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moon ([personal profile] lunarsystem) wrote in [community profile] rainbowgames2015-08-19 07:58 pm
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Question Wednesday #5: Lost in Translation

So it turns out that Sega brought a mobile installment of their well-known puzzle series, Puyo Puyo, to the West! But it's been localized as Cranky Food Friends and has all of the classic Puyo art removed, making some people very upset. This isn't even the first time Puyo Puyo has been completely rebrandd overseas, either--back in the '90s, it was reskinned as both Kirby's Avalanche and Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine!

This used to happen a lot, so I'm curious about which bizarre rebrands are your most and least favorites. Which games do you think benefited from being drastically changed from one region to another? Which didn't? (This can include difficulty changes, art style/character design changes, changing sensitive content, etc.)

And, as always, What are you playing right now?
tetsuro_hoshino999: (Ash beardchum)

[personal profile] tetsuro_hoshino999 2015-08-20 01:39 am (UTC)(link)

Which games do you think benefited from being drastically changed from one region to another? Which didn't?

I owned both the English and Japanese versions of Pokemon Blue. The games are mostly the same. However, there are some differences between the two verisons that are pretty neat.

The North American version of Red and Blue had characteristics of Japanese Pokemon Blue graphics and code wise (Japanese Blue was less glitchy than Japanese Red and Green) but American Red and Blue had the same in-game trades as Japanese Red and Green.

Since the Japanese verison of Pokemon Blue was a special edition, the in-game trades were better in terms of filling out the Pokedex or even team building wise. In Japanese Blue, you can get a Poliwag early in the game, which is a pretty good early game water type if you didn't pick Squirtle or you didn't have the patience to raise a Magikarp. There's a girl on Route 5 that would trade one for a Rattata. The deal in the English version isn't as good because she just gives you a Nidoran female for a male (which you can find both earlier in the game).

However, these differences led to some localization mistakes in the English version. In Japanese Pokemon Blue, there is a trainer in Cinnabar Island that would give you Graveler for a Kadabra. They both evolve though trade, so when you talk to the trainer they tell you that their Graveler went and evolved. But in the English Red and Blue versions, he gives you a Electrode for a Raichu. But the funny thing is that the dialog is the same as the Japanese Blue version, so they tell you that their Raichu "went and evolved".

Also the Pokemon apperances of Japanese Blue and English Blue are different depending on route. For example, in the Japanese version Ditto appears in Dark Cave and Rapidash appears in the Unknown Dungeon.

One beneficial change that the English version made was to tone down the Thunderbolt animation. in the Japanese version, it had faster flashes. The change was probably made to accommodate people who are epileptic or have sensory issues with flashing lights.

What are you playing right now?

I've been playing Paper Mario (the one on N64) and Pokemon Crystal with a randomizer.

I'm at the last chapter of Paper Mario and just need to do some extra errands before I battle Browser. I kind of feel sad that it's almost over though, because after this, I have not JRPG Paper Mario games to play since I actually played Paper Mario Thousand Year Door many years ago. Maybe I should try to play Super Mario RPG afterwards, but I love the partner and battle system so much in the Paper Mario JRPG games.

Playing a randomized version of Pokemon Crystal is a lot of fun so far, because you never know what you're going to get. I'm currently at the 3rd Gym. Seeing what kind of Pokemon you can get and what moves they can learn is so intriguing that it's hard to stop once you get going. I actually didn't sleep much last night because of it(I'm really sleepy and I should try to sleep earlier today). Thank goodness this is still summer.
Edited 2016-01-08 19:50 (UTC)

[personal profile] jackvambrace 2015-08-20 05:13 am (UTC)(link)
Games with regional differences... Oooh, Wild ARMS! First game came out in '96 or '97 right around Final Fantasy 7. The translation was actually okay, but a bunch of monster names based on pre-existing mythology got kinda mistranslated. Wild ARMs 2 kinda got butchered though. A lot of things got cut for content, and I think one character's gender was changed during translation. It feels a little bit like maybe two groups worked on the translation, cause it just loses coherence in spots. In particular whenever Ard and Liz show up the tone of the dialog shifts so suddenly you can feel it. 3 was pretty standard and successful localization, nothing to see here. 4 was also okay except that they took out two enemies in the US release. That wouldn't be that big a deal, but some unlockable extra content requires 100 percenting the bestiary. They didn't update it to reflect the missing monsters, so you can't unlock those things. Haven't played 5 or XF yet, so not aware of anything on them.

I've seen series fare worse hitting the states. WA1s issues are mostly consistency with the rest of the series, and there was a remake on PS2 that brings it in line with the rest. I'd like to see the same for 2 while there's a kick for that kinda stuff, but there hasn't been a new entry in the franchise for almost a decade now :(

In other series, I'm told that the Mario and Luigi RPGs keep having the difficulty ramped up in western releases. I know the final fight in Partners in Time drug on forever even with a ton of attack items.
Thousand Arms on PS1 might have been my first ATLUS game, and it had an interview in the back of the manual where the talked about what they changed during localization. I finished it when I was younger, so they must have gotten the difficulty right.

Probably the biggest changes I'm familiar with outside of that would be Super Mario Bros. 2, where they just released a completely different game stateside. Personally I like it much better than lost levels.
Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 had extra content for the international releases, then more extra content for the final mix releases, and then HD re-releases of final mix internationally. Anyone else dizzy after that?
Megaman has a really obvious pun right in the title, but only in Japan.
Xenoblade extended the play timer to where it would record past 99 hours in international releases.
If what I've heard is true, Katamari probably takes the cake. As I'm given to understand they just tossed out huge chunks of the script during english localization and told them to wing it.

