Finishing the Week: Issue 88

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: So I went cold turkey on Skyrim two weeks ago, and had no idea it would make me so much more productive at life… I wrote a post that wasn’t a new FtW issue, then I beat BioShock Infinite AND Gears of War Ascension… or was that God of War Judgement

B. Indifferent: Huh. Turns out that it’s a great week for binge drinking. Then again, it’s never not a great week for binge drinking, so at least I’m prepared.

Donald: So… It’s like every day you “walk” into work?

GlowPuff: Surely you mean “stagger”, with the assistance of a walker.

M. Rambler: Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

Brad: I went back and visited my hometown of Buffalo for the first time in 2 years. It felt like slipping back into a comfortable, broken in pair of shoes you haven’t worn in a while. Absolutely nothing has changed there. And during the week that I was gone, Seattle probably put up 3 or 4 new buildings.

M. Rambler: Starbucks buildings don’t count…

GlowPuff: Nothing changed around here, either. We’re still in the parking lot. No buildings being erected in our honor around these parts!

M. Rambler: Okay gents, grab your wrecking balls, it’s time to tear some news stories down.

5-5-1 Bobby

Call of Stock Options

Summary: Activision’s CEO, Bobby Kotick, paid more than CEOs of larger firms that actually do something useful, and corporate-governance scolds are not amused.

Source: ArsTechnica

B. Indifferent: Sure, the CEO isn’t supposed to earn 200 times more than the salary of his lowest-paid employees, but if everyone lower than executive vice president is just an independent contractor, the sky’s the limit! Hooray for income inequality.

Donald: Okay, but he is still a jackass. Like one of those jackasses you rent to ride around the Grand Canyon, but it won’t walk, so you spend your entire vacation sitting on a jackass while everyone else plays Battlefield 3. THANKS BOBBY! THANKS A LOT!

GlowPuff: Hey, he earned it! Slow clap…..? Put down the pitchfork!

Brad: When reached for comment, Mr. Kotick said he planned to use the money to “develop the kind of video game I’ve always wanted to play, instead of that Call of Duty crap everyone makes these days.”

M. Rambler: Wow, cut the guy some slack… he earned every cent of that bonus. The Call of Duty franchise hasn’t spent a single dime on game engine enhancements, scripting, updates, improvements, etc. since Call of Duty 2 came out. Big Bob may have stole the core concept of the yearly franchise non-update from EA’s Madden, but it’s that kind of down and dirty, cost conscious game development that has helped turn gaming’s biggest franchise into the profit pooping machine it is today.

5-5-2 illumiroom

You’re Blinding Me With Science

Summary: Microsoft’s next-gen IllumiRoom gadget is supposed to project a larger game screen onto your living room wall, but it really just puts a glaring spotlight on the squalor of your surroundings.  

Source: TheVerge

GlowPuff: I have NO idea how this is supposed to work inside a cardboard box.

M. Rambler: I’m going to guess it will work better that way. In my experience (read: my own living space) cardboard boxes are pretty bare bones and devoid of any furniture or clutter that might render the projected image unintelligible. It’s getting electricity to said cardboard structure that proves the greatest challenge.

B. Indifferent: Remember back when Nintendo DS was first announced, and people came out of the woodwork to disparage its touchscreen as a “gimmick”? Yeah, I am putting the IllumiRoom ON NOTICE that Nintendo called, and they want their negative attention back.

GlowPuff: I got some “negative attention” once when I farted in a crowded room.

R. Fils-Aime: We’re back in business baby, we just one-upped GlowPuff. Whatever the Wii U is, it just crapped the bed.

Donald: The Kinect already asks you to remove all furniture from your living space, but I drug that gimmick out to the curb for disposal. What is IllumiRoom going to require? Will I need to build a dry wall cube around my Xbox?

