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Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 9.7.07

posted on September 10th, 2007 by jay

Molyneux takes a shocking stand – his company is more influential than its competitor
In a recent interview, designer Peter Molyneux said that Microsoft’s Live will be more impactful than the Wii remote. Molyneux was clearly kidding – would anyone use the non-word “impactful” in a serious statement?

Pretend he was serious. Is Live more influential than motion sensing controls? This is not easy to answer, partly because it’s comparing apples to gypsies, partly because the Wii is very young and partly because in some form, both things being compared have already existed for years. At its base level, Live is the internet. Should we thank Al Gore for being more impactful on games than Microsoft? If that’s too far a leap, what about X-Band on the Genesis or SNES? Surely Seganet was impactful as all get out.

OMG Nintendo copied Hasbro!

The motion controlled Star Wars Lightsaber Battle game Hasbro released in 2005 is more fun than most Wii games. Then there is that Japanese sword slashing arcade game from a few years back (that narrows it down). The Wii may also drop off the face of the Earth in a few months. It’s unlikely, but if we are to believe Sony fans (and some developers like Dave Perry), as soon as good PS3 games come out the 10 million people with Wiis will suddenly realize Wii Bowling is boring. Grandmothers worldwide will then throw out their Wiis and spend $560 on a PS3 and Final Fantasy XIII.

On a forum I visit (hint – not agreeing with people will result in a ban, speaking about certain sites will result in a ban, posting old news will result in a ban, using the wrong words will result in a ban, being banned will result in a ban) posters have decided that sales numbers and influence are unrelated. I’d have mentioned how asinine this is but then I’d have been banned. If the Wii continues to outsell the 360 then it won’t be able to help being influential. And if Nintendo’s plan of making non-gamers into hardcore gamers pans out, motion controls will have been pretty impactful. Even if their other plan of destroying the games industry pans out, the Wii remote will have been influential.

Interview with Lair director
Besides saying funny things that have been covered on every other site (“The control works most of the time and that’s pretty good.”), Julian Eggebrecht mentioned a few things that made me think. First off, he noted that Wii Sports received some bad reviews despite possibly being the defining game of this generation. His point is valid – motion controlled games seem to have a harder time getting good scores with traditional reviews, frequently because of sloppy controls (though also frequently because shovel-ware is generally terrible).

With the recent announcement of a new 2D Worms game for the Wii, I stopped to contemplate how motion controls would fit such a game. Poorly, was my conclusion. But perhaps it is multi player games that looser controls work best for. If everyone misses with half of their homing Pigeons then there is no unfair advantage; we all suck. It’s single player games that become unfair and frustrating when the controls don’t work for you but do for the computer.

What if reviewers are right and most of the time isn’t good enough when controlling Wii games (and Lair)? The hardware seems to limit the accuracy of the Wii remote, meaning it may be impossible to program a game that has much better sword fighting than Red Steel, or much better boxing than the Wii Sports Boxing. If the Wii remote must be used as either a pointer or a general motion sensor that mostly picks up on large swipes and doesn’t match them very closely to in game action (think Twilight Princess), will the Wii experiment be a failure? Most people may disagree, but the Wii 2 needs better motion sensing technology more than faster processors and extra RAM. Wii 2 should be the Wii with two Wiimotes duct taped together.

I have read Wii Boxing is good if you play it the way it’s supposed to be played, which is much closer to chess than boxing.

New Street Fighter movie planned
Without the American-as-apple-pie Jean-Claude Van Damme playing US soldier Guile, this film just won’t work. This second attempt at a Street Fighter movie comes from the director of Doom, a movie bold enough to include a first person action scene (it was just like playing the game, only I wasn’t controlling anything and felt sick). Despite featuring top notch acting talent like the Rock, Doom was more or less as stupid as an Uwe Boll film. It’s a shame Boll only hires B grade actors like Ben Kingsley.

