Posted by Asif on June 16th, 2011
It’s the week we’ve all been eagerly waiting for. So, let’s jump right into it, so we can let the crushing disappointment of inevitable failure wash over everything and, when the tide rolls back, take old Uncle Duke out to sea.
Duke Nukem Forever (6/14/11)
If the demo was any indication, welcome to one of the most boring experiences of the year. That’s not what I was expecting, honestly. Sure, I was more than willing to call out Duke Nukem Forever for being terrible even before I’d played any of it, but boring? It’s a game about shooting aliens in the face. What kind of mixed up world are we living in that a tried and true formula (bullets plus aliens equals awesome) can be completely screwed up? I’m really confused right now and a little scared.
David and I, displaying the same some sort of disregard for our free time that Charles Bronson had for human life in Death Wish, have already purchased the game. I mean, I bought the game after playing the demo. Is this a sign of mental illness? It’s like I purposely want to write angry tirades to post on a website. I don’t know if this kind of self destructive behavior has a name yet, but I’d like to propose it be called Stupiditis. It ends with “itis” because it sounds like an actual medical condition. It starts with “stupid” because I’m an idiot.
Alice: Madness Returns (6/14/11)
This is a sequel to American McGee’s Alice, based vaguely on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and more specifically on American McGee’s creepy dream journal. The biggest improvement I can see from the onset is that the title isn’t prefaced by “American McGee’s”. This is great because after a decade I’m still not sure who or what an American McGee is. Is this a real person who has something to do with developing mediocre games or is it a lesser known Lewis Carroll character? At the very least, it’s a mark of lowered expectations. So, good for the developers of this game for raising the bar and ditching the American McGee label.
Actually, I’ve just been informed by our fact checking departments, Google and Wikipedia, that American McGee is a human male. He’s running a game development sweatshop in Shanghai to build his games, staffed entirely by prisoners of Qingpu Prison. The prisoners are paid in the only currency worth anything in the Shanghai prison system, WoW gold. This is a great mercy to the prisoners, who are usually paid entirely in brutal sodomy. Now, they can trade their WoW gold for cigarettes and the right to not be brutally sodomized. I don’t know what effect the gratitude of Chinese prisoners has on game development, but look for Shanghainese McGee’s Alice: Madness Returns on a store shelf near you. The guy who designed the menu system may have killed a man, so that should be good.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (6/14/11)
If you’re worried about spoiling the plot of the latest Transformers movie, it’s probably best to wait a few weeks before playing this game. Just kidding. This game has the same plot as most videogames: you must defeat evil because the fate of the world depends on it. Violence ensues. That’s also the plot of the Transformers movie, which might be a pretty good plot for a videogame. People seem willing to watch a movie (a medium entirely dependent on storytelling) with a threadbare plot to the tune of several hundred million dollars. To some this might indicate that games have nothing to worry about with their collectively awful tales of world saving nonsense. But actually, game developers should learn what people in the film industry learned a long time ago: if something in your project sounds like it might be from a Michael Bay film, try harder. Using the Michael Bay Metrics, we could save a lot of pain and suffering for a lot of us playing your awful, awful games.
Wii Play: Motion (6/13/11)
As much flack as Nintendo gets for putting out these mini-game collections, it’s hard to fault them because these things print money. Many people, who prefer to not shoot aliens/robots/thugs in the face repeatedly, love these things. Nintendo has successfully combined the unbelievable, but apparently natural feeling of not wanting to shoot anyone at all, with the body’s desire to move around rather than decay in a chair. Take it from someone who can lift his body weight without it crashing down on his larynx, there’s room for these crappy-crap games. Sean, “T-Rex Arms” for short, doesn’t agree with that assessment. When I asked Sean about Wii Play his reaction was to start wildly waving his underdeveloped, fetus-like arms and yelling a lot of expletives, before collapsing into a sweaty heap to catch his breathe from all the physical exertion. I carefully considered his rhetoric, then responded, “Good point.” So, Nintendo, you’re on notice.