Spoiler Warning S4E19: My Mommy Says I’m Special!

By Shamus
on Jan 6, 2011
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

You know, I don’t hate this game nearly as much as Fallout 3, although you couldn’t tell that from our conversation. For the record, Fallout 3 was a vortex of mind-numbing stupidity where the setting, the characters, the premise, and the story were irritating and infantile. Mass Effect 2 was merely a disappointment. Really, I wouldn’t have been nearly as irate with the game if its predecessor hadn’t been so good. If the next Gears of War game aspired to the Mass Effect 2 level of storytelling, I’d be overjoyed.

Sadly, you can’t really modulate criticism to account for this. We either comment on something or we don’t.


Link (YouTube)

Oh, now that you’ve watched the show I guess I should point out that there was a pretty heavy Jade Empire spoiler in there. So I hope you skipped over that. Yeah. Someone spoiled the plot of Jade Empire. I don’t remember who. I think it was Rutskarn.

Yeah, pretty sure it was Rutskarn.

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  1. X2-Eliah says:

    I can honestly say that I hate ME2 relatively more than F3 (even if ‘hate’ is way too strong of a word). Why?

    F3, I never expected it to bee overly serious & sensible, whereas ME1 set the bar really high, for the most part, and having thrown the hive of inconsistencies and idiocies nestled within ME2’s plot/story/whatever was a major issue.

    And I am still sour over the decision to ditch the Mako and planet-exploring in favour of a damn minesweeper minigame.

    • Deadpool says:

      While I agree that ME2 is a drop in story quality (god the railroading is brutal) I think we may be remembering ME1 a little too fondly… It didn’t set the bar THAT high…

      • superglucose says:

        ME1 was mediocre. ME2 was… shockingly, mediocre.

        Serious step up from Dragon Age though… maybe Bioware’s getting better?

      • Raygereio says:

        Railroading isn’t the issue here and it’s not like ME1 was the epitome of free-roaming. Both games have the exact same amount of free choice in direction that you get in any BioWare game.
        I do agree with you that people tend speak a bit too fondly about ME1. Its plot honestly isn’t that good, in my opinion. Sure, it doesn’t decent into mind numbing stupidity like ME2’s main plot; but I would never describe it as a well constructed story.

    • Jeff says:

      I hate the sweeping, but I prefer it to the endless planets with the same few buildings in the guddam Mako.

      • krellen says:

        Tooling around in the Mako was my absolute favourite part of ME. No joke. This might have been flavoured by the spectacular, breath-taking vistas you could so often see planet-side in the Mako, the likes of which are not found anywhere in ME2 (although at least one Hammerhead planet has some nice views itself). The sight of Klendragon from its moon, or the planet in the binary system, or the Rothe planet (with its twin up in the sky) were all just awesome to behold. The sight of the Earth from the surface of the Moon, and the planet with the artistic installment of an artificial ring system were also quite remarkable.

        ME and the Mako put the wonder of the universe back into me, letting me look at the wide-open cosmos in a way that harkens back to the wonder and joy Carl Sagan took in the universe, and ME2 crapped all over that with its gritty darkness, making me hate the universe again. It’s simply unforgivable.

        • Aldowyn says:

          ME is beyond compare in the sheer detail of the universe. Every planet you go to has a significant blurb, and a good portion have some historical significance as well. Considering maybe 10% of people actually read those, it’s impressive.

          As for the Mako parts, I like them too. The space is beautiful – though I never figured out why the Earth is reversed. I do have issues with the terrain – the Mako itself I can deal with – and the cookie cutter quests. The dialogue was cool (Major Kyle’s biotic commune stands out, mostly because a friend was telling me about it), but the areas themselves… *shudder* most repetitive I’ve ever seen…

          • Eddie says:

            Personally, I wasn’t so enamoured because every time there was something cool or interesting in the blurb I wanted to go down to the surface and see it for myself. Or alternatively they would say something like “There is a large concentration of [insert element here] on this planet.” and it would feel like a waste of time. It made the game-world feel small because I was constantly being shown its edges and limitations.

