Yakuza Kiwami

Yakuza Kiwami

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Redblaze27 Feb 20, 2019 @ 11:19am
What was up with Yakuza 1's localization?
I decided to peek into it and really look at the dialogue used in it (not just the dub performances), and wow.

- Casual Swearing: vulgar language is nothing out of the ordinary for this series but how it was handled in the PS2 version script reminded me of that episode of Spongebob Squarepants where he and Patrick learn a swearword.

Ideally, you use such dialogue to make the script feel more natural and like an actual person spoke that (and its frequency varies per person), but this came off as using it to sound cool in place of saying something cool. They even got Kiryu swearing!

- Mischaracterization: Kiryu came off a bit like an edgelord and Majima sounded too sinister. Their relationship in the dialogue is also butchered, with Majima calmly referring to Kiryu as 'Kazama-chan', instead of 'Kiryu-chan' with the enthusiam of having a suprise visit by their favorite infant nephew.
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Showing 1-14 of 14 comments
Liam Feb 20, 2019 @ 2:02pm 
I can only assume at this point, but maybe they 'edge'd up the language in the localisation back then to try and make it seem far grittier and 'mature' in a bid to catch the attention of the GTA crowd back then. Y'know, try and pitch it as a 'Japanese GTA', even if the game was far different from that.

You can tell they put a lot of money into it too with big names like Mark Hamill taking up the role of Majima and so on--and it ultimately fell flat on its face. It's certainly an interesting piece of history to look back at these days and to see how misguided they were. At least with Judge Eyes having a confirmed dub, they've split the script into the usual subbed one and then the localised dub one, so we'll be able to choose which experience we want.
Shorty Feb 20, 2019 @ 5:04pm 
I'm literally playing the ps2 version now lol, I really wish there was a Japanese voiceover option, I've played Kiwami for about 2 hours but I've decided to play the OG version first since I've never played it and my first game was Yakuza 0, but man these english voices are something else lol
Redblaze27 Feb 20, 2019 @ 5:56pm 
Originally posted by Liam:
I can only assume at this point, but maybe they 'edge'd up the language in the localisation back then to try and make it seem far grittier and 'mature' in a bid to catch the attention of the GTA crowd back then. Y'know, try and pitch it as a 'Japanese GTA', even if the game was far different from that.

You can tell they put a lot of money into it too with big names like Mark Hamill taking up the role of Majima and so on--and it ultimately fell flat on its face. It's certainly an interesting piece of history to look back at these days and to see how misguided they were. At least with Judge Eyes having a confirmed dub, they've split the script into the usual subbed one and then the localised dub one, so we'll be able to choose which experience we want.
Quite possibly, like "its not a game for adults if F-bombs arent dropped every few moments".

Also, Mark Hamill is perfect choice for a dub Majima, but they didnt direct him properly.

Originally posted by Shorty:
I'm literally playing the ps2 version now lol, I really wish there was a Japanese voiceover option, I've played Kiwami for about 2 hours but I've decided to play the OG version first since I've never played it and my first game was Yakuza 0, but man these english voices are something else lol
I know, I didnt even get into the quality of the dub acting.
Last edited by Redblaze27; Feb 20, 2019 @ 5:56pm
dancingstar93 Feb 21, 2019 @ 8:20am 
Yeah I think I'll stick with my general characterisation of that localisation job -- translation style set by committee, voice direction bad or nonexistent (& given game dialogue tends to get recorded with each actor typically reading their own lines off in isolation rather than being in a studio with everyone involved in that scene, that can really ruin it even with a competent cast).

The slang & swearing, yeah, part of it was doubtless to appeal to the GTA crowd (GTA series were among the top selling titles on PS2, I remember reading somewhere that Vice City was *the* top selling title at least in NA) but part of it is, there really isn't any other way in English to represent the speech style of yakuza & street-gang characters in thse games. For example, in Japanese there's a dozen or more (possibly significantly more) ways of saying "you" depending on whether you're being friendly, formal & deferential, signifying you regard the listener as your social inferior or trying to start a fight. A "literal translation" would erase these distinctions.
Last edited by dancingstar93; Feb 21, 2019 @ 2:33pm
Nish-Ki Feb 21, 2019 @ 8:34am 
Kiwami Enemies still use words like "Dweeb" :/
It's 2005 already, Geez...
Redblaze27 Feb 21, 2019 @ 9:10am 
Okay, so a video I watched claims it was both because of GTA and the success of media like Sin City that led to the script being drowned in cursing.

Originally posted by 󠀡Ni-K-Sha:
Kiwami Enemies still use words like "Dweeb" :/
It's 2005 already, Geez...
People dont say dweeb?
dancingstar93 Feb 21, 2019 @ 2:28pm 
https://www.otaquest.com/toshihiro-nagoshi-interview-part-three/

has some comments by Nagoshi about the localisations of these games & how it's changed over the course of the series.
TGT Feb 21, 2019 @ 9:12pm 
To be honest, Edgelord Kiryu is a guilty pleasure.

SHUTHEHELLUP, DONTYOUDARE
Last edited by TGT; Feb 21, 2019 @ 9:14pm
Duckilous Feb 21, 2019 @ 9:44pm 
Originally posted by Redblaze27:
Majima calmly referring to Kiryu as 'Kazama-chan', instead of 'Kiryu-chan'
I don't know if you're aware of this but Kiryu's first and last name has been swapped in the English dub for some reason. I believe it's been like this until Yakuza 4.

Speaking of which, I really hope they swapped Kiryu's name back in the remastered version of Yakuza 3. It'd just be really weird when later instalments and remakes have people referred to Kiryu with his last name but Y3 in particular refers to him with his first name.
Redblaze27 Feb 21, 2019 @ 10:43pm 
Originally posted by Duckilous:
Speaking of which, I really hope they swapped Kiryu's name back in the remastered version of Yakuza 3. It'd just be really weird when later instalments and remakes have people referred to Kiryu with his last name but Y3 in particular refers to him with his first name.
If they weren't, it'd be out in North America already.

They have to localized a large chunk of side content already, so they might as well do a Atlus localization for the whole game.
淵 Abyss Feb 21, 2019 @ 11:50pm 
Mark Hamil is great though.
Redblaze27 Feb 22, 2019 @ 12:03am 
Originally posted by 鵺 Daidōji:
Mark Hamil is great though.
His fault was bad direction due to the localization trying to be edge.
If they let him jump between goofball and menacing, he'd be perfect.
dancingstar93 Feb 22, 2019 @ 8:24am 
Originally posted by Shorty:
I'm literally playing the ps2 version now lol, I really wish there was a Japanese voiceover option, I've played Kiwami for about 2 hours but I've decided to play the OG version first since I've never played it and my first game was Yakuza 0, but man these english voices are something else lol
Unfortunately the only way to play the original game with JP voices (barring serious hacking of the PS2 version & running under emulation) is to play with Japanese text. 1 & 2 HD will work on any region PS3 though can be annoying dealing with the muscle memory that tells you X is confirm / select and O is back / cancel, and *then* dealing with the fact that they still are whenever you go to save or load a game. My Japanese is pretty bad ("only recognise a handful of kanji and have difficulty parsing a basic sentence" level of bad) so I was only able to make it through 1 HD by general familiarity with the series & knowing the story from playing Kiwami on PS4.
https://youtu.be/qC-w6bJiVjE

Here is a proof why the localization messed up, but hey minor spoilers could be in this video
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Date Posted: Feb 20, 2019 @ 11:19am
Posts: 14