Keyboard Geniuses

Angry Birds Style

Pardon The Interruption

Highlights from the week’s comment threads.

By Matt Kodner • August 16, 2013

Keyboard Geniuses is our weekly glance at a few intriguing, witty, or otherwise notable posts from the Gameological discussion threads. Comments have been excerpted and edited here for grammar, length, and/or clarity. You can follow the links to see the full threads.

Dancing Is For The Birds

For reasons unknown, I crawled through the slums of YouTube to assemble a list of horrible video game-themed “Gangnam Style” parodies. Shockingly, Crybot let it be known that I missed one of the most popular and insane parodies. Brace yourselves for this one:

You can’t talk about video game-based “Gangnam Style” parodies without bringing up FunVideo TV.

If it were up to me, Keyboard Geniuses would now be over. There will never be a better video than that. But alas, Comment Cat is already cracking the ceremonial “Back To Work, Kodner!” whip. Onward!

Board To Death
Beer And Board Games

Danny Gallagher brought us a rollicking interview with two of the brains behind Beer And Board Games, a long-running improv show featuring beer and board games. Unexpected Dave ran with the topic and asked about our favorite bizarre and long-gone games. ItsTheShadsy brought word of a dangerous one:

I once played a game called Don’t Get Rattled! in which you had to take a piece of gold from a pressure-sensitive container being guarded by an electronic rattlesnake. If you set off the rattlesnake, it pounces and attacks you. The game was very poorly designed because the rattlesnake ACTUALLY HURT YOU. I played it maybe once or twice and walked away almost injured.

The games HobbesMkii remembered, inspired by the interviewees’ mentions of conservative propaganda games, didn’t hurt so bad—at least not physically:

Oh man, propaganda games are the best! We had two in my house, both from 1978. One was Class Struggle, the Board Game Geek description of which reads thus:

“This Avalon Hill game is a vehicle for instructing students (there is a classroom section in the rules) on why Marxism is superior. The Workers move around a board while trying to survive against the Capitalist who control everything. As the Workers unite they take power from the Capitalist players but if they do not succeed in uniting the Capitalist will win.”

My other favorite is the classic Save the Whales. My mother, who was working for an environmental group at the time, brought it home one day. Its description:

“Very few games are based on cooperation. However, in this game, all players work together, trying to save eight Whales. Your goal is to beat THE SYSTEM—the worldwide forces which are causing our great Whales to become endangered species and extinct.

“The only way you can really ‘win’ this game is to save all eight Whales. However, this is a game of fun, so enjoy yourself while trying to do the very best you can. As you play, you’ll discover various strategies you cause to SAVE THE WHALES. Naturally, the more you play, the better you’ll become.”

Board 2 Death 2
Spin The Bottle: Bumpie's Party

Between Game & Wario and now Spin The Bottle: Bumpie’s Party, Derrick Sanskrit has been making a pretty solid case for owning a Wii U. His review praised its unconventional use of controllers, which reminded Board Game Guy of—yup, you guessed it—a board game:

This makes me think about a silly table top game called Dungeon Fighter. Set up as a dungeon crawl, players work cooperatively to explore and conquer the dungeon. The fighting, though, involves bouncing dice onto a target that determines whether your attack connects and how much damage it does. The game gets sillier when equipment you acquire promises additional hit power or other bonuses but require special and more difficult dice throws, like using another players hand or rolling the dice off of your nose.

It was a big week for board games at Gameological! It must have something to do with our staunchly anti-board game editor John Teti being on vacation this week. He’s probably burning board games as we speak.

The Price Of The Price Is Right
The Price Is Right

Speaking of Teti’s temporary absence, he brought us the news in a short public service announcement at the beginning of the week. Amid the chaos that broke out in the comments, Unexpected Dave kept a level head and sent us over to a great game show-themed interview from our friends at The A.V. Club:

This A.V. Club interview with a Price Is Right winner should be of interest to Gameologicians.

Pik And Choose
Pikmin 3

Anthony John Agnello brought us his take on Pikmin 3, which he enjoyed for breaking the squeaky clean mold Nintendo has been stuck in lately. But Matt Koester (whose very-similar-to-my-own-name always confuses me when I scroll through the comments) had a problem with the game’s story:

The concept of Pikmin depresses me too much to play it. You’re from a wealthy, destructive civilization, and it’s your mission to go to a planet of untapped beauty, exploit its wildlife, and seize its resources.

Doublemc responded with a different take on the series:

The planet they “plunder” is Earth long after humans have left, so technically it isn’t untapped but reborn. That rebirth is a main theme running through the game. Even when you kill wildlife, they can be reborn as Pikmin.

The game can be depressing in other ways, though, like seeing your minions die and yelp as they leave this world.

Year Of Motherboy
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

On a sillier note, Steve Heisler brought us a review of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, the final entry in Nintendo’s “Year Of Luigi” stunt. Much of the game takes place in Luigi’s bizarre dreams, which led Girard to do a little dream analysis and a tongue-in-cheek Freudian dissection of the series:

In the face of the brothers being orphaned in the mushroom kingdom as infants and raised by dinosaurs, they were never able to adequately resolve their oedipal conflicts through gendered interactions with their parents.

Consequently, Mario is left to project those conflicts onto others. Bowser becomes the castrating father figure (whose minions on contact rob Super Mario of his masculinity—his size, power, and “superness”—leaving him an impotent dwarf) who stands between him and his mother’s sex, a role that has been projected onto Peach, a queen/mother figure perpetually attired in pink frills (essentially a “vagina costume,” if you will).

Luigi’s lot in life is perhaps even more troubling, as, in lieu of resolving his oedipal conflicts through parental relations, he has projected them onto his brother, engendering a pathetic sort of sibling rivalry in which Mario is elevated to the status of the Father/Phallus/Super-Ego/Ego-Ideal with which Luigi is both enamored and enraged. Luigi both wishes to become him (this is obvious, based on his sartorial style so closely aping his brother’s) and destroy him (so that he may finally consummate his relationship with his mother/queen, Peach).

Well, folks, that’s it. Everybody, thanks for reading and commenting. We’ll see you next week.

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62 Responses to “Pardon The Interruption”

  1. This thing’s rigged! Free @PaganPoet!

    • Pandas_please says:

       Occupy Gameological! We are the studless 99%!

      I kid, I kid, congratulations to the consistently entertaining and insightful posters here. One day I hope to join you, but today is not that day. Also, Pagan you’re studded in my heart, a consolation prize that ranks only second to the home version of a gameshow I’m told.

      • PaganPoet says:

        We should have a “People’s Choice Studs” ceremony! Revolt! Revolt against the felinocracy! Liberté! Égalité! Fraternité!

  2. neodocT says:

    I don

    • Citric says:

      I heard from a man that American airports don’t universally have free wifi. There’s another what the hell, Americans?

      • mizerock says:

        Is someone is already making a profit doing something, the Government is unable to provide that service at a lower price / free. Profits are an entitlement!

      • neodocT says:

        A lot of countries, including my own, don’t have free airport wifi, so I didn’t mind that so much. I mean, it is annoying, but not unexpected in any way. I did end up paying for 30 minutes of internet access, though, which made feel ashamed of myself.

        • Citric says:

          What the hell, a lot of countries? In Canada it’s pretty much a given, airports give you wifi. Some airports have better wifi than others – For instance, Pearson’s terms and service page is glitchy as hell, so it took me an excessive amount of effort to get it to work – but it’s pretty much a given that you’ll get free internets.

        • neodocT says:

           @Citric:disqus I’ve been all over the world, and more often than not there was no free wifi. But even within countries this may change. I paid for wifi this time, but managed to get free access at JFK last year (granted that I was right beside an Admiral’s Club, or something, so I may have been stealing wifi on that occasion).

      • Matt Kodner says:

        I remember for exactly one summer one of Chicago’s two airports had free wi-fi. I thought we had entered a New Age, but now you have to pay for everything ever. 

      • Girard says:

        We also pay to received texts and calls on our phones. Nation of rubes, we are.

    • ProfFarnsworth says:

      In response to the “What the hell, Americans?!” my only response is: . 

      AT&T is awful! Also, moving SUUUUCKS!!!

      • neodocT says:

        This move wasn’t so bad because I could only take two bags, anyway, so I was less tempted to take everything and only packed the essentials. My biggest issue now is that I have no consoles, and don’t feel I should buy any so close to the new gen launch.

        Not that I don’t have enough stuff to play on Steam, but I like consoles!

    • Girard says:

      AT&T is the AT&T of telecommunications companies.

  3. stakkalee says:

    Well @MattKodner:disqus, you survived a week with the inmates running the asylum, and with only 2 unexplained deaths!  You got lucky, punk.  Our most-commented article this week was, of course, the WAYPTW thread with 157 comments.  As for our Top 5 Most Liked (non-KG) comments, those were:
    1) With 28 likes @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus pegs the residents of Williamsburg..
    2) @George_Liquor:disqus gets 22 likes while explicating the pepperoni waveform.
    3) With 21 likes @Mintberry_Crunch:disqus knows how to handle historical literalists.
    4) And we have a 2-way tie for fourth!  With 20 likes apiece @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus gets trashed on wine coolers and @zerocrates:disqus channels his inner LJW (Luigi Justice Warrior.)
    Good stuff everyone!  As for the plaid jackets, we have 3 new members today, so say Hi to @Crybot:disqus, @MattKoester:disqus and @DoubleMC:disqus!  Welcome aboard!  Also, @boardgameguy:disqus gets his second stud for his third mention, @ItsTheShadsy:disqus is getting a fourth stud, @UnexpectedDave:disqus is at six, @HobbesMkii:disqus unlocks the “Adultivity!” achievement with his eighteenth stud, and once again @Paraclete_Pizza:disqus staves off another challenge to his supremacy, acquiring his 29th stud!
    And for the linkdump, here’s a neat little article about some new archaeological finds in Turkey that could represent some of the oldest gaming tokens ever found; it’s always fascinating to see what some of the previous inhabitants of this mudball did for their diversions.  And that’s it for another week!  Enjoy your gaming, and remember to keep it scintillating!

    • Effigy_Power says:

      Uuuuuuh, that varmint.

    • caspiancomic says:

      Aw man, I was so hyped to include those 3D printed Final Fantasy VII figures in the linkdump for my fellow low-poly fetishists out there, but the guy got a C&D from Square so he’s not allowed to sell them anymore. I’m super bummed, I had a Cloud figure in my cart but didn’t have time to complete the transaction. By the time I sat down to actually order the thing, it was already too late. It just goes to show you should always indulge your every whim immediately.

      • Girard says:

        Since he had them printed by third party Shapeways, I wonder if you could rip the models yourself and have them printed by a similar service for a fraction of the cost…

        • Effigy_Power says:

          I almost bought a 3D printer yesterday AND I would have gotten one for my birthday if I hadn’t put a cap on how much I wanted Kelly to spend.
          NOW you mention those.

    • Matt Kodner says:

      those tokens are so cool!!!

  4. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    Weekend Prompt

       A programming note:  This time next week, I’ll be careening down I-94 to Milwaukee, flecking the inside of my car windshield with masticated Old Dutch dill pickle potato chips as I warble along to Neko Case.  So if any of you more than capable fellow commentors want to handle The Prompt, feel free to reply.  Or fight it out like the savage animals you are.  Or just ignore it.
       Moving on!  So you, despite your humble farm peasant origins are actually destined to produce the best sequel to a game or entry in a game franchise ever seen.
        If you had complete creative freedom to create a game sequel, what game would it be and how would you shape it?

    • Effigy_Power says:

      While I’d want a sequel to Jade Empire, I wouldn’t want to waste creative freedom on it. The original was fine, no need to improve much.
      The game I’d love to approach with that kind of power would be Dungeon Keeper. It’s been fucking ages since DK2 and I am convinced it’s the greedy bile of copyright holders that have prevented us from getting more.
      With total freedom, I’d make the game truly 3D, with the ability to build rooms atop each other, connected by descending spiral staircases. I’d build titanic halls in best Moria fashion, my demons patrolling the wastes while my Goblin minions claw gold out of the dirt for their dark mistress.
      Dungeon Keeper could be sooooo much, especially with big increases to the actual digging and much bigger maps.
      As it stands we’ll probably get some half-assed reboot Spiderman style, just so some asshole with no regard for the game itself gets to hang on to the license, free to do fuck all with it. -_-

      • Enkidum says:

        Sounds kind of like Minecraft with a better skin and more explicit goals. Which sounds pretty awesome, actually.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          Yeah, just that I don’t want to have to build any of it myself. I want minions to do it for me and then float through there with a sense of possession as if I built it with my own two hands. That’s the Effigy-way.

    • caspiancomic says:

       It might be cheating, but one could use an opportunity like this to envision a sequel that is otherwise almost certainly never happening. I’d like to see some life breathed into the Suikoden series, for a start, which hasn’t seen a proper entry in seven years. I’ve even done a lot of fantasy game design regarding its setting, characters, mythology, story, returning characters, etc. All in my head, natch. I’ve also spent a bit of time over at me ol’ blog creating a fantasy sequel to The World Ends With You, another franchise that’s being allowed to die on the vine. (Although frankly, I think TWEWY is basically perfect and doesn’t need a sequel, it’d be nice to get a chance to spend a bit more time in that world.)

      Also potentially cheating? A direct sequel to Sonic Generations. Basically the same formula, but with a different level selected for every game. I’m thinking Spring Yard Zone from Sonic 2, Mystic Cave Zone from Sonic 2, Ice Cap Zone from S3&K, Windy Valley from Adventure, and whatever else from whatever else.

      • Jackbert says:

        -plugs ears- La la la, TWEWY 2 for 3DS is happening, I can’t hear you.

      • Matt Koester says:

        You know me, the fighting freak KnucklesAnd we’re at Pumpkin Hill, you ready???I ain’t gonna let it get to me, I’m just gonna creepDown in Pumpkin Hill, I gots to find my lost pieceI know that it’s here, I can sense it in my feetThe great emerald’s power allows me to feelI can’t see a thing, but it’s around somewhereI’m gonna hold my head ’cause I have no fearThis probably seems crazy, crazy, a graveyard theoryA ghost tried to approach me and he got leeryI ask him a question and he vanished in a secondI’m walking through valleys, cryin’ pumpkins in the alleyDidn’t seem happy, but they sure tried to get meHad to back ’em up with the fist metal crack ’emI’m hearin’ someone sayin’ you a chicken, don’t be scaredIt had to be the wind, ’cause nobody wasn’t thereI search and I search as I climbed up the wallAnd then I started to fly, I went in deeperLet it get to me?, I’m just gonna creepDown in Pumpkin Hill, I gots to find my lost pieceI know that it’s here, I can sense it in my feetThe great emerald’s power allows me to feelI can’t see a thing, but it’s around somewhereI’m gonna hold my head ’cause I have no fearThis probably seems crazy, crazy, a graveyard theoryA ghost tried to approach me and he got leeryThis is KnucklesI fear noneIt’s real deal when it comes to my name, kid

    • PaganPoet says:


      I think I’ve mentioned this somewhere else, but were I the director of Persona 5 I would implement the following into the game.

      1) The canonical main character would be a female (with the option to play as a male as well); all of the canonical protagonists of Persona games thus far have been males; The female protagonist of P3P was pretty interesting in that you can experience the story from a different perspective. Plus it was cool to see all the guys fawning over a girl instead of the reverse

      2) Like the other personas, the protagonist would be Japanese; Unlike the other Personas, it would take place outside of Japan; The protagonist is a Japanese exchange student studying in the USA for a year, learning about a different culture; This could lead to an interesting mechanic, as well, where you might even have the option of picking the classes you want; each class would enhance a different attribute or status, but would also take up time; as any Persona 3 and 4 fan knows, time management is key to being successful at the game

      3) All Personas so far have concerned high school students; Well, let’s up the ante; This will be about university students; Plus, this will lead to some great social link potential: a bunch of young people living out on their own for the first time, there are many character growth experiences to be had there

      4) Love interests would include both genders, and most of all they would be OPTIONAL, like in Persona 4 Golden; however, unlike P4G there would be a way to let them down GENTLY and not just giving them the cold shoulder; made me feel like a jerk :(

      I’m not sure what the story itself would be about. So far, all of the Persona games have been about the characters facing some of the darker aspects of human nature and society (bitterness, rumors and gossip, death worship, shadow selves), but eventually accepting  and overcoming them. I would want something in the same vein, but to cover new ground. I guess I’d have to let the writers handle that.

      Gameplay wise, I’d love to keep the battles turn-based, mainly because this particular series is one that you need to ocassionally put the controller down for a second and consider your options and strategy. That isn’t to say there couldn’t be some new mechanic introduced to make things more thrilling.

      • caspiancomic says:

         I actually really, really like all those ideas. It was pretty strange how every S-Link with a member of the opposite sex went straight to bone town without the option of just being super good pals. I mean, how many of my dorm mates can I sleep with and then ignore forever without it getting kinda awkward? I also especially like the idea of being able to choose your classes, especially if those choices impact not only available S-Links, but somehow influence your characters’ stats.

        I was actually batting around ideas for my own version of a Persona game just for fun, not long ago. In my version of the story, rather than summoning Personas, the characters actually transform into their Persona form, with the catch being that spending time in your Persona form takes a certain amount of time off the end of your life. The game was a Disgaea style turn-based SRPG in which your units could go into battle normally, or could transform into Personas to really wreck up the joint. The game would keep track of how many turns your characters spent transformed, and if you spent too long in your Persona form that character would die and be removed from the party. In theory, depending on their personality, characters would be more or less willing to sacrifice their lives in order to use the power of their Personas, and forcing characters to use the power against their will could result in them becoming disobedient or even abandoning the mission. So the game would become a balancing act- using Persona power when necessary but making sure not to overtax your characters, and keeping everyone in high enough spirits and loyal enough that they’re prepared to throw their life away in order to accomplish whatever the game’s goal ended up being. (Keeping folks happy and loyal would probably be the game’s version of forging and maintaining S-Links, since you’d have to treat your butties, check in on them, take them out places, let them vent, etc. etc.)

        It’s only a skeleton of an idea, but hell, it’s not like I’m ever going to get a chance to actually make the thing. Maybe I’ll flesh it out as a sort of exercise, like I did with my fantasy TWEWY sequel.

        • PaganPoet says:

          Hmm, interesting. It actually sound pretty plausible, but given the SRPG aspect of it, it sounds more like Persona spin off to me (which is a spin-off of a spin-off itself, so why not?) I really like the idea of the Personas taking their toll on the character’s health, as it makes sense. There was actually a similar mechanic in Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, in which transforming into the dragon shortened Ryu’s lifespan.

          Keeping your teammates satisfied and happy sounds like a fair trade-off for Social Links. If anything, it would allow for some very deep development of all your playable characters.

      • Jackbert says:

        I love all of those ideas but one. Leave Japan, but don’t set the game in the USA. American culture is by far the most dominant worldwide. There has been so much media made about the American college experience. (Also, bit of a tangent, but think how much of that media is drinking/drugs/sex. It’s already weird enough that none of that shows up in a Japanese high school, it’d be ten times stranger in an American university.) Set it in a country with a deep cultural tradition that is rarely represented outside of said country, like Germany, or Nigeria, or India. This would of course require tons of research, but fuck it, I’m designing the sequel, I decide how we spend our time.

        As for a new gameplay mechanic, I’ve previously thought of the idea of consuming Personae in a burst of power. Say you’re in a boss battle. Your whole party is dead, you’re at low health, the boss has a good bit of health left, you’re basically screwed. Your last option is to explode your Surt into a burst of flames that deals the damage of three Agidynes. You do so, and the boss is defeated, but you can never use that Persona again. Obviously, for this to be a viable option, there would have to be higher penalties for death. I’ve also thought up the idea of instead of dying, being mortally wounded, and waking up in the hospital a few days later. You lose any chance to grind, or develop social links, in essence you lose the currency of the game, time. So you have to decide, do I lose my Persona or do I lose time?

        • caspiancomic says:

           I really like the idea of punishing failure by penalizing a player’s time. If you were to take a system like this and include an auto-save feature to prevent save-scumming, you could build a really high stakes, much more strategically demanding version of a Persona game.

        • PaganPoet says:

          Related to your idea, Jack, is that there is no such thing as a “perfect playthrough.” You WILL lose items, Personas, friends, or whatever if you beat the game. This will drive completionists like me insane, but in the end, it really is more realistic of how a real life struggle would ensue. That may be more depressing than many expect from their JRPGS, but, hey, people don’t come to Shin Megami Tensei games if they want uplifting.

        • Jackbert says:

          @caspiancomic:disqus : Thanks! I’m a bit wavy on the idea of auto-save; it’d prevent save-scumming, but I also think there’d be an interesting dynamic between in-game time and real-life time without it. Do you let yourself die and sacrifice five days to develop relationships, or do you turn off the game and sacrifice the three hours you’ve been playing since you last saved? I think I lean towards the save system present in previous Personae because that balancing act is mighty appealing to me.

          @PaganPoet:disqus : Definitely. I’ve mentioned it on here before, but I could never work up the nerve to do a male character NG+ because my choices to hang out with skeezy businessmen and alcoholic monks rather than girls my age felt insperable from that quiet blue-haired dude that was me. Still, I think being penalized with time loss would be affecting because you’d be even less close to perfect.

        • Unexpected Dave says:

          I’d like to see more games where there’s no such thing as a “perfect” playthrough, and you have to choose between certain items, characters, etc. Chrono Cross is a decent example. 

      • Mike Wolf says:

        Tenuously-related anecdote: A gamer friend of mine was playing around with the hookup app Grindr when he visited, just for laughs. There’s an option in it to add your Facebook or Twitter account (though why you’d want to is anyone’s guess) and the button to do so is labeled ‘Social Link’.

        We speculated what kind of Personas you might discover, but that’s another story, and mostly NSFW.

        • PaganPoet says:

          The Grindr app is most definitely the Devil Arcana Social Link. You can fuse Incubus and Mara if you get the level high enough.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      System Shock 3.  I’m not sure exactly what the story would be, but I’d love to match wits against SHODAN again.  The end of SS2 where she starts gaining control over reality itself poses some interesting possibilities…

      I’d want to keep, in some form or another, the “Choose your various jobs as character generation” method, the hacking sections, customizable weapons and gear, and the techno soundtrack.

      I’d make sure the game had full Oculus VR support (or whatever the best 3D headset ends up being), because as I’ve probably said a dozen times here, playing SS2 with 3D glasses was incredible.

      • NakedSnake says:

        SHODAN was, I think, the best villain of all time. The relationship between her and the main character in System Shock 2 is obviously one-sided, but at the same time its fascinating to see her evolving view of you over the course of the game. From unwitting pawn, to willing tool, to avatar of destruction, to final antagonist. Of course, much of the malice and contempt has been captured in GLaDOS (who must be a self-conscious tribute to SHODAN), but while portal was a fun game, it wasn’t the same.

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          GLaDOS is great, but obviously far more comic than menacing.  SHODAN is great because she obviously looks down on you as worthless, and shows pure anger each time you prove her wrong.

    • Merve says:

      Most franchises I like are on the right track, and I have no reason to believe that their next entries won’t be to my liking. However, Remember Me was a bit of a deeply flawed gem, and if I were in complete control with an unlimited budget, here’s how I’d design it:

      – The sequel would be set in a different city with a different protagonist. The story would focus more on the social and political ramifications of Sensen technology, though if it could tie in at a personal level with the protagonist, that would be nice.

      – I’d make the levels a bit more open, but otherwise, I’d preserve
      the original’s linearity. Calls to make this game more RPG-like are

      – The game would be more of a platformer and less of a “traversal” game. More environmental puzzles would feature in the level design.

      – Though combat would still be forced at some points, stealth should be a viable option for some sections. In fact, basic stealth mechanics such as crouching, cover, and sight-lines would allow the gameplay to be more varied.

      – The combat system would be left more or less intact, but the game would be a bit more forgiving about what breaks a combo.

      – Better voice acting.

      – I think a gadget system for breaking into and out of buildings would be helpful, and it could be used for solving environmental puzzles as well.

    • ProfFarnsworth says:

      I would make Legend of Dragoon 2.  I would put it during the Dragon Campaign and would make sure that the original game would get some good nods to it. Ultimately, though I would want the game to have an original story that ended with the dragon campaign and Rose’s Journey.

      The graphics would obviously have to be updated, as well as the TERRIBLE voice acting.  I would keep the addition system and the dragon magic, but I would remove the need to grind quite a bit.  I would make random encounters more frequent if you were below the expected level of the boss, much less frequent if you were above that level.  I think this would make the game more enjoyable.  I also would make dragoon transformations more “balanced” or more necessary for fighting creatures.

      All in all, I think that this game would be awesome to create, but will NEVER happen due to stupid copyright issues and people never wanting it.  Oh well…A man can dream though, A man can dream.

    • Jackbert says:

      Deus Ex: Something

      You are a person of low status, poor and a racial minority. The game explores the world developed in previous Deus Ex games from the perspective of your socioeconomic status, thereby making statements about race and class in America. You receive augments in a deus ex machina and the plot begins! The game is set in Detroit as represented in Deus Ex: Human Revolution again, as it would fit perfectly with the themes (socioeconomically powerless person granted power through augmentations; run-down city granted viability through augmentation manufacturing) of the game. The game has a shorter storyline than that of previous entries, four to eight hours, with actual branching paths affected by your actions. All of these paths are thematically appropriate, with four starting points. I’ve thought of two so far: you start a movement of augmented people of your status, a la the Black Panther Party, or you join an organization as a soldier and attempt to work your way up to take it down, a la Sleeping Dogs. There are also far more side missions, again thematically appropriate, involving issues like gangs and unemployment. Gameplay would be similar, with the ability to resolve boss fights non-lethally and better shooting mechanics the main additions. Basically, it’d be the same Deus Ex gameplay you know and love, but with a way stronger, actually branching, thematically focused story.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        I like this idea very much. I just saw Elysium, and though flawed, I still enjoyed it. You make me think a video game may actually be a better medium for exploring the same ideas.

      • ProfFarnsworth says:

        I think that Deus Ex: Something is possibly the BEST title ever.  I also really think that games are extremely capable of discussing this issue and effectively giving people options to explore different ideas behind it.  I really like this game idea.  It would be very, very high class art and probably really controversial.

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      I’d make a sequel to Eagle Eye Mysteries the 90s-era PC kid detective game beloved by me and unknown to everyone else in the entire goddamn world. I wouldn’t change much, since no one remembers the original and wouldn’t care about it, so we’d keep it simple: two siblings use real detective skills (critical thinking and logic) to solve minor-to-serious mysteries in their hometown, with an increasing degree of difficulty. There was a sequel, actually, set in London, but most of its cases were a letdown, designed to teach some bit of history or trivia (heraldic symbols, say, or conventions of music notation) rather than emphasizing deduction. So screw that.

      Things from the original that are awesome and should stay:
      1. The player’s ability to choose the male or female sibling as a guide at the start of every case and the rest of the game reflecting that choice in dialogue.
      2. Cases repeat with alternate fact patterns and solutions, making players think about changes to established knowledge.
      3. A freakin’ detective game for kids that actually teaches real deduction and thinking skills, have I mentioned how cool that is?

      Add some new characters, some higher-resolution but still hand-drawn graphics, and a bunch of new cases, and you’ve got yourself a wonderful kids’ game that no one will buy because edutainment is a barren wasteland these days.

      • ProfFarnsworth says:

        That would be an impressive game!  I think that it would also have been a good way to do the Harry Potter series, but then again I am a senile 178 yr. old man…or was it 179?

        • His_Space_Holiness says:

          Wrong mood, future man: it is an impressive game! I honestly didn’t add much of anything to my hypothetical sequel, it was all there in the original.

          Here’s a video I found of someone playing it. I’m not fond of Let’s Play makers talking nonstop like football announcers, but in this one’s defense, she doesn’t have a sound setup. The original game was actually fully voiced.

      • Necrogem says:

        Almost hate to burst your bubble, but I had both Eagle Eye Mysteries and the sequel (as a budding Anglophile, I liked the second one more :P).  So I guess outside of you and me, no one else in the world has ever heard of them :D  I always thought there should have been a third one though, so good idea, dude!

    • NakedSnake says:

      I have to go with the Jagged Alliance series. There have been so many failed sequels that I don’t even pay attention any more. But it seems like an easy thing to get right. The game would need to be “modernized”, but if you just crib off of what XCOM did, I think you’d be in good shape. In terms of added features, I think it would be really cool if you took some of the emphasis away from seizing locations and placed more emphasis on holding them. In JA2, people would sometimes attack sectors you held, but it was pretty much a boring re-fight of something that happened before. It would be really interesting if you were allowed to do some kind of fort modifications and set up defenses, and then you had to fight off legitimate attacks from a large group of attackers.

    • EmperorNortonI says:

      Starflight 3

      The Starflight games were put out in the 80’s, and were space exploration/trading/combat/diplomacy games.  You’d fly your little ship around on a great big starmap, meet aliens, fight or befriend them, land on planets and look for valuable stuff, etc.  It was great fun, especially since it was not clear at all what the ultimate “goal” of the game was.  Figuring that out was half the fun.

      StarControl 2 was a clear homage to the Starflight games, and it’s too bad that StarControl 3 was such a sad fail.

      Since these games are absolutely ancient, even something so minimal as “the same, but modern-shiny” would seem fresh and new. 

      I’d stick with 2-D, and try to re-create the magic that was StarControl 2’s ship combat system – maybe with bigger maps, more environmental variables, and whatnot.  But also give it proper net-code so that online multiplayer and tournaments are possible.  And, try to allow a point-buy system for upgrades and improvements into the fleet, so that you don’t just spend fleet points on ships, but also can boost up individual stats on your ships, or bring in a custom ship with a reasonable and fair cost.

