Wallet Abuse Weekly is a Suplex to the Neck!

Alright, videogames industry.  I’m tired of your shit.

Every week I have to sit here and find something hilarious and interesting to say about the dreck you insist on trotting out before the games community lest my fellow gamers be fooled and pay pay full MSRP for a videogame. 

Every week it’s the same routine-- a bunch of Wii shovelware releases, some sports games and maybe one game worth buying.  Sure it picks up during Christmas when you think people are paying attention, but through the trade show season and the summer doldrums I may as well be writing up the Zoo Games 2011 Halfassed Cash-in Catalog.

Well I’m not going to take it anymore.  I’ve taken inspiration from Internet sensation/anti-bullying advocate/possible violent psychopath Casey Heynes and will administer harsh, grappling-based judgement against all offending videogames that come my way this week.

The tables have turned, bitches.


 

Dance on Broadway
Developer:  Longtail Studios
Publisher:  Ubisoft
Platforms:  PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

The great thing about motion control for the HD consoles is that we’ll finally see new gameplay concepts that can arise from the combination of intuitive control and the power of modern graphical hardware. Certainly we’d never ever see lazy ports brought over from the Wii just so publishers can pump a few extra bucks out of the uniformed mainstream hoards oh wait

Nevermind.

And no, I can’t be bothered to look up what if any improvements were made in the leap to HD, as I didn’t feel like talking about this game the first time.

IMPLAUSIBLY EFFECTIVE PRO WRESTLING FINISHER I WILL INFLICT UPON THE DEVELOPERS OF THIS GAME IN RETALIATION FOR FOISTING THIS SHIT UPON ME

THE WORM

If you’re going to subject me to an embarrassing collection of dance routines that’s only barely a  a videogame, then your own destruction will be encompassed by an embarrassing dance routine that’s only tangentially related to an actual wrestling move.


Fit in Six
Developer:  Blue Byte
Publisher:  Ubisoft
Platforms:  Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

This is not a game; it’s not meant to be a game; it’s not meant to sell to people who play videogames; if you’re reading this blog entry then you’re not anywhere near the target audience for Fit in Six, and if you were the type of person to buy a Wii or HD platform to engage in something like Fit in Six, I hate you.  So why am I talking about this?

It’s this:  If I were to buy say, every last shmup for the Wii/360/PS3 and play them one afternoon back-to-back, the most physical danger I’d be in would be shattering my wrist into a mess of bone and gore as I attempted to get through Ikaruga.

With Fit In Six we have reached the point where if you tried to play every last home console fitness program back-to-back your heart would explode within your chest and you would physically die. 

IMPLAUSIBLY EFFECTIVE PRO WRESTLING FINISHER I WILL INFLICT UPON THE DEVELOPERS OF THIS GAME IN RETALIATION FOR FOISTING THIS SHIT UPON ME 

THE CLAW

For the crime of imposing physical activity upon the gaming community, I will subject the laziest possible finisher as applied to the laziest possible wrestler-- Barry Windham’s claw, where he would sort of put his hand upon the other guy’s forehead and just laid there for a while.


Gods Eater Burst
Developer: D3 Publisher
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Platforms:  PlayStation Portable

Before we go into the reasons why you should not bother with Gods Eater Burst, I just want to take a moment to check out this sweet box art

I mean, if you were 15 and impressionable and didn’t have access to the internet to tell you not to buy a game because it’s an awful clone of a far superior original, you’d buy that in an instant right?  If this thing were released in 1990 on the Genesis it’d have sold eight million copies and would have been featured on the cover of Diehard Gamefan at least twice.

But it’s 2011 and sadly for D3 Publisher you can get game review scores in roughly the same amount of time as you can find tomorrow’s weather. 

In short, it’s Monster Hunter, but not as good.  It’s a clone to a genre that doesn’t sell well in America on a dead platform.  Somehow Namco thought it was a good idea to sell this in America but still hasn’t figured out what to do with Soul Calibur now that people care about fighting games again.

