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.
B. Indifferent: The brain damage isn’t permanent!
D.Conrad: That’s great, but we need to focus on the important issue: has anyone seen my lucky sock puppet?
M. Rambler: It’s a little chilly in here, so I’m wearing it… and to think I almost had to resort to wearing pants.
GlowPuff: I thought I smelled feet (read: mouldy cheese). You wear that thing on your hand? We’re not shaking hands anymore.
M. Rambler: Do you see it on my hand?
Brad: Wait, that’s not Donald’s lucky sock puppet, that’s my… you know what? You keep it.
M. Rambler: Why thanks, that’s mighty kind of you. Now let’s get on with the news.
Summary: The screenshot of a work in process game with POP labeling is posted on an UbiSoft forum, which leads some news outlets to speculate its origin as a Prince of Persia game.
Brad: I love IGN’s crowdsourced approach to reporting. “Is this the new Prince of Persia game?” It’s like they don’t have any contacts in the industry, and their best plan is to hope someone from the developement team reads their website and writes back.
GlowPuff: This is obviously Assassins of Persia. Duh. Or it could be Prince of Creed.
D.Conrad: Has anyone stopped to consider that the reason this looks like an Assassin’s Creed game is because it may be an Assassin’s Creed game? What if — stay with me here — UbiSoft is working on more Assassin’s Creed content?
M. Rambler: I’m not following. Why would they be making another Assassin’s Creed game? They’ve released 7 in the past year, and another one is coming this fall. This is surely a screen shot from a new Prince of Persia game… the other franchise they ran into the ground.
GlowPuff: If it has co-op, I’m in.
B. Indifferent: Is this the new Prince of Persia game? Oh wait, those are photos from my kid’s sandbox. What about this?
M. Rambler: Nope, that’s a cover from the “Pyramids” issue of National Geographic magazine.
B. Indifferent: Hey guys, this reporting on video games thing is hard!
Summary: Amid reports of the CryEngine 3 up and running on Wii U hardware, Cyrtek GM Nick Button-Brown tweets they are not currently working on a Wii U version of Crysis 3.
Source: NintendoLife via Twitter
Brad: What? No Crysis 3?! That totally su… well, yeah, actually I’m ok with that. What’s next, no new BloodRayne game, either? Or Far Cry 3? What about the next Transformers game?
GlowPuff: I’m starting to think “Next Gen” means XXX 3, where XXX is the name of your favorite game franchise.
B. Indifferent: They should really focus on crossing the gap backwards with reverse compatibility for titles from earlier systems. I’m still waiting for virtual console versions of Soul Blazer and Earthbound.
D.Conrad: As we step into the “Next Gen” and the Wii U stays in the “Current Gen,” we’re going to be running this story a lot, “No Wii U version for (insert game title here).” Look at Modern Warfare on the Wii — it was obviously the superior version of the game, but other titles made for future Playstations and Xboxes just aren’t crossing the gap backwards.
M. Rambler: Cross platform Wii U games will step backward just fine, as long as the team who brought us Duke Nukem Forever is in charge of the port.
D.Conrad slaps M. Rambler in the face!
M. Rambler: Sorry, Donald, during our co-op review, I know I agreed to never mention The Game That Must Not Be Named ever again… thanks for knocking some sense into me.
GlowPuff: What game, Duke Nukem Forever?
D.Conrad slaps GlowPuff in the face!
M. Rambler slaps GlowPuff in the face!
B. Indifferent slaps GlowPuff in the face!
Brad slaps GlowPuff in the face!
GlowPuff: Is my eye bleeding?
D.Conrad: Not yet.
D.Conrad slaps GlowPuff in the face!
D.Conrad: There, happy now?
M. Rambler slaps GlowPuff in the face!
M.Rambler: I am now.
Summary: During an interview with The Verge, Microsoft Windows GM, Brian Hall, lets slip with some earth shattering news. There’s a new Xbox on the way!
Source: Game Informer summarizes this key point from The Verge video interview
GlowPuff: I was the first to report this. Unfortunately, none of the major gaming news sites picked up on it, including this one. <stern look all around>
D.Conrad: I bet he felt good as he got off that interview. Then he was called into his boss’s office. “HOW DARE YOU TALK ABOUT THE “SECRET”!” the boss yelled “YOU’RE FIRED!” Now we know Microsoft is going to have a new game console.
Brad: Is this that 64-bit system that we were talking about last week? Because I just picked up a copy of of Blast Corps that I’m really eager to try out.
B. Indifferent: What did you guys talk about last week? Now that I’m back, the doctor said it’s okay for me to talk about video games, although I had an allergic reaction when My Life as a King asked me to pay for downloadable content.
M. Rambler: What did we talk about last week? Well, I thought we should try a new format, so all we talked about was our “feelings.” My psychiatrist is always telling me to stop holding all my emotions inside and open up to people. At one point I smashed a beer bottle against the end of the table and threatened to stab Donald in the face for laughing at my tears. So basically, I’m done listening to my psychiatrist and we’re back to doing things the old way. Have I ever mentioned how much I love you guys!?!
GlowPuff: “…back to doing things the old way?” You mean solving office issues with brass knuckles and baseball bats? Don’t hide the paper clips from Donald, he goes ballistic.
Summary: Microsoft clarifies Brian Hall’s previous statement about a “new Xbox” by stating he was speaking about a new UPDATE for the CURRENT Xbox and not an entirely new, next-gen Xbox coming our way.
GlowPuff: This is like Ford “letting it slip” that they are making a new Focus next year, then “clarifying” they actually meant they are focusing on making some kind of car next year, but not necessarily a Focus. See what I did there? This guy was clearly talking about new hardware. At this point, why hide it? Just because it wasn’t “officially” unveiled in some overdone fashion (E3)?
Brad: Wait, so the “new Xbox” is just a dashboard update so MS can throw more advertisements my way? Yeah, those are always super-useful and totally worth the hour and a half it takes to download and install the damn things. The case for keeping my Xbox physically disconnected from the internet gets stronger all the time.
B. Indifferent: Have I mentioned that there’s never been a better time to hate consoles that connect directly to the internet?
M. Rambler: So does that mean you’re going to hate the next-next-gen consoles that are linked directly to the internet… and your brain?
D.Conrad: I hear that people are buying this “Dashboard update” hocus pocus line. He was not talking about the dashboard update. I am kind of insulted that they came out with this excuse for him. I have no idea you are working on a new game system Microsoft (WINK WINK). I bet you have decided to get out the of game market.
M. Rambler: Hey I wouldn’t blame them if they wanted out… I mean, that Wii U on the horizon looks like a real game changer. Microsoft might as well get out while the gettin’ is good.
Summary: Andrew Lloyd Webber is about to release a song/dance game based on his musicals for the Nintendo Wii of all places.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Brad: You know the Wii U is in trouble when even Andrew Lloyd Webber is like “you know what, guys? I’ll just make my game for the old original Wii. That’ll be fine.”
M. Rambler: I don’t think it really matters which Nintendo console this game comes out on. The thought of releasing something for the already dead Wii, or the dead on arrival Wii U don’t seem to be very rational ideas… but after seeing the picture of Andrew Lloyd Webber in that article… suddenly everything made sense. That man is mayor of Crazytown.
GlowPuff: Four words: Face Lift Gone Wrong.
D.Conrad: I already played a game by Andrew Lloyd Webber: Doom 3.
B. Indifferent: I’m guessing he had to be convinced to upgrade from his original plans for an Atari 2600 title.
GlowPuff: His aides had to break it to him gently that the Atari 2600 is no longer a viable system to develop for.
Brad: It’s kind of appropriate though; Andrew Lloyd Webber is to music and theater what the Nintendo Wii is to video games — mediocre, mass-appeal stuff that isn’t taken seriously by hardcore fans. Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Thomas Kinkade publish a Wii game if he had lived a bit longer.
GlowPuff: He did, it’s called Painting With Light, With Thomas Kinkade. You use the Wii nunchuck to paint on the TV.
Summary: A journalist gets invited to EA’s corporate headquarters to play Dead Space 3 and walks away with optimistic impressions.
GlowPuff: More like, “Journalist gets invited to EA to play DS3, gets paid to walk away with optimistic impressions.” Or better yet, “Journalist gets invited to EA to play DS3, is shown original Alien movie, walks away with optimistic impressions.”
D.Conrad: This is that flotilla garbage. They keep showing this to people who doubt dead space. But it’s an optional side mission. They still have yet to show the two “separate” storylines in the main game. Am I the only one who finds it odd that they made a side mission that evokes the feeling of Dead Space to prove that Dead Space 3 is still Dead Space(y)?
Why not let the campaign prove the same thing? If you are so confident show that.
Brad: C’mon Donald, how long are you going to hold it against Dead Space 3 that they’re getting rid of everything you liked about the first two games and replacing it with stuff purists hate but will appeal to a wider audience… holy cow, maybe this is actually the game Andrew Lloyd Webber is working on.
B. Indifferent: Wait, there was a Dead Space game for the Atari 2600?
M. Rambler: Yes, there was, and judging by that photo of Andrew Lloyd Webber from the previous article… he starred as the head Necromorph.
Summary: Reports indicate that developer 2K Czech is ramping up to release Mafia 3 for next-gen consoles.
Brad: According to the report, the development team is working really hard to turn Mafia into a “monster franchise.” Maybe they should work toward a more modest goal like, I don’t know, making the next Mafia game not suck. Or having it not be full of glitches. Or getting, like, more than 10 people to buy it. C’mon guys, baby steps.
GlowPuff: Mafia 3 is going to have monsters? Wow.
B. Indifferent: I dunno. They’re a Czech developer; how many consoles does the Czech Republic have, anyway? Selling 10 copies could be like 130% market saturation for them domestically.
D.Conrad: What is this “Mafia” game franchise? Is it like Animal Crossing?
M. Rambler: I don’t know, does Animal Crossing have a scene where you wake up with a severed horse head sleeping next to you?
Brad: I once sent a letter in Animal Crossing with an axe attached as a present. The letter said “This is so it’ll be a fair fight. You’ll understand when it happens.”
M. Rambler: Then yes, the Mafia franchise is exactly like Animal Crossing.
Summary: Box art for Assassin’s Creed 3 on Amazon UK indicates the PS3 version will have an exclusive 60 minutes of gameplay.
D.Conrad: How do they know it’s a full hour of content? What if I get through it in forty-five minutes? Will I get a refund?
M. Rambler: I doubt they will give you a refund on the free extra content, but I’m going to try to get my money’s worth anyway and just watch my character standing on screen for an hour before beginning with the actual content. That’s two free hours for the price of one!
B. Indifferent: I think it’s from the Kojima school of game design, with 55 minutes of cutscenes building up to 5 minutes of actually controlling the character.
GlowPuff: Extra console-specific content like this is usually pretty dumb. I’m sure I won’t miss it. I especially won’t miss it if I skip buying the game in the first place.
Brad: One less hour of playing tower defense? Of collecting feathers? Of walking around in the present day, not killing people? How will I ever live without that?
Oh wait, I can just do what I’ve done for the last two Assassins Creed titles — not buy the game, treat myself to an additional 15 or so hours of not playing Assassin’s Creed, and save $60 to boot.
D.Conrad: I am playing some hot Assassin’s Creed tower defense action. Some could say when talking about this aspect of the game that Haters gonna Hate. Well, it seems I am a Hater. I really want to finish Revelations before the third game comes out. But it’s making it hard for me to want to.
Summary: THQ cancels inSane, a planned trilogy by Volition Studios and filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro.
Source: Game Informer
Brad: I love it! Jason Rubin becomes president of THQ, and a few months later, he announces the cancellation of one of their prestige projects. I hope he had a big role in this decision, I really do. I love the vision that he’s had for the industry, plus as a general principle, I just have a lot of faith in anyone who worked on Rings of Power.
D.Conrad: I just imagine Jason Rubin walking the halls of THQ in a black trenchcoat with 80’s metal blaring all around him. A franchise crosses him, he drops it. Saint’s Row and Darksiders are his posse.
M. Rambler: This makes me sad… inSANE 3 was looking so promising. Seriously though, I’m glad they gave the game rights back to Guillermo Del Toro. That man is a genius and I will drink whatever Kool-Aid he brings to the table.
G.D. Toro: Well then, here’s a glass of my urine flavored Kool-Aid, Mr. Rambler. Enjoy.
M. Rambler: I meant that as a figure of speech… I actually boycott all forms of Kool-Aid thanks to Kool-Aid Man. My dad was a mason and you wouldn’t believe how many of his walls were destroyed by that fat, red bastard.
Summary: Oddworld developer had a contest this week to rename their upcoming HD release of Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee.
M. Rambler: Okay guys, on your mark… get set…. NAME!!!
Brad: Oddworld: Abe’s Cash-in
D.Conrad: Oddworld: Abe’s dark secret.
