It shouldn’t be news to anyone that different cultures have wildly different responses to things like sex and violence. What’s permissible in one country is often considered taboo in another. So when an industry like video games spans the globe, you’re bound to run into issues.
We tend to be pretty open-minded about violence in the U.S., so it’s almost always sex that spurs game makers to scrap or hide elements the racier games released here. After all, all companies are in the money-making business, and they want their games to have wide appeal wherever they’re released.
Here are six games that have been altered in one way or another for their U.S. release.
1. Street Fighter V
This Street Fighter installment is the best-looking one yet, with a dynamic camera that moves in and out of the action when someone does a super move or wins a match. And because some of the most well-endowed female fighters in the game don’t wear a lot of clothes, the camera can end up showing some salacious stuff.
But it appears that some of the more provocative shots have been altered to move the goods offscreen. Watch the video above to see R. Mika’s butt slap shift below the frame. A similar change has been made to move Cammy’s crotch out of view and to get Chun Li’s jiggling breasts under control.
2. Fire Emblem Fates
In the Japanese version of this Nintendo 3DS game, a male character spikes the drink of a lesbian character with a drug that makes her see everyone with their genders reversed. She then falls in love with the man who drugged her, thinking he’s a woman. She falls so hard that when the spell wears off, she asks him to marry her. It’s no real stretch to view this course of action as her homosexuality being “cured.”
For the game’s U.S. release, Nintendo deemed this side story controversial enough to excise it from the game. Which is probably for the best, seeing as drugging people’s drinks and trying to change their sexual orientation is generally considered a no-no.
3. Xenoblade Chronicles X
We have a pretty sexualized pop culture in the U.S., wouldn’t you say? Well, the Japanese version of the Wii U role-playing game Xenoblade Chronicles X pushed things past even our comfort zone by dressing one of its 13-year-old characters in clothing that would be more at home in an erotic S&M video.
For the U.S. release, Nintendo not only increased the character’s age to 15, but also added more fabric to her outfit so it reveals less skin (and less under-boob).
4. Criminal Girls: Invite Only
Any game that has you spank the temptation out of a group of unruly girls will raise the hackles of the prudish, especially when the girls are depicted in sexual positions in various states of undress.
The U.S. release of this PS Vita game does a couple of things to obscure what’s happening onscreen. It zooms in or out on the images to shift the camera’s focus off the goods and puts a pink fog over the whole image, obscuring it partially from view. Which begs the question: Why did they bring the game here in the first place?
5. Monster Monpiece
This card battler on the PS Vita is all about sexy anime ladies. And it has a, shall we say, unique way of powering up your cards. To do so, you pull up the image of one of the young ladies and vigorously rub the Vita’s touchscreen until you locate her “pleasure points” (and it doesn’t take a whole lot of guesswork to find them). Once you rub the right spots long enough, the clothes start to come off.
This might not sound like a game that would come West in the first place, but publisher Idea Factory brought it over anyway. The only hitch? The localization folks deemed some of the “undressed” images a little too spicy for U.S. audiences. For a look at what’s been cut from the game, check out this article from Kotaku.
6. Dungeon Travelers 2
This dungeon-crawler on PS Vita has you exploring large environments and fighting beasts disguised as — say it with me — sexy anime ladies. When you defeat them, you’re often rewarded with a sexually suggestive image of the enemy, because why not?
To avoid an “Adults Only” rating from the video game ratings board, developer Atlus had to edit the four most sexually suggestive images found in the game. Once the localization team did that, the ESRB let the game through with a “Mature” rating.