Last week we reported that the upcoming western release of Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Fates wouldn’t feature the controversial “petting” mini-game. We now have new information, by way of Polygon, of how the the game has changed.
In the article I questioned the mini-game’s validity as a mechanic. Turns out the mini-game, called “skinship”, is meant to be a relationship thing; similar to giving your teammates presents to raise their friendship in Dragon Age: Origins.
Video courtesy of Polygon.
According to the video, how it works is you invite someone to your room and a cutscene is triggered. It’s at this point in the original version that the player would “pet” their best guy/gal. Instead the scene plays without any player input. The player will still receive the normal status bonuses that the “vanilla” version would award, and the player’s relationship with the character will increase as well.
Nintendo still maintains that changes like these are part and parcel for the regional localization of a game.
Making changes are not unusual when we localize games, and we have indeed made changes in these games.
The whole “petting” mechanic is odd for Westerners, right down to the name. We don’t get it, but still that doesn’t mean that it had to go. From what I read in the comments on Polygon and YouTube most people seem to agree. This kind of makes sense, as strange as “skinship” is it’s removal is also a removal of gameplay, which might make some people feel a little cheated. Either that or they really wanted to pet their favorite character, to each their own.
Decide for yourself if Nintendo’s decision to remove “skinship” was a good idea or not when Fire Emblem Fates comes out February 19th.