Wallet Abuse Experimental Bi-Weekly Phase

Yeah, I skipped last week. I have no excuse other than I started off formatting the article and saw that last week’s list began with:

*The Back Eyed Peas Experience

*DaGeDar

*Deepak Chopra’s Leela

And so I fucked off to play Gears of War 3 for the rest of the week. Yeah, I know, we got Metal Gear Solid HD, Skyrim and Call of War: Duty Bros Modern 3 and skipping those games was unforgivable, but you must understand that every man has his limits and my limits end when I have to research Deepak effing Chopra.

Also, perhaps you people understand this or not, Horde mode in Gears 3 is amazingly great and I was more than happy to piss away my work ethic, artistic integrity, and readership numbers to play more of it.

But I want to make up my shameful disdain for self-imposed deadlines for projects that I actually make no money off of, so here’s a quick summary of the only three games any of you should have had anything more a passing interest in last week:

DUTY CALL 4: MODERN BATTLEARMY 3


Look, if you bought this year’s update and last year’s update and already have a pre-order in place for BLOPS 2 then just admit you’re going through the same motions as a Madden gamer. Sure, you’re providing the money needed to fund non-guaranteed hits like Singularity (back when Activision was still willing to take risks like that) but you also lose any right to complain about 4 hour campaigns and multiplayer updates that simply swap features between iterations. I’m not going to sit here and say you’re ruining the industry, but as long as CoD is making seven billion dollars in preorders every year then there’s no incentive for Activsion to change their business model.

SKYRIM


If you are reading this article instead of playing Skyrim than I am already severely disappointed in you.

METAL GEAR SOLID HD COLLECTION


I’m going to own this stupid thing sooner or later, there’s just two reservations I irrationally hold against it that kept me from buying it immediately

 

1: By the time I learned about the utterly insane $100 collector’s edition it was already sold out

2: It really feels like this package costs about ten dollars too much. Yeah, I know, Peace Walker is essentially brand new for North American audiences as it was previously a PSP title and it’s basically Metal Gear Solid 5, but still. Fifty bucks for a handful of PS2 games is silly. And if you’re unfortunate enough to only own the 360 version (and/or are just really crazy about achievements) then you don’t even get to play MGS1. For PS3 owners it’s a better deal as you can drop fifteen bucks for a used copy of MGS4 essentially have access to the entire Metal Gear Solid franchise on one machine. Still, I’d feel a lot better about owning this collection if there wasn’t at least an 80% chance of a full HD remake of MGS2/3 on the PS4 within 3 years.

I’m going with a different format this week. Fear not, gentle reader, as I’m sure I’ll forget all about this by next Sunday.

 


 

GAMES YOU SHOULD ABSOLUTELY PLAY SOONER RATHER THAN LATER


Saints Row: The Third
Developer: Volition
Publisher: Toy HeadQuarters
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360.


Some games try valiantly to rise above their station, to present the populace with an earnest argument of gaming as art, or perhaps deliver a message of the essential absurdity of existence through the medium of games.

 

Then you have games like the Saints Row 3 where you can kill a parking lot full of Mexican Luchadores with a fusillade of rocket fire from a VOTL aircraft from five hundred feet in the air.

This is not a bad thing. We need more games like that. Hell, most games should be like that. Seven years ago the United States Congress threatened to mandate ESRB ratings due to a hidden mode in San Andreas featuring sex between two consenting adults. Now you can beat a person do death with a meter-long dildo and no one says anything.

Which is a pretty great place for us to be in as hopefully all the crazy, ground-breaking shit going on in the past two Saints Row games will cause Rockstar to step up their own game. Will there be a Jerry Sandusky joke in GTA5? Will there be a dozen? Will there be a side mission where you deliver busloads of elementary school children to Coach Poppa Joe at Peen State U?

As far as the merits of this actual game-- Although I personally prefer the Red Faction Guerrilla/Just Cause 2 model of free-form mayhem when it comes to this form of game, I’m still going to buy this thing and enjoy the hell out of it. It looks about 10x as interesting as Infamous 2, and while no games in this genre can boast genuinely great gameplay that’s not really the point, either. Buy this fucking game.