      For the single player, it would be interesting to take a page from the recent Roguelike Renaissance, and have the starmap and alien placement randomized every time.  Maybe have their roles in the story switched around as well, so you’re never quite sure who Race X is going to be when you encounter them.  The game would have to be a bit shorter to accommodate this, but that’s cool – just build in lots of alternative variants, or maybe a bunch of pre-designed sector set-pieces (like they use in Fallen Enchantress) that the players are not likely to see that often.  You could also take a page from Weird Worlds, and change up the endgame goal every so often – most of the time, it’s explore everything and create the Galactic Council, but sometimes you have to defeat the Borg.  Or something.

      Or, scrap the Roguelike elements, and make it more in the vein of Dark Souls.  Brutally challenging basic gameplay mechanics that reward skill and mastery with incremental progress, and next to no help with the learning curve.

    • Girard says:

      Easy answer: Hire Ronzo and Steve Purcell to collaborate with me on the ‘real’ Monkey Island 3. It would be amazing.

      I’d kind of love to be given the reigns to any of the sadly neglected MegaMan series. While I love the NES games and their style, the ‘retro sequel’ thing has already been done a bunch, so it might be fun to make a legit MM11 (or X9) with gorgeous, current-gen, sprite-based graphics, but with the same super-tight play control and design of the older games.

      One thing that would be fun would be to solicit the robot master designs from kids like they used to do in Japan way back when, but I don’t think there’s anyone interested in designing MegaMan bosses who is under 20 at this point. (Maybe I could give a class of kids a crash course in MegaMan games, and then have them design bosses… Oh, man, I wish I had more time with my game design camp kids – how awesome would it be to teach them about programming [relatively] complex AI entities by having them each design and program their own MegaMan robot master, then have them all combine into a single class-wide MegaMan game??)

      It would be a blast to design Legends 3, too, the chunky art style is fun as hell to draw, and on current systems we could go for some awesome Windwaker++ level art direction.

    • Necrogem says:

       Really late to the party here, but I would finally finish the Legacy of Kain series.  I really don’t have much idea of how the plot would work, except to build on the events of Defiance by putting down Janos Audron.  Raziel would also comment on events from the Soul Reaver, making pithy observations and perhaps throwing out some erudite one-liners.  Despite my opinion that the whole series should not have gone beyond Soul Reaver (which, in an ideal world, would have been given an extended deadline to become the game it was meant to be), I really hate that it will never see an ending due to the decline in quality/profitability of the games.

  5. NakedSnake says:

    A day late, but did you guys see that GTA  is going to go online? I never bought IV and wasn’t planning on buying V until I saw this. I have honestly been dreaming of this since the first GTA. I’ve always thought it would be pretty great to have an online chaotic world where you have no idea what kind of crazy shit is going to happen next b/c it’s basically all user-generated madness. Well played, Rockstar.

    • mizerock says:

      Yeah, this is crazy indeed, and has tipped my scales. Pre-order placed. I also let Dorothy know that I’m taking over the main TV that whole week, she can go back to watching reality shows every day for the rest of the year after that.

      So how many people will be on each version of the city? Can you start up a “my friends only” server?

      • Based on what I’ve read it’s 16 people per ‘server’ and if they keep the promises made during about the Max Payne 3 launch about the use of ‘crews’ in the game, I imagine you can limit a server to being ‘my friends’-only or ‘my crew’-only.

      • NakedSnake says:

        It would definitely be fun to do heists and plan jobs with friends (what platform are you buying this on?), but this is one situation where I actually wouldn’t mind trolls at all. The idea of playing in the world, constantly paranoid that someone was going to take a shot at me, actually sounds appealing. More paintball than deathmatch.

  6. Enkidum says:

    This is super late and kind of random, but I just got the latest Humble Bundle and I already have McPixel and Thomas Was Alone. So if anyone wants a free copy of either of those, hit me up on Steam and I’ll hook you up with it. Same username as here.

  7. Matt Koester says:

    Dude. You put me on your article! Now I’m officially only three or four steps away from being mentioned on Time Magazine’s website!

    • Effigy_Power says:

      “Insane, naked Area Man disrupts local McDonalds, yells profanities about Bioshock, cries into hollowed out NES. News at 11.”