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by Ethos

Hey! Look! Listen! #59 – I Miss My Desk

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Aaaand I’m back.

Man, I really should stop pulling this frequent disappearance act. But (sadly) Riddlethos doesn’t pay the bills. And it was my birthday week, and the only present I received was the gift of laziness, which I gave to myself.

As for the title of this post, it’s in reference to my super-awesome desk that I received as a birthday present some years back. Right now, though, it’s collecting dust in a storage unit. Why? Because I don’t have an apartment, as you all know. Sitting on the bed with my legs wrapped around my laptop is not the most ideal position for typing. But I suppose it beats sitting in a dirty Murfreesboroan alleyway.

(Actually, I don’t think we have many dirty alleyways in Murfreesboro. If any.)

That aside, let’s see what trifles have managed to catch my fancy in the world of videogames.

THQ Feels Cheated When You Buy Their Games Used

Aw. Poor THQ.

A growing trend amongst videogame publishers of today is an outspoken disdain for the sales of used games, and for the penniless sots who purchase them. It started with EA and their “Project Ten Dollar” initiative, which charged used game buyers an extra ten bucks to access DLC and online play. THQ quickly followed suit, revealing last May that UFC Undisputed 2010 will come with a one-time use code for DLC and online play. Those who buy it used will have to buy a fresh code. Seeing that a lot of people purchased games used, there’s been more than a few disgruntled fans. I mean come on, everyone picks up a used game here and there – some of us honestly could use the five or ten bucks it saves us, y’know?

Well, THQ’s Corey Ledesma has come forward and revealed to CVG precisely how the company feels towards said purchasers of used games. Long and short, they really don’t give a flying fuck:

I don’t think we really care whether used game buyers are upset because new game buyers get everything. If used game buyers are upset they don’t get the online feature set I don’t really have much sympathy for them.

That’s a little blunt, but we hope it doesn’t disappoint people. We hope people understand that when the game’s bought used we get cheated. I don’t think anyone wants that, so in order for us to make strong, high-quality WWE games we need loyal fans that are interested in purchasing the game. We want to award those fans with additional content.

Cheated? Really? THQ thinks that Average Joe Gamer buys a used copy of UFC with the intent of “cheating” them? From where I stand, it looks like the guy just wants to save a few bucks.

I understand that THQ, along with every other publisher in the world, doesn’t see a penny from used game sales. I understand that they may find this frustrating. But to attack used game consumers in such a way, and go so far as to call them cheats (essentially) is way over the line. Sure, they may not be the one lining THQ’s pockets, but gamers who buy used are the ones doing the most spending, playing, living, and dying in this industry. Don’t piss us off.

Especially you, THQ. What the fuck have you released in the last… well, ever that gives you anything close to the right to talk down to consumers?

To conclude, words from Kotaku commenter Grahamillion:

Ironic because I feel cheated when I buy a THQ game.


Some British Politician Wants Medal of Honor Banned, EA Doesn’t Care

Given the sensitive subject matter present in EA’s upcoming Medal of Honor reboot, I’m surprised we haven’t heard more shit like this. I mean sure, games like Modern Warfare have broken the ice when it comes to games representing current military conflicts. But Modern Warfare took the concept and sensationalized it; you weren’t literally running around in the midst of Afghanistan shooting at Taliban members.

However, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing in Medal of Honor, which is pretty ballsy. I mean, sure, I’d say that the world at large is pretty over the fact that we’re still shooting at sand (our current administration has done a pretty good job of not talking about it, if nothing else) but still. To the people over there, at least, it’s still a sensitive thing.

Anyway. That being the case, you’d think that, say, an American politician might have a beef with the game. We’ve got plenty of reactionary, headline-grabbing asshats over here, after all.

But no. The first political figure to make a stink is the fucking British defense secretary. Yeah. British Defense Secretary Liam Fox doesn’t like the fact that, in the game’s multiplayer mode (which allows you to play as the Taliban) one of the maps is set in the Helmland province, where U.K. forces are stationed.

I am disgusted and angry. It’s hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British game. I would urge retailers to show their support for our armed forces and ban this tasteless product.

Funny thing, though: There aren’t any British troops to be killed in Medal of Honor. So, Liam’s argument is totally, entirely, and completely baseless. Sounds like a good time for a retraction, right? Wrong. In the face of these facts, Liam stood by his call to ban the game:

The point remains that part of this game allows you to play the part of the Taliban attacking ISAF troops in the area of central Helmand where British troops are operating.

Christ.

A final hilarious irony is that the British government has swiftly and decisively distanced themselves from Fox’s insane comments. In a statement released to GamesIndustry, the The Department for Culture, Media and Sport had this to say:

Dr Fox was expressing a personal view and we understand why some people might find the subject matter of the game offensive.

There is a ratings system in place which exists to categorise games appropriately, in this case the game in question is rated 18 so should only be sold to, and played by, adults.

There is a clear choice for consumers which they can exercise when making decisions about purchasing videogames.

Right so, right so. Way to save face, U.K.

EA Games president Frank Gibeu also released a statement in retort to Mr. Fox’s assertions, which I was happy to see.  ”At EA we passionately believe games are an artform, and I don’t know why films and books set in Afghanistan don’t get flack, yet [games] do,” Gibeu told Develop.

“Whether it’s Red Badge Of Courage or The Hurt Locker, the media of its time can be a platform for the people who wish to tell their stories. Games are becoming that platform.”

Or at least they’re trying to be. Given the subject matter, Medal of Honor should be scrutinized. But it should be scrutinized by those who play it, and by those who are interested in critiquing its artistic merit, and how well it handles its subject matter. Pointless controversies like this one tend to distract people from this, and to me, that’s an incredible injustice. (Kotaku)

Catherine Looks Like Some Fucked-Up Shit

Seriously, it does. If you haven’t heard, Catherine is an action-adventure game being developed by the minds behind Persona 3 and 4. The story focuses around a man named Vincent (first seen in the PSP port of Persona 3) and a seductive, myserious woman named Catherine. (D’oh!) It also happens to be the first HD title developed in-house by Atlus. (We won’t speak of Operation Darkness, which, while published by Atlus, was developed by Japanese studio Success.) It also happens to be… really weird-looking. This trailer’s a few days old, so you may have seen it. If not, please to enjoy below. It’s worth watching for weirdness alone.

Color me intrigued. I can’t deny that I’m a little disappointed they didn’t announce Persona 5 instead, but Catherine looks like it could be a unique, atmospheric experience. Looks like Atlus is manning up and putting actual sex scenes in their games, which is long overdue.  That, and I’m hoping they’re using the game as a test-run for a Persona 5 engine. Makes sense, right? The game hits Japan in Winter 2010.

QUICKIE: Toshiba to Roll Out Glass-less 3DTVs by Year’s End

This interests me. I’m not going to try to paraphrase the article here, head to Gizmodo for the full story. (Lots of big words and phrases like Integral Imaging System, Motion Parallax, and low-temperature poly-silicon.) Point being, it looks like we may be seeing glass-less 3DTV technology a lot sooner than we might have hoped.

And that’s it. Sorry it’s so late. Today has been… really dumb, to put it lightly. There’s still no new banner, and I apologize for that. I have tomorrow off, so I’ll deal with that shit then. At this point, I really have no idea what it will be. Suggestions, perhaps? A Murfreesboro Week (as suggested by SiliconNoob) is actually pretty tempting, but it might require a little more preparation than I’m able to handle at this point. Still, if the people call for it, I could find a way…?

But seriously. Suggestions. Make them. And comment on the news stories too, or I’ll cry. This is the longest HLL I’ve written in a while.

Love you all,

~Riddles

Hey! Look! Listen! #50

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Damn, we’re so broke, we couldn’t even afford a pretty banner. Sad.

Seriously, though, I am so fucking broke. I guess that comes along with the whole “unemployment” thing, though. Ethos still has a job, from what I understand, but somehow he’s broke too. I told him not to buy that damned piano.

Oh well. SOMEbody out there wants to hire me, right? I just have to find whoever that is. For now, though, let’s set all of my financial woes aside, and talk about videogames.

By the way, as the title implies, this happens to be the fiftieth edition of Hey! Look! Listen! Thank you, thank you; yes, this is a great day for me as well. Anyway. From now on, I’ll be including an issue number in each title.

Check Out this Gears of War 3 Trailer

I’m not terribly experienced with Gears of War. I played through a little over half of the first game, and never got around to the second one. I did enjoy it, though, and I’ll probably finish them both up before Gears 3 descends. This trailer is a bit on the overdramatic side (especially for a game like Gears) but it’s definitely well-done. And there’s a chick in it.

