Catherine Animation Being Lip-Synced To English Localization

By Ishaan . March 23, 2011 . 2:33pm

This past Monday, we reported that Michelle Ruff is playing the role of Katherine McBride, the steady girlfriend of protagonist, Vincent, in Atlus’ upcoming horror-cum-puzzle adventure, Catherine. Ms. Ruff joins Troy Baker and Laura Bailey, rounding out the game’s main cast of Katherine, Vincent and Catherine.

 

Speaking with Siliconera, Ms. Ruff revealed that manual lip-syncing of the animation appears to be part of Catherine’s localization into English from the original Japanese dub, which is rather significant, given that the game emphasizes believable character interaction and drama.

 

“I had to match basic timing on scenes but my Katherine’s mouth was being animated to my performance in some of those scenes,” Ms. Ruff revealed to us. “In some of them, she was animated already and I had to sync my performance.”

 

Atlus have Catherine planned for release sometime this summer on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. In the mean time, we’ll have more of our communication with Ms. Ruff to share in the near future.


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  • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

    Oh wow, ATLUS taking this to a new level. I can not wait to see the final product. This will truly be a marvelous performance!

    • cj_iwakura

      Always got the feeling this was developed with a western audience in mind, and I imagine it’s not too difficult to modify their own engine to allow for better lip-sync.

      The animated cutscenes, of course, no changing those.

      • http://twitter.com/Cucumber_man Cucumber

        “Always got the feeling this was developed with a western audience in mind”

        I highly doubt that.

        This is a Japanese ass game in anything but setting.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          That wasn’t his point at all. His point was that this game, like Radiant Historia before it, was always planned for western release, and these plans likely affected the development and/or schedule in some manner.

          • http://twitter.com/Cucumber_man Cucumber

            His original statement:

            “Always got the feeling this was developed with a western audience in mind”

            Seems to imply that Catherine was focused towards a western audience during development. At least that’s how I interpret it.

            I disagree. The game is very clearly designed with Japanese sensibilities in mind. The Dengenki Playstation interview reveal that much.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

            Come on, man, if they were completely focused on Japan, would they have even made a 360 version? To me, that was as good as confirming it was going to be localized, because as expected, the 360 version didn’t exactly sell in Japan.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Farid-Belkacemi/1073052585 Farid Belkacemi

            + 1, I’m with u Cucumber !! ^^ I never thought I would say that kind of sentence one day lol

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            You might be right, there’s no denying what cj said, but Ishaan also has a point, and so does Charles. In this day and age, it is almost impossible that a Japanese dev would create expensive games for consoles without considering the western market from square one. Atlus needs to survive and thrive, like any other company.

          • http://twitter.com/Cucumber_man Cucumber

            Charles, I’m not saying Catherine’s localization was ever in doubt(it never was lol and anyone who thought otherwise is kinda dumb), I’m just saying the game’s story, setting etc etc is aimed very specifically at a Japanese audience. Despite its setting.

  • kyuketsukimiyu

    Brilliant! I am very impressed that they are doing this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Robborboy Paul ‘Chinny’ Chinn

    Laura Bailey, Michelle Ruff, and Troy Baker. Every neuron in my brain is screaming to buy this the day it comes out…..

  • http://www.aksysgames.com/ Akselziys

    Hmm, makes it sound less likely that it will be dual audio >.< *weeps*

    But still looking forward to it XD

    • mirumu

      Japanese releases often aren’t especially well lip-synced, although based on the demo it looked pretty good in Catherine. Speaking personally I’d be happy with dual audio even if it isn’t perfectly in sync on the Japanese track.

      I don’t have a lot of interest in the dub track myself, but I’m glad Atlus is doing this as it removes an important barrier that could prevent western buyers from picking up the game.

      • gatotsu911

        True that. From what I understand US localization/dubbing studios typically put more effort into lip-synching dialogue than the Japanese ones, which is so ironic I don’t even know where to begin. A lot of times when I watch anime subbed I am just blown away by the degree to which they are NOT EVEN TRYING with the lip-synching, and this is coming from someone who rarely notices details like that.

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          That’s because in anime the lips are only “flapping” open and close most of the time (afaik it’s due to the short-syllable, rapid nature of Japanese speech) but in US’s own cartoons the lip movements are often precisely animated down to the syllable. So even when dubbing Japanese stuff that mentality carries over. I guess.

          • gatotsu911

            What I’m saying, though, is that often the lip flaps in anime don’t match the Japanese dialogue even a LITTLE. It can be pretty jarring. I’ve heard it suggested that this is because the Japanese are so used to watching dubbed films that they instinctively pay little attention to lip-synching – I don’t know if this is true, but it’s certainly plausible. (The only anime I’m aware of that has ever been completely lip-synched in the style of American animation is “Akira”, but some pay more attention to at least giving the illusion of lip-synching than others.)

