…but unfortunately it’s going to be a bit censored.
As of now it looks like the bathing minigame from the Japanese version of Mugen Souls Z will be removed from the US version.
The publisher, NIS America, has a whole thread on their forum dedicated to addressing the game’s removed content. After reading through the thread it looks like the minigame wasn’t all that fun to begin with, but I’m sure purists will still be pissed that it’s being removed. If you don’t want to read the entire thing I posted to excerpts below for you to skim over at your leisure.
1. For those of you wondering what exactly is being cut, it is indeed the bathing minigame and the associated CG images, just like in the first game. And unless some unknown content surfaces down the road we’re not currently aware of, that’s it. We’re not changing any character personalities, we’re not cutting/toning down other elements. And the gameplay benefits you receive from this game will be implemented in some other way (we’re still working on that) so you won’t lose anything gameplay-wise.
2. We are keenly aware of the feedback a number of people gave us regarding the first game, and we knew it would be an issue when we picked up Mugen Souls Z. But we are doing what we believe is in accordance with our views as a company. We understand if you can’t support that, but we will not be changing our stance on that anytime in the near future.
3. For those of you who would implore us to “let another localization company have the series,” Idea Factory is an independent developer and is free to pursue whatever other opportunities they like. Knowing this, they understand where we’re coming from, and are working with us to release a product we can all be happy with.
4. This does not, and I can’t stress this enough, does NOT reflect a broader philosophical approach to our localization process. We evaluate each game on an individual basis when decide what, if anything, needs to be changed or removed. That’s how it’s worked up till now, and that’s how it will always work.
I’m speaking as an official representative of the company, so you’re free to take that for whatever you think it’s worth. But it is our stance, and you’re welcome to discuss it but it won’t be changing for this particular title.
About the bathing minigame:
This is almost certainly the content that’s being modified, so before you freak out about censorship, I think you should know what the content being edited actually is. ^^ It looks like this:
As you can see, it’s fanservicey as heck – the minigame in Mugen Souls Z permits you to clear soap off of characters, then turn around and turn their bathing suits skin-colored to suggest the idea of nudity.
“Hey, Rednal.” You might be saying. “I don’t think that needs to be edited.”
Well, if it was just the character up above… you’d probably be right. Worse has been published in NISA games, and with a Teen rating at that (hot spring bathing scenes in the first Mugen Souls, for example, or even Atelier Meruru). If you think this isn’t worth modifying somehow, I understand how you feel and you do have a point.
The problem is that it’s not just characters like this one; it’s also very, very obviously underage little girls being subjected to this pseudo-nude situation, complete with erotic moaning. This… is not really in line with everything that all gaming companies would want to do. I am not a spokesman for NISA, but speaking personally, I doubt they want to promote the objectifying of little girls. And before you get too upset, consider Etna’s appearance in Disgaea D2. Consider Ar Tonelico Qoga, and Hyperdimension Neptunia, and all the other games they publish that have loads of fanservice. This is not a fanservice-shy company. This is not an anime-style nudity-shy company. They have a long track record of accepting this stuff – which should tell you something important about the content.
As for the minigame itself, it isn’t fun. Really. It’s okay to do about once per character, but it’s kind of time-consuming and doesn’t give much of a feeling of reward – there’s no challenge, no score, and nothing that really makes it interesting. If you really want fanservice of the characters, it should still be in the game – there’s lots of dirty hot spring scenes and all. NISA’s edits will be minimal. Not gratuitous. They’re not objecting to fanservice, and you’re probably an adult that knows what you want. Our culture does have some limitations, though – please try to understand that they do the best they can. You aren’t missing very much, and this game is a huge improvement over the first. It’s a fun game at its core, filled with zany antics and great characters. It is a great game for anyone who likes NISA-style products. If you don’t want to buy it because of the most minor editing they feel they can get away with, I honestly think you’ll be missing out on a really fun game…
And not encouraging them to go for the most fanservice-y stuff they can in the future, either. When you support the company, they can do more. When stuff gets published that pushes at the limits, it helps to expand people’s horizons and make the same content more acceptable in the future. Buying this game will help bring fanservice over, not stop it, because it signals to the companies that games like this are valuable.
So there you go. Mugen Souls Z wasn’t really on my radar before anyways, but now I could care less about it.
– Corey Stevenson aka “Geist01″