Why have a feature if your going to remove it?


#1

I’m may not be able to write this properly and I’m not expecting for everyone to agree with me but just want to get my thoughts out and get some ideas from others.

When Nintendo was releasing Fire emblem fates they were removing the touching face mini game. It is a little weird thing that doesn’t have a major impact on the gameplay so it not something to be rioting for but this followed by other things Nintendo was removing from other games like TMS #FE and Xenoblade. My question is why have those features in the first place if your going to remove or alter them in other places? Would it been better if everyone got the same version?


#2

I am by no means an expert, but most Japanese developers tend to develop for Japan first.
Features like the face-touching are, I suppose, more accepted by a Japanese audience (or at least; the developer’s perception of their Japanese audience).

Once Nintendo of America and their localization team gets involved they take a hard look at the game and decide if some of these features can be considered inappropriate for western audiences. This can lead to such features being removed.

Localization teams generally are not deeply involved in the actual game-design.


#3

Some content just makes certain games harder to market in some regions than it does in others. Face rubbing in Fire Emblem Fates was completely inessential to the experience of playing the game (any bonuses derived from it are automatically given in the western release), but more to the point, it’s a mechanic that NOA felt enough people in the wes would find weird/skeevy that it was removed during the localization process.

As far as TMS goes, no actual features were removed in the localization. They altered one dungeon to be focused on fashion modeling instead of gravure idols (which is distinctly an adult industry), made some costume edits, and rewrote/recorded all of the relevant dialogue so that all of the changes fit. (Some people went so apeshit over these changes that they tried circulating faked screenshots that made it look like the localizers had no idea what they were doing, which is its own level of weird.) But nothing core to the game’s design, story, or themes were hurt in the shift.

And Xenoblade Chronicles X? OK, they took out a boob slider. It was a very innocuous change and I don’t know many people that agree with it, but it happened. But again, it’s not a vital component of the game.

Localization is a tricky thing. Sometimes changes are made to make a game easier to market, or to reduce potential for offense. Where the line between “just enough” and “too much” is really varies depending on what the game is and what’s been changed. I tend to prefer that where features are concerned that games remain in parity with the Japanese version, but I’m not going to throw a fit and scream censorship if face-rubbing is pulled out of a strategy RPG.

I’m more annoyed by localizations that try to swap out Japan for the U.S. (ex: Ace Attorney), which at best makes everything feel kind of weird and at worst is intellectually insulting or white-washing.


#4

When I played Hatsune Miku and it had the weird tamagotchi face rubbing game inside of it, that did creep me out.

I can understand why they’d take it out when those mechanics aren’t as well tested in a different region, it changes the context and mood of the rest of the game too.


#5

i enjoyed fire emblem awakening, but when i heard fates had a bunch of weird creepy fetish shit in it i chose to not buy it bc of that, even though it got removed here haha


#6

Thanks for the response guys. It just strange that companies complain about budgeting but are willing to push extra work on removal of features or alterations of scenes now when people are much more open to weird things. In truth I’m not
really upset about certain changes as long as the core of the game is still there.