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We Demand Better Localization, Japan!

By aquizero on Dec 12 2012 05:01 PM
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There are times when I find it difficult to be a fan of Nintendo franchises. This happens when a new game is slated to be released in Japan, several months before its release in the United States. Of course there is not much that can be done about this as Nintendo is a Japanese company. It only makes sense that Japan would get games first, when localization requires translation and possibly the removal of potentially offensive material. I understand that the process takes time, but it does not make it any easier.

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Animal Crossing: New Leaf, for the Nintendo 3DS system, was released on November 8th, 2012 in Japan. To say that this game has been a profitable success for Nintendo is an understatement. This game features the most changes and additions ever to hit the franchise. So it is no wonder that the anticipation for the international release date is so high.

What can someone like me, do to pass the time? Should I study Japanese so I can play the game? That sounds like a plan, but I have never been great at learning a language. I also think that the game may lose some of its appeal if I am struggling to understand the humor. Well, I have found that there is something I can do. I can watch translated video game walkthroughs online.

As I am writing this, I can imagine the disapproval festering within many of our readers. I would like to go on record by saying that I know this may not be an option for everyone, but it works for me. I originally thought that watching a video game walkthrough was the worst kind of spoiler imaginable. After giving it a try, I found that I am accomplishing two goals by doing so.

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First, I am feeding my appetite for the game and learning more about what makes the game so wonderful. When it comes to Animal Crossing, there are no spoilers in the sense of how to solve a puzzle, or defeat a boss. You are simply along for the ride, watching someone else’s adventures unfold. The best part is that localization will change up the game enough to make it seem fresh. Of course, being able to play the game and have my own experience with friends is what makes a game like Animal Crossing unique anyway.

So, have you ever been in a similar situation as me? Have you ever thought of feeding your appetite in a similar manner? Let’s discuss it.


About the Author

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Benjamin is a true gaymer. For nearly a decade, his interest in Nintendo has grown exponentially! He's not extremely skilled at any particular genre of games, but mostly enjoys RPG, strategy, and fighting games. His true obsession within the Nintendo universe is Pokémon, followed closely by Zelda. Ever since he watched the first episode of Pokémon, he's been hooked. To this day, he plays the main-series Pokémon games and watches the anime religiously. He's as close as it comes to being a Pokémon Master. His true passion for Nintendo makes him excited to write new topics for you!

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Comments: 6

I've never actually watched a video walk through. It just doesn't hold my attention enough and once I've seen it I probably wouldn't play the game. I do understand the appeal of it though for some.
Localisation for video games is probably one of the more hot blooded topics for me, especially when it comes to first party content from Nintendo.

Being an Australian resident, I take from the United Kingdom's English dictionary, so some games take longer to arrive in local stores. Up to three or five months past the NA release for text heavy games.

Sometimes, I can patiently wait, but in the case of the Wii U release and the 3DS titles Paper Mario and The Denpa Men (which I have neither due to lack of funds), I found myself very irritated at the half month delay.

This delay even applies to the cinema screenings of upcoming movies. I have yet to see Disney's Wreck-It Ralph, as the Australian release is on Boxing Day. Though I suppose that's not as bad as the February 2013 release for the UK.

All in all, localisation really gets under my skin sometimes.
Oh this thread should get alot of replies. As far as animal crossing new leaf goes, I don't mind at all watching videos, walkthroughs or whatever because it lets you know what to expect and everyones town is going to be unique, not so in usual games where a video walkthrough may spoil the story. As for the topic, I read one of your posts earlier today and did some investigating to find out that not only is new leaf already out in japan but they have released a animal crosing new leaf edition 3dsxl aswell. There are the pros and cons.. pros being that in my opinion a reason alot of games are released early in japan is to get a general feedback among a country that is highly into gaming.. so the developers can tweak or improve the game before releasing it to the rest of the world market. Cons! the japanese seem to get the best in hardware and so many games that never actually make it to the us or other countries, very frustrating. An example, if anyone remembers the sony psp released in japan had a much nicer screen while the rest of the world was stuck with sub par screens and we all know the dead pixel issue's that made me go through 5 psps before I completely gave up on it. Oh yeah they wouldn't fix your psp unless you had atleast 10 dead pixels. All things considered the japanese do test out game reactions by releasing them earlier in japan, but clearly looking out for the japanese first and giving them the best gaming has to offer. Something that would be a big issue if the usa tried to do that. But like I said the japanese look out for themselves first, and thats really part of their culture (international fishing laws, ect.) but gaming is a huge part of their economy. Its just too bad the usa can't come out with a system that doesn't suck you your wallet dry.. xbox 360.. great console if you didn't get one that had the red ring of death but forcing players to pay for multiplayer and then bombarding them with ads everywhere, yeah thats why I gave them up. Your point is taken for sure, but with the 3 choices of companies I've found nintendo to be the least of the 3 evils. This is a huge topic, I wish it could be extended beyond this site because alot of people have an opinion on this. Maybe the admin could make a link on google, idk lol. Nice thread!
I guess I actually should have said something about localization though lol

I have friends who will not wait and once a game hits Europe with an English translation they will buy the game. Or they will just get the Japanese version buy import or homebrew. Personally I do not like any of these options. To me doing so is an injustice to the rest of the gamers in the US who wait paitently for the game to be localized.

I remember waiting 3 years for Last Story and when it finally came, I was sooooooooooo excited! I loved that game! Xenoblade, OMG LOVED IT! So yeah faster would be nice, but as long as it actually gets here I'm happy.
It hasn't really ever bothered me yet.  I can see how it could bother someone though.  The fact that other people are playing/enjoying this game and you're left to wonder when you might get the chance...grrrrr!
Maybe I'm being off in my thinking, but, if they are goig to localize the games anyway then why not make the games localized to start with and tweak them according to gamer feedback from each country. In this way every country gets the game at the same time etc...

perhaps it wouldn't work but why not try it with at least one game to see.

as for me...I am not bothered with when I get a game so long as I do eventually get it.

Maybe I'm being off in my thinking, but, if they are goig to localize the games anyway then why not make the games localized to start with and tweak them according to gamer feedback from each country. In this way every country gets the game at the same time etc...

perhaps it wouldn't work but why not try it with at least one game to see.

as for me...I am not bothered with when I get a game so long as I do eventually get it.

Maybe I'm being off in my thinking, but, if they are goig to localize the games anyway then why not make the games localized to start with and tweak them according to gamer feedback from each country. In this way every country gets the game at the same time etc...

perhaps it wouldn't work but why not try it with at least one game to see.

as for me...I am not bothered with when I get a game so long as I do eventually get it.