Bravely Default Western Release Tones Down Sexy Costumes
Was Bravely Default too sexy for Western audiences? It seems that North American audiences are getting a somewhat censored version of the eagerly anticipated Square Enix roleplaying game, one that tones down the more revealing costumes in the game.
The results are clear from the below image, which user BangSilverGang (rubs head, sighs) posted on the IGN boards. You can see how different the outfits have become- the Western versions of characters are on the left, the European and Japanese on the right. While there's less skin showing it's not terribly different, so why would this be such an issue that they would spend the time changing things? Perhaps a bigger issue than the costumes themselves are the fact that the majority of the characters are teenagers, 14 or 15 years old. After all, it's one thing to have characters in revealing outfits and another thing to have underage girls in revealing outfits. That fact has been changed for this release as well, though, as many of the ages of the characters have been changed to around 18-20 years old for the Western release. Some sexual innuendo-laden dialogue has apparently been removed as well.
The age issue is nothing new in the genre, since JRPGs are known for their teenage protagonists, but it's interesting to see them preemptively taking care of this potential problem, even though Bravely Default is rated T for Teen by the ESRB. It's also reminiscent of HBO's "Game of Thrones" adaptation, which took the preteen fantasy character of George R.R. Martin's book and made them all of legal age. Nobody wants to scare audiences off with sexual thoughts of young teens.
Don't forget that the Bravely Default demo is out right now on the Nintendo eShop, which you can access via your 3DS. Is this new knowledge enough to make you reconsider buying it, or consider trying to import it? Does it not matter in the grand scheme of things since nothing is really affected in the game and by making people feel less uncomfortable with the game it opens it up to more people? I'm leaning towards the latter, myself.