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Author Topic: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?  (Read 10621 times)

Kallisto

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2016, 11:02:05 pm »
"Ugh... it's throbbing... and tearing... through my flesh"

Wait a moment...this was in Fire emblem!?

KingMike

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2016, 12:52:10 am »
I'm not wanting to discuss Alison Rapp herself, just how did the situation come up?
If it is what I'm thinking: extremely-whiny Fire Emblem fans finding whatever dirt they could on random NoA employees as "revenge", then they make me sick. That's basically trying to blackmail Nintendo into giving them what they want, and that's really not cool. I would argue fans that go overboard expressing their dissatisfaction can be just as bad as the "SJWs" in ruining things.
If so, that almost makes me want to learn how to hack 3DS ROMs just so I can hack the game to find ways to censor it even more just to troll them. :P
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Spooniest

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2016, 06:46:37 am »
It's funny how we live in a culture of extremes. Some people are so afraid of offending people while others don't care one bit and go out of their way to offend. Why can't people just be reasonable instead? I would say that people are pussies these days, but at the same time people of the polar extreme opposite reinforce their squeamish attitudes by giving weight to their arguments. Still, it seems there are far more people in this day and age that will use any excuse to be offended. The only reason I can fathom is that they are desperate for attention.

Truth, but why go in that direction? The proportion of people who are/would be/could be offended to those who aren't/wouldn't/couldn't be offended by them...my point was that the focus of the discussion at hand should be "has any localization of a game ever removed a relevant plot point in order to appeal to a larger audience?"

There is one that comes to mind.

Final Fantasy VI contains lines in the original script that explicitly stated that other people washed up ashore on the Solitary Island, but they had all already just succumbed to grief to the point where they jumped off a cliff at the north end of the island; i.e. they committed suicide. This line was very very heavily "airbrushed," I'd say, into something that sounded like taking a swim, and while a proper line reading would have made Cid's intent in saying it "perked 'em right up!" clear, Final Fantasy VI has no voice acting capabilities, and besides, I do not think it was an accident. It was most likely a very important and high-priority bit of censorship, as in, they sent a memo to Ted Woolsey and said "You have to rewrite this. It is not optional. Here is how it will read. Thank you for your hard work, Squaresoft." (Maybe just a bit less terse than I make it sound, I guess ;D)

So, even the Classic-Era games had to deal with censorship issues. What it means isn't that there was any relevant world events in play at the time, or any kind of different issues really than the one we live in now...what it means is that the Entertainment Industry moves in cycles. It's not linear in any way except that things show up and then fall out of fashion and then show up again when people are like "Hey remember that stuff? That was awesome" and such and such.

Right now it seems like game companies are back to cultivating a squeaky-clean, family-friendly image. In the late 90's, Nintendo had their rather rocking moments. Killer Instinct is not recommended for children, and while it's not grotesque or outright gory most of the time, Super Metroid was rather intense for children, I think. Though, to be honest, I do remember a few dead scientists right there at the beginning. Didn't seem like the attacker gave 'em much of a chance. :D

Anyhow, what this boils down to is that there will be rises and falls in the level of censorship that game companies feel like doing. They are keeping an eye on what's trending, staring at consumer sales reports for hours on end, et al. They are kind of slaves to their trade like anyone else, really.

As to the subject of Nintendo bowing to internet backlash, all I can say is BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA Nintendo probably hired the OP.

P.S. - But seriously, I don't understand the sexuality in Japanese games at all. I guess it's just a cultural barrier, but I just would rather keep those two aspects of my existence (games and sex) separate if I am able. I find it distracting, and it never fits in well with the plotline, to be honest. But then, I have the same attitude about these kinds of subplots and scenes in otherwise dramatic shows and movies and such. Frankly I'm not really much of a romantic.

