|Manhunt 2 News | Manhunt 2 Week 3 (American) Sales
Chartz now lists the videogames sales for the week ending November 17th
2007 in North America. According to them the game has dropped out of the overall
top 50 game sales.
It is currently listed as the 8th best selling PlayStation 2 title with 17,149
units sold this week. Still sailing strong in the Wii charts it is sitting in
the 23rd position with 14,003 sales. The PSP version of the game is the 34th
position selling 2,137 copies.
This brings the total sales of Manhunt 2 in North America after 3 weeks at
retail to 201,241 units.
Posted on: Nov 30 01:34 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Unauthorised Manhunt 2 Footage Attempt
is reporting that Future Publishing has submitted two magazine cover disks to
the BBFC that contain footage of the North America retail version of Manhunt
2. The magazines in question are PSM3 issue 96 and PlayStation World issue 103.
The issue being that the BBFC refused Manhunt 2 classification, which would
thus imply that the content from the cover disks would also be refused clearance.
Further complicating things GI.biz says that Rockstar has not cleared the footage
for inclusion, I can't imagine why they wouldn't though, unless Future has modified
the game to remove the filters or it isn't from the retail version at all.
Posted on: Nov 28 05:04 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | BBFC Present Manhunt 2 Response to the VAC
has now posted the BBFCs defence to the VAC. Representing the BBFC was Andrew
Caldecott. Mr. Caldecott agrees with Rockstar in that there is no proven link
between violent videogames and antisocial behaviour but says that he believes
more research is required before any final word can be issued on the subject.
The board's position is that there is insufficient evidence to prove, as
a fact, there is a causal connection between violent games and behavioural
harm… It's a perfectly fair point, and one which we accept, but it's
not by any means a complete answer to the question the [Video Appeals Committee]
has to decide.
The research certainly achieves the objective of establishing that research
does not demonstrate that there is a causal link. But what it certainly does
not establish is that there isn't.
For a young person, this is a disturbing game, it is a shocking game, and
there issues about innocence and matters of that sort in relation to young
In a Utopian society, you would have effective measures where the over-18s
could play what was suitable for them without being cluttered by the fact
minors will see them. But you can't make classification decisions without
regard to the social prevalence [of games].
In response to how videogames are rated differently to movies Caldecott said
Film is a different medium; it is simply is a different experience. There
are ways in which it is perhaps more involving, because you are dealing with
absolute reality, with real people, in film.
On the other hand, many people watch horror films to some extent from the
point of view of the victim, or the point of view of what's going to happen
- not with this very distinctive point of view of being the person who's wielding
the weapon, and is rewarded for killing in the bloodiest way possible.
Caldecott uses gaming technology as another reason for (attempting) to disassociate
the rating of a movie and videogames.
Games and technology develop incrementally… If you take the comparable
argument to its extreme, you get a gradual creeping towards ever more graphic
violence, but you never draw a line at any particular point.
If you're not careful you get into a peculiar game of Grandmother's Footsteps,
where everybody's shuffling forward but Grandma's never allowed to turn round
and say, 'Stop'… Is there never a point at which you can say, 'This
If there is a point, the question then becomes much more difficult: where
do you draw it?
He then suggests that violent videogames are more likely to be viewed by children
than horror films:
A videogame is inherently less likely to be strictly supervised, and that
is supported by research. You don't come home from work, have your tea and
watch Saw 3. Games are played at all times of the day when children are about
in the house.
His attention then turned to the nature of the violence in Manhunt 2:
In this particular game, the victims are people. They are not aliens or griffins
or Daleks… You see lots of human beings quite mercilessly kicking and
punching other human beings as you move through the game.
It's a frequent theme of level one, which is the only one I've actually played
right through. Even when you're not killing someone yourself, you're passing
someone who's getting a good beating or having an unpleasant time.
…and the killing materials used in the game:
They're not magic wands or Excalibur; many of them are everyday objects.
Mr. Caldecott then offered the appeals panel a walkthrough of the game so that
they could better assess the game to which the chairman of the panel declined.
[We are] quite content we really have got a grip on what this is all about.
We have taken on-board the point that playing and watching a videogame are
two different things. This is a very important case and there is an awful lot
we must consider. We will work hard at it and get you a decision as soon as
Apparently the Video Appeals Committee has yet to set a date for the results
of the hearing. Hopefully it will be soon.
What does everyone think of the response then? It seems pretty weak to me and
inconsistent with that the BBFC have said in the past.
Let’s look at the points made in the defence of the BBFC and what they
mean. From what I can make out there defence breaks down to three key points
and they are:
- Insufficient evidence to eliminate the threat of violent games
causing anti-social behaviour.
Sounds like checkmate to me then, no one is willing to budge and according
to Mr. Caldecott there is no evidence to say that there is such an effect from
playing violent games. It is a what-if situation, this being the case then it
would mean it is neither a null nor valid point on by both sides of the argument
and should be disregarded for the time being.
- Games are rated differently than movies due to their nature and
This severely clashes with what the BBFC have been preaching for the past several
months. They say that they do not regard the rating of games and movies as being
two separate classes. I hope that members of the appeals panel looks at what
the BBFC have been saying in their responses to the criticism they have received.
If they do then they will see a huge gaping hole in the consistency and misleading
comments on behalf of the BBFC to both the public and Rockstar.
Also, wouldn’t the chances of you sticking a DVD on be more likely than
playing a game if you had children around? Being that it requires less attention
and we are assuming, it being through the day and all that you are either looking
after the kid(s) and or doing something else that may distract you.
To say that someone is more likely to play a violent game through the day than
watch a horror movie is absolutely ridiculous. I remember being a child and
my dad having to record movies at night since he worked early in the morning,
by the time I got home from school he would be watching said movie.
- You kill humans and use everyday items as weapons.
I think this could have been a valid point for the BBFC, had it only been worded
correctly. I am not saying I agree with them, but I see it as the only point
they could have had in their favour going into the appeal. The points that Mr.
Caldecott brings up in relation to what and how you do it are absolutely correct,
but this is also true of many other games, thousands even and even more commonly
used in the film medium. I think the existence of even the original Manhunt
puts this argument down, the original game had more ‘everyday use’
items and I believe it was more severe in tone than Manhunt 2.
I think that games like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare are far more serious
in their effect over the viewer/player. In particular in scenes where night
vision is used, the reality of such scenes touches home in a very serious and
eerie way and that game carries a 16 certificate in the UK and its predecessor
carries a 15, the same rating the BBFC hit Canis Canem Edit (Bully) with due
to outside pressure.
If we are talking about body count then the number of people you kill in Modern
Warfare also dwarves Manhunt 2, most people are probably going to finish Call
of Duty 4 in barely 5 or 6 hours, Manhunt 2 is easily twice as long with a far
lower body count. Therefore would that not mean the relentlessness of Modern
Warfare is more severe than Manhunt 2?
On a point-per-point basis I would say Rockstar have this won hands down. But
then again if the comments and events of recent months is anything to go by
then common sense isn’t necessarily something that everyone has.
Posted on: Nov 27 06:17 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Rockstar Present Manhunt 2 Defence to VAC
Rockstar’s appeal against the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)
over their refusal to rate Manhunt 2 has finally begun. Representing Rockstar
was Geoffrey Robertson, who started the appeal to the Video Appeals Committee
(VAC) by suggesting that the BBFC should be referred to as the British Board
of Videogame Censors.
There's no evidence that playing interactive videogames leads to a propensity
to act them out in real life. We wonder why Manhunt 2 has been singled out
for special treatment.
Robertson went on to question the judgment of the BBFC:
Their reputation is not at stake; if it were we could show how, over the
last century, they've been derided for some of the most stupid decisions in
censorship history. But we're not going to go down that road.
Robertson also added some statistics to the case, saying that there are 26.5
million gamers in the UK with the average age of 28, 45% of which being female.
