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: Greetings and salutations. I thought we finished this last week. I guess not.
B. Indifferent: It’s just the gift that keeps on giving.
Brad: Like smallpox.
M. Rambler: Time for the news!
GlowPuff: Not quite so fast, shooter. Ok, NOW the news.
Summary: Valve Corporation has hired an economist, plans further refinements for online experiments such as DotA 2.
Source: Giant Bomb
B. Indifferent: I’d ask to see his resume, but only an economist would say that his job is going to be “to forge narratives and empirical knowledge that (a) transcend the border separating the ‘real’ from the digital economies, and (b) bring together lessons from the political economy of our gamers’ economies.”
M. Rambler: With an explanation like that, it sounds more like his job is “to forge narratives and empirical knowledge that (a) transcend the border of regular boredom by separating the ‘real’ boredom from the virtual boredom,” and (b) kill me now, I want to die from the boredom that just bored my eyes to borth.
Brad: I’m sure Mr. Varoufakis is a fine economist, and he certainly can’t help where he was born, but I gotta think at some point, somebody at Valve said “Wait, the economist we’re hiring is from GREECE? Are we sure about this?”
B. Indifferent: Well, his country has problems, but that’s just because his people are really good at not giving it any money. If you’re looking for someone to figure out how to keep money flowing into your bank account, and how to keep it from moving anywhere else, Greece isn’t the worst place you could look. If there was an Olympics for dodging taxes, well, the Greeks invented both the olympics and dodging taxes, so they’d do pretty well.
D. Conrad: Call me crazy, but I think an economy game from Valve would fun. I would get to have it in my Steam library and see when my friends are playing it. Maybe it can be a mix of Portal and Team Fortress 2? It would be awesome guys.. Valve made it.
GlowPuff: <cough>Valve sheep<cough> What? Hey I have DotA 2!
Summary: Peter Moore, COO of EA, predicts that all future games will be either free, stripped-down models where users pay for content or high-end studio releases.
B. Indifferent: So the future of video games is going to be both horrible freeware and big-budget titles that spend all their money on graphics at the expense of gameplay? Outstanding.
GlowPuff: Big graphics and no gameplay – how is this different than what we have now? GUFFAW!
Brad: This could actually be a really nice way to buy games if they do it right. Imagine if when GTA IV came out, it was all microtransactions that totalled up to $60 for the full experience. Now imagine if one of those micros was paying $5 to have your fat cousin call you every few minutes to see if you wanted to go bowling. Under this model, you could save five bucks AND have the game suck a lot less than it does now. That would be a nice upgrade.
M. Rambler: That’s a pretty “glass half full” viewpoint for a guy who’s website is called Brad Hates Games…
GlowPuff: Call me old fashioned, but why can’t I just buy a game, take it home (or download it), and that’s the end of it? Oh, last I heard, Brad just broke that half full glass. Not sure what that means, but all I know is that maid service won’t be here until Monday to clean it up.
Evil Game Publisher: Agreed. Now let’s pretend I owned the GTA franchise. Here is a small glimpse into that world. First and foremost, we give you the virtual fat cousin phone calls every few minutes for FREE!! After all, I am a kind and generous Evil Game Publisher. Now here’s where you, the consumer, get to take over. You answer the virtual phone to talk about bowling, and it chews up all your virtual cell minutes. You get virtual overage charges. You microtransaction more virtual phone minutes. You get more virtual fat cousin phone calls. You can either answer them for more virtual overage charges… or you could microtransaction us to turn the fat cousin phone calls off entirely!
Brad: Ok, so the game is free, but you have to pay for microtransactions to make it less awful? That still seems like an improvement over the “Pay $60 for a bad game that won’t get better” model a lot of publishers are currently using.
GlowPuff: I refuse to pay extra microtransactions for a game, whether it makes it worse OR better.
Evil Game Publisher: Hey, that’s not a bad model… if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And as far as our games go, if it is broke, don’t fix it.
D.Conrad: Oh hey Evil Game Publisher that I assume is EA. I would gladly pay $60 on top of the initial purchase price to remove the Co-Op/universal ammo from Dead Space 3. Because at this point, you are not getting any money from me for Dead Space 3. You know, the follow up to the Did-Not-Finish game of 2011. The game I like so much it beat out Batman Arkham City and Uncharted 3.
GlowPuff: I found out why it’s called Dead Space 3. THREE PERSON CO-OP. Win. Donald, we co-opping this or what man? Maybe Chimp the office monkey can be the third wheel.
Brad: I thought you guys promised to stop calling me that.
Summary: Document posted online, since removed at request of Microsoft’s law firm, allegedly outlines product details for the XBox 720.
Brad: Wait, even more Kinect support and some kind of virtual reality glasses? Are we sure this wasn’t a list of bad ideas from 2009 that they meant to throw away?
M. Rambler: I say it’s high time to bring the Power Glove back to gaming.
Brad: I agree. It’s so bad.
D.Conrad: If they don’t include more Kinect support how will they get follow ups to really Hardcore Kinect games into our hands? With a gamepad you can’t have experiences that don’t respond to your input! Without Kinect how will companies add support for telling your squad to use powers? Shoot enemies? FUS-RO-DAH? Equip a sword!
GlowPuff: If the next Kinect is built into the system, I will use it and enjoy it. Build the stadium, and I will be there. Make me buy the stadium as an optional extra, and it will be a sad, empty stadium. You know what I want to see? A Kinect game where I can shout “KICK TO THE COIN PURSE!”, and my in-game toon kicks some thug in the gonads. I will be winning with Tiger Blood.
Summary: Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima provides some thoughts about the continuation of his franchise.
D.Conrad: Ladies and Gentlemen may I proudly announce the official death of Metal Gear Revengance!
Brad: Me and the Metal Gear franchise, we um, don’t get along so well. I reviewed MGS3 and referred to it as a “huge, stinking turd”. The worldwide torrent of hateful email responses was entertaining. There are people in Finland who wanted to kill me. It was pretty vindicating then, when after months of hearing how the game was perfect and I was a retard (their overwhelmingly popular choice of words) for saying otherwise, Konami announced a revised version that basically fixed all the stuff I complained about.
M. Rambler: I completely understand your frustrations. Most of my Metal Gear playtime seems to have been dedicated to pressing a button to advance a cutscene or dialog… an experience much like picking “fight” off a game menu… except for that part where Raiden gets peed on.
B. Indifferent: And then there’s that one game where the crazy Russian colonel can tell you’re wearing a Raiden mask after he grabs you in the junk.
Brad: Is that not the socially accepted way to check if someone is wearing a mask? No wonder last Halloween went so badly… Anyway, here’s the most revealing quote from Hideo “…we will see. And if I say more, the female ninja public relations officer, who is behind the door, I will be carved up into pieces.” Read that again, slowly. Nothing in the middle of that quote has been edited (by us, anyway). I understand that things get lost in translation, but it sure seems like a chunk of that sentence is missing, and the whole thing is bizarre and doesn’t make any sense. Which is a pretty illuminating peek into how his mind works. The insane storylines to the Metal Gear games suddenly make a little more sense. Well, not the storylines themselves, but at least how they came to be.
D.Conrad: Brad, I suddenly have to believe that his phone ringtone is the MGS codec ring…
Summary: The third expansion for Saint’s Row the Third, titled Enter the Dominatrix gets scrapped only to be incorporated into upcoming Saint’s Row 4.
D.Conrad: This story reminds me that I should play a Saint’s Row game. I played the demo for the first one… That is where the relationship ended.
Brad: “Enter the Dominatrix”? That is what they were going to call the expansion that they’ve developed into the next sequel? Between this, and our discussion of Double Dragon Neon a few weeks ago, people are starting to give me funny looks. I swear this dominatrix stuff isn’t my bag!
M. Rambler: I don’t know much about life, Brad, but if I were you… I wouldn’t mention the words “dominatrix” and “my bag” in the same sentence ever again.
Brad: Oh man, good point! I hope none of them are Metal Gear fans or I could be in some serious trouble.
GlowPuff: I saw “Enter the Dominatrix” last night, but it was not a video game. And it had nothing to do with the “Enter the Matrix” game. O_o
D.Conrad: Stop! The edit hammer is about to drop.
B. Indifferent: Yeah, “dominatrix” and “metal gear” don’t go together so well, either.
D.Conrad: Wait! Isn’t the Player/Metal Gear relationship strikingly similar to the Dominatrix/Submissive relationship?
Brad: I don’t know, do dominatrixes tell long, rambling stories until you beg them to stop?
Summary: Microsoft announces XBox Live Rewards program that could eventually include rewards tied to your Gamerscore level. For now, enjoy gifts based on spending your Xbox Points.
Brad: I don’t do a lot of achievement hunting, but this is exciting to me. Mostly because it feels like Microsoft is taking a misunderstanding I originally had about achievements and making it into a reality.
D.Conad: I am an Xbox Rewards member since the Beta. I have earned very few points from it. I keep losing track of it. But if they start giving me MS points based off my GameScore? I would be okay with that. As of now, Bring Rewards is the way to go for that. I saved up enough to get a Games of Demand version of Vanquish. Win!
M. Rambler: It’s too bad they will probably just continue to dish out crappy clothing items for your Avatar that would normally be microtransactions… but I don’t care, I’m totally on board with something for nothing!
And by nothing I mean buying new games at $60 a pop then wasting my life away for hours on end to earn a pink t-shirt with an Xbox logo on the chest for my cheeseface Miicrosoft Avatar.
D.Conrad: It’s true, Ramblers Avatar is CheeseFaced!
GlowPuff: I don’t remember seeing cheese in Avatar…?
Summary: Nintendo announces the 3DS XL, featuring bigger screens and longer battery life, but still only one control stick.
Brad: Oh here’s what I’m always looking for in a portable system – giganticness. People are always saying that the future of portable gaming is on smartphones, I guess Nintendo took this to mean that they were supposed to make the 3DS more like the comically oversized cell phones from the early 90s.
M. Rambler: Yeah, I’m very confused here. The original 3DS was widely criticised for not having dual control sticks to the point where they actually created a peripheral strap on device that made a dual stick 3DS roughly the size of this giant new single stick 3DS XL. How big is the XL going to be with the dual stick strap on?
Brad: There is something I do like about this, though – right now, everyone makes fun of me for wearing cargo pants. But I’m going to look pretty slick when I’m the only one with pockets big enough to lug this thing around in. I can just slip this sucker into one of my side pockets and have it smash into my knee every time I take a step. It’ll be awesome… cripplingly awesome.
M. Rambler: Do they actually make cargo pants with pockets that size?
GlowPuff: I have a pair of cargo pants that can fit a laptop computer inside the pockets. I can’t sit down or bend at the knee, but it fits. We should have a cargo pants day here at the office every Tuesday. Come into the office with something inside a pocket, and we guess what everyone is carrying. What’s that in your pocket? Oh, mini fridge with ice cream in it – NICE.
D.Conrad: Here is my question: Brad are those Old Navy or American Eagle cargo pants? Because they are nice! Second question, bigger screen without an increase in resolution? I love kicking my computer screen down to 640X480. That stretched over a 27 inch space looks amaZING!
I would have been interested if it has dual analog sticks, it doesn’t so I am not. Nintendo is working really hard to make Did-Not-Finish ignore all it’s products lately! WAIT! Is this a Wii-U? I still have no idea what that thing is! Also, VITA!
