Mass Effect 3 EP40: Powers Cannot Be Used In Cutscenes

By Shamus
on Nov 22, 2012
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

The OK GO video I talked about is called WTF?, and it’s probably the simplest video they’ve ever done. Compare it to Needing, Getting, which required some construction acoustics R&D, a massive musical course, hundreds of musical instruments, a specially modified car, and for lead singer Damian Kulash to take a stunt driving course.

I just thought that was interesting.

To everyone celebrating Thanksgiving: I hope you’re having a fun day with great food. I just had ice cream cake so I’m pretty happy right now.

The next episode will complete our run of Mass Effect 3. Then we’ll be announcing the next season.

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A Hundred!20202017Many comments. 177, if you're a stickler

From the Archives:

  1. Irridium says:

    Small oddity, the episode is titled “Mass Effect” instead of “Mass Effect 3.” Might be best to change that to avoid confusion with the Mass Effect 1 re-uploads.

    If you can. I don’t really know to re-name youtube videos.

  2. Jokerman says:

    Ill announce it now, its spec ops.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I’m just glad they decided to throw everything left into one big episode. This’ll make it easier on us all.

      Then we can get to a more fun game to talk about. Hell, this game was discussed to death on this very forum well before this season started. (Check the comments for Alan Wake.) I’m glad we can finally severe all ties and move on.

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So you had nice cold desert.Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. hborrgg says:

    You know, if you guys need a short mini-season before the next major game you could try Dishonored. The way Josh plays I doubt it would take more than 5 or so episodes.

  5. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So lets recap:Orbital bombardment from dozens of capital ships:4 direct hits.
    Regular missiles fired from a jeep:2 direct hits.

    Ok,destroyer and not a dreadnought.So lets compare it to another dreadnought.
    Slow moving giant worm:1 indirect hit.

    • aldowyn says:

      I feel like that sequence would have made a lot more sense if the reaper won…

    • ehlijen says:

      All the reapers Shepard fights directly in this game are destroyers.

      And don’t forget several minutes of pointless small arms fire for your comparison :P

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        The one on rannoch is supposed to be a dreadnought,because he speaks.Unless lesser reapers are sapient as well.

        • ehlijen says:

          I don’t know about that. All I know is that they’re the same 3d model (distinct from Sovereign or Harbinger) and seem about the same size (in as much as you can tell that anyway).

        • Deuxmains says:

          From the Codex:

          * CAPITAL SHIPS are Sovereign-class Reapers two kilometers in length. They typically target the dreadnoughts, defense installations, and industrial cities of organic civilizations. Experts believe the Reapers harvest a single species of organics during each cycle of extinction to create these massive ships. Some capital ships are capable of launching small drones equivalent to fighters.

          * DESTROYERS are 160 meters long and, in astounding numbers, make up the bulk of the Reaper fleet. They engage cruisers and other, smaller ships, as well as communications posts and enemy command centers. Research suggests destroyers are created from those species that are not harvested to make capital ships.

          The Reaper that was fought on Rannoch was definitely in the latter category, so I suppose those lesser Reaper variants are also sapient.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            My mistake then.However,in that case my original point stands:
            Salvo from dozens of capital ships barely managed to get one of them with 4 direct hits to the eye,while we managed to get the other with just 2 measly rockets,and the third one was taken down by a single slow moving worm.

            • Deuxmains says:

              Yep, there’s no saving that silliness. Maybe the ones in London and Tuchanka were feeling a bit under the weather and were easier to bring down. On the one on Rannoch was full of space magic.

              • Ofermod says:

                Bioware just seems to be terrible at military strength consistency. It’s like the war assets. Sometimes a cruiser is worth a third of a fleet… That includes (I’d assume) dozens of other cruisers.

            • LunaticFringe says:

              It’s way dumber when you take into account the Cain battle. So by just checking out the wiki, here’s some basic weapon specs:

              Cain- Fires a 25 gram slug at 5 km/s
              Dreadnought- Fires a 20 kilogram slug at 4025 km/s every two seconds, equaling a 38 kiloton explosion.

              A 38 kiloton explosion is fucking big, like bigger then Hiroshima and Nagasaki big. If we’re taking out Reaper destroyers with Cains then Reaper dreadnoughts should be easy to take on with our own.

              • Ofermod says:

                That would require Bioware to remember what the Codex (or the game itself) says about space combat. Ships *never* use the weapons/tactics they’re said to when they’re in cutscenes.

    • Jace911 says:

      You know what’s hilarious? Bioware’s attempt to justify this from side-dialogue makes it even sillier.

      Somewhere in the Hammer base segment you can hear a couple of marines talking about the missiles on the trucks. One of them asks if they’ll really do anything to the reaper, and the other calls them “Thanix missiles” and says they can do “a fuckton of damage”.

      Thanix. Missiles.

      As in a missile with a gun inside that fires molten metal.

      This is a serious thing you guys.

      • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

        I just assumed THANX was an acronym that was similar.

        But as has been demonstrated earlier in this game (and as Smudboy likes to point out) Cains and Fleets are the reaper’s kryptonite.

