By now you all know this... thing is real.

We thought it couldn’t happen, we thought Nintendo wasn’t that stupid, we all thought the Kyoto giant, the company built upon the dreams of Shigero Miyamoto and the disposed bodies of whoever got in Hiroshi Yamauchi’s way would not be so careless with it’s corporate image. We thought surely this was a joke, a prank, a halfhearted attempt at trolling NeoGAF through unseen French magazine scans.

But a funny thing happened over the past couple years in the Japanese gaming industry-- it turns out if Capcom approaches your hardware division and says “either figure out a way to graft a second analog stick onto your handheld or we’re not giving you Monster Hunter”, then you fucking find a way to graft a second analog stick onto your handheld or within a year you’re eating cold beans out of a can in the shelter of a highway overpass.

Anyway, I see Nintendo fans trying to come to grips with this harsh new reality and as a dispossessed Sega fanboy I feel compelled to tell you all that-- despite the seething hatred I hold for every last one of you-- it’s not that bad. Hardware companies make poorly thought-out peripheral decisions all the time, only to be dropped a month later when it’s realized that no one is actually going to make a second game for the stupid thing. You’re never going to have to buy the Nintendo analog grip...thing because no else one will ever make anything for it. I mean c’mon, Someone Capcom honestly thought this:


was a good idea and no one in their right mind believed Xbox games would soon require self-destruct buttons and an footpedals.

So as a public service-- and against all my better judgement-- I’m going to remind you poor souls of the horrible; instantly forgotten addons of Nintendo’s past an how they relate to this week’s game releases:





BloodRayne Betrayal 
Developer: WayForward
Publisher: Majesco
Platforms: PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade

With a few select exemptions every year I try not to get excited about game releases, especially for titles where I have no real expectation for the game itself to be “good”, or even “playable”. This is mainly because whenever I let my guard down and become interested in an unproven concept and/or franchise I usually wind up becoming emotionally invested in things like


Or worse

 So I’m trying my best to ignore BloodRayne Betrayal until some actual reviews come out or, y’know-- I somehow stumble upon the demo through the morass of the Xbox Live Arcade New Releases menu. But there are two excellent reasons to be excited about this game even if we’re talking about a title released by shovelware-era Majesco.

Reason 1: WayForward is developing a 2d game that isn’t a Hollywood tie-in. Usually the words “WayForward”, “2D” and “Not a fucking movie game” leads to great success, as proven by Contra 4 , Shantae 2 and A Boy and his Blob. WayForward are excellent craftsmen even if most of thier portfolio exists simply to pay the bills between 2d games everyone involved knows won’t sell more than a couple hundred thousand units.

Reason 2:


It’s BloodRayne! You remember her, right? Vampire, pale skin, wrist blades, looks great in an evening dress, does nothing but kill vampires and Germans all day? Of course she should be in a blatant 2d Castlevania ripoff!

But I have my doubts. The Giant Bomb Quicklook  revealed a game with floaty jump mechanics and a predominance of hopping frog enemies; possibly the most infuriating thing to have to fight in a 2d game outside of Ninja Gaiden’s psychopathic birds.

Oh, fuck it. Please let this game be good. I need this game to be good.




Speaking of failed potential, this thing boasted a larger install base than the PlayStation 3 through it’s first three months on the market, yet only one 3rd party game was ever developed for the stupid thing, some off-brand Namco snowboarding game, meaning the Wii Balance Board boasted roughly the same level of developer support as the Atari Joyboard for the 2600


Who’s only interest by 3rd parties was also a lousy snowboarding game. You mean to tell me that Balance Board support couldn’t be integrated into a 3d platformer? Or at the very least Activision couldn’t be convinced to use the thing in lieu of it’s own godawful snowboard attachments?




