originals\ Mar 31, 2016 at 8:00 am

Opinion: Western censorship spreads to Japan with Star Ocean 5 and it's not OK

Another game changed for people who won't buy it

Western censorship has spread to Japan with Star Ocean 5

[Disclaimer: This is the opinion of the author]

Square Enix has censored at least one Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness character. The developers decided to take one character's suggestive underwear and turn it into “diapers” or “granny panties,” because they wanted to avoid a negative reaction in the West. With just one small act of censorship, which may be one of many in the game, the development team has stepped on a landmine of hate and ill will.

Nailed it!

Hateful Response

Is the change a huge functional difference? Not at all, and I find this level of vitriol disproportionate with the changes we know so far, but what people don't realize is the passion of the audience and the principle of the act.

Believe it or not, some people value these little things as highly as you value your personal tastes. It looks like a tiny thing to go off the deep end over, but it's just the straw that broke the camels back. These fans have a right to be pissed, they're a minority that these things were aimed at, but because a louder minority of Westerners (who weren't going to buy the game in the first place) are proselytizing developers, they're having things that appeal to them taken away.

You might think it's stupid to raise a fuss over just panties, or the swimsuits in Fatal Frame, the breast slider in Xenoblade Chronicles X, the altered relationships in Fire Emblem Fates, R. Mika's butt slap, and so on. Tell me, though, what right do people have to change something these fans enjoy? How would you feel if someone came and censored all of blood out of Western games and edited all of the guns into squirt guns? Blood isn't necessary, and Splatoon has shown guns don't have to be fatal to make a fun game, so it should be fine right?

Except it's not, and it wasn't. The original self-appointed morality police have already tried to take blood and murder from Western gamers, and it ended poorly for them. Remember Nintendo's SNES version of Mortal Kombat? It went over like a turd in prom punch, so they brought the bloody violence back in full with Mortal Kombat II. Violence is now so popular here that you can't have a Western AAA release without it. Period.

We know what it's like when people try to tell us what's good for us, what's appropriate, and try to take “unnecessary” things, like blood, from us. So why do we laugh at and marginalize those who complain about the sexuality of games being toned down? It's not our fetish they're coming for, so it's not our problem.

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About The Author
James Wynne GameZone's freelance color commentator. Obsessed with recapturing the magic of 90's gaming. Find me on twitter @JamesAdamWynne, or check out my attempts to recreate 90's gaming magazines.
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