        Making the reapers indestructable and super powerful was always a bad idea. Make them hard to kill, sure. But not indestructable. I stand by my earlier belief: the reapers should have been few and reliant on their decapitation strike to separate the species of the galaxy for easy divide-and-conquor tactics. Then, because the Protheans prevented the Citadel from being used to shut down the Mass Relays, when the Reapers invade conventionally, the Citadel fleets try to defend everywhere at once, and humanity has to explain “look, if you defend everywhere, you defend nowhere. This is why we left Shanxi undefended. So we could pin the turiuan fleet in orbit for when we brought the combined fleets from earth and Arcturus. And you remember how well that went for the turians. Now, same plan, more fleets. Bring the pain.”

        • LunaticFringe says:

          This would require Bioware to become aware of a thing called ‘tactics’ again however.

        • Fleaman says:

          Could have made the Reapers few, but also indestructable (proper indestructable, not “Reapers are indestructable except for Cains and Thresher Maws” indestructable). They’d still be reliant on indoctrination and the Citadel decap, but mostly because it’s effective and not because otherwise we kill them. If fleets can’t stop them, we have to start getting creative, like negotiating them to death. Maybe their only vulnerability is a stupid Terminator Baby at the core of each Reaper, necessitating a precision strike by a small commando team skilled in the use of chest-high walls. If nothing else, it justifies our reliance of ridiculous super weapons (which already rendered fleets and “War Assets” largely irrelevant anyway).

          Also, mercifully invalidates “we fight or we die”.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        To be fair,naming conventions in the real world can be just as weird sometimes.

        And actually,there is a way for thanix missiles to work.Armor piercing rockets operate by having a small copper(I think its copper)core that becomes quickly melted by the explosive,and propelled forward through the armor.So tanix missiles could operate on a similar principle,by having the warhead have some core that gets propelled forward when the missile impacts by some use of mass effect fields.

      • Alex says:

        “Thanix. Missiles.

        As in a missile with a gun inside that fires molten metal.

        This is a serious thing you guys.”

        Actually that part makes perfect sense – even more than the Thanix gun. We already have HEAT warheads that work similarly (although only with extreme plastic deformation rather than being truly molten) and they work better than stationary shaped charges because it gets closer to the target before detonating, meaning the copper slug doesn’t have time to fall apart before it hits.

  6. McNutcase says:

    At some point, I’d like the unexpurgated montage as a special. Just so we can find out how inventive (or not) Josh gets with his swearing.

    And, bonus points for using both the Fallout 3 season’s ending montage music and the Mass Effect 2 season’s theme music in the montage.

  7. zob says:

    Now that we are done with the action sequences of the game, that brainless baboon of a person responsible from the “awesome button” must be found and publicly humiliated for his stupidity.

    • Deadfast says:

      One of the most annoying features of the original Mass Effect was that for some absolutely inconceivable reason the same button was used for selecting dialog as for skipping dialog leading you to blurt out some random thing when skipping through dialogs on your second, third or n-th play through.

      Mass Effect 2 has addressed that issue by also binding everything else to that god damned button thereby introducing a challenge to running. Now have to ensure you don’t unintentionally trigger a dialog, accidentally call the person a dumbass just before doing a barrel roll straight towards the nearest chest-hight wall.

      • Amnestic says:

        The reason isn’t inconceivable, it’s quite simple: Console controllers only have so many buttons. What, you think you have some other sort of input peripheral? Some sort of…board with keys? That’s crazy talk.

        • Gruhunchously says:

          Console controllers have a lot more buttons than people give them credit for, though. Would it really be so hard to bind ‘skip’ to something other than the A button. Like, the B, X, or Y buttons, the left or right trigger/bumpers, the start or back buttons, or the D-pad? All of those, as far as I am aware (I only played Mass Effect 1 on the 360 for a bit) have no other application while in conversation.

          • Amnestic says:

            You’re absolutely right, if you had “skip line” bound to right bumper or something (maybe a rewind to left bumper :o) and confirm selection bound to A, it’d work fine.

            • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

              Binding cover and run to the same button makes sense to me -we often want to run into cover, and having to time the button switch might be more trouble than it’s really worth.

              It would be nice, though, if continuing to push forward while holding A would casue Shepard to get out of cover and keep running. They have that “vault over cover on the run and slide across it” animation which you have to time to use -just make that the default if either A or forward aren’t released within -say -half a second.

              • anaphysik says:

                Except that a very large number of deaths have been caused by the character sticking to nearby cover instead of running away from the danger.

              • Amnestic says:

                Deus Ex: HR had different buttons for Sprint and Take Cover (and Jump, and Interact) on consoles as I recall. Honestly I thought it worked way, way better in DX:HR than ME2/3 though I understand it is somewhat subjective in that regard.

                Is there a reason ME2/3 couldn’t take a note out of DX:HR’s book? I don’t think the control schemes are all that different. The only limiting factor is that ME2/3 (on consoles) bound your abilities to a few keys while DX:HR had them bound to…the D-Pad I think?

