Hey! Look! Listen! #63 – Not So Lost, as it were

Hm. I’m having a difficult time coming up with something interesting to say for this little intro. Usually I say something self-disparaging, apologetic, or both. But I don’t feel the need, nor really have the cause to be self-disparaging or apologetic right now, so that won’t work.

I’d relate some intriguing story sampled from recent events in my life, but my life is actually really boring, stale, and monotonous. Nothing of particular interest has occurred since… well, probably since I moved into my new place. And yeah, that was fairly recent, but even still, it’s not like any exciting stories have arisen from it.

Sad as this is to say, the most interesting thing I’ve done in the last couple weeks is start watching Lost. Yes, you read that correctly. For no reason other than the fuck of it (and because I enjoy the show, I guess) I’ve begun the sure-to-be-lengthy process of watching Lost from start to finish. I’ve seen a lot of Season 6 (which, by the way, is probably the worst place you could ever start watching the show) but other than that I’m a noob.

So, how does it feel to be watching the first season after seeing almost every episode of Season 6? (I managed to avoid the finale, that was about it.) Well, it’s still an enjoyable thing to watch, but it’s obviously somewhat disappointing that much of what I’m supposed to find mysterious… isn’t. But I can only blame myself for that one. Stupid, stupid me.

The Tragically Comic Rantings of  EA Louse

HEY! – Why I Care I greatly enjoy these rare glimpses into the inner workings of Corporate’s seedy underbelly in the videogame industry. What we have here is a rant written by an employee of Mythic Entertainment – now known as “BioWare Mythic.” The guy’s pissed because he heard he was being fired soon, decided to write a scathing blog entry exposing the incompetency of Mythic and BioWare’s upper management figures. The article is labeled, simply, as “Why Warhammer Failed“.

LOOK! – Why You Care This guy was clearly pretty involved in the development of the now-largely-forgotten MMORPG, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. He tells an interesting story of what “really” went on behind the scenes of the game’s tumultous development. Oh, and if that doesn’t grab you: he blasts BioWare’s upcoming MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic. In his own words:

Old Republic will be one of the greatest failures in the history of MMOs from EA. Probably at the level of the Sims Online. We all know it too

See? This guy has some crazy shit to say. So…

Listen! Mythic Entertainment has been around for a while. Founded in 1995, they finally made a name for themselves in 2001 with the MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot. In 2006, EA bought them out, and they were known as “EA Mythic” for few years afterward. Then, as you should all recall, EA merged with BioWare Entertainment. (Y’know, the Mass Effect guys.) Shortly after that acquisition, EA took the liberty of merging Mythic Entertainment with BioWare to create what is now known as “BioWare Mythic.” Dr. Ray Myzuka still runs the entire shindig, Mythic’s general manager was replaced, and things went along with ease and efficiency.

…or DID they? Apparently not, if this dude is to be believed. I mean, sure, it’s possible that it’s all an elaborate host, but it sounds legit enough to me. Hell, even if it’s not, it’s a legitimately entertaining read. The merger between EA and BioWare was a huge, huge deal – a deal that, seemingly, went over without a hitch. We still got our respective Dragon Age and Mass Effect fixes. And oh looky, Dragon Age 2 is set for release in less than five months! And Mass Effect 2 is coming to the PS3! No sign of greedy corporate evil here, right?

Probably wrong. If you still aren’t interested in reading his rant, then at least treat yourself to this glorious excerpt:

Oh yeah, and he needed Paul Barnett. You know him as the crazy British dude that appears in random videos at EA to promote his latest bullshittery. We know him as the crazy British dude who we have no idea of how he still has a job. This man was supposed to be the savior of Warhammer’s vision and design. Now all he can do is promote his strange ideas about his little secret project web Ultima game that’s been almost universally criticized by all of us and focus groups. What’s that? You didn”t know Paul loves one of those old Ultima games sooooo much he’s making a literal copy of it for Facebook? Well, the cats outta the bag. Too bad it sucks ass.

Oh… the hatred in his tone. I soak it up like a week-old sponge.

So, assuming that you’ve read his rant at this point, what are your thoughts? Rightly disgruntled employee with legitimate, if raging, critiques? Or a pill who just got burned and felt like bitching?

Or… both?

Aggregate Ranking Roundup: Final Fantasy XIV, Enslaved, Medal of Honor

Huh boy. It’s that time of year again.

Last year I had quite a bit more money than I do now, so I was set and ready to stem the tide of big game releases. This year, however, I am not so fortunate. One fortunate thing, though, is that it now seems that I can safely cross two games off the list.

Final Fantasy XIV – 55% (7 reviews, PC version) Ouch. Well, I guess we all saw this one coming. Final Fantasy XIV never looked like it would be anything more than a grindy, unpolished mess, and now that reviews are starting to roll out – almost universally negative – I guess we can finally put it to rest. From Kevin VanOrd’s review for GameSpot: “When the simple act of creating an account for the massively multiplayer online game you just bought is a convoluted mess, you know you’re in trouble.”

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West – 82.07% (30 reviews, PS3 version) Yeah. I still want this game. Really badly, actually, and I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve heard that Lameish (or whatever his name is) has it, but despite my repeated demands that he airmail it to me, he has refused. I’d fire him, but then I’d be admitting that I hired him in the first place.

