Mass Effect Andromeda Vs. The Jaded Keyboard Jockeys

Mass Effect Andromeda has been getting brutalized by some reviewers over the last few days.  While some would-be gamers like to fancy themselves as respectable ‘Reviewers’ I am hopeful that they learn what it means to grade a piece of media on any sort of scale (qualitative or quantitative) and the danger it poses for some gamers that might actually enjoy the game – regardless of reviews.

I am not an Xbox One owner and I don’t own a PC that can run the new Mass Effect without buying a new case and GPU to play the game early.  I can say from my experiences as a former Mass Effect player that most of the reviews I have read don’t really surprise me in many regards.  It does make me wonder if any of these people played through the initial trilogy.

I played through Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 before taking a hiatus after hearing that the trilogy had a ‘bad’ ending.  See what a bad review can do to someone that should make their own decision?  The first sentence of this paragraph is why I am more than willing to give Mass Effect Andromeda a chance.  I don’t know that I will be a day one purchaser, but I can tell you that the crux of the bad reviews has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Some reviewers talk about how the navigation system of cumbersome and counter-intuitive controls.  Did they never play the first three titles? Seriously, I still didn’t know how to equip attachments to my weapons by the time I finished ME2!  The wheel navigation, the loading screens, the seemingly pointless conversations with NPCs… the list goes on in some ways.  Mind you – this was my impression of the initial trilogy… not Andromeda.

Jack

By the time I finished Mass Effect 2 I found myself actually missing Jack (a character I really grew to appreciate) as she died at the end of my playthrough.  I have read a lot of books in my life and I have become attached to a lot of characters in those printed words.  Never did I feel sadness at the loss of a character like I felt when I lost Jack. This was nearly ten years ago and goes to prove my point that while Mass Effect had controls that I didn’t particularly care for and dialogue that was lame at times – it was a great story that grabbed my soul in some ways.  It is up to the gamer to find their reason to save the universe and maybe some of the people in it.

Mass Effect is a story meant to be played through.  Yes, you get to choose your own adventure in some ways.  Deciding to be a dick to someone asking you a stupid question might make you feel like the renegade you are earning points for, but really… aren’t you playing a role in something bigger?  In a game about the far reaches of a galaxy it doesn’t seem fair for someone to say a game is crappy or bad because the dialogue options seem mundane.  Granted, maybe they should take a look at their own reviews and ask themselves who the real cliché is in this case.

I won’t be an apologist for whatever Mass Effect Andromeda turns out to be.  If it is as disappointing as No Man’s Sky I will be the first to laugh at my future purchase (thank the gaming gods that I never bought NMS).  However, you won’t find me being harsh to a game that will hopefully prove to be a nice reintroduction to the Mass Effect universe.

I hope to find a character that grabs me like Jack did during the original trilogy. In the end, we are all just trying to find a reason to save our own universe.  In the case of Mass Effect Andromeda I hope to do the same.

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Is This The Worst Year In Gaming?

You may read the title and think I am nuts, but continue reading and you will see the light.

The first and most obvious sign that this year is a bad one for developers is the fact that we have Call of Duty Black Ops 2 (from Treyarch, aka – The Bad COD Developer) competing against (and already defeating) EA’s Medal of Honor: Warfighter.  Why do these two high profile games make a case for this being the worst year in gaming?  The answer goes a bit deeper but we will start with the fact that you have already seen these titles before.  Black Ops 2 is going to be based in the ‘future’ and Warfighter lets you fight in a war against terrorism with different groups of fighters from around the world.  Terrorism, future bad guys, leaderboards, prestige ranks, overpowered weapons, whining teenagers and ‘reload’.  You now have the end of 2012 being a fine example for what 2012 was for many gamers – the worst year in gaming.

 

Exhibit 1 – Mass Effect 3

It is one thing to have games like Call of Duty bringing whining people out of the woodwork, but when it is an RPG and you bring the nerds out of the woodwork – you better be ready to see the gates of Mordor open up and Sauron to have his eye upon you.

