Top of the Flagpole
Welcome to Top of the Flagpole
Welcome to Top of the Flagpole, where we give you a view from gaming's highest podium on the biggest news to hit the gaming industry. This segment will feature quick hits on the trending stories of the gaming nation. Top of the Flagpole segments will occur weekly or bi-weekly depending on how crazy the week is for games. Warning: terrible videogame jokes up straight ahead.

Borderlands 2 Breaking All Sorts of 4th Wall:

As if Borderlands 2's Community reference wasn't enough, the game's also hidden away a Bioshock reference. In the newly released Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty DLC, you can find an enemy called "Mr. Bubbles", which any Bioshock fan will recognize as a Big Daddy. Gearbox Software's certainly not afraid to toss around pop culture references. What's next, a Binder of Women Ammo Loadout upgrade??

WiiU Struggles Online as much as We Struggle to say WiiU without Sounding Stupid:

It's no secret that Nintendo is way behind competitors Microsoft and Playstation when it comes to online capability. While it's making good strides with a revamped Online store interface, the actual functionality of WiiU Online is still in question (even developers have no idea what WiiU's online system is capable of). The latest blunder in Nintendo's online struggle is the WiiU's voice chat, in which there's no standard system, and voice chat headsets will vary from third party game to third party game. One wonders, if Nintendo has made a niche in the market for a younger, less hardcore gamer community, should it even bother trying to trend towards online play, ESPECIALLY when they're THIS bad at it??

Xbox Live Pushing Live Event Coverage:

Microsoft's message the past few weeks? "HeyyoucanwatchliveeventsonyourXboxHeyyoucanwatchliveeventsonyourXboxHeyyoucanwatchliveeventsonyourXbox!!" And apparently, it's paying off. Over 100,000 Xbox Live members tuned in for Tuesday's presidential debate and responded to over 70 poll questions in real-time. Microsoft's saying this marks "one of the largest single-screen interactive TV experiences in history." I guess the interactive features are a cool thing, but who needed interactive truth polling when you had good ol' Candy Crowley??

Star Wars: The Old Republic Highlights End of an MMORPG Era?

Uh-oh. It was bad enough when Bioware revealed SWTOR would feature free-to-play, the well-known death sentence to MMORPG's. It's even worse now that the details of free-to-play have been revealed. That's not very many restrictions, unless you count the restrictions to the hardcore "death-to-social-lives!!" fanbase that grinds to the level cap daily and would've paid to play anyway. This isn't boding well for SWTOR less than a year into release, and it bodes even worse for MMORPG gaming in general. Now, the only giant left in business is Blizzard's World of Warcraft, and even THEY'VE been struggling with the recent expansion release Mists of Pandaria. In the advent of MMORPG gaming around 2002-2003 ish, you had World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, Final Fantasy XI, and Everquest II to name a few that players readily payed $15 a month to play. Now, almost every game is exclusively free-to-play or gone, probably no thanks to Sony & Microsoft's free online services provided via their consoles. The MMO needs a retooling in order to stay alive, and it needs it fast.

Playstation's "Smash Brothers" in Beta"¦does anyone care?

Playstation's All-Stars Battle Royale, a clear ripoff of Nintendo's Super Smash Brothers series, is hosting public beta-testing from October 16th-23rd. While Sony'll be asking questions like, "How does the Hades stage play" and "Is Sly Cooper too overpowered", I'll be asking questions like, ""¦Does anybody care about this game?" I hardly recognize half of Sony's "big name icons" here, which is clearly the big draw of Nintendo's Smash Brothers games. While I'm excited about people like Parappa the Rappa, I'm sure few people know about him and many other fighters on this list. Who the hell is "Fat Princess"??

That's all for this edition of Top of the Flagpole. Be sure to check out these games in the coming weeks:

Forza Horizon- 10/23
Assassins Creed 3- 10/30
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2- 11/13
Epic Mickey 2- 11/18
Playstation All Stars: Battle Royale- 11/20
Far Cry 3- 12/04
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