Archive for April, 2012

Imagine famous movies with a Mass Effect 3 ending

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , , on April 29, 2012 by Rabidgames

We all enjoyed Mass Effect 3’s vague and inexplicable ending, didn’t we?
Now, let’s think what would have happened if the following famous movies ended with unforeseeable twists and ludicrous turns …

Let’s embark on an unimaginable journey:

 

Star Wars

Alright, when Luke is fighting the Emperor aboard the Death Star, time freezes and an unknown deity appears from out of nowhere. It gives Luke two choices: Either he sacrifices the lives of all people(s) in the entire system, yet the Republic wins, or Luke becomes the new Emperor in secrecy. Of course, there’s a catch: Whatever Luke does, the force will vanish. Why? It’s the way it is, says the deity.
Oh yeah, Han Solo panics and leaves the battle. Yet, the Millennium Falcon gets damaged by space magic and crash-lands on an unknown planet.

Also, neither Han Solo nor Greedo shot first – the famous first shot was a reflected laser shot from a cloaked C3PO who happens to be an assassin robot in one hell of a disguise, working for Yoda’s evil twin.

 

Blade Runner

So, Harrison Ford finds out he is a replicant himself. In reality, replicants are the natives of earth while they just bred organic beings for their own comfort. He has the choice to make everyone aware of this reverse life, or he kills himself, slaying the truth but preserving artistic integrity. Whatever happens, oxygen will become sparse.

 

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

Of course, Adolf Hitler is there when the Nazis open the Ark of the Covenant. Instead of killing them, the Ark merges all Nazis into a giant super robot with Hitler as its moustache. Indy can beat them off by following Moses’ ghost into a surreal world which happens to be god’s insane mind. Nazibot’s Achilles heel turns out to be an arrow to the knee. Wounded, the Nazis flee to the moon – only to return in Iron Sky! Due to those miraculous events, the universe stops expanding.

 

Alien

The Alien queen tells Ripley telepathically she is the last one of an intergalactic guardian race which is to prevent aggressive races such as humanity to colonise space. Ripley can then decide to synthesize with the Alien queen to create a new, powerful hybrid for the greater good, or she destroys the queen and dooms the universe. Whatever happens, human piss turns from yellow to blue.

 

Matrix

Alright when Neo finds out … well, who is Rabidgames kidding? The end of the Matrix trilogy (aka everything but the original flick) is way worse than the one of Mass Effect 3 … plus, the first movie is missing a green pill!

 

Rabidgames broods: What does define a game or a movie? Special effects, the plot, the end? All of it? What is it people will remember? Would the above movies still be considered classics by their fans if the endings would not have made any sense whatsoever?

The Walking Dead – Yay or Nay?

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , on April 28, 2012 by Rabidgames

Rabidgames faces a dilemma. He played the trial version of The Walking Dead‘s first episode – and he is divided.

On the one severed hand, The Walking Dead seems to be a pretty cool Adventure game (although it rather seems like an Adventure light) which is story heavy – sounds good to Rabidgames. The atmosphere is pretty dark, there are tons of choices to make in the very first minutes – all good.

On the other mutilated hand, The Walking Dead is full of QTE. Mind you, Rabidgame hates QTE. Let’s not go into detail here (too much venom to spew at such a rampant disease) – but if there are many QTE this is a dealbreaker.

So, Rabidgames asks you a question: Is The Walking Dead still worth a purchase if you hate QTE?

Rabidgames is torn: Good atmosphere, interesting story, some adventure feeling … and QTE. Life’s truly a bitch, huh?

Dragon’s Dogma’s Demo or Lots of Fun To Come

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , , on April 27, 2012 by Rabidgames

So, Rabidgames has played the demo for Capcom’s Dragon’s Dogma:
It’s good. Really good. Surprisingly good.

While the first level is nothing but a tutorial and one final boss battle, the second one is even less – it is just a boss battle.

