It's time once again for This Week @ Shack, our weekly round-up of news, commentary, video, guides, and et cetera.
I love Mass Effect. I loved the first one, the second is one of the all-time greats, and I'm even one of those weirdos who liked the ending of ME3. I actually reached it well after the sturm und drang had wreaked havoc on the community, and I distinctly remember thinking: all this fuss over an ending that is, at worst, merely so-so? I even read one of the Mass Effect novelizations, God help me. I think it had something to do with Saren's background, before he turned heel in the original Mass Effect.
(If I recall, I picked it up because it was by Drew Karpyshyn, and I had read a lot of Star Wars novels in my day as well. That should also tell you something about my tastes in literature.)
Point is, as a Mass Effect fan, it's been disheartening to see Andromeda land with such a thud. Brittany Vincent is still knee-deep in her review for us, but even pre-release her first impressions on our staff channel were less than favorable. The animations are the factor getting the most attention, for obvious reasons. They're funny and eye-catching. But I've been more disappointed to hear the general buzz that the story just isn't as compelling this time around. I'm still planning to play it, of course. I'm not the type to walk away from a space opera just because it starts to turn sour. But I hate to see something I really love slip into mediocrity.
Did I mention I've read a lot of Star Wars books?
News of the World:
- The creator of Gears of War wants Gears of War to take more chances. More risky than a chainsaw gun? Surely you jest.
- Bloodstained, the Castlevania homage, was cancelled on Wii U and simultaneously announced for Switch. We take this as a sign that despite a headstart of years, developers are seeing more promising sales on Nintendo's new system.
- We got a look at how exactly Nintendo is addressing it's left Joy-Con syncing issue this week, and shortly after, Nintendo acknowledged the problem publicly. Kind of. It was actually a pretty scant acknowledgement.
- More optimistic Switch sales news this week, as a GameStop exec said it could actually surpass the Wii. Holy moly.
- Elder Scrolls: Legends hit iPad this week, and as someone who was waiting to play it on my tablet, I'm pretty pleased so far.
- It's looking a lot like all of your Destiny loot will become obsolete in September.
- At least one developer seems to think the framerate issues in Zelda: Breath of the Wild could just be fixable bugs.
- There will be a new Star Wars Battlefront at EA Play this year, so you can try it out before E3 even begins.
- Industry vet Brian Fargo appears to be heading for greener pastures after Wasteland 3.
- For Honor's game director said they didn't design it expecting players to even attempt to collect everything. He raises a fair point, but also, have you never met a gamer? We are absurdly obsessive as a people.
- Splatoon 2 (Spla2n if you're nasty) is holding its Global Test Fire right now. Stay fresh!
- It's hard to imagine a cooler fusion of technologies than Unreal Engine being used in VR to design BMWs.
- The Mass Effect reviews are in, and critics agree! It's, you know, it's okay and stuff!
- You can read our own review-in-progress as well, as Brittany is still wrapping it up and experimenting with the multiplayer.
- It's Hearthstone card review season, so you can look forward to another batch of reviews every Monday until release.
- The brilliance of Breath of the Wild is in how it lets you break the puzzles and find your own solutions.
- For another take on Mass Effect: Andromeda, we took a closer look at some of its redeeming qualities.
- David is working on an extended post-mortem feature for Doom 2016, but in the meantime, he's been producing some nice pieces of the interviews he's done during his research. This week we got a talk with Hugo Martin about visual storytelling and another with Marty Stratton on reviving the series.
- I talked with a producer for the Disney Afternoon Collection about the upcoming Capcom nostalgia trip.
- David also put together this mini-feature on why Nintendo should release the 2D prototype it made for Breath of the Wild.
- Apple launched some new products this week, with about as little fanfare as possible. It seems as if the company is itself unsure what to do with the iPad, in particular.
- I've grown concerned this week that even if BioWare fixes all the technical issues in Mass Effect, the damage to the brand is done.
- Be sure to check out the Extra Life tournament this weekend–for the kids!
Guides to Life:
- Mass Effect: Andromeda - How to Romance Your Favorite NPCs
- Mass Effect: Andromeda - How to Romance Avela Kjar
- Mass Effect: Andromeda: How to Respec Your Character
- Mass Effect: Andromeda: How to Romance Suvi
- Mass Effect Andromeda: How to Romance Keri T'Vessa
- Mass Effect Andromeda: How to Scan Planets and Perform Personal Scans
- Mass Effect Andromeda: How to Change and Customize Armor