Lemons and Lemonade: Mass Effect Edition
The trend of highly anticipated things releasing around my birthday receiving mixed reviews and performing below expectations continues this year as Mass Effect: Andromeda receives 7.7 from IGN and a 6 from GameSpot, and an overall score of 75% on Metacritic thus far. By no means is that bad, but when you release a game in the wake of Horizon: Zero Dawn and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, both of which have had massive commercial and critical success, it's not great either.
I think I started caring about things just because they released around my birthday with the first Hunger Games movie. I decided to read the book before the movie's premiere and liked it.
Then I bought Bloodborne just because it released around my birthday. That was critically and I think commercially successful, but I haven't gotten past the first part and for $40 it's a bit of a disappointment for me personally until I can get farther in.
Then Batman v. Superman was a movie I expected to love and wound up kind of hating. I know it has its fans, one of which is a non-traditional student of mine who is also a mom (maybe the Martha thing seemed ok to her, cause hey mother love?) but the editing and shoehorning of Justice League characters and the fact Grant Gustin isn't their Flash pissed me off on top of not being able to find my friends in the theater 30 minutes away and having to see it back home after a couple drinks. I then saw in in 3D because my best friend's girlfriend's little brother had some party and ... hated it even more. Never liked Man of Steel either. To me, these movies are Zack Snyder's DC version of Michael Bay's Transformers and I just can't get into this stuff the way I can just about everything else DC. I thought Suicide Squad was ok, but like "meh, generic but kinda fun" ok.
Now: I've never played a Mass Effect title and was eager to jump in on this installment in the series, since it releases two days before my March 23 (1990) birthday and apparently requires no former knowledge of the franchise. I will say that since comparisons to older games in the franchise seem to be some of the major criticisms (I don't care if there are only two new races, because I'm familiar with none of them anyway), maybe it wouldn't be so bad for me.
Unfortunately, other criticisms, like the emptiness of the worlds to explore and the lack of conflict between characters, has me skeptical enough not to jump on this just because it releases around my birthday. The awkward facial animations and frame rate issues are not enough to keep me away from the game completely, but added in with more substantive criticisms I care about, that doesn't help.
What I plan on doing now is buying Until Dawn, The Nathan Drake Collection, and Ratchet and Clank for PS4 with the birthday money I'd otherwise have spent on Andromeda. I actually got $75, so this is also an excuse to rebuy Shovel Knight for PS4 and use that sweet, sweet d-pad for it ... still kinda pissed off Strider made you use the control stick to move. It was a really good indie game, but still. I bought it thinking "2D sidescroller = D-pad to move."
I did already buy The Bioshock Collection for $30 (half off) on PS4 yesterday. That was digital, while I plan on buying these other games physical since they're $20 either way.
I'm honestly kinda bummed Andromeda is getting the reviews it is and may decide to take a chance on it anyway. Right now though, this just seems like the better plan.
Oh and we went to Barcadia for my early day of birth celebration. Pixldump to follow.