seems like the translators don’t like the script and are just fucking around for the hell of it or something along those lines. The worst kind of professionals. But entertaining in its own awful way.
…Still really hoping you guys get back to the DS version someday.
June 13, 2014 at 1:49 am | Permalink
I love tales games..
it’s like a franchise game even the art skill or the magic skill inside..
but when i read it, i can’t believe amazing skill was named really bad.
i know kaji was realized that really realized it. so please continue the DS version 😀
June 13, 2014 at 4:53 am | Permalink
You didn’t even mention the best one Kaji
It sounds so google-translated. I don’t know how accurate it is though
June 13, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink
1.) but I’ve read the victory quotes weren’t even subbed in the japanese version. They’d have to add in those quote bubbles. Honestly… they’re just victory quotes. Who really gives a hoot? Even ifstory matters get discussed in them later on… forget them.
2.) Kor sounds better than Shing imo. Then again, this was announced way before the announcement that the game was going to be sub only. Perhaps the name change was done at a point in the localization process where they had yet to decide that they were going sub-only, and will change the name back? Again, makes no difference to me or to the quality of the game.
3.) Honestly, all your concerns are pretty meaningless.
The last thing Type-0 fans need is to be linked up with the folks who are complaining about this localization. Vita owners were seriously given the shaft with Type-0 and the response imo was proper, even at its most vulgar but here, with Tales of Hearts R…. no way. I mean, this is a game whose dev openly stated there was no intention of ever localizing it. And its going to be Gamestop exclusive at that, so they’re definitely already assuming the game will do very badly and are localizing it simply because of the few American fans who wanted it. Its probably going to become rare pretty fast and will skyrocket in price (so I’m buying 2, one to sell once value goes up)…
Just suck it up and accept it. This game had a very low, near zero chance of coming overseas. Now it is and you want to complain about insignificant crap like name changes and lack of dubs? These complaints won’t make them listen, it will make them NOT bring their games over anymore.
June 13, 2014 at 4:24 pm | Permalink
June 14, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink
blame Bamco while this project still delay, how funny, yay xD
June 14, 2014 at 11:33 pm | Permalink
1.) Why would you even sub victory quotes in the original version if everyone can understand them since japanese is their mother language
2.) You probably don’t know this (even while Kaji has explained this many times) but original names actualy have a meaning.
3.) Probably you don’t care much about text or plot on RPGs, but i’m pretty sure most Tales of fans do care about this.
And yes, it was almost impossible to have Tales of Hearts R legally translated, but just because of that we must accept this awful version of the game? Really? I think you should reconsider that for a minute
June 15, 2014 at 4:32 am | Permalink
Makes sense to argue about an official localization, when you can’t even make a patch in more than 3 years. Even worse, MODIFYING the content of the original game and inserting non-canon bullshit.
Talk about frustrated programmer.
June 15, 2014 at 4:46 am | Permalink
Keep on that bullshit about ”How I would do if I was there in Namco Bandai U.S”, though. You guys have 0 capacity to do something anyway, all these years showed that.
Thank godness we have actually GOOD translators like Sky. This PoS that is your site won’t be missed.
June 15, 2014 at 6:55 am | Permalink
Okay after finding out Hearts R is getting localized , I MIGHT get a vita for Hearts R but my soul will always be rooting for 2D awesomeness. After listening to both OST’s I still prefer the DS version and hope that you continue this in your spare time till the vita one comes out then release an update after.
June 16, 2014 at 3:11 am | Permalink
Same, Person-Guy. I think the 2d sprite work in vanilla version is very charming. And I really like the music he did for it too, it has some Rebirth vibs which I consider a plus. All around I enjoyed playing and beating Hearts despite my poor Japanese language skills. Only thing I have against DS Hearts gameplay wise is the three party members limit in battle. That is lame as hellllll. I beat the EX-Dungeon in Hearts recently, the boss was bullshit and kept going after Hisui. If I had 1 more guy I’d have been able to survive better and not have to shove Life Bottles down his throat half the time.
