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We can finally put the rumors to bed.

Last week we reported on a rumor that Xenoblade Chronicles X, the upcoming RPG by Monolith Soft for the Nintendo Wii U, will have some censored material in the European and North American localizations. It turns out that rumor is true.

According to the youtube channel GameXplain, there are only two obvious examples of localization edits regarding the game’s graphics. The first is the now confirmed bikini redesigns for the character Lin, showcasing a much less skimpier bikini than the other female characters in Xenoblade Chronicles X in various bikinis. Lin’s age also remains unchanged, she is still a thirteen year old in-game.

It should be noted that the redesigns are not nearly as drastic as the twitter screenshots made them out to be. Lin is generally only showing less skin in the localized versions around the pubic and breast area. 

The second localization change is a bust-size slider for character creation, which would have allowed players to make large or small-sized breasts for female characters. The English version removes the bust-size slider, instead, giving players a one-size bust size for their character model for Xenoblade’s character creator. 

The short video showcasing this information is below.

It should be noted that only the Lin character has these changes to her costumes; other female characters are unaffected by the localization. 

Xenoblade Chronicles X  will be released in North America on December 4th. 

Quick Take

Once again, I must admit I have no problem with these changes. They are minor and inconsequential to Xenoblade Chronicles X, and in regards to typical localization, make a lot of sense and are not that drastic in their alterations. 

Let’s face it; the only real reason, I believe, that her outfit has changed in localization was due to her age, and that is a fair compromise. As for the bust slider, well that also seems like an unnecessary part of the game as well overall, since it adds little to gameplay other than a physical change to the main character.  

This is, if you ask me, a case of justified censorship. But what do you think? Will you be picking up Xenoblade Chronicles X, or no? Leave your comments below. 

Robert Grosso

Staff Writer

A game playing, college teaching, erudite-minded scholar who happens to write some articles every so often. Have worked as a journalist, critic, educator and blogger for over five years now, with articles published (as user editorials) on Game Revolution and Giant Bomb as well as a contributor for the websites Angry Bananas and Blistered Thumbs. Now making TechRaptor my home.

  • Hyrules

    Clearly a historically niche product aimed at a distinctly niche audience is well served by alienating said niche audience to appeal to the mass market.

    I get, to some degree, why an underage character would have an outfit made less revealing. However, removing bust sliders from the game is a very pointless endeavor that removes options without replacing anything. The people so offended by the slider’s inclusion are likely few and far between, and you’re more likely to upset fans who wanted options like that in the game than you are to prevent a “scandal” by its removal.

    Ultimately, people buy games like Xenoblade and other J-RPGs because people enjoy the distinctly japanese elements to them. To iron out the differences with a localization team often ends up diluting the very thing that people are buying the game for in the first place.

    And, again, while I can understand the game censoring underage characters optional outfits… I wish they hadn’t. I get why localization exists. Hard translation/simplistic translation often produces difficult to understand or confusing context. But NoA and 8-4 (and to a lesser extent Treehouse) have a history of going way too far with their alteration. To the point that one could almost call dialogue a rewrite as opposed to a translation.

    Oh, and isn’t there a bit of arbitrary tunnel vision that we can have a 13 year old character getting into violent scenarios where they kill enemies and even possibly die as a core and unavoidable mechanic. But a slightly revealing bikini outfit (that’s optional) is something to be demonized and feared.

  • Cy

    “As for the bust slider, well that also seems like an unnecessary part of the game as well overall, since it adds little to gameplay other than a physical change to the main character. ”

    So what that it doesn’t affect gameplay? They still took out a feature from their character creator that might keep people from making the character they want. I personally don’t give a crap, since I never make female characters anyway and I don’t care about “teh bewbz” even if I did, but it’s still a pointless bit of censorship that they’re only doing to pre-emptively cave to bitching SJW’s who don’t even play games.

  • mrwizeass

    aannd there goes this game’s potential sales.

  • DreamlessWindow

    I disagree completely with your opinion.
    First of all, what kind of clothes a character wears should be completely irrelevant to localization. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the bikinis are optional content, aren’t they? If you feel uncomfortable seeing a “13 years old” wearing a bikini, you can simply not see it. And if you’re worried that someone may use the images to… pleasure themselves… well, you should worry about real 13 years old girls wearing bikinis at the beach, and how someone may look at them.

    About the slider, sure, it may be an unnecessary part of the game… like any other part of the character creator. I mean, it doesn’t affect the game if you play as a male, a female, a blonde, or whatever, does it? But it may affect the enjoyment of some players. What if I’m a flat-chested girl that wants to create an avatar ingame that looks like me? Why am I forced to feel even more conscious about my chest size just so some people can feel better about not having an option? Because let’s face it: it’s just an option. If you want it, you use it. If you don’t , you don’t. As simple as that. And yeah, it may be a silly example, but the reason why the player wants to create a character with bigger or smaller boobs is, in the end, up to the player, and it’s of very poor taste for anyone else to judge them beforehand, specially from a localization team.

    If the option wasn’t there in the original, no one would complain. But when we know it was altered, the only message they are sending us is that we are bad people. We are the wrong kind of gamers because we wanted to be able to decide if we wanted to change the size of out character’s boobs. We are wrong if we liked the skimpier bikini on Lin. We are evil if we don’t agree with the localization’s team morality. And let’s not forget, the development team is the worst for even creating such things.

