5 Video Games That Chickened Out And Censored Themselves
Video games roll out changes all the time, often because the original game was just a bunch of bugs held together by duct tape. But when a game goes to a new country, or returns to shelves after a long time, the publishers get a chance at bigger changes. They almost never use this opportunity to take new risks. Instead, you can count on them chopping up the game to make it totally toothless. For example ...
China's Version Of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Is All About Friendship Blooming On The Battlefield
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is such an old trailblazer for the battle royale genre that back when it was released, people were still killing each other with guns instead of squids. In China, however, the entirety of the game has been replaced with something called “Game For Peace."
Krafton—the company behind PUBG—gave this Chinese version of the game a new backstory, since backstory is something all battle royale players pay attention to. Rather than a bunch of parachutists dropped into a location to kill each other, you are now counterterrorists putting on an exhibition, in which you only pretend to kill each other. Because the original game, which is also just pretend (since it's a video game), needed one more layer of abstraction, apparently.
So, gone is the blood, replaced by lighting effects, as though you're spraying paint at each other. And instead of just dying, the people you've hit will now just stand and wave at you in a very friendly manner:
And yet gameplay isn't really different. You're still shooting at each other with real guns, not paint guns. Or rather, you're playing a video game pretending to shoot real guns, not playing a video game pretending to shoot paint guns:
Now, we know some people would say, "Calling warfare 'peace'? That's right out of 1984!" Well ... uh ... yes, in this case, that literally is something right out of 1984. Carry on, criticize away.
A Kids' Game Let You To Beat Up The KKK (Till It Didn't)
Toejam & Earl was a Sega series where you played as a couple of aliens, and the 2002 game for the Xbox was called ToeJam & Earl III: Mission to Earth. We're happy to announce that T&E3 tried to feature educational content, in the form of teaching kids how to beat up the goddamn KKK.
In early builds, our main characters go up against a honcho of the Ku Klux Klan in the game's climactic final battle. But the idea was axed—not by an infiltration of KKK spies but from folks at Sega itself. At first, they were cool with the devs' plans to roll some racial themes into the game and make the aliens Black, but when they saw the design for the final boss, they insisted that Toejam and Earl fight someone else instead.
The KKK boss was originally very aptly named "the Anti-Funk." But the final boss we got is just a random skull. It's a shame. If video games affect kids as much as censors say they do, we bet some of the kids who played the game grew up and joined the KKK, just because they lacked the right early influence putting them on the correct path.
Cozy Grove Cut Its Reference To America's (Nonexistent) Health Care System
Cozy Grove is a sim that came out this year about people setting up camp on a haunted island. At a certain point in the US version, a ghost will remind players that the real problem is the economy we made along the way, tasking players with thinking about how they'd go about crowdfunding an appendectomy. It's a funny line, because specificity makes for good comedy, but there's nothing ridiculous about what it's talking about. Medical expenses are behind at least one-fourth of all crodwfunding attempts in the US.
It's not a ridiculous idea ... in the US. In countries with publicly funded health care, however, the line makes no sense at all. So, for the game's localization in Spain, a country with a pretty sweet system, the ghost instead just states how important friends are, then asks players how they'd move heavy furniture without the help of their friends.
That's pretty wholesome. Either that or it just exposes Spain's huge problem with clumsy friends who'll accidentally get you killed.
Square Enix Has A Weird Problem With Growing Up (Also With Chads)
Nier's remaster from 2021 achieved critical acclaim, a serious step up from the PS3/Xbox 360 original that had a very good game very deep inside its 6/10 armor. The remaster mostly fixed it, but it also ended up exacerbating one of the game's weirdest problems: pandering to audiences that didn't even ask to be pandered to.
The original Nier had two versions. In the Western one, Gestalt, we played as Nier-man. He's a hunk who could be making it big at the anime equivalent of Abercrombie and Fitch, but he decided to save the world of Nier Gestalt instead. In the Japanese version, Replicant, you play as Nier-Kid. Aside from the main character's look, the game is pretty much the same in both versions. Then this year, we got the remaster, which completely erases Gestalt and its main character, making Replicant the only official version of the game.
This is but the most recent example of a problem that's long been plaguing publisher Square Enix. Final Fantasy XII was meant to have an adult soldier as its protagonist, but the company just didn't believe an adult as the main character would sell. So they split the ex-protagonist's traits between two other characters in the game. Unlike Nier, which had both the child and the man-child version to choose from, this was FFXII's only version. The developers scrapped a big chunk of the story and created a teenager just to serve as the protagonist, which resulted in one of the most hated protagonists in the franchise.
Wolfenstein: The New Colossus Shaved Hitler's Mustache
Germany has long banned swastikas in any form. It's not just that they ban you from flying a flag in honor of the Nazis—the ban covers just about any depiction of swastikas. Even in art like video games, even in anti-Nazi video games. So, you can only get so mad at Bethesda for removing swastikas from the German version of Wolfenstein: The New Colossus. They had to. It's German law.
Still, even Germany has no law against depicting Adolf Hitler. So when it came to the scene where you run into an aging, incontinent Fuhrer (and have the chance to kill him), why did Bethesda go and remove Hitler's mustache?
Besides the stache, they changed the dialog that referenced him being Hitler, and removed a monogram from his robe. So, if he's not Hitler, what even is the point of this scene? Is this just some random German guy who simply decided to move to South America after the war? Sorry, not South America—we mean Venus. Yeah, this scene is happening in space, so we're pretty sure, even with a Hitler stache, the German public would not take this scene overly seriously.
Luckily, Germans are now finally getting more laid back about what they allow in their games, Too bad one of their most recent bans just caused an(other) international incident.
Back in 2015, Germany banned the zombie title Dying Light because of its gore. Dying Light got re-released in 2021, but because of the ban and some legal shenanigans, the Nintendo Switch version of the game can't distributed anywhere in Europe. Unbothered by this problem are the US and Japan. Ah, and if only the US and Japan could always have been so united against Germany, what an easier time we would have all had.
Tiago Svn would love to receive pictures of your best Hitler mustaches on his Twitter.