Yakuza Like a Dragon Localization Review – Worth Playing in Russian Review

Like a Dragon – the first game of the Yakuza series that received its first official Russian localization. We couldn’t be in the wrong place now and are prepared to share our experiences regarding the game’s translation to Russian.

  • Producer: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio
  • Publisher: SEGA
  • Date of release: November 10, 2020

The first thing to mention is that the Yakuza game Like a Dragon is amazing. It’s a Japanese RPG that blends a serious and extremely captivating story with humorous humor and sometimes total insanity unexpectedly. The game is fantastic and received the highest rating in the review. Not high, but high enough as the absence of localization was among the few issues that kept Yakuza: Like A Dragon from making the top 10.

This is since you can accept the lack of translation in any platformer or shooter, but not an RPG, which has great scenes, dialogues, and interconnected mechanisms. Of course, we’re not playing Disco Elysium with a truly Shakespearean language, and understanding the plot from a general perspective is feasible without a thorough understanding of English. The game will give you a clue through the subtitles, and something becomes apparent through the actions on screen. However, it’s always fun to watch in your language.

That’s an option that we’ve got at present. A patch that adds the use of the Russian language was released within Yakuza: Like a Dragon’s PC version of Yakuza: Like a Dragon on February 24. For PS4 as well as Xbox One, the update was made available a day later. Localizers added Japanese to English voiceovers and relegated their capabilities to text translation.

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They also did a great job translating it, not word-for-word while adjusting, but without losing the meaning, avoiding the strong language, and sometimes with a smidgen of reasonableness.

“Now you’re going to be in trouble.”

Ichiban Kasuga

I enjoyed how the translators changed the jokes. For instance, they used the character’s nickname, Ichi, and the word “idiot” in the dialogue. They also called him “Ichiote.” One of the suggestions displayed on loading screens used the well-known Russian proverb that says you should have everything in one go. These liberties might seem over the top to some players, but I believe that using these structures will not affect the overall impression of the gameplay.

If you’d like, however, you may choose the localization. Rarely is it possible to feel that the translation may alter if it is not the intended meaning of the phrase but the person who is saying it.

Let me give you an example: at the beginning of the game, Ichiban is in a very emotional scene before his boss’s son, whom the character is running late for. With the English voiceover, the young man says, “Is that all you need to say?” as he nods at the viewers looking on. The subtitles offer the short message, “Get a grip!” It’s like the same thing, though the tone is distinct. However, I’m not convinced that shows like this can turn the entire story around.

It’s also important to note that this version utilizes fonts that are identical to what was used initially. In specific projects where the game is in Russian languages, fonts seem insignificant and don’t fit the game’s overall design. In this case, everything is good, and the look remains the same—descriptions of items, skills like characters, tips, etc. Everything is perfectly translated.
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The launch of Russian localization has significantly increased players’ attention in Yakuza” Like a Dragon – if, on February 24, the game was playing 1125 simultaneous players on Steam. Then, on February 28, the number was 3884 users. We only hope that SEGA will consider this and develop a translation for the remainder of the Yakuza series along with sure of their projects, including Persona 4 Golden.

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