soundtrack for reading this: Punish My Heaven - Becoming the Legend
EDIT: Up to before reading the comments on this rant, I believed Capcom USA was responsible for every localization. The thing is that Capcom has an office in Osaka which handles all localization. Thanks EtherGK for the input.
You know, I've been so mad at Capcom lately I've reached the conclusion that I must express my opinion about their American associates... or something like it. Anyway, I'm starting from the very beginning, with the game which started my hatred: Street Fighter.
NO, wait! I love the series, before you even start any argument. This post is just about Capcom and its localization madness.
Okaaaay, first Capcom created Street Fighter 1 and everyone could play with Ryu for the first time. A second had to use the red kimono guy whose name is not important because almost nobody wanted to play this game. The final boss was Sagat.
But THEN Street Fighter II came out and The Dark Age came to an end. No, really. Can't you tell how different both games are? Well, at the first game (of the SF2 series) it was possible to play with eight different characters. I guess only Ryu and Ken had come from the previous title. The final boss this time wasn't Sagat, but rather Vega...
Oh, come on!! Nowadays everyone already knows about it: the boxer guy's name is originally Mike Bison. In order to avoid lawsuits and rough sex from M.Tyson and his lawyers (probably Hewey, Dewey & Louie), they've changed his name. My point is: WHY, in the name of the Holy Mighty God, haven't they changed just his!!!! This plagues my mind up to this day. I mean, look at the Spanish ninja and tell me if he isn't similar to a Rogue and he doesn't have a rolling (or ball) attack. Sooooo... I think Balrog stands for something like Rolling Ninja?
In case anyone's been in a cave for all those years or is just another fanboy, here's the change list (jap name in blue, western ones in red)
Vega = M.Bison Sagat = Sagat Balrog = Vega M.Bison = Balrog Gouki(means Powerful Spirit) = Akuma(means Devil or Demon)
Of course there would no post if they've only done this. And just as a quote, you know Street Fighter Alpha series? Its original name is Street Fighter Zero. No big harm done in here. My complain is with Guile's friend: Nash. Yep, he's got a different name. He was named Charlie by Capcom. The reason? I don't know, do you? Maybe Charlie is the name of the local drug dealer, if you know what I mean.
Darkstalkers series also had their character names changed, but in this case, IMO for better ones (some of them). Again, original in blue and western ones in blood, I mean red.
For once in a life time the third game in the series shares the same name, which Vampire Savior. Darkstalkers 3 is the name of the console port of Vampire Savior, Vampire Hunter 2 and Vampire Savior 2. If you don't get it, check at wikipedia.org
Oh, before I forget and move on, the blood in these series was not localized.
Now I'm skipping to a more disastrous localization. Remember Rival Schools?
Well for starters, its japanese name is Justice Private Academy: Legion of Heroes(a translation of course). But forget about the name(s). The japanese console version has a very interesting mode in which it's possible to create a character based in one of the schools complete with uniforms and all. You can also befriend many of the game's character roster and earn their respective special moves.
That's right, a very customized character. The chosen school's quizes, tests and exam were also a necessary part to proceed in the mode's "plot". But playing in this mode is impossible for us regular western gamers.
Because my dear readers (yes, all two of you), Capcom cut this mode out of the American release. You see, they have never translated it. Wiki's quote: "Capcom translated most of the games on the Evolution Disc for the English localization, and planned to include the character creation mode (rebranded as "School Life") as well, but unfortunately later abandoned the character creation mode, citing the amount of time it would take to translate it from Japanese to English. The rest of the extra modes featured in the Evolution Disc were still included in the overseas versions." Yes, the first game was packed in two discs and first being the Arcade Disc.
Capcom Jp. had even released a second Evolution Disc in retail with two more characteres and all modes expanded. This expansion, however, never reached this very market.
Eventually a sequel named Project Justice was made and...
Ok, I can't do this again. Please, read another wiki quote: "Also carrying over from the first game, the Dreamcast port of Project Justice in Japan includes a character creation mode that allows a player to create their own fighters who can be used in all modes except for single-player. However, the character creation in Project Justice is packaged as a board game, taking place during an inter-school festival, rather than a date sim game like in Rival Schools. As with School Life Mode in the original Rival Schools, though, this boardgame is not included in non-Japanese ports of Project Justice due to the amount of time it would take to translate the mode. Instead, several unlockable sub-characters were included in these ports, built from the character creation parts in the Japanese version."
Oh my God.
Anyway, as for the final part of this article-post hybrid, I just want to cite one more game, Devil Kings.
I mustn't talk much. I'm sleepy already (it's 2 AM in here) and I wanna end this slaughter quickly. The japanese name of the game is Sengoku Basara. Sengoku is a time period from 1467 to 1573 in Japan. It's the game's basis for scenario and characters. It features, like Samurai Warriors, historic characters from this period, like, and mainly, Sanada Yukimura, Date Masamune and Oda Nobunaga.
At least this time the horrible localization is not entirely just Capcom's fault. The japanese producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi just thought that by removing EVERY historic meaning would make the game more different and fun to westerns. So, Yukimura became Scorpion, Masamune = Azure Dragon and Nobunaga sold his soul to the Devil and became Devil King. I'm not joking this time. The American version of the character has really done it.
Of course most of you have heard from Jim that Sengoku Basara 3 will be Sengoku BASARA Samurai Heroes, Thanks, of course, to the Localization God. We all shall pray to him (or her) so can also get a 360 version. Only because this humble writer does not own a PS3 neither a Wii.
I have some favorite RPGs. For instance, my current favorite RPG is Lost Odyssey. But my favorite series is Breath of Fire by Capcom. The Breath of Fire was localized by Squaresoft instead and like many other titles from the time it had a certain part of Engrish, but not really much. Some names had been altered because of the game's engine restrictions. This means that every character with a name of four letters or more, had its name altered. I won't go into details because it's not a big deal, really.
Breath of Fire II is a completely different matter. The game had its religious imagery removed. Ok, I admit it doesn't compromise the plot. Really. But I still think it wasn't a very fair move.
I don't know about BoF3 and BoF-Dragon Quarter, however Breath of Fire 4 was highly edited too. Much more, in fact, than BoF2. The game had its dialogues altered to remove profanity and at least three scenes were deleted: a beheading scene, a bathing one and a joke one. This is much worse. Don't you agree? Also Scias is a drunk character, not a reserved one like the localization team wants us to believe.
I'm making a special note now about Megaman. Megaman is called Rockman in Japan. Why is this a problem? Well he does have a sister called Roll. Do you get the Rock 'n Roll pun now? Also, Bass name is Forte in Japan. And I think this is Spanish for "strong". Personally I think Forte is a terrible name for a character.
By the way, my favorite character in all SF games is Ken, except for SF Zero 3 in which is Karin. I'm tagging this as "Rant" even though I researched a little...