How Princess On Ice Was Changed Outside Japan

How Princess On Ice Was Changed Outside Japan

Censored Gaming has covered in the past how
sometimes games will be changed over in Japan to the make the style and tone less aggressive. Crash Bandicoot, for instance, was redesigned
over in Japan to make them look more cute, with this believed to be a much more popular
style in Japan. However, what Censored Gaming hasn’t covered
so much is examples of characters not being made to look more or less “aggressive”, but
more or less “anime”. Today we’ll be taking a look at case of this
happening to the game Princess On Ice – a Nintendo DS title developed by Japanese company
Arc System Works, best known for their fighting game franchises, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue. Now, the European release was actually released
8 months before than the Japanese version and 7 months before the US release. However, the title is still a Japanese game,
as Arc System Works is listed in the credits and menus as the developers, Japanese publishers,
as well as the copyright holders. The European publishers, 505 Games, are only
listed as the Western character designers, so it’s unknown why it was released so much
earlier over in Europe. The title was released in Japan with a very
anime art style and, when it was released in the West, it underwent some drastic changes. Outside of Japan, the characters were redesigned,
losing the anime style for a more Western one. The game is rhythm game where you skate on
ice and perform special moves by tapping and manipulating the icons that pop up with the
right timing. The first thing to point out is that “all”
of the characters were completely redesigned outside of Japan to the character models seen
here. Interestingly, the Western version also replaced
the “blood type” info in the character’s profiles to their favourite colour. This may be something some of you are already
familiar with but Japanese culture has a huge fascination with people’s blood types and
you can find lots of superstitions and other beliefs based on what type of blood a person
has. In that sense, it’s a little like people’s
zodiac signs over in the West and blood type can be used to determine things like relationship
compatibilities and personality. Moving on though, like mentioned “all” character
were changed. This means that the ice skating coach who
you meet up with a lot during the game’s story mode was also altered. As you can see, amongst other changes, she
was made a red head and lost the glasses over in the West. The other characters in the game are the ice
skating judges, who were all completely redesigned. The Western versions also felt it would be
better to put them all in matching outfits – this being a blue suit, white shirt and
blue tie. Another change that you’ll be able to find
is to some of the animations that the characters perform. Going along with the anime art style, the
Japanese version will have some very anime-styled animations and facial expressions – such as
the blank eyed look shown here. The Western version of this scene, though,
doesn’t have any different animation to go along with it. It just keeps the character’s facial expressions
the same throughout. It’s also relevant to point out how these
very same changes were made to the later spin off game Rockin’ Pretty but only in the European
version. The European version was also renamed to Diva
Girls: Making The Music. Rockin’ Pretty is another rhythm game made
by the same developers but about starting a rock band and it seems that the folks at
Aksys Games wanted to keep the art style the same as the Japanese version. That’s about it for the changes made to Princess
On Ice, though, but with how drastic these re-designs were, it was definitely felt that
this would be something interesting to point out and document over on the channel. Until next time, thank you for watching.

Antonio Breitenberg

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100 thoughts on “How Princess On Ice Was Changed Outside Japan

  1. Poison Alice says:

    oh my god i played this two games so much how did i never know about this

  2. Crystan says:

    Yeah, I think I agree with most of the comments here. The Western version is ugly. I'm willing to bet they'd have improved sales by keeping the artwork identical.

  3. SilenceGlaiveMaster says:

    Both of them suck in their own special way

  4. TigerTT says:

    This is why as a westerner I really don't like when the west touches Japanese entertainment like this lol

  5. Ima Space person says:

    Why change the looks? AND WHY TO THAT?!?!?!

  6. Downeko says:

    If I'm gonna buy a Japanese game it better comes with anime girls, I'm not paying for ugly looking girls from different races

  7. Dingdring says:

    Japanese version so much better, and why do the American ones look like hookers

  8. L5940 says:

    /r/ mildlyinteresting

  9. TK Draws says:

    I actually have Rockin' pretty (The japanese version but in english)

  10. Ran Deschamps says:

    So the thought process here being anime art won't sell. solution replace it with creepy cartoon clown makeup art brilliant.