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SunGodPortal

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2016, 03:51:22 pm »
Final Fantasy VI contains lines in the original script that explicitly stated that other people washed up ashore on the Solitary Island, but they had all already just succumbed to grief to the point where they jumped off a cliff at the north end of the island; i.e. they committed suicide. This line was very very heavily "airbrushed," I'd say, into something that sounded like taking a swim, and while a proper line reading would have made Cid's intent in saying it "perked 'em right up!" clear, Final Fantasy VI has no voice acting capabilities, and besides, I do not think it was an accident. It was most likely a very important and high-priority bit of censorship, as in, they sent a memo to Ted Woolsey and said "You have to rewrite this. It is not optional. Here is how it will read. Thank you for your hard work, Squaresoft." (Maybe just a bit less terse than I make it sound, I guess ;D)

That's the sort of thing I hate and I think it's a slap in the face to the original developers. They spent all that time trying to weave a story that would actually have some gravity, only to have the localization team suck all the color/life out of it turning it into something patronizing rather than engaging. And why? Because Americans foolishly underestimate children and have a habit of going to great (unnecessary) lengths to shelter them from reality.
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KaioShin

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2016, 04:53:47 pm »

P.S. - But seriously, I don't understand the sexuality in Japanese games at all. I guess it's just a cultural barrier, but I just would rather keep those two aspects of my existence (games and sex) separate if I am able.

Well that's easy to do, just don't play such games! That's certainly a better approach than supporting devs censoring stuff just because it happens to align with what you prefer. The decision should be made by the consumer, not by the publisher or even worse, the distribution platform.
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Spooniest

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2016, 04:57:02 am »
That's the sort of thing I hate and I think it's a slap in the face to the original developers. They spent all that time trying to weave a story that would actually have some gravity, only to have the localization team suck all the color/life out of it turning it into something patronizing rather than engaging. And why? Because Americans foolishly underestimate children and have a habit of going to great (unnecessary) lengths to shelter them from reality.

The moment you have any advice for me for challenging a parent over their chosen method to rear their children, I would like to hear how you did that and did not get raked over the hottest coals imaginable by that parent. You think Squaresoft wanted to make art. They did not. They wanted to sell games that were reasonably arty.

"Sell games" in this case comes without the condition of whom the games were being sold to. I tend to think of Squaresoft of the early-to-mid 90's (the time when FF6 was localized for the USA by Ted Woolsey) to have been taking an "all-ages" approach.

Better than trying to hem and haw about it (once a line is in the game and read, there's not any way to remove it from the player's mind, after all), is to play it SAFE. Get the game accessible to as many people as possible. Trust that those who are perceptive enough about what's happening will understand the underlying emotional context of the scene, and give the prudish enough of a way to "explain away" the implications to a child they wish to shelter. There. Nice and safe and fairly respectful to the original vision of the game.

What would have made me feel the way you do would have been two things they could have done:

1. Remove the Solitary Island Scene altogether and simply start Celes on the shore near Albrook in the World of Ruin. This would have been unacceptable, and a paltry way to start the WoR. Undue censorship.

2. Alter the Solitary Island Scene to the point where Celes has a happy time and finds the meaning of her existence. One way to do that quickly in a visual way would have been to change the scene so that she does not jump from the cliff. Undue censorship.

I feel what they had Woolsey do (simply change the text to be more vague about suicide) was a fair compromise. I didn't quite understand what I was watching as a child, but the music (and Celes' tears as she fell) informed my perception of what was going on to where I got a little hint of what was going on. I think they did an ok job.

Now, as for you, Herr Kaio... :D

Well that's easy to do, just don't play such games! That's certainly a better approach than supporting devs censoring stuff just because it happens to align with what you prefer. The decision should be made by the consumer, not by the publisher or even worse, the distribution platform.

Your counter-argument is strong and fairly well thought-out, but it has presumed much of what I was arguing that was not in fact included in my argument. You are implying that I was making a statement about where the responsibility for determining the proper content for a localization should lie; I was not. I feel it does, by default, lie with the company that must pay for any litigation that results from the consumption of the product. That is what the law states, and fair or unfair, that seems to be the best way to go about it.

My statement was, in fact "The publisher has the right to determine the localization's content," not "The publisher ought to have the right to determine the localization's content," key words being "ought to." Now, Kaio, you ought not to put words like that into my mouth ;D Out of courtesy and respect for you, I checked back over the points I made. It does not look like I said they "ought to" or "ought not to" have the right to censor their games, anywhere in my discourse in the thread. If I'm wrong, I'll gladly accept that, but I checked what I wrote, and it doesn't look to me like I said that anywhere? The fact that I do believe it does not mean I said it before you made your counter-argument; however, I will, out of courtesy, acknowledge that you "guessed right;" I do believe it ought to lie with the publisher, yes. They're the ones who can get sued by overzealous Christian nutjobs who don't like overt sexuality in their kid's entertainment, they get to decide how to legally cover their butt.

So, on to your next point.