                ME3 only ever really used the D-Pad for ordering squad members and I gotta be honest, even on Insanity I never found much of a point for it. They never seemed to do what I wanted anyway. I’d much rather scrap that, bind powers to the D-Pad and spread the ‘awesome button’ around a bit. Again, subjective perhaps, but worth mentioning.

                • Irridium says:

                  Also, I feel like I should bring up Gears of War. They bind a few things to the “A” button. Rolling, sprinting, taking cover, and it all works very well. You’re pretty much always doing what you want to do.

                  ME3’s (and 2’s) implementation just feels… sloppy.

                • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

                  DX:HR had the best system by my lights, combining the best parts of Tom Clancy series shooters with the Gears of War system. The “Aim” button makes you take cover, and you use the direction to tell it where to aim. No awkward thumb pumping to aim after taking cover.

            • IFS says:

              Fun fact, DA2 had different buttons for skipping and selecting dialogue, so Bioware fixed one of these problems in a different game then unfixed it for ME3.

        • Klay F. says:

          There is a slight problem with that reasoning. In ME1 you had controls specifically for drawing/holstering your weapon, and crouching. CROUCHING. Fucking crouching of all things was purged. These functions translated just fine to the console version. In ME3 they are inexplicably gone. This means that Bioware REMOVED controls that previously had no problem fitting on a console controller in the interests of the awesome button. Its not a question of “can’t”. Its a question of too idiotic.

  8. Reapers: As accurate as the plot demands. Surprising that Harbringer isn’t just soloing the entire resistance by now.

  9. Tohron says:

    This was about the point where I gave up on finishing my ME3 playthrough. When you already know everything of import that happens afterward, it just isn’t worth it.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      C’mon. I can’t be that bad.

      It actually is that bad. In fact, experiencing it for yourself is even worse. WORSE I TELL YOU!!!

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      I didn’t die this frequently (Inflitrators don’t get that close), but I remember considering this section hugely eye-rolling, and then to follow it up with a blatant repeat of the Race to the Conduit (which was actually exciting) from the first game provoked so much eye-rolling it wasn’t funny.

      The shouting started after TIM’s untimely demise.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So,the next episode will start with the best character ever.Hell yeah!Cant wait.Ill even get my foam finger and a t-shirt to cheer him on.Maybe this time he wont die.

    Though maybe you shouldve ended this episode by having him kill you,and a sort of “season over” troll post.Youre slipping guys.

  11. Alex F says:

    The next game you’re doing is Daikatana, isn’t it?

  12. Protocol95 says:

    Sorry about this nitpick but when Rutskarn, (and by extension, the title) refers to the message that appears at 2:30, it actually says ‘Powers cannot be used during cooldown’.

    As I feel the need to add something more to this post, why doesn’t the reaper just shoot the missile battery? You’ve already tried shooting at it with another so it should recognize the threat of it.

  13. LunaticFringe says:

    Silly Americans, Thanksgiving was a month and a half ago.

    So this Reaper, this machine that is apparently beyond our human understanding, decides to fire (slowly) at the ground/Shepherd, rather than, I don’t know, JUST SHOOTING THE STATIONARY MISSILE TRUCK AND NEUTRALIZING THE ONE TACTICAL WEAPON THAT COULD POSSIBLY HURT HIM. There has got to be a Reaper equivalent of the Darwin Awards. This is almost as bad as Harbinger just letting the Normandy land and pick up your companions in the Extended Cut.

  14. Jake says:

    So could we get the unabridged failure version of this episode? I feel like there’s a lot of insanity that we missed.

    • Josh says:

      Irony: One of the bits of dialogue that was cut from the episode during the fast-forward sequence was Rutskarn lamenting the fact that “Now everyone’s going to ask for the uncut version of this” and me pointing out that “People are still asking for the full hour of Amnesia footage.”

      I’m kind of wishing I’d left that in, now.

  15. Johan says:

    I gotta admit though, taken on its own merits, that scene with endlessly spawning soldiers running for the Conduit and dying to the Reaper actually looks pretty good. It really does him home how this is basically a last desperate hail mary

    • krellen says:

      Except for the fact that we’ve just demonstrated for the second time that we know EXACTLY how to kill a Reaper, and yet somehow this knowledge isn’t helpful in any way for some inexplicable reason.

      • Phantom Hoover says:

        We know how to kill a DESTROYER, not a dreadnought. If you’re going to nitpick at least spend thirty seconds thinking about it before opening your mouth and smugly demonstrating your ignorance.

        • Shamus says:

          It looks like a Reaper, it fights like a Reaper, it sounds like a Reaper, it’s about the same size as a Reaper, it travels with the Reapers… but it’s not a Reaper.

          Does the shoot-it-in-the-eye thing not work for Reapers? Have we tried? What’s the breakdown of our foes, Reapers-to-destroyers?

          Again, if I trusted the writer I’d probably be on board here, but it feels sort of arbitrary.

          • Mike S. says:

            They’re not about the same size as a Reaper dreadnought– they’re considerably less than a tenth the length. (So if the width and height are proportionately reduced, something like a thousandth the volume.) PT boats were closer in size to battleships than Reaper destroyers are to Reaper dreadnoughts.

