Fable II Hate Mail, Guitar Hero 5 DLC Issues & Boycotting Shadow Complex? – Welcome to the column that was asked to discuss their morals and rejected that proposal based on the fact they didn’t have any known as Dare to Play the Game.
The term is Peggle fiend. That’s what I feel like from last week. I was about 1/3 through Peggle’s adventure mode when we talked last. I completed the adventure mode in Peggle and finished with 15.3 million points. Not bad for a first go. I picked through the various obstacles in challenge mode. I have no intention to complete all of the challenges but will attempt some here and there. Some of them just defy explanation. The other thing I did do was start the adventure mode again figuring I had picked up enough knowledge from my first run through (not to mention that after you complete it, you can use any of the masters in each stage) to make the 20 million points achievement on the second time around.
The other game I took time to play was the demo of Shadow Complex. All I can say it is bloody awesome. I had heard the hype, but I was thinking there was simply no way it could live up to it. I was respectfully wrong. I will be purchasing the full copy sometime this week since I went through the demo in about an hour or so (I lost track of time honestly, it could have been 2 or more). My review should go up sometime this weekend. Naturally, I will elaborate more on the review and also in an article below.
Welp, Blizzcon 2009 is over and I didn’t even order the pay per view. Several days of WoW, Starcraft, Diablo and anything else Blizzard is willing to sell to the public. Cosplay is of course one of the major reasons I would go. I mean where else could you see real life female draenei, elves, and even orcs. There is just something about a vacant look and a lot of green skin.
I guess this rates a spoiler alert, nearly a year after the fact. But the dilemma presented at the end of Fable II so outraged some players that they took to writing good old-fashioned hate mail to Peter Molyneux.
In an interview on the choices the Fable series forces its player to make, Molyneux said Fable II’s ultimate decision was a bridge too far for some. They so resented being forced to choose between sacrificing all their companions – including the beloved dog – or a sizable group of people, that they wrote in, vociferously. Molyneux told GameSetWatch he “did have hate mail from people” who couldn’t sacrifice the greater numbers, and said bye to the dog.
It all “got to such a furor,” Molyneux said, that Fable’s first DLC was changed to allow the dog to return to the game.
You can look at this one of two ways: One, that Molyneux diluted the force of his game’s calling card: choices and their consequences.
Or, two, that this isn’t like filmgoers complaining about a surprise ending. Gamers don’t just passively experience the story, and having no idea they’d be asked to do something this uncomfortable is quite a shock. I’m not sure I’d sent “hate mail,” (I’m not sure how vehement it was, either), but I’m willing to see the gripe’s legitimacy.
I chose the dog. That’s all I got to say. I didn’t even think twice about it. He helped so much during the course of the game, they could have offered nude pictures of Mickie James from the WWE and I would have still chosen the darn dog. I can understand feeling a dilemma in making a choice but isn’t that the point? Fable II took the bold choice of making you pay for your actions, whether good, evil or somewhere in the middle. That was the whole point of the game.
One could look at it from the angle of hey I’m personally vested in the story, I don’t like the idea of giving up XXX. I want it all! Then reload your save and choose something else like a lot of us did. Or *gasp* even more alarming, play the game again. Yeah, cause that would take effort. Gamers are so bleepingly spoiled these days and even though I will pick up the eventual Fable II that contains all of the DLC, I have to wonder what if Molyneux didn’t cave in, we might have been faced with even more difficult decisions.
Okay seriously. If this is my decision, I’m taking Mickie all the way. Of course, that dog will find you treasure and fight for you. *sigh*, tough decision.
Guitar Hero 5
So, we know that Guitar Hero 5 has for a price – backward compatibility with existing song catalogs. But does it enable frontward compatibility in previous titles?
Answer: No. The DLC you’ll get in Guitar Hero 5 is not usable in Guitar Hero: World Tour, according to Destructoid, and it’s not a big surprise why. They’re two different games.
An Activision rep told D’toid that “advancements and innovations” in Guitar Hero 5 make playing its DLC on previous versions a no-go. These features include vocal star power and and advanced drumming mode.
Bringing your existing DLC up to Guitar Hero 5 is possible through an export/import mechanism, but again, for a price, which Activision has not revealed. Also, it’s applicable only to 152 of the 158 songs in the World Tour and Smash Hits catalog, and no one knows which songs are the blacklisted six.