IMPLAUSIBLY EFFECTIVE PRO WRESTLING FINISHER I WILL INFLICT UPON THE DEVELOPERS OF THIS GAME IN RETALIATION FOR FOISTING THIS SHIT UPON ME

SHINING WIZARD

The Monster Hunter series is a collection of (mostly) great games that for whatever reason only the Japanese and Japanese gaming aficionados care about.  The Great Muta is a (mostly) great wrestler whom only the Japanese and Japanese wresting aficionados cares about.  While virtually every punishment Muta performs upon the human body is appropriate retribution against the sins D3 Publisher has committed upon the gaming community, the Shining Wizard has the highest chance of accidentally giving them a concussion and perhaps in their drunken stupor can be talked into taking Earth Defense Force away from Vicious Cycle.


Homefront
Developer:  Kaos Studios
Publisher:  Toy HeadQuarters
Platforms:  PlayStation 3, Xbox 360.

So let’s say you had an idea, and that idea was this:   

You know what’s cool?  Hind D gunships.  And Patrick Swayze.  Let’s make a Red Dawn videogame!

This is a great idea!  Not only does Red Dawn lend itself well to the modern notion of the gritty, dirty Modern Warfare-type FPS, a large number of people have managed to convince themselves that the 80’s are something you actively want to emulate and revisit, despite the whole AIDS thing and Ronald Reagan being a scary old man and Margaret Thatcher being an even scarier old man. 

But the 80’s did have one thing that’s very difficult to replicate in this day and age, and that’s a credible threat to the military might of the United States of America, or as we know it in videogame terms, The Good Guys

See, this is the problem with Modern Warfare 2.  Infinity Ward had to go so far out of the way to rebuild Russia as a threat to the United States that the story resembles a GI Joe cartoon plot.  This is the genius of setting up a game in the Red Dawn universe, the Soviet Union were some scary motherfuckers and we spent most of the 80’s convinced they were about to pour through the Canadian tundra at any moment.

This is why I was excited about Homefront and its story about an unstoppable Communist military machine invading American soil.  Someone had finally brought back the spectre of the USSR in videogame form without having to build up some impoverished third world nation as a waitagodamnedminute

That’s fucking North Korea, isn’t it?

Oh you assholes.

MGM filed for bankruptcy!  You could have bought the Red Dawn license for twelve bucks and a case of Coronas!  North Korea isn’t ever going to be a threat to America, the last public works project they engaged in was a thousand foot tall concrete hotel that they ran of money to complete.

So if Kaos Studios fucked up something as simple as the Red Dawn concept, would possibly fuck up the premise of war brought to the cities and suburbs of America?

Yeah.  They did that, too.

In fact, Kaos Studios fucked up so badly that the stock price of THQ dropped 20% once review scores started trickling in.  The lesson being: You might be able to spend enough on advertising to bring in a quarter million preorders, but if that game sucks you’ve just created a quarter million very angry gamers.

Oh yeah.  The advertising.  They fucked that up, too.  At this point we should consider ourselves lucky if Homefront discs aren’t found to somehow contain a freakishly virulent strain of smallpox virus.

IMPLAUSIBLY EFFECTIVE PRO WRESTLING FINISHER I WILL INFLICT UPON THE DEVELOPERS OF THIS GAME IN RETALIATION FOR FOISTING THIS SHIT UPON ME

VIRTUALLY ANY ACTION PERFORMED BY BILL GOLDBERG, UP TO AND INCLUDING BEING IN HIS GENERAL VICINITY WHEN PERFORMING EVERDAY TASKS SUCH AS “PUNCHING A BEAR IN THE FACE” OR “RIDING A RAD MOTORCYCLE” OR “STANDING WHILE AT THE SAME TIME CHEWING GUM”

Bill Goldberg was a big scary imposing looking individual and while he was charismatic as hell and generally looked like he was the sort of guy who should be dropping Kevin Nash repeatedly on his head, he was also a horrible wrestler who was never given the training necessary prevent himself from grievously harming others while in the ring.  The simple act of sending Bill Godberg to Kaos Studios offices under the guise of delivering pizza or fixing a copy machine should be enough to prevent these idiots from harming THQ any further.


