This week on Hit or Miss: The iPad fails to illicit Mithril-cutting hard-ons; not everyone’s on board 3D gaming; the concept of a Mortal Kombat movie reboot gives the world Post Traumatic Christopher Lambert Disorder; and Microsoft loses any grasp on sanity when they expect us to buy Game Room games we already own.
Help me out here, True Apple Believers, because I’m having a hard time reading the iPad love/backlash continuum: Should I think this is the second coming of Christ, or the second coming of the Newton? (Poetry joke indulgence: I’m pretty sure W.B. Yeats’s “The Second Coming” was about the Newton.)
So no, I’ve never been much of an Apple devotee, which perhaps is why the prospect of having to play every game using nothing but touch-screen controls sounds less like the inexorable march of progress, and more like a board room went, “Hey, can we make this? We can? Fuck yeah.” If this was the device that was supposed to make me instantly jizz my pants like a deranged, wild monkey, it failed.
Then again, maybe I was underwhelmed because I’ve seen this. Hey iPad, can you let me play a racing game on a piece of frickin’ paper? No? Then download the requisite app you need to suck it.
Above: artist concept of future Final Fantasy title
played on piece of paper (credit: Kris Pigna)
I hate 3D movies, and their blurry, eye-straining, picture-darkening qualities. That’s why I’m just as wary of Sony’s push for 3D gaming, and why I’m glad to see increasingly more people in the industry are wary of it, too.
First Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stuck it to Sony’s craw (after calling the iPad “a bigger iPod Touch” — high five!), saying “I have doubts whether people will be wearing glasses to play games at home. How is that going to look to other people?” The answer: Not nearly as silly as this:
Not pictured: Rapidly developing retinal tears.
But sure, you expect hardware rivals to talk trash about whatever their competitors are doing. So for a more impartial voice of doubt, here is EA Sports president Peter Moore. He hasn’t explicitly disapproved of 3D games, but when asked if EA Sports has anything in development for 3D TVs, he answered “No, no, no. I have a point of view and that’s about as much as we have…[Believe me], there’s nothing going on right now that would say I’m ready to demo a 3D sports game. Nothing at all.”
I would say read between the lines, but I’m pretty sure the only way he could have answered less tactfully is if he shrieked at the reporter like a vampire doused with holy water and scurried into the nearest woods.
Attention Hollywood filmmakers: The existence of the word “reboot” does not give you license to remake every garbage movie ever.
Yes, Christopher Nolan succeeded with Batman, but he was reviving a franchise that started at awesome and progressed to sucking. Mortal Kombat — and this is a key distinction — started at sucking and progressed to demonic levels of festering crap.
Look at that picture. Please believe me when I tell you it’s not from a fan-made Mortal Kombat movie released on YouTube, or a crazy Turkish version of the real Mortal Kombat movie for first-world countries. That is actually what New Line Cinema made with a Hollywood budget.
Does the world really need another attempt at making this good? A) I believe it’s impossible, and B) even if you succeed at making a good movie about supernatural combatants in a secret martial arts tournament, it’ll still suck compared to Bloodsport.
In fairness, that’s mainly because Bloodsport featured a musical montage of Jean Claude Van Damme comically evading Forest Whitaker to “Steal the Night” by Micheal Bishop. That’s the sort of batshit crazy avant-garde filmmaking I respect.
And finally, Microsoft announced this week that any Xbox Live Arcade game you already own that’s also playable in Game Room won’t transfer into Game Room– you’ll have to buy a separate Game Room version instead. Microsoft’s reasoning? XBLA versions are “enhanced” while Game Room versions are direct ports.
And that is the sort of insanity that can only exist in the digital age.
Imagine: It’s 1995 and Nintendo releases “Game Room,” an exciting new virtual arcade inside an SNES cartridge. You can then purchase other cartridges of old-school arcade games and stack them on top of Game Room, Sonic & Knuckles style.
“Sweet!” you say. “I own some old-school arcade games already!” Then Nintendo says, “Hah, no, you need to buy them again.” And you say, “What the balls?” And they say, “Yeah, your versions are better. You need to buy these new ones because they suck more.” And then the next thing you know you’re surrounded by bloody corpses, evidently having been driven into a murderous rage of bewilderment.
Microsoft’s Game Room may exist in the diffuse realm of downloadable content, but what it offers is no less preposterous: To play a worse version of a game you already own in an unnecessary context, you need to spend more money.
As you process that, breath deep and try not to kill the first living thing you see.