Seriously just fuck you Capcom....

I don't know how this happened, but somewhere somehow Capcom has quickly gone from one of the most respected game companies to one of the worst and most shameless. Granted, they've been milking their biggest franchises with little innovation for years, but their was usually cool original stuff to go with it whether it was a new take on an existing franchise that could use a reboot, or totally new IP. Then they went and killed Mega Man. Even for Capcom, they are pushing it too much on their main franchise, Resident Evil, by releasing several titles this year alone.

And now, they are releassing new DLC for their newest franchise, Asura's Wrath, that will include the "true conclusion" of the game. Granted, I have no idea how Asura's Wrath originally ends, as I found it to be pretty shallow and no interest in finding out, but as Capcom is hoping it's a new franchise in the making, I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't tie up much of the story, that's what sequels are for. But then, you get a whole new game to play in addition to the ending, not just some extra addition that basically seems to say even though you paid your hard-earned money for the game, you have to pay more to get the real ending. I can't see how anybody would see this as anything less than desperately trying to squeeze your customers for every penny you can. To be completely fair I can't imagine Asura's Wrath being so compelling that anyone would pay money just to see the "real" ending, but it's really the precedent here that matters. Think of one people are a lot more invested in, like say Mass Effect 3. Sure the reaction is overwhelmingly negative, but it's an ending and most of us spent well over a hundred hours of our time to get there. What if you had to pay to get some "real conclusion"? A surprising percentage of commenters on various boards I've seen even seem ok with this, as long as they get whatever ending makes them satisfied, obviously that's a terrible, terrible idea. Do you want the Scooby Doo ending where it was Old Man Withers under a rubber mask all along? $10 Please.

Hopefully this will be a terrible failed experiment because frankly a future where I have to pay just to see a real ending of games I enjoy is one where I'm probably not buying very many games anymore....

That's all for today, I should get another post up by this weekend, in the meantime here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Jungle Wars


Eternal Damnantion?

In the most unlikely sequel news, 2 of the quirkiest games released in the last decade might be getting well deserved sequels. The first has been in demand for awhile, as developer Silicon Knights has said their next project would be follow-up to one of their most requested IPs. They really only have 2 IPs worth mentioning-The Legacy of Kain series and Eternal Darkness. And no one cares that much about Legacy of Kain, so hopefully that only leaves a sequel to the completely crazy and incredibly awesome Gamecube exclusive. The inherent randomness and weirdness of the franchise could certainly benefit from the Wii U's unique controller and that is supposedly the system they would be developing the follow-up for. As much as I'd love a sequel, Silicon Knights hasn't made a good game since the Gamecube days. In fact their last couple, Too Human and X-Men Destiny were fairly high-profile disasters. So as excited as I want to be for this possibility, I gotta wonder if it's some last ditch effort to do reclaim some past glory.

Suda 51 is arguably the craziest developer out there with games that flaunt non-traditional characters, gameplay and storylines such as No More Heroes and Killer 7. Arguably his most grounded work to date, Shadows of the Damned (imagine Resident Evil crossed with From Dusk til Dawn), received really solid reviews but pretty much died at retail in part thanks to virtually no marketing for it. I recently picked it up as part of a buy 2 get one free deal and am very entertained by it so far but it is really short so I admittedly might have felt cheated paying a full $60 for it (I'm hoping Lollipop Chainsaw, his next title will be much longer cause it looks very awesome). So it's surprising and awesome that a sequel is apparently seriously being considered. Hopefully if this does happen some serious marketing will actually be put behind it and it will make up for the failure of the first one.

That's all for today, should hopefully have another post up by Thursday. Until then, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: The Host


Flying too close to the sun....

Few franchises are like Kid Icarus. Even though it only has 2 previous games to its credit, the last being waaaayyyy back in 92, it has remained a popular franchise despite being practically buried by Nintendo. Sure he made a brief resurgence in the Smash Bros series, but that was no reason to believe there would be a whole new entry in the series. Then when the 3DS came out, a new Kid Icarus game was touted as one of the premier titles for the system. It took nearly an extra year but now it's finally here, and does it live up to the hype?

