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Mijin

Recommendations for Chinese language video games?

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Mijin

One resource for learning language can be playing video games: certainly many of my friends who speak English very well put it down in part to playing many hours of skyrim and similar dialogue-heavy games.

 

When I've tried to find mandarin examples though, it's been pretty tough.

Western games like skyrim are frequently translated into a dozen or more languages but almost never mandarin .

And with games designed for a Chinese audience, it's been hit and miss for me: when I finally found a dialogue-heavy game I found alas, the dialogue cannot be repeated or paused so it's essentially just watching movies.

 

Any recommendations?

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agewisdom

1. Witcher 3?

 

2. Wordswing. Essentially a choose your own text adventure game that's designed specifically for intermediate learners of Chinese. On a subscription model though.

https://wordswing.com/

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ZhangKaiRong

If you liked Skyrim, you will definitely like The Witcher 3. It might be down to different regional releases, but my Game of the Year copy in Europe had optional Chinese sub with traditional character set and not simplified, which might be a turn-off for you. Localization is quite OK, though the Chinese subs seem simpler and more concise than the English sub or the my native language's version, but I played like 4 hours with Chinese subs in the Velen area, so it might became better in the later parts where more political themes were introduced. Also, fantasy-based materials are good secondary sources for basic grammar and sentence patterns, but they focus less on useful vocab. You will be a sword expert in Chinese, but will pick up less for normal, everyday conversations.

 

If you have a PS4, I also recommend the 龍が如く or Yakuza series (called 人之龙 in Chinese). Localization is awesome, the game is good, very text-heavy, but the vocab is quite useful 口语. Also, the Yakuza games are good because you can't autopilot them by listening to the English voiceover, as they only have Japanese voiceover (or no voiceover in sidequests, only text).

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sekkar

Skyrim can be played with Chinese subtitles and interface. If you are talking about Chinese audio then I'm afraid there are hardly any games available.

 

If you are just looking for games with Chinese text then I'd recommend Dragon Quest XI, Persona 5 and Final Fantasy X. All three are RPGs with tons of text and they only advance to the next dialogue after input from the player.

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Mijin
58 minutes ago, sekkar said:

Skyrim can be played with Chinese subtitles and interface. If you are talking about Chinese audio then I'm afraid there are hardly any games available.

 

Yep, I'm looking for audio.

It's frustrating to see games like that with even, say, a Polish full audio translation but not Mandarin. But I guess the fault lies mainly with the Chinese government and its restrictions / control of gaming market

 

Witcher 3...I'll take a look at the reviews. I've played Witcher 1 and though it was a good game at the time it didn't really hook me.  

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sekkar
12 minutes ago, Mijin said:

 

Witcher 3...I'll take a look at the reviews. I've played Witcher 1 and though it was a good game at the time it didn't really hook me.  

 

Witcher 3 doesn't have Chinese audio either. If you do find a RPG with it please let me know, I have been looking forever for it. 

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dtcamero
7 hours ago, sekkar said:

If you are talking about Chinese audio then I'm afraid there are hardly any games available.

that sucks... I played skyrim in japanese with full J-audio, localization and of course all text in beautifully rendered japanese.

 

Instead of trying to find translations of western games, you should probably look at what chinese game companies are making. in particular there are a lot of FF-style games for smartphone that are very well done.

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agewisdom
14 hours ago, Mijin said:

Any recommendations?

 

Mijin, I realize now you're talking about the AUDIO being in Chinese and having English subtitles?

 

Then the approach is completely the reverse. You'll have to look for either Chinese or Japanese games (e.g. Koei Romance of the Three Kingdoms), that will have Chinese audio. Whether they have english subtitles will depend on your luck. There's only a few games such as Tales of Wuxia that have proper english translation.

 

No company especially Western games will bother having the audio in Chinese. Imagine the prohibitive costs to find the voice actors in Mandarin. They probably couldn't, even if they wanted to. And they wouldn't as its' not economically feasible.

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Mijin
4 hours ago, agewisdom said:

Mijin, I realize now you're talking about the AUDIO being in Chinese and having English subtitles?

Well ideally Chinese audio and Chinese subtitles.

