"Ryan's wife, traditionally not a gamer, begins her trek through the Mass Effect universe. A few suprises abound, even here at the beginning, but they're not from where you expect.
As you read in my previous article, my wife isn't much of a gamer, but as you read this you may see I need to change that title. We had a pretty successful run through most of LA Noire, but have since been looking for something to curb the curiosity within my wife on gaming. Many people suggested the Mass Effect ..."
"About a year ago, my wife was heavy into LA Noire. I wrote the article, "Help! My Wife Stole My Xbox!" because I couldn't get a free moment to game. She was so excited to follow the story and plotline and the "simplistic" gameplay -- so lambasted by the rest of the gaming community -- was loved by my wife, who isn't much of a gamer in the end.
The game went south when she hit the Arson desk, though. A case began where a house was burnt down, evil work was obviously afoot, and the family wa..."
Default Prime writer Kyree Leary is a huge fan of the Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed games. Despite him already own the games separately, he was a little excited to hear about their upcoming trilogies/collections. This feeling was ruined, however, when he found out that they would not be the complete, all-in-one, collections they should strive to be.
How exactly does one go about determining what makes a game great, much less what makes one better than another? It’s a tough question. We do, however, have some basic criteria that we can use. Graphical fidelity, sound design, art style, gameplay; the list is endless. Some games stand apart, though. How a game stands the test of time is always a good basis, and how their influence is felt through the generations is always fascinating to watch. After going through roughly thirty-one drafts, t...
Game mechanics rest at the core of gameplay, making everything run as it does in the hands of the player. And sometimes there are mechanics that are so innovative and creative that they change the experience as we know it. Cassidee from Leviathyn.com shares four game mechanics she'd like to see used in games more often.
With the conclusion of Commander Shepard's saga coming to us by way of the controversial Mass Effect 3, fans are left with a rich galaxy full of untapped potential for new storylines and spin-offs. Cassidee from Leviathyn.com shares some of the plots she'd like to see in future installments of the Mass Effect franchise.
By the mid-90s PC gamers tended to lean toward FPS and Strategy games. A lot of gamers I have fond memories of Jedi Knight, Quake 1 and 2, Doom, Age of Empires, Tomb Raider 2, Warcraft 2, Total Annihilation, and the the list goes on and on. But there was one RPG that changed gamers' lives forever and opened doors for games like Mass Effect.
"The wait is over and Mass Effect 3 is here to conclude the story of this space opera trilogy. But it has been two years since I played Mass Effect 2 and all I remember is that Commander Shepard dies in the first two minutes, then gets miraculously resurrected to save humanity. There was also a mountain of DLC that I never bothered to play. But that changed this week when I grabbed all of the DLC packs and took a second tour through Mass Effect 2. Commander Shepard died for my sins, the le..."
With Mass Effect 3 right around the corner, Default Prime author Kyree Leary decided to finally do a FemShep playthrough. How'd he feel about the voice acting of Jennifer Hale? Did he get as attached as he did with his Male Shepard? And did he play the game any differently?
This guy makes a very legitimate point for me. A lot of games these days take far too long to click with gamers, and it's often the several hour before you start to really enjoy a game that you may find moments of extreme tedium. Of course, a lot of gamers are stubborn and if phased with a "buyer's remorse" situation, they won't stop playing a game until they can grab absolutely anything from it worth enjoying rather than submitting defeat to a poor purchase choice.
How do you feel about g...
Even though its 2012 there are plenty of games to fill the early year void. The best part of this that so many of these games are less then $20. Games like GTA IV, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Saints Row 2, Mass Effect 2, Fallout 3, and lots of others. There are plenty of other games that offer a lot of bang for your buck.
"Having bought myself the videogames I wanted most before the arrival of the holidays, I’ve come to a painful realization. You see, by purchasing all the games that interested me before they could be given to me as presents, I inadvertently killed much of the Christmas’ ‘buzz.’ This year, it wasn’t like when I was younger and had no choice but to wait for the big day, bubbling with anticipation and excitement for games I knew I’d unwrap.
You remember that feeling, right?"
There's been a fair amount of furor over EA's supposedly draconian approach to banning people from EA's Origin service. Ever since March of this year, more and more people are coming forward, complaining about how EA banned them from their games. I spend this rant picking apart their arguments.
