Can you guys hear that? That’s the sound of me finally breathing. Last week was one of the most intense I’ve had in a while over at the other job. I came out alive and had my first fully free weekend in a while. I actually got to sit down and play some video games. And sleep. Sleep was super important to the whole thing. Anyway, the amount of time I had to spend otherwise occupied last week is the reason this article wasn’t around. It’s good to be back. Let’s rock it.
Defiance (Xbox 360, PS3, PC): I can’t see any way this could go poorly. I mean, just check it out (from GameSpot):
“Defiance is an open world shooter MMO from Trion Worlds that interconnects with a global television program by SyFy.”
This is a game based on a show that has aired exactly zero episodes. So, brand recognition is probably super high. I’m willing to bet that first “M” in MMO is a tad optimistic.
Cities In Motion 2 (PC): What are we doing PC gaming industry? Do we need to simulate everything? I shit you not, this is a game that is described as a “mass transit simulation.” I’m a person who has spent the last 8 years of my life designing real world infrastructure. I also have been known to have a super healthy appreciation for simulators. But like… are we laying out bus routes in this game? Are we writing a subway schedule? Can we get some e-sports on this shit, then hire the best Korean kid to come and lay out some mass transit in Houston? Fuck school, turn it into a video game and teach it to our kids. If there were some kind of job right now where I dressed up in blue, moved from left to right and shot little pellets at things, I’d be a retired billionaire right now instead of banned from that park.
BattleBlock Theater (Xbox 360): I was pretty sure we’d see Half Life 4 on the shelves before this game released. Behemoth has some ridiculous development cycles. It’s been on the floor for at least 3 PAX trips that I can think of. Where is all this money coming from? Can they really be making that much off Castle Crashers miniatures, cute t-shirts and buttons? I guess with all the hype and anticipation they build up, their games are all but guaranteed to make a killing. People have been playing BattleBlock Theater at various events for years. It looks good and it plays well. Even if I’m still not entirely sure what exactly is going on in the game. Gabe and I were in the beta. I played a few matches and really have no clue how I was scoring points or if I was scoring points or if points are even a thing in the game. There was a counter at the top of the screen. I assume that meant something. I assume that something was point related. I dunno. I’m going to buy it anyway because I just have to know.
This Week’s Subway Update: I’m starting to believe that the employees here really are sandwich artists. A sandwich engineer would carefully plan and craft a sandwich that is clean and easy to eat. A sandwich architect would likely do the same, but they’d just cut the ends of the bread into little stars or something. A sandwich artist takes some serious fucking liberties with every goddamn aspect of a sandwich. That spicy mustard goes on the inside of the sandwich, not on the outside of the wrapper. Oh, cool, you gave me one napkin and it’s covered in spicy mustard? Perfect. Fuck.
A Part Of My Childhood Was Killed By Another Part Of My Childhood This Week: It’s Wednesday as I’m writing this. Today Disney announced they were shutting down LucasArts. You know, the people who made X-Wing, Tie Fighter… and some other games, I guess. If you’ve ever read anything I’ve ever written, or listened to any word I’ve ever spoken, you likely already know how much X-Wing and Tie Fighter I played as a kid. So, this wasn’t exactly great news. I had been holding out for a new X-wing or Tie Fighter for a while. So, I guess that’s not… wait, what?
“…we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model…”
This could actually be amazing news. I mean, besides all the people now looking for work (and best of luck to them). But, believe it or not, I’m not the only person on the planet who loves things like MechWarrior and space flight combat simulators. MechWarrior Online is great because Piranha Games is passionate about the franchise and the universe. If a team equally as passionate about X-wing/Tie Fighter got a hold of the license, we could finally see a true rebirth of either. Those games were deep and complicated. Piranha has proved… is proving… that there’s a place for that kind of thing. MechWarrior Online is popular and profitable, but to call it accessible would be a lie. They’re finding ways to teach new players how things work rather than dumbing it down for them. So, you know, somebody go get that license and do it up BIG.