 


 

GAMES YOU SHOULD PROBABLY PLAY PROVIDED YOU DON’T MIND THE FACT THAT YOU’VE PLAYED THEM AT LEAST ONCE ALREADY

 

 

Assassin’s Creed Revelations
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher: Regular Ubisoft
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360


I just-- really? A third Assassin’s Creed 2? We’ve seriously had three straight years of Assassin’s Creed 2 games? That’s how fucking moribund we are?

 

Fine, it’s a good game. We know it’s a good game because it’s a revision of what we previously knew to be an outstanding game, that being the very first Assassin’s Creed 2. Just, you know-- can we have some fucking self control and refuse to pay attention to the further adventures of Desmond Miles until he appears in Feudal Japan?

Admittedly, we’re going to finally see AC3 next year, but even that is sorta troubling as it means the Assassin’s Creed 2 trilogy was not a localized event and Assassin’s Creed is now officially a yearly franchise alongside Madden, Raw vs Smackdown and Call of Duty. I mean sure, Ubisoft Montreal has managed to produce 3 quite good games in three years, but AC2 was the sort of landmark event that could have only happened thanks to the team being given some time off the brilliant but fundamentally flawed AC1. I’m not sure if those same people given much less time to work with can make Assassin’s Creed 3 a worthy successor to AC2 or if it’ll simply be more of the same formula laid out in AC2 with different rooftop textures.

 

Halo: CE Anniversary
Developer: 343 Industries
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360


As opposed to the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, this is the sort of HD remake I have no compunction about spending money upon as it’s quite unlikely Microsoft will commission a second remake for the XB3 four years from now. It doesn’t hurt that the original Halo is a fundamentally good game if a bit dated; hopefully this will sell well enough to convince MS to remake the real treasure of the Halo franchise, Halo 2.

It’s encouraging that Microsoft has this sort of reverence and respect for their own catalog; but at the same time it’s frustrating in that they have by far the narrowest catalog of any major publisher and their stable of studios grows smaller by the day. Although CE Anniversary’s mere existence probably explains why Bungie chose to leave MGS in the first place-- Microsoft’s vision of the future for the company wasn’t just an endless stream of Halo titles, it was and endless, recursive string of Halo titles, much like the interminable middle portion of Halo 1.

It’s encouraging that Microsoft has this sort of reverence and respect for their own catalog; but at the same time it’s frustrating in that they have by far the narrowest catalog of any major publisher and their stable of studios grows smaller by the day. Although CE Anniversary’s mere existence probably explains why Bungie chose to leave MGS in the first place-- Microsoft’s vision of the future for the company wasn’t just an endless stream of Halo titles, it was and endless, recursive string of Halo titles, much like the interminable middle portion of Halo 1.

It’s encouraging that Microsoft has this sort of reverence and respect for their own catalog; but at the same time it’s frustrating in that they have by far the narrowest catalog of any major publisher and their stable of studios grows smaller by the day. Although CE Anniversary’s mere existence probably explains why Bungie chose to leave MGS in the first place-- Microsoft’s vision of the future for the company wasn’t just an endless stream of Halo titles, it was and endless, recursive string of Halo titles, much like the interminable middle portion of Halo 1.

It’s encouraging that Microsoft has this sort of reverence and respect for their own catalog; but at the same time it’s frustrating in that they have by far the narrowest catalog of any major publisher and their stable of studios grows smaller by the day. Although CE Anniversary’s mere existence probably explains why Bungie chose to leave MGS in the first place-- Microsoft’s vision of the future for the company wasn’t just an endless stream of Halo titles, it was and endless, recursive string of Halo titles, much like the interminable middle portion of Halo 1.

It’s encouraging that Microsoft has this sort of reverence and respect for their own catalog; but at the same time it’s frustrating in that they have by far the narrowest catalog of any major publisher and their stable of studios grows smaller by the day. Although CE Anniversary’s mere existence probably explains why Bungie chose to leave MGS in the first place-- Microsoft’s vision of the future for the company wasn’t just an endless stream of Halo titles, it was and endless, recursive string of Halo titles, much like the interminable middle portion of Halo 1.

