Kerome Comments

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  • Fable: The Journey review

  • Kerome 12/10/2012

    Look, kinect is not for core, but you can do core-like themes with motion control mechanics... For example a football lite in fantasy dress up, or an Infinity Blade a-like. It's very possible to make those games. The fact that people have failed to do it well says little about the opportunity. But you have to make them cheap, fun and diverting. Reply 0
  • Mass Effect 3 anime prequel gets trailer

  • Kerome 14/07/2012

    Nope, still feeling a remote bit of ME3 ending rage. That obviously means any related content is going to be anathema for some time to come.

    Surprising really - that ending turned into a personal turning point in games for me which has left me wondering if I will ever go back to actually playing games, and has made me realise that without games my life has been left... More empty than it should be. Thanks Bioware, I appreciate the wake-up call.
    Reply +1
  • John Carmack on Virtual Reality - Uncut

  • Kerome 14/07/2012

    Cool talk. I hope Carmack actually gets to DO something with this stuff, although with this kind of material online and him talking directly to them I have more hope for Valve's effort.

    Still the whole wearable computing area seems like a small add-on to the smartphone juggernaut.
    Reply 0
  • Amalur developer 38 Studios lays off all staff - report

  • Kerome 25/05/2012

    And yea, Amalur sold ok at 1.2m copies, and that should have been enough to break even, but it's not enough to carry even part of the MMO effort... I saw somewhere that Amalur needed to sell 3m copies to break even but that's bogus imho, a normal RPG has a dev budget of maybe $10m and breaks even around 800k-1m copies if they have even a halfway decent publishing deal... Reply 0
  • Kerome 25/05/2012

    Trying to do an MMO with 400 staff and $100m was not wise. There is a long list of failures to learn from, it's a shame they didn't take those lessons on board and do something more like Guild Wars or some other incrementally released model... Reply 0
  • Kingdoms of Amalur studio execs jump ship

  • Kerome 24/05/2012

    Lovely looking MMO though, they obviously have a ton of content. The question is, what about the gameplay? Is it just a wow clone, or are there some good reasons to visit? Reply 0
  • BioWare asks fans to help brainstorm Dragon Age's future

  • Kerome 16/05/2012

    Forgive me if I hold my breath while this passes. It carries the faint whiff of creative bankruptcy and a failure of vision, tinged with dismay at the reaction to the ME3 ending. Reply +10
  • Lionhead making MMO-like new IP RPG for next Xbox - report

  • Kerome 16/05/2012

    Lol, obvious design is obvious.

    Console-adapted instanced Diablo-alike with heavyweight meta game incoming.
    Reply 0
  • Opening month US Mass Effect 3 sales double ME2's

  • Kerome 14/04/2012

    If you take vgchartz' public data on ME3 and you check the percentage decrease in sales compared to other titles of the same genre - I used ME2 and Kingdoms of Amalur, the latter being a representative RPG - you see a fairly sharp drop. As a rough estimate, word of mouth meant a 30% drop in sales after the initial pre-order and first week splash.

    Perhaps EA are trying to put a good spin on it - there are bound to be a few reputations caught up in this ;-)
    Reply 0
  • Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut adds player "personalisation" to endings

  • Kerome 12/04/2012

    If they thought personalisation and closure were the main issues, they should hire new market research people to be honest. Most complaints I've seen put the 'deus ex machina' and poor backstory / plot holes and grim-dark galaxy at the top of the list.

    Whatever happened to 'the customer is king'? Do they not know it will affect fan attachment to the franchise and company brands?
    Reply +1
  • Mass Effect 3 patch causing widespread crashes

  • Kerome 12/04/2012

    O dear. About the last thing they wanted for this game ;)

    At least it will stop more people finishing the game and complaining about the ending.
    Reply +33
  • BioWare announces Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut

  • Kerome 06/04/2012

    @Vaarna
    You're wrong there. The reason why gaming is 'still in its cultural ghetto' is because auteurs are too often not getting the authority to craft their entire experience, and we end up with travesties like the ME3 ending and following controversy.

