Hmm, how much tolerance do you have for bad combat systems? With combat not being turn-based, party member's AI being pretty horrible and no functional way of micromanaging your whole party, battles mostly turn into all-out slugging and their difficulty mostly depends on the number of opponents you're facing. Boss Battles are stupid easy most of the time, though, and if you try to do most of the sidequest normal battles seem to be trivial. Story is slow (no surprises there) and up to now (I suspect I'm about halfway done) pretty lackluster. Some parts are genuinely charming though, and I agree that the graphics look really nice. The hand-drawn bits are pretty sparse, though.
Oh, and the familiar taming and raising makes up a lot of that games appeal, having effectively 12 characters to level up (3-6 of which are unneccesary for combat and therefore completely open to personal choice) makes for fun end-of-combat summaries.
Speaking as a german I can't imagine what has gotten into Koch Media to pay this kind of money for a US-based studio. Looking at their homepage, they have a history of developing stupid shovelware and niche simulators and publishing some bigger titles in the EU (most notably Square RPGs). I can't see them financing development of AAA-games and managing a studio on the other side of the Atlantic ocean will probably prove to be a great challenge for them (I fear too great).
I have to say, it seems Volition (and it maybe Vigil as well) truly got fucked today. I highly doubt their talent will stay after they finish the next Saint's Row. Bummer.
I kinda suspected something like this when 8-4 said they were leaving IGN on their last podcast. The connection between you and Mark was too obvious a clue to pass up. I discovered them myself last year when you mentioned their podcast on the Bombcast. Entertaining and unique stuff on there and most importantly: No appeasing to anyone, if they don't like something they'll say it, which the community here will surely appreciate as well.
Bioware is facing a serious problem here (and it's probably not the one you're expecting): Overreacting to these queues now might lead to barren servers in a month or two when interest in the game has dropped to an average level. EA learned this the hard way when they launched W:AR three years ago and will probably take a different approach this time around. They'll probably add some more servers over the week to accomodate for impulse buyers and people who get the game as a gift for christmas but overall I expect a cautious approach toward this issue. It's probably better to have some queues at launch (as long as the servers remain stable, which seems to be the case) than to have people stranded in a world where there's no one else to play with come 2012. WoW experienced queues at most of it's expansion launches but in the long run people accept these things if they don't persist.
Just a quick heads up should you get your hands on an early copy of Arkham City on PS 3. Seems the download for the Catwoman isn't in the PSN store yet (in Europe at least), I got an error message when I tried to redeem it. After I did the game wouldn't start up because of corrupted data unless i deleted my save files. So be wary if you've already put some time in, you might lose your progress.
The whole "used games sales are terrible for developers" thing is buuuullshit, always has been.
Enlighen me, what's your evidence for that claim? Every used copy sold potentially means 1 less new copy sold, so developers and especially publishers have nothing to gain from the used market like it is run by GameStop. If customers were smart enough/could be bothered to sell their games themselves for meaningful profit I'd see an argument for an increased budget to spend on new games, but right now that money is mostly going to GameStop not the publishers.
Tough shit. I don't know why game developers feel like they should be immune to people exercising their right of first sale. Does every furniture maker wring their hands about people buying second hand couches at a thrift store?
That's all fine and well, but you have to consider that video games are somewhat unique in not suffering wear and tear. Before the advent of Online Passes used games were indistinguishable from new products. 'Real-life' used products diminish in value cause they're more likely to break, but games like Heavy Rain will offer the same experience regardless of when you put them in your PS 3.
That said I don't agree with de Fondaumiere's math, it's as flawed as the calculations publishers present on piracy. Sure, he might be correct IF every one of those 1 million players had bought the game new but I can speak for myself and say I rented Heavy Rain and never would have considered even buying a used copy cause it didn't seem worth it.
I see no point the dialogue integration, simply selecting a choice with the pad should be much quicker. But it can see the combat commands being useful, now Germany only needs voice recognition for Kinect enabled...