Author Topic: Disturbing or Controversial games  (Read 1663 times)

Kryton

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Disturbing or Controversial games
« on: June 28, 2020, 10:24:05 AM »
Not necessarily scary games deliberately designed that way (so no Alien: Isolation or Silent Hill or games of that ilk), but more so games that created odd feelings or had weird as fuck content, or nasty content. Or games that got pulled from the shelves. Or got edited. I'll start with a few.

Night Trap: Is probably the obvious one. A crap game with dodgy mechanics hyped up with Slasher movie style FMV's and a naff soundtrack. One scene always stood out for me, the bathroom scene. Not only was it presented (like all the others) with that cheesy but sterile urban normality of middle-class America, but the grainy film and bad quality made it seem like you were watching some dodgy VHS snuff movie. This scene in particular seemed to go on for too long. And then they bring out that contraption. A lot of retailers pulled it from the shelves and then SEGA stopped production shortly after relase.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsxEvybbKv0

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And then this.

Custer's revenge,



Quote
Custer has to overcome arrow attacks to reach the other side of the screen. His goal is to rape a Native American woman tied to a pole.

Incidentally there's a game that was pulled from Steam (after public outrage) called 'Rape day'.

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Stroker.
A game about wanking.

https://www.giantbomb.com/stroker/3030-23184/

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Violence:

Manhunt, GTA, Carmageddon, Call of Duty, Mortal Kombat, Doom, Duke Nukem and Postal have all received their fair share of criticism but they're games mostly in the spotlight - but there's lots of nastier stuff online with all kinds of racist edge-lords making games based on the Columbine massacre, or Muslim Massacre or football Hooligans or Ethnic cleansing or torture. I won't link any because they're trash and deserve to be unseen.

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Seaman - A virtual pet thingie for the Dreamcast, a weird hybrid of man and amphibian/fish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt8e7mJLhMY

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2020, 10:32:23 AM »
Manhunt and Manhunt 2 were really great games imho. As was Carmageddon, and of course GTA. I hope my son gets to enjoy similar games when he's growing up. We had Seaman on the Dreamcast too - it was shit. High concept but the technology wasn't quite there.

Anyone remember the 'unreleased' game Thrill Kill? A four-person fighting game with gimps, amputees, dominatrixes, 'little people'.... and instead of emptying your enemies' health bar, you would instead fill up your own violence bar, which let you perform an execution on someone? I think EA or someone bought the company that was going to release it and then decided not to, but the game was 99% complete at the time. Wikipedia, I'm sure, knows more.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrill_Kill

A friend had it when we were little kids and it was mind-blowing in its adult violence and gratuity. Also a four-person multiplayer? :o


Consignia

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2020, 11:05:15 AM »
I think EA or someone bought the company that was going to release it and then decided not to, but the game was 99% complete at the time. Wikipedia, I'm sure, knows more.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrill_Kill


Without reading wiki article, wasn't it rebranded as veichle for a band? Wu-Tang Clan I think.

Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2020, 11:05:57 AM »
Yeah EA didn't want to release it as it didn't match their family friendly image, if only they could have put micro transactions in.

Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2020, 11:11:32 AM »
Without reading wiki article, wasn't it rebranded as veichle for a band? Wu-Tang Clan I think.

yep: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu-Tang:_Shaolin_Style

I've never checked it out and have no desire to these days; as you can see in the Thrill Kill screenshot above, nowadays it just looks like a bunch of rectangles fighting

PlanktonSideburns

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2020, 11:22:52 AM »
Loved that wu tang game

Was like a grubby tekken cheese dream

Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2020, 11:55:42 AM »
Wasn't there a bit in one of the Hitman games where you had to shoot up a mosque?

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2020, 12:58:11 PM »
Not necessarily scary games deliberately designed that way (so no Alien: Isolation or Silent Hill or games of that ilk), but more so games that created odd feelings or had weird as fuck content, or nasty content. Or games that got pulled from the shelves. Or got edited. I'll start with a few.

