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Posts with tag ESRB

Bethesda requests all Fallout 3 video to be pulled from gaming sites

Bethesda Softworks has demanded requested all videogame sites remove Fallout 3 trailers due to an ESRB compliance issue. While the letter sent to editors of sites hosting the content, including our sister-site Big Download, is extremely vague it's left the gaming world scratch their head considering gamers are getting their hands on the title today.

"In connection with ESRB's advertising guidelines, you are instructed to remove immediately any of our Fallout 3 trailers from your website, pending further notice. Thank you for your attention to this matter," reads the email sent from Bethesda VP of Public Relations and Marketing Pete Hines.

Joystiq has contacted Bethesda for more information but you're probably on your way to the store right now -- if Fallout 3 appeals to you that is -- so, does it even matter?

ESRB trying to curtail early game reveals

It's the end of an era. For a long time now the Entertainment Software Ratings Board has been a great source for spotting games that had not yet been announced. This was entirely due to the open system that was used by the ERSB's site, which allowed anyone to check a game's rating as soon as it had received one. While this was in keeping with the purpose of the ESRB (to have an easy to access resource for those who needed it; parents mostly), it was not in keeping with the goals of game publishers.

In response to requests from publishers, who were likely getting rather miffed at having their game's revealed outside of their plans for such, the ESRB is now offering the ability for games to appear on their site at specified dates. Now, when a publisher submits a game for rating they can fill in a box for the date it will see upload to the main ESRB page. While it was noted that "the ESRB system will not work for consumers if publishers arbitrarily select dates bearing no reasonable relationship to consumer interest in the product," we doubt if there is going to any publisher who doesn't take advantage of the new system and hold back ratings till the latest date possible.

Oh well. Thankfully, we still have other countries ratings boards to leak our video game info for us.

Castle Crashers isn't only done, but now it's rated!

Yes, we'll admit, we're a bit obsessively excited to play The Behemoth's Castle Crashers. And ever since we learned that development has wrapped we've been experiencing reserved excitement. Reserved only because our Castle Crashers wait has been full of delays, more development and more waiting which leaves us believing that there may be a chance that The Behemoth will announce that they've jumped back into development for some crazy reason, ultimately leading to a 2010 release. Scary thought, no? But we're pleased to reveal that there is absolutely no turning back with Castle Crashers' release, because we just learned that the game has been rated "T" (for teen) by the ESRB. This means we can now go from reserved excitement to full fledged, ecstatic, ADD filled excitement. We say, bring on the blood, gore, cartoon violence and crude humor! We're ready!

[Thanks, Jonah Falcon]

RBI Baseball to grand slam on XBLA

Most of us have fond memories of the sports games of a simpler time: making little Wayne's head bleed in NHLPA Hockey '93, proving Bo knows almost everything in Tecmo Super Bowl and the hit-n-run ambulance in Madden '92. With so many awesome experiences you'd think someone would bring back sports games to their glory on XBLA. Well, according to a listing on the ESRB website someone is.

On Friday, the ESRB website added a listing for RBI Baseball by upstart developers Six Degrees Games. While the new development team does not list the game on their website, their job listing section notes the team is "inventing a new generation of vibrant, mass-market gaming applications for the internet," which lends weight to the game being an Arcade release.

While we're on the subject, here's a free tip to EA. Take the classic Madden and NHL source codes, add new teams and updated rosters, sprinkle in some online play, watch XBLA monies pour in.

Your classic sports game history lesson available after the jump.

Continue reading RBI Baseball to grand slam on XBLA

ESRB adds 2.5 XBLA games to ratings list

Since there was no XBLA release last week, we need some good news when it comes to the Live Arcade, and the ESRB delivers for us, rating three two and a half new XBLA games. The half game is the user-named Puzzle Quest expansion pack, Revenge of the Plague Lord. The two full games are Samurai Showdown II, a Neo-Geo fighting game, and Red Baron Arcade which is a World War I arcade flying shooter with graphics similar to Battlezone. Now, as is normal with this type of crystal ball gazing, no one knows when these games actually will see final release; with a bit of an exception for Revenge of the Plague Lord though. Since it's simply DLC it will probably be released as soon as it's ready.

