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Defunct Games RECAPPED!! August 2007 Edition
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on September 04, 2007   |   Episode 25 (Show Archive)  

   
You just spent all month getting ready for the Penny Arcade Expo, you realized that there's absolutely nothing good on TV, and sent Owen Wilson a whole basket of get well cookies. It sounds like you just barely survived August 2007! It's a month that brought us a super good movie called Superbad and a super bad movie called Rush Hour 3, a four-player co-op mode in Halo 3, and BioShock. But just because you back down and decided to edit all the cool stuff out of your game, Manhunt 2, that does mean that you have to miss out on all of the fun. This is Defunct Games RECAPPED!!, your monthly guide to the best and worst of the last 31 days. This is all the stuff you missed, all the stuff you forgot about and all the stuff you can't wait to see again! So there's no need to sexually assault me in a public bathroom, Larry Craig, because Defunct Games has you covered. Prepared to be horrified by the best articles and reviews of August 2007!
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Why This Article? At this year's PAX there were lines around the entire exhibition hall full of people waiting to play Electronic Arts newest game. What game could it possibly be? Perhaps the newest Madden? Or maybe it was Burnout Paradise? Army of Two? Nope, it wasn't any of those. It was Rock Band, the crazy new music game that allows four people to get together and play the guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Everybody wanted to see what Rock Band was all about, and for good reason, the game is set to be one of the biggest (and most expensive) games of the year.

But on the same day that everybody couldn't get enough Rock Band, Defunct Games was able to secure the exclusive rights to Harmonix's next big music game. Think having four people together in the same room playing different instruments is ambitious? Think again! Because four-player music games is a thing of the past, it's so 2007. We're looking into the future and bringing you the first information on something even bigger and better ... I'm talking about a game that allows you to play 19 players at the exact same time. That's right, 19 people! With downloadable music from Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington, Big Band is set to catch the world on fire and show everybody why swing music is the future of MTV. This is a game you won't see on GameSpot, IGN or 1up ... it's the kind of preview you can only find at Defunct Games. If you want the exclusive first look at the most important game of 2008 then you've come to the right place, because Defunct Games is your official source for all of the completely fake music games coming to a game system near you. It sounds too good to be true because it is too good to be true, and that's why we don't even blink when we say that our exclusive preview of Big Band is the best article of August 2007!

Post-Article Thoughts: "This was the article that went up for the first day of PAX. But did you know that this article came about at the very last minute? It was the Tuesday before PAX and I was stressing out over not having enough time to come up with interview questions, come up with Service Gaming questions (see: the third best article of August), write all of the reviews I needed to finish, get another episode of This Week in Defunct Games under my belt, and finish an article for both Wednesday and Friday. I just didn't know what to do, so I decided to go back and look at my old notes for some inspiration. And that's when it hit me; I've had the idea of Big Band but never fleshed it out. Over the next 24 hours I quickly came up with a full article, a picture for the cover, doctored photos of the "fake" instruments, and some truly inspired jokes about classic big band music. I always knew it was a funny concept, but I had no idea what kind of reaction I would have with Big Band. Much to my amazement a lot of people really responded to Big Band preview, to the point where it was the center of conversation for most of my friends. That's when I knew I had a winner, so I decided to talk about Big Band when selling people on Defunct Games at PAX. Everybody at the show seemed to love it, and I credit the site's success that week to this one fake game. It just goes to show that not every article needs to be planned out for months, sometimes a great concept just writes itself." -Cyril Lachel
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Why This Article? It was a tough call for the best article of August, it came down to a bloody battle between our "preview" for Big Band and this, the first Top 10 List we've published in almost two years. Big Band may have won out, but that doesn't mean you should just forget about the Top 10 Things I Learned at PAX 2007, a list of the craziest (and goofiest) moments we saw at the Penny Arcade Expo. This article has it all, outrageous spelling errors, Halo 3, a weird connection between Stranglehold and Tony Hawk, furries, Uwe Boll and much, much more. We're
here to tell it like it is, to show you the side of PAX you don't get from the GameSpots and 1ups of the world. Don't be deceived by the length, there's actually a lot of information to be found in those two pages ... and that's just one of the reasons why we feel that this is the second best article of August!

Post-Article Thoughts: "Because of the importance of shows like E3, Leipzig Game Convention and the Tokyo Game Show, the Penny Arcade Expo tends to get lost in the shuffle. But as interesting as those other conventions are, none of them have the same amount of energy and fun as PAX. Seeing as the Penny Arcade Expo is held just down the street from the Defunct Games offices, we really like supporting the local conventions. What's more, we feel that it's important for these kinds of fan-driven game conventions succeed. What PAX has going for it is that it doesn't feel like a cheap marketing ploy or some corporate run entity ... in short, it's not E for All. Even with attracting close to 40,000 people to this year's event, PAX still retains its indie cred. This just feels like the kind of show a gamer would want to attend, which is why so many people are flocking to downtown Seattle to attend this event. I love what PAX is trying to do, so as long as they keep the focus about the games (and not the advertisers) I will continue to do everything I can to support them. This article isn't much, but we're hoping that it's the kind of content you won't see anywhere else." -Cyril Lachel
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Why This Article? Have you ever wanted to take part in a game show but you're too lazy to actually get up and go to a real life taping? Thanks to Service Gaming: The Show you can take part in a major game show without ever having to leave the comfort of your computer chair. In this episode of Service Gaming we talk to three people attending the Penny Arcade Expo, one who is a PC gamer, one who is working for the convention, and one who tells us he's a hardcore gamer. We asked these three gamers three different questions; it's your job
to figure out if these gamers got the answers right or wrong. It's that simple. This may not be the most in depth article we've written or the most pressing story about PAX you will ever read, but it is a fun little game that we think you'll have a good time playing. This month is full of other stories for the hardcore gamer; we feel that this is the perfect alternative to stories about news bias, Middle Eastern games and classic game conventions.

Post-Article Thoughts: "When I went to the Penny Arcade Expo this year I had two things I knew I wanted to get done. First up I knew that I needed to shore up my list of contacts, especially going into the busy holiday season. But more importantly, I needed to get some interviews with real gamers for more exciting episodes of Service Gaming. Service Gaming was Defunct Games' first game show, it was a simple concept that everybody seemed to love from the very start. But even though I love finding people, asking them questions and having you figure out how they answered, to date we have only done five episodes. That's five episodes in six years ... that's not a very good track record. But I'm doing what I can to improve our average, there will be at least one more PAX-related episode of Service Gaming coming up in the next few weeks, but in the mean time I suggest you go ahead and check out Joker's Wild, our first new episode since June of 2006." -Cyril Lachel
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Why This Article? With thousands of different video game websites populating the internet it's hard to tell the difference between them. Yet Next Generation manages to set itself apart from the crowd by offering well researched stories about the business side of the games industry. This attention to reporting also shows up on Game Theory, a podcast that was born out of the ashes of the Next Generation internet radio show. For close to twenty episodes we've enjoyed listening to Colin Campbell and Gary Whitta pontificate about the most important stories of the week, generally with a good sense of humor and a soothing British accent. But lately the Game Theory podcasters have been using their popular MP3 recordings to rally against
Sony's first portable game system, the PSP. Unfortunately instead of pointing out real faults with the console, Game Theory has decided to misrepresent Sony's announcements, ignore a number of high quality games, and completely gloss over the strong system sales. In other words, in order to make their argument they need to ignore a lot of the facts. Defunct Games is proud to bring those facts up in order to offer balance to these arguments. In our 131st episode of the On Running Feud we take a look at Game Theory's Flawed PSP Theory. Now is your chance to find out what they said ... and then find out the truth.

Post-Article Thoughts: "When it comes right down to it I will do whatever it takes to defend the underdog. That's how this whole site got started; I wanted to rescue the consoles that were getting a bad rap, systems like the TurboGrafx-16, Jaguar and Sega CD. Like it or not, the Sony PSP is the underdog in this fight ... it's a unit made by a company that is unfamiliar with handheld gaming going up against Nintendo, the undisputed leader in the portable gaming world. But my defense for the PSP is about more than just rooting for the underdog, I am one of those people who has an incredibly good time playing a lot of the games on the system. I also love playing my Nintendo DS, but there are a lot of great games on the PSP that I feel get completely ignored. For that reason I will stand up and argue back when people are telling half truths or mischaracterizing Sony's first foray into the handheld market. I feel that Game Theory's podcast is leaving out important information on purpose in order to strengthen their argument against the system, and as somebody who is looking for some balanced reporting (something Next Generation is generally good at) I felt that it was important to bring it up and pepper in some of those missing details. I received a lot of mail about this, but I think most people can agree that if you have to ignore important facts in order to make your point then chances are your point isn't very important to begin with. Hopefully one day Game Theory will actually play some of the great games on the system (Puzzle Quest, Crush, etc.) and see that the system is about more than just collecting dust." -Cyril Lachel
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Why This Article? Quick: Name me the last time you played a game that focused around somebody who wasn't from the United States or Japan. Don't worry; I'll give you a few more minutes. Give up? That's because most of the games that come out these days revolve around either a patriotic American warrior or some effeminate dude from Japan. But believe it or not there's a whole world of video games out there that don't fit into that stereotype, there are games that come from countries most people don't even think about. This month Adrian Hall decided
to look at two of those games, both hailing from the Middle East. Do Middle Eastern gamers look at gaming the same way the Westerners do? Are they into the same run and gun mentality? Not quite, but you'll be surprised to find out just how many things we have in common with that part of the world. The Road to Damascus Leads to Gaming is the kind of daring article you'll only see on Defunct Games, and that's why we feel it's one of the best articles of August.

Post-Article Thoughts: "Talk about a controversial subject, I knew the moment I read Adrian's On Running Feud that we were going to be inundated with non-stop complaints alleging bias for and against the Palestinians. You just can't win when it comes to a subject like this, people are too eager to assign motives to your writing, assuming that you must have printed this for political reasons. A lot of the viewer email talked about us trivializing the plight of the Palestinians, misunderstanding the whole conflict between these two people, and generally being anti-Semitic. You might not be able to win, but that doesn't mean we have to lose. If we were too afraid to post this kind of article then we would have lost, and that would have been a shame. The people that hated the article are right about one thing, this is a complicated issue that we didn't fully explain or resolve in this one episode of the On Running Feuds. But how can we resolve something like this? All we're trying to do is bring this to the light; we want people to see that there are these kinds of games on the market. And not only that, we feel that it's important to have these kinds of games on the market ... even if you don't agree with their message. Games can be about points of view, and as far as I'm concerned that's just the maturing of our industry. And at the end of the day how can that be a bad thing?" -Cyril Lachel
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Why This Article? Think E3 and PAX were the only two conventions Defunct Games made it to in the last couple months? Think again, because our East Coast correspondent, Lee Miller, managed to take time away from his regularly scheduled Halo 2 gaming to give us a full report on this year's Otakon. This is the second year in a row that we've brought you an article about Otakon, and hopefully
this won't be the last time you see that name spread across the front page of Defunct Games. In this article Lee takes us through every facet of Otakon, from the panel discussions to the crazy costumes to the late-night concerts. Did you miss your chance to check out this gigantic convention last month? Never fear, because Lee weathered the heat (and the crazy people) in order to bring us this fantastic look back at Baltimore's craziest convention of the year!

Post-Article Thoughts: "I like to think of my Otakon articles as a light hearted distraction to the important information based articles, such as the E3 coverage. You don't have to learn anything from me; you just go along for the ride. This year's Defunct Games Otakon experience was marred by illness and mass transit issues, but was still a lot of fun. This year I took a different approach with the article as the event changes very little from year to year, as Cyril said it reads more like a diary entry then a normal article. I hoped that this would distinguish it from last year's article. Regardless of the technique of the article, the event was good for Defunct Games as I managed to promote the site to an entire panel audience after I got asked to help run it and mingled around the game room for a while handing out cards. It's not the industry contacts that Cyril gets, but hey, it's something. I continue to encourage everyone to attend Otakon, and remind you that it's not really an anime convention; it's an all inclusive Asian pop culture event that any gamer could enjoy." -Lee Miller
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Why This Article? It's always fun to look at middle aged men in suits try to look cool. You don't believe me? Then check out this story about the lengths Microsoft employees will go in order to attract the average gamer. In this article we see J Allard in a hoodie, the usually nerdy tech department doing tricks with a skateboard, and how MTV is the kiss of death for Microsoft's street cred. Best of all, we have photographic evidence to back all of these claims up. There's truth
to the old saying that there is nothing sadder than an old hipster, and Microsoft is ready to prove it. Defunct Games proves that it's never too late to make the Xbox team look like complete idiots, especially when it involves a skateboard. And that is just one of the reasons why we consider this On Running Feud to be one of the best articles of August!

