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 411mania » Games » Columns

Four Player Co-op: Bioshock, Killzone, Sierra, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 08.13.2014

Mathew Sforcina has joined the game.
Adam Larck has joined the game.
Sean Garmer has joined the game.
Todd Vote has joined the game.

Quizmaster Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Four Player Co-op. I am the venerable and venerated Quizmaster, here to enlighten you once again with the choicest video game news, surrounded by some of the least informed opinions we could find. We figure Comedy Central will eventually give us a slot after @midnight.

Start the game!

QUESTION ONE: Well, if you were worried about changes coming when Google purchased Twitch.tv, you were correct to do so. Last week, Twitch implemented a policy where any video on their service that contained licensed music would find the audio track muted during the offending portion. Things quickly spiralled into chaos, as the automated censor far exceeded its mandate, muting parts of videos not in violation of the policy (including some videos posted by Twitch itself) and generally making a hash of things. The CEO of Twitch admitted that the entire thing might have been a mistake, and offered...an appeals feature for those wrongly affected. Oh, also, they're not going to let you archive videos longer than two weeks anymore. How are you feeling about Sony and Microsoft making Twitch a big part of their online streaming service now?

Mathew Sforcina - In the modern age of gaming, one must accept harsh truths. And one such truth is that copyright law right now is horribly out of step with today, but it's still the law. Twitch is now too big to not do something here, and I think the major problem was less what they did and how they went about it. To my knowledge, there was no advanced warning, it just happened. Any launch of this sort of thing is bound to have issues, but had Twitch been all 'Bear with us, gonna do this now' and then the chaos occurred, there would still be screaming but it would be less intense. Twitch had to do this, but they could have done it better.

Adam Larck - I really don't care about Sony and Microsoft having Twitch. Twitch is fun for some people to stream, but I never watch Twitch outside of game conferences. You knew this kind of censorship would come into play, considering what a mess YouTube has had with things like this. Now, a new website will pop up to take its place that streamers will love to use, and eventually it'll be bought out and censored too. The cycle continues.

Sean Garmer - Trying to use an automated service for anything always sucks. Have you tried calling anything with an automated service? Most of the time it leaves you screaming at the machine and begging for it to let you talk to a real person.  I can only imagine how crappy it must be to see that a machine is screwing with this video you spent all this time making or streaming, only for it to be muted and no one can hear you. I'm not really watching a Twitch stream for the music that plays in the background, but if I can't hear the person talking, that's another story. I think we all knew this would happen once Google bought Twitch, if they did it with Youtube, you knew they would do it with Twitch too. I mean we don't really have a lot of copyright protection left as it is, they have to do something to maintain their rights. I think the storage thing is terrible for the people that make the videos, but Quizmaster and I both know what it's like to have to pay extra for storage of digital media, it's just a way for them to make some money for giving you this service. If you don't make videos, you have no reason to complain about how long they are storing the videos for, that's why Youtube exists. I feel bad for the video makers, but Twitch still serves it's main purpose for viewers so I can't totally hate on the buyout. 

Todd Vote - Exact same way I felt when it was first announced? Decidedly "meh". Look, I know a lot of gamers like Twitch.tv, I don't understand it, but I know it is there and people use it. It was a feature I never would have used in a million years, I just don't upload many gaming videos to the internet. It really sucks for fans of the service though, you spend all that time creating something just to have someone else come in and crap all over it. 

Quizmaster - Copyright law is a necessary evil that has not adapted to modern technology and how we share information in the new digital age. However, it still exists, and nobody here is saying that musicians don't deserve compensation for their work, because they do. The problem here is, searching through all the Twitch archives for violators would be an insane job for any human, and as those Terminator documentaries showed, nothing good ever happens from letting robots do jobs for us. Twitch was caught in a bad situation, and they made a bad choice. Hopefully they can fix this so that people can still stream Grand Theft Auto without worrying about the radio stations causing their stream to mute.

