Videogames, politics, science, all the important things in life.

WAW 2/17/10: Aliens vs Predator; Miles Edgeworth; Peter Molyneux’s Floating Head

Posted by nfinit on February 16, 2010

So Peter “Big Fat Stinky Liar” Molyneux would like us to all be pissed off at Fable 3.

The reason for this don’t lie in the fact that the third installment of the Fable series will likely follow it’s predecessor’s long tradition of broken promises and unfulfilled ambition, nor  that the feared Natal support has been dropped in favor of traditional game pad control.  No, the reason Peter thinks we’ll all be pissed off (his words, mind you) at his upcoming game is that it won’t have an on-screen display.

No health bars, no minimap, no inventory screen.  Just you and the character.  Apparently this is to promote a sense of connection between yourself and your avatar and give you more reason to want to care about the way your character looks and acts.  And for whatever reason Peter thinks this is going to piss everyone off.

Now to be pissed off that there’s no GUI in Fable 3, you have to hold the following two thoughts:

1:  Pretend Dead Space never happened

2:  Pretend that videogame UIs are worth being legitimately pissed off about.  Which is shocking, when you consider the wealth of legitimate things in the world that you should be pissed off at– things such as the state education system of North Carolina pretending United States history didn’t begin until sometime shortly after the Reconstruction.

Or there’s this week’s deplorable list of games– However, not all things are worth getting pissed off about equally.  To explain, I’ve provided a handy scale for exactly how pissed off you should be about the existence of each game in relation to how pissed off you should be that there’s no HUD in Fable 3.  In short, the more creepy Peter Molyneux heads present

The better the game should be.

Ace Attorney Investigations:  Miles Edgeworth (DS)

Players who complained that the previous Ace Attorney games could be solved by randomly pressing menu items will be happy to know that the “life bar” that previously existed only during the prosecution phase of the previous Phoenix Wright games actually now exists during the investigative phase as well, forcing the player to utilize logic while piecing together the evidence for the case.
This also means that bad decisions actively harm your character, possibly making Miles Edgeworth dumber during the process which serves as a convenient parable for political parabola of Sarah Palin.
HOW PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS GAME SHOULD YOU BE IN RELATION TO FABLE 3’S LACK OF A HUD:  You should be way more pissed off that Fable 3 doesn’t have a HUD than you should be about Miles Edgeworth— if you like the Phoenix Wright brand of adventure games, then Miles Edgeworth will be an intriguing, innovative title.  If you don’t, then you don’t play Ace Attorney games anyway and shouldn’t care.

Aliens vs Predator (Xbox 360, PS3, doomed space station)

I’ve always found it interesting how in the entire milieu of things related to the respective Aliens and Predator franchises that only three decent movies could be produced– meanwhile, it seems most games relating to either franchise turn out at least decent.  It’s one of those very few non-gaming concepts that seem like likely candidates for good games and actually manage to deliver on that promise, unlike say, Transformers.  Of course, it’s not like Rebellion is new to the concept of making AvP games, having produced them as far back as the Jaguar.

There’s not many reviews out for AvP2k10 yet, Metacritic only showing 2– One of them, Game Informers, rating a troubling 58%– so it’s hard to get a grasp on the game’s quality.  My concern would be that given this game has three wildly divergent single player campaigns (as well as the requisite muiltiplayer options) that Rebellion won’t deliver a focused, polished single player experience.

All of which highlights the idea that each of the three concepts present int AvP needs its own game.  No matter how good the survival horror aspect in Aliens vs Predator may be; it can never be as good as if Rebellion had dedicated its full resources developing that single idea.  The same holds true for the Predator/stealth portion of the game and the Alien campaign.  None of these three sections can ever be as good as a single, dedicated game.

HOW PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS GAME SHOULD YOU BE IN RELATION TO FABLE 3’S LACK OF A HUD:  Remember, this is the same Rebellion Games that produced Rogue Trooper.  Chances are this game is going to piss you off far more than anything related to Fable 3.

Crime Scene (DS)

Yeah, this isn’t happening.   Do you want me to lead into the clumsy segue or can I just start talking about the Heavy Rain demo now?  Because really:

This thing is Dragon’s Lair, only without charm or good artwork or Daphne’s boobs.
But maybe that’s not being fair to Dragon’s Lair.  Despite the limited amount of interaction you actually had with Dragon’s Lair or Space Ace, in the end it was still a game– if you fucked up there were consequences involved.  Heavy Rain will happily trundle along without any input.  Dragon’s Lair was a Don Bluth animated short broken in order to make it a videogame– Heavy Rain is an abstraction layer away from being a poorly rendered CGI movie.

But barring God of War III and the hypothetical cloud of data representing Gran Turismo 5, Heavy Rain is the Playstation 3’s standout title of the year, so it’ll sell well and since it screams GAMES AS ART from every sweaty, awkward pore, game reviewers will be unable to resist the lure of awarding Heavy Rain good scores.

HOW PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS GAME SHOULD YOU BE IN RELATION TO FABLE 3’S LACK OF A HUD: (Crime Scene Investigations)  No one is ever going to buy this game, so it’s moot point.  However, I’m a firm believer of giving new titles the benefit of the doubt until they’ve proven themselves worthy of contempt.


Chicken Riot (SDTV Shovelware Box)

Developers sometimes like to make it very difficult to find credible information regarding their games; this is all the more true when you’re dealing with studios like City Games who make a living developing Wii and DS shovelware— after all, the more you know about Chicken Riot, the less likely you are to purchase the game.  So in these instances I can only make a value judgment based on the media provided– In Chicken riot’s case:

We may well be dealing with one of the greatest games ever made.


