It looks like the Joker's controversial fatality in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is going to be restored to its former full glory - in Europe.
Kotaku reported in October that the Joker's fatality move in the upcoming fighting game was a bit too graphic for the ESRB, which insisted on giving the game an M (Mature) rating despite the best efforts of publisher Warner Bros. to get a friendlier rating of T (Teen). The original move involved the Joker dancing and laughing like a maniac as he fired a prank gun - complete with "Bang!" flag - at his helpless opponent, before pulling a real gun and blowing her head off, followed by more Joker-esque laughing and dancing. In the edited version, which did ultimately earn the coveted T rating, the final, fatal move takes place off-screen.
But it sounds like European gamers aren't going to have to put up with that kind of nonsense. Senior Producer Hans Lo told VideoGamer.com yesterday that it's while it's "partly true" that the game has been edited, there's a bit more to the story than just that. "You know, for North America we have a Teen rating, and teen really means 13 and above. Thirteen is pretty young, you have to admit," he said. "For Europe we have a 15, 16+ rating - so it's a bit different."
He remained cryptic when asked specifically whether that meant different countries were getting different versions of the game. "I don't know, maybe!" he said. "I think you might have to go take a look."
A few minutes later, the U.K. version of the game was put on display for the media - with the Joker's fatality completely intact.
It's an interesting twist, given the widely-held belief that Americans are generally more tolerant of violent entertainment than Europeans. Did a Teen rating from the ESRB really justify cutting a finishing move that Kotaku called "one of the best we've ever seen?" Hard to say, but at least now there's a Plan B. Meanwhile, if you haven't seen it already, feast your eyes on the famous finisher right here: