Why Inti Creates Changed Gunvolt’s Design For The West

By Ishaan . April 10, 2014 . 1:05pm

Azure Striker Gunvolt, an upcoming 2D action game for the Nintendo 3DS, is influenced in part by a number of shounen manga and anime, which should make western fans of that genre feel righ at home. Nevertheless, developer Inti Creates have made a couple of slight changes to the game for its U.S. release this Summer.


Siliconera readers brought to our attention that Inti Creates have slightly altered the design of the Gunvolt character himself, doing away with his bare midriff and ponytail for the game’s U.S. release. You can see the difference in the two designs above. It isn’t a big change, but it was noticeable enough for people to pick up on it.


I asked Inti Creates CEO Takuya Aizu just why the change had been made, and Aizu explained:


“During the development of Gunvolt, we researched what kind of design would appeal to boys between the ages of 10 and 14—who we assume will be the game’s main purchasers—in North America.


“As a result, we changed Gunvolt’s design, because braided hair and a bare midriff were unpopular among them. However, these changes are not final. We will continue to do research into the matter.”


Azure Striker Gunvolt will be available this Summer via the Nintendo eShop.

Read more stories about & on Siliconera.

  • CozyAndWarm

    Do they honestly think 10-14 year-old boys will be the main people buying that game here? Western shooters and mobile games have that demographic on lockdown.

    • tubers

      Should’ve been a bald, space-marine.

      • Juan Andrés Valencia

        In that case I want an otome Gears Of War adult visual novel.

        • Ric Vazquez


    • Suicunesol

      Seems logical. You can usually determine a game’s target audience through the design of the main character. Mr.Gunvolt looks around 14-15 yrs max. so they must be targeting young teenagers.

      Unfortunately, you may be right about the mobile games…

    • You think if they were after the middle school market they’d slap some tits and a thong on him

    • GH56734

      Well, the reason behind Nintendo’s cash cow franchises succeeding is that it has a mass-appeal. If they can increase the appeal even in those minor ways, can’t help but agree with them.

  • Tinye

    I think I’d agree with there decision

  • Chido55

    Yes yes, because his tummy and ponytail would be the things that I care about in the heat of the battle.

    • Elizabeth ‘Ely’ Moreno

      I would care about his tummy for sure.

  • TheGunheart

    Don’t care about the midriff, but my problem with removing the ponytail is that it was an actual, animated part of the sprite. Now it kinda feels, like…%10 less animated. Not a massive dealbreaker or anything, but it still feels like something’s missing.

    • ClaireBeare

      Can’t feel like something’s missing unless the person knows about it.

    • GH56734

      Well, the Megaman Zero series also had elaborate ways to cut enemies who would then gush blood in various ways, and all of this was removed from the US version (only one or two ways to cut robots, no blood). No one cared back then.

      • Reive

        No one cared because no one knew, it sucks how much animation was lost in the process, if it were released in today were we notice these things due to all the preview coverage games get now it’d be a big deal.

      • César H. Sandoval

        I cared, bro.

        I cared like a mandman!

        The midrift I can deal with, but the hair? if they didn’t want a braid they could use a ponytail.

      • British_Otaku

        Fire Emblem Awakening couldn’t be localised without us knowing about edited beach DLC and the censored UK English script quite promptly… Likewise, everyone knew about Saints Row 4 in Australia, South Park in Europe and Bravely Default’s ages and additional costumes…

        We have a lot more access to information now even if it was the age of the net then as well.

        • Time Sage

          You mean editing a beach scene by covering a clothed woman’s rear with a cloth to make it look MORE risque?

    • DustyBlue

      Yeah, that braid adds a really cool extra bit of dynamic movement to the character. Little details like that go a long way. And flowing movement like that is particularly important for hero characters (capes and whatnot).

  • TheGioG

    Ah this takes me back to the MegaMan X days. Sure, Zero’s ponytail confused me as to what gender he was when I was a tot, but there was no denying he was awesome. I would be much more okay with keeping the braided tail on Gunvolt to keep that feel of old childhood badass.

    • BleuVII

      Zero’s ponytail confused me on his gender when I first played the game, but only for a little bit and because it didn’t seem odd to me to have a strong female character. Then, as the series continued, I really wished they would redesign him without it. It got out of place as the 90’s shifted to the 2000’s, locking him in an old, hard to update design. When the series shifted to 3D models, it just looked awful.

      • AkuLord3

        He’s fine with it…not like the there weren’t many 3D models with it and even then it looked fine to me. Whatever different strokes of hair for different folks

      • Cephrien

        Zero just wouldn’t be Zero without his ponytail though.

    • harmonyworld

      Zero’s ponytail was what made him seem awesome to me a wee tot
      I didn’t know who he was, but I thought he looked damn awesome :3

  • Ticktockman

    By that logic every character should be a bald space marine

  • d19xx

    They should have given him a mullet instead.

  • Valtiel Ikari

    I actually think the US version looks better, the covered midle part looks more protective, to ponytail on the other hand, could have been kept, maybe cut to half or something.

  • It’s things like that that make little kids frustrated later in life; they removed the braid and naked tummy because it’s seen as too “girly” for westerners. If differenciation (in stuff as small as game characters) is marketed more and more to the general public, you’d be surprised of how the current/newer generation can adapt to it, and open their minds when it comes to gender identity and sexual orientation on a general scope.

    • Basically. All they’re doing now is helping the loop.
      Also, children are taught these things, they’re not innate; so they had the chance to help teach something different and go against the grain, but they’re too afraid of risk (based off an assumption at that).

      • And it starts in the craddle as well. Women who are self proclaimed feminists for example will gladly chose pink balloons for a baby girl and blue balloons for a boy. Might seem like a silly example but growing up these little things pile up and start really taking over someone’s personnality and self respect. I’ve lived in Paris for a while now, and here guys aren’t shy to wear bright red pants and extra pale pink shirts. This fashion choice is criticized when americans come here even though said guys could be with hot girls with them.

        • That’s definitely quite true; and very interesting! Our baby is still young, but we found out that babies actually can’t differentiate those pastel/light colors themselves, so that’s clearly a thing for adults (and conditioning for children). It’s maddening really how badly our gender norms are structured and institutionalized.

          I remember the other day I saw someone angsting over a show being shoujo, even though it was entirely appealing to them. So their problem is that it was made for a different demographic than their gender, but nothing else. That’s utterly absurd. We have some serious issues.

          • Oooh you have a baby! That’s one lucky child for having a parent like you ^^ I come from a background where a guy speaking French is considered gay, ssoo more power to you!

          • Oh, thank you very much! I hope I can teach her a lot about being a decent and open-minded person!

  • Kaetsu

    The ponytail could have stayed either way I don’t care but I’m glad they got rid of the midriff. It looks really weird.

