ESRB Dices Up Deathsmiles

By Spencer . June 29, 2010 . 5:29am

imageWhat did the watchful eyes of the ESRB find questionable in Deathsmiles? Splotches of blood and some suggestive poses are listed in this description.


This is a side-scrolling shooter in which players control one of five small characters that fly through the air and destroy fantastical creatures to save the world. Players shoot an array of projectiles (bombs, bullets, scythes, swords, etc.) at pumpkins, spiders, apples, and monsters in constant air battle. Enemies and objects explode in fiery bursts, breaking apart into tiny, brightly-colored particles; when players are hit, small droplets of blood will scatter. Blood also appears on the face of a giant boss creature’s head. A menu screen depicts the five central characters posing suggestively in revealing outfits. A couple of static images depict the female characters with partially exposed pelvis and buttocks (e.g., a fairy creature and the heroines bathing). Language such as "a*s" and "bastard" appears in the game.


Partially exposed pelvis? Is that an ESRB first?

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  • Oh please, ESRB. Grow up, lol. You sound like a kid that just randomly saw up a woman’s skirt as she bent over to pick up and orange or something.

    Deathsmiles doesn’t have anything suggestive, really. I don’t remember hearing anything about Kaine’s clothing in Nier from the ESRB or even Lightning on the US cover of FFXIII. She was showing quite a bit of leg there and practically gave us an upskirt shot.

    No complaints by the ESRB there either. I think they may just have a thing against goth lolis shooting pumpkins among other things :P

    • As much as I’d like to join in the ridicule, the reason why rating agencies exist usually is as a legal barrier to prevent gaming companies getting sued for being exposed to material that they can claim is damaging to them (or more likely, their children) in some way.

      Essentially, unless you’d like to admit to a court you didn’t read the box and deliberately neglected your responsibilities as a parent, you’d be pretty much sunk in any attempt in suing the gaming company.

      If they misrepresented the game in the rating, that’s a different matter though… but if they go through and actually get nit picky to the point of absurd, they cannot claim that they didn’t follow the rules or do their jobs.

      The ESRB’s a voluntary process, fortunately, although at least on paper they provide at least some protection in court – short of being accused of deception on your ratings.

      In Australia, it’s pretty much ironclad – The Classifications Board is a compulsory government organisation that MUST rate games before release. Meaning the only way you’re going to claim damages based on any sort of emotional grounds is accusing the board of breaking its own law.

      If you try to release a game without a rating (or cheated the system), you’ve already broken one set of laws so you’re up the creek if a parent levels a damages claim…

      • Guest

        I must say, well done.

    • M’iau M’iaut

      Also quite possible this is written by the same person who got into trouble for writing ‘opinions’ into DOA and such — the ESRB does divy games up to teams based on genres and the description does exhibit a bit of ‘love’ for the product.

      Where putting in something like ‘The young girls don’t seem to mind people seeing their panties and b*tts’ might get him into trouble, talking about exposed pelvises is ‘just the facts ma’am’.

  • rinshu

    Links please.

  • Hraesvelgr

    Censor the first s in ass, but bastard is okay.


    • Guest

      Well, I consider bastard less coarse than ass…maybe the ESRB thinks the same? =P

    • M’iau M’iaut

      I like to have fun with this type of censor — a*s…..since we are missing that middle letter, we can’t be sure if the game is talking about another word for butts or ALS = Lou Gehrig’s Disease.Guess I better swing by Gamestop today for my two reserved copies to make sure……

    • Donkey!

  • I’m gonna shoot up pumpkins and apples when I buy my first handgun just because.

  • krokounleashed

    i don’t care what’s happening over in america with their ridiculous rating system, just give me ds over here in europe :/

  • thebanditking

    Well, for me it depends on the age of these characters, I understand that anime designs by nature usually “sex up” their female characters, but from what I have seen these are too loli for my taste. Maybe its that Im getting older (Im 25) but, these games/anime that have borderline pedophilia just don’t sit well with me (never really crossed my mind when I was yonger, likely because the characters were my age). The objectification/degradation of children is disgusting and there really is no reason for it. If the characters are not 18+ they should not be portrayed in skimpy/revealing clothing. Sorry for the rant..

    • I’d be tempted to note a few amusing realities about Japan, but that’d be conjecture at my end. (Stuff like their birth rate comes to mind…)

      For most part, I suspect it’s because as we age, we associate things differently – I found I had problems with people watching Atelier Totori for similar reasons. People felt that the game was ‘overly sexy’.

      But when you actually sat there, and let the game just play, there was none of the ‘sexing up’ that you’d might expect. Sure, there were a couple of moments when the characters would talk with each other and the odd sex gag would come up, but I didn’t see them engage in dirty talk or conduct any actions that could get you arrested if you did them in public.

      Perhaps it’s because of the gender perspective, or even just the fact that I’ve done some of the stuff there before (Well, not the flying around with a owl blasting stuff, or swinging an axe at a distant target and boomeranging it back and catching it, as much as I’d like to) that it doesn’t resonate as anything particularly… unusual?

      Skirts cover the legs, but can be lifted up, that’s how skirts work. Now, if you want to lift a skirt up, I can call you perverted as much as I like, but it doesn’t change the fact that you actually HAVE to make that effort in one form or another.

      If it just is, and it does the job it’s designed for, why should it matter?

      Since we’re actors on the outside, how we react to what we see says a lot about ourselves… sometimes things we’re not prepared to deal with.

  • ToKiO UnKnOwN

    ESRB, I know they’re trying their best, but sometimes things just need to slide. As much stuff goes on in movies and TV, video games get hurt the most because of Soccer Mom-ish antics.

  • Jirin

    Stupid Flanders.

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