Mass Effect 3 was disappointing for multiple reasons, outside of the lame ending (which caused many Mass Effect fanboys to demand and get their money back from Amazon) there was also the somewhat forced multiplayer component.  The problem with multiplayer in story-based RPGs is that it makes it feel more like a buddy movie than an epic saga.  Say what you want, but Mass Effect 3 was a bad omen for gaming in 2012.

 

 

 

Exhibit 2 – No New Console Updates

You would think that with the gaming community all but beating on the doors for a new console from Sony and Microsoft that there would be some talk about a new console or at least some sort of new processing power that they are working with.  You have gotten nothing but rumors and even those are only coming from the XBox… where are the Playstation rumors?

 

 

 

Exhibit 3 – Sports Titles Are Garbage

Somehow there is a way to screw up games that are based around stuff we enjoy on an everyday basis.  While there is one shining beacon of hope coming from Sony’s MLB The Show baseball series – it seems that every mainstreamAmerican sports game (soccer and hockey somehow avoid this distinction) is a sad excuse for software development.

Be honest, Madden and NCAA Football have been essentially the same game for 3+ years.  While they have made some tweaks in Madden for Real Time Physics and Tuners (which werenever once used) they have avoided any real sense of innovation since they bought the exclusive rights to make NFL games and knocked 2K Sports out of the running.

This left 2K to throw their weight behind two sports – Basketball and Baseball.

2K’s basketball is perhaps only rivaled by MLB The Show in quality and overall awesomeness.  It is incredibly deep and very well developed.  The game is smooth and the AI/CPU is intelligent during the game.  The depth of Association Mode and My Player being this game to the forefront of sports gaming.  Unfortunately, 2K also makes baseball games.

2K baseball has been a disaster ever sense MLB 2K8 was released, between the glitches and frame-rate issues there is little reason to talk about, let alone consider this game as anything more than the XBox owner’s only option for baseball gaming.  That is the saddest part of all.

Sports gamers often have no choice.

There are many other reasons we could sulk over a bad year in gaming, but what about the perks and the great things that have happened in gaming?  Don’t worry – we will have a lot of time to cover those as NoobTubeTV is going into overhaul to bring you the best in gaming.

No Happy Ending? A Different Take On Mass Effect 3

I will start with this – I haven’t played Mass Effect 3 yet.  However, I have played through and enjoyed the first and second iterations of Mass Effect.

That said, I think it is silly for people to be so disappointed with how the game ends.  I don’t care if the series ends with Shepherd simply waking up from a bad dream in the Final Fantasy Universe or if you find out that Tali is really a man.  Fact of the matter is that you should expect to be disappointed in this series.

Why?

Two Reasons –

Reason One – Simply because you are expecting to save the universe and everything will end up okay in the end.  Mass Effect has given you a lot of lose-lose scenarios to deal with in the past.  This is not going to be any different.  The only real choice is whether or not to buy this game new… to which I answer ‘No’.

Reason Two – If you want a better ending you will pay for it.  EA and other publishers are moving towards a business plan of micro-transactions.  Think about all the expansion packs and such that come out for almost every game.  The goal is to keep you playing and paying for new content. 

I thought the old adage was that life was all about the journey... Not the destination.

A lot of people claim to want more realism in games; this also hinders their arguments about bad game endings, certain weapons being over-powered or the constant ratings debate in sports games.

Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but saving the universe is bound to end in disappointment from some angle.  If you want to be pleased with the ending of a game you also might want to try out going back to the games you have already played and enjoyed.  The best ending is one that leaves you talking about what might happen next.  Check out the movie Inception and try to tell me otherwise.

The worst thing video games have done is make you feel like the protagonist always wins or achieves the perfect ending.  The world is a cruel place and it is high time gamers learned that too.

This will be no more true than when EA/Bioware release an add-on that will give you a chance to finish the game with a fairy tale wedding and hugs all around.