kane_magus: (The_Sims_Medieval)
Well, like I said in the past, if that's actually true, then it just makes what happened with BioWare even worse. I'd actually rather be able to blame it squarely on EA executive meddling, given that the alternative is that BioWare flushed itself down the shitter of its own accord.

Of course, I don't buy it for a single second. You can't tell me that BioWare went from being super-awesome pre-EA to being super-shit post-EA and then honestly expect me to believe that this was due to terrible decisions made solely by BioWare itself with no influence at all from EA. Come on, get serious. You're not fooling anyone with this crap. Especially given the evidence to the contrary with all of the other companies that have been destroyed by EA over the decades in the exact same manner as BioWare is currently being destroyed. Are you going to tell me next that all of those other companies also just coincidentally went from being mostly awesome to being mostly shit after they were gobbled up by EA through no fault of EA itself? Really now.

Also, if being bought by EA was so great, then why exactly is he then advising companies not to sell out to big publishers like they did? Seriously, everything Mr. Zeschuk is saying here positively reeks.

I mean, really, this is the same as how all of the shit going on with SimCity is purely the fault of "Maxis," with EA taking no responsibility for any of it at all.

Man, there have been quite a lot of blatant whoppers coming out of people associated with EA over the past few weeks or so. I mean, even more than is normally the case, that is.
kane_magus: (kanethumb1)
Right. It's totally the fans' fault that these guys left. I'm sure the fact that they headed a company that began producing demonstrably inferior video games after they sold themselves out to EA had nothing whatsoever to do with it. I'm sure that definitely had no effect on the matter at all. Poor, pitiful, tiny baby doctors. I feel so sad for them and their wittle hurt feewings. *eyeroll*

Well, as the old saying goes, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." Looks like they got out of the kitchen all right. I'm sure they're crying into their huge piles of money this very minute.

Seriously though, I do shed a real tear for the BioWare that used to be. This shambling corpse that exists now is BioWare in (diluted and abused) name only.
kane_magus: (Default)
Yeah, I'm not surprised in the slightest. Will this actually fix anything or appease any of the angry players out there? No idea. At least they did what I thought they should do with it, i.e. add stuff that may clarify the endings or whatever, but not change it entirely.

On the plus side, the DLC will apparently be free, so I'll give them that much credit at least. Glad to see that EA didn't sink to its typical low nature in that regard, for once.

Honestly, though, I just can't bring myself to care much either way anymore, outside of the occasional post like this.

/me goes back to refusing to buy the game at all until the inevitable price cuts start going into effect, in tepid defiance of all the other crap that has already been ranted about in previous posts ad nauseam.
kane_magus: (Default)
PC Gamer asked several game writers and designers what they thought about BioWare potentially changing the ending of Mass Effect 3. Very interesting read, I thought. (No spoilers that I can tell, at least not in the article itself, anyway. Beware the comments, but then, that's generally good advice for any article on a site like this.)

I don't really have a horse in this race, at least not yet, since I've already decided for separate[1] reasons that I'm simply going to hold off on getting ME3 at all until some point in the nebulous future. Generally speaking, however, I think I have to side with the "don't change it, even if it's terrible" crowd. Whether or not they insert DLC later that adds to it and perhaps explains or clarifies it or whatever is a whole other kettle of fish altogether, and one that I've ranted about more than enough in the past and won't get into here, but I don't think they should change or remove what is already there.

Then again, as I said, I haven't actually seen the endings yet (though I've been moderately spoiled on the gist of them, and what I've heard does indeed sound rather blah), so maybe the (seemingly) very many people who are truly enraged over the whole thing are right and BioWare should completely scrap and redo the whole thing. I don't know. That's the problem with vocal minorities... you never know if there is a multitude of others out there who are nodding their head in agreement with them, or if there is a multitude of others who wish they'd just stfu with their whining already.

Of course, at this point, I also don't know that I trust EA/BioWare to even have the ability to fix this mess in a proper manner, no matter what they end up doing.

