Hey! Look! Listen! #68 – My Goodness, but Hasn’t it Been a While?

The answer to that is yes, yes it has.

Speaking honestly, I’ve been questioning the relevance of Hey! Look! Listen! for the last few months, for a variety of reasons. But then I realized that it’s not just a problem with HLL; all of Riddlethos irrelevant. Also, I occasionally enjoy the opportunity to provide arbitrary commentary on the latest headlines that appear in my Google Reader. I mean, shit, why do I have a website if not for that?

So let’s do this.

The Legend of Zelda is 25 years old yesterday

It’s true! If Ethan and I had been aware of the series’ upcoming birthday, we might have tried to coincide a theme week or something; especially since we’ve never actually had a true “Legend of Zelda Week.” But, that didn’t happen, and honestly it’s likely for the best – since every videogame website and its grandmother will probably be attempting some sort of commemorative feature. For my part, I’ll take the time to say Happy Birthday, Link, and thanks for all the epic adventures.

Also, the original Legend of Zelda is a terrible game, and I refuse to play it even on its 25th birthday. I know it was the “oblivion of its day” (those are the words of  Kotaku and their ongoing celebratory feature) but it sure as hell isn’t anymore. </superfluouscontrarianism>

Have Some Old Metroid Prime Concept Art

Metroid Prime was a game-changer when it was released for Nintendo’s GameCube waaayyy back in 2002. Nine years later (god, it feels weird to write that. Nine years later?)

Anyway. Nine years later, this concept art is still awesome. Especially this one:

If you wanna see all four images, go here. It was found on the blog of concept artist Greg Luzniak.

Concerning the Dead Island Trailer

Much ado has been made of late about the Dead Island cinematic trailer. The thing’s more or less gone viral, and reactions have been remarkably prolific. If you haven’t seen it yet, please to enjoy below.

Slick, right? The unique editing technique, in which we’re guided through the events in reverse order, is quite well done. I can recognize that; but regardless, I’m not blowing my load like the rest of the internet seems to be. Why? Eh, well, I think it’s just a matter of personal taste more than anything else. The trailer tries to make the viewer emotionally invested in a zombie game. Speaking frankly, I can’t quite recall when the Zombie genre managed to bridge the gap between campy fun (at best) and emotionally relevant storytelling. I don’t think it ever did, for that matter. Know why? Because you can’t relate to characters of a Zombie apocalypse, because Zombies aren’t real. And neither are Zombie apocalypses. Despite everyone’s apparent obsession with them.

Hoighty-toightyness aside, Dead Island looks like it could be fun. For those unaware, it’s a game under development by Techland (the developers behind Call of Juarez, for what it’s worth) with a focus on four-player melee combat. So I’m getting an idea that it’s like Left 4 Dead, but with axes instead of guns. Which, like I said before, could be fun. And I’ve never played Call of Juarez, but I know it’s well-liked. And, while I know the world is currently obsessing over a non-representative cinematic trailer, actual gamers will surely appreciate this small batch of screens that recently became available. They don’t look bad themselves, I’ve gotta say.

(Kotaku)

Telltale’s Jurassic Park Game Launching in April

I know I haven’t said a word about it yet, but Telltale’s Back to the Future game is pretty damn good. This leads me to believe that their upcoming adventure game based on Jurassic Park will also be pretty good. It’s being described as “Heavy Rain-esque,” which may scare off some, but certainly not I. In fact, I think it sounds like a delicious combination.

It appears that the game will tell a parallel story to the classic original Jurassic Park film. Which is good; the other two movies didn’t do much aside from cheapen the narrative integrity of the franchise, so I’m glad the game won’t be taking them into consideration.

Oh yeah, and in other news, Telltale is working on a fuckton of new stuff, including videogame adaptations of The Walking Dead and Fables. These guys are on a roll.

Riddles Works on his Back to the Future Review

The speed and ease with which the iPhone can shoot video and upload it to the web is… intriguing, to say the least.

Sony Mehs Platform Exclusivity… Again… #randomcoincidences

Platform exclusives are becoming a thing of the past. I’ve been saying this for some time now. It’s not really a matter of debate, it’s a simple observation: platform exclusive titles aren’t nearly as prolific as they were in the PS2 days. Sony, in particular, seems well aware of this. About a year ago at this time (17 February 2010 to be precise), their Senior VP of Developer Relations had this to say on the subject:

What is going to be the driving force is either exclusive ad campaigns, like the Madden campaign, or exclusive content like we had with Batman. The PS3 version outsold the 360 version, and what we’ve said to developers is: ‘if you take advantage of what the PS3 can deliver – more content on the Blu-ray disc, better graphics, being able to get more of what the player wants onto the disc – you’re going to see those sales translate.

If anything’s certain, Sony’s made good on their word when it comes to platform-exclusive content; whether it’s bonus missions (ala Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood) or an entire game (Like the original Medal of Honor being included with the recent reboot, or Dead Space Extraction on the special edition of Dead Space 2) Sony’s been actively pursuing the exclusive content angle as an alternative to fully exclusive titles.

Earlier today, Sony’s brand manager for MLB 11: The Show had something remarkably familiar to say:

We work very closely with our third parties publishers, not necessarily to lock down games exclusively, but to lock up exclusive parts of games.

A good example is Batman: Arkham Asylum, where you could only play as the Joker on PlayStation 3.

When you make a title exclusive, you limit its promotional power; we don’t want to do that. We want games to be as big as possible — it’s great for the industry. However, we want to make sure that you play it on the best system possible, so we like to take parts of games and make them exclusive to the PlayStation system.

To me it’s just a funny coincidence that two Sony reps would say (essentially) the same thing, during the same timeframe, two years in a row. It illustrates a point, though. I think it’s safe to say that the platform-exclusive is a thing of the past – for now.

I can’t believe I actually watched this thing

I mean, I appreciate the point the dude is trying to make – specifically, that Treyarch’s online support for the PS3 versions of their games, such as Black Ops, is rather lacking – but did it really need to be almost eight minutes long? And more importantly, did I have to watch it all the way through? The answer to the first could be somewhat nebulous, but the answer to the second is a definitive “no.” So… why did I watch it? And… why am I posting it here?

Alright, I think it’s about time to wrap this one up. I could ramble on for a bit, but I’ve hit 1300 words, which is quite substantial.

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9 Responses to “Hey! Look! Listen! #68 – My Goodness, but Hasn’t it Been a While?”

  1. Ethos says:

    Yeah, well 16 colossi in a forbidden land don’t exist, but I still got emotionally involved.

  2. Andogo says:

    Do you feel sorry for the little girl? If you do, you are crazy. The girl isn’t real and killing her is much funner.

    Oh wai…

    I have to say though, does anyone really ever care about the human element in a zombie/alien game? I mean, Dead Space? Did anyone care about his girlfriend? Did anyone care about Dom’s wife? Uh… everyone on Reach? All the other people who didn’t get picked in Mass Effect 1 & 2? Like Dr. Chakwas? Or what’s his face’s little girl in Dead Rising 2?

    Then again, I don’t know when the last time I got emotionally involved was. I get worked up over IIDX. Does that count?

  3. SiliconNooB says:

    Oliver refuses to identify, unwilling to admit that he’s just as dead inside.

    -Honestly though, the trailer didn’t really have an emotional impact on me, just an artistic one, I thought it was subtle, refined and clever. 30 seconds is not enough time to grow emotionally attached to any character, yet I challenge Oliver to play Dead Rising 2 and not become emotionally invested in Chuck’s daughter.

  4. 7thCircle says:

    Aside from the most immersive RPGs like what Black Isle/Obsidian and Bethesda put out, it’s really hard for a video game to affect me emotionally. It’s easy for a well written book to pull at my heart strings (which, for the record, I do have!), and television and movies can too although much less often.

    That said, while I didn’t care about Dom’s wife, I thought the cinematography in the cutscene where he finds her made it surprisingly touching and sad, although if you play games with 5 drugged up dudes in the room with you and no one’s slept in 30 hours you might not notice. But no, 99% of the time I don’t care about characters or situations in video games and they have no emotional impact on me, especially in games with generic, personality-ness PCs with generic, personality-less friends/daughters/wives/squadmates who are fighting aliens/zombies for their survival. The scene with Dom’s wife was a major exception. The colossi had more emotive expressions than your standard PC in a shooter or action game, and you spent longer looking at their faces too. Before murdering them, of course.

    I’m with Oliver that it would take some unprecedented work by a developer to get me emotionally involved in a zombie game, but I assume he’s being intentionally silly when he says one can’t get emotionally involved in something when it isn’t real. The problem is zombies have an undying campy feel to them that a developer would have to work damn hard to make you forget. You can play Mad World during a scene of zombies killing and eating children, and I’ll still giggle. It doesn’t work.

  5. SiliconNooB says:

    Dom’s wife did much to ruin GoW2 for me, by the time I reached her I was just resenting the hell out of her for robbing me of the big dumb guy banter to which I was so looking forward …

  6. 7thCircle says:

    Play Army of Two. Gayest big dumb guy banter ever. Army of Two 2 was ruined for me when they took out all the butt slaps and butch/bitch “let’s work together to solve this” scenes.

  7. SiliconNooB says:

    It sucks when they try to turn something camp and boorish into something serious …

  8. Ethos says:

    Agreed. The other GoW being a great case. The ending to that series SUUUUCCCCKED

  9. SiliconNooB says:

    You can have Kratos wear a monocle, but that doesn’t make him Shakespeare …

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