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JustKarol avatar 11:51 AM on 04.05.2012  (server time)
Lost Without Translation.

This entry is in relation with the North American release of Xenoblade Chronicles and I use the term ĎNorth Americaní because I myself have already played it back in November and it is indeed worth all of Operation Rainfallís effort. Itís rare to see a JRPG in this day of age to do itsí own thing and simultaneously pay hůmage (French for homage) to does who thread the path before it.
Sorry, have you played it? If it makes you any better itís not nearly as good as The Last Story. Not that one either? Oh well, never mind...
Itíd fair to say that Xenoblade is taking itsí precious time to get to party. In fact by the time it got to our party here, Iíve already left. Only to end up finding it lying in a HMV at Heathrow airport last November on the lowest rack. Yíknow? That one that is positioned after Z section but before the gates of Hell? Localisation seems to be the main culprit as to why games like these games are being delayed. And I know that I may sound daft in mentioning this but; why?
Of course I donít mean disregard localisation completely. Itís hard enough to understand a Hideo Kojima game, imagine playing Snake Eater with only a Rosetta stone as a reference. Iím particularly more focused on the concept of dubbing.

I know that dubbing is only a fraction of the localisation process. But it always gave the impression that it was the most expensive fraction, the kind of one that would represent golden stardust in a pie chart.
Suppose form a monetary point of view, dubbing would be the best option. And I canít recall a Japanese spoken game aim at children break the million marks outside of the land of the rising sun either. Yet whatís Xenoblade Chroniclesí excuse? Expand their potential audience? Sorry I donít buy especially from a game that was even planning on coming out of here. Just think of all the benefits that come with (or to be precise, without) them.

- It technically counts as reading.
Get your daily reading in manageable bite size chunks. This also benefits as a great work out for the eye.

-"Gradually" learn a foreign language.
Well not a language in itsí entirety, but Iím sure I would be able to pick up and master the essentials like; Oniichan, Yatta & Saaki.

- Games come out earlier.
Ok maybe this fact isnít as concrete as I like it to be, but there are those games that are delayed put the blame on localization. Look at the Legendary Shenmue II for the Dreamcast. Released in both Japan and Europe with only Japanese audio, both with a release date of three months difference.

Maybe Iím missing a crucial part here and if I am please do mention. I donít want to give the impression that I am against dub because the Xenoblade Chroniclesí in particular is really, really good.
Even at the risk of wasting near 800 words of typing, I wonít deny.Alright itís not perfect mind you, I was convinced for a majority of the game that Reyn was a Alzheimerís victim seeing that he slurred the same sentences every second battle. Nevertheless the dialogue is top notch which shows no signs of cringing material. Credit also goes for the game delivering bearable British accents. Certain people would regularly nagging on how there is a style to dubbing and before Xenoblade I didnít believe them.
I know in the Anime circuit that there is preference between dubbing & subtitle and it can be almost to the point snobbery. Yet you never see that division with the computer games? To be fair a majority of the games do give us the option with audio, so there's never a dilemma well, at least between English and Japanese. Most of the central Europeans countries wouldn't have the luxury of there native language in audible form. So if they can put up with subtitles, why can't we?
Take either the Resident Evil or Silent Hill for example, both series with North American references so clear itís a wonder that Silent Hill 2 isnít about 120Kg James Sunderland looking for a Subway voucher. And with that, both franchises only featured English audio throughout. Yet with games like Xenoblade, with show Japanese influence, gives the option of both. And I liked to emphasis on the word option one more time. Option!

Iím not trying to persuade people into my train thought; again, Iím perfectly fine both original and English dubs. But is there a real need for a dub for certain games, especially if it means (in most cases) a prompt release date?
Maybe there is and Iím being more blunt than usual if so, donít hesitate to tell. I should be playing Pandoraís Tower by then. Sorry? Oh thatís right......

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