Gears of War 3 is slated for release on April 8, 2011. And, reportedly, it will feature four-player co-op, a step up from the previous games. A ways off, yes, but it’s never too early to launch a hype train. (Kotaku)

Heavenly Sword Developers to Make Devil May Cry 5?

According to some blog entitled “The Silent Chief,” Game Informer’s May issue spills the beans on the future of Capcom’s Devil May Cry franchise. Supposedly, they’re turning to Heavenly Sword developer Ninja Theory to work on the series’ fifth installment. The Game Informer quote is as follows:

Loose Talk has learned that Enslaved isn’t the only game Ninja Theory is working on-we’ve heard that the Cambridge, England developer is being tapped for the next Devil May Cry.

It is not totally unexpected, however; Capcom has said that although it is shying away from Western developer for new IP, it would continue to utilize them for known franchises, which DMC certainly is.

Interesting. I have very little experience with Heavenly Sword, but given the type of gameplay it contains, Ninja Theory isn’t an odd choice by Capcom. Frankly, Devil May Cry is a franchise that needs a major shot in the arm if it’s going to continue on in any respectable form, especially after games such as Bayonetta have so thoroughly defeated it at it’s own game. (Pun intended…?) So, maybe this new creative leadership is exactly what it needs. (Kotaku via The Silent Chief)

Google Looking to Tap the Gaming Business?

Google has their hands in plenty these days, from cutting-edge smartphones to Google Chrome OS Laptops. So, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that they plan to do something in the realm of videogames.

Google recently hired an ex-SCEA employee named Mark DeLoura, who formerly acted as Sony’s manager of developer relations. His official job title at Google is “Developer Advocate.” No details were offered as to what, exactly, he’ll be doing for Google, but it’s safe to assume that it has something to do with games. Speaking to GamaSutra, DeLoura said “I personally feel that Google hiring someone specifically to focus on games is a signal from the company that they recognize the growing importance of games as a medium.”

With the iPhone becoming a more and more legitimate gaming platform, I’m sure Google is looking to follow suit with their line of Android OS smartphones. Then again, it is Google. Why stop there? They could do practically anything. (Gizmodo)

Reggie Calls 3DS Nintendo’s “Next Handheld Platform”

We already knew this, really, but if there was any doubt before, Nintendo’s 3DS is without question a true successor to the Nintendo DS. Not another re-tooling, but a full-fledged successor. In an interview with BusinessWeek, Fils-Aime said that “We have ideas of what we want to bring to the consumer that we can’t do with the current DS model.”

He also says some stuff about how the business is all about software and blah blah blah. Of course, I agree with him, but Nintendo’s kinda lost their right to talk about quality software if you ask me. (VG247)

I Can’t Buy a 3D Television

Well, yes, my lack of money is a factor as well. But, there’s more to it. Samsung is prepping to roll out their line of 3D-enabled TV sets this year, and they all come with a set of “do nots” that will probably make your head spin. Below is their safety warning, in its entirety:

“Children and teenagers may be more susceptible to health issues associated with viewing in 3D and should be closely supervised when viewing these images. Children under the age of six should not view 3D TV.”

“Pregnant women, the elderly, sufferers of serious medical conditions, those who are sleep deprived or under the influence of alcohol should avoid utilising the unit’s 3D functionality.”

“Viewing 3D television may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain and decreased postural stability. It is recommended that users take frequent breaks to lessen the potential of these effects. If your eyes show signs of fatigue or dryness or if you have any of the above symptoms, immediately discontinue use of this device and do not resume using it for at least thirty minutes after the symptoms have subsided.”

“Watching TV while wearing 3D glasses for an extended period of time may cause a headache or fatigue. If you experience a headache, fatigue or dizziness, stop viewing TV and rest.”

More often than not, I have a beer at my side while I’m watching TV, or playing a game. In fact, I usually have several beers at my side. Most of them empty. So, Samsung can either find a way to accommodate me in this regard, or I can take my business elsewhere. (TechRadar)

And that’s that! Hope you enjoyed it. This will probably be a fairly relaxed week at Riddlethos.com, but we could all use a breather now and then, eh?