Monday, March 12, 2012

Binary Domain Vs. Mass Effect

Well as a few of you know, a little game called Mass Effect 3 came out recently and every single person at school is talking about it.  Can't get enough of it.  Game already sold 3.5 million copies and may break 5 mil someday.  That's pretty cool, I guess.

And then there's Binary Domain.

Oh sh--it's a guy from Mass Effe--no, it's just some Binary Domain dude.

This is the part of the post where I become very cynical and bash anything popular so I'll get it out of the way now: MASS EFFECT 3 SUCKS, BINARY DOMAIN IS BETTER.  DON'T GIVE YOUR MONEY TO EA, GIVE IT TO SEGA.  As usual, I'm going to paint this as a "Sega vs. the World" scenario with the World winning 51810 to 2 (those 2 points when OutRun and Daytona USA were released, respectively).  And then I'll say even more snarky things that'll make me less popular among my peers.

EDIT: No really, Mass Effect is a good game and I don't gnash my teeth every night in seething rage against EA.  So don't plot against me behind my back.

Now, as you may have seen, Mass Effect has much greater reviews than Binary Domain--a 93% average vs. a 78% average.  I cannot debate the quality of both games.  But I'll tell you what I think of Binary Domain anyway while I make pithy remarks about Mass Effect.  Come on, Mass Effect is the bee's knees, if I can't laugh at it, then that's garbage.

I know that I got on Binary Domain's case in the past because it's not a racing game.  Well, it's Nagoshi's baby so we got to support it anyway.  We need a Sega surge and we need it now.  Love or hate Sega, we have to get their backs.  Let everyone else know about Binary Domain.  At least download the demo and try it.

So anyway, the first thing that really bugs me about this is that it's released one day from Mass Effect 3, a 3+ million seller that is awfully similar in nature--a sci-fi tactical third-person shooter with a middle-aged white protagonist.  The Golden Rule of Game Publishing: DO NOT RELEASE YOUR MINUSCULE GAME NEAR THE RELEASE OF A LARGE BLOCKBUSTER, ESPECIALLY ONE SIMILAR IN NATURE/GAMEPLAY.  WHAT WAS SEGA THINKING HERE!?!?!?  It's as if they wanted to brush the game under the rug as soon as possible.

GameFAQs boards in terms of topic pages--
Mass Effect 3: 1134 (360), 110 (PS3), 146 (PC)
Binary Domain: 9 (360), 13 (PS3)

The Sega Hype Train IS ROLLIN' ALONG!!!

Also doesn't help I saw little to no advertising for this game at all.  All I saw were a few barely viral YouTube videos and some Sega blog posts announcing "hay gaiz, go buy binary domane nao!!!"  Meanwhile the EA advertising machine was in full effect, completely drowning out any Binary Domain stuff.  It's as if Sega knew the game had no chance of cracking 100K units in the West so they focused entirely on Japan.  What a damn shame.  Sega has no clout anymore in the US.

It really is a shame because if you look at Binary Domain, there's a lot of good things going for it.  Mainly, a lot of people are really talking up the single-player campaign.  A sleeper hit, they say.  It's only about 9 hours long but it's just good fun shooting the crap out of robots.  The only glaring weakness is that Binary Domain's multiplayer isn't that good--there's co-op and deathmatch stuff which reminds of Metal Gear Solid online but it's clunky/generic, they say.  Losers.

But the thing that bugs me the most about the game is that it's clearly not an American game.  It's Japanese.  Just being an Eastern game gives it the stigma that it needs to be completely novel and/or part of some well-grounded franchise like Nintendo or Capcom.  Binary Domain tries something new even though Nagoshi/Sega knew damn well that it would look like Gears of War, Halo, Mass Effect, what have you.  And for that (plus poor advertising), the game will most likely resign to the bargain bins within a month.  On the other hand, Western games usually iterate on the same crap over and over again and are lauded for it.

Really, it's a DAMN SHAME since I admit the whole robot/human concept is kind of cool.  You don't see much of that in games.  As humanity must come to grips with a foe that looks just like them and learn to overcome their horrible mistakes.  Yeah, robots are really hokey but the story has a mature tone to it that I think older, "robo-fanatics" would get.

On the other hand, in Mass Effect, you decide with alien race you want to sleep with.  Seriously, I'm not a homophobe but what's with all the gay romance scenes I'm hearing?  We talkin just kisses or full blown romance?  Does Bioware need to keep up with the times that badly?  And who the hell turns on these kind of games for the sake of watching these things?  Hell, I'm not even in the mood for watching the straight makeout scenes either (I'm not one of those porno guys, trust me...).  I play games to have fun, not to get my kicks, if you know what I mean.

EDIT: Never mind guys, that was uncalled for.  There's much more to the game than just romance.  The storyline was insightful across the trilogy with themes like sacrifice, free will, unity, and so forth.  I even heard the ending was super-good too.  Bioware deserves props for that ending.

Mass Effect???  More like ASS EFFECT!!!  Hell, if you want to pay EA an extra ten bucks so they can chance ONE line of code for you, then be my guest.  Also, people petitioning to change the lousy ending are basically begging for more DLC/add-ons...see what Good Guy Jeff Gerstmann said.  Hey, it ain't my game EA, so if you want to ruin it and still sell the 1 billion units, then go ahead...

For the record, I think Binary Domain actually has an ending.  If I get the chance to play the demo then I'll let you know about it.  Not as good as a racing game but...I'll give it a shot.  Emphasis on the word "eventually."

If you don't play my game, I will cry!!!

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