Bioware & Pandemic sell their souls

Bioware & Pandemic. Pandemic is a very solid developer in its own right, but Bioware has created some of the great masterpieces of the last decade; with The Knights of the Old Republic games & the upcoming Mass Effect under their belt. Now we may see nothing but quick cash-in sequels with little to no innovation, because they have been bought by EA lock, stock & barrel. I'm going to try and be optimistic and hope that EA is finally listening to their critics and acquiring some real talent to make some quality games. If they really give these studios creative freedom, we can see some great stuff (maybe even some great licensed games) come out of it. But I have a bad feeling we'll bee seeing yearly sequels of some sort meant to cash in on their previous efforts.

Nintendo follows up some of their best news ever (Sonic being in Brawl), with some of their worst, as they made it official today that Nintendo's all-star beat em up will not reach US shores until February. This is certainly disheartening news, but again, with so many huge titles out this year, I seriously doubt anyone will really notice it's absence. Wii owners will probably still be playing through Mario Galaxy.

I finally did see The Kingdom, which sort of plays like a slightly more competent Michael Bay message film. There is solid acting all around and hints of a taut political thriller, but anytime the plot starts really delving we get loud explosions and lots of gunfire, and sealed up in a trite attempt at how we aren't so different form one another or something. It's still a solid flick I'd recommend for a bargain matinee or a rental.

Which means this weekend I will most likely be checking out Michael Clayton, which does open nationwide, as it seems to be the closest thing to a safe bet. The only other major film even worth mentioning this weekend is We Own the Night, which seems more like a cheesy Steven Segal/Charles Bronson vehicle than something that Mark Wahlberg or Joaquin Phoenix should waste their time on. But of course Segal's career is long dead & Bronson is just plain dead so I guess somebody has to fill these kind of roles.

I forget to mention it in my last post, but if you own a PSP, you should probably pick up Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions, which shipped out this week. The original is a true strategy classic that way too many people missed out on and is now a e-bay treasure. But if you have a PSP, you have no excuse not to pick this up & if you were thinking about getting one, this is a good reason to. It may never measure up to the DS, but I believe the PSP is finally becoming a solid choice for a portable system with a decent library finally shaping up. It's just a shame it took this long to get there.


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