Ask 411 Games 02.03.14: Kickstarter, Fallout, Worst Game Ever, more!
Posted by Stewart Lange on 02.03.2014
This week in Ask 411 Games, 411's Stewart Lange takes a look at what he considers the worst game ever made, how many Sonic games were produced and why large companies don't use Kickstarter!
Well, I've done it.
I only went and got one.
Last Monday, I got myself a "happy Monday" gift.
I bought my Xbox One. I'd been holding off and making excuses, but now I have one. So, as I sit here typing this, I'm actually going to be racing Dead Rising 3 to install, which shouldn't be difficult, but if the column seems slightly disjointed, you'll know that's when I ran off to murder some zombies.
Is it murder if they're already dead? Interesting. Anyway, let's get along with the show with the TEK Designs BANNER.
Last week saw me discuss female gaming characters, the Atari Jaguar controller and my own personal favourite gaming pad. Let's see where I went wrong.
redhottrash- Aerith was so dull. She had like 30 lines the entire game, a brief and unexplored romance with the main character, and a (spoiler alert?!?) death that only stood out because main characters didn't die often at the time. Just from this year of games, Ellie from Last of Us, Elizabeth from Bioshock, and Clem from Walking Dead were better, more fleshed out female characters.
To each their own. I did include Elizabeth, I haven't played the Last of Us and admittedly, Clem was an omission on my part, but strangely enough, I never thought of her as a "female character" to be honest. Maybe it's because she's just a child but she certainly is bad ass.
Nash- "Why did the Atari Jaguar have such a large controller? " So retards could play it.
Touche. The winning response to that was from gorak, though.
So glad you were able to play it.
Oh, the banter. Comment board poster had a different idea on the Jaguar pad, thankfully.
I always thought it was a continuance of the Atari 5200 controller. People forget that it had a joystick, 4 buttons at the top and a "telephone keypad" at the bottom as well. The buttons were used by sports games and so forth. Change the football play, change your style of shot in soccer...
That's an excellent point. The 5200 was not a popular console, but maybe not ironically, neither was the Jaguar. Maybe people don't like huge control pads. sdelfin and Jeff Bailey disagreed with me and hated the Dreamcast pad, and again to each their own but I loved it, it was the first analog stick I felt comfortable using.
I've started getting questions in thick and fast now, but keep them coming! The more I get, the more I'll be forced to answer every week!
Last week, I believe the site had an issue displaying comments, but the first correct entry I received was from lorddarius despite a decent claim by G-Walla. Well done, Lord. Enjoy your 50 interwebz that you won.
I work in a bar serving men all day- The 7th heaven bar. My vital statistics are 36-24-35- Yeah they are. My next door neighbour is one of my best friends- Cloud Strife I lost my mother but never accepted it until I tried to find her- Play Dirge of Cerberus and you'll see.
Last week, of course, I was Tifa Lockhart! Well done to people who got it! Right, let's see if I can't make this one a little bit tougher.
I'm a recovered alcoholic with more than one chip on my shoulder. I thought I was a winner once, but I had failed without realising which made me turn to the drink. PETA must absolutely hate me but not as much as the guys I'm due money to. I owe a lot to Johnny Bravo. WHO AM I?
Anyone get it? Answer in the comments section below!
BRING ON THE QUESTIONS!
I'll start off by saying I did get a huge two parter from Katamari Damacy this week that I'll answer half of later on and the other part next week. I'll start of by finishing off the series of questions that 411's very own Cara sent me two weeks ago.
How many sonic games, spin offs included, have ever been made?
By my best count, 26. With that I'm including all original series releases, including Sonic 4 as two games as it was released as two larger episodes. It includes retitled games such as Sonic Advance, but not re-designed games like Sonic Adventure 2 Battle for the Gamecube.
I've also left out compilations of games that include Sonic titles of any type, like Genesis collections or Sonic compilations, but I'm counting the karting games and Mario & Sonic sports titles.
Worst game ever made, in your opinion?
Well, that is certainly a loaded question. I've hated an awful lot of games but there are a lot that I just don't "get." Amongst those are: Animal Crossing, FIFA games, Gears of War and the newest Zelda game, but I'll not pretend like any of those belong on a worst game ever list. Not by a long shot, personal preference just dictates that I didn't enjoy them. I never completed Uncharted because I couldn't get into it and I hated Heavy Rain, but again, neither of those belong in a "worst game ever" discussion. But what does?
The above video is fairly amusing, with some truly awful video games on it, but even the top two, Shaq Fu and E.T. I can find some charm in. Some games, like Columbine Massacre RPG and Custer's Revenge (that don't even deserve their names in bold) that are just so gratuitously shocking that I can't include them on merit, nor can I justify horrible movie tie-ins or Disney games, take for example Fantastic Four or Hannah Montana: The Movie.
The worst game I'd say I've ever had the misfortune of playing is Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust an absolute abomination of sexism, bigotry and toilet humour, without even the slightest of graces to wrap it all up in a pleasant to play package. It's one of the most broken, ugly and hard to control games I have ever seen and I barely got past the start screen.