            • krellen says:

              The Elder Scrolls suck. Nothing about them has made me stare in wonder, nothing about them has made me even want to own the damn games. Size isn’t everything. It’s the substance that matters; ME has it.

              • Roll-a-Die says:

                I agree with some modifiers, it really depends in which TES game your playing how much substance it has. Daggerfall, size massive, substance, decent, Arena size massive, substance near nill, Battlespire, size decent, substance decent, Morrowind size decent, substance massive, Oblivion size small, substance smaller.

                Morrowind is the one that’ll make you stare in wonder though. Even though it does suffer from the 3 houses and a tavern style town building someplaces(COUGH*Kuuhl-Seyda Neen-Gnaar Mok-*Cough) It’s really just fucking freaky to visit a place where people live in the shells of massive sentient crabs, or mushrooms grown from souls of creatures beyond comprehension forged in a mages gem into seed which is then further farmed into a house, or houses that are made of umm, probably normal sandstone, oh fuck it, Haalu were the most boring anyway. Further the entire mainquest is just fucking awesomeness incarnate, you go from this little dufus straight off the boat into Vvardenfell and end with you battling forsaken half gods on the ruins of the recreation of one of the divine beings who forged the world from pure unchanging stasis, which was the likely catalyst to the utter destruction of a technologically capable race bar 1 that we know of. Suffice it to say, Morrowind was the best in the series for substance. If you play a TES game play that one, don’t judge it by Oblivion, that was a massive turd sold on the jeweled scepter of good reviews.

                Daggerfall, however wasn’t without it’s pluses, it had an “Oh my god WHAT THE FUCK” huge world space. Was about 20 times the size of Fuel(around the size of two Great Britains, IIRC, Fuel being 14,000 km’s, Daggerfall being 250,000 km’s), with albeit less detail. It also had an intense description of the politics of the situation, but it wasn’t for everyone. I would advice if you want to play it, wait for daggerxl, a full engine recreation, of every element, then an improvement to implement shit that was in the design doc, but was never implemented, as well as making it as modifiable as morrowind.

                Note not trying to force you to play them, just trying to counter your claims a bit. I honestly get them, but truly, saying that ME has more substance than Morrowind is like saying, I don’t know, cake is better when it’s ice cream cake, to be as inane as possible. They have roughly the same amount of substance, one just displays it’s substance better.

                • krellen says:

                  I judge TES by Morrowind, the only one I’ve played.

                  I hated it so much, I sent the game to Canada, gratis.

                • Galad says:

                  last time I tried playing morrowind, I got stumped really early in the main quest. Going to see some doctor in some ruins, I think..I had no damn clue what I was supposed to do..

                • Sekundaari says:

                  I don’t think that’s in the main quest, actually, if we’re thinking of the same thing (if the last thing you did was finding and bringing the puzzle box). You can find that quest by talking to the first guy you must ask things from in the main quest, but it’s actually for the Mages Guild.

                  So if I’m thinking of the right thing, you should go (have gone) talk to Caius Cosades again, the shirtless guy you originally came to find in Balmora.

              • Rutskarn says:

                In my eyes, TES: Morrowind has tremendous substance. It may not have many branching dialogue trees, or cutscenes, or voice actors, but the world has a depth of history and politics that’s easy to pick up, yet bears extensive study. When I did the main quest for the first time, it was fun, interesting, and made sense–something ME2 has so far not completely managed–but it wasn’t until I did it the second time, reading up in the massive in-game library of books and interrogating people about their career and their views on the world, that I realized just how much depth the story had. I wasn’t just coming in to deal with some terror from the past, I was slotting into thousands and thousands of years of intrigue, religious schism, conquest, xenophobia, prophecy, and scrib jerky. Most fantasy novels don’t put that grade of effort into their setting and history.

                Now, Mass Effect also has a fairly complex setting, but even that is not quite so vast as Morrowind’s–not that it needs it, or indeed, that any game *needs* it. But Morrowind’s story was enough–in my eyes–to make a good game fantastic.

                • krellen says:

                  I couldn’t get past the “go do some other stuff with guilds and come back later” part of the main quest. And the world was just so damn brown. I’m so sick of brown. I live in a desert and I don’t see so damn much brown.

                • Jarenth says:

                  I actually really liked that part. So many open-world games try to give the main quest a sense of urgency, a feeling of “you should do this thing now, everything is at stake ever!“, which never works because I can faff about for hours on end and nothing bad will happen anyway. Morrowind at least offered an explanation for why I’m doing chores for the Fighter’s Guild instead of saving the world.

                  Incidentally, this was one of the things that turned me off of Oblivion.

                • krellen says:

                  It might have been fun if I found the world, the characters, or the story even remotely interesting. But I didn’t. The game lacked a hook, and I wasn’t biting.

                • Sekundaari says:

                  I don’t see Morrowind as having that much brown.

                  The Ashlands are nothing but gray, for example. ;)

        • Jarenth says:

          Also: once you learn to accept that the Mako is less of a vehicle and more of a lazy developer’s way to be done with coding quicker so he can get home early, driving around the various worlds becomes absolutely hilarious.

          I honestly can’t tell you how many hours I’ve wasted just driving up mountains and launching the Mako into gravity-ignoring tailspins, but it’s probably more than I can safely admit without being laughed at.

          • Chuck says:

            I do enjoy those barrel rolls.

            If the controls weren’t so finicky the mako would be a lot better recieved I think.

            And if there were fewer mountains.

            • Luhrsen says:

              I just remember how disappointed I was when I didn’t ‘accidently’ fling myself off the asteroid in the “Bring Down the Sky” mission. Granted if it was possible I’m sure people would have complained about it. :P

  2. Deadpool says:

    Not that big of a spoiler really… Only a spoiler to people who played the game.

    I agree with staying away from Dragon Age though. Fun game, boring to watch…

    • X2-Eliah says:

      Fun game – for exactly a bit less than one playthrough.

      Anyone who’s played DA:O at least twice full-through will understand.. Amazing the first time, horrible the second time.

      • krellen says:

        It’s okay for a second play through if you wait a year between plays.

        • Rosseloh says:

          Agreed here. It’s been over a year for me. Although to be fair I’ve only made it halfway through my second run and I’m already “taking a break”.

          • krellen says:

            I spent most of my winter break replaying it and unlocking all the achievements, actually. Having my self-sacrificing character who took the archdemon herself because Alistair broke up with her and replaying the end game so she sent Alistair off to die instead was especially amusing.

            • Aldowyn says:

              You did ALL the achievements? Doesn’t that take like half a dozen playthroughs? I’m pretty sure there’s achievements for mastering all the skills in a tree, and I don’t think you can master more than one tree with a character…

              On another note, my mom’s played considerably more than I have – of course she has the difficulty on easy (shucks, so do I. I just suck at the combat), but she played at least two in a row.

      • RTBones says:

        I can say that while I have enjoyed DA:O (I am on my first play through) – the combat gets tedious. Admittedly, I have been trying to avoid setting the difficulty to easy to get through spots – but having read the posts here, that may be my best option for a game that I otherwise enjoy.

    • Robyrt says:

      Here are the strikes against Dragon Age, keeping in mind that I found the game fun and even bought the expansion pack:

      1. High combat difficulty plus two dozen hours of combat means long stretches of boring episodes; ME2 is already skirting the edge of this problem by splitting 30-minute combat sequences into two episodes

      2. Efforts to mitigate #1 lead to a min-maxed party of 3 mages and Alistair, which means even fewer things to talk about during combat

      3. Main character dialogue is unreadably small subtitles in 480p, not voices + big movie subtitles like ME2, so it’s harder to follow the plot over 4 people talking

      4. Lots of interesting dialogue choices that Josh would have to pause on, plus dialogue-based fetch quests that would further drag down the pacing of a 15-minute episode

      5. I will be incredibly disappointed if no one offers to take Alistair to the prom

      • Jeff says:

        Your 480p comment is of course only related to consoles, which can only lead me to *nyah* and shake my head sadly.

        For pretty much every game mentioned here (Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Fallout 3/NV) the computer version is superior. Controls, patches, and modding being key.