Speaking of the allegations made by the BBFC in relation to Manhunt 2, Mr.
Robertson said the following:
…offensive and outrageous allegation the board makes against adults in this
country that they're somehow going to go and shoot or kill as a result of
playing Manhunt 2. Millions of gamers play videogames and no crime has ever
been directly attributed to them, with one exception.
We say [Manhunt 2] has been banned not because of any likelihood it will
harm gamers, but because of the likelihood it will harm the reputation of
Also speaking in defence of Rockstar was Tiga
CEO and founder Fred Hasson and chartered psychologist Dr. Guy Cumberbatch.
After playing four (unspecified) levels from the game Hasson said the following
of the games content:
[I am] surprised at how tame it is compared to some very graphical scenes
I've seen in other games which have received certification. I expected it
to be a lot worse… I can't believe that this has been singled out as something
that is worth banning.
A BBFC's representative accused Hasson of saying that the board has made its
decision (concerning Manhunt 2) based around articles in publications such as
(British newspaper) the Daily Mail, the representative then asked if Hasson
still believed this to be true. To which Mr. Hasson said the following:
I can only come to the conclusion that is the case. Having seen the content
of the game, I can't see any other reason why they've done that.
Following on from the Tiga CEO was psychologist Guy Cumberbatch, who had the
following to say:
By and large, the plot and narrative is relatively unimportant for most videogamers.
Their emotional involvement in the games is relatively weak. There's a scatterbrain
logic which is applied to videogames - if [people] play, they must be violent.
By and large, people who are attracted to media violence tend to be less sensitive
and more thick-skinned… Most of these people are nerd characters, they tend
to be anoraks.
Dr. Cumberbatch then went on to reference a survey he had conducted with 86
parties, saying that all of which involved had experienced at least 2 18-rated
movies and two 18 certificated videogames. He had all involved respondents play
15 minutes of Manhunt 2 and watch a compilation video put together by Take-Two
of various levels throughout the game. He then went on to ask all those involved
in the survey if they thought Manhunt 2 was more, less or equally as violent
as other films and videogames that have (presumably) been cleared for rating
by the BBFC.
The results showed that 80% of those involved thought there was equally as
much violence in films and 68% thought there was equally as much violence in
other videogames as well as noting that a number of those involved said that
‘people are going to be disappointed’ by the level of violence in the game,
if the game were to be released.
Dr. Cumberbatch concluded with:
Certainly no one's going to suggest Manhunt 2 is one of the least violent
games around. In my own limited experience of playing Manhunt 2, it's fairly
sanitised as a work compared with what you might expect in a film.
Rockstars side of the case is said to have taken place this morning with the
BBFC responding in the afternoon, however nowhere seems to have commented on
It seems like a pretty strong case from Rockstar to me, I think the saddest
thing of it all is that it is all apparent common sense; maybe it just needed
said out loud with the facts presented. Either way I think it is a pretty strong
case they have and I agree with pretty much every point made in Rockstars case.
Here’s hoping we will soon get a release date for the UK. I will also be interested
in what happens for the rest of Europe in regard to the games release.
You can read all the original articles in their entirety by heading over to
fights back against BBFC - Tiga
boss, psychologist defend Rockstar's position
Posted on: Nov 27 01:05 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | G4's X-Play Review Manhunt 2
G4's X-Play have reviewed Manhunt 2, they played the Nintendo Wii version
of the game and awarded it 2 out of 5. The review focuses on making a mockery
of the game, with the reviewer calling the game names like Manbunt and Mannequin
hunt 2. Criticised in the review is the games story, level design, Wii controls
and the executions themselves. The only thing the reviewer considered good was
the stealth gameplay, you can watch the video review over at our youtube
Posted on: Nov 26 12:42 am 2007 by: lazlow
|Manhunt 2 News | U.S. Senators Letter to ESRB Published
ABC News' correspondent Jake Tapper has posted the letter sent to the ESRB
(on Monday) by the four U.S. senators on his blog - Political
November 19, 2007
President Entertainment Software Rating Board
Entertainment Software Rating Board
317 Madison Avenue, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10017
Dear Ms. Vance, We are writing to suggest that it may be desirable to revise
or enhance the current ESRB rating system. We continue to believe that the
ESRB takes seriously its responsibility with respect to the ratings and their
enforcement. However, we believe that a number of issues have been raised
regarding the release of Manhunt 2.
As you know, in June 2007 the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)
refused to rate Rockstar's Manhunt 2 video game, effectively banning its sale
in British stores, stating that it contains "unremitting bleakness and
callousness of tone... which constantly encourages visceral killing with exceptionally
little alleviation or distancing." The BBFC Director concluded that any
other action "would involve a range of unjustifiable harm risks, to both
adults and minors.” Consistent with your British counterpart, this version
received an “Adults Only” (AO) rating from your Entertainment
Software Ratings Board (ESRB).
In October 2007 the BBFC again refused to rate a revised Manhunt 2 stating
that "[t]he impact of the revisions on the bleakness and callousness
of tone, or the essential nature of the gameplay, is clearly insufficient.
There has been a reduction in the visual detail in some of the 'execution
kills', but in others they retain their original visceral and casually sadistic
nature." Other countries agreed and have also banned the game.
Unlike the British Board, the ESRB reduced the revised version's rating to
"Mature" (M) effectively opening the door to its widespread distribution
and its licensing approval by game system manufacturers Sony and Nintendo.
And, while significant progress has been made, the FTC reports that 42 percent
of unaccompanied children 13 to 16 years of age can still successfully purchase
M-rated games meaning that the practical difference between an AO and M rating
affects more than simply 17-year-olds.
Manhunt 2 was sanctioned by Nintendo for its Wii system. That system permits
children to act out each of the many graphic torture scenes and murders in
Manhunt 2 rather than simply manipulating a game pad. This led one clinical
psychologist to state that the realistic motions used with the Wii mean that
"you're basically teaching a child the behavioral sequencing of killing."
While this was not cited as the reason for the BBFC decision, we do believe
that the ESRB should take the Wii remote controller, and future advances in
game controllers, which create more realistic gaming environments, into consideration.
Another disturbing aspect of this saga is that the AO version ended up being
leaked on the Internet thereby circumventing the rating restrictions. News
reports state that the leak came from a Sony employee, who was reportedly
fired, rather than the game manufacturer. Nevertheless, the possible use of
the internet to circumvent the ESRB and permit broad access to kids is another
There are many questions that are raised because of the above cited issues
regarding the process, robustness and repeatability of the ratings provided
by the ESRB system. First, there appears to be a lack of information, to the
public and developers, regarding why a particular rating is given or changed.
What information is provided back to developers after receiving a rating?
Why is information regarding rating changes or reasons for decisions unavailable,
except for content descriptors, to the public? We understand to some extent
the concerns regarding the confidentiality of pre-released materials however
that argument is no longer compelling after the product is released.
Some speculate that the ESRB could be used to provide attention to increase
sales of future games. Under this scenario, a game like Manhunt 2 would first
be produced to ensure receipt of an AO rating and thereafter tweaked to get
the reduced M rating. A more transparent process might protect the ESRB from
being used in this manner.
Further, do the same reviewers view the original and the revised version
of a game after an AO rating is received? How frequently do you use more than
your minimum of three reviewers when evaluating a game? Are three reviewers
adequate for the more violent games? How often do your reviewers disagree
in their initial ratings and how frequently is the final rating a majority
opinion rather than a consensus?
In sum, we ask your consideration of whether it is time to review the robustness,
reliability and repeatability of your ratings process, particularly for this
genre of "ultra-violent" video games and the advances in game controllers.
We have consistently urged parents to pay attention to the ESRB rating system.
We must ensure that parents can rely on the consistency and accuracy of those
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Joseph I. Lieberman
Hillary Rodham Clinton
I find it interesting that even these senators regard an AO rating as a ban.
