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Streets Of Rage Too Violent For North America

Sonic the HedgehogGamespy has a preview of the upcoming Nintendo GameCube compilation title Sonic Gems Collection.  The lucky GameSpy folks were able to play a version of the game that is close to completion, unlike the E3 demo that I played that only featured Sonic CD and Sonic the Fighters.  The preview finally confirms just which games from the world of Sonic will be on the disc.  Get your controllers ready for:

  • Sonic CD (Sega CD)
  • Sonic the Fighters (Arcade)
  • Sonic R (Sega Saturn)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Game Gear)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble (Game Gear)
  • Sonic Spinball (Game Gear)
  • Sonic Drift 2 (Game Gear)
  • Tails' Sky Patrol (Game Gear)
  • Tails' Adventures (Game Gear)

In the tradition of the last Sonic compilation, Sonic Mega Collection, Gems will include two unlockable games outside the realm of Sonic.  In recent weeks there was word that the Streets of Rage trilogy from the days of the Sega Genesis would be locked away for pros to find, but Gamespy has confirmed with Sega that the Rage will not be included in the North American release of Gems.

SEGA confirms Streets of Rage will not be included in the U.S. version of its title Sonic Gems Collection. While Streets of Rage will ship with Sonic Gems Collection in other markets, the more mature game does not conform to the E-rating of Sonic The Hedgehog games in North America.

It's understandable why Sega is doing this.  They don't want to be slapped by politicians for including "mature" games in an E-rated title. However, this is a case where I believe such censoring is unwarranted. While Streets of Rage is a brawler, it is nowhere near as gory or violent as modern games that are rated M.  Rage is downright squeaky clean compared to Grand Theft Auto and 25 To  Life.   North American gamers will find the two Vectorman Sega Genesis titles in Sonic Gems Collection, while Japan gets Rage.  Also of note is that the Japanese version contains the original Sonic CD soundtrack, while North America and Europe get the rescored music from the original 1993 release.  I'm scheduled to review the North American version of Gems next month for AMN, so stay tuned for more on Sonic Gems Collection.