        Dragon Age is especially annoying without mods – one of the sample mods that the devs put out unlocks all your tactics (ie. “party AI”) slots rather than force you to invest points in it. Subsequent player-made ones restored options. (For example, there’s one trigger that appears on a particular default tactic set which you can’t manually set.)

        • Simon Buchan says:

          He’s referring to Spoiler Warning it – YouTube is 480p, not consoles (they would be 720p *at least* anyway).

          Not that I disagree that DA would be inferior on consoles….

      • Aldowyn says:

        Not to mention the fact that, at the current rate, it would take around a year or more to play through.

      • Galad says:

        ah, um, there was a forum post somewhere in the DA official forums, which rings so much true, basically saying “the real difficulty setting of DA is:

        0 mages – nightmare
        1 mage – hard
        2 mages – normal
        3 mages – easy. ”

        Three well placed aoe spells can win a hard battle. Usually not blizzard or the like that have a stupid long casting animation..though those can be used too sometimes for archers/mages in the back that don’t move..fireball and the like are much more often accessible..

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Finally you switched to the beam weapon,when the fight got almost over.It is perfect for mowing down scions and the harbinger.Though when you are infiltrator,you use it only on harbinger because he has all three healths,while armor goes down so fast when you burn it.

  4. Adalore says:

    Noooes! You just overtook my own current game of Masseffect2! … Also battle rifle is my friend, one burst per husk.

  5. psivamp says:

    “Which makes them worthless as enemies-” Almost dies.

    *Later*

    Josh beatdown by husk.

    —-

    I played DA:O on the 360 and I was immensely disappointed with the combat. I may also have gone into the game with nostalgia running pretty deep thinking that DA:O was going to be the heir to Baldur’s Gate.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Sure,but he almost died after being beaten by two husks for 30 seconds.In 1,two husks would kill you in about 2 seconds.And later when he died,it was because he was pelted by a beam before the husk reached him.Really,making the husks not be suicide bombers in 2 nerfed them quite a lot.They were dreadful in 1,especially when they ambush you by the dozen.Here,they are just a nuisance.

    • superglucose says:

      DA:O had pretty obvious combat… I kept seeing so many people QQ about how “hard” it was I decided to do a Nightmare playthrough. Only trouble I”ve had? Well apart from the occasional and sporadic “WTF” moment, only the spiders (OVERWHELM > YOU MAGE) have given me trouble. Seriously, spider webs then overwhelms as soon as you’re out of the web? GG.

      • Zaxares says:

        Me too. There were a couple of tough encounters (the High Dragon, the three mage+mooks mobs in one building in the city), but on the whole, I never found DA:O particularly difficult. Wise use of positioning and a good party build can work wonders.

        The only REALLY difficult DA adventure I’ve had so far is Golems of Amgarrak. Good lord… As a friend of mine likes to put it, “Golems is where all the difficulty of Origins and Awakening has gone into.”

        • Kand says:

          I personally found golems to be quite a disappointment difficulty wise, mostly because it was praised as being really hard. Playing it with my high level tank warrior, most of it could be soloed mainly because most enemies just couldn’t hit me or even if they hit, would deal next to no damage.

          • krellen says:

            The Harvester gave my Duellist Rogue some trouble (her defence was so high, she nearly never got hit), but it was less the Harvester itself and more its contingent of mooks. I still managed to beat it on Hardcore, though.

      • Robyrt says:

        There are a few big reasons people complain about DA:O combat:

        1. At launch, the difficulty was bugged and certain battles were way tougher than they should be.

        2. It’s not balanced between classes and talent trees at all. If your main character is a stealthy rogue and you haven’t visited the Mage Tower, you are going to die about 10 times more often than the guy who has 3 characters capable of casting Heal.

        3. You might not actually wipe on most combat encounters, but you’ll need to pause a lot and babysit all your characters. A lot of people prefer to play WOW-style, which is challenging even on Easy difficulty.

  6. JohnW says:

    Say, is dork still the new cool?

