Saturday, June 30, 2012

How About That Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC?

I'm one of those people who didn't outright hate the original Mass Effect 3 ending that I got. Although once I realized that all the endings were pretty similar, I couldn't help but understand why other people were so upset. As the excitement of not blowing everything to Hell wore off, I also realized there were glaring plot issues. I addressed these in a Mass Effect 3 post back in April.

Now that the Extended Cut DLC has been released, the endings are longer and more detailed. I'm especially happy that they filled in some of the plot holes, like why the Normandy was flying and how my crew I took to Earth survived.  I picked the same option as I did before of destroying the Reapers and there's definitely more information and cutscenes that explain things better. You can even ask the Star Child questions before you pick. There is a new refusal option, which I feel doesn't gel with my Shepard's beliefs. I can't imagine going through all that trouble only to refuse to pick and let the cycle continue.

If you hated the original endings, you probably won't like the extended ones. I still believe BioWare and other developers need to take this fiasco to heart. I hope something like this never happens again, as I still feel endings shouldn't be changed just because of fan pressure. While I can't deny this DLC did provide more closure, it shouldn't have been needed. All this "extended" information should have been there back in March.

More on the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut DLC 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gender Issues, Sex, and Gaming

Once again, gender issues have taken the center stage in gaming.  If I wanted to read every article that's been published on gender issues in gaming in the last week, I'd probably would be stuck in front of a screen for two days straight.

But here's the thing, I do want to read everything written on the issue, especially how other women feel. Mainly because a lot of the articles express a viewpoint I don't understand. Why? I've said it plenty of times before. I can't remember ever being offended by a game. I don't care what characters wear, I don't care if I'm playing as a boy or girl. I would gladly mow down some sexy assassin nuns. I'm currently playing Lollipop Chainsaw. However, most of the articles I see take the stance of "here's why ____ is offensive or sexist."

Sometimes I feel that as a woman who plays video games, that's it's part of my job to constantly be offended. And I'm not doing my part and I don't care to.

A lot of the recent controversy has centered around the new Tomb Raider game. We all saw the Crossroads trailer at E3. Then it was said that the game included a scene of attempted rape. The web exploded with "how dare they include that" type comments. Then it came out the scene's already in the trailer, and to my knowledge, nobody took notice of it before the rape comment surfaced. Now, there a petition to get the scene removed.  Here's exactly what was said and a clip of the scene.

First, I think the petition is ill-informed and a knee jerk reaction. However, there seems to be no way to express my opinion on the site without signing the petition and I'm not going to do that.

Second, rape, sexual assault, and all manner of terrible things are regularly featured in books, TV shows, and movies. If a video game even suggests a scene like that, the world cringes and is offended. Seems a bit hypocritical to me. Hell, even if a consensual sex scene is suggested in a game, some people behave as if the sky is falling.

Third, the game isn't even out yet.  

I'm not offended by the clip. Lara in the game isn't the badass from the older ones. It makes sense to me that she's fighting for her very survival on a hostile island where she kills people and people try to kill her. It's going to be a brutal game, regardless.

While it's important to explore and talk about gaming and gender issues, I think the side of  "not offended female gamer" gets lost. Articles mostly seem to want to talk about controversy, of course. But, I believe there is also a large number of  women gamers who don't have a problem with the content in video games. We just want to play.

I have written a few recent things about gender issues in gaming.

Here's my response to questions about being a female gamer from 

Here's my take on sexism in Resident Evil from New Gamer Nation

Here's Gender vs. Experience from 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

E3 Sony and Nintendo Round-Up

Now that the big three consoles makers have had their conferences, I got to say there were very few moments at this E3 that awed me. That's not to say there wasn't some really cool and interesting games and ideas offered. Here's what Sony and Nintendo had at their conferences:


From the developers of Heavy Rain comes Beyond: Two Souls. I loved Heavy Rain, so I'm excited to play this new game. It's about a girl who has psychic abilities and is being hunted by an agency.  I can't wait to hear more information about it.

The Last of Us. Is there anything more to say? It looks amazing. Although, I heard it's shipping in 2013 instead of 2012.