            The fight with Sovereign, plus the fact that Sovereign spent thousands of years using stealth tactics, indicates that even the dreadnoughts aren’t invulnerable. It’s just that direct tactics trade at the cost of a substantial fraction of a fleet per Reaper dreadnought, and organic civilization doesn’t have anywhere near the resources to win a war of attrition like that.

            (If the Reapers really get only one new dreadnought per cycle, then it’s possible that organics could eventually win… over the course of a few dozen cycles and a few million years.)

            The onscreen portrayal of combat isn’t realistic, even given the fictional conditions they’ve established. That said, it’s no worse than any other media SF space battles, so I tend to give it the same pass I give Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, etc. (Even B5 would only get a gentlemen’s C if held to a hard SF or milSF standard.) Yes, it sometimes strains WSOD, but I’ve had decades to get used to that sort of thing, and given that I’m still on board with the story it’s not going to knock me off.

            (Whereas if it had, experience with the Star Wars prequel trilogy suggests that I’d be as loud as anyone here complaining about it. :-) )

          • Phantom Hoover says:

            I’m not really sure how you got the impression that the Destroyers are the same size as Harbinger and Sovereign? I’m tempted to just drop this link and leave it, but without context it’d just be rude. I agree that they did a hilariously bad job of explaining the difference in dialogue, but they do look quite different, and I definitely got a clear sense of the scale when Harbinger drops in at the end.

          • Are you sure that is it’s eye? It could be their bunghole, considering all the crap that Harbringer (the child?) is spewing out it wouldn’t surprise me.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Sure,but if you have full readiness,like many have said,that cutscene in space shows us that we know how to take out quite a few dreadnoughts.So why not have a few of those break the orbit fight and come take our harbinger?He clearly is the bigger threat here.

          And furthermore,we saw that a destroyer can be killed either by 4 salvo shots from the fleet,or by two missiles.So if a dreadnought can be killed by firing a bunch of salvos from the fleet,it sure can be killed by a few missiles.Maybe not two,but still.

        • lurkey says:

          How, how in the frelling yotz those hacks that dare to call themselves writers are able to cause this sort of canine loyalty and adoration? I can never understand.

          • Phantom Hoover says:

            I’m afraid that I’m not the raving fanboy you want me to be; I think ME3 is terrible and full of holes too. I do, however, get riled up when smartarses start finding ‘holes’ which the writers did actually explicitly fill.

            • lurkey says:

              Coulda fooled me, what with a needless personal attack over a teeny tiny minor blooper. Plus, Destroyer still is a Reaper, so technically Krellen’s even right – he didn’t write “we know EXACTLY how to kill a Dreadnought”, did he?

              • Phantom Hoover says:

                i’m not sure explaining the irony of you complaining about personal attacks would be worthwhile

                • lurkey says:

                  Probably not, since the difference between you getting all righteous and offended over a minor slip of language and me mocking you for pious fervency in correcting aforesaid horrible offense isn’t substantial indeed – something like difference between ways to kill a Dreadnought and ways to kill a Destroyer.

        • Irridium says:

          So then why hasn’t Shepard and co spread the word on how to kill a Destroyer?

          • Amnestic says:

            Shepard believes that people shouldn’t need to be told “attack its (giant glowing) weakpoint for massive damage”.

            Shepard is sadly forgetting that people are dumb.

        • Ofermod says:

          Think about the difference between a real-life battleship and a destroyer. The tactics/weapons that work on one tend to be reasonably effective on the other, just in differing amounts.

          • Phantom Hoover says:

            reaper destroyers are smaller equivalents of reaper dreadnoughts, therefore every single naval analogy must be applicable!

          • Jace911 says:

            The difference between a Reaper destroyer and a dreadnought isn’t the same as a WW2 destroyer and a battleship. It’s the difference between a Coast Guard cutter and a Star Destroyer.

            The former exists solely so that Bioware can shoehorn in some way for Shepard to actually kill Reapers without it looking completely…well, more ridiculous.

          • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

            The way you destroy any ship is to hit it hard a lot. (Actually, my understanding is that modern naval vessels are essentially unarmored, their defense is the CIWS Phalanx or equivalent -which is why you have to spam them with missiles.) Alas, that doesn’t work in Mass Effect becuase “Space Magic.”

        • krellen says:

          I thought a lot about it. Sovereign was a dreadnaught and was killed in the first game. So we didn’t even need Rannoch’s kill to give a tactical advantage to work on.

          And if you watch closely (or many, many times, as I have completed Mass Effect 1 a half-dozen times), you’ll even notice that the way Sovereign dies is exactly identical – Joker flies in close and fires a shot right into the gun/eye thing.

          • Phantom Hoover says:

            Just because they were able to kill one dreadnought under specific circumstances does not mean it’s a plot hole when they are unable to kill another dreadnought under completely different circumstances.

            • krellen says:

              Dreadnaughts are killable. This is known information.
              Reapers have a weakness. This is also known information.

              There is no need for a deus ex machina solution to a problem that has a PROVEN conventional solution.

              This isn’t a minor plot hole. This is a huge gaping hole around which they built the entire resolution to this series, including the ENTIRE plot of the third game. “The Reapers are unstoppable” is the central premise behind the Crucible and the climax of the series – and it is a premise that is demonstrably untrue – repeatedly so.

              Sovereign isn’t the only dreadnaught casualty, and in fact a key point of Mass Effect 2 is the fact that one was in fact killed several cycles past.

              Mass Effect 2 should have been about uncovering the weaknesses of the Reapers such that it could be proven they were, in fact, defeatable. Mass Effect 3 should have been about getting the various races of the galaxy to band together to do just that.

              The series itself has shown, time and time again, that the Reapers are not invulnerable, and it is not mere nitpicking to point out that building the entirety of your climax around the idea that they are is really, really dumb.

              • Phantom Hoover says:

                Sorry, sorry, you’re still extrapolating from “reapers CAN be killed” to “this one SPECIFIC reaper can easily be killed right here, right now”. The climax is dumb for enough reasons already, you don’t have to make more up.

                • krellen says:

                  My commentary is in no way, shape or form specific to the instance currently being displayed in the video, and instead applies to the entirety of the series.

                  I never said that it was dumb that they’re not just killing Harbinger at this exact point. I said it was dumb that the plan does not involve KILLING THE REAPERS at all.

                  And just for the record, I think simply stating “I’m not sure killing a Destroyer-class Reaper is exactly applicable to the problem of a Dreadnaught-class Reaper” probably would have created a more constructive conversation.

                  • Hitchmeister says:

                    Apples and oranges, Krellen. Just because they know almost nothing brings down the smaller Destroyer Reapers until you hit it in the big glowy eye with something substantial, are you saying that when the 10 times as big full-size Reaper shows up they shouldn’t try running lots of infantry at it with assault rifles to see if that works?

                    • krellen says:

                      I know that my assertion that not being suicidally idiotic is sound military strategy is somewhat controversial, but at this point I think it’s worth at least a modicum of consideration, don’t you?

                • Luhrsen says:

                  You would like to talk specifics? Well then;

                  Firstly, we know that when a Sovereign class reapers shields are down even the relatively weak guns on the first Normandy can penetrate the reapers body entirely with a single shot.

                  Secondly, we know from the codex that when a Sovereign class reaper lands on a planet it must divert all power from shields to mass effect fields in order to maintain stuctural integrity and not collapse. (Any suggestion as to Harbinger being powerful enough to ignore this restriction is mere supposition without data to back it up, therefore this fact must be taken as true in this instance.)

                  So that being established; in this SPECIFIC instance Harbinger should be the primary target of any of our fleet elements including fighter craft with the new Thanix cannons and an easy kill.

                  • Amnestic says:

                    Harbinger is meant to be a ‘special’ type of Reaper which is notably larger than the others. If the Sovereign-class need to lower their shields in order to maintain balance/integrity on a planet, it’d make sense for Sovereign to need to do the same.

                    If that’s the case, you really have to question why ground-based Reapers are much of a threat at all given Thanix Cannons are now widespread issue across fighters/frigates in the Alliance/Turian fleets which should be able to operate in atmosphere given that the SR-2 only couldn’t because of its increased size compared to the SR-1 (except when the SR-2 does come in atmosphere like the Hammerhead missions and the Extended Cut DLC but SHUT UP NO ONE READ THE CODEX OKAY).

                    • Ofermod says:

                      Doesn’t the SR-2 enter the atmosphere in, you know, the very first mission of ME3? And doesn’t an Alliance Dreadnought do the same thing?

                    • Irridium says:

                      Yes. Yes they do.

                      *sigh*

                    • Amnestic says:

                      Yep. Because it was utterly impossible for Shepard to board a shuttle with Kaiden on it and meet the Normandy in orbit. That would’ve ruined…um…precisely nothing actually.

                      :/

                • Irridium says:

                  In the Codex for Mass Effect 3 it states that about three Dreadnoughts firing on a Reaper (the big ones) overwhelms its shields enough for it to be killed.

                  It takes a bit of firepower, but they can be killed by conventional means.

                  • Klay F. says:

                    This basically sums it up. There isn’t a single navy in the galaxy that knows how to affectively focus fire. They could have been designating targets to the ships in groups of three all the way to Earth. Yup, this cycle deserves to lose.

  16. Sozac says:

    Can’t wait for the appearance from Marauder Shields.

  17. Kdansky says:

    I still think you should not do a full play-though, because you run out of things to say. Two hours will cover any AAA game with time to spare. I’d much prefer it if someone would record a few interesting scenes, and then you’d sit together, watch them, and talk about the game.

    I generally don’t watch Spoiler Warning, because it’s 1 hours of content over twenty hours of video which shows repetitive gameplay, because you like to go with games that have very mediocre gameplay to begin with.

    What about Dark Souls? That’s a game which is actually both enjoyable to play and to watch, and I think I could talk for hours about it, what it does badly (a few things), and what it does well (oh-so-much), and why it’s a proper game, what makes it the most important game of the decade, and why it will be remembered long after ME3 has been forgotten.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      I think Shamus said during the hangout a while back that he’s never played Dark Souls due to the “super hard difficulty” it has.