What do you guys think? What's the worst game YOU'VE ever played? Would love to know!
Still with Cara's long list of questions, there's one I really wish had an exciting answer.
What was the original purpose of Wario/Waluigi?
They wanted a non-Bowser antagonist and turned the "M" upside down.
Although, "warui" is Japanese for "bad," so I guess that's probably played a part in it too.
That's about it. Same with Waluigi, to be honest with you. He was debuted as the bad guy in Six Golden Coins and was taken to fairly well, so he started to branch out into his own games, like Wario Land, Wario Blast! and Wario Woods. He became a mascot in his own right over the years and is still the marquee character in games now, with Game and Wario being the most recent release.
Waluigi did not come into the world in such a glamorous manner, he was introduced in Mario Tennis as Wario's doubles partner as Luigi's arch-nemesis. Waluigi wasn't created by Nintendo, though and as a result he doesn't tend to feature very frequently in their games. Because he's crap.
Last up in this quick fire round is a subject very close to my heart.
What happens in Fallout 1 & 2? I've only ever played 3 and just
started New Vegas.
In the year 2077, the U.S. and China are in heavy debate over oil drilling in the Pacific Ocean, part of which is detailed in the Operation: Anchorage DLC of Fallout 3. This conflict leads to the nuclear war that destroys the world, sending the inhabitants into underground vaults and the rest to an unthinkable fate.
84 years after this Great War, the water chip in Vault 13 breaks and the playable character is tasked with finding a new one out in the wastes of California.
A further 80 years pass and a descendant of our original vault dweller is sent out to save the town formed by his ancestor, now long dead, from an extremely deadly drought. Upon returning to save the town, our new hero finds it under Enclave control, so he must battle to save it before the townsfolk are used as test subjects in some funky science experiment.
Fallout 3 obviously focuses on the Vault Dweller escaping to follow their father, another 80+ years from the events of 2, however, short of a few nods here and there, the developers of 3 have stated the game does not run canon with the events of the first two games.
Hope that sorts you out! Send me some more sometime, since I have more time to write now I'm not editing your column into my column.
Now, last up, I have one of the two loaded questions from Katamari Damacy. I'm not ignoring the one I haven't answered, I just thought one of them would require slightly more thought than the other. So, I'm putting that one off until next week!
We've seen kickstarter works wonders for relatively well known mid-size developers (Double Fine Adventure, Mighty No. 9).
Question is: In your opinion, why hasn't a larger developer utilized the kickstarter method to gauge viability of a product (like a localization or a port) in the market. For example, Sega could gauge viability of localizing Yakuza 5 by having it on kickstarter, say it will cost X to localize and meet revenue requirements/expectations in order to get the game made. Backers essentially advance pre-order the game at it's full retail value ($60). If enough people back the project, Sega can't cite financial viability as a reason for not localizing and they'll get paid up front for a project they didn't think was viable to begin with. If there isn't enough people to meet the financial requirements, Sega can refund all the money, and can say, with evidence, that Yakuza isn't a financial viable franchise in North America and that's why we didn't do it. It's no longer a speculative 'not viable' but a proven one. So why hasn't a larger developer taken advantage of this approach?
That's an excellent question and before I get down to doing some serious rooting about for an official answer, should there be one, I'll just say I have no idea why this hasn't happened yet for the likes of the example that you suggested. If we use Yakuza 5 as an ongoing example, it would never be a AAA release so being able to test the water would be a great idea, but considering the game has already "been made," it may be in breach of the spirit of Kickstarter.
The two problems that I can find with the logic of your plan are divided into opinion and fact. We'll run with my opinion first. Frankly, if I look through Kickstarter and see a large company, like Sega, or even Crytek or Obsidian (I realise they have Project Eternity funded, but hear me out) on there, I wonder why they feel the need to gain funding that way. If they put a project to their financial backers that doesn't get the green light, what exactly is wrong with it? It's like seeing the companies on Dragon's Den that already have the money available for their investment, they'd just rather risk the Dragons. I'm sorry; but I'm out.
The problem that I've based more in fact is the actual money that can be generated by Kickstarter. The largest pulling game thus far on Kickstarter is the aforementioned Project Eternity with just shy of $4 million in pledges. That just isn't enough revenue to create what could be considered even an A-grade release, when you consider how much it cost to make a game these days. Even releases like Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs squashed this figure in development costs, forget all about competing with games like Call of Duty or, god forbid, Grand Theft Auto, which is ultimately what something like Yakuza 5 will be compared to.
To fund my Xbox One purchase, my retro clear-out began. It's been a sad week but the best thing about clearing out is starting again! One game I did pick up this week is one I never even realise existed but is surprisingly good fun, Punisher for the Game Boy. Enjoy.
That's all for this week, thanks one again for reading! Email any questions you have to Stewart.411Games@Gmail.com to get them in next week's column, or leave them in the comments section below! Enjoy your week and I'll see you in seven!