Game Ranter Banter: Zelda, Spike VGA Problems, Post-Launch Games Support & MGS: Revengeance'Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the internet, not a writer was stirring, except for the five people who contributed to the Game Ranter Banter. Okay, so maybe that last part didn't rhyme, but we'll make up for it with some awesome opinions on the latest gaming news! This week the Game Rant crew discusses the future of The Legend of Zelda, the Spike Video Game Awards, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and how long developers should support their games post-launch. Join us an share your thoughts!
Two Visions of Zelda's Future (by Jeff Schille)This week saw two potentially important announcements about the future of the Legend of Zelda. First, longtime series producer Eiji Aonuma broke the news that, going forward, every Zelda game can be expected to include motion controls, as in Skyward Sword. For the record, I am deeply enjoying my time with Skyward Sword. That said, it is the game's design that hooked me, not its control scheme. Furthermore, if Link's Wii U debut is set to feature the same controls (and possibly the same controller) as Skyward Sword, what use -- if any -- will be made of the system's tablet controllers? More exciting to me is Shigeru Miyamoto's suggestion that Retro Studios might be a good choice to collaborate on future Zelda games. I couldn't agree more. From the first-person perspective of the Metroid Prime games to the kart customization in Mario Kart 7, Retro has shown an uncanny ability to move the design of Nintendo's classic franchises gently forward without abandoning what made those games beloved in the first place -- and they are already working on a Wii U game. Was Miyamto actually dropping a hint? I can't wait to find out.
An Honor Just To Be Nominated (by Anthony Taormina)There’s no escaping the fact that the Spike Video Game Awards, which aired a week ago, have become less of an awards show and more of a trailer reveal show. Everyone has done their fair amount of harping on the event for being too mainstream, or too out of touch with gamers, but I don’t think anyone wants them to go away, certainly not me. For as much as I dislike the VGAs, I also think that their misguided approach delivers some very important gaming reveals. It might not be of the caliber of, say, an E3 press conference, but the folks at Spike, or maybe just Geoff Keighley, sure know how to secure some fantastic exclusives. Maybe one day the VGAs will clean up their act, and we will have the best of both words — a serious awards show like GDC or D.I.C.E. and a fun place for reveals like E3 — but until that time I’d rather suffer through the tea-bagging and fruit slicing, if it means some cool trailers.
Support Gunner (by Anthony MolÃ©)It recently came to my attention that outside of server maintenance, Zipper Interactive would no longer be supporting SOCOM 4. Many people find this disheartening, especially because SOCOM 4 came out in April 2011 - only seven months ago. But I have to ask, don't we really have ourselves to blame? Many of the games I play on PC such as Killing Floor and Counter-Strike Source are routinely updated by their developers, but this reason is of course that despite being older title they still have a huge player base. This sadly isn't a characteristic of console games; ever try playing a non-Call of Duty game a few years after its release? Yea, it's pretty barren. Can we really expect developers to want to keep supporting their game if a year - or in some cases months - later everyone's left to the next big thing? Probably not, it's just not financially viable. Was the dropping of support for SOCOM 4 premature? I'd say yes, but then again I haven't played the title to see how popular it still is. This seems like a problem that can't just be resolved by one side; players need to keep coming back to console games, and developers need to give them a reason to keep coming back. Both seem dependent on each other and unless one side gives this lack of support will just become common place, if it hasn't already.
Splitting The Series (by Dwayne Holder)Being a long time Metal Gear Solid fan I always had a solid interest (no pun intended) in Metal Gear Solid Rising. A MGS game that focused on action rather than stealth intrigued me. However, I feel that Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance may be a bit much, and I know I'm not alone on this. Kojima and Platinum Games probably thought the same thing, which is why they dropped the 'Solid' and placed MGR: Revengeance outside of the timeline. I'm not saying it won't be a good game, it just won't be a true Metal Gear game, one that myself and many fans have become used to. After viewing the trailer at the SpikeVGAs I kinda wish the game was more like the original gameplay footage we saw when the title was first announced at E3 2010. That seemed more in tune to the style of MGS and what longtime fans of the series would enjoy, rather than the over-the-top hack'n slash action. I wonder if Kojima has ever considered a prequel with Grey Fox? Having a new developer, with a new style, work on a Metal Gear title could be very good for the series, and could lead to more awesome Metal Gear games. That is, if Revengeance does well when it launches.
Spike Video Game Atrociousness (by Rob Keyes)2010 marked the first year since it began in 2003 where the Spike Video Game Awards actually dropped the presentations of some awards to focus more time on celebrity appearances, on-stage gimmicks and trailer reveals. This year's VGAs, as we all know, took that to an entirely new level in the worst way possible. Barely any of the awards were handed out to people in the industry and more time was spent with non-gaming-celebs like LL Cool J and one of the Jonas brothers than gaming celebs. Worse, Felicia Day was given more time to eat cupcakes off a conveyer belt, to jump into walls and to slice fruit with a sword than all of the video game industry people in total. What the hell is this show even about? It's become such an embarrassment, that it makes the industry look bad. We as gamers don't enjoy watching what it's become and we certainly can't recommend it to non-gamers. So, Spike and Geoff Keighley, pick a direction and go with it. If it's an awards show, show some respect to the nominees and winners and take the categories seriously (Arkham City as best Xbox 360 game while game of the year winner Skyrim isn't? RAGE as best FPS?). If you want to focus on premieres, drop the awkward gimmicks and make it a show about premiering and announcing new games.
ConclusionWe hope you enjoyed the new format of Game Ranter Banter - and our new holiday-themed banner! This week's participants:
- Jeff Schille (@HakenGaken)
- Anthony Taormina
- Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes)
- Dwayne Holder (@Dwayne236)
- Anthony Mole (@AnthonyMole)