The Bulletin

Angry Birds Star Wars II teaser

Scum And Villainy

Angry Birds and Star Wars move on to the prequels, Firefly finally gets a video game, EA loses the NCAA in NCAA Football, and more.

By Sam Barsanti • July 22, 2013

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
Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

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:

Phoenix Wright
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
NCAA Football 14

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
Beyond Good & Evil

Beyond Good & Evil

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!

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  • PugsMalone

    “It’s so dense… every level has so many things going on.”

    • George_Liquor

      Shut up, Rick Berman. You ruined this too?

      • http://starttocrate.tumblr.com/ Http Lovecraft

        What is it with Ricks??

    • http://starttocrate.tumblr.com/ Http Lovecraft

      Parrrt fffouuuuur.

      (seriously @PugsMalone:disqus , @George_Liquor:disqus , let’s do this all afternoon)

      • George_Liquor

        What’s wrong with your faaaaace?!

        • http://starttocrate.tumblr.com/ Http Lovecraft

          Angry Birds Star Wars 2 is the most disappointing thing since my son.

  • Sam_Barsanti

    Also, remember that DC Scribblenauts game? Kotaku has answered your most burning question: Arms Fall Off Boy is in it!

    http://kotaku.com/you-have-bested-me-scribblenauts-unmasked-866475671

    • stakkalee

      Sweet, the whole Legion of Substitute Heroes line-up is there!  C’mon, Stone Boy!  Only your inanimate-stone powers can save us now!

      [Stone Boy looms silently, unmoving.]

    • Boonehams

      No one has mentioned whether or not my pick for most obscure DC character is in it: Danny the Street.  Knowing this is of the utmost importance to me and will determine whether not I buy the game. #lie

      • His_Space_Holiness

        If the backgrounds start spawning encouraging messages in 80s-era British gay slang, you’ll know for sure.

  • http://thewickerscale.blogspot.com/ Charlotte Grote

    Star Wars Angry Birds: Attack of the Clones

    *Angry Alien and Worms prepare to fight*

  • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

    Is Angry Birds Star Wars II going to star Jar Jar Bird?

    If EA’s college football games ever do start featuring fictional colleges, then they have to include Hudson University, the fictional college so famous that it has its own Wikipedia entry.

    • JohnnyLongtorso

      Unfortunately, half the football team ends up murdered by midseason.

    • SonjaMinotaur

      What they’d need is a team from Miskatonic University! A team that lets you unleash ancient, mind slaughtering horrors onto the field!

      • http://starttocrate.tumblr.com/ Http Lovecraft

        And a home field advantage in stadiums with alien, cosmic-horror geometry.

    • His_Space_Holiness

      I demand the inclusion of State College, featuring quarterback-killin’ phenom Brock Samson.

      • Sam_Barsanti

        I’m down for that, as long as we can put on The White Room in between plays.

  • Fluka

    “How did the Anakin Skywalker bird turn into the evil Darth Vader pig?”

    Whoa whoa whoa whoa.  Angry Birds immersion ruined.

    I am not an Angry Birds player, and I can take or leave Star Wars for the most part.  However, playing KOTOR recently has reminded me how much my tiny self *did* once enjoy Star Wars.  And, consequentially, how the prequels utterly destroyed that love.  And my love for everything those films even touched (I still can’t look at Ewan McGregor the same way.)  So this game might provide some much-needed catharsis. 

    I will smash them all.  Sith pigs, Anakin and Jar Jar shaped birds, everything.  Nothing will reman.

    • stakkalee

      I’ve successfully avoided watching any of the prequels over the past coming-up-on-15-years (holy hell!) I saw the original trilogy at just the right time in my life to be wowed by the epic scale while still being young enough to ignore most of the obvious plot-holes that peppered the films.  Even now I can go back and rewatch the original trilogy and revive a lot of that childlike wonder and glee watching those movies without succumbing to my adult nitpicking tendencies.  But from everything I’ve heard about the prequels it seems like Lucas took pains to retcon or subvert everything that made the original trilogy so wonderful.  As far as I’m concerned the prequels are just poorly-written fan fiction that can safely be ignored.  I wonder what will happen now that Disney is planning on making episodes 7-9?

      • Fluka

        Yeah, it’s this horrible feeling of an infection spreading.  Not only did Lucas make terrible prequels, but that same terribleness began to seep back into the originals as well.  *End nerd melodrama.*

        I have maaaaajor problems with JJ Abrams’ Star Trek updates, but I actually think his shiny, actiony blockbuster style will be perfect for new Star Wars.  Having no expectations is a wonderful thing, though!

        • George_Liquor

          Brainless action shlock definitely works better in the Star Wars universe. 

        • stakkalee

          I was going to make the same point @George_Liquor:disqus made but he was much more succinct.  JJ Abrams is Star Wars all the way – his stuff doesn’t make much sense if you look at it too closely, but man does it get the blood pumping!

        • Citric

          After STID, I don’t expect there will be much original or exciting in his Star Wars. But it will probably have a scene where Han shoots first, because that’s a popular thing.

          STID reminded me of good movies, instead of being a good movie. It’s like a greatest hits album almost.

        • Fluka

          @Citric:disqus STID’s plot was meaningless and overly convoluted, the female characters regressive, and the Khan references mostly just hilarious.  That said, it did have shiny spaceships that go zoom, so there was that.

