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ESRB lists potential upcoming PS1 downloads


Reader Matt G. sent in a tip, detailing a number of PS1 titles rated by the ESRB that have yet to be released on PSP/PS3. These downloadable classics should arrive on the PSN some time in the future -- but when?
  • Wipeout XL (E)
  • Jet Moto 3 (E)
  • Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo (E)
  • Buster Bros. Collection (E)
  • Street Fighter Alpha (T) -- previously discovered, not released
  • Rayman (E)
  • Castlevania Chronicles (T) -- previously discovered, not released
SCEA has been slow to make PS1 classics available on the PS Store. We're eagerly awaiting a version of Puzzle Fighter we can take on the go.

Warhawk for PSP discovered on ESRB site


Search for Warhawk on the ESRB website and you'll discover an interesting listing for a PSP/PS3 game ... that's rated E. Before you get your panties all bunched up thinking it's a PSP port of the incredible PSN game (too late?), remember that this is most certainly a retro revival for the PLAYSTATION Store. Yes, the classic Warhawk from the PS1 era is coming back.

[Via NeoGAF]

Mental Health Alliance doesn't like Manhunt 2


Thankfully, Rockstar won't have to worry about any backlash from the ESRB due to the Manhunt 2 hack, but that doesn't mean it's totally in the clear yet as the National Alliance on Mental Illness condemned the violent title due to its portrayal of people suffering from mental illnesses. NAMI has called on Rockstar to further modify or even recall the game, and if that doesn't happen, for retailers to completely remove it from store shelves.

"Even though some people may consider Manhunt 2 to be only a game, it unfortunately perpetuates and reinforces cruel, inaccurate perceptions that people who live with mental illnesses are violent, NAMI executive director Mike Fitzpatrick stated in a press release. "Concern over the violence reflected in the game up until now has not yet been extended to include the outrageous portrayal of the 54 million people in the United States who live with serious mental illnesses. We do not favor censorship, but we do ask for responsible exercise of creative rights when serious public health concerns are at issue. It is our right to demand a higher standard."

While we can somewhat understand Fitzpatrick's concerns, all forms of media have long perpetuated stereotypes and myths about not only this issue, but a myriad of others, as well. It only takes a few working brain cells to understand that every mentally ill person isn't going to rip your scrotum off, but hey, if you're crazy enough to believe that, you may need to have your head examined.

[Via Kotaku]

ESRB responds: Manhunt 2 will not receive AO rating due to PSP hack

The PSP version of Manhunt 2 is vulnerable to a hack that allows the graphic kills of Rockstar's controversial action game to remain intact, unedited. Surely, this will raise the eyebrow of the ESRB, which pulled Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas off of store shelves due to the "Hot Coffee" incident?

No. In an statement released to the press, ESRB president Patricia Vance said: "Manhunt 2's rating makes it unmistakable that the game is intended for an older audience. The unauthorized hacking into the code of this game doesn't change that basic fact. Parents need to be vigilant about monitoring what their children are downloading on the Internet and ensure that they are not making unauthorized and oftentimes illegal modifications to software and hardware that remove the controls the industry has so diligently put in place for their own protection."

The PSP isn't widely known for having the best security around, but it's clear that a bit more effort goes into unlocking the "unedited" version of Manhunt 2 as opposed to the PC version of Grand Theft Auto. "The Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas "Hot Coffee" situation involved a scene that was a) fully rendered in an unmodified form on the disc (the Hot Coffee mod did not alter the content that was there, it merely unlocked it), b) not previously disclosed to the ESRB during the rating process, and c) easily accessible to all owners of the PC version of the game. Conversely, in the case of Manhunt 2, a) content that was programmed to be part of the game (i.e., visual blurring effects of certain violent depictions) is being modified, b) the content was previously disclosed to the ESRB, and c) unauthorized versions of software and/or hardware are required to play the modified content."

Manhunt 2 rejected by BBFC again

It looks like Rockstar may have to go back to the drawing board for a second time as the British Board of Film Classification has again rejected Manhunt 2. The first version of the game was rejected by the BBFC in June, which caused Rockstar to tone down the violence before resubmitting it for review.

"We recognize that the distributor has made changes to the game, but we do not consider that these go far enough to address our concerns about the original version," said David Cooke, director of the BBFC. "The impact of the revisions on the bleakness and callousness of tone, or the essential nature of the gameplay, is clearly insufficient. There has been a reduction in the visual detail in some of the 'execution kills,' but in others they retain their original visceral and casually sadistic nature."

Cooke said the BBFC made even more suggested changes that went ignored, which caused the second rejection. It's interesting to see the BBFC's latest decision as the ESRB recently awarded the revised Manhunt 2 a Mature rating after it initially rejected it, too. Take 2 has the right to appeal the decision, and frankly, we hope they do.

Ape Quest gets ESRB rating


A new PSP game can be seen on the ESRB website, as discovered by Siliconera. The title, Ape Quest, most likely refers to Saru Saru Big Mission (demo available here). In the game, you're able to control the rascally monkeys by landing a robotic hat atop their heads. Each monkey has different abilities you can exploit to get through the levels.

Manhunt 2 gets M rating, releases Halloween


After receiving the much-feared AO rating from the ESRB, Take-Two Interactive had no choice but to delay Rockstar's Manhunt 2 and edit some of its more questionable moments. It looks like whatever they did, the ESRB is now satisfied enough to give the game a toned down, but still restrictive M rating. With an M rating, the game can now be sold in retail stores -- something the AO rating didn't allow.

