My guest this week is Sam Reich, creator of Dutch West and director of many CollegeHumor's originals including Rejected Wii Games and Street Fighter: The Later Years.

TALKING POINT: What’s the best way to play multiplayer Goldeneye?

Jeff: Being able to see the other players' screen makes GoldenEye a game of speed and accuracy, not stealth. Even the most honest assassin will occasionally glance at what his opponent is up to, especially when there are less than four players. This is a game about keeping your cool in a sudden-death duel, not finding the best weapons. If you don’t want to play License to Kill mode, I think we should just watch TV. I’ll also settle for “slappers only.”

Sam
: License to Kill is a great way to give this shoot ‘em up an element of surgical precision, but there’s no more satisfying Goldeneye mastery than over proximity mines. Put one in the bathroom stall in the Facility or the inside door to the bunker and your opponent will be forced to walk right into their certain death. For added obnoxious points, start singing the funeral song right as they generate. For more, sing it all the way through the game.

Jeff: I always appreciated the elegance of throwing knives. It’s how a gentleman secret agent would do it. Of course a gentleman would never play as OddJob just so he’s short and that much harder to hit, but you get my point. It’s a shame that Goldeneye never saw a proper sequel with online play.

Sam: Nintendo has announced that they’re trying to overcome licensing issues and get Goldeneye on Wii’s Virtual Console. It’s not going to be easy – the developer Rare is now owned by Microsoft and the Bond license is under Activison's control. Still, wouldn’t it be amazing to see this classic updated for online multiplayer? Come on, Nintendo! Fulfill my adolescent fantasies! While you’re at it, bring me Alicia Silverstone on a bed of Dunkaroos.


TALKING POINT: Should Nintendo ever make consoles with regular controllers ever again?

[picture:1619761:small:left:The NES controller is the peace sign of our generation]Sam: Years ago, I excitedly tried “virtual reality” at a Cyber Smith in Boston. Of course, these were choppy, vectorized graphics, and gameplay was difficult because I couldn’t distinguish between people and trees. Nintendo didn’t revolutionize gameplay; other systems had tried this before. What they did is do it very, very well. Wii can’t go back. Wii must go on. Nintendo must further tighten the gap between the hand and screen. Maybe what we need next is a proper PowerGlove.

Jeff: Anyone who doesn’t like the Wii is a jerk, plain and simple. It makes the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 look like Bebop and Rocksteady. However, I’m still not convinced the Wii has a lot to offer serious gamers in the longterm. The best games thus far are minigame collections like Wii Sports, Rayman Raving Rabbids, and WarioWare. What if I want to play something more complex than what my cat can handle? Besides Zelda, which is by all accounts just as great on the GameCube, Nintendo doesn’t have a whole lot to offer in games that will keep you playing after the rest of the world has gone to sleep. Isn’t that what some gamers want?

Sam: Confession time: I couldn’t get into Zelda. Somehow “get the carriage to get the fishing rod to get the fish to get the cat” didn’t strike me as great game play. Despite Red Steel and Splinter Cell, I still find myself returning to Wii Sports and Wario Ware. The controller gimmick will wear off, and Nintendo needs to find their Grand Theft Auto. (As a side note, I’d love to see a Wiimote become a phallus for the Hot Coffee patch.)

Jeff: Nintendo has certainly opened a new market. The Wii is cheap and highly accessible – I could see a lot of casual gamers keeping it around as a toy to break out when company comes over. It’s the modern day equivalent of a board game or hoop & stick or whatever lame-ass shit people did before there were video games. Perhaps the market will split – the Wii becoming the choice for occasional fans and something heavier for more serious gamers.

TALKING POINT: Fifteen years later – SNES or Genesis?

Jeff
: Even after a decade and a half, this argument can be boiled down to the difference between Mario and Sonic. The Sonic series is still fun, but like so many other Genesis games it's Poochie-esque "extreme” attitude has aged poorly. (I’m looking at you Toe Jam & Earl.) Conversely, the 16-bit Mario games remain just as charming today. Even spin-offs like Mario Kart, Mario RPG, and Mario Paint date remarkably well. Sonic’s best side project was a pinball game.

Sam: The comparison isn’t exactly fair. The Genesis came between the NES and SNES. The Super Nintendo was about two years younger than it’s competition, a forever in video games. At the time, Golden Axe and Aladdin seemed vastly superior to Bubble Bobble. Though Sega took us to three buttons, Nintendo brought us to four. A fully 3D Star Fox flew circles around Toe Jam, and Donkey Kong slammed Ecco’s bottle nose against a barrel. An uncensored Kano tore out Aladdin’s heart, held it in front of him and said, “Make three wishes on this, bitch!”

Jeff: Sega’s the one who wanted this fight – they threw down the gauntlet with their “Sega does what Nintendont” ads and now they think they can run away because their system is a little bit older? What are they hiding from? As anyone with a Playstation 3 can tell you, the best technology doesn’t always mean the best games. The Genesis sports titles, from the NHL series to Mutant League Football, were the best of the generation.