    • RajaNaga

      Sorry that it makes you sexual uncomfortable because he isn’t a girl :P

  • nororu

    im not happy about this

  • JuVu

    I just hope that they at least offer the possibility to have the original design if they decide to keep the modified one. Although I would prefer them to ditch the “westernized” version altogether, I don’t want to see this sort of thing anymore, in worst cases it ruined so many games in the past. Haven’t we had enough of it already? I think we’ve been ready to accept Japanese games as they are for years now, without any kind of content editing.

    Also, I would really like to see some sort of graph about the eventual buyers to see if that is really the age group this game will sell the most to.

    • RajaNaga

      Yeah, same. I will still be disappointed if this is kept as the “default”, but as long as there is an option in-game to replace his art/sprites with the original design I’ll be okay with it. Ideally though, they’ll scrap this altogether.

  • Randy_Thompson

    The western design can be the default and all that, but just give us the option to use either sprite set from the get go and we’ll be good to go here.

  • Logan Moll

    10-14 years olds for their main audience? Wow, they are extremely out of touch. It will be 20 something and odler that miss these types of games and will snatch up anything they can get.

    • Augusto Peres

      yeha these marketing people are out of they audience lol
      or they are just stupid .. I med they fapef for him thinking that was a girl, got mad seeing the truth and then changed it :V

  • DivinePhoenix69

    They could have kept the ponytail, i think it looks pretty cool. As for the midriff well honestly i prefer the covered up version(the US one). Of course it isn’t anything drastic so it isn’t a dealbreaker either way.

  • FlobotingIt

    Booo, hiss. Just leave the design as is.

  • nocch1

    Here, thank me later.

    • Kamakuma

      … I’d buy this twice and I’m not sure why.

    • LaserVision

      Nope. I shall thank you now!!!

    • Kitestwinblades

      If there was a physical release, this would be the PERFECT box art

    • Tincho D

      Now make him bald, paint his clothes dark and gritty and stamp a murrican flag on his shoulder. That should do the trick.

  • z_merquise

    Hey, if female characters can show their thighs and cleavage in battle, I guess guys showing their midriff is totally fine.

    Too bad about the ponytail though. It’s hard to associate him now with Duo Maxwell (especially that Gundam Wing is one of their inspiration for this game) without the ponytail.

    • Hooray for gender equality in video games! ^^

    • Kaetsu

      I know the game isn’t trying to be realistic but whether the main character is a girl or guy, in a game where robots are trying to kill you it’s probably a good idea to leave nothing exposed.

      • Now now Jacky Frost, If less clothes means swifter and easier maneuvering area, then I say bare it all out, Of course protective cups are still recommended.

        • Kaetsu

          As a Jack Frost I would know that pants are useless hee-ho!

      • British_Otaku

        A shame that this character and most video game characters short of Halo man and Vanquish guy aren’t wearing full towering suits of armour from head to toe 99%-100% of the time then.

        This is about character design, flow of the game experience and finally your view on sudden changes to media based on basically nothing.

        Assuming I was blind or the costumes were optional from the start, I would go for the one which sticks out more but feels consistent (or amusingly contrasts) with the character or mood (ponytail and midriff). The visuals benefit from having a greater constant of colour and more animation. I also loathe sudden changes to media based on basically nothing… (Not a fan of this) >_>

        • And Samus! :’D

          But yeah, I agree. It isn’t ever about what’s realistic or practical (not 98% of the time anyway). But at least it’s not the devs/designers trying to say that this way is “more realistic”. (And a lot of the people preferring no midriff here probably wouldn’t complain with any female fighter, but on an unconscious level; alas, society and our norms.)

          • British_Otaku

            I was considering adding “Metroid man” for a laugh, but I’m aware that some gameplay sequences of the series have you in the Zero Suit, perhaps it is for practical reasons in those moments (not that she likely has an excuse for no helmet) but she goes from 100% head to toe to 98% for that reason alone.

            On the note of Samus, some people on ANN and likely other sites like here seem pretty hung up about her having high heel jet boots in SSB4… I would probably be more willing to hop into Metroid if there was a little less drama surrounding her… >_> My brief comment on it is: The heels aren’t that notable, the heels are practical even if they could have been flat boots and the character can’t be ruined by a slight foot wear adjustment… Even Raiden has heels for the use of combat. :P

            With few exceptions (probably, just to prove the rule), all games benefit from consistency and in most cases, it doesn’t mean having matching every societal norm… Oh and on any female fighter… Shantae was the first that came to mind, despite her being awesome due to the connection between Shantae and Mighty No. 9… Ah, those standards…

          • Hah, good point.

            Ah, ANN. I’ve seen some good stuff there lately with the Spring season anime. Yeah, I’m mostly onboard with the heels myself~. I love that Raiden had those heels. They’re mad fab and excellent on him too (sexy and badass). I feel the same for Samus. I feel they probably could have been toned down if not left out, but they did give them a use, and that is good enough for me.

            On Metroid though. . . I think the series is worth getting into. Regardless of drama~. ^u^
            I’ve always been fascinated with it, but have only dived in myself like, last year or so. Prime was my entry point, but I’ve been steadily collecting everything I can and intend to really get immersed. It is a fun series, and I think the most drama surrounds Other M (for what sounds like good but unfortunate reason). Well, and potentially the manga. But I won’t go into that much (for the drama and lack of my own knowledge on it).

          • RajaNaga

            The amount of people complaining about the midrift JUST because he is male pisses me right off. Showing midrift is neither “girly” nor should be exclusive to female designs.

          • It’s getting kind of gross, aside from disappointing and ironic. :/

    • John Diamond

      imo it’s actually better like this…

    • Duo Maxwell

      Heh. It’s rarely to see people nowadays appreciated Duo Maxwell. I still remember watching it 15 years ago.

      • z_merquise

        I really love Gundam Wing. It’s that series what made me got into anime.

        Zechs is my top favorite character (as you may notice in my username) but Duo and his Gundam Deathscythe are among my favorites.

        • Ric Vazquez

          Same here

      • RajaNaga

        All these years later he is still my biggest childhood hero. His way of looking at life and, despite that, his happy-go-lucky nature was very inspiring to me, plus he was fucking hilarious!

    • Tincho D

      Ideally there wouldn’t be any kind of censorship in fiction and every character would be the same in every version of the game, but there’re always minorities of fuckfaces demanding things to be “toned down”.

      Female character looks very sexy? Feminists complain.
      Sexual content? Bible Humpers/Soccer Moms complain.

      Lots of violence and blood? Guilt-ridden kraut committee complains.
      Fuck this world

    • Ric Vazquez


  • IndigoRift

    I don’t care what they do with the midriff, but they shouldn’t drop the braided ponytail. Personally, I found the hair to be a major defining feature and it’d be a fun thing to watch when his sprite is in motion. In that artwork, my eyes were drawn to his ponytail faster than they were drawn to his weapon.