M. Rambler: Oddworld: Abe’s Vigoda
Brad: Oddworld: Not As Good As You Remember
D.Conrad: Oddworld: Vice City
M. Rambler: Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee 2: HD Boogaloo
Brad: Oddworld: We Got Rid of the 2D Artwork Everyone Loved
D.Conrad: Oddworld: Modern Modoken Warfare Ops 4
Brad: Oddworld: For the Same Price, You Could Buy Trials HD
D.Conrad: Oddworld: Brad Let’s Go To the Break Room and Play Some Trials HD Right Now
Brad: Oddworld: One of the Buttons Makes Your Character Fart, Yet Critics Still Considered It a Sophisticated Game
D.Conrad: Oddworld: Nope, Farting in Game is Still Funny.
M. Rambler: Oddworld: Honey, That Wasn’t Me Farting, It Was The Game, I Swear
GlowPuff: Oddworld: Odd World.
Summary: Upon failure to find publishing or marketing partners, Gameforge cancels development of Star Trek: Infinite Space.
Source: Gamesindustry International
Brad: Looks like they didn’t have Star Trek: Infinite Money! Hiyoooo! I’m here all week, folks.
B. Indifferent: Is Star Trek even a going concern these days? I mean at one time they had at least three series running on TV at the same time. At this point they’ve jumped the shark, made it to shore, taken off their water skis, driven home and started making up terrible metaphors to explain exactly what happened.
J.T. Kirk: I’ll tell you what happened… we got KAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHNNNNNNED!!!
GlowPuff: This just in, assets being retooled for the Star WARS universe instead.
D.Conrad: What? Another MMO gone? I think the creators of these games need to start reading gaming news. Every week another MMO gets cancelled or goes Free-to-Play.
Brad: This one did both! It’s a new record!
Brad: This sounds like the premise to a wacky 80s comedy — when bankruptcy closed the doors on a video game studio, legal possession was given over to the state. Now it’s up to the citizens of Rhode Island to crank out a hit title and save the company before it’s turned into a strip mall by evil land developers. Starring Matthew Broderick and Corey Haim.
B. Indifferent: Oh man, whenever the government seizes a business in a specialized industry, you know that hijinks are gonna ensue. Sadly, “hijinks” usually means “auctions” that are disappointingly short on wackiness.
J.T. Kirk: Sorry Rhode Island, sounds like you got KAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHNNNNNNED too!!!
D.Conrad: I bet Rhode Island is going to retain the rights and make “Kingdoms of Amalur: Rhode Island is a real thing”
Summary: The Ouya gaming console shatters Kickstarter records by receiving over 8.5 million dollars in funding from its 63,000 plus backers.
Brad: Don’t tell anyone, but $8.5 million of that was pledged by Curt Schilling. He’s good for it.
B. Indifferent: I am shocked — shocked — by your implication that there is any hint of fraud involved in a Kickstarter project. I mean the whole enterprise, from the website itself to the glowing reports they write about themselves is awash in transparency, integrity, and fair dealing. The idea that any one of its projects could be tainted at any step of the process is simply laughable.
D.Conrad: With games like Final Fantasy 3 and “Untitled Game by Robert Bowling’s Unproven Studio” in its launch line up, I don’t see how this won’t be a raging success!
Brad: Man, I loved Final Fantasy 3! Kefka, Locke, Shadow, the Espers, the opera scene, and that really cool way your characters learned magic… hey, why are you all looking at me and mouthing “Wrong Final Fantasy 3?” This is because of Square insane concept of how numbers work, isn’t it?
Summary: Some developer is releasing some game called Wild Blood. Check out the trailer.
Brad: Wild Blood? Is that even a thing? Like, if I go out for a hike or something, is there a chance I’ll see a wild blood out in the woods? Or has Gameloft’s marketing department just been taken over by 8 year olds?
M. Rambler: The trailer opens with the phrase “be prepared to relive history”, but this game looks EXACTLY like Infinity Blade and I’ve already played both of them and don’t feel like reliving that experience ever again.
GlowPuff: I don’t much like history, so I’m passing on this one. And I didn’t even watch the trailer. They lost me at “history”.
D.Conrad: In a couple hundred years what will our current world look like to the people of the future? Will all the heroes of our time be using giant guns? Will we have howitzers in our gun holsters at all times?
M. Rambler: So you’re saying this game is making a mockery of history? You mean to tell me that medieval warriors didn’t really walk around with swords larger than my car strapped to their backs? Well then, Mr. Smartypants… why don’t you explain how the planet was cleansed of the 10 ton demon pig spieces seen in that game trailer???
M. Rambler: Touche.
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