Unlike American game makers, Japanese video game companies often sweat over every detail before selling their games overseas to make sure it fits the culture. Although the sentiment is appreciated the results are often poor, as people in other countries enjoy those cultural differences more often than not.
Case in point is Prince’s Proposal’s (Ojisama no Puropozu) treacherous journey abroad. Prince’s Proposal is an otome game where your character, a university student, has a chance encounter with six princes whom you must find romance with by making the right choices throughout the story.
Its recent westernized incarnation called Be My Princess, however, decided to replace the stylish anime princes and characters with rubbery, emotionless ones.
Prince’s Proposal had earned a good deal of success in Japan both critically and with players. Its storyline has enchanted women everywhere, especially when an English language version was released through the SNS GREE on 1 August. It received an average rating of 3.9 and recently hit 500,000 downloads. The biggest criticism it seemed to get was being “too addictive.”
However, developers at Voltage had decided to make some “localizations” with their wider android release on 13 August leading to disastrous results, achieving only a 2.1 rating and eliciting comments like “is this a joke?” On the other hand the game made improvements with the payment style and no longer required an internet connection to play.
For example here is the original Japanese version of Prince Wilfred.
And here’s the worldlier Wilfred.
And not just Wilfred, but all of the characters seem to look at you with an expressionless psycho-killeresque stare. I can see the Twilight influence, but –I mean– they guy from Twilight was kind of a murderous monster, right?
The good news is that the character’s faces are the only things that changed. The original stories, music, gameplay and backgrounds are all kept the same. Also this could just be a case of shock for fans of the original, since actually after playing through the free trial version it didn’t seem as strange as I had originally thought – for the most part (see Anthony Hopkins below).
But in the end I think Japanese game makers should keep their original visions without compromising to other countries people. We appreciate the thought but anime’s popular enough now that anyone should be able to get into it.
▼Well, ladies? Which princes do you like better; these…
▼My personal favorite is the king who bears a striking resemblance to Anthony Hopkins.
▼Who better to show off the western version’s character’s range of expressions, like surprised.
▼ Yes Clarisse, it’s nothing…