Bandai Namco had a localized playable demo of Tales of Zestiria available for attendees at London’s Comic Con and this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), and thanks to some fans that played it, we have some video (here: 1, 2, 3, 4) to get a sneak peek of the localized game. I’m going to be blunt here: when Hearts R videos 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 leading up to the release. There are only 4 months left until the Zestiria release. As a longtime Tales fan with some perspective on the history of Tales localization and fantranslation, I feel I should perhaps aid their QA team with a post detailing what sorts of things are wrong with the Zestiria localization as shown in the demo.
Bamco, this post is directed at your Zestiria localization/QA team.
First, let’s get this out of the way: it’s definitely looking way better than Hearts R was at release, not that that’s saying much. I’m not sure if it’s because you had more time to work on it, spent more time/money on the translation, spent more time testing it, got a bunch of fixes in during voice recording, actually listened to my ranting from last time, or what, but that’s definitely a plus.
I will try to be brief with each criticism for ease of skimming and include a more verbose Explanation section after each point if you would like to hear the rationale for the criticism or read more information about the series. Please just skip the Explanation sections if you are short on time.
First up is various user interface issues. These should be easy to fix and really should have been caught well before now.
Please fix the font kerning and add a character or extra spacing so that such text reads “Armadillo ×5″ or
“Armadillo 5” rather than “Armadi llo 5”.
Explanation: For whatever reason, the font kerning is messed up so that there is a huge gap between the lowercase i and l in “Armadi llo”. There are other such examples involving weird kerning of the lowercase i, such as in “Divine Phoenix Blade”. This is especially odd because I’m pretty sure this font was used in Vesperia or Xillia or something without any issues. There should of course also be a multiplication sign character there or extra spacing to set off the numbers of enemies from the names of the enemies. The Japanese version used a full-width space; the regular English-sized space used here is not wide enough to create the visual gap you need.
Please ensure that your variable strings and the underlying printing code is correct. -8.-1 is not a valid number.
Explanation: I’m honestly not sure what the explanation here is, because that looks like a monumental sprintf() or C string formatting error. I don’t know how it would even be possible to cause such an error unless maybe you are printing the integer and decimal portions of the number separately. Are you doing that? If so, why? While we’re at it, can you fix the GRADE system in this game? I can’t tell if it’s poorly designed or poorly implemented, but it seems silly to have a system where 99% of your grade for a boss fight comes from killing the boss, and your combos, stuns, blast usage, etc. count for essentially nothing. 0.00? Come on.
Please ensure that all system messages, popup text, and tutorial strings are complete and not overflowing their boundaries (see last line in screenshot). Please make sure you playtest changes you make.
Explanation: I’m not sure if you simply forgot to finish your thought (“= Mystic Arte”) or you wrote a string that was far too long for the box and got cut off. Possibly, it looked fine previously but you added extra text such as “& normal state” that pushed the rest of the text out of the box. Either way, given that this is a controls help screen right at the start of the demo and the only way for demo players to get a handy overview of the controls, you really should have QA’d/playtested this enough to notice there was an issue and fixed it. If you can’t catch an issue as huge and obvious as this, it doesn’t speak well for your ability to catch other issues. If you didn’t catch it because of a last-minute change, let that be a lesson learned: don’t make last-minute changes that you can’t test.
One final issue, though this one would be much harder to address and is more of a game issue than a localization issue. Can you fix the camera? The battle camera is atrocious whenever you’re near any objects such as walls and trees. If you could just let the camera clip through those objects and turn them transparent, that would be great.
Ever since Tales of the Abyss, the “standard” classification system for Artes has remained Base Artes (特技/Tokugi) > Master Artes (秘技/Higi) > Arcane Artes (奥義/Ougi) > Mystic Artes (秘奥義/Hiougi). For whatever reason, in Zestiria, instead of Base Artes and Arcane Artes, you have Martial Artes and Hidden Artes. If you have time to do so (including re-recording voiced lines that mention Martial or Hidden Artes), please change the terms back.