  11. Duster says:

    From the thumbnail I guess they took a good looking game and made the characters look like they took meth for 10 years

  12. someoneintheshadow45 says:

    WTF why did they do this anime is popular in the US and other games are not censored why THIS?!

  13. I am the Cancer says:


  14. Milo says:

    I actually kinda like the Western style

  15. Amy Duong says:

    what's wrong with the anime style? They're not bad for kids, it's cute and girly. Kids even watch Pokémon which is an anime. I'm seriously confused.

  16. Vercalos al'Corlin says:

    Ugh. I'm not really a big fan of anime in general, but I have to say the redesigns are not a good move. The cover art is particularly disturbingly uncanny.

  17. ThatNormalBunny says:

    Holy shit the European version looked like shit. Why not just keep the anime art style since anime was loved during the DS life span

  18. Practice Run Studios says:

    Are you happy Youtube! I watched it!. Now stop recommending it to me.

  19. NardyNite 251891419812314 says:

    I blame sjw's

  20. LRiv C says:

    The US version is a Horror Game….

  21. Detective Pepe says:

    'w' wow,what a shit censorship,also holy fuck they are so UGLY

  22. Clare Gundersen says:

    The Western one looks horrifying.

  23. Laura Evonne says:

    The japansese version is adorable but I hate the american version with a passion.

    Does anyone know if there's a way to get an american DS to play Japanese games?

  24. Antie Cuteness says:

    Damn weebs.

  25. MARIOPOWERUP says:

    Everyone is talking about how horrible the western version looks but I’m here thinking both games look like pure trash

  26. sayurizz zz says:

    That anime version is better

  27. MjrCinnaminBun says:

    Japan is strange. Every game is blood type but when are you going to marry a anime character. They are not real at all.

  28. Luny & Milky says:

    The JP version seems waaaaay cooler! x')

  29. Artistic Fur says:

    Us ver is ugly af

  30. cljun says:

    The flip. THE FLIP

  31. Ninjagai says:

    Man, why is western style so ugly?

  32. Kiwi Karp says:

    I wouldn't have a problem with the art style change it it didn't look ugly, but I guess the people who made the decision thought it wasn't marketable enough, without realizing the designs THEY came up with are much less marketable.

  33. Rabarbar says:

    the us verision actually looks more racist

  34. Ultimaniac says:

    Ironically, the changes most likely hurt the games sales in the West. The art change in Princess on Ice turned it into a generic "girl game" where the original might have drawn in little girls and anime fans alike. This seems to be illustrated in the sales according to VGChartz. Rockin Pretty sold more than double of Princess on Ice, mostly likely due to the more widely accessible art style being kept in the NA release.

  35. Kommo-o Ekans says:

    Those are some ugly ladys

  36. Zero Two One says:

    What The What? They Censored Kawaii Girls To Freaking Ugly
    I Bet The Localization Team Was Full Of Non-Kawaii Women🤣

  37. Anselma Kartini says:

    The thumbnail changed?

  38. LPNP says:


    I'm not even a fan of the anime art style in general but it's an actual art direction. The western release looks like shovelware.

  39. MAR21 FTSP says:

    in western version is like a bitch who skating lol and in Japanese like see under age girl who staking lol

  40. Weston Ryan says:

    Gotta check this game out

  41. 「Sugarbunny Project」 says:

    In japan rockin pretty is called happy star band

  42. Deltath Riylaan says:

    I could maybe understand why they'd change the art if the game had bad art in Japan and weren't a game for young girls, but it makes no sense here. Especially considering how heinously bad it turned out. The western art is done so poorly, so horrendously and just looks like a disgusting abomination.

  43. Rasmus Krogh-Jensen says:

    Fuck censorship!!

  44. Janethan Ricanibante says:

    Bad… Just bad.

