So while we were all busy playing Borderlands 2 and trying to avoid the possibility that good Resident Evil games were lost to us forever, Gameloft went and ruined everything.
What we’re looking at here is the End of Gaming Trifecta:
1: Gameloft, best known for engaging in the exact same blatant IP thievery Zynga is guilty of, only actually profitable and lawsuit-free
2: The iPad
3: The Worst Controller Ever Made
I mean just look at that thing-- I’m pretty sure Gameloft could have designed a more difficult to hold device, but that would have required basing the shape on something other than the Radioshack project box the prototype was delivered in. Apparently this...thing consists of a Gameloft branded stand you slot your iPad into (with no apparent ability to charge, mind you) and the controller-- which, if it doesn’t shatter under your thumbs within the first fifteen minutes, is almost certainly leeching toxic petroleum-based chemicals through your skin and into your bloodstream.
But hey, don’t take my word for this product’s awfulness, just look at this douchebag:
Does anything about this scene look remotely appealing? The male has obvious developmental issues, while the lady looking on is confused and wondering why the guy is unreasonably excited about Nova 3’s title screen. And also confused as to why Novas 1 and 2 existed. And why this asshole isn’t using his iPad to play Temple Runner like a normal person.
Anyway, the following games are probably not on iPad yet, but I’m sure Gameloft will have Legally Distinct Variation of which available within the week.
Carrier Command: Gaea Mission
Developer: Black Element Software
Publisher: Bohemia Interactive
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Remember the original Carrier Command from 1988? Yeah, I didn’t either, but apparently it existed and was revelatory for it’s time, providing a hybrid RTS/Arcade action experience that predated Herzog Zwei by nearly two years.
The weird part about Carrier Command: Gaea Mission isn't that Black Element Software somehow managed to secure the Carrier Command license (hopefully involving an illicit back room pool hustling debt), nor that it took someone a quarter century to finally expand upon the basic concept-- No, the weird part about Carrier Command: Gaea Mission is that Bohemia Interactive somehow thinks they can sell this game, on disc, for sixty dollars on HD consoles. At least the Steam version doesn't t carry the console tax, and will make for a fine ten dollar Steam Christmas Sale purchase that you will never actually bother to install.
Yeah. I don’t care, either, but I’m not going to be That Guy and make a big deal out of not caring. If you ever tweeted about not watching the Super Bowl, you’re That Guy, and the rest of us are tired of your shit. If you’re a basketball video game fan you’re going to play this, as for the second year in a row EA has taken it’s own basketball game behind the chemical sheds rather than risk public embarrassment.
This year’s selling point appears to be Jay Z’s involvement as “Executive Producer” which must thrill the actual designers and developers of this game to no end. Before 2k fans get excited about this prospect, I need to remind you that Jay Z also helped design this thing:
It is the Barclay’s Center, and it looks like someone dropped a celestial catcher’s mitt atop the Atlantic Pacific terminal in Brooklyn. It has the remarkable ability to a rust-colored eyesore that can still blind you if the sun hits the glass correctly, and is possibly non-euclidean in shape. I’m not saying any of this will have the slightest bit of impact upon NBA 2k13, which is probably fine, but god almighty will you just look at this thing?
It’s like someone collected all the most dilapidated, rusted, hobo-spattered railroad tracks from America’s freight lines and warped them into a shape vaguely resembling a stadium if you stared at it long enough-- which you probably don’t want to do because attempting to comprehend the Barclay Center’s true from will send your mind spiraling into madness. Oh also NBA 2k13 features the 1992 Men’s Olympic Basketball team, apparently this is a Very Big Deal. I guess the Women’s team could go get bent. Speaking of bent:
Can anyone tell where these shape begin or end or even fit in relation to the other curves of the arena? Because you can’t tell in person, either. You walk up to this thing and you can just feel a malevolent force residing within, as if the original Barclays Center was residing in the same location but in another dimension, still bright and gleaming and new, but what we got in return in it’s spot is this twisted, rusted monstrosity. On the subject of Faustian bargains with unspeakable evil, the 360 version of NBA 2k13 lets you call in substitutions using Kinect. Which while evil, is less evil than whatever the Barclays Center is summoning below the Vanderbilt Train Yards as we speak.
New Little King's Story
Developer: Marvelous Entertainment
Platforms: Vita (No! For real!)
Hey! It’s a Vita game! And it’s actually really good! I mean it’s a followup to a largely underappreciated quirky Wii game, which should probably give Vita owners pause, but at least it’s there! Also a well-drawn touchscreen-enabled Pikmin-alike is on the short list of Outstandingly Obvious Good Game Ideas the Vita has, so if this does well-- and for Vita that might be 5-6 copies-- maybe you’ll see more of this.