GlowPuff: Nintendo really likes playing catch up, doesn’t it? It also likes to skip the whole process of UPGRADING hardware.
Summary: Claude Giroux wins first cover vote for EA’s NHL 13.
Source: EA Sports
M. Rambler: So, Brad, does the NHL series have a cover curse too? I haven’t played any of them since their golden days on the Sega Genesis.
Brad: Let’s hope so! I grew up in Buffalo as a Sabres fan, and our hatred of Giroux’s team, the Philadelphia Flyers, borders on psychotic. This is because on the rare occasions Buffalo makes the playoffs, Philly is right there to knock them out. I still have nightmares about John Leclair tipping in rebounds from Eric Desjardins’ slap shots and… there isn’t a single one of you who has any idea what I’m talking about, is there?
M. Rambler: I don’t like dijonnaise on my eclairs either.
Brad: Anyway, for the last few years, I’ve been holding off and buying the previous year’s NHL game after the new one comes out to save money, and thinking “one of these years I’m going to splurge and buy the brand new one when it comes out.” This will not be that year. In fact, NHL 14 will probably be that year, just so I can skip over Giroux’s cover entirely. That’s how much I hate the Flyers… oh wait, did I say the Flyers? I meant Philadelphia in general.
D.Conrad: I don’t talk about it much, but I am a Hockey fan. I can’t say I am a Kings fan, but I would like to say TAKE THAT EAST COAST! THE STANLEY CUP BELONGS TO THE WEST COAST! Woo!
Brad, great news, you can get the previous year’s hockey video game for less than a dollar the second this year’s hockey game. Plus, it plays exactly like the newest version!
$60 roster update? EA, you are doing it wrong!
EA Rep: I’m sorry, did you say something? I couldn’t hear you over all this money.
Summary: Game developer Yuke’s acquires the rights to the Lingerie Football League.
Source: USA Today
Brad: Honestly, I kind of wish the NFK 2K developers had thought of this. Not because the I absolutely must have an LFL game, but just because Madden has exclusive rights to the NFL, and it seems like the best way to get people interested in a non-NFL licensed football game is to put a bunch of scantily-clad women in it. LFL 2K13 would have been an awesome football game first, and a game about ladies running around in their underwear second. And that might have sold pretty well. Not Madden well, but well enough that maybe we’d have decent football games again.
As it is, I’m expecting Yuke’s to turn this into a low-budget, not very good game that coasts along on it’s novelty. Sadly, it will probably still be more fun than playing Madden. Then again, getting attacked by Finnish dominatrixes who love Metal Gear Solid is probably still more fun than playing Madden.
D.Conrad: Seriously Brad, you are testing the Edit Hammer big time!
GlowPuff: Finnish Dominatrixes? I saw that one last week. I learned a lot.
M. Rambler: I can’t wait to see what the studio that brought us Rumble Roses can bring to the table that is the Lingerie Football League.
D.Conrad: It will probably make more sense than a Fable game. BAM!
GlowPuff: I could read a book written in Russian, and it would make more sense than a Fable game. In Russia, book reads YOU!
M. Rambler: I have to go now. I have to play Skyrim. You guys feel free to close this beast out.
GlowPuff: Unbelievably, I got some Skyrim time in a few days ago. I literally INCHED forward in the storyline. I finally discovered Winterhold or something, home of the Mage Academy. The townsfolk were none too happy living next to the Academy, and blame them for the destruction of their town years before. Apparently half the town fell off the cliff into the sea below. Wish I could have seen that!
D.Conrad: Okay guys, did you bring your intervention letters? I think it’s time we do this thing, for his sake. Oh, and I started Gravity Rush for the Vita, having fun. Who brought the intervention banner?
Brad: Back when I was still a teenager, this is the week school would let out for summer. In honor of that, I think I’m going to crank an old Pearl Jam album, dig out my Genesis, and get my mid-90s on.
GlowPuff: I should put something on, too. I’m pantless at the moment.Tweet