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Posts with tag manhunt-2

Manhunt actually getting released in UK

The perpetually banned Manhunt 2 will finally be released in the UK, after a lengthy battle against the BBFC. David Cooke, president of the BBFC stated: "As I have said previously, we never take rejection decisions lightly, and they always involve a complex balance of considerations. We twice rejected Manhunt 2, and then pursued a judicial review challenge, because we considered, after exceptionally thorough examination, that it posed a real potential harm risk.

"However, the Video Appeals Committee has again exercised its independent scrutiny. It is now clear, in the light of this decision, and our legal advice, that we have no alternative but to issue an '18' certificate to the game."

Rockstar must be relieved that their game can finally be released -- however, after all the legal battles, we wonder if anyone will buy the poorly-reviewed title.

[Thanks, Bill!]

Senators call for ESRB review after Manhunt 2 fiasco

Will we ever be able to enjoy our violent video games at peace without having to worry about the politicians in Washington screwing it up? Apparently, not as several Senators including Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and the anti-gamer Joe Lieberman have signed a letter calling for a review of the ESRB rating system in the wake of the Manhunt 2 fiasco.

A portion of the letter reads, "As you know, in June 2007, the British Board of Film Classification refused to rate Rockstar's Manhunt 2 videogame ... stating that it contains 'unremitting bleakness and callousness of tone. In October 2007, the BBFC again refused to rate a revised Manhunt 2 stating that 'the impact of the revisions on the bleakness and callousness of tone ... is clearly insufficient. [The ESRB, however,] reduced the revised version's rating to "Mature," effectively opening the door to its widespread distribution and its licensing approval by game system manufacturers Sony and Nintendo."

We think it's fair to say the last thing the ESRB needs to be is more strict on the content it reviews. Moreover, It's growing increasingly clear that the video game industry may never reach the societal acceptance that the movie industry enjoys with its violent content.

(Via IGN)

PSP Fanboy review: Manhunt 2

Manhunt 2 has had an interesting development cycle. It's hard to think of another game that has been so steeped in controversy, politics and debate. But while the politicians and TV talking heads can go on and on about violence, corporate responsibility and protecting the children, the people who the game is actually made for (you know, gamers) are much more curious about how Manhunt 2 actually plays.

The game starts off with a massive lightning storm temporarily causing a blackout at a rundown and dingy insane asylum, which rather inconveniently causes all the cell doors to pop open, spewing forth a small army of violent crazy people. Your character, Daniel Lamb, suddenly snaps into consciousness while strangling an old female doctor as your cell door opens. Shocked at what you're doing, you drop her body and stumble out into the hallway in what segues into a mini-tutorial on how to sneak and kill. It also nicely showcases some of the ... questionable aspects of the game, since in the first five minutes you are peed on, spit on, and throw up twice.

Of course, the most controversial part of Manhunt 2 is not the urination -- it's the wide variety of grotesque ways you can kill people. While it is possible to engage enemies in normal hand-to-hand combat, this will almost always mean your death. The way you're 'suppose' to kill someone is by sneaking up behind them with a weapon and performing an execution. If done correctly, you will be treated with a short cutscene of you horribly eviscerating your opponent. Well, at least you'll assume you just eviscerated the perp, since Rockstar edited the cutscenes to appease the ESRB and ended up making them an unintelligible mess of quick cuts, bad camera angles, and blurred effects. Unless you're extremely squeamish, you're not going to be disturbed by the violence of the executions, but the cutscenes may give you epilepsy.

Gallery: Manhunt 2

Continue reading PSP Fanboy review: Manhunt 2

Rumor: Target may stop selling Manhunt 2 in stores

Calling this just a "rumor" is sort of complicating things -- this is complete hearsay and by that we mean unconfirmed prattle. Apparently, a member of the Evil Avatar forums got hold of a memo being passed around Target stores claiming that Manhunt 2 will not be sold in their stores or online. At any branch.

This is getting the push because of the bad press the game has received the last couple of days, member Dr. Finger advocates. Who knows, perhaps its the violence that can be unlocked as well. Either way, this is a complete rumor until a lot of people actually start looking for games in Target. A few sold out stores here or there aren't proof positive. Not yet.

