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    Thread: 10 "misrated" games

    1. #1
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      10 "misrated" games

      We rely on them to police our favorite pastime, but the ESRB doesn't always get it right. Here's how.
      Rampant road rage, greasy street hookers, and the kind of uncensored tongue-wagging that makes your grandpa reach for his cane earned Grand Theft Auto IV an M-for-mature rating earlier this year, and deservedly so. The rating is reserved for those games geared towards adults, and GTA IV's sexy, bloody romp through a faux New York was anything but child's play.
      Let's be honest, though: Halo 3 may bring the rock and roll, but it left the sex and drugs to the carjackers. Does it really deserve that same M rating from the ESRB? The way we see it, no way. And it's not the only game we think has been misrated.


      The Halo Trilogy


      ESRB: Mature
      Our rating: Teen


      Master Chief's galactic odyssey may be action-packed, but it's no gore-fest. There's a distinct lack of flying limbs, the enemies spray puffs of neon blood when shot, and the smack-talking marines would be right at home on a primetime network TV show. There aren't any drugs or alcohol, and the only sexy things in the entire trilogy are an AI construct with circuits for skin and an ATV with a porcine nickname.
      Halo might not be for everyone, but gamers are more likely to be offended by the sailor-mouthed kids on Xbox Live than the sci-fi combat of the games themselves. This series should have been rated Teen from the start - it simply doesn't belong in the same bucket as Grand Theft Auto and Manhunt.





      Dead or Alive 4


      ESRB: Mature
      Our rating: Teen


      DOA4 is a bit of an oddity amongst its fighter brethren, and we can't figure out why. The ESRB deemed it a Mature title, yet other games in its genre have skated by without landing the big M. Take Soul Calibur IV and Tekken 5: They both got Teen ratings despite a happy amount of sideboob and plenty of brutal (though not bloody) action. Heck, even the earlier Dead or Alive games were rated Teen.
      So what went wrong with DoA4? There's no gushing blood or bare nipples to speak of, and as god-awful as some of the opening one-liners in fights can be, they aren't making us cover our ears. Turning your age in the game up to 99 may warrant a few girlish giggles, but enough for that Mature rating? Come now.





      Call of Duty 2 & 3


      ESRB: Teen
      Our rating: Mature


      That's right, look again if you need to. We're talking about bumping a rating up, not down. That's because unlike Call of Duty 4, CoD2 and CoD3 were rated Teen on release. It was good news for teenagers who wanted to experience what Infinity Ward and Treyarch had to offer, but it wasn't the right rating.
      The biggest difference we see between CoD4 and its precursors is the setting, and the historical games were every bit as bloody and gut-wrenching as their modern sequel. Allies still cried out when they were hit and moaned on the ground as they died. Blood still flew from the wounds you inflicted, and weapons and environments were as realistic as the engines allowed them to be. The fact is, there's a difference between the sci-fi combat of a game like Halo and the gritty maturity of re-lived warfare. The ESRB should have recognized that.





      Mass Effect


      ESRB: Mature
      Our rating: Teen


      Mass Effect was awesome. Easily one of the best RPGs of the year, it folded engaging gameplay and a superb story into a rich, engrossing universe. And, as is the norm with any RPG from BioWare, it allowed you to develop relationships with the other characters in the game. Did it have blood? Barely. Foul language? Not at all. Nudity? Nothing you wouldn't see on TV, since all the naughty bits were always covered. Yet the ESRB gave the game a Mature rating, and FOX News absolutely freaked. And yes, it was the partial nudity that did it.
      Let's be fair now, folks, was there anything in there that your 13-year-old brother hasn't already seen watching Heroes? Nudity is one thing, but as the ESRB has made clear, a fleeting glimpse of sideboob is quite another. Mass Effect could have been a Teen game.





      The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion


      ESRB: Mature
      Our rating: Teen


      It used to be a Teen game. When it was released, it was a Teen game. But then a mod author decided it would be hilarious to unlock bare breasts for all the female wenches in the land. The ESRB's response? Oblivion became a game for the 17-and-over crowd.
      It wouldn't be fair to dispute things without pointing out that, yes, the mod in question doesn't add any new textures to the game; it just unlocks hidden textures that were never meant to be seen. But guess what? They were locked. You couldn't see them. The virgin eyes of 15-year-olds around the world were safe and secure, until someone outside Bethesda released a nude patch. It wasn't Bethesda's fault, and it shouldn't have been their problem, but now Oblivion is rated Mature, which means a large body of gamers can't enjoy it. That's a problem.


      We rely on them to police our favorite pastime, but the ESRB doesn't always get it right. Here's how.
      Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and GRAW 2


      ESRB: Teen
      Our rating: Mature


      Your guess is as good as ours -- why are GRAW and GRAW2 both Teen games? They share the same realistic environments and weaponry as Call of Duty 4. They encourage tactical warfare, a la Rainbow Six Vegas. Yet while Team Rainbow's jaunt into the glimmering lights of Sin City netted them a Mature rating, GRAW's Mexican terrorism was, according to the ESRB, more palatable to younger audiences.
      There's a virtually identical amount of blood and violence in these franchises, and they're all as true to modern combat as their developers could make them. Consistency is key when it comes to ratings, and GRAW's rating is just plain inconsistent.





