Mass Effect Andromeda, Glitches

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Image Source: Gamesradar

So, remember when I said that Mass Effect Andromeda has some odd design choices–well, it also has glitches.  I’ve seen the effects of rushed games before Assassin’s Creed Syndicate was particularly bad (the patches for Assassin’s Creed Unity, however, made the game quite stable and glitch free, but Syndicate was just as buggy and crash-prone as Mass Effect Andromeda.  Here are two fairly egregious examples:

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This glitch came about when I was on the ice world of Voeld (?) and I happened across to “Resistance” fighters who had been “fused” together into one animation rig (take a close look at the aliens head, arms, and legs).  They “phased” in and out of each other but had two heads and you could clearly see that their bodies overlapped one another to create a “Double-headed” character.  Again, with more time in development this would have probably been caught by the Q.A. testers and put on what’s called a “glitch” list to be patched out either before the game shipped, in a day-one patch, or in a successive patch released down the line.

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The second glitch I want to highlight came about on the desert world of Kadara where a “raider” was supposed to be running at me firing her weapon.  However, this was kind of hard for her to do as neither of her arms worked correctly and were twisted out to her sides.  Her running animation also did not trigger, so she just “hovered” around the surface of the planet as if she had invisible skates.  It was both pretty funny and pretty painful considering that I spent the full asking price for the game.  Again, this is something, with enough time, that could have been seen and fixed before release.

EA, Anthem (another BioWare Game) and Quality Control

So what happened?  EA, the publisher of ME:A had another game by Bioware the company that made ME:A under development (Anthem).  Anthem is one that they are positioning to be a competitor to Destiny, a rival game from rival publisher.  This is where much of the focus went.  This new game was developed by a different “division” of Bioware, has a huge focus in terms of resources and talent, and more importantly was working towards a fixed schedule in terms of release date–2018.  EA also has another big game, Star Wars Battlefront II, in which they’ve invested a lot of time, energy, and marketing in coming out Fall of 2017.  So for EA to have done the right thing by consumers by delaying ME:A would have affected the publishing schedule of these two other games in the pipeline.  So they chose to release a game that was “not fully baked” because they didn’t want to impact the sales of these other two games.  So, in essence, EA sacrificed the fans of the Mass Effect brand in order to satisfy the fans of the Star Wars brand and to “win” (or at least make in-roads) against the fans of their rival in business (i.e., Activision and their game Destiny) having built up this fan-base all through the Playstation 3/X-Box 360 era of gaming.

Now I am a Star Wars fan, still a Mass Effect fan, (& based on the trailer) I will probably be an Anthem fan, but I’m no longer a fan of EA.  Doesn’t mean that I won’t buy EA games, but it does mean that I will be both more selective in the EA titles that I buy and I will be sure to wait both on reviews and patches on EA products.  I will probably no longer buy EA games immediately simply because I cannot trust EA as company to have my best interests as their customer at heart–ME:A proves that EA is more committed to sticking to their production schedule and releasing a game that isn’t fully polished just so they won’t risk cannibalizing sales of upcoming products–ME:A needed 6 more months of polishing, but that would have put it in and interfered with their plans for Star Wars Battlefront II and that is NOT the way a company should treat its customers.

Think I’m the only one who feels this way?  I’m at least committed to finishing the game.  Check out YouTuber gamermd83 take on why she “left” ME:A and why the game was such a disappointment to her.

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E3 New & Notable Games (Day 2): Star Wars Battlefront 2

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Star Wars Battlefront 2

The second of EA’s games to make an impression on me was Star Wars Battlefront 2 (SW:B2).  I’m a massive Star Wars fan and I bought the first game.  However, because there was no story campaign and I was trying to apply for PhD programs when it released, I didn’t get to play it as much as I would have liked.  I dipped into a couple of modes and played a few multiplayer matches, but nothing like what I probably should have for a game of that length and scope.

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Even though they mostly showed extended multiplayer footage of the game, I still think that the single player campaign will be good and that this will be a good game and the story (at least from the trailers) looks interesting. Below are links to various elements of the game and this is one I’m looking forward to when it releases later this year.

