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Japan Hands GoWIII A "Z" Rating

We have yet to see if Heavy Rain incites a firestorm of controversy for multiple nudity scenes, but you can bet that God of War III will cause yet another uproar due to its intense violent content.

It's worthwhile to note that, as Examiner.com reports, the impending blockbuster has received a "Z" rating in Japan. It's the highest rating possible and essentially prevents anyone from under the age of 18 from purchasing the game. It's like the equivalent of the ESRB's "AO" or Adults Only rating here in the US; for the record, God of War III will have the "M"-Mature rating in North America. Interestingly enough, all previous installments in the franchise received the "D" rating on Japan's CERO system, so there must be something especially offensive about God of War III. Based on what we've seen and heard, you can certainly expect a gigantic amount of blood and gore, along with some brief nudity; the combination of the two adult-oriented elements could put this title over the top. Tearing off a foe's head or watching fountains of blood spout from gaping wounds is...well, it's great for the atmosphere but it's hardly for young eyes.

God of War III is the highlight of next month, set to launch on March 16. We've been waiting on this one ever since the start of the generation and the wait is almost over...

Related Game(s): God of War III

2/17/2010 9:18:46 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (87 posts)

LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 9:57:28 PM
Reply

You rip heads off with your bare hands!!!!


That should be displayed in big font on the back of the case.

Agree with this comment 18 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:23:23 PM

ROTFLMAO! Indeed.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:17:14 AM

and in red, with blood dripping down the screen.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

LimitedVertigo
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:24:53 AM

Please don't respond to anything I write, EVER.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 8 down Disagree with this comment

lMephisto
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 8:06:27 AM

LOL how kind of you, Vertigo :P
They should've used a naked girl for the cover instead of Kratos, to combine with your back :)

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

LimitedVertigo
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 8:40:06 AM

GREAT Idea. Let there be no doubt what this game has to offer.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 7 down Disagree with this comment

Shams
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 2:15:24 PM

Hey LV, if you promise to do the same with Mr. Blank line, I'm sure you can come down to some agreement.

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kokoro
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 10:02:55 PM
Reply

Suprising since it got the MA15+ rating here in Australia.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Dancemachine55
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 2:04:09 AM

Question is, was there any content removed or censored in the Aussie version?

I haven't heard anything about it yet, I'm hoping that nothing was removed or edited, but it has happened in games before to try and slip it into the MA15+ rating.

If worse comes to worse, I'll trade my standard copy of the game that comes in my ultimate trilogy edition and buy the uncensored UK or US version. (Preferably UK seeing as it uses the same region coding as Australia, AND I KNOW PS3 isn't region coded, but better to be safe than sorry)

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CrazyIrishBoy
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 10:09:31 PM
Reply

sweet beans

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superben1990
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 10:11:52 PM
Reply

wow thats pretty insane!

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Banky A
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 10:13:17 PM
Reply

Dragon Ball Z!

Agree with this comment 3 up, 9 down Disagree with this comment

LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 10:17:21 PM

Love the new pic. Are those the shoes you were dreaming about a few months ago?

Agree with this comment 1 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Banky A
Friday, February 19, 2010 @ 6:49:21 PM

I know you love it.

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Hezzron
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 10:20:30 PM
Reply

I was worried there for a sec. I thought a "Z" rating meant the game put you to sleep.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

St_Jimmy
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 6:42:11 AM

I thought it was a review score,like kids get in school. (a-good, b-normal...ect.) and that z was the worst one!

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inkme101
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 10:49:40 PM
Reply

eagerly awaiting the 16th. cant wait to pull some heads off, look at some gratuitous boobies, and swim in a pool of blood!!!!!

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Juanalf
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 10:50:52 PM
Reply

If Japan thinks the game is really offensive then one could imagine how Australia will react to it; probably cremate every copy.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 10:59:05 PM

I think I'm only going to rent this game.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 10 down Disagree with this comment

Dancemachine55
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 2:45:46 AM

Even more reason we HAVE to have that R18+ rating.