This is about as close as I’ve been to saying the heck with Guitar Hero all together. Rock Band has always looked out for the consumer and produces a greater experience while Guitar Hero never fails to stick it to us. There are a couple of examples here. 1)Your existing DLC for a price can be brought up to speed where as Rock Band has strived for DLC compatibility through RB1 and 2 from the start at no cost. If you downloaded a song a long time ago, you can still play it and not worry about upgrading your track.
The second thing here is that Guitar Hero 5 DLC is also useless to World Tour because of things like Vocal Star Power and Advanced Drumming Mode. Well, if they had followed a non-confusing method of Vocal Star Power the first time, we wouldn’t have had this problem. And advanced drumming really? Isn’t that called a drum set? Come on. Guitar Hero irks me, they had an awesome game up until Guitar Hero 3. Then they haven’t made a right move since. It’s gotten them in trouble so much that now with Guitar Hero 5, they are offering the incentive (if you buy it in September) that if buy the game, you will get GH: Van Halen in December for free. It’s extremely tempting, but so frustrating at the same time.
Has anybody looked at some of these deals for this game? Amazon has not only the standard offer which includes GH: Van Halen but also a $10 gift card towards a future video game purchase & a $5 mp3 credit for any of the songs in the game (if I read it right). I’m just waiting for the offer from Vince. You know who I’m talking about.
Vince: That’s right we have Guitar Hero, the Monster of Rock premium package. It’s the single greatest game in the universe. It will include Guitar Hero 5, Guitar Hero: Van Halen, the SlapChop, you’ll love my nuts & a year’s supply of ShamWoW. But if you order in the next 30 minutes, cause we can’t do this all day; you get a free copy of Guitar Hero 3 and we’ll even get it personally delivered by Tom Petty. Yes, Tom Petty will bring this package to your home and perform “Running Down a Dream” in your living room. Be sure to bring munchies and be sure to pass the kouchie.
Kim Wong refuses to buy the new Xbox 360 game Shadow Complex. Revolted by the political views of a novelist associated with the game, the 27-year old gamer’s conscience holds him back. But there’s another side to the story.
For the past week or so, some gamers and game reporters online have begun discussing the newly-released Xbox Live Arcade side-scrolling adventure game Shadow Complex in ways not intended by its creators. Stepping away from a discussion about how the game is one of the biggest downloadable titles ever made, a collaboration between a leading studio and some bright young talents, a love letter to the classic, but neglected, designs of Nintendo’s early Metroid adventures, some gamers have instead debated whether buying Shadow Complex is an intolerable act of support for someone they view as an opponent of gay rights, novelist Orson Scott Card.
The debate around the game has provoked a rare discussion about whether the political, moral or religious views of people involved with making or promoting a video game, views so rarely discussed publicly by video game creators should or would affect whether a person buys a particular title. Fun factor’s got nothing to do with it. Or does it?
Kim Wong has discovered that moral views of creators do matter to him. He cannot countenance the involvement with Shadow Complex of Card. The acclaimed science fiction author has written that practicing homosexuals should not be treated as equal citizens and has described gay rights as a “collective delusion.” He has supported legal movements to block laws that would allow gay people to marry.
Card was not the main creator of Shadow Complex. He did not conceive it nor code it. His name has been used in the game’s promotion by its developers and publisher, Microsoft, to trade both on the renown for his classic novel, Ender’s Game, as well his 2006 book, Empire, which was based on the same fiction as Shadow Complex: a Right-Wing-vs.-Left-Wing future American civil war crafted by members of the new game’s development studio, Chair Entertainment Card, who has expressed his views about homosexuality in more detail than can be summarized in a sound bite, has, for years, bristled at accusations that he is a homophobe, establishing his views about homosexuality in the context of his faith as member of the Church of Jesus Crhist of Latter-day Saints, a faith, like those of Catholics, that deems the practice of homosexuality as a sin. (Card did not return Kotaku’s requests to comment for this article.) Card was not the main creator of Shadow Complex. He did not conceive it nor code it. His name has been used in the game’s promotion by its developers and publisher, Microsoft, to trade both on the renown for his classic novel, Ender’s Game, as well his 2006 book, Empire, which was based on the same fiction as Shadow Complex: a Right-Wing-vs.-Left-Wing future American civil war crafted by members of the new game’s development studio, Chair Entertainment Card, who has expressed his views about homosexuality in more detail than can be summarized in a sound bite, has, for years, bristled at accusations that he is a homophobe, establishing his views about homosexuality in the context of his faith as member of the Church of Jesus Crhist of Latter-day Saints, a faith, like those of Catholics, that deems the practice of homosexuality as a sin. (Card did not return Kotaku’s requests to comment for this article.)
