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ESRB leak reveals details of No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle’s well-earned M-rating

Monday, 30th November 2009 01:50 GMT By Nathan Grayson

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Like Killer 7 and No More Heroes before it, No More Heroes: Desperate Struggle’s got “Suda51″ written all over it. Translation: It’s weird. Grown-up weird. Phallic imagery everywhere weird. And you know what that means. Yep! A very entertaining ESRB write-up. Here’s a snippet:

“Two women (clad in bikinis) get suspended in mid-air, get caught between the flashing lights, lasers, and frenetic sword swipes of an assassins’ duel—the women’s heads slide across the floor once the men stop fighting.”

The listing also reveals the return of Bizarre Jelly, a fake anime that was featured in the first game. Even the show’s opening’s quick “one-to-two seconds” of bare buttock were unable to escape the ESRB’s watchful eye.

We’ve posted the full listing after the break in order to avoid unnecessary spoilage. So have at it. Take a glimpse inside Suda51′s loony bin-ripe mind for solid proof that he’s still got “it.” By which we mean his game design chops. As for the other “it” – you know, his sanity – we’re pretty sure he lost it a long, long time ago.

Players assume the role of Travis, an anime-watching assassin who fights his way through the ranks to become the number-one assassin. Being an assassin means using a retractable katana blade (i.e., a laser sword); it means slicing, chopping, and dismembering human enemies to death in this highly-stylized (somewhat “cartoony”), cell-shaded action game. The depictions of violence in the game are intense, yet somewhat exaggerated: men in black suits are sliced in-half as blood and money flow from their bodies; an assassin with a boombox does not recover after his lower torso has been chopped off—after blood shoots from his empty waist like a geyser; and two women (clad in bikinis) get suspended in mid-air, get caught between the flashing lights, lasers, and frenetic sword swipes of an assassins’ duel—the women’s heads slide across the floor once the men stop fighting. Cutscenes depict more dismemberment: assassins slicing each other into several pieces in slow-motion, enemies pulling their own heads off, characters displaying trophy-heads on silver platters. These over-the-top depictions of violence account for the Mature rating; they also account for the Intense Violence and Blood and Gore descriptors. The language is strong, too, as characters sometimes use the phrases “f**king a*shole,” “f**khead,” and “You gotta be sh**tin’ me!”

The game contains sexual overtones and partial nudity. Players can watch portions of an anime show called Bizarre Jelly; the opening credits depict a female character whose clothes suddenly disappear, revealing her bare buttocks (one-to-two seconds). Game dialogue contains sexual references, including the phrases “dirty nympho,” “the one that’s throbbing,” and “I feel like that pervy teacher in a porn.” Female assassins are depicted in low-cut tops, thongs, short schoolgirl uniforms, and fishnet bondage-style outfits; breasts and buttocks jiggle, and the camera often lingers (there is no equivalent physics applied to male body parts). A couple of cutscenes contain strong sexual innuendo: when characters enter a store, a surprised clerk struggles with his belt buckle and zips up his pants (e.g., “I was just. Uh, doing inventory.”); a woman moves a katana blade in front of a man’s groin, kneels down, and kisses it (the blade), causing the retractable laser to extend. The battery meter for Travis’s sword is always represented by a cartoon-like penis icon in the upper-right corner of the screen: as battery power runs out, the icon starts to shrink—a sad face appears.

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