The Japanese version of Resident Evil 4 has had its gore toned down, but Capcom has ensured us that the European release will hit shelves totally uncensored.
In Japan, where the game went on sale last week and is called BioHazard 4, certain gory animations have been toned down or removed altogether. This was initially noticed by Japanese magazines reviewing the game who compared the level of gore to the US version released earlier this month.
Although Capcom has offered no explanation for the cuts, it seems the decapitation of zombies from point-blank gunshots is the main victim of the censorship. While these up-close-and-personal gunshots cause bloody explosions and headless bodies in the US version, the zombies in the Japanese version seem to be able to keep their melons intact.
But Capcom has assured us that the European version of Resi 4, scheduled for a GameCube release on March 18, will be uncut. "This is definitely not an issue for the European version," we were told by a spokesperson.
One element of Resident Evil 4 that has suffered the chop in the UK is Nubytech's Chainsaw Controller, which we told you about and showed you here. The special edition controller is smeared with blood and fitted with a revving sound chip and force feedback for that real chainsaw sensation, but won't be getting a UK release for fear of negative publicity.
A spokesperson for Capcom, who officially license the controller, told us, "Capcom has no plans to distribute the Nubytech Chainsaw Controller in the UK at this time."
Nintendo UK, which we believe has already been approached by journalists looking for another 'videogames are evil' story, offered this statement: "The chainsaw controller is not a Nintendo product, nor is it licensed by Nintendo. As a company, we have a wide range of consumers, and we publish and distribute a correspondingly wide range of games for all consumer's tastes. Nintendo fully supports and adheres to age rating guidelines and we ensure each one of our products is marketed appropriately."
It's a damn shame because the Chainsaw (which has prompted creator Nubytech to establish its own controller rating system - the Chainsaw's a B for Bloody, strictly for over 18s) looks absolutely brilliant, and would be the perfect accompaniment to Resi 4's blood-soaked action. Check out what you'll be missing at its official website, and remember that you could always import.
So you should be able to enjoy the European version of Resi 4 in all its uncut, gory glory, but without the thrill of holding a throbbing Chainsaw in your hands. Still, if it keeps the tabloids off our backs...
Resident Evil 4 is available for Cube on march 18, with a PS2 (and did somebody say Xbox?) version due later this year.