After a week of downtime, I'm picking up our friend Mike McWhertor's stewardship of our weekly look at the new ways that games are offending the world's sensibilities. Or at least, offending the sensibilities of the fine folks at the Electronic Software Rating Board, aka the ESRB.
This week was a bit thin, given that most of the big releases have already been rated. That said, there's some juicy stuff for those who look a little deeper. And by "a little deeper" I mean "to a Wii game based on MTV reality shows." Let's get to it!
Good old Humpty rears his head (and nose) to color up Harmonix's Dance Central 2, so in addition lyrics contain "suggestive and/or sexual material, e.g. "[M]y humpty nose with tickle ya rear"). Another salty lyric is described as "Damn, you's a sexy chick." At least Akon tried to find a way to talk about the girl without being disrespectful.
They helpfully describe Final Fantasy V as "a role-playing game in which players embark on a quest to prevent an evil being from destroying the world." Oh, that JRPG! Now I remember. Players of FFV should beware that "During the course of the game, a handful of female characters are dressed in outfits that reveal some cleavage; one boss character's breasts are covered only by thin strips of cloth." Scandalous.
Murder and suicide abound in Professor Layton and the Last Specter, and the ESRB should consider giving ratings for cheesiness, since "The dialogue occasionally makes brief references to murder and suicide. Some dialogue includes mildly suggestive references (e.g. "Are your legs tired? Because you've been running through my mind all day" and 'your hair-it looks so soft and . . . touchable.")." References to Layton's innate wino tendencies further spice up the DS puzzle game: "Dialogue also includes a few references to wine (e.g., "We have several aged wines in the cellar" and "Our friend Layton is quite the wine aficionado.")" I passed a few "wine aficionados" on the street downtown yesterday. I wonder if they can recommend any good vintages.
The description of the Wii's Jaws: Ultimate Predator sounds fairly tame, by Jaws standards. Players play the shark, hunting for prey through a variety of locales and killing "jellyfish, eels, other sharks, and human divers." No mention of the horrific killing of a defenseless woman out by The Great Dinging Buoy of Nightmares. Attacks "are generally accompanied by puffs of underwater blood," but that's about it. No severed limbs, no devoured children, no nothing. How far Jaws has sunk.
The biggest Dangerous Game bonanza of the week goes to Yoostar on MTV, a party game "in which players use a camera to superimpose themselves into music videos and shows from MTV." The scenes come from such highbrow television programming as The Real World, Jersey Shore, and The City, and as a result contain the sort of drunken sexual not-hotness you'd expect. Some of the scenes contain sexual dialogue like, "[T]here's no foreplay . . . But boy can he get it up quick," and the touching "I appreciate how you were able to see beyond me having sex with your roommate all the time." I would appreciate that, too!
Several of the scenarios in the game feature "Bathroom Humor," including "a character tossing a plastic bag of excrement on a table" and "a man receiving a rectal exam in a doctor's office (e.g., "I'm like, 'Doc, you can at least buy me dinner!'"). And, as a shocker and possible spoiler, one scene involves a man… jumping onto a live hand grenade. What game is this, anyway? Apparently "he appears seconds later with charred, bloody clothes," but still. This is The Real World, not Modern Warfare!
We'll see ya next week for some more offensiveness. Maybe the next game's poop won't even be in a bag.