The Creators Speak
“Card’s political beliefs sure didn’t come up during the game’s development,” Mark Rein, vice president of Gears of War development studio Epic Games, which owns Chair Entertainment, told Kotaku. “Even if they had, we don’t discriminate when hiring or choosing partners based on people’s personal beliefs. Heck, Gears of War was made by Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and even a few Canadians like me. It takes all kinds to make great creative games.”
No one from the Shadow Complex development team has said whether they agree with Card. A few years ago, the author was referred to me by Chair’s co-founder Donald Mustard as a friend. But there is an argument to be made that it is irrelevant whether Chair’s team agrees or disagrees with Card or is friends with him or not. That argument was made by Peter David, the comic book writer and novelist hired by Chair to script Shadow Complex, and a man who may not have much more patience for Orson Scott Card than Kim Wong.
“My disagreements with Orson’s politics are hardly limited to his views on gay marriage,” David told Kotaku in an e-mailed statement. “We are at opposite ends of the political spectrum on pretty much everything. Why, then, did I agree to work on the game? Because among my most cherished beliefs is that, while I disagree with everything you have to say, I will defend to the death your right to say it. [Comic book creator] John Byrne has said no end of vicious things directed at me personally; I still buy his comic books because I like his work. I never, EVER, allow someone’s stated opinions to impact on whether I support his work so long as those opinions don’t transform the work itself into something that I have no desire to support.
“It’s up to the individual to make their own purchasing decisions,” Wong told me, saying he does not advocate a boycott of the game. He said it’s been easy to resist buying Shadow Complex, both because of the many other games available for purchase and because of how provocative he finds Card’s views. “With good conscience I can’t support that, and I would like other gamers to think about this issue as well.”
I asked Wong if he had ever taken a similar stance. He said he has urged friends to avoid supporting advertisers who buy time on the shows of other public figures he disagrees with, like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. But he admits that it would be impossible to avoid supporting every product that was partially made by or connected to people whose views he dislikes. That’s no reason to not take a stand here, he said: “With the limited voice that I have in the public discourse, I am choosing to voice my disapproval by not purchasing the game, as are the other friends of mine who have made the same decision.”
Aside from all of those options, there is another way this could be handled. Shadow Complex writer Peter David offered it: “If anyone wants to boycott the game and thus damage me or Chair while doing nothing to change Orson’s opinions, that’s naturally their right. Or…They can display the sort of tolerance for someone who is different from them that they feel is lacking in Orson and thus prove they’re better. Your choice.”
My apologies to the original author. It was an excellent article (I encourage everybody to read the full version on the link), but I had to chop it up a bit so that people would read the rest of my column. As most of you know, I’m pretty opinionated when it comes to certain things in gaming, but people like Wong take the cake for me. First, let me preface something before I start ranting. 1)I neither support nor disprove of Orson Scott Card (not that being one way or another would change my position) and 2)It is fully your right to boycott a game. You don’t have to buy jack.
Now with that said, are you freaking kidding me? I understand that this game is based on Card’s book called Empire. I’ve been very tempted to pick up a copy of the book for reference, but haven’t yet. However, from the information contained in this article, it seems to me that he had very little input in the game. He was used as a basis, he certainly doesn’t appear to be a contact for any game mechanisms or plot devices in the course of the adventure. Heck, unless it was mentioned that this game was based on that novel, I never would have known or cared.
The main issue that people seem to have with Mr. Card is his supposed beliefs on homosexuality. Which if true, are certainly despicable in my tastes. But correct me if I’m wrong, is the game about killing or harming homosexuals? Or, is the game full of anti-homosexual cut scenes? Or does a guy in a rainbow shirt oppose you around every dark corner? No. Shadow Complex is none of those things. It’s a game based on a novel but contains no pro or anti views from what I can tell.
It’s a fantastic game from early indications, and unless you are anti-side scrollers or anti-xbla or something along those lines, you are nearly depraving yourself for nothing. Absolutely nothing. Don’t buy his books, heck protest a book signing, but not buying a game that barely mentions him at all? What’s next….I heard he shops at Kroger, you going to stop going to Kroger? Oh wait, he uses Sweet n Low in his coffee, you better switch to Equal. *cry* /facepalm.