The question here is, nostalgia aside, did Combat Evolved deserve a remake or re-release at all especially when the original game has been featured on Xbox Games on Demand since 2007? I’m not particularly sure it does, especially considering the lack of updates made to the game aside from Xbox 360 standards such as online multiplayer and achievements. Not baking in a co-op horde/zombie mode equivalent in a 2011 is frustrating, especially given Halo’s interesting and varied enemy types. At forty bucks it’s not like this is an awful buy, put it’s a hard argument to make considering the quality of this year’s holiday selection. If your qualification for buying CE Anniversary is strictly for the nostalgia value of playing four player split screen Blood Gulch Hemorrhage, then go in peace. Nothing can account for nostalgia. However if you’re coming into Halo CE Anniversary with no previous Halo experience under your belt then for chrissake stay away. Even if Halo CE codified most of the standards we see in modern console FPS games it’s still too ancient a formula to be taken seriously in 2011. Halo CE was a good game, maybe even an outstanding game, but it’s not a classic. There’s plenty of potential classics on shelves at this very writing that you could be and should be playing instead.

 

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
Developer: DIMPS
Publisher: Capcom
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360


Sometimes you come across a game you essentially bought a year ago and are tempted to buy it because you enjoyed the basic premise, sometimes you happen upon a remake of a classic that defined an era of your life, SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO BUY A GAME TWICE IN THE SAME YEAR BECAUSE CAPCOM CLEARLY DIDN’T FINISH THE FUCKING THING THE FIRST TIME.

 

Ultimate Marvel 3 is one of those games. I can’t convince you not to buy this thing if you’ve already got your heart set on playing more Marvel 3, and it’s just a sad fact that if you want to play online you’ll need access to both versions the player base is essentially fractured.

I dunno. I traded in the copy I bought back in March because I was awful at the game online (it moves far too fast and has too many options compared to Street Fighter IV’s stolid, defensive gameplay) and my preferred team of Chun/Morrigan/Whoever was essentially useless as Chun and Morrigan were decidedly on the wrong end of the balance curve. Finally getting a spectator mode after nine months of waiting is nice; although it’s sorta scummy that Capcom is forcing it’s fanbase to pony up another $40 for the online experience that should have been present in the game to begin with. The much talked about/cheered/reviled Heralds Vs Heroes card game/RPG mode won’t be added until some undetermined date in the near future. Finally seeing Strider Hiryu make his reappearance in Capcom lore is definitely a selling point though, although I’m still unreasonably annoyed at the lack of Rolento and/or more Darkstalkers characters. Overall it’s a far better package than Vanilla Marvel 3, but it also feels like Capcom would have been better off had they simply held off on Marvel 3 another six months and released this game to begin with.

Also this is the part of the conversation where I totally called Capcom ignoring the DLC hooks embedded in Marvel 3 in favor for a Super Street Fighter IV double-dip. You may call it the natural and unavoidable consequence of an unforeseeable natural disaster the likes of which Japan hasn’t seen in hundred of years, I call it a simple reliance on Capcom being enormous whores.

 


 

PERHAPS YOU ARE IN OWNERSHIP OF A SMALL CHILD YOU ARE FOND OF AND/OR ARE A RAVING MANCHILD WITH NO SENSE OF PROPER SCALE


Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Publisher: Warner Brothers INteractive
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Regular ol’ DS, PSP (No, really!) iOS, Windows, Dreamcast, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Your Mom, A Sock, PS Vita


So JK Rowlings inexplicable, regressive, damaging ebook experiment aside, this is probably the last ever media we’re ever going to see based on or related to the original Harry Potter books, and that’s sorta awesome. Please try not to think too hard about the fact that Traveller’s Tales very specifically cut this series in half starting when the kids starting getting hormonal.

 

 


 

 

 

ALTERNATELY YOU HATE YOUR CHILD AND WISH TO DRIVE HER FROM YOUR HOME


 

 

DreamWorks Super Star Kartz
Developer: Foxconn Developmental Games Product Factory #5
Publisher: Activision
Platforms: Jesus, I dunno? Probably everything?


I have nothing interesting to say about this game other than I have a deep respect for anyone who can pull off the word “Kartz” with a straight face during a product pitch in 2011.

