Star Ocean 4: English Version Dumps Anime for CG

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It seems Japanese RPG publishers are convinced the western gamer will never have any truck with funny Chinese cartoons, for we hear that upcoming oppai RPG Star Ocean 4 will be stripping out plenty of its anime visuals in favour of Final Fantasy-esque computer graphics, which when combined with the completely English dub will help spare the American consumer the distaste of having to deal with anything too foreign.

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So far, it appears only the interface will be suffering this treatment; replacing the entire character designs with properly effete CG designs probably exceeds their localisation budget, although we have to wonder whether they would try given the chance.

The big RPG publishers seem not to have heard of the popularity of anime outside Japan, and perhaps have all become slightly unhinged from seeing the sales figures Square enjoys, despite the fact that Square never took any notice of all the complaints about its “girly” male characters. And have they not heard of Persona?

Perhaps, any disappointing sales will be blamed on the failure to completely localise the title?

The game itself will be released shortly, on the 19th of February: you can always opt for the Japanese version if you of a mind.

It will also be interesting to see how the CG release of Tales of Hearts fares in the western markets…

Thanks to Jin on the forums for bringing this to our attention.


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    Avatar of Tateha
    Comment by Tate
    11:21 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Fail. This kinda reminds me of how in the english release of persona 1 they changed the character designs and shit, like man, they need to do that.

    Doesn't SE realize that the majority of the people that play their games like anime aswell? It's not like removing the anime aspect from the game is going to attract a new audience.

    Comment by Kaisos
    11:46 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Exactly. Most people who buy JRPGs also like anime. Often because JRPGs tend to have anime overtones and designs...

    What the developers are trying to do is expand their customer base... and it never works. Ever.

    Comment by niefong
    16:50 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I doubt any new CG was made for the english ui. Since the english ui is just using renders of the current character models that the game uses.

    So I dont see the issue.

    Avatar of motaku96
    Comment by motaku96
    11:17 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's too bad. But the CG looks nice so it's not a huge loss.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:52 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You'd figure they would look at the success of Persona 3 an 4, and see that western gamers do not mind, and in some cases even prefer the anime styling. I'll still probably end up buying it if it's good on the PS3, but this is idea was just a giant waste of time. I highly doubt people would have looked at this game and said, "ANIMU PORTRAITS?! Fuck this."

    Comment by manga
    02:42 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You have to wonder what they are thinking...

    if Namco can work with the anime characters and the fans love it why do SE have to erase one of the good part about the game?

    They had no problem having anime characters in the PSP remake so why now?

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:36 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    fuck that subs are soo much better

    Comment by ZippyDSMlee
    05:15 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ah bastardization what fun it is....oh wait I meant localization.

    Sorry I wont paly a RPG with US voice work unless tis a crappy US RPG and even then the vocie will be turned off.

    Heres a thought save on localization costs and do not dub it only sub it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:32 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Tsk. US residents couldn't care less if it had cartoon themes or not; look at how SO3 sold. The only reason Vesperia didn't sell well there is because of the massive clusterf*** Namco pulled with the game overseas.

    Avatar of josh840
    Comment by Josh
    05:35 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    *Sigh* The extent to which precedent has taken over our subculture is becoming ridiculous. So many people refusing to even give a game a chance just because it goes against "principle." This whole ideal was originally created out of our will to defy the norm, despising popular things and hailing only those that our niche will accept. This has gotten so bad that some of the people I know do the reverse out of spite, for example one who would always choose the Japanese audio track now chooses the English track simply to defy those who are doing the defying without any regard to the actual quality of the track in question.

    It is disappointing that the industry doesn't even seem to try to get to know their audience and make ignorant changes to their products for the sake of localization but in most cases the changes make for little more than a mild irritant.

    I still look forward to SO4, I'm sure it will be just as good, if not better than the previous SO releases. The new battle system does indeed look quite amazing. The little CG avatars are not that bad, I think the CG and graphics in this game are beautiful. I would much prefer Anime avatars over the CG, but in my opinion the original Anime portraits didn't look all that great to begin with. (Not that the CG ones are any better) On the positive side the localized menu looks a lot shinier than the original. Granted that could just be a little menu magic with a possible color adjuster in the menu options...

    As far as the English only audio track goes, I think I'll live. I haven't yet heard the English dub of the game but if it is representative of the last 3 Star Oceans, I can't imagine they'll be any good. I think that developers should include all available audio tracks in their titles, it is quite a selling point these days.