Explanation: This is bad for several reasons: 1) You are changing series terminology willy-nilly, 2) You already called the non-spell Artes in Xillia1+2 “Martial Artes” even though that was a different term (武身技/Bushin Waza) used in a different way (the equivalent to “Strike Artes”, aka everything that isn’t a spell), 3) They aren’t good translations of the Japanese, 4) They don’t offer a sense of differentiation, and 5) There are better alternatives that preserve some of the traditional terminology if you wanted to change the names to promote gameplay clarity.
Hidden Artes? Hidden from what? I have a hard time identifying what meaning or feeling is supposed to be evoked by the adjective “Hidden” as used here to describe a subset of “Artes”. The Japanese term refers to advanced techniques kept secret from all but the most senior students of a particular school of martial arts, the “innermost teachings”. The term “Arcane Artes”, whether intentional or not, managed to capture this meaning much better, both in meaning and feeling. Also, when you have Base Artes and Arcane Artes, you know from the names that the former ones will be simple moves while the latter ones will be more advanced moves. How do Martial Artes and Hidden Artes offer a similar level of differentiation? Why are the Hidden Artes not also “Martial” if they too involve sword slashes or whatever?
If the change was made for gameplay clarity reasons, to emphasize that the two have significantly different functions in this game as compared to previous games, it’s still not clear enough… something like Blitz Artes and Arcane Artes would have worked much better. The former emphasizes that you should use them to rush in and interrupt casters, while the latter is serendipitously perfect for emphasizing that you SHOULDN’T use them against casters. I honestly think Base Artes would still be fine here, too… the Japanese fanbase was expected to figure it out, after all.
When damaging enemies, the damage popups are sometimes accompanied by words indicating what kind of hit it was. Please make sure these words actually make sense. For example, change RESTRAIN! (“PENETRATE”) to IRON STANCE!
Explanation: Penetrate has been series Engrish terminology since Tales of Destiny 2 for the ability to shrug off a hit without staggering. (As an aside, the Seraphs’ Armatization Mystic Artes are also from Destiny 2.) Originally, the game would show a PENETRATE counter instead of a HIT combo counter showing how many hits the enemy can still shrug off before they start staggering und your assault. In recent games, it has often been depicted as a circular blue barrier or a wall of hexagons that intercepts attacks. The intended Japanese meaning is presumably that the enemy has pushed forward, or “penetrated”, through your assault without flinching. A native English speaker might instead interpret it as your needing to “penetrate” the enemy’s defenses before you can deal real damage to them. “RESTRAIN!” completely fails to evoke either meaning. I’m not sure if this is because the translator was In Doubt as to what was meant by “PENETRATE” and proceeded to not Don’t Fix It despite the fact that It Ain’t (as) Broke, or because the testing team checked it in battle and was unable to discern what it did. Past localized Tales games referred to this mechanic by various names depending on the context, such as “Glory” (as the name of a passive skill) or “Iron Stance”. I would recommend calling it the latter.
I didn’t see any item usage in the videos, but I’m going to preemptively mention this just in case because it was bungled badly in Hearts R. Do not localize the item gauge text that appears when you use an item in battle as “Using Item”. Call it “Item Cooldown” or something, or simply don’t touch it and leave it as it was in Japanese.
Explanation: In Tales games, items are used instantly. Their effects are applied instantly. They have a cooldown between uses. That is what that item timer in the corner is for. So please, please, do not localize the gauge’s text as “Using Item”, as if the item is being continuously used during that time, which I must reiterate is 100% false. I will have an aneurysm if I see that in the final release. I will track you down, win the lottery, drink half a bottle of Patrón, figure out a way to get onto the board of directors for whatever company you happen to be working for, drink the other half of the bottle, and then fire you. Just kidding. But seriously, don’t do it.
