|PLAYSTATION 2||Japan USA|
By Spencer . March 12, 2007 . 11:08am
At the Square-Enix approach on localization panel, Richard Honeywood spoke about doing more than simply translating text when localizing Square-Enix titles. For Chocobo Racing they added rails to make the game easier to play and for the Bouncer they did extra motion capture sequences so players would not have a hard time understand foreign body language. Out of all of the titles discussed, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, got the most dramatic changes when it was localized. Since Dragon Quest doesn’t have as fervent a fanbase in North America as it is does in Japan, the Square-Enix localization team had extra freedom on how they wanted to adapt it. Instead of going for American English like the Final Fantasy series, they choose to give Dragon Quest VIII a distinctly British feel. Voices which were not present in the Japanese game were added in. Instead of using known voice talent a theatrical director and professional actors were cast. The musical score was updated from MIDI music to a full orchestral score and to make room for all of the text the menus were redone. It took an extra year for Dragon Quest VIII to come to North America, but in my opinion the changes were worth the wait. What do you think? Would you rather have Dragon Quest without voices ship faster or patiently wait while Square-Enix upgrades titles for their audience outside of Japan?