"Would you kindly..."

I like games. A lot. I like to write about games as much I like to talk about them which is almost as much as I love playing them. I will use this space to talk about everything from how sickeningly fun Mr. Genki’s Super Ethical Reality Climax is, to the high level of empowerment a player receives from Halo: Reach’s assassination mechanic. So I hope you stay tuned and help me dissemble the wide, immersive world of video games. Now, would you kindly hit the follow button? 

And on the back cover of this month’s Official Xbox Magazine is two female MMA fighters and a video game, Supremacy MMA, using female fighters as the selling point for the game.

“The first video game in history to feature female MMA fighters.”

This may be the first time in videogame magazine history (certainly I can’t recall any other time) where female characters made both the front and back cover and NOT just for being in skimpy outfits.

The Verge Sits Down With Reviewers to Praise Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3 was amazing, and some people just can’t understand why you might not agree.  Now there’s nothing wrong with discussing the finer points of a videogame; the reasons it succeeded or failed.  And in the case of a title like Mass Effect 3, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a lot, maybe most, don’t have much to knock it for.

But light discussion by a few critics can also devolve into a “101 reasons why I love Mass Effect 3” circle jerk as it did over at The Verge earlier today.

It’s clear some prominent voices in the gaming media had a few things to get off their chests.  But I’m not sure name calling is the best way to start, “There’s been petabytes of back and forth and bickering and crying over the last three weeks by a certain vocal group of Mass Effect 3 players.”

But don’t let that condescending introduction set the tone for you prospective reader, or do, who the fuck cares anyway.  Onto the main order of business.

Adam Sessler, Kevin VanOrd, Francesca Reyes, and Arthur Gies have been brought together to get at all the reasons they loved Mass Effect 3, and perhaps help enlighten some less impressed players.  

Adam made sure to repeat his confusion about reactions to the ending, “I didn’t realize the ending was not to be liked.”

Fran courageously hated herself for wanting a different ending, stating as much, “I hate myself for wanting a happy ending, you know?”

And Kevin, trying to grapple with even the possibility, declared, “It’s hard to imagine anybody going into the final moments thinking that sacrifice wasn’t a possibility, or even almost inevitable.  Honestly, who could conceivably even imagine such a thing?!

All of which led Arthur to wonder, ” if it’s spoiled somewhat by the idea that players, or a certain subset of players, will try to game the system no matter what.“  Who would dare try to game any system, let alone game the system of a videogame.  Did you fools listen to BioWare when it discussed its multi-tiered set of endings?  And fearing that a "bad” ending might be a less developed, less resource intensive one, seek to avoid it by playing hours of multiplier or intergalactic fetching?  Then you’ve ruined it for yourself!

But to their credit, Arthur & co. remark at length on the diversity of possibilities which adhere in the Mass Effect Universe.  So many that, without spoiling them here, one might have the impression that there are several ways to play the game, and several ways for it to be enjoyed.  An ‘AAA’ tribute to “to each his (or her!) own.”

In Mass Effect 3, who will die?  Who will live?  And who the fuck knows why?  Because as Kevin notes, to ignore the complex contingencies of the middle game for the ending is to miss the galaxy for a single star, “They’re being very selective about it, because they’re going to youtube and looking at all the endings, so that they can complain about how similar they are, while simultaneously ignoring how very different all of, say, our experiences were from each other.”

Mass Effect is about all of the little, sentimental possibilities.  Look only at their culminating outcome and you might miss that fact.

But don’t fret, because the endings really aren’t similar!  What Kevin won’t tell you is what Arthur will, “one of the things I like about the ending is that they just totally fuck that universe up by the end. It is completely different, no matter what choice you make.”

Except not all of the choices, since as Arthur says, two of them lead to the same thing, even if the second one is “really bold.”  But who cares right?  Everyone’s reaction to the game is valid, yes?

Specifically with regard to the game’s ending it was Adam who wondered this time, if “it was a ghost in the machine.”  And interesting nod to Descartes’ brand of mind-body dualism which really gets at the heart of the Reaper-mind-Shepard-body quadrualism, or something, like that.

