Finishing the Week: Issue 96


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.

Tony: Well, I’m back after a week of binge drinking and forgotten memories, what’s new?

B. Indifferent: Guys, I’m scared. I thought things were under control when there was only the OUYA to make fun of, but there are four Android game consoles now? I don’t know if I can come up with enough dismissive insults to cover them all!

Donald: After finishing The Last of Us, I know what to do. Stab each of them in the back of the brain with a shiv. If we can’t do that, I suggest we start making up new words.

Tony: The amount of new Android powered “consoles” is so stupid I’m not going to bother inventing a new word for this situation.

GlowPuff: Gentlemen — I have a new console I’m building.  It’s based on Android and… wait, what are you doing?  Put down that club!  Wait-

Tony: Blah, blah, blah. NEWS POWERS ACTIVATE!!

6-30-1 choiceful

Activision “Choiceful” in Decisions to Disparage Next-Gen Consoles

Summary: After months of disparaging remarks about Nintendo’s handling of the Wii U, Activision has shifted gears to start criticizing the Xbox One.

Source: Games Industry International

Donald: That really was a long winded way of saying “You think Titanfall is so neat, Xbox? Well, we are going to take our ball and go home…and you suck!”

Tony: I like the cut of Activision’s jib — never not ready to take a big, steaming dump on anyone and anything that isn’t actively improving their profit margin.

Donald: Who else thinks the next Call of Duty game will be called Call of Duty: Giantfall? It’s pretty cutting edge. The marines have jet packs and you are fighting over the limited supplies left on Earth. Did I mention it’s in the future so you have giant spaceships?

GlowPuff: I thought it was going to be called Call of Duty: Realistic Dogs of War. You know, because of those hyper-realistic dogs they kept showing off in their tech demo.

Tony: You’ve all got it wrong. The next CoD game will be subtitled Operation Dumbo Dog Drop… have you seen the size of the ears on those hyper-realistic puppies?

ghostdog

Ghost Dog: Hey guys,it’s not nice to speak ill of dogs when they are within earshot… and my earshot is basically everywhere. Next time you talk smack, I will insert these hyper-realistic, oversized vampire canines into your jugular… err, wait, I am totally NOT a genetically modified vampelephant clone dog soldier created in an experimental government lab… what I meant to say was —

<bark, bark!>

B. Indifferent: You lie down with Bobby Kotick, you’re gonna get fleas.

6-30-2 corn

Silicorn Valley

Summary: Microsoft is spending $700 million to build a massive server in Iowa, because why not?

Source: Digital Spy

GlowPuff: Is their server going to “serve” corn? GUFFAW!!!

Tony: Hey, Iowas gonna use that line!

B. Indifferent: I know Microsoft probably reviewed key synergies and optimized their core mission parameters or whatever to choose Iowa, and I’m sure the tax credits didn’t hurt, but I’d like to think that this is all because they’re huge fans of that red-haired cop from The Mentalist.

Donald: As a person who once saw a commercial for The Mentalist, I can see how you would think that. I just hope they call before they start digging, it would be so awkward to break through the top of a missile silo and set off World War 3. You don’t want to be the company blamed for that.

GlowPuff: WW3 almost started already (in the Internet forums) with all that initial talk of DRM and no used games for the XBone.

Tony: I guess the world is lucky Microsoft eventually pulled a France on those policies. Too bad they didn’t surrender a week earlier at E3. They would be winning the next-gen war… now they just look look like another French staple — Jerry Lewis.

J. Lewis: I’ve had great success being a total idiot. Microsoft will be just fine too.

6-30-3 ps eye

Sony Cuts Out Eye to Spite Microsoft’s Price

Summary: Sony initially planned to pack their Kinect-lite Eye camera in with every PS4, but covertly changed gears and dropped Eye in order to help undercut Microsoft’s Xbox One price point by $100.

Source: Game Rant

GlowPuff: ARRR THAR BE PIRATES! That was my “missing eye” joke.

Donald: So you remove an expensive motion tracking camera from the box and the price comes down? Amazing! I always thought the price comes down when you add things to the retail package!

B. Indifferent: It sounds like Sony was already planning to shiv Microsoft in the back by announcing a lower console price, and then they kicked Microsoft in the junk with their used games video as a bonus.

GlowPuff: And then they scissor kicked them in the coin purse by making this accessory *optional*.

Tony: The good news is — thanks to Sony’s smarts and Microsoft’s insanity I’ll have an extra $600 in my booze account this fall.

6-30-4 halo

Did Anyone Else Think That Halo Trailer from E3 was a Piece of Thought?

Summary: According to Microsoft Game Studios VP, Phil Spencer, the Halo footage at E3 was just a “thought piece,” not an actual game trailer.

