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The Many Colours of Okami

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the wolf-god-plus-drawing-equals-awesome dept.

PlayStation (Games) 33

1up spent all last week looking at the upcoming PS2 title Okami. A truly original story, the game tells the tale of a Japanese wolf god. A distinctive art style and inventive 'drawing' gameplay has made it a highly anticipated release for this fall. Some of the features include a hands-on with the English version, a look at what went into the localization to make the game understandable for Americans, and a great look at the art and music in the game.

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33 comments

cockpaste (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15955809)

yeah!

Localization!? (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#15955833)

Noooo... Why do they insist on ripping out the heart of Japanese games? Mushikai isn't pronounceable? They must think we're complete morons! "Hmm, 3 syllables... They'll never make it."

Oh, and the article is VERY clear that Amaterasu is genderless... Then calls it a 'god'... And the original Amaterasu is female. Let's get more confusing next time, guys. We're haven't quite baffled everyone.

Re:Localization!? (1)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 7 years ago | (#15955961)

Although usually known and depicted as female, the Kojiki gives little clue about Amaterasu's sex. (Early Japanese language does not use gender-specific pronouns.) Some scholars have interpreted Amaterasu as male.

Wikipedia, such a wonderful thing.

Re:Localization!? (2, Informative)

BJH (11355) | more than 7 years ago | (#15956202)

You missed the important part of that:

Although usually known and depicted as female

In modern Japanese culture, Amaterasu is shown as female, just as Susano is always male.
The Japanese people playing the game in Japan aren't that much more likely to be familiar with the precise historical interpretation of background material like this, so it makes little sense to go on about fiddly little points of dispute between specialists in the field.

Re:Localization!? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#15956497)

Ah, the article, such a wonderful thing. It clearly states that Amaterasu is usually considered female, as well. -Usually.-

Re:Localization!? (2, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#15956023)

FTA:

1UP: I think gamers can live with that. You'll still get the really anal hardcore type who gets upset about everything.

DC: [Laughs] There's no pleasing everyone. We tried to go for the broadest audience possible.

4 syllables (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15956063)

Mushikai isn't pronounceable? They must think we're complete morons! "Hmm, 3 syllables... They'll never make it."
Technically, it's mu-shi-ka-i, 4 syllables, like Hawai'i really is 3 syllables. Yes it's 3 syllables in English, but I just wanted to be a furren language nazi.

Re:4 syllables (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15956610)

3 syllables, 4 morae [wikipedia.org].

Re:Localization!? (1)

DesireCampbell (923687) | more than 7 years ago | (#15956257)

I can translate to:

"It looks too hard for the damn kids to probounce it right, so let's bastardize it and not even give them a chance to screw it up!"

Re:Localization!? (1)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957015)

Noooo... Why do they insist on ripping out the heart of Japanese games?


In some cases, it's mandatory. Star Ocean [rpgclassics.com], for one, had a language specific puzzle that got damaged because of a straight literal translation. (FYI, there wasn't any official translations, only fan-made ones.) If there's no straight translation possible, you have to make substitutions that have a different meaning but similar idea.

If it's anything more than that, then the localization has a great chance of killing the plot, humor, or other things. It can also cause confusion among fans, such as trying to tell the difference between FF II [rpgclassics.com] (the sequel to FF) and FF II [rpgclassics.com] (the american version of FF IV).

Re:Localization!? (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#15959150)

Why do they insist on ripping out the heart of Japanese games?

I don't like excessive localization as much as the next overly obsessed geek, but at least they had input from the original staff, and it sounds like their own staff was overly obsessed on their own.

That said, if you have to localize the hell out of a game, you should at least localize it awesome [nintendo.com]. Even if the game ends up having nothing to do with the original, I'd accept it on its own rights if what you have still makes a great game.

Amaterasu (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15955886)

Technically Amaterasu is the sun goddess. The wolf form is from much more obscure mythology IIRC.

Zelda Wind Waker? (1)

yeoua (86835) | more than 7 years ago | (#15955983)

Was it just me, or was the GameCube Zelda derided for being cel shaded? So why is it that a similar cartoon like game for the PS2 not seeing this similar treatment?

(I suppose I know the answer for that... but it's still an observation.)

Re:Zelda Wind Waker? (1)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 7 years ago | (#15956193)

The rule, as I see it: cel-shading is GOOD when it is applied to "grown-up" games about Japanese deities, and BAD when adults are expected to play a cel-shaded "kids'" game like a Zelda title. Nintendo's early success in videogames is perhaps boxing it in, as the first Nintendo Generation continues to think Nintendo makes kids' games (after all, they were kids when they played Nintendo!), and Nintendo happily obliges the kid market (see GameCube title list).

Zelda Wind Waker? Cel-shading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15956302)

Well proably because it's NOT cel-shaded. Saying it's cel-shaded is like saying Sleeping Beauty was cel-shaded just because it looks like a cartoon. It's more like some of the early 2D games with painted backgrounds.

Re:Zelda Wind Waker? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15956314)

Because previous Zeldas were not cel shaded, they were going towards more realism.