 

4 hours ago, agewisdom said:

No company especially Western games will bother having the audio in Chinese. Imagine the prohibitive costs to find the voice actors in Mandarin. They probably couldn't, even if they wanted to. And they wouldn't as its' not economically feasible.

But this is an incomplete argument. The market is (of course) huge, and certainly there have been a number of western games that have made boatloads of money: much more than they could hope to in territories speaking Hungarian or Polish. I understand the factors influencing why games don't get a Mandarin translation, but IMO most games companies are still making the wrong calculation. There are distribution models now where government restriction and piracy are much smaller problems than in the past, and the cost of translating and recording new voices is small compared to the potential revenue.

 

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agewisdom
42 minutes ago, Mijin said:

But this is an incomplete argument. The market is (of course) huge, and certainly there have been a number of western games that have made boatloads of money: much more than they could hope to in territories speaking Hungarian or Polish. I understand the factors influencing why games don't get a Mandarin translation, but IMO most games companies are still making the wrong calculation. There are distribution models now where government restriction and piracy are much smaller problems than in the past, and the cost of translating and recording new voices is small compared to the potential revenue.

 

In the case of Witcher 3, the company and the founders are Polish. And the book was originally written in Polish. And hugely popular there.

 

You may be right on the companies making the wrong calculation. Things are changing since the Chinese market is huge. You can see these in Hollywood movies. But for games, I believe it will take time, so don't get your hopes up. If you do find any good suggestions, maybe you can make a post on in somewhere for the rest of us users. I had the same idea as well but mainly for Chinese subtitles.

 

For audio, I haven't really attempted to make a proper search, so hopefully something good may come out of your search and question here. :)

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ZhangKaiRong
6 hours ago, Mijin said:

But this is an incomplete argument. The market is (of course) huge, and certainly there have been a number of western games that have made boatloads of money: much more than they could hope to in territories speaking Hungarian or Polish. I understand the factors influencing why games don't get a Mandarin translation, but IMO most games companies are still making the wrong calculation. There are distribution models now where government restriction and piracy are much smaller problems than in the past, and the cost of translating and recording new voices is small compared to the potential revenue.

 

The problem is that that this whole issue is not that black and white. Until 2013, video game consoles were banned in China, only with the release of PS4 and XBox One the ban was lifted. Comparing to PC as a gaming platform, piracy is always a smaller problem in the current console generation. Also, PC gaming market is slowly decreasing while consoles are getting more and more popular. Considering this, I'm not that surprised that developers and studios are not that keen on fully localizing video games in China, and only willing to pay money for subtitles, as there is not a long historical track record of sales in the country. Also, the gaming scene is a little bit different in China than in the rest of the world - mobile takes a much bigger chunk altogether, especially locally developed, Chinese studios' mobile games, thus it makes less sense to invest heavily in fully localized Western stuffs.

 

Hungary is a wrong example - the majority of the game is not localized at all. Some publishers decided to pay for semi-localization (subtitles), but there is no consistency with those. Major, console exclusive big hits are pioneers in this, but altogether it's quite rare for something to be translated. Only the PlayLink games (Hidden Agenda, Knowledge is Power and That's You) were released with Hungarian dub. I guess you mentioned Poland because of Witcher, but as @agewisdom said, Witcher is a Polish cultural export, both the author of the original novels and the developers are Polish, and it has a very big fandom in its home country, obviously. 

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Mijin
1 hour ago, ZhangKaiRong said:

I guess you mentioned Poland because of Witcher, but as @agewisdom said, Witcher is a Polish cultural export, both the author of the original novels and the developers are Polish, and it has a very big fandom in its home country, obviously

 

No I mentioned Polish because I noticed it in the list of languages for Skyrim. Witcher 3 was mentioned as a recommendation by agewisdom.

1 hour ago, ZhangKaiRong said:

The problem is that that this whole issue is not that black and white. Until 2013, video game consoles were banned in China, only with the release of PS4 and XBox One the ban was lifted. Comparing to PC as a gaming platform, piracy is always a smaller problem in the current console generation. Also, PC gaming market is slowly decreasing while consoles are getting more and more popular. Considering this, I'm not that surprised that developers and studios are not that keen on fully localizing video games in China, and only willing to pay money for subtitles, as there is not a long historical track record of sales in the country.


