After a couple months of silence, BioWare has finally dropped the release date for the Extended Cut DLC for Mass Effect 3, and in a pleasant surprise it will be coming out next Tuesday.
So, what does the Extended Cut DLC contain? You can check out the Mass Effect website to get the whole lowdown, but here’s what you need to know about the DLC.
The Extended Cut expands on the endings of Mass Effect 3 through additional scenes and epilogue sequences. It provides more of the answers and closure that players have been asking for. It gives a sense of what the future holds as a result of the decisions made throughout the series. And it shows greater detail in the successes or failures based on how players achieved their endings.
So, just to clarify, the Extended Cut does not change the current endings, but just fleshes them out, which is something that they could benefit from. The Extended Cut is a whopping 1.9GB as well, making it the largest chunk of downloadable content for the Mass Effect series to date. The best part is the price tag, which is zero dollars and zero cents.
Next Tuesday will determine whether or not the Extended Cut actually changes things for better or worse, but what do you guys think? Are we in for another wave of disappointment? Will we have to re-retake Mass Effect? What do you want to see in the Extended Cut, bearing in mind that it just builds upon the established endings? Go!
A couple of days ago, one of gaming’s greatest franchises hit a very special milestone — Final Fantasy turned 25 years old. It’s hard to believe that a quarter of a century ago, series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi released what he believed to be his swan song, the game that would end his career as a game developer. Much to the delight of millions of RPG fans, that turned out not to be the case.
Even though the series sometimes gets a bad rap because of its current direction and its sometimes head-scratching missteps, it’s hard to argue that Final Fantasy as a whole hasn’t changed gaming for the better. Because of this series, developers dared to bring sweeping, epic stories of magic and empires, rogues and princesses to gamers everywhere. I know that in my own life, Final Fantasy is responsible for some of the more profound moments of my adolescence, from seeing the crumbling urban setting of Midgar to the rolling plains of Ivalice.
Say what you will about where RPGs stand today, its longstanding themes of camerederie, friendship and redemption were uplifting then and still are today, in a way that most modern games fail to tap into. Those kinds of experiences rank among what I miss the most about the games I played a decade ago, and I’m still waiting for the Final Fantasy experience in today’s generation.
So here’s a salute to Final Fantasy — happy birthday, you old devil. Feel free to share some of your favorite memories and moments in the series. Go!
Oh, Diablo 3, will you make it out of the strange lands of WTF-dom? Blizzard’s massively popular RPG may be a success with critics, but the design choices being made even after launch have left players more than a little outraged.
The new Diablo 3 patch 1.0.3 has changed many things for the game, but one of the new side-effects is that purchases of Diablo 3 through Battle.Net will take up to 72 hours to process. Yes, you read that right: copies of Diablo 3 bought online will restrict players to the Starter Edition of the game (limited at level 13 and Act One to the Skeleton King, no Auction House and no online play with owners of the full edition) until the transaction is processed.
Blizzard has tried to do some damage control saying that it will normally take less than 72 hours for the majority, but this turn of events is incredibly strange. It’s not made clear why exactly the purchasing process has to go down this way, but one thing is certain: people are not happy.
What do you guys think about this move? Most of us already have Diablo 3, but what about those of you who are holding out? Will this affect your purchase or is it not really a big deal? Is 72 hours too long a wait considering that you can get to the Skeleton King in a few hours?
Everybody’s scrambling to get aboard the SS MMO these days, abandoning ship from traditional single player titles. Even franchises that are considered hallmarks of single player gaming such as Final Fantasy, KOTOR and Elder Scrolls have dropped their former identities, opting instead to join the seemingly lucrative temptations of the MMO genre. After the success of WoW in the mid-2000s, everybody’s been trying to recreate that same money-producing machine, with mostly mediocre results. Most end up going free to play eventually, which is something that even TOR is having to consider.
