Finishing the Week: Issue 26

Welcome to the latest installment of Finishing the Week. It’s time for the DNF crew — along with a few random special guests — to get together and toss back a few brewskis while cracking wise at the latest and greatest news the video game industry has to offer. Click the links, enjoy the banter, and feel free to talk back in the comments section below.

M. Rambler: Welcome to the latest installment of Finishing the Week. Before really kicking things into high gear, I need to make an announcement. Donald, I apologize for this… I didn’t want for it to go down this way… but I’m taking you in dead or alive, good sir! The fine people of Riverwood have grown tired of the prolonged torment brought about by the edge of your blade, the tip of your arrows, and the Shout of your voice. They have put a considerable bounty on your head… and, well, I’ve got this Skooma addiction to cater to, so I’ve decided that you must be brought to justice. Let it be known that I bear you no personal grudge here, I just want me some of that sweet, sweet nectar… Skooma binge here I come!

D.Conrad: Wait, you can’t take me in yet, I have to congratulate you first. This issue marks the sixth month of Finishing the Week! That is almost half a year!….

M. Rambler: What the what? I can’t believe it! The time sure flies when you’re having fun. After that kind sentiment, how can I possibly bring your head back on a stake and present it to the bloodthirsty vermin of Riverwood? Let’s go slaughter them all and burn their town to the ground. So, umm, would you happen to have any Skooma on you?

D.Conrad: I don’t know what it is. The people of Riverwood just make me so angry! So obviously I played some Skyrim and guess what? It’s really fun. Other than that we have just been getting ready for birthday party x 2. OH! I did play some Killzone 2 yesterday. How is this series not more popular than Call of Duty? That’s right! In the Battlefield/Call of Duty war I pick the Killzone side! I guess that makes me Switzerland?

M. Rambler: No, Donald, that decision actually makes you Crazytown. Killzone is pretty sweet though, and it only gets better, just wait until you get your hands on Killzone 3! Hey Bitterly, I’ve been hearing some whispers about town… they mention your name and then some somethings about some strange goings on. What’s up with that?

B. Indifferent: Look, if the cops ask you about it, I was playing video games at home. Do you understand? Right now it’s just a binge-drinking goat’s word against mine, so I’m in pretty good shape if this thing goes to trial. Not that there was a thing! Or that I expect there to be a trial! I’ve been a law-abiding citizen all week.

M. Rambler: Well, if it comes down to it, I can take care of that goat friend of yours. All I ask in return is a cask of your finest Skooma… seriously, man, do you have any Skooma? I just really need some right now, just a taste so my insides can stop feeling like they are migrating to my outsides… If you don’t give me any I’ll go to the cops, man… I’ll do it…. don’t make me do it. Just a drop of Skooma… what do you say old buddy, old pal? GlowPuff? Skooma? Bitterly doesn’t seem to want to help a brotha out.

GlowPuff:  Know what?  I’m tired of watching Youtube videos depicting the good people of Riverwood being murdered in various, creative ways.  I know it’s just a game, but when I’m receiving over a dozen videos of “digital murder” from Donald every day, it makes me wonder.  It also makes me feel relieved in knowing I’m not the only one doing it.  BAHAHAHA!!!!!!

I’m going to talk about the Diablo 3 beta a bit, for those interested.  So far I’ve played the Wizard, Demon Hunter, and Witch Doctor.  My favorite is the Wizard by a hair.  The Demon Hunter is a very close second.  Witch Doctor is pathetic.  Underpowered skills that aren’t very fun to use.  Everything you’ve been reading about the “dumbing down” of the game is true.  Everyone is running around with the same skills at any particular level, with the same power output.  It looks like the only thing that will differentiate one from another is the use of skill sockets to vary each skill’s effects.  I do like the use of generator skills to refill your mana/fury/hatred power globes.  No more dunking mana pots.  Now you have to switch over to a generator skill, which refills your globe as you attack with it.  I really like the ability to immediately join anyone in the party from town, no matter where they are.  Gone are the days of yelling “TP” into the chat box, hoping someone lays one down so you can join them wherever they are.  The destructible environments are nice, and the ragdoll physics on the dead monster bodies is a nice touch.  Well that’s it, in a nutshell.

