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Wii

There Won't Be Blood

by Jonathan Metts - April 29, 2009, 4:16 pm PDT
Total comments: 62 Source: Nintendo Power

There are two main reasons we should expect to see blood in Red Steel 2:

- The game's very title strongly implies the presence of blood on a sword. The first game's box art actually shows a bloody sword.

- The series involves using a sword to hurt people, and this aspect of gameplay is apparently being showcased much more in the sequel, thanks to Wii MotionPlus.

Now to be clear, I'm not saying that Red Steel 2 should be super bloody and full of over-the-top gore, like MadWorld. There's a huge spectrum of how violence can be portrayed in a video game. But the presence of blood in a sword-based game is not a minor detail, something easily ignored. It's no more a technicality than gravity. When you use a sword on someone, he bleeds. That is, in fact, the primary result -- severe injury or death may occur down the line, but that's no guarantee.

Removing blood from a sword-based game leads to certain consequences. The action is less satisfying because the player doesn't get the logical result. It's more difficult to gauge how effective you have been in combat, so artificial indicators have to be added. And on a more philosophical level, you are misrepresenting violence by removing the natural consequences.

So why would a developer raise these issues by removing bloodshed from a game that clearly begs for it? Ubisoft claims creative reasons, in the June issue of Nintendo Power magazine:

"The gore just doesn't fit for us and what we're trying to do…"

First, blood and gore are not the same thing. Second, let's just be honest: they are going for a Teen rating because it allows them to market the game to a wider audience. But that shouldn't stop them from showing a reasonable amount of blood that is appropriate for the kind of action in the game. It is possible, under the convoluted ESRB system, to have blood (without gore) and still get a T-rating, as is the case with The Conduit, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Wii/PS2/PSP versions). Obviously, severing limbs or releasing internal organs would go into the "gore" category and would automatically push the game into the M-rating, but there is room for compromise here. Yet indications from the first game and what little we know of Red Steel 2 are that blood will be avoided altogether.

I'm not saying that blood is always good or that every game should have it, but this game is going to look downright weird without some visual feedback for the swordplay that is, supposedly, "as real as you'd always dreamed!"

Talkback

MorariApril 29, 2009

Blood being an obvious factor doesn't stop all of those gore-less World War II games from being popped out.

Quote from: Morari

Blood being an obvious factor doesn't stop all of those gore-less World War II games from being popped out.

I intentionally avoided that hornet's nest (this time), but yes, neutered WW2 games are an evil pox upon gaming.

NinGurl69 *hugglesApril 29, 2009

Game Industry, don't neuter my logical bodily destruction.  Get fucked.

EnnerApril 29, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Quote from: Morari

Blood being an obvious factor doesn't stop all of those gore-less World War II games from being popped out.

I intentionally avoided that hornet's nest (this time), but yes, neutered WW2 games are an evil pox upon gaming.

In that regard, the pox is dwindling as CoD:WaW is rated M and had some blood in it. Same goes for Modern Warfare (1). It's not the blood bath one would expect it would be, but it's far away from Medal of Honor: Allied Assault's "thick clothes" excuse.

DjunknownApril 29, 2009

Maybe take a page from 1993 and put a blood code in?

Samurai Shodown anthology got a Teen rating for its use of 'animated' blood. I'm guessing since Red Steel 2 is going for some sort of realism, a realistic depiction of blood is an automatic M rating? And the difference between the two types of blood is...?

DasmosApril 29, 2009

Quote from: Djunknown

Maybe take a page from 1993 and put a blood code in?

Samurai Shodown anthology got a Teen rating for its use of 'animated' blood. I'm guessing since Red Steel 2 is going for some sort of realism, a realistic depiction of blood is an automatic M rating? And the difference between the two types of blood is...?

It supposed to be cel-shaded isn't it? So it couldn't be that realistic in a sense.

ShyGuyApril 29, 2009

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k302/shyguy70/a36_Seinfeld1.jpg

What's the deal with Red Steel? It's not red, and it's not steel!

What's the deal with Resident Evil? It's not resident, and it's not evil!