[1] - Looking back on that, though, I'm not sure how the multiplayer is able to "affect the ending" when most people seem to generally agree nowadays that all of the possible endings are crap, and have little or nothing to do with any decisions you do or don't make prior to reaching that point. Huh.
kane_magus: (Default)
"Bioware and EA, meanwhile, have been a little flip-floppy about whether they’re taking the complaints seriously. Initial comments from ME3 lead Casey Hudson held that he deliberately wanted to polarise sentiments and leave mysteries hanging, while other Bioware brains later stepped into the fray to claim that they were listening to fan feedback and hint that it might lead to something."

I almost stopped reading right there. So, the first guy was straight up trolling, essentially. And then the second group came in and basically admitted to what they probably had planned all along, given that the "something" that this might "lead to" is almost assuredly going to be a "proper" ending to the game being patched in later via DLC, for which they are going to charge extra for, of course.

And then, later on, there's this part:

"In a new statement, Hudson is more conciliatory towards fans who felt closure was lacking, claiming that these concerns are 'valid' after all. You should read the lot, evasive and vague as it may be, but the key part is this:

'Throughout the next year, we will support Mass Effect 3 by working on new content. And we’ll keep listening, because your insights and constructive feedback will help determine what that content should be. This is not the last you’ll hear of Commander Shepard.'"


So, yeah, that's exactly what they are and probably always were planning. Release a crap ending, get everyone all angry about it, and then DLC in a BS "true" ending. Mr. Meer is absolutely correct when he says that they're "playing with fire" by doing this.

As for me, I still haven't even bought ME3 yet. As time passes, my desire to do so lessens ever more. Again, I'll probably cave in and pick it up someday down the line, when I can find it dirt cheap. But I'm not going to be paying full price for this crap, not at all. And, again, after this I will probably never buy another BioWare game, unless and until they (and more importantly, their EA overlords) finally come to their senses and realize that what they are doing is not good business in the long run (though it's excellent business for them in the short term, unfortunately).

Seriously, though, it's not even just BioWare/EA that's doing this crap. There's also Final Fantasy XIII-2. Before that, there was Fallout 3 (which "fixed" the vanilla game's crappy ending with the Broken Steel DLC), and yet, I don't much recall there being any sort of issue (I almost said "fallout"... >_>) with that. I mean, sure, there was a minor brouhaha over the ending sucking, but when the DLC came out, most people were just glad to get a better ending. (Personally, I never even finished the vanilla game of Fallout 3, so have little use for any of the DLC. I'm currently waiting for the Steam version of the GotY edition to hit a 66-75% off sale before giving it another try.) Are people finally, finally starting to wake up to this blatant, abject BS crap that these game companies are doing to them now, and have been doing to them for some time? Or am I just being overly optimistic here? I'll be pessimistic and say that I'm probably just being overly optimistic.
kane_magus: (Default)
So, in addition to all of the other stuff that's wrong with ME3, I hear a lot of people complaining about how the ending is nonsensical or pointless or otherwise just plain bad. I've been trying to avoid spoilers, so I don't know if this is just the Internet being the Internet or if these are actually valid complaints.

Could anyone who has played through and finished ME3 let me know WITHOUT SPOILERS OF ANY KIND if you agree with the general consensus that the ending sucks? Or is the Internet just blowing a lot of hot air? I mean, if there was one thing that the Mass Effect series has gotten right in the past, it has been the story. I'd hate to think that they managed to screw even that up in the final game. :/ I'm not looking for specific plot points or anything (WITHOUT SPOILERS OF ANY KIND), I just want to know if you give the endings a general overall "Yes, it was good and the Internet is full of it" or "No, it completely sucked, the Internet is totally right" or "Eh, it was okay I guess but not nearly as awesome as it could have been."

(EDIT)

Well, so far I've gotten a "...yes, the outrage is justified on multiple levels. Not just a 'bad' ending. 99% of ME1~ME3 is pure awesome storywise, ME3's last 10 minutes pees in the face of the entire franchise and its unique storytelling." response via Twitter. I can safely say that this is a bad sign. :/

(/EDIT)
kane_magus: (The_Sims_Medieval)
So, not only did Mass Effect 3 have Day 1 DLC, apparently it was already on the disc, at least in part. And, of course, BioWare is scrambling to try to come up with more bullshit excuses for why this is not as bad as it seems.



