Gaming Pop Quiz: Summer 2011 Edition

Listen, guys. I’ve got some news. We’re already halfway through 2011. No, we didn’t all hop in a time machine together and jump to July. That’s just the way these things go sometimes. One minute, you’re waiting for Portal 2 to come out, the next you’re wondering why Portal 3 wasn’t announced at E3 the month before. Seriously, time likes to do that kind of thing.

Since we’re closing in on the fall that gaming will never forget, we thought it would be good to drop in and hit you guys up with another pop quiz. People are supposed to loathe these things, but you guys seem to shred them to pieces like little vicious animals. And we love you for it. Hopefully, you’ll love us for these new questions. The “soapbox” question was such a big hit last time we decided to keep it for this go around as well. You’re welcome.

As always with our getting-to-know-you type games, feel free to answer with as much or as little as you like. Answer to the best of your ability. Go!

1. Now that 2011 is halfway over, do you feel that it’s lived up to some of its hype?

2. After E3, what game has suddenly landed on your radar that wasn’t there before? Did any slide off your radar?

3. If you had to narrow your gaming backlog down to just one game, which would it be?

4. What game is getting too much or not enough hype?

5. Could mod tools ever be as great a success on the consoles as they are on the PC?

6. If you could remove one franchise from the history of gaming forever, which one would it be and why?

7. Soapbox: What gaming issue has been on your mind most recently?

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

11 thoughts on “Gaming Pop Quiz: Summer 2011 Edition”

  1. 1. Yes; Killzone 3, Portal 2, LA Noire, etc. have all been great games. The hype train going off the rails is a bigger concern this fall with so many BIG titles, IMO.

    2. Defiantly Saints Row The Third. Nothing really slid off that I can think of.

    3. Infamous 2.

    4. Too much hype = BioShock Infinite (It looks good but it didn’t seem THAT amazing); Not enough hype = Deus Ex Human Revolution (So much potential)

    5. Doubtful, the amount of delicacy and control to create mods works on the computer BECAUSE its the original programing machine. When programing a xbox 360 game, its done on a PC not on an xbox 360. That being said little big planet has demonstrated that it is possible.

    6. That is a DAMN good question. I know this is blasphemy but I think all Call of Duty games. Let me be clear, I love the Call of Duty games, even the Modern Warfare games are freaking awesome. But this series has done so much damage to video game design. It’s popularity combined with linear design has pushed all games in that direction and after going back an playing games like the original doom, duke 3d, rise of the triad, etc. it makes me sad…

    7. – Terrible level design: What the frak happened to crazy cool huge levels. Now their generic tunnels designed to hold your hand. LAME!
    – That and companies getting hacked. WTF!

  2. 1.) Now that I recall, I didn’t buy many games this half-year. I was disappointed with Brink and LA Noire, but I think the latter part of the year (and early 2012) will be excellent. All in all, the hype train was alright this half-year.

    2.) I went dark during E3, but the games I’m looking forward to are Deus Ex 3, Skyrim, Mass Effect 3, and Battlefield 3.

    3.) Fallout New Vegas

    4.) Modern Warfare 3 is getting too much hype. Seriously? A whole con? The only redeemable thing is that they’re giving some of the money to veterans. Deus Ex 3 on the other hand is being overlooked. It looks like it’s gonna be excellent; although, I don’t want to be tempted by trailers and stuff because I don’t want to ruin my first experience. So I guess it’s best that DX3 is remaining mysterious and alluring.

    5.) I think it’d be cool to have a set of powerful mod tools via the consoles. I doubt the console mod UI would be as comprehensive as a PC mod UI, but I think it’s certainly possible.

    6.) Sonic. GET OFF MY INTERNET, YOU!

    7.) Like Apollo, I’ve been thinking about Level Design. I just bought the original Deus Ex on Steam for just $2.50 (TWO DOLLARS AND A RAPPER!) because they had a sale yesterday and the day before. I bought it with just 3 hours left, lol. So far, I’ve been loving Deus Ex and I can see why everyone hails it as a masterpiece. It came out in 2000, and I’m having more fun than I’ve had with many modern games. It’s great to see how well this game has aged.
    The main thing that makes DX1 so great is its level design. The first real mission is on Liberty Island, and you must rescue an imprisoned fellow UNATCO agent, clear out the island of terrorists, and capture the terrorist leader at the top of the Statue of Liberty. The mission gives you a ton of options including how to enter the Statue, whether to engage enemies or sneak by them, and how to use your items and skills to solve puzzles and complete the objective. It’s one of the most open games I’ve ever played, and the only other games that are more open-world are Fallout and such. Deus Ex is technically a mission-based shooter; like Half Life but with story and more items and skills.
    And this is back in 2000. Come on people, we need more games like DX1 where the player can choose how to equip themselves with items and skills and then decide how to approach each mission objective and even each enemy. I played through the first mission several times, each time with radically different skills and strategy. I’d like to see more open-world games allow for that kind of variability in their missions.

