Or outrage, or scorn. Video games are just one pushcart in the vast marketplace of ideas, where everyone shouts down the quality of the goods. Then again, sometimes the merchants deserve the berating. So let's recap the week's most noteworthy reactionary topics, scoring them for the outrage they summon and the skepticism they invite. Or otherwise.
Skinny: EA Sports mailed it in with FIFA 13 on the Wii, scheduled for execution. FIFA 12 and FIFA 13 on the Wii are virtually indistinct except for the new rosters and uniforms.
No Shit? Score: 10/10. EA Sports and every sports publisher has been mailing it in on the Wii since the console was released. Plus, OMFG, this is a sports game, they're all roster updates amirite. Why don't they just publish the game every three years and release the rosters as DLC. Oh, because Wii.
Outrage-o-Meter: 6/10. Even though any sports gamer with half a brain would stay the hell away from any game published on the Wii, much less this late in the console's lifespan, there's still the cynicism of selling this at full price, which is just inexcusable bullshit.
Skinny: University researchers hook some undergrads up to Call of Duty and measure brainwaves. Result: They're not just feeling less compassion for their fellow man, they feel less pain for themelves.
No Shit? Score: 5/10. Most any scientific research into video games is going to prove something we already knew. It stands to reason that someone desensitized to the suffering he inflicts on virtual opponents would not recognize it when it is inflicted on himself.
Outrage-o-Meter: 4/10. Reads well with mainstream media heavily conditioned to blaming everything on video games but, in the final analysis, doesn't scold as much as it explains why we're able to sit in one place until our asses grow numb—and then pee into a sink or a Mountain Dew bottle.
Skinny: EA Sports did a great job of talking up its multilingual voice-command support within Kinect for FIFA 13. Then the game released. In North America, you can only speak to the game in two languages: English and French. Because, what, only white people care about soccer?
No Shit? Score: 1/10. Everything leading up to this game's release suggested multilingual Kinect support, in languages not tied to the region in which the game was purchased. This is kind of a blindside. Even if it had to publish with limited language libraries, the idea that EA Sports would release voice support for this game in North America and not include the language of the most vocal supporters of futbol on the continent is kind of shocking.
Outrage-o-Meter: 8/10. In addition to the fact that Spanish speakers in North America outumber French speakers by about a zillion to one, this is a game that has "Better with Kinect" stripped across its front, in two languages. One of them is not understood by the game. That's just silly.
Skinny: Some guy quit Electronic Arts and got a nastygram from the company's legal division. He published it via Twitter.
No Shit? Score: 8/10. This is one of the largest publishers in the world and it has lawyer-mans up the ding-dong. The guy left the equivalent of the video game mafia and got a stern warning that it still expected omerta.
Outrage-o-Meter: 2/10. Who gives a fuck. This guy now works for ngmoco, a mobile games company. It's not like he has the secret that will free us from the tyranny of the Madden exclusive license.
Skinny: Now that Bayonetta 2 has been announced as a Wii U exclusive, everyone starts giving a shit.
No Shit? Score: 4/10. Bayonetta was actually well regarded by critics. But its technical failures on the PS3 were universally cited, and the biggest reason this game did not clock a 90 Metacritic overall. Platinum Games, the creator, issued an apology for that this week.
Outrage-o-Meter:: 2/10. Oh, now you cop to it.
Skinny: 3D Realms is back and looking to develop a game sometime in the next 24 years, putting a project on a crowd funding site (not Kickstarter, unusually) for something called Earth No More.
No Shit? Score: 10/10. Crowdfunding sites were made for this kind of no-account name-dropping bullshit. "Remember us? The guys who burned through zillions of our own money not making the most popular game in the world? Yeah, give us some dough to do that for something no one has ever heard of."
Outrage-o-Meter: 6/10. Shut the fuck up. I want to open a Kickstarter to create a Kickstarter site that crowdfunds parodies of fan-created Kickstarter games.