Requiescat in pace BioWare, February 1995 - October 2007. You are sorely missed.
kane_magus: (Default)
My ability to give a crap about Mass Effect 3 continues to spiral ever farther down the drain.

This isn't really news though. It's still the case, apparently, that you don't have to play the multiplayer in order to get the best ending. No, you just have to have played the previous two games absolutely perfectly (which is kind of difficult given that there are bugs in those games that screw over some of the minor quest results, as well as bugs in the process of carrying over data from ME1 to ME2) in addition to playing the singleplayer part of ME3 itself perfectly as well, including all of the mind-numbing minigame crap.

You used to be great, BioWare, but not anymore. I won't ask what happened to you and why you became so crappy though, because I already know the reason for that.

(EDIT)

Oh, and here's another thing. I don't have Xbox Live Gold anymore, so even if I wanted to play ME3 multiplayer (which I vehemently do not) I couldn't do so, at least not without paying Microsoft some arbitrary non-insignificant amount to reactivate a Gold account.

So there's that too.

(/EDIT)
kane_magus: (The_Sims_Medieval)
So, on top of everything else wrong with Mass Effect 3, it looks like they have also "streamlined" the dialog system. If/when I do eventually get around to playing this game, I'll still likely stay pure Paragon or pure Renegade regardless, even though it apparently doesn't matter anymore.

On top of all of that, generally speaking, even ignoring the whole reputation thing, it's not like the Mass Effect dialog system wasn't already "streamlined" from what BioWare's older games had. You went from having tons of dialog choices to choose from in a numbered list to having, like, maybe three or four total responses at any given point: the color-coded Paragon selection, the color-coded Renegade selection, the white "neutral" selection, and maybe an occasional "request more info" selection, which usually just opened up another dialog wheel with one or two word topic headings, rather than any actual dialog choices.
kane_magus: (The_Sims_Medieval)
This. (For the most part.)

It is why this stuff has been happening, why it is still happening, and why it will never stop happening, despite the vocal minority (including myself) raising a huge stink every time some new piece of poo comes floating down the sewer pipes and into the eagerly waiting mouths of the general gaming public who otherwise doesn't care about this kind of thing. [livejournal.com profile] owsf2000 and I have been saying this very thing for years now. Gamers bring it on themselves. Companies like EA do stuff like this because gamers are going to suck it down no matter how horrible it may be. It's just the way it is. I hate that this is the reality of the situation, but it's just the way it is. And it's only going to continue to get worse from here on out.

Now to explain the "for the most part." I'm pretty sure I don't agree with this guy's reasoning for why paying, in this case, $60 for Mass Effect 3 and an extra $10 for Day 1 DLC is a "bargain." It sounds like he's merely trying to rationalize his weak-willed capitulation to the very thing he's complaining about.[1] And I certainly don't agree that "I love Mass Effect $70 worth" (as it's the general principle of the thing that is more important than the particular dollar amount). Aside from those minor quibbles, however, I otherwise fully agree with the guy. Companies like EA aren't doing any of the terrible things that they do for the love of video games. That should already have been more than blatantly obvious, and I don't know why this guy is talking about it as though it were some sort of startling revelation, since he claims in his article that it didn't hit him that it was the case until he saw a comment from someone explicitly saying "EA seems like they only care about money." Really, EA and other big mega-publishers like them are, and always have been and always will be, doing it purely and explicitly for the $$$$$. As long as we keep letting them nickle and dime us (or, more appropriately, $10 and $20 us) like this, they will forever continue to do so. They have no other goal aside from keeping their shareholders happy, consumers be damned as long as we are willing to continue eating this shit.



