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 411mania » Games » Columns

Four Player Co-op 01.09.13: Wii U, PS2, Violent Video Games, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 01.09.2013

Daniel Anderson has joined the game.
Todd Vote has joined the game.
Dan Watson has joined the game.
Robert Cooper has joined the game.

Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Four Player Co-op, the most important gaming column in your life. Why? Because nowhere else will you see the 411 Staff in a knock-down, drag-out fight to the finish for a prize that is worth absolutely nothing! In fact, if it were worth nothing, that would probably be a rise in value.

Start the game!

QUESTION ONE: Okay, so first, a bit of background: to use the online functionality of a Wii U, you have to have a Nintendo ID. Each Wii U can only be bound to one ID at a time, so if you trade in your Wii U, you have to delete your ID if you want to use it on a new console. All right, so now there's a rumour going around that when you buy a previously-owned Wii U, you may still be able to download any games that were purchased by the old owner's account, even if the ID has been removed. Which is a pretty sweet deal if true, but I'd imagine Nintendo doesn't see it that way. We're over a month into post-launch for the Wii U, and so far, I'm not impressed. Underwhelmed, even. What are your impressions at this point?

Daniel Anderson
I think this is the same issue as what happens with games like Skyrim only on a larger scale. Companies beta test their systems, but they are not generally looking for this type of thing. They are more interested in making sure the console doesn't explode and does play the games being released for it. This is an issue that will most likely be fixed in the next couple patches and it will just be a small bump in the road for the Nintendo Wii U. I think the system has great potential, but right now isn't something I want to spend money on. I will take another look at it in a year and see if it has improved on its promise.

Todd Vote
Considering the only real info I hear about the Wii U, good or bad, is usually from this column, I'd say I am completely underwhelmed. I don't have any hands-on impressions of the Wii U because every display in the stores seems to be set up just to show you videos, and not to let you try the system out. But from what I have gathered on my own, and what I have heard from others, the Wii U seems to be off to a very rough start.

Dan Watson
Wait, the WiiU came out already? I'm just kidding, but that is exactly how I feel at this point. If it weren't for the displays at Best Buy, I wouldn't even know what the console looks like. I haven't seen many advertisements for it or many of the games on the console. Underwhelmed would be an overstatement at this point. I know every console goes through a slow phase after launch but this seems really sad after a weak launch lineup. I am sure Nintendo will pull out some great titles though. Each of their consoles has at least one title that everyone wanted to play.

Robert Cooper
I haven't played a Wii U yet, and I've only seen one at the local Best Buy. I wasn't all that impressed with it in the first place, and considering I've yet to see anything that would change that stance, I still stand by it. The Wii U is going to have the same problem that the Wii faced. The first-party exclusive games on the Wii were for the most part astounding, I think that the Wii U will also have this going for them. The same thing has marred the Gamecube, and to a smaller extent, the N64 (it didn't have nearly as big of a problem as the other two (becase the Gamecube used an odd sized disc and the graphics weren't as up to par), but the cartridge thing did turn off some developers, that's why they lost the FF series). I think it also has the noses of the gaming snobs turned up as well, because, just like the original Wii, they look a bit more gimmick-y and aren't as powerful. But I think the system might have a few surprises coming around the bend. Though the thing with the games being usable by the new owner of your former Wii U is a bit odd. I'm sure if you're that person, it's awesome, but what will Nintendo do when it becomes a thing? Will they just make the new batch with a fix in it, or will they delete the games from your account, who knows?

I want to give 536 points to Dan for reminding us that Nintendo has all those pretty franchises that will sell a whole bunch of units and pump up console sales. My only issue is that, while we're all very sure that things like Mario Kart Wii U and Zelda Wii U and Metroid Wii U and Smash Bros Wii U are coming, we actually have no information to back that up. I'm not even talking release dates, we don't have any actual proof that these titles even exist. And yet, we still know they're coming, which I guess is good enough.

QUESTION TWO: Sony has filed a patent application for a tagging procedure that would tie all discs to a user ID, making it impossible to trade, sell, or even lend game discs to other people. Obviously, this is just a patent application and may never actually hit the market (especially since gaming seems to be moving away from discs and into digital at a rapid pace), but still…what the hell?

Daniel Anderson
Sony is desperate at this point. Their company is losing money (3D TVs never took off like they wanted and the less said about the PSP and Vita sales the better) and they are looking at any way they can to save money. The problem with this is if Microsoft doesn't put something similar in their new console, the next Playstation will not sell well. At the launch of the current generation Sony thought that the goodwill from the PS2 would be enough to get people to spend hundreds of dollars more for the latest Playstation than the latest version of an Xbox, and they were wrong. If they think people will buy a Playstation that will not allow used gaming over an Xbox that does, they're wrong again. Now, obviously there are other factors that could make this more acceptable to gamers (such as dropping the price of games for the system), but just one on one this will hurt Sony more than help then.

