DeathWatch: Eyes-on Sega’s bloody Wii exclusive, MadWorld

Arguably, the biggest disappointment of last week’s Nintendo Media Summit was Sega’s MadWorld. The simple reason: it simply wasn’t playable. As dozens of journalists shuffled into a demo area, more than a few made a beeline for Sega’s kiosk, only to be met by Sega reps unwilling to relinquish the Wii Remote and Nunchuk.

Revealed earlier this year, I suppose we can’t get too upset that Sega won’t let us get up and personal with the bloody MadWorld. We’re told that the game’s developer, Platinum Games, are still tweaking the game’s controls. Controls that will have you tossing a man into a trash can, only to see him sliced in half when its lid closes. Controls that will have you nudging thugs into a humongous spiked press in one of the game’s “Bloodbath Challenges,” the aptly-titled “Death Press.”

The Sega reps on hand confirmed my suspicions about MadWorld — it’s very clearly being designed for North American tastes (note the violence, the humor, the hip-hop music in the trailers). When asked if we’d get a chance to play it, or even see it, at Tokyo Game Show this week, I was surprised by the answer — they don’t have plans to release it in Japan … yet. Or Germany. Or Australia. Sega, it seems, is still “exploring its options” for these territories, notorious for being a bit squeamish when it comes to a bit of the ultra-violence.

In the meantime, Sega and Platinum Games are hard at work prepping MadWorld for a March 2009 release in North America. We hope we have a chance to play it before then, but if it’s as fun as it looks and it handles as well as we want it to, Wii owners could finally have an original “mature” title worth waiting for.

Nick Chester