What's the deal with Far Cry? It's not far and it's not cry!

broodwarsApril 29, 2009

Quote from: Dasmos

Quote from: Djunknown

Maybe take a page from 1993 and put a blood code in?

Samurai Shodown anthology got a Teen rating for its use of 'animated' blood. I'm guessing since Red Steel 2 is going for some sort of realism, a realistic depiction of blood is an automatic M rating? And the difference between the two types of blood is...?

It supposed to be cel-shaded isn't it? So it couldn't be that realistic in a sense.

Tell that to Madworld.  It's not like Cel Shading can't do something as simple as a blood particle effect.  Gore is a trickier issue because it deals with internal geometry, but blood is fairly simple.  Ubisoftz could do it if they wanted to, but as usual Ubisoftz just doesn't get it when it comes to doing games on Wii.

CalibanApril 29, 2009

Do Zelda games need blood? No. If there was, either I didn't notice it, or I just didn't care.
Madworld has blood because that is what the game is all about, pure, senseless violence.
If the developers of RS2 think that blood does not have to be a predominant feature for the kind of game they are trying to make and sell to us, than no blood is needed.

broodwarsApril 29, 2009

Quote from: Caliban

Do Zelda games need blood? No. If there was, either I didn't notice it, or I just didn't care.
Madworld has blood because that is what the game is all about, pure, senseless violence.
If the developers of RS2 think that blood does not have to be a predominant feature for the kind of game they are trying to make and sell to us, than no blood is needed.

Let's step back here for a moment: Zelda is a fantasy series, and it HAS had blood before for dramatic effect (in Ocarina of Time, Gannondorf coughs up blood when you beat him the first time and I think certain plants spurt green blood when you kill them).  Zelda is supposed to be about the whimsy, the adventure.  So yeah, blood isn't really necessary there.

People make a big deal of the lack of blood in Red Steel 2 because it's a game where you run around shooting people with a gun and slicing them with a sword.  I didn't play the first Red Steel, but the reviews hardly made it look like a game about a whimsical adventure.  Looked more like FPS-clone 33543535.5  Besides, the first Red Steel has red all over the cover (most notably the blood right there ON the sword) and in the title, so yeah...people are going to make a big deal about the lack of blood.

GoldenPhoenixApril 29, 2009

It has been awhile since I played Red Steel but it seems, if I remember right, they were going for more of a homage to older martial arts movies. You know the ones where the hero takes out a ton of bad guys with various weapons with little to no blood? In many ways I think Red Steel is trying to replicate that, it isn't trying to take itself too seriously. Not to mention the first game was teen and sold a TON of copies, why potentially shrink your market just to add blood?

ButteryPatApril 29, 2009

This is pretty dumb here. When James Bond shoots people, is there blood? Just because it has swords and guns doesn't mean it needs to focus on ultra-realism. The first game wasn't supposed to be some gritty action thing, it was over-the-top and stylish. It's supposed to be like a PG-13 action flick, none of which ever have blood or portray the real-life consequences of violence. Wanna keep the rating at a T? Don't have any blood in it.

CalibanApril 29, 2009

Quote from: broodwars

Let's step back here for a moment: Zelda is a fantasy series... So yeah, blood isn't really necessary there.

Red Steel 2 doesn't seem to be that realistic at all either. Just look at that one character artwork, he looks like a character that was conjured from a fantasy world of gunslinging, sword swinging cowboys in the future.

I know that Red Steel does have a connotation for blood on steel, but it could also mean that the steel is red hot from clashing with other swords.

Armak88April 29, 2009

I don't know if it's really about how realistic the game is. Even in Zelda there is some kind of direct feedback from a sword strike. I remember slashing the lizards in OoT would send blue blood flying, the sound and the sparks were also part of this feedback. But in Red steel it's more direct because of the gun use and the first person perspective.

It always bothered me in the X-men cartoon that whenever Wolverine would fight something organic his claws were always out but he never so much as scratched anyone, but when he would fight robots like the sentinals, he would be cutting of their heads and slicing off limbs. Much like the cartoon, with red steel, it's just lame that you have a weapon that doesn't do what it should.

