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