Manhunt 2 controversy keeps growing

The Manhunt 2 stir is still growing and other countries have moved to ban the game from retail release; such as Ireland, Italy, and Australia. Nintendo has long enforced a policy that they don’t allow AO (Adults Only) rated games to appear on their system, so it’s possible that the Wii version will either have to be edited or scrapped.

Personally, I think that Rockstar presented an overly violent cut of the game to the ESRB to earn the extreme rating to get the media in a frenzy and get people talking about the game. Now that it’s been given the AO rating, they’ll tone it down to get it back to M rated; something they mostly intended to do anyway. Once it’s been approved to ship with the M rating, the media coverage will have basically promoted the game for free, and gamers will check the title out based on curiosity or real interest. We all know that Rockstar loves to be in the headlines, so this whole “controversy” seems to fit right in with a typical game release.

I could be wrong, but I highly doubt you’re going to even see the game get delayed, let alone canceled.

Manhunt 2 banned in UK

Apparently Rockstar’s Manhunt 2 is just a bit too over the top for the UK ratings board. With depictions of graphic killings and a very interactive interface, the game won’t be allowed to be sold legally in the UK region. It will be interesting to see if this controversy helps sales in other regions or not. No word on whether or not a toned-down of version of the game is going to be released for UK, but I highly doubt it.

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Personally I don’t see the appeal of the Manhunt series. I think it’s definitely using the over the top violence and language as a crutch to boost sales. While I’m not in favor of censoring or banning the game, I really hope that the little tykes are kept far from the game when it hits shelves.

First Guitar Hero 3 Videos

A couple of videos for Guitar Hero 3 popped up on YouTube earlier this evening. Here you go, enjoy! My Name is Jonas is a master track recording while Slow Ride is a cover. The game is looking much like we have come to know, but there are some differences that fans will notice.

My Name is Jonas: http://youtube.com/watch?v=A_3Dpp2lwhQ

Slow Ride: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Olvch5sKdCM

Can this Fall come soon enough?

Edit: The original source of the videos was IGN.

Guitar Hero 3 first details

SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 23, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — After warming their amps in the basement garage to rocking sold out shows at Stonehenge, fans of Activision, Inc.’s (Nasdaq: ATVI) wildly popular Guitar Hero(TM) franchise will now be able to shred like never before with the next iteration of the game that will be available this fall. The new game will be released on the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system and PLAYSTATION(R)3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360(TM) video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and Wii(TM) video game system from Nintendo.

Turning it up to 11, Guitar Hero fans will channel their inner rock god using Gibson Guitar’s Les Paul and Kramer models as the industry standard. In addition, players will experience an incredible number of newly added features and explosive content including a new multiplayer action-inspired battle mode, grueling boss battles, a bevy of exclusive unlockable content and authentic rock venues. Expanded online multiplayer game modes will also allow axe-shredders worldwide to compete head-to-head for true legendary rock status.

While continuing to retain all the key features from their prior legendary performances, fresh downloadable content will be offered on multiple platforms, and players can now shred to a killer set list from many of the gnarliest rock songs ever recorded. Delivering more master tracks than ever before, strategic partnerships have been secured with all the major and independent music record labels and publishers to allow unrivaled access to their deep history of music catalogs, along with supplying artists’ original recordings for even greater authenticity.

The initial list of face-melting awesomeness includes:

* Paint It Black (by The Rolling Stones)
* Cherub Rock (by Smashing Pumpkins)
* Sabotage (by Beastie Boys)
* The Metal (by Tenacious D)
* My Name is Jonas (by Weezer)
* Knights of Cydonia (by Muse)
* Rock And Roll All Nite (as made famous by Kiss)
* School’s Out (as made famous by Alice Cooper)
* Slow Ride (as made famous by Fog Hat)
* Cult of Personality (by Living Colour)
* Barracuda (as made famous by Heart)

For the first time ever, Guitar Hero fans will also be able to thrash and burn with new wireless guitar controllers available for each platform. The exclusive Gibson guitars will include innovative features such as removable faceplates that will allow fans to later personalize their guitars and make it their own, and a new button color design that will be integrated for an even greater authentic feel and rock experience. Gibson Guitar’s Les Paul model will be the battle axe of choice, and an industry standard for all rock gods on the Xbox 360(TM), PLAYSTATION(R)3 system, and Wii(TM). After much anticipation, PlayStation(R)2 system fans will also be receiving a new exclusive shape as well, the classic Kramer guitar, also a Gibson brand, popularized by hard rockers and known for its body design, pickups, electronics, and construction for furious finger fretting.

“The development team at Neversoft has been exceptional, and we’ve been able to incorporate a host of fresh new online and multi-player game play modes, along with exciting content into this version of Guitar Hero that our fans have been asking for. Also, many of the top bands and songs we’ve tried to get in the past are now on board, and we’ve definitely got some giant aces in the hole to say the least,” said Dusty Welch, head of publishing at RedOctane. “In addition, offering a new line of Gibson wireless guitars for each platform is going to truly add to the authentic rock star experience like no other.”

