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Lemons and Lemonade: Mass Effect Edition

On 03/20/2017 at 05:48 PM by Super Step

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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.

To recap:

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. 



Matt Snee Staff Writer

03/20/2017 at 06:28 PM

Well, I can't cancell my preorder, and I'm still hyped to play it when it unlocks tonight, so... wait until I make a judgment on it, before u buy, unless it drops in price. I think it should be punished with cancelled preorders if the animations are that bad, but I am still optimistic for my enjoyment of it. We'll see.  

Super Step

03/20/2017 at 06:39 PM

To be honest, the animations don't look THAT bad to me. Everyone is acting like they're some kind of Looney Tune from another dimension when in reality it just looks like a video game with some laggy animation. If the gameplay is fun, I can easily overlook the animation from what I've seen. Hell, I don't know if I'd have noticed had the Internet not made such a big deal of it. 

I still think my three or four personally-anticipated games for the price of one with mixed reviews is a solid idea though. In the end I'll probably just go with my gut. It bought McDonald's inside a Wal-Mart today, sure. But it USUALLY makes the right choice. 

Matt Snee Staff Writer

03/20/2017 at 07:01 PM

well if mass effect does have problems, it will go on sale soon anyway.  


03/20/2017 at 07:45 PM

I stopped buying games on release a while ago. Reviews do little to influence my purchase or enjoyment of a game. I've been going back and replaying games I know I enjoy or games I might have missed in the past. I've played well reviewed games and hated them, so I get Bloodborne for you, although it's one of my favorite games of all time. I'm still playing through Xenoblade Chronicles on WiiU since it seems endless, Guild Wars 2, and replaying DMC series. I'll eventually get to Zelda, Mass Effect and Horizon, but I honestly have never enjoyed open world games so I'm not that interested in playing them. Although there are exceptions, but I'm not exactly sure what it is about certain open world games versus others that I find appealing.

Super Step

03/20/2017 at 07:55 PM

I typically like games structured via levels more than open-world myself, so I feel you. I just thought Horizon looked too cool to pass up. A new IP is something I want to encourage game makers to make more of. 

What open-world games do you like? For my part, I've enjoyed the open NY of Lego Marvel Superheroes way more than I thought I would. I'm very close to a Platinum in that game. 


03/20/2017 at 08:13 PM

I mean MMOs if you play them as PvE (Player vs Environment), like solo RPGs can be open world type games. I think Star Wars Online, The Secret World and Guild Wars 2 have good stories and they generally have a lot of content/enemies/stuff to do at any given time. I really enjoyed Final Fantasy 15, Xenoblade Chronicles and X on WiiU which were like single player MMOs. I mostly mean Assassins Creed type clones where you have an open map with objectives to take on in any order, but mostly repetative. I would say games like Mad Max or Arkham Knight or Shadow of Mordor. They just feel like work to me. The last open world type game I played was Infamous Son on PS4 and I bounced off really hard after a few hours. I liked the opening and story, like an XMen side story, but then it just got really boring and repetative. I didn't like the shooting parts either. I just prefer more directed type design, like in Metal Gear 5, where each mission was specifically directed, even though it was open world and you could take on different missions at any time. I can't quite put my finger on it? I played the demo for Ghost Recon, which is another open world shooter and I got bored right away. I prefer the last Ghost Recon which was more mission based and directed like an action movie, like Spec Ops the Line.

Super Step

03/20/2017 at 10:54 PM

You just don't like repetitive gameplay. I feel you. Personally, I'm ok with repetition if the task is fun enough. What i hate n open world s all the empty space to travel. Can't think f any without that defect, even ones i liked. And some footage of Andromeda made it look like empty sand 1st

Casey Curran Staff Writer

03/20/2017 at 08:16 PM

I played the trial and as a huge ME fan ended up canceling my preorder. I love the new additions they made but damn is the execution awful. And the dialog, which has been one of Bioware's strongest suits, was abysmal. Bought Nier instead.

Super Step

03/20/2017 at 10:49 PM

And my 3-4 games for one plan becomes stronger. Dialogue was what I was most excited for, honestly. Never really cared about it too much in other games as an action/adventure guy, but I'd like to play a game that makes me do so and is based on my own choices.

So far the dialogue choices in Horizon don't seem like they'd effect much beyond the surface, but since they exist I'll just keep that my AAA title for now.


03/21/2017 at 10:27 PM

Oh no, ME gets a 75%. No bonuses and since it didn't get a 90% or more, cancelled sequels. I'm sort of kidding, but I'm afraid now, very afraid. 

I must be constipated because I have four blogs still in draft right now. Gotta get a Pixlscription for that (Pixldump. Lol and nasal snort).


03/22/2017 at 11:44 AM

That's funny that these games/movies happen around your birthday. 

I dug the Hunger Games books, I still haven't seen the movies but I now own them so eventually I will see the HG movies.

Never played Bloodborn. I thought it was a little too overrated

I didn't like BvS but for some reason whenever its on HBO I'll watch. Maybe its slowly growing on me. I dig Wonder Woman, and I still tell my friends "When Aquaman is your coolest character, you have a problem." I still think its crazy that DC separates their movie universe from their tv universe. Marvel has the right idea and they have everything connected. 

I think this might be the third or forth blog I've read about Mass Effect. Seriously how can the delevopers follow up their other games with something that has problems? Hopefully it can be fixed with a patch because this is disrespectful to the core fans.

Super Step

03/22/2017 at 02:32 PM

It's funny but also tragic. I just want one bona fide classic to release around this time. lol Maybe it has, I haven't ever gone back and looked at every year since I was born and found all the movie/music/game/book releases etc. from then. 

Bloodborne is rated right for what it is I think ... I just don't know that I like what it is.

I wouldn't have as much of a problem with the separate universes thing if they brought in the multiverse concept from the comics ... my main issue is they keep making everything darker than it needs to be both figuratively and literally, and the catch-up game they're playing with Marvel causes lots of shoehorned crap and nauseating editing. 

To be honest, I haven't seen the massive bugs other people have and I don't care THAT much about awkward facial animations, I just thought it looked empty. Of course, some of the awkward flirting scenes I've seen gaming sites upload makes me want to buy it MORE, because that stuff is comedy gold. 


03/22/2017 at 03:00 PM

I'd like to see DC captialize more on the multiverse storyline. Supergirl/Flash/Arrow/Legends are doing that and its an interesting storyline.Who knows maybe DC will do the same in future flicks. 

DC saw how well the last Batman trilogy went so they're going all in with the darker storylines both on TV and on the big screen.

Super Step

03/22/2017 at 04:10 PM

Yeah, but they need to learn there's only so much Batman people can take ... or maybe not, since despite the huge week-after dropoffs, I think they're movies have still been making money. 

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