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 411mania » Games » Columns

Four Player Co-op 03.05.14: BioShock Infinite, Titanfall, Sega vs Nintendo, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 03.05.2014

Daniel Anderson has joined the game.
John Cash has joined the game.
Todd Vote has joined the game.

Quizmaster Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Four Player Co-op, the game where I irritate four people until they give me their answers to ridiculous questions! It's like a press conference without any journalistic integrity! So, like a press conference!

Start the game!

QUESTION ONE: You may have played stealth games before, but have you ever played a game without killing anyone? Well, Burial at Sea Part 2, the final DLC for BioShock Infinite, is introducing 1998 Mode (a reference to the original Thief's release date), where the entire DLC must be played using strictly non-lethal methods. Hey, some people did complain that Infinite had way too much gunplay...but anyway, what do you think of the concept of a non-lethal mode in what is, ostensibly, a shooter?

Daniel Anderson - I actually like the idea of a non-lethal DLC.  This is an optional extension of the game that no one else has to play.  People who want to play a non-lethal playthrough can, and those that do not want to can bypass getting the DLC.  I like DLC that takes chances, and tries new things with an established game.  I would much rather have this as DLC instead of a level in the game that drives me crazy.

John Cash - I played and beat Metal Gear Solid 2 without killing anyone that you don't HAVE to kill, but that was pretty much the only time. There were many times I have tried (playing some of the NES Mario games without killing anything or getting any coins adds a whole new dimension to how you play), but MGS2 was the only time I stuck with it through the entire game. I don't think you could do it in every game in a series without getting completely bored of it. I liked the way Dishonored had a compromise where you don't have to kill most characters, and can instead knock them out or give them to someone else to do... whatever it is they do with them (if I remember right some end up dying anyway.)

Todd Vote - I'm not a real big fan of stealth games, so the idea of having a FPS title where you are not to kill anyone just seems like a bad idea. As a matter of fact, who are these people that are complaining about to much gun-play in a first-person shooter game in the first place? What exactly were they expecting? I've recently hopped into the Bioshock universe (at the part in the first game where you acquire the camera), and I have been shooting everything in site. Why would you expect less gun-play in a sequel/prequel of a game like that? I know stealth games have a place, and there is even room in the FPS genre for some areas where stealth could change it up a bit. But no killing through the entire thing? 

Quizmaster - John gets 432 points for actually doing a non-lethal run in a Metal Gear Solid game, even if it was the second one, which was less a game and more a ten-hour movie that you occasionally moved through. That's right, I said it Kojima. Come get me.

The scary thing is, he might.

QUESTION TWO: Here's an interesting statistic (shut up, they exist) you might have heard floating around: apparently 50% of revenue garnered from free-to-play games (the study was for mobile games, but I would suspect you'd find similar numbers for other F2P games) comes from only 0.15% of the user base. That's just over a tenth of one percent of everyone playing the game. With that in mind, what's the most you've spent on an ostensibly "free" game of any type?

Daniel Anderson - So far, the most I have spent on a "free" game was the optional monthly fee on DCUO.  Laugh all you want, but it is still technically free.  You have the option of never spending a single penny and still level up a character.  I have probably spent close to $100 in the lifetime of the game.  Now, if you are talking mobile games, I have, so far, succeeded in not spending insane amounts (or any) money on cell phone games.  I have a 3DS for when I want to play games on the go.

John Cash - The most I've ever spent on a F2P game was $25 for a points card on Lord of the Rings Online. This was before it was available on Steam for everyone, and when my computer wasn't obsolete (so like two years ago), and I was playing on a barely working homebrew client that basically tricking it into thinking I was playing on a Windows computer (people who grew up using Apple computers in the '90s know the struggle and desperation of wanting to play PC games.) I was neckbeard-deep into LOTR role-playing (female elven bard), so most of those points when towards cosmetic items like a circlet and a dress to wear in villages/cities and then of course I had to have the sweetest lute you can buy. Outside of this though, I can't honestly think of another F2P game that I've actually spent money on.

