You know him from Dear Readers, his monthly reviews, and Digital Championship Wrestling; and you know her from her monthly reviews and Casey’s Top Picks for 2006. That’s right! This month in Versus Mode it’s:
Paul Franzen vs. Casey Levine!
1. The ESRB should not have changed Oblivion’s rating to “Mature.”
Paul Franzen: OF COURSE NOT. The horny fifteen-year-olds who want their boobies aren’t gonna be thwarted by this decision; and the innocent ones won’t be affected because they wouldn’t be downloading the nudie patch in the first place. NO ONE would be inadvertently stumbling upon these breasts, and if they were, I have this theory that it wouldn’t be the end of the world. All this decision does is give weenies like Jack Thompson more material so he can keep saying things like “nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.” Good grief.
Doesn’t the ESRB have anything better to do, anyway, like make sure they’re rating games right in the first place? Maybe they should concentrate on that instead of slipping down a slope that leads to “ALL PC GAMES ARE RATED MATURE” if they’re not careful. (How many games are completely hack-proof? How many games CAN’T have a breast inserted somewhere? Those zero games would be the only ones not rated Mature if the ESRB sticks with this practice.)
Casey Levine: I agree that this is completely ridiculous. First of all, if you want to protect the innocent, saintly children whose pure minds couldn’t handle the shock of seeing a pixilated breast, have the parents prevent them from downloading the patches from the Internet. Good lord, people, its not like you’ll be playing and then BAM! breasts appear, damaging your weak, fragile mind. In any event, I would like to point out that anyone old enough to be playing Oblivion a) is aware that women have breasts, b) has probably seen breasts before, and c) is not going to be harmed by seeing more breasts. Why is our country so hung-up on sex, anyway? It’s stupid.
2. Nobody’s gonna pay either $599 OR $499 for a PS3.
Paul: Well, I tell you what: I sure as heck won’t, and I’m one of them hardcore gaming types. There’s no way I can justify spending more on a videogame console than I regularly spend on…holy CRAP, an entire YEAR’S worth of food. It just isn’t happening. I don’t care how much the system costs to make, especially if it’s things like Blu-ray that I don’t even care about stringing the costs up. And what’s the deal with the “cheap” version? A hundred bucks less (bringing it down to the STILL abominable price of $500), and you get a much smaller hard drive, a complete LACK of memory card/stick support, and punched in the face every time you boot it up. Not to sound like a Nintendo fanboy, but at least the big N know what’s up when it comes to pricing. Even the 360 looks good compared to what Sony’s offering, and that’s downright insane.
Casey: You know, I really do think that Sony may be making a fatal mistake here. Not only is $500-600 a ridiculous amount of money for a console, but they don’t really have any major launch games, it seems. I know there are people who will buy it, but overall my prediction is that Sony is going to find that most people aren’t willing to shell out that much money for it. And since they will be competing with the Wii, which seems likely to cost about half as much, Sony may find that they end up alienating and losing a lot of gamers who simply don’t have that kind of cash to throw around. Who needs Blu-Ray anyway? No one, that’s who.
3. GameStop shouldn’t stop selling PS1 games.
Paul: Are you kidding me? Isn’t PS2 backwards compatible? Isn’t PS3 backwards compatible? There’s still a market for these games! Shelf space is obviously a concern, but hey, here’s a wild and crazy idea: How about you get rid of the DVDs, CDs and piece-of-crap accessories that clutter up the store! Good LORD. It’s a GAMING STORE. How about you KEEP THE GAMING and get rid of the things we can get everywhere else! Oh, no, but the consumers need their freaking fifteen copies of Chapelle’s Show Vol. 3: Even More Lame White People! much more than they need their videogames THAT THEY CAN STILL VERY CLEARLY PLAY.
Casey: No, that would be stupid. I agree with Paul: get rid of the non-game stuff and there will be plenty of room. I for one still occasionally buy PS1 games. It’s not as if you can’t play them, after all.
4. Nobody cares about backwards compatibility.
Paul: Apparently GameStop doesn’t! But beyond this crazy person over at Microsoft, most gamers seem pretty happy with it. I mean, I guess there’s a large faction of people who like having 15 systems connected to their TV at all times because there’s no other way they can play Shenmue, Spyro and Mario Kart 64 at a moment’s notice; but the rest of us actually like only having a few systems out at a time. And some of us like buying our PS2s and being able to play a bevy of PS1 games that we missed the first time around because we were deluded into thinking that N64 was the be-all end-all of gaming. MAN, Quest 64 sucked. And it’s all Microsoft’s fault for not believing in backwards compatibility. At least they’ve been making sure the best Xbox games are playable on 360, right? What a crock.
Casey: What? Who decided this? I really prefer my systems to be backwards compatible. It gives me more flexibility and takes up less space around my TV. One of the things about the Wii that excites me is the fact that I will be able to play the SNES games that I missed out on the first time around. While backwards compatibility isn’t the most important thing to me, I definitely care about it.
5. Gaming belongs in the Olympics.
Paul: Oh, sure. Great. Let’s give the assholes who play nothing but Madden and Halo even MORE to gloat about. Seriously, how would this even work? It’s not like being a gamer means you’re great at games in general; so what would a “gold medal in gaming” entail? That you’re really great at the one or two games that the Olympics tests. Wooo. Like I can get behind some dufus getting a gold medal in gaming for being great at the only game he’s ever actually played. There’s no way to test if someone’s great at gaming in general unless they create a brand new game expressly for the competition, thus evening the playing field. But even then, those who are more familiar with the game’s genre are going to do better, so all you’d be proving is that you’re among the gosh-darn best at dating sims. Big whoops. It’s a terrible idea.
Casey: No, it doesn’t. This is a stupid idea. The Olympics are a festival of PHYSICAL sport, and no matter how much exercise your fingers get on the controller, gaming does not qualify. Horrible, terrible, stupid idea. And that’s all I have to say about that.