MAP Episode 107: The Wrath of the Great Potato

O(taku), the HUMANITY!
Caution: These graphic images may prove disturbing for some viewers. Discretion is advised.

Download Link: Produced 2011.03.13

Japan is levelled, Otaku mourn their toppled figurines, and the panel consider the public thrashing dealt out to Dragon Age II and producer Biotronic Artwares. Ginia signs off amidst scenes of international carnage–surely, the wrath of the Great Potato!


  1. Wii: Owned 2 over the last 5 years, both both at retail at completely different times. Sold the first one a year after owning because I got bored. Bought another one a year later because I got novelty itch back temporarily, had it for a few months and sold that one too on Ebay.

    I love RE4 Wii Edition and Metroid Prime 3, but that’s it. After almost 5 years, two games. I do want to play New Super Mario Bros Wii though, and Donkey Kong Country Returns, but with friends and everyone I know has also sold their Wii systems and controllers. Skywaggle Sword…no thanks. First Zelda game I have no interest in.

    Julian, Baten Kaitos 1 and 2 are fantastic. Give them another shot. BK1 revived my faith in rpgs back in ’05 after years of games I considered crap. BK2’s updated card battle system is a bit f*cked at first but once you get used to it you wonder how you ever got along without it.

  2. I never owned a GC, so I’ve been rather enjoying my Wii. Terrible system though.

  3. The GCN controller is great for little people who have had the foresight to install a protective steel plate on their thumbs.

    Baten Kaitos gets good reviews, though I’ve never played it. I understand it lacks spells called FIRAGA, exploding penguins, whip-wielding vampire killers, a world that can be rolled up into a ball, a bunch of cute monsters to catch, or 108 recruitable characters. Therefore, NOT INTERESTED.

    Exactly like Cram, I’ve owned a Wii twice. Sold it the first time because I was bored. Bought it again because I was on a nostalgia binge, and then I, too, eBayed it. I won’t be buying another one because I own a PSP and a MacBook with a TV-out HDMI port. If ya know what I mean.

    Let’s have a moment of silence for the toppled figurines.

    Okay, back to making fun of the Japs!

  4. To be fair, Lusi, I have tiny little hands. I’ve known one adult with hands smaller than mine, and she’s like a foot shorter than I am.

  5. Oh why, oh why, do you listen to online forum posters of all people? For the love of God, that’s like listening to your readers! FIE!

    Dragon Age 2 disappoints lots of people because they wanted Dragon Age: Origins extra levels, the same game, but more of it. That’d satisfy them, but wouldn’t make them any new fans or get people interested in the franchise.

    Here are the annoying things with DA2: they really do overuse a single house layout for lots of sidequests. Yeah, it’s annoying, but game-breaking? Nah. It really doesn’t feel like DA:O had a lot of effect on the second game. Oh well.

    Combat feels functionally the same, although there is no isometric view on the PC. Oh well. The story as a frame set-up works less well than DA:O, but it is still engaging and well done. Varric, for example, is an awesome character.

    It is not the series’ Mass Effect 2. It is as good a game as DA:O, but in a different way. DA:O was an awesome retro-ish RPG with dark fantasy thrown in. DA2 is a more modern action-y RPG that is told in a grittier, more “realistic” fashion. Whereas the first one was all Conan and Moorcock, this one is Abercombie and Martin.

    And I get that there are some people that feel horribly betrayed that Pet Game Company #654 did not create an awesome retro gaming experience so that they could relive their glory days of Baldur’s Gate. It’s like gamers are becoming 30-something whiny pre-midlife crisis nostalgia freaks who are afraid of anything not being a “welcome throwback” to a kinder, simpler era. But there are just as many people, professionals and gamers alike, who think it’s a solid game and a worthwhile entry in to the series.

  6. @Lane: If there are ‘just as many’ who think it is so grand, why is the user rating on MetaCritic hovering around 4.0?

    Games are made for the gamers who play them and who patronise the companies that make them, not for art-house auteurs and novelity-loving cretins.

