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 411mania » Games » Columns

Four Player Co-op 3.19.14: Flappy Bird, PS Home, Hearthstone, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 03.19.2014

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

Quizmaster Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Four Player Co-op, the game where if we ever get four players again, I may have a heart attack. That's not really fair, they try. And they fail.

Start the game!

QUESTION ONE: Good news for all you fans of Flappy Bird (apparently there are many for some reason), it looks like the developer may have decided to put it back up on the App Store, complete with a warning about taking breaks and not getting addicted to it, which was apparently his main reason for removing it in the first place. I know we all get a little crazy about our games, but were people really playing Flappy Bird for long periods of time? Quick, name some (hopefully much better) games that you've played for unhealthy numbers of hours in a row. I know you've got to have at least one.

Todd Vote - Back in the days of the Nintendo 64, there were many hours devoted to a plethora of games that released on it. Days lost to games like Excitebike 64, WWF No Mercy, Wrestlemania 2000 and Killer Instinct: Gold. As I've gotten older, marathon sessions have become less of a way of life, and more of an event for certain games. The last time I remember staying up all evening playing a game was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Coincidentally, either that or Black Ops was also the first, last and only time I did the whole midnight release thing.†

Dan Watson - One game that I'd say Adam and I spent close to 100 hours on was Last Remnant on Xbox 360. I spent hours working on that game and never beat it sadly. Maybe one day I will go back but I doubt it.

Adam Larck - I used to put in six-eight hours a day on Oblivion during college if that counts. As far as Flappy Bird goes, I tried to play once. Couldn't really see the interest in it, so I ended up just deleting it from my phone. Really have no intentions of picking it up again, either

Quizmaster - How do you spend over a hundred hours on a game and not beat it? I mean, I spent hundreds of hours on Diablo II and never hit level 99, but that was something only insane people ever managed anyway. 120 points to Adam for joining me in not understanding how the hell Flappy Bird ever got popular in the first place.

QUESTION TWO: It looks like VR headsets are getting poised to become the next big gaming gimmick in the very near future. You all know about the Oculus Rift, which sadly had to shut down production on its current devkits because of lack of materials to make them, but it seems now that the long-rumoured Sony VR headset might be revealed this week at GDC. In addition, Oculus, EA, and several other companies have formed an alliance of sorts in an effort to further the vision of making VR gaming a reality. I know we all still have bad dreams about the Virtua Boy, but do you see this new wave of virtual reality managing to get any sort of serious foothold in the next few years?

Todd Vote - I really don't. It's not that I am against VR, not at all. I think it is a cool concept to be engulfed into your gaming world while you play. What I think will be the killing point of VR in its current form is that big-ass, clunky headset you will have to wear. I just don't see that as being a thing people would want to strap onto their heads for hours at a time. Not to mention the severe hijinx not being able to see your surroundings will open you up to. Come on, I'm sitting in a room full of friends, wearing a headset that pretty much blinds me to what is going on around me, and they aren't going to mess with me? Right... I think VR will be a more viable gaming option when they can do it without a headset, like a Holodeck.†

Dan Watson - I hope not but can imagine it will be similar to motion gaming. It will be there but optional and more of a gimmick in gaming.

Adam Larck - I could see it being a foothold similar to the Kinect and PlayStation Move. They really haven't given a reason to make the devices a needed device or anything more than a gimmick. Sure, eventually it may become a necessity or worth it. For now, though, I think it will gain a niche foothold and nothing more.

Quizmaster - Todd gets 932 points for continuing to hope for a Holodeck, which, as we all know, is the dream. Of course, it would probably mean the end of humanity as we know it, since a lot of people would never leave, but hey, we had a good run.

QUESTION THREE: From the "we bet you forgot this even existed" files, Playstation Home, the long-derided free virtual space that has been in beta on PSN ever since it landed on the Playstation 3, has gotten a patch to provide...trophies! I'm sure that was the key ingredient to making it not suck. But seriously, did you even know Playstation Home existed? If so, how much time did you spend in Sony's little attempt at making a virtual avatar community?

Todd Vote - I remember it now that you mention it. I remember seeing videos of all the little horn-dogs on PSN swarming anything that looked like it might be a female avatar. I honestly thought they killed Home. Now when you say trophies, what are you getting trophies for in Home? I read the link provided and it sort of made it sound like the mini games might be getting them? If home is something they are still not planning to bring to the PS4, why bother updating it? I know plenty of people still game on the PS3, but did any of them even give a shit about Home?†

Dan Watson - Zero time spent on this. However, I am continuously working on my XBox avatar. I am not sure why but I keep working to change it up slightly.

Adam Larck - I downloaded it once, tried it and immediately deleted it again. I'm surprised people are still around that thing. You have to give them credit for sticking around that long at least. Thankfully, Sony didn't waste the time porting that thing to the PS4, but have instead focused on giving users a better online experience for the system.

Quizmaster - I'm curious if Home will still be in beta when they eventually stop making PS3s, because you're never going to get somebody to pay for it. Seriously, how does Nintendo, which hates and fears the Internet, still have a better online "gathering spot" in the Miiverse, than Sony? Anyway, Dan gets 1832 points for continuing to make sure his avatar is awesome. See, why couldn't Sony have just done avatars? I would love to have one of those.

QUESTION FOUR: Finally, Hearthstone, Blizzard's long-awaited online collectable card game (as opposed to Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard's long-awaited answer to DOTA) left beta last week and is now available for everyone as a free-to-play game. Personally, as someone who still has his old Magic deck around here somewhere, I'm not sure where I stand on the idea of an online CCG. What are your thoughts on this concept, and are you looking to give Hearthstone a try yourself?

Todd Vote - You know, I played a little D&D in my day, and there was one CCG game I did play with my brother and a couple of cousins a few times... I can't remember the name of it, something to do with assassins. Anyways, beyond that, I never really developed an interest in these games. So, not really much interest in Hearthstone from me.†

Dan Watson - This is something I'd give a shot to. I'm all for more games using the card style of old Magic games. At the same time, it truly depends on how it works outs. With Blizzard behind it, I'm sure it will be awesome.

Adam Larck - Hearthstone is actually pretty fun. I've been having a blast playing it. Sure, the charm of buying a pack and opening it in person is gone, but you can still do it digitally. Personally, I'm just waiting on the iPad version right now to be able to play on the go.

Quizmaster - I'd venture that Todd might be talking about Legend of the Five Rings, but I'd need more information. I was in the closed beta for Hearthstone, and while I'm sure it's fun, and I did enjoy my limited experience, it probably can't avoid the same problem I had when I was into Magic: everyone else has more money and free time to build killer decks than I do.

BONUS QUESTION: Fill this space to your heart's content.

Todd Vote - The day you are reading this is one day away from the first day of Spring. I know I can't be the only one looking forward to the cold weather being over, am I? Time to get out and do some fishing and camping... can't wait.†

Dan Watson - I've been studying non-stop for the past 10 days. This time next week I'll hopefully be promoted and have passed this four hour oral exam for work.

Adam Larck - Really not much to say right now. I'm engrossed in Titanfall, with a side of death in Dark Souls 2. Both games are great titles and addicting in their own ways. If you haven't checked either game out yet, give them a shot.



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