I will be completely honest here, though. While watching that video there, I had to stop and go back more than a few times to hear what the guy was actually saying, because I kept getting distracted by the visuals... yeah, I still want to get Mass Effect 3, despite all this crap surrounding it... but I'm still going to sit on it for a while. I'm not outright boycotting it because, damn, look at that. I'm weak. I've freely admitted this before.[1] But I'm not buying it Day 1 either. Will wait for the inevitable price drop, even if I don't end up waiting for a "Complete" edition to be released, assuming one ever is. (EDIT 2) And now, over a year later, I still haven't bought it yet. That said, I'm also still not ruling out buying it at some point if I can find it somewhere for <$10-$15 or so, but my interest ever continues to wane with the passage of time. (/EDIT 2) (EDIT 3) I eventually did buy it for dirt cheap, but I never even ended up taking the shrinkwrap off of the damn thing before I sold it along with everything else. So while I did, at one point buy and own Mass Effect 3, I still have never actually played the game. (/EDIT 3)

After this point, however, I will be looking at every future product BioWare releases through the lens of this game here and the other recent ones that came before. If they release a Dragon Age 3 and it has this same sort of crap? Definitely not buying that (especially not after the relative piece of crap that was Dragon Age 2). If they release a Jade Empire 2 and it has the same sort of crap? Grrraaaaugh. That would be a tough one, I admit, but I'd probably have to pass on that as well.

Also, as an aside, I would just like to say this one more time, as I am seeing the subject being brought up in some of the comments under the headline article: I don't care how much you hate this kind of thing, it is not a valid excuse to pirate the games. That is all. (EDIT) Wait, hold on... is someone in those comments really trying to equate buying non-Big-Name-brand food or clothing with software piracy? Seriously? o_O Okay, I'm not going to make a whole other post about it, but I just want to say that this is one of the most ridiculously asinine things I've heard said about piracy yet. What's next? Buying Big Name brand clothing for cheap at Good Will is the same as software piracy? No, wait, I guess that's more similar to buying used video games (which is the same as software piracy in the eyes of devs/pubs/retards these days). (/EDIT)

[1] - And, to be fair to that guy, I've hypocritically done the very same exact thing regarding crap I've complained about in the past as well. Though, again, the Catwoman stuff at least wasn't being charged extra for if you bought the game new and thus still wasn't quite as bad as the ME3 thing here, similar to the stuff that TotalBiscuit mentioned for ME2 in the video above, but then I guess that's just me being the one doing the rationalizing now. Yeah, seriously, see how easy it is to fall into the trap of saying "Well, I guess all that horrid stuff that they did before wasn't so bad after all, given that they're doing stuff now that's way worse."? I mean, after all, they were only gouging used buyers with that other stuff so I guess that makes it okay now, right? No, no it does not. It's how we progressed from CD keys to limited activations to always-online DRM, for example. I wonder what horrid thing will come along next that makes this thing here seem not so bad after all. For me at least, though, I've already reached my own personal limit for what I'm willing to accept.
kane_magus: (Default)
I doubt it will actually be this ridiculously expensive to buy all the various DLCrap for Mass Effect 3, especially if one waits until it becomes stand-alone on LIVE or PSN and is no longer tied to some lame accessory like a vastly overpriced mousepad or whatever. Even so, for me, a price tag at even a tenth of that retarded amount is still far, far too high for DLCrap like this, especially considering that almost all of it seems to be useless rubbish like an extra weapon or armor or whatever anyway, something that I'd never be buying in the first place, myself.

(EDIT)

Then again... maybe not.

The author of the article says this in the comments about that "Collector Assault Rifle" thing:

"The multiplayer Collector's Rifle 'powers-up' the more you buy -- so EA has effectively created an incentive for people to buy multiple products."

If he's correct there, then what a load of horse. It's not even just horseshit. It's the entire horse.

Okay, I apologize. That's an insult to horses.

(/EDIT)

(EDIT 2)

And a lot of the other comments are all "wah, it's not so bad" or "I don't see why anyone's complaining about this" or "this is just a sensationalist article to make EA/BioWare look unnecessarily evil" or "none of this stuff is required and can just be unlocked by playing the game so what's so bad about it" or "this just affects multiplayer so it's not a big deal" or other such tiresome fanboy nonsense.

Dammit, self, you need to stop reading the asinine comments on Desucktoid, seriously. Someday, you'll learn maybe. Just stop.

(/EDIT 2)
kane_magus: (The_Sims_Medieval)
Seriously, though, remember the days when the choice between a "normal" edition of a game and a "Collectors" or "Limited" or whatever edition of the game was the difference between getting the full game OR getting the full game plus some little extra baubles like cloth maps or figurines or whatever?

