The Bulletin


The Missing Link

Everything is getting a sequel, from Zelda and Mario (surprise) to Mega Man (kind of) and Half-Life (probably not)

By Sam Barsanti • October 7, 2013

The Bulletin is a roundup of a few game-related news stories from the previous week.

“Who needs new consoles when Nintendo has sequels to all of your favorite games?” Nintendo hopes people will say in November

We all know the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are coming out this November, so you’d think other video game companies that don’t have a new system coming out this year would want to stay away from that month and avoid getting lost in the shuffle. But if you think that, you’ve never met Nintendo! During a Nintendo Direct webcast last week (do people still say “webcast?”), the company showed off new footage and shared new information about sequels to almost all of its most popular titles (basically everything but Metroid). As reported by Joystiq, Nintendo announced a new Kirby game for the 3DS, which looks exactly like every Kirby game. Nintendo also offered up some new details on The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (formerly known as 2 Link 2 Past), including that Link will now be able to clear out the dungeons in any order and “rent” specialty items like the hookshot and boomerang instead of finding them along his adventure. That comes via Game Informer, which also reports that A Link Between Worlds will be available for the 3DS on November 22. Something about that date sounds familiar…oh well. Then, as you may recall reading on this very site, Nintendo also showed off a hot new trailer for Super Mario 3D World featuring crazy new Mario powers like wearable Goomba heads, cloning cherries, and the excruciatingly adorable cat suit. At the very least, Super Mario 3D World looks like it will shake up the formula a little bit more than the New Super Mario Bros. games have lately, but we’ll know for sure when it hits the Wii U on November 22. Hey, there’s that date again! I just wish I could remember why it’s important—oh, right! That’s the day the Xbox One comes out. Everything will probably work out fine for everyone involved. There can’t be that much crossover between people who play video games and people who also play video games, right?

Half-Life 3 is totally in the works, according to internet people who really want Half-Life 3 to be in the works

Two weeks ago, Valve made some big announcements that weren’t related to its highly anticipated and still-unannounced sequel to Half-Life 2 at all. Instead, they were about the game developer-turned-digital-storefront-owner’s attempt to make computer games more like console games through a new Steam operating system, Steam-branded gaming boxes, and a crazy-looking controller. But what’s a brand new gaming platform without its own must-have launch title? Half-Life 3 confirmed! Okay, it’s not that easy, but some internet sleuths think they’ve uncovered proof of the game’s existence.

Last week, a member of the NeoGAF message board discovered that Valve has filed a European trademark for “Half-Life 3” to be used in “computer game software.” Filing a trademark doesn’t mean anything. It’s possible that this is similar to Microsoft registering, and Valve just wants make sure it controls the Half-Life 3 name. But there’s another wrinkle in this mystery, and it also comes from the posters at NeoGAF. Supposedly, members of the message board gained access to the front-end of a website that Valve uses to track bugs in its games. They found a Half-Life 3 category paired with the names of a handful of veteran Half-Life series developers, suggesting that these are the people currently tracking bugs on development of Half-Life 3. That means it’s confirmed…is what I would say if I didn’t know how easily things can be faked on the internet. I’m hesitant to believe this for even a second. Folks, Valve will announce Half-Life 3 whenever it feels like doing so and not a moment sooner, no matter how many websites you hack into.

Hollywood to finally make a movie for fans of crafts and war
World Of Warcraft

Possibly looking to fill the hole left in our lives by the end of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy (and how terrible The Hobbit was), Legendary Pictures is moving forward with its own flashy big-screen adventure about guys with swords killing orcs and dragons and stuff. This time it’s based on a video game instead of a dusty old book. Yes, Warcraft, which you might know from its famous World Of, is going to be a movie soon, and thanks to a post on Twitter we have its official release date: Dec. 18, 2015. All right, that’s not soon at all, but Kotaku says it’s going to be directed by Duncan Jones (the guy behind Moon and Source Code, one of which was totally awesome) and i09 saw an early teaser a few months back that it described as “mighty.” That’s a good thing (I think) but let’s remain cautiously optimistic until we find out if the Warcraft movie features a scene where a human soldier comments on how much he’d rather be sailing.

Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter proves that people still love Mega Man, even if he’s not really Mega Man
Mighty No. 9 concept shot

Do you remember Mega Man? He was a little blue robot boy that saved the world 10 times by defeating his enemies in any order and then stealing their powers. Capcom made a popular series of video games about him a few years ago and then abruptly decided to stop. That’s when Keiji Inafune, the creator of Mega Man, took to Kickstarter to see if fans would be willing to foot the bill for a successor to the series called Mighty No. 9. That Kickstarter drive officially ended last week, and it turns out that yes, the fans were willing to foot the bill. 67,226 fans, to be exact, and they donated a total of $3,845,170. That’s almost $3 million more than the Kickstarter’s initial goal, giving the project enough extra money to eventually release versions of Mighty No. 9 on almost every platform imaginable and throw in a bunch of extra content. Plus, as pointed out by Joystiq, that $3.8 million is more than Double Fine raised for its then-untitled adventure game project (now known as Broken Age), making Mighty No. 9 a pretty damn big deal as far as Kickstarted video game projects go.

Speaking of Kickstarter, The Verge is reporting that Shadow Of The Eternals—the follow-up to the GameCube cult hit Eternal Darkness—has finally been sent to the great crowdfund drive in the sky. Well, the developers say it’s not “dead,” just that it “needs a rest.” Which is a polite way of saying “you people didn’t give us enough money, so now we can’t do this thing that the universe repeatedly indicated that we should not do.” This is why we can’t have nice things, internet. People are too wary of giving their money to people they don’t trust with their money.

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182 Responses to “The Missing Link”

  1. Between Link to the Past 2: Electric Octorok: Demon Knight and the Batman metroid-vania game in the next couple of months I am feeling better and better about owning a 3DS.

    Nintendo’s 3DSXL: It’s not just for Animal Crossing anymore!