      The Thief Trilogy


      ESRB: Mature
      Our rating: Teen


      Garrett's stealthy, midnight romps through his steampunk world were seminal games that the ESRB limited to Mature audiences for reasons passing understanding. The Thief trilogy never sported sex or language, and violence, while certainly an option, was frowned upon in-game. Thief, after all, pioneered the "first-person sneaker" gameplay that was later copied by titles like Splinter Cell.
      Was there blood? Some, yes. But even the ESRB said it was "Animated Blood" and "Animated Violence," a far cry from the gore and gibs of Quake and Unreal. Red stains there may have been, but Thief never deserved such a black rating.





      Devil May Cry 4


      ESRB: Mature
      Our rating: Teen


      We need to make something very clear to the ESRB: Blood is red. It might not be perfectly logical, but when blood isn't red, no one much cares about whether their little ones see it. When all the action in the Devil May Cry series involves killing demons that spout black smoke and goopy mucus, it doesn't count as blood. And everyone's cool with it.
      So why, we ask, does it get the same rating treatment as Kratos curses when it pleases him, slices enemies into bloody chunks, and beds the women of the realm in sex minigames. Dante and Nero, on the other hand, shout "Slam dunk!" when they kill. This one's a Teen in anyone's book.





      The Bourne Conspiracy


      ESRB: Teen
      Our rating: Mature


      There are a few games out there that don't sport much gore, but still serve up enough visceral violence to warrant an M rating, and Bourne's console outing is one of them. The game's combat may not peel flesh from bone, but it does tend to focus on breaking those bones and bloodying that flesh. The over-the-shoulder shooting echoes the tactical realism of Rainbox Six, while the beautifully-choreographed martial arts go a step beyond brawling and into painful, rib-cracking punishment.
      The ESRB gave Bourne a Teen rating, and based purely on the lack of foul language, sex, and gibbing, it's certainly a fair one. But compare Bourne to the M-rated tactical shooters that are out there, and you won't find much different in the way of bloodiness between them. If we're going to be consistent with game ratings, then Bourne deserves the same treatment as Call of Duty 4.





      World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade


      ESRB: Teen
      Our rating: E10+


      Take a gander at the ESRB's website and read the description of its relatively new E10+ rating. Better yet, we'll just boil it down for you: Games that get the rating have cartoon or fantasy violence, minimal but present blood, and minimal "suggestive" themes. If you're one of millions of gamers who enjoy WoW on a daily basis, then you know that it pretty much fits that description to a tee. The violence is very much fantasy, the art style is patently cartoonish, the blood is minimal, and the only suggestive themes are the semi-racy jokes female characters tend to tell. And, as any WoW player can attest, the game is already populated by a large number of younglings -- including 10-year-old kids who probably have more 70s than you do.
      When WoW was first released, the E10+ rating didn't exist, so a Teen rating made perfect sense. But when its expansion came out, the ESRB had its new rating at their fingertips. They should have used it. And no, the fact that it's an online game shouldn't factor in the rating, because Blizzard can't control the behaviors of other players. That's why the disclaimer, "game experience may change during online play," even exists.

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    2. #2
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      DMC4 and Halo are M-Rated?! I never actually realized





    3. #3
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      HUH....DMC4 is also M-Rated....Weird....

    4. #4
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      Well Devil May Cry 4 is rated well infect i can say its under-rated !

    5. #5
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      Do these have any effect over here? Answer is NO.
      No one looks either it is rated Adult, Mature or Teens.! lol

      teh Panda!


    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wheels2go View Post
      Do these have any effect over here? Answer is NO.
      No one looks either it is rated Adult, Mature or Teens.! lol
      lol yea totally agree with that...as far as the game is good we're good to go with it..mature or not thats the secondary part..like who wants to play Leisure suite Larry

    7. #7
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      ESRB always messes up with ratings. Plus it doesn't matter, since people like me don't even look at them :P.

      Even if a single tiny little part of a game involves a little bit of blood, its rated as M. WTF

    8. #8
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      ^ Agree it is not our concern but u know ESRB and every game has to have it. For so called advance countries

    9. #9
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      well, most rpgs and games with the word "devil" in them would get an 'm' rating; they have to keep the conservative christians happy. i think it's the same with halo, with the whole covenant and alien religion thing going on there.

      so by the looks of it; occult, aliens, alternative religion, physics engines for boobies (doa anyone?) = mature

      but death, destruction, blood and gore = teen.

      something's not right here!

    10. #10
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      well, most rpgs and games with the word "devil" in them would get an 'm' rating; they have to keep the conservative christians happy.
      LOL.....Soo True.....

     

     
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