Let Wolverine use his claws!

DasmosApril 29, 2009

Quote from: broodwars

Quote from: Dasmos

Quote from: Djunknown

Maybe take a page from 1993 and put a blood code in?

Samurai Shodown anthology got a Teen rating for its use of 'animated' blood. I'm guessing since Red Steel 2 is going for some sort of realism, a realistic depiction of blood is an automatic M rating? And the difference between the two types of blood is...?

It supposed to be cel-shaded isn't it? So it couldn't be that realistic in a sense.

Tell that to Madworld.  It's not like Cel Shading can't do something as simple as a blood particle effect.  Gore is a trickier issue because it deals with internal geometry, but blood is fairly simple.  Ubisoftz could do it if they wanted to, but as usual Ubisoftz just doesn't get it when it comes to doing games on Wii.

You obviously didn't read the post I was responding to. He was saying that if Red Steel 2 added blood it would be considered a realistic depiction of blood and it would harder to attain a T rating. But by Red Steel being cel-shaded would leave Red Steel with the option to add blood in a less realistic way (like Madworld, which has the most unrealistic blood in any game ever), but still attract a lower rating (unlike Madworld made it so far over the top).

KDR_11kApril 30, 2009

You talk about proper hit feedback but on a sword blood isn't enough, just having some blood spurt out after you slash someone makes it look like you're swinging a drippy paintbrush, not a sword. For proper impact physics you need dismemberment (which of course would then dictate the damage physics to you, can't have a guy take ten slashes without any serious injuries and suddently have all limbs fall off when you land the eleventh). Without that you can just as well use big, glowy lines like almost all anime and videogames use. Besides, swords aren't the only weapons that make a mess. Do you think a headshot with a decently sized gun just makes the enemy fall over? It produces a very ugly mess. Just having a few drops of blood fly off doesn't make it any less misrepresenting.

Quote from: Djunknown

Maybe take a page from 1993 and put a blood code in?

That'll just get them fined and the game pulled off the shelves.

EasyCureApril 30, 2009

Quote from: ButteryPat

This is pretty dumb here. When James Bond shoots people, is there blood?

I hate to nitpick, because it leads to stupid arguments which I want no part of since I actually AGREE with your point here, but...

James Bond in Goldeneye 007 (video game) shoots people and there is blood, somewhat. Ever play a long multiplayer deathmatch? You can tell who is in last usualy because their clothes are much more red then everyone elses. That game was rated Teen by the way :)

walkingdeadApril 30, 2009

you know i remember the mortal combat days with the snes and the genesis.  all my sega friends told me that MK was better on sega's platform cause there was blood in it.  but what they never really stopped to think about was it look and played better on the snes.  i dont care about blood i care about a good story and game play and non crappy graphics.  to write an entire blog about how the lack of blood takes away and how it should be in and what not takes away from the important things in a game.  game play and story.

KDR_11kApril 30, 2009

Quote from: walkingdead

you know i remember the mortal combat days with the snes and the genesis.    i dont care about blood i care about a good story and game play and non crappy graphics.

I have a feeling you were looking at the wrong game series then.

walkingdeadApril 30, 2009

Quote from: KDR_11k

Quote from: walkingdead

you know i remember the mortal combat days with the snes and the genesis.    i dont care about blood i care about a good story and game play and non crappy graphics.

I have a feeling you were looking at the wrong game series then.

i have a feeling you took part of a quote out of context... i didnt do that to you.

StogiApril 30, 2009

I think the more realistic graphics become, the less it looks like "style"; a common excuse used for violent games.

Red Steel shouldn't have to alienate it's audience for the sake of continuity. It's bad business. In all honesty, the only time you ever need blood is when decapitation is involved, but that already crosses the boundary.

NinGurl69 *hugglesApril 30, 2009

Quote from: Kashogi

I think the more realistic graphics become, the less it looks like "style"; a common excuse used for violent games.

Red Steel shouldn't have to alienate it's audience for the sake of continuity. It's bad business. In all honesty, the only time you ever need blood is when decapitation is involved, but that already crosses the boundary.

