Mugen Souls Z Coming In April… With Massaging Mini-Game

By Spencer . January 29, 2013 . 5:42pm

imageGet ready to do billions of damage in April when Compile Heart releases Mugen Souls Z in Japan. Dengeki PlayStation announced the game will be available on April 25 for PlayStation 3. ChouChou returns, but Mugen Souls Z features a new character who has to conquer twelve worlds.

 

Mugen Souls Z also has a "chameleon system" where you… uh… massage the girls while they are in swimsuits. Massaging changes the color of the swimsuits and there is a "nude" or "skin" color. Did we need to mention this is developed by Compile Heart?


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  • Raharu95

    For one moment I thought there was a chance that this minigame would not be stripped out if it came to the states…

  • https://twitter.com/RaiohV Raioh

    Suddenly I feel like importing instead of waiting for the localized version..

  • FetusZero

    Judging from the last game, I suppose we can expect the minigame to be removed once it gets localized.. I still don’t even see why they removed it from the first game, it likely would of netted a Mature rating instead of Teen, which is far from being a big deal.

    • http://burnpsy.wordpress.com/ burnpsy

      NISA said it would have gotten an AO.

      • FetusZero

        They removed it to avoid getting such a rating before actually being rated. So we’ll never really know what it would of been rated, but judging from other games that are just as “bad”, it would of gotten an M.

        • Herok♞

          you have to remember the girls appear to be children in the scenes so a AO isn’t that hard to believe.

          • FetusZero

            True enough, actually. Though I think it would of been worth getting it reviewed early just to know what the rating boards thought about it. If it did get an AO, I think it probably would of been because of the graphics themselves. Sort of like how Neptunia mk2 got rated M, yet that part with Trick, Rom and Ram was far worst in my opinion than the bath scene of Mugen Souls.

            Assuming NISA localizes it, at least we’ll get the most important stuff like original VA and the actual functionality that the bath scene was used for :]
            Not sure the game sold well though.. their store still has a lot of collector’s and limited editions. I know that apart from Neptunia, their LE’s usually stick a bit after release, but Mugen Souls seems to be sticking a lot longer.

          • Herok♞

            The reason why they didn’t submit it twice was it would have a problem with the way ESRB works.

          • FetusZero

            I don’t know the specifics of submitting a game to ESRB though. The only game I remember submitting twice for the ESRB was Manhunt 2 and that was quite a long time ago.
            I know NISA works on pretty limited budgets too, so it probably doesn’t help.

          • TiredOfMyOldUsername

            No, it’s because it cost money for ESRB to rate a game and Nisa didn’t have the money for multiple rating.

          • 324234

            If they can’t afford a wasted rating, one has to wonder why they bothered to localize a game they were planning from the get-go to butcher? I’d like to think that heavy censorship is just as much, if not more of a financial risk in the release of a niche title as an ESRB submission myself..seems like just an excuse to me.

          • TiredOfMyOldUsername

            Maybe they thought getting a M or AO rating would hurt sales more then censorship.

        • http://gematsu.com/author/ro-kurorai 浪黒雷 (Roland Gmyrek)

          Nope, AO fo’ shoo ;)

      • Flandre Scarlet

        NISA thought it would have gotten AO. They never actually sent it off. For reference, they ‘thought’ Neptunia V would get an M rating for sure, but it came back with a T.

    • LynxAmali

      Actually, it would’ve been bumped up to an AO, not an M.

      Besides, it didn’t really effect the game that much. If you want the minigames that badly, just import it.

      • FetusZero

        Replied a bit lower to burnpsy for the rating, NISA only assumed it would get an AO without confirmation from ESRB.

        Anyway it isn’t so much for how it affects the game (the game is still fun and I know it doesn’t affect the game), but it’s more about “censorship”. I’ll never be proud of censorship in any kind of entertainment and media.

        • LynxAmali

          How is it censorship when it really wasn’t appropriate for the North American market? Would you have preferred NISA to get bad press for leaving it in?

          I don’t know why I bother.

          • FetusZero

            Personally, I wish I could decide what’s acceptable and what isn’t for myself. Censorship is the reason why people think something is/isn’t acceptable in a specific region.