Not playing the games that offend me because of their overt sexuality is exactly what I do, and I wasn't implying that others ought to do any different. You are "preaching to the choir," as it were. I said in a previous post, my first long one on the subject, in fact, that people ought to vote with their dollars. First thing I said, I think. But you have also, in the same breath, posited that my viewpoint (or someone else's you think I've aligned with?) was that I support devs censoring stuff, because it happens to align with what I prefer. It sounds like you've done what's called "making a Straw Man." You're making my viewpoint out to be a "Scarecrow" that it was not intended as, which you are then cutting down easily, as any Scarecrow can be.

My viewpoint is that localization censorship isn't a high enough priority for devs for any complaint about it to be heard; they simply don't get the time it would take during development to worry as hard about it as their most devoted fans would like them to. They don't get authority during development to worry as hard about it as their most devoted fans would like them to. And their most devoted fans are a small percentage of the game buying public. The math is against them.

Calling a dev out on censorship is unwarranted; they have many other things their bosses are yelling at them about and their bosses refuse to negotiate with them about the censorship. Company policy in a publicly traded company is decided by Stockholder Committee vote; those people tell the CEO that they've voted to adopt a policy, the CEO executes the policy and sees to it the employees are trained to follow it. The employees follow the policy they are trained to follow, and instruct their subordinates to do the same.

On to your final point, Kaio, that the decision about what content is appropriate to consume should lie with the consumer, not the publisher or distributor, is not a bad idea on paper, but try executing it in a mass market free enterprise global economy, why don't you?

You would have to basically show all your cards to the consumer up front before they have made their purchase. Say what's in the game, and how appropriate it is to the consumer's needs. You would need some kind of system to quickly, conveniently, and easily tell a potential consumer what material in the game they might find objectionable, and let them decide whether the purchase is appropriate for them or not.

This is called a "ratings system," and there is one, and it's used, and I have worked at electronics retailers recently. They do train their employees about it. However the policy is executed after the training has taken place, the training is not equivocal about the existence or necessity of the ratings system, at least.

Not a perfect system by any measure, but better than just censoring the shite out of everything by default, or just putting out whatever you want and not telling anyone what's gonna happen as a result.

Compromise is the cornerstone of any kind of social issue. Black and white, simple answers do not function for complicated questions, and intercultural exchange is always complicated. :D

This is the Spooniest Bard, signing off. Have a very Spoony Christmas, all! ;D
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Bonesy

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #26 on: December 22, 2016, 04:58:29 am »
video games are serious business

FAST6191

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2016, 08:03:56 am »
The moment you have any advice for me for challenging a parent over their chosen method to rear their children, I would like to hear how you did that and did not get raked over the hottest coals imaginable by that parent.
Got to love the cop out answers
"You don't have kids, you would understand if you had children"

and of course the best one that comes from having children for too long, and possibly precipitated by saying variations on the theme of "why?" a lot.
"it just is"

But more seriously I always argue for the abstract and science. Enrages some people no end but that is just funny. "What would happen if kids did see a tit?"

All that said I never really tried that stateside where approaches seem to be slightly different (at least going by some of the stuff anti vaccination types were spouting), childhood seems to be almost fetishised rather than considered something that happens and ultimately will be overcome, and the puritanical bent (though somewhat paradoxical at times) runs deep.

Kallisto

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2016, 11:01:21 am »
.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2016, 10:25:00 pm by Kallisto »

Bonesy

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2016, 11:43:41 am »
you're being paranoid and dumb about this dawg

Spinner 8

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2016, 11:57:14 am »
Came across something disturbing...this might be income-driven censorship, the whole SJW & censorship thing was just a way for them to maximize their paycheck, this is just rumors, and no hard fact evidence yet -

First let us take a step back into the past to get some perspective -

https://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2016/02/fire-emblem-fates-censored-content-through-localization-has-gamers-fighting-back/

Other information -

Yes, Nich Maragos, was a Patreon of Andrea Ritsu, some really toxic SJW on Tumblr which started the bullshit allegation that one of Soleil A rank conversation was "Gay conversion" (it isn't). Both him and Rich Amtower, which I believe is a head of localization, both publicly on their twitter, claim support for Zoe Quinn and Feminism

Also, while I'm there, another unrelated "classic" -


https://i.imgur.com/xyoYD8f.png

youtuber -

it's been revealed that some team members of Treehouse are patreon supporters of the fairly SJW bloggers who initially attacked the game for waifu sexism and whatnot. Treehouse's credential basically didn't exist before this, and now they're digging themselves into a hole through very questionable changes.