So is it seriously sub only, or have they just not released any English audio yet because they’re that lazy? Also, Kaji, are you familiar with the Atelier series? One of their recent games ‘Atelier Escha and Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky’ had an absolutely craptacular localization with massive errors abound. You would seriously get an aneurysm looking at it. I’m not saying this makes what has been presented in Hearts so far acceptable by any means, but please consider that Bamco could have gone full sell-out and could phone it in like Actill had done for Escha and Logy.
But seriously, I recommend watching a playthrough video or 2 of it and looking at some screens just to see how bad it is.
June 16, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink
I forgot (and i’m not the only one) about this patch and website after the translation was dropped.. Anyway, Type 0 is done!!!, dammit 3 months before official release!.. That game is just the best FF i’ve ever played, beside FFVI , both are pure art!.. Oh yeah.
My thoughts about the localization effort?
Well keep it up!, i’m sure it will be release in the next FIFA world cup event or in the next after the next event in 2018, so i’m saying 2022.. so don’t lost hope guys!.
June 17, 2014 at 10:46 am | Permalink
Well then why don’t you go to Namco with your complaints. Heck sure its easier said then done but why don’t you try to land a spot in their localization team?
June 17, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
already complain to them many times and they still not changing ! what to do with their stupidity! go wipe their ass emd u bamco ass wiper
June 18, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Permalink
I own a vita but as much as i love to support tales of games… it’s when i see such shoddy translation that makes me think, screw this, if they are not gonna put in the effort, why should i support such things?
As much as i love to see more tales of games coming to the states, it’s only if effort were put in, tales of grace f, tales of xillia were a good example where i did not feel that the tone and script were different, that effort were place into the game, which was why i bought them as day 1 product.
As for this? I probably wait for a few months or so..
June 19, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink
Uh. You guys realize that this game still has 5-7 months before its release right? It’s not just waiting in a warehouse fully finished and packed in boxes ready to ship.
Things can change in 5-7 months. Calm tf down.
June 19, 2014 at 10:32 am | Permalink
Also, way to make another bitch post. *slow claps*
June 22, 2014 at 12:27 am | Permalink
Let me get this straight… the fan translation is on hold so we can support a half-assed localization hoping for having lots of other half-assed localizations in the future?
June 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink
当初は映像業界での仕事をしており、その後2001年にナムコ（現バンダイナムコゲームス）に入社。2007年のニンテンドーDS用ソフト『テイルズ オブ イノセンス』以降『テイルズ オブ』シリーズのブランドマネージャー兼プロデューサーを務めている
June 22, 2014 at 11:34 pm | Permalink
Pretty much. On the one hand, good on Kaji for caring enough to not want to undercut the English release’s sales. But I think that there can be a compromise he can reach between actually putting out the DS translation in a timely manner as well as not imposing against the western release of R. He only releases a translation file and never a ROM of the actual game itself, I really don’t see how a 2D DS game of all things would be a threat to a technically superior version. As much as myself and many others may prefer the 2d version, countless others would consider the newer, current gen, and 3d graphics version to be vastly superior and would not be interested in the old version in any way at all.
On a more positive note, I bought a physical copy of DS Hearts. As it is one of my favorites in the series.
June 25, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink
Cmon… lets just be happy we are getting Tales games in the west. Its not bad enough that its in an unplayable state, so i’m happy. I also hope it does well so we can get Innocence R aswell.
I know that you get upset when Namco doesnt put the same level of dedication on their project as you do, but they are a business and the fact that despite knowing they are gonna make very little money they are still bringing this to please the fans. I cant help but cheer for that.
It would be good to see good feedback on this on fan sites aswell. You can leave the criticism for after it comes out and you are in your right to fix them on your DS patch as you see fit.
For now, lets rejoice we are getting Tales games release in the west.
