Finishing the Week: Issue 92


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 bought a NES and Super Nintendo this week, and my only question is – why did I ever get rid of them in the first place??? Now I just have to convince Brad to help me fill my collection with games he hates.

Brad: Here, have a copy of Arcana. Coincidentally, the Genesis I’ve been using for my website is probably the 5th or 6th one I’ve had as well. Will nobody make a next-gen backward compatible with the Genesis and SNES?

Donald: I have 2 Sega Genesis systems. I fear the day my main one dies. Rambler, buy Actraiser It’s just the best.

GlowPuff: I have 2 mullets and a pair of brass knuckles. Top that. Well, I’ll be leaving for Seattle in 3 days (June 4). If you follow my Twitter feed, you’ll know I’m a grand prize winner of the Microsoft Ultimate Experience contest for one of my Windows Phone games. It’s an all expense paid trip to Microsoft headquarters. I get a tour of Microsoft Game Studio and the rest of the campus, a coding session, meet and greet with the big wigs, lunch, dinner with the head honchos, and a first hand look at an upcoming, unannounced game. Donald and I think it’ll be an XBox One game, so I’ll have the full report on that (or maybe not – I was told I’ll be under a NDA). I’m hoping to meet Major Nelson, but I’m not sure if he’ll be part of the meet and greet.

M. Rambler: Holy crap, that is crazy… I always just thought you had the one mullet. The revelation of your second mullet is almost bigger news than the rest of this stuff that happened this week.

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Sony Insures Next-Gen Success

Summary: While Sony’s electronics division is bleeding money, it’s entertainment and insurance (yes, that’s right, I said insurance) sectors are keeping things afloat.

Source: NY Times

Brad: I can see ways that Sony’s electronics could be helping their insurance profits. For every person they insured who bought a Playstation 3 instead of an Xbox 360, their risk of accidental fire from the console overheating goes way down.

Donald: But I wouldn’t want Sony as my insurance provider. Remember the PSN outage? How they cut off all communication from the public for almost a month? Imagine that, but with your insurance company. That would make them just as efficient as current insurance companies.

GlowPuff: Wow, that banking firm said their electronics division is “worth zero”. A teacher once told me I was worth zero, as well. I was in kindergarten.

M. Rambler: That’s one stupid teacher. They must not have noticed your second mullet either. Second mullets are priceless.

Sony: You know, all this talk about numbers has got us to thinking. Calling our new machine the PS4 is rather archaic. Microsoft cleaned the slate and signified their desire to be the only device your living room will ever need with the Xbox One. Perhaps we can one up them by renaming our new machine the PlayStation Zero!

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PS4 U

Summary: Sony is requiring developers to incorporate Vita Remote Play into all PS4 titles that don’t require special hardware like the PS4 Eye camera.

Source: Eurogamer

Brad: Oh good, let’s force companies to include rarely-used features that are specific to one console. Because the price of developing a new game isn’t already expensive enough.

Donald: The Wii U has proven that any game can display a map on the second screen.

M. Rambler: No, I’m pretty sure the Wii U has only proven that people don’t like having a controller/second screen that is equivalent in size and weight to one of their old tube televisions.

GlowPuff: I’m trying to figure out why having Sony do this seems “cool” to me, but the Wii U already doing it holds no interest to me at all.

M. Rambler: You guys can poo-poo this all you want, but I’m all for it. That way when my imaginary fiance is hogging the big screen for her stupid TV shows, I can still play my PS4… oh, I mean my PS Zero

Xbox One: Invalid statement. Xbox One will assimilate all devices in your living room. Once the pitiful PlayStation is absorbed into our matrix, all will be One. One will be all.

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Former THQ Pres Reveals How Metro: Last Light Was Generated

Summary: Former THQ head Jason Rubin shed some light on the conditions developer 4A Games worked through to create the latest Metro title. Tight budgets, cramped quarters, smuggled in hardware, power outages, crappy chairs… and that was all before the game’s last minute change in publishers thanks to THQ’s bankruptcy.

Source: Eurogamer

GlowPuff: So basically, their working conditions were not unlike the horrible, deadly, environmental conditions you experience in the game itself?  No wonder the game is so “real” – it’s based on reality!

Brad: Who would have thought an impoverished country that used to be part of the Soviet Union would have such terrible working conditions. Maybe instead of trying to smuggle nice office chairs into the Ukraine, the solution ought to be to smuggle the talented game designers out. Just an idea.

Soviet Union: Hey, Ukraine, any chance we could lure you back into the fold? We just bought some sweet rolling Aeron office chairs on eBay… just sayin’.

Donald: I’m pretty sure everyone is concerned with their own working condi–

B. Indifferent: Yes, we are.

Brad: Yep.

GlowPuff: Agreed, and I think Rambler is starting to go feral. I worry what might happen if you don’t restock that beer fridge soon…

M. Rambler: I am feeling rather bitey right now.

Donald: You had all better shut up or I’m taking all these cushy metal folding chairs you’re sitting on back home where they belong.

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Rise of Nightmares 2

Summary: Germany’s federal data protection commissioner expresses concern over Xbox One and Kinect’s potential Orwellian levels of privacy invasion. The commissioner even goes so far as to call the situation a “twisted nightmare”

Source: Slate

Donald: What? A system that has a camera pointed at you at all times collecting information about your life is a privacy issue? Other countries besides Germany should be worried about this. Like, all of them.

Brad: Actually, Iran, North Korea, and Russia are all really big fans of this technology. Oh, and the United States, too.

The Man: Mr.Lawrence’s statement about the United States collecting citizens data is false. Move along.

GlowPuff: Just to play Devil’s Advocate here, doesn’t that also describe Google’s business practices?  Collecting information on everything you do while using their many services?  Minus the camera, of course (for now, at least).

The Google Man: Mr.GlowPuff’s statement about Google not having cameras pointed at you is false. Google Hangout was designed for that. Move along.

M. Rambler: Okay, sure, spying is bad… but just think of all the positives. If 4A Games had enough cash to smuggle in an Xbox One dev kit, the horrible work conditions they were suffering through would have been discovered sooner.

GlowPuff: That reminds me. Do any of you have enough money to buy an Xbox One when it comes out this fall?

Brad: Nope.

B. Indifferent: Perhaps, but it hinges on the current exchange rate for Guyanese Bark Dollars.

M. Rambler: Those sound delicious!

Donald: I don’t care if any of you can afford it, this is officially an Xbox One free environment. I’m positive the Xbox One is how the world of THX 1138 started.

M. Rambler: I don’t really care how THX 1138 started.. it ended with Mellody Hobson’s Fiance birthing the prequel threequel and then selling Star Wars to Disney.  Screw you Mellody Hobson’s Fiance.

6-2-5 aaaa

Microsoft Buys A Vowel… For One Billion Dollars

Summary: Not content with producing mere triple-A titles for the Xbox One, Microsoft claims to have spent one billion dollars on exclusives and “quadruple-A” titles for their new console.

Source: The Official Xbox Magazine

Brad: This new Xbox Open Grave is going to have an impressive library of next-gen games offering experiences we’ve never had before, like playing Call of Duty! Or a football simulation! And a game where you drive cars!  Plus there’s that exciting new Castle Wolfenstein game, too – it sounds really good. This is going to be mind blowing! And I’m sure the PS4 won’t have anything like it at all. I so can’t wait to install a spy camera in my living room just so I can play these!

Donald: Brad, it’s obvious that all games are Xbox One exclusives. I hear they even bought the rights to that God of War franchise. But now with Kinect you can growl in real life and Kratos will do it…IN GAME!

M. Rambler: Then you don’t want to know what Microsoft is about to do with their other God franchise… Bromance on the new Kinect is about to get a lot more EPIC.

Donald: I can’t wait to see how they spin Kinect Adventures 2 as a AAAA game. From the makers of the original Kinect pack-in game that sold 8 million units comes the sequel to the game you can find clogging your local GameStop’s dollar bin, ladies and gentlemen, we give you Kinect Adventure 2: Smile Or The Game Pauses!

GlowPuff: But the new Call of Duty is going to have some VERY REAL looking dogs in it. In the end, isn’t that all that matters?

Vietnam: That and taste.

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Clear As Mud

Summary: Microsoft eases consumer fears by detailing their used games policy… sort of… okay, so they said some things, then followed it up with some other things, and we’re all still in the dark here. At least Microsoft will have plenty of quadruple-A titles to show off at E3.

Source: GameSpot

Brad: See? They are going to allow used games. It’s just going to be an expensive, confusing, bureaucratic mess. Also, it will probably involve going to GameStop, which nobody’s gonna want to do anyway.

GlowPuff: So… is GamSstop going out of business or not because of this?  I’m still confused on that point.

Donald: Okay, if I am reading this right, to play a used game on my Xbox One I have to take a grilled cheese sandwich to a gnome that lives under an invisible bridge on the Microsoft campus. The gnome will give me a prepaid debit card full of “points”. Then I just go buy a used AMC Pacer, drive that Pacer to Cleveland, trade it in for a different grilled cheese sandwich with a phone number toasted into the surface of the bread, I must eat that grilled cheese before it self destructs, then find the nearest pay phone, call the grilled cheese number, describe the secret handshake that the gnome taught me earlier to the mysterious person on the other end of the phone – I forgot to mention the gnome taught me a very important secret handshake earlier, sorry. Anyway, I will then be given an encrypted code that will need to be broken before I can take it home and enter it into Kinect using sign language. This effort will whisk me away to a purchase page where I am given the privilege to pay Microsoft full retail price for a licence to use the used game I already purchased at GameStop. Did I get that right?

Xbox One: You forgot about the part where the Xbox One tattoos the game license to your forehead using the photon beam housed in our new Kinect sensor, but yes, other than that, you are correct.

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This Survey Paints One Pretty Picture

Summary: Some website posted the results of their own internal survey that paints an incredibly rosy picture for Microsoft and the release of it’s future console.

Source: Dealnews

Donald: Call me crazy, but when you write the line “, and what they’re doing with their consoles — when they’re not fighting aliens, of course.” I don’t think you have the current gamer demographic nailed down. That line was written for people who are keeping an eye on the investment side of things. So, polling those people about how they use their consoles might just not count.

M. Rambler: Most gamers already realize, It’s pretty much useless to fight aliens with your console. As this survey proves, most gamers own an Xbox. My own internal polls indicate that most aliens are immune to fire, rendering the Xbox 360 consoles’s ability to overheat and ignite virtually useless against the invading alien hoard.

Brad: Interesting that these polls were taken shortly before the Xbox Open Grave reveal. I would love to see what that did to the numbers of people planning to buy it. I’m guessing they’re lower now.

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Scarborough Fair?

Summary: MSNBC pundit, Joe Scarborough, calls out the current generation of young male gamers as “weak” and “unmarriable”… except for his son and his friends, of course, who are just self-entitled d-bags.

Source: Kotaku

M. Rambler: I’m a hardcore gamer with an extra decade of weakness under my belt, if I’m getting married, does that just mean Joe Scarborough is inferring that women get more desperate as they age?

GlowPuff: In a word – yes.

Brad: Ok, MSNBC is a channel whose programming is so horrendous that NBC actually pre-empted it to show the NHL playoffs. Like, on purpose. You guys know about the National Hockey League, right? The mostly Canadian sport that struggles to find an American audience, especially on TV? Finishes around 100th place in polls of people’s favorite sports? Popular in Detroit, Philly, Minnesota, Buffalo, and… well, that’s about it.

Yeah, Someone at the parent network looked at the ratings for MSNBC and realized “Wow, more people would watch hockey than this.” So exactly why do we care what this guy had to say? It’s not like he was talking about the far more interesting Chicago Blackhawks.

Donald: So… Are you saying that we should listen to them? I don’t watch TV so I consider all the Networks equally garbage. Especially that one with the celebrity dancing show, and the one with the signing competition. Don’t forget that one that has the pathetic group dating show. But I like Hell’s Kitchen.

GlowPuff: Isn’t a Blackhawk a helicopter?  Is there a game about that now?

Donald: Chicago Blackhawks Down? Lets just hope they have advanced dog motion capture.

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Ghost Causes Panic

Summary: LAPD responds to a panic button call at local game developer’s office and mistakes their life-sized Simon “Ghost” Riley statue (from Call of Duty: Modern Warefare) as an actual threat. Crazy, huh?

Source: Polygon

Brad: You know, they did put a life-size, realistic-looking statue of a guy aiming an assault rifle in their window. What did they think would happen, the cops would turn the place into dance central?

Harmonix: No, we actually own the rights to that. Any unauthorized dance parties will be shut down with authority by our own internal SWAT team.

GlowPuff: That’s hilarious!  It ended with everyone playing on the office’s NES controller table? DID YOU SEE THIS THING?  WANT!

Donald: I imagine the interaction went down something like this, “Mr.Bowling… This is kind of embarrassing… It seems the guy holding you hostage was a statue. So, as long as you didn’t do this for some sort of crazy PR stunt, I think we are good here. Could you take that statue out of the window though? It might cause future confusion… HOLY CRAP, WHAT IS THIS AMAZING LOOKING TABLE?”

M. Rambler: That reminds me. I’ve got a new, used NES that needs playing… and it doesn’t even need secret codes to activate any of the used games I bought! See you next week.

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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.