Resident Evil 6
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Man, remember when Resident Evil meant something?
Forget Wipeout or Ridge Racer or Battle Arena Toshinden-- for me, Resident Evil 1 was the real killer app for the PlayStation 1. In this case in a quite real sense as it killed my ability to play other consoles: after spending six straight hours at my best friend’s house with his new PS1 and Resident Evil, I promptly traded in my beloved Sega Genesis, SNES, and a sizable JRPG collection to Babbages in return for the ability to play Resident Evil 1.
It was probably the single most regrettable decision of my life not related to college and/or girlfriends, but that’s how important Resident Evil was. Resident Evil ports were bullet points for virtually every system released during that era, including in inexplicable game.com version. Resident Evil 2 and 3 carried on a fine tradition, even if the controls and jump scares started wearing thin, and news of Code Veronica was a major event in the short history of the Dreamcast, even if it wasn't a “real” Resident Evil sequel.
And that “real” sequel, Resident Evil 4? Probably the finest action game of it’s generation. Resident Evil 5 was a step back, but still an event, you can’t sell six million copies of anything without it becoming part of the gaming zeitgeist.
But Resident Evil 6?
Capcom released a disc that was basically 30 hours of destroying the one series they’ve bothered to keep relevant over the past three console cycles. Maybe the Megaman fans are better off this way.
Resident Evil 6 just depresses me and I don’t want to talk about it save for this: Everything you love will one day be ruined.
Writers and singers can avoid this in that they largely have full authorial control over everything they produce. Sure, the Post-Asimov Robot books were awful, but we knew they were awful because Isaac Asimov was dead. It wasn’t like we saw Roger MacBride Allen’s name on the cover of Caliban and were fooled into thinking we were about to experience something of Asimov’s inherent quality, nor would most of us be fooled if Adele’s record label put a blonde wig on a random chunky English lady and tried to sell 19 Part Two: Twenty. But games and movies, those are different. Once they make money we're fucking stuck with them until they're eventually twisted into some perverse monstrosity that ruins our very memories.
We have a lot of people saying that we need a reboot of Resident Evil in RE6’s wake, to “get back to the roots” or whatever. They’re wrong. Resident Evil 5, Operation Raccoon City, Umbrella Chronicles and RE6 are proof that Capcom either doesn't know how to make a good Resident Evil game, or doesn't have the capability to do so anymore. Resident Evil just needs to be left alone to die.
NiGHTS into Dreams...
Sonic Adventure 2
Platforms PlayStation 3, Xbox Live Arcade
I’m putting both of these under the same listing as they’re largely the same thing-- Pure Sega nostalgia that the fans will greedily consume for ten bucks a pop, while being much more difficult to sell to a non-Sega audience. I have to laud Sega for having the confidence in their legacy product to put them back out into the public eye, and each Dreamcast/Saturn-era Sega game that’s released on downloadable services brings us one step closer to finally seeing some of the classic Model 2 racers reappear. I’m not saying you should buy games to encourage a publisher to release more games in the same vein, but if everyone could just spend twenty bucks now so I can play an arcade perfect Sega Rally, that’d be great.
There’s just... there’s something I need to tell you non-Sega people before you play NiGHTS. There’s no polite way to put this, so I’m just going to go ahead and say it-- we, the Sega fandom community, have spent the past sixteen years trolling you guys.
Look, I’m not saying NiGHTS is a bad game, far from it, I actually grew to fall in love with Yuji Naka’s work here, but it took a deliberate effort to do so. It’s just that I cannot sit here and honestly tell you all that NiGHTS is the transcendent video game experience we've sold you on. It was the mid 90’s, we saw Mario 64 and Crash Bandicoot and we wanted our own instant classic, our own media darling, and we realized with no Sonic on the horizon that NiGHTS was the best we were going to get. Also you got a really great controller out of the deal.
It’s just that if you’re not already in love with NiGHTS or don’t already feel it’s nostalgic pull-- maybe you should save yourself the heartbreak. I mean, you should still buy NiGHTS, as we never really saw a home version of Daytona 2-- Or maybe you could buy Virtual On if you don’t have that yet.
Also Sonic Adventure 2 was bullshit. Don’t play that, either. Actually if you want you could just give me the twenty dollars for both games right now and I’ll try to do something to start a public effort to get Scud Racer on XBLA.
WALLETGEDDON BEGINS: DISHONORED! X-COM: ENEMY UNKNOWN! PROBALY SOME ANNOYING SEGA THING THAT’S NOT MANX SUPERBIKE. WINTER IS COMING AND WE ARE ALL DOOMED!