Nintendo Issues Statement on Bravely Second Changes

Friday, March 18th, 2016

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By


bravely second

Changes made to a game during the process of localization is never without controversy. Back in February we reported on apparent changes made to side quests in the European release of Bravely Second: End Layer. These side quest call for the player to choose a side. In the original game the party would express dissatisfaction regardless of choices the player made. In the western releases the party seems quite satisfied either way. Nintendo has released a statement regarding this change to the western releases, stating that these alterations were made in response to player and developer feedback and wishing to avoid players feeling “undue regret” for the decision they make. You can read the entire statement below.

Based on feedback received after Bravely Second: End Layer’s release in Japan, the development team at Square Enix, in conjunction with Silicon Studio, decided to implement a number of revisions to the game for the purpose of improving its quality and creating a more enjoyable product.

One such change affects the game’s optional side quests, where players encounter a conflict between two opposing parties and choose which party to side with.

When the game was released in Japan, each side quest would end with the team lamenting the decision they made, regardless of the player’s decision. This was intended to help players empathise with the characters’ situation, but overwhelming feedback from players indicated that they felt an unsatisfying disconnect between their intentions and the characters’ reactions. In response, these side quest endings were amended to show the party readily coming to terms with their actions in a manner that does not cause the player undue regret for their decisions.

These changes do not affect the gameplay or the course of events in the game, and were made with the intention of improving the game experience for players.

SOURCE

About Aaron Evangelisti

Aaron is a lifelong video games enthusiast who's been playing since the days of the NES. He enjoys just about all types of games from RPGs, to platformers, to strategy. He also fancies himself a bit of a writer so writing about video games makes sense, right?




  • PanurgeJr

    See? Not censorship; no content cut. Localization based upon business decision and, more importantly, listening to players, not ignoring them.

    • Joey

      Consdiering Nintendo’s track record, this seems littl more than an excuse.

    • Aerokii

      Except that Nintendo didn’t make this change, Square Enix did.

    • Steve Baltimore

      This is called PR at its finest. I just think it is sad that they feel the need to protect our feelings at this point. Further the fact the EU reviewers gave them a pass on this doesn’t say good things about them either. Mass Effect 3 was panned for this very same reason. You give players choices and in the end they didn’t matter. That is poor design and they should be called out on it.

    • Infophile

      Fair complaint about the lack of a difference, but that’s not a localization change: Originally, whatever choice the player made, the characters were dissatisfied. Now, no matter which choice the player made, the characters are satisfied.

    • David S

      Square Enix’s official response for months has been that Nintendo of America was handling the localization, now suddenly they are responsible for something? I smell BS

    • Steve Baltimore

      They weren’t listening to the people they were actually localizing the game for.

    • Vanadise

      Bad endings don’t count as content now?

    • David S

      Yet they failed to address anything about completely replacing a class design, the many edited costumes and the clearly censored art book (both with the removal of images, and the editing of art left in).

      This is nothing but pr spin to try and mitigate a situation that’s blown up in their faces. If there were any truth to it they would have announce this long before release. Nintendo is not a start-up, they have a long enough history to know this is something players want to know about before purchase.

    • Stilzkin

      Is this a joke

  • Joey

    This is bollocks.

  • Linktm

    On the one hand, it’s interesting that they took feedback and improved upon something for the rest of the world. On the other hand, people are always going to conspiracy theory about cut content.

    To me, this feels like an issue you’d see more in a Western RPG, where you make a choice, but the choice you made isn’t what you intended due to a poorly explained dialogue option or something else, and so you reload your save and make a different choice or just get angry about it online.

    • David S

      it doesn’t help that NoA has put out a string of censored, cut content and poorly localized games since November. I think peoples patience is pretty thin at this point. Heck, even Capcom is taking jabs at their localization choices. CAPCOM!

  • Dominick Wheeler

    This is the first time I’ve seen a legitimate reason for content change during localization. I’m okay with this. Now explain the stupid cowboy class change.

    • David S

      I might agree if they had come out with it before it was discovered by people after buying the game. At this point it just feels like PR damage control. (I wonder if their pre-orders dropped)

    • Infophile

      Well, it’s not a “cowboy” – the class name is “Hawkeye”. It looks like the localization team was going for a wild west sharpshooter… though for some reason this didn’t carry through all the way, as the class ability is called “Shamanism” for no obvious in-game reason. It also has a surprising affinity for axes, which makes sense if you know about the change but not if you don’t.

      I’m not sure what the reasoning actually was behind the change, but there are plenty of possible explanations. I do wish they’d come out and say what their thought process was, though.

  • Panpopo

    Thanks for the source. I am going to wait on this game until reviews/word-of-mouth comes in from people that have beat it. I enjoyed the first game until the very end, when it was literally repeating itself. That drove me absolutely crazy.

  • Adachi

    Is that the only thing they censored/changed in the game?

    • Steve Baltimore

      No changed basically every female outfit in the game, couple of male ones, and few enemies as well. They also replaced the Tomahawk class with a Cowboy / Cowgirl.

    • Adachi

      That sounds terrible senpai, it feels like FE Fates all over again smh.

