Star Ocean 4: English Version Dumps Anime for CG


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?

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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  • Anonymous says:

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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:
    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

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • *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.

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • 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?

  • relentlessflame says:

    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)?

  • I can’t decide what this case reminds me of.. Namco’s bold but stupid act of giving Xenosaga EpII a full 3D feature with realistic QUALITY new character designs, because they thought realistic 3D characters sell like hotcakes..

    …or that time when America used to fear foreign medias in the (late) 80’s and (early) 90’s that they decided to “localized” the Street Fighter and Rockman game covers and magazine promos..

  • 2D is FTW!!! damn it! WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE 2D? Square Enix has made another bad move. The old versions with the 2D faces are much better. Also still the 3D counter parts I haven’t grown fond with.

  • There’s definelty should be a choice if you want to play dubbed or original instead of having to buy two diffrent copies.

    If not, why can’t they do like they did in Naruto: Rise of a Ninja for 360 and drop DLC content with original jap voices.

    For free ofc.

    Too bad they have to change stuff overall.

    • Silverwolf X says:

      If you never want to put up with ‘localizations’ thats the only way to go anyway.

      That or invade Japan and tell them to make games in English with Japanese-prefered interfaces and voices forever or face the electric singing chair.

    • 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.

  • And thus why i think anti mas alteration laws should be put in plce dub okay as long as we get the original audio cutting ero NOT OKAY altering style NOT OKAY in short why oh why we do we get the crap also insert apocalymons’ various lines from last episodes of U.S. Digimon.

    • Silverwolf X says:

      Believe it or not, but the English voices are the ORIGINAL it seems. look carefully at the japanese videos, the characters lip synch match the English voices more than the Japanese ones.

      Bitter truth? Probably. :/

    • you are right… even, 2D tales for PS2 like: TOD 2, TOR, TOD remake does not come to US. Now, Star Ocean 4 is suffered too. Even though it is 3D, American publisher still thinks that CG is the best. OMG!!!

      I hope the undub version of this game is released πŸ™‚