Night Trap: Is probably the obvious one. A crap game with dodgy mechanics hyped up with Slasher movie style FMV's and a naff soundtrack. One scene always stood out for me, the bathroom scene. Not only was it presented (like all the others) with that cheesy but sterile urban normality of middle-class America, but the grainy film and bad quality made it seem like you were watching some dodgy VHS snuff movie. This scene in particular seemed to go on for too long. And then they bring out that contraption. A lot of retailers pulled it from the shelves and then SEGA stopped production shortly after relase.


Night Trap was effectively conceived as an interactive film. It was first designed for a game system that could multiplex 4 concurrent bits of video on a single vhs tape, so they were stuck with linear stories you moved between, when that was proven to be unviable it eventually ended up on Sega CD (because the Nintendo/Sony SNES cd stuff fell through) which, using CD benefited from non-linear seek, by that time a lot of the story and mechanics had been written.

Operty1

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2020, 01:19:12 PM »
The arcade game Chiller from 1986 is pretty grim stuff. The lo-fi graphics and sound only add to its grubbiness. A game that derives points from sadism. Unsurprisingly not many cabinets were sold.

https://youtu.be/WvvTh3cU8Ms

Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2020, 02:18:53 PM »
I've always found parts of Super Mario 64 and Majora's Mask to be quite disturbing.

Same with some of the Metal Gear Solid games.

Cuntbeaks

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2020, 02:23:12 PM »
The arcade game Chiller from 1986 is pretty grim stuff. The lo-fi graphics and sound only add to its grubbiness. A game that derives points from sadism. Unsurprisingly not many cabinets were sold.

https://youtu.be/WvvTh3cU8Ms

I was s playing this on my Pandoras Box just last week, it was ropey as fuck without a light gun. Never saw it in an actual arcade though

Mister Six

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2020, 02:24:29 PM »
Ha, Thrill Kill. I forgot that even existed. I remember one lad in school excitedly talking about how one of the female characters would jill herself off after performing an execution. To this day I don't know whether he was just feverishly making that up, though.

Wasn't there a bit in one of the Hitman games where you had to shoot up a mosque?

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin's Sikh-killing level?

Quote
The game's release sparked controversy due to a level featuring the killing of Sikhs within a depiction of their most holy site, the ,Harmandir Sahib where hundreds of Sikhs were massacred in 1984. An altered version of Silent Assassin was eventually released on all the platforms with the related material removed from the game. However, the DRM-free version available on GOG.com is completely uncensored.

That is an unfortunate design decision.

Similarly, Resistance: Fall of Man got into hot water for featuring a level set in Manchester Cathedral, although as there's never been a massacre there, and the game is about shooting aliens, that seems a bit of a stretch.

Quote
The use of images of the cathedral caused controversy with the leaders of the Church of England, which claimed its depiction to be desecration and copyright infringement, and that it was inappropriate of Sony to allow players to fire guns in a city with a gun problem. They have made several legal threats against Sony. They intended to make several demands of Sony, including an apology, a substantial donation, complete withdrawal of the game or modifying the segment featuring the interior of the cathedral, and financial support of Manchester groups trying to reduce gun crime in the city.

In response to the allegations, Sony stated that the game was not based on reality, and they believed they had adequate permissions necessary. They later added that the game was purely entertainment and fictional, comparing it to the television programme Doctor Who. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair commented that though companies should have more responsibility and sensitivity to the feelings of others, the issue would be immensely difficult. Although the copyright concerns were found to be without merit, Sony offered a formal apology to the Church of England and leaders of the cathedral in July 2007, stating that they did not intend to cause offence.

The controversy increased awareness of Resistance in the UK, which showed a rise in sales during the controversy. It was selected as a finalist amongst six other games at the 2007 BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards for PC World Gamers Award, which is based on the sales and public reception of the nominated games. The Dean of Manchester, the Very Reverend Rogers Govender, criticised its selection by BAFTA due to the current controversy, requesting that either BAFTA or Sony withdraw it from the award. Neither chose to withdraw it from the award, but it ultimately lost to Football Manager 07.

Grimmest BAFTAs ever.

QDRPHNC

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2020, 08:05:47 PM »
No Russian has lost it's impact over the years, but I remember feel quite unnerved by it the first time I watched a YouTube play-through. For some reason the small detail of all the flights on the departures board being changed to Cancelled as you take part in the reason for the mass cancellation was chilling.

Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2020, 09:33:25 PM »
I found it odd at the time that you can play through that sequence without firing your gun.  Surely it would make more sense that there would be some kind of fail state where the terrorists realise that you're an undercover agent because you're not shooting anyone.

But then techincally they already know that you are because they kill the player character off at the end of the level.

Just would have made it a bit more impactful, not that it wasn't at the time.

Wonderful Butternut

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2020, 10:51:43 PM »
I was s playing this on my Pandoras Box just last week, it was ropey as fuck without a light gun. Never saw it in an actual arcade though

I think it was designed for the SNES lightgun and never had an arcade cabinet. Although more than one version exists, so maybe it was in an arcade somewhere.

I remember there being a lot of flailing over Manhunt. I sort of understood why people got a bit asspained about it, cos a lot of the gameplay was 'kill people with household items such as plastic bags'. Stuff that you can repeat whereas you can't really repeat punching someone so hard you see an X-ray of their skull being fractured like in Mortal Kombat. Obviously, video games don't cause violence, but I can see why the optics of it looked a bit dodgy.

There was a big furore around Hatred too, where you play as some proto-incel who wishes to rid the world of the 'human garbage' or whatever and goes on a mad killing spree. The final goal being to destroy a nuclear plant to kill millions. They were going to make a sequel, but they all died after cutting themselves from being so edgy. Seriously, it looks like the wet dream of a particularly disturbed 15 year old emo incel who spends too much time on 4Chan and is obsessed with Roarshach from Watchmen.


There's this lovely indie game called Demonophobia. And by "lovely", I actually mean it's fucking horrible. Basically, the purpose of Demonophobia is to watch a 14 year old Japanese schoolgirl die many, many horrible deaths at the hands of various hideous monstrosities, all lovingly rendered in MS paint. It's artificially difficult with lots of trial and error, such as a corridor full of invisible piano wire that slices through her as you walk into it, and all the death sequences late in the game are unskippable. And long. When you "win", she discovers she actually can't escape from Hell, and is destined to suffer for all eternity.

Oh, and she's naked for the entire last level, cos we all love some loli porn. I haven't played it. I don't think I will.


There's also Sim Girls DNA2 the 'legendary' Newgrounds flash dating game based on an anime that's probably less famous in the West than the game. It's not overtly disturbing, but the story is a bit deranged. One of the girls you can date gets sexually assaulted about 3 times by the (female) Homeroom teacher, with no apparent long term distress and I believe there's a moment in it where the protagonist internally monologues along the lines of "Normal sex won't do! I have to rape her now!"

Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2020, 11:16:21 PM »
Out of all the many Newgrounds games I played - Pico's School and Dad and Me being two Tom Fulp offensive classics - the one that sticks in my mind the most as being real fucked up was a furry dating sim. I guess it was an early encounter with the fetish subgenre and seeing the gaping wide open cunthole of a half-human half-zebra was... memorable. No offense if it's what you're into but it's not for me thanks

Dewt

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2020, 11:53:43 PM »
Does anybody remember how just after Dunblane the newspapers decided to draw an extreme amount of attention to the public domain Amiga game Schoolyard Slaughter, pretending it was actually part of people's culture instead of something only four people would have been aware of if they hadn't made it famous? For money?

https://www.mobygames.com/game/schoolyard-slaughter

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2020, 11:59:09 PM »

I remember there being a lot of flailing over Manhunt. I sort of understood why people got a bit asspained about it, cos a lot of the gameplay was 'kill people with household items such as plastic bags'. Stuff that you can repeat whereas you can't really repeat punching someone so hard you see an X-ray of their skull being fractured like in Mortal Kombat. Obviously, video games don't cause violence, but I can see why the optics of it looked a bit dodgy.


I'm less sure it was that and more that Manhunt was just grimly sadistic with nothing else going for it. A bit like the SAW franchise. Dull derivative torture porn.

On paper, a game that lets you drive a car through a bunch of Hari Krishna's to make it camply say 'GOURANGA' is far more problematic but we both know it did a lot more than that and was also fucking fun.

