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 411mania » Games » Columns

Four Player Co-op 11.07.12: Star Wars, Halo 4, Wikipad, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 11.07.2012

Mathew Sforcina has joined the game.
Todd Vote has joined the game.
Dan Watson has joined the game.
Sean Garmer has joined the game.

Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Four Player Co-op, where I am bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's nobody I'd rather be than me.

Except maybe Batman.

Start the game!

QUESTION ONE: Well, I suppose we should address the 4 billion dollar elephant in the room first, but since we're nominally about video games, I guess we'll have to ignore the fact that Disney owns the Star Wars movies and talk about the fact that Disney also owns the rights to the Star Wars video games. Oh, and other licenses like, say, Grim Fandango, Monkey Island, and Maniac Mansion. Are we excited? I bet we're excited.

Mathew Sforcina
Two things, one short term, one long term.

Short term? I expect, nay, DEMAND that the upcoming Deadpool game comes with unlockable Lightsabers.

Long term, I hope for a return to some of the classic Lucasarts Point and Click Universes in their own games, but also I want, at the very least, a Monkey Island level in the next Kingdom Hearts game. My life isn't complete until I see Donald Duck have an insult sword fight.

Todd Vote
I was completely shocked when I heard the news. Then came the announcement of Episode VII. Having had a few days to let the news settle, I think this is a good thing. There is so much potential with movies, comics, and video games, that I don't see how a geek like myself could not be excited about the possibilities.

Dan Watson
I'm still not quite sure how to feel about this deal. I worry it will tarnish the remaining dignity of the Star Wars franchise but continuing to release movies that run past their prime (see Shrek). I think on the gaming side, well I don't see it being good. Outside of Epic Mickey and Kingdom Hearts, Disney isn't exactly on par with EA, Activision, and the sort.

Sean Garmer
Yeah, I am excited not only for the Star Wars films to be started once again, but for all these game franchises that could be reignited by Disney. For sure, I would expect Monkey Island to get another game along with maybe Maniac Mansion too since Disney has the Haunted Mansion ride. LucasFilm does have a good history with video games with the Star Wars moniker. So, I don't know how Disney could make it better there, but we shall see.

See, this is what happens when the biggest news of the past week breaks on the same day, at the same time, as I was finishing up last week's column. I miss out on all the rabid excitement, arguments, and snap judgments, and get at least mostly reasonable thoughts. Damn you, Lucas, you've hurt me for the last time! Anyway, Sforcina and Sean are on the same wavelength as me in needing to see something new from the Monkey Island franchise (I'd like a movie, but I'll take another game or a level in Kingdom Hearts as well), so they each get 543 points.

QUESTION TWO: In a news that hopefully more games will think about following, the developers of Halo 4 have announced a Zero Tolerance policy for discrimination of any kind, with offenders earning themselves a lifetime ban from both Halo 4 and X-Box Live. In fact, they say they've designed the male and female characters in the game to avoid stereotypical gender roles as much as possible. An online multiplayer game where people can't keep a running stream of misogynistic chatter? Quite a revolutionary concept, but how do you see it working out?

Mathew Sforcina
I see about, oh, a bajillion lawsuits once the bans start coming down about how it's a matter of free speech or how it's not really sexist to refer to a female as a bitch... But hopefully it's a big step in the right direction and one that other games follow suit. Although why do I now have a worrying image of some other game using 'uncensored and unfiltered voice chat' as a feature later on...

Todd Vote
First they have to catch everybody doing it, right? I mean if they are going to ban people based someone reporting that person, who is to say that the one being accused didn't just hand an ass whoopin' to some poor little kid who got mad as hell about it? What is to stop him from filing a report, and asking his friends to follow suit? I'd like to know how they plan to do this.

Dan Watson
Oh, I see this policy failing. Have you ever been t-bagged by a woman? Get ready to be more pissed off than ever. Also, get ready for virgin teenagers talking to the hot girl that plays games like she is some Goddess. This is a poor decision. Why couldn't they leave well enough alone?

Sean Garmer
YES! YES! YES! FINALLY someone decides to take action here on this troubling matter that seems to plague online FPS games like HALO and COD. It's very good that a huge game franchise like this gets on the ball and says look we are not just taking away your ability to play HALO, you will also be unable to play online period. This is really the only way you are going to get a stranglehold on these people and get them to think twice before deciding to go on a ridiculous rampage of attacking people whether through text or voice.

In case anyone was offended by the people who said this was a bad idea, I'd like to point out that they aren't saying that they're against equality and punishment for discriminatory speech, but I think what they're all trying to say is that it's impossible to enforce. At least, I hope that's what they're trying to say. Ah hell, just start calling them all sexist pigs in the Comments already, you know you want to.

