Mass Effect 3 EP21: Boobotics?

 By Shamus Oct 11, 2012 160 comments


Link (YouTube)

Look, I’m feeling really sick, I’m in a bad mood, and I’m right in the middle of an X-Com game. I’m in no shape to give you additional commentary. Just watch the show and don’t ask too much of me.


A Hundred!202020Many comments. 160, if you're a stickler


  1. SharpeRifle says:

    mmmmmmmm XCOM and Spoiler Warning….Delish

  2. hborrgg says:

    Speaking of those birds, was it ever explained why there are so many pigeons on the Citadel? Were they stowaways? Did the humans let them lose on purpose? Are they secretly a hyper advanced species that was able to spread itself all over the galaxy?

  3. Sucal says:

    What is the meaning of the life?

    Why isn’t there any cowbell?

    What do you think about the socioeconomic ramifications of Canada’s missing maple syrup supply?

    Why is Australia the best country in the world?

    Why does his face contain a map of the world?

    Why does it look like Fem Shepards bust gets bigger in every game?

    Is that enough questions?

  4. Feel better!

    Also, explain the black body problem in less than 300 words. Extra credit for accurate formulae.

    And in honor of the VP debates…
    How would you fix the economy, the budget, health care, the growing gap between rich and poor, the debt, war on drugs, and speeding tickets?

  5. Otters34 says:

    The idea of the Reapers seeding a faulty superweapon for their enemies to waste personnel and resources on would be AMAZING to see. However, the Reapers need to lose SOMEHOW at the third act, so the Crucible had to work.

    Also, EDI’s robot body looks creepier and creepier the more we see of it.

    • Grudgeal says:

      It would also make perfect sense, given that the Reapers left EVERYTHING ELSE that allowed galactic civilization to reach its current technology level behind for you to find. If their entire strategy is to shape their victims’ technology and society with their own tech so they can predict how they will develop and thus their readiness to respond to a Reaper invasion, it’s perfectly in their idom to leave behind a “super anti-Reaper doom weapon” as plan B that shapes the strategy of every civilization that finds it into spending lots of resources and time on a device that doesn’t work, or possibly even blows up the builders or otherwise paints a big bulls-eye on them. Like, say, it’s a giant beacon that tells all the Reapers “the enemy’s main industrial complex is located here, guys!”. Or a giant indoctrination device.

      Heck, for double points you could find out near the end that not only did you only ‘find’ the Crucible because the Reapers turned on the plans as a response to you foiling Sovereign so you’d waste your time building a fake MacGuffin instead of using those resources to plan a less predictable way of fighting them, but you’re the something like the fifth or sixth cycle who’s so far tried to construct this thing.

      • Thomas says:

        It would only be fun storywise once though. Can you imagine how irritating it would be to replay the game and be forced to build up the Catalyst even though you know it’s fake? And it would be huge story divergence if you could choose not to build the Crucible and it would be a bit of an obvious choice

        • I actually agree with you this time, Thomas. I think this fake weapon would’ve turned me off from replaying the game even more than the ending did. (And I still haven’t touched ME3 past my first playthrough.)

          • Keeshhound says:

            It could work as long as the writing was good (we’re already discussing impossible alternative universes where Bioware isn’t laboring under the delusion that their generic writing is innovative, it’s not much of a stretch to go further and let them be good at it too.) Jade Empire is still fun to run through despite the fact that it runs on a twist plot that only springs on you in the end of the second act.

            • Thomas says:

              It would be really hard though, I feel plot twists with people are more forgivable, even ones that have you do negative actions because of that (although it gets worse and worse the more you have to do). If you’re spending most of the game sweating to build something that you now know won’t work…

              I think even if the game was well written, that bit still wouldn’t be fun, it’s just the rest of the game would make up for it. At least with a person you can pick up the little gives and tells, I can’t imagine that being so fun with the Crucible

              • Keeshhound says:

                I think if the reveal was, again, at the end of the second act (so to speak) and not the very end, it could work. Shepherd doesn’t really have anything to do with the actual construction, and mostly just recruits people to work on it. If you spent most of the game working to unite the galaxy to build a super weapon, found out that it was a trap at about the 2/3 mark and then spent the last third rallying everyone for a final confrontation, I think it would still work; especially if you gave dialogue options (maybe new game plus only, like Alpha Protocol’s Veteran mode) to hedge your bets and be skeptical about the crucible (“Why didn’t this work for anyone in the past? We should probably keep building our conventional forces as a fallback option.”) I don’t think it would suffer too badly.

