Aksys are now the proud publishers of two M-rated games on the DS, tied neck-in-neck with Southpeak Games, who published Dementium II and Crime Scene.
Aksys’s first “Mature” game on the DS was Theresia, a mix of survival horror and puzzles in first-person with a really creepy story to boot. The second, of course, is Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors.
Why the “M” rating? For starters, the ESRB mentioned the following descriptors: Blood, Drug Reference, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence. They go on to explain in a summary:
“In this adventure game, players are held captive inside a large ship with eight other characters, and must solve a series of pernicious puzzles in order to escape. Failure to solve the puzzles usually results in death, which is depicted in still images of blood-splattered rooms and dead bodies. Text description usually accompanies the images (e.g., “The hallway . . . was splattered with chunks of torn flesh and dark, red blood”). Some dialogue contains sexual innuendo, such as “It’s really hard” and “I might . . . get wet”; a female character wears a revealing outfit, and her breasts occasionally jiggle. During the course of the game, a character jokes that a movie is “pretty enjoyable with a little pot.” Words such as “f**k,” “sh*t,” and “p*ssy” also appear in the game.”
Interestingly, Lux-Pain, which was rather grim in its own right, only received a “Teen” rating:
“This is a text-based adventure game in which players follow a character through a mysterious storyline involving a strange epidemic. Characters discuss several violent themes such as murder, vehicular deaths, and group suicide (e.g., “Let’s die at twilight” and “I’m starting to make sense of mass suicides”). Dialogue also contains some sexually suggestive references (e.g., “I’d love to feel her cheeks,” “I have a kind of lover, a guy I’m dating,” and “Gather all the hot girls and dress them in maid outfits!”). One Character makes a casual reference to drugs (e.g., “Are you on crack?”), and some expletives can be heard in the dialogue (e.g., “a*s,” “b*tch,” and “bastard”).”
I wonder what ultimately caused the ESRB to rate 999 higher.