So here’s the burning question, then: why has nobody been able to follow in WoW’s footsteps? Because, GameSpy’s Leif Johnson argues, we’ve simply outgrown MMORPGs. In this article, Johnson does a nice job of laying out the state of the industry and digital connectivity in the past and now, and shows why trying to copy the WoW formula for modern games is just developers trying to turn the clock back on gamers. He believes that in an age of instant gratification, social media, mobile and more, it’s just going to take something more casual to be a runaway hit.
This is a question I’ve actually been wondering about myself. I think it’s so interesting that developers consider MMOs to be such a surefire hit that they’ll invest millions and millions into production, when so few have even done well to begin with. Yet new IPs are considered inherent risks? If only one MMO has had the kind of longevity that developers really want, then why does everyone keep trying to do this? What convinced everyone that the WoW formula was the way to go, even almost 10 years later? One glance at the paltry Elder Scrolls MMO shows that it’s just another WoW clone, even when that seems like a surefire way to fail. I guess dollar signs are hard to ignore.
What do you guys think about this? Have we simply outgrown the MMO? Do developers need to find a new way to make MMOs work for a new generation? What’s the new way to do MMOs right? Go!
One of the big “news” topics today is the fact that Bethesda’s upcoming steam-punk game Dishonored can be completed in around 12 hours, according to the developer. This takes into consideration that the player is trying to do the game as quickly as possible, and more considered playstyles will naturally lengthen the hours.
For me, 12 hours is a pretty good length for a single-player campaign. I don’t really have the time to invest in multiple 100+ hour games, and like the Bard says, “brevity is the soul of wit”. Of course, whenever this type of news comes out, people crawl out of the woodwork and complain that the game is too short. Games shouldn’t really have an hour formula that covers all of them; each genre is better suited to its own style. Why else would all current FPS games be under six hours long? There are a lot of reasons, but I imagine one of them is that it’s hard to make that style of play interesting for more than a half-day at best (there are exceptions, of course).
The Mass Effect games have taken me around 40 hours each to complete, which is perfect for those games. You get out as much as you put in, and it sounds like Dishonored will be the same. I don’t get the impression that the game is an entierly linear experience, so it sounds like the ability to put in a fair chunk of time is there. Just because a game can be beaten in 12 hours doesn’t mean that it has to go down that way.
I know a lot of this sentiment comes from a game’s price tag and people want a good investment for $60. I can understand that, but at a certain point this griping gets a little out of hand. So what say you? Is 12 hours too short? Does game length matter that much to you?
Hardcore games on the Wii have been few and far between lately. Despite Nintendo’s proclamations that their next system will focus on hardcore games before casual, it still took a massive online campaign to get the Big N to release Monolith’s epic JRPG, Xenoblade Chronicles, in the United States. Now that they have, was it worth the wait?
Guys, I feel like I’m drowning here. As much as I enjoy being a brand new dad, it goes without saying that my free time doesn’t look quite the same as it did before. While I still am taking plenty of time to do some personal writing, not every hobby is created equal, and gaming has suffered a big hit. In the last few weeks, I think I’ve played maybe just an hour or two of video games. This is probably going to be my situation until our newborn starts sleeping through the night a little more, which I hear should start happening in a month or two. Fingers crossed.
The thing is, I don’t really mind not playing video games all that much for the reasons you might think. Sure, they’re fun and I love hopping into games of Mass Effect 3 multiplayer with the GS guys, or catching up on some Diablo III with my one of my brothers. I love wrapping my mind around Fez’s twisted puzzles and aiming for new times on Trials: Evolution. But the thing I’m finding out I miss the most? The way gaming calms me down.
There’s just something about playing video games that relaxes me after a day of stress at work. Even if it’s just 30 minutes, taking that time to apply my brain to something that isn’t seafood menus or billboards unwinds me in a way that almost nothing else can. That’s what I start to miss when I’m not gaming.
So what about you guys? What do you miss about games when you’re not playing them? Go!
Civilization games are famous for taking a long time to complete, but even your most hardcore marathon doesn’t compare to Reddit user Lycerius’s ten year slugging match between his communist Celtics and the Vikings and Americans.