The next iteration of Guitar Hero, published by RedOctane(R) and developed by Neversoft, is not yet rated by the ESRB. For more information about Guitar Hero, please visit the dedicated community site www.guitarherogame.com.

New guitars? Master tracks on the songs? Wireless guitars? Online Multiplayer? This Fall? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes.

It all sounds great, except for one thing has me worried. Why does the press release mention that they are adding new colors to the guitars? Will this make our old guitars obsolete? If so, will the new guitars be backwards compatible with older Guitar Hero games? I for one don’t want to buy another new guitar. I already have guitars for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360. I feel that I’v already bought enough of them. Hopefully the new guitars are optional. Even with the promise of wireless, I’d much prefer to just buy the disc this time around.

Also, if a full-blown game is coming this Fall, what does that say about Guitar Hero II DLC on the 360? Will it be limited to filling in the GH I tracklist? I guess we’ll have to wait for more details.

Incog Inc. and Sony to split ways?

Reminiscent of what is happening with FASA and Microsoft, it appears that Sony is preparing to cut ties with Incog Inc. once Warhawk is completed. Internal sources from Sony, as well as some external sources close to the team, have confirmed that Sony’s displeasure with Incog is causing them to part ways.

Sony is reportedly looking to form a new studio with those that choose to continue their relationship with the Japanese-based hardware maker. As for Incog, hopefully they’ll find financial backing of some form soon so that they can continue to make quality software. Since these reports are in no way official, no word was given on what would happen with the IPs that Incognito has handled for Sony in the past.

Incog is famous for their work on the Warhawk, Twisted Metal, and other notable series in the past decade.

This is some seriously messed up stuff

It’s being reported that Sony threw a rather interesting party to promote God of War 2 in Europe. According to witnesses, the party featured men dressed in skins, topless women, and a goat that was beheaded and partially consumed raw. Seriously. Witnesses say that the goat was beheaded and that attendees were invited to reach into the goat to pull out its innards to eat.

You can check out the full report via Joystiq here: Sony’s God of War 2 Party

Who thought this up? Who thought that this would get any kind of attention that could be deemed even remotely positive? Remind me not to show up at the Sony party to promote the next World War II shooter or the next Grand Theft Auto. I don’t want to think about the danger I could be in at one of those.

Happy Trails – Ken Kutaragi Steps Down

Ken Kutaragi, the father of the PlayStation, has resigned. After two wildly successful generations in the home console market, and a third in its infancy, Ken Kutaragi is deciding to step down as CEO of Sony’s game division. There is a lot of speculation whether or not Ken was forced out, due to the PlayStation 3’s poor performance at retail, but nothing has been confirmed. Ken will remain with Sony as an “honorary board member”.

Personally, I think Ken was pressured to resign before being fired. He’ll probably spend the rest of his days at Sony working on completely useless projects and being used once in a while to recruit developers. The guy is definitely well set financially for the rest of his life, but I’m sure he’s going to have a tough time watching the PlayStation brand live on while he’s basically on the sidelines.

Source: Yahoo! News

Guitar Hero 2 Final Tracklist Revealed

Thanks to IGN, the final track listing for Guitar Hero 2 has been revealed. The unlockable songs are still being held secret, but here are the rest:

Opening Licks
Motley Crue – Shout at the Devil
Danzig – Mother
Cheap Trick – Surrender
Wolfmother – Woman
Spinal Tap – Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight

Amp-Warmers
Kiss – Strutter
Nirvana – Heart-Shaped Box
Police – Message in a Bottle
Van Halen – You Really Got Me
Kansas – Carry on Wayward Son

String-Snappers

Foo Fighters – Monkey Wrench
Alice in Chains – Them Bones
Iggy Pop and the Stooges – Search and Destroy
Pretenders – Tattooed Love Boys
Black Sabbath – War Pigs

Thrash and Burn
Warrant – Cherry Pie
Butthole Surfers – Who Was in My Room Last Night
Mathew Sweet – Girlfriend
Rolling Stones – Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’
Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine

Return of the Shred

Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name Of
Primus – John the Fisherman
Sword – Freya
Thin Lizzy – Bad Reputation
Aerosmtih – Last Child

Relentless Riffs
Heart – Crazy on You
Stone Temple Pilots – Tripping on a Hole in a Paper Heart
Stray Cats – Rock This Town
Allman Brothers – Jessica
Jane’s Addiction – Stop

Furious Fretwork
Anthrax – Madhouse
Living End – Carry Me Home
Lamb of God – Laid to Rest
Reverend Horton Heat – Psychobilly Freakout
Rush – YYZ

Face-Melters
Avenged Sevenfold – Beast and the Harlot
Suicidal Tendencies – Institutionalized
Dick Dale – Misirlou
Megadeth – Hangar 18
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird