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  1. Good news for Mass Effect fans -- the long-gestating Mass Effect: Andromeda now officially has a solid release date: March 21. Andromeda is set 600 years after the first Mass Effect trilogy in the Andromeda Galaxy, with the goal of exploring and discovering new planets for the human race to colonize. Despite being the first new Mass Effect entry in nearly five years, EA has said that it will be a standalone entry instead of being the first of a new trilogy. However, this doesn't mean there won't be future games that take advantage of the same setting. General Manager of Bioware Aaron Flynn remarked on the announcement, saying: "Mass Effect: Andromeda is our most ambitious Mass Effect game to date. We“re telling completely new stories, creating new characters, new planets, new species, and introducing new gameplay systems. And for the first time, we“re bringing Mass Effect to the FrostbiteTM game engine, an incredible engine that“s delivering a tremendous graphical jump from the trilogy to Mass Effect: Andromeda. To deliver on this, we“re taking all the time we can to make sure you“re getting the best possible experience." Mass Effect: Andromeda is slated for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Source: Bioware | Mass Effect Are you looking forward to Mass Effect: Andromeda's release in March?
  2. If you've been clamoring to replay your old Xbox 360 copies of Mass Effect 2 and 3 but don't want to dust off and hook up your Xbox 360 to play them, I have good news for you. Xbox's Larry Hryb confirmed today that in light of N7 Day, Mass Effect 2 and 3 are now officially backward compatible on Xbox One. Of course, the original Mass Effect has been backward compatible for some time now. Of note here is the fact that, unlike the first Mass Effect, the latter two games are backward compatible with the disc only, meaning that you won't be able to buy them on Xbox One digitally (at least not yet). In any case, it's nice to have the whole trilogy available on the current-gen platform, especially ahead of 2017's upcoming Mass Effect Andromeda. Source: Major Nelson (via Twitter) Will you be replaying Mass Effect trilogy on Xbox One because of the backward compatibility now?
  3. If you've played the Mass Effect games, chances are you're familiar with Casey Hudson; he was the project director on the series and was heading up development on the as-of-yet unnamed fourth Mass Effect game at Bioware Montreal before leaving the company last year. It was announced today that Hudson has been been appointed as Creative Director at Microsoft Studios, and he'll be working specifically on HoloLens—Microsoft's new virtual-reality and augmented reality-tech—and new game experiences to come along with it. Hudson mentioned in an interview with Xbox.com that he had been an Xbox fan ever since he first worked on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, noting that the games he worked on found the greatest success there and that it's even his preferred way of playing games. "But in addition to the privilege of working for Microsoft and Xbox, I am particularly excited about working on HoloLens," Hudson said. "I was fortunate to try an early prototype of HoloLens before it was announced, and I was blown away by the technology and what it was already capable of. Walking on Mars while sipping coffee in an office setting, Skyping with a friend who can draw on the walls of my environment, sculpting an object in 3D modeling software while a hologram of it sits on a table next to me... These first experiences cemented my belief that holographic computing was where I needed to be. There“s no end to the potential of this technology, and I look forward to being able to influence the full-spectrum experience on HoloLens, from hardware to OS, to applications and games." While it's unknown if Hudson is working on any specific games that are currently in development or if they're mostly in the prototyping stage still, there's always a chance we might hear more about the HoloLens at E3 in just under a month's time. Image Credit: Caseyhudson.com Source: Xbox.com Are you surprised to hear about Casey Hudson's new venture?
  4. Mass Effect producer, Michael Gamble, took to Twitter today to get fans input for the upcoming Mass Effect title. His tweet reads, "Help us make the next Mass Effect game the best one yet. Id appreciate it if you folks did this short survey..." The survey, which can be found here, asks fans a number of questions about their gaming habits, their favorite aspects of the Mass Effect franchise, and even whether or not they cosplay. Clearly, Bioware is interested in getting an idea of what gameplay elements are most important to RPG fans and to what degree they are dedicated to the franchise. Exploration was also mentioned throughout the survey suggesting that this could play an expanded role in the upcoming game. Michael Gamble and other Bioware staff will be hosting a panel at San Diego Comic Con this year titled, "Charting a Course: Developing the Next Mass Effect." The panel will talk about how the next entry in the franchise has evolved but also how it maintains it's roots to the previous trilogy. If you answered yes to the cosplay questions in the survey and will be at Comic Con, show up and show your support Saturday, July 26 at 2 pm. For the rest of you, stay tuned to Game Podunk for more on this and other gaming news. Source: Michael Gamble Twitter What is the aspect of Mass Effect (if any) that makes the franchise special to you?
