Its been reported that not only has Square-Enix removed all traces of Final Fantasy XIII‘s original Japanese theme “Kimi ga Iru Kara” by Sayuri Sugawara (it having been replaced by Leona Lewis’, “My Hands”) from the western version of the game, but they have also removed Sugawara’s second contribution, “Eternal Love”. The song has apparently been replaced with the theme of Lightning’s sister Serah Farron, which had English language lyrics even in the Japanese release.
It is possible to over do a games localization, and this is not the first time such has been suggested in relation to FFXIII. SE has reportedly also given many items in the game unnecessary name changes (i.e. Blaze Edge is now Blazefire Saber, Lake Bildge is Lake Bresha, etc.).
SE has mentioned repeatedly how much they want FFXIII to appeal to western gamers. A fine goal. Honorable even. Unfortunately SE’s attempts at reaching it are starting to seem a bit desperate. It would seem SE is purging Japanese influence from FFXIII much like PSICOM purges L’Cies from Cocoon in the game itself. The developement team has already suffered the wrath of fans over what some would call more drastic changes to the standard FF formula than even Final Fantasy XII. Shoe horning western appeal into FFXIII’s aesthetic as well could lead to another such backlash.
Final Fantasy XIII is still on track for release on PS3 and Xbox 360 on March 9th. Final code has been sent out to the press, and a review embargo has been set for March 5th. You can read the 13th Crystals import review here.
Source: All Japanese music tracks removed from FF13 (UFFsite)
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