Re:Zelda Wind Waker? (1)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 7 years ago | (#15956344)

Maybe because it's not similar treatment. If an artistic style is applied, it does not fall under the guise of "cel shaded" or "similar treatment". There is, for example, impressionist, cubist, super-photorealistic, pointilist, watercolor, oil, sumi-e, woodblock prints, and silkscreen, none of which count as "cel shading".

Re:Zelda Wind Waker? (2, Informative)

ZakuSage (874456) | more than 7 years ago | (#15956558)

Well for one, at 2000's SpaceWorld event, Nintendo showed a GameCube tech demo of a realistic Link and Gannondorf fighting, stiring up their fanbase into believing that was what the GCN Zelda would look like. The first screens and videos emerged with it being cel shaded, and they felt left down. Additionally, the style of cel shading in Wind Waker (while it doesn't bother me personally) was more like a Saturday morning cartoon, rather then the Anime style cel shading featured in oh say Dark Cloud 2, Dragon Quest 8, and now Okami.

Re:Zelda Wind Waker? (1)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957214)

...and so we're left with the stylistic tyrrany of manga style. Again.

Honestly, who issued the fatwa that said that geeks should be obliged to love the manga/anime graphical style? Maybe I'm in the vanishing minority, but I'm thinking it feels a bit played-out to me.

played-out? (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957348)

Honestly, who issued the fatwa that said that geeks should be obliged to love the manga/anime graphical style? Maybe I'm in the vanishing minority, but I'm thinking it feels a bit played-out to me.

As opposed to the 60+ years of Underwear Perverts [wikipedia.org] in geek culture?

Re:played-out? (1)

Brunellus (875635) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957407)

*shrug* The point is taken, but my question remains: when did manga/anime become the accepted "progressive" graphical style?

Re:played-out? (1)

Chibi-Hikaru (969350) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957916)

The problem is is that the manga style was there from the 8-bit days. Go check out Phantasy Star or Wonder Boy in Monsterland. Phantasy Star II or Mega Man X comes to mind for 16-bit off the top of my head. The only difference is back then we didn't know it was manga style and that the graphics weren't that lovely.

I think the problem people currently have against manga style in games is really due to our awareness of its original and the comparision with its original source, the manga itself. Some people love the hell out of them, others don't. I like anime myself, but I agree, I don't need to have all my video games looking like anime (or manga) characters. But you've got to keep in mind that a vast majority of the games we play come from Japan and that is the overhelming standard of pop culture art. It's kind of like asking why all the Cartoon Network original shows have that "drawn by a 6 year old" look. Just happens to be the prevailing style. You can either look past it or you can just not bother with games with that asthetic.

If you really are bothered with it, you can get PC games. They still seem to be mostly made by Non-Japanese. Though I still think Oblivion's characters look horrible. *ducks*

Funnest adventure, Funner puns (1)

inu_maru (843192) | more than 7 years ago | (#15956189)

Tough the localization should be expected, there are too many puns in the game that english speakers will be left without (item names, play with kanji, the title itself)... hope they get it right. And someone get a book on old japanese tales, since the game is ripe with parodies and weird cammeos.

BTW, Amaterasu is called "Our mother Goddess" by the rest of the zodiac, tough her avatar as the re-encarnated shiranui is that of a male wolf (even subject to fall for cute girls).

A truly original story (1)

Feefers (985994) | more than 7 years ago | (#15956208)

It's set on the moon and the main character is actually a ghost! I really can't see how regardless of it's mighty roots it can escape ultimatly get to location X killing enemies along the way and talking to NPC's to figure out that you actually need to go to location Y and get object Z off someone that wants to keep it.

A truly original story-sex. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15956428)

Well I suppose a similiar argument for sex. "Oh how unoriginal. The same motions as everyone else. I want something completely original." After all the complaints it still ends up in the same old place. Small hint. it's all about the execution.

Re:A truly original story (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#15956450)

....ok. I think you are confusing story with gameplay. You could have totally different stories and have the exact same gameplay structure. For example, FF has very similar gameplay while having very diverse stories (though all the stories revolve around saving the world so it isn't a great example). What you are doing is similar to complaining that a book you are reading can't get around having characters, dialogue, and stuff that happens. Well, duh.

why does it say... (1)

skam240 (789197) | more than 7 years ago | (#15957720)

Not that this is especially important but why does the topic line say "colours" given that the site admins have stated several times that this is an American site?

Re:why does it say... (1)

rabiddeity (941737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15960815)

And what'll really bake your noodle is why they use the word 'localization' instead of 'localisation'. It would almost make sense if it were submitted by someone from Australia or Britain, for example. But you're right, that is odd.

I don't get it ... (1)

MSojka (83577) | more than 7 years ago | (#15961644)

Why the hell is it written as "Okami" everywhere, when the first letter is clearly [wikimedia.org] written with a macron ...? I could understand "Ookami" if you can't produce U+014C on your keyboard, but why the shortening of the first vowel? Well, at least the Wikipedia gets it right [wikipedia.org].

Re:I don't get it ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15962384)

Why the hell is it written as "Okami" everywhere

Because, as you say, writing a macron is a pain, and if they wrote it "oo", the vast majority of North American gamers would be led to pronounce it wrong. Few people know Japanese orthography.
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