Pepsiman's forum posts

#1 Edited by Pepsiman (2458 posts) -

I don't have the time to read the reviews to get more concrete details, but on Amazon Japan, both versions have the same user review averages, although the Vita version has more reviews overall. Having played the first game on the PSP, my impression is that the gameplay hasn't been upgraded in such a way that it really warrants touch screen usage, although I'm pretty sure the graphics aren't far and away better on one versus the other for this second game; I recall them having relative parity when Spike Chunsoft was marketing the game. If I have a Vita, I would personally go with that just for a more consistent experience having played that original game on a Sony handheld, but I have it preordered on the 3DS since that's all I have and I'm not too worried.

#2 Edited by Pepsiman (2458 posts) -

As it turns out, there were a few more pages of that interview that were missing from my original source, so I went ahead and translated those. They by and large are about the other games that they announced with Persona 5, but Hashino's a pretty chill dude with some interesting answers about the whys and hows a lot of these games exist, so I personally think they're still an interesting read. But I might be a little biased. Anyway, they're attached below, along with a slightly corrected version of the Persona 5 interview, which mostly just consists of removing references to Famitsu because I pulled a dumb dumb on that one. Also kudos to one Naotolan on Tumblr, who very kindly did the image editing work on the last two pages, saving me a good amount of work and freeing me to focus on just translating and typesetting stuff. Duder's a lifesaver! Beyond that, obviously just make sure to open the images in another window to read them. You all probably know that, but you never know.

Enjoy and thanks for all the kind words! It's been super flattering to hear people enjoy my work!

#3 Posted by Pepsiman (2458 posts) -

Howdy! I don't like to post my own translation work on forums since it feels like very self-indulging advertising to a degree, so I'm flattered to hear you duders think it's worth discussing. I mentioned it on the Tumblr post, but just for clarification here, too, I bungled the source as being from Famitsu when it was actually the Japanese Persona magazine. Obviously doesn't really change the content of the interview at all, but I figure it doesn't hurt to mention either. I'm also pleased to hear it's apparently readable the way I've inserted the English text back into the magazine. I really like Japanese graphic design in magazines and wanted to preserve that aesthetic as best as possible, but I'm by no means an artist or a decent typesetter, so I wasn't sure how well things have panned out. If any of you have suggestions on font choices and whatnot, I'd love to hear it since I basically have no idea what I'm doing other than "try not to go with Times New Roman/Arial/Comic Sans MS."

Anyway, I think the translation mostly speaks for itself, but if there's any clarification I can provide on what I'd wrote, I'd be happy to elaborate on Hashino's original Japanese answers.

#4 Posted by Pepsiman (2458 posts) -

Had a great time with you all and am super glad this thread exists so I can catch up on some of the runs I missed that people have been hyping. Looking forward to doing this with you all come summer! Until then, keep on keeping on with Pac-Swag!

#5 Edited by Pepsiman (2458 posts) -

I have my regrets playing this, yet I don't because I got to hook up with the anime hostess of my dreams through lots of talking, drinking, and large amounts of dubiously programmed minigames.

And it was when we were drunkenly doing character together, her signing poorly and me mashing on the bicycle horn button in timing to the music that I realized I had found the digital woman I wanted to spend the rest of my digital life with.

I mean, just look at her. She's festive, she speaks the best Japanese dialect, her favorite drinks are cheap so it's not too expensive to get her drunk, she's basically perfect.

You and everyone else in the western gaming sphere may judge me and perhaps even rightfully so, but I found happiness and it found me, too, and nobody can ever hope to take that away from me.

#6 Posted by Pepsiman (2458 posts) -

@dochaus: Yeah, I definitely know they have technical issues facing them as well. At some level I know I'm being a privileged idealist about all of this. I may not be pleased with how some of it specifically turned out, but I am ultimately glad people can now play a good chunk of the game without being someone like me who has a degree in the language and has the school loans to prove it, ahaha.

#7 Posted by Pepsiman (2458 posts) -

@jennibelle: Yep, that's the stuff! Be prepared to be educated on old Atari, Intellivision, and Colecovision(?) games you had no idea you couldn't be capable of caring less about! It's a wonderful journey, one where we all come away learning a little about ourselves, and the final video is as good of a sendoff as any series on this site.

#8 Edited by Pepsiman (2458 posts) -

@video_game_king: I'm not trying to deny what you said, just that there is precedence for not going the completely literal route and that I think it needs to be lessened where possible. I would otherwise agree that you're much more likely to find more balanced translations in licensed localizations since the people working on those are more professional and, if nothing else, tend to have a longer history working on that sort of stuff and a better perspective on which approaches work in what sorts of situations. In the end, I'm ultimately just being an idealist. Like I said, I'd rather more translated games exist than less and while super literal ones tend to rustle my feathers personally, it's at least better than making interested players learn Japanese from scratch to at least understand the basics of what's going on.

#9 Edited by Pepsiman (2458 posts) -

Before I ramble at length about translation philosophies, I'll just quickly throw up a link to an old interview Hardcore Gaming 101 did with Agness Kaku, the woman behind the localizations for Metal Gear Solid 2, the Katamari Damacy series, and a whole host of other games. I think she does a better job of articulating what's often at stake when translating games like VC3 than I do and my general translation philosophies more or less line up completely with hers. Just so there's a little bit more background on where someone like me might be coming from when voicing concerns about this stuff.