It looks like it is an obvious fact to everyone except the ESRB themselves.
I do agree that a revision of the ratings board(s) would probably be a good
idea, not to further raise restrictions but to allow a way for publishers to
release games as they were originally intended without having to deal with all
the politics involved. Even the MPAA (they rate movies in America, for those
that don’t know) are attempting to overcome the stigma surrounding NC-17
rated (supposed UK equivalent of an 18 certificate) movies by trying to instate
a (more commercial) hard-R rating.
Posted on: Nov 25 01:10 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | First U.S. Print Publication Reviews
The first batch of reviews from U.S print publications are starting to hit
shelves with EGM, Nintendo Power and Game Informer all reviewing the game.
EGM’s review is a mixed bag with ‘Sharkey’ rating the Nintendo
Wii version a 4.0 – bad rating, picking fault with the games controls
and unskipable cut scenes.
‘Shoe’ gave the PlayStation 2 build of the game a 5.0 – average
rating, having issues with the games controls and hunter A.I. but they did seem
to enjoy the games atmosphere, saying it is the 8MM and Hostel of videogames.
Matt on the other hand awarded the Nintendo Wii build a 7.0 – good, saying
that others are being to hung up on the scenario and that the story of the game
is good. It appears as though he is more in favour of the Wii version as the
restrictions make more sense on that console (talking about the inability to
control the camera etc).
Nintendo Power gave Manhunt 2 a 7.5, I wish I could elaborate further but we
have been unable to track the magazine down.
Game Informer awarded Manhunt 2 a 7.75, Matt Helgeson seems to have enjoyed
the game very much, with his biggest criticism being that it isn’t quite
the original Manhunt.
Matt Bertz offered a second opinion and not quite as favourable as Matt H,
giving the game a 6.75. but with that said he does appear to have enjoyed the
game also, saying that he wishes Rockstar had taken the opportunity to polish
the game further with the ‘effort it deserved’.
If anyone manages to get a hold of any magazine with Manhunt 2 coverage please
get in touch with
us letting us know. We have known about these scores for about a week now
but were simply unable to obtain the information within due to the magazines
not being on sale where we live.
Posted on: Nov 23 03:26 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Manhunt 2 Review Grouping #3
Games have given the Nintendo Wii version of the game an 4 out of 10.
Despite its infamy, Manhunt 2 has little going for it. Yes, the game is utterly
violent. You’ll get to see people dying in ways you’d never think possible
in a game. However, the blurred executions and motion-based prompts take away
much of the thrill. While Danny’s hands are continually covered with fresh
coats of blood, he and rest of the cast look like a bunch of Timesplitters
rejects. The levels are gruesomely themed, but their simplicity, brevity,
and linearity are disappointing. The sheer amount of glitches, questionable
controls, laughable AI, and easy stealth mechanics make the game seem like
a poor rendition of Splinter Cell. The story has a lot of potential as a psychological
drama, but the bland characters and poor writing kill any of its entertainment
2.0 rated the Nintendo Wii version a 6.8 out of 10.
There are so many questions to be asked about Manhunt 2, but the most important
is not why the game had an A-0 rating, it’s why Rockstar didn’t spend more
time refining the features. The story is great and there are plenty of moments
when you will be surprised at what is happening, but the combat just takes
one step back to make it worth a mention. The stupidity of the enemies and
the inability to see what exactly you are doing when the time for an execution
commences takes all the fun out of fighting. The game gives off a chilling
vibe, but it’s for all the wrong reasons.
Games played the Sony PSP build and gave it a 75% rating.
The truth is that you probably don't need a two-thousand word review to tell
you whether or not Manhunt 2 is your thing, you should already know if the
game is your cup of tea. If you enjoyed the original game and don't mind the
non-stop gruesome killings, then this game is right up your alley. If you
don't care for the "torture porn" genre of movie making and get a bit squeamish
at the idea of sneaking up behind enemies and sticking a pen in their neck,
then chances are you should avoid this game at all costs.
CNN have also reviewed the game (why do they even bother?), their thoughts
seem to be a generalisation of the three platforms, but they do put a little
extra emphasis on the Nintendo Wii version. They don't give the game an actual
rating and their main points are that the game is violent, shock horror, right?
"Manhunt 2" also suffers from some technical glitches, such as getting half
of Lamb's body stuck in a dumpster (and having to load a saved game to continue
playing) or trying to fight a guard but Lamb keeps picking up a body on the
floor and tossing it over his shoulder because the game thinks I'm trying
to hide a victim.
"Manhunt 2" will likely sell like hotcakes because of its media attention,
but in the end it only pushes the violence envelope rather than a game-play
You can read all about the violence in Manhunt 2 over at CNN.
Posted on: Nov 22 12:46 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | U.S. Senators Call for ESRB Rating
Business are both reporting that four U.S. senators have sent a joint letter
to the president of the videogame ratings board requesting a 'thorough review'
of the ESRB ratings system post-mortem the downgrading of Manhunt 2 from an
AO to an M rated title.
The senators in question are Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Sam
Brownback (R-Kan.), and of course Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).
As you know, in June 2007, the British Board of Film Classification refused
to rate Rockstar’s Manhunt 2 videogame … stating that it contains ‘unremitting
bleakness and callousness of tone. In October 2007, the BBFC again refused
to rate a revised Manhunt 2 stating that ‘the impact of the revisions on the
bleakness and callousness of tone … is clearly insufficient.
In sum, we ask your consideration of whether it is time to review the robustness,
reliability and repeatability of your ratings process, particularly for this
genre of ‘ultra-violent’ videogames and advances in game controllers.
I wonder who will be next to fall under investigation. Maybe it will be you,
for playing the game.
Posted on: Nov 20 11:32 pm 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Manhunt 2 Appeal Date Set?
If you held off importing your copy of Manhunt 2 you will be please to hear
Rockstar Games and the Video Appeals Committee have (apparently) set the appeal
date for the games effective ban in the UK. The appeal will take place in London
next Monday, which is the 26th, almost a month after it was released in North
It looks like the story has been removed from MCV's website, who posted the
details, in case it goes back up here is the original
Posted on: Nov 20 12:57 am 2007 by: lazlow
|Manhunt 2 News | NAMI Executive Director Talks Manhunt 2
Wiire have posted an interview with the executive director of the National
Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Mike Fitzpatrick. A great deal of the interview
revolves around Manhunt 2.
NAMI has asked Rockstar Games to recall or further modify Manhunt
The degree of controversy, I think, around Manhunt 2, provides a really exceptional
opportunity - really, a teaching moment, to help us raise awareness around
Did he just admit to attempting to use Rockstar in order further the word of
his organisation? So that means that he is all but admitted that there really
is no issue with Manhunt 2.
Posted on: Nov 18 11:01 pm 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Naughty Dog co-president Comments on Manhunt 2
Eurogamer have posted a Q&A with the co-president of (developer) Naughty
Dog, Evan Wells. The Q&A was open to Eurogamer readers with one reader (SeesThroughAll)
asking for Wells thoughts on the banning of Manhunt 2.
What did you think of the Manhunt 2 ban? Do you think that the violent
nature of this game in particular justified the degree of censorship (even
gameplay mechanics were altered)?
I don't think that video games should be treated differently than other forms
of media or entertainment. I think there is a place in this world for titles
that should only be played by those over 18. Our problem is right now is that
we [in America] don't have any retailers who are willing to sell those games,
therefore you end up "banning" the game by giving it such a rating.
However, I really don't see the appeal of the game and I really do think they
are just using the shock factor to try to sell a mediocre (at best) game.
I would much prefer to see somebody make something with a little more substance
that still pushed the artistic boundaries of our industry.
Head over to Eurogamer
to read the rest of the transcript. Keep in mind that there is no other mention
of Manhunt though.