M. Rambler: I have absolutely no idea what you just said. I didn’t hear the word Skooma in there anywhere. Maybe dunking a few mana pots will make all these burning spiders leave me alone. GlowPuff, stop crawling around on the ceiling, man! We’ve got a job to do here. There’s news to be discussed and there you are frolicking on the ceiling shouting “TP”. Have you no shame?

Double Fine Kickstarters their newest project into high gear

B. Indifferent: Now, why can’t they take up a collection to make Star Control 3? Well, a version of Star Control 3 that’s actually worth playing, anyway.

GlowPuff: Monkey Island and Full Throttle were great.  I went through Full Throttle so many times.  I was a bit stunned to see how much they are charging for the privilege of going bowling with Schafer.  I only charge $100.  And I let you win, to top it off.

M. Rambler: Sorry, I’m too busy playing Double Fine Happy Action Theater to pay you to lose at bowling. Random side note, did you know Skooma makes playing Double Fine Happy Action Theater about 1,001 times better?

So in 1990 a AAA title cost 135,000 dollars to make. In 2012 it costs 400,000 dollars? If my math is correct the next great adventure game will cost Six Million Trillion dollars….in the year 2015!

M. Rambler: So, Donald, since you brought up your math skills… my last paycheck… it read $0.001 in the payment line… did you misplace a decimal or something?

Final Fantasy XIII-2 “To Be Continued” via DLC

B. Indifferent: The only thing better than waiting to download the rest of a story is… well, pretty much anything else on the planet, really. Even near-fatal groin injuries.

D.Conrad: This proves it, Japan is not ready for the heavy burden of providing downloadable content. Seriously? How did anyone in the board meetings think this was a good idea? I know people complain about paying for DLC that was crafted after the game was on the market, but this time I will have to side with them. The ending of the game SHOULD HAVE BEEN ON THE DISC! I will wait for the version that has all the DLC on the disc.

M. Rambler: Yeah, Japan is so far behind the curve yet again. Any good Western gaming company has the decency to cliffhanger an ending and have the REAL ending on the original retail disc that needs to be opened via cash transaction DLC code.

GlowPuff: I see they took a page out of Halo’s book of how NOT to end a game.  Think I’ll pass on this one anyways, regardless of the half-ending.

Microsoft yet to be charged in the killing of Rare, but sources say it’s only a matter of time

GlowPuff: Donald, did you forget to put the payment for the electric bill in the mail this month?  The link doesn’t work!

D.Conrad: The link works, maybe your computer just refuses to take you to a story that is crushingly depressing? I miss Rare from the past. I guess my dreams of Jet Force Gemini 2 will never come to pass. I guess they should be happy, it could be worse. They could be the guys making the Playstation Home avatars. No one even knows those exist!

M. Rambler: Playstation Home avatars do too exist! I was out for a walk in the woods just last week and I happened to stumble across these strange footprints in the ground. I started to follow them and out of the corner of my eye I saw this strange figure rummaging around behind some trees in the distance. I tried to take a picture, but when I looked down to pull out my camera phone, it disappeared into the mist. I can only conclude what I saw was one of the mysterious Playstation Home avatars that you speak of.

Possible new Skyrim DLC… I’ve always wanted to mount a dragon!

GlowPuff: Epic mounts would be cool.  Aren’t water currents already in the game?  Whenever I cross a river, I get swept down fast.  I’m all for giant mud crabs.  Can’t get enough of those.

M. Rambler: Well, I would like to go on the record as being anti-crab. I have just one suggestion for Skyrim DLC. I would love it if all the giants wandering the game world were discovered to be baby giants. And all the daddy giants would come in and storm the land of Skyrim to show everyone who was boss. Can you even imagine how far you could fly after being clubbed by a daddy giant?

D.Conrad: I throw Riverwood’s fine citizens in the river, they get swept away. It’s how I keep the survivors in line. Now on the topic of riding a dragon? That would be better than when the horse I am riding glitches out and goes air born. Maybe I could even decide what direction the dragon was going to fly? Maybe you can even land him? Because I have to reboot after I ride a Skyrim Pegasus. It breaks the game.

But we already knew Zynga was evil

B. Indifferent: As far as evil goes, this is some pretty tame stuff. They paid attention to what their customers wanted, and tried to give them more of it? Clutch the pearls, what a sneaky thing to do!

GlowPuff: I guess it’s how they went about doing it that’s shady.  I don’t know, I’ve never played their games, and I’ve never heard any prior whisperings about how they operate.

M. Rambler: Well, I heard they get all their employees hooked on Skooma and they control the supply so tightly that no one will ever quit out of fear of suffering through Skooma withdrawal. Now where do I submit my resume?

D.Conrad: Remember when people hated EA for being big and evil? Now people hate Activision for being big and evil? Zynga is just the big evil of the Facebook game world. Give it time. They will become the good company fighting for the people against the new evil. At the end of the day, it will still be Facebook games that are being fought about.

Did you seriously just delay this game so you could add in a Galactic Dance Off Mode?

B. Indifferent: Thanks ever so much for that mental image. Now I’ve got that dance-off scene from Starsky and Hutch in my head with George Lucas Mellody Hobson’s boyfriend in the role of “dancin’ Rick.”

GlowPuff: LucasArts still makes games?  I haven’t played a really good LucasArts game since their old PC games.  Every one of their console games has been junk.  Their old Tie Fighter and X-Wing fighter “flight simulators” for PC were awesome.  Big campaigns, lots of action – I played those for hours on end.  Their old adventure games on PC were epic, as well – Monkey Island, Loom, Full Throttle.  And their old FPS games – Dark Forces and Jedi Knight.  Epic Star Wars games there.  I guess that’s what happens when you milk something for too long.  Just look at the the movies and the latest BluRay release fiasco with the oddball additions that Mellody Hobson’s boyfriend made.  I am NOT seeing the 3D conversion of Phantom Menace!!  I just realized this got off-topic and turned into a Mellody Hobson’s boyfriend rant.  Don’t get me started!  Too late!!  Han shot first!

On topic now – after watching that video, I have to ask… Is that what people look like when playing Kinect games??  Holy I-look-like-a-fool, Batman. Count me OUT! If I’m going to flail my arms around like that, I’d rather it be from the side effects of electrocution.

M. Rambler: Yeah, I can send you some footage of me playing Double Fine Happy Action Theater. But then I’d have to kill you.

D.Conrad: On 4.3.12 we will witness a Metacritic score of -100,000,000. But, adding dancing just goes to show that the Kinect is very limited to providing non-gaming experiences.

M. Rambler: Donald, please see above.

Shoot things with gonzo game developer David Jaffe before he quits Eat Sleep Play

D.Conrad: I guess someone wanted a new Twisted Metal game? It wasn’t me. Good luck to Dave in whatever he goes on to. Maybe a new title? Remember when you created God of War? How awesome that was? Maybe a new IP that literary blows my socks off?

M. Rambler: Donald, I suggest you watch the Mythbusters episode about sock blowing offing. Not possible my friend. I’ll probably buy the new Twisted Metal, and it will sit on my shelf waiting for me to complete Skyrim… but with that new DLC coming that could be a long ways off.

So, this is usually the spot where we talk about new releases, but I don’t feel like it this week because I have to go about procuring some Skooma. I’m really starting to wig out here, and no one wants to help. You would think Donald would spare one of the five Donalds in the room, but no. GlowPuff is too busy transforming into a glowing, golden robot and Bitterly just left the building wearing a pink goat backpack. So, screw you guys. 

GlowPuff: Well, I’m still waiting for my new RC chopper to arrive.  I give it another week, tops.  I got confirmation that it did ship out from China, though.  So it’s on the way.  I’m already planning my next one after that.  It will be much bigger, for outdoor flying.  My Pirate’s Plunder game project is going to wrap up this weekend.  This will be my first game that went over-schedule.  But it’s very nice.

D.Conrad: It’s going to be a fascinating week in my house. More on that later. Anyway I cannot wait for Pirate Plunder to get past the game review panel. Let’s just hope they don’t find it too awesome. GlowPuff gets tripped up by that. Just ask Pumpkin Smash.

M. Rambler: That about does it, peace out homies. Thanks for another fun week… and Donald, about that paycheck. I just need a few more gold coins. I’ve tracked down this shady Skooma dealer in Riften, but I’m worried he’s going to try to fleece me. So, until next week, may the Forcedance be with you!

About Tony Lorenzen

Tony Lorenzen, a.k.a. the Midnite Rambler, may just be a bad enough dude to rescue the president... but he's still no Snake Plissken.