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Ar Tonelico? They are kind of love it or hate it, with excellent world building. And the translation for the second one sucks. The third game is sort of a step back, there are a ton of double entendres and the character designs are really over the top at times.
But the music is amazing:
The games were dismissed as being really fanservice heavy generic rpgs, but there is a ton of depth to things like the Hymnos songs. Several of them actually link together to tell the story of the priestess Harvestasya, who is apparently part of the backstory, but who never actually appears or is mentioned directly in the games. (There is a character named Harvestasya in the third one, but she's just named after the priestess.)
edited 9th Aug '13 2:33:35 PM by Zendervai
Here is fan-re-translation of Ar Tonelico 2 in case anyone is interested.
I was honestly unaware of Ar Tonelico 2's apparent "Blind Idiot" Translation until I read its trope page. All I noticed was numerous spelling, grammar errors, which doesn't quite count for me.
It was also kinda disheartening to learn that one of the best lines in 3 originated from 2. :/
edited 9th Aug '13 3:38:51 PM by PhysicalStamina
I dunno exactly as I havent played the game and know nothing about it. I believe the last compliment I heard of Nie R's plot/localization was that they changed it from being about a boy to being about an awesome dad and his grit.
I'm trying to remember where I read this so I can check the post but no luck so far.
edited 9th Aug '13 3:52:44 PM by Nikkolas
In Japan there were two versions. Brother Nier and Father Nier. Brother was available on the PS 3 in Japan, and Father was available on the 360 in Japan and the 360 and PS 3 in the rest of the world. Apparently they thought it would sell better? The funny bit is that aside from the character model and some of the dialogue, nothing else was changed, so the connection the final boss has to Nier is a little more obtuse.
edited 9th Aug '13 3:59:02 PM by Zendervai
Well, there are two different versions of the main character. We non-Japanese folks got the gruff, disillusioned father trying to save his daughter, while Japan (also) got the happy-go-lucky bishie who saves his sister.
edited 9th Aug '13 4:00:50 PM by lu127
Adding to that, SA probably found Nie R more notable when the game was Let's Played by The Dark Id (who's from SA), who also LP'd the game Nie R spawned from, Drakengard. Both games are also noteworthy for being notoriously dark in their setting, with Nie R going for the more depressing route compared to Drakengard's rather extreme form of Grim Dark.
Also, this is the first thing you see in the game:
That's before the start menu.
edited 9th Aug '13 4:12:14 PM by Zendervai
I did not read any of TDI's other L Ps but when he did Xenogears (my favorite JRPG ever) Nie R and Drakengard were both brought up a lot. Depressing and grim setting in which the heroes apparently cause a ton of harm along the way is what they all have in common.
Although I got the distinct impression N Ie R is beloved and Drakengard is....not.
edited 9th Aug '13 4:15:27 PM by Nikkolas
Nier is significantly less awkward to play. It's still awkward, but it is much closer to being a legitimately good game. And it has less moments that seem designed to just creep people out.
The original Drakengard had the hilarious plot point that, no matter what you do and which ending you bust your ass to get, your sister ends up deader than dead. And she ends up worse with each ending, once becoming a monster and in another admitting she has incestuous feelings towards her brother who freaks out. Oh, and the more you play, the worst the world ends up. Seriously.
It also has that ending where giant babies with teeth eat that crazy woman
Probably a bit late, but regarding 8-4, they were the ones behind the localization of Fire Emblem Awakening (supervised by Treehouse, Nintendo's main translators and localization team). And it is fantastic!
As far as Square-Enix and Final Fantasy goes, while they might be in a rut, they'll probably come back. I hope. (If not, I'm praying that Nintendo will do most of the translation and localization stuff for Bravely Default Flying Fairy.)
edited 10th Aug '13 12:01:35 PM by Folt
Just wondering if anyone has any views on this.
All the localization talk reminded me of this post a guy made on SA and I just wanted to get maybe some opinions on it from people who actually know what they're talking about since I haven't played the Japanese version.
On the English translation of FFXIII:
Post 1: I've heard you mention this a few times, and I'd love to learn more about how the translation fucked everything up if you ever have the time (or if someone else has already written about it). I'm curious how badly SE fucked up a translation of their biggest game in years, and if the Japanese version didn't have some of the issues of the US version (or had other issues).