Brad: You know how when you have a really bad nightmare, then you wake up and you’re relieved just to be back to your regular life, even if normal life wasn’t that exciting? Maybe that’s what’s going on here. We’re just going to keep hearing increasingly stupid sounding ideas for the new Xbox, and then on May 21st, they’ll unveil it and it will basically be a 360 with some minor upgrades. But instead of being disappointed, we’ll just all be happy that everything we heard about it wasn’t true.

GlowPuff: I dunno about you, but when I wake up from a nightmare, I wish I could go back into the nightmare.

M. Rambler: Be careful what you wish for…

5-5-3 game dev

You’re Blinding Me With Irony

Summary: Indie game developer, Greenheart Games, put a special code in pirated versions of their latest game. Thieving gamers enjoy running a virtual software development studio for a while, until their work is undone by… wait for it… IN-GAME SOFTWARE PIRATES! Cue anguished cries from real pirates complaining to the real developer that virtual pirates had made their virtual developers miserable.

Source: Greenheart Games

Brad: Oh, here’s the game industry making a mountain out of a molehill again. How many people actually pirate a game? I bet it’s less than five perce… wait, what’s that you say? 93%? Are you serious? Jeez, I’m siding with the developers – screw those pirates.

GlowPuff: 93%?  That’s the score I received on my DNF Entrance Exam!!  What does that mean??  Am I a pirate??!

Brad: Yes. You are a pirate.

Donald: The true irony here is that the people who stole the game, then had trouble with the in-game piracy won’t get the message. They will just move on and pirate their next game. Bring me a game where you play as a pirate who can’t pirate if you pirate the game. Now we are talking.

M. Rambler: And bring me a game where pirates are forced to eternally sit through that video Brad linked… and I get to punch them in the nuts. Now we’re doing more than talking. We’re punching jerkwads in the nutbags. Now that’s progress!

B. Indifferent: It’s super depressing that so many people stole the game, but it also makes me feel better about slumming it with free android games. They can’t give that crap away.

Donald: I am starting to worry about what adverse effects playing free android games is having on your mental state. Go review Super Hexagon. That should make things better.

5-5-5 gears

Hollywood Thinks Gears of War Movie Would Be Totally Epic

Summary: The Gears of War movie adaptation forges ahead. It currently has a willing producer and they are just now beginning the scripting process with the help of EPIC Games.

Source: Variety

B. Indifferent: Is “Brorection” a word? Because I think it’s time we made it a word.

Donald: Who wants to trade seats? I don’t want to sit next to Rambler and his Brorection.

M. Rambler: What? Deal with it. I like the game… it’s not my fault. Ever since that freak golf accident I had back in high school, I like a lot of stupid things.

Brad: Tickets to a Gears of War movie should come with a complementary nine iron to the forehead to ensure you’re in the film’s target demographic.

GlowPuff: What I don’t understand is why Hollywood isn’t rebooting some existing, successful movie franchise that is already done and over with. Oh, they already do that with aplomb? My bad. And didn’t they get the memo about game-based movies NOT turning out well?

5-5-4 101

Size doesn’t matter

Summary: On the topic of Wonderful 101’s short gameplay time, Platinum Games producer, Atsushi Inaba, suggests that true enjoyment comes not from length, but from the enjoyable experience (read: girth).

Source: My Nintendo News

Brad: It’s so much fun, you’ll want to play it over and over again! Which is a lot easier for us than, say, making a few more levels.

B. Indifferent: Sales of Wonderful 101 aren’t going to be hurt by its short gameplay time. They’re going to be hurt by the fact that it was released on the Wii U.

Donald: I am hoping at E3 2013 they announce the Wii U’s release date. I don’t even know what the Wonderful 101 is. I would guess it’s a short class you can take at University. I hear it’s Wonderful.

GlowPuff: He says he wants the game to make people say how happy they are to own a Wii U.  Good luck with that…  I’m happy I *don’t* own one.  And size may not matter over there, but over here it certainly does.  I’d much rather have a quarter pounder with cheese than a junior cheeseburger any day.  ‘Mericuh!

M. Rambler: You know what they call a Wonderful 101 in France?

GlowPuff: No.