            I would definitely import these games if I could, but unfortunately I’m not very good with Japanese :/

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/EnvyMizuhashi Garyuu of Spades

            Welp, it might as well be a necessary evil for you. I don’t get why people would make a fuss over a mini-game like this as if it’s the ONLY reason they want to buy and play Mugen Souls.

          • FetusZero

            Nah I’m just disappointed when they remove something from a game I plan to play when it gets localized, no matter what it is or from who it is, but I definitely understand your point of view on this.

            Not sure if you saw it, but on the Mugen’s forums when the cut was announced back then it was hellish x_x It definitely fit what you said.

          • M’iau M’iaut

            Trust me, we know how hellish it got. But if a game is only soaping up girls who look like they are 8, sorry, there are multiple walls that will appear. Including those walls that are ‘just not worth the darn effort’. I’d draw my concerns over the fact some of these girls appear even younger than the first game. Having the narrative declare them something over 18 only goes so far.

          • Juan Andrés Valencia

            I’ll never understand why people WANT the massage mini-game with girls that look like they are 8 or 9 years old. It creeps me out.

          • Flandre Scarlet

            What ‘bad press’ could NISA possibly get that hasn’t been spewed out before? Sensationalist sites will always publish articles about things they think will create controversy simply because they want traffic. What is the bad press going to do, exactly? The people who want to buy these games are going to buy them, and the people who aren’t going to touch these games won’t suddenly get them because they removed one mini-game. If Mugen Souls sales are any indication (still sitting at half its LEs left, SE still on its initial run), the censorship hurt the game more than it helped.

            It would have been better for NISA never to touch Mugen Souls if they didn’t think they could bring the game over intact. Considering that, I somehow doubt they’ll even touch this game.

          • Kevadu

            Well, one could actually make the case that the minigame that was removed qualified as child porn and since US law doesn’t actually care if it’s just a drawing (no, seriously, look it up) the NISA folks could potentially go to jail and be registered as child molesters for the rest of their lives.

            How about that for bad press?

          • T-X

            There have been cases where it has been acceptable because of the vague definition of the act you are referencing and some where it hasn’t and has gotten people to do time. It’s entirely up to the jury and whether or not they can empathize if what you’re caught with is acceptable, but only when the content is EXPLICIT. No one would have gotten arrested over what was cut from MugenSouls, because if they were, then child beauty pageants would have to be banned around the country as well. Things like HoneyBubuChild and the like are far more exploitative of children than a fictional character in a small mini-game that a child wouldn’t even be able to access. & by the poor chance they were trying to avoid stimulating people they deem unfit to live in society aswell than this game definitely isn’t the straw that will break the camels back. If you’re already that twisted than you most likely don’t have interest in an Rpg game that makes fun of itself.

          • Flandre Scarlet

            That act and law is so vague and full of grey areas that it can easily be twisted around to whatever viewpoint you want.

            There’s also the fact there are no explicit sexual acts going on in Mugen Souls. At most, it has a sexual overtone, but one can argue that’s just how you perceive it.

            Also child molesters? Really? Come on.

      • Mari

        I doubt it; Agarest 2 had a similar feature to Mugen Souls on the bathing thing but got a T rating (and yes, Agarest also had underage looking girls that you can even use the PS Move on), and they were released within a few months of each other.

        • DesmaX

          Agarest 2 was censored in Europe

  • Guest

    Oh Compile Heart. :)

  • WyattEpp

    If you hadn’t mentioned the name of the game or the company, we’d probably still have known that it’s Compile Heart’s next Mugen Fondling.

  • Curan_Altea

    Well if it’s anything like the massages in Agarest War 2 this should make for some nice awkward moments.

  • Herok♞

    I think NISA should be able to localize this one if the massages aren’t to graphic and they remove the nude/skin color but that still wouldn’t please purists so what do I know.

  • LETS PRAY FOR LOCALIZATION

    Import day 1 baby.

  • gamefreak86

    Game looks interesting. Not into chibi loli art style though.

    • Mazdian

      (⌐■_■)
      ( ಠ_ಠ)>⌐■-■
      ( ಠ_ಠ)
      ( ಥ_ಥ)

  • Himiko

    Of course, I’ll get it when NISA announces it, but it will be accompanied with an import this time. Don’t like censorship of any kind, but it was kind of understandable.

    Different cultures and viewsets, unfortunately.