  • Sebastian Mikulec

    No boob slider = no money

  • MusouTensei

    “a case of justified censorship.”
    There is no such thing as justified censorship for videogames. And why do europeans have to suffer from fuckmerica’s puritanic bs? Fuck NoA.

  • Hogtree Octovish

    I have to agree that the change to Lyn’s (optional) bikini outfit is minor (in the grand scheme of things), but only because she is a minor. (Still wouldn’t have changed it myself, but eh.)

    But removing the breast size modifier for the adult player character is just really, really stupid in my opinion.
    I mean sure, it’s not necessary for the enjoyment of the game as a whole, but it’s still removing a feature from the original version of the game.

    To be honest, sure, yeah, I (as a bloke who rarely creates female CaCs anyway) don’t really care if it’s in or not, but you can’t just remove content just because it might be offensive to someone.
    (If that’s why they removed it. I honestly can’t think of any other reason, but please correct me if I’m wrong.)

    As I said (and keep saying), Lyn, I get. (Don’t agree with, but I understand.)
    But otherwise, no.

  • froyton

    Removing the bust size slider is a dumb decision but it’s not something that will make me boycott the game.

    I’m more disgusted with the design of the character faces, to be honest.

  • UntamedLoli

    There’s practically never a justified reason for any of the changes that happen. It only ever happens because of either pushing personal morals, focus group paranoia (Hey! Let’s demonstrate to an audience that doesn’t give a damn about us either way!) or intentionally stirring the drama pot.

    The rate this kind of garbage keeps cropping up is effectively making the purchase decision for me. Why would I bite the $412 CDN bullet for the console+game if this is how I’m basically being treated? Localization is flushing money down a toilet to give your core audience the middle finger.

  • Robert Grosso

    Is there proof of that claim, or is it really just shooting from the hip on something there?

    I bet it was done because Nintendo doesn’t want parents to complain about it. That is speculation, but it is also quite rational in that regard. Whether they play games or not, however, is kind of inconsequential.

  • Robert Grosso

    There are always cases of justified censorship.

    For video games I have one example for you off the bat: RapeLay. An extreme case, but it emphasizes the point.

    Perspective in the end determines what should and shouldn’t be censored or censured as material. I even wrote about that months ago here, the public more or less decides what can and can’t be censored or censured when it comes to material.

    Nintendo controlling it is another thing all together, but Nintendo has the right to participate in that discussion as well; they are fitting the bill after all.

  • DreamlessWindow

    Yeah, because parents that would complain about Lin or the boob slider won’t complain about the other characters wearing skimpy bikinis, right?
    Let’s be rational here for a moment, though. This game is rated, if I’m not wrong, for 13+/T. But let’s face it, the core public of the game is probably much older, since I don’t see most 13 years olds being able to enjoy this game, as huge and complex as it is.
    I’m 25 years old, and sincerely, my parents have little to say about what games I buy. People need to let go of the idea that videogames are for children. I don’t think the localization team, having to localize the whole game, is able to think somehow that this game is aimed to people in their early teens, and that their parents will have anything to say about it.

  • Robert Grosso

    That is a bit of a fallacy there by presuming morality is the reaon? You are framing people as victims as if the entire purpose of removing or creating the option was to chastise folks for being bad people.

    You aren’t victims though. At all. Framing it that way is dishonest to a degree, as people fail to realize the considerations taken into account for localization like that.Just one example; Nintendo focuses on it’s image a lot that way. Remember, it is a T-rated game, so changes to imagery are probably done to cater to localization so it remains a T-rated game in the eyes of Nintendo. So changing the costume slightly is more or less justified in that sense for Nintendo; it’s protecting their company.

    Plus, the bigger question is again the perception of this whole thing. Whether you care or not for the judgments posted on something, others shall be passed regardless. As a journalist, I make none; as a consumer, I most certainly will, like everyone else. That is what censuring and censorship is all about, really.

    I do agree though, if the option was never there this would be a non-issue. But Monolith Soft made that bed for us, so, here we are.

  • Fient

    If you ask me this is a case of Nintendo of America’s misogynistic views of body shaming and hate against women with breasts that do not fit their ideal size and by removing them they are saying that only one size is good and the rest should not exist.

    There’d be no justified reason to remove a natural female body part from the game.

    It is also a case of censorship for the west, treating us as inferior customers to the japanese.
    And a case of them lying to their closest fans because they said at the PAX QA that no censorship would happen.

    It adds up with the terrible translation the game is getting where plenty of dialogue seems to be rewritten and changed as usual to make it less thought provoking and easier to digest for the west, I find being treated in such a patronizing way very offensive.

    This is a perfect opportunity to boycott Nintendo of America by not getting the game and contacting them through social media to let them know what a bad job they do with localizations.

  • Fient

    And with the NX coming up soon this is going to hurt sales as well.
    Why should we even feel excited for anything the NX might have if we’ve already seen how Nintendo does things?