Jikandia:  The Timeless Land
Developer:  Opus
Publisher:  Aksys
Platforms:  PlayStation Portable

I refuse to believe than an action RPG based on the premise that you get to decide how long it takes to complete a dungeon (with rewards ramping up based on how long you’re willing to stay inside without being killed or forced to leave) and with graphics that look like this.

...can be a bad game, but reviews are not being kind.  It might be one of those games where a budget actually harms it’s perception-- if this thing first appeared on TIGsource and was presented via a charmingly awkward website for download we’d probably be in love with it and clamoring for the DSiWare translation from Nicalis.  Hopefully someone from within the indie community is paying attention to Jikandia and is willing to turn it’s basic concept into an enjoyable videogame.

IMPLAUSIBLY EFFECTIVE PRO WRESTLING FINISHER I WILL INFLICT UPON THE DEVELOPERS OF THIS GAME IN RETALIATION FOR FOISTING THIS SHIT UPON ME

STF AS PERFORMED BY JOHN CENA

Opus might have produced a poor videogame, but their hart was in the right place and the idea will probably be turned into a decent game sooner or later.  So their fate will be to suffer through a submission hold that doesn’t actually do anything and is at worst a minor inconvenience.


MotoGP 10/11
Developer:  Monumental Games
Publisher:  Capcom
Platforms:  PlaySation 3, Xbox 360

If you’re the sort of person who still cares about MotoGP, then you’ll need to know that Monumental has ditched the arcade-y physics from previous iterations in favor of a simulation model that more closely approximates Milestone’s SBK series. 

Sadly until the riders in SBK/MotoGP take up billyclubs and attempt to murder each other at 200mph through the redwood forests of California, I cannot be bothered to care about motorcycle racing games.

IMPLAUSIBLY EFFECTIVE PRO WRESTLING FINISHER I WILL INFLICT UPON THE DEVELOPERS OF THIS GAME IN RETALIATION FOR FOISTING THIS SHIT UPON ME

THREE AMIGOS

Really?  Another fucking MotoGP game?  Did anything of note happen during the last racing season to justify producing this thing instead of taking the same engine and making an HD Road Rash?  Your fate is to suffer a never-ending string of Eddie Guerrero rolling suplexes, and hopefully he was extra fucked up on prescription painkillers that day.


Okamiden
Developer:  Capcom
Publisher:  Capcom
Platforms:  Nintendo DS

Okamiden isn’t so much a sequel to the PS2 classic Okami as it is an attempt to reboot the franchise with an actual advertising budget.  As such you don’t really need to know anything about the first Okami aside from the fact that it mainly involves the children of the previous game’s protagonists.  Hopefully this means director Kuniomi Matsushita isn’t beholden to the uneven pacing found in the first game and you’re not fighting that goddamned seven headed dragon guy eighteen times.

Rather than continue to provide arguments about a game you should already own by now anyway, here’s Chibiterasu:

BUY THIS FUCKING GAME.

IMPLAUSIBLY EFFECTIVE PRO WRESTLING FINISHER I WILL INFLICT UPON THE DEVELOPERS OF THIS GAME IN RETALIATION FOR FOISTING THIS SHIT UPON ME

MACHO MAN'S REVIVING ELBOW!

It was Clash of Champions XXX and things were looking bad for The Mega Powers The Team of Macho Man and Hulk Hogan.  The satanic Kevin Sullivan and the turncoat Brutus the Barber Beefcake Brother Bruti The Zodiac Ed Lesile had brutalized Hulk Hogan in the ring and left him for dead.  While Kevin Sullivan prepared to pin Hulk Hogan and end Hulkamania forever, Macho Man had to resort to drastic measures and guarantee that  Hogan would kick out, Hulk up, and perform his unstoppable legdrop finisher in short order. So he climbed the ringpost and performed his own finisher upon Hogan, the Flying Elbow, the only reverse finisher known to mankind.


Top Spin 4
Developer:  2k Czech
Publisher:  2k Games
Platforms:  PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360

Look, I understand that at a certain base level every vidogame ever made can be boiled down to maybe a half dozen games that were programmed in the late 70’s, but with Top Spin 4 it’s kind of hard to ignore that you’re paying sixty dollars for a massively complicated game of Pong.


