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Archive for the ‘Hype’ Category

News and Hype: Mass Effect 2 and Save Games

Posted by deckard47 on December 29, 2009

Because I know you are all waiting, breathless, your save games clutched to your chests. You had better be.

This here (linky) is a long post on the Mass Effect 2 forums concerning what will and what will not carry over when you transfer your old Mass Effect saves into the new game. It is both practical (how do PC users do it, etc.) and exciting. It tells you about all of the little things that your previous playthrough will affect, from starting alignment and money, to slightly plot-related things. It’s not much of a thread (after the initial post, it degrades into those Internet people being rude), so I guess I’ll throw this Gametrailers ME 2 page in for good measure. It has a ton of trailers (one which I had not seen when I first linked to it, amazingly), and hopefully it will make the next 4 weeks pass less fretfully.

For everyone else (and me!), there are ME playthroughs to complete. I may not be in love with the voice of male Shepard, but I feel like I should have a character to take into ME 2 that is both a renegade (all of me women renegades are on the hideous 360 version. Bah) and a dude. As always, I’ll probably spend hours trying to create a guy (who doesn’t look like their stubbly villain) who looks like a human. This is how far I’ll go for my Mass Effect love!

Somehow, I’d managed to stay away from the Mass Effect 2 site until tonight. I’m not sure how that is even possible. As you all know, in the weeks and days preceding Dragon Age‘s release, I was almost intolerably obsessed with the site and its codex. Now, I discover a similar trove (an evil trove) of delights on the ME 2 page. Here, for instance, is a link to Tali’s page (with, of course, a video). No need to thank me. Slightly less exciting (but still exciting) than Tali’s page is the page on the Vorcha, one of ME 2‘s new races. Not only do they look cool and scary, but their name also sounds quite similar to a certain class of Kilngon warship.

Maybe I should stop now. There’s a whole page detailing the Mass Effect 2 armory, but what I really want are lore entries. Of course, most of the lore is already in place, thanks to Mass Effect. Still, there are new races and enemies, weapons and vehicles, so I hope they reveal some of that stuff closer to the drop date (January 26th). That’s a long way off, but I’m sure that commander Tom Shepard (it’s actually really weird to give a character your own name, I’ve discovered) can keep me company until then.

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Hype and Impressions: World Building in Dragon Age

Posted by deckard47 on October 30, 2009

My love for the soon-to-be-released Dragon Age has not gone undocumented on this blog. The same can be said for Mass Effect (although I’ll grant  you that the latter is perhaps a more well-founded love). I loved many things about Mass Effect, but the things I loved most and spent the most time with (as my housemate can attest to) were the copious log entries and encyclopedia entries. Bioware built an entire sci-fi world, using mostly familiar parts, that I still found convincing, vaguely foreign, and fun.

Of course, I’ve been anticipating much more of the same for Dragon Age. After all, these people built my beloved Baldur’s Gate, and although they came to a world already fully formed, it wouldn’t have been a fun, exciting world if they hadn’t wonderfully intermingled the game story and the IP itself. Dragon Age is getting great reviews, though people seem less than thrilled with the “dark” fantasy world Bioware has created. I can’t say I felt one way or the other about it, up until today. I’m fine with waring houses, backstabbing, inter-species intolerance, oppression, and magical intrigue and legislation. That all sounds rather exciting to me, but maybe I’m just easy that way.

My excitement level is no noticeably higher than it used to be. I decided I would visit the official Bioware Wiki for Dragon Age, which contains a lot of lore, backstory, and other cool stuff. I’m sure (I hope) that they’re saving the really in-depth stuff for the game, but it’s nice to read some descriptions and passages. I was especially taken with the character bios. Some are simple descriptive passages, but the one for Alistair is especially fun. It is done in the style of a recounting of certain events (Alistair’s recruitment into the Grey Wardens), as written by some sort of historian or record-keeper. Let me just say, this shit scratches my peculiar itch like no other. I’m not sure if it’s well-written, seeing as I’ve ingested enough fantasy nonsense over the years to become inured to its flaws (but not its charms, I’m happy to say), but I thought it was fun and interesting.

I suspect I’ll be spending the rest of the day there, reading up on people and places. I hope there are more fake historical passages like this. They really make the world seem more real, in a simple, uncomplicated way that I like. This is the kind of thing I think would be fun to do. I envy the writers at Bioware, spending their days writing and editing stuff like this. Obviously, that is where I need to end up. Now starts my dark campaign to convince people to hire me for such purposes despite a complete lack of professional fiction writing history!