With games being aimed towards adults more and more over time, it's the only logical thing to do.

Of course God of War III isn't for kids!!! Anyone who thinks it is for kids is clearly ignorant of adult gaming culture!!! Simple!!!

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Juanalf
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 9:13:43 AM

Okay Mr. broccoli.

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Alienange
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 10:52:15 PM
Reply

Just goes to show you. The higher the resolution, the higher the age limit.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Shams
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:38:26 PM

I'm pretty sure it had to do with Helios's head being pulled off. In Japan, they have surprisingly very strict and particular rules when it comes to violence (but supposedly, unsettling lax in other departments) for game ratings. For example, when Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 was released, over there, the kill animations were adjusted so that you couldn't decapitate humanoid enemies. Kind of like how Aussies and Kiwis didn't get to blow off heads in L4D2, and kind of like F bomb being dropped a certain number times will automatically require an R rating in the States.

Seeing how San Monica Studios couldn't censor that without drastically changing a part of the game, I'm very sure that is one of the reasons for the Z rating, if not the only reason.

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blitz30952
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 3:43:19 AM

It was just the Aussies that got the censored L4D2 Shams, us Kiwis got to keep the blood and gore in our version :D

Last edited by blitz30952 on 2/18/2010 3:48:57 AM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:00:03 PM
Reply

Ohhh yes, there will be blood.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Andysw
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 8:25:24 AM

I will personally come to your house and drink your milkshake. I-WILL-DRINK-YOUR-MILKSHAKE. SLURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRP.

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Milonakis
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:03:31 PM
Reply

I am so stoked for this. I loved in two when you slam that dudes head in the stone door on top of the horses. Imagine that with the graphics of GOWIII.

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Shams
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:53:41 PM

For me, personally, I find those scenes slightly disturbing, especially when they involve humanoids, but there is enough in the game in the way of visuals, music, sound effects, presentation value, puzzles, and gameplay, and just overall "epic'ness" that make it interesting enough to play through. And although it does sound hypocritical, I didn't like door slamming in 2nd, or the treasure lid stomping in Chains of Olympus, but I did like some of the kill animations of the giant bosses, only because it was change from all previous games, where you essentially pecked them death, and waited for them to disappear. Not very "empowering". But, the bad-ass'ery was suprisingly unsettling. I just learned to ingore, cuz it was only a game.

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geovanwitdakick
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:07:57 PM
Reply

Why are Alienage & Hezzron being thumbed down?

Alienage makes a good point, How many Wii games are rated M? The Wii, that doesn't support HD?

& I found Hezzron's remark to be pretty funny. Oh well, I should mind my business.

Now I know to kick my little brother out of the room before I play. He'll be used to it by then, I'll be forced to do the same for Heavy Rain.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:10:12 PM

I know right?! I called World a fag and implied giving his dad some oral pleasure and I get a couple thumbs up.


You'll learn to ignore the thumbs just like posts from a couple regulars on here.

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Highlander
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:25:05 PM

Most of the thumbs-down clicks come from members of the Eye of Mauron (Moron) - the collected hate, anger, stupidity and ignorance of the internet personified in the anonymous Internet warriors who impulsively click thumbs down to be 'big'.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:40:13 PM

..and the rest come from Ben's evil twin brother Bart.

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SympoziumPawa
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 6:46:44 AM

Nobody likes them :D

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Kr3sn1k
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 3:18:40 PM

LV you make me laugh

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 9:31:57 PM

::kisses::

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Robochic
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:11:18 PM
Reply

waiting patiently for this game, I want to rip some heads off ;)

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NoSmokingBandit
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:11:46 PM
Reply

GoW has tons of gore, but it always seems like it fits the game perfectly. Its not cheesy or superfluous, its just a ton of blood from enemies who dare challenge a very angry man. And it works.

