The DeanBeat: Can Microsoft’s Kinect gain cred from hardcore gamers?

Microsoft’s Kinect has always held out tantalizing promises. As a user interface, it brings computing devices to the edge of greatness but falls just a little short of our dreams of the Star Trek holodeck or the cool transparent, gesture-controlled computer that Tom Cruise used in the sci-fi film Minority Report. You can fantasize about being a Jedi Knight in Kinect Star Wars…until the system fails to recognize your lightsaber attack and you get pummeled instead.

GamesBeat Weekly Roundup

Here are some of the stories that ran on GamesBeat this week. We’re running more articles exclusively in the GamesBeat section of VentureBeat, particularly when they’re mainly of interest to our game readers. The broader-interest posts will continue to run on VentureBeat as well. Please visit the GamesBeat section to catch up on the latest game news. We’re ramping up our game coverage, so you’ll find a larger amount of deeper news at GamesBeat.

The 6 best game endings of all-time (and how BioWare would ruin them)

Video game endings tend to feel a lot like an afterthought. Whereas a bad movie only ever consumes two hours of your life, games can have you playing upwards of 100+ hours before reaching the finale, and quite often that payoff is woefully underwhelming. Two big-names examples in just the past few weeks include Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, where the conclusion was given about as much attention as bug-testing in a Bethesda game, and Asura’s Wrath, which has a “true” ending that acts as nothing more than a gateway for “closure DLC.”

GamesBeat Weekly Roundup

Here are some of the stories that ran on GamesBeat this week. We’re running more articles exclusively in the GamesBeat section of VentureBeat, particularly when they’re mainly of interest to our game readers. The broader-interest posts will continue to run on VentureBeat as well. Please visit the GamesBeat section to catch up on the latest game news. We’re ramping up our game coverage, so you’ll find a larger amount of deeper news at GamesBeat.

Mass Effect 3: Character deaths

Now that Mass Effect 3 has been out for nearly a month, GamesBeat thought you might be interested to see what would have happened if Commander Shepard went right instead of left, zigged instead of zagged.
Below you’ll find all the various death scenes in the game (for characters that mattered, anyway).

Mass Effect 3: Romances

Now that Mass Effect 3 has been out for nearly a month, GamesBeat thought you might be interested to see what would have happened if Commander Shepard went right instead of left, zigged instead of zagged.
Inside you’ll find videos of all the different romance options. FemShep scenes are on the second page.

Mass Effect 3: Endings, analyses, and theories

Now that Mass Effect 3 has been out for nearly a month, GamesBeat thought you might be interested to see what would have happened if Commander Shepard went right instead of left, zigged instead of zagged.
Inside, you’ll find all three possible endings, as well as some extras discussing the endings and a popular theory among fans as to what really happened. It’s admittedly pretty interesting, even if it ends up not being true.

One gamer’s heartfelt letter on why Mass Effect 3’s ending ruined everything

The Mass Effect 3 ending controversy has spread far and wide since the game’s March 6 release. The reaction has polarized the entire gaming industry, but despite being berated by the hivemind-like mantra of “gamer entitlement” by journalists, fans who pushed for more closure (and eventually got it) have been surprisingly collected and well-spoken.

Mega Man would make a good War Asset (Mass Effect 3)

Mass Effect 3 is more or less about finding people and “space stuff” to help build a powerful final offensive against the Reapers. Everything from former comrades to Jessica Chobot count towards your total War Assets, but art blog Drawed Goods felt they could contribute a little more to Commander Shepard’s last hurrah. I’d rather take Mega Man into battle over Freddie Prinze, Jr. any day.

