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 411mania » Games » Columns

Four Player Co-op 04.23.14: Disney Infinity, Skylanders, PS4, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 04.23.2014

Todd Vote has joined the game.
Sean Walker has joined the game.
Dan Watson has joined the game.
Robert Cooper has joined the game.

Quizmaster Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Four Player Co-op. I am the Quizmaster, and unlike Jesus, I come back after seven days. Because this column runs once a week. Nothing blasphemous intended, I swear.

Start the game!

QUESTION ONE: To the shock of probably nobody, a sequel to Disney Infinity is expected to be on the way soon, which might seem quick, but hey, new console generation. Anyway, along with the upgrade (which is presumably a completely new game and not just an update, although details are sketchy) comes news that this version of the game will include at least a few playable characters from the Marvel universe. Hey, it's still a kids game, but can you possibly resist the siren song of playing as Captain America?

Todd Vote - I just hope I can keep my nephew away from this news. He has taken a turn recently from Godzilla and King Kong and has started getting into Super Heroes. His latest quest is to acquire a Red Hulk Figure. But it has to be the same size as his Avenger's Hulk toy.. Why? Because Red Hulk has to fight Banner!! (*tear*, so proud) Anyways, I hope I can keep this a secret from him for at least a little while. I'm sure it is something he will love, but that is hard on Uncle Todd's wallet. As for me? There are plenty of cheaper ways to play as Cap in a video game.

Sean Walker - Absolutely I can resist. Captain America is and always has been a boring superhero to me. He's like Marvel's Superman, except he can die. The theatrics that come with his character is a bit of an overkill. I get that he's a soldier from an era where they probably did talk like that, but it doesn't translate well with this fan.

Dan Watson - I would be very tempted by the idea of Marvel characters in an Infinity based game. They'd make cool collectibles. My wife loves Disney, so what would be better than playing a little co-op with her being a Disney Character and me destroying shit with Wolverine?

Robert Cooper - I can! I mean, sure, Captain America is awesome and all, but I still have Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 to beat, so I can play as Cap anytime I want!  While I wouldn't be surprised if Disney popped out a new Infinity game every year, do they really do need to?  I know that their licenses are growing larger by the day, but can they sustain releasing new versions of a lot of their characters ever year?  I mean it might work, but I'm thinking that by releasing a new Infinity game and tons of miniatures every year they are doing the exact same thing that the people behind Guitar Hero did and flowing a market with new stuff too soon and in too big a bulk. But they are Disney and are usually good at limiting themselves, so we'll see what happens.

Quizmaster - Todd gets 123 points for giving me an opportunity to give a plug for my favourite cheaper way to play as Captain America...and about thirty other superheroes, in Marvel Heroes, the free-to-play online action RPG. This weekend, in honour of the game's tenth month of operation, they're running a special event where the ten player-chosen favourite weekend events, from "Buy One Hero, Get One Free" to unique holiday drops (like Christmas, Easter, and Australia Day...not kidding) to increased specific boss loot, will all be running at the same time! There has never been a better time to start playing, and yes, Captain America is one of the free starter heroes!

No, they're not paying me for that plug. But if they wanted to shoot me a few in-game G's, I wouldn't say no...

QUESTION TWO: And speaking of games with tiny plastic figurines, there's also Skylanders, with over 2 billion dollars in sales to date. Oh, and it just came out that Nintendo actually turned down a deal with Activision that would have made the Skylanders franchise exclusive to the Wii. I feel like we should probably mock Nintendo for not seeing the obvious synergy here, so proceed.

Todd Vote - Skylanders: Pokemon Invasion. That little title right there should tell Nintendo everything they need to know about passing on this as an exclusive. Think of the crossover potential they had right there in the palm of their hands. Though, it does raise the question, if it was a Wii exclusive, would it be as big as it is now? 

Sean Walker - With the exception of the 3DS, Nintendo has been losing its touch for the last 4 or 5 years. They're constantly losing profits, they make these bone-head decisions, and quite frankly, their marketing department is the drizzling shits. I read somewhere that Nintendo could lose revenue for 50 consecutive years and still be alive, but it doesn't look good to do so at all. Having Skylanders as one of their focal points for buying a Wii U (which is the epitome of a shitty console name) or even the 3DS would probably do wonders for Nintendo IF they would have locked in exclusivity with Activision. Now I don't have to bother buying my brother a Skylanders and a new Nintendo console/handheld. Rather I'd just buy the damn game, and Nintendo won't get a dime. So pretty much like the last couple of years for them.

Dan Watson - This seems to follow Nintendo's recent trend of bad decisions. I honestly cannot see Nintendo surviving this generation with decisions like these. Then again, would you have rushed out to buy a Wii just for Skylanders? 

