Censorship and bad “localizations” are sadly enough pretty common in the world of games nowadays (even though it seems as if things are just getting worse for each day that goes by). However, I can´t say that I´ve seen or heard about all that many cases which involve censorship in video game art books. Well, I guess that I´ve learned something new today. Because I didn´t know that the Western version of “Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE” art book had been censored in the West (or at least so it appears to be):

tokyo mirage sessions fe art book

Why would you even want to censor an art book for a game in the first place?

I mean, it´s already pretty well-known that Atlus localization of “Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE” has been censored quite a bit (the game is set for a release on the 24th of June in EU and USA for the Wii U). Even so, I never thought that the art book would end up being censored in the West as well (you can watch the special edition unboxing via GameXplain). Then again, we all know what happened with the “Bravely Second” art book

bravely second artbook censorship

The “Bravely Second” art book has been censored in the West (the picture has been borrowed from thewiredfishnetwork.com).

And on a personal level, I´m having a hard time to understand why Atlus and Nintendo would censor their art books in the first place? I mean, TMSFE is said to be rated T (+12 in EU)? And I´m quite sure that most of today’s teens have seen more naked skin via MTV (or other TV-channels and Internet shows) then they have in TMSFE. And you will only get your hands on the art book if you buy the special edition of the game. And since the limited edition has a 80 USD + shipment price tag, it´s more likely that it´s going to be mainly adults who’re going to pick that edition up then anyone else.

tokyo mirage sessions fe special edition

I don´t think it´s worth paying + 80 USD to get a censored game and a censored art book…

Nevertheless, I still don´t get why the TMSFE art book had to be censored in the West? Well, I guess that naked skin, female forms and curves is is too much for Nintendo and Atlus? (at least when it comes to Western releases, I guess). And since the censorship has gone beyond the digital realms of Gaming, and into our physical world. I can´t help to wonder what will be censored next? Video game soundtracks? Posters? T-shirts? Well, you get the idea. And who knows, maybe all the female video game characters will have to wear a burqa in the West in the future? (or maybe there won´t even be any female characters at all?).

tokyo mirage sessions fe censorship

Japanese release to the left, and the Western release to the right.

I for one have never liked censorship. And not only for the obvious reasons, but also because I don´t like the idea of paying for a toned down and incomplete game. Furthermore, it´s mental torture for me to be uncertain about what exactly I’m missing out on as well. For example, I could never imagine seeing myself playing a censored version of “Project Brutality“. As it violence, gore and brutality is a really important part of the game. And in the case with “Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE”, there is more naked skin to be found in our everyday lives (no matter if it´s TV, sports, ads, the beach or just a walk in the park), then there is fan service in the entire game as a whole. So I find the whole thing about the TMSFE art book being censored to be pure nonsense.

tokyo mirage sessions fe art book

I hope to see a side by side comparison between the Japanese and Western TMSFE art book as soon as possible.

And what exactly does Atlus and Nintendo hope to achieve by doing this? I mean, it´s not like people could just Google around for some XXX rated content (pretty much every single kid owns a smartphone with Internet connection nowadays). Well, I am yet to hear a final statement from Nintendo or Atlus on that matter. Nevertheless, I´m quite sure that most of today´s teens have seen female cleavage and booty before, so I hardly doubt that they will get a heart attack by seeing some digital female boobs and art pictures of booty in TMSFE.

jessica nigri lollipop chainsaw cosplay

Jessica Nigri had to change her “sexy” Lolipop Chainsaw outfit (seen to the right), to the “less” sexy default Lolipop Chainsaw outfit (this incident took place at Pax East 2012).

I actually thought of a funny thing concerning this matter just now. Because wouldn´t it be quite ironic if “Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE” becomes a big thing in the world of cosplay, and TMSFE cosplayers starts to flock to “family friendly” Gaming events? (I guess that´s when the “aggressive navel” policy comes into play). Even so, it doesn´t seem that Atlus (nor Nintendo) care all that much about that. Since we keep on getting censored video game localizations in the West. And since not even art books are safe from censorship, one can´t help to wonder how bad things will look a couple of years henceforth?

A whole lot worse I bet, not that average Gamer (whom most of the time is a blue pill/sheep kind of person) seem to care about censorship though, for example. I saw comments such as this on GameXplain´s TMSFE special edition unboxing video:

“Honestly, I couldn’t care less about the censorship. I just want to play a fun game from a developer that I really like.”

And quite frankly, it´s thanks to people such as him (or her) that we keep on getting more and more censorship injected into our games (people like that don´t see the big picture, and they won´t understand what´s lost before it´s too late). And I think enough is enough now, because you don´t have to be all that smart to figure out that if the censorship keeps on getting worse. Then we might not even be allowed to play some certain games (games with mature content) in the near future…(and “some” people wonder why #GamerGate is still alive and kicking, gee. I wonder why?).

With that said, what´s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!

Censored Gaming

This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.

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Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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