Natural Motion Fixing Tons of Issues In Backbreaker

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BradNicholson

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Edited By BradNicholson

Remember Backbreaker? It was that tech demo masquerading as an American football game. In short, it was bad. But developer Natural Motion doesn't want that icky taste to stay in our mouths. It's poised to fix a lot of what is broken, including the camera angles and other QB-related issues, with a patch called "Greathouse" at some point in "early August."
 
This is supposedly the result of our collective groans. We hit the net, blasting the game for sucking in ways that it never should have, and now Natural Motion is slapping a band-aid on the Euphoria-powered game based on our comments. I guess the proof of this is that the patch itself is named after a fellow that often brought up the game's issues.

"We are lucky to have such a passionate community who have supported us throughout the development of Backbreaker and continue to do so post-launch," head of dev Todd Gibbs said in a statement. "[The patch] will give them what they have asked for, packed as it is with additions, changes, tweaks and requests taken directly from our online forums, reviews, as well as from individual players who spent time at our offices testing the latest features." 
 

No Caption Provided

== TEASER ==So, what's being fixed, you ask? Here are the "major features" of the patch, a "greatest hits" rundown of the most-broken stuff in the game:

  • Brand new replay system with the addition of seven fully functional cameras, including free flight mode and a cinematic 'ball-lock' option.
  • More than 100 new plays added, including an additional nine formations.
  • Improved Quarterback camera view and passing game.
  • A user-catch system, giving the player a much greater level of control over the on-field action.
  • Interception control, the user is now given full control over interception attempts when controlling a defensive player.
  • Comprehensive review of the penalty rulings following an analysis of reported errors.

If you're curious, you can download the complete patch notes here (via Kotaku), which I find are quite important when considering this story as a whole. Natural Motion, in addition to addressing the QB camera issues, is pumping up offensive lines, making them more than unstable meat shields, and is also tightening QB accuracy and lowering the penalty associated with throwing out of focus mode. On paper, at least, this patch is poised to almost completely fix what made the passing game so bad in Backbreaker.    


No Caption Provided
 
And the passing game stuff is just the tip of the iceberg. Expect defense and penalty revamps--both genuine sources of frustration for so many NFL enthusiasts who picked up the game--and little things like, for example, the removal of P.O.D.'s "Boom" from every single kick-off.

Here's the question, though: Is this patch enough for those who haven't sold back their titles? We'll see, I suppose. It's interesting, to say the least, to see this level of commitment from a developer after releasing a hobbled football game. Here's to hoping for the best.
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BradNicholson

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#1  Edited By BradNicholson

Remember Backbreaker? It was that tech demo masquerading as an American football game. In short, it was bad. But developer Natural Motion doesn't want that icky taste to stay in our mouths. It's poised to fix a lot of what is broken, including the camera angles and other QB-related issues, with a patch called "Greathouse" at some point in "early August."
 
This is supposedly the result of our collective groans. We hit the net, blasting the game for sucking in ways that it never should have, and now Natural Motion is slapping a band-aid on the Euphoria-powered game based on our comments. I guess the proof of this is that the patch itself is named after a fellow that often brought up the game's issues.

"We are lucky to have such a passionate community who have supported us throughout the development of Backbreaker and continue to do so post-launch," head of dev Todd Gibbs said in a statement. "[The patch] will give them what they have asked for, packed as it is with additions, changes, tweaks and requests taken directly from our online forums, reviews, as well as from individual players who spent time at our offices testing the latest features." 
 

No Caption Provided

== TEASER ==So, what's being fixed, you ask? Here are the "major features" of the patch, a "greatest hits" rundown of the most-broken stuff in the game:

  • Brand new replay system with the addition of seven fully functional cameras, including free flight mode and a cinematic 'ball-lock' option.
  • More than 100 new plays added, including an additional nine formations.
  • Improved Quarterback camera view and passing game.
  • A user-catch system, giving the player a much greater level of control over the on-field action.
  • Interception control, the user is now given full control over interception attempts when controlling a defensive player.
  • Comprehensive review of the penalty rulings following an analysis of reported errors.

If you're curious, you can download the complete patch notes here (via Kotaku), which I find are quite important when considering this story as a whole. Natural Motion, in addition to addressing the QB camera issues, is pumping up offensive lines, making them more than unstable meat shields, and is also tightening QB accuracy and lowering the penalty associated with throwing out of focus mode. On paper, at least, this patch is poised to almost completely fix what made the passing game so bad in Backbreaker.    