    • Infophile

      I’ll just direct you to my comment above – it’s a wild west sharpshooter class, not a cowboy class. (Just saying this so that the complaints about cowboys being stereotyped will stop.)

    • James McEneely

      A “Wild West Sharpshooter”. Who uses a southern drawl, has iconic “Cowboy” clothing, and has noticeably lighter skin. Look, if you wanna call the bullshit chocolate ice cream, that’s your prerogative. I’m still gonna call it bullshit.

    • Infophile

      As I said in my previous comment: “Just saying this so that the complaints about cowboys being stereotyped will stop.” Call it what you will. I’m making this point for those who feel like complaining about cowboys being stereotyped here.

    • Vanadise

      The funny thing is, as somebody who grew up in the deep south, her accent sounds nothing like anybody I’ve ever met. It’s like a southern drawl done by somebody who had never actually heard one, so they went with a Jersey accent instead.

    • James McEneely

      Can’t even get the Southern Drawl right… what is the world coming to?

    • Vanadise

      They also modified several of the female costumes to be less revealing and changed a Native American themed job into a cowboy themed one.

  • SpecialK

    We’re seriously supposed to believe that even though tons of choices, multiple playthroughs, and “better” endings are a way of life in Japan, from Visual Novels to JRPGs, that the Japanese all abandoned that and collectively “told” Square Enix that they suffered from “Undue Regret”, suddenly?

    There’s only one nation that has wusses who “can’t handle” negative outcomes in life, and it’s America at present, sadly. Not Japan. To think we’d even believe this load of bs and all go re-preorder is the biggest joke around.

    For this censored trainwreck of a localization hackjob? Riiiight. This is the worst PR spin control seen outside of a political campaign. I think I’ll leave my pre-order the way it is now: Still cancelled in disgust.

  • TrueWiiMaster

    I think the biggest news here is that, contrary to many opinions on this site, it was Square Enix, not Nintendo, that made these changes. Will there be an article bashing Square for this?

    • Aerokii

      Nope, since it’s not about Nintendo taking away anime tits or waifu petting.

    • Stilzkin

      Fanboys are the worst

    • David S

      If the statement proves true, then yes, Square Enix should be lambasted for this. Even if this statement is a pr lie and NoA suggested these changes, Square still approved them and should be lambasted. But Nintendo’s recent history, and the fact that Bravely Second was localized by Nintendo and not Square, makes this feel like nothing more than PR spin and damage control.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      My question was “will they?, not “should they?”. Every time Nintendo makes changes, big or small, this site posts various articles against them. My question is whether they will do the same to Square Enix. The changes made to Bravely Second are by far the largest changes made during localization recently, certainly much larger than altering a few costumes in Xenoblade or partially removing an optional mini-game in Fire Emblem.

      If Nintendo was the one who made these changes, this wouldn’t be a spin, but an outright lie. They’re specifically saying that Square and Silicon made the decision to change the game, based on feedback they received for the game, which they published in Japan.

    • David S

      I don’t know if they will, but I hope they do.

      Nintendo gets the most flack because they do this the most often. If it wasn’t so commonplace, they might be given a little slack for the minor stuff. But as it stands as soon as it’s announced that Treehouse is localizing a game, [how much will be censored/cut/butchered this time] is the first or second thing that comes to mind.
      And up until this, Square’s official response to emails on Bravely Second was ‘Nintendo’s localizing it, go talk to them’ -[general gist of the email responses], so the sudden claim that this was done solely by SE, and NoA had no part doesn’t ring true.

    • TrueWiiMaster

      To be fair, Nintendo is also pretty much the only major publisher localizing these kinds of games. Most similar games are localized by much smaller publishers like Atlus or XSeed. Nintendo targets a much larger audience, and has a very different reputation. That’s why they make more changes. In this case, Square Enix, another big publisher, appears to be making bigger changes than Nintendo has in their games.

      Also, I want to point out that this might not have been NoA at all. The game released already in Europe, localized by NoE. If NoA did the localization, don’t you think they would have released it in America first?

    • Bahahaha

      Bahahahaha. Yeah right. I’d sooner expect them writing an article about how this is all a conspiracy that has Nintendo at the helm.

      This is by far the best they’ve handled news like this in a very long time, and I can only assume because it was written by somebody other than the usual culprits.

  • Finally justifiable reason for a change. I wish
    more Japanese devs would take feedback from there audiences before localising. If
    only other companies had that kind of foresight. For example I remember I had
    undue regret after I finished silent hill 2, if only team silent had the
    foresight to make the ending s and tone more on the bright side they would
    probably still be around.

  • VanFinale

    I hope they edit out the eclipse in Berserk as well that made me feel pretty bad and I don’t like when art makes me feel things.

    • Mr0303

      Why can’t Guts have both his eyes. I mean he didn’t intend to lose one of them when he joined Griffith.

  • Mr0303

    We can’t have negative outcomes in a story can we? This may damage some poor soul and traumatize them for life. Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children!

    The silver lining is that there was enough stink online that Nintendo needed to issue a statement. Eventually publishers might get a hint that dedicated fans don’t like censorship.