  5. "Great stories are timeless and they'll last forever." In the past, Bioware has created detailed universes for gamers to explore, experience and enjoy. Today during EA's E3 presentation they continued that legacy by revealing the next entry in their Mass Effect franchise and announcing a completely new IP. In Mass Effect, players will experience the universe as they never have before. The developers at Bioware Montreal are aiming to give fans what they want which is something fresh and new. They want to take players to the galaxies they haven't seen before. One developer summed up the game simply by saying, "New places, new characters, new people to fall in love with." There will be some familiarity however as N7 Armor and a Krogan warrior can be spotted in the trailer. In addition to their work on Dragon Age and Mass Effect, Bioware announced that they are developing a new IP. Under the roof of Bioware Edmonton, it is being built new from the ground up. "It's a chance to have clean sheet-design," said one designer, "Start from the most fundamental principles you can have." Not much else was shown on the new game as it is in the early stages of development. Check out the full Bioware E3 trailer below. For more on this and everything out of E3 stay locked on Game Podunk. Excited for more Mass Effect?
  6. It looks as though Mass Effect may appear on next gen consoles sooner than expected. Rushersauce, a member at NeoGAF, found postings for PS4 and Xbox One versions of the Mass Effect Trilogy. The listings appeared on the Chilean retailer Zmart Games' website. Unfortunately, no other information was leaked leaving us to only speculate about a release date or price. One thing's for sure, the internet is buzzing about the chance to play Mass Effect 1, 2 and 3 in 1080p at 60 FPS. Stay tuned to Game Podunk for more info on when you can defeat the Reapers... Again. Source: NeoGAF If this rumor turns out to be true, will you play all three Mass Effect games again on PS4 or Xbox One?
  7. Wait a minute- January releases? Isn't this March? Yep, we're a little bit late with this feature (okay, we're a LOT late with this) and now we're playing catch-up, but better late than never, eh? And with Elizabeth (Gaiages) taking a breather from the feature, I've decided to step in and help finish what she started, so giddy up! Historically, January has been an interesting month for releases because it comes right after a busy holiday season. Especially in recent years, most major AAA games start coming in March after the new year begins, but a few titles actually did release in January here and there. So let's take a trip down Memory Lane and see what the first month of the year held for the industry over the years. 2003 One of our rather low-key years this time around, January 2003 didn't harbor many releases at all, but there were still a few notable games that came out, with perhaps the biggest one being Sim City 4, which was the first game in the series to primarily use a 3D engine to render its visuals. In the end, this fourth installment did quite well for itself, becoming one of the top-selling PC games of that year and garnering review scores that averaged around the mid-80's on Metacritic. Other Notable Releases: Devil May Cry 2, Panzer Dragoon Orta 2004 Only one true game of note came out in 2004, and it was a remake of one of the most influential games of all time - Metroid: Zero Mission. This GBA classic brought the classic NES original Metroid up to date with brand new graphics, gameplay enhancements, and even a new epilogue mission which saw the first ever appearance of Samus in her Zero Suit. For GBA owners, it was pure bliss, and even to this day is widely debated to be the best handheld entry in the series yet. Other Notable Releases: Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2005 What's this? A year where there was two massive games coming out in the very first month? Believe it - this year's January saw not only the release of a new handheld Zelda title, but also one of the most anticipated games of entire generation - Resident Evil 4. To make things more controversial, it was exclusive to Gamecube at first, and Nintendo fans got their sweet, sweet comeuppance with this massive exclusive which made PS2 owners wrench with jealousy. At least for a little while. After Capcom decided that the game did not fall under their exclusivity agreement with Nintendo, Resident Evil 4 was ported to the PS2 and released in October later that year, and with extra content to boot. It was subsequently ported to pretty much every non-handheld platform in existence afterward (no joke), and in fact an HD version just released for Steam recently. But it's all for good reason - Resident Evil 4 is widely considered to be the best game in the entire series, even above Resident Evil 5 and the more recently released (and controversial) Resident Evil 6. Other Notable Releases: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap 2006 2006... oh boy, where do we start. For the first time in a while, this year started off with no new releases during January. Zero, zip, zilch, nada. But despite that fact, some interesting developments DID happen. Arguably the biggest bit of news during the month this year was that Nintendo announced the DS Lite, which would go on to become the de-facto version of the handheld during the DS generation (more so than even the DSi and DSi XL.) In other news, this was the month that Activision (or more accurately Vivendi, Activision's parent company at the time) acquired High Moon Studios (developers of the recent Transformers Cybertron series of games and last year's Deadpool), and Take 2 acquired Irrational Games, Ken Levine's studio which is most famous for creating the System Shock and Bioshock series. There were also rumors that Cisco was interested in buying Nintendo, though nothing panned out in the end. Finally, Sony was reported to be developing an "Xbox Live-killer" that we all now know as PSN. It doesn't quite live up to that 'description' nowadays, but it does give Microsoft a run for their money with their well-received PlayStation Plus program. Other Notable Releases: Nothing! 