The Gaming Rant 13
This is an unedited, uncensored re-print of an article originally posted on another site, included here so that fans can read the uncensored versions.
WARNING! This article is intended as a piece of satirical diatribe. Some readers may find the language and themes within extremely offensive.
Contains strong language, drug references and sexual references. This article is satire and does not reflect the views of TheSixthAxis or myself.
Bit of a mixed bag this week, mostly because I’ve spent most of the week staring at odds, spreadsheets and guys running around on grass. In the case of England, they were literally on grass, it is the only reasonable explanation why they moved around like snails in a vat of treacle. So here is a random assortment of stuff that piqued my interest this week.
Bob Kotick wants Call of Duty subscriptions. My initial reaction to this was “Oh really asshole?” But not so fast! For once in his life, the man has actually come up with an idea that has some merit, because this could go one of two ways:
- Those bloody 12-year old American ADD kids with headsets will finally be dissipated to the delight of people who can actually string sentences together without using the word ‘gay’ or ‘n00b’, or:
- Lots of stupid American ADD parents who are too loaded on Ritalin to notice they have children will blindly shell out their hard-earned welfare money to keep those kids subdued so they can continue feeding their pill-popping Dr. Phil-watching habit. The kids will then be further locked into Modern Warfare 2, reducing the risk of a random encounter with one of them in a proper video game.
As it happens, both these results are actually pretty good for us, so logic dictates we have to support the subscription model Bobby has proposed.
You’ve got to love the logic. Lots of people bought our game therefore everyone likes our game therefore everyone will pay for it again. Everyone uses Google too, but imagine the fallout if Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter all suddenly decided to start charging subscriptions. Pretty much instantly, the internet would become a desolate wasteland of neglected services as everyone goes back to doing meaningful things instead.
There is, however, a certain creep of irony to all this. We all know that Activision only makes money on Modern Warfare 2 because millions of underage kids are playing it. If MW2 could only be played by real people, it would have been a total flop because we’re all smart enough to play Battlefield instead. If it had been up to Activision, the game would’ve been rated PG, but they weren’t too worried: they know parents are stupid and easy to exploit, and they capitalised on it. The upside here is, if we cleverly get millions of parents to buy Call of Duty subscriptions, we will have concrete paper trail evidence that they are mentally retarded to wave at The Daily Mail, then we can lock them up in psychiatric facilities for life as a form of passive eugenics, and hopefully save our asses from the current hell that is online play by the time OnLive 3 is out. Stupid gay n00bs.
Bob Kotick is concerned about the price of PlayStation Move and Kinect. You’ve really got to laugh, otherwise you’d cry. So let’s just get this straight Bob: a company that has set RRPs of £54.99 for Modern Warfare 2, £10 for a map pack with 2 old maps in, £109 for a single DJ Hero game and turntable, and some obscene amount for a pro skateboard cleverly disguised as a cheap tacky piece of plastic is concerned about the price of a peripheral that will be usable by the vast majority of games released in the next couple of years? Are we, like, on the same planet here? You can’t even use the DJ Hero turntable as a sex toy for goodness’ sake, although it does make a good tomato slicer if you glue a kitchen knife to it then spin it round really really fast. Get a grip! (haw haw)
Bob Kotick doesn’t like the way the interwebs talks about him. I can sympathise with Bob here actually; after all, my weekly job at TSA is to write a bunch of worthless shit that slowly decreases my street cred and ability to get hired in the industry. Don’t underestimate the impact of talking shit on the internet: I opened a German newspaper a couple of months ago (don’t ask) and somewhere a few pages in there was an article “TheSixthAxis criticises Polyphony Digital” with a link to my Gran Turismo 5 rant. Then I go onto Metacritic and they have quoted me slagging off Guitar Hero Van Halen. So, if the smear campaigns of a gay n00b writer like me get erm, smeared, all over the internet, imagine the impact of Bobby’s words.
None of this will prevent me from slagging him off of course. What a cry baby. If you’re gonna talk out of your ass, expect to be slammed by an anonymous group of pricks who would never dare talk to you that way in a bar for fear of having a bottle of Smirnoff Ice smashed over their heads. Yes, I’m afraid you’re just an anonymous group of pricks. When I slag off something you like in my column, I expect you to tell me I’m a dick in the comments. It’s part of the entertainment value. I enjoy seeing how easily some people get so provoked and wound up over nothing.
There are two big differences between Bobby and myself. First of all, Bobby is making an inordinate amount of cash out of his endeavours, whereas I just love to be hated. Secondly, I have this thing Bob could learn about: charisma. I know these are unfamiliar words for him, having learned everything he knows about PR from his tutor Gordon Brown. If Richard Branson was in charge of Modern Virgin and announced there would be a subscription model, people would cheer him and say good on you, hope it funds your next balloon flight. If Michael O’Leary of RyanAir did the same thing, they’d say, well he’s Irish, so he’s a c*ck anyway.