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Shams
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:30:47 AM

I agree. Although I'm not a fan of gore, there's this undeniable visceral, feedback of the ego the game gives when your mashing the buttons, and seeing Kratos struggle, and groan, and pass through impossible obstacles and enemies.

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NoSmokingBandit
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 10:14:18 AM

Exactly. It doesnt feel like the gore is there just because it looks cool, its all there as an integral part of the story, showing that Kratos is a killer and will stop at nothing to kill the gods.
Its the complete opposite of Gears of War, which has blood thrown in to induce high-five circles of drunken college frat boys. Its just there to look cool, and consequently fails. God of War's blood is there to enhance the atmosphere and consequently looks awesome.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:13:18 PM
Reply

I'm glad no one has take offense to the nature of this game. It simply wouldnt be the same with out this type of style though.

The demo has some pretty bloody stuff in it. I think as far as the game will go there wont be much more than what the demo provides. You rip off heads, pull out eyes, split open some stomachs, but it all works. Any fan of the series is getting nothing new except graphically its insane what you see. Thats the way I look at it.



Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/17/2010 11:15:49 PM

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geovanwitdakick
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:19:57 PM
Reply

Thanks LV, I'll now pay less attention to the thumbs-downers. World must not be the only one with a few stalkers...

Now that I think about it, what game is available for the PS3 that is as gory (& includes tons of blood) like GOW3?

Xbox 360 has GeOW2 series, Ninja Gaiden series. It's about time fans of gore get their wish.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:41:18 PM

The only game I can currently think of is Saw.

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:51:49 PM

Did you actually sit down with that game LV?

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:54:13 PM

HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL NO

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:55:22 PM

haha all right just checkin.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/17/2010 11:56:34 PM

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redman479
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:21:55 PM
Reply

Let me have at it already!!!!

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Highlander
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:25:59 PM
Reply

The rating will probably boost sales among grown up Japanese gamers...

Perhaps Sony should consider releasing two 'cuts' of the game, one that earns an M rating and one that earns a "Grown ups only" rating.

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sunspider13
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:33:02 PM
Reply

A Z rating? That is awesome; sorry have a few Red Stripes in me.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:42:09 PM

Heineken here, please change your picture. Thanks

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inkme101
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:47:22 PM

u scared of spiders LV? maybe hes scared of aliens! LOL

Last edited by inkme101 on 2/17/2010 11:47:36 PM

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:52:32 PM

Touché

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bigrailer19
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:00:06 AM

No offense LV but I think I like you better when you've consumed your heineken. ;)

I'm j/k, but its probably mutual haha!

btw im not a fan of spiders or aliens, although aliens have starred in some classic movies!

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:12:13 AM

Alien and Alien3. Aliens is the Xbox360 of the Alien series.

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sunspider13
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:13:46 AM

Aliens are neat killing machines, and I changed my avatar for ya LV, like?

Edit:Bah didn't take yet...

Last edited by sunspider13 on 2/18/2010 12:14:14 AM

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bigrailer19
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:21:59 AM

lol the system comparison! I like!

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 1:00:01 AM

Omg Spider! WTF!!!!!!!!! You're terrible!!! That's 102423043052035 times worse than the first one!!!!!!!!!!!


I'm a man.

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Roach721
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 5:18:07 AM

Aliens is part 2 of Alien, very smart I thought you would know this since you have their pic,guess not. It's Alien,Aliens and then Alien 3.

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 6:23:30 AM

@ Roach

So let me get this straight. I inform those within the conversation that I LOVE Alien and Alien3 and label Aliens as the Xbox360 of the Alien series (making it quite clear I don't really enjoy it compared to the other 2) and you take that as evidence of my inability to distinguish the continuation within the series?

Of course Aliens came after Alien and before Alien3, no where in my post did I ever say otherwise. Oh and btw Aliens is NOT part2 of Alien. What the hell do you think it is, a mini series?

Also I don't have "their pic", I have a pic of an alien done with vegetables.

Keep up the good work of showing how uneducated you are; both by your sentence structure and your inability to grasp basic points.