2007 If you know your gaming, and you know it well, you'll remember that 2007 was essentially the holy grail of video gaming-dom. It's actually ridiculous how many good games came out that year, and January was no exception. While there were plenty of big games, arguably the biggest release wasn't an actual standalone game but an expansion of one of the biggest games in existence at that point - World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade. Why was it a big deal? It was the first major expansion for the Blizzard MMORPG, and players were hungry for new content, so much that the expansion sold through 2.4 million copies on the first day alone. In addition to a new story campaign, the level cap being raised to 70, new PvP enhancements, and a whole new planet with all-new quests, items, dungeons, raids and more, The Burning Crusade also introduced two new playable races: The Draenei and the Blood Elves. It was one of the best received expansions ever for the game, garnering an average of 91 on both Metacritic and Gamerankings. Other Notable Releases: WarioWare: Smooth Moves, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All, Rogue Galaxy, Lost Planet: Extreme Condition 2008 If you thought 2007 was a good year for January releases, 2008 was ecstatic with them. In fact, there were two extremely notable games that released that month, though I'll focus on the one that I believed had a larger cultural impact on the industry for certain reasons. That game was No More Heroes. It wasn't Suda51's first title by any means, but No More Heroes was for many gamers their first taste of Grasshopper Manufacture's wild and crazy antics. Starring a young punk named Travis Touchdown, the game featured a great visual style, unorthodox gameplay, and crude humor to boot. The game cemented itself as one of the Wii's best third-party titles and would go on to receive a sequel a few years later as well. Other Notable Releases: Burnout Paradise, Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon, Advance Wars: Days of Ruin 2009 After a great 2007 and excellent 2008, January 2009 was a bit more low-key in terms of big releases. There were ports of Saints Row 2 and Mirror's Edge for PC, but those had released in the Fall of the previous year for consoles already. The most notable title releasing then was likely Skate 2, the sequel to the game that gave Tony Hawk's Pro Skater franchise a run for its money a couple of years earlier. Building on some of the design it started in the first game, Skate 2 managed to score some impressive reviews, averaging around the mid-80's on Metacritic and Gamerankings. Other Notable Releases: Lord of the Rings: Conquest, Star Ocean: Second Evolution, DJ Max Fever 2010 This year saw one of the biggest release months ever for January with the likes of Darksiders, Bayonetta, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars and more all releasing in close proximity to each other. However, you better believe there was no bigger game on peoples' radars than the Bioware-developed bruiser known as Mass Effect 2. The first Mass Effect was generally well-received by many fans, but Mass Effect 2 took things to a whole new level with its increasingly action-oriented gameplay, deep story, engaging characters, and abundance of personalized choice-based design. It all resulted in what many consider to be the best Mass Effect game yet. Other Notable Releases: Bayonetta, Darksiders, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, MAG 2011 Keeping up the momentum from 2010, January 2011 had a few big heavies of its own in its release lineup, but the biggest was probably LittleBigPlanet 2, Media Molecule's smash successor to one of the biggest games of 2009. Though there was a lot that was similar to the first game, LBP2 offered a wider array of options to create your own levels and worlds. The tools were so powerful, in fact, that many could create their own actual games with them, with one person creating a top-down Zelda-inspired game, another recreating a limited version of Final Fantasy VII, and more. Other Notable Releases: Dead Space 2, DC Universe Online, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Kingdom Hearts: Re:coded 2012 January 2012 was another bustling month of release activity, and this time it was Square Enix's time to shine with the release of Final Fantasy XIII-2. It was the JRPG giant's chance to rectify some of the faults that made the game's predecessor unbearable for many, and though it did, many critics agreed that the game was still a bit lackluster when compared to numbered Final Fantasy entries of yesteryear, especially in regards to its story. But Square Enix was not one to falter so quickly; they announced yet another a FFXIII sequel later that year, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, though it wouldn't release until February 2014. Other Notable Releases: Soul Calibur V All in all, January has been a pretty decent month for releases, bar one or two years. In fact, it's probably not too far behind the Fall months in terms of importance of games releasing, possibly only being bested by March, which can often rival October and November's release list. Which is a good thing, right? After a holiday lull in December, what better way to get back on the bandwagon with new releases than with games released in January? What were your favorite games that released in the month of January over the years? Let us know below!
