The Problem with Trailers

Bioware

I’ve got a bit of a thing against video game trailers. Do I get hyped over them? Sure. Do I love watching announcements of titles that I’ve been dying to see just a glimpse of? Totally guilty. But all the same, I sometimes find it hard to forgive the game industry for the way it treats trailers, the video game press for how it feeds into the mania and all of us gamers for how we do the same.

The fact of the matter is, trailers are mostly the product of PR and marketing departments. Often time, they’re created by people in the company that had little to do with the game itself, or worse yet, by an outside firm altogether. Yes, we’re all looking at you now, Bioware. The goal of these trailer makers isn’t necessarily making the most accurate representation of the game – it’s generating hype and moving copies.

This is why we see all kinds of game trailers that really don’t reflect the game that we see while holding our controllers, and it really bugs me these days. But I know I’m not the only person that notices that kind of thing. Over at Ars Technica, writer Kyle Orland breaks down the number of ways that game trailers make for terrible gameplay experiences. It’s a really nice look at the ways that game trailers differ from the games we play, and should hopefully point readers to measuring their responses a bit more in the future.

Personally, this is why I try to refrain as much as possible from posting every single trailer that comes out, especially pre-rendered ones. What do you guys think of this topic? Let’s talk about trailers.

Source – Ars Technica

Puzzlejuice Is an iPhone Title That Will Drain Your Brain

puzzlejuice

Thanks to Jeff’s sorcerous, seductive words, I picked up Puzzlejuice on the iTunes app store and have been playing the junk out of it for the past hour and a bit. It’s a combination of Tetris and a crossword puzzle paired together with great minimalist graphics. If you don’t think that sounds amazing, you can pack your bags and get the heck off my Internet.

To play Puzzlejuice you drag and orient blocks (a la Tetris) and when you get a certain amount of similar colored blocks together, you can tap on them and they transform into a random selection of letters which you have to scour for words (a la a crossword). The challenge is that you’re looking for these words while blocks fall from the sky and if they pile up too high, you lose. There are also a certain goals you have to meet, and words need to be above three letters (none of this “an” nonsense).

Puzzlejuice is the perfect iPhone game because it seems almost tailor made to be on the phone. It doesn’t try to shoe-horn in too much in the way of clumsy UI stuff and you can hop in for a quick round in one of its many modes, some with clever names like “European Extreme Mode”. It’s also very charming and has many winks towards nerd culture like naming the quit button “Rage Quit”.

There’s more iPhone gaming around here than usual, but with Infinity Blade II and Tiny Tower also dominating my time, and the fact that I got 100% of the achievements in Sonic Generations, I’m on my phone quite often. Has anyone else tried Puzzlejuice and if so what do you think of it? Are you tempted to give it a go?

The GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2011

Back at the end of 2010, a glance at 2011’s calendar either sent gamers into a fit of excited trembling or utter despair. How were we going to play all of these games? What surprises were in store for us? Which ones were going to be worth the money? Could the long-awaited sequels live up to the years of promise? At the beginning of 2012, we now have all of those answers and then some. And thus, the GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2011 list is born.

It sounds like we’re using hyperbole, but we truly feel like 2011 was one of the greatest years of gaming we’ve seen in quite some time. That much is evidenced by each staff member’s ballot – the submissions we used to determine our final top 10 (and yes, your votes for Game of the Year counted as one of our submissions, as well) were wildly different and full of an astounding variety of games. One thing was certain – gamers had a wealth of choices last year, and everyone benefited from it.

So, without further ado, here is our list of the top 10 games of 2011. Enjoy, dudes.

Continue reading The GamerSushi Top 10 Games of 2011

Fan-Made “Legend of Zelda: The Lost Oracle” Trailer Kills It

As a site, we here at GamerSushi aren’t real big fans of “fan-made” productions, normally because they follow the same formula: they take a notable game (probably made by Valve) and pair it up with terrible acting/writing and moderately impressive CG. Not to be too negative, but these kind of get ho-hum after a while. If you really want to gain notoriety, try something different, like Joel Furtado did with this Legend of Zelda: The Lost Oracle short.

What do you guys think? Were you impressed? Would you like to see another Zelda game in this style?

Random Encounters II

Every now and then, I will sound off on a number of topics that are on my mind lately. As the Triple-A titles start rolling in this week, here are a few of the things occupying my grey matter this week:

1. Shadow of the Colossus is such a great, artistic game that makes you feel like a tiny ant next to these behemoths, while also making you feel like a bad-ass when you take them down. But then you feel terrible at seeing such majestic creatures tumble in agony and you question whether or not you are the hero in this game. Also, I love the simplicity of it. Find a Colossi, kill it. That’s it. No fetch quests, no nothing. Want more like this. Can’t wait for The Last Guardian

2. Final Fantasy XIII-2 comes out on the 31st and I am pretty excited. I don’t really care for much for the story of this game, but the time-travel aspect has me more intrigued than I should be. As long as the battle system is improved or unchanged, I know I will enjoy my time with this game. Having spent the extra twenty bucks for the Collector’s Edition, I can’t wait to hear the soundtrack that accompanies it.

3. The SOPA blackout was a success as the legislative momentum has died out, but I would like to see more alternatives to combating piracy from the groups opposed to the bill. The solutions I see most are getting more content in an easier place for people to access, but most things are already plenty easy to obtain. The most pirated movie of the year in 2011 was Fast Five, which clearly shows we are dealing with a species unfamiliar with quality. Fast Five was still successful, but also making the list was Source Code, I Am Number 4 and Sucker Punch, all of which had lackluster revenues. I can’t help but think piracy had something to do with this and I would like to see the brilliant minds of the Internet devise a workable solution to limiting piracy.

4. I drive myself crazy trying to decide whether to trade in a game or keep it. Some are easy: Dead Space 2 and Killzone 3 were fun, but I don’t see myself ever going back to either of them. But Uncharted 3 and Batman: Arkham City are so fun and there are moments I want to go back and relive or in Batman’s case, collect all those Riddler trophies. I always tell myself that I will do it when I have the time and have no other games to play, but will that ever happen again? I have less time every day and more games coming out every week to play. I honestly don’t know what to do.

5. I hear talk about people Occupying E3 for some reason that I have not bothered to pay attention to and all I have to say is: No. Stop it. As ardent a liberal as I am, the Occupy Movement had its place and it raised awareness for the issue of income equality so much that it is being used to damage certain candidates in the Republican Primaries. It was a success. To leverage it into a protest at E3 is just annoying and unimaginative. It’s become a trend and it should be stop before it becomes the political version of a flashmob.

6. Finally, I plan on getting Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii, which releases on April 2nd. It’s only being sold through Nintendo’s website and GameStop. Trying to avoid ever setting foot inside a GameStop again, I went to Nintendo’s site and there is a disclaimer that they will begin shipping at the end of April. The game comes out on the 2nd! WTF! Sorry, Big N, but you just drove me right to GameStop. Why would they make it such a terrible deal to get the game from them? This is Nintendo! Surely they can pull some strings and get better shipping times for people! My only hope is that enough people buy this game that Nintendo decides to bring The Last Story to the U.S. as well.

Well, that’s my take on these topics. What’s your view on any of these? And what else is on your mind? Pull up a chair, pour yourself a nice cup of coffee and let’s just talk.

Rumor: Anti-Used Game Component in Next XBox

Used GamesWell, this is quite a whale of a rumor. It seems that Kotaku recently heard some supposed details of the next generation XBox (we refuse to call it the 720) from an inside source. While these things tend to happen quite a bit and only have a small chance of actually being true, this rumor goes beyond traditional hardware specs.

On top of a rumored Blu-ray disc drive in the next XBox, DVR capabilities and the launch of Kinect 2, Microsoft is supposedly including some sort of anti-used game component into its next system. Yes, you read that correctly. According to this source, there will be some kind of system in place to keep the next XBox from playing used games.

