aka: Selective Localization
Typically, if a game is localised for the European market, it uses American English because that saves effort translating an American English product which is 99.9% compatible with British English. This might apply to other categories. On occasion, the American English version can't be used for the European release for reasons beyond minor spelling differences. Perhaps it contains a claim which is only true Stateside, or uses American measurements which Europeans wouldn't immediately grok. That's where Selective Localisation can help: By translating part of the media, you save yourself the time and effort of translating the whole thing. See Separated by a Common Language for more on this within other media.
- Most games which are localised for the European market have American English as the 'English' option, even if the language is identified by the Union Flag on the language selection screen.
- The PSP Sega Mega Drive Collection doesn't entirely eliminate references to the North American Genesis console. One piece of trivia explains that the Mega Drive is the European version of the Genesis. (Ironically, this isn't even correct - the Genesis is technically the American version of what the rest of the world refers to as the Mega Drive.)
- The PC version of Sonic Mega Collection Plus mimics genuine '90s PAL speed for some of the games. The manuals are written in American English and refer to the Genesis console.
- Metal Gear Solid 2 has a scene where a character describes the length of a ladder. To avert confusion, the length is given in feet in the American version, while the metric system is used for the European version, and the length is given in meters (and yes, it was spelled that way.) The Substance version has the character give the length in feet for both.
- "Spastic" is a mild word in North America, but a serious insult in UK English. Nintendo had to recall the UK release of Mario Party 8 and modify specifically that line because of this. Other than that one change, the translation is identical to the U.S. release.
- Almost every Nintendo game released after Mario Party 8 has mild to major differences between English releases, presumably to avoid a repeat of the "spastic" incident. The most extreme examples would probably be The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, which both received two entirely different localizations (hence why you'll find, for example, Australians who refer to "Whittleton" as "Mayscore", or Americans who call "Staven" "Byrne").
- Similarly, Super Mario RPG removed an instance of "bugger" when it was released on the Virtual Console for Europe, because of the British meaning.
- The Ape Escape series has had completely different localizations in America and in Europe (both of them very narmily dubbed in different accents), resulting in some characters having different names depending on the region. When the series crossed over with Metal Gear Solid in MGS 3: Snake VS. Monkey, some of Snake's lines had to be re-recorded to match the names of the characters in the different regions.
- An unusual example happened in Super Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl. Both of these games have a minigame in which the player has to hit a sandbag as far as possible. When it was first translated into English, the distances were converted from metres to feet, apparently because Americans don't understand metric. The PAL release restored the metres.
- Similar to the Smash Bros. example, the PAL version of Pokémon Channel uses metric measurements for the height and weight data of the Pokémon. However, this is averted in the main series where all English versions of the games have the measurements in feet and pounds.
- The second Advance Wars game for the Nintendo DS had completely different localizations for North America and Europe/Australia due to Nintendo's head office in Japan giving both Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe the chance to make their own translations. The first big difference is each region using a different subtitle for the game, with North America calling it "Days of Ruin" and Europe/Australia using the name "Dark Conflict." While the main plot remains largely the same, the names of the characters, factions, and various pieces of dialogue are completely different depending on if the game is NTSC or PAL.
- Yet another Nintendo example, Splatoon features differences in dialogue between the North American release and European English release. The PAL version actually has some mild swearing in it due to words like "hell" not being seen as particularly strong swears in Europe (while in North America "hell" might result in the age rating getting bumped to E10+), but at the same time the PAL release is less pun filled than the NTSC version, which loves using puns for almost everything.