It is with great sorrow today that I need to call out some out there. It is with great sorrow that I must, once more, venture down the rabbit hole of the topic that is censorship of Japanese games. Indeed, today, I am no longer able to hold myself back from releasing myself upon the internet, rubbing my words all over it until it just can't take them anymore.
Ah, but what's this? There's a twist this time?
Yes, this time, in a twist of fate, we're going to be talking about a game that is getting uncensored in the near future as it makes its way to PC from its original console release, and why the censored version of the game is not only the one everyone should buy instead, but it is by far the superior version of the game.
As Destructoid doesn't really cover games like them so much anymore, a cruel symptom of rolling around in the buttplug fields for too long if I ever saw one - you know, my great great great granpappy had the same thing happen to him, and I hear all it takes is some olive oil and a run down to the tentacle woods and it all goes awa- Huh? Where was I?
Right, yes. The chesticles! Well, anyway, it may come as a surprise for some of you to learn that 2014's card battle, anime girl rubbing Monster Monpiece is coming to PC this year alongside some of their other Vita titles. Believe it or not, Compile Hearts' actually become a pretty prominent PC supporter, and their PC ports aren't too bad either! Crazy, huh?
If you're curious about the game and its Vita version, you can read former Dtoid Editor Brittany Vincent's review of that over here, which should give you a nice idea of what to expect, though perhaps the fastest way to explain would be to say Fallout 4 is only slightly better as far as we're concerned here.
If only Fallout 4 had had a boob rubbing minigame, maybe it could've achieved its full potential...
Since there's a review for it right there, I won't go into too much detail, but I will say that even two years later, one thing remains true about it: in terms of gameplay, there's still not really anything else like it that I've seen. It combines two genres of games into a fun little romp that, especially towards the end of the campaign, can be fun, challenging, and far more than you might expect from something of it at first glance.
Naturally, the game received some controversy because it was ~censored~. Or edited. Whatever. I don't want to get into semantic fights over it. Point is, over 100 cards had their artwork just stripped from the game. Get it? Because originally you'd strip the characters to see them, but- Okay, fine, I'll stop. For simplicity's sake, whatever it's called to you, I'll keep referring to it as censored, but we all know what it means, okay? Okay. Moving on.
The cards were removed for reasons, yes there were younger characters, blah blah blah, no one should care, and that's not why I'm here.
Because, believe it or not, I will be the first to admit this does genuinely cause some issues with the game on a mechanical level.
Seriously. I'm not kidding here. I bet I might be one of the first people to say this too, but then, I actually went into this game caring primarily the gameplay. Vita doesn't have much in the vein of games where you collect stuff. The "sequels" to this are just DRPGs. This is one of a kind. Even the Digimon games coming out haven't given others the inspiration to put out much in terms of competition. So yeah, I was interested.
With 100 cards having their pictures removed, replaced with the default image, obviously, you can imagine that the game has to have a bunch of cards in it. So where does this mechanical issue come in? Here's the deal:
When a card transforms, the pictured girl loses some clothes and gets new stats and abilities, and a card can have this done to it twice. Additionally, there are +1 and +2 versions of cards, basically being better versions of those cards that can also be stripped down, as well as -1 versions of them, which are worse, but transform into brand new ones when fully stripped.
The reason this is a mechanical issue is because the interface of the game isn't... exactly as intuitive as it could have been. Reading card abilities requires going into a menu, because the card's face is taken up by the picture. It's not a big deal - tap a button and the ability menu opens up and you can just scroll over your cards and see what they do one by one.
This doesn't sound terrible at first, but the censorship creates a situation where you can have six to twelve different cards all with the exact same picture on them.
From the perspective of playing a card game, not even necessarily a card game like Monster Monpiece where you will be prompted to add a 30, 20, or even 15 second turn timer later in the game for extra rewards, being able to recognize what you have at a glance is kind of a big deal.
I play Yu-Gi-Oh! sometimes and I have to imagine my needing to read every single thing everyone I play against plays because I'm so out of the loop would piss my opponents off to high heaven if I wasn't playing online.
Some of you might say I just went and made a great case for why the uncensored version is superior to the censored one. The fact that the uncensored one is coming to a more accessible platform surely would only cement this fact, would it not? Now everyone can not only enjoy the glory of this delightful one of a kind game, but they can do it while seeing the cards as naked as possible!
Well friends, it is because the uncensored version is on that more accessible platform that the censored version of the game would have been the better one to put there.
You see, for whatever reason, in the process of moving the game from Vita to PC, while all those girls who were unable to take off their clothes were finally given the ability to take off their clothes - something I imagine after two years of being stuck in the same outfit they were very thankful for - something... was lost.
In the transition from PC to Vita, my friends, Monster Monpiece is giving up its multiplayer. Completely.