    • Minnow says:

      I’m a big fan of their ‘full playthrough’ approach. Sure it may lead to a few duller episodes, but in the long run the rewards are far greater – you’re near guaranteed if you’ve played the game to hear commentary on sections you’re interested in, whilst if you’re like me and had no interest in actually playing ME3 you get to ‘experience’ the game alongside interesting commentary that makes the experience bearable.

      Dark Souls is a game that’s fantastic to play, but incredibly boring to watch [in my experience]. Granted I haven’t played much of it, nor actually own it, but isn’t it pretty much all combat with comparably little narrative? [The whole ‘story is told through the environment’ angle still doesn’t make for an interesting video-series]. Combat is usually boring to watch, whatever the game, and Dark Souls is no exception, it just doesn’t have anything else to discuss; unlike ME3 where besides combat there’re fully developed characters, moral choices, lore, previous games and so on.

      “it’s a proper game”

      I’d like to think games as a medium are large enough to support all types without labelling specific games ‘proper’. Dark Souls is a great game to a specific type of player – hyperbole like ‘the most important game of the decade’ does your opinion a disservice.

      • TMTVL says:

        Dark Souls can be interesting, provided you either have someone who’s sequence breqking, or someone who’s really good at the game. Check out Helloween4545’s LP.

        Then again, it is damn fun to play, so even if it isn’t as fun to watch as to play, it can still be lots of fun.

      • IFS says:

        Dark souls would work better as a special episode in my opinion, something like the amnesia special, that way we can see their commentary without them having to devote a whole season to the game.

    • anaphysik says:

      You know, *you* could always just do a critically-focused LP of Dark Souls if you have so much to say about it, and then link it in your posts here when it’s relevant.

      (I’m not being snarky, btw; I think that’s an excellent suggestion.)

  18. Raygereio says:

    And here we see once again why the Vanguard is really, really dumb class idea.
    This a class whose mechanics revolve solely around getting up the enemies’ faces, in a cover-based shooter – a system of gameplay where this will result in you getting hurt a lot.

    • Samopsa says:

      You could not be more wrong. Vanguards own!

      I mean, if you can recharge your shields by head-butting enemies every 1.2 seconds, who the hell needs cover? Vanguard makes you into a human wreckin’ ball.

      • Raygereio says:

        A human wrecking ball that does next to no damage with the actual wrecking, has an attack that does decent damage but removes her shields and said wrecking puts you in direct contact with melee attacks that stun, insta-kill moves and gives you no ability to dodge or negate ranged attacks.

        Vanguards are a silly idea that simply don’t fit properly within ME2 & 3’s combat model. The only reason it works is because the game is really easy.
        That said, charging into enemies is funny. Stupid and nonsensical, but still funny.

        • newdarkcloud says:

          If it weren’t for the instant kill bullshit Brutes, Atlas mechs, and Banshees have, then it wouldn’t be a huge deal. As it stands, yeah Vanguards are a poor class.

          • LunaticFringe says:

            You can see how Vanguard was basically designed to be a high-risk, high-reward class with abilities like Nova. Unfortunately yeah, the instakills pretty much turn battles against specific enemies into high-risk, little-reward.

          • Mike S. says:

            I’ve only played Vanguard and Adept in ME3. (And those plus Soldier and Sentinel in ME2.) But in ME3, Vanguard on Insanity was substantially more survivable for me than Adept on Hardcore, even in the Crisis on Infinite Banshees there at the end.

            Banshees are really hard for Vanguards– though harder for Adepts– but they encourage changing up tactics. Instead of using Charge to attack them, I’d use it to get away from them (hopefully there’s a marauder or cannibal on the other side of the battlefield!), while using the guns (you can carry two or three without affecting power cooldowns) and distance powers that the game also provides. Or, occasionally, trying the Charge-and-then-back-up-immediately-before-they-kill-me.

            I don’t think it’s a bad class for occasionally requiring using something other than Charge and Nova. (As much fun as it is to be a cross between the Flash and the Human Bomb most of the time.)

            • newdarkcloud says:

              Full disclosure. In my only playthrough of ME3, I was an Adept.

              This section really upset me.

              • Cupcaeks says:

                True story: I played through ME3 as an Adept on Insanity and had to replay this section like ten times before I accidentally figured out that warp + shockwave and warp + throw = biotic explosion, then I was I like “Wait, I can blow things up that have shields and armor?”. Spamming those combos made this fight significantly easier for me, and I spent the rest of the game feeling stupid for not having figured that out much earlier (like during the fight with the four Geth Primes, for instance, man that one was awful for me). For some reason I had gotten into my head that only warp could trigger an explosion, and only singularity and pull could set one up. Oh, well, the more you know…

            • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

              I typically use Charge to relocate to a better place to use the shotgun. The problem is, I do this by making copious use of the Pause button. Charge the Banshee, shotgun once, pause -find a marauder, charge over there -Nova or shotgun -repeat.

    • Amnestic says:

      *crosses arms* I completed ME2+3 (When they got Charge) on Insanity with a Vanguard and loved it. I never thought it was a poor class. It was just the enemies that were poorly designed. If you go back a few episodes to Shepard using the Cain, you can see Josh basically wrecking everything and Chris lamenting how it was much harder for his Engineer.