Commentator from Forbes -

Surprisingly it has more to do with money than expected for a lot of these minor and nonsensical changes. A friend who used to work in the industry says that they were paid for every change, so there was an incentive to change anything they could get away with.

Additionally the Soleil changes go a litter further than just that one support conversation. All her S-Rank conversations to become romantically involved with male characters were changed to friendship. So the localization changes a bisexual woman into a lesbian woman.

I don’t mind jokes being localized or anything like that, but don’t go changing the story just cause you can get a quick buck for it!


User from another site told me this -

This reminds me of the rumor that NoA purposely undershipped NES minis because the personnel in charge of selling the product got bonuses if they sold out their shipments, not maximizing sales.

None of this makes sense. And I can't stand how there's no accountability.



Now what to make of all this? This sounds like a income scheme going on in NoA, and they don't care how they do it. Now if all this is true then there definitely needs to be accountability because they're going against the consumer for their own personal gain, the whole SJW thing & censorship are simply tools for them to get what they want.

Now again if this is true, there needs to be some real hard evidence to start calling out NoA-Treehouse, and other localization teams for various companies if this what they have been doing this whole time. They're insulting real localizations & also Fan-Translations that work real hard to make a product as much presentable as possible, I think we can all agree we have enough problems with the ratings board, but also having to deal with this?

Disgusting

I don't know if you all caught on to this change, but changing Trunk's sword into a twig recently for Fusions is a big red sign that maybe there might be something to this.

Also to add another thing that the whole Income-driven censorship apparently was made aware as some rumor on /v/ few months ago on 4chan, I just happen to dig a little further on this subject, and was made aware of this from another user.


Bonesy

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2016, 12:12:20 pm »
if he's charlie can i be frank

Kallisto

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2016, 10:26:05 pm »
I'm not being paranoid, I don't believe it is out of the realm of possibility they want to play with the system to get more money, and even if it means hurting the source material.

Spooniest

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #33 on: December 27, 2016, 05:06:49 am »
I'm not being paranoid, I don't believe it is out of the realm of possibility they want to play with the system to get more money, and even if it means hurting the source material.

Kallisto, you aren't wrong. They are jobbing the system, and my answer is: who wouldn't?

This is a difficult difficult business. You do not sell video games if you expect it to be a relaxing, fulfilling job, and that's the end of it. Any other industry would be less stressful. Video gamers are the most difficult market to sell to, because they know cheating when they see it. ;D

That said; they job the system only enough to the point where they won't piss off too many of their fans. Perhaps the intelligent ones will be angry. That is far from the majority.

If they just censored absolutely anything they could to the point where it made the story 100% acceptable to the target market to minimize the rating as much as possible, then yeah, that would be jobbing the system too hard. But they don't do that. They only job the system as much as will keep the greatest number of fans happy and buying their games in the future. They care about brand loyalty, but you are basically implying that you want to demand that brand loyalty be their number one concern until kingdom come. It isn't going to happen.

Sales numbers will always be top priority. The other concerns aren't irrelevant for that reason; they simply aren't the first thing that is considered. It would take too long and be too difficult and require FAR TOO MUCH PLAYTESTING (that costs money!) to job the system as hard as you are saying you feel they are doing.

Their approach is balanced and profitable, and not too disrespectful of the original author's ideas. They know that a fair segment of the buying public (getting bigger every day) cares about such things. They are willing to cater to that segment to a point. But they cannot make it their number one priority, that would be an unbalanced approach, and not profitable.

I'm not trying to call you out on the carpet or belittle your point of view, but these are what I find to be the most likely facts.
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Recca

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2016, 05:32:56 am »
Don't get me started on this... I absolutely can't stand stupid censoring. I'm pretty sure that American companies only do this kind of crap to try and make Japanese things look bad. So many games and animes have had terrible English dubs, which is why I vastly prefer watching the original Japanese versions with English subtitles which are usually made by fans. Just look at how awful Dragon Ball Z and One Piece were dubbed by those 4Kids morons which ruined many series. Sure, a small questionable scene must be cut out, but it's okay for children to watch degenerate garbage such as Family Guy which is the most disgusting crap I've ever seen.