    People have a valid right to feel betrayed if the series goes in a radical direction that disappoints them and destroys their expectations. Final Fantasy XIII took perfectly legitimate flak for this, as have DMC, CV: LoS, and so on.

    In short, if you aren’t going to make a sequel to a game, don’t make a sequel to a game. Call it something else and be done with it. But the idea that the majority of gamers are wrong because they expected something that DA2 doesn’t deliver is tremendously fallacious. They are, after all, the target audience. You might not be annoyed, but at the moment it seems a lot of people are. A game doesn’t get a 4.0 on MC with ~1,500 ratings unless something has gone wrong somewhere, and you can’t just dispel that with a wave of your hand as “the public!” given that most games don’t suffer the same backlash.

    1,500 ratings! That’s not ‘a few’ upset people.

  7. There’s an overwhelming bias toward negative user scores. Only diehard fanboys go to post 100/100s. Lots of angry people post low scores. People like me who fluctuate between 75-85/100 don’t post on Metacritic.

    The game has flaws. Glaring flaws. Flaws the last game didn’t have. But it also improves a lot of things, from the combat to the inventory to whatever. The series didn’t take a drastic new direction. It just lost a camera view, reused a bunch of maps, and had a lot less player choice in terms of race and backstory.

    These are fairly minor changes, but some seriously frustrating things got changed. Console users are happier even if PC users are less happy overall. It’s a fine game. For dudebros and art house snobs and regular weekend warriors like yours truly.

  8. Again, if it is so fine, why does it have a terrible user score whereas most games do not?

    When a game has 1,500+ user reviews and has a score from that which is in the 3.5-4.0 range, something is seriously wrong. This is unusual. If it was like you say, every game that disappoints ‘a few people’ would suffer the same reaction. This is not the case. The critical review has been slipping too–it’s down to 83 today and will probably slip a bit farther as more critical reviews come in.

    Something is seriously wrong with DA2. The sooner the developers publicly acknowledge this, the better it will be for them. The worst way to contain backlash is to deny, deny, deny–and that is precisely what they are doing. The result of this is just going to be an intensification.

    Deleting negative forum posts isn’t helping their public image either.

  9. OK, I think I see the problem.

    If it were called “Dragon Age: The Kirkwall Years” or “Dragon Age Gaiden: Hawke’s Tale,” and was released as a $19.99 downloadable game, a sort of appetizer between Origins and some as-yet-unnamed future game, would you still have this problem?

    Because it is not a terribly… deep… game, in terms of world-building. It’s a much more human story, and an awesome one, unless one hungers for “one man saves the world from darkness” epic-ness, in which case the story is unsatisfying.

    The game has the elements I would require to have an enjoyable gaming experience: fun characters, cool setting (even if it is a little limited), excellent presentation (graphics, voice acting and sound are what one would expect from BioWare), fast-moving plot, and some fun action sequences. It lacks really deep gameplay and character advancement that one would find in a real RPG… but so did Mass Effect 2. It’s a really cool interactive novel/movie that tells a compelling story, but not much more.

    And Dragon Age: Origins was a lot more, and I think people wanted the next level of that. I get that, and that’s just not this game. It’s a great game in its own right, but it is not really a true “sequel” to Origins. It is the Brotherhood to OriginsAssassin’s Creed 2, a sort of extra tag-along.

    Would I love to see a downloadable set of new textures for the sidequest dungeons, and more Kirkwall environs opened up? Yeah. New characters like ME2 had? Sure. But lots of things people are complaining about, like lack of customizability for party member armor, or lack of an isometric view, or lack of the ability to trek all over the world to varied environments with super-long dungeons, well… I won’t complain too loudly if those are missing.

    But yeah, I get it. Dragon Age 3 has to be fucking huge and super-duper epic to be what this game isn’t to those people that wanted that.

  10. I dislike Dragon Age 2 for all the reasons Lane just listed. 8D

    Also, I will point out that Final Fantasy XIII’s user rating is in the mid-80’s …