I try and have a post up by midday Saturday but news just keeps coming out. Andromeda changes its dialogue, FF XV breaks even, and Capcom (might) be leaky.
What was Played
A friend started playing the first Mass Effect and that got me back into playing Mass Effect 2. That led me to actually paying attention to Andromeda, which I had been content to ignore up until now. I thought I was ok with not having ME in my gaming life, but after playing through most of Mass Effect 2 in three days I pre-ordered Andromeda (don’t pre-order games kids). I adore space operas and Mass Effect found the sweet space between the cerebral parts of Star Trek and the action of Star Wars. If Andromeda can deliver on the same sense of discovery in ME 1 and the characters and world building of ME 2, perhaps Mass Effect can take back its place as one of the premier western RPGs.
I continued to play Fire Emblem Fates, the Conquest path. The Conquest path continues to be more interesting than anything from the Birthright path, both in gameplay and plot. There’s hints of grander things beyond “evil king wants to rule the world” and the maps have more interesting objectives. Even the characters are more interesting than the goody-goodies in Birthright. I’ll keep playing because now I’m actually interested in the plot, specifically what the Revelation path could be. I still think selling all three paths separately is ridiculous.
What was Watched
I didn’t watch anything major, but I did want to take a second to plug the show Critical Role. It’s a bunch of voice actors playing D&D. The DM is Matt Mercer and some of the players are Laura Bailey, Liam O’Brien, and Travis Willingham. It’s a good time. Mercer is a fantastic DM and everyone is exceptionally good at roleplaying their characters, as you’d expect from professional voice actors.
Mass Effect Andromeda Removes Paragon and Renegade
In an effort to make the Mass Effect series more dynamic and interesting, Mac Walters has stated that Andromeda will not have explicit Paragon and Renegade dialogue options. Instead, there will now be four “tones of voice”. Walters has said this new system will be more of a “agree or disagree” style of dialogue. While I am excited for a less binary dialogue system the last game that had something like this was Fallout 4, which was one of the worst dialogue system I’ve ever seen in an RPG. Also, while the dialogue may have four options, that doesn’t mean the choices in the narrative will have 4 options as well. Odds are that at major plot decisions there’ll be four dialogue options that boil down to “good, bad, reluctantly good, reluctantly bad”. This does mean that, hopefully, your choices won’t be labeled as pure good/evil as they were in previous games. I’ll try and have faith in Bioware but after Inquisition I’m not brimming with confidence.
New Automata Trailer
I’ve got nothing to add, it’s a good trailer for what’ll probably be a fantastic game.
Destiny 2 in Fall 2017
Not many details, just that it exists. Supposedly it’ll have a “strong narrative focus”, but that’s what we heard about the first one.This image was taken from Activision Blizzard’s fourth quarter 2016 earnings reports.
RUMOR: 3 Leaked Capcom Titles
From GBATemp we have rumors about 3 unannounced Capcom games and no, none of them ar DMC 5.
First is Knights of Aegis. Set in 1974 in New York City. With guns and elemental magic you have to defend the mortal realm from supernatural evil.
Broken Horizon is another action shooter but focused on mechs. It’ll have a focus on customization and 4 player co-op. If this game exists it is most likely a Lost Planet sequel/spinoff.
The third and last game rumored game is Lost Star. You and a small crew are piloting a small ship along the far reaches of the galaxy. You’ll visit planets to recruit new crew members and find new resources.
Each of these games sounds like they could be a slam dunk in the gameplay department, but I wouldn’t put my hope in Lost Star being an Andromedea substitute. Capcom can deliver on action gameplay, but hasn’t really had a stunning track record with intricate and gripping narratives. That said, none of these games are confirmed to exist at this time.
FF XV Broke Even on Day One
According to Tabata FF XV broke even with development costs on day one of its release. While Square Enix doesn’t give any hard numbers to back this claim up and we aren’t told if this necessarily includes FF XIII Versus development, it’s a good sign that SE seems to be positive about FF XV’s reception and sales.
Kolin Revealed for SFV
The first new character of Street Fighter V‘s season 2 had been revealed: Kolin. She will be released on February 28th.
From the trailer she seems like a mix of Laura and Mika, so she’ll be fun to play and infuriating to fight. Her main gimmick is ice powers. Her V-skill is a counter/parry and her V-trigger shoots ice from the ground and changes the opponent’s “stun” meter to a “freeze” meter. If the meter fills up in this state the opponent is frozen, the meter does not deplete when in “freeze” mode. In the blog post for Kolin’s reveal Capcom also mentioned that they will be doing more balance updates throughout the year. I need that nostalgia costume ASAP.
Steam Greenlight to be Shut Down
Valve announced plans to shut down Steam Greenlight and replace it with a new curation system by spring 2017. Greenlight will be replaced with Steam Direct. Direct will require more rigorous work on the developer’s part than Greenlight did. If a dev wants to get their game on the Steam store through Direct, they will have to fill out paperwork similar to creating a bank account. There will also be a publishing fee, but a price has not been determined yet. This seems like it could cut down on the amount of crap that floods Greenlight and Steam and also make it easier for less known but legit devs, like Yacht Club who had to put Shovel Knight on Steam through Greenlight, to get their work on Steam. Of course this could, and probably will, still let crap games through but at least Steam is trying to address this issue.
E3 2017 Open to the Public
In past years you had to have some sort of tangential relation to the video game industry to even have the option to attend E3, but E3 2017 will be open for general admission. This could be read as a desperate move for more money on the convention’s part or a sign of video games becoming more popular in the general populace.
Pacific Rim 2 Goes Full Anime
Shown in License Global, we have our first look at Pacific Rim Uprising’s Jaegers. If they continue down this design path in Pacific Rim 3 the Jaegers will just be straight up Evangelion units, which is fine by me.
Persona 5 Update
Persona 5 still isn’t available in North America.
Here’s 11 minutes of English gameplay (via Gamespot with commentators) to rub salt in the wound.
VA-11 H-ALLA Update
VA-11 H-ALLA is still not out on Vita.
What’s on the Plate
Nothing particularly new, working all the previously mentioned pieces: GOTY, Battlezone II love letter, etc. The GOTY list is still happening, but I can’t give even a tentative date as to when it’ll be up since school has ramped up, my sincerest apologies. I do plan on reviewing Andromedea after it’s out, but that’s a month away. As always, thanks for reading.