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Powet Game News: May 2012

Plus a little bit of E3!

Show Notes after the jump

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Lost Classics: Syndicate (PC, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Playstation Portable)

Syndicate was one EA’s most unique and controversial games. Developed by Bullfrog Productions (Populous, Dungeon Keeper), it’s one of the few games that put you in control of the fictional evil empire rather than rebelling against it. Taking place in a dystopian future controlled by corporations, you lead a team of brainwashed cyborg mercenaries committing various crimes for your corporation. These missions include kidnapping, assassination, and theft. After each mission, you collect taxes from regions under your control to purchase upgrades for your agents. Along with an assortment of weapons, you have a device called the Persuadertron which brainwashes people, converting them to your side. The game received an expansion pack entitled American Revolution, and a sequel, called Syndicate Wars. Bullfrog tried to make another sequel, however they were unsuccessful, and we wouldn’t see the franchise again until Starbreeze released an FPS reboot earlier this year. The original game is available on for those who have yet to experience this classic.

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Famicom Dojo Podcast: Developer Worship

What companies or individuals make games that you will buy just because their name is on it? Vinnk and Sean examine the perils and the pitfalls of Developer Worship, and wonder aloud if there’s really anything our favorite personalites and companies can do to make us hate them. We list some of our favorites: Harmonix, Square and Enix (before they were one company), BioWare, Shigeru Miyamoto, Hideo Kojima, Grasshopper Manufacture and Suda 51 and more! Which ones are your favorites, and why?

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Famicom Dojo Podcast: Matrimony

The idea and practical applications of marriage barely come up in video games. Sure, there’s not much of a place for it in Angry Birds, and it theoretically might be the ultimate goal of dating sims. But what about games where you’re playing as a character or interact with NPCs who just ARE married? Sean and Vinnk (gamers who are, apparently miraculously, each respectively married with children) explore the reasons why games might actually shy away from the trapping of matrimony, and how the few games that do use it (Fable, The Sims, Alan Wake) want to milk it for emotional impact. But how "emotionally impacted" might an 8 year-old gamer feel about such subject matter — and is that right there the reason it’s a subject few developers dare to tread? And when is Mario just going to marry Princess Peach already! How many more times does she need to get kidnapped by Bowser for him to get the hint??

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Famicom Dojo Podcast: Don’t Believe the Hype

Hype is great… until your game comes out. Quite different from development hell, these are games that come out, but when they do they don’t quite live up to the promises made by the marketing department — and sometimes the developers themselves. Sean and Vinnk discuss the raft of hate against the Mass Effect 3 ending, the lack of ending for the Shenmue series, Peter Molyneux’s retirement from Lionhead Studios, and more. Suffice to say, it’s been an interesting year for the hype machine and its consequences.

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Absolutely MADDENing Mass Effect 3 Launch Problems

The launch of Mass Effect 3 is without a doubt one of the most disastrous I have ever witnessed. First, we learned of the import save problem if you decided to move your game to the new Cloud storage feature. The only solution is to track down the hard drive on which you originally finished the game; an impossibility for some. BioWare is offering no other solutions.

Second: just yesterday, we learned of the Shepard face import problem that also has no official solution… yet. This one BioWare is going to fix. In the mean time, there are a bevy of homebrew solutions, but all are overly-complicated.

Then there’s MY problem… This is what NewEgg sent me today:

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KEEP PLAYING: ME2 – Romance Kelly

In our ninth (!) and final part of the KEEP PLAYING: Mass Effect 2 romance series, we take a look at “Kinky Kelly”, and her somewhat Easter Egg romance — which is probably the best in the entire game.

We have a lot more to say about this particular romance option (that isn’t officially a romance option), so keep reading, or watch the entire nine-part series from the beginning after the jump!

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Mass Effect 3 Custom Shepard Import Problems (and how to fix them)

Mass Effect 3 owners were shocked to find out today that most of their customized Commander Shepards could not have their faces imported into the new game.

One of the first things you’re able to do before you get going in a new Mass Effect game is to customize your Male or (preferably) Female Shepard’s face. If you’ve played Mass Effect 2 (or the just-released Mass Effect 3), you have the option to import this custom character and his/her saved data to continue your adventure as the Shepard from your previous game.

However, if you bought the game for your Xbox 360 or PC and started your character all the way back in the original Mass Effect, you might find that your face refuses to import, leaving you with a blank slate, or the option to use the default Shepard head for your ME3 playthrough.

How did this happen? And is there a solution? Find out after the jump.

(UPDATE: More temporary solutions found, plus BioWare is working to address the issue.)

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