Though Final Fantasy XIV has always boasted a pretty fantastic localization, Shadowbringers still had to be a lofty task. After all, alongside new races and characters, Urianger has a major role in the expansion's story, and his "thee"s and "thou"s are enough to keep any localization team busy. All joking aside, Shadowbringers feels perfectly polished in every aspect; it helps that the Warrior of Li — err, Darkness has much more flavourful options than stoic nods this time around. Worry not, though, the puns that made Koji Fox famous haven't gone anywhere. And you can always take a break from the main scenario to participate in some open-world FATEs in Lakeland where the goblins will talk smack about your glamour. Because they're ones to judge...right?
by Liz Maas
The localization in the Dragon Quest series never lacks for flavor, and Dragon Quest Builders 2 keeps up the tradition. Each of the game's major islands has a general type of dialect — the rough-n-tumble miners of Khumbul-Dun all have a roughly Australian way of speaking, the kingdom of Moonbrooke is populated by soldiers and a King speaking "proper" English, a few ship captains speak in "Pirate," everyone's favorite soldier is like, totally a California valley girl, and there's even a character who speaks in Polari, for crying out loud. Most RPG fans understand localization isn't ever about a pure, direct translation alone, but rather making sure the localized text retains the intent, meaning, and juicy flavors of the original. Once again, Dragon Quest delivers dialogue that's constantly a delight. As Britney would say, it's totally lit, fam.
by Mike Salbato
After the disaster that was Ys VIII's release, many were worried about NISA's localization of a Trails game, especially given how important the script is in those games. But you've spoken: Trails of Cold Steel III has the best localization of the year. Once again, Fire Emblem came up just short, which is a pattern in this year's Readers' Choice.