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Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s dish that brings Japanese politics to the West



The Yakuza series entered the Western market as a modern dramatic beat partly because Sega was adept at localizing games at record speeds. You could say that the localizers, at this point, know what they are doing. But coming Yakuza: Like a dragon not an action game of that ilk. Along with a plot revolving around sensitive themes, Like a dragon Localists say bringing the latest game to an English-speaking audience presents a special kind of challenge compared to what has been before.

It is, in part, a bunch of expectations. Some people picked it up Like a dragon undoubtedly will be the veterans of the series who are accustomed to navigating the streets of Kamurocho. Some might consider RPG as a good starting point for the series. Others may remain new to the series, while also entirely new to Japan.

Localizers have to find a way to reach everyone who doesn̵

7;t, as Sega’s Scott Strichart recently brought it to Polygon via email, “stupid[ing] diminish ”or possibly erase the“ Japanese experience ”that current fans have come to expect from the Yakuza.

“Ideally, it should feel a bit alien to regular Western players, but it also feels like we’ve built a pretty smooth path between you and what the game offers,” Strichart said. . “Your job as a player is to just go through it and hope you will feel rewarded for what you find on the other side.”

Part of what makes it all difficult is, Strichart told Polygon Like a dragon “Undeniable is sometimes political, perhaps even more so than the previous ones.” As our review explains, the RPG tries to take topics like classism and government corruption, especially since it involves the in-game yakuza. There’s a head-on nationalist organization with the game’s main characters, among other sensitive situations.

“For us the whole thing is very complicated,” Strichart said. “Anytime it turned to a political act, whether it was from the antagonists or the hero of the game, we did what we could to ensure that we accurately portrayed the developments. That’s in a way that represents what the developers want to say. Our localization philosophy is that we are doing a game of discussion about Japanese politics, and we try to make sure we’re not there to make any spin. “

It helps, he says, for a number of topics like immigration and deportation that are common, or at least familiar to all players, regardless of background. The team tried to make the nuances of the Japanese experience easy to read for the casual player while keeping the cultural magic that made the series appealing from the start.

In our reviews we found that Like a dragon‘S Political bouts have had contradictory results, but it may not be of any help to the group venturing in some way into undiscovered territory for the series. And, in some ways, to the role-playing game itself. While these genres have many established conventions, they often exist in societies that do not fully reflect the real world. There is one element of fiction to argue about, which is “not entirely here.” Like a dragon try to translate those conventions into a realistic context, and the results can be as interesting as out of the ordinary.

“For example, ‘getting drunk’ is not an illness in many role-playing games,” Strichart explained and added, “but here we have three levels: drunk, drunk, and damn. Or there are a number of different ways the enemy can verbally provoke the player’s team into a state of anger, localized as everything from ‘[the enemy] Talk a lot of nonsense! ‘ come ‘[the enemy] said very unprofessional things! ”

Whether the group was completely successful at making or not Like a dragon the taste of the Western audience will ultimately be decided by the player himself. But the success and readability of a game can depend on localization that won’t be lost for Strichart.

“In the end, I want to think we have succeeded in keeping ourselves carefree, but on the same point every translation, on games, literature and any art is really not just are words on a perfectly source-packed page, because the translator has to choose those, ”Strichart writes, noting“ and their word choice is almost never a binary decision ‘word source = the ‘destination’ that many people think is so. “


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