    • http://gematsu.com/author/ro-kurorai 浪黒雷 (Roland Gmyrek)

      Yea, it’s kinda similar in Germany. As somebody has to think of the poor children any content deemed harmful to youths by German youth protection law has to be removed from a game to get an 18 (“not suitable for minors”) rating. It does not make any sense at all, it’s not suitable for minors, ffs!
      Said content includes blood and gore involving humanoid enemies, glorification of violence and vigilantism.

      • Himiko

        has to be REMOVED to get a M rating? whaaaat. :/

        • http://gematsu.com/author/ro-kurorai 浪黒雷 (Roland Gmyrek)

          That’s why I call it asinine. It does not make sense. And USK 18 is juridically and logistically closer to AO than M with the only exception that any retailer will carry 18 rated content (but they are supposed to check IDs if the customer looks underage).
          Basically German youth protection law forces USK (game censors) and FSK (movie censors) to remove harmful content in order to pass a classification at all. Unrated content may be sold to adults only (same as 18 rated content) but it may not be advertised. Similarly unrated content may be sold to adults only on Amazon as long as it does not get blacklisted. Blacklisted games are forbidden to be sold by German retailers. Importing and owning them is not illegal, they are simply banned from German online and brick and mortar shops.

          And that’s the reason why I import all of my games from the UK or Canada.
          It’s sad, as adults are treated like little children whose mommy and daddy have to decide what is suitable for them to watch. This applies to games and movies alike.

          Schnittberichte.com is your one-way stop to see how many games and movies have been censored in Germany. As a rule of thumb any hard-M (intense violence, blood and gore etc.) rated game has probably been censored in Germany to get an 18 rating. Bulletstorm is the most infamously pathetically funny example as there’s nothing left of the original game in the German 18-rated version – all blood, gore and rag-doll effects have been completely erased from the game.

  • Quinton Cunningham

    Its an undeniable fact that western fans of Japanese media get incredibly butthurt over minor omissions and then boycott their incredibly niche games/anime/etc when they do finally hit the west, which does nothing but hurt the companies that are already struggling to bring these games over. (Remember the year NISA had a 97.5% LOSS IN PROFITS? Yeah. a boycott isn’t something these guys need) As such, I’m fully expecting NISA to not even try to touch this game, which is a shame because I just bought the first and I enjoy it quite a bit.

    • Himiko

      Didn’t it sell well?

      • Flandre Scarlet

        It sold terribly enough that both of its LEs (which normally, for NISA, are sold out before release) are still sitting at half stock 3 months after release, and they haven’t even sold out of their standard edition copies, which also sell out around this time.

        It’s also enough for one of their translators to act very bitter about the sales during their Neptunia V stream.

        • Raharu95

          What did the translator said? i was unable to attend their Neptunia V showcase :/

          • Mister_Nep

            He just made a sour joke that only 6 people bought the game. It was a quick remark. You can watch the broadcast if you go to twitch and look up NISA there.

        • BettiePage

          They should of done what Saboteur did… DL code for the naked boobies. Saboteur had no nudity, but you could use the one time code to get the boobies. In this case they could censor the game as they did, but offer it back up for DL with a one time use code included with each game.

  • T-X

    Censorship shouldn’t be tolerated, imo. Fiction is fiction. Lets see how this localization is handled. Seeing as money is a priority over full representation or expression, it’s safe to assume they will either skip this or play it safe again.

  • puchinri

    While I’ll probably pick up the game, I’ll be upfront and say that I won’t care if this minigame is removed as well.

    I know a lot of people are saying “cultural differences” too, but lets remember; even though they can get away with this in Japan, this kind of material is not widely accepted and is still frowned upon. In otaku culture it may be awesome and glorified, but (implied) lolicon is lolicon*, no matter what side of the pond it is.

    (I added implied, but I think when you make your characters look so young and intentionally go for loli appeal, doesn’t really matter how old you say they are.)

    • Ladius

      I agree with you about the removal of this kind of minigames, but I also wonder if NISA will even try to localize MSZ after lots of people refused to buy the first MS just because of that :

      • DesmaX

        Well, Idea Factory managed to make them publish the new Generations of Chaos game in the west (Pretty sure they weren’t going to publish any more PSP games in the west), they probably gonna make them publish this too

      • puchinri

        Ah, good point. I would hope that they wouldn’t be deterred, but it’d be understandable if they were.