"There’s something about certain games that naturally draw me in. This is considerably easier with any sort of RPG that involves decisions and progression that allow you to influence not only your character, but the actual game itself. I’ve spent so much time with these games because I’m able to make the character my own, affect the environment, and play the game almost exactly how I want to play it."
Relationships in video games is something that looks good on paper but never really hits home. In so many games a "relationship" with another character is more or less irrelevant to the outcome of the game and serves to do little more than offer a way to have a fade away simulate copulation. What we should be seeing is relationships that actually require real decisions with meaningful consequences.
Have modern games gotten easier? It seems the games of today are a lot more easier, excluding Demon Souls. So why were games so much harder back in the late 80s and through the 90s? Was it because gamers didn't have gamefaqs? Do gamers just have too many distractions these days so modern games have to be easier?
"I just recently began reading some of the Mass Effect novels having heard that they were very good and that they would help fill in quite a bit of back story for the games. I began reading the first book in the series, Revelation, and was pleasantly surprised that my usual lack of interest in reading had disappeared and I was getting engrossed in the novel. But after I put the novel down for the night I began to think about how video games have spilled over into other media and how this is bo..."
"Am I missing something? When Mass Effect 2 launched last year, it was welcomed by critics with unending praise, many hailing it as this generation's best game. After playing the first game and being only moderately impressed, I was hesitant in picking up the sequel. Naturally, all the high review scores and unending compliments to BioWare for making such a fantastic title, compelled me to try it for myself. You see, I'm a sucker for a game that has a good story and cast of well developed char..."
Goozernation takes a look at some of the top female video game characters in the last 20 years or so. Characters like Samus, Princess Zelda, Jill Valentine as well as a few others made the list. The big question is why did these ladies make the "best of" list, and why?
"In the past, storytelling in video games was a minor thing, high scores were the target. This changed with the roleplaying game and with the invention of bigger hard drives to hold more game information. Now the role of storytelling is going through another renaissance, the actions of the character have dynamic consequences on the story and on future games in some cases."
"Before you even load up your saved game and head off to Liara, you can tell that this DLC is going to be longer and more action oriented when compared to Kasumi: Stolen Memory. Lair of the Shadow broker is 1.5 GB in size, has five new achievements to obtain and a chance to continue that relationship with Liara that you might’ve had in Mass Effect 1; that’s a huge file, but with the name Bioware, quality, size, as well as quantity pretty much go hand in hand. It took me at least an hour and a ..."
With the pending accoutrement of the Wii HD at E3 its time to start reflecting on this generation of consoles. What will gamers remember the most about this generation? Will it be the Wii's motion controls, the 360's RROD, and/or PSN getting hacked? What about the games of this generation?
Morality has become the gaming theme of this generation. Black, and White, Good vs. Evil with some choices doing nothing to impact the long term plot. Gamers have experienced morality in games such as Fallout 3, Mass Effect, GTA IV, Bioshock as well as several others. Goozernation takes a look at the bigger questions and asks is morality really needed? Why do gamers always have to make a choice with consequences?
"Then came Dragon Age: Origins, a game that had not only hot tenting scenes, but also two characters who would swing either way. If you played as a male, and wanted to romance the sultry male elf, Zevran, you could. If you played as a female, and wanted to get it on with the red headed female bard, Leliana, you could."
"If you look back at my other blog posts, you'll know I'm a fan of video game merchandise. I can't help but feel the need to collect things from video games that I enjoyed or plan on enjoying. I mention merchandise for things I haven't played yet, because most of the good stuff in my collection could only be bought or won before the game ever releases. It could be things like trinkets, preorder bonuses, clothing, press kits, and in the case of this blog, art! That's right! Of all the things I ..."
Eurogamer published an article yesterday about new Fable, Halo, Gears, and Forza games. Many gamers might rejoice at this news as those are the four biggest 360-exclusive franchises out there. But gamers have been playing these same franchises for years. Where's the innovation? It's time for some new IPs!
"Video games have been creeping up on movies for decades now, but only in recent years have they been able to match the silver screen in narrative quality and substance. Sure, Final Fantasy VI had a great story, but reading text spouted by sprites doesn’t have quite the same effect as watching real actors."
