Game Design & Dev
By Sparky Clarkson on April 8, 2012 - 9:30am.
The convoluted logic of the Mass Effect trilogy's controversial ending hinges on the idea that sufficiently advanced species will inevitably create artificially intelligent life that will rebel and, if left unchecked, exterminate all organic life in the galaxy. To combat this threat, the Reapers harvest advanced civilizations, giving primitive ones the chance to flourish without being snuffed out in their infancy.
By Peter Skerritt on April 6, 2012 - 4:04pm.
You've undoubtedly heard it by now: Electronic Arts pulled a big upset in The Consumerist's Worst Company in America tournament for 2012, besting favorites Bank of America by a majority vote of nearly two-thirds. While I think that it's telling that a video game company found its way into the voting to begin with, considering all of the potential candidates out there, the end result will change nothing.
By Dale Weir on April 6, 2012 - 3:51pm.
The guys at Extra Credits have jumped into the Mass Effect 3 Day One DLC kerfuffle. What's great is that it is a measured take on the Mass Effect 3 DLC, as well as DLC in general. Worth a look.
By Sparky Clarkson on April 1, 2012 - 3:16pm.
We should have known the conclusion would be trouble. Ending a game like Mass Effect 3 poses a special set of problems, because a central attraction of Western RPGs is that their systems respond to player choice. Mass Effect and its like are the classic case of games that generate stories through collaboration between designer and player. Drawing things to a close, however, requires the hand of the developer to show, often in ways that seem unattractive.
By Sparky Clarkson on April 1, 2012 - 2:35pm.
The Falmer are coming. You can hear guards whispering about them in Skyrim's towns. You can encounter them through their attacks on trading caravans or isolated, unlucky outposts. In the journey to Blackreach, if not before, you will encounter the Falmer. Blind and pale, they scurry through the caves beneath Skyrim, clothed and armed with chitin from their hideous insect livestock, communicating in primitive hisses. Considering only these characteristics, it would be easy to dismiss the Falmer as goblins by another name, like Mass Effect's awful Vorcha. However, the fiction surrounding the Falmer positions them as a touchstone for many of Skyrim's main ideas.
By Dale Weir on April 1, 2012 - 2:28pm.
And here it is, the final part of Extra Credits' take Western role-playing game vs Japanese role-playing games. Here they look at why the Japanese RPG has fallen behind its Western counterpart and maybe how to reverse its course.
By Dale Weir on March 30, 2012 - 12:51pm.
Extra Credits returns with more on the Western role-playing game vs Japanese role-playing games debate. This time they challenge our genre classifications and dare to imply that they are a bit antiquated.
By Richard Naik on March 28, 2012 - 6:57pm.
A copious amount of blood, sweat, tears and other bodily fluids have already been spilled over Mass Effect 3′s ending. Several of the first few Google results concern the overwhelmingly negative fan reaction in some way, be it in the form of an online petition or a silly FTC complaint. The laser-like focus on the ending is a damn dirty shame, because outside of those five minutes at the very end of the game and a shaky first hour or so, Mass Effect 3 is about as good a series finale as I could have hoped for.
By Brad Gallaway on March 28, 2012 - 6:00pm.
So, Journey. My review schedule was quite full when this much-anticipated project from thatgamecompany was released on PlayStation Network, and the other night was the first chance I had to get to it. I was a huge fan of Flow, I loved Flower, and I've been looking forward to Journey ever since I knew about it. While I was playing, several people asked what my opinion was, and I knew that there was absolutely no way I could even begin to address the topic over Twitter. Hence, this entry.
By Sparky Clarkson on March 27, 2012 - 3:37pm.
Among core gamers, Electronic Arts and BioWare's decision to deliver an additional squadmate as day one DLC for Mass Effect 3 continues to rile people who haven't yet finished the game and gotten angry about the ending. Fast-flying accusations and defenses about whether the content was stripped out of the game mostly miss the point.
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