Even Japanese gamers are complaining about the latest censorship massacre inflicted upon them, in this case in the form of Mafia II being ravaged by black bars.
The game features actual period Playboy pin-ups as collectible extras; in the original western versions these now rather tame images went uncensored, meaning a few nipples and breasts unmarred by plastic surgery were on display alongside the main spectacle of mass murder and criminality.
In Japan however, Sony and company are unwilling to allow so much as a bare bottom, despite the game being rated “Z” or 18+, and firmly targeting the tiny otaku audience who prefer modern western games to the staid domestic fare they are supposed to be buying:
Whilst resigned to being stuck with the kiddy versions of western games, Japanese gamers are struck by the extreme laziness of the censorship – no mist, light beam (see below), blur, sticker or other artifice, just MS Paint’s black fill, censorship without even caring.
Similar fates befell Red Dead Redemption and God of War, amongst many others.
The irony in all this is that it is western observers who most often criticise Japanese games for being perverted, despite the fact that in Japan Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft are all conspiring to keep their consoles perceived as child-friendly toys, as opposed to the movie-level raunchiness and extreme violence long since permissible in western markets.