Xenoblade Localization Review: Localization Feels Like A JRPG
December 27th, 2017
This is probably a pretty controversial opinion, but I am really, really liking how the game was localized. I was a big fan of Xenoblade Chronicles X, despite the poor localization. But Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is in a much better situation.
In Xenoblade Chronicles X, it felt like I was playing more of a silly game. I'd notice there would be real world references to memes, like "do you even lift bro?" and stuff like that. It really broke the immersion for me and took me away from feeling like I was exploring a far away planet in the future that had nothing to do with modern times or Earth.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2's localization though, while it has some rough spots after playing for 5 hours, feels so much more like a JRPG or even a movie. I have yet to see any real world references in the game, or memes, or anything like that. It's hard to explain how, but it really feels like I'm in a different world with characters who belong in that world.
I also really like the voices. Most of them have different accents. Rex, for example, has more of a British accent, while Nia's feels more Irish. But this gives the cast a really nice feel, specially since Nia has a different accent than the other characters, and she is a different race. It's a very nice change from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, where we had a bunch of very common US voice actors that we always would see.
I haven't played long enough to know if the localization got lazy after a while, like with Xenoblade Chronicles X. Xenoblade Chronicles X, toward the end of the game and post game, got extremely lazy and inconsistent. I remember seeing some thing about Treehouse's decision to change a character's name, Lin Lee to Linly to be more familiar to Western audiences, but toward the end of the game, they randomly switch between Linly and Lin Lee. Not to mention there were typos at the end. I will keep everyone posted to what happens later on, but so far I haven't seen any of that.
The narrator and tutorial guy is also really nice. It's more like he's talking to you as opposed to talking at you.
I am a big fan of JRPGs, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 really feels more like a JRPG with how it's localized. As opposed to Xenoblade Chronicles X, which felt more like a JRPG that was trying to be a Western RPG.
Overall, I'm much happier with Xenoblade Chronicles 2's localization than the previous game. It really feels like they are trying to bring over the original Japanese game, instead of trying to mutate a Japanese game into a game for Westerners. That may not be your thing, but if it is, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is far superior to Xenoblade Chronicles X in every way.