        I don’t know, I feel like it’s really shallow to pass up on a game because a fanservice-y minigame with lolis didn’t make it in.

        • Ladius

          I would think that would be the most obvious reaction, and yet everyone other than a few guys went up in arms against that choice, and the game apparently ended up selling poorly :

          I don’t know, as I stated in another post the boycotts of Mugen Souls and Atelier Ayesha (I still hope that won’t happen) have made me realize how different my priorities are from some (most?) of the fellow gamers interested in this kind of titles, and how hard it must be for niche publishers to deal with some of their fans.

          • puchinri

            Agh, yikes. I hope this one does better anyway. At least the promise of a (hopefully) improved everything should be enough.

            I’m really torn on Ayesha. I think TK (NA, at least) is handling this very ugly (no dual audio, on top of a partial dub) and that to me shows a lack of care for the title. I don’t want to give them my money, but I really want the game and want to support what Gust did for it. Either way, I’m going to contact them and give them a complaint, and I hope anyone that does or does not buy it also does so. While I think “entitlement” gets thrown around and is misused most of the time, I do see plenty of instances where gamers have terribly entitled attitudes and only end up hurting games more than they do supporting or appreciating them.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    As long as this game come with improvement like neptunia series. I will surely going to get this game.

  • Elvick

    I don’t know why people are so bitchy over the ‘censorship’. NISA wouldn’t censor for the sake of it. If people actually believe that, then I feel bad for them.

    And a bit ashamed of them being anywhere near games I enjoy. I don’t like irrational paranoia.

  • Ladius

    It’s really a sad situation, the first MS was a nice game and I’m sure this sequel will be as much an improvement as Neptunia Mk2 was, but since NISA will probably remove that minigame (for very good reasons, both in terms of rating and the sheer costs and time needed to resubmit a game multiple times to ESRB in case it’s deemed AO the first time, not to mention other concerns) a lot of potential customers will probably end up boycotting it just as they did with the first game, despite the minigame being not even 1% of the actual game experience and even going against some of the game’s underlying themes. I can also see NISA not even bothering localizing MSZ, in order to avoid risking another sales failure and provoking more hostile reactions from that vocal part of their fanbase.

    I am perfectly aware that people are entitled to their own tastes, but both the Mugen Souls and Atelier Ayesha boycotts (I still hope the latter won’t materialize in the end) made me painfully aware of how different my priorities are from most of the fellow gamers interested in those titles, albeit for different reasons.

    The fact that the most niche, difficult to sell games also have the most entitled and boycott-prone customers must be really though for those niche companies. When you have a Call of Duty in your hands you can easily handle part of your fanbase boycotting you for minor reasons or waiting months to buy your game used or after some price cut, but when you deal with games that sometimes have difficulties breaking 10k this kind of reactions can very well kill a series or damage a company.

    • http://gematsu.com/author/ro-kurorai 浪黒雷 (Roland Gmyrek)

      Blame ESRB, not fans of the very niche game. The Entertainment Software Ratings Board is the only culprit to blame for MS’s miserable sales figures. I do not support censorship, hence I stopped buying games in Germany a long time ago (roughly 30-50% of 18 rated games are heavily censored in Germany). Consequently I can relate very well to people not willing to pay for a censored product. Personally, I do not support any ratings board’s meddling with art.

      • M’iau M’iaut

        The ESRB does nothing more than movie ratings do, identify, classify and quantify content. They have an AO rating, but when there is only one brick and mortar retailer of any size (Fry’s) who will carry them and no console company who will license, there are few if any options should a game get that AO rating.

        • http://gematsu.com/author/ro-kurorai 浪黒雷 (Roland Gmyrek)

          U’ve got a point, question is why would they give that rating? They give extremely gory, violent, bloody, rag-doll ridden games an M but games like San Andreas receive an AO retrospectively because of a friggin’ dry humping mod?!
          That’s what I do not understand. Wanton violence is completely suitable for minors but a massaging game ain’t ffs!

          • M’iau M’iaut

            What are cultural differences in acceptability, just are; or would require the largest wall of text the internet has ever seen. Even then, all that would open the door to is more grand walls of text.