Posted on: Nov 17 03:37 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Manhunt 2 Week 2 (American) Sales
VG Chartz is now listing the game sales
of the week ending November 10th 2007. As expected the sales of Manhunt 2 have
about halved, the PS2 version is listed as the 27th best selling game of the
week with the Nintendo Wii build coming in at number 29, the PSP version didn't
break the top 50 all format charts.
On the single format charts the PSP version comes in as the 20th highest selling
title on the platform, on the Wii it is sitting in 8th place and on the PS2
it is in at second place, losing out only to Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.
As with the week prior the PSP and Wii bundled titles come in before Manhunt
2, knocking Manhunt 2 down a notch or two.
So you are probably wondering how many units it actually sold on each platform,
it breaks down as follows, PS2: 24,142, Wii: 23,168 and PSP: 3,536. This brings
the cumulative sales for Manhunt 2 on all three formats over the past two weeks
to 167,952 units.
Posted on: Nov 16 01:52 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | CFTC Call for Manhunt 2 Re-Rating
Washington Times is reporting that Ted Baehr (chairman of The Christian
Film and Television Commission) is the latest to join the Manhunt 2 hate bandwagon,
saying that the game needs bumped back up to an Adults Only rated title.
Manhunt 2 is a so-called "first-person shooter" but with an important
difference, unlike other first-person shooters where you are protecting yourself,
in Manhunt 2, you are seeking innocent victims. It teaches susceptible children
to commit sadistic violence.
Yeah! And another thing, those so called 'driving simulators' like Super Mario
Galaxy need done away with as well, they falsely lead children into believing
jumping on people is ok, well it isn't folks, it isn't!
Posted on: Nov 15 12:16 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Manhunt 2 Review Grouping #2
Nintendo World Report have reviewed Manhunt 2 on the Nintendo Wii and given
it 6 out of 10. They like the games atmosphere, environments and executions
but have problems with the hunters AI and graphical issues.
In order to like Manhunt 2, you have to not only enjoy the
absurdly violent tone that never fades away in the game, but also put up with
quite a large number of control and gameplay-related issues. Suffice it to
say, it was the latter requirement that I had trouble with.
I have to say that it is a mess of a review, the scores don’t
match up with the writing and the writer contradicts themselves from paragraph
to paragraph. Also, 7 hours competition time seems a few hours short to me,
the writer then says it is a decent length, I wouldn’t say 7 hour is a decent
length for a game.
Head over to Nintendo
World Report for the entire review.
Fanboy have rated Manhunt 2 on the PSP a 6.5 out of 10.
In the end, your enjoyment of Manhunt 2 comes down to your
love of stealth games or your love of movies like Hostel 1 & 2 which throw
violence and torture at you and expect that alone to entertain you. It is
not a horrible game by any means, and has solid enough core gameplay but there
are way better games out there right now that you could (and should) be playing
instead of this.
Blog has posted a very favourable review of the game, they don't say which
version they played but we can assume it was the PlayStation 2 build. While
they give no score for the game the reviewer does show a lot of admiration for
If you like this style of fiction, black humor, and fantasy,
I give this game a 9.5. I definitely got that level of enjoyment out of this,
and I’m sure others will too. If you are like most people and this just isn’t
your thing, then this is a terrible game and I give it a 1 out of 10.
Code Central gave the game a 3 out of 5 which translates to 'fare'.
In the end, it all comes down to the basic fact that a work
of art, created specifically for a mature audience, should not have been forced
to compromise the way that this game has been. Gamers who have been waiting
a long time for this game to come out, or even just gamers in general, should
definitely stay far away from Manhunt 2. While it is definitely not the worst
game I have ever played, it is definitely one of the biggest letdowns. With
as good as the original Manhunt was, and with as much hype as was behind this
title, it ultimately succeeds only in being a major disappointment. Even though
it has many faults, I can't help but think the game would have at least been
entertaining if it had rightfully been released in its original, unedited
form. Unfortunately, we will most likely never know. As it stands, perhaps
it would be best to not play Manhunt 2 until the unedited version gets released.
If the unedited version never gets released, you are better off just playing
the original Manhunt again and thinking about what could have been.
Club awarded the Nintendo Wii version of the game a B-.
Rockstar's usual cutting cultural commentary is absent, making
Manhunt 2 feel like a more modest game than its reputation indicates.
Boston Herald gave the game a B+ across all three platforms.
As in almost every violent game ever made, you are a good
guy or an antihero. Here, the killing can feel a bit like a one-trick pony:
hide in a shadow, sneak, kill, repeat. But in Rockstar Games fashion, it’s
entertaining for those of us not offended by what others call crass.
have rated the Wii build 7.6 out of 10.
In the end, Manhunt 2 has a lot to offer a stealth fan. The
gameplay is fairly well balanced, the sound effects are borderline perfect
and the executions are gratuitously satisfying. If you enjoyed the first Manhunt,
the sequel will satisfy your blood-thirst and offer some new challenges that
will keep you entertained from start to finish.
Media Network have rated the game 7 out of 10 on the Nintendo Wii.
This is a game that's definitely for the hardcore stealth gamer, not the
casual crowd. The violence is too edited for you to see anything clearly,
so concerned parents need not obsessively worry. There are far more violent
things in God of War than Manhunt 2. Still, Manhunt 2 should be rented before
Gay Gamer have also stuck up a review for the game on the Nintendo Wii and
have awarded the game a 3.5 out of 5.
If you liked the first one, Manhunt 2 is definitely up your alley. It still
caters to its target audience, so if you like that sorta thing - go for it.
The game would be a lot more entertaining for me if the censor filter was
not there and the play controls were a little more standard.
You can read the review in its entirety at Gay
Posted on: Nov 14 01:13 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Manhunt 2 Week 1 (American) Sales
VG Chartz is listing Manhunt 2 on the
PS2 as being the 10th best selling game in America as of the week ending November
03rd with the Nintendo Wii version being the 11th, the PSP version of the game
isn't listed within the top 50 overall sales.
On the PlayStation 2 the game sold 57,894 copies and was the second highest
selling game on the PS2, losing out only to Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.
The Nintendo Wii version of the game is the 4th best selling game of the week
on the system selling 51,371 units, falling behind Guitar Hero III: Legends
of Rock, Wii Sports and Wii Play. Keep in mind the sales of Wii Sport counts
for the amount of Wii consoles sold as it is a bundled game and a lot of the
Wii Play sales come from people buying an extra Wii Remote. So technically it
is the second best selling game on the Wii.
While the PSP version lands in the 6th place on the system trailing Star Wars
Battlefront: Renegade Squadron, Castlevania Dracula X Chronicles, Daxter, Final
Fantasy Tactics: The Lion War and Madden NFL 08 with 7,841 units sold. The PSP
is available as bundles with Daxter and Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
so that will have had an effect on the sales of those two games also, so I’d
reckon that means Manhunt 2 was the 4th best selling game on the PSP.
By my math that would mean as of November 03rd Manhunt 2 had sold 117, 106
units across all three platforms.
Admittedly all of this doesn’t mean a whole lot to me as I don’t
regularly monitor sales charts but it would appear to me as though the game
has had a good first week with sales toppling big hitters such as The Simpsons
Game and Battalion Wars 2.
The line-up of games being released within this quarter is known to be one
of the strongest in years so the fact that Manhunt 2 was able to make any sort
of dent strikes me as being a success, and considering the negativity following
the game I would have to say it all looks good.
What really surprises me though are those Nintendo Wii sales numbers, just
ever so slightly trailing the PS2 sales. If industry know-it-alls are to be
believed then it is impossible for a ‘hardcore’ game to sell on
the system, it looks as though Manhunt 2 just might join the ranks along side
Resident Evil 4 proving the naysayers wrong.
