Finishing the Week: Issue 35

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: Hey everybody. It’s time to finish the week. Hooray. I know I told everyone last week that I finished Skyrim, alas, this week I flat out quit Skyrim cold turkey. This “real world” everyone always talks about is a dark and dreary place. It is filled with many annoyances that can’t simply be Shouted away or clubbed down with a Warhammer. I’ve tried playing other games to try and fill the giant, gaping hole that now resides in the place my soul once occupied, but no dice. Donald, do you have anything to say other than “stop crying you big, bearded baby”?

D.Conrad: Thank you big, bearded baby, all I have to say about gaming is Xenoblade Chronicles. I am also working my way through Star Trek Voyager season 2. That show is really bad. I have been told it gets better, but if someone told me getting kicked in the face with baseball cleats gets better, I still don’t know if I would want to endure the beginning where it does hurt. But I seem to enjoy getting kicked in the face. I am only about 40% sure that you let Brad out of the studio after last week. There is duct tape all over that chair, and he won’t look us in the eye. Can you fill in those blanks Rambler?

M. Rambler: Yeah. Um. I don’t really know how percentages work. We might have to agree to disagree.

D.Conrad: Percentages are pretty simple. There’s about a 100% chance that I’m staring at Brad from Brad Hates Games right now. Would you know anything about that?

M. Rambler: Oh, yeah. Brad. Darndest thing, yeah, he and I had a talk last week before he… uh, left the office. He said he, err, enjoyed himself so much that he, uh, wanted to come back for another round! Yeah, that’s… well, that’s pretty much how things went down.

Psst… hey Bitterly.  Shh… so, uh, don’t say anything to Donald, but we really need to restock our duct tape and ether stash. This Brad guy is strong like an ox.

Brad: Strong like an ox and smart like a tractor is what my parents always used to say. But I might have been protesting a bit much. Truth is, I just really love ether.

B. Indifferent: Who doesn’t? My week was okay. I had a bit of a scare towards the end, when it looked like I couldn’t use my Bank of America credit card to buy a sniper rifle, but then I realized that I’m too poor to have a credit card, and as a convicted felon I’m unable to buy firearms. So, all’s well that ends well.

M. Rambler: Bitterly, that’s quite the vicious cycle… I mean how does anyone expect you to claw your way out of the poorhouse when a complete inability to buy firearms is preventing all future armed robberies? Sad state of affairs if you ask me.

GlowPuff: So that’s where the duct tape went.  I could have used that, you know!  Well at least it went to good use.  I broke one of my little choppers!  Then I fixed it.  I crashed into a hard surface, and the tail boom holder cracked.  A little cyanoacrylate glue, and 10 minutes later it’s good as new.  Most of my week was consumed with my latest Windows Phone game project.  It’s coming along very well.  It’s too secret to talk about yet, though.  I also sold my iPad 2 in order to fund my iPad 3 purchase.  Sorry, “New iPad”, or whatever they’re calling it.  I wouldn’t have bothered with the latest one, but I read a lot of eBooks on it, and the new screen makes reading so much easier.  I saw one in person to make sure of this, and it’s worth the upgrade to me for that reason alone.  I also killed a unicorn this week.

M. Rambler: With your bare hands, or do you have good credit and a clean record?

GlowPuff: Actually, I used his own horn and stabbed him.

M. Rambler: Wow! Also, are you by chance interested in selling the horn? There is this great knock out potion I heard about… err, I mean there’s all kinds of different potions you can make with ground unicorn horn. I may have stopped playing Skyrim, but alchemy is basically like riding a bike… a bike that can kill you if you ride it incorrectly.

GlowPuff: We should make some Skyrim potions with local ingredients and see what happens when we drink them.  Maybe we will “level up” in some way?

M. Rambler: You’re not fully leveled up already? Dude, you need to start logging more hours in Skyrim. Hey, Brad, welcome back! So, what have you been up to all week? I mean it’s not like you were duct taped to a chair in our basement this whole time, am I right?

Brad: I spent this past week playing old Sega Genesis games so I could rank them for my website. The method I usually use is to put them head to head and ask myself, “Would I rather play (for example) Greatest Heavyweights, or Gain Ground?” And after 3 years of doing this, I can safely say that at this point I would rather play Shadow Complex and forget the Sega Genesis ever existed.

M. Rambler: Holy crap, so that mind wipe Shout I mastered last week actually worked… Wait, I mean, if I were you, I’d rather play Gain Ground… is that game as good as I remember it, or do I have my rose tinted contacts in?

Brad: Well, science has yet to perfect the telepathic abilities that would make it possible for me to compare things to how good other people remember them being, but I can say that I came into Gain Ground with no prior experience and was blown away by how good it is.


Apple + console = hipsters being so over console gaming

B. Indifferent: I stopped reading as soon as I figured out that “steam box project” wasn’t some kind of gaming fart joke.

M. Rambler: Ah, who cares, the gaming community didn’t want the hipsters anyway… CONSOLES RULE!! Wait, scratch that… Siri just told me consoles suck.  Sorry guys, I gotta go now. Siri just reminded me of an appointment I have at the Apple Store to buy a new iPhone… and a fourth iPad.

GlowPuff: I won’t buy it.  It will be called iConsole, and every time you message someone from it, it will append “Sent from my iConsole” to the bottom of the message.

D.Conrad: I was thinking about this, the levels of “bad idea” contained here are astounding. So you get all of the Apple faithful to buy it, they rush home and hook it up. Go to the app store and BAM Call of Duty 24 is not .99 cents its 60 bucks! They won’t be happy about that.

Siri: Rambler, you want an iConsole now.

M. Rambler: Guys, hey, do any of you know where I can get my hands on one of these iConsoles? I want the black one with the bigger GB’s.
Sent from my New iPad

GlowPuff: Can you imagine people bringing their iConsole into Starbucks to get their gaming on?  Little LCD TVs at each table, ready to connect to the customers’ iConsoles so they can play iGame.

Brad: If hipsters are going to be playing an iConsole, does this mean my time spend playing Oregon Trail on the school Apple IIe back in 1988 counts as being an Apple gamer before it was cool? Because I’ve never done anything before it was cool before.

Pioneers: We were dying of cholera way before it was cool.

D.Conrad: I hate Oregon Trail, I am not a fan of the state either. Why can’t I pump my own gas? The “attendent” is always over talking to his buddies in their “Tricked out” Subaru’s. So, I just stand there waiting, I have all the time in the world while you discuss “Sweet Rims”. Seriously! Do Not Visit Oregon. Plus, little Timmy would always die for no good reason… Then my wagon would sink in the river.

Little Timmy: URK BLARG!


Telefonica Digital, the epicentre of mobile gaming (in Europe, if you couldn’t tell from the spelling)

GlowPuff: Well, the deal will involve O2, and not Orange UK, so that’s fine by me.  I have a problem with Orange UK because of an arrangement that fell through last year.  I think I’m still under NDA (it lasts 1 year), so I won’t talk about it much.  But I will say I’m still a little miffed about it.

Brad: The only thing I really know about the gaming scene in Europe is that they have a game called Don’t Cock It Up, and that knowledge alone makes me insanely jealous. Hopefully this deal will lead to a more “global” gaming market, with fewer games exclusive to each region. And perhaps one day, even Americans will be able to experience the joy of cocking things up.

GlowPuff: There is a “special” club downtown where they do that every night.  It’s also what happens to you when you use that new Waygoz service we talked about last week.

M. Rambler: We may not have that amazing gaming experience here in the States at the moment, but I’m pretty sure there’s an app for that.

GlowPuff: The app will be called iGame, available next year for the iConsole.

D.Conrad: I am sure people who this effects will be really excited. Then they will play an EA mobile game and the excitement will rapidly vanish. YEAH THAT’S RIGHT! I am going to hate EA mobile until Dead Space comes to Windows Phone or until my contract is up and I get an iPhone. Rambler keeps telling me they are great… But his eyes are always glazed over when he says it…..

M. Rambler: No, really, you gotta get an iPhone.  Siri said they won’t make the iConsole if you don’t buy a new iPhone right now.


Consider Wasteland 2 Kickstarted

GlowPuff: That is a lot of money.

D.Conrad: Let me go on record, I am to Wasteland as a thirteen year old girl is to Justin Bieber.

M. Rambler: So, does that mean you are Wasteland, because Justin Bieber is a thirteen year old girl.  Siri told me.

GlowPuff: Siri talks to me in the language of Mordor, which I will not utter here.

Brad: Kickstarter is a pretty interesting idea, but getting a bunch of small donations from a lot of different gamers is only one way it could work. Why not do the opposite and try to get someone who’s moderately wealthy to fund the whole project? I’m thinking just about every mediocre player in the NFL would be willing to spend $2m to have a football game where’s he’s the best player in the league.  Coming this fall from EA – Ryan Fitzpatrick Football 2013!