  3. 1. I dont really feel like it has. I havent been wowed with anything at all. That will change in November, when the gaming industry floods the earth with too many good titles in too short a period of time and most likely eliminates half of the good ones by overshadowing them. But so far, no.

    2. BIoshock Infinite and Saints Row 3. None were knocked off

    3. Backlog, as in games I havent played? None really. I havent been itching to play anything old. I think if I had to choose one of the upcoming titles, this would be harder. In that case, I would go with Skyrim.

    4. Too much: MW3 Too little: Maybe Ghost Recon. I want to see more.

    5. Yes. It would be very watered down to fit console, but of course they would. After seeing what mods can do for games, its weird that mods are not available for console. I blame the infrastructure of consoles for that though. Hopefully it will change. Just look at this GTA IV Mod –

    6. Honestly I cant answer this one. I may come back to it, but I really dont know.

    7. Soapbox: There are two
    1. Too many games are coming out this Fall in too short of time. I think the gaming industry is kicking itself in the nuts with this one. Good games WILL get overshadowed and loose out. Good job

    2. New Consoles next year….F you Nintendo. The Wii U will be a failure just like the Wii was, it offerend nothing new. With its 1 ipadcontroller per console and its lack of anything really solid, they pushed out a ‘next gen’ (I say that very lightly) console and now have forced the other companies to push out their product. We are NOT ready. What happened to “Oh the PS3/360 have LOTS of life left in them” Sounds like that notion did a 180. So now we get mediocre upgrades most likely with no 3D support and probably a lack of really innovative features. And no an ipad in your controller is NOT Innovative. Im sad to say I’ve been thinking about the new system announcements and its sad to say but I dont think they will incorporate enough new tech to make them truly “next generation”

  4. 1. Yes and no. So far I’ve loved Portal 2 and LA Noire did some things that really blew me away. Dragon Age 2 was a disappointment, but it was still fun to play while it lasted.

    2. While I was excited about Saint’s Row 3 before, E3 kicked that into a new stratosphere after the demonstration they gave. I was expecting to like what I saw, but I was blown away by it. That and Skyrim, which I’ve written too many words about on this site.

    3. Final Fantasy VI. I will finish it soon, Anthony, I promise. It’s going with me on vacation this weekend.

    4. Too much: Bioshock Infinite. While it sounds incredible, the game is still a year out. I’m surprised we’re seeing so much about it. Not enough: Arkham City. I know we’re seeing quite a bit about it, but I think people might be underestimating how incredible this game could be. We’ll just see when it comes out.

    5. Not as great of a success because of the nature of the platforms we’re talking about, but I think any time mod tool are accessible, they tend to thrive. I’d love to see more user created content for tons of console games, just to see what people would do with them.

    6. I’d be tempted to give a +1 to Sonic, but I can’t forget those games and what they did. Honestly, too many franchises mean too much to gaming to really narrow this down. As overblown as the CoD franchise is at times, it’s given me fond memories. I think I would say Killzone or Fable, actually. They are both the most lackluster AAA exclusives I can imagine.

    7. For me, my soapbox is mostly about gaming journalism (again). I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even look at gaming sites now. I’d rather just get my news from Twitter and play games and talk to you guys about it here. It’s a shame we don’t have the audience to actively try to raise the level of discourse around games, but I’m cool with our little pocket we’ve got here. I think the other thing that goes hand in hand with this is there’s less worth writing about in games in general these days. It’s not a “ain’t like they used to be” kind of thing, but there’s definitely less substance and heart in the games we play. The ones that resonate with us most are the ones that touch that spot. Hard to explain. Maybe I’ll flesh this out more in a feature…

  5. 1. Not really. We’ve had a couple great game, both retail and downloadable, but we don’t hit the mother lode until later this year.