  8. gaiages

    Mass Effect

    From the album: The Dusty Photo Album

  9. So I read an article awhile back on IGN regarding possible storylines for Mass Effect 4. They suggested the idea that ME4 could have nothing to do with Shepard at all. At first I thought that was a no brainer but then after thinking about it, I wondered if it would feel the same at all without Shepard and the other characters from the trilogy. I would imagine they would need to include some kind of continuity, right? What do you guys think, Shepard connections in ME4 or no? Theres a link to IGN's original article (not sure if there was one here too) http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/10/15/mass-effect-4-unlikely-to-relate-to-shepard-at-all
  10. Now that Commander Shepard's story has come to an end, the Mass Effect franchise can go in a number of different directions. They touched on a few galactic wars that could make interesting stories, they could look at the most recent Reaper crisis from a parallel perspective, they could also give one of the side characters their own story. Personally, I think an assassin-action game that focused on Thane would be cool. I know there are a lot of people out there that would like to see more of Mordin. What do you guys think? Which Mass Effect 3 character would make the best spin-off game?
  11. Usually, bundles hosted by indie teams are focused around indie games. Sometimes there are aberrations, such as the THQ bundle, but these are the exceptions to the rule. Indie Gala is similarly bending the rules of an indie bundle today by adding Mass Effect 2 to the collection. Five games for any price (with Desura/Steam keys unlocked at a dollar): Kill Fun Yeah (PC, Desura) Rebuild (Android) Shadowgrounds (PC, Steam) Zombie Driver HD (PC, Steam) Mystery game (PC, Desura) The rest of the games unlock for near $6: Gimbal (PC, Desura) Mass Effect 2 (PC: Origin) Shank 2 (PC: Steam) Mystery game (PC: Steam) The latter list also includes Zombie Driver HD DLC and the game's soundtrack. However, that is the only instance of extraneous content being available this time around. Mass Effect 2 comes only as an Origin key, so make sure you're aware of that if you are interested by the game. There are 11 days left for the Indie Gala Mass Effect Bundle.
  12. Venom

    Mass Effect screenshot

    From the album: Random screenshots

    Look at that face.
  13. Look Commander Shepard is pretty solid, but if I was Shepard then the first thing I would do is grow a bitching mustache and then I would I would do the classic Kiwi thing and take one look at the fate of the galaxy and just go "She'll be right". I would probably then proceed to drink heavily for the next few weeks and then die in the Reaper invasion. But let's work under the assumption that I go along with this "saving the galaxy business" and ask myself, what would I do differently? For starters I would use my classic Kiwi know-how and my trusty piece of number 8 wire to tinker with that Mako so it doesn't fly off into space whenever you bump against some flat ground. I would also realize the seriousness of the situation and not run around helping people find their lost toilet paper or whatever I spent all that time doing, while letting Saren waste time summoning the Reapers. This blog might contain racial stereotypes you don't know about, sorry. Another thing I wouldn't do is die, seriously what were you thinking non-Kiwi Shepard? Actually dying worked out pretty well for non-Kiwi Shepard so I might do that too... Anyway after dying and coming back to life I would just abandon Cerberus right off. A strong, independent Kiwi man let's nobody tell him what to do, also Cerberus isn't exactly a trustworthy name. I would then skip all that messing about and run right up to that Omega 4 relay and bust out my good friend the number 8 wire and make that thing send me all the way to the collector base. Of course I would have had plenty of experience being a rugby captain for the All Blacks and would be able to get everyone out alive with my amazing leadership abilities. And after all that I wouldn't bother blowing up that Mass Relay to delay the Reapers, I would just head right out there to meet the Reapers, offense is the best defense right? I would then proceed to make the Crucible out of my last piece of number 8 wire and use it to destroy all the Reapers so I could go home and watch the game in time, with a nice cold beer. He looks like someone I would trust the galaxy with So what about the romantic options? Well as your typical unemotional, kiwi bloke I wouldn't exactly be wooing those aliens, but I would have that rugged, manly man allure that no one can resist. I would of course refer to whoever I ended up with as a Sheila and get her to keep the fridge well stocked with beer. We would do romantic activities such as: watching the races, watching the cricket, watching the rugby and then we would go out back and fix up that fence that has been on a lean all week. Of course all this would garner me some media attention, but I would remember about Tall Poppy Syndrome and just pass it off as a "no biggie, it was a real team effort and I am just proud of the boys who really delivered out on the field today". It would also later be revealed that I did the entire thing with a broken arm. The only flaw in this plan is that I doubt I would still be alive in 2183, which would hinder my ability to take the place of Commander Shepard, but the important thing is that I just wrote a really bad fanfic about Commander Shepard basically being Colin Meads.
