OPINION: NISA and Mugen Souls Censorship Blues

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

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Note: This article is an editorial piece by a contributor and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of #opr or the rest of the staff

If you lived in the 80’s or probably what most of you experienced in the 90’s, you know that censorship in games never goes over well with gamers. Purists believe art should not have to stoop so low as to cover up or flat out remove material in a game to appease people who complain about today’s violence in games. These same people who complain for just about anything, have little understanding of the politics involved video games and cast blame on an easy target. While some gamers are happy just having their games simply localized even at the loss of said material, since getting the game is better then not getting it at all.

Since the dawn of localization there have been problems left and right about this issues, most of the time it’s just the problem of inexperienced programmers, translators, and editors who sadly do a poor job with a game’s localization, and unfortunately they never live it down. Others not only do questionable translations, but also have omitted portions of games because they feel that the region or regions they’re trying to sell the game to would have a problem with the content the game entails. One huge example of this is Persona 2. Persona 2 has two parts to it, Innocent Sin, and Eternal Punishment, but western regions never got Innocent Sin because it has sequences where the main character can have an open homosexual relationship with one of the other characters in your party. Another reason was the use of Nazis, and the Nazi Party’s own swastika, while another being that Hitler himself appears as part of a branching story line based around rumors. So its graphic subject matter may have inhibited its ability to be localized for foreign markets. While we did get Eternal Punishment, like with Persona 1, its localization was not perfect. It was better, but improvements were needed in much of the areas of the game.

There is a happy ending to all this though, Atlus has made strides over the PS1 days and improved exponentially when going to the 6th generation consoles, specifically the PS2. Persona 2 got better localization with some minor edits with Innocent Sin’s PSP port, and soon on the way is Eternal Punishment’s PSP port to hit store shelves in Japan in the summer.

So you’re probably asking yourself why all the Atlus talk when NIS is in the title, well I’ll tell you. While Atlus has improved much to the fans rejoicing. It seems NISA wants to use this outdated practice that had seemed to have been abandoned so long ago, much to their fan’s frustration. While what they’re doing now is no where near as bad as it was in the early days of localization, their actions now show them taking a much more “careful” route with some of the games they choose to bring to western audiences.

With the dumbed down map editor, to avoid western gamers doing *clears throat* naughty things, could it have been Japanese gamers doing crude designs when the game was released in Japan that led to this? Or is there more to it then that? Sadly I don’t have the answer. So again your asking yourself, “who cares it’s only one instance of a bit of censorship?” Well bad news, it seems that recently censorship has struck again and reared it’s ugly head for all of us to see.

When it was announced that NISA will be localizing Mugen Souls for the PS3 (which is part of the big three that NISA has recently talked about along with Legasista, and The Witch and the Hundred Knights), fans all rejoiced as all three being localized is big news. Alas, not is all perfect, as of not too long ago, NISA announced there will be a bit of censoring for Mugen Souls. It hasn’t been revealed to what they’re going to censor, but fans have speculated that it would be the hot spring portion where you wash the girls you use throughout the game. Did I also mention they’re little girls, emphasis on the little part. I’m sure you are aware that pedophile is a big issue in the Western region as it’s always on the news, and this game having something like this, even if it’s just plain old fun and not anything perverted about it, would likely raise flags instantly.

Mugen Soul Bathing Girls Scene

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About David Fernandes

(Community Manager) David is an assistant admin and community manager at oprainfall. He joined the Operation Rainfall Campaign at the beginning, and became one of the staff as the first wave of new volunteers were needed back in mid June. He is an avid video game collector, and lover of most game genres. David spends much of his time in a futile effort in clearing out his ever growing video game backlog.


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  • Ahhh, so that’s why Innocent Sin (chapter 1) never made it here in the PS1 days. I wondered why I got Eternal Punishment (chapter 2) on PSX years ago, when the 1st chapter never made it here. Now I know why. Good article. Thanks.
    At least I got the PSP version of Innocent Sin, even though I don’t care for handhelds.

  • Well I do certainly know my companies so I don’t know what you’re implying. Secondly, I think two misspellings that I did WAY back then is a pretty lame reason to completely dunk on an article ^^; 

  • Brooker T. Washington

    Censorship can never be justified. It doesn’t just “suck” as you put it, it kills the integrity of the piece in question, altering not by adding something to the original (translation, expansion, etc.), but by destroying out of fear. It is cowardly and absolutely antithetical to what everyone here wants: more and better videogames.

    Videogames are like any artistic medium and should be treated as such. Consider if this article had been written about a novel instead. Would you expect the Japanese “reader press” to be defending a censored version of Lolita, saying “at least we got it?” What if the studio cut the rape scene out of the DVD version of Deliverance because they felt it was too disturbing, would you still buy it?

    The practice is simply unacceptable. Do people really think of videogames as something made merely to make you feel good? That they shouldn’t challenge the player in anyway they can? That they can’t take the same risks as a novel or film? If you think the medium is worth only this much then stop playing videogames and start shooting heroin because it will give you the same results faster.