Yup, it is all about the Mass Effect, in the one, the two and the three. I just finished the first game and have started the second one. In the first I hit a few glitches, optionally a few bugs, yet am I angry? No, I am delighted. The game still holds up, even upgraded the game is still every bit as capturing as the original was and to play this game again 15 years later seeing that it holds up to all the latest games is proof of its excellence. Yes, I think a few things could have been done different, it is merely detail work, it does not deprive us of anything either way. The game left me with a lovely feeling of great gaming, just like it did when I played it on the Xbox 360.
These treasures are to admire, to really enjoy gaming and I know that the best game is still ahead of me, so I am as happy as can be. Yet the feeling remains, this game is already ahead of Andromeda, thy failed to largely and we should wonder why that is. You see, even as I am still designing a new RPG, the setting of failure is always with me as it is with any person with creative settings. A movie, a game, a TV series, they all rely on the headspace to deliver. Creativity is weird that way, it is in equal measure delighted to create as it is eager to doubt whatever you delivered. It might not make sense, but ask any creative mind, they will concur. It is easier to replay what I had conquered before? Nope, well perhaps it is , but I still enjoyed every minute of the game and after the first stretch of three, I will try it once more, now completing the achievements I left behind in the first run. I reckon I am not the only one on that path and I am not the only one enjoying every minute of what we loved doing 15 years ago. Mass effect, especially the second game is as close as we tend to get to gaming perfection and the others (read: Ubisoft) still has not caught on. We see their marketing machine giving us (via IGN) ‘Ubisoft Says It Will Focus Less on AAA Games, But What Does That Actually Mean?’ I personally believe that they lost the plot, listening to people whose life evolved behind spreadsheets, like they knew what they were doing, but art is not that confined and they blundered again and again. One of their greatest achievements (Assassins Creed) torn down by stupidity, by shortsightedness and Mass Effect show that clearly, Bioware shows what excellence in gaming gets you. It gets you millions loving and returning the exactly the same game. Even sources like SVG are making a 180 degree setting trying not to lose face. Articles like ‘AC: VALHALLA WAS GREAT, AND THEN SOMETHING HAPPENED’ are a bit of a joke, the game had bugs, glitches from the very beginning, YouTube is filled with that part, so when I see “Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla has to function properly in order to keep fans’ interest”, this could have been resolved by proper testing and that was never done, it is either that or the big boys on top knowingly let a defective game take the money of gamers, what do you think it is? One gamer in one site gives us “I didn’t think it would be possible after Odyssey but Ubisoft managed to exceed my disappointment”, you see, that is the hard center of the problem. Exceeding disappointment. I was in a mid level meeting once where the bosses were trying to convince us that it is unrealistic to aim for 100% satisfaction in support, so what would be the acceptance of aiming for 80% satisfaction? All whilst they would still pay us based on a 100% scale mind you, but that is trivial at that matter. A stage 25 years ago where market saturation and unrealistic goals would feed reduced quality. A stage we saw repeated again and again and also in gaming, what if we do not deliver in day 1, but get them started and get it all fixed by day 60, and even that they could not achieve 6 months later and here is a game that delivered on day one fifteen years ago, are we starting to see the distorted image?
So when we are given ‘Ubisoft Says It Will Focus Less on AAA Games, But What Does That Actually Mean?’, we see a move towards indie games and microtransactions. As such we see the decline of games, soon they will make an about face and make some cloud gaming announcement, they will not do it themselves, they will let someone at Google, Amazon, or Microsoft make that announcement, optionally all of them, it is the game they decided to play and it is up to the gamers to consider what is the better path to take. Ubisoft will make clearance of their commitment towards some gaming pass from one of the consoles, or a cloud streaming selling and get their revenue, a stage that does not hand 100%, but as we have seen it all over the place that losers will accept the 60% marker.
In this we need to wonder, we saw the teasers, will EA clean up its act up and will ME5 be the game we hoped to get in ME4? I set that stage a year ago on how that would be possible and I am not convinced on the actions that EA games will take. At the stage is not done yet. You see, even as we saw the excellence that the Mass Effect trilogy brought, there was a contender and that player is ready to push Microsoft towards a fifth position. Nintendo is sitting on a gold mine, and they know it. The Metroid Prime series is as revered as Mass Effect was, this sets a different station as Microsoft never had it in the first place, and should Luna or Stadia be able to talk Nintendo into it, there are loads of players that ill want to play it on Switch and one of the two cloud gaming systems. And with Microsoft facing gamer backlash of a non performing Halo game adds to the setting, Nintendo has the option to push ahead a lot more, and more important, they have the ammunition to make it work, as such the question who will become the number three system? Google Stadia or Amazon Luna? For the gamers it will be a larger stage, one where it is not merely dominated by Nintendo and Sony, but the stage will become which of the two systems will add to the gamers that selected both Sony AND Nintendo, we might think it is Google, but the Luna performed so close to Stadia in 2020 that the verdict is out and as Amazon commits to developers and to developing games, they might actually win. So what will we see in the future? I hope that it is more of the same feelings that Bioware gave me the last three days, I had truly missed them. Other great games followed, I acknowledge that, but you never forget your first one (or second one for that matter) and in that I am one of those gamers that have enclosed Oblivion and Mass Effect in my heart, good times!