Here is the latest article I wrote for Official Xbox Magazine. It’s all about the recently released Rebellion Pack for Mass Effect 3. If you haven’t gotten it yet, you should! It’s free and amazing! Read the full article for all my thoughts!
Here is a link to a feature I added to at Official Xbox Magazine. We were all disappointed at BioShock Infinite’s release date postponement, but we all know Ken Levine treats video games like the interactive art form they are, so we expect this delay to make the game better than it already would have been. My blurb is the 7th one out of the 8.
What features do you hope to come out of this release date delay?
Here is a link to a video I did for Official Xbox Magazine. My part was playing the game for the video capture and making all those ridiculous crashes happen.
If you haven’t downloaded Trials yet, you absolutely should. It is super fun and a great game for people with tight gaming time schedules. There is even a level that makes an homage to Limbo, I played it, it’s amazing.
Here is a preview I did for Official Xbox Magazine on the upcoming Jeremy McGrath’s Offroad racing Xbox Live Arcade Game. I don’t normally play a lot of racing games, but this one is pretty good. It has a lot of cool little mechanics that I describe more in detail in the full preview. So click the link and read more!
Here is a news story I did for Official Xbox Magazine today. Looks like we all get to look forward to being in Dragon Ball Z, thanks to Kinect, in October.
Here is a news story I did on the Digger Launcher replica that Kronos Props made a little while ago. What’s funny is that I already reblogged this story before I did it for OXM. Aw well, double coverage can’t hurt, right?
Here is a review I did on the last installment of Saint’s Row: the Third DLC. I absolutely love this title and wish they were coming out with more add-ons or, better yet, a fourth Saint’s Row game. If you haven’t played any of the DLC for this game I recommend that you do. Granted all three are on the short side, they are still a lot of fun and its always great to return to Steelport for more ridiculous antics.
Here is a link to a roundtable I did with Official Xbox Magazine the other day. Due to the recent trend of giving old games face lifts we all weighed in on what old school game we would like to see with modern visuals. I voted for Conker: Live and Reloaded, what game would you want to see revamped with HD graphics?
Here is a news story I did on a recent Kinect hacking. It involves a Kinect and an Etch-a-Sketch, follow the link for more!
Here is a solid opinion column one of my colleagues, Ryan McCaffrey, wrote about the recent internet storm over Mass Effect 3’s ending.
I think he makes a lot of good points and gives worthwhile advice to the developers. The recommendation of Ryan’s that I found most important was for BioWare to stick to their guns. It is good for the creators of a well-loved franchise to listen to their loyal fans, but to a degree. You can’t make everyone happy all the time, that’s just life. Half of those die-hard fans have never even tried to design a game before and therefore their rants and criticisms should be taken with a grain of salt.
I also find it shocking at the amount of backlash the developers are receiving. I understand the disappointment people are having from being underwhelmed by the ending to a such a rich story and universe, especially putting in the hours any loving fan would (I put 33 hours into Mass Effect 2). However, I see this as a “don’t bite the hand that feeds you” scenario. I also agree with Ryan that, in the end, this is a seller-consumer relationship and BioWare needs to remember that. If people don’t like your product, then screw them. Enough others will enjoy your work to make the unsatisfied few a very small minority.
The way I see it, the developers at BioWare sacrificed countless hours to bring you this game, working through long, stressful nights. That’s a lot of time and energy to put into something just to have it thrown back in your face. The developers aren’t our indentured game-making slaves. They make games for us because they enjoy the creative processes and problems associated with development. Our pleasure from their games does matter, but I see it as more of an added bonus to the job. So in the future, if an event like this happens again (I hope it doesn’t), inciters take a step back and think about your place in this relationship, before causing an illustrious developer to make reprehensible decisions that could affect the industry as a whole.
My one critique of BioWare is maybe this all could have been avoided if you had planned a little better. As revealed in this article, BioWare says they made up the story as they went along. While this may have worked initially, this whole debacle makes me think they wrote themselves into a corner they may not have wanted to be in.
Plus, as Ryan mentioned, BioWare is only hearing about the bad things about this game. There are so many good things about Mass Effect 3! People need to stop focusing on the negatives and enjoy the other parts of the game, like the addictive and ridiculously fun multiplayer. I haven’t stopped playing multiplayer since I got the game. The main story has barely progressed because I have been way too addicted to powering up my level 16 Engineer. I do plan on finishing the story, and my delay has nothing to do with this topic, I just can’t stop. Also, I bet I will like the ending, and if I don’t then oh well. I’ve played my share of games that were super fun right up to the ending. Its disappointing when a game hiccups at the finish line, but it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment I had playing the game up to that point.
Here is a link to an interview I transcribed for one of my bosses at Official Xbox Magazine. Check it out! I particularly liked the part where Inafune-san talks about the differences between Japanese and Western game developers and why some Japanese aren’t as interested in FPS games.
What I found funny about transcribing this interview was that it took no time at all. It was a 40 minute interview session, which would normally take about 4 hours to transcribe when both parties speak English, but this one took an hour and a half. Since Inafune-san is Japanese, he requires a translator to listen to the interviewer’s question, translate the question into Japanese for him, listen to his answer while taking notes so they don’t forget any of what he is saying, then regurgitate that answer back in the best English possible. From listening to the interview and hearing the answers Inafune-san gave in Japanese followed by what the translator said in English, I can tell a lot gets lost in translation due to the large time difference in how long Inafune-san spoke in Japanese and how long the translator spoke in English. This is nobody’s fault per se, but it cries out for a better method of doing cross-cultural interviews.
Also, have you ever thought about the amount of trust that there has to be in a relationship that requires translation? So much! If you were the non-native speaker, you have to trust that the other person is saying exactly, or as close to exactly, what you are saying. There is so much room for error and since you don’t speak both languages you never know if what you are saying is coming across at all like you want. It’s scary when you think about it, you pretty much give up your voice to the will of others. Not to say that I think translators are bad at their jobs or are malicious in anyway, but that possibility is always there and would make me nervous if I had to communicate through someone else, especially because I think I’am very good at conveying my own thoughts and I have my share of OCD.
I really wonder how much of what Inafune-san said was accidentally left out or didn’t translate well between the 2 languages. Both those factors could severely change what he said.
I think Japanese is a beautiful language. With lots of hard sounds mingled with others that flow in an almost poetic fashion. I find transcribing the Japanese interviews at work a lot more enjoyable than transcribing any English speaking people, because the language is so interesting to listen to and most of the interview is translation, so there isn’t as much work.
Here is a hands-on preview I did for Official Xbox Magazine on the Content Collection 1 DLC package coming out soon.
I don’t play a lot of MW3. I always enjoy the campaigns though, I think they play like a Michael Bay film. I particularly enjoyed the beginning of the MW3 campaign, it was exciting and fast paced with great set piece moments. With that in mind, I’d like to add that the 2 new Spec Ops missions (Black Ice and Negotiator) are super fun. I got to play it with my boss and we had a blast fighting our way through each level. Both missions were filled with tense moments and require solid teamwork to complete. I highly encourage anyone vaguely interested in this franchise to get Content Collection 1, if only for the Spec Ops missions.
It’s cool that the COD developers/publishers are still working so hard to provide great content for their fans this far out after launch, while not making all the goodies exclusive to people a little more well off. Times are tough and companies shouldn’t be greedy. They should aim to work around people’s lower and slower income rates and inspire loyalty in their customers through reasonable game additions such as this one. I think Content Collection 1 is a great example of a franchise taking care of it’s fans through all SES.