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: Hello, and welcome to another week of gaming news and the geeks who talk about it.
D.Conrad: Sheep Man 4 life!
B. Indifferent: I’m on assignment, shh, it’s a secret.
GlowPuff: Ah-hoy-hoy! Wait… what am I, a pirate??
M. Rambler: Yes, but I must say you are a pirate who asks way too many questions.
M. Rambler: See, now that’s how you intro. One simple guttural growl says it all. And we’re off to the news.
The Skinny: The release of a Dead Space animated short featuring character, John Carver, could possibly be giving us a glimpse of our new co-op partner
The Source: IGN
D.Conrad: Oh look, I just died inside…
M. Rambler: Here, eat this cheeseburger, it sounds like your Dead Space needs a co-op partner too.
Brad: Before I get started, I just want to apologize for my somewhat tepid comments last week. I came down with a rare condition my doctor described as a “good mood”. I assure you that it’s all cleared up now and I’m back to my old self. Speaking of which… What the hell, EA? When did bad ideas become contagious? It wasn’t enough you made the questionable decision to add co-op play to Dead Space, and now the cherry on top of this garbage sundae is the prospect of playing as yet another grizzled old military guy who’s seen too much. Oh boy, I was hoping I’d get to play as a cliche! I guess we should just be glad the overused game character store apparently ran out of porn stars in unrealistic armor, because judging by the links scattered all around that article, that’s what most gamers are really looking for.
…then again, as somebody who played through the first two Mass Effect games as a hot redhead named “Sexy Commander Sheppard”, I guess I can’t say much.
GlowPuff: To top it off, this John Carver character is going to be getting his own spinoff game. This will be announced at next year’s E3, pending the success of his co-op appearance in Dead Space 3. This is all hush hush right now, so you didn’t hear it from me!
D.Conrad: Great, I died more inside…
M. Rambler: Don’t worry guys. Take a deep breath… the article said Dead Space 3 hasn’t been officially announced. All the bad ideas and horrible crap we’ve been reading about the game has probably just been put out there by some tricksy fanboy trying to pull our chains. I’m sure E3 next week will set us all straight.
The Skinny: Blizzard posts some info regarding some post launch updates coming to their latest title, Diablo III.
The Source: Blizzard
Brad: Here’s my favorite quote from that whole article “dying because you got greedy or overconfident can actually be a lot of fun.” I think this explains everything you need to know about the company’s philosophy and why the release day was such a disaster. Sure, most of you couldn’t log on due to Blizzard’s greed and overconfidence, but man, they were having a blast!
By the way, am I the only one who finds it a little Big Brother-y the way they’re keeping tabs on their players, in terms of who uses what classes, how many people are playing on Inferno, etc? I’d like to think that when I’m running around as a sexy redhead mage or whatever, there isn’t some observer from Blizzard looking over my shoulder going “so you’re part of the 54% that prefers to play as a female character… interesting. Also, you seem to die an awful lot.”
Bizzard: It seems you are onto us Sexy_Redhead_Mage69!
D.Conrad: Just remember, it’s not DRM, it’s awesome new levels of protection for you, the consumer. The information gathering is just a side effect. A totally awesome side effect!
GlowPuff: Ah yes. I read this several days ago, and me and my D3 crew had a good laugh about the statistics. I don’t mind the analytics, really. I have some very basic analytics in my own Windows Phone games. I only track when someone plays the game, though. But with that information, I can tell if you are a returning player, or a new unique player. In that way, I can determine how many NEW people are playing my games each day, as well as how many people are CONTINUING to play my games each day. Of course, Blizzard is tracking everything under the sun about what you do in their game.
M. Rambler: Good luck tracking me, Blizzard. Me and my D3 crew are totally off the grid. We just dress up and play Diablo III together at our local park.
Blizzard: Actually we always have a couple of our reps parked across the street in a stakeout van. Pro tip: Sexy_Rambler_Mage69 definitely needs to wear more clothing to his next LARPing session, or we’ll be forced to call the authorities and have him arrested for indecent exposure.
