Xenosaga III Censoring

I got XSIII a few days ago (yay I’m a happy XS geek) and got to playing it.

Now, if you heard any news about the game then you probably know there was censored scenes in the NA version. No big deal, right? There was censored stuff in the first two episodes too.

However it seems the censoring goes a bit farther in this release. Maybe due to the recent Hot Coffee fiasco and with characters like Jack Thompson willing to make a big deal over ANYTHING for attention, Namco probably decided to be cautious.

The censoring made a particular scene at the end of the first disc a bit confusing, and if I didn’t KNOW that stuff was censored I would have been left scratching my head:

The scene takes place in Shion’s mother’s hospital room. Young Shion is kneeling by her mother’s bed after the realians stabbified her. In the NA version she’s looking at her empty hands saying she ‘has to put it back, or else mommy won’t wake up’. It took me a few moments to realize that there was SUPPOSED to be blood on her hands (and probably all over the bed). They took the blood out, but didn’t really do anything to clarify things.

There’s a few other, minor, instances of censoring around that I can live with. They don’t impact the interpretation of what’s going on like the above did, though there IS one case of censoring that, while it wasn’t major, did make me ‘wtf’: Near the end of the game, after some certain events, Allen gets a black eye (among other injuries). However the NA version pretty much erases the black eye off his face. I mean, what the hell, it’s just a BLACK EYE. God.

There is one other big issue of censoring I’m aware of, in the ending. Note this is an ENDING SPOILER so only highlight the ENDING SPOILER if you want to know something from the ENDING that you will SPOIL.


After Jin stays behind to hold off the Gnosis he starts getting cut up pretty bad. In the JP version there’s quite a lot of blood coming out of him. His clothes are stained and there’s pools of it in the floor. But guess what, NA version, no blood. Anywhere. So I guess it’s just going to look like he’ll be flailing around randomly. Oh, and there was a trickle of blood coming out of his mouth as he died. They removed that too. Gah.

So, there you have it. I’m normally not one to get up in arms about censoring. I was fine with Albedo ripping his own head off instead of cutting it off in Episode 1, I had no problem with him blasting his head off with a random-as-hell energy ball instead of a gun in Episode 2. But the censorship in Episode 3 just seems excessive, and I can only blame recent stinks in the media about violent videogames that have come up in the past year.

As for the game itself, I’m enjoying it. Though I feel they changed the system too much to be a bit too ‘Final Fantasy’, I miss the attack combos from the first two episodes. But, battles are much, MUCH, faster. There’s no more battle loading lag either. In fact battles load so fast now it was damn distracting the first time. The pace of battles is much faster. The whole system feels more like a standard RPG than Episode II did, which could be good or bad depending on what you thought of Episode II. I rather liked some of the innovations Episode II tried, but it made the battle system too sluggish.

Also, you can re-watch any cutscene in the game after you’ve seen it once. It’s a neat feature.

So uh, to your knowledge, was episode 2 also censored for the EU release?

I think that they did a little, but not to the extreme we americans did.

Boo. Double standards in videogames are so fucking out of hand, it’s enough to turn me off to the whole medium. I was thinking of picking up the third one, but I guess I’ll pass.

Well it’s not bad enough to not get the game. There’s enough improvements to the overall system and flow of Episode III that it’s at least worth renting, even if you didn’t like the first two.

As for the EU release, I have no idea. As far as I know the ONLY real censored part of Episode II was when Albedo shot his head off. In the JP release he used a gun. Apparently Namco decided that leaving it like that in the NA release would piss off every soccer mom in the States, so they changed it to him forming a giant ball of energy with his hand. Still the same effect.

Yeah. I dunno either.

The sluggishness of the battles was my biggest complaint for Episode 2; I’m glad to hear that it’s been corrected somewhat. I’m looking forward to trying this game. Those edits in the cutscenes… I’m a little disappointed, but I’m not surprised. I wish I hadn’t read the last spoiler, but hey, I’ve spoiled myself enough already in trying to decide whether I’ll buy.

I didn’t know that Best Buy has an “exclusive” cover for this game, so I’m trying to decide whether I care enough to check that out.

Overall with the battle and appeareance of the game , I very much believe this is what XS should’ve been the whole time. XSII’s boost system was the most retarded thing ever (I took down half the last boss’s life in 1 sequence of events for christ’s sake). XSI was dull and so you just played up to where you got a couple AoEs and Erde Kaiser.

As for the story of XSIII itself, I don’t like the way they’ve presented it up to this point. It feels like a)they’re fast forwarding everything and b)there are a lot of things that are handled in very weird ways. Its kinda hard to elaborate without using spoilers. Note also I just started disc 2. I feel most of disc 1 could’ve been done completely differently to make it look less retarded. Hell, the game should’ve started where disc II started to follow up what happened at the end of XSII and the appearance of a certain large gnosis that will remain nameless. The way disc 1 was handled brought forward some interesting answers but almost all of the answers are told to you while you just meander aimlessly from point a to b with extra sequences where shion has a conversation almost with herself about how stressed she is and how she doens’t know who she is. God I hate Shion. If she were real, I would bitch slap that fucking cunt like she deserves.

I agree the blood thing with Shion’s mom was retarded and definetly took out some of the impact that scene could’ve had.

Agreed x 100 on slapping Shion. I also want to punch Kevin/Roth/Red Testament in the face.

As for the story flow, I agree it’s kinda rough at times. It feels like they’re trying to answer just about everything, but as a result some things just start making less sense than they should have.

I DO like how they handled Virgil, but I alway found Virgil kinda cool. His backstory really makes his parts in Episode I make a lot more sense, but it all seems too late now since he was pretty much a no-show in Episode II.

It seems to me that the entire bit on Old Miltia was the story writes going “Ok, there’s all this stuff we need to show them in order for it to make sense. We SHOULD have leaked this info throughout the series in flashbacks, but oh well. Let’s just lock them into the entire scenario for 1/3 of the game and make them watch everything in sequence with faux interactivity.”

The story seems to be picking back up in Disc 2, though. I just got through Merkabah, and now will be storming the Durandal. Seems like we’ll be handling Yuriev shortly. I’m also awaiting the final battle with Voyager, but that’s because Ziggy is my favorite character in the series.

I hated the second one. It was a chore. I compeleted it purely for story sake, and even then it never went anywhere. The worst part was the fact it created length from those god damn fetch quests

Wait XenosagaIII is out already! Holy crap!

rushes to the Nearest gaming store to get a copy

I HATED the way they handled Virgil. Very good ideas conceptually. The resolution was awfully set up. It was too sudden , too little development.

The censoring thing is getting tiring really fast. Don’t they ever learn?

On related news it’s good they finally cut the battle loading lag. It’s 2006 and all.

Oh, is the battle system as mindnumbling convoluted as the last one? I fucking swear, I couldnt fight a single boss fight without following each step from the walkthrough.

The battle system is good now. The 2’s battle system was very easy if you exploited, which took a little practice. When you had it down, it was downright absurd.