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.
This time sees the discovery of censorship in the new Dead Rising Remastered, some info on how censorship will be handled for the Japanese release of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, as well as the ESRB rating summaries being released for two controversial upcoming games.
To begin with Dead Rising, it's been discovered that the recently released remastered version of the 2006 game is based on the previously censored European and Australian releases. The censored version made changes to a few depictions of topless nudity, which has now been carried forward worldwide for the updated release.
The nudity in question is of a topless woman on the front of a wearable shirt, as well as an artistic nude painting that you'll be able to find all over the games world, and even pick up and use as a weapon.
There was no other censorship made to the Australian and European versions and it's not known why these changes were originally made.
The remastered release offers improved graphics and frame rate, and can be purchased for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, whereas the original was only available for Xbox 360.
You may recall that the Japanese release of Dead Island Remastered has had the violence severely reduced and, in Germany, the title is not available at all due to censorship issues
Moving on to the upcoming Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, the 2016 Tokyo Game Show has revealed that, for the first time in the series, the game will be split into two versions in Japan, to help get around the strict censorship regulations that console games face.
All recent games in the franchise have been given a CERO D rating by the Japanese rating system, meaning they're suitable for 17 years and up. For Resident Evil 7, there will again be a version rated D, but also a special "Grotesque Ver." rated CERO Z, which means 18 years and up.
Previous games in the series have had to be censored in Japan, for things such as scenes involving decapitations, and the new higher rating could mean that this is no longer required. It is however not confirmed at this stage that the CERO Z release will be completely uncut either.
2014's The Evil Within, for example, had a "Gore Mode" DLC that made the game more violent and increased the rating from a D to a Z. Even with this DLC though, the Japanese release was still censored in places.
In regards to the Western release, there are currently no details about whether any regions will face similar censorship troubles, but we'll be sure to keep you informed when any info is known. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard's release date is set for January 24th, 2017 and will be available for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
As a reminder, Criminal Girls 2 has had more than half of its Motivation artwork censored outside of Japan and Valkyrie Drive was refused a rating in both Australia and Germany. In fact, Criminal Girls 2 was refused a rating over in Germany as well.
For such controversial games, it's interesting to take a look at what the ESRB had to say about them in their just released rating summaries.
For Valkyrie Drive:
This is action-adventure game in which players assume the role of young girls searching for a cure for a virus. As players explore an island environment, they use swords to engage in hack-and-slash combat against robots and human enemies. Battles are frenetic and are accompanied by sword slashes and slow-motion effects. By inflicting damage, players can cause some opponents' clothing to rip apart, revealing lingerie/underwear or partially nude bodies—breasts/buttocks obscured by bright lights. A handful of cutscenes also depict female characters with exposed buttocks and partially obscured breasts. In one massage-based mini-game, players "touch" hearts placed over a female character's body (e.g., chest, pelvic area, posterior); sexual moaning sounds can be heard. Dialogue also contains references to sexual material (e.g., “I'm gonna get you back for fondling my sister's boobs” and “Then you'll take advantage of her whenever she lets her guard down and start fondling her boobs and thighs.”). The word “sh*t” appears in dialogue.
Criminal Girls 2's summary is very similar:
This is a role-playing game in which players help six girls climb a giant spire to find redemption from purgatory. Players traverse through maze-like levels and engage in turn-based combat against fantastical creatures (e.g., bats, mermen, evil dolls); characters are briefly shown slashing at enemies with axes and swords and/or casting magic spells to defeat enemies. As players progress through the game, they can improve their relationships with the girls by engaging in motivation mini-games. Mini-games involve using various tools (e.g., riding crop, slime, a scrubbing brush) to tap on multi-colored icons on the girls' bodies. During these sequences, female characters are depicted in provocative poses (e.g., legs spread, crouching from behind, straddling another girl's legs); wear revealing outfits (lingerie that exposes large amounts of buttocks and cleavage); and their breasts sometimes jiggle. The dialogue also references suggestive/sexual material (e.g., “She's been groped a bunch of times,” “Woah! You're. . . touching me with your breasts. . .” and “I guess I'm just cursed to have a flat chest."). The word “a*shole” appears in dialogue.
Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors will be coming to Europe September 23rd and North America October 11th. Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni will also be coming to the US October 11th, whilst Europeans will be able to pick it up a little earlier on September 30th.