The Skinny: Reports hit the net saying Sony is about to acquire and/or partner with a cloud gaming firm listing OnLive and Gaikai as the front runners.
The Source: MCV
D.Conrad: Sony, Steam on the Playstation 4. You win the war.
Brad: It’s a really cool idea (if cloud gaming ever works the way it’s intended to, you won’t even need a powerful console in your house anymore), but I’m not sure how long it’s going to be before we have internet service in this country that can keep up with it. Assuming Comcast applies the same urgency to tech upgrades as they do answering customer service complaints, I’m guessing we’ll have legitimate cloud gaming in this country right around the same time Tajikistan does.
GlowPuff: Someday we’ll be able to have a TV, but no console, and be able to play high-end video games thanks to cloud gaming built into Sony televisions. Is that what I’m reading here? Sounds kinda neat!
M. Rambler: Clouds… Steam… all these water particles around my sensitive, expensive electronics equipment is really starting to scare me.
The Skinny: In yet another rumor featuring Sony, there are claims that they have rejected online only digital download gaming in favor of an optical disc drive.
The Source: Wall Street Journal
D.Conrad: I have been using Steam quite a bit latlely, you know what? Download only is not that bad.
Brad: My favorite part of this article is when they started discussing retail’s future in a world that’s largely going digital. As someone who keeps a bottle of champagne on ice just so that I can celebrate properly on the day when Gamestop finally goes out of business, it’s reassuring to see that they still have no idea at all what they’re doing. If they were smart, they would have done what Sony did and bought a cloud gaming company. Instead they plan on what, selling download codes? Yeah, good luck with that business model – I’ll be sure to run out to the mall and buy the same thing that I can just get directly from the website that I’ll be downloading it from anyway.
GlowPuff: I shudder just thinking of the idea of a download-only console. It’s absurd they even considered the idea at all.
M. Rambler: I too shudder at the idea of this download-only world we might be entering. What the heck am I going to do with all these shelving units I just bought? Maybe I can use them to show off all the digital download cards I buy at the local Gamestop.
D.Conrad: The funniest thing is that GlowPuff is against download-only, and he publishes on a download only platform.
The Skinny: Nintendo uses Facebook to tease gamers about upcoming Wii U games.
The Source: IGN
Brad: Are you freaking kidding me? Nintendo’s release schedule has all the unexpected twists of your average laundry detergent commercial. Here, let me guess – Zelda, Mario, Starfox, Smash Bros, Mario Kart. You me, and everyone who’s played games for longer than a few years already knows that, because it’s the same lineup you’ve been shoving down our throats since the 16 bit era. A Nintendo console revisits more 1980s franchises than a Family Guy marathon. Al Gore gives them awards for their insane dedication to recycling. Nintendo hasn’t had an original idea for a game in ages, and giving their newest system a different kind of gimmicky, hard to use controller than the last one isn’t going to change anything. It just means that you’re going to get to play Zelda with yet another gimmicky, hard to use controller.
M. Rambler: Well, there was that one time when laundry detergent threw us a curveball and started making super concentrated detergent in smaller packaging… maybe Nintendo can at least take a hint and apply that concept to the gimmicky, hard to use controller you speak of.
GlowPuff: One day, in the far future, Nintendo’s super-next-gen gimmicky console is going to require players to play their games in zero-gravity. That will allow full body movement and tracking without actually physically going anywhere. So you could run in place, for example. Or yank your arm to throw Link’s boomerang weapon in Zelda 1000: The Return of Zelda. Of course, you’ll only be able to play on their console while you are visiting the moon.
D.Conrad: Brad could not be more wrong, look at Another M. That was a brand new IP designed to suck the life out of Metroid forever.
The Skinny: The July issue of Game Informer set to reveal a number of things, among them, a new Gears of War game.
The Source: Game Informer
D.Conrad: A new Gea
Brad: Wait, was I supposed to be paying attention to the story of Gears of War all this time? Because the first time I played it, I took one look at the characters, enemies and setting and decided that, on a narrative level at least, this was a game I did not need to take seriously. At all. Honestly, I can’t even tell you who the characters are – there’s “Guy who’s on steroids” and “other guy who’s on steroids” and I assume they call each other “bro” a lot and shoot… aliens? monsters? Whatever. Can’t say I’m too surprised by this announcement, though. Whatever it is that makes people really like Gears of War games – I suspect it’s head trauma – it still seems to be going strong.
