March 2009 Edition

M for Mature Month One
PSP of the Month : Manhunt 2 & Casey the Co-Ed UMD

It’s been awhile since I last dropped off some review content, mostly
because I happen to still be out of review content… every time I plan
to go shopping for fresh content something happens and I usually end
up paying bills or feeding the pets or whatnot. It never goes to where
it’s supposed to go!

Speaking of things that never go right, how about during slow months
we keep an ever steady eye on one of my usual topics (the video game
industry) and ask… well if they keep trying to censor video games why
aren’t they just not adult enough in some cases (mainly sex). Yes, in
Japan you can find titles for even the handhelds (from the GBA and PSP
to probably the DS) with adult sex content, but not in America! Oh no,
not in America… so where did our adult freedoms go?

Well while we look for that (and the UK struggles against draconian
anti-sex publication laws from the censor mongers) let’s ponder the
first month’s worth of adult content  for today‘s subject system the
PSP with… Manhunt 2, Bounce and (name).


Manhunt 2
Released by Rockstar Games
3 censored killing sprees out of 5

Oh why Rockstar! Why! Considering how much we so love you with your
Grand Theft Auto series and your take on The Warriors why did you have
to go and suck the air out of the PSP (and other console systems) with
this lacking M for Mature (downgraded from a rare Adults Only AO grade
for over the top violence) game that just doesn’t cut the mustard… or
the guy who would put the mustard on your hot dog if you asked him to.

Oh sure surprise us why don’t you, Rockstar Games. A game about
killing people or escaping from the insane asylum to kill people isn’t
all that rare. I’m sure we’ve done some variant of this formula in
other games, for instance escaping from prison in the original The
Suffering game (PS2) comes to mind, only I happened to like that game
abit more than this even if The Suffering had some serious clipping
issues!

So then, when the “controversial” Manhunt 2 came out sometime ago
(spade and neutered from a release killing AO18+ to a M17+ rating)…?
Well, yeah. Somehow from release to now people have been told
endlessly that the game was, to sum it up, a long list of “lowered
expectations” (like that old MAD TV skit only without the dysfunction…
oh, no, wait, this had the dysfunctional too). And, yes, like Leisure
Suit Larry : Magna Cum Laude (PS2 & Xbox, another game victimized by
over censorship despite the fact the game was targeted at an ADULT
audience) I am pretty sure putting the extra content back into Manhunt
2 won’t make the game any better. (In fact abit less of the violent
Punisher meets God of War style fatalities could have done us all a
world of good.  Ah, but you know that’s just me. OK. Let’s go strangle
some video game pixels now.

Hate the homicidally insane homeless? Play Condemned and it’s sequel
Condemned 2 (both available on the XBox360).
Want to attempt to relive the killing of Saw in a video game? Well…
say, did they ever released that long promised Saw The Video Game or
did somebody finally wise up and nipped that release in the bud before
it buried the already going out the door franchise?

However what if you want to play a game that almost wasn’t because of
the damnable evil that is the ESRB, filled with content promised to be
good yet not living up to it’s full potential (and by that I don’t
mean just because it was watered down to satisfy the whiney people in
the world) then there‘s Manhunt 2 for whatever system you can find it
on… me? I could find it on the PS2, Wii and PSP… but I stuck to the
PSP, heaven help me.

Ah, the ESRB. Yes, that ESRB, the three closeted culture rejecting
C.A.V.E.rs (aka Citizens Against Virtually Everything) who seem to
love to hate everything human in games and gaming -- ah, you know
what? They should totally quit the ESRB and form their own intolerance
religion, the Church of ESRB and the Latterday Censormongers. Yeah,
that‘d be more their speed than rating games they probably couldn‘t
play in the first place.)

