bioware and ea are real let downs. the fact that they’ve stopped any form of support or hope for dlc for mass effect andromeda is out of order imo?? like look at hello games. no man’s sky was dragged and murdered but they didn’t give up on it. they kept at it despite some of the worst gaming feedback in recent years and they’ve managed to turn their game around.
it’s a real shame bioware have become just like ea now. they don’t care about their games. all they care about is the money. at this point part of me hopes they just never release dragon age 4 because i don’t want to see a franchise with so much potential be destroyed by greed
I know that I use this blog to make a lot of criticisms about mass effect and its story, and i’m sorry if that bothers people, but it’s a big part of how I enjoy storytelling.
No story is without flaw, and i believe it’s just as important to look at the flaws of any story or game or whatever. You can look at the good and the bad. I find the flaws ultimately more fascinating than the good bits, if I’m honest. It’s fun and informative to look into those flaws, how they happened, and how it could be better.
End of the day, criticisms are my primary way to analyze story elements. And through analyzing, I improve my own writing. I can write in more diverse ways, beyond realms of personal experience, by discussing faults of how said specific element was handled previously. I really enjoy that.
I’ll be honest, it really REALLY bothers me that people constantly blame the people who criticized ME:A as the reason that we’re not getting any DLC’s. (The game sold well guys, the game never tanked that’s a myth) I was one of those who really dug deep and and went into the gritty criticisms. End of the day, ME:A has problems and those can’t be ignored. I don’t think we should ever look at any story and just accept whats there. I always want to strive to see better, more diverse, more open, more complex, more thought provoking. If we never criticized anything, we’d never see anything new. If we never pointed out flaws or problematic storytelling, we’d never get anything different or more inclusive. Yes there were people who were unfairly yelling and ranting about the game without reason (And I do not condone, under any circumstance, sending threats to anyone just because you didn’t like an aspect of a fictional story.), but many of us were giving very calm and honest criticisms based on experience or fact. ME:A was fun to play, but it has glaring problems, and I’m not just going to accept problems like that without really deeply analyzing them and striving to do better next time. I don’t want to see bioware continue to give us mediocre crap, we shouldn’t accept that. Too much of the ME:A story was inconsistent and lazy for me to not point it out; fun, sure, but lazy as hell. End of the day all games get criticism both fair and unfair, it’s not right to blame the legitimate criticism for EA’s choices.
I’m going to keep criticizing these games, but it’s not because I don’t like mass effect. it’s because I LOVE mass effect to my core. I want to analyze, I want it to improve, I like to look at how things could have been different. End of the day it helps me with my own writing. And though I don’t see criticism as inherently negative, even ‘rants’ are relatively objective, I understand those that do see it that way. We’re all different and I’m not going to blame anyone for just wanting to play the games and get away from the bullshit that is real life. I get it, I really do. That’s just not me and it never will be, and this is my space to do that. Bottom line, i’m gonna keep up the analyzing and criticizing here and if that bugs you, I hope y’all find mass effect blogs more suited to how you want to see and play the games. <3
Actually, a slightly more cohesive thought before I dive into work:
My issue is very specifically targeted at the marketing of Andromeda, not the game itself. I might end up loving the game. It might end up being my favorite Mass Effect or even BioWare game. Who knows? Not me, because I haven’t played it.
And the thing is, my hopes for this game were very basic:
I wanted to be able to play as a lady.
I wanted to explore some cool new locations that are vast but not overwhelming and big with purpose.
I wanted gameplay that’s similar to the original trilogy, but tweaked and enhanced as needed.
I wanted to be able to enjoy a romance with a character as a lady Ryder. (Vetra has caught my attention the most, but I have no explicit expectations. I’m honestly open to exploring any organically developing relationship between any available romance regardless of gender.)
I know I can play as a woman. But so far, I’ve only seen her in the field taking action once. Our first introduction to her was as a soft, breathy, very pretty lady waking up. Our most recent meeting with her has her relegated to a damsel in distress type position.
I know that the locations look amazing, although I’m apprehensive about having them as big as they’ve been bragging about. The combat does look fun, but I won’t know for sure how I like it until I’m in control. But the marketing in this regard is as expected.
I have little to no idea who I can romance as a lady Ryder. In and of itself, I am actually not at all bothered by this. I was actually kind of excited when it was announced (by Flynn, I think) that they were going to keep the romances a secret because I was really looking forward to going into this blind. I remember how thrilling it was finding out that romances were a thing when I first played Origin–I was totally up for experiencing something similar.
But then they release two major story trailers showing bro Ryder intimately involved with two female companions?
Romances aren’t even the most important part of the game to me. Yes, I thoroughly enjoy what they can add to a story, but I play plenty of games where it’s not available. Sometimes I even opt out in games where it is. But if you’re going to show us that it is integrated into the story and promote it as a major selling point for the game, acknowledge that your fanbase is far more diverse than players who want to play a guy romancing a woman.
