Monthly Archives: April 2012

Mass Effect 3 Second Run

I have started a second run of the game using Infiltrator imported from ME2.

The Infiltrator is, IMHO, very over powered, and very fun to play with. The game is so much easier in this run with the same difficulty setting– battles that seemed like impossible in my last run was a cake walk now. I remember dying numerous times during the Citadel mission especially the part with Phatoms and Nemesis, but not in this run, in fact, some battles turned out very differently, many messy battles in my last run was pretty easy this time as the Infiltrator sniped the enemies before they are even ready! Cool.

My favorite sniping riffle now is the N7 Valiant. Have not purchased the Black Widow yet, and will see which is a better sniping riffle.

Complains on Tuchaka saga:

1. How did Wreav even know my Shepard destroyed the Genophage research data? Maelon was killed, and Mordin did not survive the suicide mission, could it be Miranda? She was the only surviving person who was with me in that mission.

2. If the Reapers want to stop the cure, the destroyer could have just smashed the shroud tower. Or the Salarian STGs could have bombed the tower if they are not in favor of curing the Genophage instead of just sabotaging the tower.

3. How did Wreav learn to fly the Kodiak? Thought Krogans are not allowed to own any space faring vehicles?

The happy ending from this was I fooled Wreav into believing the Genophage was cured.

 

Mass Effect 3 Ending Thoughts

Warning: Massive Spoilers.

I searched the internet for answers, and realized that it was full of furore against Bioware & EA. Wow. I read about Indoctrination Theory, but the recent Bioware’s announcement of the Extended Cut DLC just cull this speculation.

Count me in as one of the disappointed fans about the ending. I have started another character run, and couldn’t help but think is this all worth doing? Perhaps the writers in Bioware are trying to tell a story of life that no matter how hard you try, sometimes life just sucks. We know, many followers of Bioware since Baldur’s Gate are not young anymore, and understood this, and that’s one of the REASONS we play games! We do not need the game we play to remind us on life.

Many Bioware supporters just brush off the complains as fans wanting a happily ever after ending, and defended the ending as “Artistic Integrity”.  Have they thought about DAO when they make such degrading statement? Many players considered the self sacrifice ending in DAO the most beautiful and fitting, and brought tears to the players who chose this ending. In fact, personally, I think ME3 ending would be perfect there and then when Citadel opens up and attaches itself to the Crucible, with Shepard & Anderson looking out at Earth, dying from the wounds…

I just do not understand why the need to bring up the Child, the supposedly creators of Reapers, and thus the complains. Since the Crucible is a device drawn up and improved through the previous cycles, how did the Child even know about its function? Why did the builders/ planners of the Crucible even include a function of synthesis in the Crucible since that is something they do not want to see? I would think the designers from various cycles were only bent on destroying the Reapers with limited time left and should have only one function! Hmmm… Let’s see, maybe we need a few more years to finish up the Crucible so that we could add a feature to synthesize with the Reapers while they are destroying us and synthesizing us with them? It does N.O.T. M.A.K.E. S.E.N.S.E.

The Crucible couldn’t be a Reaper device because why would Reapers want to add a feature on destroying all Reapers or even the control feature?

Reapers are intelligent sentient machines, this is what we have learned. Shepard crossed paths with Harbringer many times in ME2, and I was wondering why didn’t Harbringer even talk to Shepard this time? Now we know, they are dumbed down to become just machines controlled by the Child.

I shall not repeat what other great points raised by other fans, and the followings are just some additional rants that I have on the ending.

Moving of Citadel

How did it even move and pass through the Mass Relay? Why move in the first place? Let’s see… the human alliance need to mount the Crucible that will destroy us to the Citadel, let us help them by moving the Citadel to the Sol system. Don’t talk bull on protection of the Citadel, if so, they could just station a few destroyers inside… Anyway, the Crucible mounted to the Citadel without any Reapers’ interference.

Effects of Crucible

From what I read on the possible endings, the EMS does nothing major to the endings except determining whether Shepard lives or not in one ending, and why does it even determine how the Mass Relays are destroyed?

Shouldn’t that be the completeness of Crucible that will determine how effective it is and not the overall EMS since the Crucible only made up a very small fraction of the total Military Strength. Bioware could have a separate effective bar for the Crucible– the more resources you employ into building it, the more effective it is. Eg., Kosumi, Salarians (which will make our decision on Genophage even more difficult), Cerberus Scientists might add bonus into the Crucible effectiveness. Highest effective level will only destroy the Reapers, medium effectiveness may disable the Mass Relay as well, low effectiveness may even kill all other synthetics on top of disabling the Mass Relay, lowest level could have the potential to annihilate the whole galaxy…

Effective Military Strength

If Bioware decided to ignore decisions from previous games to count in ME3, can they at least make sure the EMS does matter?

