In the United States, where I live, we rely on the ESRB when it comes to video game ratings. Like its many predecessors, the remake of Resident Evil 2 is rated “M” for “mature,” specifically for “blood and gore, intense violence and strong language.” For some, that’s everything required for a perfect evening.
But in some places of the world, their censorship guidelines are stricter and, in this case, gamers residing in China won’t be able to partake in the fun enjoyed by those of us who’ve already booked a return trip to Raccoon City. But as you may have guessed, this prohibition hasn’t stopped some vendors from selling the product to Chinese consumers regardless.
Hilariously enough, this circumvention has often been achieved by using different box art and titles in an attempt to fool authorities. In keeping with bootlegging tradition, the following monikers have been applied: First Day on the Job at the Police Station: Remake, Come Beat Me 2, Fried Cold Rice 2, and Biochemical Crisis. Actually, that first one is pretty apt, though Biochemical Crisis is dangerously close to Resident Evil‘s title in Japan, that being Biohazard.
Another method being employed is that of placing the discs in cases of other games like Little Nightmares or Plants vs. Zombies. To draw a parallel, it’d be like loaning a Slipknot CD to your friend in high school who had strict parents, only you had to be sneaky by slipping it inside of a Jimmy Buffett case.
Fortunately, our friends in Germany are able to partake in the Resident Evil 2 remake festivities this time around, unlike in 1998 when the Playstation original had been banned over there. I’d read that’d been lifted years later, but my condolences extend to anyone not being able to experience the series for themselves.