In the year 3991 A.D., the remaining super-powers have weathered over 1700 years of war and are huddled in dilapitated cities surrounded by infertile marshes and radioactive wastelands.
The stalemate comes from the fact that Civ 2′s late game is perfectly balanced and the Vikings attack every round regardless of cease-fires. Every nation is 100% comitted to war manufacturing as any attempt at peaceful rebuilding means that your nation will be crushed by the other armies. Late-game building units are used only to build roads that take units to the front lines and then rebuild them when the infrastructure is destroyed.
While it’s cool that this guy managed to keep a save file for ten years, The Eternal War is also an awesome post-apocalytpic tale. Commie Celts? Spies slipping nukes into cities? Ice caps melting and reforming 20 times? Sounds like a recipe for a good novel.
It’s already June, Sushians, and you know what that means: another installment of What Are You Playing, the recurring post where you get to tell us what currently occupies your PC or console and what you think of it.
May saw a couple big releases, namely Max Payne 3 and Diablo 3, but given that we’re also in somewhat of a draught from now unti September, this is also a good time to catch up on your backlog.
Personally, I’ve been getting back into Battlefield 3 a whole bunch, especially since it’s just had another huge patch which has fixed some of the glitches that the last patch brought on and has tweaked some things that needed it, like suppression and a number of weapons. It’s nice that DICE is committed to upkeep on their game, but this just shows how unprepared Battlefield 3 was when it launched in October of last year. The game has changed in a lot of fundamental ways and I expect it will continue to do so with all the DLC coming out over the next year.
Enough about me though, what are you guys playing? Something new, or maybe catching up on the backlog?
Welcome to the June Power Rankings page update. If you’re new to this feature, it’s our running list of the top 10 games of 2012, pitted against each other in brutal fashion. Think Wizard Chess, only not as cool. Really, that’s not a fair comparison, since nothing is cooler than Wizard Chess, but the point still stands — these games are fighting for their lives.
Just like the last update, we see some more moving and shaking as new contenders arrive, and old games fade away.
I am the resident Final Fantasy fanboy here at the GamerSushi offices and while I enjoy the newer, fancier entries in the series, I always look back more fondly on the games from the good old days, when 2D was the standard and people were okay with random battles. Those days seemed like they had gone the way of the dodo, never to return.
But Square Enix, in a rare attempt to please its fans rather than disappoint them in a way that seems to induce terrible fan-fic, has announced Final Fantasy Dimensions, for the iOS and Android. Bringing us back to SNES days, with Active Time Battle and yes, even random battles. Take a look at this small snippet of gameplay:
What do you think? Does the old girl still have her charm? Am I the only that is going to buy this? Comment, dear friends!
Man, as if next week isn’t already going to be crazy enough, it seems like developers are trying to get ahead of the game by putting out some new trailers on GameTrailers TV’s annual pre-E3 bash. Madness, I say!
In addition to LucasArts announcing Star Wars 1313, a mature third-person shooter that takes place on Coruscant, Konami and Mercury Steam have revealed the first Lords of Shadow 2 trailer. It doesn’t show any kind of gameplay, but it gives a glimpse into the direction of the next game, with Gabriel Belmont as the villain of sorts… and even hints at a new Belmont clan arrival.
But the crown jewel of last night’s trailers would have to be the Dishonored gameplay trailer. It looks like Bioshock and Half-Life 2′s bastard child, if that’s at all possible. View some sweet assassin kills and the crazy steampunk atmosphere below. Lords of Shadow 2 trailer after the jump.
Two years ago, Final Fantasy XIII caused quite a stir among long time fans of the series. As the long-awaited current generation entry into the legendary franchise, expectations were high — and disappointment was even higher. While the game managed to have some quality gameplay mechanics that changed the formula for the better, the story and some of the design decisions seemed like an enormous step backward for the series. In many ways, fans have considered Final Fantasy XIII-2 to be a “do-over” or an apology for the lackluster Final Fantasy XIII. But does it go far enough to resolve fans’ woes?