I imagine the numbers will drop by half for its second week of sales and as
the big games keep on coming it will likely continue down that path, fingers
crossed that the sales stay at a healthy number. With no European release (as
of yet) the game is going to need to sell quite a bit for Manhunt 3 to get the
Posted on: Nov 13 01:01 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | SMDN agree with Leland Yee
San Mateo Daily News has spoken on Manhunt 2, they are agreeing with Leland
Yee's comments about the game. You may remember that Yee was the one that wanted
the Adults Only rating reinstated and for the ESRB to be investigated by the
FTC. This what they had to say:
Even if you disagree with them, critics of the brutal video game "Manhunt
2" deserve credit for raising the difficult issue of where to draw the
line with faux violence, a debate that many of us leave to producers and censors.
The company eventually trimmed enough to win the less-severe "mature"
rating for people 17 and up, clearing it for wider sales through big box retailers
The editing job failed to convince the United Kingdom, which banned both
versions of "Manhunt 2," and Target also has pulled it from distribution.
So either the British and Target have become too squeamish, or we have become
Yee argues the games teach young people violence as a problem-solver…
if a first-person, interactive game about a vicious rampage doesn’t
trigger an “adults only” rating, you have to wonder what would?
If Yee gets his investigation [of the ESRB], perhaps it would shed more light
on the rating board’s thinking…
Yee and other critics of violent video games deserve credit for forcing us
all to confront this vexing problem.
You can view the article in full over at the San
Mateo Daily News website.
Posted on: Nov 11 08:31 pm 2007 by: lazlow
|Manhunt 2 News | IGN Post Manhunt 2 Game Guide
IGN have posted their Manhunt 2 Game Guide. The good news is that it appears
to be available for everyone and not just IGN Insiders, the bad news is that
the guide isn’t complete as of yet, but I am sure it will be in the coming
days. Insiders of course (will eventually) have access to downloading the guide
as a PDF file and game play videos to accompany the guide.
There are four main sections to the guide:
- Tools of the Trade
The guide doesn’t offer anything to anyone who has finished the game, or knows
what they are doing, but if you don’t have the game or are stuck I imagine it
would be mighty useful. You can view the guide by heading over to IGN
Speaking of guides, the official Manhunt 2 strategy guide ended up being (roughly)
160 pages, back when I first posted about it the guide was touted at as being
240 pages, at the time I thought that was rather hefty, so what of the omitted
80 pages? The back of the guide thanks Rockstar London for carefully reviewing
the guide, I imagine in this process a lot was removed, including the ‘in-depth
listing of enemies’. Oh and my guess of it being £11.99 in Britain was dead
on - as the back of the guide indicates. But that is supposing the guide is
ever available outside of North America.
You can actually download a sample from the official Manhunt 2 strategy guide
from the Brady
Posted on: Nov 10 04:14 pm 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | WCCO Report on Target Removal
Since Target announced in a press release that it would be pulling Manhunt
2 from store shelves, local TV station WCCO based in Minneapolis have made a
report on the subject. In the news report they talked to Best Buy who said the
reason they are keeping the game on the shelves was because they stock several
movies that are more violent than Manhunt 2. They also featured a sit down interview
with Matt Helgeson who is the senior editor of Game Informer, he said that Target
currently stock several movies that are every bit as gory as Manhunt 2 and that
he could probably purchase 10 or more.
You can view the video on our YouTube
Posted on: Nov 08 08:53 pm 2007 by: lazlow
|Manhunt 2 News | Game Trailers Review Manhunt 2
Trailers have finally got around to sticking up their video review for Manhunt
2. For the purpose of the review they played the Nintendo Wii version of the
game and gave it 6.9 out of 10. Their biggest gripe about the game seems to
be about the modified camera filter (didn’t see that one coming, did you?) but
from watching their review I think they played through about 80% of the game
in fist fights anyway.
You can also view the video on our YouTube
And before I forget again, a lot of you are wondering about the Manhunt 2 TV
spots, well apparently there are none. I have asked Rockstar and as of yesterday
at least there have been none released. Maybe they figure the game doesn’t need
them, or maybe it is to avoid the possibility of further backlash against the
title. I hope they eventually put some out; the TV spots for the original game
were great, even better than the trailer in my opinion.
Posted on: Nov 08 12:54 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | FEARnet Manhunt 2 Coverage Update
Back in May it was announced by Rockstar through the official
Manhunt 2 website that FEARnet
(available to Comcast cable TV subscribers) would run a bunch of Manhunt 2 footage
throughout July and August. With the game getting a set back it meant that the
footage didn’t air. Rockstar confirmed to me earlier this week that the footage
will air on the channel this week. If anyone manages to catch the footage please
drop us an email and let
us know what they are showing or better yet if you are able to record the footage
send that in as well.
Posted on: Nov 08 12:35 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Target confirm Manhunt 2 removal
Earlier in the week Target stores in America were rumored to be removing Manhunt
2 from store shelves, this was confirmed yesterday in a statement given to ABC
All video games and computer software sold at Target currently carry ratings
by the Entertainment Software Rating Board — from early childhood through
mature audiences. While 'Manhunt 2' was given a 'Mature' rating by the ESRB,
we received additional information that players can potentially view previously
filtered content by altering the game code. As a result, we have decided not
to carry the game.
You can read the article in it's entirety by heading over to ABC
Posted on: Nov 07 10:02 pm 2007 by: lazlow
|Manhunt 2 News | Game Daily Review Manhunt 2
Game Daily has posted their review of Manhunt 2. For the sake of the review
they played the PSP version of the game. They awarded the game a 6 out of 10
and say that graphically it looks better on the PSP due to it having a smaller
screen and have praise for the games audio.
Due to its underwhelming story and repetitive gameplay, Manhunt 2 is the
very definition of average. It seems to dish out violence simply for the sake
of violence, as well as showcase other offensive taboos that make this game
appealing to only a minority of gamers. Thanks to the censoring it received,
it's unlikely to please its intended audience, who would have likely purchased
it with an AO rating had Sony allowed that.
You can read the review in entirety by heading over to Game
Posted on: Nov 07 06:06 pm 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Pachter Comments on Manhunt 2 Sales
GamePolitics contacted Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter to get his views
on how Manhunt 2 would likely do financially with all the hoo-ha that has been
kicked up about it. Pachter reckons the bad media coverage the game has had
will likely hurt it rather than favour it, he says the game not being released
in Europe will probably prevent it from being a ‘big moneymaker’
and that outside of the Resident Evil franchise horror games have not being
a huge success.
He also said the following about Target removing the game from store shelves:
I’m surprised at Target’s reaction. The game being removed from
Target’s shelves is no more violent than any other M-rated game. The
typical Target customer probably doesn’t have a UMD hacker kit, and
the risk of any backlash to Target is remote.
It’s impossible to tell what other stores will do, but I remember that
when GTA 3 was released (around the time of the Washington, D.C. sniper),
some Wal-Marts in the mid-Atlantic refused to carry the game because there
was a sniper rifle as one of the weapons. That lasted till the game became
a best seller (probably three weeks), and the store chain suddenly lost its
I don’t think individual retail chains should play censor. The ESRB
is charged with rating games, and the retailers should not superimpose their
judgment based upon media reports. It’s hard for me to conceive of the
possibility that the decisionmaker at Target actually played the game. They
should have a policy about what to carry and stick with it–either carry
M-rated games or don’t, but don’t make exceptions because of media
here to read the entire article.
Posted on: Nov 06 11:41 pm 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | IGN Reflect on Manhunt 2 Backlash
IGN have posted an article titled ‘Manhunt 2: After the Storm’
with a sub heading of ‘Edited versus unedited, Wii versus PS2, us versus
them’. Although I don't know why as there is very little in comparison
made between the various releases of the game, what is mentioned is the differences
between how you perform the executions on both platforms but other than that
there is very little compared between the two.
The feature is basically just the opinion of IGN's David Clayman over the whole
issue surrounding Manhunt 2 and the media induced frenzy. It is pretty much
a poke at the media and those that apposed Manhunt 2 including the ESRB and
very much in favour of the game.