    2. Saint’s Row: The Third. That game blew a lot of people away.

    3. The Witcher 2.

    4. Modern Warfare 3, but how else do you let the bros know?

    5. PC players are really interested in the modding scene, while most console gamers would probably find it too complex. That’s just a guess though; things like Forge Mode and LBP show that people do have an interest in this sort of thing, albeit at a simple level.

    6. This is a tough one. If I could remove the massive shadow CoD has cast over game design, I would. Duke Nukem would probably be the second one, if only to get rid of the atrocity of DNF. As an experiment, I’d take Halo off the Xbox and put it back on the Mac. Would Microsoft still be in the console business?

    7. The ramp up to next gen. We all know it’s coming, but when? How much? What will be different? I’m mostly concerned about the price, and when it’s going to drop. I’ve heard increasing rumors that the Xbox Successor will be unveiled at E3 2012 for a Holiday season release. Halo 4 launching with a new Xbox would be a killer move.

  6. 1.
    Not really, but I’m sure the next few months will more than make up for it. Yeah we’ve had a few good games released but there have been some real disappointments too.

    Definitely pumped for Skyrim now. I’m also really looking forward to Arkham City now that I’m playing through Asylum.

    Probably Assassins Creed 2 or The Witcher 2

    Too much – Uncharted 3. But I will put a disclaimer on that, I’ve never played an Uncharted game, so to me there’s nothing special about the series, sure it looks nice, but never having played I don’t get the hype surronding it. Nothing against the game, this one is all on me.
    Not Enough – The Last Guardian. Sure its always on everyones lips whenever a big show is approaching, but everytime it doesn’t show I just get the feeling that people get more and more let down. If we don’t see something solid soon I wonder how it will perform. Especially considering that Ico and SotC never set the world on fire sales wise.

    I think they could be, but there would need to be a lot more investment in it on the part of the developers.

    To be honest, I can’t think of one where its effect has been a net negative. Even franchises like Madden or Call of Duty or Guitar Hero, which often absorb a lot of the hate, have contributed some great positives to the industry as well.

    I’m going to throw up a positive answer to this one for a change (and I don’t want to copy and paste my last answer to this question). The response by fans of “Extra Credits” on The Escapist to Allison’s shoulder injury was nothing short of awe-inspiring. For those that don’t know, Allison suffered a major shoulder injury a couple of weeks ago, and her insurance company wouldn’t cover the surgery (saying it was a pre-existing condition). James, one of the other co-creators set up a donation page to try and raise $15,000 over 60 days to pay for the surgery and to pay guest artists so they could keep working on the show. The goal was met within 6 hours. SIX FREAKING HOURS!! In a day it was over $25,000. In 3 days it was over $60,000. Now, after a week almost $78,000 has been raised. All this from a group of gamers that are stereotypically portrayed as anti-social, uncaring, violent, all those other good things. It was wonderful to see people banding together to help out someone who really deserves it. If you haven’t seen the show I really do recommend you check it out. James, Daniel and Allison have some great things to say about the industry and if everyone watched it, they really would help move the industry to a better place, I feel.

  7. 1. I don’t remember the first half of 2011 begin that hyped up, but it’s been great. LBP2 and Portal 2 were both excellent. I haven’t played LA Noire, Infamous 2, or Witcher 2 yet, but all are supposed to be excellent games. And I just played the under-the-radar but way-too-much-fun Shadows of the Damned. Outland was a good downloadable title. I’ve been happy.

    2. I’m really excited to see how Tomb Raider turns out. I’m all set to be disappointed, but I want it to be good.

    3. LA Noire

    4. Whenever I see something written about Dark Souls, no one has anything but good things to say, but it’s in the enormous shadow of Skyrim (which I am way too excited for, as well) so it hasn’t really gotten the hype I think it deserves. Also, shut up Battlefield and Call of Duty.

    5. The extent of my modding knowledge begins and ends with LBP, but the way it seems to me is that modding would be a little too difficult on console, and so I’m not sure people would take the time to learn it. Then again, someone took the time to do this (, soooo…

    6. Super Smash Bros.

    7. I know it’s talked about too much, but I really hate the Kinect. As far as I can tell, there’s nothing redeeming about it. Now they’re trying to make games for core gamers (Star Wars and Rise of Nightmares), but they look absolutely awful. Not to mention core gamers like to play for many hours, and I can’t really see any of them wanting to stand up for that long. That, and I can’t wait for Battlefield 3 to come out, so I don’t have to see that goddamn add every time I want to watch a video game trailer. And one more thing… ( – just the first picture.