The All Stars Battle Royale  game. To me, it still looks a lot like Super Smash Bros, but it was announced that a Big Daddy (Bouncer) will be a playable character, so I want it.

God of War Ascension will be released in March 2013.

Wonderbook for Move. I don't know what to think of this. If it wasn't for the fact that JK Rowling made a Books of Spells for it, I probably would have ignored the whole thing. However, I don't have Move, so even if Jo did create a book for it, it better be super awesome in order for me to buy it. I think I'll wait and see. I've never been too impressed by other HP games (except for the Lego ones), so I don't have my hopes up here.

Overall, I think Sony did a good job of showcasing games, more than Microsoft did. The PS3 has some really great looking games coming out.


Everything started out great for Nintendo's conference. Miyamoto was showing Pikmin 3 for the Wii U, but after that, the feeling sort of deflated.

On Sunday Nintendo had a pre-E3 video explaining more about the Wii U. That was helpful and I thought they wouldn't go on and on explaining it again at the conference. But they did anyway.

The best announcement was the the Wii U will support two GamePads. Of course, they didn't talk price yet. I've heard it will be a few weeks or maybe longer before we get prices and a release date.

No word of Zelda anything yet.  I wasn't expecting much, though. But any little mention would have been nice.

The 3DS line-up looks pretty great. Paper Mario and Luigi's Mansion are coming this holiday. I'm totally excited about them. There's also  Scribblenauts, Epic Mickey, and Castlevania games coming for the 3DS.

The Wii U will have games the hardcore crowd has already beaten like Mass Effect 3. Still, it's a step in the right direction. And the Batman Arkham City game has its own "Armored Edition" for the Wii U.  ZombiU looks awesome as hell, though.

There's Nintendo Land which is a themed park with different Nintendo game based mini-games. I'll check it out if it's bundled with the Wii U, but I doubt I will go out of my way to buy it right away if it's not.

My favorite thing about the Wii U is the GamePad. I want one now. I'm hoping it lives up to what is being promised. I can't wait to play Wii U games without needing a TV.

So yes, I still want a Wii U as soon as humanly possible. Nintendo's conference was rather dull, but they still had plenty of great games to show.

Final thought:

You know what really made me weep tears of fangirl joy? The fan-made trailer for Majora's Mask. For the 3DS or Wii U, who knows? Whatever it was looked awesome and I wish it was real.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Microsoft At E3 2012

E3 has officially kicked off with Microsoft's press conference. So here's what got me excited:

Starting it off with Halo 4. The forerunners look sick, the music made me a little weepy in a good way, and the game looks gorgeous.

Gears of War Judgement trailer. As an unapologetic Gears freak, I was so damn excited to hear we're getting another game in 2013. According to the Gameinformer cover, both Baird and Cole are in chains. However, the very short trailer only showed Baird. Of course, there were lots and lots of locusts.

Resident Evil 6 focused on Leon and had tons of zombies. So many zombies. It looks great and I can't wait to play it.  It looks like the 360 will get DLC first.

Tomb Raider reboot is a game I've been waiting forever for. What was shown at E3 was awesome, especially the part where her parachute fails. What a heart pounding moment. Again it seems the 360 will get exclusive first DLC for this one too.

South Park Stick of Truth looks just like the TV show.  Trey and Matt talked a bit about the game on stage, but I wish their presentation was longer. However, it's good to know that they're still heavily involved with the game.

Smart Glass is a way to connect the 360 with smart devices. It seems like this is what the Wii U is trying to as well.   I think it is an interesting idea, especially with things like Halo Waypoint.

What didn't do anything for me:

Anything Kinect related like the Nike fitness game and Dance Central 3. Seriously, having Usher sing a song was just a waste of time.

Not too excited about Internet Explorer coming to the 360. I don't use it on my computer, don't think I want to use it on my 360. We'll see.

The Loco Cycle game confused me a bit. I guess you play as a female motorbike?

Black Ops 2 overkill. During the pre-show they talked about Blacks Ops and then at the end of the conference they played Black Ops 2 for about 10 minutes.