I covered the history of Arte naming in the West in my post about how Xillia 2’s Arte names sucked. (They were still better than Hearts R’s.) I also talked a bit about how to go about naming Artes in this post about Hearts naming decisions. Here I will touch upon a few Artes related to series traditional Artes that I happened to see in the demo videos. It might be late to rename these as it might require redoing some voicework.
Sorey’s Arte, Earth Dragon Fang (地竜連牙斬/Chiryuu Rengazan) should be Earth Dragon Swarm.
Explanation: This Arte, a fancy combo of earth-element slashes, is obviously based on Dragon Swarm (爪竜連牙斬/Souryuu Rengazan), which is also a fancy combo of slashes. It should be named accordingly.
Sorey’s Arte, Runic Circle (呪護暴陣/Jugo Boujin) should be Runic Field.
Explanation: This Arte, which creates some kind of gravity sphere, appears to be based on Guardian Field (守護方陣/Shugo Houjin), which creates a circular glyph of energy. You should try to create parallels between Arte names that have parallels in the Japanese version.
Sorey’s Arte, Lion’s Howl (獅子戦吼/Shishi Senkou)… should maybe stay as Lion’s Howl.
Explanation: This Arte has been called Beast in English ever since Arte names began to be standardized back in the original Tales of Symphonia release for the Gamecube. The original appearance of this Arte was even earlier, in the original Tales game, Tales of Phantasia for the Super Famicom (1995). As a result, there have been countless derivative Artes (literally 15+) that stem from this one iconic Arte, all of whose English names would be invalidated by such a change. However, this time around, this Arte is of some story relevance, and let’s just say that the lack of syllables in “Beast” might have posed a problem to the localization staff. Perhaps “Beast Howl” might work? If not, I guess Lion’s Howl it is… If nothing else, it’s a good translation of the Japanese.
In general, you know about the Aselia wiki, right? They’ve compiled quite a bit there regarding the Artes throughout the series and other information. You should definitely use it as a reference.
Finally, and probably the hardest to do anything about if you’ve already recorded it all, is the dialogue. We haven’t really seen that much yet and it does seem reasonably all right in cutscenes, but man, the mid-battle and victory quotes are super awkward.
“Aim right after” should be “aim for right after”. But also, what the hell are Lailah and Sorey even trying to say? Perhaps “while retreating” isn’t the best choice of phrasing here.
Explanation: This exchange made so little sense that I had to check the Japanese version of game. (Lailah: “Eagles often attack after pulling back.” Sorey: “So that means it’s best to go for them right after they attack!”) I guess they’re immobile for a moment and thus easier to catch and beat up right after they attack? The official English localization of this dialogue is totally opaque and doesn’t make that clear at all. I’ll admit, I don’t think the Japanese dialogue makes a whole lot of sense either, so maybe this is a faithful translation.
Please remove “as a seraph”. Also, please remove “for it” from Lailah’s line.
Explanation: Seraphs are a race of people. Do humans say “I want to become stronger as a human”? I think I can guess what the Japanese line was based on this translation, but translating it directly leads to some rather stilted dialogue in this case. Then we have Lailah’s follow-up. She tells him he has plenty of talent “for it”. For what? Being a seraph? Being a seraph isn’t a job. It’s a race of people. How can you have talent for being your race? This appears to be a case of translating without knowing or properly taking into account what exactly a “seraph” is.
Please check the plurality of your pronouns; “them” should be “it”.
Explanation: I don’t think Giganto monsters tend to come in packs, so this should probably be “it”. This probably came about because the translator was unclear as to how many there were since Japanese doesn’t really specify. Again, though, this is dialogue available in the demo. Was it really that hard to playtest a short demo to check context for lines you are unsure of? Did no one notice the awkward mismatch between the number of enemies onscreen and the choice of pronoun during playtesting/QA? Was there QA before the demo was finalized?