P Ost 2: I've written about it before but I'll try to summarize it here:
The #1 problem with the translation is that it is extremely overly-literal. Like extremely overly-literal. I've seen scenes from the game where it's clear they translated a Japanese idiom literally without bothering to change it. This isn't a good thing because that isn't how translations work. You don't insert Word A and get Word B and basically any competent translator should know this. There are arguments to be made about the specifics but there's nobody who knows what they're talking about who argues in favor of hyper-literal translations.
So right off the bat you've got an overly-literal translation. On top of that there was clearly no editing done on the script to actually make the dialogue sound like dialogue. Things like the Hope means Hope thing were goofy even in the Japanese version but they're extra-goofy here because (thanks to the aforementioned over-literalness) they don't even carry the same connotation. Hope is just named Hope (the English word) in Japanese and so you have an intentional language barrier there which (while it's still a dumb scene) at least avoids that particular thing. None of the dialogue is given a once over to give it more naturalistic dialogue or to alter jokes and puns or... really anything. This makes the game feel even more dry and overly-serious than it already is.
Now even ignoring all that, it's also clear that they kept the Japanese dialogue tics for the English version which is such a mind-numbingly stupid idea that I can't believe nobody told them to go jump off a cliff. The English voice actors are specifically being told to act like Japanese actors... not in dialogue or tone, but just in the little breathy pauses or small noises they make. This isn't how any dub should work because vocal and body language tics don't translate like that. Despite that they seriously tried to get Vanille's poor voice actress to mimic all the little "cutsey" noises that the Japanese actress makes. This isn't even a guess. She's said as much in interviews that she was told to do that. This is something no voice actor in any language should be told because that isn't something that you can do without sounding horribly forced and out of place.
Now, none of this means that FFXIII is a secret gem ruined by a bad translation. It isn't. It's a bad game but easily could have been improved by putting a bare minimum of effort into the dialogue. A game like Nier or Fire Emblem: Awakening would be far less enjoyable if they hadn't gotten a good translation team onboard. Even something hyper-fucking-Japanese which keeps senpai and -san in its dialogue like Persona 3 and 4 knows when and how to make the dialogue sparkle. FFXIII has no excuse except laziness and ineptitude.
I remember reading the bit about Vanille's VA somewhere and I couldn't even understand why the hell they did that. That's not even laziness, since they actually made far more work for themselves and the actress. I mean, if they wanted to make Vanille sound perky and out-of-this-world-energetic, they didn't have to do that. And whoever thought the moaning sounds and freaking Hecatonorgasm were a good idea needs to find a new job.
I don't think that any of the FFXIII games deserve any of the reputation for laziness that detractors keep assigning to them. Neither does FFXIV (original release included).
What I see is Square Enix going absolutely overboard with loving care and resources in directions that are unfortunately opposite of what the most vocal parts of the fanbase want and desperately groping around to find their way back afterwards.
More like they thought of how they'd be able to make it with the least amount of work, and inadvertently made it harder and with more work for themselves in the end.
They aren't lazy, the director is just terrible and his influence is sadly palpable. Square needs some new directors for Final Fantasy, because Toriyama doesn't work, and I'm not entirely confident with Nomura after Kingdom Hearts.
Atelier Rorona remake seems to be going all out. It apparently has extra content and a revamped system based on Meruru. Hmmm, maybe I should pick it up if it comes over.
So I thought about giving XIII-2 a try because tri-Ace worked on it and thus I figured you could do moe exploring and the battle system be better.
But apparently one of the Tales games already did it and did it better with having a monster party member.
Oh God, the Battle Ring bosses in Dream Team Hard Mode are monsters! Torkscrew X loves to attack multiple times with high attack power, Big Massif X gets HOW MUCH POW BOOST WHEN HIS MOOKS GET KILLED?! And Mammoshka X just hits plain hard. And I'm soon at the endgame... *shudder*
edited 13th Aug '13 6:14:02 AM by Folt
Moe exploring? Gross.
Also, SMT already does monster systems better than pretty much anybody else.
edited 13th Aug '13 9:26:51 AM by JotunofBoredom
Well, SMT is pretty much out of anyone's league when it comes to mons. Nothing even compares. And yes, that includes Pokemon.
@Recon: I'd argue the original ff14 (pre-remake)'s problems were twofold. The game was pushed out insanely early to beat Cataclysm to launch, and the devs had done painfully little research on how MM Os had evolved since ff11
Thankfully. the later releases of 1.0 and now 2.0's upcoming release are in better hands..but still.
Persona keeps -san and -senpai? Welp, that's one motivation less to play.
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