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 an eagerly awaited Japanese game, censored in Japan and uncensored in the West, as well as some more worrying signs for the upcoming South Park: The Fractured but Whole.
To start with the Japanese game being censored in its very own country, it is Koei Tecmo's Berserk that's been revealed to be having certain elements toned down, exclusively in Japan, due to running into issues with the Japanese rating system.
Speaking to PlayStation Lifestyle, the game's producer has explained that the Western versions will contain violent content that was held back in the Japanese release, due to Japan's CERO rating system, and the strict limits that it imposes. They also mention that, for content not revolving around violence e.g. sexual content, the team are proceeding carefully to not cross any boundaries, while staying true to the source material.
PSLS: Berserk is known for its extreme combination of violence and sexual content. Will we see changes to the North American version of the game from the Japanese version? If so, what will change?
Hisashi : In the case of violent content, we plan to unlock some things in the Western version that we have held back on to meet restrictions in Japan. As for the other elements, standards for ratings and regulations differ depending on the region so we are researching and proceeding carefully to not cross any boundaries while staying true to the source material.
Berserk is an extremely popular manga and anime, with graphic themes involving sex and violence being a big part of its fantasy world.
Trailers have shown some of the gameplay's violence. It is, however, unknown at this stage exactly what violent content has been toned down.
Violence being reduced for Japanese releases is extremely common. Even with the max rating, there are a lot of restrictions on what's allowed to be shown. This has seen games, such as The Witcher 3 and Nioh, receiving numerous edits to keep within these limits.
Berserk will be coming to Japan October 27th, with a US and European release scheduled for sometime this fall. It will be available for PS3, PS4, PlayStation Vita and PC.
Upon investigated the matter using an Australian IP address, it's been found that searching for the title either results in the game simply not being found or a "This item is currently unavailable in your region" message.
It's not known why the game has gone missing in the Australian region. It's a possibility that it will pop back up again sometime soon.
On the other hand, it's perhaps an early sign of the title running into some kind of censorship-related issues, like the 2014's South Park: The Stick Of Truth did.
As a reminder, Nazi-related elements have been confirmed to be making a comeback, and so censorship, for at least the German region, is extremely likely.
If The Fractured But Whole does indeed run into censorship trouble, you'll be able to find any details reported as soon as they are known.
South Park: The Fractured but Whole will be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC December 6th.