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            Can’t disagree with that sentiment.

        • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

          Im glad the dubbers for anime do spend time to get the script and their words to match the movements of the characters mouths on screen (well at least in Bleach based on the production stuff on the boxsets). Small details like that are really nice

      • http://twitter.com/Cucumber_man Cucumber

        I think this kinda sorta almost kills any chance for dual audio. I’m very surprised and impressed that they had the budget to do this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jstack Jon Stachewicz

      I’m sure if they’re taking such care with the voices that they’re even bothering to lip sync, that they have the quality of the voices themselves under control.

      • http://twitter.com/reggie739 reggie grahita

        but i want to enjoy sawashiro miyuki as catherine

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      If they can tweak the game to this extent of their liking, then dual audio is most certainly not a problem of programming technical difficulties…

      …But since they’re doing this, you’re most certainly right.

      • Aoshi00

        I think Akselziys is right… very few games redo lip sync for Eng, but I guess it would be Eng only just like FF13/MGS4.. while it’s unfortunate some fans don’t get to experience the Jpn dub, I love it when they redo lip sync animation.. I thought S-E was going to do it for 3rd B-day but didn’t.. when there are so many cutscenes w/ char close-up in HD, it feels especially out of place when the lip sync don’t match 100% (or 99% anyway)

    • Aoshi00

      Yea, unfortunately I think it pretty much means no dual audio, just like the US ver. of FF13/MGS4 had totally redone another set of video to match the Eng lip sync.. At least I didn’t buy the Jpn ver in vain lol *don’t hit me..*

      • mirumu

        According to Konami there wasn’t enough space left on the Blu-ray to do dual-audio on MGS4.

        • Aoshi00

          I know, they could’ve done 2 blu-ray disc for dual audio, but that’s like including two games so they didn’t… If they didn’t redo lip sync here though and don’t mind paying royalty for the Jpn voices, they could definitely fit in dual audio like Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 1/2 and many other games. I prefer custom lip sync though.. I wished the Jpn ver of Lost Odsssey would have Jpn lip sync and US ver having Eng lip sync.. well at least it’s better than Last Story, there was pretty much no lip sync (just mouths opening and closing like in regular anime) except some very major pre-rendered FMVs.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

            Yeah, I remember Kojima being told that he was given the option to go with two discs, but he wanted to keep the game to a single Blu-ray.

  • IceRomancer

    I really like little updates like this! It makes the painful wait a little easier knowing how far along they are :)

    • http://chronotwist.deviantart.com/ JustThisOne

      I know what you mean! Although, I find that learning of tidbits like this is almost as fun as playing the game itself. I feel like a kid in a candy store at Silliconera. :P

      • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

        I dont know, the anticipation is usually a bit quenched since we read the same quote later in the full interview when they only post one bit at a time and we see it later again…though every news site does this.

        I just wanna know the full voice cast and if they will do P5 and another SMT next truth be told, but that is probably beyond the scope of her knowledge.

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        Thanks, that’s one of the nicest compliments anyone’s ever given us. :)

        • http://twitter.com/arcticmoon hurr

          A little off-topic… but sigh, do you think there’s any chance of Disaster Report 4 coming to the States anytime soon? I guess it won’t get released in Japan for a long time, but who knows if it’ll get released anywhere else… the game almost reached gold I’m sure so it’s a shame.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            I…don’t know. I mean, we could ask… But I don’t know if IREM would feel comfortable talking about it. We’ll try, but no promises. :)

  • cj_iwakura

    Good luck, Ms. Ruff.

    Sailor Moon’s a hard act to follow.

  • Zero_Destiny

    Oh wow this is an all-out dub. Atlus you’re awesome. Anyone who was whining and complaining that Atlus has changed and was never going to release this game can now shut-up (if they haven’t found the sense to do so yet). Wow they’ve gone above and beyond with re-doing the lip-synching. I can’t wait to play it. :D

  • http://www.facebook.com/jstack Jon Stachewicz

    No jokes about “horror-cum-puzzle adventure”?

    We have a mature crowd here tonight

    • http://chronotwist.deviantart.com/ JustThisOne

      Well! Well I… Well..

      Yeah, you’re right. I just can’t be inappropriate right now.

      • Testsubject909

        I can! What does she think about Vincent in his dream, with his sheep horns? Does she enjoy the horny Vincent more then she does the normal Vincent?

        • AnimusVox

          Boooooooo!!!!

    • Aoshi00

      I think the last guy who did that here got banned lol..

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        Hahaha, no way…no one gets banned for making dirty jokes. :P

        • Aoshi00

          Only if you could do it tastefully like the poetic Yusaku Matsuda :)

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Yusaku’s a real scholar. :)

        • http://chronotwist.deviantart.com/ JustThisOne

          Oh my! I’m on to this faster than Catherine is upcoming. *ba-dum che!*

          No? Okay. I’ll do better next time. ;__;

  • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

    This is indicative of the type of quality Atlus is bringing to this localization. This will be a well polished release. Not that you’d expect anything less from Atlus.