Unfortunately the "realism" in graphics these days actually hit a wall 3-4-5 something years ago when it was apparent that all these HD graphics devs could achieve was Play-Doh covered in plastic wrap.  Eye-popping, yes, realistic, uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh?

I still think the Resident Evil Remake and RE4 achieve a more natural, true-to-plain eyesight appearance/direction despite Purple Lunchboxes.

I need to see blood every time I expect a natural visual consequences where appropriate (per gameplay style/type), even it it's as simple as a little red blob on clothing due to a gunshot wound, with a partial hope that people are shocked by what the violent action entails and develop respect for those whose job is to go into harm's way.

NinGurl69 *hugglesApril 30, 2009

I need to see blood in No More Heroes cuz awesome.

Ian SaneApril 30, 2009

I understand the argument but I don't think Red Steel 2 is a good example case.  Red Steel was junk.  Red Steel 2 will likely be junk.  The reason they aren't having blood in is to ensure a 'T' rating because they feel that will attract a wider audience.  In a different scenario I might see that as compromising the game.  But this game has no real artistic integrity to compromise.  Red Steel 1 was just product put out around the Wii launch to get sales from early adopters.  It was not a good game but considering Ubisoft's reputation, particularly with the Wii, it was likely never meant to be.  It just had to be good enough to release as a product and look interesting enough in screenshots to "con" you into buying it.  And Red Steel 2 will be the same thing.

To me this is like criticizing Miley Cyrus' latest album for not having a raw enough guitar sound.

EasyCureApril 30, 2009

Quote from: Ian

I understand the argument but I don't think Red Steel 2 is a good example case.  Red Steel was junk.  Red Steel 2 will likely be junk.  The reason they aren't having blood in is to ensure a 'T' rating because they feel that will attract a wider audience.  In a different scenario I might see that as compromising the game.  But this game has no real artistic integrity to compromise.  Red Steel 1 was just product put out around the Wii launch to get sales from early adopters.  It was not a good game but considering Ubisoft's reputation, particularly with the Wii, it was likely never meant to be.  It just had to be good enough to release as a product and look interesting enough in screenshots to "con" you into buying it.  And Red Steel 2 will be the same thing.

To me this is like criticizing Miley Cyrus' latest album for not having a raw enough guitar sound.

You listened to that album?

NinGurl69 *hugglesApril 30, 2009

Red Steak 2 actually looks unrealistic enough to do without blood.  Flashy sword streaks may be sufficient.

Which means "Red Steel" is the worst franchise title they could've picked.

ShyGuyApril 30, 2009

Bioshock is the spiritual sequel to Biohazard. bad names are an industry staple.

EasyCureApril 30, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

Red Steak 2 actually looks unrealistic enough to do without blood.  Flashy sword streaks may be sufficient.

Which means "Red Steel" is the worst franchise title they could've picked.

So you actually prefer your Red Steak well done?

NinGurl69 *hugglesApril 30, 2009

Quote from: ShyGuy

Bioshock is the spiritual sequel to Biohazard. bad names are an industry staple.

You are so right.

Final Fantasy.

NinGurl69 *hugglesApril 30, 2009

Quote from: EasyCure

Quote from: NinGurl69

Red Steak 2 actually looks unrealistic enough to do without blood.  Flashy sword streaks may be sufficient.

Which means "Red Steel" is the worst franchise title they could've picked.

So you actually prefer your Red Steak well done?

I prefer they manage to cut it from the cow before serving in the first place.  Otherwise you get an agonizing open-carcass mess like the first game.

UltimatePartyBearApril 30, 2009

I'm having a hard time trying to figure out how to work "I drink your milkshake!" into this debate.

I think the graphical style they've gone with wouldn't look right with just enough blood to keep it rated T.  Blood effects that look natural are hard enough to pull off.  Merging natural and stylized is even harder, which is why most highly stylized games go with the high pressure fountains.

StogiApril 30, 2009

I think they could get away with red lines.

ShyGuyApril 30, 2009

Maybe the actual sword could be red.