"Many video games have inventories. Lets face it, any game that requires you to pick stuff up, carry stuff around, or use something typically has some form of inventory management. Whether its keeping tabs on how much ammo you have or making sure you still have room in your expansive (albeit invisible) rucksack that holds 150 fire arms, 12 outfits, 3 items of food or potions, and a fork, lute, cup, or cat (yeah Anders I’m looking at you) you have to remain aware of something you are lugging a..."
Despite the PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 containing all the DLC of the title (released thus far) as well as a new re-polished ME3 engine and 7.1 Surround sound, IGN felt it fit to slash points in each category for the PS3 version of the title. Bias anybody? Check out the rest of the details here.
"I won’t lie: this gaming year has been a difficult one for OXCGN’s staff. (Cue violins). It seems most of us have had a hard time balancing a lack of time, a lack of money, and a lack of interest in the current crop of gamer’s games.
The general lack of innovation and proliferation of sequels in hard-core games in a difficult economic climate has seen many of us often turn to alternative (and often cheaper) gaming experiences like on smartphones or XBLA and PSN. (okay, kill violins).
2010 has been another bumper year for gamers and it is now time to reflect on what games made this year so great. With 18 award categories including the overall game of the year award, there are several great games given the nod as the "best" in their respective category. So sit back and enjoy our awards and let us know what you think of our choices.
IGN's Michael Thomsen lists this year in terms of in game sex. Thomsen explains how sex in video games can be right and can be wrong in many ways. Thomsen also lists a few games which featured sex this year, this list consists of a few bloackbusters like Heavy Rain, Mass Effect 2, Red Dead Redepmtion, Fallout: New Vegas and some not so well known games like Dinner Date and Every Day the Same Dream.
"With video games more expensive than ever, you would think that gamers would squeeze every last second of play out of them before moving on to the next adventure. But that's not always the case. Earlier this year, Bioware released some fascinating statistics about Mass Effect 2, but the stand-out figure was the revelation that only 50 -percent of players actually finished Commander Shepherd's mission to stop the Collectors."
Personally I don't mind 'Collectors' and 'Limited' edition of games, provided they actually have something tangible in them. But many retailers of ;late are simply making up "so-called" Collectors Editions that have little in them, and yet charge for the privilege of having their 'exclusive content'
Young Teenage-Gamer at OXCGN looks at the way this is affecting many buyers in harsher times.
Here is a fun post about the many many games (including 90% of the first games ever created) that involve aliens. Are these games based entirely off of imagination or is art imitating life? You be the judge as DualShockers examine some of the most popular games that involve extraterrestrial life forms.
"Dear readers, it has come to my attention that I need to get something off my chest, something which will make me seem like less of a man. You see I have a secret. I am a coward, a wuss, why? Because I play games on Easy.
Throughout my gaming life I’ve always wanted to keep pace with my friends, those with somewhat superhuman abilities for completing games on Normal or Hard – or so they say. I didn’t want to miss out on discussions at school regarding a certain narrative point in Final Fan..."
"Video games have multiplayer, anymore that’s almost a given. Multiplayer gives people the chance to go out and pit themselves against other people from around the world or it allows for a collaborative effort to achieve victory. But there are some games that either miss the mark, or totaly skip the online process altogether."
"I am speaking of video games of course, but I realize some of you may feel the need to indulge that barbaric tradition of lighting things on fire and watching stuff blow up. Fortunately, the world of gaming offers several easy (and safer) methods of satisfying your craving for ‘splosions."
"Shortly after Mass Effect 2 was released, a sizeable number of players complained about the paired-down inventory and power systems versus the more complicated mechanics in the first game. Many people pointed at this change and claimed Mass Effect 2 was therefore not an RPG, but an action-adventure game. Not only do I disagree with this sentiment wholeheartedly, but I would argue that Mass Effect 2 is precisely what a video game RPG was always meant to be - and the only reason why some gamers..."
While we all love playing new games, there are some that just have us all 'sucked in' for hours, days or even months. The ones we keep coming back to, or simply play at the exclusion of others some times.
OXCGN takes a look at the top 8 games its team sink hours upon hours into, and why.
Come check it out, and let them know what games have gobbled up your year.
