411 Games Fact or Fiction 4.24.14: Sony, Last of Us, More
Posted by Daniel Anderson on 04.24.2014
Is it too soon for Naughty Dog to bring The Last of Us to the PS4? Will Evolve's 4 vs. 1 gameplay effect future multiplayer games? Did Nintendo screw up in not making Skylanders an exclusive game? 411ís Stephen Randle and Jeremy Thomas debate these topics and more!
Hello everyone and welcome to this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. As always, I am Daniel Anderson, and I hope everyone has had a good week. This has been another eventful week in news. We are also getting slowly closer and closer to E3 where we will be overwhelmed with news. The spring and summer are always fun. Anyway, this week we have 411's Jeremy Thomas going up against Stephen Randle. Let's see what they have to say, shall we?
1.) The trailer released for the DC Animated movie based on the Arkham series is promising.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: I say this for three reasons. First off, I have a lot of faith in the DC Animated Universe films; they are by a vast margin better than the Marvel ones as a rule. Second, the trailer looks fantastic and it the Arkham series is a great place for them to tell animated film stories within. I like the animation style, the voice acting sounds good and the story seems intriguing. And thirdly, anything that gets them away from following in the footsteps of Justice League: War (one of their few duds) and the New 52 universe direction is just fine by me.
Stephen Randle - Fiction: Honestly? I don't think people are going to watch an Arkham movie hoping to see the Suicide Squad, they want to see Batman. I have no problem with the Squad per se (the episode of Arrow involving them was pretty good), but I don't agree with advertising a Suicide Squad movie as "part of the Arkham Asylum universe". When you hear Arkham, you have certain expectations, mostly centered around Batman being the main character, and that doesn't appear to be the case here. I'm not saying it'll be bad, I'm just saying, if this is an attempt by DC to create the crossover appeal that the MCU has with its properties, I think it's a bad way to go about it.
Score: 0 for 1 - This has the potential to be a really good animated movie. I think this could be the start of a new division of DC animated movies.
2.) It is too soon to port Last of Us to the PS4.
Jeremy Thomas - Fiction: I don't think it's too soon at all. Tomb Raider was released on the Xbox 360 and PS3 in March of '13 and then got a next-gen release in January of this year; that's less of a wait than The Last Of Us, which will be from June '13 to sometime in the last half of this year. I'm kind of surprised that it hasn't happened sooner; that's the kind of game that, like Tomb Raider (which is one of my few video game double-dips ever), will actually get a solid upgrade by going to the PS4 in terms of visuals and such. It's a good move because the next-gen consoles need some games to hit them while the game studios continue to develop their big hits, so why not?
Stephen Randle - Fiction: I originally had an argument that the original game had come out not that long ago, so of course it was too soon, but on the other hand, it was basically the last big exclusive for the PS3, and people who were saving up for the next-gen might not have picked it up. Also, since there aren't that many next-gen games right now, exclusive or otherwise, this is probably the best time to release this port, in order to maximize potential revenue from people who just want something good to play on the PS4. Also, the people at Naughty Dog have said that this was basically just a glorified proof of concept for PS4 development, a learning experience for them, if you will, and now they can take what they've learned and put it towards new games, like, say, Uncharted 4. Now, how about some sort of $10 upgrade deal for people who already bought the PS3 version, Sony?
Score: 1 for 2 - If this is really a test for coding for the PS4, then I think it is a good idea. I just hope it doesn't end up being a cash grab.
3.) The 4v1 format for Evolve will eventually be viewed as a fad, not a groundbreaking new style of multiplayer.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: I don't know if it'll be a fad necessarily, but I don't see this innovating the state of multiplayer. I think it's an interesting concept that will work out well for Evolve, but will remain sort of a niche because you can only use it in so many situations. How would this work for most games that have multi-player? The 4v1 works because you have one big, bad, nasty monster to take down and a lot of games just don't get that. So yeah, there won't be any groundbreaking done here but it's neat.
Stephen Randle - Fact: It's not going to be viewed as groundbreaking, because it isn't. It's basically an evolution (pun intended) of what we got when someone played as the Tank in Left 4 Dead, which makes sense given that Turtle Rock made that too. At the same time, I'm not saying it'll be bad, because it's an interesting concept that I think some people will love to play, as long as they've appropriately balanced the sides. I know I'd love the chance to play either team, just for the strategic potential. But no, it's not going to create a wave of similar games, it just might be a good game on its own.
Score: 2 for 3 - I would love to see some amazing new multiplayer mode, but I doubt that this is going to be a new fad.
4.) Amazing Spider-Man 2 not coming out for the Xbox One is a big deal.
