Lin, the brave young girl from Xenoblade Chronicles X, is portrayed differently in the North American and European versions of the game. Why?
Cassandra Lee Morris, the voice actress for Lin, has decided to clear the air and shed some light on the matter. While it's true that Lin's outfits in the Japanese version of the game are more "skimpy," as the actress calls it, Morris does not see this as censorship as some have claimed.
Compared to the western version of Xenoblade Chronicles X, there's no denying that Lin has arguably different clothing styles, but there's a simple explanation for why the character's clothes were changed based on regional audience. According to the voice actress, Lin's different outfit in the North American version of the game is more a matter of "localization" rather than outright censorship.
There's a great cultural difference between Japan and western markets, and some things that seem "normal" in one market seem out of place and inappropriate in another. Some may interpret this scenario as a more closed-minded West compared to Japan, with one having more censorship than the other, but Morris explains that it's actually a matter of what's more appropriate for certain audiences.
She goes on to reckon that the Japanese version of Lin is indeed more "skimpily" dressed, appearing in a bikini and other such tantalizing outfits, whereas the North American version shows her dressed differently - more conservatively, if you may. Morris says that she's more comfortable with how Lin looks in the North American version, and she thinks that it would also make parents more comfortable to let their kids play the game.
"Honestly makes me cringe a little bit because [Lin is] only 13 years old," says Morris, referring to her character's outfits in the Japanese version of the game. The voice actress also notes that Lin can be a great role model for teenage girls because of her strength and other powerful abilities. Lin can make her own dinner but she can also kick someone's butt if necessary. Looking at the whole matter with the role-model idea in mind, the North American version of Lin does seem more appropriate.
Morris further highlights that this localization - not censorship - could also help players concentrate more on Lin's abilities and other traits, rather than her physical appearance that's so obvious in the Japanese version of the game.
"There are a lot of cultural differences between Japan and the US and Europe. I, personally, don't mind that Lin's outfits were changed for the US version," adds Morris. "My hope is that players will be able to concentrate on Lin's abilities and what she can bring to your game and what she can do for the other members of her party and not just how she looks."
Long story short, the changes aim to localize Lin for different audiences in different markets. Though some may see it as censorship, others may appreciate the different depictions and even deem the North American and European versions of Xenoblade Chronicles X more appropriate when it comes to how 13-year-old Lin looks.
Either way, check out the video below to see what else Morris has to say about her experience with Xenoblade Chronicles X. To get a better idea about the game itself, check out our Xenoblade Chronicles X review roundup.