                Really, the as long as the player isn’t forced to proclaim their undying faith that the Crucible will see them through this hour of darkness and despair, it wouldn’t be too unpleasant on subsequent playthroughs.

                • Thomas says:

                  I guess I’m still not convinced it would be a strong as just working to beat the Reapers all through all 3 acts. That you can win in a method only established as viable in the last third (and presumably it would be a straight up fight, which pretty much contradicts what was established before) might feel a bit gimmicky. Maybe if the Crucible was tied into it, so it turned out they created the Crucible because they’re actually very weak on X and want people to avoid it.

                  I’m still not sold. I liked the idea that the Reapers were inevitably doomed because they couldn’t completely remove evidence of the last cycle and so things were always going to build up to the point where one day they were defeated. The game didn’t go into it at all, but that sort of thought game is fun anyway. Making this sort of plot… at least the Protheans were really important in all 3 games and the concept (if not implementation) of the Crucible fits in with that completely. We’ve always been relying on what the Protheans could pass on. (Now that’s where I want the series to go next. A game set in the Prothean cycle as it collapses and you try to hide as much information as possible as your civilisation collapses around you[although given the negative reaction from some people to the downer aspect of this ending specifically, an entire downer game might not be wise)

                  • ThomasWa says:

                    Well, there’s a difference between ‘sad’ and ‘nihilistic’. ME3 was supposed to be bitter-sweet, but the writers missed that mark completely. (Too busy writing ‘cool’ one-liners for Kai Leng to catch up to the fact that the ending has only horrible implications, or as Shamus put it, no one hugs.)
                    In a different world, in which ME3 had a ‘we beat the Reapers and didn’t have to be allowed to do something nonsensical and/ or akin to an atrocity in its own right by the Reapers’ boss to win’, Bioware totally could have made a ‘downer’ game set during the Prothean cycle (since the player would know, for sure, that the protagonist’s efforts will not have been in vain in the end.).
                    It could have been very powerful even. Unless they filled that game with emo ninjas, sexy androids and other Bioware classics, instead of keeping an eye on the emotional part.

                    • Thomas says:

                      Without EC canon I always felt control was completely justifiable. The Reapers had been eternally brainwashed by the catalyst into doing his will, lightside Shepard could have removed that and sent them away far into dark space where they could learn to live for themselves and develop their own goals on life, having independent wills for their very first time

                      The TIM thing never even crossed my mind because before the EC I never believed for second that light side shepard would actually brain control the Reapers and decide their every action. At worst I figured Shepard would become maybe this religious guiding figure/the force.

                      To me the ending choice was nonsensical. You mean I can kill entire species, wipe out my closest friends and kill millions of others through the resulting set back of technology or I can choose not to do that and get to save a whole other life force as well?

                  • Keeshhound says:

                    Admittedly, part of my reason for believing in what could have been is that the original endings were already this close to being good. (subjective, I know, but I can’t help but love that damn thing.)

                    The ending’s skeleton was alright, strong even. It just needed more muscle (story), and less fat (pretentiousness).

                  • some random dood says:

                    @Thomas – Gah, sorry, cannot let that pass. It’s not that the ending is a “downer” that is a problem – it’s that it’s the ending for a completely different game! There are far too many sites/youtube vids that deconstruct the mess that is the ending and how it fails at every level of story-telling to repeat them here, but it is most definitely not about the ending being a “downer” – just very, very, VERY badly written.
                    However, your points about “the Reapers are ultimately doomed to failure” sounds excellent. Act 1 (ME1) all about discovering the threat (as per original game). Act 2 (ME2) could have then been about discovering what the protheans knew (back to Vigil), setting Liara up as Shadowbroker, and then following leads to older races and their knowledge (which could also lead as a “hook” to getting more characters, and developing the power/worth of Shadowbroker). Act 3 could then be a race to implement “magic plot device” to use against the reapers.
                    Sigh – there were so many alternative ways to develop the trilogy in ways that made sense (and brought up by random internet-dwellers who, mostly, do not have professional careers as writers) that it beggars belief that people were paid good money for what ultimately was delivered.

                  • Thomas says:

                    @some random dude, I was being specific there, referring to a subset of people who take issue with that reason, not talking about why everyone didn’t like it or the full reason they didn’t like it.

