Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Xbox Kinect

As we get closer to the arrival of Mass Effect 3 EA/Bioware is giving out more information about features, downloadable content and other aspects of the game.  One recent revelation is that Mass Effect 3 will work with Xbox Kinect.

I don’t have Kinect for my Xbox 360 at the moment so I don’t have much experience with it.  Perhaps some of you do? 
Mass Effect 3 with Xbox Kinect, according to EA/Bioware and other reports will allow you to control the game to include conversation trees, commanding squad members, switching weapons, shooting weapons, activating biotics etc.  All the things you are used to doing with you controller on an Xbox 360.
Here is a short video about the Xbox Kinect features of Mass Effect 3.  Many other similar videos are easily found by searching on Google or youtube if you are interested.

For those of you who have Xbox 360 Kinect do you like it?  Do you think Kinect will benefit Mass Effect 3?  More importantly should I go out and buy a Kinect for my Xbox to have for Mass Effect 3?  Lol  Yea I’m sure I will just to be able to check it out and write a post for you Mass Effect fans about it!!!!!!!!!!!!
One of the people in the video says something to the effect about yelling at the TV (in a good way) with the Xbox Kinect.  With out Kinect I already yell at TV/game when I have a critical mission failure!!! lol

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mass Effect: Vanguard Insane Level

I recently started a run through of Mass Effect 2 on Insane level.  I also switched up character classes to make this play through different than my previous ones.  Usually I play the Soldier class but for this Insane play through I went with a Vanguard class.
I haven’t found playing on insane level to be that much more difficult than some of the other levels.  I have noticed that enemies usually have both shields and armor.  They are also a bit smarter using cover better. Nothing a little patience can’t handle.   Also enemies such as Krogan that like to close on you don’t waste much time before they move in on you.
I’m not very far into the game at this point, just finishing the Horizon mission.  Perhaps it will get harder.  
M-12 Locust Submachine gun
The vanguard class is a bit of a different play than the soldier.  I do miss the all the assault rifles but have found an admirable substitute in the M-12 Locust submachine gun.  Although the Locust doesn’t do as much damage as assault rifles and other sub-machine guns it is highly accurate at long range, has little to no muzzle climb and burns through a thermal clip in a few seconds.  The end result is that you can get a lot or rounds down range on your target in a few seconds.  The low muzzle climb allows you get most of your rounds on target and the fast rate of fire makes up a bit for the lower damage of the Locust.
The Locust is found the Kasumi Stolen Memories DLC.  If you want it you’ll need to get the downloadable content if you don’t have it.  I just happened to do that assignment early in this play through so I picked up the Locust perhaps earlier than is usual for someone to get it.

Here is a short video of the Locust in action and biotic power charge..  Its easy to see the high rate of fire and lack of significant muzzle climb.

Besides usable weapons the big difference at the moment between being a Vanguard and a Soldier are the biotic powers Charge versus Adrenaline Rush.  Were Adrenaline Rush slowed opponents down so you could pump some extra rounds into them Charge allows you to propel yourself forward phasing through any obstacles and ramming your opponent causing considerable damage.  Usually knocking them down to allow your squaddies or yourself to finish them off.
Off course in my zest to use the new biotic power, which has a pretty cool animation, I found myself charging to kill an enemy only to find that I charged into a nest of enemies.  So now charging is becoming a finishing move.  I’d like to use charge as more than just a finishing move.  Does anybody who plays a vanguard class have any advice?
Otherwise both the insane level and vanguard class are going well.

Oh, the new Miranda video is done and added to the "I Like Miranda and Won’t Apologize For It" post.  You can watch there or on my Mass Effect YouTube channel.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Story So Far

A short post tonight.  Here is the EA/Bioware video "The Story So Far" in case you haven't seen it.  It is down loadable content you can purchase on line.  Or watch it here at no cost you!  I purchased this video through Xbox live.  It is narrated by Martin Sheen, who voices the Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2, and fills you in on the events of Mass Effect and sets the stage for Mass Effect 2.

Perhaps we'll see something similar come out as we get closer to the March 6th release of Mass Effect 3?

