3. LEFT 4 DEAD 2 (PC, XBOX 360)
Everyone knows zombies can incite violence and anger and lust and hatred in humans that shall be the catalyst for the destruction of the human race. Killing zombies is clearly adverse for young, impressionable minds. Never mind that roughly every other game on the market has you killing real, live people in increasingly graphic ways. Killing zombies is unacceptable, and we must stand up for the rights of our descendants (because clearly, that is what we will be reduced to after the zombie incited world war).
So, Valve’s first attempt at trying to release a sequel just a year after the first game in the series (and trying to make Left 4 Dead an annual franchise- come on, you know they were trying to do that) bore the brunt of Australia’s screwed up censorship policies, and found itself ruthlessly banned from sale in the country. At this point, Valve should have done the wise thing and shown the Aussies the finger, ya know?
But they didn’t. Instead, in a shameful act of succumbing to our shadowy governmental overlords, they decided to release a bastardized version of the game for the Australian audiences. This new version was nothing short of retarded.
No dismembered limbs, zombies couldn’t catch fire, they’d just disappear in a puff after dying like enemies in Nintendo games. I mean, all we needed was the zombies replaced by gummy bag people, and we’d have had an adorable game on our hands that could have passed off as LittleBigPlanet.
2. MANHUNT 2 (WII, PS2, PSP)
In what was arguably the most publicized incident involving censorship in recent times, Manhunt 2 faced the real and imminent possibility of a worldwide ban, because of its violent, protracted and often sadistic executions that the gameplay of the title was centered around. The game being on a console like the Wii (which we have already established isn’t half as angelic as Nintendo would have you believe), complicated matters more, and Nintendo got itself a bit of a bad rep for allowing the game to appear on the system. Because clearly, the Wii is all about M&M Kart Racing.
Ultimately, Rockstar succumbed to pressure, and butchered the game heavily, leaving us with an extremely gimped game that in no way lived up to its name. At least it was still semi fun to play, which sort of redeemed it.
1. MORTAL KOMBAT (SNES, GENESIS)
Back in the late 1990’s, Nintendo was known for its obscenely strict censorship policies, which involved blanking out everything from nudity to violence references of any kind. Yeah, that last one baffles me too, don’t worry.
Anyway, along came Mortal Kombat, with its (for the time) hyper realistic graphics depicting fatalities and blood and gore, all wrapped up in an insanely violent fighting game, and Nintendo obviously had the SNES version censored. Sega, on he other hand, didn’t care two hoots about censorship, and allowed the uncut version to be released on the Genesis.
As expected, the violence in the game did not go down well with people at all, and Mortal Kombat became the first video game that demonstrated just the kind of effects excessive violence in video games, till then considered children’s toys, could have. Everybody involved in its release was pulled up, and called to court. And while the court case became a corporate spar, with both Nintendo and Sega leveling increasingly wild accusations at each other, the entire episode ended with the gaming industry agreeing to creating the ESRB, a self regulating censorship board.
That’s right fellas, in an attempt to escape any kind of censorship, the videogame industry decided to censor itself. Go figure.