Ian SaneApril 30, 2009

Quote:

You listened to that album?

No.  I don't even know for sure if there are guitars on it. :)  Probably a safe bet that there are.

StratosApril 30, 2009

Why do we care? I thought we were a crowd of people who cared more about gameplay than graphics. Smash Brothers doesn't have blood and IGN's 'Trick' trailer shows how ridiculous blood would be in some games. Is the game fun? Does it play well? Blood is merely an unnecessary garnishment.

Shouldn't we be more upset by the possibility of not having any multiplayer in the game?

vuduApril 30, 2009

Quote from: EasyCure

Quote from: Ian

To me this is like criticizing Miley Cyrus' latest album for not having a raw enough guitar sound.

You listened to that album?

That doesn't stop him from complaining about a myriad of video games.  Why should it stop him from complaining about music?

DjunknownApril 30, 2009

Quote:

That'll just get them fined and the game pulled off the shelves.

That happened in 2005 with a different game for a different reason . ;)

What I was talking about was the old MK1 Genesis vs SNES version. The Genesis version didn't have blood in it by default, but you can input a code to enable it. Don't remember that one being told to be toned down or face de-shelving...

Quote:

Smash Brothers doesn't have blood and IGN's 'Trick' trailer shows how ridiculous blood would be in some games.

Also, Soul Calibur. But it had jugs. The combination of blood and jugs would be too much...

Quote:

"as real as you'd always dreamed!"

Maybe someone here has had a dream where you cut people, rainbows and flowers come out? :o

I'm pretty sure Perfect Dark let you turn blood on or off with a menu option.

Mop it upApril 30, 2009

Quote from: insanolord

I'm pretty sure Perfect Dark let you turn blood on or off with a menu option.

It didn't let you turn it "off" per se, but if you used the "Paintball" option, the blood would be multi-coloured.

KDR_11kMay 01, 2009

Quote from: ShyGuy

Bioshock is the spiritual sequel to Biohazard. bad names are an industry staple.

That's sarcasm, right?

Quote from: Djunknown

What I was talking about was the old MK1 Genesis vs SNES version. The Genesis version didn't have blood in it by default, but you can input a code to enable it. Don't remember that one being told to be toned down or face de-shelving...

Didn't MK predate the ESRB? The ESRB requires that you show them the worst parts, including the hidden stuff. Either you show them the worst part, i.e. the game with the blood code entered and get the rating for the full violence or you run afoul of the ESRB testing rules and have to pay the contractually agreed penalty (AFAIK the contract also requires you to recall all copies on shelves that are marked incorrectly).

walkingdeadMay 01, 2009

Quote from: Djunknown

Quote:

.

What I was talking about was the old MK1 Genesis vs SNES version. The Genesis version didn't have blood in it by default, but you can input a code to enable it. Don't remember that one being told to be toned down or face de-shelving...

Quote:

.

Quote:

that was before there were video game ratings.  that was when sega and nintendo policed themselves.  and they did a fine job of it.

Infernal MonkeyMay 01, 2009

this is awful news!!!!!!!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3230/3284840087_639e363bd4.jpg?v=0

I'm certain that there would be certain situations in which I would be miffed that a game didn't contain blood in it. Red Steel 2... however... I can't bring myself to care whether or not it's got blood in it. I anticipate playing it and not caring about the presence of blood until a whole host of other concerns are met.

Heck, I'm a guy who's played everything from Duke Nukem 3D to Yoshi's Story to Conker's Bad Fur Day to Ener-G Dance Squad to The Godfather. There won't be blood? Has that ever stopped me before?

BlackNMild2k1May 02, 2009

Apparently not, because if there won't be blood, there won't be fun.

the blog has spoken

TJ SpykeMay 02, 2009

Quote from: Djunknown

And the difference between the two types of blood is...?

According to the ESRB content system, Animated Blood is "Discolored and/or unrealistic depictions of blood". I guess if Ubisoft made the blood green colored (like Vulcans), then they get get the Animated Blood descriptor rather than the Blood descriptor.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterMay 02, 2009

So, should we label this a blog or a blag? :P

KDR_11kMay 03, 2009

Does Kill Bill count as animated blood?