"A simple choice can change your life forever. For instance, you may selfishly choose to drive drunk and end someone's life, or yours. You could easily choose to get a ride home and not risk wrecking or endangering someone's health. Of course, those are choices that can be made with dire outcomes. Gaming is slowly but surely introducing the same kinds of decisions. But are we ready? Are they being implemented correctly? And how do we feel about choosing "right" versus "wrong?"
"Lately we have seen a renaissance of gaming tie-ins. Tie-ins can include movies, comic books, novels, and even television series. Big publishers like wringing every cent they can from a popular IP, and thankfully this will often bring fans some extra material about the universes that we've fallen in love with. They aren't always done well, but I would argue that there is an increasing movement towards hiring quality writers and artists for these projects, and it has made for some fantastic ti..."
"As the videogames industry matures, gamers are expecting more from the story telling capabilities with every new season. Many would argue that the infamous death of Aeris in Final Fantasy VII set a new standard in emotional attachment to videogame characters, and others would suggest that the will to survive or keep your teammates alive, in Heavy Rain and Mass Effect 2 respectively, demonstrated a bond to fictional, but incredibly believable personalities that may well have been inconceivable..."
"I like a good story. Something with characters I can relate to, genuine people with their own hopes, dreams and fear.
Something with a plot that twists and turns, surprising at every turn but always making sense. Something personal, as if it was constructed only for me and my unique journey through the game.
Something I will never see.
It's a simple fact: the perfect narrative does not exist.
I can't be anymore blunt than that. Try as I might, I have yet to find a game that can conn..."
"Considering I am an openly Xbox 360 fanboy it’s hard to admit that one of my most anticipated games of 2010 comes from a studio that develops exclusively for Sony’s Playstation 3, Qunatic Dream. Their first next-gen game goes by the name Heavy Rain, and it hits stores early next week. The reason it caught my attention to such a higher degree than the Call of Dutys and Halos of the world is because it’s completely different than anything available on the Xbox 360 these days (that will change o..."
It is a topic that has been raised before. Why do so many games fall into the trap of having disappointing, inappropriate, or just downright silly end bosses?
Negativegamer.com takes a look at some recent examples, and what they could have done to create a more appropriate end bosses.
Go to the source for the full article.
"Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and the three of us each has a hot date all lined up. But we also have a secret. On the most romantic day of the year, a part of each of our minds will probably be thinking about the virtual relationships we've been cultivating with our new favorite game characters. Creepy? Maybe. But we're pretty sure we're not alone.
There was a time when such an idea would have been unthinkable. We love games dearly, but there's traditionally been an emotional ..."
"After spending countless hours with Mass Effect 2 – whether as a paragon or as a renegade – and handing out our Game of the Month award to BioWare’s spectacular role-playing game, it’s time to let the cat out of the bag. Yes, that’s right, we are about to reveal a few of the biggest secrets of Mass Effect 2 and we have no shame in doing so."
There's been some talk going around lately about the relationship between Nintendo and third party developers. An example being difficulty with hardcore third party titles. Lee Evans has posted a blog entry going over some facts and figures in an effort to shed some light on the matter and the severity of the situation.
"Rather than let Xbox 360 owners have a moment to read and reflect about how awesome their console exclusive was, some PS3-skewed fans high on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves decided to take the conversation to the most annoying depths of Internet hell and the 360 followers responded. In the IGN office, this war became a fun spectacle to watch. Some laughed and read comments aloud, others mentioned that a comparison was silly because Mass Effect 2 and Uncharted 2 are completely different types of g..."
GameDaily gives its own take at which RPG style is superior in the categories of the classic RPG, the MMORPG, the tactical RPG, the action RPG, most emotionally engaging (contains FFVII and Mass Effect spoilers), and the overall winner.
Though you might not agree with everything stated, it is an interesting read on a topic that continues to spur the interest of RPG fans.
"Michael Lafferty of GameZone writes "Gamers don’t care. Doesn’t matter if it is sunny or cold outside – there is the warmth of the television screen or computer monitor, reveling in the glow of White Knight Chronicles, or Mass Effect 2. So what if winter is a bit longer. Six more weeks of winter is all the excuse needed. "You still gaming?" Don't scramble for a response - blame it on the groundhog.""