Anyway because of them the game’s violent “fatalities’ were watered
down and “censored“, which is actually an eyesore considering how damn
red and wacky the screen gets during the many Punisher meets God of
War style violent killing scenes you can unleash on the bad guys… wow,
speaking frankly and personally I‘m so glad I got rid of this game
after I reviewed it because I don‘t think I could stand seeing those
scenes no more, the censorship hurt my eyes. Oh, otherwise killing in
Manhunt 2? Not so hard. Sneak up behind someone and quickly hold down
the Square button when you are in range to go through the killing
scene… yeah, right. That’s kinda anticlimactic these days post the God
of War series (and the button tapping deaths inspired by the killing
mini games from God of War 1, 2 and Chains of Olympus for the PSP).
Oh, and if that’s censorship it’s not very good because I still got
the gist of the kills even with the “censorship” and all.

Then there’s the sex in this game. Yeah. Right. Odd. The game box
still says “Mature Sexual Content” despite the fact most of the mature
content has been systematically watered down to the point of
pointlessness (either that or I just didn‘t look hard enough for
whatever tidbits of sex managed to survive the gory hatchet job of the
censors). Manhunt 2 is kinda like (actually very much like) GTA : San
Andreas and it’s warning that doesn’t live up to the less that mature
content of the game which was wiped out so fast you‘d be surprised how
fast they removed it. Yeah, a car rocking back and forth is so mature…
right (did you have to kill off “Hot Coffee“ mode stupid Rockstar
Games, and bend your spine to the whinies? That‘s my name for whiney
parents from now on, the Whinies (bottled up in a large bottle of wine
no doubt ready to whine)).

Anyway back to Manhunt 2. So everyone, when it comes down to it you’re
here for all the violence of the gameplay… mostly since this is like a
police cordoned off accident scene in the middle of rush hour traffic,
with the guy waving you on though telling everyone there’s nothing to
see here… well, same thing, there’s nothing sexual to see here in this
game (maybe the one repeating sex scene in the porn theater but that’s
it). As for the gameplay? It’s like somebody married a Survival Horror
franchise game to Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell slash Metal Gear Solid
slash The Punisher (and it wasn’t a pretty marriage either) as the
game seems to take heavily from these three titles at once. (And yes,
when I say The Punisher I mean the game which came out after the
second Punisher movie with John Travolta, based on the first story arc
of comics from Garth Ennis).

Let’s see…
Sneaking around stalking people? Why that’s Splinter Cell and MGS.
Hiding the darkness and ambushing people? Again that’s Splinter Cell & MGS.
Flattening yourself out against a wall and “tapping” to draw guards
towards you? Once again it’s Splinter Cell and MGS.
Brutally killing people you sneak up on (or shooting them down)?
That‘s The Punisher!
Dragging the dead bodies and hiding them in dark areas? All three!

Itemwise you can only hold a few items (one of each type) in your
possession, so you should use each to the fullest advantage…oh, let’s
just round it out already!

The game’s story is a little interesting, but not to the standards of
Silent Hill or any other really moody set piece Survival Horror video
game of death and violence. Each level plays out the same as any other
level (go from point A to B killing whatever people you can to
progress), and the story isn’t all that compelling unless you’re
really into games like this. There is a twist ending, there is abit of
Silent Hill but not enough to hold you. In fact I‘d say that this game
cut scenes and sometimes gameplay is sorta like licking a
hallucinogenic postage stamp in that there’s a little something there
to freak you out, but it won’t last you long -- just like licking
wacky postage stamps.

Sure, as it turns out some people swear by this game (and say they
enjoyed playing this game) but for me it’s a give or take proposition.
If you don’t mind that it’s a least a decent enough stealth game for
the PSP, and you can get your Splinter Cell on here better than the
first or second Splinter Cell game for the PSP (whichever game Chaos
Theory was) then go for it. Of course if you’re here more for a
Survival Horror game than a Stealth game then maybe you should stick
to Silent Hill : Origins. That should serve you better.

On the plus side it’s easy enough to pick up and learn, and overall
the controls are not too bad for a PSP title (sometimes games just
don’t play well on the PSP controls). The real flaw with this game
(besides the repetitive gameplay) is the wonky camera that seems to
(bleep) out at the worst times (mainly when your coming out of hiding
behind something to sneak up on people, the camera seems to want to
look at you more than your target so you lose sight of the target for
a few seconds while trying to sneak up on it… which, as you guessed,
is a bad thing when your trying to sneak up on things.)