If this is true, it would make a pretty big splash on nearly every side of the gaming industry. Continue reading Rumor: Anti-Used Game Component in Next XBox

Mass Effect 3: Special Forces Trailer

One of the biggest pieces of news to come out in the last few months has been that of the inclusion of a multiplayer mode in Mass Effect 3. Specifically, a co-op horde mode of sorts that has an actual bearing on the single player game. As is typically the case with the Internet, this news was met with all kinds of hyperbolic reactions – from those complaining that it was going to ruin the main game to others celebrating it without even seeing anything.

Well, now we can expect even more outrageous reactions: Bioware’s released a trailer for Special Forces mode in all its glory, teasing the game’s final release in March and the demo that’s scheduled to drop next month. I have to say, the footage looks a bit more fun than I anticipated – I definitely think the different races/classes are going to mix up the gameplay.

Thoughts, Sushians?

Blizzard Cans BlizzCon 2012, Citing “Jam-Packed Schedule”

no blizzcon 2012

In a move that’s sure to incense Jay Mohr fans the world over, PC gaming giant Blizzard announced today that it will not be holding its annual celebration of its franchises down in Anaheim, California. The convention, which has not missed a year since 2006, is usually the platform Blizzard uses to announce its upcoming projects. With a next-gen MMO rumored to be waiting in the wings, many people had hoped that 2012 would be the year that we would first see “Titan”, but it appears that this isn’t going to be the case.

With a game from each of the company’s major properties hitting this year, Blizzard has said that they’re a little too busy to make BlizzCon 2012 a reality. While this certainly is disappointing, the prospect of seeing not only Diablo 3, but also StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm this year is more than enough to make up for it (there’s some Kung Fu Panda based WoW expansion too, I guess).

Blizzard will still be putting on the Battle.Net World Championship for StarCraft 2, which will take place in Asia closer to the end of the year, so we’re not even going to miss watching StarCraft pros beat the stuffing out of each other.

So what do you guys think of BlizzCon’s 2012 absence? Do you just want to see the games finally be released? Should Blizzard have held their convention, schedule be damned?

Source – Battle.Net

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 38: Managing Your Assassins in Space

I think we’re going to spoil you guys. Yes, that is now 3 podcasts in a row. And this one is more meme-tastic than most, if you can believe it.

That’s right, much of the beginning of this podcast is about the release of our game of games here at GamerSushi, Resident Evil 6. This is the celebration of all things good and proper, and the end of our time of mourning now that Resident Evil 5 has passed into the annals of gaming yesteryear. So yes, there is much rejoicing. And hopefully you’ll join us as we pave the way for the Game of Our Time.

Besides us going fanboy-tastic on RE6, we also talk about RPGs and choices, Bioshock Infinite and Modern Warfare 3. After all of that, we play a game of Over/Under, where project review scores for the next few months of releases, including Mass Effect 3, Twisted Metal and Final Fantasy XIII-2. As always, I’m right again and win at everything. This should be no surprise by now. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 38: Managing Your Assassins in Space

Tiny Tower is the Dumbest Game I Can’t Stop Playing

I don’t know why Jeff gets the rap around here as the iOS game guy, I’m just as guilty as putting as much time into my iPhone as my PC or consoles. Maybe it’s because I play more than two or three of the major triple A titles every year, but I digress.

Recently I’ve become addicted to a game called Tiny Tower made by NimbleBit. It’s actually been out for quite a while but I didn’t check it out until recently. This is one of the benefits of iPhone gaming, in my opinion, there’s not really a rush to get to the newest titles quickly (there are exceptions like Sword and Sworcery and Infinity Blade). Mechanically the game is very similar to Game Dev Story, but instead of running a studio, you build and maintain an apartment/shopping center and stock it with stores for your little “bitizens” to work in. There’s actually very little game here after the opening few hours; aside from a bit of re-stocking every now and then and building new floors, the game is hands-off for most of the time.

