“Should old acquaintances be forgot…actually some things in the video game industry should be forgot.”

OVERTHINKING IT: New Year's Resolutions I Wish Video Game Companies Would Make This Year

So basically by the time you’re reading this it’s still early in the new year of 2014. You might have noticed (like every beginning of a new year) people are working hard on their resolutions…only that they’ll likely forget about them sometime around Groundhog’s Day when they’re eating half of the Chick-Fil-a menu.

With my gym being full of “Resolution Idiots” (people who think they’ll lose weight this year by going 2.7 mph on the treadmill) and hordes of people occupying my local Whole Foods so they can “eat healthier” this year (because eating pounds of overpriced sushi is so healthy), I’m constantly surrounded by people who are likely fulfilling empty promises.

Empty promises. You know what that phrase reminds me of? The industry full of empty promises, the video game industry. Which leads me to this overthinking thought. If video game companies made new years resolutions, what would they have proclaimed to the masses before disappointing them? Well, I can overthink a few of them.


1. Nintendo – “We resolve to have less craptastic shovelware on my consoles.”

It seems that these days, Nintendo’s Seal of Quality is easier to obtain than a case of food poisoning from Denny’s. Think about it, back in the day, the seal of quality meant that the game met the high standards of Nintendo and its view on good, clean, fun. I guess since the days of the Wii, Nintendo have laxed their guidelines and allowed barely passable games to get their approval. (Thank God Nintendo isn’t in charge of border security.).

Anyway, like I previously said, the Wii was plagued with shovelware “hits” like “Calvin Tucker’s Redneck Jamboree”, “Chuck E. Cheese’s Party Games”, and “Iron Chef America”. It was inevitable. Games that wouldn’t even be allowed to be on the Xbox Live Arcade’s roster (like “No Luca No”) found themselves a home on the Wii (and in that shelf of games that occupies your local gas station.). But I thought that maybe with the debut of the Wii U and that Nintendo was going to focus more on their older gamer audience/aspect, I thought I would give the benefit of the doubt that they weren’t going to let their system be another dumping ground for more shovelware games.

Well, zoom to a year and some change past the Wii U’s release and well…crap.

So if anything, Nintendo’s New Year’s Resolution should be more quality and less quantity. If I wanted more quantity than quality, I’d start playing games on the iTunes store.


2. EA – “We resolve to actually taking care of my games’ bugs than shipping out what seems to be our playtesting beta.”

Now, I can look past some of EA’s other crimes like enslaving every single fratboy in America to fork over $60 every October for a piece of plastic that should have the words “Yearly Roster Update” on it instead of “Madden” or denying a sequel to a great game like “Dante’s Inferno”. Hell, I can even forgive them making/publishing games like Catwoman (insert gasp of shock from the video game community here).

What I can’t forgive is that they would drop the ball on quality control in their latest games. Take for example, Battlefield 4. Now when it comes to console FPS gaming, I actually prefer the Battlefield series….when I can’t actually play the damn games. I took the opportunity to try out BF4 on a friend’s PS4 only to find out that the game is so bugged, I almost had some temptation to call my local Orkin man to spray my friend’s copy down.

And while I do know that games that are relatively new will have bugs, they shouldn’t have bugs to the point where there are class action lawsuits made for them.

Anyway, EA should be like that person who makes the New Years Resolution to eat healthier and have less toxins in their body. Translation: Do more quality control and have less bugs when they squeeze out a new game.


3. Capcom – “We resolve to not making people pay for the same game four times in a row and to leave politics out of our games.”

Seriously…Ultra Street Fighter 4? Now it’s a good thing that they have the option of digitally upgrading our copies of the game to that latest edition, but knowing the Capcom of today, they’re gonna gouge you for it. I mean, take away the new characters and levels and you basically have one over-hyped and overpriced update patch.

