Monday, March 30, 2009

Nintendo's hardcore problem (Muthafucka)

Last week, I hung out with the guys (and girls) from our little collective here for some post-school gaming fun. After a quick drumming in Street fighter 4, (on me by Dustin) and before another Halo 3 torture session (as I like to call them) we moved to House of the Dead: Overkill. After reading the write up about the game Dustin did a while ago and with many comments to the effects of "J., you've got to play this game." I said "sure."

And wow.......

While the settings of the game, a nod to corny B-Movie-type backdrops and laughable dialog, I have to say that I'm almost offended by the portrayal of one Detective Isaac Washington. Not to say that the game is racist, but very racially insensitive and stereotypical. I held my head in shame as Mr. Washington dropped the phrase "muthafucka" like it was 1989 and NWA's 'Straight out of Compton' just came out. While comical in it's attempt to recreate Sam Jackson's Muthafucka delivery, I speculated whether Nintendo could be turning a corner. And 'turning a corner' meaning making a U-turn in the middle of a highway. Here's what I thought out loud.......

"This is Nintendo's new deal. Fanboys bitch about there being no games geared towards the hardcore player on the system, here's the answer."

With this and Madworld, also a very violent, very not 'typical' Wii centered game, Nintendo is saying "Look! We are making hardcore games. Now get off our backs! We're counting money." But, with this possible answer the mounting fanbase that feels left out of the fun with themed games, could Nintendo shoot themselves in the foot? The Wii appeal is that it's NOT like "video games." You can pick up and play without getting into a deep story. It's something that your mom can play. It's something that your kids can play with little objectionable content. Could the big N go too far in the other direction? I don't know. Moms and dads could pick this one up (And they will. After working in retail, I can tell you that parents do not read ratings on games), figuring that 'it has to be ok, it's for the Wii' and get a big surprise at the dinner table when little Johnny drops more F-bombs than 50 Cent.

I'll leave it at this: I feel like this could be a bad trend in gaming. With now two kind of high profile games playing with stereotypes to various degrees,if left unquestioned, this could get ugly. I'm not sure if I'm still offended by the game. It's themes and dialog are more eye rollingly bad then we really need to get Jessie Jackson involved. Jessie isn't working. He could use the work.

To end this, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, is House of the Dead: Overkill summed up in 4 minutes. I feel that this kind of says it all. NSFW for f'ing sure......

another random quote from me after playing: "Wow. We really need to do better. We've got a black president now......."


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