Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 6.18.07

Sony announces 9,648,319 games by March 08
Unfortunately, they counted each individual household a game would end up in as a unique game. If you don’t count your copy of God of War 3 as a different game from my copy, then 145 or more PS3 titles are coming.

Sonic RPG on DS being developed by Bioware
Funny, whimsical RPGs can be cool. Mario’s Super Star Saga and the whole Paper Mario series attest to this. Cute, colorful cartoon characters in RPGs can hold their own, too. Kefka may look silly this day in age, but he is still insanely evil. So what is so horrendous about a Sonic RPG? I’m glad you asked.

Sonic is uninteresting in every possible way. Running fast makes for a subpar to decent action game (or awesome 2D platformer) but is not solid foundation to build a character on. He is blue, has an attitude, a bunch of irritating friends and a fat arch nemesis who might as well be Dr. Wily’s doughnut addicted twin brother.

Many people think the lack of characterization of the Sonic characters makes the series ripe for an RPG. Why not use this game to finally flesh them out? Because they suck, that’s why. Sonic was borne from the mentality that brought the world (or at least the Simpsons) Poochie the Dog. Sure, Sonic’s games were actually great, but Sonic the character is vacuous. Why not create new characters who are interesting from the get go rather than staple characteristics to a marketing strategy?

Really, I only care because it’s Bioware (nice, it rhymed). Sega can waste a million shitty games on Sonic; only the Sega fans too dogged or ignorant to give up faith are even bothered by how deep they’ve dug his grave. But Bioware! They should be making Neverwinter Nights 3, Baldur’s Gate 3, Skies of Arcadia 2, or Phantasy Star V for the DS. I’d even take a Sword of Vermillion 2 over a Sonic RPG.

David Brent > America

The Office game coming from MumboJumbo
Now I don’t want this turning into any sort of argument or discussion because I am right and that’s that: The American Office is not funny to anyone who saw the British version first. Maybe if you don’t know what cheese tastes like then Cheez in a can is tasty and maybe if your first taste of cheese was from a can you appreciated it, but once you know better there is no going back. OK, back to video games…

Nintendo and Sony refuse to release Adult Only games
Companies want to retain a good image because they need to make money. Supporting an AO game can tarnish an image. I understand exactly what’s going on here, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it. Too many people are pacified by understanding.

Reggie watches elephant porn every night. It’s a fact. Yet he will not release an adult video game on his console. Ted Haggard gets messed up on meth then has male prostitutes lick his nipples. Still, he preaches abstinence and against violence and sex in the media. Millions of adults make porn a baplillion dollar industry. Somehow, they still manage to be outraged by the newest reality TV show. And Barack Obama is in the NAMBLA wing of the KKK (more evidence he isn’t really black).

If everyone who pretends to be offended or is only offended for the sake of children actually stood up for adult content, what a different, magical place the world would be. Maybe Nintendo and Sony don’t need to be the first to stand up for the right of adults to enjoy adult things without stigma, but someone sure as hell needs to. Someone besides me, since people tell me I have the mind of a child.

Tinkle is coming!
I can’t understand why anyone would dislike Tingle (Tinkle to Japanese fans). If you grew up playing Japanese video games then it’s only natural to find his flamboyance entertaining, if not absolutely fabulous. Sonic is cool and therefore lame, whereas Tingle is bizarre and therefore cool. It’s simple math, really.

And now Tinkle’s DS game is finally going to be translated into English. A US release would still be great (though it may not do well in Texas, Kansas, Tennessee, West Virginia…pretty much most red states) for getting Tingle into children’s hands, but because the DS is region free, green tights fanatics are covered.

Be still my heart.

This review of the game explains Tingle much better than I can. Read it, laugh, love Tingle, and buy his game. Support weird Japanese shit or one day nothing but EA games will remain.

PS3 software sells in Japan, but the hardware doesn’t
Ninja Gaiden Sigma sold a lot of copies but the game’s release didn’t seem to motivate many people to buy a PS3 in Japan. To be fair, it is the 38th time Tecmo has released the game. In good Sony news, which I tend to not report because I’m a subjective blogger posing as a journalist, PSP sales were high last week.

Blockbuster chooses Blu Ray
This will help Sony. The question is should they deliberately slow down the development of a cheap Blu Ray player to keep the PS3 a viable option for those primarily concerned with watching movies? It may retard Blu Ray sales because some movie buffs will want a player, not a console with a player in it, but at this point the format war may be coming to an end anyway.

Microsoft: People are happy with their Xbox
This is absurd. Here’s a fake quote from the interview:

“Journalist: So a lot of people seem to be having problems with their Xbox 360s.

Todd Holmdahl: A lot of people are happy with their Xbox 360s.

Journalist: Even so, some are breaking. What are the failure numbers like?

Todd Holmdahl: I can’t discuss that. What I can discuss is how in love people are with their 360s.

Journalist: What about the discs being scratched and the European governments’ concern?

Todd Holmdahl: Many customers have reportedly named their first born children “Gamerscore.”

Journalist: At this moment, I consider this to be your critical issue for this whole generation. What can you say about that?

Todd Holmdahl: My job is to make sure the customer is happy. This is certainly part of making sure the customer is happy. We have other things. You saw the release of the spring update. I certainly view customer happiness as one of my No. 1 responsibilities. Well, this interview was terrible. I hope you’re happy.”

That last bit was almost all real. The comedy wrote itself.

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17 years ago

While I agree that the sonic RPG is likely to suck, your argument that it will suck because sonic is such a one-dimensional shallow sketch of a character would also seem to condemn short plumbers whose two defining character traits are being italian and rescuing princesses from turtles. I’ve often heard it said that the reasons why mario can work in so many games (including RPGs) is that he hasn’t been fleshed out as a character, so he can be made to fit anywhere, and there’s no need for terrible attempts at characterization like those which have plagued the sonic adventure series.

Chris O
Chris O
17 years ago

I have to disagree here for one simple reason: inference. Mario works where Sonic does not for very significant reasons. Having a portly Italian stereotype battle injustice in red overalls is entirely different from a really fast hedgehog (where do you go with that?) that beats on a fat, mustachioed chap who keeps woodland creatures hostage in a box.
Maybe if they played up an amphetamine-junkie angle, to explain how Sonic always rushed around like it was going out of style, he might have had some inferred character traits.
I would argue that Mario does not need to be fleshed out, since his character is well known to all of us who have grumpy Italian landlords who come by occasionally to fix our plumbing. Not only do we already know Mario, we also come to find out that he has taken up the profession of “knight in shining armor” since the plumbing problem seems to have resolved itself. How honorable!
In conclusion, Sonic should have been put down years ago, and Mario can do whatever the hell he wants and still be pretty cool.