PS: Borderlands has taken ahold of me, in an unhealthy, vicious way. I’ve played tens of hours of that game in the last 4 days. I wonder when it will release me.

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Interviews/Hype: Ruffian Games Does it Right

Posted by deckard47 on June 25, 2009

From a recent interview on Edge about Crackdown 2:

Not everyone connected with the freeform nature of the original. Will the sequel feature more visible characters and interactions?

BT One thing we’re not getting caught up in is dialogue-driven cutscenes. It’s not what we do and we’ve no business going towards that kind of thing. If we got dragged into the fight that’s going on between other games in this genre, I think that’d be a bad move. We’ll definitely have variation with the objectives and push forward with the freeform structure; we don’t just want ‘find-the-boss, kill-the-boss’. We made the first game and we know what was lacking. We’ve listened a lot to the community and the reviews. Obviously, we can’t take every comment on board, but we’re doing our best to address the biggest issues.

Now ,it’s not like I loved how transparent the last game was in its gaminess, but I was definitely glad I didn’t have to listen to my agent talk to a “sexy” companion who helped him, or a “trusted friend.” We know where that kind of thing leads, don’t we?

Then there’s this reassuring tidbit:

JC One thing we’re pretty proud of is that people don’t look at it for the technology; they look at it for the game. It’s very easy to get lost in technical achievement. We have to make technical leaps to benefit the gameplay, but we only think in terms of the player.

Assuming these guys are on the level, this is a strangely practical, sensible approach to game design. Now, if they can just make the people you fight a bit less problematic, make the strongholds less insta-death at high levels, and make the game just a bit longer (I loved it, but it was over too soon), I’ll be happy. Oh, and they better bring back the Voice of the Agency.

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Screens/Hype: AvP 3 -> 3 Screens

Posted by deckard47 on May 26, 2009

I’ve just finished another article, and I’m actually happy with this one. Hopefully it’ll be making it’s way to GSW soon, and I hope you all like it. As I said, it’s the first one I’ve really liked in a while, so I hope the feeling is mutual. To help send me off to bed, I present to you three new screens (it looks like they must be screens, bullshot are way smoother than this, mostly) from AvP 3. Delicious:

I have to say, I’m very excited to play more of the Alien and Marine. The Predator was always fun in multiplayer, but as a single player experience, it just felt like another super-powered shooter guy… Also, of course, I hate the movies, meaning the trappings of that fictional race offend me, whereas the eternal struggle of Alien and hideously outnumbered Marines is music to my ears.

I’d be remiss (I say that a lot) if I didn’t mention that we have some new blogs on the roll over there. The blogroll, that is. Aside from Game Design Advance, we also have Fullbright. Both feature interesting, exciting article written by people who are (one supposes) even more interesting and exciting. If you’re curious, check them out. That’s it for tonight, I’ve scoured my blogs, my friends, the people who I don’t even like to read. Nothing that just has to be linked before sleep showed up though. Desole (look, too lazy to paste in the accent!). I do promise that both a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and a mystery article are forthcoming, along with several reviews. Gotta make that pre-E3 push. Until later.

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Hype/News/Impressions: 2 Things!

Posted by deckard47 on April 14, 2009

I stumbled across two interesting things today.

The first is an article on 1up’s RPG blog, about the Mass Effect 2 panel at GDC. I’ve seen the video before, but the writeup they did is really interesting. Apparently there was originally a whole extra mission/planet for Liara’s introduction (akin to the Feros or other large mission planets), but it was scrapped at the last minute due to its bad quality. This is really too bad, and explains why the mission to pick up Liara is so brief when compared to the others. It’s also too bad that they completely scrapped it. I’d love to see what it was like, flaws and all, because I’m sure it would still be really interesting. Really, this is just an excuse for me to wonder dreamily about Mass Effect 2. What will it be like? I’m so excited, and I have to wait so long for it.

