This week on Hit or Miss: Little Big Planet doesn’t get to the PSP Go; Nintendo plans some Zelda surprises for E3 (fingers crossed for a Tingle figure-skating mini-game!); Sony plans to remove the one talking point they have over Xbox Live; and Spike TV’s VGA nominees actually kind of don’t suck. The awards show itself, however, almost certainly will.
More like PSP Wait, am I right?! Heyo! See what I did there? Oh mercy!
Ah, good times. But seriously, Sony, what the fuck is wrong with you? You cannot release a brand new handheld that works entirely through digital distribution, and then go, “Whoops, we broke our digital distribution!” when releasing your own anticipated new game. You can’t. You just flippin’ can’t.
That would be as if I announced today I’m becoming an inventor, and my first invention is a new clean engine that runs entirely on ant-power. Then when you buy one, I go, “Whoops, the engine part broke, but here’s a crapload of stinging ants in your face.” Well it’s not exactly like that, but you get my point: This is insane.
Sony to PSP Go owners: Suck it, ugly.
Screw your comic reader and your adhoc parties. Those are nifty features, but before you make any other nifty features PSP owners will irregularly use, make getting games on the system work first. Jesus.
Loyal readers of everything I happen to write may remember I had a few ideas for how to revitalize The Legend of Zelda. I don’t expect any of them to show up in the next game, but I’m glad to see Nintendo at least has a few twists of their own in store for a series that has grown far too stale since 1998.
I’m not sure what changed between now and when Miyamoto said the next game wouldn’t be “that radically different” back in July, but I suspect it’s that they noticed the hundreds of thousands of digital groans that showed up on Internet message boards instantaneously.
Still, let’s not get our hopes too high. Words are tricky, and calling something a “surprise” doesn’t mean it’ll necessarily be a significant change. Link turning into a damn wolf was a surprise, and yet they managed to do it while still making Twilight Princess play almost exactly like Ocarina of Time anyway. You almost have to respect that kind of skill in stubbornly sticking to orthodoxy.
My guess: This time Link will explore 7-9
dungeons while occasionally turning into an otter.
Not you too, Sony! Not you too!
Well it was fun while it lasted, but the sad fact is we probably should have seen this coming. At least certainly I should have, because I’m a miserable curmudgeon who immediately assumes the worst in everything, and I mean everything (I wouldn’t trust a kitten as far as I could throw it, and I can probably throw one of those tiny things pretty far).
So whenever a company has an option between getting people to pay for something or giving it away for free, I mean… hell. How could we not see this coming? A world where the reverse occurs and Sony’s perpetually free online network forces Microsoft to drop their Live fees may be the one we want to live in, but I’m pretty sure it only exists in a lousy Dreamworks CG movie. “Market Force Economics vs. Aliens,” or something.
Still, at least this probably means I’ll one day get to write an impassioned but ultimately ineffectual screed against their subscription service, and I love writing those. Which brings us to…
I know making any kind of relation between “hit” and “Spike TV” is an early warning sign of dementia, but give me a chance to explain myself. This week, Spike TV announced the nominees for their annual video game awards show, and you know what? …It’s actually a pretty good list.
Just check out the Game of the Year nominees: Assassin’s Creed 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Now think back to the inaugural Spike TV VGAs in 2003, where Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball won Best Animation, WWE Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain won Best Fighting Game, and Madden NFL 2004 won Game of the Year. Reader, this is what you politely call incremental improvement.
Of course I hope to say the same of the show itself, which at least on the basis of last year’s embarrassment remains a torrential shitstorm. If you don’t remember, that was the awards show where Mike Tyson threatened to attack EA Sports president Peter Moore, that announced 70% of the awards in a hilariously rapid-fire pre-recorded reel, and had model Marissa Miller tell the world her Gamertag is “PummelPuss.” In defense of that last one, while it did set the weirdly misogynistic tone of the show, it’s worth noting I’m pretty sure Pummel Puss was also a member of Top Cat’s Alley Cat Gang.
But then making a video game awards show seems like a losing battle anyway. It’s kind of like limiting the Oscars to only the technical awards, and you know what the Oscars does with the technical award winners? Banishes those nerds from television.
Awards shows are about (and for) big personalities, and the fact is the video games industry isn’t about big personalities. For every Miyamoto, Kojima, and Jaffe, there are hundreds and hundreds of more programmers, designers, and artists who discerning people like you and I wouldn’t recognize if we saw them, let alone the creatures that watch Spike TV.
So unless someone figures out how to make watching groups of none-famous people give each other awards entertaining, then Pummel Puss it is. And I’m pretty sure the only way to do that is to add the unpredictable element of Death Races or make the award itself an angry baboon with the strength of ten men, which, you will probably agree, isn’t much of an improvement.
He’s the one with the shovel, I think. Haven’t seen it in a long time.