                    For example
                    http://awtr.ca/long:this-is-not-a-pipe
                    Takes complaints with the downer ending

                    And although there are plenty of other reasons two, this was a criticism they had with the ending and presumably if it had been good in all of aspects, this criticism would have still stood since nothing about it changed. People with this criticisim probably wouldn’t enjoy a completely downer game

    • Volfram says:

      This is awesome. Last week, I asked them to take EDI on a mission. This week, they take EDI on a mission!

      And I have to admit, I’m starting to see everyone’s negative comments now. If this is all EDI does, then Bioware has dropped the ball on her potential just about as badly as they did with the Asari. Most importantly, though, I get to come to hate EDI as much as everyone else by seeing what there is to hate about her, just like I did with the Asari.

      I mean seriously Bioware. I am disappoint!

  6. IFS says:

    Oh God I hated the fuel that you could find, hey remember back in ME1 when you never had to worry about fuel? Those were the good days. The fuel system is such an unnecessary, stupid, and poorly implemented way of padding out the game.

    Also JOSH WHY DIDN’T YOU UPGRADE NOVA-AAAAAGH

    …I’m okay now.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “Also JOSH WHY DIDN’T YOU UPGRADE NOVA-AAAAAGH”

      He kind of did.He go the boost for all his powers,so now even more and stronger charges and novas.

    • That fuel thing doubly pissed me off because I am the gamer that goes through and checks every cluster.

      • anaphysik says:

        I’m on PC, so the first thing I did with ME2 and ME3 was open up an .ini file in Notepad++ and mod out fuel usage (change ‘fuel efficiency’ value from whatever it is (1.5 I think) to 0.) Sooooo much better.

        As far as I know, no such easy fix for PS3 :(

      • Thomas says:

        But it’s easy to game properly. If it’s not on a planet it’s fuel, you avoid searching the first galaxy until you’ve searched the rest of them. Most times it’s worked out so that the fuel you spent to get to a star cluster is given to you when you get there and if you pick up the fuel on the first galaxy when you get back you don’t have to buy very much at all.

        Every galaxy cluster normally has at least one planet with stuff on it and one fuel depot in space. It looks it didn’t happen to click with Josh that all non-plantetary anomalies are fuel

        • But… but… ARBITRARY COMPLETION PERCENTAGES!!!

          • Thomas says:

            You still get them, you just wait leave the first galaxy till last =D (Although I did find it irritating in that one galaxy where there’s like 1500+ fuel available. I space jetisoned it anyway but that was a shameful waste. I guess it did make sense storywise since that galaxy was a fuel stock house that the Reapers destroyed. But still, it’s not fun to win something you can’t use :( )

        • Keeshhound says:

          I just feel that I should point out that Star Clusters are not Galaxies. I know I’m being a bit nitpicky, but I feel that the distinction between the two is an important one.

          • Thomas says:

            I just feel that I should point out that you should have pointed out that Star Systems are not Galaxies (which are not Star Clusters) and I should have been using the correct terminology =D

            • Thomas says:

              I just that I should point out that I should have pointed out that you should pointed out that Planetary Systems (which are not Star Systems[which are not Star Clusters]) are not Galaxies

              Let no-one say that I don’t think enough when I right and that I’m prone to really stupid errors =D

              • Keeshhound says:

                Wait, we got rid of star clusters? (I haven’t played ME3, so I assumed that the travel/scan menu still went Galaxy->Star Cluster->Planetary System->Planet; I figured that people were just mistyping galaxy for the largest subcategory that you actually choose.)

                Now I’m sad. I like Star Clusters. They’re pretty.

                • Thomas says:

                  It still goes like that, I just wasn’t talking about the star clusters because it doesn’t cost fuel to travel between them, whereas it does inside them, so it’s important to leave the first planetary system’s fuel intact to use on the return

  7. Indy says:

    That whole conversation with Samara, EDI and Liara were staring at Shepard. It was just sort of… creepy. I thought with the survival horror thing, maybe Samara wasn’t really there. Maybe the game was messing with you.

    But no.

  8. Joneleth says:

    I hope those damn chrysalids are not wrecking your day (like they did for mine).

    • Stranger says:

      Isn’t that what they’re for?

      • StashAugustine says:

        Not if you have Close Quarters Fighting.

        • Tse says:

          Double shot also wrecks them at close range. Chrysalids don’t seem that scary if you can kill 3 in one turn with half your team (I am partial to a team of 3 assault, 1 of each other).