    So uh… Why’s the color of his lightning different in the U.S. version? That’s such a weird decision.

  • ( `Д´)ノ)`ν゜)

    They know the 3DS demographic well.

  • celery

    I hope they don’t keep this change. The braid makes his sprite look cool and lively when jumping around, and the bare midriff isn’t that strange, it makes his design stand out when most male video game characters are completely covered and boring, same-y stuff :<

    • Good point. It does make them rather same-y too~.

    • Dystopiq

      He’s more than likely a soldier. What possible reason could he have to expose his midriff? That design doesn’t make it more interesting. It makes it stupid. Same goes for female armor designs that cover nothing.

      • celery

        I do agree on the count of the female designs where they’re practically naked for no real reason other than fanservice. But since those designs continue to be prevalent, and the only thing that’s exposed is his midriff as opposed to the majority of his body, I don’t see why it’s so horrible of a design choice.

        I guess I’m biased because I think back to the whole affair with Bravely Default, when so many people refused to buy the game because they covered up the female characters only a little, but then when a male character gets covered, people are like “It’s better this way.” Why should it be better when a male character gets covered? It’s not like his design was as bad as the “less is more” fantasy females to begin with.

        • It’s so funny seeing the irony exploding, isn’t it?
          (Actually, it isn’t that funny after a bit, but you have to smile to keep from crying.)

        • RajaNaga

          In the huge character poster there’s a girl with pretty big boobs/cleavage that got untouched in the english one, so editting his midrift is positively ridiculous. The difference here is that he was changed to “appeal to the target audience of young boys”, whereas Bravely Default’s censoring made sense on the topic of young children being sexualized (even Ringabel was part of this, his DLC outfit that is pretty much just underwear and a scarf was also cut, so the censoring did not only involve the girls).

          And yeah, it’s very hypocritical, but of course most straight males would react that way :P it pisses me off, why is it only okay when you are attracted to it?

          • celery

            In an ideal world, I would have preferred there to be no alterations to BD, but their reasoning is definitely more justifiable than this.

            I did forget that Ringabel’s outfit got cut–at least they were fair and thought everyone needed to be less “exposed,” but from what I remember, people were complaining before knowing if Ringabel’s outfit would remain or not. Considering that and the situation that’s occurring here, I’d say it’s pretty safe to say most people were just upset over the alterations of the female outfits (although there were undoubtedly some people who were also disappointed in Ringabel’s outfit being cut).

      • RajaNaga

        He isn’t wearing armour, so I don’t see your point. It makes no sense on any design with actual metal armour to have bare midrift/legs/etc which happens most commonly with females, but Gunvolt is clearly just wearing a suit designed for comfort and mobility, exposed midrift is neither practical NOR impractical in this design.

  • Alex Sargeant

    Why not go full Star Ocean: The Last Hope and just replace him with a CG Render instead?

    I don’t think that worked for Star Ocean by the way. No one who sees the rest of the art on that poster is going to change their mind about buying that game based on exposed midriff and/or braided hair.

    Also Edward Elric probably makes 10-14 year old anime fans okay with that.

    • Guest

      because that CG change in SO4 pissed alot of people off

    • FFmax

      Ugh I remember that. What was the point of changing the artstyle like that? The CG models looked really jarring.

  • Jesse

    Always something to make people freak out. << I probably would not even have noticed that pretty minor change(well, maybe the missing ponytail) if you guys did not point it out. =P

    It's not worth flipping out over. I can hear the absurd cries of "boycott" already.

  • Raw

    Target demographic of 10-14 years old? Get your head outta your ass Inti creates. Most people buying this will be gamers who recognize your brand and should be older than 20 years by now.

  • Aaron K Stone

    Braided hair didn’t seem to matter for Edward Elric.

    • Ric Vazquez

      True Story

    • James Todd

      or duo maxwell

  • BleuVII

    OK, so now that there’s a region difference people are pissed off… but when these designs were first revealed, the only thing people on Siliconera could talk about was the bare midriff and how stupid it looked. I really don’t get it, guys. Are you just trying to be difficult?

    I think the Western Version looks a lot better. The braid and midriff didn’t really look girly, but they are the types of things that make a game look dated 10 years down the road. The Western Version has a bit more of a timeless quality to it.

    • Raw

      The main problem is that they think 10-14 yeas olds will be the ones buying their game…

      • BleuVII

        And I hope they do! Inti Creates is a fantastic developer, making games that can be enjoyed by a wide range of people. But they’ll need to release a physical copy if they want to get the middle/high school crowd in on it. Many don’t have credit cards.

        • Son of a Smooosh

          I don’t know if they are available in every region, but usually, you can just buy a nintendo points-card at your local electronics store with cash and get games from the eShop that way.

          • British_Otaku

            Fairly sure, that even with that possibility, they are more likely to pick up a Facebook or Roblox card from the same store due to the social elements.

          • Son of a Smooosh

            Won’t argue against that.

        • British_Otaku

          They would also have to hope for the best AND market the game like crazy. Capcom can barely get Megaman on anything retail or to do significant numbers (at least with Star Force’s later installments).

          A lead character having long hair wasn’t a barrier for Gundam Wing, Tales of the Abyss or other works hitting for that age range outside Japan.

    • Nah the problem isn’t with the stupid midriff; it’s about swapping physical traits that don’t “click” with a specific audience for political/sexual reasons; we’re still giving kids the impression some of the things they do might affect their masculinity (like growing out their hair and showing a part of their body which is stereotypically affected to women (belly dancers etc). This is very subtle but if you think about it it makes sense.

      • BleuVII

        I hear you, but to think that a stylistic choice for different regions is a subtle attack on sexuality… I dunno, maybe the problem is not with IntiCreates, but with our own insecurity?

        • Yep yep it is! This is why corporations pushing this hidden agenda does not bode well for the future, If in 2014 video game characters are that manipulative on a subconscious level, what can we think of human evolution towards mutual respect and open mindedness. Sorry this sound so dramatic lmfao but it’s true (look at how same gender ads are getting criticized etc).

          • Harlan Hikaru Fox

            I really don’t think Japan gives a damn about Sexual Politics. We need to stop looking at everything through the prism of sex and sexuality.

  • Captain Levi

    Braided hair were ok for me.

  • almostautumn

    Just going to +1 that I think they’re dead wrong on target audience, with 20 and older being the core consumers.

    Personally I don’t care that they changed it. I’ve long got over the whole ‘Games are Independent Artistic Expression!’ shtick. Ultimately gaming is not on the same page as writing/painting; the financial realities concerning gaming will always dominate, for both the livelihoods of developers and the intentions of publishers; there’s no point in crying ‘Cultural Expression!’ when it’s blatantly clear that cultural conservatism is a hugely deciding factor in whether a game fits a region’s interest or not, however stupid that may (is) be.
    So if they want to change it go ahead; so long as the gameplay itself isn’t modified than I don’t mind.