It depends on who you ask really, but all the reviews seem to agree on one thing-the controls for the on-ground sections are downright uncomfortable, sometimes to the point of causing pain. You think this would lead to a near universal panning, but again depending on the review you read the game is either awesome despite these control issues, or terrible because of it, and again, the reviews seem to all say the same things, the dialogue is funny, the upgrade system is slick, the graphics are top notch, etc. But the scores still tend to drastically differ. Granted I got done with Super Mario 3D Land months ago and am getting tired of only having Mario Kart 7 & Find Mii II to play, but I don't plan on buying a game I can't really get a serious try when the controls are such a divisive issue. This is where Nintendo's recent openness to demos would really come in handy in deciding to make a purchase or not. Since I can't really try before buying, I think this'll be a pass for now and just hope something else comes along soonish.

-That's all I have for today, I'll try and get another post in this weekend, until then here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: The Adventures of Zomboy


Excuse me, this FFXIII-2 has some Mass Effect in it!

Yup, that's the main characters from FFXIII-2, Noel & Serah, wearing N7 armor from the Mass Effect series. It actually looks really cool, but for some reason it's only available in Japan, which really makes no sense because no one cares about Mass Effect in Japan, it's sold less than 10,000 copies. Hopefully it'll make its way over here soonish, as though I don't currently own FFXIII-2, I plan on picking it up at some point.

Ok, I really think this whole Mass Effect 3 ending thing is getting way out of hand. Filing complaints with the BBB, Amazon offering refunds, and it sounds like Bioware might really be caving in and at least offering some DLC that offers more explanation, closure, Shepherd becoming the new Doctor Who companion, whatever. Ok, the ending was bad, we get it. But Bioware changing it is an enormous mistake. This will set a bad precedent, period. Frankly, if the fans are truly that annoyed, the solution shouldn't be paying Bioware money for DLC anyways. Besides, we already have the perfect ending:

Epic Mickey 2 has just been announced, yay? It's coming to pretty much all platforms this time, and it does seem like they are doing something very different and unique, with it being a "platformer musical". But I was extremely disappointed by the first game so at best I will approach this with cautious optimism.

That's all I got for today, I should be back tomorrow or Friday with thoughts on Kid Icarus: Uprising along with some other stuff. In meantime, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK:  Dark Shadows



So I just beat Mass Effect 3. It was a harrowing epic filled with great and tragic moments, coming to a conclusion that well, there's been plenty of discussion about. I think it would be nearly impossible to please all parties involved, I mean if you had a super-perfect happy ending...

You'd probably have people bitching that it's unrealistic Hollywood-esque shclock. That being said, an ending that puts you in company with  Lost and Battlestar Galactica and FF7 with a vague cutscene that offers no real closure and explains nothing. Some people complained it removed true choice which is probably valid. Overall my reaction was probably much like my Shepard's. It was a thrilling ride, but damn I'm just ready for it to be over, so what actually transpired didn't really do much for me. I will say in my opinion, the ending shouldn't have been a choice at all, it should've been a culmination of everything you've done thus far, that would actually put some real weight behind this being a true trilogy where everything supposedly matters when in the end it really didn't amount to all that much. Maybe that's too much to ask for with all the variables, but considering they were able to offer 2 drastically different endings on Knights of the Old Republic I think several vastly different endings based on your decisions up until that point (or even 2) wouldn't have been too much of a stretch. And now Bioware has essentially said that DLC will offer more explanation and closure. That's pretty goddamn ridiculous. If this is the ending you wanted Bioware, that's fine, I'll support that, but don't cave in because pretty much anything by consensus is terrible.

