Finishing The Week: Issue 90

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: I spent some time Art-A-Whirling this week and walked away with some really fun swag including this amazing Chainsawsquatch by Dax Grap of Monster Drawings by Dax fame:

Donald: For some reason I thought every day of this week was Friday. It was shocking to find out I was wrong every day of the week.

5-19-1 guns

Call of Lawyers: Modern Warfare Licensing

Summary: EA is attempting to drop its licensing ties to gun manufacturers, yet still use authentic guns in their games by betting that gun manufacturers are making enough money that their attorneys won’t notice.

Source: Reuters

Donald: I hope the lawyers go after them hard and it brings on the end of modern combat games. Then we can get back to normal things like laser guns and aliens.

Brad: I hope they get this settled soon. I demand the utmost authenticity in my war game where dying has no real consequence and lasts for all of about 15 seconds.

M. Rambler: Agreed. And I’ll bet they don’t license real bullets either. They probably just go with cheap second hand knock off’s. It’s the only way to explain how all those duds just bounce off my open fleshy parts over and over (and over) again when I’m playing Call of Duty.

B. Indifferent: I think you are all missing the bigger picture. What kind of world are we creating for our children when our culture continues to glorify lawsuits and the life-shattering destruction wrought by attorneys?

GlowPuff: I’d much rather play Call of Duty armed with a blow gun made of hollowed out bamboo.

M. Rambler: If that’s the case, then I implore Activision to license my custom designed Bamboozler. It’s a blow gun with a secondary straw function for tiki drinks.

GlowPuff: Scratch that, I’d rather not play Call of Duty in any form. I’ll be too busy slamming tiki drinks through sweet new straw Rambler gave me.

5-19-2 Pheonix

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Singular Destiny: Digital Download

Summary: Capcom’s latest Ace Attorney game will only be available as a digital download in the States because it typically hasn’t been a big draw here.

Source: Kotaku

B. Indifferent: I like how they’re claiming that this is to help the game reach a larger number of fans — if you want a physical copy of the game, it’s because you’re a selfish jerk who doesn’t want anybody else to be able to play it.

GlowPuff: I’m an only child with no siblings, so I’m an unsharing, selfish jerk on principle.

Donald: Well, I guess we know who hired Adam Orth..

Brad: People can complain all they want, but in the pre-digital era, a game that sold as poorly in the US as the Ace Attorney games have would simply stop being released here. Lower costs on things like manufacturing, shipping, and the retailer’s cut means that they could (in theory anyway), lower the price to something a little better aligned with demand, while still maintaining a decent profit margin. That could expand the audience a bit and turn this into a feasible model for publishers to make money on marginally popular games. That’s actually a really exciting prospect for people who enjoy niche titles.

B. Indifferent: We’re still talking about the same company, right? Because you started talking about aligning products to meet customer demand, and Capcom fires employees who voice dangerous ideas like that.

GlowPuff: Yes, this reminds me of the time I voiced my “dangerous idea” of moving the beer keg out of Rambler’s office and into mine. I was black-bagged that night and severely beaten with soap blocks wrapped in smelly socks.

M. Rambler: And don’t expect me to be so friendly the next time you try to swipe it.

5-19-3 glitch

That’s One Progressive Glitch

Summary: Same-sex marriage glitch discovered in a Japanese title called Tomodachi Collection: New Life. In less progressive news, Nintendo of Japan has since released a patch removing the possibility for same-sex marriage from the game.

Source: My Nintendo News

Brad: You know, the gay community already faces enough prejudice without having to deal with additional harmful stereotypes like that they are unable to boot up a game, or that they have general errors.

B. Indifferent: Guys, I gay married an avocado, and now none of my save files are working!

M. Rambler: Who left this guacamole in the break room? It’s delicious.

B. Indifferent: OH GOD, THERE’S BEEN A HORRIBLE ACCIDENT! But more importantly, does anyone have a stamp I can use for this claim I’m about to mail to my late avocado’s life insurance company?

GlowPuff: If the insurance company needs proof of death, it’s still sitting in the toilet. One of you chaps didn’t flush.

Donald: So, I loaded my game and now Brad and I are married. Nintendo better not patch bliss! Here is a stamp for you, Bitterly.

GlowPuff: Don’t use that stamp! I saw Donald lick it already.

Brad: Nintendo, fix this. I don’t want to be married to Donald anymore – he’s a monster!

5-19-4 cupcakes

Mass Effect of Fan Backlash Over Game Ending: Newfound Respect for Rabid Fanbase

Summary: Mass Effect developer, BioWare, says they have learned their lesson after fans reacted with mass disappointment over the trilogy’s ending.