B. Indifferent: So you’re talking about a patronage system, with video games as artwork — including some tasteful nude pieces — and with more explosions.

M. Rambler: And a rip roaring alternative soundtrack featuring all the hottest bands.

D.Conrad: Hang on guys…Yes…Hi, I would like to pre-order Ryan Fitzpatrick Football 2013… Why wouldn’t I want the two hundred dollar collectors edition? Oh… Well what’s in the Premium Collectors edition? Oh… Well a DLC code to unlock all the other teams sounds good… I guess, upgrade me.

R. Fitzpatrick: Actually, I just bumped up my bid to $3m so I could have the game renamed to Ryan Fitzpatrick Football Ninja Sexmachine 2013.

Brad: Jeez, Ryan, as long as you’re throwing that kind of money around, why not get the big upgrade and make it so the game puts you on a team other than the Buffalo Bills?

M. Rambler: Please tell me this game is going to be on the iConsole…

GlowPuff: It will, and it will be available next year under the working title “iGame”.

M. Rambler: Score!

R. Fitzpatrick: Yep, I do a LOT of that in Ryan Fitzpatrick Football Ninja Sexmachine 2013.


Double Dragon Neon set to party like it’s 1989

Brad: I love Double Dragon, and I love the 80s, so naturally my reaction to hearing about this game was dread, paired with a feeling of impending disappointment. Yeah, I’m a lot of fun around the holidays.

D.Conrad: When I see stuff like this and get excited I just show myself pictures of Bionic Commando REARMED 2.

M. Rambler: Well, when I see stuff like this it’s usually because Siri is telling me to buy something. Here, check this out, Siri just sent me some leaked photos of this iConsole that Apple is working on. I simply gots to get me one of those.

B. Indifferent: When I see stuff like this, it reminds me that I’d rather be watching stuff like this.

GlowPuff: Perusing the screen shots, my favorite is of the blonde taking a brutal punch to the gut.  Why did she have 2 black eyes?  She didn’t shut up the first time she was told.

D.Conrad: Glowpuff, my office after this…

GlowPuff: What, you want a couple black eyes too?

Brad: My favorite thing about that same screen shot is the dominatrix-looking chick off to the side wearing a leather corset and… legwarmers? Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about the 1980s S&M scene, but that looks completely insane. I have a bad feeling the developer’s approach to “improving” the game is just to add more stuff from the 80s to it.

M. Rambler: If that’s the case, then I totally suggest they add more of this… now that would be totally RAD!

D.Conrad: That’s it, I am blocking YouTube in the office. It will now only be used for LOLcats.


Someone’s got Suikoden on the brain

 GlowPuff: I have no idea what this is.  But I do know what a Hadouken is.

M. Rambler: Yeah, I once sued a Ken, but I’ve never Suikoden.

B. Indifferent: Have I ever cracked jokes about RC helicopters?! Have I ever told you that Siri will never be a substitute for a real woman?! Joking about Suikoden is like trying to make a joke about George Washington snorting coke off a dog’s testicles — it’s something you don’t do. Ever.

D.Conrad: I think I see a vein in Bitterly’s head throbbing. Quick, someone may want to grab that pen before he stabs one of you with it.

GlowPuff: Agreed.  We didn’t just touch a nerve here, we seem to have stomped on it.

Brad: Suikoden and Suikoden II  are two of maybe about five JRPGS that I can still enjoy. Both games have a surprisingly heavy story, which is offset by bright visuals, upbeat music, and charming characters who have a lot of amusing dialogue.  Having said that, I didn’t need to read a lengthy article about its design. The core gameplay still just revolves around picking “fight” off a menu a million times. I’ll put up with it because I enjoy the rest of the game so much, but it doesn’t require thorough analysis.

B. Indifferent: I’m just happy to see that they haven’t been forgotten. Suikoden III and IV were so horrible that I couldn’t bring myself to try playing Suikoden V, or Suikoden Tactics, or the Suikoden Genso series. The first two games, though… let’s just say that I might actually have a college degree by now if I hadn’t found a copy of Suikoden II.

D.Conrad: I have been thinking of replaying these via PSN. But then I remember that I have gone from Skyrim to Xenoblade Chronicles. I have almost filled my yearly RPG quota.


Dead Space 3 outed again… I’m starting to think this game might actually be coming out

D.Conrad: If I could have this game now I would swear to never touch Assassin’s Creed 3 in the first week it was out.. My wife watched me play most of Dead Space 2, she claims there is something wrong with the people who made the game. I just can’t wait to see how Microsoft tries to force Kinect into Dead Space 3. Because that is working so well.

