We’ve decided to resurrect the Game Ranter Banter – a once retired, weekly feature that allows five journalists currently writing for Game Rant to voice their personal opinions on several different developments from throughout the gaming industry. Whether this pertains to news, our take on a recently released game, or just a brief overview of our thoughts in general, this is a way for our staff to share our personal opinions and interact with the Game Rant readers.
Without any further ado, let’s get underway!
I’d Kill for a New Conker Game
By: Riley Little
This past week brought with it the news that a multiplayer-only sequel of sorts to Conker’s Bad Fur Day was once in the works at Rare before being scrapped, while the planned content for Conker’s Big Reunion in Project Spark has also been cancelled. Evidently, it’s been an incredibly bad week for fans of the foul-mouthed squirrel, which begs the question of whether or not Rare’s loveable rodent will return in his own game ever again.
Fans have been begging to see the mature-rated mascot make a proper return for what has felt like an eternity, with the series’ last core outing hitting the original Xbox in the form of the remake Conker: Live & Reloaded over 10 years ago. Now in 2015, there’s still ample demand among gamers to finally see the character reclaim his former glory in something worthwhile – sadly, there doesn’t appear to be anyone willing to take on the task.
With Rare hard at work on Sea of Thieves for the Xbox One, it’s clear that the studio is too busy at this point to take on the 3D platformer. Admittedly, it’s possible that the creators of Conker’s Bad Fur Day can get working on the project following Sea of Thieves’ release, but there’s already a long list of other possible franchises the firm can resurrect – spanning Banjo-Kazooie to Perfect Dark.
The arrival of Rare Replay has me itching to see Conker make a come back, but at this point it’s looking like fans still have quite a wait ahead of them.
I Am Part of the Problem with Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
By: Brad Jones
Of the many issues that mar Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 — stay tuned for the GR review to hear about the rest — the fact that it adheres to the structure of the series’ fourth installment rather than the three preceding titles is perhaps the most disappointing.
Back when THPS4 released, I was among a majority of players who felt that open-world was the way to go. The strict two-minute time limits of earlier games had always left me cold, so I’d never been able to enjoy the series all that much. The two Underground games were even more committed to this decision, and seemed all the better for it.
However, after Underground 2 I began to lose interest in the franchise. It wasn’t until university that I really revisited it, when copies of THPS2 and THPS3 found their way into the flat I was sharing with several others at the time. Myself and two others became engrossed in these games, far beyond even my enjoyment of THPS4.
It is only now that I understood why the two-minute time limits were so important. The mission structure of the early games in the series is magnificent, and it’s purely because you’re constrained by a timer. Plus, it makes for a great experience when you’re familiar with the game, as speed runs through each level are the natural test for your skills — nailing several objectives in one run feels terrific.
I wish I’d had this revelation earlier. More importantly, I wish Robomodo had had this revelation, too.
EA’s Netflix for Games Doesn’t Sit Right with Me
By: Jasmine Henry
I am a self-admitted serial games hoarder. Paying an affordable price for a giant library of games that I can dip into whenever is wonderful; it’s why I’ve downloaded almost everything from PlayStation Plus since it launched and it’s why the idea of a Netflix-for-games appeals so much to me. But why is it that EA’s take on gaming Netflix, which leaked last week via a survey, just doesn’t sit right?
Much of it is down to the idea that Bethesda, Activision, EA, Ubisoft and Take-Two, despite being mega-publishers with more gaming clout than a clone army of Hideo Kojimas, would only be willing to add (at most) two games to the platform each month.
24 new games a year at $14.99 a month would be ludicrous on its own, a foolish business practice sure to shove gamers into the waiting arms of piracy. But when compared to the staggering amount of media that every other streaming service (from PS Plus to Games With Gold to Hulu and Netflix) adds annually, it’s daylight robbery.
Admittedly, the idea of games being added weeks after release is almost enough to ease the financial burden but in the holiday season, two games a month sounds even more crazy than before. Yes, the service is in its concept stage, but if publishers want to get their hands on our streaming money then they’re going to have to try harder than this.
Konami Plans on Meddling with Metal Gear
By: Robert Gordon
It’s not often that fans of a franchise are worried when they hear that there are more games from the series incoming, but that’s exactly what happened when Konami announced that Metal Gear would live on without Hideo Kojima. It’s easy to understand why, too. Not only is Metal Gear one of the series that typifies a game with a director’s fingerprints all over it, but Konami has also been steadily losing its reputation as a trusted publisher over recent years.
As a big Silent Hill fan, I think it would be a real shame to see Metal Gear go the way of the horror series, with a variety of disappointing sequels and side projects that recently culminated in the pachinko machine fiasco. Given that Silent Hill was even less reliant on an individual voice than Metal Gear, it’s hard to see how any future games in the stealth franchise can have that same unique feel.
Unfortunately, it seems much more likely that we will see Metal Gear follow a disappointing path of spin-off titles, reboots, and sequels of diminishing returns. It’s very difficult to see Metal Gear keep up its current identity – unless Kojima currently has a protege at Konami ready to take up the mantle.
Don’t Neglect Single Player Campaigns
By: Boston Blake
As we move farther into the current-gen cycle of consoles, it’s becoming abundantly clear that the bar has been raised for the quality of games created by developers. Thanks to the potential for expansive open worlds, improved graphics, and more immersive storytelling, gamer expectations are growing for game studios.
That’s why I think it’s time for developers like Activision and Electronic Arts to stop including single-play (or even co-op) campaigns with their multiplayer first-person shooter blockbusters.
This became abundantly clear after I watched the recently released story trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. I was underwhelmed by the fact that Treyarch and Activision have once again spent time on a 5-6 hour campaign that will do little more than provide a run-and-gun opportunity against AI enemies. And chances are, the handful of gamers who complete the campaign will walk away disappointed by another over-the-top action experience that provided little in the way of compelling storytelling.
I think what’s happened is developers like CD Projekt Red have shown what a high-quality story-based game should be, and raised gamers’ expectations in the process. This makes it hard for developers who create top-tier multiplayer games to live up to these new expectations.
With that in mind, I think it’s time for developers to recognize what they’re good at, and do that well, instead of trying to tack on features very few people want. Activision and Electronic Arts, let the storytellers handle the engaging, compelling narratives, and you focus instead on creating the fun, fast-paced PvP action we all know and love.
That concludes this week’s Game Ranter Banter! What did you think with our takes on recent events in gaming? Get at us in the comments.