Top of the Flagpole
Quick Hits on the Gaming Industry
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.

Aw, sex changes are adorable!

So you know how Legend of Zelda's main character Link is a dude? Well, one father who was attempting to get his daughter into gaming hacked Wind Waker's in-game text to effectively change Link into a girl. This definitely ranks as one of the most adorable things I've ever heard a father do to try and bond with his daughter"¦although couldn't he have just, uhm, bought a videogame with a female heroine instead? Yep. They exist. Quick, someone call the 1950s!!!!!

A step in the right direction for Videogame Movies:

Okay, we all know how badly game-to-movie conversions go (unless you're Battleship!!), but two major videogame franchises with confirmed movie adaptations have just made really encouraging moves. Assassin's Creed signed deals with Michael Fassbender to produce/act and New Regency to help with financing. Usually, videogame film adaptations are licensing pacts between game developers and film developers, with the gamemakers having little to no say in how the film is developed. But for Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft has full creative control, with New Regency strictly handling budgeting. Another gaming franchise, Mass Effect, has just announced that its movie adaptation will not be written by Thor and I am Legend writer Mark Protosevich, but instead by newcomer Morgan Foehl"¦who claims to have gotten the gig simply for "being a huge fan of the series". My anger for that Mass Effect writer bit aside (I COULD'VE BEEN THE WRITER!!!), this is great news for videogame movie adaptations in general. The plotlines for said movies need to be written by gamers, and those who experience said game plotlines, not some overbloated Hollywood film company who just so happens to like "that stabby guy in the white robe".

Wait, how big is it???

So as a big middle finger to the Technology Gods, Rockstar Games has declared that Grand Theft Auto 5 will feature a world map that is bigger than GTA4, GTA: San Andreas, and Red Dead Redemption"¦combined. To that I say, HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?? Apparently they're also including ocean (and ocean floor) and interior space, which will have a bigger focus as opposed to past GTA games' focus on outer city with just a few indoor locales. The shift clearly shows that the success of competitor Bethesda's Skyrim is influencing Rockstar's outlook on their games.

A shift in mobile gaming?

With crazy new iPhone and Android games coming out like The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-Earth, FIFA13, and even Minecraft, videogame companies like Mojang and EA Games seem to be dipping into unexplored territory: hardcore mobile gaming. I get the appeal: gamers can have all their favorite games, WITHOUT another thing to add to their pockets, right at their fingertips at even the most inconvenient times. While I applaud the advance in this direction, I think there are simply too many technical limitations for a feasible push to hardcore mobile games. Once phones start getting higher-powered batteries, gaming companies should create Cloud Servers for gamers to store their downloaded games to alleviate phone space. Get the battery life and phone storage limitations out of the way, and maybe we can start talking about mobile games other than Angry Birds: [Insert Holiday] Edition here.

See, didn't I tell you it sounds REALLY DUMB when you say it out loud?? Getting past it's awful name, the WiiU goes on sale November 18th, and Nintendo is hosting a midnight launch event at the Nintendo World Store at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, rain or shine"¦or hurricane"¦or nor'easter (or fire tornado, my next bet for NY's woes). Looking at standard packaging, you can see traces of Nintendo's attempts to assuage some of Sony & Microsoft's fanbase. The system is much bigger in size, and it's recommended to operate in a horizontal position. The "Classic WiiU Controller" is also clearly modeled after the Xbox360's controller. The separate screen stylus controller even sorta looks like an oversized PSP. But in the end, as long as I can still make Miis that look suspiciously like ex-girlfriends I haven't gotten over, Nintendo can model itself off of whomever it wants.

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

Paper Mario: Sticker Star - 11/11
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2- 11/13
Wii U Launch- 11/18
Epic Mickey 2- 11/18
Scribblenauts Unlimited - 11/18
New Super Mario Bros. U - 11/18
Playstation All Stars: Battle Royale- 11/20
Far Cry 3- 12/04
Guardians of Middle-earth - 12/04
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