The Western release date of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (better known as Monster Hunter 4G in Japan) draws nigh with a huge focus on localization which is believed to be the key to the game’s success, according to Localization Director Andrew Alfonso.
In a blogpost over Capcom-Unity, Alfonso detailed some of the decisions and thought processes that were crucial to localization. For instance, in a game this complex, starting tutorials are of paramount importance. The localization team wanted to speed up the whole process, but a message kept on popping up in Japan.
For non-Japanese speakers, the appearing message reads “Do you want to hear that again?” and pops up after every tutorial message. Furthermore, the cursor is placed on ‘Yes’ by default so if someone is mashing the buttons, it’s likely that he/she will have to go through the whole process again:
“If you can’t read Japanese, this message translates to ‘Do you want to hear that again?’, and automatically appears after every tutorial message. The cursor also defaults to yes, so if you’re mashing buttons to get through the tutorial, you can accidentally select yes and you’re sent through the entire thing again.”
He further stated that this was one of the first issues that he brought to the Monster Hunter team because he thought that the Western gamers won’t respond well to it:
“This was one of the first issues I brought to the Monster Hunter team; because I felt Western gamers wouldn’t respond well to it. After the director, Fujioka-san, explained their reasoning, I understood why they had made this decision. During the development of Monster Hunter 4, the team was directed to aim for a younger audience because the Nintendo 3DS’ market is younger than other platforms. To make sure the younger kids knew what do to, they added that question at the end of each tutorial just to be safe.”
However, the Western audience is older and more experienced with games so he was able to convince the team to cut short the tutorials. For more details, you can check the blogpost at Capcom-Unity.
Do you think this is the right call on the part of the localization team? Let us know!