I know all this may seem super nitpicky and presumptive, and I’m hoping everything above has already been fixed in the current build of the game due to super awesome internal playtesting and QA. But let’s be real, I really can’t just sit back and trust that QA will fix any and all outstanding issues after that depressing Hearts R debacle. That’s why I am hoping that this post will find its way to them and that they can at least address the issues mentioned here. Ideally they would keep these sorts of ideas in mind as they carefully go over the rest of the game to ensure that they bring us a quality final release. Otherwise, fans and the general public will likely give the game a lukewarm reception due to minor issues of the sort that hold a good game back from being a great game. If you’re thinking I’m the only one nerdy enough to pay attention to these things, think again:
Well then, until next time! Baba-san, I hope this ends up being a quality release that sells 300k+ copies in the West and makes your detractors in Japan who are overly mad about the whole Alisha thing look like fools. I’ll be going for a PC copy so I hope the PC port and controls are awesome too! 😛
33 responses to “Some Fan QA for Zestiria”
June 20, 2015 at 5:31 pm | Permalink
Whoops, apparently a recent WordPress update managed to break the comment submission button. It should be back. This should be a lesson to WordPress (and myself) to do proper QA!
June 20, 2015 at 5:34 pm | Permalink
Number of awful Namco translations in the last 10 years: 2
Number of Kajitani Eizan translations in the last 10 years: 0
June 20, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink
w0w rood 😀
June 20, 2015 at 8:57 pm | Permalink
damn kaji ritora got u good
hey bamco devs i hope you read comments i love you please respond
June 20, 2015 at 10:40 pm | Permalink
What are your thoughts on the character names, which seem to largely be romanizations of the Japanese names rather than localized to something that makes more sense to an English-speaking audience? “Mikleo” feels really clunky, and “Lailah” doesn’t look like it should be pronounced the way it is.
June 21, 2015 at 7:58 am | Permalink
Whatever, it’s coming to Steam! Wheeeeeee!
June 22, 2015 at 4:14 am | Permalink
It’s good to see you’re keeping an open mind on this game and it’s localization Kaji. You’re better than most other people.
I hope when the game is released here they iron out the technical problems and give us a game to remember.
And then keep that version of the game here so that the Alisha terrorists can get more mad.
June 22, 2015 at 12:24 pm | Permalink
The amount of time you waste assuming they care is unprecedented… Precious time that could be used for your project. Ever since the localizatin of Tales of Hearts R, I’ve lost all respect for you.
Like, your words speak for themselves. “actually listened to my ranting from last time”? Please! Bandai Namco probably has little to no interest in a team of illegitimate translators who barely breach 50 comments a post.
On that note, they also don’t have 4-5 years to effin’ translate their projects! They have a year if they’re lucky these days, and all of their games are relatively expansive. To be so ignorant about their work, and nitpick at the STUPIDEST things, like character spacing. And your dialogue nitpicks make less flippin’ sense than the dialogue itself:
“Eagles attack while retreating!”
“So it’s best to attack right after!”
I literally interpreted that as attack immediately after they do. I thought I was wrong because you said it was confusing to you, but it turns out that’s exactly what they meant! Why is it I can read it the way it’s meant to be read, but you have to refer back to the Japanese version to be sure?
You’ve gone so far off the deepend, losing sight of what really matters. And that’s bringing forth your passion for what you’re doing.
Which is how I started following this site, because it was so legitimate!
Somewhere along the way you lost that. Now all you do is nitpick and call back to TALES OF HEARTS R, about how it’s an awful game. I personally really enjoyed it. I’ve played every localized game and a few thay haven’t been, but I still don’t ASSUME people see merit in my opinion.
Bandai Namco has FINALLY started showing the West respect by actually letting us have that game, opening the possibilty for more in the future. Why would you immediately attack them and manifest a possible outcome where they say “screw it” to localizing anything?
Your god-of-all-things-translated complex has become too much for me to stomach, and if anything makes me disappointed before angry.
I don’t know what I expected coming back here, and I probably won’t return. Any and all authenticity you harboured is gone and forgotten.