 

 

 


 

 

 

GAMES WORTHY OF MOCKERY AND DERISION


Need for Speed: The Run
Developer: EA Black Box
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, 3DS


You know what was a great game? Hot Pursuit 2010. Yeah it had it’s flaws and the premise was dumb and there weren’t nearly enough actual Hot Pursuit mode races, but it succeeded in making Need For Speed fun and relevant again. Even if you didn’t particularly care for the weird Forza-esque Need for Speed: Shift games, it felt like Need For Speed was back on track to being a premiere franchise again.

 

Then this fucking thing happened. Need For Speed: The Run, a collection of Quick Time Events and racing minigames that takes a little over two hours to complete.

Now normally when you’d hear someone say “such and such game took two hours to beat” you’d assume they’re joking, or perhaps indulging in hyperbole. Nope. This is what the reviewers and messageboard goons are saying. Two hours, maybe 2.5 depending on retries.

Sixty American Dollars. Two hours of-- well, what might be “Fun”, but it’s hard to imagine how much enjoyment you’d be having with that hour-per-dollar taxi meter running in your head at all times. I’m pretty sure if I fired up Outrun 2 for XBLA and tried to see all the courses and all the endings that I’d be sitting there for over two hours. I could watch Smokey and the Bandit 1.5 times. I’m pretty sure I’ve driven from Charlotte to Atlanta in 2.5 hours. I could watch someone start up NFS: The Run, hop on the N-Train into Herald Square, take a tour of the Empire State Building, and come back home in time to see the end credits. I could play through half of Gears 3 Horde Mode.

Or I could, you know, play a bunch of Hot Pursuit 2010. You know, whatever. Don’t buy this game!

 

 

Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends
Developer: Omega Team
Publisher: Tecmo Koei Koei Tecmo Tecoi Koimo
Platforms: PlayStation 3


This is wierd. Surely we’re up to more than seven Dynasty Warriors games by now. Also there’s no way they’d subtitle the stupid thing “Xtreme Legends”, this whole thing feels like an elaborate troll on the part of Games....waaaaaaiiit a minute:

 

YOU PEOPLE TOTALLY RELEASED THIS GAME SIX MONTHS AGO

You can’t do this Tecmoi! Even Activision has the good grace to wait a year before re-leasing the same game with new multiplayer maps! It’s one thing to keep remaking the same muso game for the past ten years, you can’t keep re-releasing the same muso game you made in May! There are children who were conceived before the original game’s release that haven’t had time to gestate yet!

I”d say this calls for an intervention, but we’re well beyond that point now. This isn’t the part of the story where you caught your best friend in the back of his van shooting the his rent money into his arm; this is the part of the story where you see your best friend’s barely recognizable body gasping for breath amid a pile of refuse and his own filth after not seeing him for six months.

What I’m trying to say here is that maybe it’s time to cut Koimo loose. They already managed to ruin Metroid forever, and I’m pretty sure the last Dead or Alive PSP game was actually a 90 minute long loli train molestation hentai (Hello, Googlesearch!) I know it’s hard, but let’s remember KoiTec for the company it was and pretend that Ninja Gaiden 3 does not exist.

 

Blackwater
Developer: 505 Games
Publisher: Hate And Bitterness From the Darkest Unspoken Heart of Humanity
Plaform: Kinect


I know what you’re thinking, “surely no one in their right mind would make a videogame based around the disgraced and scandal-ridden Private Military Company Xe Services, nee Blackwater Worldwide”, but 505 Games is not in their right mind and also they hate you.

 

So we got this. A Kinect on-rails lightgun game that’s clearly deriving inspiration from Modern Warfare. It is quite literally the worst of all things currently wrong with modern videogames, and much like it’s source material it too is a war crime.

 


 

NOT ACTUALLY GAMES BUT RATHER INTERACTIVE SOFTWARE DESIGNED FOR USE WITH MOTION SENSITIVE DEVICES AND NOT UNDER THE PURVIEW OF THIS DISCUSSION

 

Eyepet and Friends

 

ABBA: You Can Dance

 

Rapala For Kinect

 


 

NEXT WEEK~!


Well if Nintendo can get away with it, why the fuck not the French? RAYMAN ORGINS is 2d, is beautiful, and also sixty American dollars.

 

THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE SKYWARD SWORD is here to destroy all internet games discussion for the next three months as people try to determine if any review score below 99.5 is a personal attack on their character and/or children.

THE KING OF FIGHTERS 13: No really, this is totally happening!