From GACKT to Ayumi Hamasaki to Keiko Awaji to Shoko Nakagawa to Mari Yaguchi, many of Japan's biggest celebrities are involved with gaming in some way or another.
While some Hollywood actors have starred in silly little game commercials, few ever get involved with games to the extent that Japanese celebrities do.
But with household names like Chuck's Yvonne Strahovski, Adam Baldwin and Veronina Mars' Kristen Bell having roles in big games like Mass Effect 2 and Assassins Creed II, will...
All Age Gaming's Phong Nguyen bring's us the 27th AAG "The Week That Was". This week he discusses the continual sales boom for Nintendo's New Super Mario Bros. Wii game, Halo: Reach at Microsoft's X10 event, the once Xbox 360 exclusive GTA IV DLC coming to PS3 and PC and more.
"With the second part of BioWare’s phenomenally popular Science-Fiction trilogy arriving in North America, Europe and Australia at various points throughout this week, I thought it was high time I took a look back at the original title, refreshing the game in my mind and beefing-up my character ready for transfer into Mass Effect 2. With Electronic Theatre’s review copy of Mass Effect 2 arriving imminently, this left me precious little time to successfully finish the story, but having already ..."
"As of this writing, we’re already three weeks into 2010. The “new” year is already practically ancient, and pretty soon we’ll have run out of time to make wild, erratic, entirely factual predictions about things that will happen over the next 11 months. So with January nearly over, we’re going for the jugular and answering the question that’s on everyone’s mind: between the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii and PC, which gaming platform will claim victory by the end of this year.
"The release of Project Natal prior to the year’s end was once again confirmed, along with the fact that it will work with all existing Xbox 360 consoles. Further discussing new ideas, an interesting proposition was mentioned in the fact that Microsoft is considering allowing gamers to purchase a game on Xbox 360, and play it on their PC. Would this fantastic suggestion ever come to light in the retail space, however, Electronic Theatre would be very surprised indeed."
"Out with the old and in with the new is the usual quid pro quo that comes at the end of each year and with everything gamers have been exposed to, 2009 will without a doubt be a tough act to follow. However, as Microsoft Game Studios flaunts what the 360 has to offer, the console stands to seize the market and become the centerpiece of the game industry in 2010. As Microsoft continues to provide a seemingly endless supple of new quality content and numerous choice exclusives, this is just the..."
Neoseeker editor Lydia Sung returns to the fray today with an editorial about the Xbox LIVE Avatar Marketplace, which, like many gamers out there, she feels is disrespectful to customers.
Not usually just one to rant though, she offers up three major suggestions Microsoft can make use of to please (mostly) everyone.
Check it out at the source, where you can also find a fashion show of sorts -- this may be your only chance to see our fearless editor in a storm trooper outfit.
"Back in 2007, Mass Effect wowed critics and gamers alike, winning universal acclaim for its genre-busting game play, enormous scope, beautiful presentation and epic storyline. By blending all the best aspects from a third person, squad-based shooter with the elements of an in-depth RPG, Bioware created a quality game that has revolutionised the action RPG genre. Two years later, Bioware is at it again, adding a highly anticipated second chapter to the saga."
"With fear of sounding like an old grouch, I recall days when the Internet was not so popular, or even not popular at all. For the video game world, this carried with it one wonderful positive: mystery. It's not that print media was completely free of giving us some juicy details months (even years) before we played a game, but it retrospect, it seems it was more tastefully done, and well-orchestrated, as opposed to what the rabidly curious nature of the Internet produces."
OXCGN's newest writer Beth Sasagi looks at the high probability that Mass Effects 2 could well be THE greatest console RPG to even grace the screens of 360 and Pc owners.
Hopefully PS3 owners will enjoy that privilege as well. As the game deserves as much exposure as it can get, and all gamers should have access to it, irrespective of platform.
"So the Game Developers Conference’s 09 (GDC’s) brought a couple of surprises so far. A new Zelda for the DS, third party motion controls for 360, a new Ratchet & Clank for our PS3 comrades, and the entry of Warner Bros to the fray that may well have had fanboys disorientated and asking “Errr… what’s up doc?”
But where’s the goods from Microsoft? Some would lead you to believe that Microsoft has announced its full line up just like they had this time last year… oh yeah, that’s the problem…