One would think that Americans don’t need to be spared images of weapons, especially in a nation where AR15s flow as freely as water.
But apparently Bandai Namco wanted to spare US audiences the pearl clutching fright of looking upon a sword—a sword of all things!—in their latest game, Dragon Ball Fusions.
When localizing the game from Japan to North America the company decided to change all swords to sticks. Even a character like Future Trunks, whose look is defined by his sword, instead smacks his enemies with a wimpy little stick. Talk about loss of immersion—the most powerful warriors in the galaxy are brought down by swats of a twig.
What’s even stranger about the bowdlerization is that the game is already rated T by the ESRB. Taking out the sword did nothing to lower their content rating and open up their market to younger children. Perhaps they made the change in an attempt to score an E for everyone and failed? I would know if their PR people answered my damn emails.
The folks at the Dragon Ball subreddit were also piqued by the senseless change. One user pointed out that in Wind Waker (a game rated E), no one batted an eye when Link literally stabbed Ganondorf in the face with his sword.
So why the change? Is this some kind of subversive attempt to force much-needed sword control legislation through Congress? I’ll keep speculating until Bandai Namco checks their inbox.