Which Side Are You On? A History of Winners and Losers

Though Game Losers fully launched this past April, the site itself has existed for several years in various iterations. For those of you truly in the know, you might know that the domain name is sort of an homage to the video game site GameWinners, which has been dedicated to cheat codes and hints for video games since the late 1990s. The histories of both these sites are very intertwined and I’d like to illuminate them both in a very special feature this week. Continue reading Which Side Are You On? A History of Winners and Losers

Revenge of the Clones: The State of the Sandbox Game

Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way: Watch Dogs blew it. It blew it so badly that I won’t even dignify its title with the underscore that’s supposed to be in there. Full disclosure: I haven’t played it but I know enough. Take your pick: the fact that it’s literally unfinished, the low level of optimization on non-Nvidia cards, or you can read this baffling Polygon review that calls out WD for its problematic handling of race, gender, and gender identity but still gives it an eight out of ten.

It’s time to take stock. Watch Dogs could have been great; the hacking mechanics are brilliant but badly implemented, and Ubisoft definitely mishandled the launch. Instead, we can shelve it in the category of “GTA Clones – Bad” right next to Grand Theft Auto V and Driv3r. It just goes to show you that—

What?

Yeah, GTAV wasn’t good. Continue reading Revenge of the Clones: The State of the Sandbox Game

The Final Challenge: Palestine and the Phillipines

Chris Greatwich’s Twitter profile reads as follows: “Professional footballer and Academy Director at Kaya FC. On occasion, I bang in a few goals for the Philippine National Team.” One of those goals came in the final minute of stoppage time at the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup to salvage a 1-1 draw against relative titans Singapore. Another came in the very next match against Vietnam, opening up a 1-0 lead in what would become a 2-0 victory. Still another—perhaps the most important one yet—came just yesterday in the semi-finals of the 2014 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Challenge Cup against host country Maldives. It put the Azkals ahead 3-2 in extra time, broke Maldivian hearts, and sent them to their first-ever Challenge Cup final.


 

Jawhar Nasser Jawhar and Adam Abd al-Raouf Halabiya will never play football again. The two Palestinian teenagers were returning home when, at a checkpoint, they were shot repeatedly in the feet, mauled by attack dogs, and beaten by Israeli forces. Both survived, but will be fortunate just to be able to walk again. A Border Police spokesman said that they had been carrying bombs and had been the instigators. But they were also football players. Jawhar took nearly a dozen bullets to his feet and Halabiya took one in each of his feet. Their country won 2-0 against Afghanistan in their semi-final match in the AFC Challenge Cup amid continuing cries for Israel to be kicked out of FIFA.

Continue reading The Final Challenge: Palestine and the Phillipines

Little Rough, Don’t You Think

Resident Evil 4, like the zombies the series is known for, just won’t die. Since its original release in January of 2005 for the Nintendo GameCube, it’s been updated, ported, rereleased, enhanced, and so on, for several systems and platforms. By now, the original RE4 sleeve for the GCN is downright funny, because of the “Only For” triangle in the upper left reserved for GameCube exclusives.

An exercise in what could have been.
An exercise in what could have been.

That small triangle belies a great deal of shit going down behind the scenes. In what was supposed to be a desperately needed third-party show of support for the GCN, Capcom announced five games that would ostensibly be GCN-exclusive. RE4 was one of them—the other four were Viewtiful Joe, P.N.03, Killer7, and Dead Phoenix. Read this IGN article and try not to get overwhelmed by the dramatic irony. Of those five, one was canceled, two were ported to the PS2 at later dates, and one saw a simultaneous GCN/PS2 release. Only P.N.03 stayed GCN-exclusive, and it wasn’t even that good.

Continue reading Little Rough, Don’t You Think

The New Revolution: Nintendo’s Renaissance

(Note from the Editor-In-Chief: This article was written before Nintendo’s disappointing response to pleas for equality in Tomodachi Life. While my points in the article still stand and while I still love Nintendo, I cannot pretend they are a flawless company. Until they offer all gamers an equal experience, they will never be flawless. I hold out hope that Nintendo will be a trailblazer not just in video games but in equality. They have listened to the voices of their audience before; those voices are rightly louder than ever now.)

In September 2005, Nintendo changed the game.

This is Satoru Iwata’s keynote speech at the 2005 Tokyo Game Show, an event not usually attended by Nintendo. I recommend watching the entire video, though it cuts off early and the second part is nowhere to be found. But if you want to skip to the important stuff, the video showcasing the Wii (then codenamed “Revolution”) controller for the first time begins at 3:30 and, more importantly, Iwata takes out a prototype and begins to speak about it at 5:45. He holds it up, triumphant, as thousands of cameras flash, seeking to capture a once-in-a-lifetime moment. He knew then that Nintendo was right to codename the Wii “Revolution.” The Revolution began with that controller in the air.

That said, the Revolution had been announced and teased at E3 earlier that year.

Continue reading The New Revolution: Nintendo’s Renaissance

The Hidden Politics Of Counter-Strike 1.6

Special to Game Losers by The Class Conscious Gamer

“Remember, terrorism is the surgical strike capability of the oppressed. Keep on keepin’ on!”

–Man selling T-shirts, Slacker, 1991

As an Anarcho-Foyeurist and political radical in general, I thoroughly believe politics penetrates every corner of the mind and every facet of society. As such, I do not believe there to be a single work of art or creation of man untouched by some form of ideology, no matter how small or how big. To this end, today I’ll be writing about what I have analyzed to be an underlying ideology in the 1999 video game “modification”-cum-retail product Counter-Strike, colloquially referred to among gamers as Counter-Strike 1.6.

Continue reading The Hidden Politics Of Counter-Strike 1.6

This Kong’s One Hell Of A Game, Pt. II

(For Pt. I of this column, click here)

Donkey Kong 64 almost never happened.

It was originally rumored to be a title for the extremely ill-fated 64DD extension for the Nintendo 64. The 64DD was plagued by a long development cycle and, as a result of that, neglect from Nintendo. Only released in Japan near the end of the N64 lifecycle, just ten 64DD games were ever released. Many more games were, at some point in time, in development for the 64DD. Some games, like Paper Mario, the two N64 Zelda games, and Kirby 64 were eventually released for the N64. Others, like Cubivore, were eventually released for the GameCube. Mother 3 saw life as a GBA title released only in Japan, but it was initially “EarthBound 64.” Games like Fire Emblem 64 never saw life.

Thankfully, DK64 never officially went into development for the 64DD. As the first 3D Donkey Kong game (for the record, Super Smash Bros. was released earlier in 1999), there were a lot of things Rare could do with it. Because of this, they got … ambitious … in the early stages of development.

If he shoots ya, it's gonna hurt!
If he shoots ya, it’s gonna hurt!

Yeah, they gave Donkey Kong a real gun. Continue reading This Kong’s One Hell Of A Game, Pt. II

This Kong’s One Hell Of A Game, Part I

So I’ve been playing Donkey Kong 64 lately.

This isn’t the case of revisiting an old favorite. I’m playing DK64 for the first time. I missed out on it when I was a kid, not because I didn’t have a Nintendo 64 (I did), and because I didn’t have the necessary Expansion Pak (I did). I just missed out on it. Continue reading This Kong’s One Hell Of A Game, Part I