We live in a time of excess and instant gratification, but, above all else, we live in a time of buzzwords. Buzzwords control the landscape of the world; politics, sports, and, of course, video games are all manipulated by these simple words and phrases. As a result of their power, Buzzwords must be embraced. This is where the embracing begins.
I don’t want to work; I want to play Theatrhythm Final Fantasy all day. This is a fact of which I’m not ashamed but am instead enthused by. Not since the days of Elite Beat Agents have I found a portable game that beckons me to play at all hours of the day, and, believe you me, I have. Nothing says midnight in the summer quite like a run through Aerith’s Theme from Final Fantasy VII.
In an odd twist of fate, I’m not even writing my column right now. This is all automated. The mechanical structure and robotic language of the column is, for once, not my fault. Now, enjoy the soothing vocabulary of Drewbot while I enjoy the soothing tones of the most musically inclined franchise in our medium’s short history.
I may not be old in the traditional sense, but I am old enough to remember a time in which players were hot for Konami to patch trophies into their already-completed masterpiece, Metal Gear Solid 4. Despite making its appearance multiple years into the console’s life, this particular iteration of Metal Gear Solid came out during an awkward period in which Sony had founded their alternative to achievements but had not mandated it for all new releases. As such, Metal Gear Solid 4 made its way to retail without the then-popular system of rewarding users.
At the time, this was a hot-button issue that had many a fan outright demanding Konami to update their game. Unlike Bioware and its handling of the Mass Effect 3 ending crisis, they never caved to the desires of their player base and instead left Metal Gear Solid 4 to wilt in the shadow of the year’s potent schedule of high-profile releases. That was 2008; this is now, and in 2012 the eager masses will at last be able to play through Solid Snake’s last journey with the added bonus of being able to hear a bell chime upon completing an arbitrary task. Then again, eager masses might be too generous of a statement.
Metal Gear Solid 4 is old news. In the days of yore in which it launched, trophies were in high demand. Today, achievements are regarded as little more than a trifling concern. What happens when you add a now-irrelevant feature to a game well past the point of relevance? Nothing.
I understand that Metal Gear Solid 4 will be repackaged this August in Japan, but to treat the amendment of trophies to an archaic title such as this one as a big announcement only seems wistful of a time in which Konami and its game were in the center of the media’s spotlight.
“Namco Uncertain if Tekken Belongs in Smash Bros.” – IGN
Allow me to aid you in your thinking process, Namco; no, Tekken does not belong in Super Smash Bros. I’ve analyzed the idea from every conceivable angle and have yet to find any that paint the prospect in a flattering light.
Tekken is a good game, but it has never even been decent on a Nintendo platform. Only twice in the franchise’s long history has it ever graced hardware belonging to the esteemed publisher, both times occurring in the portable realm. In both cases, on the Gameboy Advance and Nintendo 3DS, Tekken flopped.
Originally, much of my chagrin with the concept was centered around the fact that, though not exactly grounded in reality, Tekken traditionally sports a roster of characters that are far too human to be going toe-to-toe with such mascots as Donkey Kong and Kirby. It was then that I remembered Solid Snake’s, a more reasonably proportioned avatar that I like and quite enjoyed using, presence in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I’m not going to argue against his inclusion.
That said, the argument could be made that Metal Gear Solid has had as much impact on Nintendo hardware as Tekken. Of course, that argument would be wrong; Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, a remake of the original game released exclusively for the Gamecube, was fantastic. To this day, no other platform has seen heads or tails of The Twin Snakes while, on the other hand, every platform has seen miserable releases in the Tekken franchise.
In a brawler that pits the stars of Nintendo’s past against one another, it would be ectopic to include characters from a game that has had a non-existent impact on the company. Make the game however you will, Namco, but please refrain from indulging in your bizarre need to include Heihachi Mishima in every property that you touch.
God of War is a game for which I have no shortage of affection, but it is also a game that I would describe as immature and stupid. Coincidentally, the writers of Saw VI, a movie that I would also describe as immature and stupid, have been pegged to complete the Hollywood adaption of God of War. This, my friends, is what we call congruence.
Even for the video game industry, God of War is poorly-written tripe. The plot, in its entirety, can be summed up by one word: revenge. Not once does the franchise diverge from that well-worn path as it instead elaborates on its static premise. The very same description could be used in reference to Saw VI and the other three Saw films penned by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan. While initially the series followed a narrative rife with psychological horror, the entries headed by this duo can be summed up by one word: blood. Like God of War, it never diverges; it just continues beating a dead horse in new and shocking ways until its head explodes.
Never once did I have hope for God of War as a movie, but now I can rest assured that the writing will transition to the medium as smoothly as a Blade of Olympus through the eye of a cyclops. If you thought video game movies were bad before, then just wait until you get your eyes on this one; God of War the game and God of War the movie should prove to be congruent experiences.