Random Encounters III

Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag

Time for another edition of Random Encounters, where I share my thoughts on a variety of subjects that are currently on my mind:

1. I have no proof and only baseless Internet speculation, but I can’t help but wonder if Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag was originally a side-story like the Ezio trilogy and was rebranded as a numbered sequel in order to take people’s mind off the bitter disappointment that was Assassin’s Creed 3. It just seems odd that the AC 4 is in roughly the same time period and is a prequel, which means it might not even forward the Desmond story set in the future. We will have to wait and see, but if that is the case, it’s kind of disgusting, akin to Square Enix allegedly releasing Final Fantasy Versus XIII as Final Fantasy XV. Continue reading Random Encounters III

Video Games In Planet Form Will Make You Wistful

We gamers are a nostalgic lot. We love to be reminded of games from the past, even if that past is from a few months ago. Something about seeing our favorite games in a new way just triggers an ache, one we long to ease by dipping back into a world from our past.

Such emotions were what I felt when watching this cleverly animated video that shows the games we love in a new form: that of an ever shifting planet. Every few seconds, the planet morphs into a new setting, some of which are immediately obvious and others not so obvious. I won’t spoil it as part of the fun is trying to guess yourselves. Check out the video below and see how many you can identify!

Today’s WTF: Fans Tear Mass Effect Novel a New One

mass effect deception errors

Canonical consistency in video game universes is kind of a strange thing, given the loose nature of the story-telling and the tendency that most games have to go back and retcon plot points to better fit in with a new direction (Kojima says hello). Out of all the various franchises, Mass Effect has had a rock-solid fictional underpinning, thanks to the tireless work by the writing staff at BioWare. The in-game Codex has hundreds of entries that are incredibly detailed, giving you back story on everything from krogan reproduction to how spaceships prevent static electricity buildup while travelling at lightspeed.

Given the thorough nature of the Mass Effect universe, you might understand why the new novel, Mass Effect: Deception, is getting ripped to shreds for its heaps of inconsistencies. Written by series newcomer William C. Dietz, Deception picks up the story started by previous author and BioWare employee Drew Karpyshyn and manages to fumble even the most basic facts. There’s a Google Document detailing the many ways that Mass Effect: Deception drops the fictional ball, and it’s kind of hilarious to read.

There’s a whole smattering of errors here which makes me wonder who greenlit the novel considering that it glosses over some pretty important parts of Retribution, the previous book. Characters who previously knew each other have magically forgotten that they met, and one character’s neural disorder (a significant aspect of the last novel) is written off as an “adolescent phase”. I’m not typically one to be slavishly adherent to an established canon (except for when Lucas made Mandalorians a pacifist culture), but I have to think that you want to at least maintain some consistency. As you can imagine, there’s quite the poop storm over this book, with one angered fan going as far as to set it on fire.

What do you guys think? Are fans over-reacting? Should the author and the publisher have taken more care? Go!

Source – Errors in ME: Deception

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.

GamerSushi Asks: Gaming Humble Pie?

Flawless VictoryI’ve got plenty of gaming-related secrets. A few of them I’ve shared before, but some are so embarrassing that I dare not ever let them see the light of day. These include times that I spent hours going about a task the wrong way in an RPG, re-rolling characters and bumping certain games down to easier difficulties because there were no achievements associated with finishing it on Normal. Yup.

And while I won’t speak directly about some of those things, the guys over at Wiki Game Guides have put together a rather humorous (and sadly familiar) collection of the 10 Most Humbling Experiences that a gamer can go through. This list might make you laugh and cry all at once, because it includes getting “perfected” in a fighting game, being asked to switch to Bass in Rock Band and running into the first Goomba in Mario 1-1. Each of those may have happened to me at some point. In a past life. I don’t like to talk about it.

So what about you guys? How many of these things have you experienced? What are some of your biggest gaming shames?

Source – Wiki Game Guides

Eight Video Game Glitches That Will Give You Nightmares

video game glitches

Glitches are part and parcel of any software experience, but there are a few that stand above the rest. The comedy alchemists over at Cracked have put together a list of eight horrifying video game glitches that are sure to terrify the wits out of you. Red Dead Redemption and the notoriously buggy Fallout: New Vegas are on the list but there are a couple on here from games that I never even knew about that are pretty freaky.

The “manimals” from Red Dead Redemption received a lot of attention after the games release and I’ve seen plenty of glitches in Fallout: New Vegas besides the one listed, but the creepy Watson glitch really caught me off guard. The talking bodies from Call of Duty was something I hadn’t seen before either.

Have you guys seen these specific glitches before? Got any other disturbing ones you one to share?

Source – Cracked

GamerSushi Asks: Tackling Life with a New Game Plus

Mass Effect 3

The kinds of features that become commonplace in video games can take on a life of their own over the course of each generation. Things that we couldn’t have imagined a decade ago are now a staple, it seems. Cover-based shooting. RPG elements attached to everything, the list goes on. One of the more recent trends in games would have to be the idea of the New Game Plus.

Granted, this has been around for some time (Chrono Cross had it on the Playstation, for instance), but it’s only been in this generation that we’ve seen it become a fixture. The appeal behind New Game Plus is certainly appealing. Combined with the advent of RPG mechanics, this mode allows players in games like Batman: Arkham City and Mass Effect to take their skills with them into an entirely new adventure, making exciting strides and seeing things from a more powerful perspective than before.

In keeping with this idea, Kotaku writer Lisa Foiles tackles the rather philosophical question of if life had a New Game Plus, how would you replay it? The concept itself is very Groundhog Day, but it’s a fun idea that I’ve thought about from time to time. I know that many of us are still young, but I just thought I’d throw the same question at you guys: how would you handle a New Life Plus feature? Any differently?

Go!

Source – Kotaku