This Week In Games: Mass Effect Calls

Image: Kotaku

And to round out the biggest month of the year so far, we have a stonker of a line-up. Mass Effect: Andromeda. Dreamfall Chapters returns. 88 Heroes uses a quirky mechanic where you have 88 seconds to compete every level. And then there's an unusual game with a boy and a troll that I swear didn't channel anything from The Last Guardian.

This is the Police (PS4, XBO)

What is it? The console launch of the strategy game about being a corrupt cop.
Should you care? Luke found it was more than a touch tone deaf.

Freedom Planet (PS4)

What is it? Imagine a better, more modern version of Sonic.
Should you care? The voice acting is horrendous, but anyone who likes the classic Sonic games should absolutely check this out.

Toukiden 2 (PS4)

What is it? An open world action-adventure where you're tasked with slaying the menace that is the Oni.
Should you care? It's a game about samurai hunting demons. Come to think of it, it's been a real good month for samurai.

Everything (PS4)

What is it? I genuinely don't have a fucking clue. It looks like the creator was on acid 24/7.
Should you care? Just watch below. I promise you won't see anything better today.

Touhou Double Focus (PS4/Vita)

What is it? A chibi-style action platformer.
Should you care? Probably not this week, but fans of this sort of stuff will always be able to come back to it.

Touhou Genso Wanderer (PS4/Vita)

What is it? Same universe as above, but it's a chibi-styled roguelike.
Should you care? The UI looks pretty clunky, but your mileage may vary. I'll be giving it a wide pass.

Berserk and the Band of the Hawk (PS4/Vita)

What is it? Third-person action slasher where you slay demons and all sorts of possessed folk.
Should you care? There's a scene in the game where a damsel in distress is nearly sexually violated by a possessed horse No thanks.

Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey (PS4/XBO)

What is it? The series that began with April Ryan returns, but it's Zoe Castillo saving Stark and Arcadia all over again.
Should you care? All of the episodes are out now, which is good if you're a fan of the originals.

88 Heroes (PS4/XBO)

What is it? A platformer where you have 88 heroes, 88 levels and 88 seconds to complete each level.
Should you care? Looks entertaining in a Broforce kind of way.

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games (PC/PS4/Vita)

What is it? 9 people are kidnapped and trapped in a series of rooms. Either they play the game and work out how to escape, or die.
Should you care? The Zero Escape games are great if you love that Saw or diabolical type of puzzler. The visual novel styling might put some people off, but if you like puzzlers give this one a second look.

Mass Effect: Andromeda (PC/PS4/XBO)

What is it? Explore the galaxy all over again with Bioware's latest grand space opera.
Should you care? Seems a silly question, but yes.

Troll and I (PC/PS4/XBO)

What is it? A third-person adventure between Troll and his boy companion Otto as they struggle to survive.
Should you care? This is a lot more combat heavy than The Last Guardian, and you can switch characters at any time so don't expect any comparisons to Trico.

Worlds of Magic: Planar Conquest (XBO)

What is it? A new strategy game for the console with turn-based combat, resource and magic management.
Should you care? Want to see what a 4X plays like on the console? Here's your chance.

Rayon Riddles – Rise of the Goblin King (PS4)

What is it? A puzzler about helping the goblins escape from the tyranny of the orcs.
Should you care? The trailer looks real janky.


    Mass Effect this week? Strap in folks, the next few weeks are gonna be a horrible back and forth internet shot fight.

      I don't know about that. I'm not feeling that much hype for it and since it's the start of a new story people should really get into it. Mass Effect was nearly perfect, even ME3, it's just the ending that was ridiculously bad. Unless the game has that level of writing it should be good.

    That Asari always terrifies me every time I see it. The Uncanny Valley is strong. Also out this week:
    - Vikings – Wolves of Midgard (PS4/XBOne/PC)

      Bye-bye Boxboy is this week? Well, there goes any plans to play Mass Effect Andromeda. Thanks dude :D

    OH WOW the Zero Escape games are this week?

    Get them.

    Some quick info:

    The first is 999. Typical video-game that started off with no idea it'd be a franchise. Yes it's standalone but the sequels take the ball and run.

    This means you shouldn't dabble with the sequels just because they seem to have voice acting or flashy production values. You'll torpedo any enjoyment you'd have for experience of the first game.

    The puzzles that intersperse the visual novel sections are fun, if a bit obtuse. They mostly require logic and test your memory a bit.

    There are multiple endings, including the True Ending which can only be seen by playing through to one or two endings first.

    This sounds off-putting, but your experience will be far better if you know the following going in:

    Stay away from the slightest 'spoilery' guides.

    Take notes of your own and work out things as best you can before consulting guides.

    Play with headphones, the soundtrack is a bit monotonous but adds another dimension to the game.

    Ask around for help if you need it.

    I just don't know what to do about Mass Effect. I've spent about eight hours over the weekend playing the EA Access trial, and it was sort of...boring. Not a fan of the combat, not a fan of the fact you can't change your teammates loadouts (at all; just upgrade their powers - they stay with the same armour and weapons the whole game), don't like you can only change your equipment at loadout stations, don't like all the scanning, don't like the AI, don't like... you get the picture.