  14. If you were expecting the next entry in the Mass Effect series to be titled "Mass Effect 4," think again. BioWare wants to clarify that the game will not be called that, as they feel it just wouldn't be right. On the official BioWare forums, community developer Chris Priestly wrote that the only detail that has been confirmed about the new game is that Commander Shepard won't be featured. Priestly said, "To call the next game Mass Effect 4 or ME4 is doing it a disservice and seems to cause a lot of confusion here." He went on to say that "we have already said that the Commander Shepard trilogy is over and that the next game will not feature him/her. I see people saying 'well, they'll have to pick a canon ending.' No, because the game does not have to come after. Or before. Or off to the side. Or with characters you know. Or yaddayaddayadda. Wherever, whenever, whoever, etc will all be revealed years down the road when we actually start talking about it." According to Priestly, it's far more accurate to think of this game as "what happens next set in the Mass Effect universe." BioWare expects gamers to speculate this next Mass Effect title, such as what characters it'll include and what the story is, but nothing will be officially announced for a long while. Are you looking forward to the next Mass Effect game? Are you excited to get something completely new out of the Mass Effect universe?
  15. The Mass Effect trilogy may have ended, but that hasn't stopped series creator BioWare from giving us a few downloadable sidestories for our Commander Shepard fix. Sure, there are more Mass Effect games coming in due time, but with Commander Shepard's story at its end, it certainly doesn't hurt to have some extra time with the guy/gal. On that note, it appears that another DLC story might just be coming soon, as series producers Casey Hudson and Michael Gamble have gone to the Twitterverse with screenshots of what looks like something new. Check 'em out below: Of the two images above, the first one shows a decked-out Krogan pounding at the ground with some kind of funky hammer. Alongside this image, Gamble, who tweeted the image, wrote "[this] does not look like a guy you'd want to mess with." As for the second image, which features a city of neon akin to Las Vegas, Hudson, who tweeted the image, said "[this] looks like a nice place for some R&R." These are fairly strong hints at new Mass Effect 3 DLC, but as BioWare has yet to give us any more than a tease, that remains to be seen. Are you excited for some new ME3 DLC?
  16. Jordan Haygood

    Mass Effect 3 Possible DLC 2

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

    © BioWare

  17. Jordan Haygood

    Mass Effect 3 Possible DLC 1

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

    © BioWare

  18. When you finish a game's story, that usually means that there is nothing new to learn about the characters and world. Personally, I find that kind of sad because I've spent the better part of twenty hours or more getting to learn about the game world and its inhabitants, and when the story is beaten, then there's usually nothing else for me to learn (unless there's extensive post-game content or more story-related DLC coming). Thankfully, that isn't always the case when it comes to video game lore. You might not be aware of this, but people still make books. According to some rumors I've read, a book is made out of paper with bits of ink on it. That ink is arranged into different patterns that form words. It sounds crazy, but some of these books have actually been used to expand the story of some of your favorite games. I've listed some of these books below so you too can know the wonders of "reading." The Final Fantasy XIII Novella It can be pretty scary getting into a new hobby, so we're going to start things off nice and easy just to get you started. If you played both of the Final Fantasy XIII games released so far, you might have noticed something quite alarming. Practically every single character from the first game had seemingly vanished without a trace. I have game manuals longer than this thing This annoyed me simply because there was little-to-no explanation when it came to the characters' whereabouts. Some of them weren't even mentioned until the very end of the game. This is where the nice and easy novella comes into play. At a measly thirty six pages, this nice starter story should only take you a few days to read from front to back. While it doesn't go deep into details pertaining to exactly what happens to the first game's characters, it at least gives you some sort of idea as to where the game's characters ended up before the events of Final Fantasy XIII-2 took place. Unfortunately, it doesn't answer all of the questions raised in the game, but what do you expect from a thirty six page book? Prepare For Halo 4 (By Reading!) Surprisingly enough, Halo 4 is right around the corner. A new game in the series usually means some new lore to work through, but when it comes to the Halo series, the novel is king. Going throughout the series, the games are just chock full of callbacks to the books released over the years. Spoilers! Things don't go as planned. In fact, the entire plot of Halo: Reach came from the book Fall of Reach, which released over a decade ago. Books were still pretty underground back