June 25, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Permalink
The other thing that pisses me off is, as a NDS owner, the next logic step for me was buying a 3DS, so I could enjoy the next installments of my favourite games. I can’t see why a NDS user would make the jump to the Vita, for just one game 🙁 I want to play this in my DS/3DS.
June 25, 2014 at 10:22 pm | Permalink
Yeah, so, I’m in a bit of an awkward position here. I could simply give a positive impression and try to promote the game, but then it might actually get released in this sorry state. I could try to constructively criticize the localization in hopes that they actually get it together and release a quality product, but the negative tone in the interim might hurt the promotional campaign. Of course it’s also possible that nothing I say here matters because neither Bamco nor a significant number of potential customers who are on the fence about getting the game will ever read it. Or maybe Bamco themselves were already planning to fix it up and just rushed videos out the door.
Regardless, I think it’s better that I give my honest opinion and say what I think so that everyone who reads my site can have an informed opinion rather than ignore the issues and only talk positively about it. Again, my goal in blasting what we’ve seen so far or ToHR in general isn’t to reduce sales, but rather to point out what needs fixing so that they can hopefully fix it. Fixed problems –> higher quality product –> happier reviewers/customers/fans –> improved perception of product –> higher sales –> more (and higher quality) localized Tales in the future.
June 26, 2014 at 4:11 pm | Permalink
Even if somebody who worked at Bamco somehow stumbled upon your blag and read all the criticism, I don’t think they would be in any position to make or request any significant changes.
As much as I dislike the thought, I think we’re going to end up with a shoddy product.
July 1, 2014 at 11:12 am | Permalink
In all good conscience I can’t support this. I’ve been following the translation project for too long and been privy to too many complex reasons for every decision to be able to sit pretty with Kor Meteor and lazy translating. I’m trying not to, but I can’t help but feel that if an American company had gotten their hands on this, there would be things I didn’t like, but we’d at least be able to expect a modicum of consistency with older games.
Hoping beyond hope that a few months after this releases, we’ll get ToH.
July 2, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink
I don’t think this would be an example of how future Tales would be localized. Seems to be more of an exception rather than the rule to me.
I thought that Graces F was pretty good and so was Xillia. I can’t say how good the actual localization is seeing as I have zero experience with the Japanese version but they were certainly far from being as amateurish as…. whatever this is.
Zestiria is being developed with a western localization in mind and I have faith that Baba isn’t going to let something like this happen to that.
If there’s anything to be taken from this, it is how much Bamco have faith in Hearts R. I was under the impression that it wasn’t much of a port anyway so I’m not surprised by this, at all.
It’s not like they have the same kind of professionalism with ‘lesser’ titles like what you and AZ has shown on Tempest.
July 4, 2014 at 5:57 am | Permalink
lol they announced the Western version of Zestiria’s hero Slay’s name
inb4 another update moanin’and’groanin
July 10, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink
Its sad they seem to be doing a poor job with this game. The only positive thing I can take away from this is that if you ever feel like finishing and releasing the patch for the NDS version I will be able to enjoy a proper translation… and the wait won’t be very long because I will be playing ToHR in the meantime.
And if you don’t feel like it we can all get over it.
July 11, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink
I just want to say Kaji. Read the comments above. Do you think this is having a positive effect?
Namco wont be changing anything to the translation. The game releases in November.
Maybe this is more noticeable when you know exactly what the characters are saying in Japanese, and i do think that is the case. Because of anime many of us can now understand a good portion of spoken japanese and we are used to straight to english translations. Its obvious that in this translation that Namco is doing they are writing a script (they probably werent sure wether they would do voice over in english when they started). Its not just a straight to english translation but a localisation that reworks the script to a different audience.
Of course, that doesnt mean i like it better, but i can’t help but feel disappointed when such great fans like you go through the effort of making great patches, but when Namco actually brings out something out comments like the ones above are the result. For a bit i get myself wishing that the fan translation would be cancelled because its obviously having a nefarious effect on sales of the series.