But the important thing is how literary the ending of Mass Effect 3 is.  "From a literary perspective,“ says Arthur, "I think that that’s slick.”  Adam agrees, “In a literary fashion, they have left it somewhat open.”  Because if you remember one thing, remember that ME3’s ending is “literary.”  Like books and shit.  You know, smart things.

To close, the group makes sure not to let the “elephant in the room” get away from them, right Arthur?  Because according to him that’s the big, blubbery mammal “complaining” in the midst of everything.  

Adam tells the disappointed fans what they just don’t seem to understand, “Are you supposed to get a prize? I don’t want to mock too much, and a lot of people have lauded me for not mocking, but as this thing has gone on, I’ve become increasingly frustrated that – the game doesn’t owe you anything. That’s actually something you’re supposed to get out of it yourself.”

Right, tell'em Adam!  See disaffected Mass Effectians, it’s not the game’s fault if you don’t like it, or think it’s bad: it’s your fault.  The ending is something you’re suppose to get yourself.  If you didn’t get out of it what the designers intended, and what these fine critics clearly did, than well, go fuck ya selves cause your clearly demeaning this entire project.

You’re forgetting that Mass Effect 3 is ART.  Listen to Adam, “I do wonder if culturally we’re really at such a state of reward for doing anything that the pleasure of the art is not satisfactory.”

The problem with anyone who hated the ending is that they think it should, could, or might have been something other than it was.  But no, this is ART we’re talking about. It was intentioned by a small group of master craftsman driven not by a pay check, or the needs of the sales department, or the desires of the shareholders, but only their magnificent souls!  Driven by their muses, the Mass Effect team created the art they wanted to, the art they needed to; nothing more, and nothing less.

All of that DLC?  That was part of this art.  The mobile apps and Facebook spin-offs?  Art!  Do not see this as a commercial enterprise in which developers make an AAA title that publishers can distribute to Gamestops and the rest to be sold at $60 a pop.  Look upon Mass Effect 3, and it’s authentically authored ending as an aesthetic consummation of the all things creative.  Not a piece of entertainment sitting in a green box on a metal wired shelf.

Because you misguided Mass Effect fans, Arthur & co. are worried about you.  Adam himself says it best, “the general satisfaction of playing an exceptional game, an exceptional game series, isn’t enough. And that’s a little bit worrisome to me, I’ve gotta say.”

Why aren’t you satisfied you god-forsaken cravens!

You guys are, according to Arthur, falling prey to “groupthink” and “mob mentality.”  In other words, you’re completely wrong but unfortunately none of you realize it.  After all you’re the great unwashed of the vidoegaming masses.  Arthur thinks your entitled, and so does Adam, who try as he compassionately may, can’t think of a more “delicate word,” to label you as.

Because despite how different each play through can be for every player, you better like what you get.  It’s your own fault if you get anything less, and your own complaining, entitled fault if you don’t understand why that’s obviously the truth.

And I kinda have to agree.  The critics are right on this one.  And sometimes the only way to get that across is to dip each abrasive generalization in a steaming pile of condescending bull crap.  Whatever you’re opinions, please don’t express them.  Because in doing so you wouldn’t just be wrong, you’d be a whinny bunch of idiots.

I know last week I was giving Game Informer grief for once again, putting that OTHER Commander Shepherd on the cover in a story about Mass Effect 3, instead of giving FemShep a cover for once.

So, in fairness, I’ll point out the covers of this month’s Official Xbox Magazine. The bad ass female on the front cover is from the new Red Faction: Armageddon game.

Oh, and Alice is on the cover too. From Alice in Wonderland: Nightmare Returns (or whatever the title is LOL)
Trials Evolutions crashes

Here is a link to a video I did for Official Xbox Magazine. My part was playing the game for the video capture and making all those ridiculous crashes happen. 

If you haven’t downloaded Trials yet, you absolutely should. It is super fun and a great game for people with tight gaming time schedules. There is even a level that makes an homage to Limbo, I played it, it’s amazing. 

OXM UK: 30 Shepard Quotes They Cut From Mass Effect.