Todd Vote - I have yet to spend any money on a free to play game. It's not that I am against the idea, mind you, I just truly have yet to encounter a F2P game where I've felt inclined to make any in game purchases. I was close on the F2P Spartacus game that released on the Xbox 360, just for the fact that without paying for that goods, you are really crippled when it comes to the arena fights. Everyone is just so over-powered compared to you that if you don't pay for things, you are eventually going to hit a wall. The problem with this is the game was just to repetitive to justify me spending any money on it. I've found that is the case with a lot of free to play games. They just aren't interesting enough, for me, that I want to pay to go further in the game.

Quizmaster - I spent $25 on DOTA (mostly on the Portal voice pack) and I've spent fifty so far on Marvel Heroes, but that was because they were offering "buy one hero, get one random hero free" and I'm a sucker for a good deal. I think everyone here is of the same mind, we're willing to spend money on a F2P game, as long as we feel we've gotten something of value in return. Now, full price games with microtransactions, that's something else altogether.

QUESTION THREE: Try and follow along with me here. Seth Rogen, you know, that guy in all those Apatow movies, has signed on to write a movie based on the book "Console Wars", which details the massive war between gaming consoles that was...Sega vs Nintendo. Hey, remember when those were the big two console makers? Oh, and it gets better, because the company that has the rights to make the movie is...Sony Pictures. What type of movie could you possibly envision this turning into, and given that it involves Rogen, what starring role is he going to play in a movie about two Japanese gaming companies?

Daniel Anderson - I have a feeling that we will get a movie telling the story of the "Console Wars" from the perspective of an American gamer (aka Rogan).  I can see this movie going one of two ways.  Either it is funny and pokes fun at gaming in the 1990's, or we get a view of gaming where a gamer is debating between consoles and ends up settling on the newcomer, the PlayStation. Honestly, given that it is Sony (the same company still pushing Ghostbusters 3 after Ramis' death) I see it hyping up the PlayStation more than anything else in the end.

John Cash - Well, I think the obvious answer here is that it's not going to be about video games at all, and more about corporate and marketing rivalries. Based on the synopsis on the book (which hasn't even been published yet; yaaaay hollywood...) it will take the stance of Sega being the daring and exciting new kid on the block while Nintendo will be the titan that isn't used to competition struggling to figure out what to do. I can't imagine it being too true to life unless it focuses mainly on the American side of the marketing wars between the two. Seth Rogen has played a lot of manchild roles in his career, but the guy is actually pretty smart and can handle drama pretty well also, so I wouldn't be surprised if this is one of those "out of left field" movies. Plus they have a natural set-up for a sequel; the nasty break-up between Sony and Nintendo over Nintendo not moving to CDs for their games that may ultimately end up being the first nail in Nintendo's coffin. Suffice to say, it won't stand up to the masterpiece that is the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, but honestly, what could?

Todd Vote - I am actually okay with him scripting this film. He is talented as a writer, having scripted This is The End, Superbad, episodes of The Simpson's, Pineapple Express. So I think it is safe to say Sony is going to make this movie into a comedy, which is fine. Rogen would probably play the stoner, because face it, Rogen always plays the stoner. Hey, we got to play to our strengths.

Quizmaster - Todd gets 1283 points for revealing Rogen's hidden depths in writing, and likely guessing his role as well. Not to blaspheme the good name of Harold Ramis or anything, but looking at Rogen's filmography, could a case be made that he inherited the mantle from Ramis of making the movies that will be the touchstones of this generation? I'm not saying Pineapple Express is anything like Ghostbusters, but ask a teenager for a list of their favourite movies and I bet at least one will have Rogen (or Franco) involved in some way.

QUESTION FOUR: So, to the shock of nobody, Microsoft has announced a special XBOne console bundle for the upcoming Titanfall release. You don't actually get a unique console case mod or anything like normal "special edition" console bundles, but you will get Titanfall for free with the system, which, hey, not a bad deal. Here's my question, though. Wouldn't you expect many of the people who were planning to pick up Titanfall would have already gotten a console at or near launch, since the game's release date has been known for months, and shouldn't Microsoft consider throwing those people a similar bone? Also, would Microsoft be basically giving away copies of their big exclusive (hopefully) console-selling game if the XBOne wasn't (and I checked numbers on this, so don't try and correct me) being outsold by the PS4 by a significant margin that has only grown since the Japanese release of Sony's console?