It’s all about conduct. When Bob goes to Asda – no wait it must be Waitrose, slaves dressed in rags lay out blocks of solid marble in front of him so he doesn’t have to get dirt on his Adidas Solid Gold shoes. His butlers wipe his ass with freshly minted £100 notes. While Richard Branson at least gives the impression of being the good guy who wants to please his customers, and made his empire through legitimate business practices, Bob’s approach is more to just mow over his entire customer base with unwanted pap with no regard for what they actually need or want, or whether it benefits them or not.
Don’t like what I said Bob? Then stop acting like a greedy petulant temper tantrum child of the 90s and start acting with some genuine consideration for your fellow human beings.
Piercings. Why do teenage girls get their belly buttons, tongues, lips and other more personal body parts pierced? Is it because they’re dirty whores? Or is it because they’re just dirty whores? The question arose when a teenage family member informed me that she wants to have her belly button pierced.
There are worse places a woman can get a piercing, though. One of my bisexual colleagues has a piercing in that most painful of places that only a true masochist would dare to do. I asked her what possessed her to do that, she said it made the bedroom activities better. Yes, I can just imagine it: what I really want when I’m getting some is to hear clank, clank, clank like a bloody cowbell every half second. That’s just one more thing for your boyfriend to drag you into the kitchen by the next morning when he wants you to cook him a fry-up.
Oil spills. As we all know, BP are taking the Katamari Forever approach to cleaning up oil in the Gulf of Mechhicho: roll up a ton of trash and hope that the resulting katamari soaks up all the oil. Guys, it works well in a video game, but you really shouldn’t let your behaviour be affected by our malicious evil industry. Actually, that sounds kind of like the oil industry, but I digress: real life is a little different, and I believe this excellent summary of how BP deals with spilled coffee explains it best:
Motion Controllers. What is it called now, KiNatal or something? I ‘kin’ ‘ate it. Am I the only one on the planet who doesn’t give a rats ass about Move and Kinect? If I wanted motion control I would buy Wii Sports Plus. What I want is to sit on my ass expending as little energy as possible pushing buttons shooting shit up. Proper old-school like. And we’re all lazy b*stards so I’m pretty sure we’re all in agreement here. As the media has correctly told us, the very purpose of video games is to dumb our minds and bodies, become unhealthily unfit and get fat. And that is exactly why I bought my PS3 and exactly what I want to do. Why would a coach potato want to do anything else? I don’t even go the 5 minute walk to the store unless there happens to be a taxi outside.
A much better peripheral would have eliminated that troubling physical effort of moving analog sticks and pushing buttons by simply allowing us mind control over what our character does. Then we wouldn’t have to Move at all, and if Microsoft’s E3 presentation is to be believed, they could’ve easily put mind control in Kinect, they just cut it out to save $10 on the manufacturing cost as they felt it was an unnecessary over-complication.
I am getting really worried now. Heavy Rain Move, Gran Turismo Move, SOCOM Move, SingStar Dance (using the Move). Move games DO NOT WANT. Please, I beg you Gods of game development, do not deny me my DualShock 3 gaming pleasures.
FirstPlay. Hehe no I’m just kidding, the less said the better.
PlayStation Plus. I really didn’t want to rant about this, but let’s face it, background patching? It should’ve been free, and besides, who doesn’t have a 100Mbit internet connection these days? I mean, apart from everyone in England, but their football team is so God damn awful they all deserve to be on dial-up anyway. Beating Slovenia by only one goal? *golf clap* Wow you must’ve really exerted yourselves on that one. Watch me laugh to death on Sunday when Germany slaps you losers into eternal oblivion.
Sorry, got sidetracked there. Oh yes, PlayStation Plus. No cross-game voice chat? Such a shame. Definitely when I’m playing games, all those messages I get from people asking me for beta keys and if I want to play LittleBigPlanet would certainly have been less intrusive if they had been allowed to bellow out of my speakers while I’m enjoying a nice quiet game of Aliens vs Predator, or Frogger Returns.
What about the first 2 months’ games and discounts? Surely something decent there, right? Hmmz. LBP, Wipeout HD, Field Runners, Age of Zombies, Shatter, Savage Moon, Gravity Crash, Fat Princess DLC, Killzone 2 Steel & Titanium DLC, ModNation Racers, Heavy Rain, Zen Pinball, Blast-Off, Alien Zombie Death, Mushroom Wars, Super Stardust HD, WipeOut Fury, MotorStorm Adrenaline Pack, Flower, PixelJunk Shooter. Now I’m going to concede, for anyone who is new to PSN, that is a damn fine list of games and a spectacularly excellent start to PlayStation+. But what about those of us who have more money than sense?
