Sega and Studio Saizensen’s Blade Arcus Rebellion From Shining came out back on March 14th, 2019 for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch in Japan. It was a follow-up to the 2016 outing for PS3, PS4, and Steam, featuring characters from Sega and Media Vision’s Shining Resonance Refrain. Since the game only released in Japan a lot of news sites in the West skipped over its coverage, but there was one thing that gamers noticed when they had a chance to finally get their hands on the PS4 and Switch copies of Blade Arcus Rebellion From Shining: the PS4 box art censored out Pairon’s navel, legs and thighs.
Twitter user Wholesome Tsunderelf posted up a comparison shot of the box art for the Nintendo Switch version of the game and the PS4 version, with the PS4 version cropping the image just above Pairon’s navel.
Common Sony, you re just being pathetic now pic.twitter.com/XTIKHrTCGy
— WHOLESOME TSUNDERELF (@XanderStabbity) May 5, 2019
As you can see the cover for the Switch shows off practically all of Pairon’s body, which is how she appears in the sample CG art for the game, which you can purchase from over on Okini Land.
Now some people might jump to the defense of Sony, claiming that since the Nintendo Switch’s box is thinner and longer it allows them to fit all of Pairon on the cover, and that since the PS4 has a blue bar over the top, they had to crop out her navel thigh and the side of her buttocks. Well, that theory was promptly shot into the dirt when OAG reader GSOne made a quick mock-up using the PS4’s box dimensions to create a cover that included all of Pairon’s body just like the Nintendo Switch box art.
Additionally, even if the image was too thin, they could have easily widened the canvas slightly so that they would have room for the title and for all of the art featuring Pairon.
We saw a similar bit of peculiar censorship transpire recently with Koei Tecmo’s Atelier Lulua: The Scion of Arland, where the PS4 version cut off the art so that you couldn’t see all of Lulua’s body, while the Nintendo Switch version of the box art allowed gamers to see the full body of the character. Koei Tecmo claimed that this was due to retail stores in the West blocking off the title of games if they’re too low on the box.
Again, some gamers made up some mock images of how the full image of the character could be depicted on the box, keep Sony’s blue bar on the top, and the logo for the game without compromising the integrity of the artwork. But the censorship was far less easy to defend with the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection, which saw the PS4 box art drastically altered from the Switch version, as depicted below courtesy of Nintendo Soup.
As you can see, Athena was put on some cheap golden armor and all of her midriff and bare cleavage were duly covered up for the PS4 version of the game.
What’s so bizarre is that in the case of Blade Arcus Rebellion from Shining, the PS4 comes with a reversible cover that unfolds so that you can get a full look at Pairon as she was intended to be viewed. Those who purchased the game shared the reversible cover, which you can check out below.
So technically the PS4 version wasn’t entirely censored… just the art on the front of the box.
Also, apparently the content in the game itself isn’t censored either.
Some CG images were shared from within the game showcasing some NSFW outfits that some of the characters sport, along with a CG sequence where the characters attend a hot spring and we get the obligatory fan-service shot. You can check the images out below.
The real kicker here is that Blade Arcus Rebellion From Shining is rated CERO C, so that’s a 15+ rating in PEGI terms or a ‘T’ for Teen rating in ESRB terms.
If I had to take a wild guess as to what was going on, I would say that in order to keep Sony’s censorship officers at bay, they issued a very tame cover for the PS4 version while still tucking some eye-catching fan-service images into the game itself. And given that Sony doesn’t review every game equally when it comes to their censorship policies, it’s completely possible that Blade Arcus Rebellion From Shining was given a pass so that they didn’t have to add any of those mysterious lights to the CG images or extra steam.
Of course, the only way we could know for sure is if the censorship officer from Sony gave a rundown of what was and wasn’t okay with the game, and if Sega confirmed it. However, Sony has kept a fairly tight lid on what sort of criteria they use to judge and determine how and why a game needs to be censored, so we’ll likely never know.
(Thanks for the news tips Voice of Fanservice, Omar Garcia, Red, and GSOne)