Versus Mode: EA, Wii Injuries, Dragon Quest IX, and More

GC writers Steve Hamner and Eric Regan discuss whether EA is trustworthy, whether Nintendo is responsible for Wii-related injuries, whether DQ9 should be on the DS, and more.

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dq2You know him from his monthly reviews and The Vana’diel Diaries, and you know the other him from Digital Championship Wrestling and Captain Eric’s Super Thumbs. That’s right! This month in Versus Mode it’s:

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Steve Hamner vs. Eric Regan.

1. EA has every right to punish Web sites that give them negative coverage.

Steve HamnerWelllll…no. I’m not quite sure if what happened to Merodeando is them being punished, and I like to believe that even big, heartless videogame publishers aren’t mean-spirited (and stupid) enough to cut their noses off to spite their faces. Without further evidence I can’t say they’ve actually committed the crime.

The shouldn’t punish Web sites that post bad reviews or give negative coverage in any fashion—that’s bad for business. However, say what you will about Electronic Arts: They’re an extraordinarily successful company, and you don’t get that way by making a lot of bad decisions.

Eric Regan: Can we really call not being subjected to playing another ill-conceived and painfully bad game a punishment? But I suppose if you want to call it a punishment you can. Of course EA has every right to do that—it is their event. But then again the media also has the right to cover the fact that they dumped them because of bad reviews. EA can do what they want; they aren’t breaking any laws. It isn’t their problem that they make games that they couldn’t care less if they’re any good or not. That is just the consumer’s problem.

2. It’s your own fault if you break something while playing the Wii.

Steve: If you’ve gone through the trouble of reading the manual and following Nintendo’s safety instructions regarding installing the safety strap and giving yourself plenty of room, then yes—it’s your own damn fault. I’ve broken a few PS2 controllers in the past from being a little too overzealous (or flipping out after dying two hours from the last save point), and no one would think MadCatz owes me a replacement.

Make sure the safety strap is installed correctly, give yourself plenty of space and recognize you’re not in an actual swordfight and don’t need to be quite as enthusiastic with the guard-turn-parry-dodge-spin-thrust. If perspiration is a problem, buy a golf glove.


Eric: Our own fault?! BULL HOCKEY! That is just ludicrous. In this day and age, NOTHING is our own fault—we have plenty of other things we can blame! It is those damn straps! If only those poor flimsy pathetic straps were just a TAD bit stronger! Then we would be able grasp the complex logic of holding things! ONLY when we get better straps will this happen! TOTALLY NOT OUR FAULT!

3. Thanks to videogames, teenagers have terrible vocabularies.

SteveI don’t know if you can pin it on videogames. That smacks of assclowns like Hilary Rodham Clinton, Jack Thompson and Joe Lieberman who are just out to bitchslap any videogame without an E rating. It’s just another way “crusaders” against the industry can try to make games look like the crack of the 21st century.

I’m more inclined to look at things like the decline of the public school system, increase in TV viewership, and an overall indifference towards education by a large percentage of teenagers (and I was one of them not long ago) to find a reason for this downturn. I doubt kids are sharpening their English skills with Solid Snake, Tidus or Kasumi as their tutors.

Eric: ZOMG!1! Teenagers with terrible vocabularies?! No WAY! While it seems highly plausible to me that this is the case, I really can’t see how videogames could play a major part in it. Even that article lumps games in with ALL OTHER technology. It’s a really stupid title for that article. However, much like HAND STRAPS, this really seems to be pointing the blame at something else rather than focusing on more likely candidates. Such as what a pack of lazy asses we are. NO WAIT! That can’t be true. VIDEO GAMES BAD!! NO PLAY NOOO PLAAAY.

4. It makes sense for the next Dragon Quest game to be released exclusively on the DS.

Steve: I don’t know if it necessarily makes sense, but I think it’s a good move from a business standpoint. The DS is starving for good RPGs, with only a few that have really held up over the platform’s lifespan to date. This game will sell like hotcakes to DS owners, and could very well be a platform mover for Nintendo. Everybody wins.

PlayStation owners might be sore, but franchises jump ship—it’s just how it goes. The DS is an awesome little gaming platform and will be a great fit for Dragon Quest. It’s proven it can stand up to the big gaming franchises like Final Fantasy; I’m really looking forward to it.


Eric: When a game comes along that has graphics that just so perfectly match up with an ever-so-powerful system such as the DS, well things like this just have to happen!! OK, OK, maybe not. Making the newest Dragon Quest game exclusive to the DS is probably a big disservice to all of the loyal fans of the series. However, it does make sense because the quality of these games has really been going downhill lately. Not only the quality but also the sales of these games. So one way Square can squeeze some more money out of the series is by sticking it on the DS and hoping the diehard fanatics still pick up their copies. I sure hope it has some fabulous stylus action going on!

5. Nobody trusts the EA brand anymore.

Steve: The situation isn’t that grim yet for the boys at Electronic Arts, but the writing (quite literally) is on the wall. The company does seem to be pushing for profit over quality, and striking while the iron is hot doesn’t always yield a superior product in the gaming industry.

Just the same, we’re still talking about the company that puts out a host of sports games every year, and they’re almost uniformly well-received. It could be that EA needs to step back from producing other titles and focus on their tried-and-true for some time to rebuild their gamer cred. I’m not about to write them off yet, but I do think they need to take a long, hard look at how they approach the games they produce before jumping into making another half-assed Need for Speed title.

EricSome people are bound to trust the EA brand. For one, John Madden trusts them to deliver his truck load of money ever year! Plenty of people don’t even know or care about the other games that EA makes. So while maybe some people “in the know” won’t trust EA, there are plenty of other people who will keep buying their games just because they recognize those letters from their copy of Madden or something similar.

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