I forget when something qualifies as “over the hill”, but I think at this point the podcast is probably there. As benefits our advanced age, this week’s show is full of ramblings; without Nick on the cast to rein us in with a game we tend to go off on any tangent we feel like. Like episode 48, the result is a shorter podcast but I think that we have some pretty good discussions.
What do we discuss, you ask? We talk about a large variety of things all the way from EA removing official Battlefield 3 servers to Diablo III’s launch day woes and even how BioWare is floundering with the relationship they have with their fans. There’s also a couple of Day Z stories, some ranting about how we’re all too old to enjoy longer games, and whether or not games can (or should) qualify as art.
So! You know the drill, friends. Listen. Rate. Be fruitful and multiply. See you next time on our big five-oh shindig!
0:00 – 3:00 Intro
3:01 – 8:35 Diablo 3 launch day woes
8:36 – 10:30 EA removes official BF3 servers
10:31 – 13:44 The new new EA
13:45 – 18:13 Diablo 3
18:14 – 27:03 The future of Dragon Age
27:04 – 33:07 Padding games and getting old
33:08 – 36:51 Minecraft xbl
36:52 – 39:36 Walking Dead episode 1
39:37 – 49:29 Day Z stories
49:30 – 57:00 Should games be art?
57:01 – 59:04 Outro
It was only a matter of times once things started going south at 38 Studios earlier this month, but it appears that the employees at both that studio and Big Huge Games have been laid off.
Ever since 38 Studios bailed on paying employee salaries to pay back their debt to the state of Rhode Island, the company had been looking for outside funding but apparently they failed to find it in time. Without another loan from the state, 38 Studios shut its doors today with this unceremonious email:
The Company is experiencing an economic downturn. To avoid further losses and possibility of retrenchment, the Company has decided that a companywide lay off is absolutely necessary.
These layoffs are non-voluntary and non-disciplinary.
This is your official notice of lay off, effective today, Thursday, May 24th, 2012
The trouble apparently stemmed from the fact that Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the studio’s first published game, did not sell nearly as many copies as hoped. Reckoning sold 1.2 million copies but needed to move 3 million to be considered a success. That’s a rather high target, especially for an unproven IP with very little marketing from EA’s part.
What do you guys think of 38′s mass layoff? What’s you opinion on the situation in general?
Diablo III will probably go down as having one of the most successful launches of the year sales wise. Even if Blizzard’s server farm probably melted during the initial 24-hour rush, there’s no denying that a lot of people wanted to play the new hack-and-slash RPG. What’s curious about this is that Diablo III hit the streets with no launch day reviews.
While it can be argued that Blizzard, along with Valve, could get away with not needing day-one reviews, the case can still be made that the rush to review is damaging to both the industry and the consumer. It’s something we’ve talked about before here on GamerSushi, but VG247′s Patrick Garrat takes another look at this concept from the perspective of Diablo’s launch.
As games are becoming increasingly reliant on an Internet connection, pre-release review events are done in a controlled environment so things like latency, server issues and all sorts of errors don’t crop up. Games like this are reviewed in a vacuum and that harms the consumer’s impression. Launch-day reviews can be damaging in this case. Remember Gears of War 2, and all of its great scores, none of which mentioned the horrible net-code that plagued users for weeks? Remember any of the Battlefield games that launched with no connectivity, effectively killing the only reason people bought the game? This is stuff that doesn’t get addressed in a pre-release review session.
The big presence behind all of this is Metacritic, where a studio’s future is made or broken. There’s been a couple cases for breaking away from using Metacritic as a measure of success, but Diablo III is the first step towards actual change. If Blizzard was willing to distance themselves from this model, maybe other publishers will follow suit.
So what do you guys think? Does Diablo III’s successful launch mean that we can eventually move away from Metacritic or is this a case of Blizzard being Blizzard? Do you think that day-one reviews are a detriment to a game’s success? What do you think about the article in general? Go!