M. Rambler: A Royale With Wonderful 101! You know why they call it that?

GlowPuff: Because of the metric system?

M. Rambler: Check out the big brain on GlowPuff! You’re smarter than you look. That’s right. The metric system, because the metric system is consistently shorter than what we’re used to here in America.

5-5-6 aliens


Summary: Gamer drops lawsuit on Gearbox and SEGA claiming trade show demos for Aliens: Colonial Marines were faulty representations of the final product. SEGA says no comment. Gearbox says go fly a kite… during a thunderstorm… raining acidic Alien blood.

Source: Polygon

Brad: New get rich quick scheme – lets sue the makers of every game whose trailer is made up entirely of cutscenes or of gameplay taken from a camera angle that would make actually playing the game impossible. That ought to be, let’s see here… ALL OF THEM.

Donald: Entitlement issues: level infinity.

GlowPuff: Yes, I think that says it best.  Am I going to sue McDonalds because the hastily put together burger with the limp lettuce I just got bares NO RESEMBLANCE to the lush, fresh burger I saw in the TV commercial?  You watch, that kind of nonsense will be next.

M. Rambler: McDonalds? You should have ordered the Royale With Wonderful 101… I hear it’s delicious but leaves most people yearning for more.

B. Indifferent: If I could sue publishers every time one of their games sucked, John Romero would have made me a multimillionaire.

J. Romero: But you can’t, and guess what? In the real world I can publish more games that suck, and I’ll be even more of a mutlimillionaire. I love reality.

5-5-7 hackers

Wii U: Hacking 101

Summary: A small group of hackers claims to have cracked the Wii U allowing people to play pirated games on the system. The rest of humanity remains baffled why anyone would bother.

Source: Kotaku

B. Indifferent: Nintendo knows that illegal hackers aren’t playing games or applications on the  Wii U system because no one is playing games or applications on the Wii U system.

Brad: Having failed to gain traction anywhere else, Nintendo is appealing directly to the pirate community – “Buy a Wii U! All the games are free!”

R. Fils-Aime: Well, that’s not exactly 100% correct. Those of you who have legally (and/or illegally) downloaded classic NES and Super Nintendo titles to your Wii, will still need to pay $1 and $1.50, respectively to re-install those very same titles you already owned onto your Wii U.

M. Rambler: I already had 17 reasons lined up for why not to buy a Wii U… now finding out I have to pay even more money for all the classic 20 year old games I’ve already paid for twice pretty much seals the deal.

Donald: “but Nintendo tells Kotaku they’ve received “no reports” of any unauthorized use of their gaming system.” – This tells me one thing, Nintendo — being new to the internet — doesn’t know you can deny a system’s access to the web. They are not going to send you an email.

“Dear Nintendo we HAXXXXZORED U. Cordially, Hackers”

R. Fils-Aime: Wait, what are hackers? Are they as adorably cute as the pirates from that video Brad posted earlier?

GlowPuff: I hear that the hacked console provides a better experience than the stock console.  Why?  Because it plays XBox 360 and PS3 games through emulation.

R. Fils-Aime: Well, that’s not exactly 100% true either. The Wii U barely has the horsepower to keep up with the 360 or PS3, so the pirates have only been able to emulate original Xbox and PS2 games on our console.

5-5-8 madden

No Madden for U

Summary: EA says Nintendo is the bee’s knees, but we don’t really care to release Madden 25 on that “next-gen” console they released six months ago… but we’d certainly be willing to spend 30 seconds to evaluate the prospect of releasing Madden products in the future for Nintendo systems… but not for that Wii U… that corpse is deader than disco.

Source: IGN

J.Madden: Now here’s a system with no games on it.

GlowPuff: Wow, this is a HUGE blow!  That little toy console can’t take too many more hits like this one.

P. Summerall: Oh no, there’s a man down.

M. Rambler: Oh no, there’s a Wii U down.

Injury Report: Nintendo – Wii U – out for the next-generation – broken spine.

