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Category: Video Games

[Gaming Ramblin'] Ubisoft's problematic playable women characters glitch.

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So as the E3 continues to roll on, the Ubisoft fallout over no playable women characters continues on blogs from Bennett North‘s to Chuck Wendig.
I hope James Therien isn’t the biggest whiner in the world because his sound bytes sure sound like he’s biggest whiner, ever.
Did some fact checking via the web*: Aveline de Grandpré from Assassins Creed III and Black Flag was a playable character.
So that means, all the code these whiners are complaining about is already in the computer.
And sure, it may take a while to “update” aka spend time but it’s already been done.
If the code for a playable female character is already in the computer why are we even having this conversation?
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Instead of continuing with the playable female character that had been a plus for Ubisoft like it was for BioWare when female Shepard popularity shot through the roof, instead, we get a speed bump and negative traction on social media.
MMORPGs have been doing player customization for years while console games have struggled to catch up to make sure their On-Line version can be played out of the box. Patches come later.
Personally, I enjoy customizing characters. I’d rather get shot by someone different then just a different tinted Master Chief.
Why isn’t Cortana a playable character? It’d be fun to get killed by a giant blue naked A.I.. She’s a reverse Dr. Manhattan.
Hell, even EVE On-line got into it.
Downloadable Content (DLC), Season Passes and pre-order to play XYZ character is unfortunately the next big thing.
I say unfortunately for several reasons: 1. I want to customize and choose playable characters (like Harley Quinn) out of the box. 2. Oh, right, is this extra feature going to work next year when the iteration of the game drops? Question 3. See question 2.
Question 2 is big problem if like me you play Call of Duty Games.
Call of Duty has become a annual national holiday in upon itself. And none of the DLC’s or levels are portable.
Player customization for sandbox games like GTA, Saint’s Row, Watchdogs and Dead Rising is half the fun of these games. It should be half the fun of any game. Code and time be damned.
Tiger Woods’s golf games have character creation trees that put WOW to shame. **
Ubisoft should be able fix this problem by the time the next game launches. Ask for forgiveness and pledge that playable female characters will be on their to-do list going forward.
Hey, if Microsoft can dump the Kinect out of Xbox One then Ubisoft can do this.
If they can’t and if their upcoming game The Division has no playable female characters then it’s more than time to start a letter writing campaign.
Maybe get Aiysha Tyler to knock some sense into them…
* If I got my facts wrong, I blame the web. Move along.
** Yes, I’m repeating myself with that Tiger Woods line.

Call of Duty: Elite…

By the time Halo 3 came out I had out grown the multiplayer since the lobbies did not agree with me.
But, something that did agree with me was the Theater set up for replaying your last game and taking snapshots or video of it. And, then post it. That was a spark of a idea that EA has picked up on and recently put into their Call of Duty Franchise.
I think the below video of screen of Call of Duty Elite, a mash between the theater set up and social media/game ladders is big step forward in the way we will play games since the old lobby set up is a little outdated.
And, with MW3 due to arrive in November, I’ll be happy to see Elite with MW3.
As for MW3 itself, I’m still on the fence. With the firing/exodus of Infinity Ward members and the subsequent formation of Respawn Entertainment I hope the quality of the game did not take a hit.
Do have a question about how much a Call of Duty Elite Membership is going to be since it’s mentioned in the fine print at the end of the video…

Dear Microsoft Games…you are not EA Games…

Corporate Vice President for Microsoft Games Phil Spencer told IGN:

“There’s no explicit strategy that says we’re to ship a Halo game every year. I will say I think one Halo game every three years — which was kind of our old cadence – is probably not frequent enough.”

And to be followed up by:

“I’ll just, again, be honest as a gamer. I used to look at annual releases of non-sports games as people just trying to milk me. I figured nobody had enough time to do a good job, and all of the negatives that we would associate with those kinds of scenarios. Kudos to Activision because they’ve done a good job building a good game, continuing to release each year and I think the fans feel like it’s a good thing that they do that. I think there are some things to learn, some positives and some opportunities, in what they do with that. Obviously they’ve kept the quality extremely high, which I think is important.”
“We have some unique challenges and opportunities with Halo because it is a story based game built around a certain set of characters, which is a bit different than what they do with Call of Duty. Not better or worse, it’s just different. But watching them and seeing what they do — we take inspiration from a lot of places — but obviously they’re a big success.”

