Shadow the Hedgehog (lost build of unreleased Teen rated version of platformer; 2005)
Shadow the Hedgehog is a third-person shooter game that was released on November 15th, 2005 in the United States for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox. While the game has become infamous online for its "edgy" tone compared to other Sonic series of games, what was released as the final product is significantly different from Sonic Team's original plans.
Early builds of the game went for an even darker and more mature feel than the final product. Not only were soldiers in the game seen bleeding red blood and dying on-screen, a CGI-cutscene in which a soldier is seen shooting Maria was fully visible. It is also believed that there was stronger dialogue in these early builds, including Sonic using the word "piss" (which was changed to "tick" in the final version of the game).
The ESRB gave the initial version of the game that Sega submitted to them a Teen rating for "Cartoon Violence, Language". However, this same year the ESRB put the new Everyone 10+ (E10+) rating into effect, which Sega felt would be more appropriate/open the game to a wider audience. As such, a number of edits were made, and the released version of the game was re-rated E10+ for "Fantasy Violence, Mild Language".
A few glimpses of the original T-rated version are available online, such as Maria's death uncut, as well as an extended intro that features two cops being shot by Shadow.
While some sites claim that the Japanese version of the game is uncut, this version is identical to all other international versions and was rated as "free for all ages" by CERO.
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- Shadow the Hedgehog (2005 Video Game) - Trivia - IMDb. Retrieved 24 Aug '17
- Shadow the Hedgehog - Teen Rating... | Toonzone Forums. Retrieved 24 Aug '17