  • DreamlessWindow

    RapeLay being banned in various countries is not justified in any way. We are adult people, for fucks sake. We should have learned to differentiate between fiction and reality. If I want to play a game about killing people, I have thousands of options out there, but somehow, raping a digital girl is wrong and will probably make me a rapist. That’s nonsense.
    And again, we’re facing the same thing as I said in my previous comment: you can opt not to play the fucking game if you don’t like it. It’s as simple as that. You don’t like something? All right, don’t buy it. If there’s enough people like you, game producers will realize it’s not a good idea since they don’t get enough money from it, and people will stop making those games. Why are societies so afraid of letting people do whatever they want at their own houses? Are they really so afraid that RapeLay becomes a hit, and it proves that there’s a lot of people enjoying that content?

  • Fient

    So parents would be fine with their kid running around shooting people, meeting creepy aliens and hanging out with the female characters in their suggestive outfits but they’d get freaked out if they saw that the character creator allows breasts to come in more than one size like in the real world?

    How will those parents react if they walk out of their house and see a woman with any size that’s bigger or smaller than a C cup?

  • Robert Grosso

    Welcome to the United Sates on that one.

    Fair or not, anything involved with sexuality and sensual content is usually scrutinized harder in North America. Same with religious iconography.

  • Fient

    Breasts coming in more sizes would never have pushed the rating to M.
    If realistic guns manage to pass as T already that means the ESRB is very easy going on the ratings, in fact they’ve said so, people need to learn that the ESRB is not there to censor games, it’s only there to give parents an accurate measure of the content in a game.
    And there’s nothing unnatural about female bodies coming in more than one shape or size that would push it to M.

  • DreamlessWindow

    I’m not saying they want us to feel that way, but that’s the way we end up feeling: rejected by the companies we gave our money to. The morality of those that look at Nintendo from far away and how they look at it is more important than what we, the consumers, want and expect. How parents that buy their kids the new mario game see a game that they won’t probably even notice is more important than what we, the people that want to buy that same game, want and expect from it. I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel betrayed each time I see one of these changes in a game I cared about. Not because I care about bikinis or boob sliders, but because I feel the company doesn’t care about me (or any other consumer) at all.

  • Fient

    Breasts are not sexual, people can sexualize them but they are a natural part of female anatomy.

  • Robert Grosso

    If that is the case, that something like Rapelay should not be censored, then I, as a consumer, will fulfill your comments above and judge you harshly for playing it.

    It doesn’t make you a rapist, that is silly of course. But it does really put things in perspective then if you justify a game about rape as being a valid video game to simulate. It took 2 decades to justify violence and criminal activity alone in video games, and even then it is still cartoonish in most depictions or quite squeamish when it gets series. Sexual crimes, however, is a bit more controversial and frankly, is probably something that needs to be done tastefully when dealing with commercial art.

  • Mark Andrew Edwards

    Yes on the underage changes, no on the slider removal.

  • Robert Grosso

    I am sure they do care, but the company also has to care about itself as well. It’s a balancing act in that regard.

    Think of it this way, by adding more clothing to Lin around her pubic region, does it really detract from the swimsuit? By removing the slider, does it detract from the game or character creation? We can argue the point, sure, that’s what we should do, but the bottom line is Nintendo made those changes, not to be malicious or to stick it to their consumers, but to protect themselves, and also likely, their consumers as well.

  • Robert Grosso

    So is a penis, but we rarely see them swinging in the wind or manipulative either. And there was no groin enlarger option in the game as well.

  • DreamlessWindow

    Of course you’d judge me for playing RapeLay. Just like anyone out there would judge me for playing GTA. Just like anyone would judge me for reading Mein Kampf. Just like anyone… well, you get the idea, don’t you? Going through something (be it a game, a movie, a book, or whatever) doesn’t mean shit. Liking that something is a thought crime, and no one should have any say in it (unless I wanted to discuss it with you). But we are all people, and we step on others all the time. You’d judge me, and I’d judge you. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t say you shouldn’t have the option to read/see/play whatever you want. I’m not the thought police.

  • DreamlessWindow

    “by adding more clothing to Lin around her pubic region, does it really detract from the swimsuit?”
    Yes? I mean, it’s not like they are adding a new swimsuit, and give me two options. They are modifying something silly to appease some abstract beast that may or may not damage their image. It’s stupid, and I feel like they are infantilizing us.
    “By removing the slider, does it detract from the game or character creation?”
    But of course. Getting rid of it detracts as much as getting rid of any other, and is equally silly. Imagine if they got rid of the height slider. What a stupid thing to do! Would it detract anything from the game? No. Does it make the character creator less rich? Obviously. That’s the very definition of detracting. To make it less than what it was. The boob slider may seem like a small thing, but precisely because it was a small detail, it makes no sense to get rid of it. Again, they are infantilizing us and making us feel like we are enjoying the wrong things in the game.

  • Dr.Weird

    breasts are sexual, only those dead from the waist down or not predisposed toward normal healthy sexuality (faggots, women) don’t instinctually sexualize them.

  • JRPGMan

    who cares

  • Riddles

    Each time people say “it’s only X” and we get used to not having it, they push it a step further. It goes on and on until it’s been a while since we’ve had all the things we took for granted.

    Even if you have no intention of using those bikini armours or playing a female character, you should be against the removal on the principle of it.

  • InzMovi

    I’m sorry guys, but if that’s all your research came up with, you didn’t dig very hard. They changed the names of various things, ENGLISH NAMES, mostly to remove religious connotations. DOLLS are now SKELLS, BLADE is now a generic acronym devoid of religious undertones, and all the division names have been changed for no reason too. I mean this information is on the wiki.