Source: The Official Xbox Magazine

Donald: So they learned making a bad ending is a bad idea? Congratulations I guess? Have a cupcake!

BioWare: If I’m following you correctly, making a good ending is a ……. good idea?  Did I get that right?  Or should we continue making bad endings, only to be “corrected” with DLC after the fact?  What would Capcom do in this situation?

Capcom: We would re-release the title with a couple of new characters and probably slip the word Super, Ultra, or Ultimate into the title… or maybe even all three words.

B. Indifferent: Despite the terabytes of Mass Effect fan fiction still being produced on an hourly basis, they didn’t realize that fans were attached to the characters? Hey BioWare, I’ve got an urgent message from Capcom — something about not living in complete ignorance of what your fans want.

Capcom: Yes,what he said! Fans are important. Sometimes two or three of them want an niche Japan only title released here in the States. And other times they want to pay another $40 just six months later for the same game with a couple of new characters, costumes, and the word Ultra thrown in for good measure.

Brad: I wonder if this is why a lot of adventure-type games allow you to keep playing after you complete the last mission? Maybe it’s not really there so much to be played as it is as just to show that life went on – there isn’t anything left to do, but players take solace in knowing that the character they’ve grown so attached to is still out there… even though now his life is horrifically dull, and the only way to break up the monotony is with the occasional mini-game or randomly generated fetch quest.

GlowPuff: Red Dead Redemption comes to mind. I wandered around for hours after finishing the game.

Rockstar Games: We too wondered, What Would Capcom Do, with that beloved title… so we decided it would be best to release Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare because zombies make everything better.

5-19-5 joe

The Taxman Cometh

Summary: Joe Biden believes a special tax should be assessed to entertainment properties expressing violent content, and he’s like Vice President and stuff, so he could probably totally make that happen, right?

Source: Geek

GlowPuff: As long as there is no extra tax on prOn, I’m ok with it.

B. Indifferent: Define “violent.” There are some puzzle games that make me throw the controller — or sometimes the entire console — across the room in a rage. Would those be taxed?

M. Rambler: OUCH! What the heck man? Bitterly, did you just throw your mobile phone at my head? Wait, are you playing another one of those crappy free puzzles game again? As a victim, do I get any Violence Tax proceeds here?

Brad: We can file this in the “Joe Biden said something stupid that nobody actually takes seriously” drawer, if there’s any room left.

Donald: Brad is right, this man has a history of opening his mouth and letting stupid fall out. This seems like a special brand of stupid. But I am sure that if this tax gets approved they will in no way run wild with taxing all games just to bring money in. Right? I mean, it’s the government… They wouldn’t abuse power…right?

IRS: Correct.

5-19-6 nvidia

Can I get a price check in aisle 4? This can’t be right…

Summary: Nvidia’s new Android based, portable handheld console, Project Shield, gets a release window, and an incredibly insane price point of $350.

Source: Eurogamer

Donald: I wonder if anyone at Nvidia has taken a look at the Vita sales numbers? I am guessing no.

GlowPuff: The pricing made me GUFFAW out loud. Naming your console after an entity in the Avengers comic-verse does not give you Geek Cred. Gents, I believe we have a new console to crack fun at! Shield or Wii U – it’s a race to the bottom, men, and the path is both slippery and completely downhill! Only a cosmic event coupled with the complete reversal of gravity will make those sales numbers go up.

M. Rambler: Hey, Brad, do you have any of those open grave warning signs left, or have you used them all up promoting the next Xbox?

Brad: So, if you use it to stream a Nintendo-made game, does that mean Nintendo now owns your Shield?

M. Rambler: Hey guys, do we like any new consoles, or do we just like to sit back and poo-poo everything before it comes out?

Nintendo: You can pick on the Wii U all you want. When we finally release it, it is guaranteed to blow your mind.

5-19-7 droid cloud

Cricket Chirping Turns Fully Interactive, STREAMED FROM THE CLOUD!

Summary: Google has announced changes to their Google Play Games platform, and Android Police cites them all in excruciating detail.

Source: Android Police

B. Indifferent: Wow, it sounds like using Google Play for games is going to be completely amazing! Once, you know, they actually get some games worth playing.

Donald: I hear Zynga is releasing Pop-Up Ad 7 along side this exciting service. An advertisment pops seconds before you click cute little animals and it whisks you away to the advertiser’s website. The only way to go back it so purchase a “return to game” token from them. 5/5… Just sayin’.

GlowPuff: Good games? 3D Tic Tac Toe is AWESOME SAUCE.

Brad: Ok, I barely stayed awake through that story, and they said they’re saving the boring stuff for part 2? Can’t wait!

