Thursday, December 29, 2011

Downloadable Content for ME2

Kasumi; Master Thief
Zaeed; Mercenary Veteran
There is a great deal and wide variety of downloadable content (DLC) available for ME2.  The available DLC adds a great deal of extra things to ME2 from new missions, to characters and gear. If you don’t have any budget constraints I recommend that you download all the content.  You'll need the Cerberus Network code that comes with your game to access the DLC.

However if you have budget issues, which DLC should you, purchase with limited resources?

I’d recommend purchasing DLC that provides extra missions – playing time.  All these types of DLC provide most importantly, more playing time and immersion into the story line.  However, these also provide you opportunities to score more credits, upgrades and in two cases additional characters.
At a minimum I’d plan on getting Zaeed – The Price ofRevenge, Kasumi – Stolen Memory, Lair of the Shadow Broker, Arrival, Overlord and Firewalker.  All of these provide some fun new assignments that may not have been part of your platform’s version of ME2.  The Price of Revenge and Stolen Memory each provide a new squad mate; Zaeed and Kasumi.  Also you get a recruitment and loyalty mission for both characters.  I’ve found that I really like taking Kasumi with me on missions.  Perhaps a post for another day.
If you are a Liara T’Soni fan from ME1 you’ll certainly want to get the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC. It provides a nice story line for T’Soni and provides you with some great fights, especially on the exterior of the Shadow Broker's ship, rewards and information on your new squad mates.

Arrival is good because it is a nice set up to getting ready for ME3 this coming March 2012.

All of the DNL new assignments and characters can be played at any time.  My preference is to do them all except Arrival before the Suicide Mission.  That way you can have your Shepard and squad maxed out on abilities and gear before the big fight.  Then if you survive you can go do Arrival to get set up for ME3.
There are lots of other fun DLC packs you can down load with stuff from armor & weapons to alternate appearance packs.  These are all fun but I think having more content is more important than having gear/weapons if money is an issue.
Which DLC did you go for?

Which additional character do you like?
Which additional assignments are your favorites?
What other DLC armor or weapons do you like?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I Like Miranda and Won’t Apologize For It

Miranda Lawson; Cerberus Officer
I think that Miranda more than any other Mass Effect (ME2) character evokes a strong reaction from players.  From what I see it is either a love her or hate her type thing.

Unfortunately I think much of the so-called controversy about Miranda is because she was drawn pretty, hot, sexy; insert your own adjective.  Remember the character Jessica Rabbit in the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”  She was another character drawn pretty/hot/sexy and had a famous line in the movie: “I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way.”

It's the same with Miranda; don’t hate her because she’s beautiful.  I think Miranda adds much needed depth to the game and is pretty good in most fights.  Although survivability can be an issue if she gets to far forward even in her Cerberus armor! I almost always take Miranda with me on missions.

Jessica Rabbit.  Not a bad girl...
So here is why I like Miranda.  More so than any other character in Miranda you get to experience personal growth with her.  Many of the characters during their recruitment and loyalty missions you find out a great deal about them but don’t see any growth.  With Miranda you find out much about her but you also see personal growth that you don’t get with the others.  If you follow the romantic side paths with her by the end she’s gone from being a cold bi-otch to a warm person with flaws and challenges she’s struggling to overcome despite the face she puts on to the outside world.  The only other character with as much personality growth is Grunt who is also one of my favorites.

In battle my Miranda is great.  I have Miranda set up to do as much damage as possible; she is maxed on Cerberus Officer, Overload and Warp. As such with Cerberus Officer she adds the following: Health +20%; Weapon Damage +25%, Squad Health +7.5% and Squad Weapon Damage +15%.  The Heavy Overload does Recharge Time: 6.00 seconds (Shepard) 12.00 seconds (Others), Impact Radius: 1.20 meters Shield, and Synthetic Damage: 200.00 points Synthetic Stun Lenght: 3.00 seconds Weapon Overheat Length: 6.00 seconds.  Her Heavy Warp inflicts Recharge Time: 6.00 seconds (Shepard); 12.00 seconds (others), Damage: 200.00 points, Detonation Radius: 5.00 meters and Detonation Force: 700.00 newtons.  She also as a couple points in Throw but isn’t maxed out.

I’m able to use Miranda very effectively to destroy shields and armor on anything from Geth to Mechs.  This updated video shows my Shepard and Miranda using her biotics to take out shields and armor in fights and also with Kasumi in the "Suicide" mission.  Notice the damage Miranda does to shields and armor in these fights so that Sheppard and Kasumi can finish them off.  Miranda one of the better squad members for reducing shields and armor.  Also notice that she takes a couple out on her own with weapons and biotics.

So I don’t expect that this post will change the minds of those who don’t like Miranda.  However don’t exclude Miranda from missions where she can be helpful just because you don’t like her.

So do you like or dislike Miranda?

How do you use Miranda in ME2?

Mass Effect 3 Characters

Legion; Geth Infiltrator
To start with lets talk about Mass Effect 3 characters.

Right now based on what I’ve read online I’m concerned that my favorite characters aren’t going to be “permanent” squad members in ME3.  I’m a bit upset/POed.  I like the characters in ME2 much more than ME1 for a variety of reasons.

My favorite ME2 characters are Miranda, Grunt, Mordin, Kasumi and Legion.

EA/Bioware has said that the squad will be smaller in ME2 perhaps down to 6.  They said publicly ( that the following are on Shepard’s permanent squad:

  • Kaidan Alenko
  • Tali’Zorah vas Normandy
  • Liara T’Soni
  • Garrus Vakarian
  • James Vega
  • Ashley Williams
Seems that EA/Bioware has given all six slots to ME1 characters, WTF?  ME2 characters are only “appearing in some capacity” or “will be optional and others may only be available for a single mission.”  I want my favorite characters to be full time permanent squad members not written off.  As I’m sure you do with your favorite characters. 

Why have I spent all this time with ME2 characters I like better than ME1 characters to not be able to take them on missions with me as permanent squad members in ME3?  I thought that one of the premises of ME was to be involved with the story line and characters?  Now the characters I like will only get some lame video scene like what they that did with Ashley Williams/Kaidan Alenko in ME2.  That’s just wrong EW/Bioware!

Notice that EA/Bioware keeps playing secret squirrel games with their customers about the characters.  It’s not about giving away the plot (that is already out, one of the worst kept secrets about ME3) its more likely that EA/Bioware is afraid we won’t buy the game when we find out we won’t have our favorite ME2 characters but are stuck with ME1 characters for missions.

Wondering why I shelled out $80 for the “Collectors Edition” at this point.

What are your thoughts?