Dear friends. It is with a heavy heart that I write this, my first guest spot on Press Start! Many of you will remember our beloved Caffeine Powered as the articulate, junk grabbing slop enthusiast that regaled us with tales from the very frontiers of video game development and culture. I want you to hold on to that memory as tightly as you can. The last time I saw him – barely covering his modesty with tattered rags, excitedly drawing my attention to his bedroom walls: hosting his life’s work rendered in fecal matter – he told me that I needed to resurrect this information behemoth. I willingly accepted. And promptly left the premises.
Independent Charles Returns
Independent Charles was an ill-fated video series that ran via the UK’s XBOX Live service. Brought to life by the outspoken,well-respected games writer and broadcaster Robert Florence, it proved a little too off kilter to sit alongside the safe, predictable ‘zany’ comedy clips that told us all what XBOX games to buy next. Charles, throughout his short lifespan, vehemently distanced himself from his mother and also found time to highlight some of the finer games available through XBOX’s Indie Games section. Now, freed from Microsoft’s shackles and broadcasting directly from the afterlife, Charles is now once again bringing the finest in independent gaming to our screens, along with a necessary dose of upsetting and awkward comedy.
Rumors are abound that the follow-up to Batman:Arkham City will be a ‘Silver Age’ based prequel that will feature Bats’ first meeting with The Joker and also include the rest of the Justice League roster. Despite my faith in developer, Rocksteady, I can’t help but shudder at this idea. How easily we forget Superman’s cancer-inducing previous video game outings, or the fact that throwing super powers into the mix would further distance the series from the tight, metroidvania design masterclass that made Arkham Asylum such an incredible game. Still, I’ll hold out hope that at least we’ll get to hear Mark Hamill’s Joker crowing about his numerous boners.
McMillen’s Meaty Memoirs
If you’ve seen Indie Game: The Movie – I thoroughly recommended it – then you’ll know that Edmund McMillen makes his games incredibly personal. Now that Super Meat Boy his made him, as one half of Team Meat, incredibly rich and successful, he can go on to release his earlier games, re-branded and repacked with a plethora of new content. Of course, you could always go an play them for free over at Newgrounds but that would just be a bit like stealing, wouldn’t it? Where’s your conscience? Don’t mistake this for cynicism; I’m overjoyed that some of his more personal and disturbing titles will see a new audience in this convenient form and that Team Meat can keep making money and sticking it to the man!
Japanese social gaming funded by the Yakuza
In this month’s issue of EDGE, Tokyo Vice author, Jake Adelstein, told readers all about his favourite game. He also happened to mention how he has noted Yakuza gangs funding social gaming companies in Japan.
“I’m not going to say the name of the companies but there are several gaming companies – social gaming companies – that were funded by organized crime, because organized crime is Japan’s biggest private equity. One of the firms actually makes a Yakuza role-playing game in which you can buy, like, a Mercedes Benz and weapons. You would think no-one would be that stupid but actually it’s like the Purloined Letter trick. The perfect front. Because you would think no gaming company funded by the Yakuza would actually create a Yakuza roleplaying game where you can have minor league enforcer avatars and host clubs.”
I’ll admit it: I’m still immature and naive enough to find a life of organized crime pretty alluring. This story excites me not just because it features gangsters and video games, but because it gives me hope for the future: for my ‘plan B’. In the event that my life should bottom out, that I lose my job and my girlfriend, then I will undoubtedly try to align myself with an organized crime faction. From there, I will rise through the ranks to attain enough power and money to make my dreams come true. I will finally be able to bring my game idea to light. In Social Justice players are able to roam a fully interactive virtual town in which you are able to administer social justice as and when you see fit. Able bodied people who unnecessarily park in disabled spaces and people who let their dogs crap outside your house are just two examples are the fiends that players can administer their bloody, fist-driven justice to. Naturally, I have already pitched this to both Capcom and EA, to little avail. They will be kicking themselves soon enough.
Sell your children into slavery to own a piece of Capcom history
Capcom announce $400 Street Fighter chess set to commemorate Street Fighter’s 25th anniversary. There’s not much else to say here other than ‘look at it!’ I’m a huge Street Fighter fanboy and the things that I would do to own this are unspeakable. Unspeakable, I tell thee. That said, if anyone is actually as SDCC and fancies picking up one of these on my behalf, I’m sure we can come to some sort of sexy arrangement. No kissing on the mouth though.
There you have it. That is literally everything that happened in video games this week. Well, probably. What did I miss?