However, the gameplay is amazing: You can hack and slay to your heart’s content, there are many different combinations (you get to see them in the Griffon battle – a rogue has 3 basic attacks, 3 blade attacks (RB) and 3 bow attacks (LB); plus, you can grab and throw enemies).
But the most awesome game mechanic is climbing bosses (just make sure you jump down before the griffon is in mid air …).

The demo for Dragon’s Dogma also allows you to fully customise your character and your individual pawn – you can import it later. There are tons of options, and it seems you can create everything from a Yoda-like bald dwarf to the ultimate amazon hunk.

Oh, and this cool video tells you 2 things:

  1. You can create weird pawns – and there are even weird clothes. Good.
  2. Enemies are way harder in the full game than they are in the demo. Damn good.


Rabidgames is really looking forwards to 25 May: Dragon’s Dogma succeeds in one basic area – the game is fun to play! There is only one potentual issue – will Capcom disc lock half the content once more? Surely, this would be dealbreaker to even boycott such a promising game.

Mass Effect 3’s Operation Excorcist

Posted in News with tags , , , , on April 26, 2012 by Rabidgames

Oh boy, we have been waiting to kill one million damn Phantoms in one weekend, havent’ we?
Actually, that was a nightmare!

Anyway, Bioware has posted the Mass Effect 3 MP community goals for the following weekend:

Allied Goal: Kill 1,000,000 Cerberus Phantoms
Squad Goal: Survive until extraction on any map and any enemy on Gold difficulty.

Successful completion of the Allied Goal will grant all players a Victory Pack.
Successful completion of the squad goal awards a Commendation Pack to all squadmates.

The Gold challenge might be a real challenge for Rabidgames … he’s played Gold only once, and this mission ended in a wave 2 failure.
Plus, Rabidgames is till waiting to finally unlock that damn Asari Adept! Stasis ftw!

Rabidgames is afraid: Taking down Phantoms is one big pain in itself – taking them down on Gold is a nightmare. We’ll see how it goes …

Will The Walking Dead be more than one more zombie game?

Posted in News with tags , , on April 26, 2012 by Rabidgames

On Friday, 26 March, the first episode of the new zombiecalypse game The Walking Dead will finally arrive at the Xbox 360 – it will cost 400 MS points (Rabidgames is still not sure if it’s worth buying all episodes after another or if he should wait for a complete version).

Here’s a small appetiser:

Apparently, The Walking Dead is supposed to be more than the next version of Left 4 Dead, Dead Rising or the underestimated Dead Island … well there’s the “Dead” part … Anyway, The Walking Dead seems to be rather a story heavy narrative focussed on the characters than an all-out zombie slay fest.

Rabidgames says: It’s worth to check out the demo, that’s for sure. Maybe Rabidgames will once more delve into a zombie plagued world, weeding out the undead  … we’ll see in a couple of days …

Saints Row The Third or A Wasted Season Pass

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , , , , on April 25, 2012 by Rabidgames

Yes, Rabidgames made a mistake: He bought the Season Pass for Saints Row The Third, back when it was originally released.
Well, that’s a lesson learnt: Don’t buy stuff unless you’re sure about the quality.

Anyway, the Season Pass allowed you to download Saints Row The Third‘s three “big” DLC packs for a reduced price. Here’s what you get:

 

1. Genkibowl VII

This one is a bad, bad joke. We’re supposed to pay money for 4 new activities – including 2 lazily recycled ones straight copy-pasted from Saints Row The Third (plus, it is just 2 instead of 3 new instances).

First you have Apocalypse Genki, a blatant Genki activity rip-off. Yes, some paths are tougher, and there are sharks jumping out of the water to eat whoever falls in there. Big deal.

Next is Super Ethical PR Opportunity … well, it is a funnier version of Escort – you get to grill pedestrians with flamethrowers – but it’s still the same boring Escort stuff.

On the other hand, we have one of the best activities ever: Sexy Kitten Yarngasm! You control the Yarnie, a giant yarn – and your goal is to decimate everything in your way. Imagine an insane Tank Mayhem … plus, you get to keep the Yarnie for some random chaos, too!

