Think of the Children for January 21

Think of the Children for January 21

Written by Randy Kalista on 1/21/2009 for DS   PC   PS3   PSP   Wii   360  
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The ESRB is hard at work already, pushing a cool 100 games through the ratings sieve since the start of the new year. PC earns the shovelware award for leading the pack in rated releases, while the Mac makes a rare appearance--graced with LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures. The intriguing titles of the week are prescient of dark days to come; one is a 360 exclusive, the other a PS3 exclusive. Both are eyebrow-raising.

Some of the best bets you’ll find in this batch are--duh--Killzone 2 (PS3); the Ninja Gaiden-looking clone, Ninja Blade (360); and Dead Rising: Chop Till You Drop (Wii). The cross-platform performer of the week is SBK: Superbike World Championship (PC, PS3, PS2, PSP, 360, Wii).

Both the 360 and PS3 are playing nice with the following titles rated on both consoles: OutRun Online Arcade, Ead Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard, Street Fighter IV Collector’s Edition, and 3 on 3 NHL Arcade.

My intriguing titles of the week go by the name of Killzone 2 and Ninja Blade, both of which use suicide to seal their Mature ratings. In Killzone 2, one gravely wounded character retrieves a pistol and shoots himself in the head. And during a Ninja Blade cutscene, an enemy slits his own throat with a sword. Disturbing imagery indeed.

Title Publisher Rating Platforms
Atlantica Online NDOORS Corporation Teen PC
Backyard Baseball '10 Atari Everyone DS
Blood Ties eGames Inc Everyone 10+ PC
Codename: Panzers Cold War Atari Teen PC
My Friends Oxygen Games Everyone DS
Mata Hari dtp entertainment AG Teen PC
MLB 09: The Show SCEA Everyone PS2, PSP
MLB 09: The Show SCEA Everyone PS3
Puzzle Kingdoms Zoo Games, Inc. Everyone 10+ DS
Space Invaders® - The Original Game Taito Corporation Everyone Wii
Ultimate Ninja 4: Naruto Shippuden Namco Bandai Games America Teen PS2
Monsters vs. Aliens Activision-Blizzard Everyone 10+ PC, 360, PS3
OutRun Online Arcade Sega Everyone 360, PS3
World Mosaics eGames Inc Everyone PC
Imagine Family Doctor Ubisoft Everyone DS
Mini Ninjas Eidos Interactive Everyone 10+ DS
DCS: Black Shark The Fighter Collection Teen PC
Trivial Pursuit Electronic Arts Everyone PS2, 360, Wii, PS3
Texas Hold'em Tournament Digital Leisure Inc. Teen Wii
Yosumin! Square Enix, Inc Everyone PC
My City Mumbo Jumbo Everyone PC
Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard D3Publisher of America Teen 360, PS3
Tokyo Beat Down Atlus USA, Inc. Teen DS
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite Capcom Teen PSP
Darkest of Days Phantom EFX, Inc. Mature PC, 360
Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars - The Director's Cut Ubisoft Teen DS
Street Fighter IV Collector's Edition Capcom Teen 360, PS3
Saint UFO Interactive Games Everyone 10+ Wii
Savage Moon SCEA Teen PS3
Sarah: Keeper of the Unicorn DreamCatcher Interactive, Inc. Everyone DS
Clueless Fashion Paramount Pictures Everyone DS
Buccaneer - The Pursuit of Infamy Blitz Games Limited Everyone PC
Birth of America CDV Software Entertainment USA Everyone PC
Dragon Master Spell Caster Stickmen Limited Everyone 10+ Wii
Space Rangers 2: Reboot eGames Inc Teen PC
SpongeBob SquarePants Obstacle Odyssey 2: Time Trouble Nickelodeon Everyone PC
Secret of Mana Square Enix, Inc Everyone 10+ Wii
Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen Square Enix, Inc Everyone Wii
Ninja Blade Microsoft Mature 360
LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures Feral Entertainment Limited Everyone 10+ Mac
Reel Fishing Angler's Dream Natsume Inc. Everyone Wii
SONIC™ and the Black Knight Sega Everyone 10+ Wii
X-Men Origins: Wolverine Activision-Blizzard Everyone 10+ DS
The Game of Life™ by Hasbro RealNetworks Everyone PC
Pimp My Ride: Street Racing Activision-Blizzard Everyone DS
Dream Day Wedding Destinations ValuSoft Inc. Everyone DS
PDC World Championship Darts Oxygen Games Everyone DS
Touch Mechanic Aspyr Media, Inc. Everyone DS
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Stardust Accelerator: World Championship 2009 Konami Digital Entertainment Everyone DS
Ready 2 Rumble Revolution Atari Teen Wii
Buzz!™ Jr. Jungle Party SCEA Everyone 10+ PS3
Hysteria Hospital: Emergency Ward Oxygen Games Everyone PC, Wii
Hysteria Hospital: Emergency Ward Oxygen Games Everyone DS
Gel Gastronaut Studios LLC Everyone 360
Free Realms Sony Online Entertainment Everyone 10+ PC
The Sims 3 Electronic Arts Teen PC
Lonpos Nintendo Everyone Wii
Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics II Nintendo Everyone Wii
Super Punch-Out!! Nintendo Everyone Wii
Pop Town 505 Games Everyone DS
My Fashion Studio Paris Collection Ubisoft Everyone DS
Gran Turismo TV - Top Gear S6EP11 SCEA Teen PS3
Alabama Smith in Escape from Pompeii Viva Media LLC Everyone PC
The Destiny of Zorro 505 Games Everyone 10+ Wii
Kira Kira Pop Princess 505 Games Everyone DS
Heroes of Might and Magic V: Hammers of Fate Encore Software Teen PC
Heroes of Might and Magic V: Tribes of the East Encore Software Teen PC
No Gravity - The Plague Of Mind Anozor S.A.R.L. Everyone 10+ PSP
Funky Python Viva Media LLC Everyone PC
CSI: NY: The Game Ubisoft Teen PC
Can You See What I See? Curfuffle's Collectibles Mumbo Jumbo Everyone PC
Beach Party Craze Viva Media LLC Everyone PC
3 on 3 NHL Arcade Electronic Arts Everyone 360, PS3
CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder Encore Software Mature PC
Champion Dreams: First to Ride Encore Software Everyone PC
Equilibrio DK-Games Everyone Wii
Stand O' Food Viva Media LLC Everyone PC
The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match SNK Corporation of America Teen 360
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II THQ Inc Mature PC
SingStar Queen SCEA Teen PS2
Littlest Pet Shop Spring Electronic Arts Everyone DS
Scrabble Electronic Arts Everyone DS, PSP
The Tale of Despereaux Atari Everyone DS
The Tale of Despereaux Atari Everyone 10+ PC, PS2, Wii
We Ski & Snowboard Namco Bandai Games America Everyone Wii
SBK: Superbike World Championship Conspiracy Entertainment Corporation Everyone 10+ PC, PS2, PSP, 360, Wii, PS3
AC-130 Operation Devastation ValuSoft Inc. Teen PC
Killzone 2 SCEA Mature PS3
Little Magician's Magic Adventure Konami Digital Entertainment Everyone 10+ DS
Major League Baseball 2K9 Fantasy All-Stars 2K Games Everyone DS
Elite Forces: Unit 77 Koch Media Teen DS
Monsters vs. Aliens Activision-Blizzard Everyone DS
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. Ubisoft Teen PC, 360, PS3
MLB Front Office Manager 2K Games Everyone PC, 360, PS3
Ski-Doo Snowmobile Challenge Valcon Games LLC Everyone PC, 360, PS3
MySims Party Electronic Arts Everyone DS
Hot Shots Golf Fall Fashion Line 3 SCEA Everyone PS3
Don King Boxing 2K Games Teen Wii
Niki - Rock 'n' Ball Bplus Everyone Wii
Dead Rising Chop Till You Drop Capcom Mature Wii

