Even with the introduction of an R18+ adults only rating in Australia, video games are still being edited before making it Down Under. The latest? South Park: The Stick of Truth, which was labelled R18+ last week. Turns out, Aussies will be getting a censored version of the cartoon RPG when it arrives in March.
At this stage, it’s unclear exactly what has been changed in the game, but a spokesperson from Ubisoft has told us that a “slightly modified version of South Park The Stick of Truth has been approved for release in Australia on March 6″.
The Australian Classification Board actually rated South Park: The Stick of Truth twice. The official rating was the second time the game had been through the process. Three weeks earlier, the Board rated another Ubisoft title, Codename, which had the same “High impact crude humour, sex scenes and references to sexual violence” as South Park.
The rabbit hole continues, however: Both games were referred to as “modified” versions. We’re investigating what changes were made in the three weeks between Codename and South Park, and trying to discover if there is a third game that was submitted even earlier.
This is a role-playing adventure game based on the animated South Park TV show. Players assume the role of a new kid in town who embarks on various quests with other boys in the neighborhood. Players can engage in turn-based combat, selecting attacks from a menu screen. Players use various weapons (swords, baseball bats, hammers), magic spells and melee attacks during fights; blood-splatter effects sometimes occur. Cutscenes occasionally depict “cartoony” characters dismembered or decapitated. The game includes several instances of mature humor and sexual material: one extended sequence depicts characters getting anally probed by alien creatures; another sequence (in an abortion clinic) depicts doctors using a vacuum to perform procedures on male characters; one level takes place inside the rectum/colon of a character (sex toys, random objects and fecal matter appear in the level)—all sequences are depicted in a cartoony and over-the-top manner. Characters are occasionally depicted nude (e.g., breasts, buttocks, male genitalia); one extended sequence depicts an out-of-focus couple having sex in the background; as players engage in turn-based battle in the foreground, sexual moaning sounds/dialogue is heard. During the course of the game, drug paraphernalia can be seen strewn around a methamphetamine lab. The words “f**k,” “sh*t,” “a*shole,” and “f*ggot” can be heard in the dialogue.
…it will be interesting to see how the Australian reports differ.