          • StashAugustine says:

            Sniper with Double Tap is usually good for two a turn. I’ve only ever lost one soldier to a Chryssalid, and even then she didn’t zombify.

            • Tse says:

              True, but sometimes the sniper is not in a good position and you can’t move them and shoot in the same turn, unless you chose to miss on the ability to shoot at something from the other end of the battlefield.

          • KaleNich says:

            And when you got only 4 rookies, because all your high rank soldiers are hospitalized and you didnt hire additional soldiers, now thats the point where you start conidering the option to not help. But you go into the zone and all your rookies get massacred/morphed, despite their laser rifles. After that “little” incident, 2 countries withdraw from the council and you became so frustrated that you reload your game. You can do that because you were not man enough for Ironman. But suddenly you realize that you haven’t save once in your 2 hour game session and didn’t enable the autosave. After all these you ragequit and leave the battles for another day. 1 hour later, with 2 casualties, you are finally victorious.

        • Stranger says:

          Please note, I only played the original and sequels. I do not own the new game nor can I play it :P

    • Deadyawn says:

      So yeah, I kind of feel compelled to get this one off my chest since we’re all talking about X-COM anyway. Spent the whole day playing it and I just TPKd on an alien base assault where all my soldiers were suddenly struck blind and got turned into zombies.

      Guess I better start again. At least this time I can skip the tutorial…

  9. StashAugustine says:

    Are we gonna see a post on Xcom at some point?

  10. “It could have played out a dozen different ways.”

    I was nearly crushed by the irony of that statement. I’d appreciate a heads up next time so I can be ready to dive away from the computer or have an umbrella ready or something.

  11. Tse says:

    So, XCOM. Which continent did you choose for your base? Because Africa seems too strong. After choosing it I was able to turn the 30% money advantage into satellites really quickly. Also, skipping lasers entirely saves a lot of materials you can use for better armor and better interceptor tech. After all, the light plasma rifles come free with most captured aliens.
    P.S. Never, ever send an interceptor out while you have a team on the way to a mission. The game WILL crash after the interceptor catches up to the UFO. Had that happen on iron man.

    • StashAugustine says:

      I did Europe, which is useless. Workshops are kinda neat, but you only need a few. Labs are worthless. I’m thinking NA or Asia next time.

      • Tse says:

        I like labs, plasma weapon research takes a lot of time if you start it before the game plans for you to do it. I don’t use workshops, satellites give me enough engineers. I did get Asia’s bonus fairly quickly. Main problem is that any discount is much less valuable than Africa’s 30% bonus money.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      “Also, skipping lasers entirely saves a lot of materials you can use for better armor and better interceptor tech.”

      Just like in every xcom.Poor lasers,nobody likes them.

      • Fallout New Vegas didn’t, either.

        Maybe if they were mounted on the heads of sharks?

      • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        I loved lasers in the original. They were cheap and great to use with rookies because they have high accuracy and high rate of fire.

        Even when I had plasma weapons, lasers were a universal stop-gap.

        • Spammy says:

          Yeah… nobody who played X-COM liked the lasers? I find that really, really hard to swallow. I was a huge laser fan, I always made a beeline for laser rifles when researching, being utterly independent of ammo and having more power was too good to pass up.

          Besides, why’s losing out on armor material a bad thing? It’s X-COM. Your troops are made out of wet paper. Really, really shouldn’t be letting them get hit.

          • StashAugustine says:

            Troops in the new one can usually take a hit, maybe 2 or 3 in Titan armor.

          • guy says:

            Armor is wonderful in every X-com game. Flying suits in the original had an almost 50% chance of simply no-selling heavy plasma rounds. Titan armor is ridiculously awesome.

            My main issue with the new one is that it feels like there’s not enough raw materials available. In the original, only Elerium was something you seriously expected to run out of, and that was generally relatively easy to keep up your supplies of. It’s just frustrating to research all sorts of high-tech gear and realize I can’t build any of it.

            Lasers were excellent in the first game. They were actually so good that the wiki contains running debates on if it’s worth using plasma weaponry at all.

      • StashAugustine says:

        I used lasers, but only because I put off capturing an alien for so long. I didn’t capture one until I was almost done with research.

      • ehlijen says:

        I loved laser rifles for tbe above mentioned reasons, but also laser pistols as back up against psi opponents once I had flying armour: if you find yourself fighting mind controllers, drop all weapons but your laser pistol; it’s plenty powerful, but it’s almost incapable of hurting your own troops.