    But for every ME3 there is a Journey, a beautiful, complete and evocative experience that was done right. Those are the things that will lift the form.
    Reply +5
  • Kerome 05/04/2012

    A small step, but one that doesn't fix anything. So, thanks but it really isn't enough to restore my emotional investment in the franchise, much less serve as an apology for what was undoubtedly the most painful experience in my gaming history.

    For me, Mass Effect 3 will remain THE example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, an abject lesson in how 10 careless minutes at the climax of a game can destroy the attachment of many players to one of the most popular and respected franchises out there.

    They dropped the ball -again-
    Reply +11
  • Fable: The Journey Kinect criticism "unfair", say Fable's creators

  • Kerome 04/04/2012

    The screenshots look nice, but it all looks very rail-roaded, like most other kinect games out there. If they had truly intended it as a core game with kinect surely they would have avoided that impression Reply 0
  • Fable: The Journey Preview: Molyneux's Final Folly

  • Kerome 28/03/2012

    I'll eat my walking cane if Kinect provides a truly core game ;) But Journey should be an interesting test of the popularity of that kind of setting on the device... Then again, the Fable setting isn't super-distinctive and perhaps not it's strongest draw, how well will it stand up without familiar control mechanics? Reply 0
  • The Other Mass Effect 3: The Game You Didn't Play

  • Kerome 25/03/2012

    @penhalion: Synthesis is not a true Paragon option either. You're imposing a technical/organic merger on all plants and animals in a totally artificial way, against principles of individual choice, in a way that you've fought against in previous installments of the series, and that's presented as abhorrent previously in the husks, what Cerberus do to their troops, Saren and so on.

    Fine, let individual people have their synthesis if they want it - you certainly wouldn't want to deny EDI and robo-lover Joker their happiness - but choosing it as a solution to the Cycles is dreadful when Starchild is ignoring many better options, eg imposing Asimov's Laws of Robotics on all synthetic life with respect to organics... Surely giving that duty to some Reaper AIs doesn't sound too onerous? Plus making all synthetics obligated to pass that directive on to other synthetics, so that it spreads virally?

    But that doesn't fit the concept of some grand personal finale at the end for Shepard. I think the writers got seduced by anime / 2001 / ghost-in-the-shell "space magic" as a way to make the final moment a great destiny for the main character and ended up shoehorning that into the story even though it does not fit. Seriously, it wasn't necessary to have him ascend as some kind of great conflict-resolving spirit, in many ways that made him less my human hero and more a story puppet in the end.

    The series is supposed to be about presenting the player with appropriate choices within cinematic moments, given the setting and the nature of the characters, and that goes massively against the grain. And right at the end, the culmination of the story, the ultimate choice, it fails horribly on so many levels.

    Reply -1
  • Kerome 23/03/2012

    But basically the ending fails on so many levels - natural character choice coherence, series game lore, trilogy emotional language, series ethics, player emotions vis-a-vis your crew deserting you, long term consequences, even plain physical impossibility of your characters escaping the ruins of London - that it baffles the mind.

    And not only that, but it does so by invoking a god-like character out of nowhere at the last minute, and forces the player to be complicit by requiring a choice. It's no surprise that some players instinctively feel as if the writers are "flipping them the finger".

    It puts me in mind of a famous quote by Charles Babbage, which I shall paraphrase as "I am not able to rightly apprehend the confusion of ideas that could provoke such an ending".
    Reply +4
  • Kerome 23/03/2012

    @Scribble
    Either way, the relays end up destroyed (you literally see them coming apart in the cinematic) and that by itself is enough to cause a new galactic dark age and a lot of deaths. Both game lore and the designers notes in the Final Hours iPad app say as much.

    Would that have happened if Shepard hadn't been around? Probably not, as he was the motivating force behind the Crucible and the attempt to rescue Earth. Might this Cycle have been better able to deal with the Reapers without him? Perhaps. There might well have been a gentler 'pruning' of the races rather than a full-on confrontational battle. Are Bioware's writers complete sh*ts for turning your long-loved space-opera hero into a tragic, failed figure in the last ten minutes of the game? Abso-effing-lutely.
    Reply +8
  • Kerome 23/03/2012

    Btw, Control being Paragon (blue - left) and Destroy being Renegade (red -right) are clearly signalled by colour coding and their position to either side of the central path in that final sequence. As far as I know, Destroy is the only option where Shepard has a chance of surviving. Reply +2
  • Kerome 23/03/2012

    All three of the endings are bad...

    Paragon - the Illusive Man was right, and you spent half the game fighting him, only to take control now and go against every principle of free will you've stood for; also the most out of character for the AI to allow, why would an ancient all-knowing Thing even give you this option?

    Synthesis - Saren from ME1, another major villain, was right, and you spent an entire game fighting him, plus you're imposing technical implants on half the galaxy, which most of the game tells you is an evil thing to do (cf. the husks, human reaper, and so on)

    Renegade - you destroy the Reapers but also commit genocide on the Geth and kill EDI, plus you are affected yourself, and as you only have some implants, who knows where the effect may stop; you might set technology back a long way

    Personally, I would have thought a bullet to the child-thing's head and a call for a pickup to the Normandy would have been more Shepard's style than a weak-assed "we will just make the best of a bad job and blow up a good chunk of the galaxy" response.

    The ending makes no sense in the context of the story, and even less in the context of the series or when looking at conventions of the genre or the rest of the trilogy. It's completely out of place and badly written to boot

    /rant off
    Reply +28
  • BioWare vows to answer Mass Effect 3 ending questions

  • Kerome 24/03/2012

    Lol, "destructive commentary"?

    Seriously, the ME3 ending was actually defective - it was outside of the series' established norms, completely ignored a number of marketing promises, made no emotional sense in character context, and employed a deus ex machina to force an ending so negative and downbeat that you might as well ask, "what did not go wrong".

    It forced an emotional shock on the level of "WTF? They copped out of an expected big-climax finish, killed my character, turned me into the bad guy, devastated significant parts of the game universe and destroyed all my interest in the franchise in about 10 minutes flat. Why?"

    If Bioware choose to stick to their artistic integrity on this one, I'm forced to conclude they are insisting on creating bad products that are not worth my money. It's their choice of course, but they do seem intent on divorcing from a big chunk of the playerbase on this issue.
    Reply -1
  • Mass Effect 3 ending: BioWare admits fans needed "more closure"

  • Kerome 19/03/2012

    It's worth asking if they can even change the ending significantly without making things even worse. Cutting a new set of disks with an alternate ending and mailing them out to those who ask is probably the most extreme form of apology, but personally I think the ending will be allowed to stand and they may release some free DLC as a form of apology.

    It's a shame, but I think the series will be tarnished by this, and "doing a Mass Effect 3" may become synonymous with snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. It can't help but affect sales, and the reputation of Bioware as well.

    Personally, that ending was both the most memorable and the worst of my 25 years of playing games, for it's sheer insensitivity to the canon of the series or the feelings of the players. I'm tempted to just go trade in my copy of ME3 and get something else to drown my sorrows.
    Reply +5
  • Kerome 19/03/2012

    To me it felt like Bioware from the beginning set out to deliver the darkest of dark endings. Basically you struggle for most of the game to overcome what you are continually told are impossible odds, and then over the last 15 minutes the meaning of several key plot elements is changed, much of your good work is undone, a godlike character strolls in, and you are given an unavoidable choice about how to blow up the galaxy.

    How are we supposed to experience that as anything other than a combination of bad writing, a willful desire to destroy a universe the fans love, and a huge breach of trust in the combined narrative experience? It provides no closure and ruins what might otherwise have been a great gaming experience.