Autolock works, but that’s all it does and it’s really not too
innovative and you only get a lock on when your shooting at people
(nothing to help you when your flaying about trying to hit people in
melee combat). And did I mention the game seems to be mostly the old
marriage adage of something Tom Clancy, something Metal Gear and
something Frank Castle? I mentioned that, didn’t I. Wow, for a game
that is supposed to be some sort of modern day video game masterpiece
(according to it’s creator when he was whining about the ESRB’s AO18+
original rating for the game) it sure does seem to be a mishmash of
cobbled together stuff for other games (better games) for something so
special.

Still it’s average and if you can buy it (or trade it) cheap it might
entertain you for awhile. Otherwise it’s not the great game people
were tricked into believing it could have been. Yuck, another “Bully”
for Rockstar Games (at least Bully, however, got a 5 out of 5 while
this game only scratches up 3 ultraviolent beatings of my eyeballs
every time I kill somebody stealthily out of 5. And to think I had
higher expectations for the waste of my money reviewing this when I
first reviewed this! Bleah!



FINAL SCORE - 3 out of 5
SEX CONTENT - Nothing I noticed worth contacting your favorite porn star over.
VIOLENCE CONTENT - Through the roof even for a watered down game.
OVERALL - Meh. I’m still waiting for DOA Xtreme Lesbian Erotica Beach
Volleyball… what? Never happen? Dang.

Casey the Co-Ed UMD
Released by Trinity Entertainment
Sight Unseen Recommendation

Yeah, I haven’t reviewed this yet but from the few good words said
about it I’m going to take it that I’m going to have good things to
say about this one should I eventually get ahold of it for review
(just, you know, not from the people who actually made it since nobody
in the Adult Entertainment business seems to want to fall over
themselves sending review copies to the Internet Media… yeah, they
suck).

So what is it about? According to Amazon.com, it’s 90 minutes of
softcore porn (hence they do the motions and you see tits but nothing
overtly graphic… though a good softcore sex movie beats no sex movies
eh?) in which “Paul is a reliable accountant who lacks skills in bed
so when young fiery co-ed Casey marries him she quickly tires of their
less-than-adventurous sex life. A painter Casey turns to her models
for satisfaction and soon enough Paul joins in as well!”

According to reviewers? There’s some good female-on-female lesbian
action going on here, and really who could ask for anything more…
though I did review a title once with lesbian action and softcore
lesbian action is abit limited due to the constraints of softcore
content, but again it’s better than the alternative (and that’s no sex
for you). And, well, this got a glowing mark of approval from one of
our fighting men over in Iraq so if he says this is worth looking into
then by golly I’m going to follow his word and look into this! Yes I
am… now if only I had a budget strong enough to do that sort of thing.
Sigh… have to put that on my “to review in the future” list and hope
to get to it one day. Double sigh.


FINAL SCORE - TBD
SEX - Softcore, but right now anything sex related on the PSP is
better than nothing (and so far I only know of two UMDs available on
this side of the Pacific with some sort of sex content, the rest is
Japanese import games and movies you have to search high and low to
pick up).
VIOLENCE - Nothing I hope!
OVERALL - It’s on my to do list. Honestly.


Next Month
We’ll jump over to the consoles and… the Wii?
Yes, the Wii, occasionally you can stumble on an adult title on the
Wii (though you never seem to stumble onto an adult title on the Wii
that wasn’t originally on the PC or PS2 or both)… case in point?
Obscure : The Aftermath. Watch teens huff on flowers for highs, watch
said teens realize huffing on flowers evil and opens door to
nightmarish monsters eating everyone scenario… then watch me pick and
pan this in one review and tell you why all those who bitch about this
game not having a story is so wrong… I wouldn’t be so ticked at this
game if it didn’t have a story, which it does.
That’s next month (I’ll announce in advance when fresh adult sex
reviews come in) so see you then.
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