Dead Island 
Developer: Techland
Publisher: Deep Silver
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Dead Island might be a decent game despite itself. It may even be a great game, although it’s Metacritic aggregate currently sits in the low 70’s, largely thanks to Edge’s 3/10. http://www.next-gen.biz/reviews/dead-island-review I wouldn’t know, I hear the words “zombies” and “co-op shooter” I’m reminded that I never played Left 4 Dead either. For me the most interesting aspect of Dead Island is seeing exactly how much zombie crap the market is willing to support inside of a 3 year period-- if this thing sells well then the Zombie Shooter isn’t just a fad, it’s an actual genre and we’re probably stuck with it through the next console generation.

As far as this actual game-- I dunno, it’s Left 4 Dead and Fallout 3 and Dead Rising and Borderlands and I dunno, probably a dozen other genres crammed into one horrible mess; Techland has had five years to cram stuff into this gameplay slurry. Reading press on Dead Island feels like Techland took a bunch of game titles and then added “but with zombies!” at the end. Meanwhile if you used “but with pirates!” or “but with ninjas!” or “but with vampires!” or “but with robots” instead you’d instantly realize the entire concept is downright tripe. And yes, you’re now realizing how much better this game would be with robot ninja pirates and I can’t help you.



Around the same level of cultural relevance as zombies is the Power Glove Kid, who’s probably fucking your girlfriend at this very moment.

If you’re a lady and you’re reading this or otherwise don’t have a girlfriend at all then... then I’m very, very sorry.





Driver: San Francisco 
Developer: Ubisoft Reflections
Publisher: Ubisoft Normal Mapping
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, (hiariously gimped Wii Version also available!)

Racing fans like myself find ourselves in this infuriating period where we just can’t have normal fucking racing games anymore. Need for Speed is doing this baffling “The Run” thing where you’re not even engaged in performing laps around tracks, Criterion has turned Burnout into some sort of a QTE/Pinball game hybrid, and DiRT 3 encourages the player to drift through and around construction machinery in abandoned work sites. Sure Forza and Gran Turismo still exist, but Forza and GT are for crazy people, and Forza 4 has been tainted by the pervasive evil that is Kinect; whereas if past history is any indication we won’t see Gran Turismo 6 until well after President Rick Perry has rounded up all nonbelievers, gays and brown people into reeducation camps.

What does all this have to do with Driver: San Francisco? You play as a coma patient who, in the insanity of creeping brain death, has imagined an entire fantasy world where he is a cop that has the power to switch between cars at will.

You know what? Fine. Sure. Whatever. You know what was a great racing game? Burnout 3. You raced against other cars, you ran them into oncoming traffic, and at the end your progress was measured by what position you finished the race in. I dunno what the fuck is going on with the racing game development community right now but I want my fucking Burnout 5, not Burnout Paradise, not Burnout Crash, not Need For Speed: Not Burnout!

Burnout 5! You assholes! You will make an enormous sum of money! Just get it done!

(BTW, Driver: San Francisco is getting 8/9s and is probably a good game provided you can overlook the bit where your playing as a drooling vegitable)



You know what else needs to shut up and stop fucking around and just deliver the game already? Wii light-gun games. You don’t need a clunky chunk of plastic to make Wii light gun games work properly.

See? You just hold it like that normally. Because it was designed to be pointed at the screen. You don’t need a device to help you point it at the screen BECAUSE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO POINT IT AT THE FUCKING SCREEN ANYWAY. It’s not even like this thing has any electronics in it; it’s just a piece of plastic that pushes down on the wiimote buttons when you apply pressure. If you ever bought one of these things you may as well have bought one of those plastic tennis racquets that go over top of the Wiimote when playing Wii Tennis.

Also I hate you.



Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten 
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Publisher: Nippon Ichi Software
Platforms: Creepy Moe Molestation Software Distribution Engine

More of these, huh? So what’s the gimmick this ti--


Oh. You can capture people and tie them up in a BDSM dungeon. Okay. As long as we know what sort of company we’re dealing with.

(by the way, Nippon Ichi totally wussed out and turned the OBVOUSLY BDSM DUNGEON SECTIONS into this)


(I mean c’mon guys. Everyone knows you’re a bunch of scuzzy reprobates barely holding onto solvency; at least respect your audience enough to give them authentic loli bdsm)




Yeah that seems about right.



