It's not often that you hear about a PlayStation game being refused classification and therefore release in certain regions, but that's what's happened to Omega Labyrinth Z. The dungeon crawler sees you manage a party of girls as they search for the 'Holy Grail of Beauty'. Doesn't sound too out of the ordinary when it comes to niche Japanese role-playing games, right?
Fair warning: the below trailer isn't safe for work.
As evidenced by the video, it's fair to say that Omega Labyrinth Z really doubles down on anime boobies and nudity -- and that's what organisations like the Video Standards Council Rating Board aren't happy with. This is clear from the board's report on the game, which reads:
There are numerous mini-games which feature sexually explicit and ultimately problematic content. Examples include:
The player touches certain points on a female character’s body to arouse them. A successful action will activate a “shame break” where parts of their clothing come off revealing more of their bodies. The female characters respond with varying degrees of sexual innuendo and arousal.
The player places honey on the girls’ bodies. A fantastical dog-like creature then proceeds to lick the honey off their bodies which causes them to become aroused. Like the previous mini-game, when they reach a certain level of arousal parts of their clothing fall off or vanish. As the dog licks at the honey, the girls respond with sexualised language.
In both this mini-game and the previous one, if their breasts or thighs are touched a jiggle animation will be shown. Selecting the correct area on their body during a “shame break” will also result in the ‘E-spot’ being activated and the character will respond with heightened pleasure.
A crystal can be placed between a character’s breasts. The player must then fondle and rub the breasts together in order to identify what is in the crystal. The crystal itself has a clearly phallic quality to it. The player controls the breasts with the analogue sticks or touchpad. There is also a variation of this mini-game where the player can make a fairy-like character rub herself up and down on the crystal with accompanying moans of pleasure.
The hot-spring mini-game allows the player to fondle the girls’ breasts. There is no other interaction in these scenes. Before starting the scene, the player can select which female they wish to interact with and choose their breast size. For taking part in this optional mini-game the characters are cured of all ailments and receive stat boosts.
It's the fact that some girls are obviously underage that appears to be the real problem, though. The report continues:
The game is explicit in its setting within a “school” environment and the majority of the characters are young girls - one child is referred to as being a “first year” student and is seen holding a teddy bear. The game clearly promotes the sexualisation of children via the sexual interaction between the game player and the female characters. The style of the game is such that it will attract an audience below the age of 18.
As a result, Omega Labyrinth Z won't be launching in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia, or New Zealand, publisher PQube confirmed on Twitter. Apparently, the company's appeal was also rejected, so the decision is final.
What's your take on this? Try to keep things clean in the comments section below.
[source videostandards.org.uk, via twitter.com]
"The player places honey on the girls’ bodies. A fantastical dog-like creature then proceeds to lick the honey off their bodies which causes them to become aroused."
Apparently anime tits is the bane of Europe.
Rare that this happens in the UK now, but it does sound like it oversteps the line a bit.
PS4 - For The Pervs
...so no review then?
I found that trailer to be surprisingly catchy.
Ahh Japan, don't ever change.
I don't get it. Why to ban a game when you can just rate it for 18+;
@Melucine because 18+ rating or not, the depiction of underage girls in such situations is just wrong, no matter the medium.
so how come Senran Kagura is OK to release and not this, it's no more risque than those games are?
i had no plans to get this but it's strange they let one through and not the other
@Turismo4GT ah right, I agree with that, I just did not read the whole article and missed the part that explains they are underage.
When I was reading this I was thinking, "Yeah, okay, this is all a bit creepy, but it probably doesn't deserve to get banned..." and then I got to the paedo bit and was like
Those drawings are way too young to be engaging in that kind of fictional behavior!
Seriously though, just release it on PC.
I fully welcome big tit anime games, but if they contain elements of paedophilia like this one appears to then that's a definite problem. I'm generally against censorship, but that last paragraph detailing why it was banned has me convinced this was the right decision.
Yeah, that last paragraph.
Oh well =/ sad.
Will buy on pc.
The age thing is stupid. They're cartoons: just say they're 18 in their bios and you're good to go (PQube will undoubtedly do that for the NA release).
"The style of the game is such that it will attract an audience below the age of 18."
Nah. The youngins are more likely to be playing stuff like CoD. Mainly hardcore weebs will buy this.
Surprised Sony didn'y block this one as well, sounds like another one for sexual predators, not something anyone would want to be associated with you would think.
Even before I got to that last paragraph concerning the age of the victims, this just sounded like interactive pornography to me. Given the incredibly loose age restrictions on the PS Store and the widely-held perception of games consoles being "toys for kids", I fully support the decision to block its release.
