The Bulletin



Nintendo has an announcement for Luigi lovers and the Xbox One secret Microsoft won’t talk about.

By Sam Barsanti • August 12, 2013

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
Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

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
Company Of Heroes 2

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, 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?
Breaking News

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.

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143 Responses to “Pizzagate”

  1. JohnnyLongtorso says:

    I can only imagine what all the Williamsburg residents would think of the L train being rebranded the Luigi train.

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      Big, flamboyant mustache?  Ostensible workman-proletariat overalls paired with an 80’s-style searing green shirt?  Inexplicable accouterments in the form of pointless white gloves?  Gangly frame?
          Sounds like a perfect fit, really.

    • Bad Horse says:

      I wonder why they didn’t pick the Green Line. Seems more logical.

    • CW says:

      Thatsa spicy MTA!

  2. SamPlays says:

    The boycott has merit. The Russians were incredibly well-prepared villains. Also, why didn’t Mountain Dew just name its new flavour “Xbone Xtasy”?

    • Effigy_Power says:

      Touchy. But nothing. BIS fans have been railing against women in the ArmA series for so long, gaming nationalism sounds almost antiquated.

      • The_Helmaroc_King says:

        “Railing against women” as in “no female characters allowed”? Is this is related to the various men-only units around the world or is it something less benign?

        • Effigy_Power says:

          It is the whole “No girls allowed” debate. Nothing unusual by itself, but the reasoning. Sheesh…
          Still, I wouldn’t recommend visiting the forums even out of morbid fascination. Ask Sub, his soul is forever damaged from that.

        • djsubversive says:

          “Making soldiers with boobs would take resources that BIS could be using to implement our exceptionally reasonable suggestions that gunboats stop “waaay too slow” and that the helicopters are too “arcadey,” even though we’ve known since early in the alpha that eventually the Take On Helicopters flight model will be used. Also, guns are too balanced, I think [OpFor/Blufor/Independent]’s pretend weapons should be [stronger/weaker] because they’re obviously [more/less] powerful, even though they don’t actually exist in the real world. Also, boobs scare us and we don’t understand the concept of ‘near-future soldier sim.'”

          It’s not just morbid fascination, it’s masochistic morbid fascination. It is, after all, me.

      • SamPlays says:

        In mother country, men are men and woman is woman. Big heels and glitter skirt is everything. Unless you are babushka.

      • Comadreja says:

        As much as I agree with you on the absence of female military in war-themed games, I think it’s more than an issue of mere nationalism. Western developers are getting to impose their perspective of past, present and even future conflicts (apparently, they always had, have and will have a huge boner for shooting ’em russkies, even if they’re a capitalist country now) through bigger development and marketing budgets, and then we (read: Kotaku, I’m not sure I’ve read about it here) act all shocked when Russia wants to see a different perspective of an actual conflict they participated (and pretty decisively) in, or China releases a game where they similarly stereotype Japan to their less-nice, more-genocidal WWII incarnation. Country is as much culture as religion or language and thus equally deserving of consideration in its depiction, I think.

        • Comadreja says:

          (That said, Kotaku’s article might be a bad example since at times they’ve seemed to have a rather radically pro-Japanese political bent…)

        • Roswulf says:

           I think one needs to examine historical revisionism, or indeed any story we tell about the past on a case-by-case basis. The fact that ALL history is shaped by the recounter’s context does not mean that we can not or should not condemn bad, destructive history.

          There’s also a real difference between having Russians create their own texts telling a different historical myth, and Russians demanding the destruction of texts that violate said myth. The CoH controversy seems very much the latter.

        • Comadreja says:

          Yes, indeed there obviously lies a political interest at the heart of the controversy and I won’t deny the current Russian government seems to be fostering some kind of myth-worship of Soviet war-efforts while veering to the far-right in actual social policy (a parallel could be drawn to China and the way they use Communist ideology to enforce social control in a wildly Capitalist economy). I’m not so much trying to legitimate whatever vision of their past they’re trying to impose (the fact that they haven’t really bothered to explain what it would supposedly be like according them makes it especially suspect) as voicing my frustration as to how this hasn’t sparked more wide-ranging discussion of the way nationality/race/ideology are portrayed in videogames.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          Our historical revisionism is legitimate?
          When in Ben Franklin’s 40 foot tall, alien-absorbing, metal-clad steam-butt did that happen?

        • Comadreja says:

          That’s what I mean, Effigy_Power, that we’ve been through decades of anglo-american military fiction fantasizing about an all-out war between the US and the Soviet Union and now the Russian Federation, without it ever coming to more than extremely localized proxy conflicts, and now we get our knickers in a bunch when they attempt their equivalent of “we would have won Vietnam if the hippies had let us”. The first Modern Warfare was still typical (already dumb enough) Tom Clancy fare, but MW2 grabbed the idiotic “Russia invades (because secretly we want to wage war against someone who has actually done something to us)” scenario and ran with it to Pat Swayze’s grave. I don’t think either instance of revisionism is more legitimate than the other, but I think the gaming press’s reactions to Russian backlash against CoH2 or China’s military shooter are more than a bit hypocritical – there has been all kinds of discussion about violence in games and “ludonarrative dissonance”, but no one seems to point out how the entire military shooter genre has been founded around the dehumanization of entire nationalities and cultures.

    • Enkidum says:

      Honestly, I’m sure no one cares, but the Russians were… incredibly ill-prepared, and their leader, at least, was a straight-up villain. (And they were ill-prepared because their leader kept refusing to do anything about the inevitable German betrayal.)

      • SamPlays says:

        schas po ebalu poluchish, suka, blyad!

      • HobbesMkii says:

         It’s Hitler v. Stalin in the despot showdown of the century! Who will win? (Stalin) Who will lose?! (almost certainly Poland) Stay tuned to find out!

      • EmperorNortonI says:

        One things that Russians complain about is the one rifle, two men image seen ever since Enemy at the Gate. Was that an indisputable historical fact? I really don’t know.

        I do know that most Western war scholarship was written based almost entirely on German sources, introducing just a tiny dollop of one sided bias into the narratives on the war that are common in the West. Only in the past 15 years or so have the old Soviet archives been open and available, and strangley enough, they tell a rather different tale. The overall picture is similar, but in detail its REALLY different.

    • Girard says:

      “Well prepared” in the sense that Stalin had a tremendous intelligence network to completely ignore and a tremendous number of young men to keep tossing artlessly into the meat grinder of the Eastern Front.

  3. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    Since the Xbox One is the future of gaming, and according to Demolition Man, in the future all restaurants will be Taco Bell, then I’m afraid you will only be able to order chalupas, quesadillas or tacos.

    If you want real pizza, you’ll just have to go to the Taco Bell/Pizza Hut drive through.

    • Matt Gerardi says:

      Depending on which version of the movie you see (American or elsewhere) the fast-food chain that rules the world can be either Taco Bell OR Pizza Hut. Only time will tell which of the two possible Demolition Man universes we’re living in.  

      • SamPlays says:

        Global consumerism has significantly changed the predictions of Demolition Man. The universe is actually going to experience a fully integrated (Das Racist would say “combination”) Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

      • fieldafar says:

        I sincerely hope it’s Pizza Hut.

      • Fluka says:

        That’s some fancy quantum uncertainty shit right there.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        Mind = blown.

        Even in fictional universes, countries outside of America get the better food choices?

      • Citric says:

        Fun fact: Saskatchewan drove out Taco Bell years ago and there is not a single location in the province. In my imagination my forefathers took up pitchforks and torches and drove them out in the dead of night, but I think what actually happened is nobody in the province ate there.

        • SamPlays says:

          I almost accepted a job in SK last year. Glad I made the right choice.

        • Unexpected Dave says:

          It’s probably because Taco Bell doesn’t serve anything with wheat in it.

        • Citric says:

          @SamPlays:disqus You’re missing out, our septic systems are much lower maintenance than most other places.

        • Asinus says:

          I don’t know if I like the idea of not having the option to get double deckers and/or Mexican pizza. I like to think about getting those things because it allows me to consider alternatives until I’m at a small, family-owned Mexican restaurant ordering something worth photographing and putting on facebook and captioning with a healthy side of “LOL”s (even though there’s nothing at all funny about it). 

      • duwease says:

        Ah.. I *finally* understand what Das Racist was trying to say in the lyrics to “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell”.  I guess I just needed the philosophical and historical underpinnings to make sense of it.

    • SamPlays says:

      I saw the ending of Demolition Man yesterday prior to catching 80% of the Breaking Bad Season 5 marathon. It was single-handedly the worst thing I’ve seen in a long, long time. Beardy Denis Leary quipping about a bad hair style. Sandra Bullock thanking Stallone for knocking her unconscious. That hideously choreographed kiss. The camera pulling out to credits as Stallone leaves the screen with a terrible one liner. I understand some people like terrible things because they’re terrible but this one completely rubbed me the wrong way.

    • Andy Tuttle says:

      I like baja/beef chalupas.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        Baja chicken for me.  Still pissed that, at least in my area, Baja sauce now costs extra as it’s an off-menu item.

        • Andy Tuttle says:

          Oh hell no! I haven’t had a chalupa in probably a year so I’ll have to check it out for myself. I remember one time I asked for the baja sauce and they gave me sour cream instead. I took it back to the counter and let them know that the order was wrong. The person behind the counter just looks at me and bluntly says “Is there even a difference?” Um, yeah dude, there’s totally a difference!

    • NakedSnake says:

      I’d give my vote to Brawno – The Thirst Mutilator.

    • DrZaloski says:

      Fair exchange for virtual sex.

    • Girard says:

      My mind was blown when I learned that those weird styrofoam cinnamon twists were actually what happens to swirly noodles when they’re deep fried. Can we still get those, or will I have to deep-fry my own pasta in my futuristic bunker?

  4. MintBerry_Crunch says:

    I say Sega give them the finger and swap all the tanks for gay pride floats.

    And have the Russian faction shoot glitter guns exclusively.

    And Speedo’s for the freezing cold.

    And every time you click on one of them they say, “We work hard, we play hard.” That’s when the glow sticks come out.

    (Censorship is not okay folks.)

    • Sam_Barsanti says:

      Hot ssstuff comin through!

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      (Censorship is… okay folks.) — @MintBerry_Crunch:disqus

    • fieldafar says:

      Dedicated to The Steelworkers of America Russia 

      Keep Reaching For That Rainbow

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I’d play the shit out of that. Let’s see those mean Germans survive any combat against my new Russian army in Versace and Prada. Rainbow Tanks forward!

      • MintBerry_Crunch says:

        I’m sure the armies would welcome having the ice thaw for a change.

      • Destroy Him My Robots says:

        It’s still going to be a fierce (I know, I know) battle, seeing how Germany had Hugo Boss and Chanel.

    • PaganPoet says:

      They should pack the soundtrack with Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Cher.

    • The_Helmaroc_King says:

      Yes, let us all call them homosexuals!

      You know, this situation reminds me of something, but I just can’t put my finger on it

      • TreeRol says:

        That’s not what anyone was getting at.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          It rubbed me the wrong way too. I understand what they meant but the idea that “we ought to portray them as gay stereotypes to punish them!” is not really that great, if you ask me.

        • TreeRol says:

          Huh. Does it make be a bad person to be amused by the idea of a homophobe having a gay son, or a racist ending up with a black son-in-law? Because that’s how I see this. They have an irrational hatred for something that’s perfectly fine, so an ironic punishment is to have it thrust directly in their faces. (No pun intended.)

        • The_Helmaroc_King says:

          @TreeRol:disqus While Russia’s recent actions regarding homosexuality is deplorable, going from “Your depiction of our history is inaccurate” to “Well, how do you like these gay apples?” is a total non-sequitur. It also completely elides the issue in favor of one that has little bearing on the topic presented. In short, it’s poor form. Their point about censorship still stands, but it’s practically a footnote on the post itself.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          See, the framing of it is what I find gross. Being gay isn’t a punishment. Having a gay child isn’t a punishment. A homophobic parent with a queer kid isn’t funny, it’s just sad. That happens far too fucking often. 

          LGBT-ness isn’t a punishment and it shouldn’t be seen as one.

          I do get the irony yes, it just really rubs me the wrong way.

      • MintBerry_Crunch says:

        Debate is healthy, especially for video games, which can’t seem to hold discussions contained about the one game without making whichever problem a perpetual issue that can be seen in other.

        This however?—demanding censorship—over the accuracy of a video game no less?

        That’s only another symptom of a slightly backwards modern world view. Would anyone be a surprised that they also hold contentious views of the ‘new world’ sexual freedom?

        It’s a topical comment, yes, but these two things aren’t disparate, just symptoms common to something.

        (Which is not to say Russia is any more villainous than other country—and yes, it’s “understandable” given time with a history book, but that doesn’t mean people still won’t have to deal with control and oppression.)

        • Destroy Him My Robots says:

          Isn’t this basically the same thing that happened with the sung Quran verse in Little Big Planet 2, for example? A company did something that a group of people felt was in poor form, so they ask for change and, if that doesn’t come to pass, call for economical ramifications. Just because you and I don’t feel strongly about what they’re protesting against doesn’t make this entirely unreasonable behavior or even censorship. Relic and Sega are still free to produce and distribute whatever they feel like as long as they feel like their convictions trump the earnings from a select few retailers.

          On a side note, I really don’t think it’s called for to lump the people protesting this video game together with people who violently oppose gay rights just because they happen to be Russians.

          And while we’re at it, this is way less harmful than damning 6 Days in Fallujah because that was solely based on vague notions, caused the game to never get made at all, and might actually have produced a chilling effect. Still no censorship, but much closer.

        • MintBerry_Crunch says:


          You’re absolutely right on how I’m not Russian, and, in fact, I’m just going to point to my ignorance in whatever baggage encapsulates that entire topic. 

          That said, there’s something unconsciously perturbing about the nationalist sentiments of how ‘We’ (Russians) are perceived by ‘Them’ (Others)—and how that’s mirrored. 

          The comment doesn’t really merit my walking on egg shells because, like I said, plenty of baggage there, especially where war and nationalism are concerned.

          And on the note of violence against gays; I’m not highlighting the violence, which is unacceptable anywhere, just the national sentiment toward them. There was a law recently passed on gay propaganda, which should give you all kinds of hints.

        • Pgoodso says:

          @MintBerry_Crunch:disqus And thus, because of the Obama adminstration’s continued support of certain tactics, all Americans implicitly support the indefinite detention, torture of, and even indiscriminate drone attacks of seemingly innocent civilians? I mean, it at least TELLS you something, right?

          Let’s be clear: a people are not their government, and neither vice versa.

          Now, again, that doesn’t make the law any less disturbing, but, it’s really only disturbing as an outsider, because we get to be horrified at what other people do while ignoring our own problems. People get tortured every day in the name of the United States, and you know what? I go to bed easy, because it’s not something I think about all the time, to the benefit of the creators of those policies. Does this make me a bad person? Probably. Does it make me a uniquely American individual? As these ludicrous Russian laws show, probably not.

  5. fieldafar says:

    …if you open up the selection a little more and let people choose between Luigi and, say, Mega Man or Pikachu orMetroid’s Samus Aran, nobody would pick Luigi.

    Bah, I used to always pick Luigi, whether it was for Super Mario World, Mario Kart 64 or Super Smash Bros. I mean, my favourite colour is green, so my pre-pubescent mind naturally inclined to pick the green guy every-time.

    • BobbyBrownGoesDown says:

      In original Smash Bros, Luigi is an excellent character. Far superior to Mario, at least.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        This site needs more Smash Bros. protips from Frank Zappa.

        • BobbyBrownGoesDown says:

          Zappa Smash Bros observation #2: Hyrule Castle is the best. However, Mushroom Kingdom and Sector Z are also acceptable.

      • Matt Gerardi says:

        Luigi was my main character in Melee for quite a while. That was partially because of how goofy he was, but I also did pretty darn well with him. I have no idea if Luigi’s considered a “good” character or not in Melee, though. Probably not. 

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          His “up B” move where it’s an instant KO if you hit someone at the right time is hilarious. That and his “over B” rocket charge are awesome. I love playing Luigi in Smash.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      In Soviet Smash Bros., Luigi always has to play YOU!

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      I like Luigi just fine, but his Brawl super move is… odd.

  6. patagonianhorsesnake says:

    i prefer luigi because i always had to be luigi! because we weren’t allowed to have a nintendo, so if i wanted to play mario, it had to be over someone elses house, and they would never let me be mario. never. “it’s my game, i get to be mario”, they would say. so i would be luigi. always, always, always luigi.

    … damn you, luigi.

  7. Matt Koester says:

    Luigi doesn’t really have a consistant character, but I still love him. The animation in Luigi’s Mansion remains, in my opinion, some of the best in any game because of how well it captures the character. 

    • CrabNaga says:

      Luigi’s pretty consistent in all the non-mainline-Mario titles: Paper Mario, Mario and Luigi, Super Smash Bros., Luigi’s Mansion (I presume, not having played it). He’s always presented as the shy, reluctant, hilariously incompetent brother.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

        There were some great Luigi bits in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. He would hang out different places on the map and tell you about the adventures he was going on as you played through the game. I think also he was like a masked vigilante at one point? I forget.

  8. KingGunblader says:

    I resent your callous ignorance of Luigi’s greatness.

    He became instantly better than Mario in Smash Bros. the moment the latter was given that stupid water gun move.

  9. huge_jacked_man says:

    “Maybe” Luigi is cool? Someone needs to play Luigi’s Mansion (both of them) and Smash Bros.

  10. Jason R. says:

    If it’s anyone but Danny Wells on the L line I hope the good people of Chicago tear that train apart Disco Demolition Night style.

  11. Merve says:

    “I mean, better that he hang out in Chicago than some lame city like New York.”

    Them’s fightin’ words, Barsanti!

    • Sam_Barsanti says:

      Bring it on, flat pizza!

      • Roswulf says:

         I’ve lived in New York for five years now, and overall am overwhelmingly positive on the city. Culture and functional public transportation systems are great), but New York’s insistence that there is something transcendent about its pizza is mindbogglingly wrong.

        • Merve says:

          Deep-dish Chicago pizza is way better than mushy, floppy Brooklyn-style pizza.

        • Girard says:

          I had a friend in college who was from Jersey and who was insistent on finding the most authentic NY-style pizza in Pittsburgh. He would repeatedly drag out to more and more remote pizza places, where we had to eat so much of that thin, floppy, acidic crappy pizza, and it seemed like the more authentic he felt it was, the more gross and floppy and greasy and awful it was.

        • JohnnyLongtorso says:

          I personally don’t think that pizza should require a knife and fork to eat, but I don’t begrudge Chicagoans their insistence on the superiority of deep dish pizza. They have to deal with a skyrocketing murder rate, lake-effect blizzards, and the Chicago Cubs, so they need something to feel good about.

      • Girard says:

        NY pizza is just so bad. Greasy, floppy, acidic chin-burn bullshitza. Fat pizza FTW!

  12. Comadreja says:

    The controversy around CoH2 straddles a thin line between the legitimate and the bullshit. I’m not sure this game should be the most deserving of this kind of backlash (even if it falls in the maybe-stereotypical “underequipped populace under ruthless command achieves victory against near-future technological evil empire”, historical accuracy isn’t my concern here), but at the very least this should make Activision and EA (and, much though it pain me to admit it, Konami) think twice the next time they make their next multi-million piece of enlist-baiting propaganda featuring ambiguous Russian “ultra-nationalists” (who usually end up spousing Communist iconography and rhethorics) as cardboard villains.

    • NakedSnake says:

      Yea, first it was the Ultra-Nationalists, but then they got defeated right? And then in MW2 you’re just warring with the Russian government who you helped install into power, right? So the games are just about being at war with whoever Russia is? Not that the plot to those games makes any sense, but that part in particular didn’t make sense.

      P.S. What the fuck was the connection between the middle east and Russia in those games? That was never really explained. Again, I don’t mean to be reading too much into a shitty game, but they’re so self-serious that the plot incoherence is that much more grating.

      • Comadreja says:

        And CoD is only the most recent manifestation. There’s this kind of weird fascination with evil ambiguously-commie-fascist Russians in modern military fiction that either feels like sabre-rattling or a complete and utter lack of political insight. It extends as far as the whole identifying certain weapons with “bad” or “good” factions regardless of geopolitical link. I recently saw some badly-produced documentary about right-wing paramilitary groups in Nicaragua that had commited one or another atrocity and the guy kept talking about their “AK47” rifles when the weapons on display were all M14s, 16s and our very own Spanish-made CETME. This kind of bullshit becomes rather unbearable when you are the kind of guy who bothers reading different sources ‘n shit.

      • huge_jacked_man says:

        CoD MW campaigns don’t actually take themselves all that seriously, they’re pretty much self-aware James Bond films. The shooting sucks but the story is solid blockbuster stuff and MW2 especially is a bit subversive in its humor.

      • HobbesMkii says:

         No, see, in the first game, the Russian “Ultranationalists” have joined up and provided a middle east dictator with a nuclear weapon, for some reason. Then, once that bomb goes off, you spend the rest of the game hunting down the Ultranationalist.

        In the second (and third) game(s), the Ultranationalist leader is now a martyr and his people have taken power and apparently turned Russia in a military superpower capable of invading both NATO and the United States in sneak attacks. Oh, and there’s also a wayward US General, and the Ultranationalist leader’s wayward protege who steer their respective nations into war, for some reason.

  13. Citric says:

    There was a Luigi in Best Buy on the weekend. It was just some dude with a crappy felt mustache. I had been feeling a bit sorry for myself because I don’t make that much money and all my friends have moved to other cities, but then I realized I’ll never have to dress up as a third-rate Luigi and talk to sticky-fingered miscreants in a Best Buy, so life is better than it could be.

  14. Labrat85 says:

    Company of heroes 2 has 273 positive user reviews on metacritic, and 1311 negatives!

    Can the game even be authentic and still show Russia under Stalin in a positive light? 

  15. indy2003 says:

    Has anybody here played New Super Luigi U yet? I still, um, need to finish New Super Mario Bros. U but have been thinking about picking this one up once I do. I’m okay with the notion of it being a more challenging variation on the Mario game, but I’m curious about how much of a frustration the 99-second clock is on each level.

  16. Mercenary_Security_number_4 says:

    What’s up with the russians lately?  They’re making a point of pushing their homophobia in our faces, they seem to think the most important international issue is making sure americans don’t get to adopt their orphans, and now this video game stuff. 

    Wait . . . crazy laws about sex . . . forbidding adoption without providing an alternative for the orphans . . . regulating video game violence instead of regulating real weapons that cause actual violence.   Oh nevermind, they’re just learning to be more like America.

    • TimeTravelParadox says:

      Based on what I’ve read (along with commentary non-partisan 20th century Russian historians in the US) the portrayal of the Soviet war effort is fairly inaccurate and definitely stresses the incompetency of Russian forces as well as their brutality in an exaggerated way. Even though I know you’re making a sarcastic (and good) point, I just thought I’d add that. 

      • NakedSnake says:

        Regarding the “spit on the sacrifice of veterans” issue, it sort of speaks to the inherent unseemliness of turning conflicts in which millions were killed into a game. Not that I have a problem with it, since I think such games are as old as time. But if someone has a problem with the inclusion of one thing or another, it would do them well to examine the phenomenon as a whole. Unless what they were hoping for was a foreigner-murdering simulator.

        • TimeTravelParadox says:

          I agree with that. Personally I was looking forward to playing as a Vietminh guerrilla because of the obvious differences in tactics, and because maybe it would have enlarged some players’ view of the war, albeit in a trivializing way.  

        • NakedSnake says:

          @TimeTravelParadox:disqus, yea in fact it’s probably a good exercise in general to play as the different sides. It expands one’s perpective of a conflict and puts it more effectively in the past (i.e. it makes it feel less like you’re re-fighting the war). For the Russians in the present discussion, though, I can understand why they would be offended if the game really sticks it to them. I find the idea of playing a foreign game in which American forces are portrayed as vicious murderous incompetents extremely distasteful.

        • Sarapen says:

          @paraclete_pizza:disqus Actually I hear the opening song from Hunt for Red October, composed by the great Basil Poledouris:

          Oh, and Youtube comment love:

          “I was taking a dump while listening to this. I felt like my bowel movement would determine the fate of the world.”

          EDIT: Goddammit, why did Disqus stick this reply here?

      • Gauephat says:

        I don’t know anything about how Company of Heroes 2 represents things, but I find in general the Western media’s take on the Eastern Front whitewashes the Soviet actions (while also underselling their importance and scale).  And it goes without saying that the Russian view of the “Great Patriotic War” is massively biased.

        • TimeTravelParadox says:

          Soviet forces did all kinds of horrible shit, but attempts to document that are not served well by exaggerating in the opposite (negative) direction.

        • George_Liquor says:

          Fun Fact: It’s physically impossible to read the phrase “Great Patriotic War” and not adopt a Russian accent.

        • Girard says:

          @George_Liquor:disqus Or hear this song in your head.