Since I started recording Xbox 360 in HD I'm going to work on redoing the video in the I Like Miranda and Won’t Apologize For It post since the that one was recorded in 480P with this not so useful software/hardware combo called a Dazzle.  Hopefully I have enough video in the can to make it fun!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mass Effect; Firing the M-920 Cain

M-920; Nuke Launcher
One of the fun things about Mass Effect is all the differentweapons at your disposal.  Hand guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, shot guns, to rocket launchers and other heavy weapons.  Each category has several different types from human to alien weapons to choose from.  So there is surely a couple weapons you’ll make your favorites for various reasons.
But without doubt the Big Boy on the block is the M-920 Cain.  Nick named the “Nuke Launcher” this is the baddest weapon in Mass Effect 2.  It generally defeats enemies in one shot with the exception of a couple “bosses” including the Human Reaper at the end.  It takes two shots from the Cain to drop the Human Reaper.
Here is a video I made of the Cain in action.  You can watch some of my other Mass Effect videos here.

Of course with great power comes great responsibility.  Bioware knew we players would be corrupted by the powerful punch of the Cain wanting to use it again and again, unable to not use such a fun weapon.  So instead of having you blast your way through the game with the Cain, Bioware (wisely or spitefully lol) limits your ability to use the Cain.
If you want to fire the Cain you really have to plan for it.  Start by saving heavy weapons ammo. You can’t fire it unless it is at 100% to begin with.  So if you are using your heavy weapons ammo firing other heavy weapons you’re going to have a hard time getting the Cain to 100%.  Also you’ll need all the extra heavy ammunition clips you can get.  If you are maxed out on heavy weapons ammo carrying ability the most you can carry is 215% or two shots of Cain.
So load up on heavy weapons ammo and let loose the Cain on your enemies!!!!!  Remember the Cain takes four seconds to queue up to fire.  Don't leave yourself exposed for to long or you might not get the shot off.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mass Effect; Arrival

I just finished playing the Arrival assignment.  This assignment is an extra downloadablecontent pack for Mass Effect 2.  It costs 560 Microsoft points or roughly $7.
Assignment was designed to play after you finish Mass Effect 2.  However it can be played at any time.  I’d suggest towards the end right before or after the Suicide mission.  Not sure it really matters.
In any event Assignment is your setup for Mass Effect 3.  I had read some negative things about Assignment but I really enjoyed playing it.   
In this assignment you're on your own with no help from your squad mates. The story has a nice surprise twist that caught me off guard.  Also the combat is rough especially on the harder levels.  I wish my M-920 Cain was charged.  It would have saved me a couple critical mission failures at the end.   
Here is a short video of the ending of Arrival.  So SPOILER alert; if you don’t want to see how it ends don’t watch.   

If you have $7 to spare you should play this if you haven’t just to get back in the Mass Effect mood before Mass Effect 3 is available.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mass Effect 3; Are you ready and excited?

Mass Effect 3 will be arriving in two months on March 6th at your local store.  (I wonder if the “Collectors Edition” will arrive before, on or after March 6th?)  Are you excited?  Are you ready?
I’m sure you’re excited.  But are you ready? 
In order to prep for the Mass Effect 3 you should make sure that you have a final save game of Mass Effect 2 that you will use for ME3.  More specifically do you have a save file you want to use for continuing into the conclusion of the Mass Effect trilogy?
If you don’t like your save file or aren’t sure you should create another one.  As in Mass Effect many of the decisions you made in ME2 are carried over to ME3 and affect (not effect) your game.  For example in the final ME2 “Suicide” mission some of your squad members may have been killed.  If they were killed in the “Suicide” mission they won’t be in ME3.
For example I’ve never liked Tali event though she's given a large role in ME and ME2.  Yes, I know many of you do.  But I’ve never found her useful on missions.  I like Legion better so in my ME2 final save I made sure Tali died in the mission.  Now I won’t have to bother with her in ME3.  I’m sure they’ll be someone new to take over her role; perhaps Legion.  So for example, if a character died in the “Suicide” mission and you want to see them in ME3 you need to create a new ME2 save to use.  You could also just start a new ME3 game with no import but then you don't know what decisions will be made for you.