    What’s worse, the guys at 8-4 who are in part responsible for the i10n brazenly joke about putting memes into the game, and encourage players who want a faithful translation to play the japanese version. Don’t believe me? Listen to the 8-4 podcast from here

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m mad about the changes they’ve done to Lynn, or the cut boob slider, but the changes to the script are despicable, and everyone needs to be in an uproar about this. This is another FE:A that has happened, and people are shutting it down “because it’s about a 13yr old” If you think the script isn’t screwed up, you’re pretty naive at this point.

    I for my part will buy this game preowned, and promise to never buy any DLC, so NO money goes to Nintendo.

    So no Robert, it’s neither cosmetic nor inconsequential.

  • InzMovi

    Oh and one more thing – The Sims 3 had a boob slider, starting from a teenage sim. And you could dress it in a bikini. Rating? T

    Xenoblade Chronicles X – the EXACT SAME DEAL. SAME RATING

  • DreamlessWindow

    I think this comments’ section is proof enough that people care.

  • Zepherdog

    Here I was thinking I wouldn’t get the bingo until I looked at the comments.

  • Dr.Weird

    For the record, I’m not agreeing with Robert, and think he’s retarded, I just don’t think mincing words about whether certain parts of the anatomy are sexual or not, especially those classified as sexual characteristics is necessarily a reasonable arguement, in fact it smacks of feminist faggotry.

  • BurntToShreds

    Probably the best summary of this issue I’ve seen so far.

  • Robert Grosso

    Removing religious undertones from the equation is also common, and not just Nintendo doing that. That said, its been a while since its been wide-spread, although I am not sure where that has been said. And yes that is also inconsequential if you ask me because all it removes is thematic and allegorical undertones, not plot or characterization to the experience.

    Such undertones are a good thing, but they are also not always necessary, or sometimes poorly implemented. I can’t speak for what is the case with Xenoblade Chronicles X, but if the names were changed in localization so easily, perhaps it was done as an afterthought in the first place. That is speculation though, I haven’t played the game yet so I don’t know.

    As for what 8-4 suggested, do it then. No one is stopping folks from buying the Japanese version of course. I’m all for that if you want the faithful translation in the end.

  • Don Parsons

    Everyone calm down some. I get that this is a topic that people feel strongly on but we should stay polite and AWAY from personal attacks on people. Debate ideas – that’s great. People have different opinions and that’s a discussion we want to promote. Attacking individuals however stops that.

    Now on that topic: There is nothing not normal there about being homosexual or a women – that is in fact more of the population than is otherwise the case.

    However, breasts are secondary sexual organs and that is why mammals have them and not other areas of nature like reptiles as they came into being to help feed the young etc. Now the fact that we’ve turned them into an object of sexual desire is a cultural thing more so as if you look at it, many cultures have different things that are considered attractive or entice lust.

  • Don Parsons

    Different people have different opinions on the matter – that’s robert’s view and I’m happy to see that its sparking discussion but we should promote thought and discussion not absolutes which tend to miss the point

  • Robert Grosso

    I can respect that argument, but I don’t believe that is the case. It is not a question of infantilization, it is a question of the bottom line for the company line.

    This is where it is always tricky; games are commercial art in that way, they can be artistic and creative both visually, through gameplay, through sound and other design aspects, but the goal in the end is to still make money.

    As an aside, I honestly don’t believe this move is as alienating as people make it out to be. When it was first reported on NeoGaf as a rumor, most seemed to be in favor of it, in fact, unless I read their intentions wrong. Overall, it seems like only a few in that niche are really upset by these changes, to the point finding them detrimental to their experience.

  • Riddles

    It’s not really applying absolutes though, this is a case of content being cut from a version of a game purely because a small minority of people will complain loudly.

    The content was in one version of the game without a problem and cut out because it would be considered a problem by a small few people. That’s self censorship, people shouldn’t be scared into censoring themselves like this.By bowing down the complainers feel like they have more power than they should really have.

    Thus being against censorship on the principle of it, even if it is bikini armour and a bust slider you never planned to use in the first place.

  • Don Parsons

    Inz Movi we will investigate more as we find more. This one in large part lies with me as we had this a few days ago but I wasn’t available to edit until today and we were following up on the rumor in particular about Lin. We have contacted Nintendo about getting a review copy for the game and as we find out more there on it we will report on it going forward.

    As for what robert said on thematic elements I actually disagree there in general. I do think there is a different on allegoric and thematic elements and oftentimes themes are key to underpining the story and characters. However, there are times when localizing historically it has helped to adjust the stuff a bit to keep the heart of the theme while making it more accessible.

    Memes getting added are another issue there and something that honestly dates a work just like referential humor does – there’s a reason why timeless works almost never use them.

    Also if you’d like to get in contact with me InzMovi about it you can email me at [email protected]

  • Mr. Snrub

    There’s no such thing as justified censorship.

  • DreamlessWindow

    The reason why most people is mad about this, in my opinion, is not the changes themselves, but the atmosphere around localization and games in general we’re breathing in lately. We’re having too many of these silly changes that seem to seek only political correctness and have no other apparent justification, sometimes even without telling the players, that won’t realize until they’ve bought the games.
    In the end, it’s as some other people have pointed out. Japanese people can have the content as it was intended, but we live in an immature society that would go crazy if there was a nipple in a videogame. We are the second rate players (or the too young players) that need to have everything checked just so we won’t choke ourselves with those tiny pieces our toys have. It’s sad, frustrating, and from a society that defends freedom of speech and opinion as its first principle, it makes no sense.

