Earlier this week Nintendo decided to issue an official statement regarding one of many changes to Square-Enix’s Bravely Second, which they hold publishing right for in the West. The statement is in regard to what many have stated as neutering of the games side quest ending, and how they are represented to the player.
“Regarding changes made to Bravely Second: End Layer for worldwide release
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.”
Example of Limited Edition Art Book, Left: Original Release, Right: Western Release
Despite this claim, Bravely Second was actually the subject of high praise in Japan, receiving a 36 of 40 in Japan’s trusted source for reviews: Famitsu, consisting of the sub-scores 9, 9, 9, and 9. It received similar praise at other Japanese outlets as well. Notable criticism of game did come from the fans, not of the side quests, but of the overuse of memes, slang, internet lingo, anime references, and most notably registration to Square-Enix’s website as pointed out by Siliconera.com.
As it stands, many notable critic sites that have received western copies of the game like IGN have given the game a scores of around 7 out of 10 with smaller niche sites who have imported the Japanese game, an average of 8 out of 10.
Dedicated fans of the series have noted on social media that they have cancelled their pre-orders of their special editions because of the changes, but if they have followed through with said cancellation is speculative.
There has been no official word on the other changes the game has received when it was localized to the west as of the time of this articles posting.