Last and definitely least, there is Sad Panda Skyblazing. In this annoying activity, you have to glide through hoops and also kill mascots on rooftops. The controls are crap, and if you’re done with it you will never go back.

OK, now Genkibowl VII sounds pretty abysmal, doesn’t it? Well, if it wasn’t for the amazing Yarngasm it would be a real turd. Still, one activity alone is simply not worth the money.

 

2. Gangstas In Space

Yep, this DLC is you in a movie (actually, a bit different from the Gangstas in Space mission in Saints Row The Third‘s endgame). Aliens attack earth, you save one friendly alien, destroy everything in your path – and in the end, you’re co-actress snaps. This could be fun … if the missions weren’t bland.

The first one is go from A to B, rescue C, destroy D to Z while in a vehicle – we’ve seen this before a million times. The second one gives you laser weapons to infiltrate an alien base – but that’s it. No insane over the top explosions, no giant space sharks, just shooting humaoid aliens. The third one gives you control of a UFO … remember the mission where you’re in a VTOL and have to destroy enemy VTOLs and base structures? Guess what, it’s the same.

But at least you get to keep those cool laser weapons – forget it. Why? No one knows … At least you get to keep the UFO and some useless homies … Please, avoid if you can.

 

3. The Trouble With Clones

So some nerd managed to clone Johnny Gat, but it turned out something went wrong. Now Gat Hulk is on the run …

Again, this DLC has three missions. The first one is basically a hunt for Gat – you shoot some guys, then there’s a car chase, just like the first mission in Gangstas in Space. The second one gets better though: Pierce must sing Aisha’s songs while dressed as some transexual Aisha wannabe. To prevent crazed fans from storming the stage, you must use the Swarmitron, a bee gun, to shoot at them – sounds crazy, and it is fun.

But the third mission is one of the best – ever! You have insane super powers now – you can punch harder, run faster and even shoot magical fireballs! Hooray. This mission is a blast!

Sadly, you don’t get to keep your super powers to toy around with nor do you get the bee gun … again, a ridiculous design decision! Why on earth don’t we get to keep all the good stuff from DLC now, Volition?

 

Rabidgames is disappointed: Well, Volition has shown how to abuse DLC: Not only did they lock all rewards and made them micro DLC (all those weapons and vehicles would have been unlockables in Saints Row 2), they also managed to throw in some incredibly weak bigger DLC. If you can, avoid buying the Season Pass. Only Trouble with Clones is actually worth playing.

Mass Effect 3 – Another theory

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , , , , on April 24, 2012 by Rabidgames

[Obviously, obvious spoilers inside]

Alright, Rabidgames is pretty sure everyone knows right now about Mass Effect 3‘s Indoctrination Theory (IT):
If you don’t, here it is in a nutshell: Shepard has been indoctrinated (possibly from Object Rho); signs are vent boy, the weird dreams, and the whole final sequence in the Citadel – according to IT, Shepard is still unconscious while the Reapers try to dominate Shepard’s mind. The only way out is actually the Destroy ending, leaving Shepard’s mind intact but the body still broken.

While IT explains all the weird and nonsense stuff going on (destruction of mass relays, Joker pissing off), it fails to explain a couple of other things – why the need for EMS? Does it play any role? And even if Shepard survives with high EMS, Shepard never reached the Citadel, there is no hope, the Reapers win.

Also, there’s another blatant question – why on earth did the Reapers bring the Citadel to the Sol System, thereby allowing the Crucible to be completed?

Well, one guy at the Bioware forums found a possible answer: Hackett was indoctrinated.
Wait, what? Admiral Hackett indoctrinated?

Bear with Rabidgames, it actually makes some sense:

  1. Arrival: During the events of Arrival, Hackett sent only Shepard there, alone. We know his agent Dr. Kenson had been indoctrinated by Object Rho – can we be sure Hackett hasn’t been indoctrinated as well?
  2. At the beginning of Mass Effect 3, Hackett is gone. We’ll never get to know why.
  3. Hackett seems to know many answers: The plans on Mars, where to keep the Crucible safe, Shepard is alive and well in the Citadel near the end.

