Last week we reported that Fire Emblem: Fates would have some modified dialogue in the west. Today, Nintendo of America has revealed to Kotaku that dialogue changes aren't all that will be different when the game releases on Western shores - a minigame that in the Japanese release of the game which was used to build support levels in between missions has been completely cut. A Nintendo representative was quoted as follows when asked about the omission:
Yes, that is the case [that petting isn’t in the English version]. You might have heard somewhat misinterpreted or exaggerated information about the Japanese original game, but even in the Japanese original version, we have not included any features which are considered inappropriate in Japan.
What does this mean for fans of the series, and anyone that will be playing the western release of the game? First, it means you won't have access to any of the features of the petting minigame unless Nintendo repackages them in a separate minigame for the West. This includes any voice acting and dialogue that was present in the mode, the ability to greater improve your support level in between fights, and more. It also means that anyone hoping for an uncensored experience has two options. Wait for the in-development fan translation which requires modifying your system to run, or learning Japanese and acquiring a system that can play Japanese copies of the game.
I have to admit that I've been expecting something like this to happen for a while; and while it might not be a problem for me - I have a Japanese 3DS, so I can just import the original version of the game - I can definitely understand that most Western fans of the series that were hoping for an uncensored product are now left with few options. I wasn't very enthused about last week's news of changed dialogue to begin with, but there really is a magnitude of a difference (at least in my mind) between editing dialogue - which can mean anything from slightly altering wording during translation, to outright rewriting a scene - and removing an entire minigame. Either is enough to have me second guess purchasing a game, but the latter is so much worse in my eyes.
What are your thoughts on today's news? Does it affect whether or not you're going to purchase the Western release? Let us know in the comments below!