    • Deadyawn says:

      I was dumb and did the tutorial so I was only allowed to choose either Europe or USA. Maybe it was a good thing I completely screwed up that game. And it was on ironman so I have an excuse to not just go back a ways.

    • guy says:

      I went with Asia my first attempt, America my second. The discount from the officer training is pretty useful early on, because it allows easy expansion of squad size.

    • KaleNich says:

      I recommend South America to experienced/masochist players only.
      Of course this only applies, if you playing on classic whitout the tutorial. On classic you dont have the officer training facility and you monthly income is only 70 credit. And you dont get a free satellite from the tutorial.
      On normal it could be mildy challenging, but I dont know because I didn’t tried. CLASSIC DIFF ALL THE WAY!

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “Look, I’m feeling really sick, I’m in a bad mood, and I’m right in the middle of an X-Com game”

    The first two are symptoms of the third I guess.I imagine your memorial wall is pretty crowded by now.

  13. anaphysik says:

    With Benezia, Samara, and now new-Liara, I think we can safely postulate the existence of a boobotic plague sweeping through the series.

    Also, EDI’s body is a clear example of a different sort of boobotics.

  14. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Screw udina,no one reflects on what saren did,even if you get him to kill himself in the end.And his plan,if he actually was a good guy and not just an indoctrinated incompetent,was actually very good and ultimately successful(despite the council acting like a bunch of idiots).Unlike this cerberus mess.

  15. Muspel says:

    FYI: This is tagged as Mass Effect 2, but that should be ME3.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I have yet to encounter a badly made banshee.Its like the original concept is so awesome,that merely slapping the name on something increases its coolness.For example,my favorite spell in dungeons and dragons is wail of the banshee:You scream,and everyone around you drops dead.

    • Josh says:

      The Banshees in Tiberian Sun were kind of underwhelming. But then, all aircraft in that game were underwhelming. Except, of course, the Kodiak, which – at least as a cutscene-borne flagship – looked pretty cool. Naturally you were only able to use it in one mission where it was an immobile structure that had to be defended and then it got blown up at the beginning of Firestorm.

      …I miss Command and Conquer, you guys.

      • KremlinLaptop says:

        Hey, but Josh! Command and Conquer isn’t gone! Why there was Red Alert 3! And C&C4: Tiberian Twilight! Those were… games.

        I could use a drink…

      • Rodyle says:

        I really liked the banshees, just because stealth bombers are awesome, but I agree that overall the air units were useless.

        Damn, I should play that game again. I loved to pit cyborg reapers against stuff. Sure, they were not so good, but they looked awesome.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        You mean the stealth uber bombers that you never need more than 8 of,because those 8 can penetrate any defense and destroy anything you want,plus give you sight to drop a nuke on?Those were great.

      • KaleNich says:

        Yeah… The music, the setting, the cheesy B-movie style cutscenes, Kane… Damn you EA for destroying and humiliating a once great franchise!

  17. MadHiro says:

    Beware the ‘screw Kai Leng’ tag, Shamus. You’re going to start getting people from search engines coming in here expecting a certain kind of fan fiction.

  18. anaphysik says:

    Oh, wow, an “Intact Reaper Weapon.” That sounds like it could have some actual value. Too bad that value is precisely identical to a weapon upgrade kit.

    http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Intel_Terminal#Intact_Reaper_Weapon

  19. Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

    The Shoot Kai Leng in the Kneecaps DLC I would totally buy.

    And play it over, and over, and over, and over, and…

    • СТАЛКЕР of ЗОНА says:

      No no no.

      See, that’s the problem.

      I’d buy “Throw Claptrap Off A Cliff” and “Resurrect Jack To Shoot Him In The Face Again” DLC for Borderlands 2, because while you want to throw Claptrap off a cliff and resurrect Jack to shoot him in the face again, you also want to build a Gearbox statue and chant “GUNS, GUNS, GUUUUNNNSS” at its base 24/7 while playing Borderlands 2.
      With Mess Effect 3, the only DLC you’d want to buy is “Bring GESTAPO Back To Find Out What The Shit Went On With Bioware” and “A Million Monkeys Throw Poop On Bioware HQ”.