  2. DrFlimFlam says:

    I love the nakedly democratic nature of crowdfunding. People either want it or they don’t, or they want it bad enoguh or don’t, or want it so bad they’ll fund you three times over for your product, inspiring you to add more and more content until it explodes and all you can do is release a demo and throw up some talk about finishing the game “in our free time.”

    If nothing else, Kickstarting has been a great look at how stuff works in the real world, and how people will always need more time, money, and resources, and why publishers can be a necessary evil. It is very rare for a team to accurately predict cost and deliver without some corporate overlord glowering at them.

    • The_Misanthrope says:

      After the delay on Broken Age, I’m just kind of hoping people have started to realize that Kickstarter is an investment and not some magical pre-order.

      I would also like to see Gameological (or any other games journalism site, but I am biased towards this one) introduce a regular feature spotlighting promising crowdfunded games.  Mind you, I mean the ones that aren’t already getting attention due to a well-regarded development team or some revived IP.

      • PhilWal0 says:

        There’s Rock Paper Shotgun’s Kickstarter Katchup, although it’s PC-oriented and they haven’t done one since July.

      • J- says:

         See my comment above: For anything *other* than videogames, Kickstarter IS a magical pre-order. For videogames, it’s a fiery crapshoot. You may get the game you hope for. You may get total silence, then a $100 tech demo 15 months after anticipated ship date. You may get nothing whatsoever.

        • DrFlimFlam says:

          No one has reneged on me yet, but musicians win “worst” so far. Bigger bands do all right, but even mid-level nobodies (so, you know, fans, get $10-25K, but not by a whole lot) have left me hanging for 1-2 years.

          I think the biggest screwup so far for me backing games was The Pinball Museum. They made it right in the end, but Microsoft’s publishing policy hurt them where I really wanted the game; on my HDTV.

          Even if tablet is probably a better platform for it.

          I hope Banner Saga doesn’t implode; it’s by far my most anticipated of the Kickstarter games I’ve backed.

          I also feel that Project Eternity is more or less on track.

    • J- says:

      Kickstarter seems to work really well for anything *other* than video games. I’ve supported about 10-12 projects in Film, Technology and Tabletop games and it’s all very businesslike: Collect funds, stretch goals added, product made, ships, done.

      But everything I hear about KS video games make me go nopenopenope. It’s just a rat’s nest of false promises, tangled copyright struggles, missed deadlines, and out-and-out fraud. I would never, ever, support a videogame KS.

      • Master Prudent says:

        It’s a bit of a crap shoot but there are notable successes. FTL and Shadowrun were both completed in a timely manner and were well received (although the latter did have some minor controversy over the perception that they broke their DRM free version promise). Also Eternity and Wasteland both seem to be progressing nicely.

  3. GaryX says:

    It’s also worth noting that the Half-Life 3 trademark turned out to be bogus.

    I don’t know how I feel about this new Zelda game. The art style looks like it comes from the same school as New Super Mario Brothers (which is a bad thing), and while I like the idea of being able to tackle the dungeons in any order, renting weapons sounds like a sort of lazy way of implementing it. Hopefully it’s more than just “Well, gotta go do the Hookshot dungeon, so I should rent the hookshot!”

    I’m very glad that Eternal Darkness sequel isn’t going forward. The whole thing seemed like a mess.

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      Here’s hoping that the rentals are tied to real-money microtransactions.  “Hookshot until you die once – $3.99!”

    • Citric says:

      I actually don’t like the idea of doing the dungeons in any order, apart from my constantly forgetting that I have the hookshot, one of the things I loved about Zelda DX, since I just spent all weekend doing that pretty much, is that the dungeons get gradually more complicated and involved as you get more abilities. Just letting you do it in any order and just renting out those abilities seems like it might rob the game of that progression.

      But I’ll probably get it anyway. Years of not having Zelda has made me kind of compulsively acquire the games.

      • GaryX says:

        I guess I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt on the dungeon design, but I know exactly what you mean.
        I can be the same way. I saw Oracle of Seasons in a store this weekend and nearly bought it. Would have if I wasn’t broke from buying my girlfriend her birthday present.

        I still need to play Skyward Sword as well.

        • Citric says:

          I haven’t actually had a Nintendo home console since the SNES, so I’ve still got to get my hands on all of those. It’s one of the reasons I keep almost buying a Wii U. I think I have all the portable ones somewhere, however.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          You should have just gotten your girlfriend a copy of Oracle of Seasons with Gary X engraved on it.

        • GaryX says:

          @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus Then she’d be like “Who the hell is Gary?”

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          @GaryX:disqus  Well, I’m not going to actually do the internet sleuthing required to try and discover your real name for the sake of a Simpson’s reference.
            As making a Simpson’s reference instead of posting something original implies, I’m lazy.

        • GaryX says:

          @Spacemonkey_Mafia:disqus And I really need to finally watch The Simpsons.

        • Electric Dragon says:

          “What happened to Gary I to Gary IX?”

        • Effigy_Power says:

          They went and formed the Republic of Gary, which almost everyone who has ever played Fallout 3 has probably killed.

      • Unexpected Dave says:

        I assume that the regular dungeons will be followed by one (or more) larger dungeons.

    • Unexpected Dave says:

      If it was as simple as “rent the hammer for the hammer dungeon”, I doubt that they’d bother making a central shop. They’d just give you the hammer at the entrance to the hammer dungeon. I expect that you’ll have to rent several items at once.

      It seems like a strange decision, but I’ll reserve judgment until I see it. They’re tinkering with the sacred Zelda formula. It could be the best or the worst.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      This is a stupid, STUPID idea foisted on us to support our indoctrination into the “free to play microtransactions” mindset.  It defeats the purpose of a Zelda game (or Zelda-like game) if you don’t get to re-explore traveled areas for places to use your new equipment.

      “Introducing Darksiders III Special Edition: Pay double the retail price to start the game with all weapons, armors, runes and abilities!  Fuck all that exploration shit, just run to the final boss and win!”

    • PhilWal0 says:

      The problem I’m having is, if you rent the item, does that mean you don’t get an item in the dungeon? Doesn’t that rob you of seeing Link get more and more powerful, and a sense of progression? And if you don’t find an item in the dungeon, how will you defeat the boss?

      • dreadguacamole says:

         To be honest, to me this sounds like a cheap way out of changing things up. “Yeah, you knew you’d get a boomerang at some point. Might as well make it available at any point…”

      • Anthony J. Rand says:

        Maybe the rentals will be lesser versions of the real thing.  For example, the rental boomerang can grab rupees but not hurt enemies.  Or the rental hookshot doesn’t extend as long as the hookshot you get in the dungeon.  I’m also wondering if maybe the rentals are one-time use, so once you’ve used the rental hookshot, you can’t use it again and will have to go to the hookshot dungeon if you want to complete later dungeons.

        This is all conjecture, but I can see it working, and I’m bored enough of the Zelda formula to want to see someone shake it up a bit.

      • Drinking_with_Skeletons says:

         Based on Skyward Sword, anything that seems to actually change the way Zelda is played will be a paper-thin illusion (limited bomb bags would be more of a limit if bomb flowers didn’t grow like kudzu).  I won’t criticize it until I play it.

    • Girard says:

      The art is awful. Apparently all of the developments in processing power over the last two decades have given us the ability to make games that look like shitty plasticky 90s Rareware games, just rendered in real-time.

      The nonlinear dungeon thing piqued my interest, but the way they handle it, with the shop, seems to mitigate the main interesting aspect of nonlinear Zelda dungeoneering – the free/open exploration.

  4. Unexpected Dave says:

    Valve will release Half-Life 3 just as soon as Square releases Chrono Break.

    • Or when Duke Nukem Forever comes out!  Haha!


    • Citric says:

      I remember getting into debates on the ol’ GameFAQs message board trying to tell people that registering a trademark doesn’t mean anything is coming soon, and also that Chrono Cross was awesome, since invariably people would be dissing it.

      Ah, when I was young and had way too much time on my hands. As opposed to now, when I’m slightly older and have way too much time on my hands.

      • Sam_Barsanti says:

        And this trademark turned out to be made up, as pointed out up above. That’s what happens when forum posts are used as a source. I mean, I did the same thing here, but I also acknowledged how unlikely the whole thing is.

      • neodocT says:

         I sincerely don’t know how I managed to spend so much time on the GameFAQs message boards when I was younger. I mean, I thought I was a pretty clever teenager, but every time I have too look something up in there I’m reminded I once belonged to that very special class of stupid gamer people.

        • Citric says:

          Man, I was one of the cool people on GameFAQs. We had a secret club with our own special board hidden in Detroit-esque abandoned neighborhoods of the Wonderswan section.

          I’m even still internet buddies with a bunch of the people from there. And maybe the board is still around but I haven’t been there in a while.

        • Steve McCoy says:

          @Citric:disqus Ha, I had a feeling you were the same “citric acid” from those days

        • Citric says:

          @disqus_u6x2eX3OiB:disqus That is totally me! Now I obviously have to ask who you were back in those days, I haven’t kept up with everyone.

        • neodocT says:

          @Citric:disqus Haha, having a private chatting board seems awesome. I, unfortunately, spent way too long in the Smash Bros. boards, and that has forever deformed my brain.

        • Steve McCoy says:

          @Citric:disqus I went by Krankor back then; probably not the most memorable poster. But man, it kind of feels embarrassing to admit, since it’s been something like a decade and I feel I’ve changed so much. Yet I still have fond memories of those wild days when Square and Enix were separate; late nights were spent on offtopic goofiness with people like “misterbum”, “nootchx”, and “tttoooooolll”; and I could actually find people that liked Chrono Cross and FF8.

        • Citric says:


          I’m facebook friends with misterbum!

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      That cuts real deep, @$57124394:disqus.

    • Raging Bear says:

      I think it would be awesome if they were developing it without anyone knowing (for sure), and just one day released it, and the internet exploded.

      I know that’s not how these things are done, but if any franchise could do that and still sell a trillion copies by a single press release + word of mouth, that would be the one, and wouldn’t that be fun to see?

      • GaryX says:

        I really want to see that. I want Steam to update and then kinda complain about how slow it’s being before I notice the update window says “Half-Life 3 now available.”

    • The_Misanthrope says:

      From everything I’ve read about Valve’s “boss-less” organization, I don’t think Half-Life 3 will get made until someone in the company takes initiative and decides to pull together a team to get it made.  I don’t think there is any corporate mandate to make it.

      I suppose if any other publisher had the Half-Life IP, they’d have milked the hell of it by now.  We’d be on Half-Life 15 or so by now (or maybe they’d have “rebooted” the franchise and we’d be on, well, Half-Life 3).  Gordon Freeman, through some series of iterative “badass” changes, would have a shaved-bald head, a scar on his left cheek, a massive suit of power armor, and his right arm would be replaced by a cyberarm, with a suite of attachable tools and guns (including a crowbar!).  Also, he might finally get a voice, Micheal Biehn’s.

      • Citric says:

        I would love it if cyborg Michael Biehn replaced balding marine as the default game character.

  5. Spacemonkey Mafia says:

    I’m pretty damn curious how the director of such a spartan and minimalist movie like Moon will handle such an overstuffed world as Warcraft. Which pretty much defines, by my tastes, the very worst in high-fantasy aesthetics.
     It’s such a common trend for a studio to latch onto a property, then strip out all it’s unique aspects when bringing it to the screen, so as to not be remotely off-putting or weird for newcomers.
     It’s an otherwise terrible habit that I have to endorse for this movie. Populating the movie with purple elves with foot and a half long ears in skull bikinis is just too awful.  

    • Fluka says:

      Yeah, that pretty much encapsulates my feelings on it.  Something about the world just seems so…goofy.  At the very least it seems like something that’d be perfectly suited for animation, rather than live action.  

      Maybe, like Moon, it’ll be a dry comedy?  A Hellboy-esque pulp action adventure which emphasizes its own weirdness?  There’s no way to play this material completely straight.

      • Marozeph says:

        Wasn’t Sam Raimi originally hired to direct? He probably would have been a more fitting choice – guy knows a bit about not playing it straight. But Duncan Jones is undoubtely a talented guy, so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

        • Fluka says:

          Oh, Duncan Jones is by far the most interesting part of this project to me.  I even liked Source Code!  (Well, if I don’t think about the ending too much.)

        • Citric says:

          @Fluka:disqus  Source Code is a great movie if you stop it about five minutes before the ending, at that freeze frame.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          Source Code would be fine all the way to the end if:


           They make a sequel centered around the poor, hapless school teacher who Jake Gyllenhaal’s bloody torso inhabits.

          Addendum: The ending of the movie would still stink.

        • Fluka says:



          I want an entire movie where new-body-Gyllenhal tries to figure out his ATM codes and computer passwords, and can’t answer any Personal Security Questions!

        • dreadguacamole says:

          Jones has been pretty vocal about trying to get the movie for a while now, so at least we know he really wants to make it for some reason.

           I’d rather have the Moon sequels he was talking about doing, but frankly, I trust him to do whatever the hell he wants.

      • Drinking_with_Skeletons says:

         Goofy is a good word for it.  Warcraft has never met a fantasy trope it didn’t like, and it’s never been committed enough to any one of them to really make any kind of point. 

        I think they could do something if they went all the way back to the original invasion by the Horde, allowing them to start fresh and trim some of the fat from the story, but I suspect that Blizzard will want this to sit alongside the games rather than offer an alternative version.

        • stepped_pyramids says:

          I would be really surprised if Blizzard has enough control over the specifics of the film to fit it in too closely with the game. Video game movies tend to rely pretty heavily on the “reimagining” approach.

    • beema says:

      It’s going to suck. It’s a video game adaptation. It’s not even worth thinking about.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        It’s difficult to argue with that succinct evaluation.

      • Unexpected Dave says:

        This post pretty much sums up the attitude of everyone who’s ever made a video game movie.


        • Citric says:

          I have to cop to the Resident Evil films being a weird guilty pleasure. They move so fast you don’t even notice they might have been written by a toddler hopped up on pixie sticks.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          Yeah, it’s kind of a negative attitude to take, I guess. I mean, I strongly assume that it’s going to suck, but more because the source material is, storywise, pretty thin.
          But if we take the automatic stance that video game movies are always doomed to be crap, then we probably will never attract people to try their hand at them who sincerely want to create something. What talented, hopeful director, writer or producer would want to attach themselves to a project that the entire target audience has already doomed to fail?
          WoW the movie sounds like a dud, no question about it, but I think we shouldn’t bury a potential genre before someone with a bit of love, devotion and skill gets to try.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      Duncan Jones (full name Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones) is David Bowie’s son.

      ‘Nuff said.

      • Marozeph says:

        I’m baffled he doesn’t call himself Zowie Bowie, which is obviously the best name ever.

    • Dikachu says:

      Also: The Hobbit was not terrible.  Not as good as the LotR trilogy, but neither was the book.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        I never even mentioned it or tried to slyly imply it’s terrible. I have my problems with it, but Jackson’s adaption still has the most lived-in and three dimensional realization of a fantasy world yet.

        • caspiancomic says:

           I think Dikachu is taking umbrage with a line from the article, a line I take no end of umbrage with myself. Our genital-faced comrade basically summarized my feeling about the movie: not as good as Lord of the Rings, but a damn fine adventure film.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          @caspiancomic:disqus  You are an avowed dick-nosed Pokemon apologist. But I think you’re right.

        • Merve says:

          EDIT: Disregard. I can’t read good.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          @Merve2:disqus: If only there was a Center for people who want to be able to read good and do other stuff too.

      • George_Liquor says:

        Beyond the brain-melting 48 fps, it’s not what I would call a horrible movie either. It just tries to stretch a ramen noodle packet of a story into a four course meal of a film series.

    • Drinking_with_Skeletons says:

      Yeah, if I was going to adapt a Blizzard property, I’d go with Diablo.  Not like Diablo III, mind, but like the surprisingly well-executed cutscenes of Diablo II.  The ones that were actually kind of ominous, and well-paced, and featured a great performance from the guy who played the Riddler on the 60’s Batman (as Marius). 

      “Why did I follow him?  I don’t know.  Why do things happen as they do in dreams?  All I know is that, where he wandered, I followed.  Into the East.  Always into the East.”

      Also, I love the Act IV intro, where Diablo is walking all badass into a gaping Hell portal on a bridge of bones over a lake of blood, and Mephisto suddenly stops him to remind him to “Send forth [their] legions” or some shit.  Diablo says nothing, but the way he looks back speaks volumes about his opinion of Mephisto’s inane, unnecessary requests.  Like he was just going down to Hell to chill for a while, maybe pick up some coffee, rent a movie, whatever. 

    • Effigy_Power says:

      Blizzard’s entire Warcraft product line is shallow fantasy pulp. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that and there’s certainly a place for that kind of stuff, but to make a movie… and live action of all things. I can’t really see how this could not turn out awful. It’ll be a giant fan-service vehicle full of big biceps and bouncing tits, because that’s basically what WoW is: Wish-fulfillment for geeks. Everyone who has played that game for an hour knows that, especially when your mid-level character is being pointlessly murdered by a maxed out Dark Elven Rogue called xXDaRkSaTaNXx or something.
      “Look at me, look at how strong I am.”
      I am not really criticizing that business model, I just don’t really know that they will be able to translate that appeal into a movie. The ability to go into a low level area and trample around like an angry god seems to be very cathartic for people and appears to make up a large part of the WoW-craze.

      It also really seems like the timing is very off. I haven’t been following WoW in years, so I don’t know what the current stance is, but it seems very late to try and reignite people’s interest in it. Especially if the movie comes out in 2015.

      That said, there is of course a chance that we might soon hear something about WoW2, which I am pretty sure is on some minds over there at Blizzard. I guess a movie around a time when some major announcement is planned might create some buzz. But in general MMORPGs seem kind of dead as a genre and I don’t get the major investment.
      I’d hold on to a hope about Warcraft 4 instead of another MMO, but that seems really unlikely.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        World of Warcraft: Quest for Ten Wolf Pelts

        Featuring Jon Voight as Idle Townsperson.

      • dreadguacamole says:

         They should make a movie about my Elf Druid, running around in the Elf city killing squirrels for their pelts.

      • EmperorNortonI says:

        World of Warcraft – Fetchquest!

        Follow the adventure of hard-bitten ex-Mercenary Bigmuscle Sharpsword, as he helps the townspeople of PLACE X get the supplies they so desperately need to stay in business.

    • Girard says:

      I remember for a while Raimi was slated to direct. I feel like he could have knowingly deployed the camp idiocy of Warcraft’s mythos and aesthetic in an interesting way. I honestky am not sure how Zowie Bowie will fare. I think he’s a great driector, but, ironically, his involvement makes me less interested in the movie (admittedly, my interest level was already less than zero…).

      • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

        Yeah, my interest in the project solely concerns everything surrounding the movie and nothing about the movie itself. I love fantasy, but no surprises, I’m a fantastic snob about it. Which, given the median quality of the stuff, perhaps makes fantasy a poor genre for me to identify with.
         So hows the new gig going by the way? Now that we don’t see you until the evening whistle blows?

        • Effigy_Power says:

          “I love fantasy, but no surprises, I’m a fantastic snob about it. Which, given the median quality of the stuff, perhaps makes fantasy a poor genre for me to identify with.”

          I almost cried when I read that. You speak from my heart, brother.

        • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

          @Effigy_Power:disqus  I’m heartened by authors like Martin, Abercrombie and Rothfuss. But that’s three. Out of… lots. I like to think fantasy could be on par with sci-fi in exploring humanity, but from an symbolic, mythological and emotional place instead of a speculative and scenario-driven place.
           But most folks who enjoy fantasy seem to enjoy it for the onanastic power fantasies.
           Well, we got each other, at least. For bitching purposes, if nothing else.

        • Girard says:

          I’m student (art) teaching right now, which basically means I’m paying for the privilege of working a full-time job, and doing coursework, and meeting various other academic responsibilities, all at the same time. It is kind of exhausting (especially as my current school placement a.) doesn’t have an art room, so I’m teaching ‘art on a cart,’ wheeling materials from classroom to classroom  b.) my school has, like, a 75% Spanish-speaking population and I have a 0% Spanish-speaking brain, and c.)it’s a cash-strapped inner city school where the principal doesn’t give a crap about art and didn’t spend any money on new art supplies for this year).

          BUT the kids are fucking awesome, and we’re making cool stuff, which pretty much blasts all of that other stuff out of the water.

          Next week, I shift over to my high school placement (at a last-chance school for kids with behavior problems who have been expelled from all the other schools in the county – I got some really plum placements for student teaching!).

          I’ll graduate in December, which means I’ll have some free time again, because graduating in December with a teaching degree basically means you’re guaranteed to be unemployed until August.

  6. Effigy_Power says:

    So a game that advertises itself through cutscenes that have no relation to the look or gameplay of the product it is imbedded in will be celebrated in a movie based on the cutscenes that have no relation to the look or gameplay of the product it is named after.
    I can already see that this is going to be a hit. At least if you make it, edit it, ship it to 2009 and sell it then.

  7. Cloks says:

    I went into college expecting to have played Half Life 3 by the time I graduated. I’ll have my BS in December.

    Pick up the pace, Valve.

    • GaryX says:

      The Orange Box came out the fall I went into college. I barely had time to play it. Still haven’t beaten Half-Life 2. Maybe Valve is waiting for me to finish it.

      Sorry, everyone!

      • Sam_Barsanti says:

        Hey, I think we’re a similar age! I don’t think I ever beat the orange box either…the half life series has never done much for me. Portal, though, was super great.

        • GaryX says:

          I’m about to turn 25. I can already feel my body breaking down.

        • Girard says:

          @GaryX:disqus This guy I know who turns 30 in about a week wants you to know he’s playing the world’s tiniest violin for you and your old, broken-down body.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        I haven’t either.  I’ve played twice, both times getting to an area I thought was the end of the game (the spire after the area with all of those damn sand bugs) and stopped, then found out later that was more like the halfway point.

        • PhilWal0 says:

          @GaryX:disqus You can do it! The right commenter at the wrong time might make all the difference in the world…

          @AuroraBoreanaz:disqus Was that Nova Prospect? I’d say it’s more two-thirds of the way through.

        • GaryX says:

          Yup. That’s pretty much where I got to. I then just got distracted and never got back to it, and eventually I had to delete it to make room on my harddrive.

    • Citric says:

      I once told a friend that I would get a new PC when Half Life 3 comes out.

      “Do you like the series that much?” he says.

      No, I answered, but an upgrade is needed pretty soon anyway, and that’s a game I’ll definitely play.

      So hopefully it comes out before my computer starts on fire.

  8. NakedSnake says:

    Here’s the thing: Half-Life 1 was revolutionary for its emergent story-telling and AI. Half-Life 2 was, well, innovative with its physics engines. Valve obviously feels like they can’t release another Half-Life game until they have a new hook to hang it on. The Adventures of Gordon Freeman Part III won’t just cut it. That said, their failure to release Episode 3 does kind of imply that they’re just lazy.

    • Sam_Barsanti says:

      Right. Especially since the Source Engine is pretty ancient these days. Valve won’t release it until there’s a reason to.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      That sort of makes the case for HL3 on the Steam Box tho, optimized for the haptic controller…

      • NakedSnake says:

        If I was Valve, I would be damn sure that Half-Life 3 was ready for the SteamBox Launch. That scenario seems unlikely, but you make a good point. That would give them the chance to do something new.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          I sort of strongly assume it. Every new device needs a killer app and HL3 would definitely fill that slot, especially for the kind of customer who is interested in the Steam Box.
          The only worry I have is that HL3 would get made because of the Steam Box rather than because they have a great plot and amazing game.

        • dreadguacamole says:

          @Effigy_Power:disqus – there’s no way for them to make it exclusive to the steambox, though. Also, the Half Life 3 release would completely eclipse the steambox release (much in the same way the new console releases will eclipse the new Nintendo’s latest squeezings from their glory days)

        • Effigy_Power says:

          @dreadguacamole:disqus: Hmm, good point. I don’t think it would be SteamBox exclusive, just like I generally think the SteamBox is more meant for people who don’t have a gaming computer that could otherwise play HL3.
          On the other hand, I might buy one just because I do love playing from the couch, but kind of can’t get into console gaming.
          Questions, questions.

  9. Drew Toal says:

    Sorry Sam. I know I don’t usually not disagree with you, but The Hobbit wasn’t horrible. I found it charming, and actually more interesting than the book, which never made any sense to me as it relates to the Lord of the Rings proper.

    • Sam_Barsanti says:

      Don’t tell anybody, but I never actually saw it. I was just following the zeitgeist. *shrug*

      I’ll watch it someday and then report back.

      • Effigy_Power says:

        The movie is definitely weaker than the LotR trilogy. How could it not be, really? Especially when stretched to transparency. But it’s not bad.
        I think Sam learned a lesson about being more discerning about the information he hands out.
        Which seems odd, since I found out he’s a masonic Clown who lives in a deer carcass. I read that somewhere. It seemed right.

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          I was surprised to learn that the biggest stuff that was “added” to The Hobbit (Azog following Thorin for revenge) was actually just a modification of an existing character to make him more important.  It actually works pretty well, IMHO, especially as motivation for the future when


          the orc/goblin army attacks the Lonely Mountain.

        • dreadguacamole says:

          @AuroraBoreanaz:disqus Yeah, I’d agree with that – it gave a very shaggy-dog story some kind of structure. I’m not so keen on Jackson’s tendency to drag every scene to its breaking point* – but then again, they wouldn’t be able to get a trilogy out of the book otherwise.

          *: He said, while waiting for the extended editions to come out before buying the blue-ray…

      • a_scintillating_comment says:

        You’re one of those people that talks about things like they’ve seen them, but actually never has! 

      • caspiancomic says:

         Which zeitgeist? The one here on Earth thinks it was pretty swell.

        • Girard says:

          The general lazy internet opinion is “It was awful! Peter Jackson is totally milking it! There’s no way the Hobbit should be three movies! It’s totally draggy and bloated and wah wah wah!”

        • Effigy_Power says:

          Well, it is bloated and it is poorly paced. That’s slightly more than a rumor, sadly.

        • stepped_pyramids says:

          Peter Jackson is absolutely milking it. I don’t know how anyone could claim otherwise.

      • Merve says:

        Don’t bother. It’s as bad as you claimed it was.

    • ShrikeTheAvatar says:

      The Hobbit is great if you always wondered what it would be like if Jar Jar Binks was also one of the Istari.  

      Also, when it comes to CGI dwarves bouncing and doing things that are completely implausible even in a fantasy universe, that movie was head and shoulders above the rest.

    • Matt Kodner says:

      I thought it was overstuffed. Boo to you Drew!

  10. beema says:

    There’s some new project in the works from Frictional (Amnesia/Penumbra series). So far all that’s up is 2 videos on one of those cryptic “viral marketing” type websites. Cool stuff though:

    ps: why do you guys post news roundup on a Monday? Shouldn’t it be on Thursday or Friday?

  11. Drinking_with_Skeletons says:

    I’d worry about games coming out in November getting lost in the shuffle, except I’m an adult with a job whose immediate circle of friends and family aren’t video game savvy enough to ever try to buy a game for me without explicit instructions.

    I buy the games I want when I want, holiday schedules be damned.


  12. TheMostPopularCommenter says:

    Why am I on different site.

  13. Kyle O'Reilly says:

    The ship has sailed on Half-Life 3 man.  Even if it does come out the market is so saturated on first person shooters, what is it gonna do to justify the hype?  Crowbars and physics puzzles?

    I honestly think Gabe Newell realized that they’re screwed and just shelved it for good.  He also is richer than most South East Asian countries so what does he care?

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I’d be really surprised if it’s shelved indefinitely. The popularity of something like that doesn’t just get thrown out and abandoned.
      I don’t know when it will come out, but I am pretty sure it will. There are a lot of things right now that could drag it into the light, such as the Steam Box, Steam OS or the emergence of the new generation of consoles, which might leave a lot of people going back to the PC thanks to downright inept marketing.
      Also, no matter how much money you have, you never ever turn down the chance to make more.

    • The Guilty Party says:

      Is there even an overarching story to care about? Or is it just ‘hey, we liked these things that had similar names, so give us more things with that name please’?

      • GaryX says:

        There’s definitely a story throughout the games (and Portal is in the same universe). I’m told Episode 2 also ended on a major story cliffhanger too, which has only intensified desires for it.

        • The Guilty Party says:

          Ah, that’s kind of a dick move then. If you’re trying to tell a story, you need to commit to that. You can’t sell based on story and then give up halfway through because you’re waiting to figure out some cool new tech tricks. 

    • huge_jacked_man says:

      HL3 can’t possibly live up to the hype (most of it underserved anyway since the Episodes were crap) but there is no way Valve is shelving the project. My money is on HL3 being released as a next gen multiplatform tech demo for the new Source engine. 

      • Citric says:

        HL2:EP2 was excellent, especially the final section where you zip around blowing up those crazy tripod things.

        HL2:EP1 wasn’t anything special though.

        Which was the one that involved stepping on those gross glowing bugs a lot?

    • needlehacksaw says:

      I hate myself for reposting this comment I left on a different popular website, but since me question was left unanswered there, I hope it’s excusable:

      All this talk about Half-Life having become obsolote… it leads to questions.

      See, I have played the game about two years ago for the first time.
      Far from the initial hype, I thought it to be a very enjoyable game. Ground-breaking from a historical perspective, maybe, but to me, it was in that moment mostly just a very well-constructed game. Actually, I don’t remember a lot of details (and I can’t understand why people were so upset about the cliffhanger — the plot of the games seems to be one of the least interesting things to it.)

      But then, just the other day, I found myself on a hike in the mountains, all by myself. It was a rather spectacular path, with lots of gorgeous sights and tunnels. The highlight was a railroad bridge I had to climb and cross. (One looking like this:
      And there, all of a sudden, that game I had thought to remember very vaguely at best, produced a fully formed and very vivid memory —  the one of the bridge-section on Highway 17. I went home, installed the game again, and played the whole Highway-part. It held up very well. I didn’t care about the story, never did. (It’s a bit of a mess, anyway). But the levels, the environments, they still are spectacular.

      So much so that I honestly have to ask myself: For all the talk about it having been bested, which games did actually surpass it in what made it so great? (Which, in my opinion, is simulating an honest to god FPS journey that feels like travelling… Jim Rossignol called it one of the rare true Road Stories the medium has to offer, and I tend to agree.)

      That is an actual, honest question: Which games, in your opinion, have came out since that make Half-Life seem outdated and obsolete?

      • Kyle O'Reilly says:

        I can’t fault Half-Life for it’s well realized environments it’s just that your main action in those environments is often combat and the combat in Half-Life is not very good.  Guns don’t really have any weight, you can’t aim down the sights and many of the fights where the combine are coming out of their dropships you can just wait by the door and off them with the shotgun as they come out one by one.

        The game had an amazing sense of place and travel as you mentioned but so did Bioshock and that game had combat that I enjoyed.

  14. ehsteve14 says:

    “A Link Between Worlds will be available for the 3DS on November 22. Something about that date sounds familiar…oh well.”

    I mean, Majora’s Mask came out on the same day as the PS2 in America, so it’s not like Nintendo hasn’t tried this before.

    • Unexpected Dave says:

      And everyone who wanted to get Z:MM had to put up with a hundred people screaming that the PS2 was sold out.

    • mango says:

      I’m gonna say it? I’m gonna say it. 

      Majora’s Mask > PS2

      • caspiancomic says:

         *impressed whistle*

        Controversial opinion. I disagree, but I admire your cojones.

        • GaryX says:

          Yeah, let’s take the derivative of PS2 to see what @disqus_5to8Qplfun:disqus is really saying:

          “Majora’s Mask > Shadow of the Colossus+Ico+GTA 3+GTA Vice City+GTA Sand Andreas+MGS2+MGS3+Jak & Daxter+ J&D2+J&D3+GT3+GT4+FFX+God of War+GoW2+Okami+Silent Hill 2+Silent Hill 3+Silent Hill 4+Rachet & Clank+Katamari Damacy+Sly Cooper+Kingdom Hearts+Guitar Hero+GHII+Persona 4…” and those are just off the top of my head.

          Yeah, I like Majora’s Mask a whole lot buuuuuuuuut I don’t know about that.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          @GaryX:disqus: Not a chance. I like San(d) Andreas too much. And GT3? Nah, Majora’s Mask seems fine, but that’s a big list to beat with one game.
          No chance.

        • GaryX says:

          @Effigy_Power:disqus Whoops! Sand Andreas is gonna be the next GTA. You heard it here first!

        • Effigy_Power says:

          GTA Bikini Bottom.

        • stepped_pyramids says:

          @GaryX:disqus Those are a lot of solid positives for the PS2, but then you have FFX in there, so it ends up as a net negative, which suggests to me it would be better if the PS2 had never existed.

          I’m not sure this is the right calculus.

      • DrFlimFlam says:

         Gitaroo-Man > Majora’s Mask


    it’s so fucking shameful that Half Life has been missing from the gaming world for so long 

    • Effigy_Power says:

      Yeah, put that right there with Dungeon Keeper, Syndicate (I refuse to count that dumb shooter) and all the other licenses that appear to be held by people who have neither an interest in making a new one nor to see their old glory reignited by someone else.
      Mind you, in the case of HL3 I think it really is just super-callous timing. I am pretty convinced the game will come, but at a time when it will generate the max amount of money.

      • Destroy Him My Robots says:

        Oh sweet, naive Eff. But of course people are interested in keeping Dungeon Keeper alive. Haven’t you heard? It’ll be an ugly-ass mobile game soon.

        *cue Christmas Time is Here instrumental*

        • Effigy_Power says:

          Yeah, that doesn’t really qualify as game to me, Destro. I am a snooty proponent of the PC Master Race and I will scoff and sneer at all attempts to convince people that playing anything beyond Tetris or Sudoku on their phones is a valid waste of time.
          Truly truly truly.

          PS: I don’t know who is sitting on those old Bullfrog Licenses, but they are dicks, at least from this view.

        • stepped_pyramids says:

          @Effigy_Power:disqus Bullfrog licensing is just a step on the slippery slope toward bullfrog confiscation.

      • EmperorNortonI says:

        One of the guys behind Syndicate succeeded with a Kickstarter for a game that looks a LOT like a new Syndicate.  So you might be in luck on that point.

  16. James says:

    “Nintendo announced a new Kirby game for the 3DS, which looks exactly like every Kirby game.” That’s a feature, not a bug.

    • GaryX says:

      Aren’t a lot of Kirby games kinda different from one another though?

      • James says:

         I’ve played the first few pre-64 ones plus Shards and Pinball. Shards, I felt, suffered for trying too hard to emulate Mario 64 without actually making any advances. Worst of both the 3D and 2D worlds. They’d’ve been better off sticking to the formula.

      • Girard says:

        Especially in the looks department. That sentence didn’t really parse at all.

        Honestly, Kirby’s in a lot of respects one of Nintendo’s more experimental core properties (despite its extreme simplicity and kid-friendliness). Mass Attack and Canvas Curse were both major gameplay experiments, and the series even has weird pinball and arkanoid-style games in its oeuvre. You have weird grab-bag things like Kirby All-Star, and even traditional platformers that are aesthetically experimental like Dream Land 3 and Epic Yarn.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:

          Yup. Kirby games are awesome and varied and fuck you guys.

