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 411mania » Games » Columns

Four Player Co-op 06.18.14: E3 Fallout, GOTY, Phantom Dust, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 06.18.2014

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 nobody involved got to go to E3.

Yes, I know I used that intro last week. I'm still bitter.

Start the game!

QUESTION ONE: Well, E3 is in the books, so we pretty much know what we've got coming for consoles for the rest of this year (and a certain amount of next year, too). With that said, now that the show is over, what games did you come out of E3 with more interest than you had going in? Any new titles catch your fancy? How about something you already knew about that they gave us more information on? Better yet, did anything you saw just completely turn you off on an upcoming title?

Daniel Anderson - I didn't see anything that turned me off any upcoming games, but I did see a lot of good games coming out later this year and into next year.  The one that caught my interest the most was No Man's Sky.  After the flood in their offices possibly hurting the game, it was good to see that the developers continued working on their unique game and it looks great so far. Granted, it will not be for everyone, but I love how the game looks and can't wait to play it.  Also, Nintendo did the impossible by getting me interested in the Wii U.  I haven't picked one up, but there are a lot of upcoming games that have me very interested in a Wii U.  Plus, they told us about a new Star Fox game.  Overall, this was an excellent E3.

John Cash - Splatoon. SPLATOON! A new Nintendo IP that is a shooter starring squids in a squad squirting ink all over the place. How can you not at least be intrigued by it, if not totally hyped about it? NINTENDO is making an online multiplayer based game! That's nuts, I never thought it would happen, much less with a new IP. As far as a game that interests me more now than before E3, I'd have to say the new Wii U Zelda game. Not only is it going to be the (mostly) open world Zelda game people have wanted for a long time, there's also now a very bizarre mystery about whether or not the hero will actually be Link, Zelda, or someone else entirely, which is pretty exciting. They are definitely looking to shake things up in the series, though watching the teaser you can see they are definitely trying to keep things familiar as well.

Todd Vote - Well the obvious answer is Mortal Kombat X. That game looks all sorts of sick. I like how they are revisiting game mechanics from the series' rich history and seeing if they can tweak them and make them work, like they are doing with the fighting styles. In one of the previous games in the series you could switch fighting styles on the fly in the middle of a fight. This would allow you to chain together longer combos, yada, yada, yada. They are trying that again, only this time you select one of three styles before the fight starts, and from everything I've read, the styles drastically change the way each character plays. It could be interesting, or it could be train-wreck.

In addition to that, the trailer for Super, Hyper, Ultra Dead Rising 3, Turbo EX + Arcade Remix Rounded Off To The Power of Twelve cracked me up. It's nice to see Capcom having the ability to poke fun at themselves. Especially considering all the hell they catch about releasing 300 versions of every game they do. But Dead Rising with 4 people could be a blast. 

As far as a game I have no interest in? Ori and the Blind Forest. Watched like 20 seconds of the trailer, lost all interest, moved on. 

Quizmaster - I like John's enthusiasm for Splatoon, so he can have 492 points. I have to agree with both him and Daniel, I don't think anyone saw Nintendo and the Wii U coming out of E3 as well as they did. I mean, we all knew they had first party titles coming, but they still hadn't actually announced much beyond Smash Bros heading into the show.

QUESTION TWO: So, it's now mid-June, which makes it, by my count, officially halfway through 2014, and something's been troubling me. The year is half over, we're over eight months into a new console generation, and I feel like we haven't seen anything so far in 2014 that I would place highly on a Game of the Year list. Sure, there have been good, and even great, games, but looking back at 2013, where it seemed like there were a couple dozen GOTY contenders depending on who you asked, is it my imagination, or is this starting to look like a very dry year for truly incredible video games?

Daniel Anderson - There haven't been any mind blowing games so far this year, but part of that is due to game delays.  That being said, the latter half of 2014 looks pretty stacked.  Alien: Isolation, Evolve, Far Cry 4, Destiny, Assassin's Creed Unity, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Civilization: Beyond Earth, and Evil Within all could be great games.  So while, the first half of 2014 has been a little bare (except for South Park) you cannot say that for the rest of the year.

John Cash - It's just the lull at the beginning of a new console generation, though this time is a bit different... Nobody can afford to buy $60-70 shovelware/product demos after already shelling out $400-700 on the box to play it on these days. People who haven't bought into this generation yet are definitely the winners so far, but considering the slam dunk Nintendo had at E3 this year, they may lose when it comes to trying to decide which box to buy for next year's releases when Christmas comes around.

Todd Vote - You are not to far off base with your query. There just hasn't been a lot of incredible standout experiences this year. Part of it can be chalked up to delays and whatever, but we are still heavily lacking in the games department for the two new consoles. Sadly, coming out of E3, it doesn't really look like there is anything on the horizon that is set to break the mold, either. I suppose we can chalk it up to growing pains. 

