07 May 2010

FF13 in Chinese?

On the 27th of this month, for the first time in Final Fantasy franchise history, a Chinese version of an FF title will be released.

And its the latest installment, Final Fantasy XIII.
Or in Chinese, that's either 最终幻想13 or 太空戰士13, depending on which of those you follow.

But this isn't a truly complete Chinese localization.
The Chinese version of the game, which is PS3 exclusive, will be based mainly on the Japanese version, as it still uses Japanese voice acting.

Based on the trailer I've watched (of which you can see several screenshots here), the game's UI also uses purely Japanese terminology, like ATK (Attacker), Break and Optima Change, instead of COM (Commando), Stagger and Paradigm Shift respectively.

The biggest noticeable difference, which will be a godsend for Chinese FF fans who don't know Japanese and aren't fluent in English is that the entire game's text will be in Chinese (Traditional), down to the locations in the story and of course, the names.

Chinese localization will be done by Sony Computer Entertainment Asia, so it should be pretty decent.  Chinese players can look forward to reading 班尼拉 instead of Vanille and 水花 for a Water spell. Hehe.

I read that this version of the game will actually also come with English and Korean text versions (according to the Asian PS site), so anyone who wants to play in English with Japanese voice acting might want to consider picking this up too!

Although this doesn't really concern me (since I play JP and NA releases), this is a pretty nice step forward towards multi-region support. For years, Square-Enix has supported its Final Fantasy games with French and German versions, but never Chinese, so this is a welcome news for Chinese FF fans.

And with FFXIV also supporting multiple languages from the get-go later this year, this might signal a bigger possibility of Chinese language support for that game too...

Any recent MMORPG player would know the implications of this though, so this is something worth observing in the near future.

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