Ask 411 Games 02.10.14: Gaming Deaths, Mortal Kombat 2, More!
Posted by Stewart Lange on 02.10.2014
When is Netherrealm going to make the next Mortal Kombat? What are the best deaths in video games? Which TV show should be made into a game? And why isn't indie gaming bigger? All this and more covered this week in Ask 411 Games!
Hey everyone and welcome to another Ask 411 Games! This week has been a largely unproductive one, as long as you decide to exclude Dead Rising 3 from the whole "being productive" thing. It's really something else, totally different from the first two games in the series, but I'm not entirely sure as to why. You don't have the same level of pressure on you to achieve seemingly meaningless tasks, which means you really can feel like it's just fun to mow down zombies in a motorcycle-steamroller-flamethrower-vehicle. I also was able to finish Ryse, which was a really cool game. It's not perfect, but looked so amazing throughout that it was very easy to keep playing just to see how good the next stage was going to look.
On a slightly more serious note, though, I do need to stress how important it is for you guys to send your questions in, no matter how trivial/difficult/ridiculous they are. I've eaten into my backlog already and you'll notice this week isn't really brimming, so if you want to see this column continue, don't sit back and wait for someone else to send in your question, just do it yourself! Send them to Stewart.411Games@Gmail.com so I can continue to make this column as high quality as I possibly can for you guys. Let's hit the banner.
Well, last week was pretty good fun. I slightly mistook the wording in a question sent in by Katamari Damacy about Kickstarter being used to port games to different locales, which would have gone undetected had thecountofincognito not (rightfully) called me out for it in the comments.
I believe the question was in regards to a localization or port, which would be much, much cheaper than "developing" a whole new game. I doubt hiring a translater and a few text coders would come close to hitting the million dollar mark, much less 4 million. Even with hiring (non-celebrity) professional english voice actors and putting out a low-level marketing campaign, it wouldn't be likely to hit that. Now, if they wanted a huge, Call of Duty sized hit, of course they will need to spend more in marketing, but the point of the Kickstarter fund would be to make it financially viable for them to localize and release games that may not reach mainstream success in that region. The Kickstarter funders are covering the cost so they don't lose money on the deal. Then there's always the chance the game becomes a bigger than expected hit in the region, and they make a nice bonus profit. Either way, what do they lose with fans funding the effort? Especially now when you can release a game download-only.
Perfectly put. I looked too deep into the question and why a developer wouldn't use Kickstarter to create the game, completely missing the clear part of the question that actually said about porting a game. My mistake!
The majority of the other comments fell into the worst game ever question that I asked, but I'm going to leave that until another day, since I think I'm going to have a little bit of fun with it. Please continue to leave your WORST GAMES EVER in the comments section.
Well done once again to lorddarius who is sitting on the cusp of a trio of wins here on Name That Game which will increase his prize from 100 internetz to a huge 50 bajillion interwebz! Good luck to all of you, though! Let's look back at what he got right last week.
Recovered alcoholic- Drink problem during Tekken 4. Thought I was a winner once- Didn't win King of Iron Fist 3. PETA must hate me- Fought Kuma the bear. I owe a lot to Johnny Bravo- THAT haircut.
Last week's answer was, of course, Paul Phoenix from the Tekken series. Let's take a look at this week's puzzle.
I believe strongly in magic, miracles as well as technology, even though I'm too young to be able to make an informed choice. I'm fantastic at martial arts but my favourite way to throw down was eventually stolen by the New Age Outlaws to start their matches. I was set to be huge but someone decided that they'd make me feel Blue instead, so I spent the rest of my days opening a video games store whilst playing tennis and racing my motorcycle in my spare time. Who am I?
Get on it in the comments section. Do it. Do it now, then come back and read on.
BRING ON THE QUESTIONS!
This first one comes from 411's very own Todd Vote via Facebook.
Is Netherrealm going to make Mortal Kombat 2?
This is a pretty interesting one. Netherrealm Studios released the reboot of the Mortal Kombat series in 2011 to critical acclaim, unless you're Australian in which case you only got it last year. Doesn't make it any worse a game, though. Anyway, Netherrealm went on to develop a couple of Batman games for mobiles and released Injustice: Gods Among Us, another fighting game, another critical hit. While the studio HAS NOT come out and stated they will be making another Mortal Kombat game, the producer of TV show Mortal Kombat Legacy has stated on record a new game will be made to tie in with a new movie, although details of either are extremely shady, to say the least.
Regardless of what Lance Sloan has said on the matter, I'd suggest an MK sequel would just be a matter of when, not if. Both of their fighting games have been well received and sold well, so with the gaming engine in place, I'd certainly be interested in a Mortal Kombat game that borrowed some of the new features they introduced in Injustice. At this point in time, Netherrealm still own the rights to the franchise so unless something crazy happens, I'd be very surprised if another studio was at the helm of the next game.
The next one comes from Ell via email.
What are your favourite gaming deaths, both in storyline and downright coolness?
PLEASE BE VERY AWARE, THIS IS GOING TO CONTAIN SPOILERS. SO MIGHT THE COMMENTS SECTION. DON'T GET PISSY IF SOMETHING IS RUINED FOR YOU, BECAUSE ALL OF THESE CAPITALS SHOULD REALLY GET THE MESSAGE OVER.
Right, deaths in gaming are nothing new, but I'm assuming this question refers first off to character deaths that actually alter the storyline, then to just cool ways to die/kill people? That's how I'll take it, anyway. Right, in no particular order, here are the deaths that most affected me.
