Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge has won the dubious honour of attaining Australia’s first R18+ rating for a video game.
The Classification Board awarded the debut R18+ rating for Razor’s Edge’s “strong, bloody violence”. Classification Board director Lesley O’Brien said in a statement that video games which have a “high impact” are not suitable for ages below 18.
“Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge contains violence that is high in impact because of its frequency, high definition graphics, and emphasis on blood effects,” she explained.
The reating comes as something of a surprise not only for its late announcement – the Wii U exclusive arrived in Europe this week, and was a launch title in the US and Japan – but for its deviation from other platforms, where Ninja Gaiden 3 attracted an MA15+ rating. Internationally, both version of the game secured the same rating – M from the ESRB, 18+ from PEGI.
Razor’s Edge does contain all the DLC released for Ninja Gaiden 3 to date as well as a couple of features not seen in its PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 brethren, some of which increase the intensity of the action. That said, one of the political motivations for the introduction of the R18+ category was to allow for more consistent application of ratings, as some pressure groups believed games too high impact for MA15+ were being let through. There has been some call for games currently rated MA15+ to be reassessed for possible upgrade to R18+.
Australia’s long-awaited R18+ ratings category for games came into effect on New Year’s Day 2013 after literal years of debate and activism. Although most states and territories supported the new ratings category, Queenland is yet to introduce supportive legislation.