So why am I so addicted to it? Part of it is that the game taps into the aspect of my personality that really loves sim titles. Even if Tiny Tower requires very little attention from me, I still like the feeling of running something and micro-managing different aspects of it if I can. Even though the stores you get are random (and fall into different categories like retail, service and food, to name a few) you still need to staff them with bitizens who are good at those types of job, and try to get them into their dream jobs if you can. Another reason I really like Tiny Tower is because the game works on a similar concept to the Achievement noise, as the it will constantly chime at you when it needs to be re-stocked or when something else happens. It’s the definition of Pavlov’s Bell, and I hate it and love it for that. It’s the perfect game to have on your phone because it requires little attention and even when you have it open it only has you doing menial tasks like moving the elevator between floors.

So much of my time is spent glued to my phone because of this game, even though I spend very little of that time actually doing something. Have you guys tried Tiny Tower? Is there a game that you’re addicted to for a stupid reason? Go!

Saint’s Row 3 and the Out of Date Escort Mission

Saint's Row 3

I’d like to consider myself a fairly patient gamer. I don’t have too many deal breakers or things that make me want to lambast a particular game in general. I’m very much able to greatly enjoy a number of titles despite small (and sometimes even massive) failures. That being said, there are occasional stumbling blocks I hit when playing a game that throw me for a loop.

Take Saint’s Row 3 for instance, a game that I love dearly at the moment. For all of its zany mayhem, hilarious writing and occasional forward-thinking (such as the GPS arrows on your HUD), the game has the occasional bothersome design hiccup. The biggest offender? Escort missions.

Like the top of some ancient relic poking through an otherwise serene landscape, these out of date mission prompts completely disrupt the flow of the game for me. What’s worse than that is the fact that for the first few hours, nearly every other mission you’re performing is an escort mission of some kind. Sure, they take on different shapes – you could be escorting someone below you while raining down rocket launcher fire or protecting a pimp while he goes to make girl/drug deals, but in the end it’s all the same.

As much as I should be used to these things appearing so frequently in games, it kind of seems like we should be past them now as a medium. I’m not saying that they should never appear again, but I do have to say that I’m surprised by their frequency, considering the fact that they have almost never been in the entire history of the people of Earth. I mean really, shouldn’t we have left these things behind last gen? I’m surprised that we still see these at all. You can add exploding red barrels to that list, as well. But I could be the only one that feels that way.

What do you guys think? Are escort missions out of date? Are there any other random gameplay tropes that still surprise you with how often they appear in modern games? Go!

BioShock Infinite Steps Up the Difficulty with 1999 Mode

BioShock Infinite 1999 1

Some of the other writers here at GamerSushi may fall into the category of gamers who would agree that developers “just don’t make ‘em like they used to.” With plenty of respectably aging gamers out there who grew up on games that made today’s “Veteran” difficulty look like child’s play, it’s no wonder a change was bound to happen. The crew over at Irrational Games, makers of the BioShock series, is introducing a new level of difficulty in BioShock Infinite with “1999 Mode.” This mode is designed to “challenge players in a variety of ways – each requiring substantial commitment and skill development.” But what does this mean exactly?

I’m an old school gamer. We wanted to make sure we were taking into account the play styles of gamers like me. So we went straight to the horse’s mouth by asking them, on our website, a series of questions about how they play our games. 94.6 percent of respondents indicated that upgrade choices enhanced their BioShock gameplay experience; however, 56.8 percent indicated that being required to make permanent decisions about their character would have made the game even better.” – Kevin Levine, Creative Director

The idea behind 1999 Mode is to make players think much harder about the decisions they make while playing the game. Gone will be the day of rushing in like Rambo without thinking. Players will have to deal with each and every one of their choices – sometimes permanently. This new game mode will also force the player to pick specializations and focus on them. The new mode will also have “demanding” stat requirements including health, power and your weaponry. Respawning will also be much tougher, with players experiencing the old school “Game Over” screen if they don’t have sufficient resources to get back into the action.