      • Raygereio says:

        *crosses arms back and waves e-penis back*
        I had no difficulty either with my adept. All that meant was that Josh is having an easy time with an already easy game on easy mode.
        Well, that and Chris’ engineer sucked seeing as he rushed through the game, never upgraded his weapons and likely wasn’t anywhere near the levelcap.

        I never said it was a poor class. It’s not unplayable, but I feel like that’s mostly due to the game being not hard. Not because the class’ ability to function within the combat model.
        I maintain that a class revolving around not using cover and begging enemies hit her in a cover-based shooter is not the world’s brightest design decision.

        • Amnestic says:

          “I maintain that a class revolving around not using cover and begging enemies hit her in a cover-based shooter is not the world’s brightest design decision.”

          I actually thought the exact opposite. Being given a class in a cover based shooter who shirked all cover in favour of a more mobile/risk filled style was a good idea solely because it supports players who don’t like hiding in cover. You’ve got five classes for those who enjoy the cover-based stuff and one who ignores it entirely.

          Now you might say it’d be nice to have more middle ground between the two, and I’d agree, but supporting alternate playstyles should be a thing which we encourage rather than punish.

          • Raygereio says:

            supporting alternate playstyles should be a thing which we encourage rather than punish

            On that we couldn’t agree more if we typed that sentence while setting next to each other, each one hand on the keyboard and one hand holding a stein of beer to the other’s mouth.

            I just think that Bioware’s attempt at doing that with the Vanguard is a miserable failure. I could explain in more detail on exactly why, but really: if you had fun with it, then good for you and let’s agree to disagree.

  19. hborrgg says:

    I meant to pipe in with my two cents back near the beginning of London, but oh well, I guess I’ve been kind of busy.

    The whole section is just so awful on every level. One of the things that “bro shooter”-type games like to do is attempt to emulate actual military footage or even bring in some actual experts in order to really capture that war-time feel and it really does show when they put in the effort.
    In Mass Effect 3, however, they start right off the bat with that awful. . . I don’t even know what to call it. “Ok, we need to show that this is an intense, hard-fought battle: Start with a close up of an Alien getting shot! Now do a close up of a human getting shot! Now do a close up of another alien getting shot! Now show another human. . . etc.” And then it just keeps getting worse from there. Eventually you end up with random people standing in formation and saluting right next to a firefight and other soldiers menacingly pointing their guns at a wall while on the radio you are continually being told about different “flanks” either “pushing forward” or being “wiped out” without seeing any evidence or having any sort of idea about what that’s supposed to mean, and the writers start throwing absurdly high casualty rates at you with no apparent rhyme or reason. Seriously, you are supposed to overhear a radio conversation that goes something along the lines of “Unit A has suffered 80% casualties, unit B has suffered 90% casualties, unit C has suffered 100% casualties, they called in to report 100% casualties right before there was a loud exploding sound!” Toward the end you get treated to a cutscene of a bunch of soldiers running forward and opening fire all at once, almost 18th century style, and instantly killing a large group of husks and cannibals that were inexplicably milling about a couple dozen meters in front of them for whatever reason. By the time they’re all yelling and shooting their assault rifles at that giant Reaper, you kind of realize that this might as well be basically a really bad anime.
    Overall the entire battle for London just feels like it has the same complexity as a 5-year old playing with plastic army men.

    Ah well, I can’t even seem to string my thoughts together properly so that’s probably enough ranting. Thank goodness this season is nearly over, because I’ve pretty much had it with Mass Effect. In the meantime I’m going to go back to playing a way better space game with the bravest space hero ever: Jebediah Kerman!

    • Lalaland says:

      I completely agree Bioware attempting to do the military has been a car crash from day one. From the subtle things such as rank issues and saluting to the senior commanders seeming to channel a mixture of von Falkenhayn at Verdun and Zapp Brannigan (“wave after wave of my own men until they reached their pre-set kill limit!”)

      The 18th century would be disgusted by the tactics in these cutscenes, at that time battle discipline = standing side by side while being shot at. Hell any pre Modern Era civilisation would laugh at these tactics, only someone whose sole experience of military history was bad action video games would think these scenes credible. Honestly this seems more like the hapless melees you see in youtube LARPing videos (‘lightning bolt, lightning bolt!’) or from replays of ‘l33t’ FPS gamers.

      The mini cut scene from the last episode with the ‘ambush’ of a Reaper was so stupid I actually burst out laughing when I first saw it. Imagine a WWII movie where they decided to take out a Tiger by having everyone lie in wait with their M1 Garands and Tommy guns only to spring out and spray it down with bullets. Much as the Reaper did the tank crew would laugh themselves silly and maybe play a game of ‘run over the yanks’ or just shoot everyone. Did the future make everybody stupid?

      • Ofermod says:

        I don’t think anyone should be surprised that Bioware can’t write combat tactics, given how terribly they handled the Reapers’ general anti-galaxy campaign. I mean, granted, it’s possible to be good at writing one scale of combat and bad at another, but…

  20. Khazidhea says:

    That last line just as it fades to back aggravates a pet peeve of mine.