QUESTION TWO: Having finally settled their class action suit over the PSN hacks, it looks like Sony is stepping back into the legal arena, as they are being sued by someone who is upset that the multiplayer portion of Playstation-exclusive game Killzone: Shadow Fall only runs in upscaled 960x1080 resolution and not actual 1080p, as advertising might have implied (the single player campaign, however, does run in 1080p). In case you're interested, the firm filing this suit is the same one suing Gearbox because Aliens: Colonial Marines sucked. So, nuisance lawsuit interested in a quick buck, or legitimate complaint?

Mathew Sforcina - In the modern age of gaming, one must accept harsh truths. And one such truth is that whatever you do, someone will try to sue you over it. In this case there's a case there I guess in terms of what was
delivered isn't exactly what was described, but come on, this is really stupid. It's not like Aliens where the product was totally substandard, this is just 'not quite as good'. But again, legal system is crappy. Better than almost every other system, but still crappy.

Adam Larck - Definitely interested in a quick buck. I don't see this lawsuit going anywhere, and could see it quickly being thrown out. Seems like a waste of money to me, but if people have money to waste on trivial things like this, go for it.

Sean Garmer - It's stupid. Are we going to start suing movie companies because all of their advertising in trailers, especially with the misquoted reviews they use, can be considered false advertising because you didn't like the movie?  Are we going to start suing music companies because you bought an album and didn't like it?  No you aren't. Anyone that plays video games should know, YOU DO NOT BUY A GAME BASED OFF A DEMO!  Demo footage is just that, a demo. You can make the footage better because most of the time the game isn't finished. They can focus on making the game look really good, but then when they go finish the game they have to change a few things and sometimes the quality suffers. These are some of the stupidest lawsuits I've ever seen, people suing over the most frivolous stuff, when there are real court cases that need to be judged sitting in constant delays. Sometimes I really worry about our society. And suing over something not really being completely in 1080p is ridiculous. Go get laid man and find something fun to do, besides just having a stick up your ass. 

Todd Vote - Can anyone actually tell the difference just by looking at the screen? Maybe it is my old eyes, but I have hard time telling if my TV is even showing me an HD picture (I can tell the difference in side by side pictures, though), let alone be able to tell the difference between actual 1080P, and the upscaled 960X1080. So for me personally, I would say nuisance lawsuit. But how could you expect anything less from a country that allowed someone to sue McDonald's because they weren't smart enough to know that coffee is hot.  

Quizmaster - Todd gets to the root of the issue, for 1283 points. Listen, 99% of people who play video games couldn't tell the difference between upscaled or native 1080p if you stood there and pointed them out. It's almost ridiculous to listen to game announcements where they tout things like "60 fps" and "1080p resolution" as if the number of pixels on screen is what determines whether the game is actually any good. The bad news is, that lawsuit against Sega over Colonial Marines actually resulted in Sega paying out about $1.25 million, so I don't know, maybe stop having faith in humanity or something.

QUESTION THREE: If you're old like me, you remember the height of early point-and-click adventure games. And before LucasArts came along and made it so that you couldn't die just for clicking the wrong spot on the screen, there was a little company called Sierra and its devilishly tricky and intensely punishing adventure games franchises like Space Quest, King's Quest, Police Quest, and Leisure Suit Larry. Okay, the last one doesn't fit the title conceit, but the point is, apparently Activision will be announcing the return of Sierra in some form at the upcoming Gamescom convention. If they're really reviving Sierra, which franchise would you like to see make a comeback first?

Mathew Sforcina - In the modern age of gaming, one must accept harsh truths. And one such truth is that anything old, no matter how much is sucks, will be fondly remembered via the rose colored glasses of nostalgia. Tricky is
one thing, stupidly illogical is quite another. The Sierra PnC games were sometimes funny, sometimes boring, but invariably they relied on puzzles having a train of logic that hadn't so much derailed as it had been blown up, transported to twenty different locations and refashioned into modern art pieces. In terms of what I'd want to see back, while I love the Dr. Brain games, and they could easily make a decent comeback, I want the Hoyle series back, with all of Activision's characters in the game. Who wouldn't want to play Cribbage with Deadpool, or Hearts with Stewie, Tony Hawk and Spyro? Make it happen!

