Alright, another chance to talk about the localization! This is going to get long...
Here are my thoughts and feelings on the localization:
1 - I'm pretty sure some of the localization team are not native English speakers. There are a lot of grammatical errors that most native speakers would not make if they were working in a professional capacity (such as localizing a game). On top that, there is some choice of wording that seems kind of off. Things that make sense grammatically, but just seem... odd. For Example:
There's nothing wrong with what this says, but who talks like this?
2 - It definitely seems like the localization was done by separate teams which had little to no communication with each other concerning their respective assignments. This has lead to places where sometimes the same thing can be referred to differently depending on where you look.
Examples of this include such things as:
For those unaware, in the Japanese version, Alliances are referred to as Teams. Here we see that while the NPC is referring to this Alliance Order properly, the system message refers to them as Team Orders.
Here we're looking at the Hurricane Kick potential for the Nox Sagephus Katana. In it, we see that the potency of Snatch Dodge is boosted by 300%. What is Snatch Dodge though? You would have no way of knowing this unless you were familiar with the Japanese Braver skill tree, but the skill they're referring to is called Sidestep Tackle in the English localization. For some reason, it's been translated as Snatch Dodge for the description for Hurricane Kick.
A third example that comes to mind, that I unfortunately don't have an image to share is from the Urban Lifestyle AC scratch. There was an emote called Wall Slam included as one of the potential pulls. The item is called Wall Slam in your inventory, but when you consumed the item and attempt to go use it from the emote list, you'll find the emote is now called Kabedon.
3 - This kind of ties in with my second point above, but it seems like there was no style guide for this localization. From what I know of localization, there's typically a style guide or something similar that the whole team would use as reference so when there's a question as to how to translate something, you would follow the guide. From what I've see, it seems there's no method to the madness that is the NA localization.
4 - My personal feeling is that there was no thought put into some of the translation choices. By that, I mean that everything is translated without thinking about context or intent, and in some cases they just flat out changed things that I suppose they couldn't find a proper translation for. There are many instances where transliteration, rather than translation would have been more appropriate. The biggest example here are the Photon Arts...
For those unfamiliar with Japanese, there are three main scripts used for writing. Among them is one called Katakana. Katakana is used for several things, but among them is the transliteration of foreign words. In the Japanese version of PSO2, all of the photon arts are written in Katakana, because almost every one of the game's Photon Arts are foreign words. Mostly English, but some other languages too. You would think then, that since the PAs are already mostly foreign words, that they're like that for a reason, and the localization team would simply transliterate them back to their appropriate languages... but they kind of don't do that.
The example I often use is that the Gunblade PA Rage Dance is written as レイジダンス in Katakana, and would phonetically be pronounced Reijidansu. That's a pretty simple transliteration job there. Reijidansu = Rage Dance, and that's what we got. However, there is a Gunblade PA that's referred to as Rayblade Shot in the NA version, but in Japanese, it is written in Katakana as エインラケーテン, and phonetically would be pronounced Einlaketen. Now, you may be thinking "There's no way that's an English word." and you'd be totally right. It's German. Ein Raketen is what it says. We didn't get Ein Raketen though, we got Rayblade Shot for some reason. This to me is a case where simply transliterating the name would have been sufficient rather than coming up with a completely new name for the Photon Art simply because it's in German.
And since I'll never pass up an opportunity to mention it, I would like to point out that despite nearly ALL of the Photon Arts in the game being foreign words transliterated into Katakana, the Photon Arts for the Katana, while still written in Katakana, are all Japanese words. Despite that, all of these PAs were translated, rather than transliterated.
|Cherry Blossom Finale
In this case, knowing that all of the other PAs are in foreign languages, and only the Katana PAs are still in Japanese to me would mean that was an intentional choice, and were I the one localizing the Photon Arts, I would have left them as they were, rather than translating them. They also sound way cooler in Japanese.
You could argue that they wanted to translate ALL of the Japanese in the game to English, but I would simply say that isn't true at all, since there are Katanas like Yasha and Yamigarasu which are still in Japanese, plus you have the Kabedon emote I mentioned before, and of course we can't forget the all mighty Fluorescent Bulb... or should I say...
Okay that's all I have to say about that.