  • PrinceHeir

    i guess this has no chance for dual audio(like other Atlus games)? not that i mind or anything. oh well look forward to it since the cast seems great so far, but nothing beats Miyuki Sawashiro. NOTHING.

    • Aoshi00

      I kinda had that feeling they would follow P3/4 w/ Eng. only (just like I had the feeling 3DS would be region locked *.*).. it’s good they go the extra mile though like FF13/MGS4 w/ different lip sync for each ver.. really appreciate it.

      • PrinceHeir

        definitely just so we don’t see those awkward voices that don’t match the characters facial animation

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/Juddgment Judgment8

    Ooh, fancy~

  • gatotsu911

    Wow, fancy. They must be prepping to make a serious marketing push for this one. Joyous will be the day when this becomes standard practice for games and anime.

    • http://twitter.com/Kyogissun Philip Irwin

      I hope you might be right, it would be nice to see Atlus do a TV campaign for it, maybe run some ads on Adult Swim/SyFy/Comedy Central perhaps?

      Not like anything else all that interesting is coming out in late July anyways…

  • Guest

    McBride? Is that her original name or a localization alteration?

    • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

      Original. No one in the game has even a vaguely Asian name.

      • http://twitter.com/Cucumber_man Cucumber

        Katherine is by far the funniest, though!

        • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

          It is a little on the nose :p

      • Aoshi00

        Wait, isn’t Johnny supposed to be a Japanese-American? It’s Jonathan Ariga or something..

        • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

          Ah, you got me there. Forgot about Johnny’s last name!

          • Aoshi00

            I was surprised the cool Johnny was Asian-American when I saw the credit rolled, I guess that fits the ever-suave Koyasu Takehito :)

    • http://twitter.com/Cucumber_man Cucumber

      Original name. Its super-silly, and I had hoped they’d change it.

      Its really funny, though.

      • gatotsu911

        Super-silly? It sounds a little funny, maybe, but it’s a totally real last name. Right off the top of my head I can think of at least one person named McBride (actor/comedian Danny McBride, in case you’re wondering).

      • Aoshi00

        Hm.. why is McBride funny though, I don’t get it, it doesn’t fit w/ Katherine? I was surprised Vincent was called Vincent Brooks when I looked up the manual :) Sometimes it’s funny you find out chars in anime/games actually have last names.

        • http://twitter.com/Cucumber_man Cucumber

          Real name or not, its super corny and like ChrisTaran said, on the nose. Its like calling a banquetbaker in your story Joe Baker or a wolf-breeder max de wolf.

          Its something you do in children cartoons, bro!

          • Aoshi00

            ah… I guess perhaps it was an intended pun.. or Jpn just aren’t that good at coming up w/ Western names most of the time, some of the other chars have funny last names, the spelling is just a little strange.. I did think of the actor Danny McBride immediately though, that dude is obnoxious and hilarious :)

    • gatotsu911

      Why would they change one Western name to another in localization? (Well, unless the original was one of those totally ridiculous faux-Western names you see in a lot of Japanese media. I actually wish more names like that would be changed in localization.)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

        Dick Saucer!

  • Icon

    Can’t wait for this game. News like this makes the experience seem even more high-quality than I already imagined it being.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

    I’m happy about this, although I am sure by the time this thread is done, there will be some people angry that this means there probably won’t be dual audio.

    • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

      ATLUS should do a poll to see how many want dual audio…actually what is even the benefit to them for offering it at the end of the day. I cant see much monetary gain.

      • Guest

        They could easily offer the dual audio version at the Atlus store as a special order kind of deal, so that they only take as many orders as they need to for people who want the dual audio. But with this I doubt they’ll even be offering dual audio at all now.

        As someone who is semi-fluent in spoken Japanese but terrible with the writing, I’ve used media like this to aid in contextually learning and applying what I know to further learn the language.

        A shame that I’ll have to cancel my pre-order now.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          “Easily” offering the dual-audio version would mean spending the time and resources to develop it, too, which might not be financially feasible. That was his point. :)

          • Guest

            Which I have to disagree with, because fan made undubs tend to get hammered out pretty quickly. If one or two people alone can do it in a week, a company full of resources could do it even more quickly.

            If acquiring a dual audio copy was a pre-order only deal and it sold even just a couple hundred more copies than it would have otherwise, then that is additional money in the bank for them. Would I buy a pre-order version of Catherine with dual audio? Absolutely. Instead, I’ll be waiting for the price to drop.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

          You’re actually going to cancel your pre-order because it won’t have any Japanese language track? That makes me wonder…have you never purchased an Atlus title before because of this? None of the MegaTen titles? None of the Persona games?