We're left with is a conclusive post-mortem finding: Manhunt 2 was never
worthy of the insanity that surrounded its release. It was the scapegoat of
an uninformed media and an unworthy champion to those in favor overhauling
the ratings system. But not to worry, if history is any indication this controversy
will simply repeat itself next year.
The article would have been a whole lot more effective a few months ago when
the opinion of the gaming media would actually have mattered, instead they decided
to aid in the backlash towards Rockstar with their attention squarely focused
on the smaller issues of the game and their real opinion is now forced
to be posted after the game has been released and hidden off in a corner of
For whatever reason the article is only available to IGN Insider members, if
you are an Insider then click
here to view the article. If you aren't then you can rest easy knowing that
you aren't missing a whole lot. You can pick up on everything mentioned by reading
the news posts made here over the past few days.
Posted on: Nov 06 11:48 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | More Ex-Rockstar Vienna Frustration
Jurie Horneman has again updated his blog but this time he is linking to another
ex Rockstar Vienna employee’s blog,
White, who was apparently a programmer at the studio.
I haven’t played the released version myself, but it sounds like it’s
virtually identical to the PS2 & Xbox version we finished back in summer
2006, apart from the edits needed to comply with the ESRB, obviously.
At least Wikipedia and the Austrian National broadcaster ORF [German language]
give us credit, despite the blatent lies that the Rockstar PR machine spews
Then again, it’s a crap game, as the developers knew all along, so
perhaps it’s no great loss that I’m not officially connected with
Sheesh, that is pretty harsh, it doesn’t come across as being bitter
Posted on: Nov 06 02:05 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Manhunt 2 Review Grouping
The November 02nd issue of Penny Arcades web comic takes a stab at Manhunt
2 and the media hype that has attached itself to the game. You can view the
web comic here: Painstaking
Tim Swift of The Baltimore Sun has reviewed Manhunt 2, apparently he isn't
much of a fan:
For better or worse, the violence is an essential part of the concept of
the game, but the rest of the hot-button content of Manhunt 2 feels tacked
on for shock value alone. With one of the levels set in a bondage bar, the
sexual content is laughable (which was probably the intent) and the rest is
just as juvenile. The general theme of Manhunt 2 seems to be: offend first,
Head over to the The
Baltimore Sun for the entire review.
Opposable Thumbs reviewer Ben Kuchera’s review of the game is for the
most part good. His main problem seems to be that the subject material isn’t
for him, although he accepts that Manhunt 2 is a good enough game and is in
favour of it.
What bothered me was that the single choking sensation of being hunted and
killing those after you in increasingly violent and creative ways felt claustophobic
after only an hour or so, and while the game makes you feel like someone who
has escaped from a mental institution... is that something you want to feel?
I don't ask in a "I don't think you can take it" way, I'm merely
saying that you had better have a stomach for horror, a resistance to blood,
and a very deep love of the darker things in life to gain any kind of enjoyment
out of Manhunt 2.
To read the whole review click on over to Opposable
411mania's have rated Manhunt 2 a 4 out of 10, with the reviewer having issues
with, well, everything about the game really.
Manhunt 2 simply isn’t all that fun. The original title in the series
offered a dark ambience and some severe psychological commentary, and this
sequel retreads some of those paths but by now the magic is long gone. There
isn’t much to feel for any of the characters involved and at no time
do we feel any attachment to them. The gameplay only serves to frustrate between
cut scenes and doesn’t serve to enhance or heighten the tension in any
The review is full of inaccuracies and contradictory remarks on behalf of reviewer
Damian Sarcuni, some of which beg the question of if he played the same game
as the rest of us. He gave the games sound a 5.1 out of 10, maybe nothing else
needs said about his review then. Chuckle away at the review over at 411media.
on the other hand is far more positive giving the game 7.6 out of 10. Softpedia's
games editor Filip Truta lists the games horror-like movie atmosphere, soundtrack
and stealth components as being great while having issues with the games visuals
(on the PS2) and some control issues.
Even though looks and controls do tend to be unsatisfactory to the point
that you just ask yourself, "what on Earth have they been working on
for so long?", Manhunt 2 does deliver what it promised to deliver: terrifying,
bloody, dirty, gritty, mentally-unstable action, with a touch of drama, provided
by a very inspired soundtrack, all held together by an upsetting, yet realistic
plot. We'd like to say that Manhunt 2 isn't for those weak of heart, but the
reality is that Rockstar's game isn't for anyone with a heart.
The Star has also reviewed Manhunt 2. Marc Saltzman had the following to say:
If the talented developers who created Manhunt 2 put half as much effort
into making the game as fun as they did shocking, it might be worth picking
up. Instead, this disturbingly violent game is simply an average adventure
that delivers more kills than thrills – not to mention some annoying
technical glitches that also mar the experience.
He gave the game an overall score of 2 and a half out of a peculiarly chosen
4. You can read the rest of the review over at The
Posted on: Nov 06 01:00 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Target remove Manhunt 2 from stores?
Target stores are rumoured to be removing Manhunt 2 from shelves and apparently
asking mangers to refuse deliveries of the game. A member over at Evil Avatar
forums was informed of an internal memo, they said that Take-Two have agreed
to take back all unopened stock of the game.
The listing for Manhunt 2 on the Target
website currently says "This item is available online, but is not available
in stores." under the listing for the psp version. The website would apparently
confirm this but after seeing the Manhunt 2 Signature Series Guide is currently
listed at the site as not being released yet it is hard to say that the website
can actually confirm the rumour.
This could be a result of all the negative TV and press coverage that Manhunt
2 have been receiving recently, if you want to see more on that head over to
our Youtube page for
some the news reports featuring Manhunt 2.
Posted on: Nov 05 03:24 am 2007 by: lazlow
|Manhunt 2 News | Destructoid review Manhunt 2
Destructoid have reviewed Manhunt 2 on the Nintendo Wii giving the game a
2.5 but saying to forget it as the review verdict. The reviewer is less than
happy with the game citing some of the issues with the game as lazy level design,
the graphics, the modified execution camera and the gameplay. It does have some
good points though the motion controls on the Wii get a postive review as does
getting guns earlier in the game. Overall the reviewer didn't like the game
which is fair enough.
You can read the full review over at Destructoid.
Posted on: Nov 04 06:59 pm 2007 by: lazlow
|Manhunt 2 News | Manhunt 2 News Dump: Saturday Edition
Dennis McCauley of GamePolitics fame posts a weekly column titled The Political
Game over at Joystiq. This week his column focuses on Manhunt 2 and the media
frenzy that the game has stirred up.
The ESRB probably thought it was done with Manhunt 2, but that's about to change.
The watchdogs were demanding to know how the game escaped the dreaded AO even
before the PSP hacks were revealed. Now? Batten down the hatches and get ready
for a rough ride. What could have been – should have been – a big
win for the rating board seems likely instead become the subject of political
attack and fodder for congressional committees for a long time to come.
Check out the column in its entirety here: The
Political Game: Manhunt 2, the gift that keeps on giving
San Jose Mercury-News’s Dean Takahashi has made yet another post about
Manhunt 2 on his blog. Although this time it revolves around the Manhunt 2 modification
investigation results released by the ESRB yesterday.
Evidently Mr. Takahashi is having problems understanding why Manhunt 2 gets
a pass by the ESRB:
Here’s what doesn’t make sense to me. Vance said it was easy
to modify the PC version of GTA: San Andreas to depict Hot Coffee. Here she
notes that the player has to modify both the hardware and the software to
view the hacked code. What’s the difference? Isn’t it easy in
either case to download hacked code that removes the filters or unlocks content?
There is a technical difference here, but I’m not understanding it.
It seems to me that it would be just as easy to mod the Manhunt 2 game as
it was to install Hot Coffee.