  • Mr. Snrub

    There’s no justification for the censorship. The fact that the we have a media source saying censorship is justifiable makes me consider the integrity of that source when censorship is the worst thing that can happen to journalism. This character’s wardrobe would have never been mentioned by the people who played it if it hadn’t been censored, but thanks to the moral puritans at Treehouse, they would rather sink their jowls into it and rip it apart. No wonder the media and game industry is such shit now a days.

  • Don Parsons

    I suspect, although I don’t know at this time, that the change is more from Nintendo wanting to be ‘kid friendly’ and maintaining that image in the west than any particular fear there of a backlash there. One could argue that a small minority are complaining about it as well in this case on the change.

    On the bikini – in particular this feels like a relatively typical localization thing in that there are very different expectations on age and how japan and the west react to sexuality especially in the young. The change there is relatively small just adding a bit to it in most cases.

    The breast slider while a similar thing feels more egregious to me and while its not a make or break issue seems like a sillier removal in general.

  • Don Parsons

    Let’s put it here – this is one persons opinion set there separately from the story. That’s how we have quick takes arranged and always have. You get the story straight up there and then the author can express their views. Different people on the site have different views on this topic and it ranges pretty far on the site there depending on it.

  • Robert Grosso

    Its much more complex than that.

    For example, if the stuff about Rainbow Mika is true for Street Fighter, I would be against that as a form of censorship, because it actually messes with the presentation of the character, and the gameplay, all in one go.

    No form of censorship is absolute in the end. In fact, sometimes its necessary, like censoring plagiarized material for example. Yes, the market must ultimately decide if it should be censored or not, but discussions like this help in making that decision.

    The question now is, does the market agree or disagree with that stance, or doesn’t care and just wants to play the game? My bet is the latter.

  • Don Parsons

    On Rainbow Mika’s case actually what it looks like far more is that they modified the engine some and that changes how the physics works and thus it changes some of the scenes

  • Robert Grosso

    The opinion I present is my own, not TechRaptor’s.

    The facts of the article are also separate from those said opinions. They have nothing to do with the website.

  • Robert Grosso

    A very legitimate reason to be mad, in that case.

    But it is a bit dangerous to presume all changes are tied to political correctness in the fullest; just like it is equally dangerous to presume all Japanese developers are perverted for making games with such content.

    Like I said, I don’t think it was intended to be an issue of political correctness insomuch as an issue of pragmatic brand image in other countries. But that is me in the end I guess. Either way, it’s something to think about.

  • garf02

    Nintendo already have enough PR problems on the west like to seek out get in the mouth of the SJW cultist. IMO, removing it dont give anything but keeping it also dont, unless people have a 13 year old DD fetish :p

  • garf02

    please, what have Nintendo done outside remove putting and skirt here or a curtain there??

    …except Fatal Frame, but I blame that on the SJW within treehouse that was also the main head of that localization

  • garf02

    if your main concern to buy a console is if you can see a fictional 13 mini bikini or not you dont buy anything and just watch porn mate

  • MusouTensei

    Well I disagree completely, I think a game like Rapelay has the right to exist just like every game where you have to kill to win, like Hatred or Postal. I even want the AO rating to be a fully accepted rating, to give developers the most creative feedom possible to create the games they want to create without the restrictions of game bans and censorship. This is why age ratings exist.
    The problem I see with america is that age ratings are mere suggestions, see, in my country, germany, violence was often censored heavily and the games were still 18+, eventually after some of our politicians and our very own Jack Thompson’s tried to just ban violent games (with very flimsy definitions that could have even got Mario games banned), they proposed new youth protection laws making it actually illegal to sell 18+ games to minors. Since that, censorship is actually decreasing here and many formerly banned games freely available, even the latest Mortal Kombat can be sold in any store, MK9 was banned (I think it still is but getting a game tested again costs money). This is what other countries need to do, don’t restrict creative freedom, restrict people who shouldn’t play certain games from playing them without restricting the people who are allowed to play them at the same time.
    I stand against censorship in gaming 100%.

  • Robert Grosso

    So instead of restricting creative freedom, you restrict the right to play it?

    So you are in favor of some degree of censorship in gaming anyway then, it seems like. Regardless of how we view censorship, that is essentially censoring content against a whole group.

    See, it’s funny, the AO rating works the same way, only they ban the sale of the games in stores in the United States because of the AO rating. You are not allowed to carry it or advertise it in most cases too.

    That is bad practice overall if you ask me, because it restricts even more than the artistic freedom of the developers. But it is also why developers and publishers push for M-rated content so hard, and self-censor their own content before its even released. That said, it is very similar to Germany, it seems like, and M-rated games in the U.S aren’t sold to minors as well under penalty of law, at least in states like New York. It’s a bit closer in relation than you think, if I am understanding you correctly.

  • Dr.Weird

    support for censorship makes you as bad as the censors, down with those who collaborate with political correctness.

  • Honk Honk

    im a purist. i want everything japan gets to have unchanged from how the creators wanted it to be. anything less is bullshit.