This isn't a criticism of Japanese culture, but rather a recognition of cultural difference and diversity. Some things work elsewhere in the world, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they work everywhere.
UK; We say this game goes too far.
Me; I say this game doesn't go too far enough.
So if it was Grannys then the gameplay is fine?
"If the girls are 17 years, 364 days old it's degrading, morally bankrupt, reprehensible paedophilia. If the women are 18, It's just a good old bit of Japanese fun celebrating the feminine form."
Makes total Nonce Sense.
I was sold until it got to the underage part. Eh, just bump up the characters ages to 18 and up and we're good.
@FullbringIchigo Some of the girls in Senran are underage as well, but I think they get away with it by not mentioning the ages outside of Japan. Maybe should've considered doing that with this one.
like a lot of these games they say they are this age, but looking at them its obvious they are a lot younger and sticking huge breasts on them just makes it more creepy. if your fine with the sexualisation of a first year student thats your choice but for most of us its just wrong.
at the end of the day its borderline paedophilia. Wonder how many of these defending the game would if it had been men instead of women?
Yeah, that’s disgusting. Really disgusting. I almost clon went straight for trailer before I read anything else (or seeing the trailer picture) thinking “oh, what’s this?” Then I read that description and saw the actual picture in the along with the NSFW warning. And was like, “oh, this is not okay. This is very much not okay.”
Geez man, could you get much more disgusting? This ones just vile. Let’s move the porn away from games. This stuff just shouldn’t exist. (To be confused with someone’s right to make it if they want to, or anyone’s decision not to sell it.)
Yeah totally, I was merely referencing the juxtasposition of "absolute moral panic over this but make them 18 and it's not only totally acceptable, it's a totally unquestionable touchstone of Japanese culture, art almost, and I can't see why anyone would find it objectionate in the slightest" with a brass eye reference.
That's unfortunate. Games should never be banned. :/
I especially don't understand the bit about them being worried about impressionable younger people. This game is already rated 18 and up for PEGI. Its not meant for younger people to play.
I hope this doesn't discourage PQube from licensing Bullet Girls. The Bullet Girls games really need to come Westward.
@suikoden If it were men instead of women it'd still be fine.
Its all fiction and cartoons at the end of the day. Its not real. No one is hurt. And limiting artistic expression sets a dangerous precedent, even if one might find this to be...well, lacking in value.
This looks hilarious.
@AlejandroMora Thank Sweden for that.
Oh well always US
so did America okay this? Asking for a friend
In the sequel the dungeons you crawl through are the girls themselves.
Try living in Japan! This stuff is everywhere over here and no one batters an eyelid. It's just the norm
I still can't preorder this on play asia yet.
Well, good thing I don’t live in Europe. It seems y’all’s police would rather be arresting people for saying naughty things on the internet and banning harmless video games than breaking up actual grooming gangs where young girls are actually being subjected to what is tang amount to torture. Good job Europe, way to have your priorities in order.
Luckily, we’ve got the first amendment so It’ll be coming here. Luckily an import is still available for you guys.
@legalstep Of course, it’d be unconstitutional to ban it here. And PQube confirmed it’d be dropping here, so you could import it if you want.
@thatguyEZ Unconstitutional? lol First off Sony is a private company and not the gov't.
I think in the past you've had cases where although "Battle Royale" was not banned, no US distributor would touch a film where schoolkids run around shooting each other with a ten foot pole for backlash reasons.
@Vincent294 Right, and you can be arrested for owning something like this in the UK. But it’d be covered by the first amendment here. Either way I’d rather in a country that doesn’t arrest me for thought crimes. Maybe actually help your citizens before white knighting for fictional characters fam.
@RPE83 Right, but the internet kinda nullifies that problem. If they didn’t release in in the states I could just import the Asian version with English subs or in the worst case scenario pirate it. I’m all for companies being free to buy/sell what they want, and who the do business with. But whenever they take a ‘moral’ stand I find it to be a bit of a joke. But my biggest problem is companies acting if they know what’s best for the customers. This is my biggest problem with Nintendo and them butchering their games. Though to be fair they’ve gotten their act together more so when the Switch dropped.
@thatguyEZ Ah, strawman. Saying Sony has a right to block gross...stuff off their platform doesn't equal wanting to make it illegal. I donated money to a charity that helps abuse victims. You keep white knighting, I just pointed out fact.
@Vincent294 I’m not white knighting fam. I never said Sony didn’t have the right to not sell it on their storefront. I said being able to be arrested for owning something like this in the UK, instead of the police helping actual victims is a bit of a joke and the really need to get their act together. But once again, they can’t touch you for that in the states. I had mixed up whether the ESA was a pubic company I.E. paid for the taxpayer. But as far as I know they’re really just a lobbying group. But I don’t think that diminishes my points of it being a joke it’s not going to be able to be sold in many European countries, and you can even be arrested for owning it there unlike the states where you’re protected by the first and fourth amendments. It’s really quite easy to see what a joke that is fam.