GlowPuff: Not having a Dead Space 3 would be as likely as not having another Modern Warfare game.  In other words, the same chance as me winning the lottery.  It’s a successful series, there will be a sequel to (possibly) conclude the story arc.  And I will be buying it, whether or not I’ve finished Skyrim by then.

Brad: In other news, Major League Baseball has decided they’re going to have a World Series again this fall, and temperatures in the northern hemisphere are expected to rise over the next few months.

Canadian: I sure hope you’re right, Brad. I’m really getting sick of this cold weather all the time.


Pre-God of War coming our way

M. Rambler: Finally, Sony Santa Monica doesn’t have to come up with some lame excuse to strip Kratos of his power at the beginning of the game.

B. Indifferent: No, now they’ve got to figure out how to strip him of his power at the end of the game, so that the original God of War still makes sense.

D.Conrad: Ending with the Ted Effect? Wow, that would be a first. I was kind of let down, I want to see what happened after God of War 3. Because, if you have finished it, you know that has to just be some crazyness. Also, this God of War has the worst name. God of War: Ascension Art Not Final. It’s not out yet, but why tell us that the Ascension art is not done? Idiots.


Star Trek: Unknown Enemy trailer massively effective

D.Conrad: This story was sent in by a reader, so thanks Ken.

M. Rambler: As in your brother Ken?

D.Conrad: ….shut up.

M. Rambler: Wait, are you sure this just isn’t footage of a brand new Mass Effect 3 ending?

D.Conrad: OH SNAP! No you didn’t.

GlowPuff: I thought the Mass Effect games were finished.  They’re making another one?  Oh, just saw the title – Star Trek.  Looked like Mass Effect to me!  Actually, the zero gravity parts of that video looked like Dead Space!  Are you sure they didn’t take video from each of those games and edit it together, calling it Star Trek?

Brad: Whatever. Everybody knows Mass Effect is just a rip-off of Starflight, a game I liked way before Mass Effect came out. If you want to see Starflight, I’ll be over here playing it on my iConsole, while sipping PBR and growing a ridiculous mustache.

D.Conrad: This isn’t Star Trek. Here, I can fix it.

D.Conrad: Ah! Now that is Star Trek.

M. Rambler: Wow, lens flare really does make everything better! Seriously, scroll back up and check out the box art for Ryan Fitzpatrick Football Ninja Sexmachine 2013 if you don’t believe me.

New Game Release List: Witcher 2: Electric Boobaloo

D.Conrad: I really want to be excited for the Witcher 2. But the thought of another epic RPG this year just makes my brain hurt!

GlowPuff: I thought it was Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo?

M. Rambler: Nope, that’s just another scene from Double Dragon Neon.

GlowPuff: Unfortunately, Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo is no longer on Netflix.  What am I supposed to watch now?  Think I’ll queue up Taintlight.  Donald, you need to do a Do Not Watch for Taintlight, posthaste.

M. Rambler: Oh boy… the last time GlowPuff booted up Taintlight, he rewatched it for 72 hours straight. That should keep him busy for a while. Bitterly, what will you be up to this week?

B. Indifferent: I’m going back to Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. I just might keep playing it until my DS dies of old age, which could be any day now.

M. Rambler: Sorry to hear that, Bitterly. I once died of old age. Twice. Brad, thanks again for showing up and joining the fun. What have you got cooking this week?

Brad: I’ve got more Genesis games to compare and rank. Would I rather play Jungle Strike or King’s Bounty? Streets of Rage or Castlevania: Bloodlines? Throw my Genesis out the window, or set it on fire?

M. Rambler: I’d throw it out the window. Just wait a few minutes before you do so that I can line my self up for the touchdown reception.

D.Conrad: HOLY CRAP! Brad did you grow that entire ridiculous hipster mustache since we talked about Star Trek? That is impressive. Well, I am off to try out this “Diablo 3 Beta Test” thing. I hear it is the follow up to some game called Diablo 2. My fist impressions involved me hitting the WASD keys and watching my character not move. Did they play Torchlight on XBLA? Because being able to move your character is awesome! I am off to watch a movie in order to get GlowPuff to shut up about it. It better be mildly watchable.

M. Rambler: That about wraps up another installment of Finishing the Week. I’m off to go not play Skyrim… wait I’m sorry, I’m getting a little teary eyed after typing that out. I will always love you Skyrim, but we had to split. It wasn’t you. It was me. Don’t try luring me back with future DLC… it won’t work. Okay, yes it will. See you all next week!

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.