June 22, 2015 at 1:24 pm | Permalink
It was confusing because they had multiple grammatical errors and the chain of logic doesn’t make any sense. “Eagles have brown feathers!” “So it’s best to aim right after it attacks!” Does that make sense to you? Sorey’s conclusion by itself isn’t difficult to understand, so it’s no surprise that you got it. The problem is that the first line doesn’t lead into the second in any sensible way, so it’s hard to understand how Sorey came to that conclusion from hearing Lailah’s information.
I agree that they have limited time and money, and that affects the quality of the end result, but that’s part of the reason for these posts: to demonstrate why Bamco needs to throw more time and money at these localizations if they want them to be great. Because if they don’t, they get errors like these. Too many errors adding up and the localization gets reviewed as having a stilted translation, which is bad for sales and the reputation of the series in the West. Tales built its popularity in the West in part by having strong localizations, so skimping on that aspect is straying from its roots that got many fans hooked in the first place.
Character spacing is not at all a tiny thing to nitpick about. It’s actually very core to the issues at hand: not paying attention to detail. Why is it that they managed to localize many Tales before this, possibly even using the same font, and yet they manage to mess up the kerning in a fairly obvious way this time around? And unlike silly stuff like “Using Item”, it affects every piece of text that you will read in the game, which is a pretty large impact on enjoyment of the localization. And what’s great about criticizing stuff like this in the format of this blog is what you said; small readership. If they actually fix it as a result, awesome. If they don’t, no one reads my blog anyway so overall sales aren’t negatively impacted. I am not seriously worried about reducing Bamco’s sales by giving my honest opinion. The off-chance that they actually read it and do something about it has a much higher potential for gain than the low-chance potential for loss from someone reading my blog and deciding not to buy it. (Keeping in mind that, until the terribad Hearts R information started cropping up, I was continuously plugging every new official Tales release and encouraging people to buy it.)
Fair enough if you no longer like the direction the blog has taken, but it’s a pretty natural evolution given circumstances. I started commenting on miscellaneous localization issues back with Xillia. I am hoping to both provide my opinion for the potential benefit of Bamco and write articles that Tales fans would find interesting, but if that’s not what interests you, there’s not much I can do. With throughhim413 busy with multiple projects and real life and with Hearts on hold, there’s really no progress at the moment to be passionate about. Sorry.
June 26, 2015 at 4:38 am | Permalink
Of course we sadly have to assume that the Hearts fan translation that we desperately want to play is on hold indefinitely, but is there anything that could bring it off of hold? Such as something as simple as time? Or say a new nintendo/playstation handheld (so that a it would then be a translation for an old system that games are no longer being made for)?
I do at least enjoy your posts =^.^=
From an ever hopeful,
June 26, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink
Why are you even wasting your time on Zestiria in the first place, Kaiji? That game is mediocre and it can be awful for all I care. With how little Bamco gives a shit about effort or quality I have very little to care about for this series anymore. Following your translation and playing the older stuff is all that really keeps me coming.
June 27, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink
…. did you even play it?
July 2, 2015 at 6:31 am | Permalink
PSA: Preordering is up on Steam for $50 (in the US). Enough preorders and they’ll unlock various preorder bonuses, like DLC costumes and TALES OF SYMPHONIA for Steam, for free with ToZ. Looks like the DLC High Ohgeez and DLC Alisha extra chapter are included. They’re definitely playing their cards right!
@Big: I dunno, I think you shouldn’t write off this game before it’s released. It looks pretty good.
July 3, 2015 at 5:25 am | Permalink
I already played it, not fun imo. Will be ok with the Steam release since mod potential and plenty of backgrounds to snatch up.
July 3, 2015 at 8:26 am | Permalink
Well if that’s the case then alright then. I still se a lot of positive thoughts on this game so I wish you don;t just try to write it off for people.