We shouldnt be relying on you guys to make patches for the tales games. Namco should be bringing them over. If they are bad we should say so, but we should still support the series. Despite all the complaints and lets call “inacurracies” on the script, i am still sure that Tales of Hearts R will be great fun to play.
Its sad to see these people say they arent going to buy it because the translation is not 1:1 to the japanese. I dont think thats the mindset a Tales fan should have after all we have been through to influence Namco to bring this amazing series and overseas.
July 11, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink
Yep, I think it’s having a positive effect. Depends on what you mean by positive, though!
You have to remember, you shouldn’t be a slave to your fanaticism. I don’t buy Tales games because I’m a Tales fan. I buy Tales games because they are good, fun games that I want to play. I am a Tales fan because the games are quality. I’m not a Tales fan just for the sake of being a Tales fan. That means when the game is no longer quality, I no longer have interest in it. Maybe if I were a REAL TRUE Tales fan, I would buy it anyway because that’s what a REAL TRUE Tales fan does. But that’s losing sight of the point — buying the game and supporting the series as a fan is predicated on quality, not that being a fan is predicated on supporting the series.
The series thus far has gotten popular on the basis of strong localizations. Even Destiny PSX, which had no dub, had some pretty nice points to its localization, and Eternia, which had a dub that people generally think of as the worst in the series outside ToP GBA/RM, was of decently high standards for its time. The series really took off in the West with Symphonia, which had an extremely strong localization effort. This is especially important for a series that increasingly places so much emphasis on its characters and interaction. So if they’re going to abandon what made the series take off in the first place, you have to ask yourself the question: is blindly supporting the series the correct decision?
All I’m saying is, keep your eyes open. If you think the gameplay is worth the money despite the shoddy localization and that you’ll enjoy it, then buy it. If you don’t think so, then don’t. Even the guys who say they won’t buy it unless it has a dub have valid points — they personally feel that they can’t enjoy a modern Tales game without a (decent) English cast. Each person makes their individual decision based on price vs. perceived quality. I can implore them to give a game with a Japanese voice cast a shot, but no more than that.
What I definitely don’t want is for people to buy the game based on a mistaken impression of what they’re getting — a reasonably high-quality localization (minus the English dub) similar to those produced for recent Tales games. If, as you’re saying, Bamco doesn’t end up changing anything about the translation, then it will be what it is and will sell to whoever thinks it’s good enough for the price. If they want increased sales numbers, they should increase the quality so that more people think it’s good enough. It’s not my job to make it look better than it is, nor ignore the issues they’re proudly putting on display for everyone to see by making these promotional videos. In fact, it’s my job as a fan to give an accurate personal assessment of what it is for the benefit of other fans in the community. If Bamco wants my glowing praise and endorsement (e.g. of Xillia), for what little it’s worth, they have to earn it. And I’m making it easy for them by listing out exactly what’s wrong and what sorts of things they have to pay attention to. (Assuming they read it, that is, which I doubt.)
July 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm | Permalink
I dont think they want your aproval per se. The problem here is not that you are criticizing the translation but the fact that you are presenting others with a clear alternative that will impact sales.
By strongly criticizing the namco version, by contrast you are promoting the alternative, wich is your patch.
You make a compelling case though. I do agree that their promotion efforts have been unfortunate, but i’m afraid that possible low sales will just be pinned on the Vita or the portable market.
With that said, i still think this wouldnt be an issue if people werent listening to the japanese voices. Wether the localisation is good or bad based on the trailers is open to interpretation. Its not a direct translation of the japanese voice track, but is it a bad script? If you dont understand a word of japanese you wouldnt be able to pin-point these “inconsistencies” so clearly, especially because japanese voice actors put so much energy on so many of the lines.
This does not change the fact that the translation might not be ideal taking into account the japanese voice over present in the game though.