Second, an article by L. B. Jeffries at my beloved Popmatters, discussing what’s so cool about Far Cry 2. It contains spoilers, as I found out to my detriment, but it also makes a lot of good points. The great thing for me right now about this game is the way it allows me to change my style of play to suite my mood. To be sure, in RPGs like  Fallout 3 I can play however I want, but it’s great to be able to do this on the fly, without having to level for 10 years before I can make a choice. As I mentioned earlier, I had thic cool stealth build all set up, but found that the game is just a little too punishing when it comes to enemy AI. They’re smarter than the simpletons in Deus Ex, Thief 3 (which I’m, playing on the new computer… more later) or even the original Far Cry. Anyway, in response I’m decking myself out with an upgraded shotgun, Mac-10, and so, a mortar launcher and machine gun. Exciting. Oh, and as Insult Swordfighting reminded me, there’s nothing like that first floppy, misfired rocket launch. It’s such a great “oh shit new plan before I die” moment, and I can’t remember anything like it recently.

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Hype/Screens/Videos: I am reminded of Zeno Clash

Posted by deckard47 on January 30, 2009

I dunno if y’all saw that Steam advisory about a sweet new game using the source engine called Zeno Clash, but RPS has a very interesting interview/writeup about it, and I’d suggest checking it out. After that, I would also recommend checking out this rocking trailer from their site. The colors and art are amazing, the combat looks fun (and will hopefully be as fun to play). Basically, it looks like nothing I’ve seen before, so I’m eager to get my hands on it. Soon, it would appear, I’ll get my wish, and through Steam no less. Awesome.

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Hype/Impressions: Venetica + Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble

Posted by deckard47 on January 20, 2009

As the title of this post suggests, I will be discussing two things today! First, as I recall I linked to a post/screens of Venetica a while ago. Venetica is about the daughter of death, who hangs out in Venice traveling back and forth between life and death and being awesome. It’s made by a German developer, who are also the people (I think) behind Drakensang. For the non-francophiles out there, this game is about Dragonblood. Shit be awesome. I’m gonna download the demo as soon as I get the chance to reboot into PC. For now, a screen from the increasingly interesting looking and sounding Venetica:

Here’s an exerpt from the Kotaku writeup of the game (or maybe they got it from somewhere else? There’s a lot of typos). It’s sounds fucking sweet, if I do say so myself:

It’s not just Good that awaits Scarlett in the Twilight World – the pure evil lurks there too, waiting the daughter of Death. Those who know the story of Venetica are aware of the bad necromancer, who is the source of all evil in the game’s story. He, Viktor, empowered himself with the Grim Reaper’s supernatural powers and now threatens the world. So, it’s not only countless horrific creatures that are waiting for Scarlett. Viktor’s powerful accomplices also hound her..

Equipped with supernatural powers, Viktor’s allies await Scarlett in the Twilight World once she has defeated them in the world of the Living. Now, Scarlett will face her real challenge: Using their powers, the evil helpers transform themselves into huge beasts, becoming even more powerful now that they reached the realm of the Dead.

Venetica’s Twilight World offers even more to the players: It’s not only special NPCs and enemies that resurrect in the world of the Dead – also Scarlett herself uses the underworld to re-awake. This allows her to generate herself tactical combat advantage, for instance by repositioning herself unseen while staying in the Twilight World, and afterwards surprisingly returning to the world of the living.

There is another special connection between Scarlett and the Twilight World: Her literally eternal love to Benedict, who dies just at the start of the game, bounds her to this world. Scarlett will meet her love regularly. In fact, Benedict will be the one who reveals Scarlett’s supernatural powers and who trains her in how to use them.

Many additional skills and abilities allow Scarlett to make even more use of the Twilight World, for instance by summoning creatures or by giving her unusual insights in both the worlds of the Living and the Dead. So, the Twilight World offers a full load of innovative gameplay features to Action RPG gamers.

Secondly (you knew it was comng!), I’ve just started playing Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble, and I’m enjoying myself. I’m still a little fuzzy on how I’m winning/osing some of the challenges, but I like the catchy era-appropriate (I suppose, since I’m not 80 years old) music, the tone of the writing, and the amusing, anti-adults stance many characters take. It’s a very cool adventure/puzzle game, and I’d suggest checking it out. Perhaps I’ll link to it, now that I think of it. I wish I cold think of a third thing to post about, so as to make the post title a lie, but I can’t. I fail. Oh wait!

I had an absolutely brilliant few rounds of Left 4 Dead last night. I managed to land myself with the the (if they don’t mind me saying so) coolest crew possible. I’d like to single out El_Guapo for being seasoned and knowledgable and understanding, even when the rest of us fucked things up. We made 5 or 6 tries at advanced No Mercy, and got it in the end. We almost finished Death Toll, before some people dropped out. All in all, a very excellent run. Chances are it won’t happen again soon. Later.

