Gaming Daily: June 26th 2012

Welcome to today’s edition of Gaming Daily, in what is a very DLC oriented edition. Without further ado, let’s continue to today’s biggest stories.

Mass Effect “Extended Cut” released, PS3 version not yet available in Europe

For those living under a rock, a little game called Mass Effect was released this past March to somewhat universal critical praise. However, some gamers were not happy with what they deemed an unsatisfactory narrative end to the trilogy, and were not shy about voicing those complaints online. In answer to this, Bioware today released the “Extended Cut” expansion pack.

Via the Mass Effect website, the developer explains. “The Extended Cut expands on the endings of Mass Effect 3 through additional scenes and epilogue sequences. It provides more of the answers and closure that players have been asking for. It gives a sense of what the future holds as a result of the decisions made throughout the series. And it shows greater detail in the successes or failures based on how players achieved their endings. The Extended Cut is an expansion of the original endings to Mass Effect 3. It does not fundamentally change the endings, but rather it expands on the meaning of the original endings, and reveals greater detail on the impact of player decisions.”

However, the content is yet to be made available to European PS3 players, with a one week delay penciling the release in on July 4th. No reason was given for the delay.

Skyrim – “Dawnguard” DLC released

For many people, Skyrim was last year’s game of the year. The expansive world and deep narrative allowed them to overlook what was a patchy launch across all platforms, with many players putting literally hundreds of hours into Bethesda’s open world RPG. Their wishes were granted today when the game’s first major expansion pack arrived in the form of Dawnguard on the XBox 360. A one month timed exclusive, Dawnguard retails for 1600 Microsoft Points, and introduces a new quest line, featuring the return of a Volkihar vampire lord named Harkon, who plans to use the power of the Eldar Scrolls to block out the sun. Players have the option of enlisting with the Dawnguard in protection of the realm, or choosing to instead join forces with the Volkihar vampires to help them in their quest. To begin the new quest line, players should listen out for whispering NPCs, or ask Hold Guards about enlistment into a band of vampire hunters.

Journey Collector’s Edition won’t see the light in Europe

Following up on yesterday’s Gaming Daily, Journey developers thatgamecompany have revealed via twitter that the much lauded Collector’s Edition most likely won’t see a release in Europe. “We wish Europeans could get it, but there’s nothing we can do” reads the tweet from the official company account, saying the best thing people could do would be to “bug @PlayStationEU“. I’ve left the link in there as I highly advocate bugging the official Playstation EU account, as titles such as these should be experienced by as many people as possible. Thankfully, with the PS3 being region free, if the title isn’t released, it should still be possible to import via any number of online retailers.

Dust 514 “Mercenary Pack” offers unlimited Beta Access now

One of the possible sleepers of this year could be CCP’s Dust 514. The free-to-play expansion of the Eve Online universe is shaping up nicely (there’s way too much detail cover here, but to hear how nicely, I’d recommend listening to this in depth interview from Today, CCP revealed the availability of the “Mercenary Pack”, a way for those of us not in the currently closed beta to gain access. Whilst it might sound cheeky to offer paid access to the beta of a game that will eventually be free-to-play, the list of content on offer is enticing:

4,000 Aurum ($20 USD value) – the in-game currency for DUST 514 that you can buy in the PS Store
30-dat Active Skill Booster – increases earned Skill Points (SP) by 50%
‘Dragonfly’ Scout Dropuit – a uniquely designed armor with unlimited use
‘Toxin” ICD-9 Submachine Gun with unlimited use and a custom skin
HK4M Shotgun X 50
Hacked Drop Uplink x 50 – allows players to create on-the-spot spawn points for their teammates
Fused Locus Grenade x 50
1.5dn Myofibril Stimulant x 50 – offers players a temporary melee damage boost against opponents
All Access Beta Pass – allows players to participate in every Beta Event, as well as additional play sessions during off weekends

The pack releases tomorrow on the PSN in preparation for a 2012 release.

Katsuhiro Harada – “Stop Whining About Everything”

Finally today, in what looks like a case of someone finally losing his cool with constant fanboy requests and demands, famed Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada took to twitter today to (ironically) whine about the constant whiny requests he has to deal with on a day to day basis. Rather than try to paraphrase, I’ve reproduced the entire post below (via twitlonger):

I have something I want to say to the people who spam me with requests to “switch back(or Bring back) to the voice actors used previously”. I believe that, before whining and complaining about everything, you need practice at taking a step back and analyzing things objectively. And also at being an adult.

First, the voice you were listening to was 16 years ago, during the PlayStation period. The current generation of consoles are totally different in how they play back sound; both software-wise, and the internal circuitry. The playback program is different, as well as the sound effects added; reverb and 5.1 are examples of this. The comrpression rate, as well as the sound rate, is different today. Are you playing games on the same TV you used 16 years ago? What about your speakers? Headphones? They are all the same as 16 years ago? I wonder if it will sound like the same voice as 16 years ago, even with that data..

Also, you are assuming the voice actors themselves can reproduce the voice the recorded 16 years ago? Many voice actors decline work because their voice has changed since the original role, some have even retired. Sometimes they won’t accept, even if we ask. The recording studio and the equipment they use is also different. With all of this in mind, you still thing it is possible to recreate these voices?

Some might say “just pay them to reuse the voice data”. But, often the voice actors decline this, or their agency declines.

For example, Brian’s laugh is the actual data from Tekken 3. As fans have requested, we’ve kept using the original, adapting the data recorded 16 years ago to be used on the PS2, and then PS3. Even so, some people said it is a different voice in Tekken 6 than the original. It can’t be helped they might think that. As explained above, even though the master data is the same, all of the equipment used in adapting it has completely changed. That said, it isn’t a good idea to try to reccreate the older recording environment because then the data sounds heavily compressed, with noise. More than that, it would sound out of place next to the voice data of the newer characters.

WHAT? You say some of the voices sound like they haven’t changed at all? I guess you didn’t notice that the development team has re-recorded them, but made efforts for it to sound as close as possible to the original. And you probably didn’t even notice.

Do you know that all of the voice work for a character is not always done by just one voice actor? Using Brian as an example, the laugh you guys love so much uses the original data from Tekken 3, but the short kiai voice uses a different voice actor, and the “come on!” voice also uses a different voice actor. A lot of other characters also use different voice actors for the spoken lines and for the shouts.

I did the voice work for Marshal and Forest for 15 years. However, I can no longer produce that voice after Tekken 5, so we had a different voice actor for Tekken 6.

The Tekken series has continued for 17 years. The development environment, as well as the environment in which you all play games, has changed. There are so many characters, and we can’t keep using he same voice actors every time, for a variety of reasons. I have even complied to the requests of you all spamming me to “bring back characters” from previous installments. You often say, “let’s show the dev team how sincere we are by buying 2 copies if they bring back character X”, but did you really go through with it? Expecting you to at least pre-order the game, I was met with more spam, after you apparently didn’t notice that Jun and Michelle actually return.

I still have some characters left to be revealed that comply with some of your requests, even “bringing back” several others. Even so, none of them are paid DLC. I will continue to sincerely comply with fan requests. However, I can’t continue to engage the negative ones that, without knowing what you are talking about, or even thinking about what you are saying, blindly repeat “bring back, bring back, bring back…”. After this lengthy explanation, I will be quite surprised if there are still people who still don’t get it.

Thanks for understanding or not understanding. Whatever.

That’s it for today, keep an eye on the site for much more in the coming days and weeks, including a look ahead to the remaining months of 2012. As usual, any and all feedback is appreciated, either via the comments below, or on twitter @michael_ormonde.

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