So far as what I'm playing, I finished Shovel Knight. I really liked all the characters in this, I'd love to see them fleshed out more. Also it took me a day and a half to get the joke about Black Knight's shovel. I've been playing through Resident Evil Revelations 2 trying to get the good ending with my wife. We've both been blown up enough to put it to the 1812 overture. I bought Citizens of Earth on sale, I need to play it some more.

[personal profile] jackvambrace 2015-08-23 03:53 am (UTC)(link)
Also apparently Phoenix Wright just got moved to L.A. in the U.S. release. I think this Awkward Zombie comic pretty much sums it up http://www.awkwardzombie.com/index.php?comic=120913
tepidsnake: (Default)

[personal profile] tepidsnake 2015-08-20 08:56 am (UTC)(link)
Oh no, this might be a long one from me because regional differences like this completely fascinate me!

The Puyo Puyo Quest stuff really baffles me though as there really doesn't seem to be a good reason to even bother changing it. The only thought that came to mind is they wanted to make the game appeal to a wider audience by using something generic like food? On that note though, I actually don't mind Mean Bean Machine- it fits better than Kirby, and they kept a few bits of music but shuffled it about (in particular, the Vs. Satan music is used for Vs. Mode which fits really well)

So one I think about a lot that didn't benefit from changes is Konami's obscure take on R-Type, XEXEX, with Force Orb and all. The Japanese version is closer to Konami's Gradius series- one-hit kills, go back to a checkpoint after you die, no co-op, etc. The World version gives you a generous energy meter and lets you continue where you die, but all the additional weapons- there's six beyond your standard peashooter- have been removed, and the game is far harder as, on Medium difficulty, enemy units from the hardest difficulty setting are thrown in for no real reason. Most of these changes seem to have been made to encourage the player to credit-feed, so the Japanese version definitely feels more balanced. If no-one minds a little plug, there's more differences that I documented on this page.

Another really interesting one that did benefit is Splatterhouse 2 on the Mega Drive. The Japanese version, as well as having a different title (Splatterhouse Part 2) and a different design for the Terror Mask, is closer to the TG-16 port of the first game in terms of set-up- on Normal, you start with 5 hearts per life but have only 5 continues to beat the game with, while the US/EU version has 4 hearts per life and infinite continues.A There's also no password option in the JP version, but it has a level select cheat not seen in other versions. This makes some parts of the game easier (bosses especially) as you have an extra hit you can take, but the game is hard enough already (in some ways, far more unfairly so than the first game) that you need as many continues as you can get!
Also, a minor thing but the EU version has slower music owing to 60hz/50hz differences but I actually prefer it- this definitely sounds more sinister than this if you ask me!

EU games tend to have weird miscellaneous changes to them, so I'll quickly whip through some:
You probably know most Contra games up to the Mega Drive game were changed to Probotector over here, with all humans replaced with robots. Weirdly, we never got Contra 4, which actually had a Probotector as an unlockable character!
Some games get dialogue completely removed for the EU, like Pocky & Rocky and Castle of Shikigami II
Gunstar Super Heroes was renamed Gunstar Future Heroes in the EU and, among other things, added a picture of a sleeping rabbit to the pause menu
There were four Psikyo collections released for the PS2 in Japan- Strikers 1945 I & II, Sengoku Ace & Blade, Gunbird I & II and Sol Divide & Dragon Blaze. The Gunbird and Strikers sets were released as sets in the EU while the games in the Sengoku and Sol Divide/Dragon Blaze sets were released as individual games... But the Gunbird/Strikers sets removed memory card support!
The Sega Ages 2500 version of Alien Syndrome was removed from the EU version of Sega Classics Collection to keep the age rating down

Finally, not a localisation change as such, but R-Type Final's EU manual has a page missing from the US one, a heartfelt message from Irem to fans of the series which you can read here.

... OK, I'm done with that. Promise!
As for games I've been playing, I've been on Sayonara Umihara Kawase + again lately- I'd love to do a rainbowgames post on the series as soon as, uh, I can get an ending, any ending, in the SNES game (included in the Vita version). It's... It's hard. Feels so satisfying when you finally figure out a stage though, definitely one for the persistent! Also been practicing a little Armored Warriors ready for playing online with a friend- a Capcom brawler with giant robots and you can steal arms from enemy mechs to change your attacks! Finally, I don't normally play visual novels but had to give Love at First Sight a try, a VN about a cyclops girl. It's quite sweet-natured and nice an' short, so I quite enjoyed it, but as a warning it deals a lot with touching scars (inc. descriptions) and bullying, so bear that in mind if you were thinking of giving it a try.
tepidsnake: (Default)

[personal profile] tepidsnake 2015-08-21 05:38 pm (UTC)(link)
OK, I thought of one more but it's one of the more damaging- Metal Slug 3. Three specific versions, to be exact- the JP and EU PS2 release, the JP and EU Xbox release, and the US Xbox release. This came at the time when it was harder to get stand-alone 2D releases out for the PS2 in the US, so like many Neo-Geo ports, it only made it to the Xbox in the US.

All three differ in how they deal with continues- PS2 has no limits on continuing much like the Metal Slug 4 and 5 ports that came later. JP/EU Xbox has both players sharing 9 credits between them, which is tougher but you can increase your number of lives which helps. US Xbox has each player limited to 4 continues (no sharing this time) but if you have to continue you must restart the stage from the beginning. The only way around this is to keep at least one player alive before the Continue? prompt appears.

This includes the final stage, which is about half an hour long.