These days, however, the difference between Collectors/Limited edition and "normal" edition is getting the full game for an extra $10 to $20-plus OR getting a gimped, hacked up version of the game missing stuff that was cut out (despite BS assertions to the contrary by the devs/pubs/brainwashed fanboys/reputation management drones) explicitly so that they could be included as "extras" for the Collectors/Limited edition of the game.
kane_magus: (The_Sims_Medieval)
Dear BioWare,

If this Thing™ that you are doing (and have been doing at least since Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2, except that you're gouging everyone this time, rather than just used buyers) is something that you feel the need to "defend" from everyone who is calling it a very crappy thing, then perhaps you should take a step back and consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, you shouldn't be doing said crappy thing?

Sincerely,

Someone else who is also very sick and tired of Day 1 DLC, regardless of any bullshit excuses and rationalizations for it.


In any case, between this and all the other crap swirling around this game, I've pretty much decided now that I'm just going to wait for a "Game of the Year" or "Ultimate" or "Complete, and not hacked up into various pieces of DLC" version of Mass Effect 3 before I bother to get it, if I get it at all. I can wait. I've got plenty of other things to keep me busy in the meantime. If such a version of the game is never released, then I can still wait until the hacked up version is suitably bargain bin price, such that it plus any DLC (assuming the DLC is even still available at that point) would be around the price of a normal full game altogether, rather than as it is now, i.e. a game at full price plus what will likely end up being an additional almost full game's price worth of DLC on top of that.

My only regret now is that I didn't do the same sort of thing for Mass Effect 2 as well, given that all of the DLC for that game that I may care to get currently comes to a total of 2480 Microsoft Points, or around $31 (and if I ever do get it, it will only be if/when there is a sale on it). But then, there hasn't been an "Ultimate" version of ME2 made available yet (at least, not for the Xbox 360 anyway), which leads me to be pessimistic about there being one for ME3 either. Oh well.

(EDIT)

And would you look at that. Yet another industry brown-nosing op-ed piece by that dumbass Chris Pereira guy at 1up.com. This guy's starting to bug me even more than Jim Sterling of Destructoid does.

(/EDIT)
kane_magus: (Default)
"USA Today say that EA will be sending six copies of Mass Effect 3 into space. They’ll be tied to weather balloons in New York, San Francisco, Vegas, Berlin, London and Paris and sent up into the stratosphere."

What? Why? What is the point of doing this? Oh, wait, it's to get people talking about it, just like I am here. Bah. -_-

Okay, seriously, there is marketing and hype, and then there is just stupid stuff like this. Shutting up now, since I don't really want to feed the hype machine for this game any more (too late), especially since it's already long since gone from an obvious no-brainer day one purchase to being a wait-and-see maybe* purchase.

* - Though admittedly that "maybe" can be translated to mean "most likely," assuming no other unpleasant surprises are revealed between now and release. I'm weak, I know, I admit it. But not weak enough that I can't wait for a price drop. ¬_¬
kane_magus: (Default)
In the rant I posted yesterday about the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, the main article I linked to said "It seems likely that there’s going to be some manner of co-op mode, but as something separate from the main game (where two Commander Shepards might be a touch strange). In other words, any multi-wooing elements shouldn’t effect [sic] the core game. BioWare are smarter than to let that happen." (Emphasis mine.)

Guess what? It does, and Bioware isn't.

"Mass Effect 3′s multiplayer will be 4-player co-op and will affect the single player."

Well... even if it does have an effect on the single-player, it had better be a completely optional way to build up that "Galactic Readiness" or whatever crap. As long as I can still play the game fully single-player without having to feel like I'm missing out on some aspect of the single-player by not playing the multiplayer, then it shouldn't be too bad. While I'd obviously rather the multiplayer not have been shoehorned in at all, it won't be any skin off my nose as long as I can utterly ignore it (well, aside from whatever unquantifiable amount of damage that the single-player campaign has suffered due to the time and resources diverted away from it to work on the multiplayer, and it will have suffered in some way, I don't care what they say otherwise). Still, at this point in time, I will assume that it will be the case that it will be completely optional, because surely Bioware wouldn't be so stupid as to do otherwise, would they? To be fair, they are indeed saying now that it will be completely optional (as it should be). But then this wouldn't be the first time that they have said one thing, and then the exact opposite happened (re: the SecuROM in Dragon Age II, and no, I don't buy EA's "It's not SecuROM, it's just another DRM made by the same people who made SecuROM" bullshit, either). Oh, wait, they already did that with the multiplayer in Mass Effect 3.

