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 411mania » Games » Columns

Four Player Co-op 01.23.13: Disney Infinity, Star Wars 1313, Dead Island 2, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 01.23.2013

Adam Larck has joined the game.
Todd Vote has joined the game.
Dan Watson has joined the game.
Stewart Lange has joined the game.

Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Four Player Co-op, winner of the award for Most Entertaining Abuse of 411 Staffers In A Roundtable Format, if such an award actually existed. Ah well, I guess good work is its own reward.

Start the game!

QUESTION ONE: Okay, so from the "where's my Kingdom Hearts 3, guys?" files, Disney has announced their next big game, coming this summer: Disney Infinity. It's Skylanders…with Disney characters. The phrase "print their own money" is tossed around a lot, but with this idea on the way (and if you forgot, Disney also owns Marvel and Star Wars, just in case you were going to say "well, I don't care about playing as Disney characters"), maybe they should just go ahead and put the Mouse on all currency. I know, we're all allegedly adults here, but would you be into emptying your bank account for hundreds of miniature Disney figurines and related game worlds?

Adam Larck
If I knew more about the actual gameplay I may actually be interested in this. The reason I like Skylanders, besides being a game both my fiancé and myself can play, is that there is actual gameplay and something set to do. So far, it looks like LittleBigPlanet with Disney figures. LBP, while fun, never holds my attention more than one or two maps before I go to something where I have goals or missions to do. Also, the whole random discs thing you get in packs you can't see? Definitely a turn off for me. If you're going to spend $10, I want to know what I'm getting. For a few dollar packs of cards its fine, but for this lets keep everything visible.

Todd Vote
As a guy who is a fan of just being able to pick up my controller and play a game, and as a guy who has never really been in to collecting toys, or action figures, I just don't see myself jumping into this idea. While I am a fan of the mouse, and I do enjoy watching Disney movies, I've always preferred games with a more mature theme. Unfortunately, the Star Wars and Marvel aspects of this aren't even enough to get me to jump on board with the idea. I'm sure it will sell like hot cakes, and perhaps if I had a child this would be more up my alley, but as of right now it's not something I would be able to get into.

Dan Watson
I think this has a pretty good potential here. I have yet to try Skylanders but I know at least one of the people answering these questions does play that game (Adam). If those figures have picked up this much steam, could you imagine what a Disney licensed product is going to do? They could sell the classic figures (Mickey, Cinderella, etc.) for $30 each, the Star Wars and X-Men ones the same price, and then the lesser known or side-characters could be $10-$15. You do it in a limited release of the classics and drive the demand higher before a holiday and then release a large shipment. That is the Disney way, make tons of money and do it in a way that exploits the consumers.

Stewart Lange
Eh, I won't but I bet people will. A girl I work beside got her son Skylanders for Christmas and it turned out to be more expensive than buying him the iPad he actually wanted. Disney may not be as successful as they're second in, but hell, they're still Disney and it'll still do well. I can't really see how they would combine the Marvel and Star Wars universes seamlessly with the likes of Pluto or Bambi or whatever, but now I'm thinking about Iron Man shooting first I have to admit, I'm almost intrigued.

I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you over the sound of my 10-year-old self giggling at the idea of having Darth Vader fight Jack Skellington. My adult self, however, is really worried about how much this is going to cost me. Stewart gets 549 points for reminding me why this would be a very bad idea for me to get invested in it. I'll forget by the time the game comes out, but for now, I'm okay.

QUESTION TWO: Another bill has been proposed in America that would make it illegal to sell games without an ESRB rating, and also make it illegal (with accompanying fines) to sell M and AO games to underage gamers. Of course, the exact same bill was deemed unconstitutional last year, but hey, I guess they get points for trying. Now, one of you gets points for trying…to take a position on this bill.

Adam Larck
I don't see this passing again, but I do agree there needs to be a bit more regulation on games like there are for movies. Younger kids don't need to be playing games like Call of Duty or Halo, but a lot of this fault lies at the foot of the parents that buy these games for their kids. Sure, regulation may help some, but as long as parents plead ignorance and buy them whatever they want, these type of games will keep being played by kids.