Stephen Randle - Fact: While licensed games generally suck, the fact that one based on one of the summer's biggest movies isn't coming out for one of the next-gen consoles is probably not a good thing for Microsoft, just because it could create the image, rightly or wrongly, that the XBOne is harder to develop for. I'm not saying it is, but if something that was made to be ported to every console on the market can't put out an XBOne version, what's the problem that's preventing it, and how might it affect future products?
Jeremy Thomas - Fiction: I don't think it's a huge deal for two reasons. One, it will come out because Activision has since said that they're working with Microsoft to ensure that it does. Second, does anyone really give much of a rat's ass about movie tie-in games? Haven't we all acknowledged that because of the need to shoehorn in certain plot elements and finish on an accelerated schedule, they generally are not good? Yes, there are exceptions but by and large I don't think a piece of shovelware not being thrown onto the Xbox One is that big of a deal. There's enough to do with that system right now anyway.
Score: 2 for 4 - If there is an amazing game that comes out on every console but one, then that would be a bad thing. I heavily doubt that this will be that game.
5.) Nintendo made a mistake turning down a deal to make Skylanders a Nintendo exclusive.
Stephen Randle - Fact: Obviously they did, the damned franchise turned into a multi-billion dollar hit and even if limiting it to one console might have lowered that amount a bit, Nintendo is the company that makes a lot of money of its exclusive franchises. Everything about that franchise matches Nintendo's target demographic, and I suspect the only reason they turned it down was because they figured they could make their own. Well, Pokemon Rumble failed (and since it was a mix of Pokemon and the Skylanders concept, it must have been a truly wretchedly awful game to do so), and now Nintendo has this floundering console that could probably have used something like Skylanders to prop its sales up in between first party releases. Why Nintendo didn't learn from this and try to get a similar deal with Disney Infinity, I'll never understand.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: Nintendo needs all the incentives to get people to buy the Wii U that they can and Skylanders would have been a coup. It's not a game that does Call of Duty numbers but it's a consistently solid performer that is respected by gamers. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, unless they have plans to just completely throw in the towel on consoles at this point. But then again, maybe that is what they're doing. It wouldn't be hugely surprising to me if they did.
Score: 3 for 5 - If the game would have been exclusive to the Wii then it wouldn't really have mattered all that much. The Wii was highly successful and made Nintendo a ton of money without Skylanders being exclusive. If that would have carried over to the Wii U, then this was a major mistake that Nintendo is paying for now.
6.) It is not a good sign to see Sony selling all it's shares of Square Enix.
Stephen Randle - Fiction: I guess it depends which side we're talking about here. As far as I understand it (and who knows how right I am, I'm no stock market guru), this is less about any problems Sony has with Square Enix and mostly has to do with the fact that outside of the video game market, Sony has had some pretty massive failures over the past few years (notably that mistaken belief that everyone wanted a 3D TV), and needs to make back some capital to support their many operations. It's why they folded some of their TV brands, and it's why they're selling their minority share in a company that doesn't actually give them any exclusive rights to their games. I'm positive we'll still see Square Enix games on PS4 and Vita, though.
Jeremy Thomas - Fiction: It's not a sign of Square Enix's demise, if that's what we're thinking. It's that Sony saw an opportunity to raise some capital and frankly, why not pull out of Square? The stock isn't going to shoot up at any moment or anything, and letting the stock go is usually the thing to do if you're looking to invest elsewhere. I relate this to a recent story about some company or another dumping all their WWE stock recently that had some people freaking out. Of course they did, the stock was at an inflated price. It's a good move. It doesn't mean WWE or the WWE Network are going to fail. Same with Square.
Score: 4 for 6 - I know nobody thinks so, but I can't help but wonder if this is a sign that the next Final Fantasy game has some major issues.
Bonus Question: Does the release of the latest sales numbers for the PS4 and Xbox One show that gaming consoles are not going anywhere anytime soon?
Stephen Randle - I think breaking all your sales records within the first six months after console launch is a pretty good indication that consoles are pretty much becoming entrenched in the mainstream, yeah. Sony has sold seven million PS4's, and Microsoft has shipped five million XBOnes. Those are both way, way above the launch numbers for the previous generation. And we haven't even gotten to the really good games that will hit once all the developers get used to the new systems! Just wait, the best hasn't even started yet.
Jeremy Thomas - I didn't realize this was still a contention among some people. Consoles are definitely not going anywhere soon. It's a market that several companies are just now getting into; they wouldn't do that for a dwindling marketplace. The PS4 and Xbox One are selling fantastically well and will continue to do so for their life cycle; at most we'll see consoles continue to expand into becoming media devices, which is not a bad thing either. Yeah, consoles are here to stay.
That wraps up this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. Stephen and Jeremy went 4 for 6 agreeing more then they disagreed. As always, I will go ahead and talk about Co-operative Multiplayer. Here is last week's show, and I hope you will join us for the live broadcast:
I hope everyone has a good week, and until next week, happy gaming.