So what do you guys think of this new game mode? With games like Call of Duty, where players can charge through recklessly, will BioShock Infinite’s new approach change the way we approach single player campaigns? I can certainly see this sticking with certain types of games. How about you guys? Will we see more of this in games, or can today’s youth not handle the challenge?

Source – Business Wire

Trailer Reveals Resident Evil 6 Coming November 20th

Anyone who has been to this site and listened to our podcasts knows what one of our all-time favorite games is: Resident Evil 5. So it would follow that aside from being the game we always try to mention in every podcast, it is also the game we want to see a sequel to more than almost anything else. Our wish, it seems is coming true, much earlier than expected.

Capcom, rather than following the Square Enix model of announcing a game 6 years before release, has suddenly released a trailer announcing Resident Evil 6 will be hitting stores on November 20th on PS3, 360 and PC. Only 10 months before release. Yes, I’ve already started the countdown. In another in a series of shocks, the trailer shows off some actual gameplay. It has a very epic feel to it and the shooting style that debuted in RE 4 returns.

[youtube width=”500″ height=”310″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sS_bGpe9qE8[/youtube]

Dead Space has set the bar high lately in this genre, do you think Resident Evil 6 can clear it? ¡Mátalo!

Poll: Most Anticipated February Release?

We skipped our poll for January because there was nothing really noteworthy coming out until the 31st, so I am actually going to include the releases for the 31st in this month’s poll. I hope everyone is okay with this, but if not, you always have the option of making your own website and your own set of rules regarding the calendar.

2011 is gone and the games that it brought were almost unparalleled in terms of quality. 2012 has a lot to live up to, but I think the first few months are up to the challenge. We have sequels galore, HD reissues and maybe even a new IP or two. Check out the poll below and let us know what February release is the one you are looking forward to the most. Mine? Do you even need to ask? It’s Final Fantasy XIII-2, although Twisted Metal is a close second. Hit the poll and hit the comments!

What February Release Are You Most Looking Forward To?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

GamerSushi Asks: Falling Out with a Game?

battlefield 3

It’s rare, but sometimes the games we love just don’t appeal to us anymore. Sure, things may start off great in the beginning, but eventually something sours and we turn against even our most cherished titles.

This phenomenon happened to me recently with Battlefield 3, something I talked about a bit on Episode 37 of the GamerSushi Show. Since then I’ve tried to get in a few games to see if I could get back into it, but the magic is gone. I don’t know if it’s a case of preferring the way that Bad Company 2 handled, or if the netcode is really bad on my end, or what, but Battlefield 3 has just dropped off my radar.

It’s kind of a shame considering how hyped I was for this game, something my fellow staff members and regular readers would know fairly well. I posted every trailer and every snippet of news about the game, but now I can’t even go fifteen minutes without turning it off.

I wish I knew what made me turn my back on the game, but it’s very hard to pin down. At first I was enjoying the beautiful environments and the destruction (toned down as it was), but then I noticed that I was getting killed behind cover a lot, or I was being killed by five or less shots when I’d already fired a whole magazine, or no one on my team was PTFOing. When Back to Karkand came out it helped revitalize my affection for the game, but after hours on Wake Island (which is somehow now a terrible map to play), I’m considering leaving BF3 behind for good.

I don’t lone wolf all that often, but I’ve been doing that more now that my normal squad mates have left. Maybe it’s a case of me trying to fit in to a team-based game, but even the most team oriented titles allow for a little solo play. Has anyone else experienced something similar with a game? Have you started off enjoying something and end up not standing the sight of it?

Mass Effect 3 Demo Coming February 14, Contains Multiplayer

mass effect 3 demo

The final chapter in BioWare’s sci-fi trilogy Mass Effect will be releasing on March 6, but fans will have an opportunity to try out the various features of the game on February 14 when the demo launches.

In a post on BioWare’s social site, Chris Priestly laid out the details of the newly announced Mass Effect 3 demo and what we can expect from it come release day. The demo will feature both single and multiplayer content and will be launched simultaneously on all three platforms.