Here is the final tally on who, what and where everything was rated for last week. There were 100 rated titles on eight platforms: PC (35), PS3 (16), PS2 (6), PSP (5), Wii (22), 360 (14), DS (27), and Mac (1). There were 69 of the 100 titles rated E10+ or lower, 25 rated T for Teen, and six (Darkest of Days, Ninja Blade, CSI: 3 Dimensions of Murder, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, Killzone 2, and Dead Rising Chop Till You Drop) rated M for Mature.

The running tally of game ratings in 2009 is as follows:
Rating Count
Everyone 52
Everyone 10+ 17
Teen 25
Mature 6
Adults Only 0

Got a comment on the article or a rated game?  Put it in the comments section or send me an e-mail. Until next week, make sure you know what your kids are playing……


*The weekly Intriguing Title of the Week (and any game that is tossed in that paragraph) is identified based on a game on the list that catches the eye of the author for any number of reasons.  Good, bad or otherwise, feel free to agree, disagree or add some constructive input to the discussion.

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

About Author

Randy gravitates toward anything open world, open ended, or open to interpretation. He prefers strategy over shooting, introspection over action, and stealth and survival over looting and grinding. He's been a gamer since 1982, and writing critically about video games for over 15 years. A few of his favorites are Skyrim, Elite Dangerous, and Red Dead Redemption. He lives with his wife and daughter in Oregon.

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