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SvenMD
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 9:07:38 AM

How can you not like Aliens? It's a ton better than Alien 3; and luckily you didn't include the abismal Alien: Resurrection.

But Aliens was action packed goodness; and the characters are awesome....you just gotta love to hate Hudson - "This ain't happenin' man, this can't be happenin' man!"

Anyway, the series degraded overtime. Started with the scariest and best and went downhill after that.

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 9:29:42 AM

Alien is my favorite movie of all time by a long shot. Aliens like many JC films is all about action and plot/story take a back seat. That isn't my style and I wished there had never been a sequel to Alien. JC turned the mysterious creature (something that made the original so scary) and turned it into an ant colony.

I'll admit Alien3 has quite a few short comings (thanks to the worst display of production in the history of film making, so much that David Fincher to this day refuses to talk about Alien3) but the Assembly Cut of Alien3 is really amazing stuff. It's a return to the formula used by the original. It holds up well with time too, something Aliens does not. If someone came to me and asked for the perfect 80's movie I'd hand them Aliens.

Alien and Alien3 I not only watch but study and get very involved within them. Aliens I usually just put on in the background and wait for key scenes to happen.

Speaking of Hudson, Bill Paxton unfortunately couldn't hold his own against the mighty alien or Predator.

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Snaaaake
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:48:35 PM
Reply

The head ripping has already taken it's place as the bloodiest kill in video games.

Now about Kratos I've been wondering, now it's been a while since I last played GOW and GOW2 so I forgot a lot of stuff about it and I didn't get GOWC.

Has Kratos ever ever said "Sorry" and "Thank You"?

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bigrailer19
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:53:27 PM

"Sorry" and "thank you" are not part of his vocab. ;)

Remember this is a story of betrayal and well anger, even those close to Kratos will die!

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/17/2010 11:56:13 PM

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:53:38 PM

No, but he often says "Please" and "May I have another".

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inkme101
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:59:39 PM

i have seen it and that is funny as hell

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Nerull
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:56:46 PM
Reply

I don't see why AO ratings are treated like blasphemy. What the hell is wrong with having games for different age groups like any other genre?
I know its largely because of stores refusing to sell them but that's just it. Why aren't there any stores with some cohognes?
The vg market is known to be getting older. It would be nice to have the media accept that. But then there'll always be another kid who gets their hands on anything they want, does something stupid, and blames it on the evil game to try and lessen the punishment.

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Shams
Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 11:59:42 PM

I know right? A large part of the readership here is over 21, so it's not like they'd be missing out on anything.

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bigrailer19
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:08:36 AM

I really hope I dont see a young kid go out as Kratos on halloween and seek revenge on the ghouls and ghosts, and blame it on the game. ugh! ;)

I know what you mean though. Most parents are either oblivious or just dont mind what kids play. The ratings I think get ignored for the most part by consumers. It is the retailers that have a problem with them. Which is good, the ratings are there for a reason.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 2/18/2010 12:10:54 AM

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:14:52 AM

My friend's brother's son was having trouble in school so he went out and bought a 360 for him in hopes the son would have an incentive to get better grades.


During the holidays I visited my friend's brother and his son was laying on the couch playing GTAIV the entire day.....His son is 9 and will most likely be robbing me in 10 years.

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inkme101
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:25:30 AM

lol thats faqing hilarious lv!

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mbg77
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 7:04:14 AM

I'm sorry for the Off Topic but I just have to.

LV is talking about playing GTAIV and right next to it is carlospicyweinr with his Peter Griffin avatar.
That reminded me of an episode of Family Guy a few weeks back where Peter loses memory and he doesn't know how to drive so Loise makes him play GTAIV for 8 hours to learn driving. And if you've seen the episode than you know how it ends, and if you haven't than go watch it.

Take care.