The single-player portion of the demo will contain a couple snippets from Mass Effect 3, one taking place early in the game during the initial Reaper assault on Earth and the second will occur on an unspecified alien homeworld where Shepard travels to gain the support of the populace. All three of Mass Effect’s different single-player modifiers, Story, Action and Role-Playing, will be available and Xbox 360 users will be able to take advantage of the Kinect integration. The demo will have all classes available and you can customize and level up Shepard. Progress in the demo does not carry over to the main game, however.

The multiplayer component of the demo will be available to all on February 17, but owners of Battlefield 3 (with an activated Online Pass) will put their boots on the ground day one. A microsite will be up on February 7 where you can check and see if your EA account is eligible for early access, but as long as your account contains an active Battlefield 3 Online Pass, you’ll be good to go. There will also be an early access program for people who have not purchased BF3 or activated a Pass, so no worries there.

The multiplayer demo will contain two levels, Slum and Noveria, but beyond that BioWare isn’t saying. I’m happy for an opportunity to try out the multiplayer, even if I’ve already pre-ordered the Collector’s Edition (although it should be Reaper’s Edition in my opinion).

Are you guys excited for the Mass Effect 3 demo? What are your thoughts on the early access for multiplayer? Oh, one more thing: PC players will need to get the demo through Origin, EA’s much-maligned digital store.

Source – BioWare Social Network

The GamerSushi Show, Ep 37: Don’t Call it a Come Back

After the long-awaited arrival of last week’s video podcast, many of you expressed your wishes that we not wait so long before the release of the next one. Well, for the first time in my life, I’m afraid I won’t be disappointing all of you – here’s a brand new podcast, fully of shiny gaming stories, GamerSushi memes and all kinds of other wonders.

This podcast brought us the monumental task of trying to recap an entire season’s worth of games, ranging from Bastion all the way to Skyrim. We used this as an excuse to try out a new game, Lightning Round, and I think all of you are going to be happy with the results. It was a nice way to run down a staggering list of games in a way that didn’t take 87 podcasts and two years of our blabbering to cover.

In addition, we played a game of Buy or Sell with a number of industry topics. Like we do. Listen up and enjoy, friends. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Ep 37: Don’t Call it a Come Back

Demo Madness with Kingdoms of Amalur and The Darkness 2

kingdoms of amalur reckoning

It might just be me, but 2012 seems a little light on big tent-pole titles. 2011 would be a tough year to beat, true, but this far out the only notable games I can think of are Mass Effect 3 and Halo 4. I’m sure I’m missing some, but beyond that I’m not too sure if there’s anything to look forward to.

Demos dropped today for a couple relatively unknown games hitting early this year, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and The Darkness 2. Kingdoms of Amalur is a new one for me, but it’s got some well known names behind it like Big Huge Games, Todd McFarlane, Curt Schilling and R.A. Salvatore. Big Huge Games made one of my favorite RTS games of all time, Rise of Nations, then kind of dropped off the map for a while.

Reckoning, which I’m going to be calling it for brevity’s sake, is a Western-style RPG that’s very reminiscent of Fable and Dragon Age 2. It controls more like a brawler, but you have all the RPG trappings you’ve come to expect from games of this flavor. You can pick one of three archetypes (warrior, rogue or mage) and min-max from there, but thankfully the game doesn’t lock you into one specific class. I actually really enjoyed my time with Reckoning, which has fun combat, a beautiful world, and an engaging story (despite all the obtuse fantasy terms). I can already tell it’s one of those games that sucks you in very quickly and doesn’t let go. I just love the art style in this game, which is stylized and helps differentiate it from similar games in the genre. Even the most basic weapons and armor look bulky and bad-ass and the spell effects are flashy and powerful looking.

