The original 1997 North American release of Revelations: Persona is one of the most ludicrous instances of localisation we've ever seen in a video game, and thankfully, the original attributes were restored for the PSN/PSP versions released a couple of years ago. Atlus' localisers thought that the original game was simply "too Japanese", and altered the names and likenesses of some characters to be, well, more American. This in itself isn't that bad, but when characters are suddenly altered to fit the more apparent racial stereotypes of the US, we know that something is wrong. In the Japanese version, Masao is something of a joke character, a street dweller who provides some nice breaks in the action. In the US version, he's called Mark, and though in all versions he's a fan of dancing and graffiti, the U.S. version makes what many would call a more "race-appropriate" version of the character. In fact, it's just blatantly racist, as though Americans couldn't accept the notion of a white version of the character. To make it worse, Masao's amusing dialogue is replaced with depressing ebonics that only serve to set us all back another fifty years.
Frequently sleep-deprived film addict and video game obsessive who spends more time than is healthy in darkened London screening rooms. Follow his twitter on @ShaunMunroFilm or e-mail him at shaneo632 [at] gmail.com.