So in order to prep for a ME 3 save game here are some things you can do:
·      Play Mass Effect, save and play Mass Effect 2 to your final satisfaction.
·      Play Mass Effect 2 from the start and let the game make certain decisions about Mass Effect.  Decisions such as did you save Ashley or Kaldan?  Did you let the Rachni live or die? 
·      Alternatively than playing ME then ME2 you can download “Mass Effect Genesis.”  This content allows you to make the major of decisions of ME as part of the character customization screen of ME2.  Then you play ME2 with those decisions made by you instead of assumed (ass-u-me) by the game.
·      Of course you can also just load up ME3 and drive on.  But most fans of the ME game trilogy will want the final game to reflect their prior decisions.  (Remember there are bonuses/rewards for importing your save game!)
·      Did you romance Ashley and Miranda?  Could be problems in ME3!  lol
What were the major decisions of ME and ME2 that you made?  How do you think they will affect your ME3?  What characters if any died during your "Suicide" mission?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Please Fix Scanning in Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 2 is a great game in all aspects.  The only thing I can really complain about with any real conviction is the process of scanning planets for minerals: Element Zero; Iridium; Palladium; and Platinum.
Scanning is the most mind numbing, boring waste of player time I’ve seen in a long time.
Now don’t misinterpret what I’m trying to say.  I don’t have any issues with the upgrade system.  Nor do want EA/Bioware to give out upgrades like candy to everyone.

I think you need to earn upgrades while out and about playing the game.  As such I don’t have any problems with completing assignments to find or receive plans for upgrades.  I’m also fine with searching the universe to find the minerals to make upgrades and going to the upgrade center on the Normandy and creating the upgrade.  This isn’t very different from other video games where you might have to “farm” for materials to make items etc.
What I don’t like is the scanning process itself.  The scanning process in Mass Effect 2 is a waste of player/customer time.  Even with the scanning upgrades continually circling a planet on its latitude or longitude lines is time consuming and boring.  Occasionally scanning is a nice break from the game for one planet.  If you are in a far away solar system where you want to mine all the planets you have keep flying back to a system with a mass relay and fuel depot and going back and forth etc.  The entire scanning process in Mass Effect to isn’t fun and is time consuming.
Mass Effect wiki scanning png
Mass Effect 2 plant scanning.
Perhaps flying to the planet and doing one scan is an answer.  EA/Bioware could make a nice fun little animation that runs as long as they think appropriate then you get all the minerals on the planet.  If they make it long enough you could go get a soda or hit the bathroom.  The scanning page on the wiki does have good tips about how to save yourself some scanning grief so if you have read them they are at the bottom of the page.  But still this is something I think needs a redo in Mass Effect 3.
I don’t know what the best answer is but there has to be a better way than how it is in Mass Effect 2.
Anybody have any ideas about how to scanning might be done better?  Has anyone heard anything from EA/Bioware about scanning in Mass Effect 3.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Mass Effect Classes; Which is your favorite?

My Shepard; Solider class.
There are six classes available in Mass Effect 2: Adept; Soldier; Engineer; Vanguard; Sentinel; and Infiltrator.  Now each class has its own abilities, strengths and weaknesses.
My Sephard, Kasumi and Miranda.
For me it's the Soldier class.  I like being in the thick of the fight.  Of course some of the other classes do well in the center of the battle also.  But I like lots of different armor and having access to all the different guns.  Yes, I like things that go bang and things that explode.  I like when something closes with me and I blow it back or away with concussive shot! .
Now some of the more biotic heavy classes are great and some of the powers and their animations are cool.  But for me I’m just more old school in that I like pulling the trigger.
I play other classes also.  It's a great to play Mass Effect a few times with different character classes.  You definitely get a different feel for the game.  You might pick up some things you’ve missed.   My next play through will be my set up for Mass Effect 3 and is going to be on insanity and I’m going to let Morinth kill Samara just to see what’s different.  I’m also going to let Tali die during the suicide mission but that is another post.

Here is a video that details all six Mass Effect 2 classes.  It's a bit long but shows all the classes and their abilities.  So if you are new to Mass Effect or are starting a new game or perhaps a Mass Effect 3 set-up game and aren’t sure what class you want to play check out the video.