    Perhaps the acting won't be so bad? There have been a number of decent English dubs recently. I particularly enjoyed the voices chosen for Tales of Vesperia. While I still prefer a few of the Japanese Seiyu, I can't say I disliked any of the English choices. Some characters like Yuri and Karol I believe sounded better in English. Of course, this is a matter of preference. Japan is just as imperfect as any other country in this world, it has bad voice actors too, just like America. Similarly America has it's own (although somewhat small) share of good voice actors.

    In conclusion, we should all ditch the bandwagon make our own decisions, life is better that way, trust me.

    Avatar of NitWit005
    Comment by NitWit005
    15:01 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Damn it man. I'm sure whatever you wrote is deep, profound and may cause me to have a life changing epiphany but it's too long and I'm too tired to have an epiphany.

    Avatar of josh840
    Comment by Josh
    10:17 12/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I get that often... maybe I'll learn some day

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:51 06/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    wow sorry Josh... tl;dr

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:09 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ho shit, somebody thinking rationally.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:31 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    ugh how disappointing, first no dual audio now this...
    Way to screw up a game for half of the Star ocean fans.

    Avatar of chriselric
    Comment by Chris
    17:16 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    There must be a little squenix imp in my room plotting from my utterances, how best to keep me from buying this game.

    Comment by meh
    19:23 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    wtf teh japanese one is ten times better. How many times are stupid video game companies gonna make the same fucking mistakes.

    Comment by Bounce
    10:16 06/04/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    if everyone took the time to quit bitching and moaning, and actually play the game, who knows, ya might find ya like it

    Comment by twin blades
    Avatar of OTIKA
    Comment by OTIKA
    01:08 29/12/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So much for 'best of both worlds'.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:09 26/05/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    Do you guys know that the ps3 game actually have both the CG AND 2D interface. As well as English AND Japanese voices + subtitles in like 5 diffrent languages including English.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:51 04/01/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    I actually have to say, the Western visuals in the menu system actually look better.

    Which is weird, I normally like it the other way around

    Comment by Taz
    06:05 11/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    which is my point to have choice either Anime or CG and either Jap or Eng dub who cares if they make it on 4 - 5 or 6 dvd dual layers who cares if they make you pay for the extra stuff i wouldn't mind spending more money if it meant getting a better game overall, even with CG in no way was it made to be without Anime feel its got tons of Anime style scenes between the protagonist and the female heroine she slaps him and calls him a perv enough times lol that originated from Anime and manga and Jap games so why not make the overall experience selectable to be full Anime with Anime portraits too?

    Portraits are important in rpg's they stick with you throughout the game. This Star ocean 4 game is based off Anime and the characters eyes are huge its trying to pull the gamer into an Anime world regardless of what some people think of CG saying it fits better is wrong it makes me look at the game differently now and in a bad way, the game has no emotion they all feel like robot dolls to me, and to make it worst the Eng dub track have you heard how terrible most of the voices are,

    exept for few to name one of them being Welch her voice is sassy and very interesting I can hear her emotions when she speaks, but people like Edge or Lymle the English voices are plain, uninteresting, expressionless, most of them look and sound like creepy doll robots. Whats with lymles slow robot like talk shes supposed to be a kid not a creepy tard baby robot sorry thats how she sounds and I'm afraid she may sound that way to the end of the game? lol

    well there's a few more that don't pitch up either, none of them come close to the amazing acting of Welche's voice whoever she is congrats your very skilled. I remember her from Lost Odyssey and some cartoon on TV, her voice has great acting skills. Lost Odyssey had decent Eng dub, usually games are mostly better with Japanese dubbing.

    Valkyrie profile 1 on the PSX had great English Dubbing too you know why? Practically all the cast was known popular voice Actors/Actresses and they did a great job pulling it off. Its all about emotions in your voice having a good impressionable voice and pulling it off when your reading lines this is why most of the Japanese dubbing is almost always the best they know how to handle their voices and put many emotions in their voice acting.

    My proof is Anime Japanese dubbing majority of us fans watch Anime with Jap dubs, for star ocean games it would of been better if they used Anime full on everything although I will still enjoy it with this CG but not as much as i did star ocean 2 and its Anime style. Sorry for my English if any mistakes, this not meant to start flame or influence people away from the game it is still good game but just not as hot as it could be, shame that.

