Video Game Localization is not that different from books, marketing and comics translation: they are all dealt with in a similar manner and with similar thoughts. It is important to remember that translation flows from a source culture to a target one, often with some cases of lost in translation. GLOS proposes five good examples of Italian localization that should be beared in mind.
1. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
Dragon Quest saga can boast original and funny translation, which cunningly adapt the original meaning in the target language. The last chapter, published in 2017, puts the player in the shoes of the Luminary, the descendant of an ancient hero who must save the world from the dark forces.
The Localization Team has often used Italian dialects to adapt some characters in the previous chapters. In Dragon Quest XI, the inhabitants of Lonalulu are inspired by Sicily and they do speak Sicilian dialect. This fisherman’s island was inspired by Okinawa in the Japanese release.
2. Persona 5
This saga by Atlus evolved in 2016 thanks to Persona 5, a Role-Play and Social Simulation video game. Persona 5, just as its “Royal” release, was candidated to The Game Awards as Game of the Year and Best RPG.
Japanese culture is correctly shown with a heavily source-oriented translation. West players are surrounded by a foreign culture from which they get an expanded cultural knowledge.
3. Assassin’s Creed II
Localization does not stop to in game texts, but there are examples of good dubs too. Assassin’s Creed is a long video game serie by Ubisoft that boasts a remarkable adaptation and historical research. Renato Novara, Enzo Auditore’s voice actor, was the right choice to bring life to the main character with its brilliant interpretation.
4. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher saga was born from the omonimous novel written by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The Witcher 3 (2015) is one of the best localization examples in the context of cross-media translation.
The Witcher universe stayed coherent in every media in which was reproposed: books, videogames and a Netflix tv serie where Geralt is portrayed by Henry Cavill.
5. The Secret of Monkey Island
The adventures of the pirate-wanna-be Guybrush Threepwood started in 1990 thanks to Ron Gilbert and LucasArts. Part of the game design involved the usage of witty banters to win duels against other pirates. These were translated masterfully to allow the Italian public to enjoy the original charm in their own language.
The Secrets of the Trade
There is no correct way to translate: experience and practice are the keys for a good localization. GLOS offers a course in Video Game Localization where students can learn new methods and way to think that they can use in their professional future.