The preview I wrote today for the PSP port of Final Fantasy Tactics is, like, super-nerdy. I can’t help it. I’m totally in love with the new localization — it’s not simply a good retranslation, it’s good writing, period. (Looks like I’m not the only one, either. The forum kids made a jump-start on the gushing while I was off doing Relationship Obligation things with the girlfriend’s family.)
I think this may become the absolute textbook example of the difference between terrible and exceptional localization. It’s not just translation — the dialogue in War of the Lions contains the same information as the dialogue in the original game. The difference is in the refinement of the raw translation, transforming Japanese syntax and phrasings into something that sounds natural in English. (And let’s face it, “tortured thieves” doesn’t make a damn lick of sense under any circumstance.)
One of Square Enix’s tricks of the trade is create massive localization bibles for its various series, a practice that pays off with an insane level of consistency that reflects even in tiny details. The renamed skill names in War of the Lions, for instance — not just the usual Cure/Cura/Curaga business, either, but more obscure things, like monk-class skills synching up with the new names for Sabin’s techniques in FFVI Advance, or the thief’s “Gilgame Heart” being renamed “Gil Snapper” to reference that stupid ultra-powerful turtle in FFV.
Oh yeah, and
Algus Argath comes off as an even bigger bastard now that the sheer dogma of his bigotry is fully expressed. It felt good to roast him with a few Firas. (Because you just know that if he knew the Fira spell, he’d use it to set fire to crosses.)
I’m about to send Alicia, Lavian and Ladd (formerly Rad) to fulfill their first job propostion. I wonder if they’ll still have a good feeling.