In a blog post, Capcom has shown off some of the things that were in their minds and the processes during localisation. Though exporting a game overseas could be as easy as translating all the text, that is in no way localisation. Localisation actually carries more depth than that.
For example, one of the things that needed to be changed was the text in graphics. Texts that were originally Japanese in the Japanese version needed to be changed into English when localising for English speaking territories.
But that is not all, things that may be familiar to Japanese people and their culture actually needed to be adapted for the western cultures. For example, subtle things like the “No Parking” sign and food being placed in the environment needed to be swapped out to fit the local culture, otherwise it may give the wrong idea to the players.
In fact, the Katsudon in the Japanese version was a reference to a Japanese gag, something most non-Japanese will not get if they are not immersed in the Japanese culture.
[Katsudon] is also a famous gag of Japanese police films: many people think that suspects will speak the truth with tears when they have eaten katsudon and are asked, ’Did you ever think about how your mother feels about this?’ Even nowadays, the gag of ’We must eat katsudon while interrogating’ is popular in Japanese films.”
Another point cited was how in the Japanese version, there were a lot of “decorative” words, words that don’t spell a lot of purpose but are there to be cool.
For example, the above text in Japanese contained the words “オーケイ!”, which is literally “Okay!” However, though the use of “Okay” provided plenty of oomph in the Japanese version (as it is a “cool” foreign word), the same word in the English context does provide the same character voice as expected from the Japanese version. Therefore, it has to be changed accordingly to provide for a similar experience.
Overall, the blog post does provide a lot of insight to what people often mistook for as a simple job. A lot of subtle things needed to be considered during the process to allow players who grew up in a different language, culture, and environment to enjoy the game. If you are interested, you can head on down to the blog post here to find out more.