Adam Larck - I'd be interested in seeing Space Quest make a return, or even King's Quest. My guess is that Sierra is making a return either as re-releases of old games, or maybe a port of old titles to iOS devices, where point and click could work well.

Sean Garmer - That's cool to see Sierra coming back, unfortunately the only game I played of theirs was Lode Runner:  The Legend Returns and Leisure Suit Larry. Larry has come back numerous times and it just hasn't worked. I really like point and click adventure games, but if they are going to make them in the same style as their original games then count me out. 

Todd Vote - Do I have to stick to the point and click adventures? Because I never really got much chance to play anything like that. PC's were not a thing in my house. Hell, I was lucky enough to have an NES. That leaves me at a distinct disadvantage when trying to name a franchise i would like to see return. So I will just go with the only one I see on the list that I have played. Leisure Suit Larry. He deserves much better than the last couple games he has gotten. 

Quizmaster - Well, Adam's half right, for 1643 points, as the first games announced for the new Sierra are a new King's Quest and...Geometry Wars 3. I don't think anyone would have guessed that. Still, if they can also bring back forgotten children's classic Mixed-Up Mother Goose for my son's early development into a professional gamer (you've got to have a dream for your children), I'm all for it.

QUESTION FOUR: With the announcement of Bioshock for iOS, I can't help but feel like we might have gone too far in porting games to portable devices. Does the idea of this complicated FPS on your tablet sound like a good idea?

Mathew Sforcina - In the modern age of gaming, one must accept harsh truths. And one such truth is that if you can port a popular game onto a new platform for cheap, you do it. I won't play it because *slips on Iron Sheik voice* **** da Apple, *slips back out* but I understand why the conversion is being made. Money, dear boy. If it might make money, it'll happen. Dammit.

Adam Larck - As long as it works, I'm for it. The device does allow for controllers now, so that could really help the game on iOS. I've heard good things from those that have tried it so far, so I'll remain optimistic on how the game works on the devices.

Sean Garmer - I don't play mobile games, so I really don't care at all. I totally get that it was probably a money thing and that more people have IOS devices then PS Vita's, but if you are going to make Bioshock for IOS, why wouldn't you at least finish the Vita version?  It seems pretty fishy to me. I have all three Bioshock games on my PS3 and that's where I want to play them. Plus I have a 3DS that plays much better games on it, then the IOS ever dreamed of having. 

Todd Vote - Sounds like a battery killer to me. I understand having games on your smart phone. But I don't think I need anything that requires that much attention to play, know what I mean? I like some of the puzzle games that are on there, and things like that, but I personally don't need anything quite like a full on console game. 

Quizmaster - Todd gets 2934 points, because yeah, something at the level of BioShock seems like you'd get about five minutes of playtime before the battery gave up in disgust. And how would the FPS controls work anyway? Virtual joysticks are affronts to humanity, don't even try and tell me otherwise.

BONUS QUESTION: Hey, I haven't asked what everyone's playing lately. Let's do that.

Mathew Sforcina - In the modern age of gaming, one must accept harsh truths. And one such truth is that although I want to say Guacamelee and Dead Rising 3 given I recently got my Xbox One (the PS4 is coming later), if you go via total time played? The answer is, sadly, Candy Crush. I know, I know...

Adam Larck - A lot of Rogue Legacy. I'm still running through the game again on Sony consoles and having a blast. I also have been playing through Sacred 3, and am in the early stages of checking out Akiba's Trip on Vita.

Sean Garmer - I'm still stuck on Hearthstone. When I'm not playing that, I'm trying to play through Kingdom Hearts 1 and Re: Chain of Memories in anticipation of KH 2.5 HD Remix coming out. Then I will start on my DS & 3DS KH adventures. I'm also playing a bit of Uncharted 1 here and there too. 

Todd Vote - I actually just started a replay on the GTA V campaign, and I am going through my library and finishing off anything I haven't beaten yet. It has been 180 days since my friends have jumped to the Xbox One, give or take. So needless to say I haven't played anything online since then. Oddly enough, I am completely okay with that. 



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