Brad: Hey look, Nintendo, now your console has ANOTHER thing in common with the Dreamcast! Don’t worry – 10 years from now, really hardcore gamers will talk about how it was the best system ever and what a shame it is that nobody ever bought or made games for it.

Donald: That reminds me, the Dreamcast was the best system ever. It was a shame that nobody ever bought it. I wish it had more games made for it.

B. Indifferent: The best thing the Dreamcast had going for it was Crazy Taxi, which was included as a mini game in GTA3, Vice City, and San Andreas. Can we really say we missed out on anything?

5-5-9  respawn


Summary: Former Call of Duty creators, Respawn Entertainment, are gearing up for their next big franchise… possibly an Xbox exclusive title.

Source: Kotaku

Sony Santa Monica: Ohh, an exclusive!?!

Studio San Diego: Hey, what’s going on guys?

Japan Studio: The new Xbox is getting an exclusive!

Polyphony Digital: For real? That’s awesome! Another Halo title?

Bend Studio: No. it’s by a different studio.

Media Molecule: Yeah, some new studio called Respawn Entertainment.

Guerilla Games: Didn’t they make…. um… that…..

Evolution Studio: They used to make Call of Duty.

Naughty Dog: Don’t Care!

Sucker Punch: What he barked.

5-5-10 Wii U gutless

You Have Got to be Kidding Me

Summary: Nintendo blames lack of first party title releases for Wii U on development resources being taken from unknown projects that weren’t currently in development for utilization of current projects that were also not currently in development, but were forced into development because Nintendo needed something to be developed after years of twiddling it’s thumbs. Also, the Wii U is pretty much, maybe, potentially kind of powerful?

Source: IGN

Donald: Am I the only one who gets more and more confused about where the Wii U is headed after every Nintendo Direct? Is it that hard to make an HD Zelda game. Seems to be.

M. Rambler: Yes it is, but only when you’re trying to HD tech from two generations ago. And even so, most other companies can kick that kind of nostalgic crap out before you can say the word: Profit.

Brad: The next big release is Pikmin 3. Let me tell you, when the “big release” you’re waiting for is the sequel to what’s traditionally been a niche title, you’re in trouble.

GlowPuff: They’re starting to act like Hollywood: Sequels and Reboots.

M. Rambler: Starting to? Google “Nintendo first party releases since the Super Nintendo” and get back to me.

B. Indifferent: It’s a refreshingly contrarian strategy. Fans of Mother 3 and Mega Man Legends keep getting shafted while their franchise owners find other ways to make money, so by doing the opposite, Nintendo may… not find other ways to make money? Yeah, they’re boned.

5-5-11 mensroom

Handheld Gaming Gets Far Too Literal

Summary: PlayStation Vita, Sony’s newest handheld about to see the release of Men’s Room Mayhem… enough said.


Donald: What? I…. I’m out

Brad: Hey everyone! I’m a developer who has worked on critically renowned titles like Super Stardust HD. Please enjoy my latest game! It’s about peeing.

B. Indifferent: I thought it was about courtesy. They need to make a game about the dude code that says you do not talk to the people standing next to you at the urinal. If there even is an appropriate place for Rambler to tell me about that time he got his lip stuck in a soda bottle, I can tell you that the KFC men’s room is not that place.

GlowPuff: I’m wearing a Google Glass Explorer Edition, and I just photographed everyone’s junk in the KFC men’s room.  And you didn’t even know it.  Ok Glass, Send, Youtube.

M. Rambler: Do women know about shrinkage? I had just been swimming… I swear!

And speaking of swimming. I’m busy playing Far Cry: Blood Dragon. That game has swimming. I think it’s time to go for a dip. See you all next week 

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About Donald Conrad

Donald Conrad is an avid father and a dedicated gamer -- or maybe that's the other way around. He loves his games, and he loves his family, and he's pretty sure he loves sleep, even if he doesn't remember what it was like. Follow his life confusion on Twitter @ConManEd