The Bulletin is a roundup of a few game-related news stories from the previous week.
Rovio announces new Angry Birds title that combines the Star Wars prequels with the thrill of smashing stuff from the Star Wars prequels
I’m a big fan of Angry Birds Star Wars, but I’ve always wanted to learn more about the backstory of that universe. How did the Luke Skywalker bird end up living on Bird Tattooine with his bird aunt and bird uncle, away from his secret bird sister? How did the Anakin Skywalker bird turn into the evil Darth Vader pig? And, the most important question of all: What does the war between birds and pigs have to do with intergalactic trade embargoes? Well, Rovio will finally be spoiling all of the magic and wonder of the Angry Birds Star Wars universe with the prequel-inspired Angry Birds Star Wars II.
That’s not the only new thing coming in the sequel/prequel, though, because it just wouldn’t be Angry Birds or Star Wars without licensed merchandise. This time, you’ll be able to use real-world Angry Birds Star Wars toys in-game, Skylanders-style, for some sort of extra bonus and, obviously, extra money.
Video game about murder about to get a little more violent
Capcom’s Phoenix Wright series has always been about violence, but its colorful art style and sense of humor have also kept it from crossing the line and becoming actually violent. Until now, that is. As reported by Joystiq, the upcoming Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies for the 3DS will be the first title in the series to get a “Mature” rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board, video gaming’s answer to the MPAA. Apparently the M rating is rooted in “the nature of the various crimes and storylines” that your wacky cartoon lawyer encounters, which probably indicates that Dual Destinies will be based on that movie Se7en. At the end of the game, Phoenix will find Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in a box and make a face like this:
Burn the land and boil the sea, you can’t take the upcoming Firefly game from me
It seems like people have been talking about a massively multiplayer online game set in the universe of Fox’s Firefly ever since the show was unjustly cancelled (which, in case you’re still upset about it, was more than 10 years ago). As we mentioned last Thursday, Firefly Online is slated for release on iOS and Android devices next summer, and it will allow you to play as your very own square-jawed space cowboy who loves a smartass one-liner almost as much as he loves his junky starship. The online game is being developed by QMXi and Spark Plug Games, and in case you’re a Firefly superfan who is worried that they don’t love the show as much as you do, check out this quote from Andy Gore, QMXi’s CEO: “We know firsthand how great and power a franchise Firefly is and how mighty the Browncoats are…It has always been our mission to bring the Verse to life for our customers in every way possible. The idea of creating an interactive experience where fans can have their own Firefly adventures—well, that’s just too shiny for words.” Words that weren’t made up by a sci-fi TV show, at least. If you’re wondering what a “Browncoat” is or what “shiny” means, the former is what fans of the show call themselves, and the latter is code for “I’m a huge nerd.” Anyway, if you’re looking to jump on the space wagon a little early, you can preregister at the game’s official website.
EA’s college football game is going to get a lot less collegiate
Some people see Electronic Arts as a big corporate bad guy, like Umbrella from the Resident Evil games, but I think the studio is more like a troubled youth that keeps getting in trouble no matter how hard it tries to be a good guy. After all, when you’re named “The Worst Company In America,” it sets peoples’ expectations pretty low. The next wrinkle that EA has to overcome is the expiration of its deal with the NCAA, which allows it to publish NCAA-branded college football games. As reported by Joystiq, NCAA Football 14 “will be the last to include the NCAA’s name and logo,” but an EA rep says that the company will continue to release college football games, just without any of that familiar branding. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that next year’s title will feature made-up schools like Greendale or Gudger College (which would be awesome and hilarious), as EA still has a partnership with the Collegiate Licensing Company to feature “the college teams, leagues, and authentic innovation fans would expect from these games.” Still, EA, colleges from pop culture is a free idea. You can have it. Does Empire State University have a football team?
Beyond Good & Evil 2 was too far beyond good and evil for current consoles
We haven’t heard much of anything about Beyond Good & Evil 2 since the sequel to Michel Ancel’s 2003 cult classic was announced back in 2008 and then, in essence, never spoken of again. A cynical mind would probably think that publisher Ubisoft was just stringing people along. Of course, The Bulletin is no place for cynicism, just cautious optimism, so I will take Ubisoft at its word that Beyond Good & Evil 2 really was in development up until 2011, when it was abruptly bumped to the then-unannounced Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Now at least, thanks to a recent IGN interview, we now have a better idea of what was going on behind the scenes. According to Ancel, the creator of Beyond Good & Evil and Rayman, the sequel was “too big” for the current console generation, and he would like to try making it again with the new consoles coming later this year. Again, a cynical mind might see that as Ancel stringing fans along (and maybe Ubisoft stringing Ancel along) so everyone thinks that they’ll get what they want eventually and maybe buy more Ubisoft games along the way, but we’re not cynical here. We’re just really excited for Beyond Good & Evil 2, which could totally maybe come out now!