  • LaserVision

    The whole reason Mega Man became a hit in the first place was because it appealed to you people when you were 10-14 years old.

    To attack inti creates for not catering to a shrinking audience of 20+ year olds looking for a nostalgia trip is the height of ridiculous.

    • Ticktockman

      It was very different times.

    • Aaron K Stone

      They’re clearly playing up the nostalgia angle with the look and the people behind it. Plus it’s being released on the E-shop platform where its exposure will likely be limited to people who had an interest in it already.

    • British_Otaku

      How many 10-14 year olds are frequent buyers on digital stores for video games? This is barely going to have any reach outside the shrinking aging niche.

      Most in that age range will be invested in safer picks like Grand Theft Auto, Minecraft and mainstays of the industry in general. Highly unlikely to grab on like us old blue bombers.

      • Judgephoenix

        Actually now that you mention it I wonder what the sales numbers were on the digital codes for Minecraft on consoles. Not the inside digital sales just the ones where you had to go to the store purchase the code.

      • LaserVision

        I just don’t think the eshop argument holds water. The shop itself is ridiculously easy to use and itunes has trained an entire generation of users.

        I’m sorry, but I just trust the developer’s judgement more than any armchair analyst; no matter how well-intentioned they are.

        • British_Otaku

          I’m more fond of sofas than armchairs… Semantics aside, that it is something of a fair call to assume that developers know more about the product than some “British_Otaku”. >_>

          Regardless, I argue that even being a generation trained on iTunes doesn’t make 10-14 year olds likely to both make use of gaming platform digital stores which are less ubiquitous and it gets only increasingly unlikely for them to care when it isn’t a high profile indie game or d.

          It isn’t too unusual that developers and publishers behave in nonsensical ways that any bloke or lass on a sofa could see through… We call those companies, EA (not necessary to list anything), Capcom (not necessary to list anything), Ubisoft (intrusive Uplay service, dishonest with game release visuals and mechanics on frequent basis) and Square Enix (Bravely Default brought them back to JRPGs)…

          And this isn’t the first time a character that character design change hasn’t been met with disdain when they actually talk to people as well, if you look at Klonoa or inFamous 2… Not even mentioning a number of reboots as of late, especially DmC, but I’ll stick to examples when the games and developers stayed mostly the same.

    • Reive

      I think you mean growing, the vast majority of the games demographic is 20-35, not kids.

    • RajaNaga

      lol, not sure if troll comment or not

      This kind of needless editting is never, ever a good thing, whether the game is aimed at kids or not. And I am still positive that more 20+ year olds will by this game than young kids, and I bet most kids wouldn’t be able to beat it if it’s Inti Creates’ usual kind of action platformer difficulty.

  • SetzerGabbiani

    As skill based as these games tend to be, I’m surprised at his answer, honest as it is. I had trouble with the Mega Man Zero games in my 20s as far as getting the higher ranks, so this is pretty interesting.

  • E15

    Their target audience is “boys between the ages of 10 and 14”?
    I guess I’m really young at heart cuz I’m 23 and this game appeals to me.
    I liked the braided hair, too bad.

    • Ni ~Algidus~


      • Azul

        too old not the target audience they are looking for :P

  • Marcus

    Glad these changes aren’t final.

  • Ni ~Algidus~

    Glad that they got rid of the midriff. the braid was ok though, it made gunvolt look a little like Ed from FMA

    • Kornelious

      Ed MADE ponytails cool :P

      • Ni ~Algidus~

        that is true :p
        my 11 years old self wanted to have a ponytail because of ed

  • FFmax

    I wonder if this worse or better than the Bravely Default situation?

    • Worse. Bravely Default was about keeping some girls’ decency, whereas here they’re just showing kids boys with long hair and bared stomach are not the typical heterosexual macho everyone looks up to.

      • British_Otaku

        I’m not so sure… I hate both cases, but Bravely Default raises the issue of potentially damaging the flow of the BD’s story as it goes on with the different ages (expect contradictions by Bravely Second) and steps in to censor what is not only okay relatively to other games in general especially when they are legally adults in most countries at 18+ and all…
        In this case, it is just a different costume, the game itself or series has little odds of caring about the design much… The real offense is just in the reason why… and that they never even made it optional to use both in all versions of the game no matter how they market it wherever.

        • BD’s I’m kind of mixed with, because when I finally got to that part in the game with the bikini, I was really glad it was modified. It would have skeeved me out to see an underage character in an outfit like that and especially in that situation (I mean, I could go blah blah girls can wear what they want, but 2D girls designed by guys and blah blah, we know all that). The censor there wasn’t that severe either because either way, it was a skimpy suit with the editing and we definitely got the point.

          The ages I am incredibly mixed about though. The inconsistency will be weird, and I feel I can see where it was a benefit, but overall, I think it’s unnecessary to make those kind of changes (especially since this isn’t something like Rorona, where we get many questionable instances with underage characters, regardless of gender).

          I can get more onboard with the reasons in BD, but it would have been best to leave out changes.

      • RajaNaga

        Actually, they editted out one of Ringabel’s DLC outfits too, where he was wearing nothing but a scarf and underwear, otherwise you are right there.

    • Kornelious

      Better, in Bravely Default Edea’s bikini costume was censored because we apparently “Weren’t mature eough to handle it” not to mention that their ages were ridiculously increased (Tiz isn’t 19 he’s 15!) this is just to increase the appeal to the buyers…..apparently

      • RajaNaga

        No, it was about them being underage and sexualized. You completely missed the point entirely, lol..

        • Kornelious

          Oh….Well I only really care that they changed the ages…..Cuz that was un-needed >:(

  • Kornelious

    I dont know about the whole 10-14 mark but I actually like his current design better, I just wasn’t to big a fan of the ponytail and midriff…….

  • Derry Santoso

    Well… I honestly prefer the US design lol

  • Rentekabond

    Some pretty solid logic there, Imo. Bishounen and such may be popular in japan, but it’s not the same over here. The long braid, svelte body and exposed belly are pretty feminine traits so changing it because the demographic they’re trying to sell to most likely won’t like it makes sense.

    Personally, while I prefer the current Us version, I think the US version with the ponytail would be the best compromise, as having more things flap around is for the best.

    • RajaNaga

      I beg to differ, heck, look at Megaman Battle Network. All the navis wear skin-tight spandex showing off their figures. And Zero himself had long flowing hair and a similar body type..

      • Rentekabond

        Like I said, it isn’t the same, only similar, both demographically and in direct comparisons. Skin-tight is not equivalent to showing belly. And there’s a difference between long-flowing hair on someone who looks as hard-edged as Zero (Especially Megaman Zero) and a long braid on someone as soft and girly looking as Azure up there.

        That isn’t to say, however, that there’s no one who’d like the design, as there’re enough fangirls to fill a country. However, they’re trying to sell it to young boys, not them.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    I wonder if they’ll change the design for anyone else. Any skimpy girls in this?

