Greetings NAGulleens, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. In the news this week we have Nintendo talking Joy-Con issues, a former Mass Effect dev talks about Andromeda‘s issues, Ubisoft responds to criticisms over For Honor‘s microtransactions in the most predictable way possible, Microsoft confirms the local launch date for the Xbox One S, Prey introduces a terrifying new baddie and Ubi isn’t done with Assassin’s Creed on the screen. All that, some videos and highlights from the week, after the jump.
Nintendo confirms – Joy-Con issues due to manufacturing error
The Switch came under some early fire with many people reporting sync issues with the Joy-Cons, with the focus most often being on the left one, for some reason.
In a statement to IGN, Nintendo of America said this: “a manufacturing variation has resulted in wireless interference with a small number of the left Joy-Con.”
“Variation” sounds like some kind of weird corporate doublespeak for “somebody cocked up”. They further add that there are “no design issues” with the controllers and that moving forward “this will not be an issue”.
Nintendo insists that there is a “simple fix” they’ll be carrying out on effected controllers, which apparently involves a small square of conductive material. This does not however address issues many have had with the poor distance of the Joy-Con connection.
Former Mass Effect animator talks Andromeda issues
Mass Effect Andromeda has come under heavy fire for having, let’s be straight, absolutely garbage facial animations that’s disconcerting at best and jarring at worst.
Former animator for Bioware Jonathan Cooper worked previously on ME 1 and 2, and discussed how these issues could have happened in a series of insightful tweets. I’ll quote it all below, as he explains it succinctly and clearly.
“Animating an RPG is a really, really big undertaking – completely different from a game like Uncharted so comparisons are unfair. Every encounter in Uncharted is unique & highly controlled because we create highly-authored ‘wide’ linear stories with bespoke animations.
“Conversely, RPGs offer a magnitude more volume of content and importantly, player/story choice. It’s simply a quantity vs quality tradeoff. Because time denotes not every scene is equally possible, dialogues are separated into tiered quality levels based on importance/likelihood. The lowest quality scenes may not even be touched by hand. To cover this, an algorithm is used to generate a baseline quality sequence. Mass Effect 1-3 populated default body ‘talking’ movement, lip-sync and head movement based on the dialogue text.”
This means a bunch of this stuff was supposed to be automated – which didn’t work out so well. Cooper explains why: “Designers (not animators) sequence pre-created animations together – like DJs with samples and tracks. Andromeda seems to have lowered the quality of its base algorithm, resulting in the ‘My face is tired’ meme featuring nothing but lip-sync. This, presumably, was because they planned to hit every line by hand. But a 5-year dev cycle shows they underestimated this task.”
Interesting insight, but I’ve lost all patience for glaring issues in games that could have been noticed within five minutes of PLAYING THE DAMN GAME.
Ubisoft responds to complaints over microtransactions in For Honor
Say what you like about Ubisoft, but they are the kings of PR. And by “kings of PR”, I of course mean taking every reasonable thing you may say to your consumers, setting it on fire and saying something else instead.
For Honor, as you may have seen on your internet travels, is not a free to play game, and it sure as hell isn’t free when you get in there either. One dedicated Redditor worked out that you’ll have to spend around $732 to unlock all the game’s content, which you may recognise as $732 more than anyone should be spending on For Honor.
Ubisoft’s game director countered with this completely reasonable argument, “We never had an intention for you to unlock everything in the game. For us that doesn’t really make any sense.”
Ah, okay. Gotcha.
Prey’s nightmare monster chases you forever
Have you ever heard that hypothetical deal, whereby you get a billion dollars but a snail is always moving towards you, and if it touches you you die?
This new Prey teaser shows exactly that, but instead of a snail it’s a “Nightmare”, which is way better at chasing you. Also you’re broke.
We’ve seen a lot of Prey so far, and it all looks pretty terrifying, but something about a monster that never stops hunting you sort of creeps the hell out of me. Have a look.
Microsoft confirms local launch date for Xbox One S
From the horse’s mouth, we have an official, 100% confirmed, totally legit, not overheard on an airplane release date for the Xbox One S.
13 April 2017. The slimmer, better Xbone adds 4K Blu-ray support as well as HDR, which means something to those annoying people who think projectors are better than TVs and keep telling you that you need a “sound bar”.
You’ll be able to pick up the 500GB model for R4999 or the 1TB model for R5999. Noice.
Ubisoft wants to make an Assassin’s Creed TV series
Guys, video game properties just do not work in other mediums. It feels like everything got thrown at the Assassin’s Creed money, and despite a big budget and a cast full of stars it blew some serious butthole.
Now, for some ungodly reason, Ubisoft is eyeing a TV series. It’s not officially in production so there’s still time for the universe to reassert justice and order, but some exec confirmed on Reddit yesterday, saying, and I’m not making this up, “It’s like the movie guys, we will take our time, to get sure we deliver something can be proud of.”
It seems the people in charge are labouring under the impression that the movie wasn’t an utter shitshow, but aspiring to get the TV series to attain the same quality as the movie doesn’t exactly fill one with optimism.
Have you played Overwatch‘s Orisa yet? Here’s 7 reasons to do so.
While For Honor was somewhat of a disappointment, competitive fighting MMO Absolver looks to do something quite unique.
Are you playing Battlegrounds? If you’re into big battle royale style shooters, perhaps you should be – this dude certainly thinks so.
I’m a little in awe that this dude hasn’t run out of recipes to cook from video games yet. Still, I find them entertaining for some reason.
Best of NAG
Licking knives and making gang signs? Must be Wednesday at the NAG office.
Nier: Automata has created some buzz as the greatest stupidly hard RPG since Dark Souls. Worthy of the hype? Check out Gareth Runnalls review and find out.
Mass Effect: Andromeda has had a pretty disastrous first few days, so I’ve celebrated their ineptitude with a look at some of the worst launches of all time.
Finally, as always, rest those tired eyes with the NAG Online Podcast. You deserve it.