then so I won't hold it against you if you've never heard of it. But the fact is, the books are insanely important to the Halo series. I would go so far as to say you should actually read the books before you play the games just so you can get the most out of both mediums. The characters you meet as you play will no longer be strangers and you might even figure out how they die before it happens in the game. And who can resist becoming a time traveling/seer into the future? The Horror Of H.P Lovecraft Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth was a game based on a few of H.P Lovecraft's stories. Namely, Shadow Over Innsmouth and The Shadow Out Of Time. Pretty shadowy, eh? The reason I bring up H.P Lovecraft is because of his reputation as the father of modern horror. If you want a reading experience the likes of a Silent Hill story, you could always just read the Silent Hill comics. But they're... well, let's just say they're kind of hard to read. Leather bound horror goodness! If you want a psychological horror story with a dash of old timey racism, then H.P Lovecraft is your guy. Not all of his stories really hit it out of the park, but his best ones are world renowned for how they shaped the horror genre. Luckily, you can buy the complete works of H.P Lovecraft for as little as $20 at places like Barnes & Noble; I suggest you do it. And finally while we're here at the end, might I suggest you read some of the works of Junji Ito? The guy can't write an ending to save his life but his short stories are the epitome of "Boss". Get to it! Books. The final frontier of media. You might be afraid going into this new medium, but it is totally worth it. They might not be as flashy as a TV show or video game, but if you want a game's full story then you need to actually sit down and read the story! As always, thank you for reading.
  19. BioWare has revealed a full set of the Mass Effect Trilogy's content, including all the DLC associated with the collection. If you've been holding out for this sort of thing to get the full experience, however, you're going to miss out. Here's the official list: On PC, Mass Effect will include Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station on disk. For Mass Effect 2, Cerberus Network will be included which features Zaeed – The Price of Revenge, The Firewalker Pack, Cerberus Assault Gear, Arc Projector heavy weapon, and Normandy Crash site mission. For Mass Effect 3, Online Pass will be included granting players access to co-op multiplayer. On Xbox 360, Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station are not included with Mass Effect, however they are available as stand-alone downloads through Xbox LIVE. For Mass Effect 2, Cerberus Network will be included and Online Pass will be included for Mass Effect 3. Information on PlayStation 3 DLC will be available soon. So, for the 360 version, you get Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 and the Cerberus Network, and Mass Effect 3's online pass stuff. Basically, the 360 version gets the most vanilla of vanilla for Mass Effect. The PC version is a bit better equipped, with the Bring Down the Sky and Pinnacle Station DLC for Mass Effect, and a bunch of in-game items for Mass Effect 2, with Zaeed's story and the very brief Normandy Crash Site mission. This does mean that there is no Lair of the Shadow Broker, no Arrival, and no Kasumi mission. Don't worry, though, because the content is still available to purchase on the appropriately-linked stores for DLC. The team behind this was in no way obligated to add the content, but it also doesn't give much reason for current owners of the series to spend any money, nor does it entice people who want a full collection to do so either. No word on the PS3's content so far, however. Maybe the PS3 Mass Effect Trilogy is the definitive version? What? Why are you laughing?
  20. While Mass Effect 3 was to be the end of the trilogy, the cycle continues. Instead of having to wait 50,000 years, however, the rEApers waited a scant six months before starting it over again with Mass Effect Trilogy Edition. In this cycle, Trilogy Edition represents all that has come before, with the original Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 all in the same box. The interesting thing is that this time, EA is targeting PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and the PC. That means that PlayStation 3 owners who have never experienced the joy of the Mako will finally get their chance, leaving the WiiU as the only console to have a Mass Effect game without being able to have a continuous save. If you've already dropped the money for Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 for your PS3, but want to get at that original Mass Effect, that'll be available separately as a digital release for PlayStation 3, without an associated physical release. No word on whether the DLC for the series will be included in this, but, with the two DLCs for Mass Effect, fourteen DLCs for Mass Effect 2, not counting promotional stuff, and the at-current seven DLCs for Mass Effect 3, it would go some ways to showing the value of the purchase. This'll be available for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC on what EA is marketing as "N7 Day," or November 7th, though technically it'll be on shelves November 6th.