@thatguyEZ yeah you also have lots idiots with guns that like shooting people. ill take occasional banned game any day. and not even mentioning the mad man in charge
"Fair warning the trailer below isn't safe for work"
Plays video, first thing that pops up, a big PEGI 16
Guess if your work employees a lot of underage teens it would be a problem. 😆
I'm all for banning child porn, but none of the girls in that video looked liked kids to me. Teens yes, but not kids. What's the age of consent over there for porn, 16 or 18? What's the age of consent?
Though it's probably for the best we didn't get a video representative of the actual gameplay, I do squirm easily, but that clip was more funny goofy than predatory. Thank goodness.
OK I watched it again, 4 more times actually, the music is great and it goes by too fast to really see anything, but yes, at the 18-19 mark that little girl with the teddie bear on her head, yeah she's looking like 5 years too young to be in this. Also noticed her on the far right in the static group pic.
Now I'm wondering if they cut her out of the game entirely if it still would have been banned. I mean obvious pedobear is obvious. 😛
@JoeBlogs Nah fam, something like this woul d be protected by arguing that it does have artistic merit and therefore protected by the first amendment fam. And yeah, PQube confirmed its coming to the states, so I think I’ll take there word on it unless someone credible says otherwise.
@Shepherd_Tallon Right, but this would be a victimless crime. You can’t really blame the art for something a nutcase does. That sounds to me like taking away the perpetrator’s agency. Another point would be that these really don’t look like real people. I mean, loli’s in some media really don’t look like actual children. I certainly think it’s fine to have these conversations about this kind of thing, but the moment someone tries to justify the banning of art in a country is a bit of a joke imo.
@Shepherd_Tallon Right, and I certainly agree on most of your points. Though I don’t really buy into the idea that people need characters who are the same race/sex/gender as them to be able to relate to. But I don’t have a problem with devs wanting to go in that direction, as long as it’s actually a character and not some arbitrary representative of X group. That’s one of the major problems I have with this current environment in the game industry amongst journos and talking heads. I mean, one of the best characters I’ve encountered it Emil from Nier/Automata. He’s gay, but the game doesn’t throw some celebration for him or make that the defining point of his character. He’s just gay and has a crush on Nier and it totally works. Unlike the joke that is BioWare’s approach to this kinda thing.
I can see where your coming from about the game possibly having that kind of affect on younger players who may get their hands on this game. But, I mean, if playing it causes some boy to go out and grope a girl then he has bigger problems. He really needs some guidance from an authority figure in his life. And while, sure it may make girls think like, ‘Oh, this is how I should act to get attention from boys!’ But a lot of kids turn out to be sexually active at a super young age. I mean, there are 12 year olds out there already having sex. I think banning the game would have very little affect on this kind of thing. It would only be a bad thing as far as I’m concerned. People like us who are mature and understand this kind of thing is really tongue-in-cheek would be deprived of a potentially great game while kids would still be out there making stupid choices because they don’t really understand that having a kid, getting an STD, etc. will truly ruin your life. I think these kind of things have more to do with a terrible education system that seems to get worse every year it’s not fixed.
Sure fam, I know your not a regressive. I mean you’d have to be throwing around buzzwords(removing how serious accusations of sexism/racism/etc. should be) and not taking part in a really great conversation such as this. I really, really think people need to get it together. Shrinking the kinds of things that can be represented or discussed in art is something I can not stand and truly think it’s one of the worst things someone has done. Art is integral to human cultures and has gottnen us through some of the worst periods of history. I think everything should be fair game in art, unless it is infringing upon someone else’s rights. And that does not include the ‘right to not be offended. While the point is certainly up for debate, I think this kind of thing might help people who could potentially be capable of going out and actually hurting a young child. Once they actually do hurt someone, they’re trash and deserve to end up in prison. I kinda see games full of lolis as an outlet for peodophile sin the same area as porn for everyone else. As long as they’re just getting off to fictional lolis I don’t really have a problem with that. But once again, this kinda thing is totally up for debate. Not to mention that anime characters really look different enough that I’m 99% sure that most people who like lolis want nothing to do with IRL kids. For example, I’m super down with anime traps, but I couldn’t be less attracted to dudes/IRL traps. I mean, I doubt I’ll ever come across someone as cute as Astolfo IRL. So I can see people having a similar mindset in regards to lolis and kids.
Does this even matter since you can just make a US PSN account and buy it like that?
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