The other thing I'd really like to address is the multi-player. It is incredibly fun and well-done, but also a clear sign of EA's influence here, not because of the multi-player itself. Sure people bitch about having mp put into a series that up until now has been single-player, but before that people were bitching about it only being single-player so that's kind of moot. And while it is well-made and a worthy diversion all on its own, clearly EA felt that people would just ignore it because if you want any chance of getting the best possible ending choices, you need to play it. Not a ton mind you, I got my galactic readiness rating up to snuff in probably about 6 or so hours of mp games. But the point is Bioware repeatedly said if you didn't want to play the MP you didn't have to. They blatantly lied about it. What's more, good MP can stand on its own, which this is, there was no reason to make it some essential component of the overall game. So shame on both Bioware and EA on this point, it's shady practices.

So where does Mass Effect go after this, because Bioware has stated repeatedly that while this probably the end of Shephard's story, it's hardly the end of this franchise. Well I don't think a continuation would be out of the question. It would mollify a lot of the fan base if Mass Effect 4 took a look at the universe Shepard created. A game where you could finally be a protagonist from another race would be welcome. A prequel (like the one I suggested focusing on Sarren) wouldn't be amiss either. An MMO seems extremely likely, but honestly since nearly everything seems to be trying that route, I wouldn't be too excited about it.
One extremely unlikely but awesome idea would be a strategy game based around it. I'd prefer something turn-based, but real time would clearly work as well. Something in the vein of either Starcraft or if they are going turn-based looking at Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars would be an excellent example.

Ok that's really all I have to say on the subject. I should have another post up by Tuesday. Until then here's your BIG BANG OF THE WEEK:


Too epic for DLC?

DLC can be a great thing when done right. After all it's a great way to expand the life of your favorite games. I've admittedly gotten tons for most Bioware titles, for instance, and it helped me spend more time with some of my favorite games and characters in the better instances. But admittedly sometimes a the end of a game now matter how much I enjoyed it I'm exhausted and relieved it's over and don't really feel like going back to that series until there's another full entry. It can have to do with length but just as often it's the dramatic scope of the game. For instance, I didn't get the Oblivion expansion Shivering Isles, which was by all accounts fantastic. I had literally spent a couple hundred hours playing Oblivion and never even got done with the main quest, but I became the head of most of the guilds, slew thousands of monsters, etc. I felt I was just done with the damn thing one day. Though I didn't put nearly as much time into Skyrim, I easily spent a hefty 60 or so hours, beat the main quest along with  several other major quest lines and really have no urge to take on  more even though any DLC is promised to be sufficiently epic and probably add 30 or more hours to the game.

Though I'm taking a break while finishing Mass Effect 3(which should be finished in the next few days), Kingdoms of Amalur is a game I've been having a lot of fun with, but it's huge open world and couple hundred possible hours of questing just seems so daunting I can't imagine getting DLC for it, and hey there's some coming just around the corner!

Great for someone who wants to squeeze a few more hours I guess, but I'm already getting a solid backlog of rpgs with Xenoblade Chronicles and Witcher 2 being added to that in the next month or so here. I can't ever see getting it.

With Mass Effect 3, it's more emotional impact. This is the end of Shephard's story one way or another, I can't really imagine myself going off and doing some side story afterwards. In the previous games it was different because it really felt like there was still plenty to do and see in this new universe and that there could be plenty of new stories and adventures for the Normandy crew to have. The third entry very much has a finality to it that doesn't really fit adding more. The day one DLC makes even more sense this way.

Does this make DLC for these games a bad idea? Not really I'm sure there are plenty of people who just can't get enough no matter how many hours or emotion they've already invested. I'm just saying for myself that there is too much of a good thing sometimes.

That's all for today. I probably will squeeze in another post tomorrow if I can. Until then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: Surprise Bullfight


Aging Gracefully...

