Friday, August 24, 2012

New Background

I just updated the background to a picture that was done by Madolin Bee. During the heyday of Kotorfanmedia, I was looking for someone to do a visual rendition of my character Jake Katarn.  I actually have this as my desktop background, and have had it since 2007.  I love her drawing THAT MUCH.

Anyway, check out her deviant art page, and know that I've loved her art since I saw it and look forward to seeing how her work has and will improve.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mass Effect 3 review

Having finished my playthrough with all six classes, but NOT Insanity (because that's just challenge for the sake of challenge, and it really doesn't do anything for the narrative or gameplay aspects of this.  Well, a little on the gameplay, but not enough to change my opinion.)

Anyway, the story is as follows; The Reapers are here.  All of Shepard's efforts to stop them have failed, and they're here, and they are wiping out all "advanced life" in the galaxy.  And they started with Earth. 

So yeah, things are VERY grim when the game starts.  But, there's hope.  A short trip to the Mars archives with your squad gets you information that, as you have been led to believe, will destroy the Reapers. 

The rest of the game is spent building alliances and getting the resources you need to build the superweapon.  The main missions are for the alliances, and the side missions are for the resources.  Both contribute to your Effective Military Strength, or EMS.  The EMS determines your ending; if it's below a certain point, you only get two of the endings, but if it's high enough, you get all four.

Now, for the gameplay.  I actually like the changes that were made to the system over the past two games.  They kept the powers progression from ME2, which I like, since they focus on the abilities instead of improving accuracy with weapons.  But, they added the weight system, giving your proficiency in all guns.  This actually fits in the old adage "every marine a rifleman", allowing me to give Shepard an assault rifle no matter the class, and, if you upgrade it and upgrade your weight capacity, still grants you very little cooldown on your tech and biotic powers.  And if you're a soldier, you don't have to worry about that fact at all, since you've only got one power with a cooldown; they removed the cooldown on ammo powers in this game, which is a vast improvement in ME2.

Next, they overhauled the planet scanning; it's still necessary if you want to boost your EMS, but it's not as annoying.  You give off a scan pulse in the different systems, seeing if you can find resources for yous military or the superweapon, and you only scan for one thing.  Of course, you get a sense of urgency, since each pulse alerts the Reapers to your presence, and too many pulses and the Reapers start chasing you down.  The only way to escape is to leave the system, although you can return and continue to scan, but the Reapers chase you down every time.  So, if you're quick and careful, you can come back in and catch something you missed when the Reapers chase you off the first time.  Of course, when you complete a mission, the map resets and the Reapers won't chase you down in a system you've been to previously. Of course, this means the Normandy's stealth drive plays a bigger role in this game because of this; the only reason you are able to enter Reaper Controlled systems is BECAUSE of the Stealth Drive.  So, the setup from the two previous games actually some practical use in this game.

The classes are pretty much the same in this game as ME2, with the exception that that tech powers now have the ability to do the same chain attacks that biotic powers could in ME2.  They also added grenades back into this game, though they are thrown overhand in this game, instead of sidearm like ME1.  Heavy weapons are different this game; they have limited ammunition, you pick them up on the battlefield, and discard them when you run out.

Finally, the classes; I still hate Sentinel, as I have in both ME1 and 2, I still really like the biotic classes.  I also really liked Infiltrator, but my favorite is still the basic soldier. 

And finally, the endings.  I'm not going to bother with the original controversy about the original crappy endings, because it doesn't matter at this point; the extended cut is free to download.  It fixes everything that was wrong with the original endings.

So, there's four endings; Destroy, Control, Synthesis, and Refuse. Destroy shows you destroying the Reapers, Control shows you becoming the guiding consciousness of the Reapers, Synthesis shows you combining organics and synthetics, and Refuse shows you refusing to cooperate with the three choices.  All four shows victory in some way, though Refuse shows Shepard's failure against them and the next cycle's victory.  Strangely, I prefer the Control ending the most, because there's actually three different versions of it, depending on your alignment meter; Full(or mostly) Paragon, Full(or mostly) Renegade and Neutral.  But with all endings, you see the effects of your choices in the game.  For example, if you chose to have Jack's students do barriers instead of fighting, you see Jack standing with them, but if you have them fight, she stands over their graves.  And you see this for the majority of the gameplay choices; the genophage, Rannoch, your party members from ME2...all of it, and specifically how you handled those situations.

And finally, multiplayer.  It felt tacked on, and it was, but it is fun.  Every time I've played multiplayer, I've had fun.  Unfortunately, most of the DLC has been multiplayer packs, which, while fun, is not what I expect out of a Bioware game.  I've heard that they are planning a new storyline pack, but I'm disappointed in the focus on multiplayer so far.

All in all, I enjoy this ending of Shepard's story.  And while it is pretty much the Swan Song for how Bioware used to be, it's an enjoyable one, from beginning to end.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Toilet Pizza

I was going through The Spoony One's video archives, and I saw something very funny.  It's called "The Toilet Pizza", and it's a prank that he played on his gaming group from a one in a million chance.  So, here's the toilet pizza.