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Hype/Screens: FF XIII and Dragon Age

Posted by deckard47 on July 14, 2008

I took a break from trying to create an evil character in Fable (so hard! I kill so many townspeople, and I’m barely disliked… I might be good just because I can’t be evil) to check out E3 news, and I’m glad I did. It looks like Final Fantasy XIII is coming to the 360, which is nice for people who only have a 360, and is also nice for those of us who might not want to do a 15 GB install or whatever the game comes with on the PS3.

Now on to what really matters. Dragon Age screens!:

Take a look at that last screen. This is where I get really excited, and really worried. This could be Mass Effect meets Baldur’s Gate! Look at it! Then I think about what the graphics (close up) and the HUD remind me of… NWN 2. I know that was an Obsidion release, but Bioware did make the original NWN. I need to stop this before I say something too dumb. From now on, only thoughtful, positive comments will be made regarding Dragon Age. Really

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Videos/Hype: Again, I Almost…

Posted by deckard47 on May 6, 2008

No, please, don’t do a video interview of Ubisoft Montreal about Far Cry 2, have them speak in English (with French subtitles!) and have one of the guys describe “a truly terrifying story of lions in our camp!” I may die from laughing. Oh no, it is the lions! Shit!

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News/Hype: It’s aaah meeee!

Posted by deckard47 on April 25, 2008

I don’t know how many of you have read the PA post for today, but it pretty much sums up how I think I’ll be reacting to the game. I liked Kart 64, I liked Double Dash (especially co-op driving, against two other people), and it looks like I’ll like this game. It’s fun, an important quality, and once Sam and I do get a Wii (it’ll happen!), we’re going to be rocking mushrooms and green shells all the fucking way.

Oh, and in my boredom, I found out that Dead Rising 2 might be on the way, but from a western developer. Honestly, if they can keep the same scope and feel, but polish the thing up a bit, I don’t care who develops it. Oh, and I have to go confirm this, but I heard that CD Projekt (the weirdos behind The Witcher) are looking for 360 talent. What could that mean? I really hope it’s not the Age of Conan port. Who cares about that. Now, The Witcher 360…. Interesting. Maybe they could produce a functioning game?

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Hype/Videos : Exploding Robot Wombat Team

Posted by deckard47 on October 24, 2007

If you don’t pay attention to the ludicrous music, the new Ratchet and Clank game actually looks really cool. Now I just need about 700 dollars to throw away on a game system. Blarg. This is what happens when I do thesis research, I start wandering the internet looking at random stuff, and then realize I have to go back and read boring letters about Forster, written by D. H. Lawrence. Aaaaargh!

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Hype: More Psychonauts!…. Maybe

Posted by deckard47 on October 23, 2007

Wow, check this out. Here is the page that Kotaku references. I hope this is true, I hope it so much. Although if it really is going to be a simple Wii port of Psychonauts, I don’t care, I can get the original for next to nothing on Steam. Obviously, we need a sequel.

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Hype/Videos: Betazoids in Mass Effect

Posted by deckard47 on October 18, 2007

Ok, I know this is the second video link post in a row, but if you wait untill just under 2 minutes into this video, you find out that Marina Sirtis, aka Deanna Troi, will be playing (and I swear this is true) “Matriarch Benezia.” I’m not good enough to make that up.I think that there must have been some planetary alighment for her to play a part in this game. Plus, she is so serious about that “Asari commando unit.” Really though, I love video games and all, and I would be an awful voice actor, but it must take some guts to speak those lines and still be able to look at your face in the mirror.Now we just need Jonathan Frakes as a sexy younger man who rocks an awesome beard and totally doesn’t have a big belly. Seriously, guys, he’s in shape. Also, note the presence of Lance “I am scary” Henrikson.

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Impressions/Hype/Videos: Back to "Work"

Posted by deckard47 on October 17, 2007

So, after that rather silly blogging yesterday, here we are with some very serious stuff… Video links!

First off, Unreal Tournament 3, which looks like it will play exactly the same as it did a few years ago. Which is alright, I loved that game, but seriously, when will I have a computer that can run this game?

Next, more awesome daring-do in Acre. I love all of the animations, but that combat looks kinda silly. Each guy takes his time, letting you duke it out with other guys? But, you look like a total badass, so maybe it will work out.

Finally, I wish I had a Wii, cause Mario Galaxy looks rocking. Too bad that kid playing looks like an idiot. Still, really cool.

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