Even many games have terrible edits/changes for no good reason at all. For example, in The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang (SNES), the shop keeper Dowson was changed from a pretty blonde girl to some kind of ugly mummified creature. Sometimes, it's even quiet ironic when they make things much worse. Magical Hat for the Sega Genesis, was changed to the damned awful and highly disturbing Decap Attack. Something innocent was changed to something down right evil. And what's the point in changing pointless things like a character's name? I honestly get the feeling that they're just trying to look busy doing pointless things just to get paid...

In any case, I don't want this to end up as one of those topics that never ends and eventually becomes a flame war that gets the thread locked, so I'll stop here. Except for a few cases, censorship is just plain stupid. No matter where something was made, I believe that people should have the chance to experience said game/movie/anime/etc. in the original form.

Edit: Or another funny example I just remembered. Changing the rice balls in Pokémon to sandwiches. Seriously, what's up with that? Are rice balls somehow offensive to U.S viewers...?
« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 11:20:16 pm by Recca »
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Kallisto

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #35 on: December 27, 2016, 08:07:26 am »
^ I got into a big one-sided debate on two forums about that, and unfortunately most people don't care about the changes as long it still conveys the original message (which I disagree because I do believe people should learn about other cultures with a few exceptions like generic honorifics that mean the same thing that are not needed unless you're hardcore). Also now there is rather strange graphical changes like the whole controversy of Trunks wielding a Twig instead of his sword...and that is when I have to say that the Endless "I'm Offended" thing has gotten out of control...I mean seriously Trunk's Sword removed? I don't know what to say about that nonsense, I hope this didn't set a precedent..but then again they censored a lot of original scenes from DBZ recently in video games, I guess it has to do with FUJI airing it now on a certain time or it had to do with that crime that happened a decade ago, and now they all gotten paranoid. I can't believe it took one crime in Japan for all of them to freak out, and change the rules on Anime/Games/etc.

Also there is the recent issue of fanservice, and honestly I can't blame them for this, I think lately it has gotten tasteless, and the companies involved really put themselves into a hole because of that, but that is a whole separate issue that can fill a topic, and I'll leave it at that.


KingMike

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #36 on: December 27, 2016, 11:53:05 am »
but it's okay for children to watch degenerate garbage such as Family Guy which is the most disgusting crap I've ever seen.
But Family Guy wasn't made for children (though I'm sure they've seen it anyways, you're comparing to a show INTENDED for all-ages). Though I stopped watching FG after like 2008 or so when they stopped being funny if politically insensitive, to just seeing how much shit they could get away with. (pretty much Brian trying to have sex with Lois was about the start. Though I think it was an episode about Quagmire's family and having a lot of screaming and stuff where I said "yep, this stopped being a comedy.")

Quote
Sometimes, it's even quiet ironic when they make things much worse. Magical Hat for the Sega Genesis, was changed to the damned awful and highly disturbing Decap Attack. Something innocent was changed to something down right evil. And what's the point in changing pointless things like a character's name? I honestly get the feeling that they're just trying to look busy doing pointless things just to get paid...
Was Magical Hat a licensed property?
I didn't play it all the way through, but Decap Attack seemed pretty mild, despite the name.
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Chronosplit

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #37 on: December 27, 2016, 12:06:24 pm »
Treehouse which works for Nintendo is the real reason why games had been censored
The practice with Pokemon at least predates Treehouse.  See: D/P/Pt and Pokemon marriage.

I think what's largely responsible was the thought back then that everything should be heavily censored due to soccer moms and news pundits people who say Minecraft is satanic.  This carried on in some form and probably will never die.

Translation hacking is not safe from this either, funnily enough.  Examples being the FFIV j2e translation (on accident).  Localization teams aren't responsible for those.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 07:00:31 pm by Chronosplit »

KingMike

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #38 on: December 27, 2016, 09:12:30 pm »
I don't think j2e is an "accident".
Probably the editors on that were still in their teens (or at least, not quite "mature" to keep the story as-is) and thought adding jokes and unnecessary foul language (among other things) would make the game "better".

(not that stuff like the Something Awful shout-out didn't get in to the official localizations :P )
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Chronosplit

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Re: Are Localization Teams to blame for today's censorship?
« Reply #39 on: December 27, 2016, 10:52:12 pm »
(not that stuff like the Something Awful shout-out didn't get in to the official localizations :P )
True.  At least with V it was somewhat better done.  The only one I caught was on Gilgamesh.