Welcome to the Censored Gaming Recap! In these articles, we take a look back at all of the latest happenings in the world of censorship and then round them up in a special weekly feature.
Last week was very busy, with even more games being banned in Australia, titles getting censored in Germany and much, much more.
First up is finally an update on The Bug Butcher situation. You may recall that the side scrolling shoot em up, available on Steam, ran into issues with the Australian rating system recently and got banned for “drug use related to incentives and rewards”. This was due to a powerup named “Speed Injection” and it portraying the protagonist sticking a needle into their arm.
The devs have now managed to resolve the situation, although, this has come at the cost of their original, artistic vision. You see, Awfully Nice Studios has announced that, in order for the game to receive an Australian rating, they have changed the offending powerup’s name to “Boot Juice”, as well as replacing the icon associated with it.
Speaking to TechRaptor, they have also explained that, due only being a very small company, these edits will made to all versions of the game, aside from the mobile ones.
Next is some worrying news for folks over in Japan, as well as something that German players should have sadly probably expected.
The upcoming remastered versions of Dead Rising, these being graphically enhanced versions of Dead Rising 1, 2 and Dead Rising 2: Off The Record , will not be seeing a German release. This due to, back when the original versions were released, them being added to Germany’s List of Media Harmful To Young People.
In Japan though, things are a bit different. Unlike Germany, Japan did see the original games released, although in a heavily censored form, with all dismemberment removed. These changes were made due to the Japanese rating system not allowing such extreme depictions of violence, and it appears that history is set to repeat itself again.
The website Steam Database, a site that list all apps and packages contained on Steam’s database, includes a special entry exclusively for the Japanese region. This means that it is very likely that the Japanese release has had changes made to it.
All three games will be coming to PS4 and Xbox One September 13rd. Steam will be getting the first game September 13rd as well, but, due to both Dead Rising 2 games already being available on PC, there are currently no plans for a PC release of their remastered versions.
Moving on to Australia, the country has refused yet another game for classification, thus banning it in the region. This time it’s the upcoming Valkyrie Drive Bhikkhuni, the latest title from Senran Kagura’s series creator.
The game is very similar to the Senran Kagura titles, which brings the question, why did this get banned whilst other games haven’t been?
The Australian Classification Board were able to provide TechRaptor with the full Decision Report. It’s not allowed to provide a direct copy of the report, but what we can explain is that it revolves around what is described as “implied sexual violence related to incentives or rewards”.
Now the “sexual violence” point may seem quite confusing, although the report explicitly mentions some of the lines that the girls say when being fondled. They list dialogue such as “No! You can’t do that!”and “Stop already!” as giving the impression of sexual assault.
UK-based publisher PQube has yet to comment on the situation, but, with the company’s previous anti-censorship comments, it’s likely that the title will not be seeing an Australian release.
Important to bring up next, with all this talk about games being banned in Australia, is some news that was sent to Censored Gaming by a reader going by the name Twig.
As you can see in their email, MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death, another game recently banned in Australia, will also not be seeing a release in New Zealand.
The Idea Factory representative that responded to the email made the mistake of saying that Australia and New Zealand have the same ratings board, but this is not the case, as Idea Factory later cleared up on Twitter.
@CensoredGaming_ Sorry about that! We realize AUS and NZ have different ratings boards. NZ users can still import the game however.
— Idea Factory Intl (@IdeaFactoryIntl) August 13, 2016
However, despite the confusion over why it’s not being released, the fact remains that New Zealand is being lumped into the same category as Australia and will not be getting the game.
Lastly, we have now heard back from the German rating system and found out why they decided to refuse Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors for a rating.
— Censored Gaming (@CensoredGaming_) August 12, 2016
Their statement explains that it was less to do with the overall sexual content but more so the fact that one of the girls, in particular, appears to be under the age of 18.
They have said that Mizuki has a child-like figure and that her facial expressions and voice give the impression of a very young school girl.
It’s not just Mizuki though. The other characters were also described as overall giving the impression of minors, despite what the rating system called “overlarge breasts”.
As a reminder, this is the first time in many years for a game to be refused a rating in Germany for sexual content. Also, the ESRB has classified the game with an M rating, whilst Europe’s PEGI rating system gave it a 16 rating.
Perhaps something has recently changed in the way they evaluate these types of titles. We’ll, of course, be sure to keep informed of any new developments when they are known.
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