  • Jesus Zamora

    I honestly don’t think it has anything to do with SJWs. Like Hyrules said, Nintendo’s got a long history of doing stuff like this. One example is a transgender party member that is made a ‘real’ girl in the English version of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (even though her transgender status remains in the Spanish version).

    No, SJWs didn’t have any influence here. This is just Nintendo being the overbearing den mother it’s always been.

  • Jesus Zamora

    Succint. It at once explains why this happened, why it’s wrong, and why it’s not really an SJW victory, but rather Nintendo being Nintendo and not realizing who the audience is.

  • Hello Comment Section,

    I wanted to jump in here, just to say that TechRaptor as a site does not agree with censorship and that we do allow our staff to have and share their opinions, hence the Quick Take section being completely separate from the actual news portion.

    To back up my point, we re-posted this article in the past, in part because we didn’t approve of the censorship behind it:

    Hope that clears things up. – Rutledge Daugette, Founder

  • Robert Grosso

    Demagoguing is not really helping your case.

  • JRPGMan

    People who troll Nintendo. It is a non isue

  • Dr.Weird

    on the contrary, sometimes it’s just more important to do away with a section of people’s influence than to concern yourself with their reasoning for supporting their given cause, this is most commonly seen in the fact that the world will only be a better place if we destroy anyone who supports political correctness or liberal ideological conceits in general. Freedom of expression is great, unless you’re using it to try and destroy freedom of expression. It’s really that simple.

  • André Murgo

    Yeah! No one is stopping you from spending 2 years learning japanese in order to get the full experience of the game! And it’s not like they pay people to do stuff so we don’t have to…

  • André Murgo

    They also changed character’s names and removed religious undertones from the plot, terms and acronyms.

  • Robert Grosso

    Then you are no better or worse than the people you seem to be against. In fact, you are just as bad in the end, more fanatical in that regard.

  • Robert Grosso

    Someone mentioned that earlier. How prevalent were the religious undertones?

    Like, were they just referential in the end, or was it tied to it thematically in what the game is about?

  • Mighty No. 56008

    Oh come on now. I don’t want to bother with getting into a huge discussion about it, but there’s clearly a difference between “censorship” and “age restrictions”.

  • Dr.Weird

    Well no not really, being opposed to someone taking away your freedom to express yourself is not the same as being opposed to freedom to express yourself, nor is it a bad thing to do everything in your power to ruin people like that. If they wanted to be treated decently they would do others the same favor.

  • JRPGMan

    AWWWWWW welcome to JRPG localizations. Names are changed in every JRPG ever made. And no they did not remove religious anything.

  • JRPGMan

    1) This is not censorship. Monolith changed what they wanted.
    2) This is not even remotely a big deal.
    3) JRPGs change names CONSTANTLY.

  • Cy

    No proof, just an assumption made based on how most of the gaming world is acting these days. You could be right, since Nintendo has always been self-censorship happy, but I’d still argue that this might not have happened ten years ago.

    As for your last point, it’s not inconsequential at all. If a game company is censoring its games to please a group of people who aren’t even playing–and thus not *buying*–their games and pissing off their actual audience in the process, then it’s very consequential. And a pretty bad business decision. Not only that, but Japanese developers often use the “it didn’t sell well” excuse to justify why they don’t localize more games, and alienating their core audience and causing them to skip this game could have an impact on the potential localization of future games as well.

  • Galbador

    Not going to support censorship, therefore won’t buy the game. End of line!

  • Robert Grosso

    I don’t know, ten years ago Nintendo was still censoring some material, only a few games with a M rating seem to get through, like MadWorld.

    Got to keep in mind, we are also presuming the group of people who aren’t playing are not buying it either. Nitnendo seems to have a very standard business model of inclusion for all types of video game players; that does indeed color their perception in many ways when it comes to localization.

    It should not be a question of core audience, but rather the entire audience; casual fans, RPG fans, hardcore Otaku fans, adults, children, all of that stuff is obviously taken into consideration when it comes to localization of anything. I am sure a ton of games go through that scrutiny.

    I say it is inconsequential because I would argue it changes little about the game; and for the vast majority of fans playing it, I have a feeling they would agree. I know some don’t, but that is why we have these type of discussions; it is good to hear why people disagree.

  • Scootinfroodie

    “No one is stopping folks from buying the Japanese version”
    Except for that region lock and prohibitively high price point to import a Japanese WiiU and Japanese version of the game. I’d be spending close to 600 bucks CDN to play a game that would otherwise cost around 70
    Then on top of that I’d have to learn a whole language, or at least enough of one to appreciate the writing

    Also I’m quite amazed that someone who presents themselves as a huge fan of RPGs would so readily write off theme and subtext, both of which can have a huge influence on the game’s overall narrative and its replay value

  • Galbador

    The link is not working.

  • Cy

    Like I said, it’s possible, and all we have is speculation since there’s never been a Nintendo game with a breast slider that was localized in America before. But another thing we disagree on is what audience a game should serve. I think a series of a genre should always serve its core fans first, and everyone else second. There are too many games and series that ruin themselves by trying to appeal to everyone. Ratings should also be taken into account. If developers can look at their game and take a guess at what kind of rating it will get (which should be incredibly simple to do, IMO) then they shouldn’t try to adjust their game for kids too young to play it anyway. And yeah, kids get their hands on games they’re too young for all the time, but developers can’t and shouldn’t factor that into their decisions about what to add/remove from their game. Game devs aren’t parents.