    • British_Otaku

      Given that the motivation seems to be based on a male, lead character having a ponytail and showing off a bit of midriff which tends to be used as a cue for female characters… I assume girls with the same amount of skin or even skimpy ones will be okay as they meet the status quo…

      Woah… I felt like Anita writing that for a second there. >_>

      • Hah! That last line was funny! Even though I don’t always agree with her (and feel I like her videos as a point of reference, not education material for me), I do think she can be pretty on point about those parts.

        But what you said echos what I was thinking too. Which is disappointing and telling about so much (in the industry and society as a whole).

        • British_Otaku

          I don’t think I’ve found a single case where I have agreed with her… but that may be because I’m avoiding her content and lengthy discussions around her even if the topics are fairly interesting at times.

          On topic, this is pretty concerning as far as what it means from an industry standpoint. We have found another near baseless “A game with ___” wouldn’t sell and instead of pressing through or offering both options, we get edited releases for no real reason.

          • I take her very lightly, so I have an easy time agreeing and disagreeing with her (and following her work). But she’s pretty low on the list of feminist references for me anyway. But yeah, at times, it ultimately feels better to avoid discussions of her, haha.

            Agreed. I always side-eye this stuff from a feminist standpoint of course, but as a gamer (and a creator), it irritates me to see situations like this because of how common this apparently is when it should be phased out, as well as how each and every situation like this completes a loop.

    • RajaNaga

      There’s a girl with huge boobs and cleavage right in the english poster, unchanged..

  • LexKitteh

    I prefer the original look, but I admit the most complaints I saw from comments when the game was announced were about his ponytail and bare midriff, so I understand why they felt inclined to change it.

  • sharpshot909

    I’m going to get some hate for saying this, but I actually like the US design more.

    • Triplicity

      Me too.

  • mockturtle

    This is bullshit. I’m not usually a hater but come on.

  • LustEnvy

    I don’t care either way, as this won’t make the game any less awesome. Even so, I think it was a smart move. Butthurt fans will get over it and play the game anyways. He still looks awesome.

    I do think the ponytail should’ve stayed but it’s a minor nitpick. The midriff change DOES make sense. That

  • Professor_Icepick

    I’m not gonna miss the bare midriff, but the ponytail looks pretty cool. Especially during his “charge” animation in the trailer.

  • While the US design on its own looks fair enough, the REASON it was changed is what rubs me the wrong way. It just reeks of that whole ‘whoah cant have a dude with “feminime” traits, that’s gonna weird people out’ kinda attitude.

    Meanwhile a reminder: The full artwork is probably not gonna appear in the game much, (all the ingame artwork shown in screenshots has focused on the heads) but on the small 2D sprite, the lightly coloured midriff actually helps break the the sprite into two parts, making it easier to ‘read’ instead of just looking like a cluster of dark blue pixels (and the lightly coloured braid helps convey movement motion against the dark backgrounds).
    So it’s not just a character design thing, it’s actually pretty good visual design decision imo, which makes the removal of the midriff (and braid) a bad idea for more than just aesthetic reasons!

    • (whoops, the JPG toned down the midriff colour a bit by blurring the colours together, but i hope the pic still shows the general idea a bit)

    • Basically. :/
      It’s extremely disappointing and very irritating. I’m getting pretty tired of that attitude and the (usually subtle but significant) effects it has.

    • Jettythesunfish

      I recall Bandai Namco tried to do the same thing to Klonoa, thinking that we in the west didn’t appreciate “cutesy” designs. Fortunately, western fans changed their minds about that.

      And all things considered, the US design for Gunvolt looks pretty generic; the ponytail and bared midriff makes it look more appealing. I said this before, but it just feels insulting to do this on the assumption that we are all shallow and won’t like it (especially when they surmise that only ten year olds would buy the game). Hopefully they drop the issue like Namco did with Klonoa and leave this character unaltered.

      • I remember that so vividly. It became such a bland design (well, awkward) for Klonoa too.

        It is a bit of an insult in a few directions too. I do hope we’ll get another revision to our’s and get some of the flair back.

      • RajaNaga

        Do you mean the planned design for Klonoa’s Wiimake? That was scrapped, and I’m so glad because it was horrible and looked nothing like him. I don’t mind his 2 design besides the fact that his eyes look so much more like Sonic’s… I get that he’s older, but it’s because of that that I’ll always prefer the original design with the big collar and huge cat-like eyes.

    • RajaNaga

      Yeah, I agree about the sprite part, too. Plus, not having the braid makes his sprites a lot less dynamic since it whips about as his moves. If we don’t get his sprite I’ll be sad, but I admit I’d be sad about the midrift too, if just on principle.

  • they should have kept the pony tail and just took away the midriff. Man midriff makes me a sad panda unless its in JoJo’s Bizarre adventure.

  • TheManWithPants

    Actually, I kinda like the US version better. The shorter hair and lack of midriff looks more practical for battle and whatnot. Though, I doubt most 10-14-year-olds will be buying this game.

  • Kroz

    Do the youth of today even know what a side scroller even is? I mean seriously i saw a 11 year old having this life and death decision of whether he should get call of duty or battlefield.

    • I’ve been schooled in platformers by at least one whippersnapper

    • British_Otaku

      They may be vaguely familiar if they were raised on a Nintendo platform (Mario, Donkey, Kirby and such get a lot of mileage)… Otherwise, most platformers are fairly low profile and indie, increasing the chance of them playing shooters and third person action games in general…

      Megaman or Megaman-esque games probably has the most appeal with us older folk, especially with how poorly those types of games have been pushed by Capcom for the last generation… The skill barrier to entry probably makes the few that did pop up like Megaman 9/10 to pull them in for this.

  • British_Otaku

    Wouldn’t have minded another Luke Fon Fabre: http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100108020734/aselia/images/f/f4/Normal_Lukestatart.jpg

    I would have been happy if they changed the design for the west like this but still offered the original design choice as an option… Then again as a Japanese 3DS owner, I’m skipping the localisation BS yet again. >_>

    • Luke was quite a badass to me, if not a whiner though lol.

      • British_Otaku

        Yep, I enjoyed how the character was defined over the course of the story even if by nature of all of the circumstances, he was a mess of a character. A confident badass of sorts, but also unaware of the world’s simple systems and quite prone to breaking down.

        As my first Tales, I lavished in the chance to see more of his take in the diary and skits which justified how he behaved or at least let me know how he felt about situations in more depth.

        • ArmoredBoar

          Everything was good until personality change haircut.

        • Indeed~. I loved how well-written Luke was (and what great parallels he and Natalia were of each other). It wasn’t my first Tales, but it remains one of my favorite especially because of the characters.