But the theory does not stop there:

It might even explain why the Crucible and the galactic fleet are amassed in the Sol System – whatever Shepard does, it will only benefit the Reapers. Ever wondered why the Reapers had most of their forces on earth? Maybe it is because they know Shepard will target to take earth back. It’s a perfect trap!

The Crucible itself is actually a weapon which allows the Reapers to destroy the Mass Relays, thereby disabling galactic travel – but they need an organic to overwrite the Prothean security protocol built into the Citadel first! Let’s see: If you choose Control or Synthesize, the Reapers won. Even if you choose Destroy, their forces in the Sol system will be annihilated but they will still win in the long run – remember, we’ve never seen any proof all reapers throughout the galaxy get destroyed.

Plus, Harbinger leaves, not killing Shepard (which seems odd) – why? Well, Harbinger knows Shepard might choose Destroy so he makes the most of his time when Shepard is unconscious, leaving the Sol System.

The effect is a bitter one: While all galactic forces are in one system, the Reapers are still everywhere. And here’s some bittersweet irony: The higher your EMS the more you fucked the galaxy by bereaving it from its fleets.

Now, of course, there are some holes in this theory (e.g. why does it have to be Shepard to overwrite the Prothean protocol, why not the Illusive Man?) – yet, it feels we’ve come a few steps closer to the truth behind the awful ending. Finally, there is an explanation to some plot holes:

  • Why is the Citadel moved to earth?
  • Why do the Reapers never find out about the Crucible – even if the indoctrinated Rachni Queen is there?
  • Why do the Reapers leave the Citadel and the Crucible alone?
  • Why doesn’t Harbinger kill off Shepard?
  • Why does Harbinger flee?

Rabidgames wonders: The more theories come up, the more interesting it gets, the more clusterfucks of ideas there are. Of course, there is also the possibility Bioware tells us we have to take the ending at face value – but then, we could at least argue Bioware has been indoctrinated …

Mass Effect 3 – the leaked story and the final plot

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , , on April 23, 2012 by Rabidgames

We’ve all heard rumours about Mass Effect 3‘s leaked script (Rabidgames won’t give you a link – search for yourself and you’ll find it – but be aware that Bioware or EA or whoever might still want to shut down the evidence) … what the story was supposed to be and so on.
But let’s have a closer look at it to see what Bioware DID actually change:

[Obviously, there are spoilers everywhere!]

 

1. The ending

Actually, it has stayed the same. There may be minor variants, but that’s about it.
Still the same deus ex machina, still basically the same choices (although Synthesis seems not to be there):

  • CUTSCENE: The DEVICE docks with the Citadel, Shepard leaps off the edge of the platform becoming one with the Reapers.
  • CUTSCENE: The DEVICE docks with the Citadel, Shepard places his hands into the control mechanism and gains control over the Reapers. Earth is destroyed, and the Reapers leave.
  • CUTSCENE: The DEVICE docks with the Citadel, Shepard destroys the tubes resulting in the Reapers being destroyed. Earth is also Destroyed.
  • CUTSCENE: The DEVICE docks with the Citadel, Shepard places his hands into the control mechanism and gains control over the Reapers. Earth is okay, and the Reapers leave.
  • CUTSCENE: The DEVICE docks with the Citadel, Shepard destroys the tubes resulting in the Reapers being destroyed. Earth is devastated.
  • CUTSCENE: The DEVICE docks with the Citadel, Shepard destroys the tubes resulting in the Reapers being destroyed. Earth is okay.
  • CUTSCENE: The DEVICE docks with the Citadel, Shepard destroys the tubes resulting in the Reapers being destroyed. Earth is okay. Shepard survives.

 

Another (probably really early ending) revolved around the mysterious dark energy which played a role in Mass Effect 2 – remember Haelstrom and Arrival? Yet it seems the ending was put to the bin as soon as Drew Karpyshyn left the Mass Effect writing team.