I have a couple of minor nitpicks, mostly concerning the inventory and the conversation systems. Reckoning straight up lifts Mass Effect’s dialogue wheel, but doesn’t give your character a voice. Maybe I’m too used to that, but if you’re going to copy someone’s ideas, at least go all the way with it. That’s a minor annoyance compared to the inventory, however. Like most RPGs, you get a huge stash of loot to manage, and the screens to do so are big and clunky and move kind of slow. You can put consumables like potions on a wheel to use in combat, but you can’t put various types of weapons on there, meaning that during the tutorial I had to constantly hop in and out of the menu to use the various gadgets the game was trying to show me. Once you nail down your class I expect that this smooths out, but it was kind of annoying.

That said I’m really looking forward to Reckoning after playing this demo. Like I mentioned above, it’s a game that just grabs you and pulls you in without any difficulty, something that only BioWare and Bethesda games have managed to do. Hit the jump for the other demo I tried. Continue reading Demo Madness with Kingdoms of Amalur and The Darkness 2

Mass Effect 3: Does Choice Allow for Character Depth?

Mass Effect 3 Shepard

Whenever people talk about JRPGs being obsolete in relation to the success of the modern Western RPG, the one thing I can never escape is that the Western RPG’s freedom tends to work against its story. As great a game as Skyrim happens to be, its narrative takes a backseat to whatever impulse it is that drives us to pick locks or hunt foxes outside of Whiterun. I think this is one of the reasons that the Mass Effect series appeals to me – it still manages to have a tight, exciting narrative while allowing the player a certain amount of freedom. Somehow, the series has straddled a pretty nice sweet spot that brings the best of both of those worlds.

In the latest release of Bioware Pulse, the company’s video series highlighting its projects, lead writer Marc Walters discusses their desire for Shepard to be a much deeper character this time around than ever before:

“One of the things we wanted to do in Mass Effect 3 was deepen Shepard as a character, so you really get to express what your Shepard is feeling and going through, throughout the war… We wanted to take that next step with the story telling. Yeah, it’s a war, yeah it’s got giant robots we get to shoot in the face, but there is a human side to the story. You are role-playing, and you are role-playing as a human. Why shouldn’t that human have an emotional component throughout the game?”

Here’s my question, and one I think the Western RPG is going to keep running into as long as it does business this way: can a lead character in a game based on player choice ever really have depth? Sure, Bioware has come up with some memorable, incredibly well-written characters in the past – but all of these completely outshine the main characters, who are just conduits for your own one-dimensional choices. I’m not sure if those things can ever co-exist, and I think developers could be kidding themselves if they think they can.

How do you guys feel about this issue? Can lead characters in games based on player choice actually have depth? Is it OK for them not to?

Source – VG247

Penny-Arcade Starts Gaming News Initiative with Ben Kuchera

penny arcade ben kucheraPenny-Arcade has traditionally stood up for the “little guy” in the gaming industry which is us, the paying customers, the gamers. In the past, this has involved being pretty vocal about the way the big gaming news sites handle their content and PA has attacked everyone from IGN to GameSpy and beyond.

In a pretty surprising turn this morning, Penny-Arcade announced that they are moving into new territory by finally breaching into the realm of gaming news by picking up famed Ars Technica editor Ben Kuchera. While no specific format has been announced yet, Ben’s Q&A on the Penny-Arcade forums has revealed that the site will most likely consist of hefty pieces of content released Monday, Wednesday and Friday, much like the PA comics proper.

Ben Kuchera is no stranger to the video game industry, having worked at Ars Technica for just over a decade. If you follow Ben Kuchera on Twitter, then you know that he’s not afraid to get down and dirty when he needs to, so the new Penny-Arcade site will benefit from his unique stance on the various happenings in video game-dom.

Penny-Arcade expanding into gaming news is a monumentous occasion, but perhaps it isn’t so surprising considering they’re a company that’s tried their hands at everything from web TV series to conventions that draw crowds in the thousands. What do you guys think about this move? Are you excited to see what’s going to come out of PA’s new site? What kind of content are you hoping for?

Source – Penny-Arcade