    • Aoshi00

      I wouldn’t mind getting from Jpn eshop either, but my Jpn 3DS is regular and us one is xl :(.. I might get a Jpn xl one day, but afraid of newer model lol.. Anyway, silly change :(

      • British_Otaku

        Were you the person, I chatted to sometime ago who had a fear of the Nintendo ID update and onward affecting purchases?

        I spent tens of thousands of yen on music, manga and games without an issue, though I suppose the only purchases, I’m 100% sure about staying is the music as Recochoku seems much bigger.

        Assuming, you still are nervous about updating your system, it isn’t really worth buying another J3DS (unless you plan to sell or give away your current one) to get the experience of playing Gunvolt without any compromise for the intended and perhaps also your preferred design.

        • Aoshi00

          Hm. I don’t think so.. I don’t really about worried transferring the contents when upgrading to another system, I’ve done it a couple of times w/ the US 3DSes, black to Zelda then to XL..I just mean if I’m playing any 3DS game, I want to play it on an XL, the bigger screen makes a heck of a difference. The thunder color change, no braid, and bare tummy didn’t bother me, I looked hard and didn’t see them until like 10 secs later lol.. but I just don’t like their reason and intention.. also like others said, the braid had more sprite motion.. it’s just a silly change.. I definitely don’t want to play it compromised, but I would have to choose the bigger screen US ver in this case :)

          • British_Otaku

            Too many people on the internet…

            I would convert to an XL if it wasn’t my 3DS being limited edition… I can’t stand to leave them even for something as practical as a better design and bigger screen. >_>

            It would really be nice if they had both designs so no one has to miss out, but alas, at least it is getting localised and you can play it on a bigger screen.

          • Aoshi00

            You don’t remember me lol, I don’t post that often now anyway.. I actually gave up my black Zelda for the boring red XL.. I haven’t sold it, but it’s wiped clean after the transfer. smaller original is easier to hold, but most games just look so much better and detailed on the 2X sized screen. I have a launch aqua Jpn 3DS too, I think it cost almost $400.. should’ve waited for the XL.. there’s lots of nice LEs, but I have a feeling as soon as I get one Ninty would come out w/ yet another model, it was always the case.. but I need the bigger screen, or my eyes would get really bad :)

    • Eilanzer

      god…i hate luke =.=”
      Abyss is for me one of the most overrated tales game ¬¬

      • British_Otaku

        I’m quite aware of Luke’s flaws and despite playing just Abyss, I’m pretty open to the other ones… No idea what makes it overrated and I won’t speak like one of those individuals who gives you that impression for a long time at worst…

        • Eilanzer

          the game has a bunch of problem…But the worst part for me is the character development.
          It was just…fake…strange…Luke is like a child and annoying at the start (that was ok, the plot explains why)…But from nothing he change his hair and TADAAAA he is ANOTHER (boring) person ¬¬
          And i will not even start with the other characters…

          • I think most Tales games suffer from that though, really.

  • Kari

    So a White blue eyed boy is prefect to sell to westerners… Zero had long hair and none complained. Wasn’t there an article about Square Enix realizing hat Westerns like Japanese RPG’s? ..silly Inti isn’t so intelligent after all

  • Raika Souku

    they made him less impactful and lose the pony tail really why bother changing that

  • Just saying, based on what happened here, if they did this back when Zero was made they definitely would have changed him too… something to think about.

    To me this is just about the same as regional censorship (even if it is more like self-censorship). I personally can’t stand market research. An artist should have an artistic vision and then put it out there as it was thought out – no compromises. You might as well take the Japanese out of a Japanese game since that doesn’t make it “western” enough. Of course I found stuff to be weird in Japanese games while I was growing up, but those differences are what sparked a curiosity that lead me to love Japanese culture today.

    By doing this they’re essentially flipping a coin anyways. In the end it could have been the original design that ended up bringing them more fans.

  • Namuro

    Hmm… Can’t believe how generic-looking our man has become without his ponytail…

  • AuraGuyChris

    You make Edward Elric sick!

    • Rogerrmark

      Indeed, most people didn’t bother Ed’s ponytail at all.

      Plus, we have all those Steven Seagal’s movies, lol.

      • Göran Isacson

        I want you to look at what you’ve written. You are holding up Steven Seagal as a GOOD example of Pony tail. Think about your choices man. It’s not too late to change your ways ;)

        • Wuxia media then. Masculine- and feminine-looking folk alike – be they men or women – have been rocking ponytails (among other styles for long hair) there for decades now.

          • Göran Isacson

            Aaah, see THIS guy knows where it’s at. If Jet Li can pull off a ponytail, I think Gunvolt can do it as well.

          • Rogerrmark

            He doesn’t look feminine, though.

          • Göran Isacson

            Question- are you referring to Jet Li, GUnvolt or Steven Seagal right now? Ha ha, so many names flying around that I’m a bit confused.

      • Harlan Hikaru Fox

        I’m not sure Steven Seagal ever ran around with a bare midriff. Maybe completely shirtless at some point, but not in in outfit specifically designed to draw attention to his midriff, heh.

    • Ric Vazquez


  • harmonyworld

    wait, aren’t they going for the same age group in japan?
    So why change it if it’s bad?
    Do japanese kids just not care or is it just pig headed westerners that think that?
    Or do THEY think that the west won’t like it?
    for me, it’s fine, I don’t really care, although I probably won’t be getting this game since I was never a megaman fan to begin with~
    But as an artist and a bit of a character creator myself, I don’t see the big deal.
    Honestly, I think they should leave it as the japanese version is simply because that’s the “true” design.
    It’s how it’s intended at first.
    Plus it’ll just make more work since you’ll have to edit all the character art and sprites.
    but what do I know, I’m not a game designer or anything :p

    • KnifeAndFork

      “Pig headed Westerners” -_-

      Yes because glorious Nippon is so perfect…

      • harmonyworld

        I’m not saying it like that, I am a westerner, it just feels like they’re changing for possibly such reasons.
        As if they think we’re so closed minded and such~
        No ment for offense, if any :3

  • LMekko

    As a long haired male who has ALWAYS had long hair, this annoys me :(

  • TiamatNM

    I never even noticed the midriff but the ponytail needs to stay. He looks way more generic without it.

  • Kelohmello

    I don’t really care about the midriff, but they could have at least kept the braid, you know? It looks cool.

  • DuskSharkEX

    Not a fan of the midriff (though I wouldn’t care if it stayed) but I don’t see the point of ditching the ponytail.

  • ShadowDivz

    Aren’t they mostly playing COD anyway?

  • ZnTxn

    I have the feeling that I’ve seen something like this before…


    • ZnTxn

      Edit: Well, not exactly the same, but the research on the focus group should be a little bit familiar.

  • Hector Velar

    silly Takuya, the main audience for this game are 30 to 40 years old the fans who grew up with the megaman series. 10-14 years old are playing Halo and Call of Duty. Stop numming things down in here it makes us feel as we are inferior.