QUESTION THREE: Apparently the Wikipad, a portable Android gaming device with detachable console controls, was set to be released this past week, but was suddenly delayed on launch day for vaguely-explained reasons, with no new launch date announced. First of all, am I alone in having never heard of this thing until now? Secondly, how much faith do you have in a product that got delayed on the day it was supposed to release?

Mathew Sforcina
Maybe the release date was just some unknown user changing it and no-one noticed until today.


Coz, you know, that happens on Wikipedia a lot. And the names are sorta-similar


You expect A Grade material for a device I never knew existed and could not care less about? Well... OK, this bugs me on some minor level, the "Future Hardcore Gamer Nerds" issue, but other than that, whatever. A gaming company has slipped a release date. Be calm my beating heart.

Todd Vote
What the hell is a Wikipad? Jesus Christ, does everybody and their mother make a tablet now? We get it, got to stay up with the curve, but good lord, how much is to much? I had not heard of this until just now. A product delayed on launch day doesn't help my feelings much. Which brings another question, don't all tablets support the ability to play games? Why do I need one specifically for gaming?

Dan Watson
I had heard of it and I have zero faith in it. Anything that waits until release date to launch won't be launching anytime in the near future ( See NBA Live 2012 and 2013). This is a failed product, scrap it and save the money.

Sean Garmer
What? Color me surprised that this was even getting made. It looks a lot like the Wii U's Game pad and I don't see how this is supposed to have a place in the market. I will be really surprised if this even comes out because it looks like it be a nice device to do some emulation on and that's about it.

Todd asks the real question that ran through my head when I researched the Wikipad, for 1532 points. Seriously, don't all tablets play games? So, a Wikipad would actually be a less-functional iPad? Man, where can I line up to not buy that?

QUESTION FOUR: I know we said Zynga was having a tough year, but at least if they go out of business people will probably leave them alone. Not so for 38 Studios, which is now being sued by the state of Rhode Island in a further attempt to recoup some of the massive losses incurred by a loan set up with the state, turning the entire saga into some kind of cautionary tale to any start-up game developers, I guess. At this point, don't you almost feel sorry for 38 Studios, who just wanted to make a video game (and, allegedly, lie to the state of Rhode Island about the risks involved)?

Mathew Sforcina
No, no I don't. You make shoddy business deals, you pay for it if it doesn't work out. Doesn't matter if you're producing video games, financial services or you're a fricking combined puppy medicine/rainbow creation company. You lie and steal, you should be punished. Next?

Todd Vote
I don't feel bad for the studio at all. I actually hate the idea that closing a business can make the company feel as if they are off the hook for all the shit they owe, and all the things they said they were going to do. Good on you Rhode Island, sue the hell out of them bastards.

Dan Watson
I do feel bad because the game they made was actually pretty good. It could've been better if there was co-op but overall it was a decent game. Sadly, if you don't have the funds to create the game yourself, at this point you may as well sell it to a bigger company and just be happy it's released.

Sean Garmer
I do feel bad for them because I very much enjoyed Kingdoms of Amalur and actually have the game in my collection. However, if Curt Schilling really wound up stealing from Rhode Island and not planning to pay them back then they deserve to go under. It's not like you just took from a simple loan agency or whatever, you asked for a loan from an entire state. What do you think they are going to do if you don't pay them back? The Quizmaster is right, people should see this as a cautionary tale and never follow this model again. I feel bad for the people that were involved in making the game, I don't agree with the business practices though.

Remind me never to fail around these guys. Not that that would ever happen. Sean and Dan nearly tie by showing sympathy for guys who just wanted to make a good game and managed to both succeed and fail horribly at the same time. However, Sean said those four little words that are always correct in this situation, and they slide him ahead and get him 2359 points.

BONUS QUESTION: I've done enough work for this week. Talk about whatever you want.

Mathew Sforcina
Sadly, as you may have heard, this week's Ask 411 Games is the last under my stewardship for now. So I'd like us all to take a moment of silence to think about all the wonderful memories the column produced.

Preferably not just the Sega column though.

Todd Vote
I have a birthday, this week. (Nov 5.) and a bottle of whiskey sitting right next to me. It's 9 AM. my only question is, how early is too early to start drinking it?

Dan Watson
So the NFL is a failure to me, NCAA is a disappointing sham, and the NHL can't agree on what to have for lunch let-alone how to create a deal where everyone is somewhat happy. I'm tired of sports. I'm just tired this week in general after moving my clocks this last weekend.

Sean Garmer
Well, hope everyone went to support the USA and voted in the election. Personally, I didn't care about either guy but I felt it was important to do my duty as an American. I'm very much enjoying WWE 13 right now and hope that my copy of HALO 4 shows up in the mail today or tomorrow so I can start playing that.

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