          • Guest

            Yes, I have purchased Nocturne, P3 FES, P4, and P1 PSP. In the case of Nocturne, there was no voices. For P3 FES and P4, instead of playing my purchased copies I downloaded and played the P3 FES Undub Remix and P4 Undub. P1 PSP only has limited English voices in the cutscenes. I never bought P3P, so I haven’t played through that yet as I will not download an undub without having an actual copy. I assure you I’m not a heartless pirate, lol. I don’t support bad dubs, but I do support good companies. No loading times and being able to carry my library with me and reduce laser strain is very convenient.

            P3 FES Undub Remix was particularly good, because it replaced some of the in-game tracks with their Reincarnation counterparts which are way better, such as with an orchestrated ending theme. The game was definitely much more powerful to me, being able to experience the flavor of that Japanese culture with a Japanese dub track and those replaced audio tracks. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

            Keep in mind I learned to speak Japanese gradually through studying the context of what I hear in Japanese versus what I read in English text. It takes dual audio or undubs to do this. If you want it to be, it is a powerful study tool. Doesn’t help when learning written though.

    • mirumu

      I don’t see how this affects dual audio really. Lip-syncing has never matched right in any dual-audio release in the past and there’s been many so clearly it’s not a deal-breaker. Even speaking as someone who wants to play the game with Japanese audio I’m fine with them syncing primarily to the English dub. The game is being released for the English language market after all so of course that has to be their focus.

      Also, while I can’t imagine happening due to cost reasons, it’s not impossible to sync any realtime animation differently for each language track.

      • http://twitter.com/Cucumber_man Cucumber

        Budget, mah boi, budget.

        Notice how very few videogames get proper lip-synching when localized because of the time and money involved outside of square enix like company+ Atlus always prioritising english version+the game being set in America anyways+ Atlus’ localisation budget being significantly lower than something like Square Enix=

        Low to no chance of dual audio. I hope they include it because they are clearly not cutting any corners on the english version and more options is always a good thing, but given Atlus’ previous track record I HIGHLY doubt that.

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        All star Japanese cast was too expensive. Decided to spend the cash on lip-syncing instead. Also, being in sync to English dub means being out of sync with the Japanese one. Keeping the lip syncing to both is possible, I suppose, but I have a hunch that’s not what’s going to happen.

      • Aoshi00

        I think it just means they have to use 2 separate sets of videos, which they didn’t do for the US FF13 or MGS4. Actually when I imported Lost Odyssey, I was very disappointed the video was lip sync to Eng. only (when you play it in Eng it was perfect of course), the actors (not VAs) didn’t make an effort of matching the lip movement, the chars were still speaking when the mouths closed and no voice would come out when the mouths are still moving, that took me out of the game somewhat (in addition the poor acting performance, because the actors were not voice actors). But yea, it would mean this is Eng. only like FF13/MGS4.

        • mirumu

          Actually in the past consoles games often keept video and audio in totally seperate files. Sure they’d need to duplicate every video if they lip synced all the cut scenes, but I wouldn’t have thought they’d do that with Catherine due to the costs involved. I don’t recall the issue in Lost Odyssey despite playing it recently. But I guess I’m used to poor lip-sync.

          • Aoshi00

            The Jpn Lost Odyssey dub was pretty horrible/amateur-ish to begin w/ (like Ghibli or Level 5 insisting on using non-VAs, I’m glad Sakaguchi didn’t do that w/ Last Story), adding Jpn dialogue matching poorly w/ the Eng. lip movement it was double distracting :(, it was the same for many Jpn players as well.. I played it in Jpn first because the Jpn ver only had Jpn subtitle even w/ dual audio… I didn’t want to listen to the game in Eng while reading Jpn subtitle..

            I imagine if they did Jpn lip sync w/ seiyuu, LO would’ve been a godly RPG (well it was really good alrdy, just thought the poor lip sync and Jpn dub job bogged down the presentation, Eng dub was great though). I watched a lot of Hollywood movies dubbed in Jpn, they actually have very amazingly well matched lip sync, it’s like the American actors are speaking Jpn themselves..

        • endaround

          I remember reading at the time the decision was made to sync to English voices because thw Japanese audience was said to be less upset with bad syncing

          • Aoshi00

            I know the Eng dub was actually the main dub for Lost Odyssey, but still they could’ve done a better job w/ the Jpn dub.. but since they chose to use famous actors/non-seiyuu like Ghibli or Level 5, I guess you couldn’t expect much because the actors lack the experience and skill to emote and lip sync..