      Let’s compare a hypothetical “Throw Claptrap Off A Cliff” DLC with a hypothetical “Shoot Kai Leng In The Kneecaps” DLC:
      In “Throw Claptrap Off A Cliff” a guy suddenly screams into your ECHO communicator, title-dropping the DLC and saying nothing else, and then after a couple of stages you throw Claptrap off a cliff. And you’ll be all like “hue hue hue, that was awesome, let’s do that again!” and it would probably have the option to repeat it.
      In “Shoot Kai Leng In The Kneecaps”, you have a bunch of bullshit, and Shepards shoots Kai Leng in the kneecaps in a cutscene after saying something retarded. And you’ll be all like “this doesn’t make me feel any better.” and you’d have to start a new game to do it again.

      Damnit, all this DLC-talk reminds me I need the Borderlands 2 season pass before “Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty” comes out.

      • KaleNich says:

        That was deep, man.

      • carrigon says:

        I for one would buy “Shoot Kai Leng in the Kneecaps” and when I got to that point I would reload my last save or even start over just so I could do it again. I was disappointed in 2 & 3, but if I had to I’d start the whole series over if I had to. Impenetrable plot armor, not just for him but for the gunship? Yeah, totally worth it. Stupid emo ninhas
        Ninjas that is

  20. lurkey says:

    Why is Josh always nice to Kaidan? Why?

  21. Thomas says:

    This is probably the mission which it’s most important to have a party member on. Is completely generic and slightly nonsensical without Samara and the conclusion is much worse. But everything below he neck in Samara’s costume design is unbelievably awful. Even if it were zipped up it wouldn’t look right. It needed to look old and intricate and mysterious, not like latex.

    Anyway since this seems to be a slow episode, I was going to do some tonal comparison with this trailer
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maMjjUr6zIQ
    and a Mass Effect 3 trailer, I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen a Mass Effect trailer in my life before, but I assumed it would be grey, ugly and very small scale with a war on planets focus.
    But actually
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AluTOOCVXVQ
    it wasn’t bad. It still feels a little smaller scale then the first and it gets worse towards the middle (peak awful was the gratuitious sex) but there’s still a focus on scope and universe as well as character. And it looks umpteen times better than the game looked.

    So it turns out even if the development team shifted focus the marketing team were pretty good (I’m ignoring the horrible live action trailer I found). I figured since I was going to post something nasty about Mass Effect and I turned out to be wrong, it wouldn’t be fair to not make the post just because it turned out I couldn’t be negative

    • Aldowyn says:

      *shrug* The marketing was pretty good if you accept the whole “take earth back” thing as being so incredibly important.

      Also I’m pretty sure they paid miracle of sound to do “Take It Back” so that’s a good thing :D

  22. Andrew_C says:

    I am rapidly coming to hate the interface in the new X-Com game. It’s clunky and stupid and has an annoying habit of grabbing the camera away from you to look at cool stuff it’s doing.

    The tutorial just makes things worse by arbitrarily disabling controls. I almost rage quit when it locked me into the GeoScape equivalent.

    And what’s with the drab environments? What happened to playing tag with aliens in sun-drenched cornfields and harshly lit supermarkets?

    EDIT: terrible spweliing

    • Sumanai (Asimech) says:

      Firaxis doesn’t do good UIs.

      • Sumanai (Asimech) says:

        Now that I am by the computer again, I’ll elaborate a bit:

        Firaxis designs UI basically by making a list of things that need to be on the screen, put them inside a window-like thing, and if they have to use a table for it. Basically they use the Excel approach at this point. Then they shove other buttons around the place to wherever it’s the least practical. Like the Control Room (or whatever) at the down middle when basically everything else is top or top-right.

        Other stupid stuff I’ve learned about the new Xcom: The demo doesn’t even cover the tutorial, making it useless at trying to determine if I’d like the game. You can’t skip certain cutscenes, and it’s highly unlikely the game is loading anything in the background. The voice acting is irritating, which tag teams with the crappy writing. If you want to shoot-then-move you have to take it when a unit reaches Corporal and you have to give up another ability for it.

        The last part wouldn’t bother me as much if the point of the move-action -system wasn’t supposed to be “capable of doing everything important the Time Unit system can”.

        On a positive side they’ve done ok with the streamlining, even if “no free aim” is a problem and I had trouble aiming the grenade in the first tutorial mission because of the damn camera doesn’t understand it can’t move to a “better” spot and I just want to toss it nearer the map wall.

