Idea Factory, the company behind an upcoming card battle game Monster Monpiece sent out a statement today explaining their decision to censor parts of the game for its Western release. According the the statement, Both the Japanese and Western versions of the game contain the same total number of cards, but some of the high-level cards were replaced with “less exposed” lower-level versions of the game's Monster Girls due to some "intense sexual imagery."
Monster Monpiece allows players to power up their cards by getting the girls (in card form) to "expose themselves (take off their clothes) via the level-up features called First Crush Rub and Extreme Love." This specifically involves vigorously rubbing both sides of the Vita (see image below).
"The number of censored cards is about 40 out of the approximately 350 card images available in the game. This means that over 300 cards are left untouched from the original images. That said, each card that has had its image removed will still have the same number of levels for the player to increase, but the higher level card images will be the same as the lower level, even though they have leveled up and have become more powerful." However, the statement says that this will not effect the length of the game, or any of the game's systems and features.
Monster Monpiece will also have a separate rating for the US and EU. In North America, the game was given a Mature rating by the ESRB; Europe's PEGI system rated the game 12+. Idea Factory says, "We received a Mature rating for Monster Monpiece from the ESRB with the censored material we submitted. However, for PEGI, and with the same material assets for their review, they rated it 12+ because of the minimal amount of violence shown in the game."
Idea Factory says their reason for the censorship deals with cultural differences. "Western society is not as lenient as that of Japan when sexual images are involved--especially images of humanoids that appear to be younger than a socially acceptable age. The borderline of what is 'acceptable' will always be extremely gray and vary from person to person, but as a responsible company working in the U.S., we had to make the difficult decision that we did. We sincerely apologize for those who do not agree with any level of censorship, but we greatly appreciate your understanding with the decision we have made."
Monster Monpiece is schedule to arrive on Vita in the US and EU sometime this spring.