Source: IGN

Donald: So it wasn’t a trailer for Halo 5 or Halo 2 anniversary? That would make it a way to get the media’s attention and remind Sony that they still have Master Chief in their corner. But now they have to explain to the core audience that there is no Halo game? This really goes with the rest of their messaging as of late.

GlowPuff: This is like going to the theater and watching a trailer before the film, and on the last frame of the trailer it says “PSYCH! THIS IS NOT REALLY A MOVIE IN PRODUCTION. IT IS JUST A THOUGHT PIECE. FOOLED YOU”.

Tony: Well, Microsoft fooled me with that burlap robe in their thought piece. I was sure they were previewing a game about an abnormally large Jawa for a minute there. How on earth did the engineers of the future forget to incorporate sun protection into the most technologically advanced combat exo-skeleton ever built?

B. Indifferent: Give Microsoft some credit. They may not be giving us the things we want, but they’ve been able to show just how much work they’ve put into stuff we’ll never buy.

Donald: Unfortunately, the meeting that spawned this fake Halo trailer replaced the meeting where they were going to decide to remove Kinect from the retail package.

6-30-5 wii u

A Thought Piece on Why the Wii U Doesn’t Suck

Summary: Astrogun developer, Xander Davis, has totally changed his mind about the Wii U, guys, it’s cool now.

Source: CIDER

Donald: Oh, so that’s what a Wii U is! This makes me want a Wii U. What a strange thing for me to say. WHAT IS GOING ON?

GlowPuff: Indeed, what IS going on?  First you mentioned looking into getting an OUYA, and that was nutty enough. Now you want a Wii U? WHAT IS GOING ON?

Nintendo: Well, guys, what’s going on here is what’s called a sea change. With the Big Boys busy duking it out with each other over your next-gen dollars, we’ve been busy spending OUR dollars to buy the support of any and every indie game developer that will sing our praises. So far we have the one.

B. Indifferent: If I had to pick whether I got Activision in my corner or a bunch of indie devs, I think I’d pick the company with the track record for massive numbers of units sold.

Tony: See, Activision? The Wii U doesn’t need you, since it’s got, um… yeah, Nintendo had better release some big-name titles of its own, and quickly.

6-30-6 origin

EA Cannot Escape Its Origin, No Matter How Hard They Try

Summary: EA realizes that Origin is not Steam, and program head, Andrew Wilson, promises to turn it into a gaming service instead of a transaction driver.

Source: Games Industry International

GlowPuff: Nostradamus has seen the future, and he says even after the facelift, Origin will still not be Steam.

Tony: I believe the actual translation goes, “Two giants collide, only Steam will rise.” And here I thought he was talking about that time you destroyed the office bathroom after pounding two grande burritos from Taco Loco in less than 5 minutes.

B. Indifferent: Wait, didn’t Wilson recently sell all of his stock in the company? That’s kind of like saying, “It’s pretty clear that EA has peaked, but I’m going to keep collecting a paycheck right up until we go out of business.”

Tony: Their decision to “focus on the consumer” doesn’t mean that this will end well. After all, Taco Loco only loosened their “one grande burrito per customer” policy after GlowPuff requested they change it.

6-30-7 add snake

Just add SNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!

Summary: Hideo Kojima, the man behind Metal Gear, wouldn’t mind seeing his original creation remade in HD with his new FOX Engine. Just Add Water, the developer behind the more recent Oddworld HD remakes, would love to be the one to do it.

Source: IGN

GlowPuff: Just add water? Is that like those little foam “pills”, where you add water and they explode into a small foam animal (sometimes a dragon!)?

Tony: No, just add water is what sissies do to scotch.

B. Indifferent: So are they saying they liked the old-school, typo-laden Famicom game with terrible controls, or the cavalcade of FMV cutscenes that the series has become?

Tony: Does it matter?

Donald: No. Either way, it’s just another version of the game that makes the most least sense.

Tony: Can someone beer me? All this talking is making me thirsty, and I’d like to just add water in my usual fashion.

UK Gamers Stop Playing With Wiis, Reach for Xbox Instead

Summary: The Xbox 360 steals the top spot from Nintendo’s Wii as the UK’s most sold current-gen console.

Source: MCV

Tony: Fair enough, but where would the 360 stand without the Red Ring of Death? I realize I’m a small sample size, but I’ve purchased two 360’s and only one Wii. 

Microsoft: Our internal estimates indicate you’re slightly below the norm. 

Nintendo: Wait… I think that means BOTH our current-gen consoles are outpacing the 360.

Tony: Well, I don’t really care what any of you have to say. The Last of Us is calling and I’m about to answer. We’ll see you all 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.