Mass Effect 2 - Helmet Issue

Found on Kotaku..

I wasn't outraged about the helmet issue, merely annoyed. I just felt the need to write about how disappointed I am with the recent Bioware releases. I'm a 43-year-old gamer; I'm retired so I game a lot; I've been gaming since 1979; I pre-order 99% of my games and typically buy all the DLC. I pre-ordered DA:O and ME2 collector's editions. With the recent false advertising issue related to the CE exclusivity of the cerberus network card, the issues with Return to Ostagar and the horrific issues with the DLC and character importer nightmares in ME2 it seems that Bioware has lost an opportunity to build upon its extremely good reputation.

...blah blah blah... [i just saved you two paragraphs of whining]

I can only hope that enough people fail to buy Bioware's next release so that they see an impact in their financial statements, which seems to be the only place they are focused these days. It saddens me that the quality of Bioware games has declined so dramatically but I honestly no longer expect anyone to take any pride in their work or care about providing a quality product to their customers.

Guess what? When the next big Bioware game comes out.. if they actually have the balls to 'boycott' the game.. they'll wait maybe a few days and eventually cave in and buy it b/c they're pathetic. When people boycotted Left for Dead 2.. did that impact the company? No. When people wanted to boycott Modern Warfare 2, did Activision cry? No, they were laughing at the top of their mountain of gold; the best selling game EVER! Grow up people.

New Borderlands DLC Announced!


Alright! :D


Mass Effect 2: First Impressions

New additions:
'Different' skill sets; Instead of a character having a possible 8-10 skills (weapon, tech, biotic, general/healing), alot of them have been eliminated and most characters only have about 4-6 skills. My adept has pull, singularity, throw, warp, biotic mastery and shockwave.. thats it.. call it dumbing down.. or call it streamlining.. you pick. I .. kinda like it but miss having alot of skills to choose from. One thing I like is now anyone can hack a computer/lockpick as there is no skill for that anymore.

Less micro-management;
from an rpg point of view.. bad. From a person that likes shooting more, a game that is more streamlined, or that places higher priority on plot, this is a good thing. I personally liked spending my time doing many different loadouts for my characters. The joy of finding or using powerful weapons, armor or mods. Just being able to play your characters differently through the gear you give them. Now, all you have to do is worry about your main character's gear. Mods seem to apply to all members, you don't need to worry about their gear, characters get the wepaons in which they are proficient in (so an Adept doesn't get a sniper rifle). I guess the positive side on this is less micro-management means more time to play through the storyline.

The Good
Graphics; Gorgeous. Even better than the first game (i guess it better be); lots of cutscenes to show it off. More textures and holograms.

Removal of the Maco
I found it was the most annoying aspect of the original game. Cliffs you couldn't climb; fighting thresher maws was super annoying.. the ability to run over ground enemies was cheap and avoiding turrets or lava was annoying as well. Thank goodness for this.

Plot/storyline. I won't give it away.. but its good and makes sense.

Talking Shepard\Protagonist. When the main character, your character, is able to talk and it is not just assumed that what you selected is what you said, it draws you into the game. Greater immersion. Bioware has kept this, and the voice acting is fantastic. (Why not Dragon Age, i dunno)

Lots of npc companions. I believe around 12.. so double than the first game.

Mining; scanning mini-game while looking for natural resources; you scan a planet from orbit and you shoot a probe to an area that you find with high concentrations of resources and this is used for research projects that will be used for upgrades (not confirmed: weapons and armor)

Faster shopping; instead of having to strike up a conversation with a vendor each time you want to buy, there are convenient terminals to start the buying process.

The Bad

Load times; omfg takes forever! I may not have a top of the line computer in today's standard, but it's still pretty decent, but the load times are huuuuge. Just moving from one deck in the Normandy takes a good 2-3 minutes (these are super small levels). Sure the graphics are cool  but it sure does take a long time! I read my strategy guide in between.

Feels clunky; maybe my mouse laser is not as accurate anymore.. or maybe its the game, but it seems like the cursor is slow in the game, or I get stuck when trying to aim. Aiming around corners is significantly harder; sometimes I get extremely frustrated that i'm pressing the zoom button but my character is not getting out of cover to aim b/c i'm not positioned correctly.

Jacob (the npc). He looks like Kayne West, sorry buddy, no matter how nice you are in the game, i don't think i can play you.