  21. With the news that Greg Zuschek and Ray Muzyka are departing, fans are curious what this means for BioWare. Fortunately, Aaryn Flynn, BioWare Edmonton and Montreal's General Manager, has a status update on the biz. While most of it is stuff we already knew, we have culled some important new info out of this: The Omega DLC and a new submission into the Mass Effect series. The new game in the series is just a snippet, certainly devoid of any reliable information, but Flynn describe it with the following: "... [T]he Mass Effect universe is vast, and Casey and our teams have plans for another full game. “Where to go next?” with such a project has been a question a lot of us have been asking, and we“d all love to hear your ideas." The "we'd all love to hear your ideas" could possibly mean taking in some of that user input that generated a majority of the stuff around Mass Effect 3, or it could be that pandering we often hear with new development. Personally, I lean towards the latter. While there's plenty of content that BioWare could make after the events of Mass Effect 3, there's also a lot of history that they may be more willing to explore, a la Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Regardless of the direction, it'll be interesting to see what they come up with, and maybe more interesting to see what the fan response is. More concrete, however, is the Omega DLC. BioWare promises to deliver more multiplayer content, but states that Omega is a singleplayer DLC that's coming this autumn. In Mass Effect 3, Aria lost the Omega station to Cerberus, and this was the subject of at least one of the graphic novels, so this DLC could very well be the retaking of that station, or any number of things surrounding it. Information is scarce right now, but it's ripe for speculation. Take this chance to do just that, or maybe even share your opinions, in the comments below!
  22. Over at Slideshow collectibles, low chances most likely but worth a shot none the less!
  23. Your typical movie-goer tends to walk into the theater hoping for a spectacle of explosions, gunfire, and maybe a few lines of dialogue for the sake of those sick one-liners that would probably make its way into a ten minute compilation of similar sayings. If this is what people expect from cinema, how high can their expectations be for video games? Looking at your mainstream flow of gaming, they usually consist of your typical, run-of-the-mill shooter-fests in which you find a good spot to take aim, mow down some baddies, and move on to the next area where you repeat the process. Of course, I don“t mean to generalize; most gamers have higher expectations and want to see variety when it comes to the basic formula, whether it is a shooter, RPG, or platformer title. Still, many other great titles such as Splinter Cell, Resident Evil, and Final Fantasy have fallen into this pattern in which developers feel as though they are compelled to put more action into their titles. Games that are known for their original qualities such as horror, strategy, or stealth have been reduced into keeping half of their original concept, with the other half being straight-up action. While it works in some cases, some fans feel as though these games lose its main purpose. That being said, it can be fair to say that the “Interactive Story” genre of gaming wouldn“t seem like a popular, or more importantly - profitable - proposal at a publisher“s next meeting. However, in the past years, the interactive story has been making its return in the primetime spotlight of gaming, and depending on the crowd, it can deliver some of the most exciting moments and provoke the deepest emotions. A Storybook With Choices In point-and-click games like this, the player usually has to find clues and items in order to continue with the story The closest thing I can compare an interactive story to are the point-and-click games that were made popular back in the 90s. Their idea was simple: the player moved a cursor around the screen and by clicking on items or places in the environment the player can move the main avatar or make him/her perform specific actions. The great thing about these games and what separated them from other games during their time was that they made you truly think about what to do. Most of the time you can“t blast through the door or jump over that broken ledge, but instead you“ll be forced to find and combine items, talk to people, or solve puzzles. This is basically what interactive stories are made of. Thanks to advances in technology, the player now usually has the ability to move the character freely around a set environment, and from there the player will have to find items, talk to people, or, you guessed it, solve puzzles. While it doesn“t sound all too enthralling, within the right hands, the interactive story can keep you intrigued and even have your heart racing, depending on the situation. Pieces Of A Plot Trust me, while it may seem like nothing more than a romantic gesture, this decision in Heavy Rain will impact the story's conclusion One of the most basic features of an interactive story is that it“s a story that you should have some degree of control over. Take Heavy Rain, for example. Depending on your choices, some characters may be affected by the impending circumstances or even die, which then affects other parts of the story later on in the game. Or perhaps handling a situation one way or another affects how the plot plays out by the end. Heavy Rain can potentially have dozens of different endings. While the game ends in the same place, the variables involved can be