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English or Japanese? And why?
Depends. English for something like Final Fantasy games. If the English voices are unbelievably terrible (like usually) then I’ll use Japanese voices. I’d use them without a doubt in Trails of Cold Steel because I played the Sky and Crossbell games in Japanese.
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@nessisonett how but tales series?
Edited on Sat 10th April, 2021 @ 16:33 by veltix
@veltix I’ve only played Vesperia and I used English voices.
Japanese with English subtitles. It just feels more real to me that way.
With Persona and NieR I used Japanese as it was more immersive for me, but like stated above english for Final Fantasy.
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English for me. I enjoy the English voice acting in games like Persona 5 and Trails of Cold Steel. Although I’ve played the beginning of Yakuza: Like A Dragon and it seems strange playing it in English because the rest of the series is Japanese.
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I’ve used English across the board for every JRPG, and also for Ghost of Tsushima. I’m just not a fan of reading subtitles. The only game I can think of that I played in Japanese was Yakuza 0, because there isn’t an English dub.
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Always JPN for all JRPGs (and when watching anime) and for most other Japanese made games as well.
Haven't played Ghost of Tsushima yet but I will likely play it in JPN voice, seems more real that way.
I can't stand ENG dubs in JRPGs and I like reading subtitles.
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@strawhatcrew I was going to play GoT in Japanese too but apparently the lip syncing is in English and noticeable.
English, because I'm English.
And because trying to scan a bunch of vanishing sentences is even more difficult when there's a wall of incomprehensible noise going on in the background. That's said with all due deference to the beauty of nihongo, which I find quite melodic to listen to.
If I wanted to read, I'd buy a book. And then I'd read it in silence, because it's not supposed to be a fast-paced, reactionary audio-visual experience.
But hey, if you can multi-task to that degree, then more power to you.
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@RogerRoger I was starting to worry that I was the only one! 😅
But I will say that the counterpoint to your and my preference of hearing in our native tongue and not having to struggle with reading time-limited subtitles, is the fact that there is nuance that is lost during translation. Japanese spoken inflection and tone do convey some things which might be lost in the English dub. That said, there is really good localization teams now that do a really good job at translating the cultural jokes and emotions into English scripting and performances that are entertaining for us. Every culture has inside jokes and a style of humor and drama that doesn’t come across 1:1. In my mind, even more so a reason to listen to what the translators have come up with for the English audience.
Edited on Sun 11th April, 2021 @ 19:51 by Th3solution
@Th3solution Oh, absolutely. I'm glad you made that point because I might've seemed insensitive to it in my rush to appear opinionated, so cheers for that. I should also point out that I consume very little Japanese media anyway (outside a small handful of rare exceptions, it's pretty much just Naruto, and I won't count Sonic because he's specifically designed to cater for a Western audience) but, in my limited experience, I've never felt short-changed by a dub, and have grown really fond of several key performances from dubs. Benefit of being a latecomer, because now it's profitable to put the effort in.
There's also an "ignorance is bliss" element in that, especially back in the 90s and early 00s, the popular stuff (like the Pokémon anime, for example) was just presented as yet another Saturday morning cartoon to us kids. We had no idea where it came from, so we weren't looking for any missing components; it just was what it was. Same with games. Maybe it's the benefit of living in a relatively multicultural country, or maybe I simply wasn't paying enough attention to the credits during its opening cutscene, but it took me a long while to realise that Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty wasn't a Western game. It had an English title, most of its characters were white guys, and they all spoke English. I just wanted to hide in cardboard boxes. How was I supposed to know any different?!
Nowadays the import market is stronger, and the world is more global, so games (and anime, and other forms of media) don't need to be Westernised. We don't need the Megami Tensei games to be rebranded as "The Goddess Returns" for people to give them a shot. If anything, they generate more interest by retaining their original title, as audiences have become way more multicultural of late.
@RogerRoger I detected no insensitivity, so my apologies if I seemed like the culture police there. I actually just like having the discussion and I find it an interesting topic. You make some salient points (you always do) which are important. I think you and I being in the minority as far as not preferring playing in the Japanese language benefits from those points of clarification. And honestly, I think outside the hardcore bubble, I feel like most native English speakers play in English. The JRPG and anime enthusiast groups are the main people who utilize the Japanese dialogue, I suspect.
And you’re right about the way some of the export entertainment seems almost purposefully shunning any Japanese origin so as to appeal to the West, at least in years past. I can’t remember what game I was recently watching or playing from a Japanese studio and it struck me when the character actually looked Asian. So often characters have a western look or a mixed ‘acultural’ presentation.
So yeah, I’m glad you make those points and I’m totally with you there.
I’d probably add here that it’s not just games where I’ll use the subs, I exclusively watch subbed anime unless it’s like Pokemon or something. Although I tend to use more dubs in games than in anime.
@Th3solution No, you didn't, not at all. Was just that I re-read my previous post and detected a slight edge to it, s'all. Am genuinely grateful that you brought up the shortcomings of some dubs.
And I completely agree. Whilst it sometimes feels like we'd be in the minority when it comes to this issue, you take a peek outside the gaming bubble and I'm with you; I think the vast majority of the Western public would prefer the option of a good dub over subtitles (which is why I mentioned some anime in there, because I doubt things like Pokémon and Naruto would've been as popular had they been subbed on a Saturday morning). It helps that a lot of Japanese character design is stylised in games and animation, as you say, allowing for easier localisation. I'm pretty sure my immersion would be shattered if a bunch of folks from Tokyo suddenly started speaking with a Brooklyn accent!
I honestly think our perception of being in the minority stems from fans of the original artistic vision and cultural nuance being a little more vocal about the subject (pun semi-intended) and that measurable, accurate statistics would show more balance. The debate has faded in recent years but, back when games didn't allow options for multiple languages, I can totally understand how some enthusiasts would feel almost robbed of the creator's original intent.
You know what I'd love to know? How many Japanese gamers play Western games in subbed English, and how many opt for a localised dub. I've never, ever seen any information on that question!
English, i'm fascinated by the slightly out-dated and ill-fitting terms and slang used in jrpg translations, it just sets the atmosphere perfectly for me. I even like the conversations going on for about 15 minutes too long!
Best English VO I've heard in JRPGs is the Dragon Quest games. Mostly because they're regional British accents.
@ApostateMage Yeah, Dragon Quest XI’s VO is amazing. I loved the accented dialogue in IX on DS too.
Depends. Often Japanese if it's very story-heavy or set in Japan, and usually English if there's a lot of intense gameplay action. It also depends on how good the English and Japanese voice acting is.
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