Limited ammo. Call it easy mode; i don't like the thought of being limited to ammo.. which possibly makes being biotic more important.. or make each shot count. I haven't played a soldier/physical player yet, so I don't know whether the mags on assault rifles, smgs, shotguns or sniper rifles are bigger. It doesn't make sense, 2 years ago (game time) there was unlimited ammo with heat conservation, and now there is ammo? blah

--------------I can't put in an honest review of the game yet, as I've barely touched the surface (only played about 5ish hours.. nd more like 3 hours on my character) already rerolled with my female renegade (i like to be evil). The game is good (I know that is a rather weak descriptor). Its Bioware, and i've already played Dragon Age and it was solid, a very good game. I can't imagine them not trying with Mass Effect 2, but actually trying even better as it is supposed to be a trilogy.
They took some of the annoying issues away, added a few quirks (limited ammo, and streamlined micromanagement).. but overall its the same type of game the original was that was very popular. Once again, I can't figure out how to take screenshots, but as you see, I took pics while gaming for your viewing pleasure ;)


Mass Effect 2

In two days, the fate of humanity rests in the hands of an assassin, a savage, a loyalist, a psychopath.. but that never stopped me before..


WAR alternatives

Update: I don't think I suck at Magic: The Gathering... but even at the easiest difficulty level (mage), the computer whoops my butt 60+% of the time. Trying to get more cards for the fire deck, but pretty hard; surprisingly got the farthest with my White deck.. flyers, buffs, disables and holy day FTW.


Jace Beleren - blue mage desktop favorite

So, everyone knows, the new WAR patch notes are out; interesting stuff.

Coles note version (of what I read from other blogs):
- new pvp weapon rewards via scenario play and a currency

I thought of some possible scenarios that might be implemented:
1. Winners get all, losers get none
a) equal 'currency/money' for all winners
b) ranked by damage/healing or 'tangible' numbers solely
c) ranked by non tangible issues (providing buffs, or protecting the objective, capturing the flag) solely
d) both b and c

2. Winners and losers get equal amount
a) depending on their 'contribution' (via a formula of b&c from 1) all players would receive credit whether they win or lose the scenario
- this would be good when you're doing well, but your team (pugs) just suck

3. Winners and losers get unequal amount (winners more obbbviously, and losers less)
a) winners get equal amt but more than losers, and losers get equal amt but less than winners
b) winners get more than losers, in a ranked fashion by contribution
c) possible high contributing losers get equal/more than low contributing winners


Garruk Wildspeaker - your very cool maruader

If I was still playing, I would vote 3c b/c I believe that if you win, you deserve a bit extra. You've been in that scenario where you lose, but you're holding up the team.. its maybe 500-498.. 500-400 or someother number and not 500-10.. you deserve to get something for your efforts. Its for those times where the tanks hide behind your spawn lines, or the dps that won't venture out to get the healers.. you deserve to get something for your attempt. That is also intangible; your team is either not playing correctly, or doesn't know how to play and is getting slammed, and even though you know how to play, you're getting slapped around too b/c you're pugging or you're not a one man army. How to calculate those intangibles?

Obviously, if they don't include different queues for the pugs and premades.. i bet alot of people will want it to be option 1. <--they're not going to do that :P

I think most people (me too if I was to come back) would still rather that Mythic found a solution to end game pvp/rvr.. I remember at the beginning, it took forever to seige an enemy's capital.. and even then they didn't get far.. I say good luck Mythic.


Talking about scores (500-498), maybe that is how they would calculate the amt of currency that is granted. There can be a certain amt of currency that is granted for either winning or losing, and then depending on the amt of points the losing side had, dictates the amt of currency doled out once contribution is factored in.

<--Sorin Markov - vampire and black magic specialist


Lastly, weapons from scenarios; cool idea; better idea(?): different queues like everyone is talking about; a pugging queue and then a premade queues with different rewards.. that would be interesting. Show how powerful and skilled you really are by playing with people that aren't from a premade group.


The Past

This past week.. and hopefully for a few more days if you're interested, Magic: The Gathering Planeswalker was 50% off on XBox Live Arcade. Sitting pretty at 400 Points, it tempted me to re-live nearly a decade ago, when all my friends in highschool were obsessed with this complex card game.

When I told my younger brother Spiral that I purchased it, he laughed. And when he told his friend that I got it, he laughed too.