Though it's not nearly as renowned as series like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, the Tales series from Namco is a prolific longstanding rpg series dating back to the SNES days. I've played and enjoyed a good portion of them, though some of have never seen the light of day over here in the states. Like many long-running Japanese rpg series, though the stories and characters vary the basic style and gameplay remain pretty much the same. Whether or not that's a selling point can vary, as obviously change is necessary to keep a series from getting tired. Love it or hate it, Final Fantasy tries something new with virtually every entry. But sometimes something familiar is fun to fall back to. Tales hasn't really changed a whole lot since the series moved to 3D, but then again the real time battle system that mixes a light fighting game style and programmable A,I. teammates still manages to be fun and while the characters are usually beholden to rpg/anime cliches they still manage to be entertaining.

Given that the last Tales game I played was Vesperia a few years ago, and in the intervening time anything resembling a traditional jrpg has been hard to come by, and frankly after the Dragon Ages and Skyrims and Mass Effects a little something familiar might be a welcome change of pace. Granted the timing of the release the latest in the series, Tales of Graces F seems odd given that Mass Effect 3 came out just a week ago, and this is coming out just a week later, but smaller titles like this usually have a dedicated enough fanbase that they will actively seek it out. I know I was hoping the original Wii version would come out so I would have an rpg to play on my Wii a couple years ago (that came out in 2009, so it's been a long wait to see this game at all stateside) but I'll gladly take it on PS3 with enhanced graphics and added features as well. I'll certainly understand if people pass on this very traditional, very Japanese rpg, but given that this style of game is getting harder and harder to come by I'll gladly pick this up for that old familiar feeling if not this week, soon after I finish the more modern Mass Effect 3.

That's really all I have for today, I should have another post up by Wednesday, until then, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: Frankenweenie


10 shows Netflix should ressurrect before Terra Nova...

Netflix seems determined to basically have its own slate of original programming, starting with bringing back Arrested Development and now there are already talks of them picking up the recently canceled Terra Nova. But frankly, Terra Nova isn't a good show and it's incredibly expensive. It ultimately seems like a bad investment. There are plenty of other shows that people actually liked that were canceled well before their time. Here's 10 I think Netflix could reasonably do (and no, Firefly is nowhere on this list, because Castle is awesome and it's honestly been too long):

#10: Boomtown-Arguably the best cop show of the last decade, but it didn't even manage two seasons. It's great Rashomon-style perspective, brilliant writing and acting made for truly compelling episodes. Most of the actors are doing other work, but as long as you could find a new great ensemble cast and keep the style and writing it would be awesome.

#9: Studio 60 on The Sunset Strip-A witty drama by Aaron Sorkin about the behind-the-scenes happenings at an SNL type show. It was engaging and original, but also up against the similar but more comedy-focused 30 Rock. You want a prestige drama to show off, this would be a really good choice.

#8: The 4400-You want a great epic sci-fi series that actually has fans and really needs to be brought back? The 4400 fits the bill pretty well, especially since the show ended in a cliffhanger with no resolution. Add to that the show was more a victim of the writer's strike than anything else and it is probably more deserving of a second chance than most.

#7: Torchwood-This Doctor Who spinoff is admittedly extremely uneven, but when it really works it makes for some of the best stuff on TV, and John Barrowman is always worth watching. Though not officially canceled, it would seem in limbo after the underwhelming 4th season, so it could be a smart move for Netflix to pick this cult sci-fi show up.

#6: Dollhouse-I am a huge Whedon fan, but I'll admit Dollhouse was a woefully uneven series. It does seem at least part of that was Fox's constant messing with the show. Granted, Whedon may be too busy to have more than a passing hand in any revival, but the show had a lot of potential that shined through in its better episodes, and anyone one of his regular crew of writers could probably make the show solid if given a chance.

#5: Reaper-Granted Bret Harrison is on "Breaking In", which just recently got rescued from cancellation itself, but he's hardly an essential element of that show. He'd be much better off continuing this supernatural comedy along with the hilarious Tyler Labine and the always fabulous Ray Wise as the Devil. Canceled way before its time, this would be a great quirky offbeat addition.

