After focusing their attention on Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand and Jeremy Clarkson over the last few weeks, it seems professional complainers will have a more traditional outlet when Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe hits these shores on November 21.
Controversy is bound to follow Midway's decision to leave in The Joker's gun-toting fatality; a move which has been given more coverage due to the fact that it's been taken out of the US release. The deadly finishing move sees the villain pull a gun and shoot his opponent in the head. We'll get to see the whole bloody thing, while our friends across the pond will have to make do with a toned-down version.
In an interview with Videogamer (http://www.videogamer.com/news/06-11-2008-9867.html), Midway's Hans Lo explained that the game would be given a Teen rating in the States, meaning it can be purchased by younger teens, while in Europe it'll gain itself a higher rating and allow the grim-but-cool fatality (which you can see at the end of this video clip http://www.gametrailers.com/player/38955.html) to remain.
Cue the Daily Mail-brigade getting their knickers in all kinds of knots. First, this obviously "glamorises" gun violence and will make scores of kids hunt out firearms and start shooting. Second, on the back of research which suggests videogames have long-term effects on children's violent behaviour, questions are bound to be asked about the "responsibility" of the videogame industry towards children, despite the fact that, due to the rating, the game shouldn't even be played by kids. Finally, it throws a Glock-shaped cat among the pigeons when it comes to the debate over game rating in this country. The government would like to see more involvement from the BBFC in this matter, but PEGI continues to insist that it can handle game rating, and is pushing to implement a traffic light system. A report is due on the issue the day before MK vs DC hits shops.