July 5, 2015 at 5:57 am | Permalink
I don’t find this post of Zestiria’s translation stuff pointless at all. I enjoyed reading this, I bet Kaji likes to dig up stuff like this and come up with better stuff. Yes, the game might not be that good by your (limited) experience, and Bamco’s localization team or whatever might not give a crap about Kaji’s complaints, but it doesn’t mean no-one should discuss the matter. That’s part of the fun.
As a side note, can’t wait to see someone mod the horrible texture quality of Symphonia once the PC version releases.
July 8, 2015 at 5:30 am | Permalink
While I’m all for consistency in terminology, as much as the word “Arcane” might feel different from “Hidden”…. they’re actually pretty synonymous in terms of base meaning. Arcane literally means something secretive (i.e. hidden). The only real difference is that one is in obvious common usage and the other is more archaic, which I suppose is why it may carry more evocative connotations. But in terms of raw meaning, they’re not much different. Just wanted to point that out.
July 14, 2015 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
@Kaji Hey, just wanted to say I found your posts about localization errors pretty interesting! I mean, there’s nothing to lose by posting them, y’know? Keep it up dude ^^ But I just wanted to say, while Hearts is on hold, can’t you work on the Narikiri Dungeon games for GBA? I really enjoy them but with only parts of the story translated I really…just quit after a while. I’m just giving this as an idea for you to work on something cool while hearts is still on indefinite hold.
But yeah, I have to agree with you, I mean, I understand what that one guy was saying about localization time n stuff but that doesnt mean they could do a mediocre job either. I mean honestly, Tales of Hearts R and the Sword Art Online game are 2 games I REALLY regret purchasing. I mean, ToHR was WAY better than SAO, but still. I didn’t like them even if they are fun. Um, anyway, sorry, just thought I’d give you an idea on something to work on xD
July 15, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink
Say Kaji, a question.
I’m sure you’re aware of the mystic arte dlc for Zestiria. Mikleo get’s Loni’s final prayer, Lailah get’s kongwai’s Silent end and Alisha get’s Leia’s Soulstoke Celebration. I was wondering what you would consider the best way to translate all 3 of those for the western release.
July 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink
Malign Disintegration, Retic End, Musical Vital Staff
jk this isn’t Xillia 2
But seriously, what’s wrong with the names you listed in your post?
July 15, 2015 at 5:36 pm | Permalink
Kaji, have you watched this video: https://www.segalization.com/2015/06/06/sam-mullen-explains-japanese-to-english-game-localization-at-momocon/
It does a good job at explaining the localization process and what risks and sacrifices have to be made to release a product westward. Many of the changes you listed in this article and others may cost too much to warrant them being fixed or it could be too late to fix them.
July 16, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink
Oh no kaji, I didn’t mean names. I meant incantations. Sorry, should’ve made it clearer.
July 16, 2015 at 11:48 pm | Permalink
@MabiZerk: Oh nice, I’ll have to watch that later. Thanks for the link! But yeah, I know most of the stuff I pointed out is a reach at this point in the process. The stuff under User Interface and Series Mechanics is probably still doable; the rest likely not. I mentioned it just on the off-chance that they actually see this, have the time and money to address it, and didn’t already plan to address it themselves.
@Minohoro: Ah. Out of curiosity, why do you ask? I think Alisha’s was already localized in Xillia 2, so they should just reuse that. Avoiding spoilers, there were some incantations that were also previously localized in Abyss, so they should really reuse those too. Mikleo and Lailah’s, IDK, maybe something like:
Mikleo: “Someone’s getting a beatdown! And another one! And some more! Now that’s what I call… your Final Prayer!”
Lailah: “The oblivion that swallows abominable darkness whole… Silent End!”
July 17, 2015 at 3:57 am | Permalink
I really wish the official localization team cared as much about the series as you do, Kaji.
July 17, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink
I was just interested in how you would localize it, given on how passionate you are about the art of arte naming. Those two do sound pretty goo though.
July 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
Hey, I wouldn’t write off the official team just yet. I get the impression that they’re Trying Their Best this time around… I could be wrong but I would expect great things come October 😛
July 19, 2015 at 1:29 am | Permalink
Kaji, may I suggest that you work on the Keroro Rpg Translation?
