Weekend Short-Takes: 12/20/14

Hello loyal readers,

If you've been checking the site for the past few weeks and found nothing coming, we sincerely apologize for that. Rest assured, our project marches on! Rather, we've been tinkering with the format of the Short-Takes themselves. When we originally conceived the Short-Takes, we wanted it to be a shorter format for the news and analysis you wanted to hear about during the past week. And now, taking a step back to gain perspective, we felt it wasn't entirely clear we'd achieved that in our current form, with long blocks of text from multiple people.

So, for the past few weeks, we went back to the drawing board and threw ideas at walls. The new format we settled upon was to have a couple of the team members provide a brief summary of a news article they felt was particularly noteworthy, then expand upon that briefly. Hopefully, this allows everyone to focus on their areas of expertise, improving the quality of the content, while getting you the information and insight you want in a faster and more concise format. 

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Adds Updated Halo 3: ODST for Free



If you played MCC at all between launch and Dec. 19, you'll get the remastered versions of Halo 3: ODST's campaign and the Halo 2 map Relic, both running at 1080p/60fps. You'll also get one month of free Gold, a nameplate, and an avatar item. 


Good move by 343 here to address the broken game; the free content angle is something we've seen from the developers of both DriveClub and AC: Unity as apologies for delivering an unfinished product to retail. What is exceptional in this case, however, is the fact that 343 is not just giving the first map pack away for free. They've actually gone and worked on including something that was not even in their original plans: you'll notice ODST is quite unrelated in any way whatsoever to Master Chief. In this way, it has more impact on the owners: they feel they're truly getting something extra for their troubles, rather than a small oops pass. 


Minecraft to get an episodic, story-based game from Telltale Games



Telltale, the narrative game developer that released the critically acclaimed "The Walking Dead," has now partnered with Mojang to give Minecraft the same story treatment. 


2014 was a veritable goldmine for Telltale. Hot off 2013 successes "The Wolf Among Us" and "The Walking Dead," the company quickly announced a second season for the latter, a game adaptation for the already incredibly successful "Game of Thrones," and began distribution late last month for "Tales from the Borderlands", a collaboration with Gearbox to give that story focused treatment to the otherwise insane shooter. There's nothing to suggest it yet, but I feel that the company is really trying too hard to bank on the success it enjoyed last year, and overextending by tying itself to anything that seems popular in pop culture these days. Previously, the company has really only ever done two such episodic games simultaneously, and now it's attempting four (don't forget The Walking Dead: Season 3). 


GTA V Online Heists Coming in 2015



Rockstar have announced that the Heists multiplayer DLC will finally be coming early next year, a year after it was supposed to launch. The DLC will launch for all platforms the game is currently on: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4, as well as PC when GTA V comes to it early next year. 


Well, at least there's actually a trailer to backup the claim this time. Heists have been both the most awaited and made fun of DLC in the last year, and for good reason. By claiming that the chief initial selling point of GTA Online was just around the corner again and again, Rockstar both upset and confused their audience. Why a feature that seems so integral to Online wasn't packaged with it from the start is baffling, but to Rockstar's credit they have provided a stream of free DLC to keep people happy. As far as making the best of a bad situation, Rockstar have done a fantastic job. But why they put themselves in that situation in the first place just doesn't make sense. Hopefully this time we are actually going to see Heists come out. It'd be nice to actually get something that was promised in pre-release trailers. 


Nintendo currently plotting next console, Miyamoto confirms



Miyamoto has confirmed in interviews that Nintendo has begun planning and plotting the successor console to the two-year-old Wii U console. 


This is not at all surprising given that this is typical for most console development cycles. What will be interesting this time around is how Nintendo will try to bring back people into their fold, having still only made marginal gains from recent staple releases such as Super Smash Bros. It will be also interesting to see what Nintendo will bring to the table in terms of innovation. Looking at their long history of products, both good (Game Boy, DS, Wii) and ill (R.O. B., Virtual Boy), Nintendo has always striven to be on or ahead of the curve in terms of innovation, with others struggling behind. Personally, I would be interested to see Nintendo try and revive a Virtual Boy-like system, given the recent innovations in VR technology.

OmegaZero's picture

Good to see the Short Takes back in action, and let me say I like the new format. It definitely is a return to form and hopefully allows you guys to update more often.

Interesting to see TellTale grow yet another arm, especially for a game that has minimal story. All of their explouts until now have been set in developed universes with known characters, stories and locations, and then just set slightly off to the side from the main event (The Walking Dead, Borderlands, and Game of Thrones). The Wolf Among Us I don't know enough to comment about, but TellTale's Minecraft? They're going to have to invent a whole lot of content, because I can't see them making "punch a tree, dig a hole, dont fall in lava, avoid herobrine" into an episodic story game.

I think it's also worth noting that Nintendo has quadrupled their sales numbers over the last few months with the releases of MK8 and Smash WiiU. To me it seems a little early for them to get into serious development of the next console when the U is only just starting to hit it's stride.

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