Twisted Metal's head developer David Jaffe has said in an interview this week that a man strapped to a gurney laden with explosives found in the European version of the forthcoming PS3 Twisted Metal is to be replaced with a dead man strapped to a gurney laden with explosives. Also, the scissor/eye stabbing scene seen on the internet already is going to lose the actual stabbing imagery too in the final EU version of the game - all at the request of the game's publisher, Sony. But before you boo too hard, note that this is just the latest in a long line of pre-release censorship. For example...
Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing
Censored in: Everywhere
This one is crazy. With the heavy restrictions on violence, the undead... and pretty much everything in the German media, the original The House of the Dead was refused classification in the country. But because game developers are not allowed to even reference games that were refused classification, all traces of the name The House of the Dead had to be removed from the friendlier Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. The result?
Above: 'Curien Mansion' is the name given in place of 'The House of the Dead'
Amazing, isn't it? If there's any horror game that simply cannot be taken seriously, it's HotD. But this neutering is shocking. Predictably, it extended to Sega All-Stars Tennis too. Speaking with the devs I was told the zombies don't bite you if they catch you... they 'give you a cuddle'. Aww.
Soul Blade/Soul Edge
Censored in: Europe
Soul Calibur's 32-bit predecessor was ace. Some even claim that it's the best game in the series. We're not so sure about that, but it does have Li Long in instead of Elvis impressionist Maxi. That's fine. But what's Li Long holding in his blocky little hands?
Above: The concept art for Li Long clearly shows him holding a skipping rope. Oh, wait...
NOT nunchaku, that's for sure. While things have got a little more relaxed in the UK in recent years, allowing us to buy DVDs of Enter The Dragon with the best scene uncut, the imagery of nunchaku was forbidden. We can't see how they're that different from any other lethal weapon, in honesty, but whatever the thinking, Li Long's nunchaku were replaced with a three-sectioned staff. That's like... so totally different, man.
Everybody's Golf: World Tour/Hot Shots Golf 5
Censored in: US and Europe
PANTSU! That's what went through the minds of randy Japanese teenagers, who used the camera's free movement and 'tilt' function of their version to look up more than just the lay of the land. The result? The slightly later Western version of this cute golfing classic sees the female anime-styled golfers wearing cycling shorts under their impeccable cloth physics skirts. Foiled!
Above: No, we said we like short shots, not short shorts. Look, why not just wear trousers?
Censored in: Everywhere
That Med-X you kept pumping into your virtual self? It was meant to be morphine. And you were meant to see an animation of the injection taking place... until the Australian Classification Board got involved.
They saw the drug reference, accepted it was appropriate to the game but got sad about it anyway and refused the game classification, effectively banning the game in the country as nobody would actually dare to stock it. So Bethesda took the decision to not only remove the drug and injection animation from Australian versions of the game, but from every other version too.
Perhaps it averted a disastrous public outcry. Perhaps nobody would have cared. Perhaps it would have made everybody virtually itch like in that song by Pink. We just don't know.