Wallet Abuse Weekly Feb 27-March 5: Buy BG&E HD, Dammit!

So GDC was, as usual, incredibly lame and nothing really happened because it's a developer's conference and not something the industry uses to sell games. Somehow the gaming community forgets this every year, confusing it with E3 and expecting some sort of life-altering revelation like the final release date of Arkham City.

But if you take it for what its supposed to be-- a place for developers to meet and network and share war stories-- then there's some pretty cool stuff to be found. Like Team Meat talking about exactly how godawful the inner mechanizations of Microsoft Xbox Live Arcade really are, or finding out that Notch (the Minecraft guy) thinks that a pirated game isn't any more of a lost sale than a bad review score, or Heavy Rain guy David Cage echoing my opinions on the shockingly antiquated nature of the modern games industry.

But the most amazing revelation to come from GDC 2011 was learning that Shigeru Miyamoto (You know,the Nintendo Guy) was mortified by trendy neuvo-classic Steel Battalion. Not because of its overtly punishing nature or the $120 accessory that came packaged with every game or the fact that it was a Japanese game exclusive to American hardware, but because he always wanted to do one himself.

That's right. Shiggy. The guy who gave us this:

In his heart of hearts always wanted to do this:

That's sort of fascinating, isn't it? All these years Shigeru has slaved away producing Zelda sequels and all he wanted to do was play some fucking Mechwarrior. It makes you wonder what other games Shiggy has been secretly envious of all this time. Does he just want to bro out with some CODBLOPS? Has he secretly been the force responsible for the inexplicable Madden DS conversions? Does he draw Sonic fanart in his spare time?

I started thinking about this weeks' slate of games and how mortified he was upon learning that they were developed without his consent or knowledge. So this week I'm introducing the Shigeru Miyamoto Mortification Index-- the more utterly embarrassed Shiggy faces the game receives

The worse Shiggy feels about this game existing without his involvement. Let's begin!


Beyond Good and Evil HD
Developer: Ubisoft Shanghai
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: Xbox Live Arcade

Bringing Beyond Good and Evil to a downloadable platform is one of those ideas that makes so much sense you're sort of stunned the games industry managed to get it right. Beyond Good and Evil is one of those games everyone needs to play but no one really did, and its inclusion on XBLA proves an immediate boost to the 360's library-- There's not a lot of Zelda clones on the platform and depending on how you feel about Darksiders this may well be the best game of its type on the system. If you don't gladly fork over the eight hundred Microsoft fun bux Ubisoft is asking for this gem then you need to buy a Game Boat already and leave the rest of us alone.

Also, remember the dark future that awaits us if Michel Ancel cannot justify the production of Beyond Good and Evil 2:




Let's be reasonable here. This is basically French Zelda. While Shiggy is possibly confused and angered at the prospect of a strong independent female lead, it's quite possible he's operating under the assumption that the Ubisoft Montreal team flew out ot Japan several times to consult with him during Beyond Good and Evil's original development, and for all we know they actually did.



Chuck E Cheese Sports Games
Developer: Tommo
Publisher: UFO Games
Platforms: Nintendo Wii

So while we weren't paying attention Tommo went and made like twelve of these fucking Chuck E Cheese games. Clearly the Chuck E Cheese games make a profit otherwise the owners of UFO Games would have immolated themselves before thier shareholders. I just have to wonder about the working environment that produced this:

Obviously Tommo is not under any pretension of creating art; you have to imagine it is more of a sweatshop-like mentality. Do you think they have running water? Is Tommo located in a country without clearly defined slave labor laws? Is there some sort of implied physical threat to family members? Are Tommo's buildings encased in Foxconn-like anti-suicide netting? Clearly these games are the work of a crushed, tortured soul that's long ago given up on the concepts of creative license or competent game mechanics.

Or hope.

Or basic human dignity.

Finding useful information on Chuck E Cheese Sports Games is infuriating in that none of the major sites wants to touch it and the game itself doesn't have an official website. Left with nothing but the box I have to assume that the the four anamorphic nightmares on represent (and the one random Italian stereotype) at least five different game modes and thus infer that the game had more effort put into it than Mario Sports.

Still. Don't buy this game. Don't even talk about this game. Delete your browser's history immediately after you finish reading this week's Wallet Abuse update. There are exactly three things Chuck E Cheese should remain relevant for:

1:Convenient locations for state law enforcement officials to gather pedophiles

2: Providing locations for stressed parents to drunkenly brawl in economically depressed urban environments

3: The nightmarish, childhood-ruining visage of Munch's Make Believe Band

Remember kids, if Chuck E Cheese becomes associated with videogames than Nolan Bushnell also becomes associated with videogames again and none of us want that.