Post-Article Thoughts: "This is another one of those articles that came to me as I was digging around through old magazines looking for some spark of inspiration. As I read through the various Microsoft interviews leading up to the launch of the original Xbox I couldn't help but notice how cool everybody was trying to be. J Allard was dressed in tee-shirts and shorts, the tech people were riding skateboards, and everybody was using slightly outdated slang. And then it hit me, ever since launching the Xbox this is exactly what Microsoft has been trying to do. They've kicked nerdy Bill Gates to the side in order to bring on a team of younger, hipper point men who can appeal to that gamer demographic. That would explain why J Allard decided to wear a hoodie at E3 or sit down while giving his press conference. That would explain MTV, The Killers and a lot of other questionable decisions Microsoft has been making over the past few years. So I wrote all of my thoughts down and came up with this solid article. But what makes this article entertaining, in my opinion, is the fact that we have all this photographic evidence of Microsoft employees looking and acting stupid. It's worth it just to see J Allard make a fool of himself on a skateboard." -Cyril Lachel
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Why This Article? Because there are people out there that still need to believe that the Super NES CD is real. Well gang, it's not, and contrary to what the title says, this article is going to prove all your true believers wrong. The Quartermann lies, yet he's the one constant EGM has stuck with since day one. In this episode we discover that the Q-Mann doesn't understand
the difference between a rumor and an editorial, because half of the stuff written in this piece is based on opinion and not hard facts. Nevertheless, we do take a look at everything from the Genesis 2 to the power of the Jaguar (!) to a VR enhanced Virtua Racing to Sonic 3. And that's not all, Quartermann also tries to convince us that the Super NES CD is real and the Neo Geo CD is fake. Oh my head! It's another exciting episode of They Said WHAT?!?, the only show that has the balls to put the Quartermann right in his place!

Post-Article Thoughts: "After posting two episodes in a row that had nothing to do with Electronic Gaming Monthly, I felt that we needed to get back on track. The original concept for They Said WHAT?!? wasn't to make fun of Mitch Gitelman or laugh at Die Hard Game Fan's expense, we wanted to debunk Quartermann, EGM's so-called gossip guru. I never know what I'm going to get when I open up a classic issue of EGM, sometimes Quartermann is right on the money and sometimes he's way off. This time around he was way off ... so way off that half of his "rumors" aren't rumors at all. Most of the stuff he says in this March 1993 issue has more in common with an editorial page than gaming gossip. Think more Op-Ed than Page 6. But thankfully the Q-Mann did deliver some nasty rumors, so this return to form wasn't a total waste of time." -Cyril Lachel
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Why This Article? While most of the Defunct Games staff was hitting E3, PAX and Otakon, Adam was busy seeing what the Classic Games Expo was all about. This year the CGE was held in Las Vegas ... the one place I hope E3 is held next year (I'm serious guys; the entire Defunct Games staff prefers Vegas to LA). In this article Adam bravely journeys into the hearts of the classic game scene to listen to famous old people talk about what they worked on thirty years ago, bid
on expensive (albeit rare) old games/consoles, and check out the brand new homebrew products on display. Are you brave enough to discover the secrets of the Classic Games Expo? We certainly hope so, because we feel that this three page article is worth your time. Why else would we include it on our list of the best articles of August?

Post-Article Thoughts: "Apparently this was a pretty big month for convention recaps. Not only did we continue to offer thoughts about E3, but we also attended the Penny Arcade Expo, Classic Games Expo, and Otakon. Needless to say the Defunct Games staff was very, very busy this month. I really enjoyed Adam's take on the Classic Games Expo, even if he didn't get any juicy interviews or exclusives for the site. Unfortunately he also didn't deliver enough pictures, so we had to spread only ten or twelve images over three pages. Layout woes aside, Never Mind the Bollocks Here's the CGE 2K7 is a well written article that gives you the feeling of what it must be like to go to a classic gaming event like this. The event's biggest problem was that it happened in the wrong month, had it gone on in September or March this would have been a huge deal, but with PAX, Otakon and E3 surrounding it this is one convention that had to fight for attention. Hopefully you'll give the event the attention it deserves by reading Adam's article." -Cyril Lachel
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Why This Article? What would a month be without an episode of Commercial Break, everybody's favorite advertisement-based article? Unfortunately this month's edition isn't as strong as the rest, but the worst episode of Commercial Break is still better than the best article found on other sites (at least, that's
what our overactive egos tell us). In this episode we look at four of the worst commercials of all time, including a 1-900 number for the PlayStation Magazine, a PC port of Super Street Fighter II Turbo, a scary game about pretzels, and the resurrection of the Power Glove. You heard me right; somebody made a game about pretzels! All joking aside, we actually have four abysmal advertisements lined up for you today, so while this is not the best article of August, it's still worth checking out.

Post-Article Thoughts: "The problem with this episode of Commercial Break is that right before I sat down and wrote the article I decided to change what advertising I was going to cover. Instead of going after all computer-related products, I decided to throw in the 1-900 PSM advert and make fun of The Glove. I also ran out of time, since I was rushing to get this (and several other articles) done before I went to PAX. All this added up to an episode of Commercial Break that I am less than thrilled with. That's not to say that there aren't some funny bits in the finished article, but I know that if I had more time and used the original concept this article would have been one of my top three articles of the month. The truth is that not every article is going to work like you want it to, sometimes you throw a bunch of stuff on the wall and hope that something sticks. Masters of Bad Advertising, unfortunately, did not stick." -Cyril Lachel
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