  45. Zedix ZX says:

    I'm not a weeb or anything, but I actually prefer the Japanese art style more. I don't know man the western art style looks bland and generic it also made it look like some kind of shovelware cheap game

  46. ravie rotten says:


  47. Ashema Bahumat says:

    Arcsys made this shit? Tf. I mean, the Japanese art looks adorable as fuck, but the western art… eugh.

  48. karibu1404 2.0 says:

    The wester art is just fucking ugly

  49. glue says:

    Princess on Ice came out in 2008 a bit before anime became popular in the U.S. And Rocking Pretty came out in 2009 when it was starting to be normal for people to watch anime and use the art style.

  50. Tekki Kiraito says:

    I loved Rockin' Pretty. It's actually a decently challenging rhythm game. It's a shame they made Princess on Ice look like generic shovelware garbage with it's redesign.

  51. Nikku4211 says:

    I hate both art styles.

  52. Sornlegion says:

    i love anime

  53. Taka says:

    Looking at the Western version, my eyes they burn.

  54. Aguest says:

    Really unsure why they would put in so much effort to wash out the anime style.

  55. T-Jay Era says:

    What’s next Dragonball edited by the guys who made powderpuff girls or fairlyoddparents

  56. Anne Schultz says:

    Both designs look like shit lol

  57. MyAssIsBrass says:

    The redesigns make them look less like little girls and more like $5 hookers

  58. weird sponge guy says:

    The American version looks like a bitmoji

  59. quazimotolikespie says:

    The American characters are nightmarish

  60. Facade says:

    They made one template for the western design, edited it 3 times, and called it a fucking day. Meanwhile the Japanese anime characters have different expressions and poses and colors that had effort put into them. Good job idiots.

  61. CranberryFo says:

    I don't think this is "censoring" as much as it is just localization. I mean, there was nothing that would be considered inappropriate of culturally insensitive. I think they just believed a more western look would appeal more to a western audience.

  62. Primetime Xbox Capcom & Nintendo Fan says:

    The western version looks likes crud. The artwork for the western versions of Digimon & Dragon Ball Z looks miles better than this trashdespite looking weird and a tad off. Why don't they change just the names instead!? What's next turning Goku into a Karate Kid wannabe kid? Sees Dragon Power box art Oh… So that redesign existed. What about making MegaMan look like a fat guy in a space suit from a Star Wars knock off? Looks at US Mega Man box art God damn it! Atleast there sprites ain't changed in game…

  63. Vasily N says:

    Hahaha i looked at a lot of comments and all of them were about the horror of the western remake. They are right. It looks horrifying, I don't think I can come up with a worse art style…

  64. PonyEnterprises II says:

    this is bs

  65. madestmadhatter says:

    Jesus on ice the western faces are horrifying!

  66. Cats Have Wings says:

    Even though I'm not fond of anime things, but the art style in the western version looks like something I'd find in a kids book. They should've stuck with the original style.

  67. YumeKa says:

    I like the western style more, the anime one is generic and ugly (more so in 3D) while the western is proportionate and makes for more diverse and distinguishable characters. Would be better with some changes in the cover and if they had taken their time to draw more expressions.

  68. YSBunny 573 says:

    haven't even watched the entire video and I hate the US version
    somebody make a patch for this so it doesn't look like utter crap

  69. Just Another Youtube Channel says:


    Bloody hell. Probably the worst thing is that our European version was fucked over in the same way most likely because of America.

  70. Ryan Russell says:

    I think even people who don't like anime would prefer the japanese artstyle here.

  71. Lucky Ted says:

    a westernized game a day keeps the weeaboos away

  72. Dragoslav says:

    The western design just looks creepy.

  73. Luigi The Vulpix says:

    {Vietnamese Flashback}
    ~it's like Street Fighter The US/Malibu Animated Series all over again.~
    ~the Street Fighter 2 Movies are the Best Anime Movies than that Malibu Street Fighter S&%$~

  74. umigainsborough says:

    2:38 is that a murder game? because it looks like they want to murder people

  75. Amber The Fangirl says:


  76. Brandon1629ESUHSD says:

    1:03 Ugly ass front cover.