            I dunno, I watched a lot of US movies dubbed in Jpn, the lip sync was excellent (how the script is adapted and the timing was perfect).. here the actors couldn’t voice act (Jansen and Seth were actually on par, Ced was good and so was Tolton because he was voiced by Horikawa Ryo) and the lip movement was totally out of sync, so it was a double whammy…

            The fact that they didn’t do Jpn lip sync for the Jpn ver didn’t bother me, it was just a poor dubbing job w/ inexperienced non-seiyuu.. the chars and story were so important… I think lip sync is important for either dub though.. I played FFX at first and I liked the Eng dub fine, but afterwards I played the Jpn ver, all the real-time and FMV cutscenes had perfect lip sync it felt so much more immersive..

    • Caligula

      Too bad for them. People ought to be glad we’re getting the game in the first place.

  • http://twitter.com/Kyogissun Philip Irwin

    Atlus: Realizing that a well developed dub is worth taking seriously.

    Thank you guys, I look forward to more news concerning the localization.

    …But let us know if Atlus has any plans for the Collector’s Edition of the game ASAP. :D

  • Pichi

    This is what I want to see more of, and glad that Atlus is doing it.

  • HarryHodd

    My pre-order for this just keeps getting more justified and more appreciated. Glad the are doing it right.

  • AdamBoy64

    I think it is very impressive that they are doing this.

  • maxchain

    Man, they’re pulling out all the stops for this one!

    • Testsubject909

      And we’re pulling all the stops to buy a copy. Right? … RIGHT!?

      • maxchain

        FINE GEEZ

  • http://whatistheexcel.com/ Excel-2012

    Fantastic. More sub vs. dub fodder material.

    • lurkingsalt

      I do remember news for FF XIII being released along the same lines. Reworking of the animation, so that was their reason for not including a JP voice-track on the US release. Funny how the international has both tracks though.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1472407455 Charles Lupula

        The International does NOT have both tracks. It just has the English track.

      • Aoshi00

        FF13 International only has the Eng. audio track, but it had both Jpn and Eng subtitles.. basically it was the US ver w/ the optional Jpn text added in.

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      That’ll always be a debate no matter what, whenever localization of any kind comes up.

      • http://whatistheexcel.com/ Excel-2012

        Except this move borders on trolling the sub side.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000301072427 Mark Shaver

          Yep, making something better for one side automatically means DEATH for the other side.

          I mean, would they rather there not be a choice AND it’s badly synced?

          • mirumu

            Speaking as someone in the sub camp, I’d rather the dub was as good as it could be. Makes it more likely it’ll make money which in turn would hopefully mean more good games in the future.

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          This is not the first time a game has been re-synced to English, nor will it be the first time Atlus (possibly) excludes the Japanese audio. Yea, it sucks, not much we can do about it. I’m getting to a point where I’m tired of protesting these kinds of decisions. I’ll pick Japanese dub without a second thought if they include it, play it as is if they didn’t. Unless the dub is beyond horrible, I’m going to buy it anyway, right? It’s what I’ve been doing with badly dubbed but still fun Japanese games since the ’90s… if anything it’s been improving.

    • mirumu

      In the case of Catherine the debate isn’t sub vs dub and hasn’t been for some time. The dub is confirmed and people seem relatively happy with how Atlus are going about it. It’s more a case of are those of us who aren’t so fond of dubs going to be thrown a bone with a dual-audio option?

      I’ve probably been one of the most vocal proponents here for keeping the Japanese audio track, but I’ve never once suggested there shouldn’t be a dub or that Atlus shouldn’t make the dub as good as they can. A good dub is essential for a popular mainstream release in the west.

      I do think though some in the US underestimate the importance of multi-language options though. In Europe especially games supporting multiple language tracks are not rare or strange, it’s essential for commercial success.

      • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

        Since this isnt a movie or show, what is the importance in multi-language options for a game, in CONUS? In the grande schema I can not think it is an important deal breaking feature for people who would spot this game on the store shelf…Isnt Europe different because each country has different languages. CONUS has English, and if people truly did know JPN they would have imported it already possibly, if anything dual language should be SAE dub and SPN dub…

        • mirumu

          Yes, I’m actually kind of surprised there aren’t more Spanish dubs released in the US.

          I’m sure you’re right about the feature not being a deal breaker for many, but that doesn’t stop them loading DVDs and Blu-ray movies up with different languages. It’s a nice to have.

  • Caligula

    Nice, nice. I hate when games don’t even attempt lip-syncing (Xenosaga…!), so I’m really happy to hear there’s some actual effort going into it.

  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    Are they just re-syncing the in-engine/ real-time cutscenes (easy) or the Studio 4C anime cutscenes as well (harder)?

    This could be a double-edged sword. I want my all star Japanese VAs. If this game’s setting wasn’t America and didn’t have three talented American VAs confirmed I’d be a bit more upset…

    …or not, because come to think of it while I would have liked Persona 3 & 4 in Japanese, the dubs were far from ear-grating. Atlus’s dubs are only second to Konami’s (MGS, Z.O.E, Silent Hill, Suikoden, etc. had amazing VAs). And I guess my tolerance is pretty high either way from years of no choice but English in my Japanese games.