No Caption Provided
 
And the passing game stuff is just the tip of the iceberg. Expect defense and penalty revamps--both genuine sources of frustration for so many NFL enthusiasts who picked up the game--and little things like, for example, the removal of P.O.D.'s "Boom" from every single kick-off.

Here's the question, though: Is this patch enough for those who haven't sold back their titles? We'll see, I suppose. It's interesting, to say the least, to see this level of commitment from a developer after releasing a hobbled football game. Here's to hoping for the best.
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AhmadMetallic

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#2  Edited By AhmadMetallic

not interested

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MrKlorox

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#3  Edited By MrKlorox

Cool. This game certainly needed it. But it is probably too little too late.
 
Better luck next year, NM. It was a fun little demo for a non football enthusiast (read: NERD).

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NutForest

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#4  Edited By NutForest

Meh...

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Box3ru13

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#5  Edited By Box3ru13

IF this stuff works and fixes the bad stuff about backbreaker I would pick this up in a heartbeat, A decent football game that isn't the rehash known as Madden is a welcome addition. 

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Manhattan_Project

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#6  Edited By Manhattan_Project

This might be enough to make me pick it up.

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Sessh

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#7  Edited By Sessh

I've been hugely disappointed by the demo, so I never got around to buying this, but if the patch really holds up (which I sadly am sceptical of) I may reconsider.

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Marcsman

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#8  Edited By Marcsman

It will still suck without a NFL license. Damn you EA..........
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paulwade1984

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#9  Edited By paulwade1984

Football.... yay!

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MrKlorox

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#10  Edited By MrKlorox
@Marcsman said:
" It will still suck without a NFL license. Damn you EA.......... "
These games have the ability to create custom teams and players to the extent of pretty much rebuilding the NFL. They just need the ability to export whole teams/leagues at a time for download off the net. That way people don't have to re-make them themselves by hand and would be more likely to play.
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SpartyOn

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#11  Edited By SpartyOn

I'm still just going to wait for madden

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SamSharp505

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#12  Edited By SamSharp505

What the fuck is up with critics saying this game is bad? A LOT of the people who bought completely disagreed with the reviews, it's a great game :S

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DuhQbnSiLo

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#13  Edited By DuhQbnSiLo

Can't wait for this patch. I'm going to be playing this for fun. Cause Madden sure isn't fun.

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floodiastus

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#14  Edited By floodiastus

The physics are cool, but hey its American Football... how exciting can it get. The game was a snorefest, like any other American Football game.

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Ramone

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#15  Edited By Ramone

If only more devs would listen to their communities like this. *Applauds Natural Motion*

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RedRocketWestie

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#16  Edited By RedRocketWestie

Kudos to them, but I wonder if it's too late to capture the consumers they already missed due to the lukewarm reception.

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VoshiNova

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#17  Edited By VoshiNova

I think that's really cool, but am interested in no way.

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BlastProcessing

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#18  Edited By BlastProcessing

 A bad football game might be GETING less bad.  
 
Nice typo, Nicholson.

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#19  Edited By dfsvegas

I wanted this game to be awesome, but the demo definitely had some showstopping issues. If this patch fixes those issues, then I see no reason I wouldn't give this game another shot. The tackling, animation, and presentation were amazing. It has a good foundation, it just needs some tweaks. If the tweaks are good, I'll definitely buy it.

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SkullcrusherMountain

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It's $30 at Gamestop still, so I'll probably pick it up on my way home.  Worst case, I trade it back in for $10 or whatever after the patch.

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WilliamHenry

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#21  Edited By WilliamHenry
@SamSharp505 said:
" What the fuck is up with critics saying this game is bad? A LOT of the people who bought completely disagreed with the reviews, it's a great game :S "

The same could be said about any game that gets not so great reviews. Theres always going to be people who like it and dislike it. No need to get your panties in a bunch because a bunch of reviewers didn't like the game as much as you did.
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Waffles13

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#22  Edited By Waffles13

For someone with a whopping zero reviews on this website, you seem to be bashing this game pretty damn hard, Nicholson. Especially after the real Bomb crew seemed pretty positive on it during the Quick Look.

