Let’s face it; the original Phantasy Star Online is outdated. It’s still a great game, don’t get me wrong. But, with the nostalgia goggles off, it’s the video game equivalent of spoiled milk: once fantastic, but now just clunky, lumpy, messy, and a bit odd.
So, with that in mind, Sega brought out the big guns with Phantasy Star Online 2. It was released in Japan late last year. Long story short, the game is good. It fixes plenty of issues from the original PSO, it takes a page out of various contemporary action RPGs to update things a bit, and it even adds some interesting ideas to boot. And it’s free to play.
But that’s the PC version. How about this Vita beta? How does it stack up? What does it foretell about the official release? Will it be the PS Vita’s killer app? Well, let’s dive right in and see.
Yes, you read the title correctly. Sony filed the patent in July 2011 under the title “Advertisement Scheme for use with interactive content.”
Below is a diagram of how it would work if it ever comes to fruition.
Basically what this diagram is showing is that the player will be notified that an ad is coming up(from other diagrams, it shows that you will get the warning in one of the top corners of the screen), the game will slow down to a pause, and an ad will play. If any of you are familiar with Youtube, similar ad spacing has started to show up mid video. Once the ad is done playing, the game will revert back to a couple of seconds before the ad played and you continue with your game.
Now picture this, you pop in your brand spanking new copy of Black Ops II and have really started to get into it. What’s that? You were betrayed and have to chase down the culprit? Cutscene ends, and you begin your pursuit only to be stopped again to watch an advertisement for the new and improved Pepsi Max. Now I don’t know about you, but personally I want my video game experience to be as in depth as possible and to stop me mid game to watch some ad I’m not interested in is not the way to do it.
I put this on the same level as novels having full page color ads in them. You just shouldn’t do it. Once again, this just goes to show that people will sacrifice their creative vision for more money.
Don’t boycott Sony just yet though, there is nothing official and many patents never see the light of day, but it still gives you something to think about.
Mass Effect 3 sold 890,000 copies in the first twenty four hours. A few days later, roughly 890,000 people were very, very angry about how the game ended. So much so that one particular individual filed a false advertising complaint with the Federal Trade Commission – going to assume he’s a big fan of Mordin Solus. So angry were the fans that several measures were taken in an attempt to garner their attention about the ending.
One of those was the Retake Mass Effect movement, which has over 60,000 likes on Facebook and has raised over $80,000 for the Child’s Play charity. Another involved copious amounts of red, blue and green cupcakes given directly to Bioware, which were promptly donated to a local youth group.
Don't let the different colors fool you... They all taste the same.
There are blogs, YouTube videos, entire forums casting the voices of frustration and disappointment with the ending. Angry fans even went so far to give it scathing reviews based purely on the ending, tarnishing the reputation of an otherwise perfect game. Amazon currently has over 400 one out of five ratings, most purely based on the final 10 minutes of the game and have had the game experience described like “being left at the alter.” The average on Metacritic is currently a 9.3, while the user ranking has it down at a 4.9. Hell hath no fury like a fanboy’s scorn.
And it was this very scorn that prompted a response from Bioware co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka which basically states how sorry he is that the fans feel that way, and basically… Bioware is listening. And, lo and behold…
Today EA – a company legendary for nickel-and-diming their customers to death (who could forget the $100 digital car scandal?) – has announced free DLC that contains new “cinematic sequences and epilogue scenes,” for Mass Effect 3 that will also contain more closure and context for the end of the game sometime this summer for PC, 360 and PS3.
So does this prove Ebert’s point that games are not considered art, because the fans are compromising the artist’s original vision? This writer does not think so. Great works of art have been changed over time (J. R. R. Tolkien re-wrote The Hobbit several times before the version that’s out today was complete) why should games be any different? Let’s face it: the ending was bad and rushed. Going back and adjusting the story, giving some clarity to the many mysteries behind some unanswered plot points and giving closure to our favorite secondary characters would be throwing the biggest supporters of this game – who’ve been going on five years now – a bone.
And no, it doesn’t compromise the artist’s vision.
…Unless someone else does it:
Written, Directed, Starring, Produced, Edited by Ryan A Herrera
“Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut” will be out sometime this summer for free, on PC, Xbox Live and the PlayStation Store.
Finished playing through Rayman: Origins but still craving some more Rayman goodness? Rayman 3 HD is now available on both PSN and XBLA and is definitely worth the 10 bucks for any fans of the series, both new and old.
The visuals have been given a nice HD coat of pain and run at a smooth 60 FPS along with new extras like achievements, leaderboards and nine new minigames. I’m sure anyone who liked the previous games in the series has already stopped reading but if you are on the fence, you’d be hard pressed to find a better $10 value.