Darwinia 360 finally rated by ESRB

Well that took a while. After being rumored for Xbox Live Arcade nearly two years ago, Darwinia from Introversion has been rated by the ESRB for Xbox 360. While we don't have any more solid details regarding the 360 version of the game -- believed to be an XBLA title -- the ESRB rating gives us hope that it won't be too long before we start to hear more about the title (or better yet, get a chance to actually play it).

For those that haven't played it, the gameplay is regarded as somewhat hard to classify, so we've embedded a trailer in the hopes that it might clarify things a bit (hint: it doesn't, but the game sure looks fun).

[Via XBLArcade]

Commando 3 gets a name change, again

According to an updated filing for an ESRB rating the upcoming XBLA title, Commandos 3 (aka MERCS) has been renamed to Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3. The name change stems from a few different areas, so here's the run down.

The game is a sequel to MERCS but with the upcoming release of Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, Capcom decided they can't call their XBLA game MERCS 2. Commando 3 was the original title when it was rumored for the service, but with the release of Bionic Commando Rearmed they decided against that too. So, since the original name of the series is Wolf of the Battlefield in Japan, Capcom opted to go with Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 for the XBLA release.

Phew ... That explanation leaves us out of breath. Let's just hope Capcom releases Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 before Activision drops new details on the upcoming Wolfenstein next-gen title.

You can bet that Wits and Wagers is XBLA bound

Again, our trusty friend the ESRB has come to the rescue in fulling our insatiable appetite for upcoming (and totally unannounced) XBLA games with their latest listing for Wits and Wagers.

Wits and Wagers will be a title developed by the crew over at Hidden Path Entertainment and solely for the Xbox 360. In general, Wits and Wagers is a board game where players answer trivia and place bets on which guess is closest to the actual answer. Simple enough. Though, we're curious to see how well Hidden Path can pull off a game like Wits and Wagers seeing that their only experience on the 360 is an XNA demo and creating a trivia game isn't the easiest genre to make entertaining. It doesn't really matter though. We're just proud that we discovered another upcoming XBLA game long before its announcement. We so cool!

Ten Things parents need to know about Xbox Live

The argument that video games are destroying today's youth reminds us of the movie Footloose. In the Kevin Bacon defining role, a few teenagers are tragically killed when their speeding car crashes. Since the teens were listening to rock 'n' roll music during the accident the town blames the event on rock and bans it. When the gaming industry is blamed for all the tragedy that happens today, someone needed to step up and help educate parents on the content of games. Enter, What They Like Inc. and their first venture, Spearheaded by former 1UP editorial director John Davison, WTP attempts to educate parents on the industry, the ratings system and what games are appropriate for their kids.

In a recent feature, WTP lists the ten things parents should know about Xbox Live, the online gaming service for the Xbox 360. Some telling points made include:
  • Restricting voice chat to avoid hearing uncensored language
  • Using the Family Timer feature to restrict play times
  • Using to customize account settings and check what games are being played
This is an incredible tool for parents to use and while much of this information is obvious to our well informed readers we'd urge anyone looking for more details on the service to read the feature. The saddest part about this is the voice chat restriction. We constantly fight other industries that degrade our own and while we'll defend gaming till the day we die, we have a hard time arguing that we're all just fun-loving normal people when nonsense is constantly happening. But hey, maybe we're just a a bunch of hippies.

Rumor: ESRB lists more Xbox Originals

Pulling some internet Matlock-ery on the ESRB website made us realize that the ratings board re-rates all titles added to the Xbox Originals platform. Listed are the current crop of games available like Burnout 3: Takedown, Fuzion Frenzy and upcoming titles like Ninja Gaiden: Black. Suspiciously on that list were a few other gems that look like they'll be getting the Xbox Originals treatment, including: Dead or Alive 3, Metal Arms and Raze's Hell. Other listings found were Ultra Bust-a-Move and Guilty Gear X2 #Reload, however there are rumblings that these titles could be full fledged XBLA games. Rumor mill for the time being, but time will tell.

