Keyboard Geniuses



Highlights from the week’s comment threads.

By Matt Kodner • October 4, 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.

Cute Or Be Killed

Yesterday, we answered a reader’s query of “Which enemies do you hate killing?” for a Q&A. Sa3ad told us about a lovably large wolf from the game:

Sif in Dark Souls. For those who didn’t play the game, Sif is probably the most ridiculous thing in it: a giant wolf carrying a gargantuan sword in his jaw, which he uses to slash at you. If you manage to wound him severely enough, he’ll start to limp, his ears slouching while he makes futile attempts to fight back. And then he loses his balance and trips, and it’s pretty much the worst thing ever. Look at him!

SirExal felt bad for doing wrong by Banjo-Tooie’s working class:

In Banjo-Tooie, one of the levels is Grunty Industries, a massive factory of some sort. The primary enemies in this level are yellow-jumpsuit-clad workers (called “Guvnors,” of all things). I always felt bad for pecking these workaday shlubs to death. They were just there, attempting to hold down a paycheck, possibly for their wife and 2.5 kids at home. Then they see an ursine intruder, know that if they don’t do something about it (as specified they must in the employee handbook), they may be demoted or fired, and then we have to go and kill them just for defending their living? On some playthroughs, I just froze them with ice attacks rather than put that poor household out of a prizewinner.

And PatagonianHorseSnake thinks games would be better serviced by having less evil animals:

Mentioning carnivores in Skyrim made it easy for me. Wolves, in any game.

Listen, gamemakers. Wolves are not evil, ravenous monsters, out for blood, who will stop at nothing to murder every hapless passerby. They just aren’t. Stop making them “generic low-level monster No. 3.”

In general, I’d like to see less hostile, more natural wildlife in games. I loved seeing those little scribs in Morrowind. All just walking around, thumping their tails and making noises, not attacking. It makes a world feel real, like there’s life going on around, and that everything in the game isn’t centered solely around the player (i.e., murdering the player).

Now That’s Steamwork!
Steam Controller

Sam Barsanti rounded up the game world’s most important news for another edition of The Bulletin. Sam brought word from the Valve of a new controller without any fancy-pants joysticks. (It has touchpads instead.) Effigy Power is pumped for it:

I, for one, am super-excited about the Steam Controller, if mostly because I delight in seeing a shitload of people crying bloody murder over it without ever having held the thing in their hand. That kind of instant judgment is a delight to see from afar.

That said, it looks like a great leap forward in a section of gaming, peripherals, that hasn’t exactly been blessed with massive awesomeness in some years. Yes, some people could argue the Kinect is one such thing, but well, that hasn’t really taken off. As fun as the Kinect can potentially be, it’s not a replacement for a handheld controller. People in wheelchairs, for example, probably don’t appreciate their TV prompting them to jump if they want Marcus Fenix to slide over a wall.

To my mind, the last few innovations controller-wise were vibration (real old), reliable wireless capabilities (also pretty old hat), and internal axis, which doesn’t really seem to be something people use much.

And Effigy isn’t the only fan. CrabNaga linked us to one pro’s opinion:

Here’s a candid preview of the Steam Controller by Tommy Refenes (aka the guy who made Super Meat Boy control so well), where he goes into detail on the various boons and pitfalls—potential and actual—that he’s seen or can see impacting the controller. So far, it seems like Valve has a good handle on this controller for normal controller-style games (such as Super Meat Boy and Spelunky), but I’m more interested to see how it will work with more mouse-and-keyboard style games (such as Civilization V and Counter-Strike).

Star Bores: Episode Zzz
Star Wars: Episode I Racer

Thanks to Drew Toal and his For Our Consideration Op-Ed, we all now know that Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer was the only worthwhile thing to come out of the accursed Star Wars prequels. Even though the “podracing” video game was rad, Naked Man Holding A Fudgesicle thought the film stunk, and he suggested a quick fix:

The podracing in the film was dull because there was absolutely nothing at stake. Was there any doubt whatsoever that Anakin would win the race? He had a few setbacks, but of course he was going to cross the line in first.

If they had made it so Anakin lost, and then later Liam Neeson had to go and cleave Watto’s head open with a lightsaber to get his engine part and free Anakin, then that would have been much more interesting and unexpected.

Speaking of the racing and the pods, ItsTheShadsy suggested a lesser-known podracing game:

I want to draw attention to another podracing-based Episode I game for a second. It’s a neat corollary to your point about Episode I Racer.

Star Wars Pit Droids! was a game that came out under the Lucas Learning label. It’s basically a Chu Chu Rocket-type puzzler that tasks you with instructing an army of the podracing maintenance robots to their destination. The most interesting element is that you can sort them by various attributes, like color, equipment, etc.

It’s okay, but it sort of proves your point that the execution of Episode I was much worse than the components of the product. The pit droids are sort of charming on their own in this game, and frankly, the extended Tatooine setting works well and fits into the Star Wars pantheon better here than it did in the movie. But the decision to appeal directly to children still makes it hard to enjoy fully in ways that the original trilogy never had problems with.

While we’re on the whole “Are the Wars for children or adults” debate, Mercenary Security Number 4 thinks theyre a bit of both:

The original trilogy movies are movies for teenagers. They deal with relationships on a teenage level, and they deal with issues of loyalty and morality on a teenage level. Like all good monomyth stories, they are intended for those becoming adults but not there yet. They are about wrestling with the balance of black/white-looking gray, but still believing in absolutes despite realizing those absolutes are less attainable than you used to think. That’s teenager stuff.

The prequels are about good people becoming more good and bad people becoming more bad. Even though some of the scenes in the third movie have a dark subject matter, morality-wise, it’s played on a much more elementary level than the original trilogy. The humor, action, and philosophy is all aimed at a decidedly early period of psychological development. Thus, it is a kids movie.

An adult Star Wars movie wouldn’t even be possible in that universe. There are so many stereotypes and archetypes flying around that the only way for it to grow up would be to present both trilogies as fictionalized simplifications of whatever the real events would be.

As far as other Star Wars debates go, I never realized that people had disapproved of Darth Maul’s really cool-looking double lightsaber, but Emperor Norton I made a ergonomically compelling case against it:

A double sword would mean that you are always moving the sword in one direction against a counterweight. In a chop or a slice, the weight of the sword works with your arm motion to [generate] cutting force—but a double sword would entirely negate that by pulling the sword in the exact opposite direction.

The real stupidity is the double axe, though. An axe is top-heavy to maximize the force applied in the chop—the double axe cancels that out entirely, making it pretty much useless.

First Darth Maul gets chopped to bits, and now we tell him his lightsaber is stupid. Poor guy. I hope he’s doing okay up in Murderer Heaven.

Cat’s Entertainment!
Cat Mario

Matt Gerardi brought us some truly unexpected news: There’s a new Mario game coming out, and it looks great, what with its kittycat suit for Mario and all! Boonehams is looking forward to a different Mario game, despite a questionably missing character:

I also liked the trailer for Mario & Sonic At The Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. It’s just a shame that Birdo’s not in it. She was warned, but she still showed up at the games wearing a rainbow pin and is now in a Russian prison.

Take It To The Streets
Grand Theft Auto Online

Grand Theft Auto Online has arrived, and the Gameological running crew is looking for new recruits before hitting the streets of Los Santos. The game needs to actually work before that can happen, but in the meantime, why not head over to the crew’s Rockstar Social Club page and join up?

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

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142 Responses to “#FreeBirdo”

  1. GaryX says:

    AV Club Awards Thread

    Hey guys, so I want to try to get a few more Gameological centric awards in this years AV Club Awards. Do you guys have any suggestions?

    Also, because I once linked to the Metacritic user reviews for Wind Waker, y’all should really check out this Kotaku article:

    • Unexpected Dave says:

      Glad to hear that you’re still up for the AVC Awards.

      “Best Artwork” would be a great award, and it could apply to either the staff or the commenters.

      “The Melf’s Acid Arrow Award” for best rebuttal or smack-down of a troll’s comment.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        You know that award would go to one of the responses to Doug TenNapel…

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        I can’t think of a single award ceremony that couldn’t benefit from a Greyhawk wizard’s spell-named category.

        Applause supplied by Bigby’s Sycophantic Hands.

    • Citric says:

      Every time someone links to a Wind Waker thing I try to justify buying a Wii U. I’ve never successfully managed it.

      • GaryX says:

        I’ve come very close.

