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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Japanese version)

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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
GTA-SA-JP.jpg
"Worst place in the world, San Andreas Ballas country"
Carl Johnson
Genre(s): Action-adventure
Platform(s): PlayStation 2
Release: January 25, 2007
Engine: RenderWare
Developer(s): Rockstar North
Publisher(s): Capcom
Country: United Kingdom
Series: Grand Theft Auto
Predecessor: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Successor: Grand Theft Auto IV


Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is an action-adventure game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It is the fifth major installment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise.

This article will focus on the Japanese release of the PlayStation 2 version published by Capcom in 2007.

Why This Japanese Version Is Not King

  1. Rockstar Games was forced by CERO and Sony Japan to censor or alter many parts of the game or else it would be refused an age rating (and make it illegal to sell the game anywhere in Japan), requiring many things from the original version to be removed.
    • For some reason, police scanners are absent in this version. You hear nothing from the police if you become wanted.
    • Carl and pedestrians that are set on fire with the flamethrower don't scream in pain (If you have completed all firefighter missions in the vanilla game, this is normal). They are completely silent in this version for whatever reason.
    • Bone cracking sounds from when you run over pedestrians are absent.
    • The story is massively rewritten so the Ballas street gang have more influence and power over San Andreas than they do in the original game. An instance of this during the mission "555 We Tip" involves you having to kill a valet to get his uniform has the text claiming that he is "Ballas affiliated". The same is also done for the missions Deconstruction and Architectural Espionage. This change was made in order to keep the mission since Sony didn’t want unnecessary violence towards random pedestrians. This screwed up the story as a result and doesn't make sense since the Ballas are an Afro-American gang and the "Ballas affiliated" people are clearly not Afro-American.
    • Some missions like the fourth quarry mission, two rampages, and the entire pimp submission were outright removed and are completely absent from this version.
    • Most of the sexual content was removed. For example, the sex shop where you have to buy a gimp suit and a dildo was renamed to just "Shop" or "Fun Shop".
    • Drug references were removed. For example, during the intro cutscene for the mission Body Harvest where Tenpenny is hitting a bong in the original version, it is completely invisible in the Japanese version, making it look like he is high on nothing.
  2. If you shoot a pedestrian you instantly receive a wanted level, even if there are no cops in the area. You can even become wanted by shooting a dead body. This also makes the game more difficult than it needs to be as the player will have to keep dealing with cops in missions, even if the other versions of the game don't have them.
    • This change is not consistent, as running pedestrians over with your car is treated like normal.
      • Fortunately, however, you can hit pedestrians with melee weapons without receiving wanted stars, even though the Good Citizen Bonus from Vice City is absent in San Andreas.
  3. The wanted HUD glitches out if you shoot multiple targets or in missions that have a reset police attention script as it's programmed to reset every time.
  4. Pedestrians don't drop money if they are killed, making earning more cash if you are running low harder.
  5. Melee ground attacks on fallen enemies were removed. Carl can't stomp or kick on his enemies in melee fights if he knocks them down, making fights take longer than they need to unless you switch to a gun.
  6. Due to WTJVINK #2, the missions are unintentionally harder than they were in the original version.

The Only Redeeming Quality

  1. The audio, which remains in English, is uncensored with all dialogue and profanity intact. Japanese players that know English will be able to watch cutscenes and such without the changes.

Trivia

  • The PlayStation 2 version and PlayStation 3 version are only the versions that were released in Japan.
  • Some of Japanese censorship measures were taken from the German version.
  • The version received a Rockstar Classics re-release in 2011 by Take-Two Interactive of Japan with far less censorship. The build used actually predates the 2007 version by a few weeks.

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