I think the difference is that the Hot Coffee mini game in Grand Theft Auto:
San Andreas was never revealed to the ESRB, whereas the executions in Manhunt
2 were. I don’t think the relevance of the modification has anything to
do with it; what seems to be a bigger issue is if there is unapproved content
within the game directories, be it used or not within the game as intended when
burned to disk.
Head over to Dean
Takahashi's blog to read the rest of his post.
Games Radar has finally got around to posting about the ESRB investigation.
It is nothing that we haven’t read or known about before. If you are interested
in reading everything you can about it though you can view the article here.
The IGN Nintendo team also discussed Manhunt 2 on their IGN Wii-k
in Review Podcast they said that they still really recommend it and they
think they gave it a good score. They say they wish the executions hadn’t
been filtered but that they think there are worse things in the game than the
executions such as the perverts, killing cops and faeces throwing. The reason
they didn’t provide a separate Wii text review is because they agreed
with the PS2/PSP reviews and decided to just do a video review for it. When
they get to the readers question section of the podcast one reader asks what
they would have rated Manhunt 2 had it not been edited. Matt says that Rockstar
also asked them that question, Matt said he would have probably given it a straight
8 and Bozon said if he were to review the game he would have given it a 8.5.
And finally Eurogamer have posted an article titled ‘BBFC: Who are they
rating for?’ The article takes a stab at trying to work out the method
behind the thinking of the BBFC and the inconsistencies that it brings up.
The BBFC is reviewing its guidelines on classifications across the board
over the next year. The UK government's report on mature content in games
and children - The Byron Review - is due next March. As an independent body,
the BBFC insists it was not swayed by political pressure or fear of a media
backlash in twice refusing Manhunt 2 (the original game was linked, wrongly,
to the murder of a 14 year-old in 2004). If so, and given its staunch defence
of Cronenberg's latest grotesque work, exactly in whose interests was this
Many would doubtless be utterly appalled by the knifed eyeballs of Eastern
Promises and cheap slaughter of Manhunt 2. Fair enough; and these titles are
easily avoided. But there's plenty that would relish such gruesome, harmless
thrills - and in a free, democratic society, they should be allowed to enjoy
It is a pretty good article, you could (and have) read worse in the past few
months. Head over to Eurogamer
to read the entire article.
All of this is tiring stuff; I hope there is no news for a couple of days.
That way I could actually have some free time to myself!
Posted on: Nov 04 02:20 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | ESRB Manhunt 2 Investigation Results
The ESRB have now released details of their Manhunt 2 investigation and it
all looks positive for Take-Two and Rockstar.
Earlier this week we learned about a hack into the code of the PSP and PS2
versions of the game that removes special effects filters that were put in
place to obscure certain violent depictions. We have investigated the matter
and concluded that unauthorized versions of the game have been released on
the Internet along with instructions on how to modify the code to remove the
Once numerous changes to the game’s code have been made and other unauthorized
software programs have been downloaded to the hardware device which circumvent
security controls that prevent unauthorized games from being played on that
hardware, a player can view unobscured versions of certain violent acts in
the game. Contrary to some reports, however, we do not believe these modifications
fully restore the product to the version that originally received an AO rating,
nor is this a matter of unlocking content.
Our investigation indicates that the game’s publisher disclosed to
the ESRB all pertinent content in the authorized Mature-rated version of Manhunt
2 now available in stores, and complied with our guidelines on full disclosure
What parents, and indeed all consumers, need to be aware of is that computer
software and hardware devices are susceptible to unauthorized modification.
Parents should be cognizant of whether or not their children are engaging
in unauthorized modification of their games, consoles or handhelds, as those
modifications can change game content in ways that may be inconsistent with
the assigned ESRB rating. That being said, the vast majority of consumers
have not made the unauthorized modifications to their hardware necessary to
view the content at issue.
have posted a short text Q&A that was attached to the press release issued
by the ESRB as well as an audio
clip of the media Q&A from the conference.
Posted on: Nov 03 12:30 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Manhunt 2 Site Update
Rockstar have updated the news
section of the official Manhunt 2 website:
Manhunt 2 Now Available
Just in time for All Hallows Eve... the long-awaited horror
experience is here. Manhunt 2 is now available for Wii™, PSP® (PlayStation®Portable)
system and PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system.
here to order online.
They have also added a bunch of screenshots to the
images section of the site. They have all been around via magazines and
other websites for a number of weeks now, but for those of you not keeping track
it might be worth checking out. The downloads
section of the site still says there are 'more to come' so it looks like there
will be at least one more site update.
Posted on: Nov 03 12:20 am 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | ESRB to Report Manhunt 2 Investigation Results
are reporting that the ESRB will be holding a conference call at 2:30 PM Eastern
time regarding their Manhunt 2 investigation results.
The Entertainment Software Rating Board’s president, Patricia Vance,
will announce the results of its investigation into recent concerns about
Manhunt 2. A limited time will be available for questions following her statement.
It seems pretty pointless to me, what is there to investigate? The logistics
of the situation are obvious, what a waste of peoples time and energy. I didn’t
think the ESRB would give in to the demands watchdog groups so quickly.
Posted on: Nov 02 11:54 pm 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | PTC on Manhunt 2 Modifications
Parents Television Council or the PTC have also commented on Manhunt 2 also
asking for the ESRB to reinstate the Adults Only rating, at least until the
ESRB can investigate the press release Take-Two made yesterday. They want not
just Manhunt 2 to be put on hold but everything from Rockstar and Take-Two to
be put on hold a step too far. They have also throw in a threat of government
involvement if the ESRB don't do as they have asked. Can you believe these people?
Here is some of the statement released:
When Rockstar published Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas with ‘hidden
adult content, the ESRB rightfully instituted an ‘Adults Only’
rating when that adult content was disclosed. The ESRB also said that ‘If
a publisher wishes to ‘edit out’ pertinent content from a final
product, it must remove the content from the disc altogether
Immediately reinstate the ‘Adults Only’ rating for this game.
This action is consistent with ESRB precedent as demonstrated in the Grand
Theft Auto controversy surrounding the ‘hot coffee’ content.
Immediately suspend all ESRB review or consideration of any other software
published by Rockstar or Take-Two Interactive. Given the clear pattern of
contempt by Rockstar and Take-Two, these firms have breached the trust of
the entire video game rating system. In fact, to quote your words from the
Grand Theft Auto matter, Rockstar has ‘seriously undermined…the
credibility and utility’ of the ratings system.
Immediately disclose the content that was allegedly removed by Rockstar from
Manhunt 2 so that parents can have a clear understanding of exactly what remains
on those games which potentially can be accessed by their children.
Government involvement in this matter is the remedy of absolute last resort.
But unless the industry as a whole, including the ESRB, steps up to the plate
immediately and decisively, there is little doubt the video game ratings system
will face the specter of government oversight. Either the video game industry
will step up and do the right thing, or else it will defy the public interest
in order to preserve its own economic interest. I urge the ESRB to defend
the public interest.
Head over to Parents
Tv for the entire press release.
Posted on: Nov 02 10:49 pm 2007 by: lazlow
|Manhunt 2 News | Leland Yee on Manhunt 2 Modifications
Plenty of people have started commenting on the statement that Take-Two made
on the Illegal Modifications being made to Manhunt 2. Leland Yee has released
a press statement in which he asks for the the adults only rating to be reinstated
and for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate both Rockstar and the ESRB.
Here is the statement from Yee taken from the press release posted on govoffice.com:
Rating Board Again Fails Parents on Latest Violent Video Game
Not only should the AO (Adults Only) rating immediately be reinstated on
Manhunt 2, the Federal Trade Commission should investigate Rockstar and the
ESRB to determine how this was allowed to happen again.
Time and time again, the ESRB rating process fails parents. It is unconscionable
that the rating board would downgrade Manhunt 2’s rating from AO to
M and therefore make the game available to children. The ESRB and Rockstar
continuously put profits before children.