July 19, 2015 at 4:53 am | Permalink
Bandi namco is lazy look at tales of vesperia Xbox 360 bad transation ps3 english patch is better than xbox 360 because story understand more than xbox 360. Tales of zestria is rip off tales of rebirth is story is hellions like virus in tales of rebirth bandi can’t do good story they fucken lazy.
August 3, 2015 at 12:07 am | Permalink
I’m glad they started putting text for in-battle dialogue and after battle dialogue since the english dub is pretty bad. Cup of Tea used to do their old dubs decently and the groups they’ve gotten together–uncredited since not all in-union–for graces f and the xillia titles were decent too. Like, to the point that the voice director was obviously getting more out of the actors than they put into dubbed anime.
Does not seem to be the case at all this time around and has me worried they’ll continue to just give us dual audio with phoned in english dubs since at this point it’s likely cheaper. I got similar vibes from the Type-0 dub and that’s a final fantasy title, with otherwise decent actors! Just weren’t pushed to not give lazy readings. Dual Audio is a very mixed blessing, it seems.
October 4, 2015 at 3:35 am | Permalink
To be fair, Zestiria is awful. How much of it is in the true Tales vein? Having characters die off, is one thing, but it’s supposed to be tragic and meaningful. To have one character replace another, bluntly, is a bad move.
The amount of arts is cut in half due to the NEED of fusion, it’s mandatory for the other half of the artes.
Namco has been doing awful with their games from the get go. Almost every other release shafts the Japanese market, see how every game they have gets a V2 creation. God Eater, while nice, ended up getting 2 bursts, not uncommon, but Sword Art followed suit with it’s Vita version and then PS4 version. And it started off on the PSP. Digimon Re:Digitize was so poorly done they redid the core story itself for the 3DS version.
The same case is obvious with Vesperia. They’ve even done it again with cybersleuth in Japan. I really feel bad for Japanese fans. They get shitted on due to greed. It’s not even close to passion if they can re-release something at full price with stuff that “could” have been there.
Their overseas work is barely better, because they cut out the previous releases and choose not to bring over every other thing. Unlike SEGA’s JP/US branches, which are two sides of a coin, Namco is more or less the same thing….the differences of US/JP for them..it’s not much. Xillia was -decent-. 2’s terminology was going downhill. Corpse Shell was cool..but being named after a spider? Ew. and they already have English mystic artes.. I mean..seriously, when the hi ougi themselves are ENGLISH words, they’re wasting time and money rewriting them to be “cool” and “unique”.
And the Alisha business practice..They didn’t do anything that bad in ToD R, giving you an actual different way to play. I would’ve loved Alisha more had she died. The problem here is..it’s just not Tales.
The reason Tales of Zestiria is really disliked is the simple fact of, it’s not Tales. The heart and soul of it is the versatility you can have. In Xillia 2, you can use skins and play how you please. You’re not limited or restricted, save for Ludger. Silent voiceless protagonist is stupid because..that’s not Tales. Veigue spoke quite a bit and had the life, he was as silent as they got.
And then there’s pronunciations. Xillia had awful pronunciations. They chose to keep Milla as me-lla. Then why Mikleo as Mikleo? Mikuleo was a thing people had gone with. The hilarious part? ToZ crossed over with PSO. Mikuleo would be a very nice touch.
The main problem is, localization these days simply treat it as a project. Not much heart or soul put into it anymore.
And people chastising Kaji for not liking the way English things work? You do realize he’s much more devoted to Tales than you people could be, y’know, aside translations, he’s still, at the very least, interested in going to these educational rants. He looks at the Japanese names, y’know, because if you remove the J out of a “JRPG”, it’s not really “J” at all. If anything, it’s like any other J-RPG. badly translated, rewritten.