            All I will say is I am quite “100% definite and stone cold lock certain” that a game where that little blond, who looks like she belongs in a stroller, moans while the player scrubs her up, would not play well in the states.

          • http://gematsu.com/author/ro-kurorai 浪黒雷 (Roland Gmyrek)

            Thank you, now we are on the same page. =)
            Quite honestly I do not understand why they even bothered wasting money by submitting it to ESRB, as they knew, that “a game where that little blond, who looks like she belongs in a stroller, moans while the player scrubs her up, would not play well in the states.”

            They decide to cut that offensive content out and are surprised that their niche of fans is upset about it. Why not let each person on their own decide what is culturally acceptable for them and let them import the Jap. version is beyond my comprehension. I assume they lost more money on localization and certification than sales returned.

    • Barrit

      I don’t like censorship myself, but I don’t think the ESRB is fully to blame. With this release, NISA was not only localizing for the US, but also Europe. With that being said, I doubt they wanted to make a separate version for each region. So in my opinion, they probably wouldn’t have had to resubmit it multiple times to the ESRB, but to the multiple Europe boards since they are much stricter about that type of material with ‘lolis’.

      • http://gematsu.com/author/ro-kurorai 浪黒雷 (Roland Gmyrek)

        No, there is only one European ratings board – PEGI, one Australian – OFCL + the German one -USK (which always requires an additional rating process separate from the EU one anyways). Dunno about the Aussies but PEGI never mandates cuts for a rating because of sexual content, only violent content (basically the opposite from the ESRB which condones wanton graphic violence and gore but condemns sexual content). Please c.f. EU version of GoW (human sacrifices edited out), US version of Witcher 1 (all sexual content cut out, else AO), and US version of Fahrenheit (called Indigo Prophecy in the States, again with all sexual content removed, else AO).

        The German board only mandates heavy cuts for graphic violence in order to pass their highest rating (18) at all. Sexual content is always fine. Heavy Rain was rated 16. So basically EU ratings boards don’t give a fuck about loli content, it’s just the ESRB.

        • Barrit

          Hm, I could have swore there was even a law in UK for any sexual material where the character looks ‘underage’, unless I’m misinformed. Wasn’t that why Ghostlight had to completely remove Fiona from Record of Agarest 2 from the UK version, but left all the other characters’ scenes in?

          The original link didn’t work, but this is what Ghostlight said themselves on the matter “…we have had to make a small number of minor changes to the game. Firstly, while she remains a playable character, we have had to remove the 1st generation version of Fiona from the minigames (and only the minigames). Don’t worry, affection levels have been taken into account when making this change.

          In addition to this we have had to remove 4 static images from the game. Please understand that we are making these changes under advisement from PEGI and the USK, as without their approval we would be unable to publish the game at all.”

          • http://gematsu.com/author/ro-kurorai 浪黒雷 (Roland Gmyrek)

            It’s possible but now the laws changed ;)

            Until last year UK still had the option to have games rated by BBFC (British Board of Film Classification), but now all European games (except Germany due to retarded, pointless youth protection laws on media) are rated by PEGI.

            As far as I know there have only been 3-4 games that had to had content cut in order to receive that PEGI 18 rating and it was always wanton graphic violence or disturbing themes (I can remember the human sacrifices in GoW and graphic gore in Manhunt, dunno anymore right now) and never sexual content.

  • Oltheros

    Japan gets gore censored, we get sexual stuff censored. Why are we both backwards, but in different ways”?

  • Tianyu Wei

    How can people bash people who are bitter about the censor… This is a CH game for god sake… It’s one of the biggest selling point of CH games… Yes, they have improved their actual game qualities, but seriously, CH games thrive on these type of mini-games, and the Fans consume it…

    Taking out the censor stuff is like selling nicotine free cigarettes… I know some people are ok with that, but for most smokers…?

  • Vitonofrio del Rosso

    buying this, just like i bought the first one… :X

  • 324234

    I know very little of Mugen Souls simply because the second I heard of the censorship debacle I immediately lost any interest. I don’t care for perverted minigames, and it’s a turn-off for Compile Heart’s Monster Monpiece I had interest in as a card game fan, but censoring a niche title is shooting yourself in the foot, may as well not localize the game at all (and judging by the sales numbers, indeed!). Guess nothing’s stopping you from importing the original instead, short of the language barrier.

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