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peepeepoopoo696

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#23  Edited By peepeepoopoo696
@BlastProcessing said:

"  A bad football game might be GETING less bad.    Nice typo, Nicholson. "

Uh, he didn't say that.
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Waffles13

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#24  Edited By Waffles13
@Atomasist said:
" @BlastProcessing said:

"  A bad football game might be GETING less bad.    Nice typo, Nicholson. "

Uh, he didn't say that. "
 Oh, really?
 Oh, really?
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nuclear_mouse

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#25  Edited By nuclear_mouse
@MrKlorox said:
" @Marcsman said:
" It will still suck without a NFL license. Damn you EA.......... "
These games have the ability to create custom teams and players to the extent of pretty much rebuilding the NFL. They just need the ability to export whole teams/leagues at a time for download off the net. That way people don't have to re-make them themselves by hand and would be more likely to play. "
Aren't there custom-made roster files out there with all the teams done for you?
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MrKlorox

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#26  Edited By MrKlorox
@XNaphryz said:
" @MrKlorox said:
" @Marcsman said:
" It will still suck without a NFL license. Damn you EA.......... "
These games have the ability to create custom teams and players to the extent of pretty much rebuilding the NFL. They just need the ability to export whole teams/leagues at a time for download off the net. That way people don't have to re-make them themselves by hand and would be more likely to play. "
Aren't there custom-made roster files out there with all the teams done for you? "
That would be awesome. I've only played the demo so I don't really know what import/export options it has.
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#27  Edited By DevWil
@Waffles13:  
 
giant bomb gave it a 2/5.  it deserved a 2/5. 
 
this patch sounds like it could bump it up to a 3/5.  thumbs up to the devs for realizing the game needed some more work.
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babylonian

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#28  Edited By babylonian

Hooray, absurdly cynical blogging! Now I don't even have to go to Kotaku or Joystiq to read some preposterous and infuriatingly "snarky" garbage!

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#29  Edited By fwylo

 Interception control, the user is now given full control over interception attempts when controlling a defensive player.     


This is the thing that so many football games need.  QB CLUB '98 did it perfectly.
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#30  Edited By Stupot
@Babylonian said:
" Hooray, absurdly cynical blogging! Now I don't even have to go to Kotaku or Joystiq to read some preposterous and infuriatingly "snarky" garbage! "
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wolf_blitzer85

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#32  Edited By wolf_blitzer85
@Stupot said:
" @Babylonian said:
" Hooray, absurdly cynical blogging! Now I don't even have to go to Kotaku or Joystiq to read some preposterous and infuriatingly "snarky" garbage! "
"
Unfortunately I feel the same way, but it's already been said a million times already. I guess that whole quantity vs. quality went out the window.
 
On topic, it's good to see the developers at least support this game. Sure there are flaws, but the technology is there and it works for the most part. The dynamic tackles actually make the game feel real and actually brutal for once.
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#33  Edited By nuclear_mouse
@MrKlorox said:
" @XNaphryz said:
" @MrKlorox said:
" @Marcsman said:
" It will still suck without a NFL license. Damn you EA.......... "
These games have the ability to create custom teams and players to the extent of pretty much rebuilding the NFL. They just need the ability to export whole teams/leagues at a time for download off the net. That way people don't have to re-make them themselves by hand and would be more likely to play. "
Aren't there custom-made roster files out there with all the teams done for you? "
That would be awesome. I've only played the demo so I don't really know what import/export options it has. "
Pretty sure there's a contingent at Operation Sports that have done all that - rosters, team uniforms, etc.
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DrPockets000

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#34  Edited By DrPockets000
@BlastProcessing said:
"  A bad football game might be GETING less bad.    Nice typo, Nicholson. "
Holy shit, you're calling out a typo involving one letter?  Everyone step aside for Mr. Fucking Perfect.
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MrKlorox

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#35  Edited By MrKlorox
@DrPockets000 said:
" @BlastProcessing said:
"  A bad football game might be GETING less bad.    Nice typo, Nicholson. "
Holy shit, you're calling out a typo involving one letter?  Everyone step aside for Mr. Fucking Perfect. "
Typo's fly when there is another word spelled that way. But "geting" should have lit up like a Christmas tree by the browser's built-in spell checker.
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DrPockets000