I’m just tired of having to trust developers that they’re aware that I’m a part of a demographic that supports their games. Fucking show me that players like me aren’t a second thought and I’ll happily pre-order your game. Entice me with your trailers and I’ll pay full price and then some for DLC. Keep sidelining us and I’ll just stick to Steam sales and Origin discounts.
ETA - Just because a few people have mentioned this: I’m aware that EA likely plays a greater role in the marketing decisions than BW. Nevertheless, my complaints are directed towards whatever teams and individuals have made these decisions regardless of affiliation, and my tags are for easy blacklisting purposes. “bioware critical” is more commonly used than “ea critical.”
I’m seriously getting done with @playchoices, they’re following the EA games pattern the criticized so much, they only care about money and don’t give a damn about the players anymore.
The books quality have dropped and the chapters are getting shorter and shorter. Premium choices are crucial to make some of the stories interesting (like “pay or Sereena will be single for the rest of her life!) and the only genre we will have in the next weeks is cliche romance.
Just a little reminder that EA closed some of the most played games on Facebook to force people to play The Sims Social. It’s what @playchoices is doing by ending The Crown & The Flame.
I’m disappointed Pixelberry, i thought you were different :(
I am very excited for Andromeda and I think it will be amazing. I am just scared that EA will ruin the game similiar to that of Star Wars Battlefront. I don’t want Andromeda to be an incomplete game that will require dlc to truly play. EA has an infamous track record, I just hope for the best.
i really hope that in the next game u can make a trans character or a customizable gender. dragon age has been breaking video games boundaries on the topics of sexuality and orientation so i think that would make the game all the more better (and sims did it so ea im lookin at u to not fuck up for once)
Yeah I see the problems with Reyes being a ‘villain’ who is out to ‘hurt you’ but appears to have legitimate feelings for Ryder and does appear to love them too. I get the problems with Reyes in that he is not an unproblematic character. He is the definition of grey morality in mass effect, in terms of the ends justify the means. He stopped a war, but he killed and lied his way to do it. At the end he isn’t really redeemed so much as he’s honest with Ryder about who he is and what he wants to be with them.
I get that this is a problem to a lot of people, given that he’s the bi man in the game, which means ‘evil bisexual trope’ is in affect. But I still prefer his romance over Gil’s messy writing. They’re both messily written, but Reyes is still my choice. Plus I really do love his personality. And I do overall enjoy Reyes’ character.
To clarify: because I’m seeing some claims that I had asked for compilations to be crowd sourced, that is untrue. It was originally intended to be an offline private one to one discussion.
But since the compiled lists were put together by concerned fans, I took the time to address and acknowledge them.
I think the most immediate thing to note is that Emma Approved will be going on hiatus at the end of month. There will be no EA episodes in January. No decision has been made on expanded content. Also this break is not a vacation… it is time for the team to reorganize. The hiatus was not in response to fan criticism, but a response to us being totally overwhelmed keeping the show going.
In general, if you don’t find my answers or actions satisfactory in the doc (or hangout) at this time, I am sorry, I tried. I feel I’ve done everything realistically possible for one person living a completely unhealthy and unbalanced life (100% toward his work) to do regarding this.
Will there be changes? yeah there will be. Changes, adjustments, etc. Will you like them? Well that will be up to you when they happen. I’d rather the changes be reflected in actions rather than words so I’m not going to list out any “plans of action."
I’ll be stepping back out of the fannish spaces after tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.
I do appreciate all of you who care about the shows. It’ll probably be the death of me, but I do try to please everyone — which is impossible.
Yesterday, Bernie Su suddenly wanted to know what was bugging me about EA, prompted by this tweet. As my criticism usually involves passive-aggressive glitter text, I wasn’t the best person to ask, so I opened it up to my Twitter feed and the fandom at large.
While I realize Bernie Su asked for input and wanted to know what the criticisms have been, it does make me uncomfortable to criticize his artistic choices to his face. As much as I don’t agree with some aspects of the adaptation and characterization, and as much as I think the quality of the writing is not as good as LBD, if this is his artistic vision it’s his artistic vision. And it’s putting someone in a really difficult position to make them defend their artistic vision/abilities in the midst of an ongoing project. (I also have faith that the PDig team is in fact looking to create a diverse cast, even if it doesn’t always happen, and even if I don’t necessarily have faith they’ll be able to deal with issues of race very well in-script. Never mind other kinds of diversity. looooooooooool) So, I’m not going to touch any of that here.