Quizmaster - Daniel wants South Park to be a GOTY Contender so badly that I want everyone to remember it when the actual voting comes around in December. If he still gives it a...let's say top three position (because there's no way it'll be #1) on his list, I'll retroactively give him 1639 points.

QUESTION THREE: Between Evolve, Assassin's Creed Unity, The District, Magicka 2, Rainbow Six: Siege, and even Little Big Planet 3, I get a definite feeling that the future of co-operative multiplayer gaming will involve small squad-based gameplay in some fashion. And I'm not saying those games don't look awesome, because they do (especially Evolve). What I am asking is this: it's all well and good to show four assassins working in unison in a gameplay demo, but do you honestly have three other people you'd trust to work together as a unit (even using voice chat to set up combat maneuvers) in a video game? Or do you foresee a future where four individuals do whatever the hell they want, die, and get frustrated that they can't just play The District by themselves?

Daniel Anderson - I think it is possible to find three other people who want to play a multiplayer game the right way.  I think it will lead to people forming more clans (or guilds, whatever) to make sure you can have fun playing the game.  That isn't to say that you won't see idiots trying to ruin other people's fun, but it will be a lot less common then you think.

John Cash - You know, before Mass Effect 3, my cynical brain would have said "of course you won't be able to have fun with that, no one will work together," but after ME3, I now have the teeniest tiniest sliver of faith back in the gaming community. Of course, most of the team work happened because matches go faster when you work together on objectives and thus grind faster for credits to spend on the unlockables crapshoot known as the store, but still that was a bond I shared with random strangers, cackling for hours into the night about who messed up the most times and who got served humble pie in the points total screen. This experience won't happen for every game, but just knowing it's possible should be a ray of hope to most gamers.

Todd Vote - I do have a group of guys I would be able to rely on for games like this. They are pretty much the only people I play online games with. They've been playing together for about 8 years, and I joined them about 6 years ago. That's not to say we aren't going to get inside The Division (The Division, Quizmaster, not The District), and do our own thing and get killed anyways. But eventually we will iron out what we should be doing. 

Quizmaster - Todd, don't correct me. And stop lording your friends over the rest of us losers. You know what, just take away all Todd's points.

QUESTION FOUR: This one crossed my mind when Microsoft announced that they were bringing back a "beloved title from the original XBox console" for the XBOne, and it turned out to be...Phantom Dust, the critically liked but decidedly designed for a niche audience card-based arena combat game. So I got to thinking...were there really any other, obviously better choices for original XBox franchises to revive?

Daniel Anderson - Franchises exclusive to the Xbox One?  Well, there is the obvious answers of Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, but I would also throw out Crimson Skies and Mechwarrior.  I also wouldn't mind seeing a new Steel Battalion (that isn't a Kinect game), but there are several examples of games that could be remade. 

John Cash - FUZION FRENZY, I mean, does anything else even REALLY come close? Are people really clamoring for a sequel to Blinx the Time Sweeper?

Todd Vote - None come to mind, at least none that are owned by Microsoft. Conker? But he wasn't on the original Xbox, only on the 360. No, I think Microsoft has milked about all of their old franchises at this point. But, if you want to talk about games that were on the original Xbox that aren't necessarily Microsoft owned, there are several that spring to mind. Indigo Prophecy, Psy-Ops, Advent Rising... 

Quizmaster - They can't make another KOTOR until they finish the second one, Daniel, but we'll give you 3924 points for daring to suggest they make another Steel Battalion. Sure, he clarified that he didn't want a remake of the Kinect-based sequel, which I guess means he wants another one of the original, which came with a gigantic specialized controller that only worked for that game and cost a hundred bucks. Yeah, I'm sure they're in a big rush to bring that franchise back.

BONUS QUESTION: I am wiped out from all the E3 coverage and fallout. Talk about whatever you want.

Daniel Anderson - I do not have much to talk about, but feel free to listen to all E3 coverage on Co-operative Multiplayer, the player for which has been embedded at the end of this column because Randle's a swell guy who does things like that without even being asked.

John Cash - Did anyone else think it was kind of lame that they announced Palutena for Smash during the digital event, with hundreds of thousands of people watching online, and then at a closed doors event later they basically went "Oh yeah and Pac Man is in", leaving the internet to wait several hours before any footage came out confirming it? It seemed like a squandered opportunity for a HUGE social media pop to me. Also; shame on people giving Hungrybox crap for "stalling" to get to sudden death in the SSBInvitational, he was playing against KIRBY, literally the ultimate stall character on the entire roster at the moment! That was an amazing final and people bitching about stalling or nerfing Zero Suit Samus need to just chill, since the Wii U game is still 5-9 months away.

Todd Vote - Can't talk about anything. Still laughing/crying about Jason Momoa potentially being cast as Aquaman... It is really getting difficult to stay positive about DC's cinematic future when they keep doing shit like this. 



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