[Thanks to Joystiq for pointing out the Doom connection]

FEAR fans pick stupid name for sequel
Project Origin will be the name of the FEAR sequel. For the record, let’s look at some other games with the word Project in their title:

Project Storm Hammer
Project Justice
Project Firestart
Project Hacker
Project Eden
Project SWARM
Project Zoo
Journeyman Project
Project Gotham Racing
Space Shuttle Project
Quiz Project Q
Heat Project
Hill Project
Project Delta
Project Earth
Project Fashion
Project Nomads
Project Paradise
Project: Snowblind
School Project
The Dark Project
The Moon Project
Project Overkill
Raiden Project
Project Horned Owl
Project Altered Beast
Project Arms
Tony Hawk’s Project 8
Project HAMMER

Project Runway

Origin isn’t as slutty as Project, but still gets around:

Origin of Species
Dracula: Origin
Ys Origin
Ultima Online: Origin
Baten Kaitos Origins
Condemned Criminal Origins
Silent Hill Origins
Final Fantasy Origins

In conclusion, Project Origin is a terrible and generic name. Thus, it is entirely fitting as a sequel to a game called FEAR, though I’d have gone with Blood Warrior.

Aerosmith a main focus of Guitar Hero 4
Aerosmith sucks just about as much as it’s possible to suck. Besides the song Dream On (and possibly the album it was on) they have only created shitty music. This is an important point, so I want everyone to pay attention – being a drug addict and/or manwhore does not make you hardcore (singing about how tough life is on the streets and how you’ll never forget your roots makes you hardcore). Aerosmith are the bad boys of rock and roll similarly to how Boy George is the rebel of Synth Rock or Barry Manilow is the Shaft of ballads. Steven Tyler’s biggest accomplishment was proving you could be disgusting and still produce beautiful offspring by sleeping with enough models. (Liv’s mom is apparently a groupie and a skank, having slept with: Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Rod Stewart, Elvis Costello, and Jimmy Page. This explains why Liv was born with both syphilis and gonorrhea.)

The silver lining of this story is that people who don’t have atrocious taste in music may be able to ignore Guitar Hero 4 entirely, focusing instead on buying $500 Rock band and downloading extra Guitar Hero 3 songs at $23 a pop.

4 Comments

  1. christian said on September 10, 2007:

    I think Project Snowblind is the only game on that list where the word actually has some meaning – it was intended to be some sort of sequel to Deus Ex: Invisible War (would that make it Deus Ex 3) and instead kind of evolved into its final form. In that sense it really was a very crazy project that somehow landed as a retail game. The rest seem to have no reason for the word except to sound cool. Great, PGR was the first Xbox racing game. You’re on the fourth one now.

  2. Matt said on September 10, 2007:

    That Doug Perry quote, where he says the wii will die out, is pretty retarded. He bases it on the fact that all of his most wanted titles are not on the Wii. Yeah, well, Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Kart, the next Pikmin and a whole mess of other games are on my most wanted list. He used the worst kind of logic when making that statement.

    But in defense of his inane babble, I have seen this general disgust towards Nintendo now that the most popular titles are non-games. Most designers would rather make a game like BioShock or something, but with more money going straight to Brain Age or Nintendogs, most publishers are starting to think about that market instead of focusing on the gamers of old. Kind of like when Russian nuclear engineers got fired when they stopped that program. Most designers, if they don’t want to make super innovative titles, will hate the wii in some form or another.

    Oh, and my suggestion for the FEAR sequel name was Apathy: Fatal Rebirth. I know the second part of the title screwed me, but I really liked Apathy.

  3. christian said on September 10, 2007:

    They should have just named the FEAR sequel “Are you afraid of the dark”

    Oh wait…

  4. pat said on September 10, 2007:

    my roommate actually bought that hasbro light saber game at a yard sale or something for two dollars about a year ago. surprisingly fun and pretty responsive. the motion controls usually worked (executing special moves could be tough) and there was some semblance of a plot. for a two dollar investment its definitely worth it.

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