Data East Arcade Classics (Wii, somehow)

Speaking as a guy who has no access to a Wii at the moment, I’d just like to say that the existence of this game makes me hate all of you Mario loving bastards so much.  I mean just look at this:






I mean fuck Microsoft Game Room, why isn’t this entire disc on XBLA right now?  Who do I have to kill and/or engage in sexual gratification with in order to unlock achievement points for busting Karnov in the ‘nads?

HOW PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS GAME SHOULD YOU BE IN RELATION TO FABLE 3’S LACK OF A HUD:  As much as I want this to be a fantastic collection of late 80’s arcade goodness, I hesitate to give Data East Arcade Classics a full five Peter Molyneux Floating Heads, as it’s published by Majesco, and you just know they’ll do something to screw this up.  So I’m removing two Peter Molyneux heads for that, but adding another as Backbone Entertainment has not laid their foul taint upon this disc as they have any number of Sega Xbox Live Arcade titles.

Deadly Premonition (360 exclusive, much like the Red Ring of Death and 20gb hard drives)

So apparently this is a blatant Silent Hill ripoff but with cherubs and trees spouting blood and… stuff.

Also what’s with second-tier Japanese developers  being unable to make 360 games that don’t look like up-rezed PS2 games?

Everything about Deadly Premonition screams cheap and dire, including the sub-budget retail price– $20.  Buying something you full well know is going to be terrible is a deal only if you think playing something 1/3rd as good as a full priced game is a good way to spend your free time.  However, there’s no way Deadly Premonition is half as good as Darksiders, and it’s on sale for $40 brand new at the time of this writing.

HOW PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS GAME SHOULD YOU BE IN RELATION TO FABLE 3’S LACK OF A HUD:  This game just makes me feel dirty, and all 360 owners should be pissed off that we got this and not Silent Hill Shattered Memories.

Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce (PS360)

Summoning interest for this game requires not only that you’ve someone become interested in both the 587th Dynasty Warrior game and what is basically an upscaled port of a PSP game.  I don’t know how you can do that and still look at yourself in the mirror in the morning.

But it does have 4 player multi, so I guess that’s new– to the series, I mean, not the HD console version.  Little information regarding Strikeforce PS360 exists, and judging from the middling-to-awful review scored the PSP original received it’s hard to tell exactly what this port brings to the table aside from a $50 price point.

HOW PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS GAME SHOULD YOU BE IN RELATION TO FABLE 3’S LACK OF A HUD:  I mentioned that this was a PSP game, right?  A PSP game that received a 65% aggregate at Metacritic?  Yeah, this thing shouldn’t’ exist on at least two levels.  Be way pissed.

Korg DS-10 Plus (DS)

Okay so I make fun of a lot of stuff here for only being tangentially “games” but in the case of Korg DS-10 this is specifically not a game.  It is  a music making tool that replicates the Korg MS-10 Synth—  This was first released in 2008, but the Plus version adds twice the number of synth and drum machines.

HOW PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS GAME SHOULD YOU BE IN RELATION TO FABLE 3’S LACK OF A HUD:  Well, it’s not a game, but it’s a non-game on a Nintendo platform, so how mad can you possibly be at that?

Free Running (Wii)

Gameplay video reveals something like a Wii version of Mirror’s Edge, only without policemen shooting at you or combat segments:

Which would mean it’s about 10 time better than Mirror’s Edge itself.

Okay so this is probably godawful, but it’s rather admirably clean and works well within the confines of the Wii’s hardware, even if the main character slides around like his Pumas were slathered in bacon fat.

HOW PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS GAME SHOULD YOU BE IN RELATION TO FABLE 3’S LACK OF A HUD:  Sure Wii owners get a Mirror’s Edge game, but it’s a Mirror’s Edge with some lumpy looking European dude instead of … whatever the name of the chick was in ME.

Ragnarok Online DS (It’s right there in the name!)

While  a handheld version of a PC MMO sounds like a horrible idea doomed to failure, this actually looks more like a Korean MMO version of Phantasy Star Zero, only with 2d sprites instead of clunky DS polys.  Also, bunnygirls:

So it can’t be all that bad.

HOW PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS GAME SHOULD YOU BE IN RELATION TO FABLE 3’S LACK OF A HUD:  I can’t be mad at bunnygirls or 2d sprites, but this game is probably worthless without other people to play with.

PopCap Arcade Hits Volume 2 (somehow not XBLA where it should have stayed)

This is important to the three people in the world who are simultaneously interested in Peggle yet have no online access.  Just be aware that you’re paying twenty bucks for Peggle and two other games you’ll never touch– you can probably get Peggle and two other games you’re actually interested in playing for the same price off Steam or directly off of XBLA.  I wouldn’t’ know, I find the idea of paying money for Flash games appalling.  Also since this isn’t Alchemy I don’t care about it.

HOW PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS GAME SHOULD YOU BE IN RELATION TO FABLE 3’S LACK OF A HUD:  I just said, it’s not Alchemy.  Peggle has  all the skill of a pachinko machine without the charm of being surrounded by chain-smoking Japanese salarymen.


HEAVY RAIN:  Still Terrible!

SEGA SONIC RACING ALLSTARS reminds us all that the 90’s was the worst decade

ENDLESS OCEAN this is going to be the worst week ever


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