    • Keeshhound says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve reloaded a mission (first time through, no iron man) because I clicked on a square that had cover, only for my mouse to shift just one millimeter mid click and wound up with a soldier standing in the open, waiting to get shot. And while the aliens mugging for the camera was cool the FIRST time it happened, having it happen EVERY TIME ONE SPOTS YOU and giving them a free move turn to get to cover just breaks up the turn flow.

      I’m still enjoying the game, but as soon as someone figures out how to disable the “Oh my god, aliens!” camera (and that stupid reaction move phase they get as soon as you see them) I’m going to install it and never look back.

  23. Rax says:

    “Jesus, you professionalism”, says the guy who eat through the Amnesia episode.

  24. guy says:

    Rutskarn: ONE OF US! ONE OF US!

    Yeah, it’s almost staggering how much and how quickly everyone hates Kai Leng. Like, after a major tragic event when he shows up next, my reaction was not, “oh no, something terrible has happened.” but “Track down that guy and put his head on my desk!”

    Grr, Banshees. I’ve complained about this before, but my big problem with Banshees is how incredibly tough they are. They simply take an unreasonably long time to go down, and it’s annoying.

    • Khizan says:

      I find that a lot of this just depends on what weapons you’re using.

      Once I accepted a higher weight and lower cooldowns to pick up some heavier weapons, I found that the game got a lot easier because I was able to inflict significant amounts of damage that just wasn’t possible when I had 200% cooldowns with an Avenger and a Tempest. Dropping a Warp/Incinerate on a Banshee’s armor and emptying a Carnifex into it dropped it surprisingly fast.

      • guy says:

        I found them taking several rounds from a Widow with AP ammo after nailing them with warp and incinerate. They are unreasonably tough.

        • Mike S. says:

          The toughness is compounded by their being (in my experience, at least) nigh-impossible to crowd-control. In ME2, there was almost nothing that couldn’t be slowed down by a well-placed Singularity or distracted by a Combat Drone. But I never really found a good strategy for keeping distance from banshees other than running like hell. (And their unblockable melee instakill makes close-quarters combat less than rewarding.) There is little more disheartening as a Vanguard than realizing that you’re stuck on a battlefield with two banshees and your companions have just killed the lesser enemies you were planning to use as escape routes.

          (Of course, that leads to the next step: throw the companions at the banshee. But that isn’t very Paragon, and anyway they don’t tend to last very long. :-) )

        • Khizan says:

          The Widow isn’t as good for it.

          It’s got a scope, so it’s harder to get the shot when it’s moving or at close ranges. It takes longer in between shots. It holds fewer shots. It takes longer to reload. It does more damage per shot than the Carnifex, but the Carnifex does more DPS.

  25. modus0 says:

    I’m surprised no one’s commented about Kaiden’s incorrect salute to Shepard with his left hand turning into a correct right-handed one with a mere camera change.

    I did like the bit about the Crucible possibly needing the Catalyst to only affect the Reapers, though it almost feels like an out-of-place rationalization in a game that doesn’t seem to have much concern about events making sense.

  26. Did anyone notice that Kaiden’s salute switches hands around the four minute mark?

    Edit: Gah, ninja’d. I’m okay with this.

  27. Wraith says:

    Lol, I just noticed your other tag for the last two videos.

  28. Jace911 says:

    Just finished XCOM and for the most part I love everything about it. Sure there are a few niggling little digs I have with the UI and some gameplay decisions, but ultimately they don’t add up to much. The ending was very satisfying, especially given how hard the game is (Not quite as hard as the original, but still a challenge even on normal).

  29. Din Adn says:

    As soon as they said the crucible was a dispenser, I got the most extraordinary mental image of a gigantic soda fountain in space.
    A soda fountain for reapers.

    • IFS says:

      Yes it all makes sense now! The reapers are like chickens in that they can’t burp, so if we fill them with enough carbonated beverages they will all explode!

    • Gruhunchously says:

      The Reapers tricked organic life into building the soda fountain that they would party around during down time once their genocide was complete. The Reapers are like that.

  30. Jason says:

    The conversation with Ashley is completely different, for what it’s worth. And frankly, I’m shocked that you didn’t make Kaidan stay with Hackett, like you did with Chakwas.

  31. Milos says:

    Lately I’m getting more and more ads on here like this one:

    http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/simgad/1637100534615268581

    I’m almost tempted enough to click on them just to see how much of a disconnect there is between the T&A on the banners and the actual game. But then I don’t.

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