Daniel Anderson - I wouldn't say that everyone who is thinking about picking up Titanfall already has an Xbox One.  I know a lot of people that wanted to wait on picking up either console until other games that they wanted released on the console.  This is a way to get people on the fence to pick up an Xbox One with the first big game of the next generation.  Also, I think Microsoft knew that the Xbox One would take a big hit from the PS4 (especially with the price and the PS4 releasing in Japan…let's face it, American consoles are hated in Japan).  This deal is a way to get people to consider getting an Xbox One, and hopefully leads to more good game and console bundles in the future.

John Cash - They want it to be another Halo and Call of Duty, so they are going to let people jump on at this point "for free" (you still have to pay for a $500 gaming PC with an eerily future-science type webcam.) It's like in ever drug deal you see in dramas; you give the mark his first taste for free/discount, then they are hooked, at least that's how Microsoft is hoping it will work. It's not going to make me rush out and buy an Xbone, anyway.

Todd Vote - How is this any different from any other console bundle? Is it the fact that they are giving a copy of Titanfall away? Is that what makes this one into an "evil Microsoft" thing? So let me see if I got this straight here, if Microsoft would have offered a Titanfall Xbox One bundle where they charged for the game, they would be considered as being money grubbers. But, since they are essentially giving away a free game as incentive for people to buy the Xbox One, clearly they owe something to all the other people who already have an Xbox One, because they didn't get a free copy of Titanfall?

I'm not going to say Microsoft isn't deserving of some of the flack they catch, but anymore it just seems like every time there is a new story about Microsoft, there is someone there to spin it so as it seems more like Microsoft is trying to screw everyone rather than making an attempt to get people to buy their product. Bundles and price drops are the way of the industry. Sony doesn't owe me shit for dropping the price of the PS2 after I bought mine back in 2000. Should I get refunds on my games just because there is a platinum edition released for a fraction of the cost I paid for it?

What about people who purchased a PS4 because they knew that Infamous Second Son was going to be releasing on the console. They now have an InFamous: Second Son bundle featuring a year of PS+, a physical copy of the game, and an extra controller (that is outperforming the Titanfall bundle), does that mean they owe a copy of inFamous to people who bought a PS4 at launch? Or is that different, because they are charging extra for their bundle? Bottom line: price drops and bundles happen all the time, and the console makers do not owe us shit. 

Quizmaster - Todd, you, um, you got a little angry there. The intent really wasn't to dump on Microsoft (actually, I am disappointed about them not making a cool Titanfall case mod, but whatever), but I was curious if anyone else thought that they would forgo a bunch of Titanfall sales in favour of pushing the console if Sony wasn't beating them. I actually didn't know about the Second Sun bundle, so Todd gets 2359 points for bringing me new information.

BONUS QUESTION: All right, back to watching WWE Network (if anyone comes asking, I live in Beverly Hills now). Have you guys checked this thing out yet?

Daniel Anderson - I have checked out the WWE Network, but I am still waiting for the Xbox 360 app to start working.  I am tired of watching PPV's on my PC when I have a new TV just waiting to show wrestling PPV's.  I also hope they have their live streaming issues worked out before Wrestlemania.  Otherwise, I will have a house full of disappointed wrestling fans.

John Cash - If the long ago rumored Cruiserweight show had been something available at launch, I probably would have given it a chance, but the only thing that really interests me on the Network right now is NXT, and as good as it can be some times, I don't know that I'd pay $10 a month (and what ever the eventual price ramp will be; will you still want this service for $20 in September?) for it and the one or two good pay per views of the year.

Todd Vote - I did. I checked out the free week long preview. then I cancelled it. It's like this: I have an iPhone, and an Xbox 360. My PC is shit, so most of my browsing/watching happens on the Xbox. I'm so not paying ten bucks a month for something that I can only watch on my phone. Once they get the Xbox app working, I'll sign back up again. Maybe...  

QM NOTE: A short passage of time later....

So it turns out the Xbox log in problem was fixed when I checked after submitted the answers. I've signed back up for the network, but it appears the selections on the Xbox app are limited compared to that of the iPhone app. For example, I can only access previous WWE PPV's on the Xbox 360 app. Hopefully they will address that in the future. But as it sits now, I'm committed for six months. 



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