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#36  Edited By DrPockets000
@MrKlorox said:
" @DrPockets000 said:
" @BlastProcessing said:
"  A bad football game might be GETING less bad.    Nice typo, Nicholson. "
Holy shit, you're calling out a typo involving one letter?  Everyone step aside for Mr. Fucking Perfect. "
Typo's fly when there is another word spelled that way. But "geting" should have lit up like a Christmas tree by the browser's built-in spell checker. "
I suppose, but missing a double letter is a common typo.  Everyone makes mistakes.  I still think this comes from intern jealousy/rage.
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ctwin14

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#37  Edited By ctwin14

i think there should be a rugby game.
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guitarjunkie1123

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#38  Edited By guitarjunkie1123

I am exceptionally happy to hear this. First ,because every developer should actually listen to their consumers, second...they're fixing the game for free!? Hell, EA makes you pay to unlock everything that's already in their game =/. I actually really enjoyed the game, don't get me wrong, it wasn't "good" by any means; it deserved a 2/5. However, I had a lot of fun with the gameplay and it got my friends who hate football games to actually play. Shame that they aren't enabling any form of roster sharing. I'm quite proud of my world cup league and my friends want it, but they're too lazy to create 32 teams themselves. Oh well, WAY better than nothing.

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Waffles13

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#39  Edited By Waffles13
@Atomasist said:
" @Waffles13 said:

" @Atomasist said:

" @BlastProcessing said:

"  A bad football game might be GETING less bad.    Nice typo, Nicholson. "

Uh, he didn't say that. "
 Oh, really?
 Oh, really?
"
Clearly he made effort to say that the typo was in the 'headlines view', thus I assumed like a normal person he was referring to the article. Albeit your being a nitpicky ass who hasn't ever made a single grammatical error before, I stand corrected. " 
 
I make plenty of grammatical mistakes. I also am not paid for my writing, nor do I have extensive experience writing for multiple websites.
@DevWil said:

" @Waffles13:   giant bomb gave it a 2/5.  it deserved a 2/5.  this patch sounds like it could bump it up to a 3/5.  thumbs up to the devs for realizing the game needed some more work. "

Ah, that's my mistake then. I remember watching the Quick Look, where Jeff seemed to be enjoying it on some level, and never personally saw anything else on the game, in which case Nicholson is justified in ripping on it. My bad.
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#40  Edited By sevendead

I really enjoyed the Demo. I've never been able to get into Madden, being a casual Football fan. I destroyed the game (Madden 10 gave me a message to stop scoring or I would break the game) but then moved it up a difficulty setting and was lucky to get some field goals. 
 
I'll wait for the patch to be released and decide if its worthy of my purchase now or wait for it to hit $20. Still Tackle Alley is super fun.
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#41  Edited By Olivaw

I appreciate that a develop is actively trying to fix a game after seeing complaints about it.
 
And these sound like some pretty hardcore changes. This might even warrant a second review if they're changing stuff so integral to the game.
 
I'll be very interested to see if this really does make Backbreaker a better game, maybe even a worthwhile purchase. Because that would make these developers pretty awesome!

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Sooperspy

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#42  Edited By Sooperspy

Ill be getting this off gamefly when this patch goes up.

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deactivated-60339640361ae

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Neat, I'll probably get this now.

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TheDoubleJ

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#44  Edited By TheDoubleJ

so wait boom won't play now
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#45  Edited By sparky_buzzsaw

It's an example of too little, too late.  These are all issues that should have been fixed in development, which I'm guessing was probably the result of publishers wanting to push the thing out at a certain time.  I can't even offer up a meager kudos to the developers - this game was just awful, and fixing this shit so long after the fact will do nothing to draw me back in.

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Helimocopter

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#46  Edited By Helimocopter

i am EXTREMELY interested in this

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#47  Edited By ajamafalous
@BradNicholson said:
" the removal of P.O.D.'s "Boom" from every single kick-off. "
I was onboard until I read this.
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MistaSparkle

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#48  Edited By MistaSparkle

Boom playing at the beginning was actually one of my favorite touches on the game. At least make it optional. Why take it out completely? 

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#49  Edited By PenguinDoctor

But, Boom will still be in there, right? I'd be fine if it only played, like, once a quarter or something, but you can't take it all the way out.  It gave the game character.  Also, is there going to be anyway for people without the internet to get these updates?  A Gold Version or something.
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#50  Edited By JerryArr

Good to see someone not abandon a bad game, instead, trying to make it better.

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