Welcome to another edition of the Game Ranter Banter. Five writers take a few minutes out of their busy schedules to give their opinions on some of the most compelling and controversial recent news stories of the game industry. This week, we discuss a possible misstep by Nintendo, the evolution of DLC, High Moon Studios’ sophomore effort, Master Chief’s facelift and last but not least, the return of the long forgotten King.
Our readers are as knowledgeable and opinionated as our own writers, so here is the place for all of you to discuss these stories as well as any others that may have piqued your interest throughout the week.
A Console for One?
Nintendo has subsequently claimed that the Wii U could, technically, support more than one touchscreen controller, but it won’t due to cost issues. Miyamoto has gone so far as to suggest that it might be easier for multiple players to use 3DS systems as additional controllers, while Iwata insists that Nintendo will not ask gamers “to buy multiple Wii U Controllers.” Really? Would a second Wii U controller actually cost more than a $250 handheld?
It’s great that the Wii U will support the current Wii controllers, and I have no doubt that Nintendo will deliver some innovative, engaging games using the Wii U/Wii Remote controller combo. But at the end of the day, the player with the Wii U controller will be the only one getting the true Wii U experience — and that may be the hardest sell of all.
Season Pass DLC The New Thing?
Lately, a few companies have begun implementing a “season pass” kind of feature for DLC. Not a bad deal. Pay one flat rate and get all the available DLC for the game and possibly all the other DLC to come? In the kind of economy we live in and the kind of costs that add up for games, having deals like this come along are certainly highly appealing. Rockstar has implemented the feature with L.A. Noire with the Rockstar Pass and Mortal Kombat has recently joined up, offering their own season pass feature.
Bulk DLC deals aren’t something that’s new, but it seems like they’re getting more publicized than they used to. Call of Duty Elite is also one of those services that’s being offered, where the player pays for the premium addition of the service and receives all DLC with it. That is a MONTHLY payment, however. The Rockstar Pass or Mortal Kombat offered a one time payment and boom, you were set.
Obviously, some companies, perhaps Activision, may not enact something as gracious as a flat rate for all existing DLC for a Call of Duty title, with the exception of a Game of the Year edition or something. It’s hard to forget that the videogame industry is all about making money, and what better way to do than offer DLC?
One Shall Rise, One Shall Fall
This past week saw the release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, a promising movie tie-in that could have been the exception to the rule, but ended up proving it. There was a lot of hope resting on Dark of the Moon, most of which was based on High Moon Studios’ success with War for Cybertron, but at the end of the day the developer came up short. Some will sight a shorter development cycle while others will claim the movie tie-in is cursed.
But what’s more important to take from this whole situation is the fact that a game’s success depends largely on its developer’s willingness to make an engaging experience, not the property. Here were two games, based on the same property, one a success and the other a critical failure. It clearly wasn’t High Moon’s priority to tell this story with these characters, and it shows.
Duke Nukem… For Never
This week may be remembered by many as one filled with details from E3 2011, with no shortage of massive news on immensely popular franchises, but for me, it will just as vividly be remembered for the tragic launch of Duke Nukem Forever. Like many gamers out there who had some of their first run-ins with mature or rude content in a video game with Duke Nukem 3D, I’ve been waiting over a decade in hopes that the sense of humor and attitude that seemed so unque to my teenage mind way back when would get another chance to see the light of day.
Alas, it was not meant to be. Duke Nukem Forever was given its reprieve by Gearbox Software, but all the enthusiasm of a dedicated development team couldn’t change the fact that the game has fallen well short of my hopes. There are very few games which get a second chance after being counted out by nearly everyone in the industry, and to see the story of Duke Nukem Forever end the way it has is just plain heartbreaing.
It’s a safe bet that this is the end of Duke Nukem once and for all, and the fact that former fans like myself will now have to grow up is just plain depressing. You’re still the King in my books Duke.
343 Industries Goin’ Toad
I really want to take a moment and praise 343 Industries for their decision to keep Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary’s gameplay true to the original. There was every opportunity to go and take the game in their own direction, but thankfully 343 had the foresight to ignore those who feel the first game’s combat was broken in favor or something more important: staying true to the source material.
If 343 had decided to change things up, how would that look in the eyes of the gaming public? If changes weren’t well received they could be facing a great deal more adversity when releasing Halo 4. Staying true to the original is the safest bet, and a surefire way to keep happy those who will be most vocal about the game. You simply shouldn’t alter a masterpiece. If anything, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace taught us long ago that a face-lift is meaningless if you destroy what made the original memorable.