Today we’re talking about censored video games, and which ones deserved it…or didn’t.
Sometimes it’s warranted, sometimes it isn’t. Whichever side of the coin it is, censored video games, and what gets censored in video games, is a hot-button topic for gamers all around the world.
The following censored video games are ten demonstrations of censorship in gaming. This includes any and all censorship, broad or narrow in scope, and whether it was ultimately repealed or not. If it experienced the tar of censorship, it’s worthy of this censored video games list.
Censored Video Games: Do You Agree?
10. Everybody’s Golf 5
Everybody’s Golf is a golfing game in which you take control of cartoony characters and play golf. So what about it is so offensive that US and Europe had to censor it? It seems the game’s Japanese fanbase used the tilting camera for something considerably more nefarious than simply plotting the best putt.
These motives resulted in the female players wearing bicycle shorts underneath their skirts in the western release. We think it’s pretty obvious what they did, but if you still haven’t caught on, we’ll just say that those lustful Japanese players got their share of pantsu.
9. Fallout 3
One of the most popular games of recent times, it seems Fallout 3 was still vulnerable to the sticky tar of censoring in more than one way, and became one of the more appropriately censored video games. Firstly was the changing of Med-X. Initially meant to be morphine and showing a more graphic method of usage—the player sticking a needle into his arm in first person—this was removed as it was perceived to be an obvious drug reference.
The second censorship swirls around a much touchier subject than even drugs, the choice to nuke Megaton. One of the game’s most famous and staggering set-pieces, one that truly blew gamers—as well as a lot of NPCs—away, was removed in the Japanese localization.
The reasons are obvious, in that there are extremely close parallels to be drawn with Hiroshima, so we can’t say we’re surprised or blame them. Hopefully they still got the chance to kill Tenpenny though.
8. Ice Climber NES
Another one of our censored video games that seems completely inoffensive is Ice Climbers, a 1984 Platformer featuring the Ice Climber. You remember him! A character that would hit his peaks of popularity in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
American audiences didn’t take too kindly to the way you callously hammered aside baby seals in your quest to surmount ever greater heights, and so they were replaced with Yeti. Large, lumbering snow beasts are far less lovable than baby seals – which are essentially a cross between a fish and a kitten.
7. Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones was a game that sold itself on the fast, manic action the series had come to be known for, as well as some downright brutal, over-the-top and worryingly enjoyable violence. This violence would never make it into the EU version.
The horrific fatalities, which included decapitations via spiked whip, among all other manner of gruesome execution, were very clearly censored and neutered in the EU retail. At least the US retail was unaffected. Though, we’re pretty sure the handful of people that got recurring nightmares from the game’s murderous tendencies aren’t so thankful.
6. The Witcher
The core theme of The Witcher franchise is Geralt of Rivia, being an unyielding badass and pursuing his life’s solitary mission: ridding the world of monsters. Another prominent theme is how he sleeps with just about anything that has a pulse.
It’s no shocker that the latter storytelling component caused some controversy, as Geralt’s proclivity for love-making (leading to the game’s share of nude scenes) was ripe territory for censorship.
The game became on of those censored video games in some releases, covering up the indecency of characters in those more intimate, touchy-feely moments of the game. Oddly enough, even if nothing was truly on display. None of this would have come about if Geralt was a little more focused on swinging his silver and steel around rather than his, well, you get the gist of it.
5. Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
Yet another unsuspecting subject of censorship, this game makes its way onto our censored video games list. All-Stars Racing features an affable cast of Sega stalwarts taking to the track and racing one another in their gas-guzzlers at freakishly high speeds. Though we’re still not quite sure why Sonic didn’t just run.
This game suffered censorship in two ways. First, one of the characters, General Winter drives a tank, a tank with a hammer and sickle on the side to clearly represent his Soviet allegiance. This depiction was removed from the game and replaced by a more generic star.
Second, the Sega game House of the Dead is banned in very restrictive German media due to heavy violence. Meaning that Sega couldn’t even reference their own game, and so the final version renamed the House of the Dead level to Curien Mansion. Even though you were still surrounded by shambling zombies, but the name is different; so it’s all better, right?
4. No More Heroes
The Wii’s No More Heroes offered up a great many things to gamers: zany, intense combat; a ridiculous storyline too crazy not to giggle at; and a ludicrous main character. All wrapped up with exuberantly vicious violence. Well, maybe not that last thing in Europe.
The international release caused some issues with those strict German censors, forcing a release of censored video games that more closely mirrored the Japanese version. Enemies would now, as opposed to fountains of crimson blood and gore, explode in a much more family-friendly ash and coin animation.
Death scenes were likewise toned down. Fortunately for those hardcore fans with an unsettling bloodlust lingering within them, both versions of the sequel, Desperate Struggle, were made available for European audiences.
3. God Of War
It’s easy to see why God of War could wind up on this censored video games list. A game that prides itself on gruesomely over-the-top violence, breasts, and the wholesale slaughter of gods, is bound to rattle somebody’s cage. None of it did, though.
What caused the outrage wasn’t anything overt, rather a display of the game’s maligned moral compass. In one scene, Kratos must sacrifice a warrior in order to appease Poseidon. The man’s pleas fall on deaf ears as Kratos, with a sadistic smirk, shoves the poor sod to his demise.
This man was replaced with a more undead legionnaire. A game in which you mow through enemies left and right, killing an innocent soldier was a step too far for some. This did nothing to satiate the rage of undead fans of the series and they remain angered to this day.
2. Left 4 Dead 2
The first act is somewhat understandable. Australian censors deemed the game’s gore too extravagant, thus a censored version was released. Thankfully, Valve made an uncensored version available albeit five years later.
The second act seems a bit pettier. The game’s cover art, as many of you know, features a hand facing back to the player, with all fingers torn off, save for the index and middle, which remain extended. This imagery was deemed too graphic and certain aspects of it were changed, fingers replaced, even the severed thumb was censored in Germany.
More humorously though, the UK took offense to the fact that the hand was “flicking the V”, which is seen as a derogatory gesture in Britain. The hand was quickly snapped around 180 degrees to depict a peace sign instead to remedy the issue.
RapeLay puts the players in the shoes of a Chikan—a man who gropes women for pleasure in public—as he stalks and ultimate rapes a mother and daughter, allowing the player to choose from a variety of positions in which he does so. After completing the game, a variety of modes that let you sexually torture the girls in a worryingly broad plethora of ways becomes available.
We’ll let that all sink in for a second. It should be fairly obvious why this is game takes the number one spot on this censored video games list. It was met with overwhelming criticisms pertaining to its twisted nature, and for its troubles, the distribution of it was (rightfully) outright banned in Australia. It’s also the only game on this censored video games list to be banned in Argentina. So it’s kind of a sickened version of Game of the Year for censored video games.
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You’re bound to have your fair share of opinions on censored video games. We’d love to hear them all. Both those on the issues brought up in this censored video games article, and those you hold on the subject of censored video games at large. So feel free to enlighten us all about censored video games in the comments section below!
Thanks for reading, and we’ll catch you next time, gamers.