Todd Vote
To quote one Randy Orton: "Stupid, stupid, stupid." Seriously, I don't think these big gaming companies understand just how important the second hand market is to their systems... I know they are only worried about the money they may or may not be losing due to used game sales, but this is a bit extreme, I think. You want to get your hands on some of that second hand money, there are far better ways to do it. Institute a buyback program in which gamers are able to trade in the game for a discount on a purchase of another game from your company is just one idea that comes to mind. In addition to this, it was my understanding of the patent that it ties the disc to a console, not a user ID. That opens a whole new slew of problems, what if my machine breaks (like my 360 has done about a dozen times)? Do I have to buy all new discs? This is the wrong way to go in my opinion.

Dan Watson
This is a terrible idea. One thing I really enjoy is trading or borrowing games from friends. Why should I spend $60 on a title that is terrible and can be beaten within six to eight hours and has no replay value at all? This would kill a lot of gaming sub-markets like used games, video game rental from companies like Gamefly or even Redbox, and then also the value of an actual disc. If I cannot trade in or lend the game why don't I just download it? So long midnight release parties at big box stores, instead I can download it while sitting in my living room that night.

Robert Cooper
This makes me VERY grumpy. I've heard rumors of Microsoft doing this, and I swore to myself that if they did, I'd become a Playstation owner, now that I hear that Playstation is doing it, I might just stick with my 360 and N64. I can understand why they're doing it, so that they can cut out places like Gamestop and places of the like that make money off of their games. But I think that they make enough money as is, screwing people like this is not a good business strategy. I know that PC games have been doing something similar to this with them making it to where you can only install a game so many times, but making it to where I can't even borrow a game from a friend (which is how I get a hold of 80% of the games I do get a hold of), is just utter crap. Also, what would happen if you system breaks, like my Day 1 Xbox 360 that red-ringed 5 years into my ownership of it. They didn't fix it, and I was stuck having to buy a new system a year later, so does that mean that I have to buy all of my games all over again, or does that mean that it'll be attached to my gamertag, to where I can re-download it later, like they have with Steam?

Not a whole lot of support for the idea, as I expected, and Daniel gets 1545 points for pointing out that if Sony really is crazy enough to go through with this, and nobody else follows suit, it could be a very bad next generation for them.

QUESTION THREE: Well, it had to happen someday, and that day was sometime last week. Yes, Sony has officially halted production of the Playstation…2. Just in Japan for now, with the rest of the world to follow shortly. Never mind the fact that they were still making new PS2 consoles nearly thirteen years after it debuted (and seven years after the PS3 hit shelves), there are apparently still developers creating software for the PS2, who will continue to do so even though Sony will no longer be making the console! Given that other companies have given up on their consoles even before a new one arrives (looking at you, Nintendo), what do you think about Sony's almost ridiculous level of dedication to continuing to produce PS2s and games for the system?

Daniel Anderson
Why not? Most of the people buying PS2s (I would imagine) are people wanting a new system for when they are ready for some retro gaming. If you can still make money from making the consoles then why not?

Todd Vote
The PS2 is probably all profit for them at this point, why not continue to develop the hardware, and software for the system? Honestly, if I had known they were still making NEW games for it, I probably would have kept a better eye on it over the past few years. I still have a PS2, I don't play it much anymore, but that is mostly due to just not wanting to dig it out of a closet. Had I known there were still new games being developed for one of my favorite consoles, that may have played out differently.

Dan Watson
The PS2 is the second greatest console of my gaming career with N64 leading the way in that category. I cannot believe it is still supported but at the same time, why shouldn't it be? The console was great on all levels and was more than a step ahead of Xbox and Gamecube. The games were solid, controls were great, and it offered a total entertainment experience. I do wonder how many new titles it sees each month though, I cannot imagine there are that many.

Robert Cooper
I admire it. If I were to make a Top Systems of All Time list, the PS2 would come very close to number one, though I never actually owned one myself. I was an Xbox fanboy in my youth, and while I still am, I'm starting to see no reason why Sony is not the way to go. Back on topic, it is admirable how long they've held on to this system, most of the time, if a new system is about to hit the market, the company will start to kill off the old system, and it'll be dead within a year. There was something different with the PS2, though. I think that (obviously) the system has a pretty loyal base of fans, and for the people who don't have the coin to go buy a new PS3, the fact that they're still supporting the ol' faithful is a sign that the company still thinks about them, a little. I've even thought about going and buying a PS2 recently, because there are games on it that I still really want to play, and play more of, like Fire Pro Wrestling Returns, which I can beat at CPU Level 10.

To be fair, additional research reveals that the only game set for the PS2 in 2013 is an expansion for Final Fantasy XI, and for some reason I doubt Todd wants to play that. However, I think the fact that he'd still prefer to play the last generation PS2 over any console from this generation if the option were available has to be worth 2135 points.

