Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors Had To Make Art More Consensual For The West
(Last Updated On: June 2, 2016)

NIS America made a recent blog post explaining what sort of changes they had to make to Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors for its release in the West on the PlayStation Vita.

Over on the NIS America blog, they detail how the ratings board members they’ve been in discussion with for the North American and European release of Criminal Girls 2 on the PS Vita, have mentioned that some of the art would have to change in the game to give the impression of “consent” from the characters.

As mentioned on the blog…

“Two of the main concerns that ratings boards had in regards to Criminal Girls: Invite Only were power imbalance and consent. To avoid this, we decided to change some of the terminology to reframe the situations to be accepted by the ratings boards. Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors follows the same trend for consistency.”

The ratings boards in different regions have different standards. In Japan the CERO are more finicky about violence and gore. In America any sort of risque material has the ESRB on edge ready to hand out a Mature rating. In Europe PEGI is a little bit more lenient when it comes to some adult subject matter, but their ratings are slightly different from the ESRB.

Nevertheless, the boards seemed to not want to allow users to see images like the one left in the example below. And as a forewarning… the image below is obviously not safe for work.

According to NIS America, they also removed the Japanese dialogue during the “punishment/motivation” sequences since they didn’t have subtitles available during those scenes. So since it wasn’t possible to understand what they were saying, they just removed them.

They also discuss how they won’t be re-releasing the game in an uncensored state on PC because they don’t want to have to reprogram anything and they certainly don’t want to get hit with the AO rating. They state…

“Releasing an uncensored version on PC would require having the game reprogrammed and rerated. It is also against our company policy to release “unrated” games, so this possibility is quite unlikely.”

In some regions unrated games are a no-go, like South Korea. Some could argue that NIS could simply release an unrated version of the game specifically in North America and only on Steam… but then again, Steam doesn’t allow for excessive, gratuitous sex. So it would have to be made available on one of those back-alley websites where you have to watch your wallet and cover your holes.

According to PlayStation Lifestyle, gamers can get their hands on Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors for the PS Vita starting September 23rd. There’s a teaser trailer below that you can check out to help tide you over.

Oh, and other then the “consent” and “punishment/motivation”, the game will be unchanged. No Treehouse-style localization for Criminal Girls 2.

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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • C G Saturation

    So glad I don’t buy Western localizations.

  • scemar

    So much BS that can be easily spotted.

    First of all, a PC re-release with all the content uncensored would not be difficult, period. Modders can do more in an afternoon for free.

    Second, rating doesn’t matter at all on PC because it is not required to publish games there.

    Third, they claiming the ESRB told them to do this censorship if true would be a huge problem, it has been feared already that the ESRB might be on its way to being fully compromised, this would certainly be a step in that direction.

    And it’s one thing if journalists are corrupted to the core, people just tune out of them and listen to other people elsewhere. It sucks but it’s fixable.
    But if the ESRB becomes full SJW on the same level as journalists with their mailing lists and organized blocks and anti gamer narrative?

    Yeah that will be utter complete chaos for the industry.

    And fourth, the ESRB issue is assuming the NISA is even being honest.
    Last times they have invoked the ESRB excuse it was immediately proven to be all BS by fans.
    They claim they are “in talks” with people at the boards. But what sort of talks? Formal talks, did they enter the game already for review and were told all that, or did they casually discuss it? And what sort of discussion, what sort of conclusion was reached?

    The way things look right now, it doesn’t look like they couldn’t release the game as it was and had to compromise.

    It looks like they don’t want to release it and have tried to find as many excuses to shield themselves from backlash over it.

    But hey at least they gave everyone the heads up, we know the game is censored. No one will accidentally pre order it and later find out the bad news this time.

    • Last times they have invoked the ESRB excuse it was immediately proven to be all BS by fans.

      I got a similar response from the ESRB regarding Street Fighter V. I don’t think it’s all BS. These talks happen well before a rating is final. In this case NIS said they wanted to go ahead and make the changes based on what the ESRB had told them before as opposed to sending the game in for review closer to release and then being forced to make the changes (delaying the game) or risking the dreaded AO rating, which is what the ESRB supposedly threatened them with last time.