Chuck E Cheese's family-friendly facade, terrifying animal mascots, cheaply-developed games and Atari origins pose a clear threat to Nintendo's entire business strategy. Plus Chuck E Cheese can bring all these elements together with pizza, something Nintendo has as of yet been unable to incorproate into the Wii's growing list of accessories. Never to be upstaged, Miyamoto is already rumored to be developing an answer to Chuck E Cheese empire in the form of Mario Skee-Ball.

Fight Night Champion
Developer: EA Canada
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

While I have full confidence that Fight Night Champion is the best boxing game ever since the last Fight Night game, I still wonder exactly what advancements have happened in the world of professional boxing to justify yet another Fight Night game. Did one unified promotion spring up since the last game's release? Did Pacquiao and Mayweather ever agree to fight? Did someone finally find Don King's body stuffed inside an oil drum on the outskirts of New Jersey? Unless any of these things have happened I have a hard time understanding why anyone would care about professional boxing in 2011, much less be in the market to buy a videogame about professional boxing.

Supposedly there's a decent single-player mode attached for this revision, although I'm not sure if this is such a thrilling prospect when the Def Jam games were doing pretty much the exact same thing as early as 2003, and at least they let you fight Danny Trejo in front of an oncoming subway train.



Shigero Miyamoto is mainly just confused as to why Punch Out Wii 2 is so sweaty. And where all these Russian guys came from.




Pokemon Black and White
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo
Platforms: Nintendo DS

I'm cheating a little bit here; technically Black and White doesn't come out until next week, but since Nintendo refuses to obey the traditional rules of game release dates and releases games on Sunday I'm throwing the new Pokemon revision in this week's update. I know that wholly invalidates the entire point of going to a nebulous weekly schedule instead of forcing the cutoff date at Wednesday, but if I didn't include this and Beyond Good and Evil HD then 25% of this week's update would consist of Chuck E Cheese games.

Anyway, if you're the sort of person who buys this type of game then you already know everything about Black and White and probably have the game waiting for you at the retail establishment of your choice. Meanwhile I'll forever be left wondering if my inability to be interested in Pokemon means I'm missing out on some sort of era-defining cultural event.

No, really. This bothers me. Twenty years from now am I doomed to become That Guy, unable to connect on a cultural level with my peers because of this one fucking franchise? I feel like that one kid you knew in high school who's family was too smug to buy a television so all he had to entertain himself was with copies of New Yorker magazine and piano lessons, only in my case you replace snooty periodicals with Clover Studios videogames.



At this point you have to figure the people at Game Freak mean much more to Nintendo's success than poor Shiggy and it is only a matter of time before he meets the same "accident" as Gunpei Yokoi.


Developer: Awful
Publisher: Meaningless
Platforms: Every Fucking Thing 

Look, I can appreciate the horrible situation parents are put in when their child becomes unreasonably infatuated with a particular movie/cartoon/whatever and simply must experience EVERY SINGLE POSSIBLE FUCKING MEDIA TANGENTIALLY RELATED to it. So if your child simply won't shut the fuck up until you get them Rango the videogame, fine. Have at it. Just remember that this is the cultural equivalent to caving in to your child's demands for pixie sticks.

If however you're just looking for something accessible to occupy your spawn for a few afternoons, de Blob 2 is already cheaper than Rango and it won't trigger decades of silent resentment culminating in your adult offspring selecting an in-home care provider who doesn't speak English and insists on cooking boiled cabbage every day.




Remington Super Slam Hunting Alaska
Developer: Mastiff Games
Publisher: Mastiff Games
Platforms: Nintendo Wii

Yeah, I know, this whole "Remington Super Slam Hunting" thing seems lame and kitschy, its obviously cheaply made and for some reason they expect you to brutally slay noble majestic elk in cold blood.

I mean, it is a videogame sponsored by Remington shotguns, for fuck's sake. It doesn't even have the good taste to come packed in with an insane lightgun like the Cabella games. The arguments for this game are many and varied and mostly valid. But what if I were to tell you that this was actually House of the Dead with wolves? Would you buy it then?

You're damned fucking right you would!

Super Slam Hunting also neatly avoids the moral qualms about shooting elk, as apparently every animal in Alaska is out for your blood, up to and including seagulls:

If this is indeed an accurate representation of the frozen wasteland that is Alaska -- and we have no reason to suspect it is not-- Then many of the peculiarities of our largest, coldest, and most regrettable state suddenly make sense. Such as the helicopter hunting phenomenon, or why many of its residents want the entirety of the state converted into a maze of pipelines and oil refineries, or why 95% of the state's population consists of meth-addled hillbillies.



Shiggy secretly resents the inclusion of Duck Hunt alongside his own classic Super Mario Brothers, and as a result one of his lifelong goals has been to perfect the genre. Sadly he knows with the release of the this is never meant to be.



Next Week-- Is probably also lousy! Play BG&E HD you reprobates!