 

And you don’t even get the cool phosphor glow.

Top Spin 4 supports the PlayStation 3 Move wand much like it’s supported the Wiimote in previous iterations, but for whatever reason 2k Czech didn’t bother with Kinect functionality.  Maybe it turns out you really do need buttons.

IMPLAUSIBLY EFFECTIVE PRO WRESTLING FINISHER I WILL INFLICT UPON THE DEVELOPERS OF THIS GAME IN RETALIATION FOR FOISTING THIS SHIT UPON ME

BEARHUG AS PERFORMED BY BROCK LESNAR

2k Czech’s Top Spin series is remarkable in it’s ability to take something inherently fun-- Pong-- and turn it into something tedious and unfun.  Brock Lesnar’s bearhug is much the same way-- It should be lots of fun to watch Brock squeeze a man until blood starts pouring our of his mouth, but instead it just goes on forever and everyone involved just wishes they were doing anything else.  Much like Top Spin.


Yakuza 4
Developer:  CS1 Team
Publisher:  Sega
Platforms:  PlayStation 3

I was originally very excited for Yakuza 4, thinking it was the one where an earthquake sets in motion a nuclear reactor accident that unleashes a zombie horde upon Tokyo.  Sadly America is a year behind on Yakuza entries and we may never see Yakuza of The End because this happened:

and the game has been delayed possibly forever depending on how that whole “zombie horde” thing pans out.

(If Yakuza 4 producer Toshihiro Nagoshi knew he possessed these sorts of powers, what would Of The End been about instead?  Would Kazuma Kiryu simply have received an enormous sandwich?  Would he have pushed for a Daytona USA sequel in hopes that he would be offered a racing sponsorship in real life?  Bi-Curious Lesbian Readheaded Chicks With Enormous Boobs 2012?)

So when I realized Yakuza 4 was just Sega’s ordinary Grand-Theft-Auto-Meets-Virtua-Fighter thing I was ready to write it off.  After all, this game has had four games and five years to get on my radar as something other than “that Sega modern-day RPG that’s somehow not Shenmue”.  But Yakuza 4 might actually be interesting-- This time you’re not playing one boring Yakuza guy running an orphanage; you’re playing four different Yakuza guys through their own concurrent story lines.  Also apparently at some point you force young Japanese women into becoming hostesses. 

So it has that going for it.  And not to be totally yucky and sexist, one of the four story lines has you forcing young men into the destructive, life-shortening career path of underground MMA.  So it’s sort of like SaGa Frontier 2 if all the story paths ended with you being awful human being.

Now I’m not saying I’ll rush out and buy Yakuza 4 immediately-- after all, if there’s one weird JRPG with disgusting sexual undertones I’m going to play in the near future it’s sure as hell going to be Resonance of Fate-- but for twenty bucks Yakuza 4 sounds like a solid value proposition.

IMPLAUSIBLY EFFECTIVE PRO WRESTLING FINISHER I WILL INFLICT UPON THE DEVELOPERS OF THIS GAME IN RETALIATION FOR FOISTING THIS SHIT UPON ME

CHOKESLAMS AS PERFORMED BY TINY JAPANESE GIRL RAMU-CHAN

Y’know, I’m not mad at CS1 Team for continuing to churn out Yakuza games, they make money and at least they’re willing to take significant chances between releases.  But it’s still weird that these things are being made and nothing’s been done with Shenmue since Xbox 1, so enjoy the inherent weirdness of having The Big Show’s finisher performed upon you by a 50 pound waif.


NEXT WEEK~!

CRYSIS 2 is here to remind us that the 360 is a five year old platform and you really need to update your PC already

FINAL FANTASY DISSIDEA DUO DECUM ERGO PROXY HULA HULA UMNO WREX.  It’s Smash Brothers.  With Final Fantasy.  But more of it.

All of the HD Tomb Raiders you didn’t buy the first time are back again in TOMB RAIDER TRILOGY!