At first I thought it could be like DAO where the more forces you gather, the easier will be the final fight, but this is not so. They could have made the end battle slightly different with different level of EMS, e.g, add some helping forces in the last battle if your EMS is high enough…

Highest EMS would mean additional forces helping you to fend off the waves, other squad mates not in your final team could also be scoring some victories in other battles, making the destruction of the Reaper destroyer easier or even take down the Harbringer, thus the dash to the conduit is easy and relatively unharmed (Shepard may live). Medium EMS will have the final battle as it is (some squad members may die including Shepard), extremely low EMS could have an ending where Normandy is destroyed, most squad mates including Shepard die looking at the Thanix missed the Reaper destroyer again, and have a cut scene showing Reapers destroying world after world and finally peace again… Cycle repeats or make the battles extremely difficult to win.

What do I know? It is not for us to question their artistic integrity.

Mass Effect 3 Day 17 (Final)

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Didn’t realize I was already near the end game after the Priority:Rannoch mission. It was followed by Priority: Thessia, then was on a no return journey– routing the Cerberus HQ, followed by Earth. Think I didn’t complete some of the Citadel quests, as I wanted so much to see what’s going to happen next.

The Rannoch mission is touching, and I am so relieved that I could broker a peace between the Geth and the Quarians. I was biting my fingers when Shepard was trying to talk down Admiral Gerrel with Legion counting the percentage completion. What an ass is the Admiral Gerrel? So glad Shepard punched him on the stomach not so long ago.

I was surprised at how things turn out at Thessia, thinking that it would just be another quest that would require me to just go in, battle the Reaper’s force, and retrieve the Catalyst. Finally, had a long overdue talk with the Illusive Man, and together with the next mission at Horizon, found out why the Cerberus were behaving like they are in the game. I still wish that Shepard could have a chance to talk them down and unite them against the Reapers, but, well, that’s how Bioware wants them to be.

The most satisfying part in the Cerberus HQ is sitting on the Illusive Man’s seat, hahaha… I am now the new Illusive Man. Of course the killing of Kai Leng is satisfying too, not the final battle itself, but the cutscene and the Renegade Interrupt that punched a blade into Kai Leng’s kidney. Finally, getting rid of the bastard that has been taunting me since Citadel, and I thought I could kill him in Thessia… The battle with Kai Leng was a tough one especially on the part where there were other Phantoms and Nemesis helping him, it was a big confused battle where I had difficulty getting my orientation right and running away from the Phantoms and Kai Leng. I was running, spamming Medi-Gel, firing at whatever in front of me, wondering when will this going to end, then I saw Kai Leng on the far end, and to my great surprise, with his shield’s gone (thanks to Garrus and EDI), concentrated my firing at him, took him out and ended the battle.

Towards the end of the game, Black Widow has replaced M-13 Raptor as my sniping riffle of choice. With a Thermal Clip modification, Black Widow’s reservoir of ammo is pretty good, and I have not run into situations where I am out of ammo. I will re-try the final battle using Raptor and see whether it is easier with a Raptor or Black Widow. I have also switched back to Phaeston after trying Revenant for a few missions. Phaeston though with lower damage output, is pretty accurate and easier to use than the Revenant, and it has as big ammo reservoir as the Revenant.

Priority Earth is in my humble opinion, the best part of the game. I have united the Galaxy and now come a full cycle, battling the Reapers on Earth. The battles are just epic. I talked about how difficult it was to take down 3 Brutes not too long ago, and you get to face 4 Brutes at the same time now; thanks to them and I began to appreciate the value of Shotguns.

The last battle of the game was especially difficult, open space, with Reapers force flanking you from different directions, and worst of all, Banshees, and 3 of them at the same time. I didn’t know the final wave is never ending until you hit the Thanix Missile controller (thought I would clear the enemies then go for the controller). I was cursing and swearing, how many Banshees do I have to kill? Damn it… and needless to say got myself killed umpteen times, until I reset the game difficulty to casual, then to story mode… and finally decided to make a dash to the controller instead of fighting the wave.

The end game was rather, erm, unexpected, and left me wanting for more. I will probably talk about it in another post. Overall, the journey has been very satisfying, in terms of game play I would think ME3 is a vast improvement over ME2 except some minor areas.

I can finally take a good rest.