Anyway, yeah, Enslaved looks really good. Granted, an 82 percent aggregate ranking isn’t exactly cause to blow one’s load, but it is quite respectable. General consensus seems to be that Enslaved greatly succeeds as an experience, a story, and a visual spectacle. Why do I want it so badly? Well, for one thing, I haven’t played a good action-adventure game in far too long. Secondly, I find the post-apocalyptic-yet-healing world setting incredibly appealing. In a sea of big-name releases with much larger ad campaigns, it looks like Enslaved might be doomed to obscurity. And while I’ve yet to play (though I promise I will) I think that’s a damn shame.

Medal of Honor – 75.3% (20 reviews, PS3 version) While I may spend a fair amount of time wanking Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the only way I’d spend money on EA’s Medal of Honor reboot is if it received sparkling reviews. And, while reviews for said reboot have been positive, they have not sparkled. I’m frankly surprised. Not that the game is only average, but that so many reviewers actually took the liberty of pointing this out. A big, fat, heavily advertised series reboot from EA is precisely the sort of thing that most media outlets would love to fellate. And yet they haven’t. Good for them. Bad for EA’s shareholders, as it were. Apparently, due to the average-only reviews, EA’s shares dipped six percent. Boo-hoo, I know.

QUICKIES – Short and Rough. Uh, Sweet.

The PS3 Will Soon Netflix Sans Disc – Oh thank fuck. The PS3 is my system of choice, so I prefer to Netflix on it rather than my 360. The problem? The PS3 makes me stick a disc in the drive, while the 360 does not. It presents quite the moral impound, but it will soon be a nonissue. Starting Monday, a system update will allow us all to watch Netflix without the damn disc. It will also now feature 5.1 surround sound due to some partnership with Dolby, and it will allow for video qualities up to 1080i. And it’ll look better and move faster. Sounds like epic winsauce all around.

Dragon Age II “BioWare Signature Edition” Announced – Woo. Well, actually, it is kinda cool. If you pre-order Dragon Age II before January 11, you’ll get a download code for a new character and mission, a digital soundtrack, and some kinda digital in-game armory. At no additional cost. I really need to finish Dragon Age Origins.

You Can Get Married in a Chinese McDonald’s – Ah. This is… something. Crazy Hong Kong-ians.

And that’s it. There’s no more. This thing is almost 1500 words long, which is pushing it a little bit given the average attention span of a Riddlethos reader.

Anyway, Ethos should be here tonight with some thoughts on the Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood multiplayer beta. The next time you see me, I’ll probably be reviewing the new South Park. (Preview: it’s pretty funny.)

~Riddles

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6 Responses to “Hey! Look! Listen! #63 – Not So Lost, as it were”

  1. Ethos says:

    You mean AMERICA is getting disc-less Netflix for PS3. Canadians already have it. Bitch.

  2. DarthGibblet says:

    - Nobody counts Canada. You’re just America’s hat!

    - I’m more and more interested in Enslaved the more I hear about it. You’re right in that 80s aren’t exactly stellar scores, but from what I’ve heard, I’m completely OK with all the gripes people have had with the game. If the story’s as good as people say it is, I’m definitely game.

  3. SiliconNooB says:

    “Old Republic will be one of the greatest failures in the history of MMOs from EA. Probably at the level of the Sims Online. We all know it too”

    I’m afraid FFXIV already holds that dubious honour …

    -I do wonder whether MoH’s backflip on Taliban multiplayer had anything to do with the lack of fellation?

  4. Andogo says:

    Got Enslaved for the 360… and if I were a normal person, I probably wouldn’t pay a dollar over $45 for it. It’s got all the nice things going for it, but its basic mechanics (combat, platforming, camera) are kind of a mess and derail an otherwise fun ride. Especially when you consider that the entirety of its gameplay is the messy combat and simplistic (yet sometimes faulty) platforming.

    Anyhow, if you’re determined to pick a copy up, get the one that has Ninja Monkey DLC, it’s the most useful one.

    But yeah, I didn’t want Enslaved to turn into another BG&E, so I got it full price. Go me.

  5. 7thCircle says:

    I’d take Rant Man’s blog with a grain of salt. It’s just a disgruntled employee who probably got fired for being disgruntled. Because people have heard of the products and people he’s ranting about, it eventually got picked up and is marginally more interesting than me or you or Ethan whining if we hated our jobs. I’m a software engineer, I’ve been on projects at many different companies over the last few years, and I’ve seen poorly managed software teams and well managed teams. The things he complains about aren’t really rare or OMG, and it makes sense that he’d get fired or quit if he was that unhappy about his work. I wouldn’t read too much into this past “crappy employee bitches about his bosses after he was fired for being crappy.” I wouldn’t call it an inside peek into the horrible innerworkings of EA or BioWare, since you’ll find people like that anywhere. Except Google. All Google employees are ridiculously overcompensated and happy. If anyone at Google sees this, please hire me!

  6. SiliconNooB says:

    Pretty much. No one’s going to give an objective assessment when they’re being given the boot.

    -If this came from an employee of Obsidian or SE then it would be almost too easy to believe, but Bioware have been nothing but solid in everything they have done, so I have to figure that they know what’s going on.

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