RPGamer Awards 2003 2003 Results  

   Fun Value
   Battle System



One of the many facts of a role playing game is that there will always be a hearty, beefy storyline with tons of text. However, sometimes the video game makers don't manage to make the dialogue clear. Even worse is when the dialogue is translated poorly, and that is where localization comes in. Often one of the most misunderstood parts of the video game industry, localization is purely translation as well as suiting the game for the area of its release. Many different games managed to get the nod for good localization this year, but in the end only a few of the staffers picks could make the list for Best Localization 2003.

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness

Taking first in the staff rankings for Best Localization and deserving every bit of the acclaim is Atlus' Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, a quirky tactical title brought over to North America with little hype or exposure. It wasn't the only game this year with a tactical flare, but it was certainly was the more popular and much of that popularity was due to its great localization effort. With voice acting being such a touchy subject with many RPGamer staff members, we feel Disgaea does an excellent job implementing the many moods of each character as well as loveable personalities just through their voices. With a vivid storyline unlike almost anything else available this year, focusing on being as evil and bad a demon as Laharl can possibly be, it stands out amongst the crowd of 'hero saves world' RPGs that usually flood the market.

Final Fantasy X-2

The staff disagreed just a little this year on localization, RPGamer staff members fell in love with Square Enix's latest release for the PlayStation 2 Final Fantasy X-2. Coined as the first true sequel to a Final Fantasy game, Final Fantasy X-2 had much hype to live up to not only aesthetically, but also in execution. In the opinion of the staff, it lived up to that expectation. Sporting a spotless translation is just one reason to applaud this newest installment. Along with its translation, Final Fantasy X-2 also had two localized tracks especially recorded by Jade from Sweetbox unheard of prior to playing the North American release. Adding the cherry to the reasons to love Final Fantasy X-2's translation comes from the battle dialogue which often hinges on hilarious with many great pop-culture references.

Skies of Arcadia Legends

Coming in third place is a game that you may have played a few years ago. As a re-release coming onto another, more advanced system the classic Skies of Arcadia gained a slightly longer name with it's second showing Skies of Arcadia Legends, but in the transition of systems RPGamer staffers worried some that the translation of the first would be botched or left as it was so many years ago. Thankfully, Legends managed to remain just as it was the first time around, and even improved some of the mistakes of its previous installment. With an above-average translation showing, likeable characters, likeable villains, and a localization that should be applauded; Skies of Arcadia Legends not only gives reason to be proud of the original but revitalizes a classic game for a new console generation.

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

Taking the fourth place for the staff localization nod this year was a game that has received many awards in other categories, so it's not all that surprising to see that Final Fantasy Tactics Advance also made the localization list for RPGamer staff members. Though Marche's story isn't as deep as many may have expected it to be after Final Fantasy Tactics's critically lauded storyline, Tactics Advance still impressed us with its thoughtful plot that centered around one boys' dreams for a better world. With more than 300 missions to partake in, there's a lot of information to get across in a timely and effecient manner so that the game momentum doesn't slow down, and Tactics Advance manages to do just that. Even though the odd dialects of the world may throw some gamers, the translation is solid.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga

Figuratively jumping into final place is a game series that hasn't exactly been on the radar for tons of RPGs over the years, but when the name Mario was used it was used well. With only three RPGs under the Mario name, the latest incarnation came on the Game Boy Advance under the title Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Luigi finally joins his famous plumber brother on yet another long trek across the kingdom to save the always prone Peach from voice-stealing villains. Taking a break from the usual Koopa attack can prove to be a challenge, but Superstar Saga manages to hit home with a wonderful localization. With adorable and sometimes cartoonish dialogue RPGamer staff couldn't help but fall in love with the script, the story, and the characters that once again graced the Mario RPG stage.

© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy