Weekly News Roundup: August 29, 2011

Right off the heels of Gamescom, this last week had earthquakes, hurricanes and PAX Prime. We somehow made it through all three, only to have Tokyo Games Show staring us in the face. While we gird our loins for the coming tsunami of cosplay and RPG announcements, (too soon?) here’s all of last week’s news that’s fit to make snide and unnecessarily derisive comments about:

Way cooler than Epic Mickey turned out to be.

After the rousing success of Epic Mickey, it is only natural to assume that Disney would be working on a sequel. Well, if a recent Disney commissioned online survey has any relation to reality, it looks like Disney Epic Mickey 2 is in the works. The theoretical game would apparently feature split screen play as both Mickey and Oswald. Some of the titles listed? How about: Epic Mickey 2: Return of the Mad DoctorEpic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, and Epic Mickey 2: Mystery on Mean Street. Unknown at this time if Disney is interested in improving the game by fixing the camera, cleaning up the visuals, or putting it out on something other than the goddamned Wii.

This is, and is not, Tim Schafer.

It is well documented (by us) how much we love Tim Schafer and his elfin workshop of crafty gamesmiths, Double Fine. As it so happens, the barrage of unique and interesting games the studio has recently put out are the direct result of an informal and internal contest the company put on called “Amnesia Fortnight.” The idea was that staff were given time off of their main projects to work in teams and come up with game prototypes. The results? Costume Quest, Trenched, Stacking, and even the upcomingKinect Sesame Street game Once Upon A Monster. Schafer told Edge that this creative approach more or less saved the company after the underrated but still financially devastating Brutal Legend.


Speaking of game makers that we have an unhealthy amount of love for, Deadly Premonition creator SWERY (a.k.a. Hidetaka Suehiro), recently gave an interview in which he said that he was working on both a completely new game and simultaneously planning out ways to create a sequel to Deadly Premonition. This is the classic Unplayables success, and we wait with the most baited of breath to see what this mad genius has up his sleeve next time.

Soon to feature way fewer bits.

FEAR NOT, brave reader, Penny Arcade Adventures Episode 3 is still alive and kicking, apparently. Yes, even though Hothead Games, the developer behind Episodes 1 and 2, left the series to work on the Deathspank games, indie developer Zeboyd Games has taken up the mantle, and expects to release the long awaited conclusion to the epic Penny Arcade story sometime in 2012. Where might you know Zeboyd Games from, you ask? Try the fantastic RPG throwbacks Breath of Death 7 and Cthulhu Saves the World, also known as some of the only games on the Xbox Live Indie Games channel that are worth a damn.

Another classy move from your friendly neighborhood Gamestop.

Wow Gamestop fucked up. I mean, seriously, they REALLY fucked up. First, they ordered workers to open copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution for the PC and take out a coupon for free OnLive service. Then they pulled all the PC copies of the game from their stores. Finally, after a good amount of nerd outrage on the internets, they have offered jilted customers a $50 gift card and a “buy 2, get 1 free” coupon for their troubles. This fairly dick move was perpetrated because Gamestop is going to be launched their own cloud gaming service at some point in the future and didn’t want to “promote” their competitors. All of this clusterfuckery really leads to one point: who the *fuck* is buying boxed PC games at Gamestop anymore? Apart from dusty and slightly foxed boxes of various battlechests on a rack in the back of the store, I didn’t even know the place sold PC games these days.

That's right, it's time for Mike to bitch about Origin some more!

Speaking of fuckups and nerd rage, EA and Origin finally got a taste of proper geek fury this week. As we reported weeks ago on the Free DLC cast (download and tell your friends), EA’s unfortunately named online distribution service Origin had an onerous EULA, allowing the company to collect all sorts of data, personal and otherwise, and send it straight to EA without a so much as a “by your leave.” As it turns out, gamers object to being forced to install spyware just to play a videogame, and so they objected. Loudly. EA has responded by amending Origin’s EULA to say that it will only collect “nonpersonally identifiable data, including computer configuration, software usage, and peripherals connected.” The EULA further insists that this information will not be sold to third parties. This is far more in line with the sort of data collection that Steam has in place, and is less objectionable. The ultimate question, however, is why the first EULA was written that way in the first place? Was this an attempted power grab that blew up in their faces, or was this some idiot lawyer who overreached?

You didn't buy this game, but you should have.

While I have spent the last several months talking a good deal of shit about Nintendo and the Wii, I will admit to having a huge amount of love for one Wii game in particular: Little King Story. The game was a little bit like Final Fantasy meets Paper Mario meets Pikmin, and fully awesome. If you have a Wii and haven’t played this game, get it now. Or don’t. As it turns out, a Little King Story sequel is in the works for the Playstation Vita. The game features redesigned characters with more “realistic proportions,” and a touch-screen interface. The game will be published by Konami, and will be purchased by me on day one.

He's the fasting thing alive! But not on the Wii.

In other, more random news, this stuff happened too: Torchlight 2 will be $20, giving Diablo fans a nice low-cost option for something to do while Blizzard tortures them with screenshots and movies. 343 Industries, also known as the guys who are not Bungie, had let it out that Halo 4-6 are in the works, and will be known as the “Reclaimer Trilogy.” The games will be a direct continuation of the events of Halo 3. So that’s happening. Also happening, Sonic CD, which will launch on all download platforms sometime before 2012. Except Wii, of course. Sonic CD’s bitchin’ soundtrack is apparently more than the Wii’s storage capabilities can handle. So, nice work Nintendo. Finally, an perhaps most importantly, the Ms. Splosion Man pinball table for Pinball FX 2 will be releasing THIS WEEK, August 31, for just 240 Microsoft Points. Cant. Fucking. Wait.

About Mike Cantor

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