And I'm sorry, but kids, I don't care how much you want to bone these monster girls, I think you are losing out (and losing your minds) if you believe losing out on multiplayer is worth it to have these cards in the nude.
Not only is multiplayer being given up, but unless they've been patched in another way, some of the best cards in the game as well as the best way to obtain items and money is lost by losing multiplayer. Like, you're going to feel a little screwed in the single player at a point if you've been playing poorly and don't have access to multiplayer and don't want to grind.
The loss of multiplayer in this game, to me, changes everything.
I would take multiplayer censored Monster Monpiece over uncensored Monster Monpiece single player any day. Take all the art away if you have to. Take it all away and just let us play with pictures of I don't even care. Just give us this unique game and let me play with other people on computers with it!
Being able to actually play this online, maybe even getting to see a dedicated, if likely small, community for the game pop up, that would have been freaking awesome.
You can see the art online. You barely see it in the game. Seriously. 120 cards lost sounds like a lot, but it's only really noticeable on the one or two cards (I only ran into one and you have to look for it) that doesn't have any of its evolutions in it. Most only just lost one, two at worst.
Gimme multiplayer back. Take the art. That's my thoughts on it. I'm not talking justice here or the greater good, so yeah, whatevs. I'm talking me. Don't get me wrong, if the game existed with both on PC, I'd be all for that, but there isn't a version with both, so this is what it's come to and that's where we are. Take it or leave it.
I don't care how dramatic you want to be about it. If anyone is going to try to convince me the game is less "butchered" after having a whole game mode cut out now because it has the racy pictures you have to purposely seek out to really get much of a look at, you weren't buying this game for the actual game, where the models on the board are one of a bunch of presets for each race and how stripped the characters are, so at that point, I care that much less about what you have to say about it.
I respect that people like games for different reasons. Absolutely. I do. I'll even defend that... normally. But right now, right here, respect that I like this game for this reason, and today, Zetta's being a little more selfish about this topic than usual and defending what he likes about this game, because he's kind of annoyed he's only seen people saying this version of the game is a positive thing.
Sugoi sugoi! Clap clap clap for Zetta!
So yeah! If that sounds harsh, I'm sorry, but this game is kind of special like that and I'm going to be a little harsher to people prioritizing the T&A over a genuinely unique game here. I don't begrudge the T&A or think anything's wrong with it by any means, for the record, but my priorities are what they are.
It's not perfect, there are balance issues to the point that any deck using Red cards without at least two Pixies (I shit you guys not) in it is doing it wrong, but it's something fresh and new and fun and I honestly believe it coming to a console with a user base like PC's could have been really grand... if it had kept the online.
At best, now it might live on as the hot saucy game for the week until a new one comes out, spark up again when it goes on sale, and then go on to just inspire someone to copy the idea, provided they don't mind being known as the only developer to ever rip off Compile Heart.
All this said, I don't believe that this was done maliciously.
Now, it may well be that, because Steam is more lax and allows stuff that consoles don't, the pictures were able to be brought back as a way to distract from the fact that otherwise the game would have had even less content than the already "butchered" Vita version, and they weren't able to get online up for this in the first place. I don't know. This was the first game they'd done with online before the upcoming Neptunia Vita game, so it could be having to go from that to PC might've just been too much and I'm being unfair.
That doesn't change that people are saying the PC version is the "good" version, however, while the Vita one is the "butchered" version, and that is my issue with this scenario.
In the grand scheme of things, I'm sorry, but losing multiplayer is a much bigger deal than getting back some pictures you aren't going to look at and/or will be sick of after the time spent in that boring minigame adds up.
And you know what? On the off chance it gets ugly, I'll even go as far as to say the people celebrating the game being uncensored may not have even realized that it was losing multiplayer, because no one is talking about that part, or just how much fun the game could be.
Hell, I don't know if even people who have it on Vita really realize how much potential there is here, as most people just used the multiplayer for grinding the items it gave out in my experience, even when they acknowledged the game was fun. I only ever got to play a couple of proper rounds online, but they were really fun.
In any case, I have spoken enough on this matter.
You have now been educated, peasants! Now go! Go and complain on Twitter about this grand injustice, as I have been told the people of this good land are wont to do.
Be my peons, be my voice, so that I may send my monster girls against yours someday so that they may partake in the most epic of combat.
Just as the Gods always willed it, my children.
Just as the Gods always willed it.
[Like anime? Like girls? Just like anime girls? Maybe you just like shameless plugs? Whatever tickles your fancy, if you're bored, maybe check out these blogs by Zetta on Japanator, one of Destructoid's sister sites, to see if they tickle yours! Ya Blew It, Umaru | Symphogear, we need to talk | Valkyrie Drive's Weaponized Lesbians Have Descended!]