"Manhunt 2 is important to us, and we're glad it can finally be appreciated as a gaming experience," said Sam Houser, founder and executive producer of Rockstar Games. "We love the horror genre. Manhunt 2 is a powerful piece of interactive story telling that is a unique video game experience. We think horror fans will love it."

With an M rating secured, Mahunt 2 will ship to retailers this Halloween, October 31st.

Indiana Jones coming to the PSP according to the ESRB


Aww, the ESRB -- the reliable source (sometimes) for early leaks on unannounced games. This time around they've spilled the beans a new Indiana Jones game for the PSP. Listed simply as Indiana Jones 2008, the game is rated Teen which, as Kotaku points out, would mean this isn't LEGO Indiana Jones.

With the new movie coming out and the next-gen editions (seen above) getting a good amount of press, it seems reasonable to assume that this new PSP game will be tied into one of those properties. Regardless, it seems like we'll be getting a dose of portable Indy whippin' action come next year

Manhunt 2 release "temporarily suspended"


Well, we can cross off one more game off the already-crowded PSP summer release calendar. Manhunt 2 was scheduled for release at the beginning of July, but due to its recent AO rating from the ESRB, Take-Two must reconsider. In a statement to Gamespot, Take-Two stated it has "temporarily suspended plans to distribute Manhunt 2 for the Wii or PlayStation platforms while it reviews its options with regard to the recent decisions made by the British Board of Film Classification and Entertainment Software Rating Board."

It seems like an edit of the game is most likely. However, they also admitted that "We continue to stand behind this extraordinary game. We believe in freedom of creative expression, as well as responsible marketing, both of which are essential to our business of making great entertainment." Let's hope the game doesn't undergo too much of a drastic change.

[Via Joystiq]

Manhunt 2 gets AO rating from ESRB


After being rejected by the BBFC in the UK, Rockstar's Manhunt 2 is seemingly getting banned in America as well. According to Game Politics, the "murder simulator" is getting an AO (Adults Only) rating, which effectively bans it from all major video game retailers.

Take Two games will certainly fight this decision as fiercely as possible in the coming days. Remember, the game's release is supposed to be only a few weeks away ...

[Via Joystiq]

How would the ESRB rate your game collection?

I'm very open to all sorts of games, be it genre or game rating. That being said, I've noticed that, more often than not, I'm buying mostly M-rated games. It's not a huge surprise to me. If given the option, I'd rather shoot someone in a game than shake their hand. It is a bit unique to a portable system though, and while I don't only love the PSP because I can play M rated games on it, I do appreciate it. Are you similar to me in this regard? If the ESRB were to give a blanket rating to your PSP game collection, what would it be? Did you get the PSP partly because of the ability to play more M rated games?

ESRB reveals revolutionary "beats" project for PSP


One of our readers, Y.M., has unearthed an incredible discovery. The ESRB lists a mysterious new product for PSP, simply titled beats. According to our reader, Sony Computer Entertainment of Europe trademarked the title back in January, with a truly ambitious description. We're still looking for the original source, but we've seen this description on NeoGAF as well:

"Providing access to gaming, digital music and/or video web sites; providing wireless transmission of music, video and games, via the Internet and via communications networks; uploading and downloading of music, video and games, via the Internet and via communications networks; providing on-line bulletin boards for the transmission of messages among computer users concerning games, music and videos; distribution of computer software relating to music, video and games over local or global communications networks; communication services in the form of matching users for the transfer of music and video recordings via communication networks; information, advisory and consultancy services relating to all the aforesaid."

Y.M. has intelligently put two and two together: Sony said they were looking into expanding the capabilties of PSP to target the teen market. Certainly, a wireless music and video sharing service would out-do everything Zune tried to. The evidence is pointing to a truly revolutionary service for PSP--beats can become the PSP equivalent of PS3's Home.

ESRB uncovers new retro games

Lately the ESRB has been a better source for game announcements than gaming magazines. This time the game rating reveals have a definite theme; retro gaming. The first up is one we've been aware of for a while, EA Replay 2. I bet there'll be a sports game or two in the collection (call it a hunch). The other listed collection was Taito Legends Power-Up. Taito has some quality games, but will there be enough recognizable hits to warrant its purchase? I suppose we'll have to wait until Bub and Bob's keeper releases it in stores.

I can't wait until all that's left to do are 3DO or Ocean game collections.

[Via Gamespot]

PSP: rated M for Mature

This should come as no surprise to PSP owners, but it's interesting to see the numbers nonetheless. When looking through the ESRB database, one sees that the PSP offers a greater variety of games than Nintendo's handheld. The PSP features 30 titles with an M rating. The DS, on the other hand, only has 2.

Teen-rated games also find their home on the PSP. The DS only has 31 Teen-rated games, while the PSP has three times the number of titles, with 96 T-rated games.

While it's undeniable that the DS is selling better than the PSP, one has to wonder how many of those consoles are for adults. I'd assume not too many. Grand Theft Auto sold over a million copies on Sony's handheld, while LocoRoco went by mostly unnoticed. I think it should be pretty clear that the two portables are targeting two very different markets: and older gamers, like myself, enjoy the slightly more adult-themed games of the PSP.

Vice City Stories no longer a PSP exclusive


Vice City Stories
to be PSP exclusive? Many doubted Rockstar, considering how Liberty City Stories made the jump to PlayStation 2. Well, looks like the doubters were right: A look at the ESRB website reveals a listing for a PS2 version of Vice City Stories. If it follows the footsteps of its Liberty City brethren, it will launch on PS2 for a measly $20, sans multiplayer.

Considering the relatively low sales of the latest GTA, it makes sense. Now, a whole new audience will be able to play with Phil Collins.

[Via IGN]

See also:
PSP Fanboy review: GTA Vice City Stories

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