    • Hector Velar

      …it is because of Koiji’s influence and one of my favorite type of video games why im interested in buying this game. It is crappy attitude like Takuya that is making me not want to buy it…. darn i had to reply to myself, I really had hopes for this game but just a comment like that as small as it is goes very far. Tokuya listen, learn from Disney, they switched their target audience for kids and they almost went broke, adults are who work and have the money in the west and can buy whatever, whenever they want it. Not only do i hate when they treat us as inferior but also that kinds mentality for audience and ignoring adults. Just so wrong marketting ideas so 90s.

  • Macreen Smith

    I honestly don’t mind the change since I didn’t like the ponytail anyway, but thats just me.

  • Lumi

    No people, this is NOT a ponytail. It’s a BRAID. Ponytail is Edward Elric, loose hair just tied up by something.

    Although I don’t really understand the midriff edit. He would want to show off his 6pack, won’t he? Or the lightening re-color. What’s wrong with the original?

    • lanmanna

      Most men who have abs in real life don’t wear midriffs. Unless they are trying to be funny or something.

  • Overlord Val

    I don’t see anything wrong with the original…

  • 하세요

    I admit the braid removal was silly, but I’m fine with the midriff edit. I’m not really one for needless exposure of abs.

    I know I know, I have freakin’ Hsien-Ko as an avatar – at least she has a traditional Chinese dress on…just happens to be bustier than…well 95% of real life Asia.

    • RajaNaga

      I’m glad you at least admit to being a hypocrite >_>

  • XypherCode

    I like the Japanese design more. And it keeps the original vision the designer wanted for the character.

    • I always see this comment about “original vision,” as though people think it’s some sort of un-negotiable fixture in the mind of the designer. That’s never, ever what it is. No design, ever, whether in its conceptual or final stages is 100% what the “original vision” was, and if you’re doing something creative, you need to be okay with that.

      Things change, people change, perspectives change, and that leads to an evolution of design. This theory that all artists or designers somehow feel wronged by minor alterations/edits to their work is kind of ridiculous.

      I mean, look at writers. They have their work edited all the time. No one ever complains about that.

      • Haganeren

        Yes and no, for me the “original version” of the author is the final product once it have been edited thousand of time.

        Having that one change depending of the country is still annoying for me. You could say that “that one chance” is not the end of the world and i agree… But still, it’s silly and i always prefer having “the original version”.

        • ” […] for me the “original version” of the author is the final product once it have been edited thousand of time.

          Then that hardly counts as the “original design” anymore…

          • Haganeren

            I think it is.

            For me the “original version” is the version the author wanted to show to the public. So, when you create something, the “first design” isn’t necessary the one you want to submit at the player/viewer/whatever…. You just want to see if it works and if it doesn’t work you try again.

            In my opinion it’s totally different to a modification made because of localization or censure.

          • Then this has just become a matter of semantics (and where you decide to raise the “original point” flag) – although I’ll still say that “original” is a misleading adjective at this point. I won’t deny that this case has some differences from a design overhaul though, since the change is region-specific.

    • Laith Rem

      Important thing that I think everyone should learn.

      Designers are not Artists.

  • TiamatNM

    Is there a way to complain about this to Inti Creates directly? I want my ponytail/braid to wave around while I electrocute things >_>

  • Dystopiq

    Personally I like the new design. There’s no logical reason to have his midriff bare. He’s doing combat for shit’s sake. That just makes no sense. Plus it looks retarded. The pony tail I can live with or without, no issue for me.

    • Shippoyasha

      I don’t know. This IS an Inti Creates game. Meaning it’ll be highly fantastical to begin with. It’s kind of silly arguing the validity of the clothing to me, when it’s purposely made to be unrealistic.

      • Dystopiq

        You can create a fiction and still remain logical.

        • Shippoyasha

          Yeah, though Inti Creates designs tends to be pretty out there. And that’s kind of their own charm too.

    • Mightfo

      “There’s no logical reason to have his midriff bare. He’s doing combat for shit’s sake”
      hahahhaa but do you apply this to 70% of female combat character designs who have way more skimpy clothing

      • Dystopiq

        Shitty armor design is shitty armor design regardless of gender. And yes I’ve always thought female armor looks dumb in games as far as I can remember. Not to many games get it right.

        • Mightfo

          Guess what: Not everybody cares about realism as much as you, especially when we’re talking about games where you jump around and shit lightning. Some prefer what they would consider “stylish” design to realistic design.

    • celery

      Since he’s doing a lot of jumping, it actually makes sense to remove the braid–you wouldn’t want it to catch on anything, would you?
      So both aspects (midriff and braid) SHOULD be an issue to you, since you feel the design needs to be 100% practical.
      But it is a fantastical game. Yes, there needs to be some logic and practicality, but there also needs to be room for some creativity–otherwise, all characters would wear the same things within the same genres, and that would be very monotonous.

  • Hours Left

    I thought the day of changing designs because of misguided views on different markets were over. This is beyond silly.

  • Spirit Macardi

    Are they saying that braided ponytails aren’t manly? Because I think Edward Elric would care to disagree.

    • Göran Isacson

      On the other hand, Edward Elrics sense of aeshtetics isn’t exactly high class to start with.

      “hmm, gotta fix up these buildings I wrecked… yes, I know what this porch needs. SKULLS. Skulls everywhere in this random average apartment. Nobody will ever think this is tacky. Gosh I’m so great.”

  • Rogerrmark

    Steven Seagal

    nuff said

  • Inb4 Nier

  • Shady Shariest

    Can live with the new design. Braid missing just kinda ruins it for my eye :/
    edit: I edited this comment four times. Indecisive!

  • Göran Isacson

    What I’m mostly curious over is if they actually CAN sell it to 10-14 year olds. I dunno, but when I think this kinda gameplay I usually think it’s aimed to people hungry for nostalgia. If they CAN sell it to a new generation then hey, more power to them. I’d approve being proven wrong that this kind of 2D high-intensity action can sell to people other than those having nostalgia boners for it. I just doubt that is the case.

    Also, gotta admit that I’m not a fan of the changes. Sure, the midriff-baring could have been changed if they gave him an undershirt of a different color, so that the top and bottom half could be separated. But pony-tail? Come on. We got used to Zero, compared to him that little piddle-tail is barely even going to confuse and make little boys question their leanings.

    • Harlan Hikaru Fox

      They can’t. The game is digital only, and I don’t know how many parents are going to give 10 year olds unfettered access to their credit cards in order to buy it off of the network.

      As for the design, I could take or leave the ponytail, but I wasn’t a fan of the bare midriff at all.

      It always seemed like the #1 overarching design principle for Japanese video game characters was “Can Gackt do a photoshoot dressed as him?”

