The Bulletin is a roundup of a few game-related news stories from the previous week.
Semi-beloved Nintendo character to appear in Super Smash Bros. because duh
Let’s all be honest here. Nobody—other than our own Matt Gerardi—really likes Luigi, right? Some people prefer him to his more famous brother, but that’s just because Mario is a cliché. Luigi is there so younger siblings can have someone to do while their older siblings get to play as the real hero, but if you open up the selection a little more and let people choose between Luigi and, say, Mega Man or Pikachu or Metroid’s Samus Aran, nobody would pick Luigi. Don’t tell that to Nintendo, though. As reported by Kotaku, Nintendo has announced that Luigi will be joining the cast of the upcoming Super Smash Bros. games for Wii U and 3DS. Luigi has been in all of the other games in that series, so this isn’t all that surprising. Of course, Nintendo deemed 2013 the “Year Of Luigi,” so it needs to keep reminding us of how “great” and “cool” he is.
Speaking of insisting on how cool Luigi is, Polygon is reporting that the Brown Line branch of Chicago’s “L” train will be temporarily rebranded next week as—you guessed it—the “Luigi Line.” Commuters will have a chance to play New Super Luigi U and even meet Luigi himself (whatever that means). I’m from the Chicago area, and I think Chicago is cool. Maybe Luigi isn’t as lame as I thought? I mean, better that he hang out in Chicago than some lame city like New York.
Civilization Online finally introduces the thrill of being a nobody to MMOs
Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to live as a cog in the machine? Not the guy who designs the skyscraper but the guy who laboriously places the big hunks of steel. That sounds like fun, right? If you said yes for some reason, then XL Games is going to finally bring your bizarre, mundane fantasy to life in a new online multiplayer version of Civilization. As revealed on Massively, the game will take the traditionally macro scope of the Civilization games and focus it on significantly smaller subjects. Rather than play as an immortal historical leader, Civilization Online puts players in control of individual people within one of four competing civilizations. It doesn’t exactly sound like regular Civilization, but it does sound interesting. You can check out Massively’s breakdown for a more in-depth look at how XL Games it planning to turn this long-running global strategy game into a massively multiplayer online game.
War game facing boycotts because of not being enough like actual war
I was always under the impression that the Company Of Heroes series of military strategy games prided itself on being a more realistic than your StarCrafts and Command And Conquers. However, a group of Russian players have now come forward and called for a boycott of Company Of Heroes 2 due to its portrayal of the World War II-era Soviet military. As reported byVideogamer.com, users are petitioning Valve to remove the game from Steam, the company’s digital game storefront, and are posting negative reviews on sites like Metacritic, claiming that it is a “twisting of the historical facts.” One reviewer even compares it to Nazi propaganda in the way it portrays the Soviets as ill-prepared villains. According to Joystiq, Sega, Company Of Heroes 2’s publisher, has announced that it is taking the complaints “very seriously” and has pulled the game from Russian shelves. If people in Russia are this strict about historical accuracy, let’s hope they never find out about every other video game ever made.
Microsoft flip-flops on Xbox One pack-ins
From now on, I should just do all Xbox One news items Mad Libs-style using something like this: “Last week, Microsoft announced that its upcoming Xbox One console will _________, a surprising reversal of previous statements.” That blank can be anything from “play used games” to “spy on you with its new Kinect” or even “no longer launch cute puppies into space for science.” This week, we can fill in the blank with something a little less exciting but no less surprising.
Last week, Microsoft announced that its upcoming Xbox One console will include a packed-in headset, a surprising reversal from previous statements made by the hardware developer. Microsoft initially wanted to position its updated Kinect sensor as an alternative to traditional gaming headsets, since it allows you to talk to your teammates in online games without wearing a goofy thing on your head, and Microsoft has to come up with some reason to justify including one with every console. The change was revealed during an official Xbox One unboxing video from Larry Hryb, the human-sized Xbox avatar also known as Major Nelson (seen above). So things are still a little _________ for the Xbox One, but at least Microsoft can still _________ _________ _________.
Gameological Investigates: Can you order pizza with the Xbox One?
The Gameological Bulletin may primarily be about gathering news from around the web, but that doesn’t mean we can’t seek out the crucial information that you, our beloved readers, need to know. Microsoft is doing as much as it can to build hype for the Xbox One and its revolutionary and innovative new features. There is, however, one aspect of the console that Microsoft is still keeping under wraps and one question it refuses to answer: Can you order pizza with the Xbox One? After all, the Xbox 360 currently features a well-publicized Pizza Hut app that gives users the ability to order pizzas with a few button presses or waves of their arm. Why wouldn’t the Xbox One have something similar?
With those questions in mind, we contacted Microsoft PR and…were summarily ignored. Reshuffling our stack of important-looking papers, we tried our luck with Pizza Hut PR and got a little further. Pizza Hut personally told me that it “[appreciated] my feedback” and that it would “relate [my questions] to the appropriate team.” It was probably a form letter, but it is still intriguing. Why are Microsoft and Pizza Hut being so cagey? The only possibility is that they both have something to hide, which suggests a number of thrilling outcomes: Either Microsoft and Pizza Hut are planning to make a big announcement about an Xbox One-enabled Pizza Hut app, or chillingly, they are not. What does this mean for the future of ordering food with a video game console, and does this suggest that the Xbox One is taking another step backward from the capabilities that we’ve come to expect for modern consoles? Please keep an eye on The Gameological Society as we continue to investigate this serious issue. We WILL demand answers.