        • stepped_pyramids says:

          I had that pinball game. Best Gameboy pinball game ever.

        • Destroy Him My Robots says:

          @stepped_pyramids:disqus Revenge of the Gator all the way.

        • Girard says:

          @stepped_pyramids:disqus : Kirby Pinball was such a good pinball game, and such a good game in general, it was the only non-Tetris game to overcome my mom’s “Tetris-and-only Tetris” gaming tastes. She played the hell out of that game, for some reason.

      • DrFlimFlam says:

        Kirby games are great. Now re-release Air Ride.

  17. why would a company willingly sit out the holiday season?! this article makes no sense. 

  18. Peach is allowed to go on Mario’s adventures now (again)? I thought I’d never see the day (again).

    Also, I had not heard of the Eternal Darkness sequel kickstarter at all. I would have been excited for that.

    • GaryX says:

      Read up on the Kickstarter though; it was a mess. They had like several different ones running at various times and ended up canceling all of them due to issues with the original developers and publishers and all sorts of other messes. By the time this last Kickstarter was running, it seemed pretty inevitable that it’d fail. The team ate through their trust.

  19. J- says:

    1.) Nintendo sequels: That crack you’re about to make about Nintendo just rehashing the same games over and over again? Yeah: If you have ever purchased more than a single installment of CoD, Ass. Creed, Madden, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Far Cry, Uncharted, Battlefield, MW, God of War, Gears of War, Dead-anything, then you need not bother. It is late, late, LATE days in Videogamelandia to be pointing fingers at anyone else’s sequel-centrism.

    2.) Half Life 3: I think the window is past. There’s a certain strike-while-the-iron-is-hot moment to make sequels to beloved games. Then it’s over and any eventual sequel then produced comes out as kind of pale. Remember the essential disappointments that were Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Twisted Metal whatever, Dead Space 3, Dragon Age 2, Resident Evil 6, Duke Nukem Ugh, Sim City 2013, etc.

    Honestly, at this point HL3 cannot help but fail. It will come out someday, to be sure. And it will fall like a droplet, rippling the surface of the bucket of 5,700 other sci-fi shooters with aliens in them.

  20. J- says:

    *Possibly looking to fill the hole left in our lives by the end of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy (and how terrible The Hobbit was)…*

    THANK YOU. I thought I was the only one who recognized the appalling badness of The Hobbit, but now I know what it’s like when doves cry.

    Seriously, I’ve felt like Wesley Crusher on that ep of STNG where everyone is slowly becoming addicted to that eyepiece-game thingy. “Why am I the only one in this theater looking angry and bored?!”

    • DrFlimFlam says:

      It wasn’t terrible, but it really misses a lot of what made LOTR so great.

      Also that hideous Goblin King. I prefer as little wattle as possible in my movies. Unless there are lots of chickens.

    • GaryX says:

      It just made me long for the version GDT would have done. That would have, at least, been more interesting.

  21. signsofrain says:

    It’s a pretty safe bet that Half-Life 3 is going to happen and that development is ongoing. In my opinion I think another safe bet is that the next HL game will incorporate a lot more Portal references. It might feature the portal gun, it might have our 2 favourite silent protagonists (Gordon and Chell) meet or cross paths. Don’t forget there’s another copy of GLaDOS on the Borealis. 

    Valve’s titles have never once disappointed me, so I guess I’m happy to wait however many more years they keep cooking this thing, I just hope it’s not a case of the massive hype buildup overshadowing the actual game when it does come out.

    I felt like a lot of people were unfair to Duke Nukem Forever for that reason – because they just couldn’t get however many years of vaporware jokes out of their head. I mean granted DNF wasn’t fresh like DN3D was but it was still a fun game. Any FPS enthusiast, especially one who played and enjoyed DN3D, would have gotten something out of it. I pray this doesn’t happen to HL3.

    • GaryX says:

      The hype for HL3 is a weird one because it’s all fan-generated. It’s not like hype for other games (CoD’s, Bioshocks, GTA’s etc) where you have the developer talking up the experience the game is going to deliver or whatever. The hype comes from people just wanting more.

      • signsofrain says:

        Well, Valve has done their part also.

        1) Completely refusing to talk about Half-Life 3 even to confirm or deny it definitely counts as stoking the hype coals.

        2) Registering that trademark in Europe… you better believe they knew the fans would catch on to that. These are the people who created the Portal 2 announcement ARG. They know the fans are watching them like hawks for any signs of HL3. Practically every source engine game update is dissected and analyzed by fans looking for HL3 stuff. Over the past few years they’ve sometimes found a file here or there. Valve writes these off as accidental inclusions but I don’t buy that. These guys are masters of subtle PR.

        3) The release of some concept sketches a few years back, featuring the Borealis. (The biggest tease of all, I could not stop looking at those pictures)

        Okay… so all the hinting was in the past few years… the Steam box announcement counts too if you ask me. I mean “We have 3 secret things to announce”. Come on!! I feel like they’re frigging edging me here.

    • Chewbacca Abercrombie says:

       I’m glad someone else enjoyed Duke Nukem Forever. I really liked it, especially compared to FPS’s like Call of Duty and Halo, two games I can only play co-op or with another person to hand the control to when I inevitably get bored. Sure Mr. Nukem seems super cheesy sometimes in Forever and isn’t nearly as cool as he used to be (he kind of reminds me of Riggs from Lethal Weapon if he suddenly tried to act like he was the greatest and coolest cop ever, he’s clearly getting too old for this shit and everyone sees it but him, kinda sad). The game itself was still a lot of fun though. The only thing I absolutely hated about it was that after 13 years in development hell it somehow had minute long loading screens constantly. Seems like that could have been one of the things they could have at least tried to improve before releasing it.

  22. Toparaman says:

    I hope Nintendo wins this one.