Operty1

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2020, 01:49:13 AM »
I think it was designed for the SNES lightgun and never had an arcade cabinet. Although more than one version exists, so maybe it was in an arcade somewhere.

It was designed as an arcade light gun game and had one conversion on the family friendly NES.

https://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=7328

Gurke and Hare

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2020, 11:06:49 AM »
Cannon Fodder. Not so much over the game itself, but the fact that it used the poppy in its marketing. The Daily Star managed to get some angry feedback from someone at the British Legion who they'd fed a load of misleading nonsense and hey presto! A story!

Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2020, 11:08:06 AM »
Hong Kong 97 is a grim one. Massive anti-Chinese racism, bizarre imagery and an actual photo of a corpse as the game over screen.

Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2020, 11:12:51 AM »
I'm less sure it was that and more that Manhunt was just grimly sadistic with nothing else going for it. A bit like the SAW franchise. Dull derivative torture porn.

Did you ever play it? I loved it. It was a stealth game more than anything. Rockstar don't release any old garbage, I've never played a Rockstar game I didn't like.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 11:23:59 AM by here4glinner »

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2020, 12:00:37 PM »
The horror. The horror.

Kryton

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2020, 01:42:19 PM »
Ha, Thrill Kill. I forgot that even existed. I remember one lad in school excitedly talking about how one of the female characters would jill herself off after performing an execution. To this day I don't know whether he was just feverishly making that up, though.

Yep one of the female characters sticks a cattle prod up her Mary and makes orgasmic sounds, but I thought that was cut before release?

Fr.Bigley

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2020, 01:45:36 PM »
No one has mentioned Postal 2 yet.

Kryton

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2020, 01:48:52 PM »
Did you ever play it? I loved it. It was a stealth game more than anything. Rockstar don't release any old garbage, I've never played a Rockstar game I didn't like.

I played the first one and remember it being disturbing. Obviously Rockstar went all out shocking on purpose, but it did have a very queasy feel to it. Especially the mental asylum level (and the babbling dialogue from some of the baddies). And the whole snuff-movie aspect of it.

Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2020, 01:52:03 PM »
Cannon Fodder. Not so much over the game itself, but the fact that it used the poppy in its marketing. The Daily Star managed to get some angry feedback from someone at the British Legion who they'd fed a load of misleading nonsense and hey presto! A story!
I watched the Kim Justice interview with Jon Hare from Sensible Software (well worth watching for anyone who lived through and enjoyed that era of gaming) and he does express disappointment that whoever it was from the Legion hadn't seen the game. In the end, Sensi threw some cash at them and Hare says after buying giving a quid every year for a poppy up to then, he hasn't since as he reasoned he's paid up front for a few lifetime's worth.

Even to the 12 year old me, it was pretty obvious the game didn't glorify war. And that it was brilliant too, of course. 

Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2020, 02:15:09 PM »
I played the first one and remember it being disturbing. Obviously Rockstar went all out shocking on purpose, but it did have a very queasy feel to it. Especially the mental asylum level (and the babbling dialogue from some of the baddies). And the whole snuff-movie aspect of it.

The second one was even more schizophrenic and played with ideas of mental illness even more. Definitely deliberately shocking.

Bully by Rockstar got a lot of criticism in the press too - I never played it but I hear it wasn't that bad.

Mister Six

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2020, 02:28:37 PM »
Trivia fun! Manhunt was set in Carcer City, which is part of the GTA universe, and supposedly close to Liberty City - likely in GTA's equivalent of New Jersey.

Consignia

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Re: Disturbing or Controversial games
« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2020, 03:50:05 PM »
Bully by Rockstar got a lot of criticism in the press too - I never played it but I hear it wasn't that bad.

Bully's bad press was all marketing really. The actual game you basically played a Bart Simpson like rebel kid, and got up to cartoon japes rather than it being a bullying simulator. I think it needed the bad press though, otherwise it wouldn't have really stood out as a game.

Trivia fun! Manhunt was set in Carcer City, which is part of the GTA universe, and supposedly close to Liberty City - likely in GTA's equivalent of New Jersey.

I've not played Manhunt, but I thought Carcer City was supposed be Detriot. A decaying post Industrial city.

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