    And it is not as if the narrative problems were insurmountable. Fan fiction has already produced half a dozen superior endings - it seems like a classic example of corporate group-think and a complete failure to understand what the fans were invested in.
    Reply +14
  • Microsoft Kinect, WP7 Christmas ad

  • Kerome 19/10/2011

    Don't worry dudes, there's always Bioshock Infinite or Halo: Reach when the dad-dancing becomes too much Reply 0
  • iOS Machinarium is iPad 2 exclusive

  • Kerome 24/08/2011

    kdsh7 is spot on, point-and-click adventures like this ran fine on a 386 at 16 MHz back in the stone age, by comparison an iPhone 4 is a monster machine. The age-old argument of whether to use off-the-shelf tools for quick time-to-market or write your own code and be able to add a game-type-specific abstraction layer still rages on, but I can't really fault their choice as the balance of probability is such that most games will not end up being ported anyway. Reply +1
  • From Dust

  • Kerome 02/07/2011

    Cool. One for Summer of Arcade? Reply 0
  • What Developers Think of Wii U

  • Kerome 28/06/2011

    Same strategy as the 3DS if you ask me - pile it high with features and wait for people to hit on the magic formula. Wii U seems to be a giant DS crossed with a Wii console, and it looks like for multiplayer it is going to be a Wii HD, for single player through the tablet something a little different... Major headaches for product positioning, lots of hard-to-port titles with unique control schemes, lots of up-rezzed Wii sequels... As for a successful third-party market, I'm beginning to think the problem there is with ninty's fanbase, not title quality, so I will believe it when I see it. Reply +4
  • LA Noire dev responds to controversy

  • Kerome 27/06/2011

    Sounds like the kind of boss you should avoid like the plague... where did i put that blacklist... Reply +10
  • Xbox chief doubts Vita's chances

  • Kerome 26/06/2011

    @schmoke:

    Actually the PSP hardware sold ok, the platform's biggest problem was the software attach rate, which sucked major balls. So if the Vita features a much-improved security model, Sony might be expecting better financials across the platform as a whole.



    But to me that's still ignoring the real competitive situation, which has moved on a long way from 2005. Watch for better games appearing on the phones, and a shrinking core audience for handheld consoles. The price is another big problem - smartphones are rapidly moving away from being a discretionary spend, while game consoles are always going to be a pure entertainment purchase, and will end up competing with tablets as well to boot.
    Reply +2
  • Kerome 26/06/2011

    Handheld seems to be slowly dieing, if you ask me phones are the future.



    3DS and Vita are merely prolonging the inevitable. Although that doesn't mean they won't be profitable, of course... Just not hugely popular ling term...
    Reply +1
  • Tour de France 2011 The Game trailer

  • Kerome 26/06/2011

    Nice rendering engine tho Reply 0
  • Beautiful Journey PS3 screenshots

  • Kerome 24/06/2011

    Games which are developed quickly are like Chilean wines with too many additives... Not natural, likely to give you a hangover, and little potential to mature in the bottle into a real classic. Reply 0
  • Miyamoto: winning online "not our goal"

  • Kerome 24/06/2011

    It all seems to be heading towards media boxes rather than games ones - quel surprise.



    But Wii-U isn't primarily a multiplayer console anyway, the controller design tells you that.
    Reply 0
  • Molyneux fluffed Fable Journey reveal

  • Kerome 11/06/2011

    Amusing, and a hell of an admission. They should have known better, but nav wasn't the only thing wrong. Reply 0
  • Xbox Live TV announced

  • Kerome 07/06/2011

    Tja... Reply +1
  • Kerome 07/06/2011

    Tja... Reply -1
  • In Theory: Windows 8 and the Future of PC Gaming

  • Kerome 05/06/2011

    Less dependent on DirectX? Think more, rather. Reply +2
  • Bodycount: “We wanted to do something different”

  • Kerome 03/06/2011

    It'll probably still sell 1.5m or so... it looks like a decent second-tier shooter to me, alongside Homefront and DNF.



    How different it will be, well we will have to see.
    Reply 0
  • Brink dev: games market is top heavy

  • Kerome 15/05/2011

    Its less true than you may think... most titles that sell over 500k copies make a profit, though perhaps not one on paper as far as the developer is concerned. But if you add up all the costs, that's roughly how it works out.



    Of course it depends on spending the money well, and not spending $50m on a project which doesnt have a hope in hell of selling more than 100k copies. Good early scope control is key.
    Reply 0
  • Split/Second studio lay-offs confirmed

  • Kerome 05/05/2011

    The perils of pitching lots of concepts is that you make them all shallow, look like a dithering bunch of dweebs and so end up failing. Shame.



