Keyboard Geniuses

Old Ezio

The Older You Get…

Highlights from the week’s comment threads.

By Matt Kodner • September 13, 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.

Man Behind The Mega
Mighty No. 9 concept shot

Keiji Inafune, the creator of Mega Man, recently launched an already-successful Kickstarter to fund a new Mega Man-esque project called Mighty No. 9. In a For Our Consideration op-ed, John Teti was excited for Mighty No. 9 but wondered if Inafune ought to ratchet back all the Mega Man talk a bit, to give both Inafune’s old character and his new character some room to breathe. Mad pushed back:

Maybe it’s the comic book fan in me, but I find this to be a rather misguided (and dispiriting) complaint. One finds this kind of character worship to be ubiquitous in superhero comics, almost always at the expense of a mistreated creator’s act of empowerment against a system designed to exploit and discard them. The elevation of character above all (including the act of creation at the hands of a human being) not only ignores the very important fact that what the reader is responding to is in effect the creator him or herself, but tacitly approves of further exploitation and the perpetuation of a broken, unfair system. In short, it is pernicious and the first lesson learned from the creator’s rights fight of the ‘80s is that creator comes before character.

While there are important industry differences between comics and video games (e.g., the collaborative aspect, which brings us closer to film auteur theory perhaps), the power dynamics are very much analogous. Furthermore, it seems to me that whatever identification and attachment one may have toward a video game character (especially one of the 8-bit era, certainly a cypher like Mega Man), it is owed almost exclusively to the game play architecture and the talents of the game designer that provided the game experience. That is to say, whatever fills one with nostalgia in video games, whatever it is one responds to, is much more explicitly tied to the creator and not a character than it would be in another visual medium, even comic books. This is Inafune’s opportunity to show that principle in action, all while giving a well-deserved “screw you” to Capcom. What’s not to like?

It’s disappointing that Teti scolds Inafune for supposedly disrespecting his own creation. I think proper respect is recognizing that 1) without Inafune there would be no character to “respect” in the first place and 2) whenever one praises Mega Man, one is in fact praising Inafune, not a character. Inafune has definitely earned this; let him have it.

Girard had his own counterargument:

I think it’s a bit disingenuous to assert that the various branch series (Mega Man X, Mega Man Legends, etc.) are not relevant to analyzing Beck’s relation to Mega Man as a character. Inafune has already developed characters who were not Mega Man, who were not named Mega Man (or Rockman), but who bore an eerie similarity to him visually, and whose games closely resembled Mega Man’s mechanically, typically with some interesting gameplay tweaks. The name Mega Man was then grafted onto the game title as a way to capitalize on brand recognition—not as an assertion that this character contains Mega Man’s true spiritual essence, and that any game without “Mega Man” in the title obviously lacks that. If this is a legitimate complaint about Inafune’s development of Beck, then it is an equally legitimate complaint about his development of X, and, possibly, of Zero, Volnutt, and whoever the protagonists were in the ZX games. In which case, it seems weird to harp on it now, and to limit the complaint to solely this project.

Getting A Head Of Yourself
Xbox One

Since the rise of mankind, video game companies have been arguing over who has the better console. As Sam Barsanti told us in our news roundup, The Battle For The Ultimate Best System is finally coming to a head. Microsoft recently announced its console’s release date—a week after Sony will release the PS4—so it’s almost time to settle this. In response, HobbesMkii pointed out the silliness of the console wars, and His Space Holiness pointed out the historical craziness of actual wars:

There was some ancient army—whose name escapes me, but whose tale I remember from The Cartoon History Of The Universe—that would start battles by having the front line literally decapitate themselves, dealing a stunning psychological blow to the enemy. I can only assume that Microsoft, tired of having every vice president of whatever-the-fuck quote Sun Tzu at them, decided to go for a deep-cut historical strategy instead.

The fact that I can’t remember the army’s name should indicate how good an idea it was.

Simply not satisfied with a Cartoon History Of The Universe citation, Boonehams dropped some wisdom:

The army was under King Goujian of Yue (present day Zhejiang, China), and the front line weren’t soldiers at all, but prisoners who were going to be executed anyway, which is a less-horrible strategy.

In other news, Gameological’s Pulitzer-worthy investigation of the Xbox One’s pizza ordering-capabilities continued this week. The burning question: Will the Xbox 360 Pizza Hut app make its way to the Xbox One? Sam broke new ground as a Microsoft representative replied, confirming there will be Xbox One content that “will deliver rich, differentiated experiences.” Jackpot? Cornell University thinks so:

I called the Pizza Hut down the street and tried to order the Rich Differentiated Experience Supreme. They castigated me on my lack of a fixed internet connection and hung up. The delivery guy showed up an hour later with 12 pizzas, a dumptruck full of Diet Pepsi and Jade Empire erotica lithographs. He just kept saying he was sorry over and over again.

Undying Pixels
The Clocktower

In his Sawbuck Gamer review of The Clocktower, John Teti looked back to Assassin’s Creed II and mused about the agelessness of Ezio, the game’s protagonist, who looks older as time passes but never seems to grow any less spry for it. Caspian Comic followed suit and called out Metal Gear Solid for pulling the same stunt with its Snake:

Also, following off the whole “Ezio the functionally immortal pensioner” line of thought, this could also be applied to Snake’s chronologically final appearance in MGS4. The idea that Snake is old permeates the entire game. The story is built thematically around the idea that “war has changed”—the game’s de facto tagline during the early trailers—and that Cold War relics like Snake have lost their relevance on the international political/espionage scene. Snake is constantly being tailed by his next generation replacement, Raiden, who more than once shows up to save the old codger’s hide. The character is even suffering from advanced aging just to drive the point home, and he has been re-christened “Old Snake” in case everything that came before was a little too subtle.

But Snake shows almost no signs of wear n’ tear, and indeed thanks to advances made in the mechanics of the game over the series, he is actually, if anything, more capable than he was in his youth. He gets the occasional backache, which never happened before, but the man can still dive roll, knock out a soldier 20 years his junior, survive multiple gunshot wounds, etc. I think it would have been interesting to actually incorporate Snake’s advanced aging into the gameplay more fully than the occasional bit of arthritis. Instead of giving us essentially a hip young gunslinger with an old coat of paint, give us a character whose capabilities are indeed severely restricted by his age.

And continuing a proud Keyboard Geniuses tradition of examining odd Assassins Creed plot points, Bakken Hood told us about a geriatric segment from Assassin’s Creed: Revelations:

To be fair, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations did have a few segments that (minor spoilers) put you in the slow, frail boots of 80-something Altair, where your tasks include politely asking your allies to shoot the bad guys and sitting in a chair to die of old age. And Ezio does mature as a character, which is nice to watch. But yes, it would have been more meaningful to show him slowing down with age, maybe appointing his spry young assassins (hell, I pressed hundreds of buttons to train the bastards) with tasks that demand vigor and athleticism.

Granite Group
Rock Band family rocks out

In April of this year, Rock Band released its final downloadable track. It was a sad day for plastic-instrument rockers worldwide. Anthony John Agnello chronicled Rock Band’s wild journey from its inception. Anthony and some members of the Rock Band team argued that the series suffered as too many spin-offs were released towards the end of its life, but Mercenary Security Number 4 pointed to another problem:

I’m not sure I agree that the problem was one of overload. I stopped playing because while the specific songs were different, the general strategies for mastering them were the same and getting stale. Even once they added the keyboard, I kind of felt like I was doing the same thing over and over again. If they had released less songs, I would have actually felt that way even sooner since I wouldn’t have had shiny new releases to trick me into thinking there was variety. So I don’t think it was an overload of material, I think it was an inability of the format to change up gameplay (which I suppose is what the “pro” mode was designed to do, but I never got a chance to try that out on anything but keyboard, so I don’t know if it succeeded). So I really doubt that Rock Band’s life would have been longer just from spacing out the releases. People played it, they liked it, they got bored. Same thing happened with Cabbage Patch Kids, the Rubik’s Cube, Simon, Furby, and every other trend. Very few marketers know how to turn a trend into a tradition no matter how well timed the new versions are.

On a more tubular note, Selarom reminisced about his personal Rock Band highlight:

I remember the year that the original Rock Band came out, my high school was having a Battle Of The Bands. Without permission from the school, me and my buddies decided it’d be fun to setup Rock Band outside the auditorium on a stage right outside. We brought a friend’s TV and my sound system and blasted it on there. We asked for a cart to set up the TV, and no one in the administration even questioned it. We set the whole thing up and blasted us playing the game. Several people, bored with the shitty bands inside, came out to join us and watch and have a good time. Some even came on stage to join us.

The administration never put a stop to us, but eventually the cops showed up as the actual show inside was winding down and told us to stop. We were in the middle of playing “Number Of The Beast” when they unplugged us. One of our friends nearly fought the cop for killing the vibe, but it was all in good fun. It was probably the most rock-star thing I’ve ever done. (And I’m a real musician!) We freaking got shut down by the cops! That was a great night.

Private EyeMDB
Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure

Danny Gallagher spoke with the creators of the classic Tex Murphy adventure games about their newest sequel, which comes 15 years after poor Tex was left on a cliffhanger. If you’re not familiar with the games, Soredomia picked out a handful of quotes that might pique your interest:

Here’s the prime pickings from the Tex Murphy IMDB page:

Tex Murphy: “Great-great-grandpa Murphy made it through the Depression by teaching Cha-Cha lessons to rich older women. He made thousands before the authorities found out he had no formal training.”

Tex Murphy: “I love murder mysteries. Ah, to be a fictional detective. Everything would be so much simpler then.”

Thomas Malloy: “You do realize that what I’m about to tell you could put you in the same amount of trouble that I’m in.” Tex Murphy: “That’s OK. Danger’s like Jell-O, there’s always room for more.”

Beyond that, I can’t recommend enough [that people watch] any old Let’s Play out there to experience these things as a whole. The pseudo-3D graphic interface may not have held up well, but the atmosphere, style and characterization are still top notch and come through.

Well, folks, that’s it. Thanks everybody for reading and commenting, and we’ll see you next week.

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112 Responses to “The Older You Get…”

  1. SamPlays says:

    I’m hijacking this thing before I leave for the weekend. Two studs and a Gameological pin or everyone who posted this week! Screw the game board!

    • Chum Joely says:

      St– stop! You’re messing it all up! The plaid jackets are getting all mixed up and I can’t figure out whose is whose anymore!

    • Girard says:


      • Aurora Boreanaz says:


      • His_Space_Holiness says:


      • ProfFarnsworth says:


      • His_Space_Holiness says:



        • SamPlays says:




  2. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    Weekend Prompt!
       I’ve been playing Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin for the DS a bit lately.  I haven’t played it since it first came out, and revisiting it I’m kind of impressed by the variety of the levels and implementation of different game mechanics.   Building new worlds into paintings provides the series some fresh locations separate from everyone’s beloved timeshare of the devil.
       But lord.  The writing is so bad.  It consists of a series of non sequiturs and upbeat platitudes so poorly stitched together, it’s noticeable even through how completely unnecessary writing is for a Castlevania game.
       What game would be greatly improved if you could change just one thing, and what would that thing be?

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

      Every single game needs better writing. Every. One.

      • Cloks says:

        Counterpoint: Games with hilarious and quotable writing. Spoony bard, I feel asleep, etc.

        • DrFlimFlam says:

          I remember laughable dialogue more than good dialogue. I woke up yesterday morning and wanted so bad to tell everyone “I Feel Asleep” for the first thirty minutes I was awake. Luckily, I got to work after that intense need had faded.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        This is true.  And probably a bit silly of me to use it as an example, since it’s like saying,“Living is great!  Except for the dying part.  What would you change about living?”

      • caspiancomic says:

         A terrible or otherwise over/under written script has tarnished many an otherwise perfect game for me. Even only going as far back as games I’ve played this year, both Ni No Kuni and Virtue’s Last Reward were desperately in need of a ruthless editor.

        • Citric says:

          On that note, 999 would be much better if something like half of the text was removed. Just because there are so many unnecessary words.

      • Enkidum says:

        Writing is almost too easy as a complaint, since it applies to all but a vanishingly small number of games (I would say that both Portals are well-written, for instance). 

      • Mercenary_Security_number_4 says:

        woah now.  Not of all us are up to date on the technical jargon.  Is that like anti-aliasing or framerate or something?

    • PaganPoet says:

      A graphical upgrade to Metroid 2. I love that game to bits, but lord is it confusing to get around when every single area looks exactly the same. 

      • Zack Handlen says:

        Yeah, I’ve been trying to revisit that, but you put it aside for a few days and you basically have to start the whole thing all over again.

      • Girard says:

        There were at least 2 fan projects goin at some point to do 16-bit remakes of that game. I was looking forward to them for exactly that reason. But it seems like both projects petered out at some point.

        Here’s the blog for one of them. It looks like the project is still in progress. But it’s been going since, like, 2007.

        • PaganPoet says:

          Thanks for linking me to that. I really hope that project sees the light of day, that trailer had me salivating.

      • stepped_pyramids says:

        Metroid II was my first Metroid game. I played it for probably hundreds of hours as a kid. Even then, I still didn’t have any idea where anything was.

    • Cloks says:

      Remove the morality system from Mass Effect 2 or just randomize response positions around the circle.

      • djsubversive says:

        Morality systems and speech tags are annoying. I would have liked New Vegas even more (and I fuckin’ love New Vegas) if there hadn’t been a [Speech] or [Science] tag in front of all the shortcut-to-profit options. Shadowrun Returns allows you to set up dialogue options that are only available if certain conditions are met (skill/ability level, state of variables, race, and so on), but the Dead Man’s Switch campaign makes sure to preface all of those options with the appropriate condition. It’s a choice HBS made, but I appreciate that the editor has the option to just show something if it’s available without tagging it with what most people see as [Win Conversation].

        Karma (the “morality” trait) in New Vegas is pretty useless – what counts is Faction Rep (mostly – there are a few Karma-based options scattered around). That’s how more games should do it. Take Mass Effect, for example. Rather than Paragon/Renegade, imagine having to juggle your Alliance reputation, your Council/Spectre reputation, your Cerberus reputation, and other factions (planetary governments, independent groups, even alien species). Even better (and I know some people will disagree), make them mutually exclusive after a certain point – getting a rep as an Alliance soldier above all else will cut you off from achieving the same status with other factions. Also, different planets treat you better or worse depending on your rep with the “main” factions – some planets appreciate a hardcore Alliance soldier, others will give you as little help as they can get away with (or even outright antagonize you).

        New Vegas does have the hilarious failure choices and responses, and more games should do that, too. “You’ll be… chip outta luck.” “Was that an attempt at humor?” (that’s not a good one, but I can’t think of any others right now. just got done working 11 hours). It also has awesome Black Widow options for dealing with Benny and a certain “character” in Old World Blues (said “character” also has a Confirmed Bachelor option, I think).

        If this is confusing or anything, sorry. Again, I’m kind of tired. I’ll probably see this tomorrow and wonder what point I was trying to make beyond “Morality systems are dumb.”

        Oh, one more: “essential” characters need to go. If you make an annoying asshole a plot-critical character, set up a backup plan for when people inevitably murder that fucker. Doesn’t even have to be an annoying asshole. Make the secondary option more difficult than just dealing with the guy if you have to, but get rid of people who are immortal just because they show up in a couple of quests (Fallout 3 and Skyrim, I’m lookin’ at you). Big surprise, I thought New Vegas did this right. There are only two unkillable characters, not counting children (no kids are involved in major quests, and the ones involved in minor quests are pretty easily dealt with). One is a vendor and the other is the “failsafe” option for beating the game. You can murder every single person and most of the robots in the Mojave if you want to (again, except for kids – but there’s no Little Fucking Lamplight full of them in New Vegas).

        • Cloks says:

          I agree with all of this. It reminds me of how Morrowind didn’t have invincible plot related characters but killing one would let you know that the game was unwinnable.

        • DrFlimFlam says:

          I did like how I got dissed by Salarians in ME3 based on my actions up to that point. It was one case where I couldn’t have my cake and eat it too, and I LIKED it.

        • Flying_Turtle says:

          This right here is fantastic. I’ll never be able to play NV without seeing [Win Conversation] next to those dialogue options.

          Wouldn’t mind that option for real life, though. I’d like to win a conversation every now and then.

    • boardgameguy says:

      Renier Knizia’s Modern Art. It’s a beautifully implemented auction game that (I believe) is also a critique of art snobs and the art market in general. However, its components are so poor in the Mayfair edition that the rules actually look like they are a xerox copy of some better quality rulebook. It makes the game feel chintzy and cheap, which doesn’t work since you are playing as a snobby art curator and collector.

    • Merve says:

      Quantum Conundrum needs a third-person camera.

    • Carlton_Hungus says:

      Make Dark Void the awesome Rocketeer-like adventure I wish it was.

    • Enkidum says:

      The ridiculously long waits between saves in Persona 3: FES. Of course they’re not quite as long as I thought they were, since there’s a save point in the dorm I’d forgotten about until someone here reminded me of it, but there are still moments in the game where you’ll go 30 minutes without an opportunity to save – and that’s not even when you’re Tartarus-crawling. It’s unreasonable for someone who might occasionally need to go out unexpectedly or something like that.

      • DrFlimFlam says:

         I remember how I used to plan to have 40-60 minutes, minimum, to play a JRPG. That’s just how it was done. My, how times have changed.

      • Macro Ham says:

         That’s one of the reasons why I think the PSP version is superior. You can hibernate the system at any time and wake it up later without having to wait to get to a save point.

    • caspiancomic says:

      I considered going with a new translation for a few of my favourite games from the “translate this 60 hour RPG into english in three weeks” period of gaming history (bless your heart, Ted Woolsey). Suikoden II is one of my favourite games of all time, but its translation is truly slapdash. It never quite reaches Final Fantasy VII levels of somehow translating a sentence to give the complete opposite of the intended meaning, but it can get pretty dire. At one point a character’s name is spelled two different ways in the same text box.

      I think though I might ultimately choose Sonic Unleashed. I would trade the Werehog sections for a few more levels of actual daytime Sonic action. All those night levels must have taken a lot of time and care and effort, and if all that work had been put into even one or two more levels for normal Sonic, the game would probably be remembered quite well today.

      • Mercenary_Security_number_4 says:

         I’ve thought about the same thing about Sonic Unleashed.  Some of those daytime runs were pure joy that almost matched the feeling of the original game.  But that just accentuated how uninspired the other parts of the game were.

      • Citric says:

        At the very least, it would be nice if the dancer in Suikoden 2 would have a song instead of dancing to nothing, as though she’s a malevolent Timothy Dalton.

      • stepped_pyramids says:

        Hey, Ted Woolsey actually did a good job at the “translate this RPG before sundown” challenge. His translations were generally very good English and thoughtful (I think what he did with Magus’ sidekicks in Chrono Trigger was brilliant). He kept characters straight. It was generally clear what was going on, aside from usually a handful of slightly confusing/ambiguous translations. Some of the restrictions he was working with (character limits) aren’t as much of an issue with later translations.

        Of course, a lot of people who namecheck Woolsey end up referencing “you spoony bard”, which isn’t from a Woolsey translation. So I think he’s just become a byword for older RPG translations.

    • Girard says:

      It wouldn’t make much of a gameplay difference (unless they went the Mario 2 route), but allowing one to play as Peach in the NSMB games would raise them quite a bit in a lot of people’s esteem.

      This is a fundamental enough “single” change that it would actually result in a completely different game, but if the original creative team behind the Monkey Island games had worked on MI3, the game would have likely been a much more impressive entry in the series, rather than the bit of cartoony fanart/fan-fiction we ended up with.

      • Flying_Turtle says:

        They should have gone the SMB2 route. Part of the fun in that game was figuring out who was the best character for the job on any particular level. Having four characters that play differently working together in NSMB? That’d be a lot of fun.

        • Girard says:

          Nintendo have apparently learned their lesson with Super Mario 3D world. That MIGHT be the game that gets me to get a Wii U (probably, like, five years from now, though…).

    • Remove all tutorials from modern RPGs.  EVERYTHING SHOULD BE DARK SOULS.

      • The_Misanthrope says:

         Dark Souls does seed a few tips throughout the first area, though you don’t have to read them.  I think that’s probably the ideal compromise; You can teach the player without stopping the game every few seconds to tell them how to do things.  It would have been nice if one of those tips was about bow usage, because neither the game nor the manual tells you anything about it and it is one of the more useful things in the game.  I had to look that shit up on the internet.

        • Agreed, Dark Souls doesn’t explain everything to the degree it could, but having to go online to figure out how Humanity worked and why I should care was kind of part of the fun. :)

          (feel free to call bullshit, though)

    • Bakken Hood says:

      The recent discussions about Brutal Legend reminded me: if there was just a f&?ing way to designate squads, then give those squads orders, the RTS segments would have been so much less awful.  If I could just put a squad of melee fighters in front of an artillery team, I could have at least attacked the bad guys with rudimentary tactics instead of just producing units as fast as possible and telling them all “go that way and kill shit.”  I wouldn’t even want to change the writing if they’d just fix that.

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      I’d take the PS3 version of Dragon Age: Origins and find a way to eliminate the omnipresent, neverending loading screens. I had other issues with that game, but those were mostly about personal preference. The load screens are the primary visceral reason I don’t go back and replay it. I shouldn’t need to bring a book when I sit down to play a video game.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      Full world map for CK2. God, that would be awesome.
      I mean, I get it, there’s a reason this encompasses the area it does. The history for many spaces outside that area is at times spotty and after the collapse of the Roman Empire people thought pretty small, so world-spanning empires like in EUIV don’t make sense. But still… there is a lot of stuff going on in India and China at the time of the Crusades, for example. By all means fill the plot-holes with creative fiction, make shit up. But to be able to play CK2 all across the world, and maybe even with an EVEN earlier start… -drool-
      I feel the name “Crusader Kings” limits the potential content this game could have.
      Not that I want to complain. They have been great with DLC and apparently there is a ton more coming, including some big ones.

    • Unexpected Dave says:

      There are at least 100 games that need a better save/checkpoint system. 

    • NakedSnake says:

      Just wanted to drop in and say that yea, Portrait of Ruin was surprisingly good and original, especially because of the picture-world mechanic. But if I was going to change anything about it, it would be the length. I was definitely very, very ready for it to be over at the end. Which is too bad, because I had originally had a strong interest in playing the game again as either Richter or the Sisters. But, I was burned out on the game by the end. It’s a real shame, because replaying the game with different powers and controls would have been so much more valuable than effectively beating the same levels twice, which is basically what the main game forces you to do.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        I’ve only unlocked the first version of each portrait, but I’ve forgotten that element.  But British burg, ancient Egypt and a spooky carnival are such awesome ideas for a Castlevania game.

    • Smilner says:

      FFXII & XIII would be greatly improved by removing the little meaningless gasps characters seem to throw in there to fill space.

    • Chewbacca Abercrombie says:

      I want morality choices in games to not be so black and white. I would even love some choices where the “correct” choice is completely counter-intuitive. Save this man from certain doom or let him die horribly, then you save him and then he clubs a bunch of baby seals and makes a horrible reboot movie of something that was already awesome enough originally and then he talks loudly and laughs at inappropriate times during the screening of the movie ruining the experience for everyone… Or something like that. In a game. Morality.

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      I touched on this briefly earlier in the week, but for all of the radiant AI and blardy blar blar of the Elder Scrolls games, it would be nice if my character held more cache with NPCs who should know about him.  You get individual city rights, sure, but eventually, man, you should ALL know about me. I’ve been slaying dragons and nobles across the countryside for months on a black steed with flaming red eyes. I stick out.

      • Necrogem says:

        I always get especially miffed when somebody refers to me as “that new member of the Companions” when I became Harbinger about a month ago (in game time).  I really wish I had some dialogue options to shut them up, since just punching them tends to cause a scene, and I’ve got better things to do than fistfight with some random asshole because their AI doesn’t know jack.

    • DrZaloski says:

      Fix Awesomenauts’ horrible, horrible leaguing and matchmaking.

  3. stakkalee says:

    People are awful, and the world sucks.  Fortunately we have this friendly feline, and the ability to escape to wonderful worlds where anything is possible (but usually involved shooting dudes.)  Thank Jah for Comment Cat!  Our most-commented article this week was The Rise and Fall of Rock Band with 202 comments.  Please note, however, that even though The Bulletin barely got more than half that number of comments, ALL of those comments were valuable, and no one needs to feel inadequate or that they don’t measure up in some way.  As for the Top 5 Most-Liked (non-KG) comments, those were:
    1) With 20 likes @paraclete_pizza:disqus stands athwart the Internet yelling ‘Be reasonable!’
    2) @Oldtaku:disqus gets 17 likes for this agreeable disagreement.
    3) Jeff Tweedy (@test44444444444444:disqus) gets 16 likes for this less agreeable disagreement.
    4) With 14 likes @HobbesMkii:disqus tells the story of two clumsy giants.
    5) @Marozeph:disqus gets 13 likes for this fucking serious comment.
    Good stuff!  We’re welcoming 2 new members to the Plaid Jacket Society today, so give it up for Mad (@Beelzebot:disqus) and @Selarom:disqus!  As to our new members, @Boonehams:disqus is getting his first stud for his second mention!  @Bakken_Hood:disqus and @Soredomia:disqus are each getting a second stud, @Cornell_University:disqus is getting a fourth stud, @His_Space_Holiness:disqus is getting a fifth, @Mercenary_Security_Number_4:disqus gets his seventh stud, @HobbesMkii:disqus is at 20 studs, @caspiancomic:disqus is at 24, and @paraclete_pizza:disqus keeps racking them up, getting his 31st stud!
    For the Linkdump this week a couple of unrelated links.  First, Billy Butcher, mashup artist extraordinaire, has put together some portaits of grunge musicians as Street Fighter characters, and game developer Noirlac makes subtle GIFs of old 8- and 16-bit video games.  That’s it for this week; enjoy your gaming, and remember to keep it scintillating!

  4. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    I was about to ask who the old bearded guy in the top pic is, until I skimmed the article again and remembered Google image search.  Gotta admit, that’s some impressive rendering.

    Reminds me – my wife has played The Witcher 1 and 2, and I keep intending to get around to them.  But after seeing THIS trailer for The Witcher 3, I was totally blown away:

    I love when graphics make another leap out of the Uncanny Valley.

  5. His_Space_Holiness says:

    I’m glad Boonehams had the source for my vague historical anecdote, because my attempt at looking it up got me nothing but “soldiers cut off own heads” into my search history. I’m sure the NSA will get a kick out of that.

    • HobbesMkii says:

      “Hrm? Oh, huh…”
      “Well, I think he’s probably drunk, but put it in the Terrorist file just to be safe.”

  6. Mean Dean says:
    So J.J. Abrams seems very bothered by the last Star Trek game being crappy, which I guess is good.

    But he also says the game “arguably hurt” the Into Darkness movie, which is weird.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I didn’t play the game. I watched the movie.
      It was sucky and bad all by itself, so that argument falls apart, J.J. ^_^

      PS: Do we have to hand every geek-friendly franchise to Mister Flashlight btw?

  7. ferrarimanf355 says:

    Sweet. Another comment of mine lead to another person getting cited here. This isn’t the first time it happened.

    I still need to get cited in this column, though.

    • NakedSnake says:

      I think at one point Stakkalee was keeping track of assists, too, which was a nice consolation prize.

  8. M North says:

    Capitalism HO