We gamers are fools for nostalgia. There has to be some established connection between the parts of our brains that remember video games and the parts of our brains that process adolescent emotion, because it’s staggering how big of suckers we are for the games we played in our early years. There are some titles where just seeing a screenshot or hearing a few bars of music can instantly transport me back to the first time I played a game – that sense of wonder, that yearning for discovery.
Sadly, we can’t really get those first times back, short of some memory-erasing Men in Black contraption that makes everything old new again. But man, what if we could? Lately, I’ve been listening to the Final Fantasy 7 soundtrack and thinking back to the summer I first played it. How my brother and I spent hours trading the controller back and forth, playing it through the day and late into the night, and how sucked in we were by the entire saga. I know it’s cliche, but sometimes I long to experience it all over again for the first time.
I feel the same with a few other titles such as Suikoden III or Knights of the Old Republic. And even though I’ve played all these games multiple times and loved each playthrough, there’s nothing quite so magical as that inaugural one, the one that creates and cements all those wonderful memories.
What about you guys? What games do you wish you could play again for the first time? Is there anything you would do differently in your playthrough? Go!
It seems that Bioware is in hardcore recovery mode these days. As much as I am still in love with this studio, it’s hard to deny that they haven’t made some missteps as of late — and have taken their share of lumps as a result. From the puzzling changes of Dragon Age 2 to the controversial end of Mass Effect 3, this once untouchable RPG producer is now back against the ropes in terms of their relationship with fans.
So it looks like the next step for them is to stop and take stock of Dragon Age and what it means to fans of the franchise. Bioware is going to take a few months to ask a number of questions about where they would like to see the series go — what places they’d like to see in Ferelden and beyond, what races they want to know more about and what kinds of things they’ve been dying to explore.
While this just appears as normal community management from Bioware’s perspective, it also seems like a bit of damage control after the reactions that the company has gotten over its last couple of titles. Although Dragon Age: Origins saw much critical acclaim, Dragon Age 2 is generally regarded as a step backwards in terms of the franchise’s scope, setting and themes. I know I’m just speculating here, but it really looks to me like Bioware is floundering a bit in terms of the direction it wants to take Dragon Age in the future. Obviously, what they’re doing here isn’t amounting to gameplay or story promises — but I do prefer artists to have a much more clear vision than they’re putting on display here.
What do you guys think? Does it look like Bioware is struggling here to reconnect with its fans? Or are they just doing their due diligence to make Dragon Age 3 as good as it can possibly be? Go!
In a situation where many publishers would have left their customers twisting in the wind, Blizzard has once again proven why they’re one of the most respected studios in the business.
Bad news struck potential Australian Diablo III players yesterday when GAME announced that they were going into administration and wouldn’t be handling any copies of the long awaited hack-and-slash RPG because of payment issues with their shipping companies. This left a lot of angry people with pre-orders than were good for nothing.
For a while it seemed that nothing would be done about the pre-orders that were now lost, but Blizzard stepped in and announced that they would be honoring all Diablo III pre-orders from GAME dated before May 15. Yes, eager to help their fans stare at a menu screen along with everyone else, Blizzard posted on their forums that if people affected by GAME’s closure bought Diablo III off Battle.Net before May 21 and sent Blizzard their pre-order receipt before June 20 they will be refunded the whole amount for the game.
Pretty decent of Blizzard to step up and offer a solution instead of just letting all those unsold copies of Diablo III sit around. At the end of the day they’ve got their money and people have their Diablo, so it’s a fair trade, I have to say.
What do you guys think about this turn of events? Pretty impressed with Blizzard? Anyone on here affected by the GAME situation? Go!
Mass Effect is a series that took all of us by storm, drawing us in with its unique, deep sci-fi world and the hook of making your own Commander Shepard with your own story. The first game had a few issues but BioWare kicked Mass Effect 2 into overdrive, giving us a competent shooter/RPG hybrid that garnered numerous Game of the Year awards.
The third game in the series has raised the stakes, bringing the series big bad the Reapers into the galaxy, plunging every race into a war for survival. You’re tasked with bringing together all of the different races under one banner and taking the fight to Earth. Does Mass Effect 3 manage to tie everything together?