Last night on Twitter, I made a comment about shopping in the app store and apparently it wasn't nearly as clear as I thought it was. I had several replies chastising me afterwards, and I wanted to clarify what I meant to say. If you still want to chastise me after that then that's totally cool, but it seemed pretty obvious that I was not able to make my point in 140 characters.
It's been nothing but Mass Effect 3 since the last update, and boy, am I exhausted... I rarely take on RPGs of any sort due to the time commitment, and getting in enough hours to review one in a speedy manner has been "challenging" to say the least. Glad I did, though... It's been great.
Although I don't know whether there has been any TV presence, Electronic Arts has mounted a decent push behind the game, with some mobile tie-ins that are mediated to the main game's fiction by the Galactic Readiness mechanic. This is also integrated with the game's packed-in co-op third-person shooter. Tying that kind of functionality to a role-playing game (RPG) suggests that EA wants to expand the audience, and perhaps turn BioWare's world-building into a company-wide asset tied to multiple games.
Keep a tissue at the ready as we bid Tim a fond farewell. But before he takes his final bow, we explore the light and dark sides of BioWare with Star Wars: The Old Republic and the Mass Effect 3 demo. Plus The Horror Geek tackles Final Fantasy XIII-2; surely it can't be worse than its predecessor... or can it? Featuring Tim "Yup, I put my name first" Spaeth, Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, and Richard Naik.
So, the Mass Effect 3 demo. I hesitate to bring it up, but I can't let it pass without making at least a few brief comments. First off, I really hope that the game addresses Ashley's radical make over... if the game hadn't told me that's who it was, I never would have recognized her, and I don't mean that in a good way.
Although there are some must-reviews coming down the pipe pretty soon, the industry is more or less in a big lull right now, and that's perfectly okay with me. I've really been enjoying knocking games out of my backlog, and the latest one up at bat is Sega's Yakuza 3. Straight up, I love Yakuza.
There is a certain muddiness here between "narrative" components and "systems". Would I have loved Agro as much if he were a lizard? A featherless chicken? A square with four squares sticking out of it? Perhaps I would not have. At the same time the graphical (i.e. narrative) depiction of Agro as a horse serves to contextualize the system he presents and make the game's rules intelligible.
Fable III isn't exactly challenging, as far as game play, story, or game design go. And yet, it has challenged me in a most unexpected way. I knew, offhandedly, before I started playing that this was considered a "mature RPG." And yet I was surprised (pleasantly so, but still taken aback for a moment) to find that among the character attributes for nearly every adult NPC in the game, there is a sexual preference qualifier.
Harrison Krix builds things he finds in his favorite video games in his workshop. He is very good as evidenced by his latest creation, the N7 rifle. If you are envious and want to build your own, Krix, aka Volpin, posted a step-by-step guide of how he pulled this thing off. If you just want to look at pictures of this piece of gaming art from different angles, you can do that too.
It's not often that you get to play a part—however small—in the development or marketing of a game. BioWare is giving fans such an opportunity. Illustrating one of the ways social networks are actually useful, BioWare has launched a promotion where fans can vote via Facebook, on the "default female Shepard" that will be used in Mass Effect 3. Fans get to chose from six different looks—actually it's just different faces while the bodies remain the same—and you vote by liking the image that you want to see win.
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