    • https://twitter.com/RaiohV ShinkaRaioh

      But the fact remains that we would miss on an awesome Japanese voice cast, and now I really don’t want that. :(
      Surely I won’t mind a bit playing this in English(great cast so far), but not even having the choice is frustrating…though it’s just speculation at the moment so I/we’ll see~ :P

      • Aoshi00

        I think it means unfortunately dual audio is out and those who want to hear the original dub are going to miss out, but then the Eng. performance would be enhanced and more believable / custom lip-sync just like FF13/MGS4 or the Pixar animated movies. At least people could still double dip and import the region free Jpn PS3 ver if they want, but it ain’t cheap of course…

        • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

          Nnnnuugh I don’t wanna import… or double dip. Being able to understand a game or being able to hear it as it was intended originally shouldn’t be a choice (or in two separate discs, for that matter)!! Also like you said just too expensive. >_< I'd rather spend that money on another game or two. Still gotta get Yakuza 4 and Little Big Planet 2. and a bunch of older games. Anything good lately? :)

          • Aoshi00

            I hear ya… I wish I hadn’t gotten the Jpn 360 ver either.. so I could just have the Jpn PS3 ver and US 360 ver. (I didn’t think they would even leave the covers intact).. I still haven’t finished Yakuza 3 or LBP yet, so no sequels for me.. Hm.. just trying to finish Gyakuten Kenji 2 and digging Prof Layton 3DS now (I’m on schedule after finishing Last Story and Catherine).. and playing some shmups and MvC3.. I need to go back to Dream Club Zero one of these days, been neglecting the girls :(…

            BTW, Kenshin Saisen sucked as expected, should’ve expected as much, an anime game from Bamco, you cant even save in the middle of the game… some of the char portraits were so badly drawn looks like it was drawn by a 5 yr old, real bad :(.. Can’t Rurouni Kenshin get a break and get a good game for once..

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            I’m sure you can sell off Katherine for some good money back… if you have the heart… ;p Now that you mention it I skipped Yakuza 3 (only played the 2nd) and haven’t finished LBP either. Need to cut back. Must… maintain… self-control… >_< Sounds like you have it all under control though. :D

            Is Saisen the fighting game on the PSP? That bad huh. You know, Kenshin would make a pretty good Way of the Samurai style game…

          • Aoshi00

            Not sure how much I would get back though (and if I do I could get Kat back in July :).. You know, my original plan was actually to sell the bonus sound disc/artbook to recoup some of the cost of the 360 ver (someone alrdy said he would buy it for $30), but NCSX screwed me and only gave me one bonus disc for only the PS3 ver… cheapskate.. nah, I buy way more games than I have time to play, I used to think someone was crazy to buy a game and let it stayed sealed for months.. I have that problem now lol.. I didn’t even finish Yakuza 2 yet, closed to the end… I’m just glad the games I was most looking forward to this year met my expectation. Unless I’m totally sucked in, I can’t finish most games these days..Yea, the new PSP fighting game for Kenshin, it’s mediocre at best, the sad thing is it’s still the best Kenshin game to date, that just says how bad the old games were.. I dunno, I don’t want a Way of the Samurai style game, I didn’t know how to play Way of the Samurai 3 at all and kept dying lol, I had no idea what I had to do… It should’ve been simply a HD 2D sprite based fighting game like BlazBlue or 3D like MvC3, either is good. I could play those for ages even though I suck at fighters.. and now after one playthru I don’t feel like going back to the PSP game (it cramps your hand and you can’t even save!).. well I would still get back to it to unlock the chars (only 3 are playable at first).. this is doing Watsuki the creator (a big fighting game fan himself) a total disservice..

      • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

        But would the mass market know of this “awesome Japanese voice cast” or just the select few? When these are brought up, I just wonder how many people actually care of having the choice, and even then, giving a choice, how does it benefit the developer/publisher?

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        Maybe you should accept fate and expect the worst now rather than be extremely disappointed when the game hits shores and you have no time to let reality sink in. That’s what I’m doing, anyway.

        Ok, that’s real depressing but I honestly don’t think we’re getting the awesome Japanese voice acting.

    • mirumu

      I found the Persona 3 & 4 dubs fairly ear grating myself, but I’m not American so am not really in the target market for dubs such as these. I’ll take the original Japanese track every time given a choice.

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        Yea well, I happen to be American of Chinese descent and given a choice so would I choose the original track in any anime/ movie/ game any day but the fact is, *I don’t think we’re getting a choice*. So I’m just trying to make the best of my situation by rationalizing it. :(

        EDIT: You think Persona’s voice-acting is ear-grating? Sure they Americanized it with accents and all, which is wrong, but ear-grating to me is voice-actors who sounded liked they were plucked off the streets outside the office and don’t understand how to emote properly. Not trying, no rhythm, or doesn’t fit. *That’s ear-grating*. Something that’s in plenty of pre-PS2 era games. But not how I would categorize Persona 3 & 4.

