I was really excited to get to play PSO2 in english. Finaly, 8 years after it launched in Japan, there was an official English release coming, and I got into the beta! I had avoided the unofficial channels for all these years because private servers are generally a huge pain.
I will go ahead and say I have no problem with fan translations. In fact, I will state for the record that the RPGe translation of Final Fantasy 5 is far superior to the official PSX release. Part of the reason I say that is because I would hope the same is true for this game.
The dialog is easily the worst part of this experience. It’s all over the place. You meet a guy who goes from a gruff drill sergeant in one sentence to supportive and helpful in the next. It’s always a little awkward when voice acting has to avoid saying a player name, that’s understandable, but here there’s the added factor of the NPCs not knowing your race or gender. It makes some lines come across as vaguely creepy for a female PC.
Finally, the worst part of the new voice acting is not even the fact that one of them says “hecking” like it’s an actual word, but that there’s no lip syncing whatsoever. It looks like a 1940’s samurai movie. The lips keep moving during pauses, and long after the characters audio stops. In most cases I just hit the button as soon as possible after the audio quit. If I hadn’t been streaming and recording I would have skipped every bit of dialog.
Beyond all of those issues, which I want to mention, but which will not stop me from playing the game when it releases, it was very much like the old PSO that I loved so much. It’s got some great new graphics, and lots of quality of life updates, but still has the same heart. If you remember the original fondly, it is a worth successor, and you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Check out the video above if you want to see my entire time with the game.