Story/Campaign Trailer

Assault at Theed Multiplayer Demonstration

Well, that’s it for EA–I’ll move on to Ubisoft games that were interesting in the next post.

Need for Speed – Payback

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Image Source: Wikipedia

Since this E3 week, I’d thought I’d use this week to highlight some of the more interesting games that I’ve seen and I’m excited about that have been announced during the week.  I won’t talk extensively about them, but just to give a little explanation about it and why I’m interested in it.  So far, this E3 has been light on games that have interested me.  EA had two games (well, they had 3, but they botched one by not premiering on their own stage, but giving only a teaser while giving an “extended” premiere to Microsoft, while Bethesda had nothing that interested me particularly this year, so today and tomorrow, I’ll briefly cover the two games from EA that were interesting.

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Image Source: Digital Trends

Need for Speed – Payback

I know few readers of the blog will be interested in video games, and fewer still will probably be interested in a racing game, but this one is doing something different.  It is trying to tell a “story” using racing gameplay as the driving force (no pun intended) to move the player through from one story element to another.  It is very much inspired by the Fast & Furious (F&F) film franchise, but imagine that instead of just watching exciting car chases on film, you could actually take control of the cars and do all those crazy “set pieces” yourself.  That seems to be what NfS:P is going for.

Now, EA has tried this once before in a Need for Speed game, Need for Speed The Run (NfS:TR).  The Run tried to tell a cinematic story, but it didn’t work out very well.  I finished The Run, but felt no desire to go back to it once the story was done.  The story, which had you trying to get the main character into 1st place by the time you reached the other coast line was too restrictive and didn’t work as well as they planned.  However, several F&F films have been released since then and I feel fairly confident that they have figured out how to integrate the narrative with the gameplay this time around.

Here is the trailer for Need for Speed Payback Gameplay Trailer and here is the trailer for The Fate of the Furious (Furious 8) for comparison.  You’ll notice a similar “vibe” between the two, I think.

This one looks like it could be a lot of fun.  I am cautiously optimistic for it and will check the reviews when it releases later in the year.

 

Black Panther, E3 and Me

 

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Image Source: YouTube.com

So, this blog was going to be about E3 (the video game and computer game conference happening on the West Coast this weekend), but Marvel released a teaser trailer for the Black Panther movie coming in 2018.  You can find the teaser trailer here: Black Panther Teaser Trailer.

I’m very interested in this movie as I was introduced to the Black Panther via a Marvel Comic that talked about the various gadgets and costumes of Marvel heroes in the early to mid 80s (it was the same comic that described the Mandarin’s rings and Falcon’s  wings/jet propulsion system) and mini-series done about the character when I was in High School in the late 80s/early 90s.  However, I discovered that the movie will debut next close to my birthday, so I feel that it will be a great movie to see as a present to myself, so I’m already “sticking a pin in it” as the expression goes.  I hope it turns out as well for Marvel and the creators as well as Wonder Woman has turned out for DC this year.  I will keep it on my radar.

E3

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This weekend marks the kickoff to the E3 Conference.  I am a very big fan of video games and video game narratives, and this is where the newest games and technologies are mostly announced for the upcoming year.  E3 used to be about selling games and software for Christmas, and while it still has some of that element, mostly its about things that will be coming out in the next year and building anticipation for things even further out (a year and a half to two years).  Electronic Arts’s Press Conference kicks things off later today, and then tomorrow will be Bethesda.  Ubisoft and Sony will round out Monday’s coverage and then the show will begin in earnest with games out on the show floor.  EA’s press conference (or EA Play Event as they technically aren’t doing “Press Conferences per se since last year) is scheduled to kick off at 1pm Eastern time (9am Pacific Time) and I plan on watching that before digging into some yard work that I’ve put off for too long.  If there’s anything fun and relevant to the blog, I’ll probably talk about the things that were announced that I find most interesting (games are doing some pretty neat and novel things in the narrative space these days).  In between the conferences, I hope to get some writing done over this weekend as well.

Have a great weekend!