    Avatar of Icy-nee-san
    Comment by Icy-nee-san
    23:29 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    *Gets shotgun*

    Well, this will totally get me a article here... Look for me on Fox news everyone :D

    *Drives down to the states*

    Comment by Ohkikaze
    04:19 20/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    well nothing new unfortunately as far as im concerned there is no English SO4.... wait for the next glorious step in localization, i predict something similar to this jewel here: http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l320/ohkikaze/Suikoden_US.jpg
    i cant type as much as i want to rage...

    at least it seems the Asia version will be codefree and has jap voices together with English sub so i will wait for this version and even if hell freezes over before it arrives

    Comment by illusion
    21:28 20/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Wait, it's going to be region free and have english subs? Why the fuck would anyone buy the US version then?

    Comment by Ohkikaze
    02:57 22/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    for the great English voices and the CG goodness of course lol

    Comment by ximpa
    19:01 20/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    There's nothing that can be done actually. According to some smaller publisher, retailers DON'T want any game that has too much anime style, for reasons unknown.

    Comment by onoz
    03:24 01/03/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    RUINED FOREVER!

    Avatar of relentlessflame
    Comment by relentlessflame
    00:56 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    At least this isn't like Tales of Hearts where they went out of their way to make a (presumed) "Western Version". The CG characters are in the cuts scenes across the board, and the anime designs were just being used as icons and in menus (as far as I can tell). If anything, using the CG designs is arguably a bit more consistent, since it's used everywhere else in the product. Unlike with Tales, I'm not sure if this is really a "deal-killer" if you look at it rationally (the Quality of the dub may be a different story). In the end, unlike Tales, this is more of a cosmetic localization change as opposed to a complete stylistic change.

    That being said, I still wonder whether the game producers may actually be right about the average American mainstream/XBOX 360 gamers (not the hardcore RPG demographic, but the more general audience). Are we so convinced that anime designs are condusive to good sales and review ratings in North America (beyond just our own personal preferences)?

    Comment by Silverwolf X
    13:42 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    No surprise which version of that game filled up the bargain bins. :P

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    It seems hard to say, but I think what can be said with reasonable confidence is that they do not harm the market performance of such games.

    Avatar of Chris
    Comment by Chris
    11:32 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Agreed. Which pretty much means the changes were a waste of the localization budget :v

    Comment by Senrai
    00:24 11/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The thing is...if this game sucks in xbox 360 there's no way they gonna make a "fixed" ps3 version...

    Avatar of Exia
    Comment by exia
    19:35 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Will the Japanese version have english subtitles or settings? Or is it just the game Raw.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:33 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm crossing my fingers that the asian release will include subs and be region free.
    Quite sad that Square Enix have done this as it's made me cancel my pre-order.
    They may as well dumb the game down as well while they're at it...
    Obviously they didn't pay attention to how well recieved Eternal Sonata was worldwide.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:28 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That's it. This game just been erased out of my must play list. It'll be either undubbed version, or nothing at all.

    Comment by Anonymous
    Avatar of DmonHiro
    Comment by DmonHiro
    19:36 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    There IS no english version of Star Ocean 4.

    Avatar of Phenie
    Comment by Phenie
    19:46 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Exactly. What are you people talking about... :)

    Avatar of Zonic505
    Comment by Zonic505
    20:41 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They should just make those an option. Besides, who's most likely going to buy this game???

    Comment by Silverwolf X
    21:40 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Random gamers without a clue or pro CG people. Not many though.

    Avatar of onikiri
    Comment by onikiri
    19:00 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I prefer the anime version ^^

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Everybody does, which is why I didn't even bother with a poll this time...

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:25 30/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I prefer the CG.

    The CG portraits' color matches the scene better, and they are a bit smaller and less obtrusive onscreen. The anime icons look bright and out of place.

    Plus nicer looking menus. I say win-win.

    You guys need to chill out and stop clinging for dear life to every scrap of anime artwork you can find.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:18 16/02/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    There's a fine line between aesthetics and something looking so far out of place. There are people here who think the graphics themselves look horribly out of place because they grossly mismatch the artwork. That's like changing the Queen xenomorph in Aliens into a Lovecraftian Luigi.

    Comment by TerrawindX2
    20:43 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    That is not exactly true. There is still the existence of self-indulgent deviants who prefer otherwise.

    Avatar of maxchain
    Comment by maxchain
    21:07 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So you're the other guy who keeps voting in favor of 3D. Cheers!

    Comment by Anim3Fr33K
    18:36 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    only the interface ... for now .... please dont let the ero scenes get cut, and id much prefer the anime style portraits.

    Comment by Fleeting shadow
    18:45 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They'll cut them and replace with plushies just to annoy the hell out of you.

    Comment by Firetribe
    23:58 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or crotch shots of big, burly men to disturb him/her.

    Comment by Silverwolf X
    21:42 10/02/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    The potraits in some dialouge will be gone/replaced with CG as well.





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