All About keyblade42
In November 2009 I finally heard a release date for Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep…for Japan. January 7 came and went with only a couple of Japanese trailers and a few confirmed English voice actors. I anxiously awaited an announcement for the American version that was sure to come in just a few months…or was it?
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep was just announced for North America and Europe a few days ago. Myself and many others alike were expecting this game as early as March, and at the latest July. When Square announced "Summer" back in March, I figured it would be in stores June or July, August or September would be ridiculous. I spoke too soon. BBS is not coming out until September 7 in North America. Sure it's getting a few extra scenes and multiplayer modes, but does it really need 9 months for all of that? That lead me to this question: How long should it take for developers to localize games?
Square is a culprit of the extremely long localization time. We all know what happened with Dissidia. It seems that Square only hustles when it's one of their numbered, big name games like Final Fantasy XIII and Kingdom Hearts II (Birth by Sleep is a handheld prequel). Why can't developers work on both versions at the same time and release them around the same time, like Metal Gear Solid 4?
Now, I'm not saying that localization isn't hard, because it is and can be. For one, every last bit of text needs to be translated into English, this is probably the easiest task and takes the least amount of time. Translators need to take into account cultural differences as well as linguistic differences. What may be acceptable in one country could be suggestive in another.
Voice acting comes into play next, and with it, lip syncing. This can be a tedious job to match the lips almost exactly to the voice. Especially for a game like Birth by Sleep where over 90% of the scenes are voiced. But even then, Square still uses the gaping mouth for much of the game.
Now here's the icky part: censorship. Sometimes it can be as simple as changing a word here or there, but other times developers need to keep the foreign rating for the target audience. This may include dynamically changing a scene to make sure it doesn't go M or T. Japan seems to be the loosest from what I understand, with North America coming in a close second. We all know the story with Australia.
I came to the conclusion that if a developer is making a game with a big name that it knows it will release in other territories, it should start translation and localization while the native version is still in development.
But what do you think? How long should it take for a game to be localized? Do you think Square is being ridiculous with localization time?
As we all know, new games are usually released in the fall and spring seasons. Usually there are about 5 games I want that are released in the fall that I want and maybe 1 or 2 in the Spring if any. However, this year is different. Hardly anything seems interesting at all. Even with Juggernaut games like Halo ODST (gasp) and Modern Warfare 2 (DOUBLE GASP). and I think I've figured out why: same old **** Already played COD4 and I never play it anymore. Already played 10 billion shooters... EVERYTHING IS THE SAME. There are only 2 games this fall season that I think I will actually purchase: Uncharted 2 and L4D2. However, you may think to yourself "Hey, L4D2 is the same old **** as L4D 1!" Well, actually, there is going to be a ton of changes in L4D2, enough in my opinion, to make it worth purchasing. So that's fall for you.
But to balance out a weak fall season, Spring seems to be fairing far better. Only 2 games again, but games that I am much, MUCH more excited for: Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep and Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption. As my name clearly states, I'm a Kingdom Hearts fan, so you can imagine my excitement for Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep.(I skipped out on 358/2 days because I have no DS and it's not that important to the main plot) Red Dead Redemption is one of my "dream games". Open world cowboy game, ride horses, wild west setting, shoot guns, get chased by animals? YES. So that's what I have to say at this time.
Ahh dream games... I should make a forum/blog post about those next.
Doggone it. I wish I had bought L4D that weekend when it was 40% off. Now I want to wait for something like that again but I don't really want to wait but I want to save money. Grrrr. so much frustrations. Anyway, want Infamous for my birthday which is coming up. Don't want to wait for that either.
My Recent Reviews
It's kinda crapy but it is an earlier vid i made. gamerlayne is my youtube account
To the first anniversary of Kingdom Hearts II. Sorry I couldn't get it up sooner, just turned level 10 today.
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