Talking Points: Going the Extra Mile to be Stupid

Sir TapTap

As a “Talking Points” (geddit I’m a spikeball cough) entry this will be a short little rant. Don’t take it too seriously but it is probably about something I find silly or frustrating.

Today on the way to work I witnessed an impressive sight. A car stopped at a right turn only, with a green light, simply…waiting. No traffic, no emergency vehicles, no reason to not turn. Yet, they didn’t turn. They waited out the whole green light, then the whole yellow light. Finally, when the light turned red, they turned right.

It was no ordinary display of idiocy. People mistakenly take a turn to find the lane is full, that’s understandable. But today’s idiot clearly knew what they were doing was wrong. And it wasn’t even convenient for them. They wasted their own time and effort sheerly in the pursuit of idiocy.

It’s a whole new level of being stupid. To do something on accident is one thing. To do something out of ignorance is understandable. But when one goes out of their way to produce something stupid, that is what I cannot abide by.

Why is this on a (mostly) gaming blog? Because it’s a good reminder of why I personally tend to be annoyed by weird localization changes, like Nintendo’s creepy Protruding Black Emptiness added to Bravely Second female character’s crotches (as any good Nintendo fan knows, women have a black hole that consumes all life between their legs).

A similarly silly change I noticed was in Megatagmention Blanc + Neptune vs Zombies, the intro has been changed to refer to Rom and Ram as High School “Freshman” instead of “grade schoolers”. This despite the fact that Rom and Ram are clearly about 10 years old, would never pass as high school freshman, and the original intro was already English.

Not only does it not make sense, not only does it not change anything, they went to a bit of extra effort to do it. Freshmen still obviously aren’t 18 either so the (rather creepy, I might add) “make everyone 18 for the localization” thing doesn’t apply either. It’s wholly pointless beyond making the internal universe make a little less sense.

It’s not that I really care about these localization changes, generally they don’t matter, yes. I tend not to bother complaining about them either, maybe a one-off snark tweet at most. My experience is not particularly lessened by the above changes. But what I do object to is that they’re going that extra mile for something that doesn’t matter. It’s stupid. It’s more than stupid. They went out of their way to be stupid. They spent money on something that doesn’t matter.

That’s what bothers me about silly localization changes. It’s one thing to change an entirely Japanese script and there’s slight literal differences in English–there’s no actual way to translate something and leave it the exact same. But when you go out of your way to make little minor changes that don’t actually matter…why.

Why why why.

I don’t really rally against these changes. But dear god, if you’re going to be stupid, don’t put extra work into being stupid. If you’re going to go the extra mile, make it an improvement. For instance, Bravely Second also changes the end of sidequests to no longer guilt trip the player unnecessarily, based on feedback from Japanese players. It’s extra work, but it made sense. It improved the experience.

When people complain about localization changes there’s a lot of silly complaints. But if you went out of your way to change something that didn’t need changing…you didn’t just do something pointless. You wasted money on being pointless. At best you might make something so bad it’s funny, like 4Kids’ hilarious edits to try and hide Japanese food in the Pokemon anime. But that’s not exactly a high bar to be aiming for.

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Author: Sir TapTap

Opinionated gaming spikeball dedicated to showing cool games and making games more enjoyable for everyone.