    BTW, it’s a nice treat to have someone disagree with me in a comments section without getting belligerent or insulting. So thank you for that.

  • Galbador

    In fact, censorship is an issue, because this is just the begin. You have to ask yourself, where it ends.

  • Galbador

    You don’t get the point of all this. It is not the “13 year old girl in a bikini” or “the boob lever” but censorship on mature people that can actually make a different between reality and fantasy. The question is, where will this end?

  • JRPGMan

    It is a non issue. This is not censorship at all. Look it u

  • Robert Grosso

    Not a problem.

    That is how it should always be, at least, idealistically.

  • Robert Grosso

    Theme and subtext are good if they are well implemented. It is easily dismissive because so far, I have seen very little to suggest that those elements are meant to be thematic to the context of the game itself, instead they become referential. What Don says above (or below) about allegorical references and the like is the bigger thing I am more or less worried about.

    Perhaps I misspoke, if I did sorry for the confusion. Basically, the removal of religious undertones is not detrimental to the overall themes of the game, it seems, since it was easily rewritten

    . It can add to it, sure, and we have seen a lot of games with religious undertones add to that experience, but it depends on its implementation and whether or not its an actual thematic context, or an allegorical reference. I am suspecting its more of the latter in this case, but I honestly don’t know.

  • Scootinfroodie

    “Easily rewritten” implies a lot about the quality of writing in a localization of a game none of us have seen yet and ignores some of the missteps that the localization team have made in the past (both Treehouse and 8-4 have been mentioned and both have been catching a lot of flak for cringeworthy and sometimes meme-invoking writing)

    In addition to a simple google search revealing this, there’s also the fact that a similar search suggests that the Xeno- franchise games have had elements of Gnosticism reaching back to Xenogears (which is probably my next JRPG playthrough) due to series creator and Monolithsoft founder Tetsuya Takahashi.
    Not that this is a first. The Xeno- franchise has had a rather horrible history with localization from what I’ve been reading.

    It could be that they haven’t censored the religious elements at all, but if they have it seems that they’re taking out an influence that has been in the series from the start (at least in its original Japanese form), and is part of the franchise’s identity.

  • Parrikle

    I’m finding this interesting. As I understand it, this was a Nintendo decision, made without any specific push from government or outside bodies? In which case, how does Nintendo’s decision to make changes to their game when selling it in the US market count as censorship? It sounds more like standard localisation, where a developer chooses to add or remove features to create what they believe will be a more suitable product in their target market. It could be self-censorship, but that is at best dependent on NOAs reasons, and the distinction between “we removed this to prevent complaints” compared to “we removed this feature to increase sales in market” is significant, but hard to identify in practice.

    Sure, I understand and respect that some people are feeling put out by this, but then perhaps NOA see other customers who are more likely to purchase with the changes. I’m not sure why people believe that their wish for a breast size slider should have any particular priority.

  • MusouTensei

    Making it more difficult for People to aquire games that are not suitable for them, while still allowing them to exist and to be consumed by People they are suitable for, is not censorship. In the end it’s the parents who decide what their childs Play and what not. No matter how much SJWs want it to be, not every game is suitable for everyone.

  • Robert Grosso

    True the parents should decide, but organizations such as the ESRB shape that decision.

    Games and developers re-tool titles all the time because of censorship. Rockstar, for example made edits to Manhunt 2 so it would be rated M after the IFCO and BBFC both rejected it, refusing to give the game any classification; it would have been unrated or A/O in the U.S, which means it would not have been sold either.

    They self-censored. A lot of companies do that, and it is tied to the ESRB and other rating systems. The thing is, these rating systems are justified in their form of censorship; they are trying to prevent material, like you said, from getting into the hands of minors.

    This is not really uncommon, we have patent and plagiarization laws out there that also deal with censorship. All of this ties back to the social contract philosophy; where we sacrifice some of our liberties for security and protection by a government body. So censorship is a part of daily life in that way.

    It is bad when it censors free-thinking, the press, and so forth. Sarkeesian for example, is not good censorship because it eliminates free-thinking and formulates a bubble that ignores any challenge to it. See, Xenoblade is still allowed to exist, and the choice by Nintendo to alter it for a world-wide release is like I said before, their choice in terms of this issue.

    I don’t think it’s simply doing so to cater to a social justice slant, since they do it all the time. I think it’s because of their corporate image that they want to maintain, and under the law, it’s completely justified if you ask me.

  • Robert Grosso

    That may be, but the Xeno series I am familiar with does not have that context to it, it has it’s own outside that identity. We are just made aware of these Gnostic elements because of the internet and porting of the game, but we did not experience them as a Japanese audience would.

    So is it really part of the franchise’s identity if we don’t see it? Final Fantasy has removed religious iconography from their titles all the time, but then makes reference to religious ideals and iconography with their writing and presentation. Dragon Age Inquisition wrestled with religion and fanaticism in several forms; Pillars of Eternity discussed holy war and genocide, and punishment from the gods for the hubris of men.

    Thematic undertones can be good, but it really depends on how it is implemented. Their value in the end is subjective, but their inclusion is not necessary either. RPG’s can be enhanced or brought down by it, depending on its implementation, much like fantasy and science fiction novels can be brought down by “the point”. Chronicles of Narnia is about the Jesus lion in the end, and that point, while a thematic motif, is hammered into us and becomes distracting if you ask me.

