Game Ranter Banter: Battleship, Double Fine's Kickstarter Success, UMD Passport & GTA V
Next week, the PlayStation Vita First Edition bundle will grace the hands of consumers all across North America. Gamers will turn on the system, and be entranced by its beautiful HD touchscreen. Some will not go to their jobs, the streets will be filled with wrecked cars as drivers crash while playing WipEout 2048. The world will be in shambles, and then aliens will come and enslave us. Because that was Sony's plan all along.
But until that happens, you've got the Game Ranter Banter discussion to look forward to. This week, five of our lovely writers talk about the new Battleship game, based off the movie... based off of the game. In addition, we discuss Double Fine's unprecedented success with Kickstarter, why terrible games can sometimes be the most enjoyable, the UMD Passport's absence outside of Japan, and the release date for Grand Theft Auto V. Without further ado, let's get this started.
Double Fine Productions Has Double Fine Week! (By: Jeff Schille)
What a week for Double Fine! First, Mojang's Marcus "Notch" Persson offered to personally fund Psychonauts 2, then the Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter shattered records and racked up over a million dollars in less than 24 hours. As I write this, the total funds pledged stand at over $1.5 million -- a fairly staggering figure that is, by Tim Schafer's own admission (via his ever entertaining @TimOfLegend twitter feed), greater than the budget for either Day of the Tentacle (which Schafer estimates was "like 600k") or the just-released Double Fine Happy Action Theater.
Needless to say, this is fantastic news for everyone at Double Fine -- but it's more than that. The success of the Kickstarter demonstrates with extreme clarity that, as a group, gamers can be effectively mobilized and are willing to support the work they cherish. Where this will go next is anyone's guess, but for the moment I am extraordinarily proud of our community.
Now, Double Fine, please go make with the Psychonauts 2!
U MaD Bro? (By Anthony Taormina)
When Sony unveiled they would not be bringing the UMDPassport Program, which would allow Vita owners to turn their physical PSP games into digital versions for a nominal fee, to the U.S. it was a chance to let out a collective sigh of relief, but also left gamers extremely disappointed. The inconsistencies between prices for UMD transference were so huge that this was a PR nightmare waiting to happen; yet the program's cancellation doesn't instill any faith in fans.
If Sony is willing to, when the next handheld comes around, leave their antiquated technology in the dust what is to stop that from becoming a pattern? Nintendo has always been good about backwards compatibility, sometimes even to a fault, but that inevitably keeps the fans happy and more importantly rolling with the changes. Sony, instead, just wants gamers to forget.
Hasbro Sinks Its Own Battleship (By Brian Sipple)
A lot of film enthusiasts are pummeling the upcoming Battleship movie for being an unabashed rip-off of Transformers. Honestly, I don’t mind. The movie seems purely designed to make money and never would have happened had it stuck to the actual board game roots. (You’d be hard pressed to make a Monopoly movie too these days without a sequoia in Marvin Gardens breeding a zombie infection.) Rather, it’s Activision and Hasbro’s announcement of an FPS/strategy hybrid based off the film that has me running for the lifeboats.
As a video game (not a movie), Hasbro has an extraordinary opportunity to recreate a faithful strategy adaptation of the board game that occupied many of our childhoods. Instead, they seem to think that the FPS market needs more saturating, and that a compartmentalized (read: gimmicky) ship component will tide fans over. Hopefully they just gave off the wrong first impression, but I can see Battleship chalking up a lot of white pegs when it releases in May.
Terribly Good Fun (By Anthony MolÃ©)
Dark Void and Nier. What do these two games have in common? Aside from a Metacritic average below 70, they're also two of my favorite games this generation. Now, why is that? When we have so many great games this gen, why do I choose to love these "mediocre" pieces? Simple, they have the most heart.
There's something about these games that just makes them stand out to me. Sure the gameplay isn't perfect, but in the case of Nier, it has one of the most beautiful stories ever told in a video game. Dark Void also has this great world, that I just want to learn more about. I can put aside the gameplay issues because I geniuenly love the world I'm playing in. Spark Unlimited's Legendary is the same way - it's gameplay was terrible, but there's so much potential in there that I can't help but enjoy it. I recently put up my review for NeverDead, another game that fits this mould. The gameplay needs work, but there's just this irrefutiable charm in there that I can't deny.
When the dust of this generation settles, no one is going to remember Nier, Dark Void, NeverDead or Legendary. But I will continue to think of them as the games that put a smile on my face more so than the majority of last year's heavy hitters.
When Can Wii Commit Grand Theft Auto?(By Rob Keyes)
At the end of October 2011, just a few months ago and right in the middle of one of the busiest video game release schedules the industry has ever seen, Rockstar Games unveiled the official Grand Theft Auto V logo alongside a countdown leading to the release of the first GTA V trailer.
Why did they unveil the trailer at that time and when would the game come out? Comparing the announcement to previous Rockstar Games unveilings and corresponding release dates led most media outlets to believe the game would be coming this fall, but with Rockstar pushing back the release date of Max Payne 3 to avoid competing against Mass Effect 3 (a la Ghost Recon: Future Soldier), we're now second-guessing ourselves for placing it in our list of most anticipated games of 2012.
Seeing Paramount announce a 2013 release date for Star Trek a few days ago, another one of our most anticipated games of the year, we now wonder if we have another game on our most anticipated list not actually releasing this year. Then again, it could be at E3 2012 where we see some major announcement of GTA V potentially being a launch title for the Wii U, something that was heavily rumored last summer... wouldn't that be epic?
And that concludes this week's Game Ranter Banter As always, let us know what you think of this week's news in the comments, or on Twitter @GameRant and Facebook.com/GameRant and if you have specific topics you'd like any of the team to cover, don't hesitate to ask.