Todd Vote
I actually agree with the fines for selling AO or M rated games to minors. We fine stores for selling cigarettes or alcohol to minors, why should this be any different? If this has the added bonus of eliminating the possibility for political nut-jobs to be able to blame violent games every time some dirt bag with mommy issues decides to open fire, then why not? I understand that ultimately the responsibility of explaining the difference between violence in games and movies with violence in the real world, but if this could help, why not?

Dan Watson
I am against government being too involved in anything but this makes sense honestly. If a movie were to release without a rating, it wouldn't have a big release at all. Game companies should hold SOME responsibility in the sale of games to underage gamers. At the same time, the gamer is going to get the game one way or another. I would like to see something come that makes it easier for games to get rated in a correct manner and more responsibility be put on parents for educating their kids. There have been plenty of games that I played and wondered how a game got rated M when there was very little violence and at the same time how some games are rated M and not AO.

Stewart Lange
Oh, hi guys. The UK called and said that's a pretty good idea. Don't go mental with it, like Australia, but let's face it, why is this even really up for discussion? That's all I have I'm afraid. I'm shocked there's nothing like this in place already.

The fact that it's already been shown to be unconstitutional means Adam's got the unfortunate right answer, which at least is worth 1548 points. However, nobody here seems like they'd be too upset with at least some limited enforcement of the ESRB ratings. Parental involvement is also necessary, but it looks like the general opinion is that retailers need to share some responsibility.

QUESTION THREE: It appeared that a Playstation Germany Facebook page had leaked the upcoming PS3 release of the hotly anticipated Star Wars 1313 game, but representatives from LucasArts have quickly come out to quash that rumour. The reason why this is interesting is that many had theorized, due to the massively high-fidelity graphics shown in early previews, that 1313 would be a next-gen (that is to say, PS4) title, and LucasArts only said that the information presented on the Germany page was incorrect. Obviously, they have a reason to be vague, but could this be the slip of the tongue that reveals that the PS4, at the very least, could be on store shelves before the end of 2013? What kind of odds do you have on that, and would a game like 1313 be the kind of launch title that gets you to buy one right away?

Adam Larck
I don't see Star Wars 1313 coming this year. From what I saw at E3, there's no way this comes out on PS3. This game was definitely Xbox 720/PS4 hardware being shown on a PC. While this would be a heck of a launch title to get gamers interested early in the systems to buy, I don't expect LucasArts to put this on the shelves until early 2014 at the earliest.

Todd Vote
A great looking Star Wars game is very intriguing. But also doesn't necessarily mean a great Star Wars experience. Star Wars games generally look great, but that doesn't mean they are always great games. Look at the Force Unleashed II, looked great, but was about one of the most unnecessary games of all time. It was released, and then forgotten almost as quickly. So no it wouldn't be enough to cause me to jump into the next gen. In addition to that, you would be nuts to think that there isn't a version of this game in development for the PS3 and the 360. There is far too large of an install base with those systems to miss out on the potential sales.

Dan Watson
These are those mistakes that show a launch before it is announced. I would fully expect that with such a huge title being leaked, we will see the PS4 by the holiday season of 2013. WiiU was leaked months/years earlier than it was officially discussed at E3. We didn't know much about it, hell we still don't and it has been out for a few months I am told. All I am saying is that maybe Sony and possibly Microsoft have found a way to keep information silent until they announce it but their third party titles have not. Look for both consoles by late 2013.

Stewart Lange
I've been arguing this with a friend of mine for a few days. I'm still not sure we'll get a PS4 or Xbox before Christmas. 1313 seems to be gearing up as the big "look at what THIS can do" game for the next gen, though, much like Oblivion for the 360 and why not? It's Star Wars and people will want it but is it enough for a £300/400 purchase? Probably not initially, but that, plus a decent sandbox title and I'll likely be looking to start saving.