Mass Effect 3 Day 13

Warning: Spoiler Alert

I am on the 13th day of playing the game, clocked over 35 hours so far, but I suspect a lot of the time was passed idling in Normandy where Shepard was left staring at Miss Traynor while I am doing something else.

Have been busy scanning new sectors for war assets, tidying up the quests list, and currently in the middle of Geth Dreadnought quest.

Despite some minor complaints like the Cerberus, how the mini assignments are being handled, and etc, I have enjoyed the game very much. Did I mention the battles are pretty tough to handle for a shooter idiot like me? At times I wanted to give up or lower the difficulty level like engaging 3 brutes or 2 Banshees at the same time…

I have developed a very careful approach, whenever I step into an open area, hmm… clips lying around, hint hint. Look around for good sniping spots and hang in there to wait for enemies to appear. My favorite sniping riffle is the M-13 Raptor. This is probably the best weapon in the game so far! I wasn’t impressed with the damage and stats of the riffle at first and was reluctant to switch from my trusted Viper, but boy, the firing rate alone makes up for all the shortcomings. Atlas? No problem, snipe it from a distance, and it will be done after emptying 2 full clips onto it. Javik’s grenade is invaluable as well, I couldn’t think of other ways to pass the few Cerberus Nemesis and Phantoms in Citadel except throwing these grenades at them.

The hardest decision that I have made so far is the curing of Krogan Genophage. I have no problem accepting the quest at first in order to get the Turians and Krogans working with each other. Furthermore, in this character’s play through in ME2, the data for the cure is preserved.

As the game progressed, seeing how violent and vengeful Wreav is, my resolve was shaken, especially before landing on Tuchaka, Shepard was given the option of sabotaging the cure by the Salarians. I kept my silence all the way, contemplating the options, until finally reaching the Shroud Tower. I took a deep breath, recalling the good friend Grunt who sacrifice himself to get Shepard out, believing there is still good in the Krogans and that Urdot Bakara will become the true leader and there will be finally peace with the Krogans, I proceeded with the cure. Wow. Talk about how hard a decision is in a game, I don’t recall I have to make such a hard decision in any games that I have played and it surpasses the dilemma before the final battle in DAO.

I wonder how will this will play out with another character where there is no Grunt, the data destroyed, Maelon & Mordin dead.

The other very nice change in the game which I have mentioned before is the squad mates do not just stand at their location all the time, they will go to different parts of Normandy, chat with each other, and visit to Citadel as well. I have had a great time with Garrus at the Citadel shooting the bottles and let him win on that– the game portrayed the doom day mood pretty well here, just do whatever harmless fun you would like, as who knows when is your turn to die in the midst of a Reapers invasion? For my Shepard, he is just glad to have a heart to heart talk with Garrus, and made his day.

Mass Effect 3 Day 11

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Had good gaming sessions last couple of days and made a lot of progress, completed the Tuchanka quest, 2 N7 quests, and the Citadel II priority quest.

Last week, I made a post on how we are meeting ex-squad mates/ associates left, right, and center, this time round, I am seeing them dying one by one – first it was Mordin, followed by Thane. The demise of Thane is quite emotional for me, and I had this emptiness feeling after leaving the hospital, luckily I bumped into Jack in the Purgatory and felt a lot better after that- “Everyone knows you can’t dance!”, lol, hope she doesn’t have to die… I like Jack a lot more in ME3, perhaps because Shepard is no longer working for the Cerberus? Back in Normandy, my Shepard had a good talk with Garrus at the memorial wall about death. I think this part of the game is very well done.

Back to Cerberus. They are just plain evil this time, and seems so illogical to me. If Cerberus has maintained their moral ambiguity in ME3, the game will be a lot more interesting– should we work with Cerberus? Or at least come to a compromise? I am just curious why didn’t the Illusive man contact Shepard after all the sabotages by him? My Shepard didn’t leave in bad terms with the Illusive man except bombing the Collectors’ base, and have sort of “soften” his perception of Cerberus while working with them.

Somehow, the human Alliance hatred for Cerberus is also very unusual. In reality, it should be very different, the humans might not be agreeable to the means of Cerberus, but they should not hate the group who is promoting their interest. Just like in real life, Country “A” though officially condemned it’s own terrorist group, but on the ground, the people do not hate them and might even sympathize with the group, which is different from the victims.

I guess I have hit the mid way point of the game like “Horizon” quest in ME2. I picked up a lot of quests in Citadel… Gee, I really don’t like how the mini quests are implemented in ME3- because I didn’t speak to the person that requires assistance, it is difficult for me to remember who actually gave the quest and where is he/she located. What I have done after finding a few items is, to run around and see if anyone is “talkable”. Bad implementation.