Square Enix has made some changes to Bravely Default for its Western release. The changes that can be seen below have been the cause for some controversy amongst gamers, bringing up age old debates such as sexism in videogames, and the rights of artistic expression. One of the key points in the controversy is the censorship of some the female character designs.
The original Japanese character designs (seen on the right) have been altered for the game’s European release (seen on the left). But less naked female character designs aren’t the only change Square Enix has made for the games EU, and likely North American, release.
Along with the less risqué outfits sported by the female cast, the ages of some characters in the game have also been increased from 15 to 18. That’s right ladies, and gents, that means they are legal. *waggles eyebrows* In addition to the covering up and age bump, however, IGN has reported that some of the game’s sexually suggestive dialogue has also been changed in the localization process.
This type of censorship isn’t anything new for Japanese titles making their way to the West. In fact, it's practically tradition. This doesn’t make altering people’s work okay, but quite frankly, I’m alright with it in this particular case. Next-to-naked 15 year olds is something I can do without in my video games. And if less sexiness is the only difference between Japan’s Bravely Default and the U.S. version, well, I’m still excited about February 7 (Psst. That's when the game launches in North America).