Gamers held the line: Mass Effect 3 ending is being addressed

Mass Effect 3 should have been a momentous moment for gaming, truly something to celebrate; not just for the countless gamers who have deeply invested in the universe and characters for five years now, but also for the many developers who have spent eight working on it.Instead, it has been plagued by one massive disappointment after another: day one DLC, the inability to import your Shepard, the inability to properly import your decisions from previous games, greedy watered-down multiplayer, and last but certainly not least, the ending. I say ending (singular)–even though there are three–because they’re almost completely identical, and they all had the same exact effect: fans hated them.After two long weeks of thousands of forum posts and articles and charities that raised over $60,000 for sick children, all in the name of demanding a better Mass Effect, BioWare has finally–begrudgingly–admitted defeat.Dr. Ray Muzyka, co-founder of BioWare, released the following statement this morning:As co-founder and GM of BioWare, I’m very proud of the ME3 team; I personally believe Mass Effect 3 is the best work we’ve yet created. So, it’s incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the game’s endings were not up to their expectations. Our first instinct is to defend our work and point to the high ratings offered by critics – but out of respect to our fans, we need to accept the criticism and feedback with humility.Muzyka goes on to point out (again) that he believes Mass Effect 3 is BioWare’s best game ever (take that, Dragon Age!), and that the feedback from fans was unpredictable and surprising, given how “more than 75 critics [gave] it a perfect review score.”BioWare has previously addressed the endings by saying “We’re listening,” but not necessarily that anything was being done about it. There’s an extremely interesting read on the official Mass Effect 3 forums where a former public relations agent breaks down BioWare’s careful manipulation and damage control tactics of the ongoing controversy.But having the co-founder of BioWare step in is undoubtedly the company raising the white flag (perhaps it was all those Amazon returns?). Muzyka doesn’t share exact details, but he does reveal that something aimed at alleviating the criticisms of the ending is coming.”…the team are hard at work on a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey. You’ll hear more on this in April. We’re working hard to maintain the right balance between the artistic integrity of the original story while addressing the fan feedback we’ve received. This is in addition to our existing plan to continue providing new Mass Effect content and new full games, so rest assured that your journey in the Mass Effect universe can, and will, continue.”Notice that the ending is not being “changed” per se, only that additional closure (or closure of any kind, in this case) will be provided. Also a sequel/spin-off and lots of DLC have not so subtly been confirmed, by the co-founder of BioWare no less. That’ll help make people forget how angry they are, right?While this is a major victory for all those who felt wronged by BioWare’s ill-conceived finale, it’s certainly not the first time a developer has accommodated fan feedback. Bethesda did exactly that with Fallout 3, allowing players to choose an alternate ending and continue their adventure through a handful of expansion packs.

Star Wars: The Old Republic goes free-to-play this weekend only

BioWare has announced Star Wars: The Old Republic will be free-to-play from March 15 to March 19. The popular massively multiplayer game’s “Weekend Pass Free Trial” allows anyone to sample the opening adventures of the eight different character classes in the game, as well as some player-versus-player Warzones, and early faction-specific Flashpoints (four-man instances).

Mass Effect 3 is an unfitting finale for an outstanding franchise (review)

Mass Effect’s finale has been a long time in the making. Commander Shepard and developer BioWare have taken players on an interactive odyssey whose quality is rarely seen in video games, and impossible in any other entertainment medium. That alone infuses the third and final entry in this epic space saga with copious amounts of anticipation and nostalgia. But as George Lucas has taught us, high expectations and benefit of the doubt are two extremely dangerous practices.

Electronic Arts reveals new Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars online numbers

Electronic Arts chief executive John Riccitiello is feeling “awfully good” about the Mass Effect 3 launch.” Speaking at today’s Wedbush Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference in New York City, Riccitiello estimated that the game sold 890,000 units during the first 24 hours in North-America alone, meeting the company’s expectations: “We anticipated it doing well, so we’re happy.”

Street Fighter X Tekken features MIA, 14 DLC characters already on the disc

While Mass Effect 3 is taking the lion’s share of lashback over shady business practices this week, Capcom has also found themselves on the wrong end of fan criticism. The highly anticipated crossover, Street Fighter X Tekken, released yesterday alongside Mass Effect 3, only the excitement was soon met with outrage when it was revealed that the 14 previously announced DLC characters (including Pac-Man and Mega Man) were already included on the disc.