        But Griffin McElory is convincing me I should drop that dolla for a 3DS+Pokemon.

        • Citric says:

          I did impulse buy a 3DS because it was on sale, it’s a nifty piece of hardware. I dunno if I’m going to get the Pokemon thing, I always kind of peter out on Pokemon games half-way through.

        • Girard says:

          Griffin was also super gushy about Mario 3D World though. It all may depend on your personal Pokemon predilections.

      • Drinking_with_Skeletons says:

         You and everyone else.  I’m hoping that the recently announced Donkey Kong Country delay is because they’re going to port it to the 3DS.

      • Girard says:

        A game that you can play on a Wii, and which arguably looks cooler on one, is not a great incentive to get a Wii U.

        Super Mario 3D World, however, is a mighty tempting bit of software…

        • Citric says:

          Then I’d have to find a Wii, and with the introduction of the crappy Wii mini that is actually rather difficult.

          Also I couldn’t play SM3DW on it.

    • Merve says:

      Awards suggestions:
      – Game of the Year
      – Best 2012 Game You Played in 2013
      – Publisher of the Year
      – Studio of the Year
      – Best Soundtrack
      – Best Art Direction
      – Most Anticipated Game of 2014
      – Best Gameological Article
      – Best Gameological Meme
      – Best Gameological Video Feature
      – Funniest Comment
      – The “johnny boy” Memorial Award for the Most WTF? Comment
      – Most Cat-Obsessed Comment

    • caspiancomic says:

       Glad to see the AV Club Awards coming back, they were a lot of fun last time. If you’re looking for Gamelo-centric awards, I humbly propose a category to determine the “Johnniest Boy.”

      • NakedSnake says:

        There’s also the “Dora the Explorer Backpack Adventures Award” and the “Laplace Award for Differential Equations (i.e. know what art is)”.

    • Cloks says:

      “Best Commenter Named Cloks”

    • NakedSnake says:

      – Best Crowd Sourced Game Recommendation
      – Best Contrarian (who is fun to argue with)
      – Wackiest Writer
      – Article Most likely to be written under the influence (excluding this article since Kodner basically admitted as much.
      – Most Likely Commenter to be a GS Staffer in disguise.
      – Best Digest Snack
      I would think it would be good to separate out some of the Best Of for the two sites, even though they share a lot of commenters.
      Also I’m thinking of some thing where we nominate the GS staff to fill certain roles in a team (whether Mario universe, or Justice League, or ***brainwave*** MEGA MAN BOSSES). We could do a similar thing with commenters.

      Sorry this is kind of stream of conciousness. Again, it’s da cough syrup.

      • The_Helmaroc_King says:

        Oh, I’m digressing here, but I just found this post by Effigy, and considering what happened around a month later…

        Coincidence? I think not Probably!

        • Effigy_Power says:

          So that was you naked, wearing a clown wig and Cool Whip on your face. I should have known.
          How did you get into my house anyways?

    • Girard says:

      -Most anticipated hardware (though depending on when those Steam Boxes and XBones come out, this might not be relevant)

      -Most anticipated as-of-yet-unfulfilled Kickstarted project

      -Best contribution to a pun thread (this could go for either site)

      -Most appetizing digest food

      • Merve says:

        “Most appetizing digest food” goes in the same category as awards like “Hottest iceberg” and “Most soothing kick in the crotch.”

  2. caspiancomic says:

    (This space reserved for impending Game Theory article.)

    This one’s going to be about a game I think almost nobody here has actually played, in a concerted effort to alienate even my own meagre readership. Check back later tonight if you’re interested.

    • Unexpected Dave says:

      Is it the rental-exclusive version of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade for NES?

      • GaryX says:

        I had a version of that game where you had to choose which levels to do in what order, but you could totally fuck it up.

      • SamPlays says:

        That was so terrible but not nearly as terrible as the the Temple of Doom game, which was just straight-up confusing as hell (appropriate given the setting).

      • Mercenary_Security_number_4 says:

         I remember that game.  The worst* thing about being a pre-internet kid was that you didn’t know if the game sucked or if you did.

        *possible exaggeration

        • NakedSnake says:

          Haha, yea totally. I remember thinking “Why do I not love this game?? Look at the box art! It’s awesome!”

        • Unexpected Dave says:

          And, too, you don’t always think critically when you’re a kid. When I played the NES X-men game, for example, I had a miserable time. “This is too hard for me!” I thought. It never occurred to me that it might simply be a terrible game.

    • Merve says:

      I just wanted to say that I really, really liked this article. Good stuff.

  3. PaganPoet says:

    Awww, that Boonehams comment makes me sad. :( Poor Russian LGBT community… (as well as Iran, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, etc.)

    Everyone go out and hug a gay today.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      Yeah. Line up, girls between 18 and 25, preferably curvy. I’m sad or whatever!

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      I’ve never had a functioning gaydar, so I’m just going to go hug everyone I meet on the street in New York and assure them that their homosexuality is all right with me. What could go wrong?

      • Effigy_Power says:

        In New York? A mild scolding, maybe some nasty looks, but certainly nothing else.

        • His_Space_Holiness says:

          Also, I live near a housing project full of teenagers. I think I’d be in trouble no matter what their politics.

      • Citric says:

        My gaydar is similarly broken, and I’m in a small rural town, how on earth am I expected to find some gay folks?

        Also all of my gay friends live in a different city, and would be confused if I suddenly hugged them, given that I’m not generally a hugger.

      • GaryX says:

        Your gaydar is broken. Two people are at a common point at time t=0, and the first person starts walking along a straight line at the rate of 4 ft/sec. Two minutes later, the second person starts walking in a direction perpendicular to that of the first, at a rate of 5 ft/sec. Which one is gay and, therefore, you will hug, and at what rate is the distance between them changing when the first person has traveled 12 feet, you creepy fuck?

  4. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    Weekend Prompt!

      Square Enix’s toaster instruction manual-titled Bravely Default is officially coming west. I’m excited for that, even though I don’t own a 3DS. But I’d really like to see it come to the WiiU, even though I don’t own one of those either.  Akihiko Yoshida’s art direction is just so gorgeous, it deserves a platform slightly more grandiose than a portable screen. And I like portable gaming.

    What portable-only (hand-held, smart phone, stick and cup, etc.) game do you want to see on pc or console?

    • Citric says:

      The 3DS XL’s screen is pretty great though, just saying. That’s going to be a day one purchase for me, no question.

      I do want Ys: The Vita One to come to PC, partially because I don’t think I’m going to actually buy a Vita, partially because it’s just a series that seems like it’d play well on a big screen.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

         Everything I’ve seen on the 3DS does look great. I have a Vita, and games look gorgeous on it. Like I said, I really enjoy portable gaming. Sometimes though, you just want to see something that’s available one place somewhere else.

        • Citric says:

          Incidentally, next year is going to be a good year for the 3DS – Bravely Default, two new Laytons (one of which has Phoenix Wright in it), new Kirby, probably other stuff. I’m glad to have one now.

        • GaryX says:

          I don’t really know why I want a 3DS because I barely have time to play video games as it is, so I wonder if I’d even have time to play a portable. But maybe I’d be MORE likely to play it since it’d be easier to, say, hang out on the couch while my girlfriend reads/watches TV and I play or something.

        • ProfFarnsworth says:

          I own a 3DS and I am probably going to purchase the next pokemon just for the fact that I can do what @GaryX:disqus postulates.  She really likes hanging out and reading while I play something.  Unfortunately, I do not have much time for games…ever.

    • Unexpected Dave says:

      I’d love to see Metroid 2 on a console. But I’d settle for a portable version that didn’t look horrible.

      • GaryX says:

        Super Gameboy it.

      • PaganPoet says:

        Heya buddy, this is one of my most wanted remakes as well. In fact, someone (it was either Girard or Merve…) linked me to this really cool looking fan remake: Seems like work on it is still happening (last update was October 1, 2013), so just keep an eye on it.

        • Merve says:

          It was probably Girard. I don’t know much about Metroid. In any case, that project looks super-nifty!

        • PaganPoet says:

          So, my secret shame is that I always get you and Girard mixed up. You’re both “that funny, smart Canadian guy who everyone likes and has a brown-hued avatar.” Can’t one of you move to Belize or something??

        • Girard says:

          It was me! Mystery solved! By me! What a sleuth I am!

        • Girard says:

          I’m not Canadian, though. I’ll try to be more jingoistically patriotic, vaguely racist, and anti-intellectual in the future to make my American-ness abundantly clear in the future!

    • duwease says:

      I sure would like a Phoenix Wright game with all the bells and whistles a console budget can provide.  I’m talking, like, TEN animations per character!

    • Drinking_with_Skeletons says:

       Monster Hunter 4.

    • DrFlimFlam says:

       Advance Wars 2. Because it’s the very best.

    • aklab says:

      My answer would have been Bravely Default, actually. I have always wondered, though, why isn’t the PC a more popular platform for RPGs of the J variety? I don’t have a 3DS or Vita, but I sit at a computer constantly and I would love to play some of those handheld-exclusive RPGs there.

      • Citric says:

        I don’t think the PC is terribly big in Japan, the only developer that seems to pay it any attention that doesn’t also cram their games full of naked ladies is Falcom. But since their other focuses include the PSP and Vita, they seem to have a perverse obsession with going to the least popular platform they can.

        • EmperorNortonI says:

          Yeah, for the most part, PC gaming = Porn gaming in Japan.  In fact, one of the only places you can reliably find a selection of PC games is at the “DVD” store – and you can imagine the selection.

      • Merve says:

        JRPGs typically don’t get PC releases because PC gaming is a very niche hobby in Japan, much more so than in Europe or North America. The audience just isn’t there. A PC version of a JRPG would probably only be purchased by Western gamers, and even then, most JRPG fans in the West probably already own a console for the purpose of playing JRPGs.

    • ProfFarnsworth says:

      I would love to see Pokemon EXACTLY the same way it is on a portable device (game boy) on the PC.  It would be a relaxing game that normally doesn’t move (for me) and I could “multi-task” like I normally do when surfing the internet.

      I also like the suggestion for advance wars.  That game is awesome.

      • EmperorNortonI says:

        Yes, this.  Pokemon.  I’ve always wanted to play one, after having rather enjoyed the first couple versions of the animated series (I was in grad school, and reading 200 pages of Anthropological theory a day – Pokemon and DBZ were about the right level for my remaining mental energy) but have never owned a portable.

    • caspiancomic says:

       I’ve always leaned on Sony for my consoles (we got a fanboy here!) but Nintendo for my handhelds. For the most part it’s a decision I’ve never regretted, but there are a couple of game’s on Sony’s handhelds that I’m aching to try. On the PSP it was mostly stuff from Square- particularly Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, the Dissidia games, and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (which might be getting ported to PS3 as part of the 2.5 HD Remix which will hopefully actually exist.) On the Vita I’m really keen to play Gravity Rush and Persona 4 Golden. Tragically it’s not really worth shelling out nearly 300 bucks just to play a small handful of titles, but hot damn do I want to try these games out.

      • ocelotfox says:

         I bought my Vita just for Persona 4 Golden…I’ve found a few other good games, but in retrospect, it wasn’t the best investment.

    • Girard says:


      Maybe MegaMan 5 for Gameboy? It was the only gameboy MegaMan to have its own characters, and they broke the ‘_____-Man’ tradition by having them be vaguely themed upon the (then) nine planets of the solar system. Also, MegaMan had a cat, who was more awesome than Rush for obvious reasons. There are a lot of idiosyncratic, experimental (well, for a MegaMan game) design decisions that make it stand out despite its obscurity.

      It would be interesting to see that game – or a similarly mold-breaking classic MegaMan game – given console-level production.

    • Unexpected Dave says:

      Bravely Default? That’s just what I did on my student loans!

      *is booed off stage*

  5. stakkalee says:

    Welcome one and all to Keyboard Genius’s Diamond Jubilee!  That’s right, the Gameological Society is celebrating its 75th Keyboard Geniuses!  So while John goes to put on his best dowager empress gown and Drew tries to form the interns into a well-disciplined color guard complete with funny hats, let’s get down to it.  Our most-commented article this week was the Q&A about enemies we don’t want to kill with 271 comments.  As for our Top 5 Most-Liked (non-KG) comments, those were:
    1) With 36 likes @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus suffers the effects of a Strack attack.
    2) With 30 likes @The_Helmaroc_King:disqus expresses a common lament from that comment thread.
    3) @MathleticDepartment:disqus gets 20 likes for mentioning this terrifying real life enemy.
    4) Crusty Old Dean (@disqus_jc0YTPDJYw:disqus) gets 19 likes for this disagreement.
    5) With 16 likes @HTTPLovecraft:disqus puns away.
    Well done everyone!  And now the plaid jackets.  Two new jackets are being awarded today, so everyone give a big hand to @SirExal:disqus and @PatagonianHorseSnake:disqus!  As for our returning members, @Sa3ad:disqus is getting a shiny stud to go with his plaid jacket!  @Boonehams:disqus gets a second stud, @NakedManHoldingAFudgesicle:disqus gets a third, @CrabNaga:disqus is at four, @EmperorNortonI:disqus gets his fifth stud, @ItsTheShadsy:disqus gets a sixth, @Mercenary_Security_Number_4:disqus is getting stud number 8 and @Effigy_Power:disqus gets her 29th stud!
    And now for the linkdump.  Artist Jelle Gjisberts put together this cutesy tribute to some classic video game heroes and James Zapata put together this gorgeous poster of Link.  And here’s a (non-video game) link for @Fluka:disqus and all other mad scientists – a terrifying vision of the future.  That’s all for this week.  Enjoy your gaming, and remember to keep it scintillating!

    • PaganPoet says:

      How long until that Wildcat become self-aware? Just trying to figure out how much time I have to stock up on non-perishable food, bottled water, and build an underground bunker.

      • EmperorNortonI says:

        Hey, we don’t know that self-aware AI will be evil and try to kill us all.  It could be helpful and beneveloent, like in the Culture, or it could be so transcendently beyond us that it plays with spacetime like a god and does all kind of awesome things like in Iron Sunrise, or it could be just like an ordinary human but better in all ways, like Daneel Olivaw.

        • ProfFarnsworth says:

          I figure a ton of people already see this, but I usually pull this comic out whenever people get into arguments/comments about sentience and the like.

    • NakedSnake says:

      Surely Soupy is implying that I deserve a stud by giving shout-outs to both NakedManHoldingAFudgesicle and PatagonionHorseSnake. Soupy’s playing it on the DL because I said nothing of merit this week. Lousy rules.

    • ProfFarnsworth says:

      The future is much more bleak, but that cat is going to be fun.  Thank goodness that I have my space ship!

      In other science related news: MIT has self assembling cubes! CUBES! Also, they can move by themselves, and can couple together to create bigger cubes. Here is the link:

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        They can, in theory, do those things.  By the video evidence they seem just as likely to spaz out and fly off the table!

        I am not afraid for the human race JUST yet.

    • The_Helmaroc_King says:

      Confession time!

      When @httplovecraft:disqus was talking about turnips in the “Out this Week” article, I didn’t realize until hours later that he was talking about Animal Crossing, I just assumed that we had a sudden surge in amateur horticulturists. I’m just here for the puns, man.

      • DrFlimFlam says:

        Next you’ll think we’re hardcore collectors of bells. Front desk bells, liberty bells, bell bottoms, etc.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      Back with a vengeance! Haha!
      I have a feeling the pity card helped just a bit, which I am not only totally cool with, but also proud of. What counts is winning!

    • Fluka says:

      *Gasp!* I was going to post WildCat!  How did you know? :D

    • EmperorNortonI says:

      Yay, first time in a long time!  And, for what is perhaps one of my nerdiest comments ever.  Yay!

    • patagonianhorsesnake says:

       i ain’t sure i’ve been around long enough to understand the jackets, but i’m thrilled! or scared. one of them things.

    • Crusty Old Dean says:

      I’ve dreamt of a Soupy shout out for so long! But I didn’t want it like THIS *breaks down and sobs* Not with that offhanded piece of Star Trek-fans pandering snark.

  6. Drinking_with_Skeletons says:

    Making a usable object–be it a game controller or a doorknob–isn’t about giving the user a lot of freedom, it’s about having sensible constraints.  I’ve been taking a usability course as part of my Master’s program, and that’s one of the big deals in the field.

    That’s why axis controls and motion detection are inherently weak: you can’t limit the user’s ability to operate them very well.  This means that it’s either too easy to input a command (that you didn’t mean) or too hard (because you have to be extremely precise, not the interface). 


    • Carlton_Hungus says:

      I look forward to the motion capture craze finally dying out.  It can be fun sometimes in limited circumstances (Wii Sports), but the same way I don’t want to play every game with the guitar from Rock Band, I also don’t want to play every game with a rather imprecise wand.

      It seems like Nintendo has backed away from it somewhat with the WiiU thing having an actual controller on it, but they need to not shoe-horn motion aspects into every game.

      • aklab says:

        I agree. I love both Super Mario Galaxy games. They’re practically perfect in every way. But I recently revisited them after not really playing anything on Wii in a couple of years, and the hand-jiggling requirements get real old real fast. I’d love to play a version of the DKC Wii game where I could press a button to roll instead of hand-jiggling. I imagine these games aren’t going to age very well because of it. 

        • GaryX says:

          Well, you could play the 3DS version of DKC:R which maps the roll to a button.

        • aklab says:

          Man, the Gameological commentariat is really trying to sell me a 3DS…

        • Citric says:

          3DS XL. Those big screens are gorgeous.

          You know for how much I’m pimping this device Nintendo should give me some eshop credit or something.

      • Drinking_with_Skeletons says:

         The real shame was games that would have benefited from motion control not using it (Little King’s Story) and games that used it well being criminally underplayed (Red Steel 2).

        I will also defend unto death the superiority of the Wii versions of Metroid Prime.

        • GaryX says:

          I would love to play those versions of Metroid Prime if they were only not a billion dollars.

          Never played Red Steel 2 but wanted to.

        • Drinking_with_Skeletons says:

           @GaryX:disqus I’m glad I bought my copy when it was reasonable.  They are obvious candidates for a WiiU virtual shop. 

          You should be able to pick-up Red Steel 2 for dirt cheap.  It didn’t exactly set the world on fire.  But was so good my arm was sore from playing it.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          Metroid Prime Trilogy is one of my favorite game experiences. The first two honestly felt like upgrades with the wiimote control.

      • EmperorNortonI says:

        It just didn’t seem like they got around to using the motion control in the sort of settings where it would be an immersive add-on to the control scheme, rather than a gimmicky “shake it!” trick.

        It really seems like, as the people praising Metroid Prime indicate, that the Wiimote would have kicked ass in 3rd person shooting games.  I’m imagining a mechwarrior where the Wiimote controls torso positioning – something that ordinary controllers never really did very well.

        Or, you know, the lightsabre game that everyone wanted and nobody bothered to make.  Or any other sort of actual combat/sports fitness game, where you went in expecting to get a workout AND feel like a badass samurai ninja.

  7. HobbesMkii says:

    Thanks for posting the link, Kodner, so that I didn’t have to!

    • Girard says:

      A great fucking C.S. Lewis quote in the comments there, too (I’m just going to do Reposted Kotaku Comments’s job for her/him, I guess):

      “Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” – C.S. Lewis

      • Effigy_Power says:

        Boy, I love a good statement with potentially heavy irony in it, considering Lewis had slightly more problems putting childish things away from certain areas of his life not typically associated with childish things.

        • Girard says:

          Are you talking about his weirdly close (possibly Oedipally close) relationship with Jane Moore, who, despite having met as an adult, he addressed as (and introduced her to other as) “mother”?

          Or are there other weird moments of arrested development in his life? I don’t know much about Lewis aside from the fact that his kids’ books are beautiful but deeply problematic, and his adult space books are also beautiful and deeply problematic, but moreso on both counts. And he was friends with Tolkien. And his theology is over-rated.

      • Effigy_Power says:

        Well, he was no Lewis Carroll (but then who was?), but rumors indicate at least some…
        Okay, I should come clean. I initially confused him with Lewis Carroll, because of the name, and then just ran with it until I realized that I had confused the two, only to find that there are some minor rumors I clung onto. Sue me. ^_^

  8. SirExal says:

    I am both honored and kind of amazed that I was chosen for inclusion.  Also, kind of stressed that now people might expect something more from me, which is something I simply cannot deliver on.

    I expect my plaid jacket in the mail by Tuesday.

  9. Sarapen says:

    I’d join the crew since I already have a Rockstar Social account but I don’t think I’ll ever play GTA V. Oh well, maybe next Rockstar game.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      GTA5 made like 2 billion bucks. I don’t know if there ever will be another Rockstar game. GTA6 is probably already 30% done.