  8. 1. Now that 2011 is halfway over, do you feel that it’s ived up to some of its hype?

    Some. I’ve only played 3 games released in 2011 so far but KZ3, DA2 and LA Noire are all fine games. I’ll have to get those that I’m missing before the big releases drop.

    2. After E3, what game has suddenly landed on your radar that wasn’t there before? Did any slide off your radar?

    Dust 514 looks set to be something very cool. Cant waig to see more.

    3. If you had to narrow your gaming backlog down to just one game, which would it be?

    Portal 2. Hurry up me! The magic will disappear soon!

    4. What game is getting too much or not enough hype

    MW3. I’m sure I don’t have to elaborate. I’m getting it, sure, but… well, it won’t be the best game ever or anything.

    5. Could mod tools ever be as great a success on the consoles as they are on the PC?

    No. Too many console gamers just don’t understand. Hell, I don’t even fully understand so I’m being very hypocritical. I would catch on quick though. LBP proves the creativity is there but is the know how? It would probably be too niche.

    6. If you could remove one franchise from the history of gaming forever, which one would it be and why?

    COD. I love it and all, but look at what it’s done to the industry. ‘Twould be a minor sacrifice.

    7. Soapbox: What gaming issue has been on your min most recently?

    Fall game releases. I’ll never keep up THIS year, BUT at least next year I can catch up. BUT, there’s barely anything NEW coming out!

  9. 1. Definitely, we’ve had some amazing games already, like Portal 2, L.A. Noir, and Dead Space 2. I am really looking forward to this fall.

    2. FarCry 3, it’s looking pretty good from what I’ve seen in the gameplay they’ve released from E3. Nothing has fallen off my radar though, I’m a little worried about 2012 though, there were practically no announcements for games to come out next year.

    3. Bioshock. I have it, but I just need to put time aside from other games to play it.

    4. Battlefield 3 is probably getting too much hype, don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to the game, but it is getting a lot of hype.

    5. No, one of the main reasons the big three are sticking to consoles is because it’s harder to mod on them. Many companies don’t like people “messing” with their games and you can be sure they will try their hardest to prevent modding on the next generation of consoles, but it won’t work, it never does, people will always get through whatever protection they add to it, it’s a fact, so why do developers try so hard to stop people? Because they think they can, and that any software they put onto the systems will actually stop people from modding on their systems. It would take a company that would give the players the tools to mod on console games right on a game’s disc for console modding to increase in popularity.

    6. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. It’s done nobody any favors.

    7. My answer for question five pretty much sums it up.

  10. 1. By and large, yes. The year of the PS3 took a serious hit in the PSN debacle, but I think things have smoothed out a good bit and Sony is hitting its stride again. Games-wise, Portal 2 and L.A. Noire both met my high expectations, so it’s all gravy so far.

    2. I’ve never been a Battlefield player, but the tank trailer definitely piqued my interest.

    3. If push came to shove, I’d have to go with Mass Effect 2.

    4. I can’t think of too many commercial titles that AREN’T over-hyped, unless they’re flying completely under the radar (i.e. Last Guardian). Hype’s not the right word, but it would be nice to see a better awareness-generating machine for indie titles. Which this site happens to do a pretty decent job of, I should mention.

    5. In a word, no.

    6. Damn, that’s a brutal question. It would be interesting to see where the industry would be without the influence of, say, Super Mario Bros. or Wolfenstein/Doom, but I’d rather punish the Tony Hawk series for the hours they stole from my life.

    7. Not really a soapbox kinda guy, but the consolidated fall release bonanza continues to annoy me.

  11. 1. Yes, both major games I’ve played Portal 2 and The Witcher 2 have been fantastic, The Witcher 2 completely came out of nowhere and was much better than I expected.

    2. Bioshock :Infinite, I didn’t expect to hear this much about it this far out before release; X-COM fell off my radar from what I heard it looked like a ME rip-off.

    3. F.E.A.R. 1 (and 2) because I picked them up cheap on Steam.

    4. Bohemia Interactive’s Carrier Command was mostly ignored, yet looks amazing. I, personally think Skyrim was getting a little too much hype at E3.

    5. In the sense as they are in PC games I doubt it, but stuff like LBP or Forge or something like GMod would be great for console.

    6. CoD, so my friends would play something else. Call me crazy but Half-Life, it would be very interesting to see how the modern shooter evolved without it.

    7. The next console gen, and how its possible the Wii-U looks so terrible.

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