If, however, that is not the case... well... I guess there will just be another game that I won't be buying, in addition to Diablo III. In any event, for me, Mass Effect 3 has now gone from being a no-brainer, must-have, day one purchase to being a wait-and-see maybe purchase.

But regardless of whether it is completely optional or not, except for EA's idiotic mandate that all games must have some online crap tacked on, there is absolutely no reason for this. Despite Bioware's claims to the contrary, it is my opinion that EA is the one who has caused this screwing of the pooch here. Or, again, if this was indeed entirely Bioware's decision, acting on their supposed autonomy with little to no input at all from EA (which I find extremely difficult to believe), then it is Bioware themselves who are screwing the pooch. Either way, it still looks quite bad for Bioware.
kane_magus: (The_Sims_Medieval)
I was planning to go to the post office this morning, but it's closed due to Columbus Day. So, instead, I'll use this extra time to look at my Google Reader. Hey look, a story about totally unnecessary multiplayer in Mass Effect 3! *weary sigh*

Well, hopefully the multiplayer in ME3 will indeed be "something separate from the main game," since then I will be able to more easily ignore it completely as I have absolutely zero interest in it. But I guess it'll be there for those who do care, so hopefully at least for them it won't end up being the tacked on waste of time that I figure it will be. And, more importantly, hopefully the work on the main game won't have been hurt too much by the effort and resources wasted to work on the unneeded multiplayer.

Sadly, as Bioware themselves recently admitted. "they are EA" now ("And I always chuckle because we are EA"). Yeah, I know that the point of that article was for them to claim that they supposedly still have autonomy from EA and all that. But if that really is the case, then that just makes all the boneheaded decisions they're making lately even worse in my eyes. I'd honestly rather have the "well, it's obviously EA's fault" excuse than to believe that Bioware is just seriously losing their touch. If "think[ing] a lot more about the commercial elements than we used to" is what is causing them to suck so much lately, and if they really do have the autonomy that they claim they do, then maybe they should seriously consider going back to doing what they did best, rather than toeing the EA corporate line like that.
kane_magus: (Default)
Mass Effect 3 does not need multiplayer.

Dear video game industry,

Stop shoehorning multiplayer into single-player games.* I'm serious. Quit it.

Sincerely,

Me

* - And this includes co-op. For strange reasons, some people seem to think that "muliplayer" and "co-op" are two different things. They are not. Co-op, especially if it's forced co-op,** is just as bad, if not even worse. If a game forces me to play with a crappy AI partner because the "real, intended" way to play it is with two people, then yes, that is forced multiplayer co-op shoehorned into and pretty much ruining what should have been a single-player game. Hell, for what it's worth, if they're going to force multiplayer into a single-player game anyway, no matter what, then I'd rather it be a distinct multiplayer mode for deathmatch or whatever (or like Portal 2's co-op), since at least with that I can totally ignore it rather than having it blatantly right there, shitting up what should have been the single-player.

** - I'll make a distinction here between that and something like Left 4 Dead, where the multiplayer is the main focus and always has been from the start, and what single-player there is with the crappy bots is the tacked on bit. I'll also make a distinction between this and something like ICO or Half-Life 2 Ep 1 & 2 or Enslaved (which I still haven't played yet myself, though I hear it's pretty good) or whatever, where there is an AI controlled character following you around, but there is (thankfully) no multiplayer. No, I'm talking here about games that should have been single-player, where every previous game in the series (with the possible exception of an outlier here and there) was single-player, but now there's some retarded multiplayer/co-op tacked on because "at least some multiplayer/connectivity is required in all our games from now on" or whatever idiotic shit.
kane_magus: (Default)
Link.

Okay, I'm sure this has been and will be asked a million times, but... what's wrong with the default Shepard that's already been around since the first game? Especially given that the default male is what has been plastered all over the marketing for the game ever since the beginning.

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