    “Marine: Did we get anyone to the beam?
    Major Coats: Negative. Our entire force was decimated.”

    While by no means restricted to Mass Effect, I’ve seen it in fiction everywhere in general, but having had to play through the ending a three or so times it’s stood out to me more and more everytime. Every time my thought response is “Oh, we got the majority of our troops through, that went better than it seemed. 10% losses isn’t too bad considering what we’re up against.”

    • LunaticFringe says:

      Only recent game that got this right that comes to mind is New Vegas, what with the whole Caesar’s Legion thing.

    • Mike S. says:

      I don’t think dialog gets a downcheck if a word is used in a way that the character would realistically use it. If a modern speaker uses “decimate” they generally mean it the way Major Coats did.

      I’m all in favor of rear guard actions in the defense of language. And I’m always pleased when “decimate” is used in the original sense. But when most users of a language define a word in a particular way, that’s what it means, etymology notwithstanding. (Just as “awful” no longer primarily means “awe-inspiring” and “giddy” no longer means “possessed” or “god-touched”.)

    • Jace911 says:

      I was kind of surprised when one of the Halo books brought this up and then corrected itself; one character mentions that their fleet was decimated at the battle of Reach, then another says “No, we would have been decimated if we lost one ship out of ten. Instead, we lost nine!

    • Raygereio says:

      Words, terms and symbols can and will acquire different meanings in exchange or next to the original.

      Decimation in every day, modern usage (unless it refers specifically to the Roman practice) means to “reduce drastically” – typically in numbers or refers to large scale destruction.

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      Whether we like it or not, decimated now means both “10% losses” and “90% losses.” The problem is, neither is the meaning Coates wants.

      The word he is looking for is “annihilated.”

  21. Hitchmeister says:

    I haven’t watched the video yet, but I wanted to throw out something about OK Go that some people may have forgotten or not been aware of. A few years ago they had problems with their videos on YouTube getting DMCA takedown notices from their record company. Videos that they themselves uploaded. Apparently it was never confirmed, but widely believed to be the reason they left that record company.

  22. Bentusi16 says:

    See, I didn’t have that much trouble here and I thought it was sort of fun…

    But I was also playing Soldier.

    I think this is the developer going “Ok, you’re a vanguard. The rest of the game has been the easiest breezy thing since you have CHARGE and NOVA. So here’s a part where all that easy breezy goes away.”

  23. Jace911 says:

    Josh needs to find all of the death montages they’ve done in this entire series and edit them all together into a single glorious episode of fail.

  24. anaphysik says:

    I love how at 0:15, that banshee actually teleports *backwards* away from Josh. It’s trying to get away from this crazy person!!

  25. noahpocalypse says:

    I predict one of following:

    Arkham City? (Might get kind of old…)
    Spec Ops?
    Skyrim? (Would definitely get old…)

    It’s be great if you guys did Assassin’s Creed 3; it suffers from mostly different problems than AC2, but I’d says it is a definite improvement. For the most part, I loved it. Or maybe I just loved the environment and setting and hated the game part. Combat and climbing is (mostly) improved, story is vastly improved (no utter WTF moments for the most part)…

    Shamus mentioned that he liked the debating of philosophies in your fistfight with the friggin’ pope. I liked it too. And it’s everywhere now; they explore many really interesting themes, not just Templar vs. Assassins (though that is, of course, the main debate). It was certainly memorable.

    • Ofermod says:

      I think after AC2, they’re not touching that franchise with a 10-foot pole.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Sands of time would be a good game.Its not that hard,and has quite a few things for them to say about the whole franchise.

    • LunaticFringe says:

      A friend of mine’s playing through it now, I’ve been watching/playing bits of it and it has being filling me with rage. AC2’s bare knuckle boxing match with the magical space Pope Alexander VI was unintentionally hilarious, but some of the historical stuff in AC3 just drives me crazy. Really, an Assassin rode with Paul Revere to warn Lexington and Concord? And since they had only one horse they had to ride together, with Revere yelling directions into his ear every ten seconds? And you just happen to be there while they’re signing the Declaration of Independence? I’m with Yahtzee on this one, I miss the days of the original Assassin’s Creed where the most historically relevant thing you did was stand ten feet away from Richard the Lionhearted. Ubisoft’s game of ‘let’s play historical favourites’ gets really obnoxious really fast. Connor’s also probably the most unlikable protagonist so far. Altair was dull, Ezio made some stupid moves, but Connor is just whiny.

      That being said, the naval combat in the game is actually a lot of fun (definitely the best part of the game).

    • Thomas says:

      I’d enjoy Arkhum Asylum, but I think it would feel disrespectful to Mumbles :(

  26. I gotta agree with Josh, WTF was BioWare thinking, that missile battle was just stupid. It’s exhausting and burns you out.

    A quick fix would be having one of your team mates on each missile launcher and Shepard running around doing suppression fire until a timer ticked down to 0.

  27. bbch says:

    Sooo… do we get the last episode this weekend, or do we have to wait until next week? :)
    I’ve got a pack of Pringles and a bottle of Coke standing by :D

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