It’s really late in coming but as promised I finally got around to finishing the review…please be aware that the game has been out now for many months and there are spoilers in the text although I have indicated where they are in advance.
The circle is complete. Yes, rant all you want that I begin this review with a quote from good old Star Wars but hyperbole aside the final game in the Mass Effect trilogy is here and we can look back at the series in its entirety and compare it to the genre heavyweights. To be honest it has taken me a while to try and put my thoughts into words as I went through many different ideas of how to write this opening paragraph and though it might seem a bit too obvious to bring up the Star Wars comparison this early in the review it is certainly apt. Mass Effect 3 brings to conclusion almost six years of grand space opera that easily rivals anything released in the past few decades and places it right at the top of the heap with other genre heavy weights.
*Updated Aug 25 2012*
This is a guest post by Rei who is a translator/editor and software developer who loved watching his city get wrecked at the beginning of ME3. Additionally, like many fans, he played femshep because broshep’s voice was kinda dry plus he didn’t feel like watching his N7 ass for 100 hours.
The Mass Effect 3 ending has become a social phenomenon of its own category. Somewhere between the apparently low-budget ending sequence, the contrived interpretations and the misuse of charitable organizations to bring attention to the fans’ disappointment, there’s a decent ending: an ending that does for the most part make sense and could have been emotionally satisfying if not for a few unfortunate circumstances.
I realize the brewing firestorm that is going on right now with Mass Effect fans about the ending to Mass Effect 3 but I really do hope no one replies to this post with a lot of vitriol. I do not write this blog entry as a way to force or influence the way those who don’t like it think. Everyone’s experience with the ending is valid. If you hated it then I have no complaints to listen to what you have to say as long as it doesn’t descend into ranting or name calling like I have read on other forums. On the other hand if you liked it I would love to hear how it affected you or what you thought. Let’s keep this civil, please. Finally, this entire post spoils the entire plot of the game so if you intend to play it without any knowledge be warned that I touch on many things here.
Okay, this is going to be a short post but after seeing a video game trailer today I almost threw up on my laptop as I was laughing so hard. People who know me by now realize that I have always been an ardent Star Trek fan over Star Wars. Yes, this is one of those eternal science fiction debates that will probably wage on for the rest of eternity with no easy answer in sight. Actually, I find it ironic that I’m writing this right after my rather long post about the relative merits of Mass Effect which has been often described as being the “Star Wars” of this generation where I came to the conclusion that the two series should not be compared yet after this video it makes me wonder if Mass Effect has already surpassed it.
On the eve of the release of the final game in the trilogy I’ve finally gotten around to writing about why I thought Canadian video game company Bioware’s Mass Effect series was perhaps the most influential new franchise of the past decade. Others have already done so who more or less succeed in mentioning many of the points I had in mind yet I decided the time was right for my own thoughts. Some writers have made their case that Mass Effect is the “Star Wars” of this generation which I find an amusing opinion albeit open to much fan derision. It is not as if the series doesn’t have worth but this sort of comparison is bound to ignite a lot of divisive chatter amongst the Internet crowd.
Alice: Madness Returns is a stylistic tour du force that marries an altogether visual cornucopia of wonders with solid platformer gameplay to make one of 2011’s best video game entries. Though it suffers from some overly long levels that tend to overstay their welcome far too often and a rather odd implementation of a combat lock-on mechanic the game still manages to surprise with some inspired level design and a deep mature storyline that has a remarkably dark narrative that is sure to cause some heads to turn.
For those individuals who are looking to give a unique gift to a diehard gamer here is a website at cafepress that provides avatar-based gifts for those with Xbox Live accounts. While the inclusion of avatars initially met with much criticism from some diehard gamers who thought they were too kiddy-like in appearance and served no purpose they have proven to be resilient enough for Microsoft to keep using them in games and through their social services. There is no argument however, that Microsoft devised them in reaction to the positive consumer response from Nintendo’s Wii yet in fairness the Rare studio designed avatars have much better range in movement and generally have a pleasant next-gen sheen which the Wii lacks.
Howard The Duck. The movie, not the comic book. What about it you ask? Simply put, it is one of those instances where I went against popular opinion and liked the film even though I knew it was full of inconsistencies, an awful narrative and a duck costume so pedestrian that my pillow could have made it himself in his spare time. Which brings us to Kalypso’s The First Templar which plays like a good old fashion hack and slash action romp with amazing graphics, engaging narrative and fluid controls. Oh wait, you mean this is 2011 not 2005?