[via GamePolitics]

Rockstar fails to credit some Manhunt 2 developers

Amidst all the controversy over Rockstar's latest release, Manhunt 2, comes word that someone else is now upset with the developer. It appears that Rockstar failed to include the staff of more than 50 people at Rockstar Vienna, which worked on the title for nearly two years until it was closed down, and several other people from various other Rockstar teams.

Thankfully, Jurie Horneman, a former Rockstar Vienna producer posted the full list of names on his blog, but he didn't stop there. According to Horneman, the work him and the rest of his team contributed to the game made it into the retail release of the game.

"I am disappointed and outraged that Rockstar Games tries to pretend that Rockstar Vienna and the work we did on Manhunt 2 never happened - the work of over 50 people, who put years of their lives into the project, trying to make the best game they could. I am proud to have been a part of that team," Horneman wrote. While we've been behind Rockstar during the flood of media scrutiny over Manhunt 2 and its past releases, we can't, like Jurie, help feel a bit disappointed that it failed to properly credit the developers who spent so much time creating its new cashcow.

[Via IGN]

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."

Take-Two acknowledges Manhunt 2 hack

After word spread throughout the internet of gamers hacking the M-rated version of Manhunt 2 to unlock its censored content, Take-Two has now confirmed the diabolical deed.

"Multiple edits were made to revise Manhunt 2 for its M-rated version. Hackers apparently have altered one of those edits to produce an illegally modified version of the game that can only be played on an unauthorized, modified PlayStation Portable handheld system," a Take-Two rep wrote to "All of the game material, and especially these specific edits, was submitted to and reviewed by the ESRB in accordance with requirements regarding disclosure that were enacted two years ago and any contrary suggestion is inaccurate and irresponsible."

Because the ESRB approved Rockstar's edits of the game, it will probably be safe from any actual lawsuits, but that probably won't stop some uneducated media members from blowing it out of proportion. We just can't wait to hear from dear ol' Jack.

From AO to M: the changes of Manhunt 2

You've seen the footage: the edited Manhunt 2 features toned-down kill sequences. Yes, they're still violent, but they had to be distorted in order to lessen the visceral impact. In spite of the changes, we think Rockstar did a fantastic job of still conveying the sadistic nature of a serial killer.

But that's not the only thing that's changed about Manhunt 2. A scoring system, which rewarded players for performing the most difficult (and most extreme) kills, has been removed. In an interview with MTV, developer Jeronimo Barrera noted that: "The scoring was a hold-over from the first game, and when we had the opportunity to make edits because of the rating, we decided to remove it ... We felt it flowed better without a score screen between levels."

With the game's release firmly set for launch this week, the developers are glad that people will finally have a chance to play their game. They certainly couldn't have anticipated the amount of controversy the game would receive: "There are conversations to be had about this game - intelligent conversations," he said. "That's what we want to do: get people interested in those [things], rather than ban this game because of X, Y and Z."

Worldwide PSP releases for the week of October 28

This week's big releases are the uber violent and highly criticized Manhunt 2 and finally Nippon Ichi's Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness. Unfortunately for our European and Asian brothers, there's not much in the way of new software this week.

US Games

EU Games
Asia Games
  • No new releases
While there isn't a lot to go around in any region, don't be sad because Silent Hill Origins and Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops + will hit in a few weeks.

Manhunt 2 + pen = murder

Ah, so that's why it was banned ...

Rockstar's Manhunt 2, although edited, looks quite gruesome. Although the violence is covered by the dramatic use of visual filters, it still maintains the visceral feel that many (if not most) so-called-violent games are missing. Taking a cue from The Bourne Identity, we see our favorite anti-hero kill a man with a pen -- but for reasons unknown. Check out IGN for more brutality.

Manhunt 2 release impending, trailer on display

Holy s***!

There sure are a lot of masked gang members, strippers, dirty cops, and more in this launch trailer for Manhunt 2. This Wii, PSP and PS2 game garnered a lot of attention when it earned the much-hated AO (Adults Only) rating from the ESRB, and was effectively banned. It's been edited -- but it still looks like a pretty dirty romp to us. This trailer looks absolutely horrible ... and we love it.

Stay tuned for our hands-on impressions.

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.

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