Aerith: Final Fantasy VII- I don't care who hates on me for obvious this is, but Final Fantasy VII was the game I'd racked up the most hours on until Fallout 3 came out. I was attached to all of the characters and the death of Aerith is one of the most beautifully melancholy deaths I have ever played.
Dad: Fallout 3- You spend so long and put in so much effort to find your father that when he dies to save his dream, you really feel the NEED to avenge him.
Lee: The Walking Dead- Fuck me, this was a harrowing game. While you could almost argue the case for any of the main character deaths in the series as warranting a look, the heartbreaking way in which Lee passes away was an unfortunately perfect end to a phenomenal line of storytelling.
John Marsden: Red Dead Redemption- Predictable? Yes. On every single "deaths in gaming" list? Yes. Do I care? Not even a little. If you can honestly say that you put all the hours into Red Dead and not have your eyes starting to nip while you rode his wife and son across the plains to discover his fate, then you're a liar.
Honourable mention- Mass Effect 2. You didn't save your teammates at the end and you'll know.
As far as coolest go, I'll leave that up to you guys. What are your favourite ways to slay your enemies?
GVIL is back with a few questions, but I'll not tackle all of them right now. I'll hit two of them and save one for later.
If you could live in any game world, what would it be?
Wow, that's quite the question. It's like asking someone what your favourite album is, since it's all about what mood you're in. I'd love to be able to explore the Capital Wasteland, but don't feel like I'd be able to fend off Deathclaws and the Enclave very well, so that's maybe a pretty bad idea. Animal Crossing isn't my cup of tea, but a town there would at least give me the security of not being killed, or eaten and I could just spend my day digging shit up and fishing.
Having thought about it long and hard, though, I'm going to have to go for this little classic.
Skating around, tagging stuff and avoiding the police? It's the teenage years I was too scared to have. Seriously though, how much fun would it be to live in Tokyo-to? I almost hit the Tony Hawk games but since the only good games in the series took place across different levels, it didn't seem right.
Side note- isn't it funny that no matter how good a skater you were when younger, once you hit a certain age you have to stop? Two reasons- first, as a 30 year old on a skateboard, I feel like you'd need to be REALLY good to not just be a dick on a skateboard. I was never that good. Second, a fall when I was 17 would be an awesome story, whereas now it'd be a couple of unpaid weeks off work and a major inconvenience.
Another one from GVIL coming up.
What TV show would you like to see made into a game?
I do have to admit, I don't watch a huge amount of TV. Obviously, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones aren't going to be eligible for my answer, so I'm boxed into a corner a little bit. Other awesome shows that I enjoy wouldn't really work as a game, such as Breaking Bad, The Sopranos or Sons of Anarchy. This is actually a bit of a struggle.
Thinking a little harder, I think that Supernatural would make a pretty decent series of games. If it was a survival horror game, with you as one/both of the Winchester boys battling a list of urban legends in slightly different levels, it'd be pretty cool. It probably wouldn't work over just one game, but I think I'd love to play something like that. Once the series is established, Sam and Dean can look to close the gates of hell and so on, then end the games mercifully before they outstay their welcome.
Last question this week is the second part of last week's epic email from Katamari Damacy as promised. I'd better give a little background before even giving the question here.
The Castle Doctrine developer has come out recently and stated he feels that games starting out at a higher price and then dropping over time negatively affects sales and alienates early buyers. He suggests that prices rewarding the early adopters and then slowly increasing over time, following the Minecraft model, so to speak, is much better. So, his question is:
In your opinion, why haven't other indies or larger publishers undertaken the same sales model? Top heavy sales may look good initially but the 'long tail' suffers for it. It would be more economically prudent to have a sales model that does not depend on sales.
I've been on the fence about this and while it may work much better for indie developers, I'm not sure I agree 100% either way. If it were to be implemented, I don't think the game should be released at less than standard RRP, but offered at a discounted rate to pre-orders. Now, this should be applied to standard retail games, such as Skyrim, Call of Duty or any of the big EA sports releases, however such a pricing plan would never be implemented because these titles have a built in, core, day one audience. COD and GTA would never do this because as sure as night follows day, they have a large sales spike and by and large, avoid (massive) sale discounts for around 6 months after release.
For the indie developer, though, the games are seen as much more of a risk to the buyer. I've purchased games such as Fez, I Am Alive and even some Summer of Arcade titles purely due to the discounts applied during later sales because I've just not been sold enough to pay full marked price on them, but also because I've then been able to research them, read reviews and ask other players about the quality of the title. While I'm not a Steam user, I don't think my feelings would be much different towards the likes of Castle Doctrine because I'm not prepared to drop money on a beta title or a game I don't really know an awful lot about.
Maybe I'm not seeing the bigger picture of this, but as a mainly console gamer, I know there are games I'm willing to pay full retail for at launch. I've just pre-ordered Thief and while it would have been awesome to pay 60% of the price, I'm also quite happy with a code for some extras. The flip of that coin is, say, Destiny. I'm sure it'll be great, but I'm also not going to buy it at launch, even at a discounted rate, because I'm quite happy to wait until the game naturally drops in price. Maybe I'm being cynical here, but those are my honest thoughts on the matter.
I've had a great week for collecting this week, mainly on Gameboy titles but also picked up a couple of great N64 games I was looking for, with Pokemon Stadium 2 and Duke Nukem: Zero Hour. I'm still selling off random bits and bobs (within the UK) so if you're interested in seeing what I have for sale, check my Instagram account by searching for Outafterdark216.
That's all for this week, remember, if you don't enjoy the questions that I answer, make sure and send me better ones via the Facebook page (just search for Ask 411 Games or send me an email via the address at the top of the page. Until next week, though, I bid you farewell and hope you all have an awesome time. See you in seven!