GlowPuff: After that thunderous verbal assault, how am I supposed to follow up to say how I’m looking forward to this?? I wonder why two of the key players are shackled!?
M. Rambler: I heard it was because they were trying to bring the internet to Tajikistan. And I’m not afraid to say it. I enjoy playing Gears of War. I also enjoyed a lot of head trauma as a child. Maybe Brad is onto something here.
D.Conrad: I think the best part of Gears of War is standing with Rambler while playing Horde mode and watching GlowPuff go medieval on some Gears with Berserker. I am going to have to say that part of me is excited for this game. I am sure it is just what leads up to the start of the first game, but co-op and multiplayer will be a blast.
The Skinny: Bethesda officially announces its first Skyrim expansion, Dawnguard, with a teaser trailer.
The Source: PC Magazine
M. Rambler: Sorry, can’t talk now… busy leveling up my second character for this expansion. Come get me when y’all are done jabbering.
Brad: Oh man, I know I’ve been kind of cranky today, but this lift my spirits right back up! The Dawnguard expansion looks seriously awesome, and I can’t wait to run out to Gamestop and buy a download code for this! Oh wait, that’s right, I can just get it directly through XBLA. Ha, ha, ha. Here’s another shovel full of dirt on your grave, GS!
GlowPuff: I think I said it before, but I can’t get this when I’ve only finished a fraction of the main game. Maybe down the road. Maybe not. I’m happy with the amount of content in the game, as it is.
D.Conrad: I love Skyrim. I put 120 hours into my play through. I did every little side thing I could. So with that in mind listen to what I am bout to say. I don’t care about Dawnguard. Skyrim said it had to say for me. So, done.
M. Rambler: That’s it for the news, on to the personal stuff. I know this is going to sound blasphemous, but it’s been too nice outside here for me to game. I’m too busy getting fat off beer and BBQ. I’ve dabbled in Skyrim, but that’s about it. Please don’t fire me Donald. I promise, things will get better, it will rain or something and I’ll be forced to hang out inside and all will be right with the world.
Brad: John Cheese is quickly becoming my favorite game writer. The gist of that article is that there are some nasty things game publishers are doing that are not going away, because gamers have proven that, in the end, they are willing to put up with them and buy the game anyway (Diablo III anyone?). I would argue that if you really are fed up, there’s never been an easier time to just stop buying new games. The 16 bit era started over 20 years ago, and since then, there have been hundreds of really good games to come out. You could decide you’re never going to play a game that came out after 2012 and still be set for life with quality titles. This is an idea that ought to resonate with people reading a website about games we never had time to finish. Then again, I could just be trying to justify the fact that I probably won’t be able to afford the next generation of consoles for a long time.
GlowPuff: It’s been windy here this last month, but the past few days have been calm, so I finally got to fly my choppers. I’m working on a showcase video of them right now. I’m going to get footage of them flying around and set the whole thing to music. This weekend, I’ll be busy getting my Wizard to Inferno difficulty in Diablo 3, to catch up to my Demon Hunter. I pre-ordered Torchlight 2 this evening from Steam. You get the original Torchlight game for free if you pre-order! Sweet deal.
D.Conrad: I picked up Torchlight 2 also. That game is like Diablo, only cool! If you have been following my Finishing Journal you know all about my woes with 24 The game. Well, I have some breaking news on that front. I mistakenly deleted my save game when I thought I was loading it! So I had to start over. Sometimes buying a game you see just because you are curious is the worst thing you can do. It’s kind of like adding co-op into a game that has no need for it…Dead Space… I am super pumped about E3. For you younger readers, E3 was the big video game convention before PAX Prime and PAX East existed.
M. Rambler: That will do it for finishing this week… I’m guessing with the big E3 conference on the way, the next issue is going to be a doozy for gaming intel. Everyone eat your Cheerios and get some rest, we’re going to need it!Tweet