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Mortal Kombat Still Banned in Australia

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The Australian Classification Board's Refused Classification rating of Mortal Kombat is staying in place despite a direct appeal from Warner Bros. Because of Australia's lack of an 18+ rating, anything over the maximum MA15+ guidelines is instantly banned and deemed illegal within the country.

Warner Bros. submitted an appeal at the beginning of March, claiming that the game is "on par with numerous other titles readily available for sale in the Australian market," which is by all means correct. But the appeal was flatly rejected by the classification board, which partially blamed the game's high-end graphics for the extreme score. The report reads, "Despite the exaggerated conceptual nature of the fatalities and their context within a fighting game set in a fantasy realm, impact is heightened by the use of graphics, which are realistically rendered and very detailed."

One of the issues may have been the refusal to censor or edit the game, which has been done with sensitive titles in the past. Saints Row and Quake are examples in Europe, which soon became essential tools for gamerscore hunters, as they still offer 1000 points. But what use would a censored Mortal Kombat game be? At least Warner Bros. stuck to their word of delivering a true, next-gen Mortal Kombat instead of a dumbed down version that very few fans would enjoy.

"We're obviously extremely disappointed that the Refused Classification decision has been upheld by the Classification Review Board," Warner Bros. said, following the rejection of their appeal. "We want to thank the thousands of Mortal Kombat fans in Australia and around the world who have voiced their support during the appeal process."

Mortal Kombat launches this April for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. One of its most compelling and intriguing new features, the Challenge Tower, has over 300 levels for players to work through, as well as engaging campaign and multiplayer modes.

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Stuart Macdonald
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