  7. 4th Dimension says:

    Not much of the spoiler. I managed to figure out the plot by only knowing there was a turnpoint and a betrayal in the game.

  8. guy says:

    Oh man, I hate the super husk things so very much. They’re annoyingly resistant to the particle beam. I didn’t see any of the burning husks, but they’re kind of annoying too.

    Happily, there’s only 2-3 gunships in the game.

    • Ringwraith says:

      I think you’ll find that the particle beam doesn’t work well on armour, and it specifically says so in its description. It’s designed for chewing up single targets’ barriers and shields.

      Anyhow, I didn’t find them so annoying as everyone seems to, I liked them similar how I liked the Scions, hard and kill you a lot, so you hate them, but a nice challenge and force you to get thinking, especially on later difficulties.

      • Friend of Dragons says:

        Yeah; they do a good job of mixing up the cover based combat by constantly floating towards you, so they require the player to constantly be on the move as well(because if they get too close to you, they will wreck you) rather than just sitting behind one piece of cover.

        • Ringwraith says:

          During the second fight I spent many a time playing ring-around-the-roses with one.
          Amusing in the amount of panicked running away that was done.

          • Zaxares says:

            Agreed. I never really found the Praetorians particularly difficult. They seem to focus on Shepard with a near-exclusivity, so just flag your squadmates back at a safe distance, then just keep running around in circles from cover to cover while your squadmates kill it for you. Simple.

            Husk + Scion mobs, on the other hand… *shudder* The Husks pin you down and stun-lock you while the Scions just blow you apart. It’s much worse on higher difficulty settings because of the stupid combat system that says “Your biotics suddenly do not work on this enemy because he’s wearing armor!”

    • Aldowyn says:

      I believe you’re speaking of abominations, and they only show up on collector or reaper controlled areas, as far as I know.

  9. monojono says:

    OK, I’ve played through ME2 twice but I don’t remember the game ever making it clear that Harbinger was a reaper (I always assumed he was the ‘head’ collector who appeared in cutscenes occasionally). Have I just missed something, or did the game never actually give any clear idea of what/who harbinger is?

    • LurkerAbove says:

      Me too, I have at least four playthroughs and I didn’t realize Harbinger was a reaper.

      • Josh says:

        It makes it clear in the final cutscene at the end of the last mission when the camera pans up and you finally see the full hologram of who the Collector General was talking to.

      • Kanodin says:

        This is has always been strange for me. First time Harbinger “assumed direct control” I just instantly assumed it was a reaper, didn’t even consider other options. Yet I see plenty of people who didn’t think of that till the end if at all. No idea why there would be such a variable response.

    • Tzeneth says:

      Edit: Josh beat me to it and didn’t put in the nice strike tag for spoilers ;)

      It does reveal this
      It is actually revealed by the scene at the end where we see the collector with the glowing eyes looking up at an image of a reaper and the reaper saying, “Releasing control.” Essentially it was meant as a big reveal that “surprise” they were being controlled by the reapers the entire time.

      • LurkerAbove says:

        Very cool. I always thought it was the Collector General taking control/releasing etc.

        • Aldowyn says:

          well, harbinger is normally controlling the general, so you’re partly right. He just switches to mooks to try to kill you.

          More on that, I figured he should be like almost as tough as mecha-Saren. I suppose a large part of that was the “upgrades”, but I always figured Sovereign’s possession of him was a huge part.

      • superglucose says:

        It’s supposed to be some huge surprise? Everyone’s telling you all game that “Hey the collectors are working for the reapers” and when we find out it’s true it’s a spoiler?

        SPOILER: HARRY POTTER IS A WIZARD.

        • Jarenth says:

          I refuse to believe that.

        • monojono says:

          It wasn’t that they were working for the reapers, but that Harbinger, the guy who assumed control and constantly got his ass kicked, was an actual reaper and not just the collector general. In retrospect I can see why it was obvious to some people, but the game never really gave harbinger much significance. You could remove his character from the story entirely and the only difference would be a few repetetive combat taunts.

  10. RTBones says:

    For this fight that will be the first thing of the next episode, I actually used the original grenade launcher.

