After reading Will's (blood) gushing hands-on preview of the Wii version of media pariah Manhunt 2, we can't wait to get our gore-soaked mitts on Rockstar's latest deranged delight.
The censors on both sides of the Atlantic have other ideas though and have banned the game from sale, causing the family friendly bosses at Nintendo and Sony to run screaming for hills. This has left Rockstar, and demented gamers across the globe, up the creek without a baseball bat.
Have no fear though, Pro-G is here. We have compiled a list of 10 suggestions to reverse Manhunt 2's fortunes that we are giving away free to Rockstar - though if the publisher wants to shovel money through our letterbox, we won't stand in its way.
1: Every time the word 'kill' is uttered, replace it with 'bill'
Now the Director that masterminds the player's actions is merely imploring you to carry out proper invoicing practices. For example, saying "That's right, bill that motherf****r" could merely be construed by the BBFC as tough, but fair, accounting.
2: Make the main character Mario
It's a drastic move but, to Nintendo, nothing says 'fun family entertainment' than a middle-aged, magic mushroom gobbling plumber with a young princess fixation.
3: Introduce brain training into the action
Being asked to recite the manner of each execution and, say, how many Wii-mote knife slashes it took to finish the job could really get the pre-frontal cortex moving. Dr Kawashima's relentlessly cheerful mug could pop up between levels to test you and the ultimate goal would be to get your 'murdering age' under-18, so you can't be tried as an adult.
4: Use slapstick noises to soundtrack the brutal slayings
Rockstar could take a leaf out of Tom & Jerry's sadistic violence book here. Blood gushing could be accompanied by a slide whistle being let out, baseball bat clubbings could be to the sound of a ringing gong - the sonic possibilities are endless, well we can think of two anyway.
5: Employ Nicole Kidman for the advertising
If those More Brain Training TV spots are anything to go by, the former Mrs. Cruise has no shame about being filmed alone, playing games and talking to herself (it's probably some sort of court order to make up for The Stepford Wives). If anyone can make Wii stabbing motions look sane, it's Nicole dressed totally in white in a white room (actually, hang on a sec).
6: Make the villains terrorists
You can do anything to a terrorist and nobody bats an eyelid, even tickle their feet while they are tied down. All Rockstar would have to do is give the henchman dialogue like "Death to the infidels" and the BBFC and ESRB will call off the dogs faster than you can say "Well, he looks a bit like Bin Laden so his death is entirely justified" (about four seconds to our reckoning).
7: Turn all murder scenes monochrome
A genuinely sensible suggestion. In the eyes of the regulators, simply switching from full colour to black and white will cover a multitude of sins - including great geysers of the red stuff. THQ's The Punisher used this technique during its gory torture scenes and even Quentin Tarantino had to resort to it for the massacre sequence in Kill Bill Volume 1. Quite how this thinly veiled cover-up works is beyond us. Maybe monochrome simply reminds censors of a simpler, less brutal time where wooden-teethed stars like Humphrey Bogart ruled the screens. The resulting emotional reaction causes nostalgic tears to cloud their vision, making them miss that bit where the chainsaw connects with the neck.
8: Put a prominent disclaimer at the start
Just as FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage implores gamers to "always wear a seatbelt", Manhunt 2 could warn buyers to "refrain from stabbing, maiming, gutting, eviscerating and using rude words". There could even be a government notice stamped on the box, complete with advice on the hazards of taking up murdering (just like those helpful notices on cigarette packets). Here are two suggestions: KILLING HURTS PEOPLE AROUND YOU, MURDER MAKES YOU IMPOTENT.
9: Curse the main character with emotions
Rather than making him a mute, remorseless psychopath, why not opt for a whiny neurotic who agonises over every decision he has to make - like Woody Allen (everyone loves him, right?). This would also have the added bonus of dramatically increasing the game length, with each murder involving at least 10 minutes of tearful soul searching beforehand, followed by half an hour of remorseful wailing after the act.
10: Stress that Manhunt 2 is only for adults and should receive an 18 rating accordingly
Seems simple really. If adults want to commit gruesome murder in the privacy of their own homes, then who are the censors to judge. It's just a game after all, like Animal Crossing only with more skull crushing and less turnip trading.
And that is the best we could come up with. If you want to chip in and help this noble cause, pop your suggestions in the comments section below.