Monday, February 27, 2012

Bioware promises that new edition of Mass Effect: Deception will actually be based on Mass Effect

Mass Effect developer Bioware has been in damage control mode since the embarrassment it suffered due to fan backlash over the numerous errors and continuity problems in the recently published tie-in novel Mass Effect: Deception. In response to numerous complaints, Bioware has announced that the book is being re-edited and that subsequent printings of the book will be revised to eliminate these errors. Now, in a new press release, Bioware has issued what its spokesman described as a “preliminary” list of corrections that will be made in all future printings of the book. Among the more noteworthy errors from the current edition of Mass Effect: Deception that Bioware has promised to correct are:

Various references implying that the Mass Effect universe is actually the future of the alternate timeline created when Biff Tannen gave a 2015 copy of Gray’s Sports Almanac to his past self in Back to the Future II.

Saying that the volus are not a distinct species, and are actually just ”asari who’ve let themselves go.”

Claiming that the Illusive Man’s real name is Antonio "The Plunger" Barbagelata.

Repeated statements that the Reapers, a race of hundreds of hostile, ultra-advanced machine intelligences millions of years old who travel through interstellar space in ships over a kilometer long, were built by the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois in 1992.
Referring to the homeworld of the asari race as “New Jersey.”

The (completely unauthorized by Konami) appearance of Revolver Ocelot, who originally appears as an agent of Cerberus but is later revealed to be a double-agent working for a heretofore unknown organization called “the Minutemen” that has secretly ruled the human race since its founding by Theodore Roosevelt, Tsar Nicholas II, Emperor Franz Joseph I, and the reanimated head of Oliver Cromwell  in the aftermath of the Russo-Japanese War.

Dialogue inconsistent with previous portrayals of several alien races, such as giving all batarians heavy Scottish accents and depicting turians routinely addressing each other as “broheim.”

Describing game glitches as if they were actual in-universe events, such as a battle where a krogan warrior gets “stuck in the wall.”

Numerous timeline errors including references to the supposed involvement of the Systems Alliance in the Iran-Contra Scandal over 160 years prior to the Alliance’s actual founding, statements that the first military use of mass effect field technology by humans occurred during the Franco-Prussian War, and the book’s opening narration describing the events of the story as taking place “between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas.”

Inaccurate descriptions of mass effect fields, which are actually a technology that can temporarily increase or decrease the mass of matter within a given area by running electric current through an exotic substance called Element Zero, as “an energy field created by all living things” that “surrounds us and penetrates us” and “binds the galaxy together.”

Apparent confusions about quarian naming conventions, as evidenced by the presence of quarian characters named “Rael’Koris vas Greeter nar T.G.I. Friday’s” and “Tali’Vael vas Center Field nar White Sox.”

Widespread use of coins made of the highly radioactive isotope polonium-210 as currency by criminal enterprises trying to avoid using credits. While this does not, strictly speaking, violate existing Mass Effect canon, actual polonium-210 is incredibly toxic and so radioactive that a single gram of it will quickly heat itself to a temperature of 500°C, making its use as a medium of exchange improbable.

Referring to the turians, salarians, and asari races as “fightgars,” “smartingtons,” and “sexanoids,” respectively.

Incorrectly attributing the characteristically slow, monotone speech patterns of the elcor race- actually the result of the elcor having a naturally cautious, deliberate temperament due to their evolution on a dangerously high-gravity world and a language that expresses emotions and nuance through body language and pheromones rather than tone of voice- to marijuana use.

A scene in which Conrad Verner successfully petitions the Citadel Council to grant Ambassador Donnel Udina emergency powers and create a clone army.

Describing the appearance of the Citadel as “like Deep Space Nine, but way cooler.”

Several chapters of hardcore sex scenes, which have been removed entirely due to their explicit content, noncanonical pairings, and misconceptions about both asari and human physiology.

Chapter 8 in its entirety, which appears to be simply a series of excerpts from To Kill a Mockingbird with all instances of the name “Atticus” replaced with “Saren.”

We attempted to contact Bioware to inquire about other notable errors in the book that were not included in the press release, such as calling Element Zero “kryptonite” and the implication in the book’s closing scene that the entire Mass Effect series actually takes place in the imagination of the autistic kid from St. Elsewhere, but have received no comment from Bioware as of this time.

An earlier form of this article originally appeared at Kuribo's Shoes, the greatest and possibly only fake video game news site on the Internet.

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

In which my displeasure with Square Enix grows to the point that Final Fantasy XIII-2 plays second fiddle to a platformer from 1993: New releases for the week of 1-29-12


(PlayStation 3, Xbox 360) Action game about an ancient demon-hunter cursed with immortality. His immortality is an important gameplay mechanic: you can be damaged, dismembered, or even decapitated but can never actually die.(Though you can still lose if your non-immortal partner is killed.) Luckily, you can pick up and reattach lost limbs as needed, and even roll back to your torso if your head gets cut off, so that the action can continue and the game doesn't turn into an undead version of Johnny Got His Gun.

(Speaking of still-living severed heads, why has there never been a game based on Re-Animator? What kind of universe are we living in when Hudson Hawk, Krull, The Lawnmower Man, Congo, the Noid, Chester Cheetah, and the red circle on bottles of 7-Up have all had games made about them and Re-Animator never has?)

It sounds like an interesting concept, I suppose, but there's only room for one video game hero with re-attachable limbs in my heart, and that's the one and only Plok: adventurer, warrior, flag connoisseur, harmonica virtuoso, Renaissance man, and guy so badass that no enemy can knock one of his arms or legs off because he removes his own limbs so that he can hurl them at his foes. Accept no substitutes.

Final Fantasy XIII-2

(Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) I've detailed my waning love for Final Fantasy and Square in general before and won't repeat it in detail here, except to say how odd it feels to be so indifferent to the release of a new Final Fantasy game when there was a time when such an event would have me ablaze with anticipation. It's like going through puberty in reverse.

Iron Brigade: Rise of the Martian Bear

(Xbox Live Arcade) Expansion for the tower defense game Iron Brigade, aka Trenched, from Double FineProductions. I like tower defense and have heard good things about this game, so it's a shame it's an Xbox 360 exclusive.

Speaking of things that seem to have been shoddily jury-rigged together,* do you ever get the feeling that some games are named by coming up with a bunch of titles and subtitles independently, and then just picking one of each at random? Presumably the name Iron Brigade: Rise of the Martian Bear makes some sort of sense within the context of the game's story, but outside that context it looks like the guys at Double Fine were playing MadLibs around the office when they remembered that they were supposed to have come up with a list of proposed titles for the new expansion by the end of the day and decided to just go with whatever was already written down.

*(I kid, I kid. A good friend of mine has an Xbox 360, and it was a technological marvel until its most recent red ring of death occurred after the warranty ran out and he decided he just didn't give a damn any more and went back to PC games.)

Gorilla Gondola

(iPhone) I have no idea what this is about and have nothing to say about it, but I include it here because I have no idea when or if the opportunity to have the phrase “Gorilla Gondola” appear on this blog will come again.

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