      • scemar

        So it’s confirmed?
        ESRB has cancer already?

        Because that’d be a huge and I mean huge game changer.

        If the ESRB becomes antagonistic against the industry then who knows what can happen.

        Maybe the industry will bow down to the bullying, let the ESRB become the new morals councilor, and obey.
        Or maybe a rebellion happens, and then what? A new ESRB?
        Government intervention?
        It’s all very chaotic from that point onwards and it could all end well, but it could also get much worse.

        I’d say people should be worried now, and start making preparations for it.

        To be ready with a viable ESRB alternative that is good for the industry, so it can serve it, when the time comes.

        Otherwise we might see one of those evil anti gamer videogame lobbies trying to take over and that would be even worse.

        Or perhaps we could just have a mature talk about the AO rating, and if sony and microsoft dropped their bullshit against it and allowed games with the rating to exist then there would be no problem anymore.

        • Or perhaps we could just have a mature talk about the AO rating, and if sony and microsoft dropped their bullshit against it and allowed games with the rating to exist then there would be no problem anymore.

          Let’s clear up one thing: the AO rating is a boogeyman.

          It’s the exact same rating as Mature, only it’s labeled as Adults Only. You still have to be over 18 to buy the titles. The only difference is that AO is just like the NC-17 rating for movies. NC-17 is exactly the same as R (you still have to be over 17 to get in) but it’s designed to scare away people.

          Distributors won’t carry those titles and console manufacturers won’t allow them on their consoles. It’s not that it has anything to do with what the actual content might be like, it’s simply a scare tactic to ensure that developers don’t cross certain lines. There will never be a mature conversation about AO titles. It’s always going to be the ESRB’s way of keeping certain kinds of content out of games in the West.

          Now as to your point about the ESRB being “infected”? I don’t doubt it. They were extremely evasive about my questions regarding Street Fighter V and it took a couple of weeks to get a response. At the end of it they gave a canned response but one that didn’t absolve them of being involved with the changes made to SFV.

          The only other reason I suspect the ESRB may be changing these days is because shortly after Capcom secured the Teen rating, they let loose those super risque DLC outfits for the female characters. It’s hard to think of it as a coincidence when looking at how the events played out.

          • scemar

            Yeah, no chance of doubts about it, the AO rating has no practical role in the industry.

            At best it can be called a silly useless thing, but in reality it is increasingly becoming an actual tool of censorship.

            It serves no informative role, or safety role.

            If there were games that legitimately deserved the AO rating, and they actually went to the ESRB for their proper rating, and they were sold normally but with the natural restriction that would fit an AO title. The industry would be better.

            Such an idea could take place, but not with the way Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo currently handle it.

            And I fear the ESRB would have no interest in such a pro consumer and straight forward practical scenario.
            If they have really gone cancerous as we fear, why would they want to give up their authoritative power to decide what doesn’t get to exist in the industry.

            Additionally I do wonder what the regulations for an english release on Asia for a non region locked system would be regarding the ESRB.

            We saw DOAX3 circumventing the need of a traditional western release entirely by releasing an asia english version instead.

            Would such a release need an ESRB rating at all or could they instead opt to release the same version Japan got, with the same Japanese rating, but on english?

            One door closes, and another opens some say.

          • Would such a release need an ESRB rating at all or could they instead opt to release the same version Japan got, with the same Japanese rating, but on english?

            Nah, they could bypass the ESRB altogether through import shops, but it greatly hinders sales because most people are not going to want to pay the extra cost of importing a game. DOAX3 is like a one-off in this case just because of the media attention it drummed up. But there’s no way companies would even want to consider using that risky method in place of local regional distribution.

          • scemar

            Digital distribution made “importing” english asia easier.
            Maybe as a rule of thumb it ain’t good business to expect people to import yet but some rules don’t last forever.
            Would still be one of the last case scenarios but if the ERSB really got that bad, any option is better than nothing.

          • Digital distribution definitely makes it easier, but there’s a growing trend of region locking on the software side. While Sony usually makes their platforms region-free, sadly certain regions are locked when it comes to outlets like Steam and Origin.