Having 6 party members is very timeless with early Tales games. The problem? This game has 8, kills one off, and REMOVES one. Scripted writing is not valid reasoning.
I used to love Tales with a passion. Now, it’s meh. Beseria, maybe it can fix something. Otherwise, Tales just isn’t so special anymore.
Also..you guys know that some “translations” are actually rewritten and are essentially fanfics, right? And how about NISA and Aksys? I don’t know if they’re better or worse than Namco…but they’re all pretty damned awful..
What I want? Actual care in a game. The heart and soul of a bunch of people condensed into one package. They made it in Japan, they wrote it in Japanese. I’d like to hear what they wrote, not what some douchebags want. There are actual games that are pretty much rewritten. I forgot a good example, but, eh. Fan Translations are created because they want to either bring it over, or redo what was awfully done.
And writing out consistency for..who knows why, shows how much heart and soul is truly put into it. If you can just say time and money..then, they’re not really trying that hard. Look at XSEED, while most of their translations are shoddy, they pushed back SC for..pretty much, years. And they even decided to do Sen no Kiseki I & II. That’s a huge gamble over what could net them nothing depending. And to boot, they’re even throwing in what could be an atrocious English dub. Don’t tell me Namco can’t do shit. They’ve got a bigger company, and even took the leisure to bring back old voices to do clips for Symphonia “HD”.
I mean..we’re just fortunate Zestiria is simply Zestiria.
I want to love Tales. But it’s hard to with the more recent tales…whole actual original writing being sucky, and the lack of passion of the Tales series as a whole from both Namco branches. Xillia having a fairly shoddy story..worsening with Xillia 2 in some ways..then Zestiria lacking any real zest.
Lengthy rant, but whatever. Like Kaji says, it’s not like many people care to actually ready or do anything about things one person says. It’s reality.
October 11, 2015 at 5:49 am | Permalink
I was wondering what your opinion would be on the translation of Zestiria’s Mystic Arte, like Enbu Rengekiha – Concerto Infernus, Rangetsuryuu Kawasemi – Jade Luminescence, etc..
Since I started visiting your site, and thoroughhim413’s, your ‘rants’ about Arte translations has always been the ones that fascinated me the most.
October 13, 2015 at 10:11 am | Permalink
Yeah, I wonder if it all comes down to not being willing to be honest with customers about costs. The West seems to be getting a great deal, with both JP and EN audio, the postgame DLC, and cosmetic DLC all for $50. (And a free ToS port too, if you preorder the Steam edition!) They can probably afford to do that because it’s a localization of an already existing game in a sort-of still-nascent non-core market. How about the Japanese end? I assume they’re holding on to the 8000 yen price point, just like we’re holding onto the $60 price point in the West, even as costs of making games goes up and up. Hence why they keep rushing titles out the door, making excessive and excessively expensive DLC that would previously be a core part of the game, etc.
It could also just be pure greed but I’m guessing if they really wanted to recoup costs the traditional way, they’d have to charge more. And that is a losing proposition because less people will buy it, unless public perception shifts to it being okay to spend $80/10000 yen/whatever upfront on a game. (I remember $80 used to be a price point years ago.) Otherwise, this trend of rushed releases, day-one DLCs, season passes, and nickeling and diming will continue.
As for localizations, yeah, similar issues. When you treat a localization as a project to be outsourced to the lowest bidder and completed in the lowest amount of time, rather than a collaborative effort between the localization staff and production staff, you’re not going to get a quality end product. I’m thinking/hoping it’s more towards the latter than the former this time.
Those are good. I’m not sure how well they’ll handle naming stuff to fit the previous Arte names, or if they even care about that anymore, but at this point I’d be fine as long as Artes simply have decent translations. From what we’ve seen so far, it looks like they will. Those two names in particular don’t have too many connections to previous Artes as far as I can tell, and they nailed some of the vague connections that exist (“Infernal”).
November 21, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink
@Kaji: Make your voice heard in the official Zestiria poll http://bnent.eu/surveyToZ