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Nintendo removes petting minigame from western release of Fire Emblem Fates

Fire Emblem Fates allows you to use the 3DS touchscreen to pet in-game characters, and Nintendo has removed the minigame from western versions.

Everyone loves to pet things (especially pugs), so Nintendo has decided to integrate the activity into Fire Emblem Fates, the latest entry in the acclaimed strategy franchise.

Known as ‘skinship,” Fire Emblem Fates gives you the option to pet characters in-between missions to build closer relationships and improve performance in battle.

The reactions from characters are cute, if a little creepy sometimes. However, the mechanic feels distinctly out of place in a game that features so much war, death and melodrama.

Speaking to Kotaku, Nintendo confirmed that this part of the game has been completely removed from western versions.

“Yes, that is the case [that petting isn’t in the English version],” a representative explained.

“You might have heard somewhat misinterpreted or exaggerated information about the Japanese original game, but even in the Japanese original version, we have not included any features which are considered inappropriate in Japan.”

Certain female characters happen to react quite suggestively when you pet them in “certain places,” but Nintendo hasn’t stated this as a reason for the change.

Related: Nintendo 3DS Review

Last week, Nintendo confirmed it will be removing a controversial scene from the game that many considered homophobic.

This change is definitely for the better, however, some fans seem a little peeved at the removal of Fire Emblem’s petting mechanic.

Fire Emblem Fates will launch with two versions – Birthright and Conquest – and will be available in North America on February 19.

The European version will likely arrive later in 2016.

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