M. Rambler: I’m filled with so much sleep right now that I can barely work up the rage to punch whoever brought that article to my attention… and I’m going to sleep on the decision to punch myself in the face for including it.

5-19-8 youtube

Wii U Tube

Summary: YouTube/Let’s Play entrepreneur Zack Scott has a bone to pick with Nintendo ever since the company decided to issue content ID match claims on anyone posting videos of their properties. Now Mr. Scott can’t make money off the videos he posts… but Nintendo can!

Source: Game Front

M. Rambler: Wait… so there are actually people out there making money by filming themselves playing video games? I feel like we’re living the South Park Underpants Gnome episode right now.

B. Indifferent: Did Christmas come early? Because I wasn’t expecting such a beautifully gift-wrapped package of misdirected nerd rage. Before I grab my torch and pitchfork to take part in the angry mob, I want someone to provide me with actual dollar amounts, telling me how much they used to get from “YouTube monetization” before Nintendo stepped in, and how much they’ve lost as a result.

Not Zack Scott: Thanks to Nintendo’s tyranny, I can no longer live the life to which I have become accustomed!

B. Indifferent: Have you tried moving someplace where the cost of living is more reasonable? You could still live like a king in an economy that uses the barter system.

Brad: Wow, Buffalo is almost exactly like Detroit, except on a much smaller scale! Which is almost the most depressing thing I’ve ever written about my former hometown.

Donald: Did you guys read what this Hack had to say about this? I mean, he is right, but still… What a hack…  who stole all the jelly beans from the break room.

5-19-9 passes

EA Mourns as Online Passes Away

Summary: EA discontinues its Online Pass program wherein buyers needed to input a one time use code before activating the online features of EA games.

Source: Venture Beat

B. Indifferent: Such a pity! I was looking forward to not using it to not play all of their games on the Nvidia Shield that I’m not planning to buy.

GlowPuff: I think this confirms it – no used games on Xbox Next.

M. Rambler: No used games on Xbox Next… who gives a crap? It’s not like I’ll be able to afford one now that my plan to hoard all these Online Pass codes for resale is dead… thanks for the heads up on that EA. You suck.

Brad: Hey EA, you know what’s already a pretty good way to discourage the secondhand market? Releasing a new version of the same game every damned year. You can’t even give away copies of the old Madden games, and it’s gotten so bad that this is what people have resorted to.

Donald: I think the scenario that popped up was this; everyone thought that people buying used games would purchase an online pass to play online. The people who purchased the used copy didn’t want to pay $5 to play online. So they didn’t. This resulted in lower online player presence thus causing people to not purchase the multiplayer DLC packs. The bean counters then projected that more money would be made by letting people who buy a game used play online. Season Passes is where they think the money is now.

R. Fils-Aime: Wait… “Many players didn’t respond to the format. We’ve listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward.” Where have I heard that before? It’s like deja Wii U all over again.

5-19-10 pacman

Can Someone Please Check a Calendar… Is It April Fools Day… In 1989???

Summary: Namco Bandai just announced a brand new title called Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. Holy crap, just click the article for a better description… I’m laughing too hard to type right now.

Source: IGN

B. Indifferent: I almost believed them, but a third party software developer developing titles for the Wii U was the tip-off that this is just an elaborate prank.

GlowPuff: Rule #1: Do not believe everything you read on the Internet.

M. Rambler: So Pac-Man is NOT going to turn into an iguana-dinosaur-Pac-Man then?

Pac-Man: I’m just want to fight for friendship, freedom, and the future.

M. Rambler: So you’re NOT going to fight for those things as an iguana-dinosaur-Pac-Man… just the regular stupid looking Pac-Man? I need to know this before I to decide to buy your silly game or not. I might be running into some extra cash after finding a buyer for these useless EA Online Passes.

GlowPuff: Wait, they’re useless?

M. Rambler: No… don’t be rediculous…I, uh, just meant they would be useless on the Wii U because EA isn’t going to be putting any games out on that console anytime soon.

GlowPuff: Okay, whew.

Brad: Reading that title just gives me this weird feeling that it was originally going to be a Harry Potter game, and when the licensing didn’t work out they decided “Screw it, just use Pac-Man instead. Don’t bother changing anything else.”

Donald: That is it. I am done with video games.

Brad: Gah, stock news, lawsuits, new platforms that will never succeed… what a depressing week. You know what? Here’s 9 minutes of people getting hurt in Skate 3. I know I feel better now.

Donald: Thanks, Brad, that was magnificent.

M. Rambler: I can’t top that. Consider this week finished. See you all next time.

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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.