I don’t necessarily mind that there are product placements, as long as they don’t get in the way of what else is going on. I also don’t necessarily mind the show being on iTunes. My problem here is the lack of transparency. When people started to notice that Emma Approved was on iTunes, fans were confused and concerned. We had no idea that this was even in the offing. Many people were concerned that the Pemberley Digital team was planning to transition off of YouTube to iTunes and make us pay for the content – and maybe we wouldn’t have been so quick to jump to that conclusion if there hadn’t been the advertising/product placement, which led to EA reading as much more of a consumer product than LBD. The thing is, I know that PDig is understaffed, but if there had been just *one little announcement* to let us know this was happening and that no one was planning to charge us to see EA, everyone would have been much happier.
Yeah, I don’t think anyone is super pissed about EA going on hiatus? Anyone? I think we, as people who have jobs and school and commitments, understand the value of taking breaks and not doing too much and getting burnt out. Is there something going on that I don’t know about, because Bernie Su seems to think this is a thing people are upset about.
Also: as overworked as PDig peeps might be, I think we’ve determined that typos and errors are kiiiiiiiind of a dealbreaker for a lot of people in this fandom. (hashtag, things that happen when you market your show to educated women who love Jane Austen and spend a lot of time writing about their feelings on the internet.)
Yes, Bernie Su is correct in his definition of the term “transmedia” and pointing out that EA is, in fact, doing it. However, it seems to me that fans are really, really missing the interactive aspect. You could argue that more fans need to get pinterest; I’m going to argue that Emma’s blog posts should be more engage-y, give people something to say to her on twitter that she can respond to (and also, maybe refer to “in my own office” or “as my assistant said the other day” or just generally included things that are interesting narratively rather than just a vague impression of things that are on Emma’s mind, because NO ONE READS THE BLOG POSTS ANYMORE). And also, more interaction between characters who already have twitter wouldn’t be amiss.
Upshot: I think we would all prefer videos that come out less often, but a higher quality of writing, more interaction between the characters on social media, etc.
Re: the featurettes being online, I’m glad that was clarified and I wish the intention (to only release a couple of the 15 on the DVDs to kickstarter supporters only) had been made clearer in the beginning, which comes back to: transparency.
Not even touching the DVD delays, because things happen, but if people hadn’t already been so pissed about the LBD edition of P&P (foreward? fucking FOREWARD??? HOW DID SO MANY PEOPLE MISS THIS) and other things, we might have come into Emma Approved with a better taste in our mouths.
Me neither. I think we need to apply chocolate and alcohol steadily.
They are a universal balm.
I think my problem at this point is that it doesn’t recognizably feel like an adaptation yet? Other than the character names and their relationships, I’m not sure what shape the story is taking yet–I’m not saying Emma Approved needs to or should be a chapter-for-chapter faithful telling, because that’s not going to happen for this format. But by the end of episode one of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries (I’m sure they’re going to get super frustrated by the comparison but one of the things that I fell hard for in the LBD was its strength as a modern adaptation), we were already on the path to the greater story through the introduction of Netherfield being sold and Mrs. Bennet’s overweening interest in it. Or, to go from another Emma adaptation, Clueless starts with an introduction to Cher’s life and jumps into her plan to improve her grades through hooking up her teachers and adopting Tai–and that’s a story where the Taylor/Weston wedding doesn’t really happen until the end, if you think of Miss Geist and Mr. Hall as being half of the Taylor/Weston story (Dionne and Murray being the other half). So if you’re starting with an upset to the story that doesn’t appear anywhere in the novel, that’s fine, I have no problem with that, but it has to DO something and so far all Annie’s calling off the wedding has done has made Emma look like a person without empathy or sweetness but blinded by the consuming need to reach her own goals. I understand changing up the story to provide a fresh take on the characters, but so far, throwing a wrench into the marriage that starts the novel has only served to make most of the characters unsympathetic and hard to root for.
to me. I mean, I don’t believe even Austen is sacrosanct, but if you’re doing a wholesale adaptation that just takes the ideas of the characters and runs with it, go for it but it still has to be a story with recognizable bones and narrative that goes somewhere. Even if, at this point, all the videos are supposed to do is character and world building, that still has to contribute somewhat to the plot.
There’s a lot of potential with these actors and the world they’re creating but so far I just don’t get this story. Their Emma is not Austen’s Emma, certainly (I mean, novel Emma had a one track mind but she wasn’t like fuck all y'all this is about my master plan). Which is fine. But their Emma is also someone who doesn’t make any sense as a person to me.
I keep holding out hope (why? I don’t know) that EA is going to improve, but I think I’m ready to just be done. There were so many problematic things in this episode, but my biggest issue is with the characterization of Emma. Even if we ignore the fact that this is supposedly an adaptation, as a stand alone story the writing has major problems. This arc with Izzy hasn’t moved the story along, in fact it’s taken any sort of character development Emma had from the Elton arc and moved it ten paces backward. It’s just feeling so repetitive. I’m not sure why they’ve had to villanize John either. Sure, make changes from the book, but what purpose does it serve to make the Knightley marriage problematic if it’s only going to show how very wrong Emma was, yet again.