Here’s what the Reapers original motivation was, summed up perfectly by some guys on ign’s board:

“The Reapers’ goal was to find a way to stop the spread of Dark Energy which would eventually consume everything. That’s why there was so much foreshadowing about Dark Energy in ME2.

The Reapers as a whole were ‘nations’ of people who had fused together in the most horrific way possible to help find a way to stop the spread of the Dark Energy. The real reason for the Human Reaper was supposed to be the Reapers saving throw because they had run out of time. Humanity in Mass Effect is supposedly unique because of it’s genetic diversity and represented the universe’s best chance at stopping Dark Energy’s spread.

The original final choice was going to be “Kill the Reapers and put your faith in the races of the galaxy in finding another way to stop the spread with what little time is left” or “Sacrifice humanity, allowing them to be horrifically processed in hopes that the end result will justify the means.”

 

As we know, it came to the following ending plot (maybe as result of too many writers leaving Mass Effect … who knows):

“The Reapers new goal is that they are working to prevent a technological singularity. The quick definition of a “technological singularity” is basically a point when the machines of a civilization become more advanced than their creators and they are able to outdo their creators in pretty much every way imaginable.

The game attempts to justify the Singularity Motivation because all it takes is ONE incident with A.I. to bring about an apocalyptic war that would destroy all organics. Project Overlord was a very, very clear example of this: Cerberus nearly destroyed the entire galaxy. Organics lucked out big time that the Geth were so understanding and that A.I. like EDI are tame (and even then, EDI did something in the past before ME2 that may make you view her in a very different light: Mass Effect 3 reveals this).

The Reapers aren’t hypocrites (in concept) in the Singularity Motivation because they don’t perceive themselves as machines wiping out organics. They see themselves as immortal vessels that preserve a civilization forever that just happens to be synthetic. They see themselves as the saviors of organics for letting them grow and prosper and then harvesting them before they evolve to the point of singularity. “Imposing order on the chaos of organic evolution” as Sovereign said.”

Well, think of it what you will, but let’s face it, even the ending we got is not bad in principle – it actually makes sense. Instead, there are certain well-known side effects (i.e. Joker’s inexplicable desertion and the destroyed mass relays) which cripple and sour the ending.

 

2. Omega was part of Mass Effect 3

Well, Rabidgames is willing to bet we’ll be able to free Omega pretty soon – but of course, we’ll have to pay for it.
Originally, there were a couple of missions not just on Omega – including one beyond the infamous Omega 4 relay. We’ll see what we’ll get later this year …

 

3. The Prothean

Yupp, our dear friend Javik was supposed to play a far bigger role in Mass Effect 3 – at one point, he was even supposed to be the Catalyst himself. Plus, acquiring his help (he was awake and spreading havoc on Eden Prime in the leaked script) would have made you kill a Spectre, leading to a potential lethal confrontation with the Virmire survivor on Thessia: Our assassin friend Kai Leng – posing as an Alliance agent – led the Virmire survivor to Shepard. In an even more intense battle on Thessia, Kai Leng would escape together with the Prothean as hostage.

It seems ridiculous to change Javik’s role from an integral part of Mass Effect 3 to an optional (yet lore-wise still essential) DLC character. Shame on you, Bioware!

Also, Javik would have been an even bigger asshole …

 

4. Missions in the Hammerhead

Well, to be honest, Rabidgames is glad they cut that out. The Hammerhead missions in Mass Effect 2 were complete and utter rubbish! Had they brought the Mako (with better controls, of course) back however …

 

5. Journalists & Shepard

Khalisah al-Jilani (yes, that one annoying bitch you can punch over and over) and Emily Wong would join Shepard in a quest on the Citadel to shut down Cerberus operations there. Also, the pro-human party Terra Firma (introduced in a side mission in Mass Effect 1) would have been back to support Cerberus. It’s a shame we might miss such a potentially hilarious mission!

 

6. More missions on Tuchanka and Rannoch

The script describes that both worlds would have been featured in more missions, although the results would still have been the same. It just seems part of the missions were dropped for some unknown reason.

