The American version of Namco's Nintendo DS puzzle game Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits lacks a pair of fairly significant features that made it into the Japanese version, according to US reports that emerged late on Friday, despite both versions hitting store shelves in their respective regions within days of one another.
According to widespread reports - which we've been unable to confirm as we haven't got a copy of either version - the Japanese version allows players to engage in various multiplayer battles in groups of up to four players using just one of the DS's game cards, whereas the US version requires multiple copies to achieve the same result.
The Japanese version also features an additional "Dristone" mode of play, which adds to the basic task of drilling to the bottom of a pit by introducing "Dristones" with various special effects along the way.
Namco has yet to comment on the US reports, and there's no obvious reason for the discrepancy. Speculation at this point fingers the localisation process, since the game was developed in Japan, but even that seems a bit daft. Hopefully we'll have more news on this soon.
Of course, DS owners keen to try out the new Mr. Driller game would do well to remember that the hardware is not region-locked, and thus the Japanese version - blobs of untranslated text aside - will work perfectly well on American systems.