Now, EA Games brings out a sports game once a year because well it’s a sports game. Players change rosters, fields get built, more additions to the overall game need to be made.
As much as I’ve enjoyed Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty Series like Ubi Soft’s Rainbow Series, each incarnation of one of the games has taken time. Activision Games did a smart thing they alternated between Call of Duty Games over the last few years, COD4 was Infinity Ward’s in 2007, COD5 was by Treyarch in 2008, Modern Warfare 2 was by Infinity Ward in 2009 with Treyarch coming back in 2010 with Call of Duty Black Ops.
Ubisoft did the same thing with Rainbow Six.
Unfortunately, there will be no waiting with baited breath for Infinity Ward’s next installment due to a falling out with Activision Games and many Infinity Ward members left to form their company entitled Respawn Entertainment.
Getting back to the subject at hand: Three years for a Halo game is bad! Bad! (Insert your own Dana Carvey George H Bush impersonation if you want.)
Why is this bad?
It’s not.
In fact, it’s a sign of a good strategy, it gives everyone time to get things organized and let the drooling fans get bombarded by award winning Ads on television.
Instead, you want it once a year?
I’m sorry, what?
The current model goes like this: Game comes out. Fans are happy. Patches arrive and make the game playable. Then the downloadable content arrives. For the first person shooter it’s levels or for some first person shooters (YesI’m looking at you Bad Company) it’s game types like Conquest. Players then shell out money every single time for downloadable content (DLC) of the new levels for say Call of Duty 4 or Rainbow Six Vegas.
The problem with this current model is those levels aren’t compatible with the next iteration of said series. Yes, LVU Campus was sorely missed on Rainbow Six Vegas 2 or the same can be said for Shipment from COD4.
Now, if you want to make a Halo, Rainbow, Ghost Recon, Dead Rising a yearly event that allows the players to play all the DLC across Dead Rising 3, 4 or 5 then game on I’m right there with you! If it makes the playability last longer then yes, please. Playability good, non-playable levels bad.
In fact, let’s just get rid of the CD format all together and make the entire game a DLC.
In closing, two things will make this work: 1. Does the average gamer have big enough pockets like the sports gamer to do a Halo every year and 2. So long as the Halo cut scenes can fully render themselves.

That's not APB….APB's dead…

Well.
This is unfortunate.
The one thing that stood out for me in APB was the ability to tailor characters appearances and their clothing to your whim. This a step forward from the status quo where many of the first person shooter games tend to just drop you in and let you frag other players (with the exception of Rainbow Six Series).
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s sad, sad, sad day when Tiger Wood’s Golf Game has better character facial creation options than some of the bigger games. Heck, at least Rainbow Six Vegas let you use the XBox Camera to scan your face onto your character.
Emersion in sand box games like APB, WOW, EVE,  Star Trek On-Line and to a lesser extent: Saints Row/GTA is one of the reasons why I play these types of games. It’s that type of creation that shows the designers were looking to do something different than the rest. The colorful artwork that Realtime World used on their website and their loading screens unfortunately did not live up to the hype. Buggy software, using your mouse to look around was ill advised and loading APB was the first and only time I’ve seen the BSOD on my iMac via Parallels.
Is two months a world’s record for a game to die?

An Epic Review of Scott Pilgrim…minor in its epic spoilers.


Yeah well, my baggage doesn’t try and kill me every five minutes.
Based upon the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley Scott Pilgrim chronicles the Toronto existence of Scott Pilgrim, a 20 something guitar playing slacker that hooks up with a seventeen year old high school student named Knives Chau. Everything is going well until he meets Ramona Flowers and in time he dumps Knives and begins to date Ramona only to find out he must defeat her seven Evil Exes. Steeped in video game, music and action/comedy this saga stretched out across six trade paperbacks and judging from the advertising blitz behind it’s presence at SDCC this year it was the Belle of the Ball.