  11. shiny_things says:

    While not discussed in this episode, others apparently have similar sentiments towards dialogue options with certain characters, as seen here.

  12. Eddie says:

    I haven’t played Mass Effect 2 (or all of Mass Effect 1, for that matter), so correct me if this doesn’t gel with some other part of the game, but it seems like when control is being assumed the enemy should be basically invincible to bullets and you have to either run away or hide or use some unusual environmental way of killing it. That way, the enemy gains a lot more weight as a foe and it would break up the combat and “Assuming control” might sound a little less ridiculous if the player learnt to fear the consequences of it.

  13. Joe says:

    Speaking as I’ve never played any of them, the “assuming control” thing is really, REALLY stupid. The end boss of the game is not supposed to be constantly popping up and getting his ass handed to him from about 3 or 4 hours in. The end boss, be he the collector general, reaper fleet, or general Big Scary Thing From Beyond Space (c), needs to be established as a credible threat. And having him, even in name only, pop up and supercharge an average mook completely eliminates him as a credible threat. Especially when an actual super-mook (giant husk things with fifty-thousand armor) or even, as we learned from the husks, a LITERAL disposable mook is a more serious threat to player survival.

    Although I get the feeling that Harbinger winds up being the Giant Liquid Human Terminator that Shamus so thoroughly ravaged in his discussion on the end. Regardless,the fact that you’ve shot and killed at least 20 (likely 50, if you wind up in a lot of collector battles) things with that name still eliminates the threat.

    But like I said, I haven’t played it. So I don’t really have the right to criticize it yet.

    • krellen says:

      Harbinger is not the baby Reaper you kill at the end. It continues to deliver dialogue after the defeat of the Reaper-baby.

    • superglucose says:

      When he’s assuming direct control it’s not like that’s Harbinger you’re facing… you’re just facing a few subroutines. A Fighter may be Dominated by a Wizard, but he’s still just a guy waving a pointy stick.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Ill increase my dorkiness now by making an analogy here with power rangers:
      When zed makes his monster of the week grow,thats like assuming direct control in me2.But when the rangers fought zed in person,he was still kicking their asses.

      So what harbinger is doing here is simply boosting the mooks a bit.They still are mooks,only a bit tougher,thats all.

      And the real harbinger isnt the baby reaper,but a full grown one that we dont end up fighting here.Maybe in me3 well get to fight him in person.

      • Eddie says:

        It can make sense that the mooks aren’t that much more powerful, but the problem is that it’s a wasted oppurtunity. This was the first time they could let the player feel that the Reapers were incredibly powerful, rather than just telling them. If the assumified mooks were significantly more powerful to the point that just having a regular gunfight with them was a bad idea and Harbinger was still only using a few subroutines, you can give the player a feel for just how much of a problem fighting the Reapers is going to be.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Well we already had the feel of how powerful a reaper can be with saren,but yeah,I wouldve liked if assumed collectors were tougher.Or,if they increased in toughness when you were in their base(something like the distance from the main base making the signal weaker or something).

  14. Blanko2 says:

    JOSH armor is better destroyed by slow firing weapons. sniper, pistol, shotgun, and the special assault rifle.
    WHY MUST YOU ATTEMPT TO CHIP AWAY AT IT WITH YOUR SMG?? SMG is for barrier and health!
    Also, husks are HORRIBLE when youre a soldier, scions are only bad for your teammates, really.

    best moment of the vid:
    Josh: what is this doing here? *runs away to cover*
    *husk follows* HURR !!!!!!! *flails*

  15. Aldowyn says:

    Sovereign is probably my favorite bad guy to date, and the conversation with him in ME1 is definitely my favorite conversation with one. SO EPIC. You guys (or Shamus, anyway) ragged on the “you could not possible understand our motives” line, but it really works.

    Amazing how quotable that conversation is. “You have the attention of those infinitely your greater” “You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it.)

    Loghain from DA:O was cool, too… his motives were actually really understandable.

    Also, Shepard’s big thing is s/he is a leader, supposedly. KotOR, now, had really good explanations for why you were awesome. (particularly KotOR II, IMO)

    DA:O is worse… as lampshaded by Morrigan.