    I would argue we don’t have a way to ascertain the identity of the Xeno games outside of what we see in localized versions, but I don’t think it really detracts from the experience, since they shape their own themes in the process, themes that can be organic and about something else without being referential.

  • Michele

    Censorship is never justified. And removing already developed feature is a damage to the product. Let people choose if they want it or not.

  • MusouTensei

    We will not agree which each other, I think censorship should be outlawed and the AO rating allowed by the big 3, even if it means forcing them to allow them by law. A country that allows mere citizen to own guns, things that actually are made to kill, but then censors videogames is absolutely pathetic and a joke.

    Xenoblade’s fuckmerica’s censorship is dumb, unnecessary and absolutely unjustified, it’s even sexist because female players can not recreate themself if they are flat or busty. This censorship only harms the game, it loses them more sales than it gains. All this censorship plus the rumors that it might not even have the vastly superior JP Dub reduced my mega hype for this game I still had like 3 months ago (calling it GotY 2015 since it was clear that it will come out in 2015) to me contemplating if I even want to buy this game new and not used, or at all, thanks Nintendo of Fuckmerica, you ruined this game for me, fuck you, which is a thing I don’t say lightly as most people who know me would consider me a huge Ninty Fanboy and even apologist, but I can not damage control this bullshit anymore, I can not support this shitty company with a good feel any longer. I feel like shit, that out of all companies Nintendo goes the fucking femtardian faschism route of censorship, the company that saved Bayonetta 2.

  • Kev Lew

    young character changed to have less skimpy clothing, makes sense, the rest are unaffected (thanks fort the more detailed link). Nintendo generally don’t mind a bit of riske’ content but they know that the western press and screechers live for this sort of drama.

    I pre-ordered the game & am taking a long weekend off work to play (mostly because alternate carriers don’t use royal mail pick-up points for missed packages, so if you work for a living online deliveries are a nightmare)

  • Galbador

    It is, but you just ignore it. Unlike you, I can make a difference between reality and fiction, but then again… SJWs will never give up, won’t they?

  • InzMovi

    Hi. Thanks for the reply. I don’t really have much to add in addition to what I’ve written above, except for that you can see the differences with the translation as is publicly known on the xenoblade wiki, starting with this page, and just digging As I said – we don’t know the full extent of the damage just yet, because the game isn’t out yet, and hence the english script.

    To really give this justice, one would need to play both the JP and EN versions and compare the script, which requires an inordinate amount of time, and monetary investment (stupid region locks).

    But this is just an example of the hack jobs that are modern Nintendo (but not only) translations – 8-4. NISA. Treehouse. Xenoblade is just the tip of the iceberg here, and if you want a big story, you should look into it. Pretty much any japanese game that has been localized was butchered in some form or another, barring the ones which were made in-house (Ace Attorney is a great example of how localization should be made, Yakuza 4 too), or XSEED which seems to have a really good track record with these. And again, I’m no expert, I just got interested because I’m a big fan of the Xeno games, which has had it’s own share of problems. The bad translation and censorship of this game made me dig deeper and opened my eyes to the more general problem.

    In fact, all of this has pushed me to learn japanese and hopefully after some time I’ll just be able to vote with my wallet and forego all these badly translated games. But I realize this is not a realistic solution for most people.

    P.S. Excuse my grammar in some parts, it’s past 2AM in Poland, and I just don’t have the strength to do a grammar check 😉

  • garf02

    ok, the boob thing granted was stupid, but still people is blowing it out of proportions tho

  • garf02

    SJW do, cause as you see is a problem only in USA, where SJW reing and PC, (also the Fatal Frame V)

  • Galbador

    It was always like that when it comes to censorship. Even in the 80s-90s when Super Contra got changed into Super Probotector here in Germany, people were pissed and said what they were thinking, because they knew that this was censorship thanks to journalism in gaming, which were not as laughable as today.

    Nintendo is afraid to bring this game as it is towards the west unlike Konami or other companies. The other problem is that their console is region lockec, which means, you must buy a japanese console to play the original game unlike for example Sony’s PS4. This is something Nintendo needs to stop, otherwise people will run go away like they do now with the Wii U. I love this machine, I have a ton of games, but as I said many time, I watch what I buy and censorship, no matter in which way, is not going into my home or console. I don’t care if people call me a weirdo because there is only a switch missing or clothes are changed.

    Ask yourself why Nintendo allows such games in Japan and censores it in the west. Censorship is not logical, but fear of confrontation. In Metal Gear 5’s “Demo”, a teenager got raped and no one said a thing. Konami could have changed that, but didn’t. Because they know that this is fictional, not real. People, who think that a game is real, really need a reality check. Can video games manipulate people? Yes. But this can also happen from books, tabletop games, movies… everything that has influence to the mind of one and if a person has a weak mind in a special way, it will manipulate them.

    This is why parents should watch their kids and what they play instead of letting them have their COD and go mad. It is easy for parents and law to blame a content creator if they are blind for their environment and people with a weak psyche.

  • Should be fixed now!

  • Mordeth_Kai

    Slippery slope, the more you give into these people, the more they will demand. Never try to please the perpetually offended….