Peter David put it best. To summarize, if you think Orson Scott Card is not tolerant, the best thing you can show is tolerance and that you are a better person than he is and buy the game. Then you can enjoy the game for being all it should be evaluated as: a game. If you don’t like the game then more power to you; but at least give it a chance.
For those who actually paid $20 for the first episode, here is #2. Honestly, I hope most of you waited and bought the retail package that contains both episodes. I’m waiting for it to go under $20 personally. Anyhow, the story for episode 2 is that Rorschach is on the trail of a missing Violet Greene. Nite Owl comes along and they find out that the kidnapper is Twilight Lady who used to get frisky with the Owl. This leads to a few twists and turns and gives quite the ending which ties into the graphic novel and part of the movie.
Hopefully most of you know who Mr Driller is (not the milkman you found sleeping with your girlfriend either). The basic premise is that you are a driller going down thru blocks but you must worry about things like air supply and a constant stream of falling blocks. It’s been updated again, this time for the Wii and includes 20 stages and a tutorial. The game has been done to death but some of you might find it worth a go.
Welp, we had Super Star Wars not too long ago; so it is only natural we get the popular sequel as well. To be honest, Empire is still my favorite Star Wars movie. Chewie, Han Solo and Luke were back in this game but unfortunately the character select option was removed. However, characters now had primary and secondary powers to work with. Luke could even use the force in later levels, primarily to help deal with Darth Vader who is the final boss. A password system was also introduced which allowed you to start from stages as opposed to playing it all over again (see Super Star Wars).
Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy
Dissidia Final Fantasy
Warriors Orochi 2
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Fallout 3 Game Ad-On Pack: Broken Steel and Point Lookout
Raven Squad: Hidden Dagger
Metroid Prime Trilogy Collector’s Edition
Reel Fishing: Angler’s Dream
Ultimate Duck Hunting
Cursed Mountain Limited Edition
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
Wizards of Waverly Place
Marker Man Adventures
Harvest Moon: Frantic Farming
The Clique: Diss and Make Up
Emergency Room: Real Life Rescues
Imagine Teacher: Class Trip
Sarah: Keeper of the Unicorn
Princess Lillifee’s Magic Fairy
The game of the week by most indications is the new Batman game. I had a chance to watch the trailer and some of the game action via their website and I have to say this is the best looking Batman game I have ever seen. The character models look spot on and the action looks top notch. My only criticism is that there is only one platform that gets to play with the Joker and that’s the PS3. This feature should have not been left out of either release and does have the chance to hurt sales on the 360 side nor pull significant carry over sales for the PS3 version. But I have a feeling DLC will include that option down the line. It smells very much like a Soul Calibur situation with Yoda & Darth Vader. We get another Final Fantasy game this week and also a fantastic trilogy for the Wii. I’m not a huge Metroid fan except for NES, SNES and GB games, but even I know a deal when I see it. We finish up with a usual assortment of DS games lead by that Professor Layton. This time it’s the Professor and a diabolical box. I wonder if the box contains copies of Empire by Orson Scott Card? Oh crap, we should probably boycott the professor now. Diabolical indeed!
As some of you have found out by now, the next expansion of the World of Warcraft is coming out in 2010. It will be called Cataclysm. Among other things, the highlights include new races: Goblins (Horde) & Worgens (Alliance), new class/races combinations, level cap up to 85 and a brand new Azeroth to partly allow for the ability to use flyers in Azeroth along with progress of the overall story. The Barrens will be split into two, Darkshore will be flooded, the whole map that we used to know will be forever changed. I like the idea of Goblins and Worgens. Right now, I’m thinking of a Goblin priest or mage named Palka. If you steal my idea, I will find you & I will kill you *good luck*. The level 85 cap was a little odd at first, but I am okay with it. My main is only level 71, it would be nice to actually catch up to the maximum. But I’m really conflicted when it comes to changing Azeroth. I appreciate that they want people to use flyers in Azeroth, I’m all for that. But changing things that I’ve come accustomed and changing the 1-60 game considerably is going to be hard. Regardless, even if I quit between now and the expansion, I will probably buy the expansion and experience WoW once more. Darn that Blizzard. Until next week kiddoes, remember….Warcraft is evil, but at least I share with twelve million others in that evil. Not exactly comforting is it?
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)