This week on Hit or Miss: Modern Warfare 2’s launch is really, really big; every developer besides the people behind Dino D-Day kick themselves for not thinking of Nazi Dinosaurs first; Square Enix chooses an unusual way to announce Final Fantasy XIII’s U.S. release date; and Electronic Arts embraces their dark destiny.
In a surprising turn of events that has unfortunately helped lend legitimacy to nutjob doomsayers wandering city streets nationwide, the midnight launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has wrought the apocalypse. We all knew the launch would be big, but it turns out the sheer magnitude of the event “displaced the temporal antimatter mass” causing a cataclysmic shift in the universe’s “asymmetrical nature between matter and antimatter,” or some such pussy scientist explanation. Point is, world a-splode.
Guys, I believe we even have some startling footage of the destruction? Can we feed that in here?
Oh, the humanity! The humanity! Just what exactly will happen to that poor air-lifted giraffe?! Why can’t that stupid plane fly over the crumbling skyscrapers?! It’s a plane! Make it stop! Make it stop!
Also, in better news, Modern Warfare 2 sold a stupefying 4.7 million units in the U.S. in one flippin’ day before killing everything. So good for you, Activision, you heartless sons of bitches.
Ladies and gentlemen, it took a team of PC modders to do it, but it has finally been done: Nazi’s are officially a dead option for video game designers. Once you’ve turned them into dinosaurs, there is nowhere left to go.
Oh sure, you could make a game with Nazi bears, or Nazi pick-up trucks, or Nazi Sandra Bullocks. But already I sense you rolling your eyes because you know none of these options can produce a better propaganda poster than Uncle Sam karate chopping an infernal raptor of the Third Reich in the neck.
To get not-serious for a moment, this is exactly the sort of batshit insane hilarity I always wish more games would embrace. Too many developers who try to make comedy games try to go the “Pixar route” even as they often misinterpret this to mean “watered down and not very funny but sure not to offend or confuse anyone.”
Dino D-Day, on the other hand, allows you to fist-fight a T-Rex on the battlefields of North Africa. Maybe that’s not for everyone, but for the people who do get it, this is Game of the Year material.
Square Enix’s long-in-development Final Fantasy XIII — first shown to the world way back in 2006 — will finally be released in the United States on March 9, an enormous dick announced earlier this week.
Seriously, look at this dick:
“Hello, I’m Rolfe Stansley. You may remember me from past
douchey host roles in ‘Breaking the Magician’s Code 3’ and
‘UFOs and Sasquatch: The History Channel Inexplicably Investigates.'”
You may be wondering why Square Enix placed the responsibility of such a huge announcement on such an obviously enormous dick, but they’re just following marketing trends. It’s been proven time and again that dicks sell, a truism observable in Robert Pattinson in Twilight, Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann respectively, and every member of the Black Eyed Peas, including the holographic ones.
Hell, just look at the Final Fantasy series itself. I’m pretty sure there is no more annoying dick in the history of video games than Tidus, and they managed to accomplish that even while making him look like adorable Meg Ryan (as opposed to goblin cosmetic surgery Meg Ryan, naturally).
It’s a sad coincidence that the same week to have witnessed what’s probably the biggest video game release ever also saw 1,500 industry employees lose their jobs.
But this latest instance of “cost-cutting personnel reductions,” or “taking away people’s jobs” in human language, is not only one of the biggest but also the most ironic. Here is EA cutting 17 percent of its workforce and stepping away from creating new and original properties, and all not even a year after CEO John Riccitiello said that is exactly the sort of recession strategy “you would follow at your peril.” That’s why they pay him the big bucks.
Above: Riccitiello daydreams about what life
would have been like as a Lehman Brothers executive.
Reaction from gamers has been predictable: This is nothing less than the abandonment of all that is good and holy and the return of the Evil Empire of legend, almost forgotten, but now as real a threat as Sauron reclaiming the One Ring and returning to frickin’ Mordor. And, well, yeah, I’m not going to argue with that. But let it be said this is a little bit our fault.
Only partly, true. It’s not our fault FaceBreaker sucked, and even a well-received game like Mirror’s Edge was boldly creative but undeniably flawed, which is all another way of saying they didn’t inspire world-ending sales in a single damn day of release. But it is worth pointing out that if we rise as one to demand creative and original games, and EA makes them, and then we say “no thank you,” you can see why they might conclude we’re schizophrenic bastards and decide to make the year’s seventh version of Madden instead.
And maybe it’s for the best, because the truth is some people just aren’t meant for some things. I’m never going to be an astronaut, because I’m an idiot and get carsick during any trip over 10 minutes. So maybe leave the creative and original titles to talented and idiosyncratic weirdoes like Suda51, and let EA reclaim their rightful role: Darkside counter-balance to Activision before their next game really does end life on Earth.