30 Shepard quotes they cut from Mass Effect

Leaked BioWare script ends up in OXM hands, honest

Words. There are a lot of them in the Mass Effect series, but there are plenty, plenty more on BioWare’s cutting room floor. By dint of much time, effort and outright fabrication, OXM has obtained a copy of a canned Mass Effect script, akin to the one leaked via the Mass Effect 3 beta late last year. And they say investigative journalism is dead.

We’d post the script in full, but that would require more making-stuff-up, so you’ll have to content yourself with a few of the best things Commander Shepard never said. Assign Renegade and Paragon scores as you please.

1. “EDI, close tray. EDI, finish game. EDI, Bing, Lair of the Shadowbroker.”

2. “I’m Commander Shepard, and this used to be my favourite store on the Citadel before I bought all their stock at a discount.”

3. “You have a one-track mind, Liara.”

4. “…”

5. “This ship sleeps how many? But I only count six bunk beds.”

6. “It’s been a while since I last played. Remind me, are you the one with the father issues or the evil one with the hidden caring side?”

7. “I said what? OK, everybody forget the last sixty seconds.”

8. “Yes, but the point is it’s legally distinct from The Force.”

9. “So your dad designed you to be a genetically perfect woman? Doesn’t that strike you as just a bit… weird?”

10. “I’ve had better.”

11. “What the hell are you asking me for? You’ve been here since the beginning, damn it, you make the call. I have a headache.”

12. “I’ll be staying behind on this one, lads. Need to feed my fish. Let me know how it goes.”

13. “Stop calibrating things and take me to bed, you big sexy crabface.”

14. “Has anyone seen the charger for my Omni-tool? Since I updated to iOS 436 the battery life on this thing is rotten.”

15. “It says N7 because I’m repping the Tufnell Park Massive, fam. Trust.”

16. “Can someone take a look at the shocks on the Mako? 22nd century technology and it still handles like a blancmange.”

17. “Probe? Ha ha ha ha ha. Probe. Oh, get off your high horse, Miranda - you sacrificed the right to be snooty about sex jokes when you parked your arse on my Investigate prompt.”

18. “Garrus, I don’t know if you know, but there’s a massive hole right out the back of your armour. Must get draughty. We do carry spares.”

19. “Akuze was a lie. I killed and ate them all.”

20. “If we make it out alive, Jack, I want my face tattooed on your chest.”

21. “Ashley Williams! Like Evil Dead, right? High five? No?”

22. “No, I could never date a co-worker. It’d only complicate things.”

23. “The Genophage? What’s the RAM capacity on that? Is it backwards compatible?”

24. “Can anyone remember where we parked?”

25. “Ah, mining. The gentleman’s pastime.”

26. “Sure are a lot of locked doors on this supposedly massive space station.”

27. “Take the elevator? But there’s a recession going on.”

28. “Joker, do a legal U-turn.”

29. “Mordin, is it OK if I use your head as a rubber band catapult?”

30. “Less of the "Shepard this, Shepard that”, Tali. We’re all on first name terms here.“

“Backyard Wrestling 2: There Goes the Neighborhood”

  • Official Xbox Magazine, November 2004 (#37)
  • The Backyard Wrestling franchise never achieved critical acclaim, but I look at this ad and I can speculate that it had a niche market with its bloody fighting, overall concept, and eclectic roster of indie wrestlers, porn stars, and musicians like Andrew W.K. and The Insane Clown Posse.
Resident Evil: Operation Racoon City OXM Article

Has a nice cover story in the latest Official Xbox Magazine, if you have a chance to hit up your local Barnes and Noble or Borders, what have you!  I suggest giving it a read, 6 pages sprawling this dark side prequel of the Resident Evil universe!

I’ll give more info once I get a chance to read the article!


(via The idea that a gangster can become a cop is kinda far fetched, but this game is awesome! the story is decent and the game play is fun! like an older gta from the perspective of a crooked cop haha this game trailer is from the Official Xbox Magazine issue 51 game disc 51 from december 2005. Enjoy :)