        • mirumu

          I can understand where you’re coming from. I’d rather just wait until Atlus confirms what they’re actually doing before getting started on rationalizing anything.

          Accents aside, the acting in the Persona dubs didn’t seem especially good to me, and well, Fuuka’s voice was literally painful. Acting styles are quite different in different parts of the world though. Compare an American sitcom with an English comedy show and see how different the acting techniques used are. I’m not saying one is better than the other, but acting is more of an art than a science and understandably tastes vary.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            You didnt like Fuuka’s giggling scene, or Ikutsuki (okay his name is hard to spell and pronounce).

          • mirumu

            I honestly just don’t remember the giggling scene. Ikutsuki didn’t sound especially natural to me. He always sounded like he was acting, but I wouldn’t say I had any big problem with his voice.

          • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

            You’re right, maybe I’m jumping to conclusions…

            And I can understand where you’re coming from too with the voice acting. No set standard, that’s for sure.

          • gatotsu911

            But here’s the big question: how do you know the Japanese acting is any better if you don’t speak the language? I’m of the opinion that Japanese voice actors tend to overact or underact frequently – not significantly less so than American voice actors, anyway. But because I don’t speak the language, it’s hardly noticeable, and I don’t really think I (or anyone else not fluent in Japanese) am qualified to judge their performances beyond broad assessments.

            As for Persona, yes, Fuuka’s voice was awful, and it was the one voice you had to hear more than any in the game. A lot of the minor, one-scene characters were pretty bad, too. Everyone else, though, I thought was… decent. Not amazing, but a far cry from “grating”. If you want to hear grating video game voice acting, hoo boy, is there plenty of it out there for you to check out. You might want to start here: http://www.audioatrocities.com

          • mirumu

            I don’t disagree with your comments on Japanese acting. I’m not fluent, but understand enough to pick up on a reasonable amount of the bad acting. I think they tend to underact more often than US VAs, but personally that doesn’t bother me as much as overacting. Then at the other end of the scale there’s Chiaki Omigawa… I think you’re correct in saying that having less understanding of the language makes the acting less noticeable, although like anything if you hear enough it of you can’t avoid picking up on it.

            And yes, there are some truly terrible dubs out there like those you linked to. I don’t mean to suggest Atlus’ dubs are bad, they aren’t, but for me at least they still tend to detract from my enjoyment of the game.

      • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

        Ear Grating? What are you looking for in a voice acting performance?

        • mirumu

          …voice acting that’s not ear grating?

          Seriously though when I listen to American VAs the accents and acting style distract me from whatever it is I’m watching/playing. I’m not saying that’s bad, we all have accents, but imagine for a moment if everyone in games you played sounded Scottish. Sure, you can probably understand what they’re saying, but it’s not a dialect you’re used to hearing it in your day to day life. That’s a bit what it’s like for those of us living in other countries.

          • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

            Scottish is epic, Scrooge McDuck was scottish right, and he sounded epic in the epically awesome Duck Tales, I didnt think he is ear-grating.

            America is a mixing pot, we hear numerous dialects each day (well I do at least). So I dont really understand what youre getting at. If the character in a game is of Scottish descent then by all means I would think its right.

          • mirumu

            Oh, appropriately matched voices are good, don’t get me wrong. If a character is American then sure, give them an American accent. I’m just saying that imagine if everyone in every game sounded the same way with the same accent all the time. Most dubs coming out of America are like this with exclusively American accents. That’s perfectly understandable given who’s creating those dubs, and fair enough too since they’re footing the bill. All I’m saying is that it’s a bit jarring when no one where you live speaks that way.

            I didn’t mean to suggest Scottish was ear grating either, my grandparents came from Scotland.

            I do hear numerous dialects every day too, but mostly antipodean accents as well as, South African ones, Welsh, Chinese, Thai and Japanese. I don’t actually hear many Americans in my day to day life.

          • Aoshi00

            The fact the students in P3/4 were saying -san or -sempai in Eng was kind of weird, even though they were trying to be faithful in adapting the Jpn cultural references and suffixes :) I didn’t think the P3/4 Eng dub was bad at all (I just prefer the original Jpn dub), but if you want to be culturally “accurate”, they were all Jpn and shouldn’t be speaking English, no matter what accent they have. Just like Naruto shouldn’t be speaking English strictly speaking.

          • gatotsu911

            On the subject of American accents, that’s kind of an interesting discussion. As I understand it, the “flat” American accent is considered “neutral”, and thus desirable for voice acting. If it wasn’t the accent I was used to, though, I don’t know how I would feel about it. I guess I always figured that English-speaking people from other regions of the world just got used to anime/video game characters speaking with American accents to the point that it no longer seemed strange or alien. I would like to see more voice acting out of, say, the UK though. The dub for Dragon Quest VIII used UK voice actors, and it had some of the best voice acting I’ve ever heard in a video game.