Parents deserve to know what, if any, content was truly removed to receive
the downgraded rating. ESRB has refused to publicly disclose whether or not
Rockstar divulged that such adult content could still be accessible. As if
we needed more evidence, this episode further puts into question the validity
of the entire rating system.
The Manhunt 2 scandal further demonstrates the need for [California’s
contested video game] law. I am hopeful that the courts will see that severe
penalties are necessary for those who sell horrifically violent games to minors.
Head over to Gov
Office for the entire press release.
Posted on: Nov 02 10:22 pm 2007 by: lazlow
|Manhunt 2 News | Take-Two Respond to Illegal Modifications
GamePolitics have posted a statement released by Take-Two regarding the illegal
modifications being made to Manhunt 2:
Multiple edits were made to revise Manhunt 2 for its M-rated version.
Hackers apparently have altered one of those edits to produce an illegally
modified version of the game that can only be played on an unauthorized, modified
PlayStation Portable handheld system.
All of the game material, and especially these specific edits, was submitted
to and reviewed by the ESRB in accordance with requirements regarding disclosure
that were enacted two years ago and any contrary suggestion is inaccurate
Take-Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick said, “I stand behind the game and
the ESRB ratings process. It is unfortunately the case that no one in the
entertainment software industry is immune from hacking. We hope that consumers
will not engage in hacking or download illegally modified copies of our games.
We encourage them to enjoy our games as they are meant to be played. We would
also like to emphasize that Manhunt 2 is intended for an audience aged 17
Head over to GamePolitics
for the entire article. I am sure it will surprise no one to know that Jack
Thompson is the first person to have replied to the post by GamePolitics. It
is just his usual rambles, how the game is now going to be recalled and how
this is ‘MUCH worse’ than the Hot Coffee issue.
Posted on: Nov 02 07:25 pm 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Uncredited Rockstar Vienna Developers
Those of you who have been around for long enough will undoubtedly remember
when we first broke word of Rockstar Vienna working on Manhunt 2, back when
Manhunt 2 was nothing but a wish list on the pages of our forums. When the studio
was closed there was a bit of worry, for one the game hadn’t been announced
by Rockstar and even to this day it has never been confirmed that Rockstar Vienna
were working on the game (although they were). But the question some had after
the closing of the studio and official announcement of the game was, were members
of the studio still working on the game (at another studio) and would they even
be credited with working on the game.
Yesterday Jurie Horneman (a one time Rockstar Vienna developer) shot me an
email with a link to a page he has posted on his website that lists some 55
former members of the studio that go without being credited as working on the
game. You can view the list of former developers here.
I am not even going to try and guess why they aren’t credited, I am sure
there is a reason for it. Thanks goes out to Mr. Horneman for finally confirming
that he worked on the game and for sending me this list.
Posted on: Nov 02 06:25 pm 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Manhunt 2 Media Coverage Roundup
Another day means another load of Manhunt 2 coverage, so let’s get on
Mike Antonucci of the San Jose Mercury-News has posted an article
parents should really do about “Manhunt 2?: Make their own decision. You
can probably guess what the article is about by reading the title alone.
Knoxville, Tennessee’s WATE-6 News have an article up by the
title of Is
new 'Manhunt 2' video game too violent? It is pretty much the same article
that you have been reading, watching, hearing and discussing about for several
months now. Oh and the answer is no.
If you head over to CBS News Video you can watch a clip of
Dr. Phil discussing Manhunt 2 on The
And finally Game
Informer is reporting that mental illness group ‘The National Alliance on
Mental Illness’ is up in arms about Manhunt 2 and asking that the game be further
modified and that no one purchase the game.
Posted on: Nov 02 06:03 pm 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | USA Today Review Manhunt 2
USA Today have reviewed Manhunt 2 and given it 6 out of 10. It is a fairly
negative review as a whole and you need not look further than the opening paragraph
to get the gist of it all:
If the talented developers who created Manhunt 2 put half as much effort
into making the game fun as they did shocking, it might be worth picking up.
But this is not the case as this disturbing violent game is simply an average
adventure that delivers more kills than thrills — not to mention some
annoying technical glitches that can also mar the experience.
You can read the review it its entirety over at USA
Posted on: Nov 02 06:01 pm 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | Modhunt 2 Acknowledged
I am just posting to acknowledge that we are aware of the modifications that
people have been making to the retail version of Manhunt 2 and that Rockstar
has already been informed of it happening.
Please don’t encourage it, I am sure a repeat of the Hot Coffee issue
is the last thing Rockstar needs thrown their way at this moment in time.
Posted on: Nov 01 05:31 pm 2007 by: pogo
|Manhunt 2 News | More Manhunt 2 Reviews
Albuquerque Tribune and GamePro have posted reviews for Manhunt 2 on Nintendo
Wii both are largely positive overall but GamePro do seem to have issues with
the controls on the Wii probably something you will need to get used too because
they found it to be confusing at first. They say that the executions are actually
what saved the game, surprising with all of the negative talk about the filters
by everyone else, they had this to say about the controls and the executions:
The controls are passable but ultimately, they feel clunky and stiff, and
that's just for mundane tasks like walking down hallways. When I finally got
to the much-discussed killing sequences, I often found myself confused by
the motion sensing controls and unable to pull off the necessary moves.
Ironically, the one thing that saves the game are the many different executions.
Creep up close enough to an enemy and you can activate a gruesome mutilation
that requires you to swing the Wii Remote and Nunchuks around. As I mentioned
above, the controls do get a little confusing but it does provide a nice visceral
edge that most games can't even begin to touch.
GamePro's review broke down like this:
PROS: Motion-sensing assassinations are interesting. Game's atmosphere is
CONS: Clunky controls, mediocre graphics, and repetitive gameplay.
Albuquerque Tribune had this to say on the game:
The fights are soooo funny - and using the remote and nunchuk in brawls rocks.
For tougher enemies, you can get a miniworkout whipping the devil out of them.
You can use your fists, knives, gas, plastic bags (a cool carryover) and crowbars
early - and progress to pistols, guns and sniper rifles. As far as the hand
weapons, you swing the remote, if it's in your right hand, and rock your enemies
world. You will let out a devil giggle watching a crowbar splatter your enemy's
blood all over the place. And amazingly, some of these guys can take a beating!
After you finish and they're on the ground, you can move the remote down quickly
and whip them while they are on the floor.
You can also use the remote and nunchuk to thrust your knife/blade/sharp
edged object forward and even use the controllers to *shake* a person. The
control scheme is one of the coolest uses of the Wii remote since Wii Sports.
Included in the breakdown of the review are reasons to care about the game
and what they thought were the good, the bad and the ugly points. They gave
the game an 8 out of 10 overall which is in line with what we were seeing back
when the game was first reviewed without the filters, surprising when it isn't
factored into the score how it can change. Here is what they said:
Why should I care: The sequel to Rockstar's "Manhunt" offers somewhat
toned down killing, but still enough action and twists to keep gamers satisfied.
The good: It's a R* game ... excellent use of the Wii remote and nunchuk,
fresh plot but still have some pretty good features from the original, stealth
kills and several weapons to make killing a work of art.
The bad: Hiding bodies - hiding in the shadows - hiding - Sam Fisher meets
"Grand Theft Auto" - oh, how I love to shoot out lights - sometimes,
it's so watered down it could be rated T - just kidding.
The ugly: The first 5 minutes of the game. Trust me - you'll see some interesting
characters as you search for a way out of the hospital.
Overall: 8 (out of 10): R*'s newest offering isn't perfect, and doing the
Sam Fisher, shooting lights, loving the shadows and hiding bodies is about
as enjoyable as a video game character eating food or working out ... opps!
But it's still a blast, toned down and all.
You can read the full reviews over at GamePro
Posted on: Nov 01 04:38 pm 2007 by: lazlow