You know when you were a kid and you collected football cards in the playground, and you looked through your friend’s cards and were like “got, got, got, need, got, need, got, got, need, need, got”? Well this was more like “got, got, got, got, got, got, got, got, got, got, got… bollocks”. Then you look through the list and realise you haven’t even played 80% of them anyway and think what a dork you are for wasting so much money on games you never get time to play. Must remember to pop to the store tomorrow and pick up Naughty Bear, Singularity and Transformers: War For Cybertron so I can stare at their shiny cases and not play those either.
Germany. Sorry if you’re not following the World Cup, but do expect me to rant about football until approximately July 11th. I bet £70 that Germany would beat Serbia. You may begin laughing, now.
As soon as that red card came in the first half, I knew financial doom was imminent. What followed was what I can only describe as 65 minutes of screaming at my TV at a decibel level that would put a vuvuzela band to shame. After missing the penalty, and his performance in general, Podolski is now Kill-on-Sight to me. And well, Özil, nice goal on Wednesday night, but man is he butt ugly. There were genetically mutated babies in Alien Resurrection with more charm. It was pretty disturbing though to be watching matches as a staunch lesbian and occasionally feel compelled to say “hm, wow, he has a nice ass”. Stupid men. I refuse to be corrupted by your fine asses.
Gran Turismo 5 has Stunt Arenas, Karting and Track Creation. So Yamauchi Kazinori saw ModNation Racers and thought “OMG WE MUST HAVE THAT FEATURE!”. OCD is a beautiful thing. Unless it’s compulsive Xbox 360 gaming, then you’re royally screwed. For anyone who is suffering from that, I sympathise: it is more than understandable why you’d want to wash your hands 50 times a day.
I could write a book full of jokes about this announcement – sorry, “leak”. Stunt Arenas particularly tickled me though. Have you ever been able to roll a car in Gran Turismo? Have you ever been able to damage one (and don’t say the new game has damage modelling, we all know it basically consists of the occasional door falling off and that’s it)? What about jumping more than 10cm off the track? No, you can’t do any of those things, because Gran Turismo’s uber-physics model is so realistic that the cars stick to the tracks like lycra to a footballer’s ass. *zones out for a minute* Anyway.
Imagine if you will, the excitement of stunt racing in Gran Turismo. After precisely executing a 3-point turn to get lined up to the massive 10 degree incline jump ramp – being careful not to skid out on the grass – you rev up and about 10 seconds later when you reach 40mph the tension is really mounting as the jump approaches. Gritting your teeth, you reach the apex, only to find that apart from a slight upward shift in your suspension, the car doesn’t lift-off at all. You would go back and try at a higher speed, but the run-up is only 2km long and it will take a good 5 minutes in your Volkswagen Cappuccino to get back there, so you give up. Marvelous.
Kazinori has spent about 20 years raving about how Gran Turismo 5 is all about the realism and nothing to do with being a fun game. So, seriously, go-karting? What is going on here? That’s a bit of a U-turn isn’t it (haw haw again!). Last I checked, go-karting and the Nurburgring don’t mix. Much more disturbingly, last I checked go-karting is usually quite entertaining – surely going against every core principle of what the guys at Polyphony have got planned for us. When I get to the first corner, will a minor deflection of the left analog stick send me careering at a 90 degree angle into the barrier?
The only explanation I can see for these things is that Polyphony Digital looked at ModNation and said, “well that game isn’t fun either, so we better incorporate it into ours”. They are however planning to improve on the loading times, shooting for a full 5 minutes between menus, which will be awesome.
Pre-owned games wars. My God don’t get me started. Online pass premium content access key bonus DLC one-time use code BOLLOCKS TO YOU.
This really is despicable behaviour. It’s out of control and it’s going to make a mockery of our hobby. Even I buy pre-owned games, sometimes in Norway it is the only way to acquire them at all once they’re not new releases anymore, because our game stores don’t exactly have mountains of shelf space. Are you going to punish me for the fact you’ve pushed out too many good games too fast and I can’t afford to buy them all at once?
The one thing that all the other industries have in common where the games market differs, is that only gaming retailers sell new and pre-owned product side by side, and that is where the problem lies; not with the consumer. When Toyota recalled all those cars last year, they didn’t turn round and say, ooh we’re losing a packet, better slap on what basically amounts to an additional tax on the end user. Why? Because it’s totally unreasonable.
When I buy a book, does it have a 1-time use code to access the last 3 chapters that subsequent readers can’t access? When I buy a movie (lol, ok, I have BitTorrent so this is a highly theoretical scenario I admit), is there a 1-time use code to access the extra features on the disk? When I buy a CD, is there a one-time use code to access the unreleased singles?
When I buy a car, is there a 1-time use code that allows the original owner to have a funky digital dashboard, whereas the poor sod I sell it to has to put up with a horizontal analogue speedometer?
When I buy a house, do I have to pay royalties to the builders who put the bricks and mortar there when it was originally built? No I fucking don’t, so stop screwing up the games market.
That is all.