Thanks, Todd, for reminding us that there are a lot of bad Star Wars games out there. Hopefully that might be one thing that changes with Disney in charge. Dan and I agree, though, and that's worth 2305 points, because if a game like 1313 is already getting previews and is pretty clearly using next-gen graphics, then the PS4 and 720 have to be closer than anyone will say. I also have to say, they'd be stupid not to have 1313 as a launch title if it's ready.

QUESTION FOUR: A bit of a stir from the pre-release info for Dead Island 2: Riptide, which apparently was offering as part of their "Zombie Bait Edition" a rather nice bust. By which I mean it was a tiny statue. Of a woman's chest. In a United Kingdom flag-themed bikini. Oh, and also it was covered in blood and gaping wounds. Yeah, they apologized pretty quickly for that one. Although they haven't yet removed the item, and you can still pre-order it. Really, there's only one question that can be asked here: who in the bloody hell would actually want a 12-inch statue of a mutilated torso, female or otherwise?

Adam Larck
I honestly can't think of anyone who would want this besides someone living in their parents basement that has too much money and not enough friends. They said this would be a conversation starter. However, any conversations that come to mind has the words creep and strange both in the same sentence. A good call to apologize for it, but I can just as easily see this disappearing entirely from the marketplace.

Todd Vote
The only way I would want one of the tiny statues was if I could have two of them bad boys to use as book ends. Maybe the top half for one side, and then a mutilated lower half for the other side of the book shelf... Yeah, that would be awesome... What? No, no way I would pay money for them, but if you want to give them to me, sure I would take them.

Dan Watson
Mr. Randle, I am not sure what life is like up in Canada but in the US we have all sorts of mutant freaks running around that will probably touch themselves while looking at that statue. Sure, us semi-normal people think it is pretty screwed up but really, there is probably a group of people that get off on zombies and mutilated bodies. I think it would be cool to maybe have for like Halloween or something but really it's not going to sit proudly on any display of mine like some of the other collector's edition items have. Also, look for this to be listed as a cause for some idiot who shoots up a place in the near future because these type of items scream someone who has issues.

Stewart Lange
Twelve inches is too big. Maybe six. I have a few special edition exclusives and some NECA figures and while I'm not going to trip over myself to get one, it doesn't offend me at all, to be honest. It is far too big though.

Todd, that revealed more about you than I really wanted to know. I'd like to say I'm surprised. Have 3291 points and go stand…way over there. Keep your hands where I can see them, too.

BONUS QUESTION: Well, hockey's back, so I'm having trouble paying attention again, but I also recently got inadvertently hooked on Mass Effect 3's co-operative multiplayer, which led me to wonder: like myself, does anyone else here actually prefer co-op to competitive online play?

Adam Larck
I'll always take co-op over competitive, hands down. I'd rather run through most campaigns with friends than by myself, or at least have a separate campaign to do. Do I still check out competitive multiplayer? From time to time, yeah. But, I'd rather take on bosses with friends and team up against AI than listen to random players yelling online any day.

Todd Vote
I absolutely prefer co-op online play to competitive. Mostly because I always get my ass kicked in competitive play, especially when it comes to shooter titles.

Dan Watson
I'm with you Quizmaster. When gaming with friends for the last year or two, I have noticed we no longer are playing against eachother. Mass Effect 3, Gears of War, Halo, etc. This is one reason I enjoy Call of Duty Zombies. It isn't because of zombies, I couldn't care less if I was shooting zombies, humans, dogs, etc. It is more about the fact that I am teamed up with three others and we are working to survive. Sure there are times I wish I could sacrifice a teammate in order to stay alive longer but ultimately we are a team and it works out better. Even games like Madden we normally play in a team setting.

Stewart Lange
God yes. Borderlands, Left 4 Dead, Mass Effect 3, and the Assassin's Creed Wolfpack mode shit all over COD or Battlefield. I don't find competitive online gaming fun because I'm not a "hardcore" gamer. I play about 5 hours a week, not a day. I suck at most games so would rather enjoy the experience with a great team of my friends than get fragged by some little runt on MOH.

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