      • Göran Isacson

        I admit, that does sound troublingly possible. Makes you wonder how big that demographic is on mobile/tablets. I mean sure, kid-games, all-ages games and “adult” games, games that are either sought out by parents or can be purchased by people with their own credit cards can make it big on those platforms, but are kids who just have cash as strong there? Or do they buy games for console? Or do they buy games at all and just subsist on what their parents buy for them?

        Also, I admit I laughed a little at the Gackt-comment. Kinda curious if he WOULD cosplay Striker now.

  • Jettythesunfish

    This seems kind of insulting…I mean we aren’t all that shallow to be put off by a male character having a braided ponytail and bare midriff.

    Eh, but I’ve been wrong before.

  • RajaNaga

    The target audience comment is so strange. The people most likely to buy this game are adult action-platformer fans (whether or not they are Megaman/Megaman Zero fans or otherwise).

    I really hope he can be convinced in some way to change his design back. This is really pretty outrageous; it may seem like a tiny change, but there is absolutely no reason to change the MC’s design to attempt to fit unto the supposed cultural expectations of North America. We’re not gonna start doing this again, are we? I know this is 90’s inspired, but that is not the way to go about capturing that feel.

    I’m tempted to get together signatures/fan comments myself to present to the twitter account to prove this is a stupid choice.

  • Aaron Lee

    I honestly don’t care. This is extremely minor to me.

    • Shippoyasha

      The actual act of changing the style isn’t earthshattering. But there’s so many ramifications about the creators changing things because they deem the western world operates differently, can’t accept what is widely considered girly hairstyle on a boy character, etcetera. Not to mention this means they will aim to change thing more things in the future without regard for the game’s purism upon localization..

      • kaotron

        I dont mind the change, I just don’t like how they think that we wont like things if it isnt overly manly. I never liked the whole midriff look but the pony tail removal wasnt necessary.

  • koksuckaahh

    I liked the original design I thought it was rather unique.

    • KnifeAndFork

      Lol long hair and exposed midriff on a bishounen character is hardly a unique design trait in Japanese video game character design. Plenty of action games, RPGs, and visual novels have examples of them.
      It’s to help cross market to girl gamers in Japan who are more active gamers than female Western gamers.

      • kaotron

        it’s pretty rare to see an older tough and buff dude as a main character in japanese games, it’s usually alway the same androgynous(bishounen) looking teenager(probably for the targeted demographics).

        while in the west the developers are pretty obsessed with bald white space marines.

        • harmonyworld

          Well, not so rare~
          The Yakuza series comes to mind :3

          • kaotron

            yes, a rare exception because the theme of the game is the yakuza, a bunch of tough adult gangsters.

            I’m surprised that it didnt go the hitman reborn route though with a bunch of teenage mobsters..

      • Mightfo

        “its in a few jrpgs i wont name and in virtually no western games at all so you can’t think its unique”
        cool story bro

        • KnifeAndFork

          Lol if you call yourself an fan of Japanese games you wouldn’t be asking me to name them instead of quoting a tired ass old meme.
          But anyways to name a few:

          Final Fantasy XII
          Lost Odyssey
          The Last Story
          Rune Factory 2
          Final Fantasy 9 (Kuja)
          Star Ocean 3
          Xenoblade (Rein)
          Enchanted Arms (Makato)
          Tales of Eternia
          Tales of the Abyss
          Arc the Lad (Maru, Darc)
          King of Fighters Kyo (Benimaru)

          • Mightfo

            Oh, I thought we were talking about protagonists. My bad. I am also surprised that I forgot about Last Story/Abyss .The original JP design is still much less generic though, and I don’t think any of the designs you cited are in non-RPGs(like gunvolt) aside from KOF.

          • KnifeAndFork

            Why should that matter? I listed both genres in my first post.
            Anyways for action:

            Castlevania Judgement (Simon Belmont)
            I will Protect You (Nintendo DS game)
            Sengoku Basara
            Dynasty Warriors 8 (Zhang Bao, Zhang He)
            Blazeblue (Bang)

          • Mightfo

            Different things are common in different subgenres. Fighting games have several gender ambiguous characters(bridget, ash, amane, leo, shion, etc) but ones like that are extremely rare in other subgenres. Its pretty easy to value something because its not seen in a subgenre even if other games have them.

            Anyway, in any case i apologize for the tone I adopted in my first comment to you.

  • You guys should know that Inti are discussing the hair issue. They understand that a lot of people picking this game up aside from the target audience will be Mega Man Zero fans.

  • 10-14 year old boys won’t bat an eye at this game. These folks really need to do their research and start acting like they know what they’re talking about. That said, I didn’t care for the braid. The midriff was cool, though.

  • kaotron

    I always thought that male midriffs looked weird(I’m looking at you luke) so good change imo but the pony tail cut wasnt all that necessary..

  • Letiumtide

    The midriff, whatever, but I find that the removing of long hair is really silly. One could argue that long hair isn’t really welcome in Japan, insofar as I know anyway the general standard is short hair. I personally think long hair is very attractive on men, well cared for hair, anyway.

    I think they’re over thinking things.

  • Mightfo

    If they’re still considering this change, is there anywhere to give feedback? I hate this change. You can have a billion female characters with skimpy clothing but god forbid a guy show midriff. And who the fuck thinks ponytails on a male character is shocking enough to change in 2014? This is just ridiculous.

  • J_Joestar

    seeing them side to side, why does the electricity look different?

    • Maybe it’s the difference in voltage between regions.

      (I don’t know.)

  • Yan Zhao

    Well I think they are completely wrong on the reasoning, but at least the design change isnt that big of a deal, I even like the change better to be honest. So its all good.

  • TheHolypopeofgaming

    There’s a difference?

  • Based Ignacio Puppo

    The american version, IMO, looks much better. I know Japan prefers more androgynous designs, but c’mon!

  • Istillduno

    Their main target audience in the west are 10-14 year old boys?

    Do kids these days even give a toss about a side scrolling 2D platform game?

    Stuff like this is niche for a reason, seems kind of silly to try to cater to an audience that would rather be playing their CoDs, Skyrims, Uncharteds, Gears of Wars ect. (yes we know they are below the age ratings but you know parents buy them anyway) and don’t even remember 2D games over people who grew up with that kind of **** and have more money to burn.

  • Bacon_n_Lettuce

    I’m more curious about why they toned down the lightning coming off of him. Americans can’t handle some well defined electric arcs?

  • Mika Moreno

    I don’t think the “10-14 year old” range is accurate. Sadly, this is not the type of game that age group plays any more… In my opinion i prefer the original design, but this little change isn’t that big of a deal. I’m still going to buy this either way!

  • Ric Vazquez

    OH HELL NO! Why must some games must be stupidly censored/changed for the damn Murica release?! -_-

  • fearlubu

    Welp, let’s hope theres an unlockable option to get the original look,

  • sdmblack

    Honestly, long hair just works for these types of games. They had it in Zero, as well as ZX and ZX Advent, so why change the trend?

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