 

7. Experiments on the Keepers

There was a mission planned to have a look at some Keepers ceasing to function properly. Quarian Admiral Daro’Xen would have been responsible for the disapperance of the Keepers ( likely she’d been doing some more experiments with new “toys”).

 

8. Kal’Reegar

He (if he survived Mass Effect 2, of course) would have been on Rannoch, helping Shepard to battle the Geth.
While this would probably have had no impact on the story, it would still have been a nice little addition.

 

9. The Illusive Man

In the original script, Mr Harper was simply siding with the Reapers instead of trying to get control over his “allies”. Well, it seems we have finally found a change for the better now …

 

Rabidgames wonders: Apparently, Bioware’s reaction to the leaked script was punishing their fan base by cutting content from it – either as DLC, either lost forever. Time might tell what happened and why … maybe …

The Witcher 2 – First Impressions

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , on April 20, 2012 by Rabidgames

Ha, it seems 2011 is the year when video games get it right:

First, we had Kingdoms of Amalur showing what the Fable series could have been.
Now, we (as Xbox 36 gamers) get to play The Witcher 2 – a mature RPG which outright pisses on Dragon Age 2‘s poor try to aim at adult gamers!

The first thing you’ll notice is one important thing: Projekt Red has the gamer in mind:

You can choose your language (the UK version is poor there – the only options are English and Polish, but it seems continental gamers can choose between English, German, French and maybe more), you can adjust The Witcher 2 to HD or SD settings (so you get a bigger font and can read everything on an old TV as well), you can switch off many QTE (Rabidgames praises Projekt Red for this decision!) … as you see, it is possible to have the customer in mind after all. Also, it should be noted the regular version of The Witcher 2 come with more goodies than most special versions these days – and oh yes, there is not one single code to activate some locked content. Kudos!

Afterwards, you start playing The Witcher 2. If you skip the tutorial (which also serves to test your battle skills and propose a difficulty setting for you) you’ll start straight with the brand new prologue – some nudity included. If you haven’t played The Witcher 1 (such as yours truly) you won’t understand much – strange kingdoms, peoples and names … Yet, the game manages to tell its story really well and you get quickly drawn into a racist, violent and gritty fantasy world made specifically by adults for adults. The fighting system seems clunky at first but as soon as you begin to understand how it all comes together, it becomes interesting – and challenging. Plus, CD Projekt has not forgotten to add some humour:Near the beginning, you’ll find a nice little easter egg in the shape of a dead guy who resembles a certain Assassin’s Creed protagonist next to an overthrown hay cart …

Rabidgames excuses himself: Yes, this is just a report after 4 or maybe 5 hours of playing – but one thing is for sure: If you are looking for a RPG which manages to stand out, The Witcher 2 should be yours today.

Crysis 3 Announced – Back in NY!

Posted in News with tags , , , on April 17, 2012 by Rabidgames

So, EA has just confirmed Crysis 3 is to be released in spring 2013 for the obvious candidates (PS3, Xbox 360 and PC).

We’ll be Prophet once more – and once more, we’ll fight, sneak and kill in New York City. But this time around, NY comes with a twist: The city is apparently shrouded in a “Nanodome” and is now an urban jungle – literally. Furthermore, Crytek and EA talk about the “Seven Wonders”, seemingly different settings or levels in Crysis 3. Of course, the nanosuit will be a big help in fighting human and alien enemies while we’ll be able to use a composite bow … by the way, what exactly is the fascination with bows? Why would a hi-tech fighting machine rely on bows? Weird.

As common these days, the most vital information to be given out to the media is not stuff like engine, gameplay or controls – no, it’s the fucking pre-order bonuses for Crysis 3. Yeah, they’re all over the place again! Depending on your favourite store, you’ll get different early unlocks for MP. And there’s the special “Hunter Edition” which gives early access to the composite bow and its accessories, and the Hunter nanosuit for MP. Plus, you’ll get some bonus XP for the MP of Crysis 3.

Rabidgames wonders: Who gives a shit about pre-order stuff? Shouldn’t the developers be more concerned with a better sandbox experience? A better story? Sigh.