QUESTION FOUR: A small town in Connecticut is willing to offer you a $25 gift certificate for your violent video games, music and movies, which they will they destroy, trash, incinerate, and possibly piss on the ashes of. Citing, as always, "won't somebody please think of the children", while their intentions might even be good and pure and well-meaning, to me, this seems like a bit over-the-top at best and a cynical public relations ploy in reaction to recent events at worst. Any thoughts?

Daniel Anderson
This is society's latest attempt to label a popular media as the reason for all of society's ills. In the 1960's and 1970's it was comic books. Then in the 1980's people were claiming Dungeon's and Dragons were causing people to commit horrible murders. In the 1990's it was violent movies and music. Now in the 2000's video games have become the latest scapegoat. We will see more and more stories about this until finally people move on and decide on a different scapegoat. Let's face it, today, saying a killer played video games is the same as saying that a killer owned a TV or a computer. Video games are seeing massive popularity so it isn't unusual to find video games in a large majority of households.

Todd Vote
Why not offer that same thing for all the psycho's out there to turn in their guns. It's not violent video games, movies, music, or TV shows that are causing this shit. It's not even the guns, it is the guns in the hands of completely out of touch fuckin whack jobs that is the problem here. Don't get me wrong, I agree with the Constitution, and the right to bear arms. But there has to be some level of control. Oh fuck it, what do I know?

Dan Watson
Here we go again. Every time a major tragedy involving gun violence takes place it is because of video games somehow. I understand that this one is all media and that is great but I really wish people would take a look at a great issue. Mental illness has such a stigma attached to it that people are afraid to get help or even admit they have an issue. If people would stop putting such a terrible connotation to mental illness maybe we could get these people help before a situation like this takes place. At some point most people will be affected with a degree of depression or other illness, that doesn't make you crazy. Why don't we have charities offer a $25 gift card if you go and see a therapist or psychologist instead of getting rid of movies, games, and music. I live in a suburb of Chicago and gun control is not the answer either. Our homicide rate mirrors some third world countries and there is nothing we can do about it even though our gun laws are some of the strictest in the USA.

Robert Cooper
This is a hot steaming tub of flaming horse shit. Any person who actually takes this offer on needs to be talked some sense into, because it's obvious that violence is not that answer. This is incredibly over-the-top and all the town is doing is trying to get attention for themselves and try to prove that their cause is just, well, I hate to tell you guys, but most people are laughing at you. Every politician tries to make a name by targeting violent media, and it never works. I'm a fan of heavy metal, action movies, video games, and wrestling, all of them have a bit of violence to them, but I'm not going to punch you in the face, though I look like I will. The media isn't the problem, what is gained from the viewing from it, which usual is due to the parenting they've gotten, and the type of person they are, is what really needs to be looked at it. I grew up watching Power Rangers, my parents wouldn't let me watch it because I punched kids in the face because I was the White Ranger (I was, by the way),and they didn't call up Haim Saban and Fox to try and get it booted. They wouldn't let me watch it until I became mature enough not to act it out.

You know, I used to worry about what people would think if they found my porn stash after I died, but now I'm more concerned what they're going to think about my gaming library. The number of Final Fantasy games alone will raise some eyebrows, no doubt. When will people realize the danger of Square Enix teaching our children to solve their problems with comically oversized magical swords?

BONUS QUESTION: I am so tired that I can't even think of something to put here. Talk about whatever you'd like. Yes, I do know that you hate it when I do this.

Daniel Anderson
Yes. I hate it so much. I never do this in Fact or Fiction. Never. I just recently started playing Minecraft on the Xbox 360. Got bored one day and figured I would pick it up. It is fun, but I find it funny that some people who complain about grinding in an MMO swear Minecraft is awesome when you spending most of your time doing the same actions over and over to get building material.

Todd Vote
How about those Vikings. It's pretty sad that I can't even get mad at Joe Webb for this. That guy was put into a horrible situation. Hopefully, the Vikings will be smart enough to pick up a decent QB in the off season. But knowing our history, this will be the season that we pick up some washed up QB from another team. They will have a good season in Minnesota, then go to shit... That's been about the norm for us.

Dan Watson
I am in the process of finally closing on a house. We put an offer in this last weekend and negotiated for five hours. On to the next steps. In the meantime I plan to play tons of violent video games to de-stress myself. Oh, and I hate Christian Ponder for not playing Saturday night when the team needed him.

Robert Cooper
Well, my weekly column is going on a school hiatus. I just finish a three-week-long look back at the Top 50 Metal Albums of 2012, I'm quite proud of it, go check it out. Other things, I recently started playing, "Condemned: Criminal Origins", almost shatnered my pants. Also started a tokusatsu (power rangers, japanese power rangers, godzilla, etc) podcast called the Sentai Rider podcast, you should go check it out. Is that what you wanted, Quizmaster? I just had more shameless self-promotion than Rihanna had cash-ins on her domestic abuse.

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