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(Pocket-lint) - Nintendo has apologised for offensive language that cropped up in a number of copies of Animal Crossing: Wild World for the DS.

The games were sent to members of the press (of all people) to show off the character import feature of Animal Crossing: City Folk for the Wii. As such, the DS cartridges were pre-played and featured saved games with money and bonuses already acquired.

However, out of the copies that were sent out, a few noted a rather unexpected twist when talking to in-game character Baabara, in the form of a strong racial slur.

Nintendo has said: "Previously played copies of the 2005 DS game Animal Crossing: Wild World were sent to 14 members of the media to demonstrate the ability of players to transfer items to the new Animal Crossing: City Folk for Wii. We regret that an offensive phrase was included without our knowledge via a wireless function that allows user-generated catchphrases to spread virally from one game to the next.

"This version is limited to 14 copies created for media review purposes only and is not available at retailers. We sincerely apologize for the incident and are working with media who received the game cards to return them to Nintendo immediately".

The slip up is a bit of a hit for family-friendly Nintendo, especially considering Animal Crossing is probably up there as one of its most family-friendly games.

Apparently press copies have already been recalled, no doubt so Nintendo can sweep this little hiccup under the carpet as quickly as possible.

Writing by Verity Burns.