#4: Justice League Unlimited-One of the greatest animated shows of all time, and it had a ton of stories left to tell. Arguably the best feature of the show was that it could offer compelling and fun episodes about lesser known characters such as Vigilante and Booster Gold. If they were to resurrect this show, it could probably mostly do that and still be really good.

#3: Better Off Ted-Just as brilliant and offbeat as Arrested Development, and equally mishandled by its parent network. BOT was original, biting, uncompromising and just absolutely hilarious. Making this in a comedy block with the returning Arrested Development would make me all kinds of tingly all over, and it should be the same for the people who have managed to catch this brilliant show.

#2: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles-In all reality, this show shouldn't have worked. The last 2 terminator films were pretty bad, and focusing and young John Connor and giving him a hot female Terminator to ogle seemed like really poor ideas. But it managed to be a really awesome show (even making Brian Austin Green of all people cool) and do justice to the first 2 Terminator films. It even got pretty solid ratings, but Fox canceled it anyways. Because they enjoy making nerds cry (seriously, take a look at the long list of awesome shows they have canceled anytime like Brisco County Jr, Firefly, the Lone Gunman, just to name a few). You want an epic sci-fi show that was just on Fox that was actually good? Take this instead of Terra Nova. PLEASE.

#1: Veronica Mars: This was a completely brilliant detective show, and it left a lot of unanswered maddening questions even after resolving it's initial premise of who killed Veronica's best friend. There were several pitches for a change of scenery that all sound great, either just Veronica in college and/or her interning for the FBI several years in the future. Most importantly it's a showcase for Kristen Bell who is one of the great TV actresses' out there, and is being completely wasted on crap like Gossip Girl and House of Lies.  Add in the always great Enrico Colantoni as her dad and that's pretty much all you need to keep this show a winner.

That's the list. Honestly even if Netflix doesn't decide to renew any of these actually great shows, I'd rather they keep Terra Nova dead altogether, because it's seems like they would just spend too much money to justify their investment on a mediocre show when they could either save it altogether or spend it on something original. I should have another post up Saturday or Sunday. Until then, here's your FREE GAME OF THE WEEK: The Love Letter


March Massness

Yeah there may be political rallies and college basketball and spring training starting up this month, but all us gamers really care about is the release of Mass Effect 3 and the conclusion of the greatest trilogy of this or possibly any console generation. It's a lot of heavy expectations to meet up to, and there's certainly been some controversy with them essentially shoe-horning in multi-player or daring to have dlc on launch day (and don't even get me started the literally hundreds of dollars of collectibles that also offer dlc). But take all that bullshit noise away, just focus on the actual game, does it deliver on its promise? Well maybe not if you were expecting something like massive space battles against giant Reaper ships, but this game is pretty much about gaining alliances, resources, and morale and doing it in an entertaining and compelling fashion, and at about 10 hours in, I can say so far they manage to do it in traditionally epic Bioware faction. Hell they even managed to make scanning incredibly tense, with reapers able to close in on your location.

Any complaints I have are pretty minor overall-Mainly that they still have limited ammo and especially fuel. It would be nice to be able to outfit your squad members with better armor and whatnot, but it's not a huge deal since they didn't have it in 2. Anyways. even with sky high expectations, I think ME3 would manage to impress anyone not determined to hate it for idiotic reasons like EA now owning Bioware and therefore suddenly making them "terrible".

Will this be the last Mass Effect game we see? Thankfully the odds are that will not as Bioware has repeatedly stated that while this is the end of Commander Shpehard's story, it definitely does not mean this would be the last game taking place in the Mass Effect universe. As long as they can make the stories this compelling and fun, I would love to see future iterations of this series that have a new story and protagonist to focus on.

That's all for today, I should have another post up by Friday. Until then, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: A Thousand Words