But that isn’t the only problem Capcom has. There’s a reason why I didn’t play the latest Devil May Cry or Dead Rising games. Someone over at Capcom and their developer studios thought it was a good idea to put politics into their game. And I don’t mean a tiny little slip of “oh ho ho look at this piece of current events” I mean they went the full Seth MacFarlane route and made sure that “hey, these are my political views and I’m gonna make sure to demonize those who disagree with me by literally making them demons and zombies”.

Now, if you’ve read my articles (and the other articles I’ve written for other sites), you kind know where I lean and I won’t force my beliefs on you. I’m just addressing the elephant in the room when it comes to Capcom’s latest games and their drive to make sure their political views are shown. Listen, developers of Capcom games, not everyone who plays your games wants to hear your political views. I play games to get away from the stupidity of the government, not to be reminded of it. You want to unnecessarily put in your leftist views in something? Go write for Kotaku.

Anyway, if Capcom was to make any New Years Resolution, they would be like the person who resolves to get in less arguments and putting their politics into everything. Also they’d resolve to not selling the same crap every year and actually sell something people want.


4. Valve – “We resolve to at least show something that we’re showing SOME PROGRESS about Half-Life 3.”

Yeah I know the whole joking phrase that “Valve can’t count to three” is probably as old and worn-out than Psy’s music career but I think Valve could make a resolution to show us something concerning the Half-Life 3 series. Perhaps something that’s more than possible sketches that people found on the back of a cocktail napkin Gabe Newell was using. Perhaps a teaser trailer that’s more vague than the Jim Cramer’s stock market predictions, we can take that. Just something! Make that your new year’s resolution instead of making more hats for TF2.

The only thing I could think of this is that Gabe Newell and George R.R. Martin are in race against each other on who can give their fanbase the largest case of fandom blue balls.


5. Rovio – “We resolve that we make a new original content instead of whoring out milking our only good franchise.”

While testing out my new tablet at my local Barnes and Noble, I decided to see what new games I could put on it so I can waste my time while valeting cars in the cold Arizona weather. I noticed that Angry Birds had a new game called “Angry Birds Go”…which was basically a Mario Kart clone.

“Oh joy, just when I thought they ran out of creativity for this franchise, they found something new,” I said to myself in full blown sarcasm. “What other new ideas will this Finnish God of Apps give to us now?”

I turned around and noticed one of the store’s staff setting up a table of books and low and behold was an Angry Birds cookbook. An Angry Birds cookbook….full of egg recipes.

Lordy, Rovio, I know you’re a business and all but even a crappy-yet-somehow-profit-making company like EA knows when to come up with new ideas (or buy them out). Perhaps you should make your resolution of stepping away from your Angry Birds franchise a bit. (At least enough for some of us to catch up a bit…I’m still trying to three-star all the levels in Angry Birds Rio).


6. Square-Enix – “We resolve to make rereleases of games our fandom actually wants.”

Why in God’s name is Square-Enix making another sequel to FFXIII? Do they even listen to their fanbase? Since showing of the PS3’s graphics can handle a remake of FFVII, Square-Enix’s fans have been screaming for a remake of the game? Did they get it? No! And now we’re already onto the PS4!

Sometimes I wonder if the staff of Square-Enix weren’t living on Mars for the past few years with their eyes shut and their fingers in their ears only to take them out to release craptastic games like “All the Bravest” and that first attempt of Final Fantasy XIV. They are really going down the route of Capcom, sad to say. It’s like the blind leading the blind to a pit of lava filled with heat resistant tiger sharks.

If Square-Enix was to ever make a resolution, I wish that it would listen every once in a while to what its people want. If they’re so gun-ho on the re-release train, make a GOOD re-release of a GOOD game like Final Fantasy VI or another great game from Square’s past like Brave Fencer Mushashi. This course of action is like that one person that resolves to actually shutting up once in a while and actually listening to people.

And there you are, those are the New Years Resolutions I wish video game companies would make this year. I doubt any of them would make them, let alone keep them. I mean we are talking about New Year’s Resolutions anyway. Speaking of which I have to brave my gym now and see if I can find a treadmill that doesn’t smell like diet snapple and pig sweat.