    Husks are a big pain on Insanity – to the point where you HAVE to kill them first. Collectors can’t hit you when you’re behind cover, but the husks will come to kill you, painfully. (also applies to FENRIR mechs, the dogs)

    Lastly, I’m pretty sure you (Josh) said the Scions were the most annoying enemy in the game, then you said the Praetorian was the worst. You can be forgiven though, as they suck for the same reasons (Crazy armor health and going around cover) This part is, as far as I can remember, THE hardest part in the entire game, because the cover just doesn’t work sometimes. HUGE pain as a Vanguard on Insanity… neither charge nor shockwave works.

    • X2-Eliah says:

      I wouldn’t say Loghain was anything close to understandable.. If you only took the vision of him from the original game, then he was just a massive jackass, plain and simple. Sure, the novels and some of the DLC alleviated that, but originally, Loghain was just the typical jerk.

      • Raygereio says:

        Spare Loghain and recruit him. It’s only then that you get some decent understanding of the guy.

        • Klay F. says:

          Only that doesn’t really help, not to mention it totally goes against what every single one of my characters would do. Seriously, that choice is the low point of DA:O for me. But even if you spare him and get him to talk afterwards, all he basically says something along the lines of not liking Orlais. “Oh so you murdered your king while you were fighting creatures bent on your total destruction, all because you have a racist bent against people who live slightly to the West of you? Did I mention you were fighting creatures bent on the entire world’s annihilation?”

        • X2-Eliah says:

          But the game does not give you a single incentive to spare & recruit him in the first place.

          • TSED says:

            My dwarven super-jesus (first character and only game to come anywhere near finishing) had a strong incentive to never do unnecessary harm. Killing a man who has been beaten was one such example.

            Al was unhappy but I was all “screw you man, I’m not killing a guy [especially one noted as a good tactician when a world-conquering blight is coming] just because you are a sore loser.” Kind of regretted the choice, but whatevs. I never was that into his character in the first place, and Loghain’s, I thought, was actually more interesting (despite the fracturing I noticed but never noted mentioned below).

        • Raygereio says:

          The whole king murdering is tricky. There’s no clear case that Loghain did kill Cailin; after all by the time you got the signal fire off, there wasn’t a battle to save anymore. Cailin’s position was completely overrun, so Loghain defence that he retreated in order to not waste men’s lives in a futile endeavour was a believable. But then you get things like Jowan poisoning Arl Eamon well before that battle and well, yeah…

          Honestly, I don’t think the writers really knew or agreed upon what the hell Loghain was supposed to be about. There are really three Loghains. One is the scheming bastard that wasted an army just to get to the position of regent, one is the well-meaning man that’s blinded by his hatred for Orlais and lastly we have little bits of a man that served the father and after the son’s done screwing things up, he’s attempting to fix the pieces.
          All three are mixed together and none are well defined, leaving us with not a real character, but mostly just the concept of one.

          However there’s a very strong incentive to spare and recruit Loghain. Simon Templeman. Who wouldn’t want Kain in his party?

          • Irridium says:

            Logain commanded the main army. The King and Wardens were essentially just a distraction. If he had charged, chances are he would have won. Seriously, in the cutscene where he tells the men to retreat, you see he has a massive army right behind him. Enough to turn the tide of battle. Seriously, everything behind him is all troops.

            He just comes off as your standard traitorous ass.

            • Galad says:

              when I recruited him in one of my first two playthroughs, don’t remember which one of the two, all I wanted from him was an answer why he betrayed the king. I’m not buying the “I hate the orlesians” bullshit, there’s got to be something else to it, but noo, couldn’t ask him that.

  16. superglucose says:

    Ummm… they didn’t invert the “chosen one” trope for Jade Empire… you’re the last of the Spirit Monks. Master Li needed you so that you could kill the Emperor. He couldn’t do it by himself. He just made sure that he could kill *you* afterwords, so you really ARE special… you’re also specially trained to die.

    • Raygereio says:

      Oh yeah, they inverted that trope only to immediately beat you over the head with it as you come back from the frigging dead.