          At least Pacific Rim gave me shiny zoomy smashy mechs and monsters and whooooooooo without any of the complicated and offensive dross.  Though my IQ may have dropped by 30 points while watching it.

          *Waits patiently for Elysium.*

        • Citric

          @Fluka:disqus For the entire first half of STID I was thinking “why am I watching future Lethal Weapon? I thought I got tickets to Star Trek. Chris Pine is a pretty good replacement for Mel Gibson at least.” Then it was just Star Trek Greatest Hits, even including a deep cut from Nemesis of all things.

          Pacific Rim was the first blockbuster of the summer that I didn’t find disappointing. 

        • George_Liquor

          The first movie exists only to establish our new Star Trek: Extreme For Teens crew, so it doesn’t require a particularly convoluted plot. (Though why they lifted Nemesis’ plot almost wholesale is beyond me.) Fine, whatever. Now we know, at least in the most superficial sense, what these characters are all about, so STID could spend some more time on an actual plot. Do we get one? Do Kirk & Co. go out & explore strange, new worlds? Nope, it’s another lazy, doofy fucking revenge plot, and it makes even less sense than the last movie’s doofy fucking revenge plot.

        • Citric

          @George_Liquor:disqus  It was frustrating that they had that neat looking red foliage planet in the 5 minute homage to that episode where Data gets a pen pal, and then didn’t do anything with it.

        • George_Liquor

          @Citric:disqus Yep, that first five minutes on the Planet Of The Red Vines Licorice looked pretty promising. Then Spock used “cold fusion” to freeze a volcano, and it was all downhill from there. 

          Spoliers, or whatever.

          So I went in to SITD not knowing anything about it, beyond what was revealed in the trailer. In the back of my mind, I thought they might try a Wrath Of Khan thing, just because it was the second film in the series. Still, I laughed the idea off until Benedict Underdunk single-handedly wiped the floor with a gaggle of Klingons. After that scene, I lost all interest in the movie, and just got impatient for the big, stupid “I’m really Khan” reveal. I must admit, though, that I didn’t expect them to be so goddamn lazy as to rip off WoK’s climax nearly word-for-word. 

      • George_Liquor

        Do your childhood and your sanity a big favor: Don’t stop avoiding the prequels. In fact, stay the hell away from any home video release of the original trilogy made after 1997. I wish I had.

        • stakkalee

          Too late – I’ve already seen a terribly insubstantial Jabba slithering around Tatooine!  Damn you George Lucas!

        • George_Liquor

          @stakkalee:disqus I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.

        • Xtracurlyfries

          Han stepping on his tail is funny and heightens the drama. No, really it does.

    • The_Helmaroc_King

      No, Fluka! Violence is a path to the Dark Side!

    • Electric Dragon

       Good, @Fluka:disqus , I can feel your anger. Let the hate flow through you, and your journey to the Dark Side will be complete.

    • DrFlimFlam

      The prequels didn’t ruin anything for me so much as normalize my attachment to Star Wars. Much like Peter Jackson is now doing with Tolkien’s work. I even enjoy some of the prequels. They’re just movies now, though

  • ferrarimanf355

    Well, the Pinball Arcade Terminator 2 Kickstarter was a success, and the devs are going to try to get The Addams Family next. That is all. :-)

  • double_hawk

    EA has actually already made a new deal with the Colegiate Licencing Company and has access to college teams once agin. Not as many as wi NCAA but all of the main ones.

  • duwease

    A ‘mature’ Phoenix Wright game?  And here I thought being a grown man playing anime games on a subway train couldn’t be any more awkward.  Although yelling “OBJECTION!” at your screen repeatedly is a good way to keep the seat clear.

    • The_Helmaroc_King

      I used to play my DS on the bus, but whenever a game required me to make some noise, I would “cheat” and (surreptitiously) blow into the microphone. I don’t remember if any of the games had actual voice recognition in them; Nintendogs, maybe?

    • Dave Dalrymple

      Considering the amount of blood and violence in the original games already, this makes me wonder if maybe the MPAA is just growing more sensitive to violence in video games.

      Then again, maybe this game will have graphic disembowelments. I can’t wait to find out!

    • His_Space_Holiness

      Maybe it’s the other meaning of mature, and the game will show him switching fields to focus on medical malpractice lawsuits and eminent domain cases.

      • duwease

        Or perhaps the content didn’t change at all, and they just had second thoughts about the gameplay visualization of wrapping women in ‘mind chains’?

      • Electric Dragon

        - OBJECTION!!!
        - Mr Wright, I would remind you, once again that you are not allowed to make an “objection” during oral arguments at the Supreme Court. You will have your turn after the Hyper-Chicken has finished.

      • Toparaman

        Rated M for philosophical and intellectual depth. 

  • ChicaneryTheYounger

    I was sorta looking forward to Beyond Good and Evil 2. Hopefully it’ll be a better adaption of the book that the first one.

  • Toparaman

    I like Angry Birds Star Wars as well.  I find the amount of gamer elitism towards Angry Birds to be unfounded; they’re well-designed games that aren’t completely mindless.

  • STOP_RIGHT_THERE_CRIMINAL_SCUM

    that angry birds image is 1999 crashing clumsily with the modern day