Resistance 3
Developer: Insomniac Games
Publisher: SCEA
Platforms: PlayStation 3


Holy crap they’re totally still making Resistance games!

Fans of the series (whatever lost, soulless, pitiful creatures you may be) can take comfort in the fact that this is probably the last Resistance they need care about, as Insomniac is in full “Bungie after Halo 3” mode and openly saying how great it’d be if someone, anyone, else were making Resistance games instead.




Like Resistance 3, the Nintendo E-Reader was criminally overlooked. It allowed the user to scan dot matrix strips to interact with existing games, or in some cases even program in new games itself. Like virtually every Nintendo add-on it was largely forgotten despite the promise of being able to buy packs of Gameboy Advance games like you would baseball cards, although I assume one could program their own games if Nintendo were ever interested in releasing the source code for the device, although that would require Nintendo remembering the thing ever existing and/or not burning all documentation for the device when they ran out of storage space.


Star Fox 64 3D
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo of America
Platforms: Deck chairs tilting ever slowly toward the starboard side

I never understood why Nintendo hates it’s sci-fi based franchises. Seems unless you’re saving a princess or an anamorphic pink blob or can be cut up into 20 minigames and sold alongside a new wiimote then Nintendo is perfectly happy letting you rot with third parties.

Such is the case with Star Fox, which when you think about it only ever really got two Nintendo-developed releases, the original SNES classic and Star Fox Command for the DS. Star Fox Assault was a Namco effort, and 64 is a remake of SF1-- and it’s likely to stay that way, as Nintendo is on the record as saying that Star Fox 64 3d is the last shot for the series.

Which is a shame; even as a non-Nintendo guy I admired Star Fox for the SNES and was covetous of Metroid in all it’s forms. Maybe Nintendo should have rolled Star Fox and F-Zero and Metroid into a single continuity-- it would’t have helped sales, but you could at least get one decent 3d platformer of all those concepts.




Speaking of futuristic technologies Nintendo holds in open contempt-- discs.



Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
Developer: Relic
Publisher: the parts of THQ that we hope will remain solvent this time next month
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Look, I’m not saying that you all need to go out and buy Space Marine or Relic will be sold to a Chinese Panchinko machine but let’s be honest here-- Homefront and Red Faction: Shitty Dead Space made for a pretty lousy Summer, even if Homefront inexplicably sold enough copies to warrant a sequel. Plus, if Games Workshop can be convinced Relic can be trusted with licenses that are not specifically Warcraft 3 maps with 40k characters, maybe they can be talked into Homeworld 3: Battlefleet Gothic



Anyway in a vulgar display of prior research I actually played the demo of this and it’s quite good once you understand the push/pull nature of the combat and that you’re not supposed to exclusively fight at range or in close combat. Also this was my first ever exposure to the 40k universe and apparently they’ve managed to establish an entire technology based around the concept of using human skulls to house electronics instead of Radio Shack project boxes? Seems like an odd thing to base your fanfic around. Anyway you’ll probably get 10x as more if you have any interest at all in the 40k universe-- For everyone else, if you liked Gears of War but felt it had too many chicks and too much cover, then this is basically the only game you’re ever going to love.



Speaking of things hilariously over-the-top and completely unworkable, Nintendo upped the ante in the light gun wars by releasing a goddamned light-gun bazooka. It was nearly useless in any light gun game not specifically designed for it (in which case you’d just use a Konami Justifier anyway) but man did Battle Clash look waaaaay better than any of the crap Sega expected us to use the Menacer with.



NEXT WEEK (by which I totally mean this week)

WHITE KNIGHT CHRONICLES II-- wait how did they justify making a second White Knight Chronicle?

THE GUNSTRINGER is probably the best game you can buy on Kinect, which says much more about Kinect than it does The Gunstringer

DECA SPORTS EXTREME continues Japan’s bloody trail of revenge against America for the injustices imposed upon it following World War II.