This week on Hit or Miss: A nearly forgotten marsupial makes his triumphant return; nearly forgotten motorcycle hooliganism sadly doesn’t; Harmonix stuns the world when they explain their questionable DLC practices and it actually — damn it! — makes sense; and Sony murders a child’s Christmas dreams.
Then again, I have a suspicion no one really cared about EyePet before they delayed it anyway, which is a theory that will only be confirmed if it turns out there aren’t thousands of crying children on Christmas morning. I’m kind of not sure what to root for…
I have no jokes for this. Instead, I offer you the sincere enthusiasm that exists only in a video game-loving kid who hasn’t yet had crushing college debt, the death of beloved pets, and bitter disappointment in elected officials rob him of the capability for unconditional love. I still remember renting Rocket Knight Adventures for the Sega Genesis from my local Blockbuster on a lark (I suppose ten-year-old me was instantly enamored with the visage of a rocket possum) and then realizing many gameplay hours later that I made the best random decision of my young life.
In other words, Rocket Knight Adventures was badass and a new game starring Sparkster is the best news ever.
Having said that, let’s remember that I am now a miserable 26-year-old bastard who can no longer enjoy unconditionally, which brings me to this question: Am I the only one getting sick of 2.5D games? After New Super Mario Bros., Bionic Commando Rearmed, Street Fighter 4, and yes, now Rocket Knight, what will it take to get a studio to make an awesome 2D game that actually uses awesome 2D graphics again?
What’s that? A magic wand that makes it cheaper and easier to make awesome-looking 2D games instead of 3D games, you say? Well whoopty-damn-doo, college boy.
It makes a certain cosmic sense that in the same week where one of my all-time favorite Genesis games would return, a video would leak that only cruelly teases what the return of another beloved Genesis game could have been. Good job, universe! Did I mention you already beat all capabilities for unconditional love out of me? You kind of don’t have to keep trying this hard anymore!
It shocks me Electronic Arts hasn’t revisited Road Rash in nine damn years. Consider the elements this series brings to the table, probably by dragging them across blistering asphalt at 120MPH: 1) High-speed motorcycle races. 2) Violent beatings. 3) Violent beatings during high-speed motorcycle races. I’m pretty sure I just described to you the very purpose video games were invented for in the first place.
Hell, add in goofy motion controls, a mini-game that helps you both lose weight and learn how to cook, and set it in a fictional modern war filled with modern warfare action and you’ll have the best-selling video game of the frickin’ decade.
I know a lot of people (myself included) often criticize shady developers for their greed-driven DLC practices, but you know what? Even after releasing The Beatles Rock Band with only 45 songs on-disc followed by three full albums as premium DLC, let it be said Harmonix is not among them.
As it turns out, it literally costs “thousands of dollars” to create every Beatles track in the game, according to Harmonix PR rep John Drake. I don’t know about you, but suddenly 45 songs sounds pretty flippin’ expensive to me.
Sometimes I wish these cost matters were made public more often as it’s far too easy to indulge in cynical impulses in a vacuum. Does it suck that The Beatles Rock Band doesn’t have more songs? Sure. Does it help knowing it may have been financially unfeasible for Harmonix to release it otherwise? It kind of does for me, because if the option comes down to a cool Beatles Rock Band game with some expensive DLC, or nothing, then I think the choice is pretty clear:
Buy the cool Beatles game and then blame those greedy Beatles assholes for making it so expensive to use their music. Charitable contributions, my ass.
“Hey, little Johnny. Uh… listen. You know how I promised you your very own fluffy EyePet this Christmas?”
“Yeah, daddy! I already built this tiny bed for him out of construction paper and cotton balls!”
“Wow, that’s… adorable. Bad news on that, though: Turns out Sony has delayed it to next year. Sorry!”
“They… what? They killed my EyePet?”
“No, they didn’t kill it. It’s more like they… aborted it. Temporarily.”
“What does ‘aborted’ mean, daddy?”
“Irrelevant, Johnny. Point is, no EyePet this year. Now you’re two years old, kiddo, so I expect you to take this like a big boy.”
“You don’t love me. If you loved me you’d get me an EyePet.”
“Damn it, Johnny, just — no. Don’t go there, okay? Don’t you guilt me on this.”
“My real daddy would have gotten me an EyePet.”
“Your real daddy is in a Costa Rican jail for smuggling heroin. So unless an EyePet is made of heroin, no, I don’t think he would have.”
And thus shall it be that on December 25, 2009, a precise series of events will have occurred that sets little Johnny on the path to lifelong alcoholism. This is all your fault, Sony. You killed fucking Christmas.