        • ComradePig says:

          Yeah the CoH2 issue is problematic because there are legitimate complaints buried beneath the bullshit.

          The depiction of the Soviet Army in CoH2 (which I liked overall nevertheless) indulges in every tired and largely inaccurate cliche passed on about the war on the Eastern in Western media.

          Serious historians tossed out many of these myths decades ago, but they persistently linger in popular depictions of the Eastern front, in numerous games and movies like Enemy at the Gates.

          The human cost on the Eastern front was staggering and the disregard for human life horrifying, but it is insulting to paint Soviet soldiers as nothing but feed for German bullets without the slightest grasp on military tactics.

          The Germans were a truly formidable enemy, and the Soviets never would have won by relying on the moronic tactics found in movies and games. Further, although it’s not intentional these depictions are I think somewhat insidious, because they perpetuate the image of Soviet soldiers as Eastern hordes, fighting the professional and honorable Wehrmact.

          It’s no surprise given that many of these cliches come from the accounts of German officers, most of whom were alternately covering and lionizing their own asses, making excuses for their defeats (it was all numbers!) and hiding their own crimes.

          CoH’s biggest problem in this regard is context, it just lays on the atrocities and cliches in practically every cinematic and it starts to become comical.

          The problem of course is that this protest largely seems the domain of Russian netizens and Nashi types who don’t actually care about the historical record but simply want the game’s depiction slanted toward the opposite extreme, toward the glorification of the Soviet side of the war without any acceptance of the real tragedies and crimes incurred by the Soviet army and its leadership.

        • Sarapen says:

          @paraclete_pizza:disqus See the theme of Hunt for Red October. I feel like it would be spamming for me to repost what Disqus f-ed up so scroll above.

    • NakedSnake says:

      I’m not really familiar with the Russian context, but I’ve worked on LGBT issues in African countries, and one thing that really pisses many African government officials off is America’s hypocracy on these issues. The State Department (and American foreign policy in general) places a real emphasis on LGBT issues. Meanwhile we ask foreign governments to install legal protections that aren’t even established in America, or are less than 10 years old. You can still be fired for being gay in America ? Because foreign government sure do. It’s definitely an area where you want to sensitize foreign actors to the issues involved but if you lecture them you instantly lose credibility. And there’s a real tendency to lecture them.

      • LeGrandSigh says:

         I was just thinking about this same subject today (minus the working on LGBT issues in Africa part).

    • Girard says:

      Russia and America are basically horrific funhouse mirrors of each other. Giant former Cold War superpowers with tremendous landmasses that ensure their overly patriotic, xenophobic population rarely has to leave their country’s borders or encounter anyone who speaks another language (this is changing more and more in the US, though the amount of bitching about, say, a Spanish option on the ATM by anglo-Americans, as well as the increased deportation and scare-mongering about ‘illegals’ indicates the friction of that transition). Both tend to be a little too patriotic, and both like to pat themselves on the back with a heavy dollop of WWII self-mythologizing.

      I remember when I lived in the Czech Republic after having lived in Russia and the US, and talking to the (refreshingly low-key, humble, non-jingoistic) Czechs about this weird phenomenon, which they saw manifested in the particular my-way-or-the-highway pig-headedness of American and Russian tourists when compared to others. They said that the only other group that could match them in terms of swollen heads were the French, who didn’t even have the excuse of being a geographically large recent superpower…

  17. DrZaloski says:

    Holy shit, Luigi in SSBU? Who would’ve guessed! I’m still totally going on the “Luigi Line” next week though.

    I kinda understand the Russian boycott. I’ve only watched the game and haven’t played it, but it pulls out every Russian soldier cliché in the book, and I understand how it can be offensive. There’s a scene in it where hundreds of unarmed Russian units have to run at two german machine gunners just to distract them. I think it’s offensive because the game is going for some sort of message or shock value based on history, but that’s so glaringly unrealistic that it just puts a bad, dishonest taste in my mouth.

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  19. josef nelson says:

    i’m thinking it’ll be a p.hut/t.bell/kfc/b.king synergistic super app to cater to all crapfood needs.

  20. JamesJournal says:

    If you have access to the internet you can order pizza on anything. Just use the xbox internet explorer app.

  21. 咒純討厭 says:

    They’ll reverse course on pizzas soon enough