Because Infants Were Not at Enough Risk Already
What is it that all gamers need more of? Halo deathmatch? Vanille? The touch of a woman? No. What gamers need in abundance is more FarmVille clones based around aging gangster rapper possies that have not been relevant for the better part of a decade, or at least that is what OMGPOP will be hoping is the case next week when they roll out their Wu-Tang Clan inspired FarmVille-like, The Street, across Facebook.
OMGPOP, the developer behind the flavour of the month iOS title: Draw Something (a game that allows weeaboos to draw pictures of their junk and send it to one another), has turned their hand toward Facebook social gaming mimicry, promising much in the way of inappropriate Rapville spam from inconsiderate Facebook acquaintances. OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter claims that the full ghetto cast of the Wu-Tang Clan will make an appearance in the game, and promises that The Street will be “the realist game ever on Facebook”.
While the man makes some big promises, it still remains to be seen whether OMGPOP can balance a viable online economy, trading predominantly in forties and bitches. With Facebook browser games having reached a new nadir, one wonders whether there is anywhere to go but up.
Konami Butcher Silent Hill HD Collection
Cautious gamers holding off from buying the Silent Hill HD Collection were this week vindicated, as Konami (by way of Hijinx Studios) turned in a HD re-release that would make Ubisoft blush. Funnily enough, this HD port does not seem to have been rendered mediocre through a lack of effort, but rather through a misuse of resources. Hijinx Studios appear to have spent copious amounts of development time and capital on extensively retexturing the game, creating new art assets, and recording all new dialogue – and yet they accomplished all of this without ever first insuring that the core game performed to the minimum acceptable standard. The game is by all accounts rife with bugs, and worse still, has been shown to feature some of the most obnoxious censorship this side of Final Fantasy VI (GBA).
Silent Hill fans will be dismayed to learn that one of the most iconic sequences of the entire series (the Pyramid Head mannequin rape scene) has been heavily edited for the re-release, a decision that is as mystifying as it is worrying. On top of that precarious foundation is said to rest a multitude of bugs including: vanishing walls, audio which cuts out, missing textures, a substantially brightened image contrast, and an erratic frame-rate which can slow to a crawl if the player is unfortunate enough to earn an achievement. If that were not bad enough, Hijinx Studios has also decided to drastically scale back the thick fog which pervaded the original titles. This decision would have been fine were it not for the fact that many of the game’s environments were blatantly unfinished beneath their concealing shroud, essentially creating an effect akin to lifting a girl’s skirts only to find the wire mesh and metal stand of a dress maker’s dummy.
When linked to before and after comparison shots on Twitter, Masahiro Ito (the art director for Silent Hill 1-3) responded with incredulity: “Left side is HD, isn’t it? It’s poor…” “It’s really a released version? Really?” “OMG!!!” “Yes, they didn’t have to release this condition version”. One cannot help but feel for the man – it is one thing to have a favoured childhood experience disrespected for a little easy money, but quite another to have a former employer present one’s artistic magnum opus in such a way as to have it appear as crude and inept.
Bioware Agree to Sell Gamers the Proper Ending to Mass Effect 3
Whether rightly or wrongly, a substantial portion of the Mass Effect fanbase have been vocally upset about the way in which the series has closed out its third and final chapter. Some fans have expressed their dissatisfaction through positive channels, raising tens of thousands of dollars for Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play charity in the process, while still others have made their voices heard by reporting Bioware to the Federal Trade Commission. At any rate, it would appear that all of the carping has not been for naught, with Bioware seemingly relenting in order to magnanimously sell gamers the proper ending to Mass Effect 3.
Citing “incredibly painful” gamer feedback, Bioware co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka stated: “Exec. Producer Casey Hudson and the team are hard at work on a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey”. While this statement might seem like mana from heaven to disenchanted Mass Effect fans, they would nevertheless be well advised to temper their expectations regarding the incoming content. Muzyka’s placating statement is vaguely worded at best, and could simply amount to his harnessing of the prevailing mood in order to sell game DLC which is already in the pipeline. Moreover, even if Bioware are serious about retouching the ending, Muzyka is at pains to mention his intention to not have it violate the artistic integrity of the original story – which seems to have been the problem to begin with. At any rate, while retconned endings may be welcome, one cannot help but think the price of admission would be better spent on charity.