Oh.. and i am not falling prey to fanaticism. I do buy Tales games because they are good, even though sometimes i end up with a dud, i am happy to support the series and help bring more of the good ones over. I just dont counsciously buy bad tales games. They just happen to be so sometimes. The ammount of good ones outweights the bad by alot though.
I can easily give you the example of Tales of the world RM. It was a bad game, i didnt buy it, as many others. Results were so bad that namco didnt even consider bringing the ports of Tales of destiny 2 and Tales of rebirth over, nor later TotW games that while not super, improved with every iteration. They are not interested in fixing the problem when they deem the potencial market to not be worth it.
Anyways, dont interpret this as i am saying you should get rid of the patch. I think its a commendable effort. I’m just saddened that some people are using it as an excuse to not give Hearts R an honest chance.
I guess you are just in a position of more than a regular Tales fan and your criticism carries that added weight of offering an alternative, wich puts you in an unique situation where what you say does more than just alert or criticise.
July 13, 2014 at 3:29 am | Permalink
Ah, that is a good point. I specifically tabled the patch in hopes of removing that alternative for the time being, but it still is an alternative. That is assuming that it ever gets completed, though, without a C&D, and without unforeseen stuff on our ends. And it would come out at some unspecified point in the future that could be a long way off, as opposed to a clear date of November 11. I think that if such a alternative still beats the official localization in fans’ minds, that speaks volumes about how they should really step up their game.
That said, I wanted to address your point about straight translations vs. localized scripts. I have nothing against localized scripts; in fact, I appreciate them quite a lot. This is not a good localized script, though. Even supposing it were written with a dub in mind, it’s still bad. It doesn’t match the plot, characterization, or onscreen animations. See: Hisui and Beryl’s lines. I’m not exactly complaining about changed lines; I’m complaining about lines that suck. Regardless of whether the English matches the original Japanese line in precise meaning, the English line should convey generally the same tone and should flow well with events. Ideally they would also not butcher characterization, either (hello Hisui). Out of the little dialogue they showed us, they repeatedly failed to measure up to these criteria.
July 23, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink
Well..Looking what happened now to Sky and team. I find pretty intelligent what are you doing here, not hurting the sales.
I apologize for behaving like an indirect asshole lol, but still i’d like that you don’t drop the project or leave us hanging.
I would mind waiting for a long time, since i’m getting FE:Awakening and SS3DS (Goodbye social life)lol.
Just lemme make you a question:
Do you think that the same might happen to you regarding SkyBladeCloud’s fate?, i mean, i know Bamco may be stupid, but is not a souless bastard like SE.
July 26, 2014 at 3:48 am | Permalink
Go to abyss chronicles websites to see tales of zestria english name real one they show it look at main character name is slay to sorrey see it you see same issues is tales of hearts r.
July 27, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
Bamco aren’t Sorrey about what they’ve done
August 1, 2014 at 8:47 pm | Permalink
This can’t be called Tales of Hearts R, it should’ve been Heart of Tales B(Butchered Version).
August 22, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink
now your just busy playing TOH on vita while you keep the TOH project on ds pending..hope after you finish playing that game you should finish your unfinished business here
August 23, 2014 at 11:13 pm | Permalink
Man, you should update this often, so it doesn’t look like you dropped the project.
August 23, 2014 at 11:15 pm | Permalink
Oh yeah, since Hearts will get a release soon, my guessing is that you could release the patch in 2015.
I mena, so make it looks like you’re doing nothing, but i bet that behind the scenes, you already completed the game and you are checking for errors.
August 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink
[…] Arte naming decisions, which I already talked about. What we’ve seen of Hearts R is even worse. Symphonia had some questionable Arte naming decisions because the series wasn’t big yet and […]
June 20, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink
[…] surfaced 6 months before the game’s release, they revealed that the localization was in terrible shape. I and others called Bamco out on it and they fixed literally nothing in the following months […]