Well I did say I understand the reasons, but I didn't go into details about it.
Yes I understand the reasons why companies are reluctant to localize for Mandarin-speaking territory. I'm just saying that in my opinion the degree of caution is out of proportion. A basic overdub (not well-known chinese celebrities or anything) is a pretty cheap punt compared to the overall cost of making a game and the potential payoff. Sometimes the biggest reason something doesn't change is inertia.

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agewisdom
11 hours ago, Mijin said:

A basic overdub (not well-known chinese celebrities or anything) is a pretty cheap punt

 

You might think that way, but for the bigger games company doing this in a half-hearted manner might put the games reputation at risk. VO work is not cheap especially if you take into account the number of lines needed to be recorded with the right intonation and emotion for it to work. And then there's the work involved in timing. And maybe even lip-syncing for the cut-scenes. It really depends on the games but my no means, it's a cheap punt as you indicated.

 

Don't get me wrong, I would love for companies to start doing what you mentioned. Just that it MIGHT be impractical, for now, at least.

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Mijin
4 hours ago, agewisdom said:

It really depends on the games but my no means, it's a cheap punt as you indicated

 

Well you quoted only part of my sentence. I said a cheap punt compared to the overall cost of making a game.
I used to work in game development, and early in a project it was fairly typical for the producer to say we need an additional language voiceover and it didn't really have significant impact (because e.g. you are already lip-syncing for several languages). If a project is finished and then you want to add additional language(s)...then it's a big cost, yes.

 But I am not making any proclamations either. It's just surprising to me based on what I know that so few games get Mandarin voiceover, but perhaps there are other factors I am not aware of.

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agewisdom
22 minutes ago, Mijin said:

Well you quoted only part of my sentence. I said a cheap punt compared to the overall cost of making a game.

 

True, you got me there. Well, you do have your points.

 

Anyways, let's get back to the original topic, shall we? I've been searching same as you. However, if you're looking for both Chinese Audio and Subtitles, wouldn't it mean you are already somewhat proficient? You could look to play simpler Chinese games then to improve?

 

In my situation, my Mandarin is quite weak, so I'm looking for games with Chinese Audio and English Subtitles. Or English Audio and Chinese Subtitles. On the former, there's very few games of note, the only one I'm aware of is Tales of Wuxia 6. The others would be Western games with Chinese subtitles although I haven't really attempted to play any of these games that way. Any good recommendations from anyone? Preferably, only the subtitles are changed, not the menu too. And the font are NICE, BIG and READABLE!

 

Perhaps you could share your own list here in the future once you manage to hunt some of these games down.

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Mijin

On Steam you can search by language, and for each title it shows a table of which languages are supported and whether audio, subtitles or both are available.

(NB: It's not so helpful for my requirement, because you can only search for whether it has any language support, so if you put in "Simplified Chinese" you get dozens of results but each one when you open it up turns out to be "subtitles only").

Skyrim for example, you can play in English with Chinese subtitles. XCOM2 I also tried to play this way and it was OK. 
 

But if you play like that I suspect you will not pay any attention to the subtitles. It's human nature; it's hard to force yourself to focus on the thing that's more difficult to understand. However there may be some utility to doing this e.g. A character says "The tide has turned!" and you think to yourself that's something you would have no idea how to express in Chinese, so you take note of the characters for studying later. 

 

Also there are some "games" of course intended for learning language, the most well-known being Influent. I bought it, but only played about 10 minutes. For me it was not really a game, just a not particularly-efficient studying resource.

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sekkar
1 hour ago, Mijin said:

But I am not making any proclamations either. It's just surprising to me based on what I know that so few games get Mandarin voiceover, but perhaps there are other factors I am not aware of.

 

I agree with you. It doesn't really make sense to me that tons of AAA get a Japanese (full audio) translation, while Chinese gets none. My understanding is that Japan is not really a huge market for western PC/console games anymore. If the Japanese market is big enough then surely China+Taiwan+some of Singapore and Malaysia should be big enough to get a translation as well?

 

 

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