    Good luck to all involved though, maybe you're better off out ine wild, running freeee...
    Reply -6
  • Mass Effect 3 tweaked for "larger market"

  • Kerome 05/05/2011

    Uhhh... I thought that's what they did when they turned a pretty average RPG into a pretty average shooter.



    Look, I love ME, but if they keep chopping and changing it around it's never going to build up into something great in it's own right. I mean, are they going to start turning it into COD or Halo? Plenty of others have tried, and failed.
    Reply +26
  • Darkspore

  • Kerome 04/05/2011

    Harsh!



    But that is what you get when you build a game by numbers - just by copying the template of features laid down by a successful game - without really investing in the heart and soul... But then, evolution based games by definition have difficulty with narrative and dramatic setting.
    Reply 0
  • Digital Foundry vs. iPad 2

  • Kerome 02/05/2011

    In the end you can't beat the market, and the market seems to like touch computing.



    As for iPad 2, I have one, enjoy using it very much, think it's a decent game device, and as usual the game experiences will have to be adapted to the device's inputs. I'm sure we'll see some great games on there - Infinity Blade is a good indication that it's possible - the main questions are around business models.



    The impact of the new hardware capabilities was not a surprise, anyone with experience in the industry would have seen that coming.
    Reply +2
  • Redundancies reported at Obsidian

  • Kerome 26/04/2011

    Doh. Never good to see gaming folk get laid off... Hope they find a good home in the Happy Casual Hunting Grounds. Reply 0
  • Fable III PC to launch on Steam and GFWL

  • Kerome 23/04/2011

    Oh c'mon, Fable 3 on 360 was fine. Even I finished the thing, without running into any real bugs.



    Tho I have to say, the sloppy gameplay tuning in that series has always annoyed me. Waaay too little tension in the gameplay.
    Reply 0
  • PSN could be down for next 48 hours

  • Kerome 22/04/2011

    Lol. They really should have known better... Reply -5
  • Epic: $1 apps are "killing us"

  • Kerome 20/04/2011

    That's about the size of it.



    The basic imperative is this: the price of AAA games MUST come down for them to survive. People are getting interesting experiences for £1-3, and they're looking at £50 games and are now saying "dam thats a lot of cash".



    But consider: movies are still popular at £10, a night out costs £20+ even at the low end, and a train trip to visit the relatives is similar. It's a question of perceived relative value for money, and consumers are wising up to the fact that more is not necessarily better. Most gamers don't finish games, why would they want a 50 hr blockbuster which feels samey beyond hr 3, which takes months to complete and which their busy lives leave no room for anyway? The average gamer is 28 yes old, and all the kids are out of a job and playing Android games to pass the time.



    Bigger, better graphics and a real cinematic feel are not going away, but the challenge for the industry is to find a way to build a 6-10 hr triple-A experience which sells for £15.



    It's a production problem, but that should bring games back into the realm of "hmm, cinema trip or new game?" Rather than, I buy only 4 games a year and they'd better be absolutely awesome because I'll be spending months with the things. That is also the underlying pressure behind rental, by the way. This year, Limbo made it onto my all-time faces list alongside ME2 and Sword & Sworcery.



    That's not all of the answer of course. Issues like the rise of Freemium are continuing to distort the pricing space, and as always it will continue to be a moving target. But I'm pretty sure it's part of the answer.

    Reply +7
  • 3DS vs. iPad 2: UK queue face-off

  • Kerome 27/03/2011

    No need to queue either way... I walked into a shop at 17.15, and walked out fifteen minutes later with an iPad 2... So far, it's been excellent but still too heavy by half Reply 0
  • Rise of Nightmares plot details leak

  • Kerome 25/03/2011

    The horror! The horror!



    Seriously, what were they thinking!? Not very politically kinect, is it?
    Reply +5
  • Hunters dev reveals triple-A woes

  • Kerome 25/03/2011

    Not quite true, that. The bar on visual quality is limited by screen size and res, and the total investment needed by the short-session play pattern. Mobile games will stay lower cost, although they probably will rise a little to an average $400k-$500k range and then come back down again as engine tech catches up. Reply 0