  • epy

    I’m so glad muh feelz are being protected. Thank you Big Brother 😀

  • Paychi

    We were thinking about you, the player. Also, if you don’t like it, it wasn’t our idea, so don’t get mad at us. Oh! Also the censorship doesn’t need to be addressed. That’s for your best interest as well. These changes do not affect the gameplay or the course of events in the
    game, and were made with the intention of improving the game experience
    for kids at college playing 3DS in their safe spaces.

  • William Haderlie

    Regardless of who the source is, it reads like Damage Control to me. PR wants to get ahead of the news cycle on the upcoming release and have something they can point to when the reviews start coming out stating the changes. Like many other things in the industry, they are trying to mitigate some bad press damages, stimulate more talk about their game, and get as many first week buyers as they can wrangle.

    • William Haderlie

      In other words. Even if it was Nintendo of Europe and America that decided on the changes. Square Enix still has both their reputation and their sales to look at. So they are tied at the hip in this and if they threw Nintendo under the bus they would also suffer. So still make your own determination on whether you believe the statement, and whether it matters to you or not. But regardless of whether you believe that Japanese gamers really wanted those changes, they are without a doubt trying to manipulate the conversation.

  • PanurgeJr

    Demand that publishers listen to you, and when they respond, accuse them of lies and manipulation. That’s the quickest way to ensure they don’t listen to you when deciding what to develop or how to localize. You know who they’ll listen to? The people who, instead of wailing against perceived censorship and petulantly canceling their preorders, made Fire Emblem Fates the highest selling title in the franchise in the west. And when End Layer’s sales are solid, it will be further proof that the loudest complaints on the web are just a small group screaming at each other, which doesn’t represent even the smallest portion of the market.

    • Vanadise

      And then you’ll be able to pat yourself on the back for what a good job you’ve done in supporting the bowdlerization of games in America to protect us from having to see all of that indecent content produced in Japan. You’re such a great person.

    • Paychi

      They aren’t listening to anyone though. They’re glancing over complaints and making lousy excuses for their shortcomings whilst on their way to googling the latest and greatest memes to edit into their “localizations”.

      Who’s screaming here? I’ve only every really seen you defend this kind of garbage with a fiery passion.

    • Joey

      I believe this post is mostly incorrect. However you are right about the group Nintendo will listen to namely the deluded masses – these are the groups that will further encourage the bastardisation of localisations from the folks at Nintendo and anyone else who decides to go down the same route (ie. memes, backhanded censorship). Purists want the games to be as faithful to the original as possible – basically what XSEED and some other niche localisers do.

      The localisation of this game was handled badly. Even if this is true, Nintendo should have been upfront long before the release of the game in Europe, as it’s late release makes it look shady to the title’s core audience. Basically they should do what Atlus did when Dungeon Travelers 2 was censored (though in that case it’s more like they had to).

      Even the uncensored release of Moe Chronicle was handled better then this. The translation had it’s issues in places but it was readable and was faithful to the source material.

    • Joey

      I believe this post is mostly incorrect. However you are right about the group Nintendo will listen to namely the masses – these are the groups that will further encourage the bastardisation of localisations from the folks at Nintendo and anyone else who decides to go down the same route (ie. memes, backhanded censorship). Purists want the games to be as faithful to the original as possible – basically what XSEED and some other niche localisers do.

      The localisation of this game was handled badly. Even if this is true, Nintendo should have been upfront about these changes long before the release of the game in Europe, as it’s late release makes it look shady to the title’s core audience. Basically they should do what Atlus did when Dungeon Travelers 2 was censored (though in that case it’s more like they had to) which was disclose several months in advance that some edits to the CGs were required in order to bring the game down to an M rating.

      Even the uncensored release of Moe Chronicle was handled better then this. The translation had it’s issues in places but it was readable and was
      faithful to the source material. Though in all fairness, that game would have censored big time if that was brought over.

  • Fendoo

    They removed character development for the west. The alternate endings are there to show Edea’s growth as a leader. Players were supposed to feel bad about the 1st choice because it is Edea before she matures, which is shown when she makes the decision the second time around. Too bad drones will be defending this shit because the still believe this PR bullshit.

    • Figuratively Shaking

      This stuff isn’t about blindly defending something you like anymore, and I think that’s pretty clear by the fact that so much of the defense of it fails to demonstrate even a vague understanding of what is actually removed. It’s defense for the sake of being on a different “side.”

      Just look at the actual defenses of it. It’s not “Well, I think people overreacted and I don’t see this as censorship because blah” or something similar that looks to start a discussion, or even just generally poorly constructed arguments from people who are clearly desperate to still defend a game they want to love. It’s buzzword filled whining of “TOLD YOU blah blah reactionary blah blah gamergate.”

      I wish it was just fanboy defense. It’s easy to understand why someone gets defensive about something they like and there’s a certain naive appeal to the people that do that well. Defending something because someone you don’t like doesn’t like it, or more likely because you’ve imagined that some group of people you don’t like doesn’t like it, is far more baffling and just pointlessly sinister.