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by Ethos

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

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

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.)


Scatter Storming. Issue #038

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

YOU HEARD IT STRAIGHT FROM THE BITCH’S MOUTH, FOLKS! The asshole misses me! Scatter Storming goes away for half a month, and Riddles is already in tears. If any of you even half-follow the site, you’ll know that my girlfriend finally moved into town this week, so my time has understandably been focused on that section of my life before she starts school and I have to go back to the reality of writing for my website and doing other things with my life. So let’s scatter some storms, shall we?

I got Ys 7 -
Because why the hell not. Well, I’m broke, so that’s a good reason, but I had enough money on my PSN account to get it, so I went for it. Because of the aforementioned attention to my lover, I haven’t played it too much, but it’s actually kinda fun. The beginning was slower than I wanted it to be, but I think that’s because I was anxious to try out this action RPG series for the first time.

People tend to agree that the game doesn’t look very good, and while technically I agree, so far it has been a rather whimsical and magical universe. The character models and textures are nothing impressive, but I like the atmosphere. Anyway, positive impressions so far.

I got Windows 7 -
Well, I downloaded it and I’m trying to install it. The upgrade attempt didn’t go so well, so I’m thinking about backing everything up and starting a clean install. I’m sick of Vista, although one certain event set this decision in motion.

FFXIV Beta -
I preordered the game, so I’m very interested in this open beta, but the client just insta-crashes whenever I try to open it. I blame Vista. My impressions of the beta would be here if it wasn’t fucking up. So stay posted for that. While I’m on the topic of downloading a bunch of shit.

Goddamn Birth By Sleep -
It is deservedly Birth By Sleep Week next week. I’m very excited for the title. But for whatever idiotic reason, the game will not be released on the PSN. I’m aware that the PSP Go was dead out of the gate (the thing never should have cost that ridiculous price), but the 4 Go owners (myself included) aren’t the only ones who can download PSP games off the PSN. It just doesn’t make any sense.

So, to combat their stupid move and to bring you all proper impressions next week, I’m going to borrow Andogo’s PSP and steal that bugger. I’d gladly pay for it if I was able to, but sadly I can only purchase the UMD, and I have no interest in that. I’m sick of physical media. Switching discs and carts seems so archaic to me now. I know a lot of you like looking at your collection and breathing a happy sigh, but you’re all old men to me.

Old men with walkers, who wheeze about the good old days while shouting racist remarks and talking about how the airplane ruined good character because kids used to have to swim across the Atlantic to get to school every day.

Metroid: Other M -
To get back to Riddles, since this is his issue, he was right about one thing. I did want to write a few editorials about Metroid: Other M this week. Hopefully I’ll be able to at least bring you guys a Soapbox tomorrow.

That’s it! This Oliver Issue appropriately rarely focused itself on him. I’m going to go try to get Windows 7 to work. If I delete everything, then fuck me twice and call me Suzanne. Later, cretins!

Scatter Storming. Issue #014 “Don’t Fuck Up”

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

ss014Hey there!
Despite Riddles’ obsession with Winterscapes, and the noticeably cooler weather here in the Great White North, we only had snow once, and it was light and it is gone. Therefore my argument of “he should live in Toronto” is a little moot. Anyway, I’ve been training for a new position at work, and that’s been fun, but it’s also more noticeable when I fuck up, so I’ve been a little nervous. Anyway, let’s talk about my bizarre choice of games that I’ve been playing and thinking about.

God of War Collection, bitches! -
So I’m pretty sure I’ve almost beat the first God of War via the PS3. Fun stuff. My opinion remains the same. It’s cool, fun, and epic, but I wouldn’t heap the praise on in the same way that everybody else has. Still, I’m mildly committed to beating the collection by the end of the year. I never thought I’d say this, but the game might actually be too epic. Kinda like FFXII’s soundtrack.

Dragon Quest? -
Yeah, the series I don’t really care for. I’ve been playing V on the DS and strangely loving it and it’s made me had the desire to play DQVIII for the PS2. That has never happened before. If you know me, you know I’m lukewarm on that title. Weird.

Final Fantasy XIV beta -
I applied. Cross your fingers for me.

Call of Duty is fun to watch -
Seriously, I’ve wasted more hours watching my roommate play Modern Warfare 2 than most people spend playing it. I don’t know why gaming isn’t more of a spectator sport in North America.

I think I had more to say, but that’s really all I’ve been playing, and my eye hasn’t been on the news this week. Plus, I have a countdown list to get to. But anyway, I’ll leave you all with a very recent IM snippet with the one and only Riddles.

TGS 2009: Hey! Look! Listen!

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Day two of the Tokyo Game Show is upon us, and there’s yet to be an announcement that even remotely interests me. Where’s the Kingdom Hearts III news? Where’s a North American FFXIII release date? Where’s a new Zelda announcement? Oh wait, that’s right, Nintendo doesn’t even attend TGS. Even if they were there, they’d just announce another fat people game. BAH.

Ah well, I suppose I’ll fill you in on the few things worth discussing.

Yeah, I think that's pre-rendered.

Yeah, I think that's pre-rendered.

Let’s start with the most worthwhile thing to come out of the show: A new Final Fantasy XIV trailer! It’s really quite pretty. I want this game. A lot. And I didn’t even like Final Fantasy XI that much. Unfortunately, GameTrailers resident HaloWars298 doesn’t seem to share my opinion:

“Will turn out to be crap, just like WoW. Epic needs to show these scrubs how it’s done, I think a Gears TPS MMO could be much better than this stinky.”

I really need to stop giving random internet morons the proverbial 15 seconds of fame…

NEW FOOTAGE WATCH: The Last Guardian
Okay, so Ethos already mentioned this in his most recent issue of Scatter Storming. And it’s not that exciting anyway; Fumito Ueda waxes artsy for a bit, and then shows off about a minute of new “footage.” Still, if you’re prematurely ejaculating over the game like I am, you’ll likely enjoy it. This GameTrailers video is much better quality than the shit Ethos linked you to yesterday.



RELEASE DATE/TRAILER WATCH: Splinter Cell: Conviction
Gah, I don’t care about Splinter Cell! But it’s a big game, and it finally has a release date. That release date is February 23, 2010. Which, incidentally, is two weeks after BioShock 2 is set for release. What significance does that fact hold? None. None whatsoever. Anyway, if you’re interested, check out this shiny new “release date announcement trailer” that premiered at TGS.

White Knight Chronicles 2 Announced
Well, isn’t this exciting. A sequel to a kinda-sorta-popular JRPG that hasn’t yet been released outside of Japan. The only reason I consider this news at all is because SUPPOSEDLY, we Americans will receive a localized version of the original White Knight Chronicles someday. And if I were to buy, play, and enjoy White Knight Chronicles, then I’d likely be interested in the sequel. But I doubt I’ll even buy WKC, and if I do, I probably won’t play it. So why the hell am I even wasting my time talking about the sequel? Don’t ask me. It’s been a slow TGS so far. (Kotaku).

Well folks, I must admit, I’m not impressed. I think I said that already, but I’ll say it again. I’m not impressed, and I won’t be until The Legend of Zelda: Not a Gimmicky DS Game is announced. OH WAIT THAT WON’T HAPPEN.


Hey! Look! Listen! The GamesCom 2009 Edition

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

The second day of GamesCom has been significantly less interesting than the first.

This is likely because the biggest piece of news to come out of today is the Fable III announcement, and I really don’t care about Fable. I might if I’d actually, y’know, played the first two.


Fable III officially announced
Well. Uh. This is fairly self-explanatory, and I’ve stated twice before that I honestly don’t give a rat’s ass. But in any case, Peter Molyneux announced the game during Microsoft’s press conference. Apparently, this time around you’re some dude leading a campaign to overthrow a tyrant and become King of Albion. Once King you’ll be able to sentence or pardon people as part of the new Judgment system, and blah blah blah more exaggerated promises and hype from Peter Molyneux.


First Final Fantasy XIV Gameplay footage revealed
MORE self-explanatory news items! If you want to see how Square Enix’s upcoming MMORPG looks in real-time, then head to GameTrailers and see for yourself. There are three different videos for you to choose from. They all look… a lot like Final Fantasy XI. And I mean a lot.

Annnnd I’ve been 20 years old for an hour and 22 minutes. I feel somewhat obligated to come up with a third news item, but nothing is overly interesting and it’s my FREAKIN’ BIRTHDAY, so I’m signing off. Goodnight, everyone. Hail King Ethos.