  77. yoshihiro the passion Artemis 667 says:

    did you know: pandemonium was released for the ps1 and sega saturn created by crystal dynamics in 1996 also in japan. pandemonium was also known as magical hoppers being replaced with a anime character created by both crystal dynamics in north america and the japanese company that manufactured toys and video games by bandai/bandai namco games

  78. Otaku otakuPerson says:

    The Japanese version would sell more

  79. message deleted says:

    need more D I V E R S I T Y

  80. Johnny Lymond says:

    Why Removing Blood Types?

  81. rerolol says:

    Reminds me of US release of nintendo and sega genesis game covers

  82. ITN H says:

    Japanese: hmm, I think it looks good for ds
    U.S: what the hell did they do? It was fine

  83. WolfAshB4n3 says:

    Load of people saying they hate the western art style yet I remember having this game (since my family went through a big phrase of giving me girly things despite me being a "tomboy") and honestly I didn't care about the art style. It was a game I could play on my DS and I didn't really have that many I really liked or would have to work at in order to be able to go from beginner to hard/expert.
    Then again I was a 6/7 year old kid who rarely got DS games compared to some of my friends so… shrugs

  84. Otaku otakuPerson says:

    I wonder if the English one sold Very poorly when it came out here

  85. Saiphun Lyster says:

    omg i jus randomly thought of this game its been too long💔

  86. Katelyn Carson says:


  87. Malick 2014 says:

    European version released 8 before Japan?! NANI?!?!

  88. Malick 2014 says:

    Japanese version wins, because it's not creepy like the USA one. No way… the original version was more cute and colorful… and it wasn't so girly than the Western edition. How could this happen…

  89. Flarestorm says:

    The western version looks like a cheap knock-off of the Japanese version.
    How much money did they waste doing something like this?

  90. Oriru Bastard says:

    Oh my lord, western version looks horrifying. O_o
    I mean who drew those nightmarish images and who the fuck thought it'd be a great idea to replace original images with those nightmarish fiends?

  91. Rusticabcd says:

    I hope the American version flopped.

  92. Quote LanceLnc says:

    Japanese is better, END!

  93. Yeison Serrano says:

    Que horror.

  94. Esther Whores says:

    The art style sucks and they inserted unneeded diversity in a game about figure skating which is dominated by whites and Asians.

    Also they use the blonde girl as the lead when this is a Asian game. I don't know but that seems like bullshit. Instead of having the Asian girl in the back she should be front and center on the cover art as the lead character.

    I mean if they're all about diversity why wouldn't they allow Asian girl the major character?

  95. Malick 2014 says:

    Malick 2014 in the USA version: Alright, girls. It's time to training, so don't slack off now.

    Malick 2014 in the Japanese version: Alright, girls. It's time to training… seeing the red-haired girl Oh… blushing NEVERMIND!!! Keep it up!

  96. OjaruFan says:

    The American designs look terrible!

  97. bloodrunsclear says:

    The irony is they redid the art probably to avoid the 'male gaze'
    And just made everyone hate it

  98. Anneka says:

    Welp there just went my childhood, that was one of my favourite games and knowing that they did this is quite disgusting tbh.

  99. Selim The Succubus [Male] says:

    The western version looks genuinely terrifying. They look like a bunch of creatures from Roald Dahl's "Witches", or a bunch of those monstrosities from those creepy Elsagate videos all over YouTube that somehow have millions of views. I would have thought this was just a bad game if I had only looked at the western art, but after seeing the Japanese art and realizing the characters were actually intended to be cute, if generically so, and realizing they were supposed to actually have vivid personalities instead of just being glorified cardboard cutouts, I realize this game was just a victim of malicious proto-SJWs who just wanted to destroy what could have been another decent game. I guess I may as well just start trying to learn Japanese. I can't trust western localizers not to completely butcher everything they touch.

  100. Kelly Seastar says:

    *Shudders* My name is Kelly. I feel violated.

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