    But it's Mass Effect...! The story so far seems very very quiet. The side missions are just 'alright'. There's a lot of getting-to-know-new-cast *everywhere*. Without that connection to previous Mass Effects it feels really light-on with drama, it literally is starting from scratch. I guess Andromeda 2 will bring back that old "Mass Effect" feeling because you'll have developed a connection by then though, but at the moment, and bear with me here, but DA:I feels like a better RPG so far.

      Actually, thank fuck you don't have to micromanage your companions. Because otherwise you end up with this bullshit.

      Gave me fucking RPG PTSD.

    Man, kinda excited for Everything. That game is gonna be weird and quirky af, but I'm keen to play around with it. Also wondering how good Toukiden could be... there's a demo up, so going to give that a go to see what it's like I think

    I want to say that Nonary Games (999 and VLR) are more than just SAW-like horror games, but revealing what other genre it is would ruin the amazing surprise of 999 that i'm not sure how they will do as the impact of the surprise relied a lot on the game being on the DS.

    Also i hope you like Math terms, because oh booooooooy.

    I'd love a game that makes every third article on this site be about an electric man who can light stuff up, that would be great!

      That's gonna switch up a lot more often with the Iron Fist stuff running and some other things we have coming along. I understand it's a pain, but we see it on our end as well and we're rolling out some stuff to make it better.

    This deluge of games is getting ridiculous! I'm on board for Andromeda but I'm still probably a week or two away from finishing Horizon, then I want to give Nier Automata a run as well. Toukiden 2 a sequel to a game I loved got cut, I'll pick it up at some point I guess. Argh! Too many games!

      I've been hyped for ages about Yakuza 0, Horizon, Nier, Berserk: BotH, Zelda, Wildlands, and more, and there is simply NOT ENOUGH TIME to even start them let alone finish them before losing every waking hour of leisure time to ME4. Hopefully the rest of the year will be a little calmer.

    I was excited for Mass Effect.
    but after seeing it in action i got a refund from Sony for my pre-order and will make my final decision once reviews hit. when are reviews hitting?

      IGN says theirs was hitting Monday which I assume means Tuesday AU time. I imagine the other outlets would be this week too

      it seem review copies has been dished out already with an embargo in place for sharing content (I watch MKIceAndFire on and off and ?he? commented the embargo will be lifted Monday as well)

    I played the 10 hour Origin Access demo.

    The Good:
    * Game looks amazing environmentally and graphically
    * The combat feels pretty good
    * Voice actors did a good job
    * game is pretty well optimised. Running maxed out 1440p on my GTX 1070 I get 60-75fps.

    The Bad:
    * Facial Animations look very stiff. Worse than I remember Mass Effect 2 and 3.
    * Movement feels clunky. It's really easy for ledge grab not to kick in properly, so you have to try 3-4 times to climb something. There is a big stumbling wind up and wind down to walking/jogging which makes it feel really floaty like you can't control your character.
    * The beginning of the game is completely overwhelming, and not in a good way. There is 3 different skill trees with 15 different skill choices in each one with only a very simple explanation that doesn't really tell you anything. There's scrap metal, menus, weapon upgrade systems, ship upgrade systems and none of that gets explained either and it's all hidden within sub menus.
    * They've introduced some kind of scrap finding system where you mine for resources. This is subjective, but I personally hate those systems in an RPG game like Mass Effect
    * There is so much UI clutter in the menus. It's really hard to navigate through and find anything.

    All in all, it's seem to have suffered from the well known AAA pitfall: Trying to make a game do EVERYTHING to try and appeal to the most people possible. Problem is that this has an opposite effect on people who get overwhelmed. I am one of them. I am probably not going to buy the game.

    Last edited 20/03/17 12:16 pm

      I think the animations for the aliens is okay and the day to day UI isn't so bad, but man the UI for the other sub systems (esp for crafting / resources management) is a nightmare. I mean if you want to find out you need 100 Silicon for crafting you're basically going to click 3 to 5 times before you get there. Seriously it would probably be faster to write down what you need on pen and paper.

      And aside from the lack of loadout customization for party members, they also took away quicksave / quickload? yea I don't get it

      I don't think it will ruin the game for me per se but some of the design decisions seems... odd

    anyone watching the faces and not clicking through the conversations as fast as possible is a casual.


      I like to take my time and watch the cutscenes the first playthrough. An RPG this big is basically a playable sci-fi TV episodic, so it would be a shame to skip it.

    I think I can wait on Mass Effect. I'm actually interested in the multiplayer since I loved it in ME3. But I might wait and just finish Horizon and Yakuza 0 before Persona 5 comes out

    RE: That Everything video, wtf did I just watch?

    I thought I had a handle on the game but then I saw the great cosmic bear and my goodness I'm too sober for this nonsense.

    I feel compelled to buy.

    I preordered Andromeda last night but I'm not sure if it was a mistake. I've got a big pile of shame at the moment and I feel like I'll get way too involved in ME to get back to the multitude that I've started.
    Really disappointed about the animations, but I'll love the gameplay and I'm excited to get back into the multiplayer.

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