Hit or Miss Weekend Recap – Dec. 13, 2009

This week on Hit or Miss: EA CEO John Riccitiello either inadvertently reveals the name to Sony’s motion controller or inadvertently reveals his weird love for obscure ’80s cartoons; Yahoo! Finance’s gift guide offers the best correction to an article this side of The Washington Post; Tony Hawk defends the crappy game he made (I give the quality of his defense a 51 out of 100); and Christmas comes early for me with the announcement of a sequel to Hotel Dusk.

Is…is this the excitement normal people felt when Modern Warfare 2 was first announced?


MissIconFinalSony’s Motion Controller Officially Named Gem?

Remember back in 2006, when Nintendo announced they were changing the name of their new console from the codename “Revolution” to Wii? And remember when we all simultaneously lost our shit? But then the more rational-minded among us were like, “No dude, it sounds weird now but in three years it’ll totally sound normal”?

Well those idiots were wrong. Wii still sounds stupid, and the only reason we don’t all still giggle whenever someone says it is because of learned helplessness. So if anyone’s about to tell me that “Gem” is actually a totally normal and cool name for a motion controller once you get used to it three years from now, you can suck it three years in advance. If the very first thing the name for your new product does is get about a 100,000 new hits for this video, you’re doing something wrong.

And since when do controllers need names anyway? You know what I said back in the day whenever I wanted my friends to pass the Nintendo controller? “Hey, stop hogging the NES controller, Hollywood’s Fred Savage.” I’m not name-dropping, that friendship really did just kind of develop naturally and beautifully. It’s a long and incredible story about youth and coming-of-age that’s best suited for another article.

None of us got along with the kid
in the glasses. He was an asshole.

MissIconFinal Yahoo! Finance’s Argument Against the PS3: “Must Replace Controller When Battery Dies”

A great man once said, “Everything you read in the newspaper is absolutely true, except for the rare story of which you happen to have first-hand knowledge.” Make that doubly true for the Internet, and then thank Yahoo! Finance for proving it in a most unexpectedly hilarious way.

“Unlike its competitors, which use replaceable AA batteries, the PS3′s remote control is glued shut,” their “Grinch’s Gift Guide” explained. “When the battery goes, Sony customers have to blow $55 on a new controller.” Okay, technically this is true, but it is technically true in the same way that saying you’ll eventually have to throw away the rotting carcass of your kid’s beloved new cat is true. It’ll happen, but you can feed the damn thing to put the dread task off a number of years.

But then this very poorly worded/logically-thought-out argument also leads to one of my favorite corrections in years (my emphasis):

“An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the controller for the Sony Playstation 3 is glued shut; it’s screwed shut, but the manufacturer recommends never removing the screws and never removing the battery until disposing of the controller and recycling the battery. The article also didn’t specify that the battery in question is rechargeable.

In other news, you actually can change the oil in a car to prolong your engine’s life, and contracting a case of the sniffles is not your cue to immediately kill yourself.

MissIconFinal Tony Hawk Defends Tony Hawk: Ride

Look, you really can’t blame Tony for getting defensive about Tony Hawk: Ride’s low review scores. If I made a game with my name on it, let’s say Kris Pigna’s Aerobic Pole Dancing: Ride, and it got universally panned, I’d probably be pushing back against my critics too.

On the other hand, Tony Hawk made a $120 game that can break your ankle, which I think is a legitimate thing to complain about. And I think he also inadvertently revealed exactly where Tony Hawk: Ride’s development went wrong: “I think there’s a misconception that I just stick my name on a game,” he said. “I brought this idea to Activision, and I saw it through, I’ve been playing it every step of the way and I am very proud of it.”

Unseen: An uncoordinated Tony Hawk: Ride
player busting his ass trying to look cool.

Okay, but you also did a 900 on a real skateboard. This is kind of like Lance Armstrong making a cycling game that uses an exercise bike as a controller, and it actually forces you to cycle for eight hours straight to win a marathon race. There are certain things regular meatbags can’t do, and the fun of video games is in deluding ourselves into thinking we can.

This is precisely why Kris Pigna’s Aerobic Pole Dancing: Ride will be so easy that you can tape a Wii remote to your arm, eat dinner, and somehow complete every challenge in the game.

HitIconFinal New Details on Nintendo’s and Cing’s Hotel Dusk Sequel ‘Last Window’

Hold on, everybody. There’s something off about this. That Hit icon? Yeah, it’s nice, but something about giving the same icon to the news story about the Hotel Dusk sequel that I gave to the game about Nazi Dinosaurs doesn’t feel equal to the magnitude of my enthusiasm here.

Lemme see if I can find a fancier icon that somehow better communicates my ludicrous glee…


…Yup, that’s actually surprisingly close. If you played Hotel Dusk, you know what I’m talking about. It was a detective-noir adventure game filled with great writing, great characters, great twists, and great art, and even just over two years later, a sequel is already overdue.

But here’s the more exciting part of this story for me: This is the second time in recent months that a beloved game of mine that I never thought I’d ever see again has unexpectedly received a sequel. I can only conclude this means I’ve done something that made the game gods smile upon me and I may even have some residual goodwill left over to use.

So if you’re still listening, game gods, I’d humbly like to ask on behalf of the gaming community worldwide for Parappa the Rapper 3, Skies of Arcadia 2, Shenmue 3, and oh, let’s say Blast Corps. 2. I’m pretty sure in reality that game sucked and none of us wanted to admit it, so I’d like a sequel just to be sure.

Pretty sure it sucked, though.

Seriously, screw that stupid, frustrating dump truck.
Let the damn nukes explode for all I care.

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