      • valhala89 says:

        i don’t know i always thought jade empire was more about the quest to save your master.. it was a tale of love and betrayal.. the love you thought your master had for you and the betrayal henceforth.. there is no “good” person in the main cast of jade empire.. well maybe death hand… also the whole bringing you back from the dead thing is totally wacked

  17. KnightLight says:

    Garrus died because NPCs can’t handle melee when you’ve commanded them to stay at a certain point. It’s an AI flaw.

    Also, ever since you used the particle beam I’ve been muttering “get the power cells GET THE POWER CELLS…”

    Husks are slightly less pathetic on Hardcore, where they have armor you need to burn off before you can insta-kill them with physics (or cold).

  18. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The special trope is a nice one,its hard not to use.I cant think of many examples where the hero was just an ordinary shmoe.Monkey island is the only one coming to mind.

    Besides,if done well,its not that noticeable,as is the case with all tropes.

    • Klay F. says:

      Pretty much all the Silent Hill games, even the bad ones, have you as some ordinary dude (or dudette), but for the purposes of Mass Effect, those don’t really count.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        But arent you always somehow tied with silent hill,and arent enemies some sort of projections of your psyche?

        • GabrielMobius says:

          The thing about Silent Hill is that it’s mentioned (in 2, I think) that different people in Silent Hill see different things. Everyone has manifestations of their psyche running around, but only to them.

          Really, it’s entirely possible that Silent Hill is the thing that’s special, not your main character.

    • Irridium says:

      Oblivion did this. You were just some guy(or girl), who happened to be in the wrong place at the right time.

  19. Zaxares says:

    Actually, the Scion’s Shockwave attack DOESN’T go through cover, as long as you’re actually crouched down/pressed up against the cover hiding, and not just standing behind it shooting. The problem is the shockwaves are easily hidden by other objects on the battlefield, so you may not realise there’s one incoming until it hits you.

    Also, wheee! Josh Death! XD

  20. Mario l. says:

    I really hate the harbinger, it adds “the boss is in another enemy” level of frustration to the fight… I really think it is unfair that at the end you don’t kill him.

  21. Jarenth says:

    So, Mumbles. You’d want failing the forced hacking minigame to have consequences, but you don’t want failing the forced hacking minigame to have serious consequences?

    In my mind, ‘spawning mooks every time you lose’ is just annoying, and ‘instant death, do all of that again, haha’ for failing an otherwise completely optional minigame could very well be enough to make me ragequit, shift-delete, and salt and burn that section of my harddrive forever. On the other hand, having an actual story consequence for not being able to do something hard under pressure (as could be expected in this situation) would be a cool way to add some extra weight to the scene… even if I’d probably reload it anyway.

    Also I agree with your assertion that Beat Hazard is fun, if a little simplistic.

    • Irridium says:

      Agreed. In fact, failing some section then having to redo the entire, or a large part, of the earlier level is easily one of gaming’s biggest sins. Its not fun having to go through all the same enemies, all the same conversations, and basically having to do things over and over again. In fact, I think Shamus touched on this issue .

      Its not fun to go through the same damn section of a level over and over. Especially if its because you failed a simple mini-game.

      I would also rather have the “punishment” be in the form of a story consequence. Much like how one user described during the episode where you recruit Garrus. He said he though that if you sabotage the gunship, Garrus doesn’t get half his face messed up. But if you let the guy repair it, he does get his face messed up. It would have been a great point to show that your actions do have consequences, that you should think about things before you act, that not everything will always turn out for the better, despite your intentions.

    • Kian says:

      It would be cool if, because you failed to get the targeting system on line in time, your fight at the end against the collector ship before storming the base became harder, for example.

      • Dude says:

        Yes, but that would require choices and consequences that went beyond a, “Okay, I will wear a negligee.” and a “Must I wear a negligee?” and a “This line will make you think he’s going to enquire about the negligee’s nature but is actually going to make him say monkey brains are tasty.”

  22. Candida says:

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the best sites on the internet.
    I will highly recommend this site!

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