Spider-Man Part 9: The Web of Spider-Sneak

By Shamus Posted Thursday Mar 14, 2019

Filed under: Retrospectives 65 comments

Spider-Man gets a tip from Yuri that the Demons are seizing a lot of the Kingpin’s holdings. Spider-Man still thinks this is a gang war problem. By this point in the story the player has run into spontaneous clusters of Demons doing various crimes around the city. They seem to be amassing weapons and money and Spidey is wondering what their next big move is.

Yuri is invaluable here. As a member of the police force she can feed Spider-Man all the exposition we need and act as a sounding board for our lead character. Without her, Spider-Man would need to convey all of his plans and fears by narrating to himself. That works fine in comics where the writer controls the flow of time and can have Spidey recap recent events in a single full-page panel, but in an open world having the player character endlessly chattering to themselves would be incredibly tedious.

Spider-Man and Yuri figure out that the Demons are likely to attack one of the Kingpin’s properties at the docks. Yuri sends officer Jefferson Davis with a warrant. This means Spider-Man and Officer Davis can conduct a proper search and gather evidence.

Before they can do the search, Spidey needs to knock out all the guards, so I guess now is a good time to talk about the…

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EA’s Problem Isn’t Greed

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Mar 13, 2019

Filed under: Column 166 comments

I’m sorry to say that if you’re a long time reader of this site, then my column this week is just a shorter, more focused version of a rant you probably read two years ago. Still, this is sadly an evergreen topic and revisiting it every couple of years is probably not overkill.

I’d love it if gaming culture would focus more on EA’s flagrant mistakes and less on the catch-all term “greed”, because greed is such an easily dismissed term. If you’re an aging executive, then an outcry regarding greed falls perfectly into the horrible stereotypes about Millennials that are popular among Baby Boomers. Meanwhile, the criticism of, “This obviously bad decision destroyed IP that was worth hundreds of millions of dollars” is a lot more damning outside of gaming culture.

Based on the feedback at the Escapist, this argument seems to have fallen of deaf ears. I think a big reason for this is that we don’t all complain about game companies for the same reason. For a lot of people, calling EA out regarding greed is an act of catharsis and they don’t particularly care if their argument is persuasive. They’re just venting frustration. For me, critical analysis is an attempt to explain a mistake so that people will stop making it. If an executive or a shareholder ever read my work, I’d want them to find it instructive and illuminating. “Ah! So it’s not that gamers are entitled babies, it’s that EA is releasing products that hurt sales and damage their brand!”

Having said that, it’s likely that we’re both just shouting into the hurricane. Some people complain about greed and I complain about lost revenue potential, but the odds against a shareholder or an executive reading what any of us have to say is astronomicalParticularly since they seem so disconnected from gaming culture..

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Andromeda Part 21: Not-so-Great Scott

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Mar 12, 2019

Filed under: Mass Effect 76 comments

All of the surviving Pathfinders meet and agree to ignore Tann’s orders for everyone to abandon the main plot. The meeting is interrupted with the news that Scott is awake. So let’s see how that plot thread has been going.

There are two ways things can go with your sibling. One is kinda dumb, and the other is dumb and obnoxious.

Scott is Confused

Then again, I might NOT say that. Because it's really dumb.
Then again, I might NOT say that. Because it's really dumb.

If you visit Scott while he’s still in a coma, then SAM will use Scott’s cranial implant to “make contact”. Scott will be able to converse with you from within his coma, with his ghostly disembodied voice coming out of SAM’s speaker system. He’ll ask about Dad and he’ll ask about Habitat 7, and if you tell him that Dad is dead and the planet is a wasteland, then he’ll freak out, panic, and the doctor will give him something to help him… sleep???

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Diecast #247: Mailbag!

By Shamus Posted Monday Mar 11, 2019

Filed under: Diecast 57 comments

Last week I asked for mailbag questions, and you delivered. Well, technically the email system is the one that did the delivering, but you get what I’m saying. Here is over an hour of question-answering.

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Show notes: Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #247: Mailbag!”