Versus Mode: Subtitles, Diablo III, Braid, and More

GameCola writers Meteo Xavier and Colin Greenhalgh discuss subtitles vs. numbers, Diablo III's color palette, the cost of Braid, and more.

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violentThe column that calls upon GameCola writers as well as the videogame world at large to talk about what’s up in gaming.

This month in Versus Mode we’ve got:

vmmeteo vmcolin


Meteo Xavier is a current GameCola staff writer known for his reviews, and this is his second appearance in Versus Mode, having written previously in NewbieMania.

Colin Greenhalgh is a current GameCola staff writer known for his reviews, and this is his second appearance in Versus Mode, having written previously in NewbieMania.

1. Subtitles are cooler than numbers in sequel titles.

Meteo: I’m glad this one came up, because this is a debate that is sadly overlooked in every major category of entertainment, often in favor of “discussions” leading to terabytes of text where grown men who are accountants or emergency service personnel in the daytime go home, log into hangers like “doglickzass69,” and trade barbs with tweenagers over how much Mainstream New School sucks compared to Underground Old School.

We comb over this issue, ignoring it and hoping it will go away, when the answer is obvious: Numbers are GAY. Not happy, not charming, not even simply and politically homosexual. GAY. There’s a reason numbers are not technically words—just try rolling them off your tongue:



Do we call the predecessor Doom ONE? No, we call it Doom. Game titles are more than just names—they are symbols. They compress all the hopes and dreams of the entity into a single word or, at best: sentence fragment. A name like Doom tells you you’re going to play a bad-ass game, not just once, but for life.

So maybe now you can see why naming its sequel Doom TUUUUUUU just takes away all the dignity and artistic integrity that the game once had. And not only that, just imagine this scenario: You’re in the game store, and you see two versions of the same game. One is called “Doom TWOOOOOOOOO,” and the other is called “Doom: Ashes to Ashes, Death To All.” Which one are you going to take home for eight hours of bloodlust and clusterfuck?

I rest my case.

Colin: Guh, it’s so confusing without the numbers. Why can’t we have both? I find it so much easier to reference a game by its number than by its subtitle or even the acronym of its subtitle. Hell, even if you drop the number, we’re gonna make it Doom 5 in conversation anyway; your subtitle, though adding a “cool” factor, does nothing to improve a franchise. Just tack it on afterwards…or do something creative and incorporate the number into the subtitle: “Tomb Raider: 58008”. Yeah…you know what I’m talking about. Pervs.

2. Diablo III’s chosen color palette will ruin the game.

d3Meteo: …so?

Colin: Diablo III is NOT Diablo II, nor is it a Diablo II expansion or in any way limited by the restrictions that a game released eight years ago had to comply with. It should NOT look like Diablo II, just like Oblivion doesn’t look like Morrowind. We can create greater detail and more beautiful environments with today’s technology, and good on Blizzard for upping the resolution. You’re just going to have to deal with not fighting neon green and purple skeletons and enjoy their meticulously crafted shaders and HUGE sexy textures.

3. Nintendo has abandoned its core audience.

Meteo: Let’s put this into perspective. Ever since the advent of the PlayStation (or, more accurately, the advent of Final Fantasy VII), Nintendo has been fighting an uphill battle against that cheeky Ken Kutaragi. For more than a decade, all they have had to show for it was the Game Boy Advance, a candy-coated device that is more often than not found in the hands of a grubby little anklebiter waiting for the bus to Hebrew school. (True story.)

Now, finally, the clouds open up and Nintendo is back on top, so how do we thank God for making right what was once wrong for so long? By bitching about the software. If we assume that Nintendo’s “core audience” (fanboys) are the kind of people who call themselves hardcore Nintendo fans because they have “been with Nintendo since the beginning,” then they should be enjoying this era of their lives, because all the Wii games are pretty much 14-15 NES titles rolled up together anyway. The old-school Nintendo games the fanboys are cumming for were shoddy, shitty, and translated by immigrants who write “YES” under the job application question “Is Engrish your first language?”

You guys already have Super Mario Galaxy, Twilight Princess, No More Heroes, Smash Bros. Brawl, Okami, Metroid Prime 3, Fire Emblem: Path to Radiance…do you even have enough time left in the year to play any more? No, I didn’t think so, so if you have time to bitch, you have time to show much needed love to Metroid Prime 3.

Also, WTF is up with the picture in that article?

Colin: Who the hell is the core audience? What the hell does “core” even mean? “Hardcore” gamer makes me think of an angry, pimpled teenager yelling “BOOM! Headshot!” at his monitor. Do you want to be that audience? Nintendo, as a publisher, has constantly taken its time on quality “core” games. You caught them on an off season—get over it. They’ll have games you like within the year and then you’ll get over it.

4. Parents should be more worried about their kids playing violent videogames than watching porn.

Meteo: Let me get serious here. This question and all subsequent questions about parenting all require a realistic perspective of parenting itself. It’s hard. There is no proven RIGHT way to prevent your children from becoming who they are meant to violentbe. You could do everything right and sacrifice yourself for 18-23 years and still have a child who grows up to rape women and run for Senate.

The fact is that the question is mu. It’s beside the point. It’s not health-IER to put one over the other when doing so only prevents one negative thing from happening. The whole point of barring your child from violent entertainment is to discourage violence from his psyche. Well, that’s only one part of his psyche, and it doesn’t have any inherited value over any part of his fragile mind. Reality therefore points to the fact that kids will be exposed to violence and sex sooner or later anyway and that barring them from that entertainment only delays the inevitable…and since emotional functions are time-based anyway, delaying inevitability is not a great idea.

If you really want to scare the idea of sex and violence out of a child, take him to witness a woman giving birth…in Abkhazia. There’ll be blood and feces and bullets flying over your head and bouncing off walls…and that’s just inside the hospital room, or what’s left of it. Then give the bloodied living fetus to your child, turn him so he faces the window and watches a mortar shell vaporize a building full of soldiers, give him a shard of shrapnel, and tell him to cut the umbilical cord. 😀

Colin: Parents should be more worried about teaching their kids morals and helping them understand that both porn and videogames are disconnected from reality. Most people don’t run around with AK-47s and most women don’t enjoy an…well, you know. Porn and videogames are both harmless to the viewer if they understand that it’s just entertainment, and that’s a parents job to educate a child thusly—no one else’s.

5. $15 is far too much for an XBLA game.

Meteo: I can sum this up easily: If you don’t have $15, you shouldn’t be videogaming. The end.


Colin: Well, as a gamer, $60 is too much to pay for a game in my mind. I’m a lot more frugal with new games because I want to make sure I get more bang for my buck. On the other hand, as an artist and designer, I want to support my fellow artist, and Braid was a definite purchase. I love the aesthetic and the fact that Jonathan Blow and his small team even made it to XBLA at all; kudos to them. The game itself is great and gorgeous—I can’t understand how people wouldn’t want to pay a measly $15 for a piece of art.

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