@yyninja: It's entirely possible my experience with the source material is biasing my views on the translation to a degree. On some level, as a translator, I approach the original Japanese like I would a reader does of most any piece of fiction in general, bringing to bear my interpretations of characters and events, which in turn influences how I emotionally react to the material and, when I'm translating said material into English, reinterpreting it for another language. Coming from experience, you'll never get two translators to agree entirely about how to go about translating a given work since we all have different ideas about what needs to be emphasized, what can be safely dropped, and what needs a little imaginative massaging to make the underlying messages viable in the new language. In that sense, I feel that the translation is mostly successful in terms of technical consistency with the official Sega localizations since the basic terminology and whatnot is the same, but is perhaps lacking from my perspective in terms of respective Sega's stylistic approaches to dialog and whatnot. I'm sure some people will disagree with me on this, but when there's already some sort of precedence to work with in cases like this where you're dealing in untranslated sequels or supplementary material for works that have previously had translations and that precedence has been adequately well-received, I personally err on the side of caution and try to replicate that existing style, largely because it's what that foreign audience has come to expect. Maybe I'm still asking a lot of a free fan effort, but these are the sorts of questions that run through my mind personally as someone who's done this sort of work professionally before. Obviously there are compromises that have be made in part because of various technical limitations that are usually inherent to game translations specifically, but even knowing that, I feel like this patch could have really benefitted from some extra editing passes. I don't even necessarily mean from another translator like me; oftentimes when it's possible, it's good to just have a regular editor versed only in the target language go through the translated materials and punch stuff up. They're often the secret sauce behind the best localizations like what Nier and Hotel Dusk have gotten.

@video_game_king: I rarely dabble in translation patches since obviously I'm not their audience anymore, but I'd argue that there are definitely patches that avoid going the completely literal route and benefit hugely from it. Mother 3 is a case where a professional translator actually worked on that game for free and that game's patch was extremely well received in English in part because it's just well-written in its own respect. In cases where games are written by proper authors like Shigesato Itoi, that extra nuance and deftness in translating is necessary even more so than usual since going a purely literal route means that foreign players risk missing out on the sense of the depth that's present in the original Japanese. Preserving the heart and emotional substance in such translations is a lot more important than pure semantics. It's easy to find words with analogous meanings across languages if you brute force it with a dictionary, but it's another thing altogether to make a foreign audience react the same way as the native audience did to a given passage.

@tobbrobb: To be certain, I agree that more overtly literal translations and more overtly creative ones each have their place. If I'm working on academic or legal materials, I'm absolutely going to play my translations pretty straight and narrow and not really mess around with semantics and word choice. If there's a generally accepted translation for a given wording or phrase, I'll adhere to those standards unless I have a good reason to deviate and then I'll still make sure that change is noted accordingly. But speaking from experience, in the end, you never really have purely one type of translation. Human languages didn't all grow up side-by-side in the same ways; historical and cultural divergences over the course of hundreds and hundreds of years has resulted in different languages approaching the same sorts of situations from different philosophical perspectives, which influences the underlying meanings of even the most basic words to native speakers amongst the various languages. It's most obvious when you deal in something like Japanese and English like I do where it's readily apparent just how isolated the two cultures have historically been, but it's true even for languages that are related to them. It doesn't take much for languages to end up on different tangents that affect how their speakers look at the world around them and interact with it. So to some degree, the way I see it as a translator myself, translation is always a bit more of an art than a science because what's ultimately being transferred between languages isn't merely words, but a whole mindset, so to speak.

The end goal of translation, fundamentally, speaking is to evoke the original material's embedded thoughts and sentiments using analogous language that the new audience can find relatable. In that sense, being too literal (ie: formulaically translating specific words the same way time and again) is often problematic because it can neglect things like connotations, whether that's because something critical has been lost in translation or the wrong thing has been added in the new language altogether because of carelessness. It's true even for seemingly rigid documents like in those academic and legal cases I cited earlier; the right sort of rigidity needs to present across languages or misunderstandings can occur really fast. That's why despite the perceived blandness of that sort of translation work those people are among the best paid in the business because they need to be aware of those potential pitfalls and compose their translations accordingly. Similarly, overly liberal translations obviously risk losing sight of the intentions and sentiments present in the original material, as that wording and structure in the source naturally has to exist in the state that it does for some reason. That source needs to be consulted as a sort of foundation or else the translation risks veering so far away from the creative charms that defined the source material that it might as well be considered original work in its own right. It's tricky work and far be it for me to claim that I'm perfect as a translator, either. I'm just disappointed in the approach I've seen the team take with this game when I don't think it was particularly suitable given the medium and thematic ground it covers.

So yeah, I guess this is my way of saying that I ultimately agree with you. The best case scenario for translations is where you strike that balance and the new audience doesn't notice that there's an inherent balance towards one over the other. For me personally, since I mostly work in fiction, that means I pay close attention to the semantics and whatnot of the original material, but essentially reconstruct it so the same basic meanings and emotions can be conveyed anew in the most natural-sounding manner possible, all without dropping any critical connecting plot threads that specifically make that work what it is. You probably inferred it already, but that does mean that I'm normally more liberal-minded when it comes to my approaches to translation, although I make sure I don't get wanton about it. If I can read my new work and it preserves the same basic beats as the source material, all without the wording and structure immediately reminding me of how the Japanese reads, that's when I feel I've succeeded. Whether I actually manage to do that in the eyes of readers and players is another matter altogether, but it's at least what I strive for.

#10 Posted by Pepsiman (2458 posts) -

@bocam: For sure, I'm not saying Sega's work was always perfect. I just appreciated that their English scripts were good about maintaining the series' sense of whimsy, which I've found pretty lacking in this translation for 3. But yeah, that patch is absolutely abysmal to make work. I'm not surprised in the least that it's a custom program, but I've never gotten it to work. I still wanna give it a whirl so I can more thoroughly dissect their translation work, but they really need a more elegant solution if even tech-savvy people like you and me have trouble with it. I continue to be baffled as to why it's bundled with a copy of JPCSP, for instance.