          • mirumu

            I think some English-speaking people from other regions probably do get used to American accents. I live in New Zealand, and there’s quite a few American TV shows that air, and most movies shown come from the US. I don’t watch an awful lot of them myself, and maybe that’s the difference, but I suspect those who do might be more used to the accents than me.

            I haven’t heard the dub for Dragon Quest VIII, but I agree some UK VAs really are good at what they do.

            There are some cases though where American english is significantly and noticeably different to other dialects. I was watching something the other day where a character speaking in Japanese offered someone a “ビスケット” and this word was subbed into American english as “cookie”, but the Japanese word originally comes from British english and is pronounced as close to “biscuit” as the Japanese alphabet allows so ironically it sounded more normal to me than the translation did. Language can be a funny thing.

          • gatotsu911

            Out of curiosity: Was that a professional translation, or a fansub? And did the item in question more closely resemble a cookie or a biscuit? After all, some loanwords in Japanese (or any other language) can undergo a degree of semantic drift.

            Another thing about why translations from Japanese are generally associated with an American accent – and this may be a bit of a stretch – is that of all the countries in the Western world, America is the one with which modern Japan has the most intimate history. I saw someone writing a while back that American and Japanese culture are “more deeply intertwined than any of us can possibly fathom”. The Japanese are as fascinated with America as many Americans are with Japan, and Japanese and American pop culture feed into and influence one another in an endless spiral (for instance, American cartoons and comics led to the creation of manga and anime, which influenced American comics, video games and action movies, which went back to Japan and influenced their popular culture all over again). Not to mention, it seems as if whenever the Japanese think “foreign”, they think “English” (c.f. “Evangelion 2.0″, in which a scene supposedly set in eastern Europe is voiced by people with American accents, though I’d hesitate to call them “actors”… and Koichi Yamadera, demonstrating that he might not have been at the top of his English class).

  • MisterDandylion

    The dedication shown for this game is admirable :)

    I speak for myself when I say that I found the dubs for P3 and P4 good and enjoyable .

  • http://www.facebook.com/kismet137 Fanchon Chance

    Ppl need to stfu about the dual-audio thing. Stoping QQing, it won’t get you what you want.

    • Chippel

      What’s your idea of “QQing”? Saying, “I would personally prefer Japanese audio.”? I have seen absolutely nobody being immature about wanting it, and few even saying they wanted to play it over the English dub. So… Whah?

      • http://www.facebook.com/kismet137 Fanchon Chance

        There have been. Not on this article in particular, perhaps, but on many others (and on other websites/forums, obviously).

    • Ladius

      Being a little more polite won’t hurt, you know? Customers have every right to make demands, just as publishers and developers have every right to do as they please (and sufferenjoy the consequences depending from their choices).

      I am still buying Catherine regardless of the dual audio, but I don’t see why anyone should “stfu” about it just because you don’t agree.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ex-Detsu/100001670613988 Ex Detsu

    Honestly, I’m not too interested in puzzle games no matter what kind of form they take on. But I might buy this just to show willing, if there’s still a Japanese audio option.

  • http://twitter.com/theanimalmaster blood donor

    damn……..what a waste of money with the lip syncing. i would love to see a poll on their website thats simply asks the fans what they would prefer. PLEASE let me turn the english voice acting off at least………….

  • http://galuda.tumblr.com/ Claudio A.

    no japanese audio is truly disappointing. english is not my native language, but i’m used to videogames with english-only texts. but i hate when there’s a japanese game and i’m forced to listen to depressing english voice overs. persona 3 portable voice overs was really horrible! usually, when i watch an english movie, i prefer the english dub, when i watch a japanese movie i prefer the japanese dub. the same for videogames.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Humzah-Jan/100001147084979 Humzah Jan

    NO THERES STILL HOPE FOR MY MIYUKI SAWASHIRO

  • Volcynika

    Nice to see Atlus USA being consistently awesome.

  • http://photovoltaik.bandcamp.com/ Ujn Hunter

    Lame. I’d be playing with Japanese voices on anyhow… blah. Maybe there will be an Asian release that has English subtitles instead… ugh.

  • http://twitter.com/PafuPafu7 Kevin Lor

    horror-cum-puzzle adventure sounds awesome

  • http://twitter.com/ChestnutBowl Chestnut Bowl

    Cannot wait! The dub seems like it’s going to be great.

  • http://www.twitter.com/georgiegenocyde georgiegenocyde

    I hope the game will still include the Japanese voices though. I tend to hate English VA usually, but excited for this game >.<

  • http://www.twitter.com/georgiegenocyde georgiegenocyde

    i hope this game includes the japanese voice acting though >.<, i'm excited that it got localized but i tend to have english VA.

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