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___________
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:21:52 AM
Reply

see this is whats fu**ed up!
here in oz you can be 10 and play this game, as long mummy and daddy will buy it for you.
in the US you have to be 17, and in Japan you have to be 18.
they should make a international standard that governs everything, its just stupid and illogical to be 10 and able to play something in one country, but have to be 18 to play it in another.
like Italy you can go for your license when your 13 for crying out loud!
16 year olds on the road are bad enough, let alone 13s.
or another example (not sure if this is true because my cuz told me) you can drink at the age of 13 in Italy.
here you have to be 18 as most places but in the US you have to be 21.
cant believe this and AVP got passed, there is so much blood its funny.
got AVP today and jesus christ i thought the GOW3 head rip was good.
play through the predator campaign and you can rip multiple heads off with spine attached!
go full mortal kombat on their a$$!

Last edited by ___________ on 2/18/2010 12:24:04 AM

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TEG3SH
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 11:37:53 AM

u can always drink and drive at 13 if u know the right ppl mate . ;).

i meant drink or drive ,not together cause thats bad M'Kay

Last edited by TEG3SH on 2/18/2010 11:38:35 AM

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Qubex
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:22:06 AM
Reply

"Land Of The Rising Z"... "God Of Z"... hmm, it will probably help sales actually... but I guess parents will have to decide whether or not to buy this game on behalf of their younger children.. if at all... some will no doubt be unhappy they can't get it...

Q!

"i am home"

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:37:01 AM
Reply

As usual, just ignore the thumbs down that come out of nowhere.

There are certain people who have been banned that pathetically try to make some impact by thumbing random posts down. Pay no attention.

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inkme101
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 12:51:41 AM
Reply

this is why we should have some sort of points system for thumbs or just not have them if they r to b ignored!

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 1:17:41 AM

As much as N4G is a fanboy heaven I like their system for commenting on articles. The longer you've been a member and gained bubbles the more you're able to post on each article. Some people can post a dozen times while new or members known to spam bs only have the ability post a couple times.

Of course I'd be doomed on here with that setup!

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fooosie
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 2:12:06 AM
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Z rating? I wish we were that cool

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Jalex
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 3:38:43 AM
Reply

Surprisingly, I don't know many children that have played a 'God of War' game (surprising, because the more descriptors on the back of a game case, the more children seem drawn to it). But I have heard quite a few of them discussing 'III', and I must confess it worries me to think that they may be giddily dismembering people.
Basically, I'm just saying I will probably agree with such a rating.

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Sir Shak
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 3:47:20 AM
Reply

Ben , when will you receive the review code ?

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FullmetalX10
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 4:34:02 AM
Reply

Am I lucky they don't really pay attention to age in my city, else I had to wait another year before I could get GOW, but since they are more likely to look at if you can actually withstand the gore and stuff by how you act and which games you get over years(yeah, small city means they remember you), I'll be just fine.

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Roach721
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 5:25:01 AM
Reply

I am still waiting for an AO rating game to come out.I don't even know why they have AO if it's not going to be used (just in case I guess).

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___________
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 6:23:11 AM

manhunt 2 got the AO, and i cant see why.
its bad, but not that bad.

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SympoziumPawa
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 6:48:35 AM

Its rare yes but America doesn't want to end up having greasy kids stuff on a A0 rated game has it is RARE...

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tanner1
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 6:37:46 AM
Reply

Im so glad they re not replacing the blood with purple haze lol

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NoSmokingBandit
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 10:14:56 AM

Lol.
I thought that looked so flippin stupid.

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TEG3SH
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 11:32:07 AM
Reply

this game will be freaking fangaloodish )

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fuk u
Thursday, February 18, 2010 @ 1:26:32 PM
Reply

Im just going to rent when I get a chance then possibly buy it at the end of the year. It didnt seem to have that bad of gore but that was only the demo so... but I heard there was a lengthy sex-mini game in it.

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What do you think of the Destiny beta?
It's awesome! Can't wait for September!
It's only good, but I'm having fun.
Eh, it's okay, but I expected more.
It sucks, period.

Previous Poll Results