MS explains Marketplace age restrictions

We've received more than a few comments and emails concerning Xbox Live Marketplace age restrictions. Specifically, Live members that are under the age of 18 are unable to download trailers and demos for M rated or unrated games. Naturally, this is disappointing to many Live gamers looking to download, say, the Kane & Lynch demo from XBLM. Major Nelson has posted an explanation for this restriction on his blog. Essentially, you can blame the ESRB. Demos and trailers are considered advertising and aren't made available to gamers under 18 in accordance with ESRB guidelines. Major Nelson notes that the same guidelines apply to the Playstation Store and Wii Shop Channel as well, so the 360 isn't by itself in this matter. So there you have it.

Live Free or Die Hard XBLA bound?

Making an appearance on the ESRB ratings website is an entry for Live Free or Die Hard. Nothing overly special here as it'll probably end up being just another sub-par movie based game ... but wait. The ESRB website lists the Live Free or Die Hard developer to be Sensory Sweep Studios who have worked on numerous DS and PSP titles with their only Xbox connection being Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting for the XBLA. So, it'd be logical to expect Live Free or Die Hard to end up being an Arcade title. Interesting. We can't really come up with gameplay ideas to blend a blockbuster action movie with the XBLA other than the obvious game where you see who can scream "Yippee-ki-yay motherfrother" into the headset the loudest. Yeah, that'd be one Arcade game we'd enjoy playing with our family.

[Via Game Stooge]

Undertow, Puzzle Fighter rated by ESRB

The ESRB database has been updated with several new Xbox 360 titles. Most notable among these are the Xbox Live Arcade releases, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (E) and Undertow (E10+ oh noes!). Also rated was Dynasty Warriors: Gundam, a title with which we are completely unfamiliar. A quick look around the internet reveals that it's exactly what it sounds like: Dynasty Warriors with giant mechs instead of human warriors. Also rated was Hour of Victory, which recently had a (terrible) demo released on Xbox Live Marketplace. We already knew Puzzle Fighter was planned as a July release, but this may mean that Undertow will be coming sooner than we thought. Let's hope so; we can't wait to try out underwater Battlefield.

[Via GameStooge]

Tomb Raider Anniversary coming to 360 (as DLC?)

Is there anything the ESRB can't do? Routinely revealing numerous Xbox Live Arcade games, the ratings board has now revealed that Tomb Raider: Anniversary is headed to the Xbox 360. In an interesting twist, the ESRB actually lists five different entries for the game, each with a different locale specified. In all, Peru, Lost City, Greece, Egypt, and Croft Manor are listed. This specificity leads us (and Joystiq) to conclude that Anniversary will be offered as downloadable content. Whether this is done via Tomb Raider: Legend or as independent downloadable episodes remains to be seen (if we had to guess, we'd say it'll be Legend DLC). Considering Anniversary costs $30 on other platforms, a $5-6 price tag for each episode on Xbox Live Marketplace would be reasonable (though we're not necessarily expecting it).

We really enjoyed Lara Croft's first outing on the 360, so here's hoping Eidos makes an official announcement soon.

[Via Joystiq]

ESRB rates Fatal Fury, Tempest, more for XBLA

We love the ESRB. With the group constantly rating titles that have yet to be announced, it's like getting birthday presents year round. XBLArcade breaks the news that the ESRB has rated 4 new games for Xbox Live Arcade, though not all of them are "new." The three we already know about are Tempest, Mutant Storm Empire, and Fatal Fury Special. We had nearly given up hope on Fatal Fury though. We hadn't heard a peep about it since last August after all. Finally, coming out of left field is SEGA's Streets of Rage 2, a classic beat-em-up from the Genesis era.

We have to admit we've been impressed by Xbox Live Arcade lately. Here's hoping Microsoft can continue the stream of new titles unabated.

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