completely different from one player“s file to the next. This is what helps create the intrigue in an interactive story, in that the player can essentially try to create the best outcome, see what happens when things go bad, or choose what they want to see happen. Interactive stories have no mandatory goals other than tell the player a tale of their own. Dealing With Dialogue Be mindful of who you take sides with in The Walking Dead Coming from a writer, one of the aspects I appreciate most from a good video game is good writing. That“s why I usually applaud games like Uncharted or Red Dead Redemption or Mass Effect; not because of its gameplay (which is superb) but because of the writing in its characters. Dialogue is taken to a next level with interactive stories. Most of the time, the player can choose what their controlled character says. In The Walking Dead video game adaptation, the player controls Lee and half the time you have to pick what he says to other characters along his journey. This added depth to interaction really allows the player to get to know this character that he/she essentially gets to form, and also get to know the world around the character. The Walking Dead is a particularly good example of this because when the game starts, you aren“t given any information about Lee other than the fact that he is being driven in a police car. You wonder why he“s being arrested when the game prompts you to say something to the police officer driving the car, and because of the fact that Telltale Games doesn“t give you any background information, Lee is essentially your own character. The choices given to you during the game, which are usually four choices performed with one of the face buttons on your controller, are fairly distinct. There“s even a choice to be silent, something that I hadn“t remembered seeing as a consistent choice in a game like this. This also adds replay value if you“re interested as to what would happen if you said something different. From Start To Finish You'll need quick fingers to survive your encounters with the dinos in Jurassic Park: The Game Some people doubt the entertainment value of interactive stories because of how the player is limited to movement, solving puzzles, and maybe picking dialogue. Some people don“t even consider interactive stories in gaming as video games, and that sparks arguments as to what a game actually is. The general definition for “video game” is a game played by electronically manipulating images produced by a computer program on a television screen or display. That sounds about right. If Call Of Duty is considered “manipulating images,” then interactive stories have a right to be considered video games, too. And exactly how fun can they be? Well, let“s bring up Call Of Duty again. You can take bullets, sprint for miles, and come out of an exploding building without a scratch besides some mysterious red gel on your eyes. In interactive stories, you don“t get to do that. When stuck in a dangerous life-or-death situation, all you can rely on is quick reflexes and timed button presses. Now it may not seem difficult or exciting, but when your character“s life, a character that you“ve been building and following for several hours, relies on a few careful button presses, you“ll be on the edge of your seat making sure you don“t miss. And interactive stories aren“t limited to Heavy Rain or games of a similar caliber. Mass Effect and InFamous are just a few examples of games that take elements of interactive stories by allowing you to pick dialogue or change the course of the game through major decisions which add to the already rich experience. The best part about interactive stories comes around the end, as the plot comes to a resolution and the main characters achieve (or don“t achieve) their goal. It is the moment when the culmination of your choices over the course of several hours comes together into a hopefully satisfying conclusion. The things you said, the people you saved, and the actions you performed flourish into a final result, and you realize that it was all because of your decisions. Even better, you can go back and do it again, continue making new stories, and you just might figure out why interactive stories can be some of the best experiences in gaming.
  24. The Wii U will have the last of the Mass Effect trilogy at its disposal, but that does leave it pretty high-and-dry for the first two. Don't worry, though; with their interactive comic, Dark Horse has got your back. A GotGame interview with BioWare's Melanie Faulknor revealed how Wii U players could fill in the gap left by the first two games of the series. Faulknor, not to be confused with known Wish Dragon Falcor, discussed a return to the plan deployed with Mass Effect 2 on PlayStation 3: a comic designed for players to read through the previous games and make their own choices. Dark Horse, who's been doing the comics for Mass Effect anyway, will be helming this project. The comic will cover the first two games and the major events that are to carry over into the third. There's no information here, including whether it'll take direct dialogue or whether it'll be written independently to suit, nor how the decisions will be made. Mass Effect 3 is also leaving home, according to Faulknor. A third-party developer, with experience working with Nintendo, will be developing the game, for whatever impact that will end up having. No one has given a concrete release date for Mass Effect 3 nor the console it's riding in on, but the Wii U supposedly will be coming out worldwide this holiday season, so look out for it then.