Robert Cooper - I was wondering exactly when was this proposed to them.  If this was when the Wii was selling more than the other two systems and was practically a license to print money, I could see them turning down the Skylanders people due to them being smug about the Wii and everything.  But if this were like, a few months ago, I would call them absolutely silly.  Sure, they tried a similar thing with Pokemon Rumble, and it tanked, so why not call that thing a failure like your name is Square Enix and pick up the hot commodity in town?  I think it's because Nintendo hates money at this point, that's why!

Quizmaster - Coop brings the history lesson for 346 points, because yes, Nintendo did try with Pokemon Rumble, which was clearly half-assed, because there's no way a Pokemon-themed Skylanders game doesn't do big business. Hell, they made a game where you can only take pictures of Pokemon and it still sold ridiculous amounts.

QUESTION THREE: Well, Sony has announced that they're selling all their stock in Square Enix, because apparently they owned a significant part of that company. But also, they've announced that the next PS4 firmware update will include an array of video editing tools so that you can add effects and such to your gameplay videos. Would there be any chance you'd ever use this thing more than once?

Todd Vote - So what does the Square Enix deal have to do with the video editing tools? Was it a Square-Enix invention for the PS4? I doubt I would ever use the video software at all. Let alone edit the videos. I would have to pull off something pretty damn amazing for myself to even consider it. Just not a big social media type of guy. I don't even have a twitter account. 

Sean Walker - That would explain why Sony usually gets first dibs on a lot of their major IPs. Considering I don't give a rat's ass about how many other people play the game I'm also playing, and I'm too lazy enough to actually video edit anything, I'm going to have to take a pass on this. But that doesn't mean this won't be useful for those who are into this kind of stuff.

Dan Watson - Another terrible concept that very few people will ever care about. I don't plan to use any type of replay editing software ever in my life.

Robert Cooper - That's a shame about Square Enix, was Lightning Returns really THAT awful?  I sure as hell wouldn't use it!  The only time I ever have used an editing tool was in SVR 2009 where I wanted to make highlight reel videos for my created wrestlers and thought they would look cool as titantrons.  Otherwise, I see no reason to go toying around with editing functions other than practicing my editing skills.

Quizmaster - Nearly everyone gets distracted by my misleading opening statement, as it actually had nothing to do with the rest of the question. It's the Simpsons episode of questions!

QUESTION FOUR: An interesting trend that has developed in microtransaction-based games is the ability to pay real money to skip levels or difficult content, or just remove the wait time in energy-based games. Now, to me, it seems that if you're paying money to not actually play a game, perhaps video games just aren't for you. But maybe I'm off base here. Is there any plausible reason why you would pay real dollars to skip content in a video game?

Todd Vote - Endless frustration for a certain point in a game we love is something all gamers should expect. Finally managing to overcome that obstacle and make it past to the next area? That is the sweet satisfaction we all take away from gaming, in my opinion. So I see absolutely no reason to want to pay in order to skip a certain challenging area. 

Sean Walker - I would pay a buck fiddy to skip those dreaded monologues that you can't press select to skip it. To those people, who don't give such option @$*& YOU! I have much more important and fun things to do like shooting someone's head off than listen to some pretentious dipshit ramble on and on about something that isn't necessary to listen to. But other than my personal issues, there is no reason to skip content in the game because you knew what you were getting into when you bought the game. If you don't like content that's provided to you, uninstall it, or take it back to the store.

Dan Watson - I still don't understand who pays money to play Candy Crush. Can someone explain to me why you pay to play a game that will keep giving you the levels after a week? This is what is ruining people. Why don't we pay to skip work days or jail sentences too?

Robert Cooper - Perhaps if it were Dark Souls 2 and you wanted to get to a certain point to where you wouldn't die, maybe I could see it.  I think that paying to skip game content is kind of silly overall, maybe paying money to lower the difficulty would make more sense, but to skip the experience all together sounds kind of half assed as a gamer in my book.  Maybe this does give hope for a version of the NES Castlevania with no Medusa Heads...could you release that for me Konami?

Quizmaster - Bottom line, if you pay money to skip content, you aren't actually a gamer. The whole point of gaming is to beat challenges, isn't it?

BONUS QUESTION: Happy Easter weekend! How did you spend this celebration of Jesus inventing chocolate eggs?

Todd Vote - Ham dinner with the family. Wore my old ass out. 

Sean Walker - My family likes to celebrate Easter by throwing boiled eggs and holy water at each other. I decided to skip that, and treated myself to a copy of Assassin's Creed IV which has been too much fun so far. I think I picked the right choice on how to celebrate Easter.

Dan Watson - I spent the day eating like a king. 

Robert Cooper - I had three different Easter dinners, including one where I was giving out life advice and another where I was treated like a Unicorn.  I also went and saw the new Robocop, I liked it, though it didn't top the original.  I would say that nothing really says Jesus and eggs like a robotic cop shooting Rorschach with a tazer gun, wouldn't you Quizmaster?



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