On the NIS America Blog, they explained the four changes you’ll find from the Japanese release, including redrawn art and a lack of native language dialogue:
1 – Redrawn art.
We had a bit more time to work on this title. We didn’t want to make any alterations to the game that would be jarring to the experience or feel “off,” so we worked with the original artist of the game who redrew the art for the Motivation scenes that might have caused issues due to their explicit nature. We didn’t want the game experience to change though, so we are also investing the extra effort into incorporating Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors’s unique Live 2D effect into the new art.
2 – Terminology changes.
As with the first in the series, Criminal Girls: Invite Only, “Punishment” will be framed as “Motivation,” and other terminology changes from the first game will also apply here. There may be a few other translation changes as well. This reduces the power distance between the player character and the girls in the Reformation Program and makes the activities of the game more consensual.
3 – No native language dialogue.
Like with Criminal Girls: Invite Only, we will not be dubbing the game in English. The game’s text will be in English, but the spoken dialogue will be the original Japanese voice track.
4 – No Motivation scene dialogue.
Some of this could cause an issue with power distance, or perceived consent of the activities of the game. This dialogue also represented a technical challenge to localization, because there are no subtitles. Thus, another reason this dialogue was removed was to avoid a situation of no text to accompany several lines of untranslated Japanese being spoken.
The short version of their decision to make these changes comes down to ratings boards. “While we do our best to make all our fans happy, we also need to make sure that our games can be released on the platform they’re made for, and released in the various territories in which we sell them,” they said.
In a FAQ about the changes, they said the reasons they’re making these changes before getting rated is to save time and money, as NIS America needs “to be absolutely sure that it’s going to be the final version [getting rated], or we risk costly delays and even the game not being released at all.”
Saying the original unchanged version of Criminal Girls 2 would have been “extremely unlikely” to receive a Mature rating, NIS America added that an Adults Only-rated game is something they wouldn’t release: “AO-rated games are not allowed on many platforms, are not carried by many typical retail outlets, and as a company we have a policy of not releasing games with an AO rating.”
Furthermore, the terminology was changed because ratings boards had concerns over “power imbalance and consent” in the first game, so they followed the same trend in Criminal Girls 2. As for the dialogue and story, there haven’t been any significant changes made, “other than some specific instances where characters’ apparent ages are mentioned.”
Here’s the description for Criminal Girls 2:
Return to the depths of Hell, and guide a brand-new group of Delinquents through the Reformation Program. This time around, there’s a twist. One of the girls in your group of seven isn’t quite what she seems. As you journey through the Hell Spire, you’ll have to deal with the seeds of mistrust as you struggle to unite your team and overcome their sins and the bonds of damnation. Uncover each girl’s unique story, and shape them into the women they need to be in order to find redemption.
- Deep RPG Character Growth – Using the brand-new skill tree, you’ll be able to guide the growth of the girls along either an S or M path using the new Coaching system. Motivate and Coach your team into defensive maestros or offensive powerhouses.
- A Mystery to Uncover – This time around, one of your Reformation Candidates might not be quite what she seems. As you climb the Hell Spire, you’ll need to uncover each candidate’s sin, as well as the mystery one of them hides to help them all find trust and redemption.
- A Complete PlayStation Vita Experience – Take full advantage of the PlayStation Vita’s touchscreen capabilities and interact with the game’s characters through multiple minigames. Each character will react to your touch with the game’s Live 2D system which makes the artwork and characters feel like they’re right there with you!
Criminal Girls 2 is available through NIS America’s online store in three different editions: Standard ($39.99), Limited ($49.99), and Party Bag ($74.99).