SpinnzillaMay 04, 2009

Generally I prefer my games to not have blood and/or gore.  Not that I'm distrubed by it, just prefer it not too.  I really like Left 4 Dead, but it doesn't really have buckets of blood or huge amounts of gore.  I personally don't really get any extra statifaction from blowing chunks of gobby meat off my enemies. 

StogiMay 04, 2009

Speak for yourself. Eternal Darkness was awesome in so many ways, but one of my favorites was taking out an enemy block by block.

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

Apparently not, because if there won't be blood, there won't be fun.

the blog has spoken

I don't remember writing anything to that effect.

StogiMay 04, 2009

I agree with you Jonny to an extent. I agree that if the style and world of the game would be more complete with blood, then it should be included; ratings be damned. However, that may not be the case with Red Steel 2.

BlackNMild2k1May 04, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

Quote from: BlackNMild2k1

Apparently not, because if there won't be blood, there won't be fun.

the blog has spoken

I don't remember writing anything to that effect.

I didn't mean to imply that that is what you were saying.
I was just making an off comment on the topic in general.

Just my way of saying, No Blood? Who Cares?
not to discredit anybodies opinion, just throwin in my 2 cents.
would it be cool to slash someone and watch the blood spray? sure, but does it affect the gameplay in anyway?
if not then whatever.

GoldenPhoenixMay 04, 2009

New trailer makes me not care about blood at all.

StratosMay 04, 2009

The RS2 thread has a link to a new trailer for the game showcasing the new style.

After seeing that, I'm understanding where your coming from Jonny. Having at least some sort of visual feedback like blood could benefit the game. Didn't No More Heroes have just money come out of enemies in the PAL version? Even seeing pieces of armor and clothes come of frequently in place of blood could enhance it.

Though I'll reserve a final judgment concerning the impact of sans-blood in the game until I see more video and actually play the game.

GoldenPhoenixMay 04, 2009

Quote from: Stratos

The RS2 thread has a link to a new trailer for the game showcasing the new style.

After seeing that, I'm understanding where your coming from Jonny. Having at least some sort of visual feedback like blood could benefit the game. Didn't No More Heroes have just money come out of enemies in the PAL version? Even seeing pieces of armor and clothes come of frequently in place of blood could enhance it.

Though I'll reserve a final judgment concerning the impact of sans-blood in the game until I see more video and actually play the game.

::Puts stratos back on hit list::

KDR_11kMay 05, 2009

Quote from: Stratos

Didn't No More Heroes have just money come out of enemies in the PAL version?

Money and huge, black pixels.

StratosMay 05, 2009

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

::Puts stratos back on hit list::

But I just got off your hitlist!
Crap, you've got mod powers too...
*BRACES FOR PAIN*

WAIT! What if I buy both Madworld and Animal Crossing City Folk w/ Wii Speak with my next paycheck?

ShyGuyMay 06, 2009

Quote from: Infernal

this is awful news!!!!!!!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3230/3284840087_639e363bd4.jpg?v=0

Please post more often Infernal. I will pay good American Dollars.

RizeDavid Trammell, Staff AlumnusMay 11, 2009

I totally expect a business to do what it thinks will generate the most profits, including sacrificing artistic purity and having PR people lie through their teeth about it.  As long as the government stays the hell out of the process, I'm happy.

Rize, the government is already involved in this process, though indirectly.  The Puritanical ESRB is heavily influencing marketing decisions, and publishers are obliged to heed the ratings board because they assume government ratings would be worse.  (That's probably true, but the ESRB and its regulations were designed to make senators happy in the first place.)

Right now, business can generate the most profit by keeping the government not heavily involved. If that means self-regulating and self-rating, so be it.

It's sort of like doing backburning to keep a giant wildfire at bay. Head off the danger and exhaust its fuel ahead of time, so that it can't burn its way to you.

I do not think the industry's self-regulation is above reproach simply because there may be a worse alternative.

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