As Press2Reset grows, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of all of the content that’s going up on the site; not only for us, but also for our readers! The last Monthly Reset showcased titles like Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Dear Esther while also summarizing popular news like the Double Fine Kickstarter campaign. It was hard to believe that March could have topped that, but with Mass Effect 3 and GDC, there was plenty to drive it forward. Welcome to the Monthly Reset!
The biggest business story of the year so far was the sudden and spectacular collapse of the UK retailer GAME Group, which suffered a torrid month of retreating business partners, rumors of sale and, finally, a rise from the ashes.
Publishers’ failure to help the retailer in its hour of need has been blamed by some on its role in the used game market, something Elite creator David Braben feels is killing off core games, while P2R’s own Nate Hales put the issue into a wider perspective.
Meanwhile, some developers were discussing the future of the industry from within. Witcher 2 lead level designer Marek Ziemak said he believes game choices should have consequences, while the team working on Spec Ops: The Line felt that in-game violence needs to be more affecting. Our own Marcus Mac Dhonnagáin wondered whether we needed more choice and consequence. And humor, according to Lollipop Chainsaw writer James Gunn.
BioWare spent most of the month in the news. Sometimes, it was quiet announcements like the one that revealed the Dragon Age team had switched focus to its next project. Then, there was the rather louder news about the controversial end to Mass Effect 3, which reached fever pitch when the RPG developer hinted that it might do something about the ending.
The Kickstarter revolution kept on re-inventing the way indie projects can get off the ground when InXile’s campaign to make Wasteland 2 passed its target in less than two days.
It was also the month when Peter Molyneux announced his departure from Lionhead Studios and Microsoft in order to join indie outfit 22 cans.
And, finally, we also saw the passing of one of the most quickly dispelled rumors of recent years. No sooner had Valve’s Steam Box become the talk of the internet, then the popular developer torpedoed it.
March’s news and releases were stunning and many, but the one that gripped gamers around the world was Mass Effect 3. Aside from Nate’s review, we also counted down some of our most memorable moments from both Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. Keeping with the vein of Mass Effect themed articles, Sean Knight and Melissa Kay also contributed to the cause with Sean sharing some details on the voice of FemShep and Melissa defending James Vega (and musing about a new crew member). Richard Hayden was actually more concerned with the lack of plot in Blasto 6, but he still managed to write a convincing defense of BioWare in the controversy surrounding ME3’s ending. Aenne Schumann took up the torch for the disappointed fans, however.
A number of popular downloadable titles were also released last month. Sine Mora from Grasshopper Manufacture raised the bar on shoot-em-ups and thatgamecompany’s Journey mesmerized gamers with its beautiful sights and soothing gameplay. I Am Alive brought a new meaning to survival in its post-disaster metropolitan setting.
And while the PlayStation Vita launched in February, a number of reviews came out this month to see how well it did right out of the gates. Uncharted: Golden Abyss was unsurprisingly engaging while Army Corps of Hell fell flat. Fun was had with both Escape Plan and Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack. Overall, we’ve been left with a favorable first impression for Sony’s newest handheld, but now we want to see more.