When I started playing the campaign, he didn't have anything else to do but watch. And watch he did. And he gave sound advice for the coming battles.

And then I saw a coop mode and invited him. Hook line and sinker, we played till 1 in the morning.

If you were always intrigued about the game, but never really found a way to get into it, maybe this might be your chance. Its fast paced, but simple enough to learn after a couple tries. The computer isn't too cheap and coop mode is alot of fun. The graphics on the cards is gorgeous, just like the actual card game.. actually i think its the same cards!

I wish they came out with a new 360 version.. I'd totally buy it.. easy money sink for microsoft by having additional special cards you could purchase. Currently it has so many dlc on the marketplace: themes, backgrounds, avatars, expansions, decks and ingame avatars. Tons.

Tome Unlock: Mad Moxxi

Found: The Underdome
Where: Hell-burbia, Angelic Ruins, the Gully

Its significantly easier solo.. tho I still haven't had the opportunity to play 4 player yet..

Reward: 1 skill point, cash and exp

Not much granted for the possible effort you need to put into it; but once again, lets think about ODST or Gears2.. there is no reward except the satisfaction of completing it and the possible achievement.
I always get so frustrated when I die in this.. I guess its because the difficulty curve sometimes jumps incredibly high.. and death in the Underdome sometimes will set you back an extra round, not just to the beginning of your current round. Once again, think about it, in ODST, if your whole team dies, the game is over. In Gears 2, you have to start the round again.

Memories of a Healer

Thanks to Syp at Biobreak.. a blog on healers and healing.. b/c everyone it seems like that is this week's theme ;)

A healer will always remember who you are.. even if we're not dwarves, we have our own book of grudges
I just remember my gf and I playing healers (her a zealot and me a dok), in warbands and when the lame tanks or over-agressive dps complained about the healing, I would simple say in WB chat "Okay, joesomebody, i'm not healing you anymore." Instantly the mood changed in the WB and everyone was urging that whiner to appologize and for us to keep healing.

Other WB fun times had a complaining dps, in which I let die.. and then proceeded to jump on the corpse and wished it was WoW to be able to sit on it.

Mannn i miss WAR.. good times..


Coming Soon

Is anyone waiting for the new Mass Effect 2 game that is due out later this month?

I honestly.. have seen very little information from the various sources that I check on a daily basis (Kotaku, Game Trailers, other blogs). I probbbably intend on getting this game as well; though i'm currently playing Borderlands with Mordecai, my lvl 43 Hunter on his second playthrough and trying to get the achievement for a lvl 50 character (I expect it'll take me to the end of this playthrough to get to lvl 50 easily).

I surprisingly remember quite a bit from ME1; it was the first 360 game that I ever attempted to play on my own and actually see all the way to the end. Before I may have attempted some multiplayer of GoW or Halo (yuck) that my friends were raving about, but that I never got into enough to buy my own system. I loved it so much that even though I completed the game twice, I then bought it for the pc and completed another 3-5 playthroughs (i never do that. never).

I enjoyed the party system which enabled me to switch out party members without much fuss (similar to Dragon Age), I like the cover system which was fluid and didn't have me jumping from cover to cover accidently like in GoW. I liked how the guns didn't have ammo but a cooldown (similar to Erridian weapons in Borderlands). Was bag space unlimited? I don't remember.. but worse case scenario would just require me to melt down some equipment to omni gel which I needed all the time anyways.

Regenerating shields that was always a plus. Health.. I don't think that was regenerating.. but you could have alot of health packs, I don't remember extended fights requiring all my health packs. Having the freedom of going to any star system, explore, get goodies which translated into exp and money was always fun too. The characters were memorable especially Wrex. I liked the 'zoom' effect of when running, and the graphics were great as well.

In regards to storyline, its kind of like my mother's show, Columbo where we the viewer/player get to see who is the villian, and its up to th hero to figure out and defeat that hidden enemy. And the cut scenes were pretty impressive especially at the very end.

One thing of note; I do believe that the main chaaracter actually had dialogue which you could hear depending on your choice. None of this Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age, or any recent RPG's of note had the main character talking. Always mute. Always too shy to say anything. NPC's are mind readers in RPG games, dontchaknow?

What was annoying, which i really hope is fixed in ME2 is exploring planets in the MACO.. it was good at times, but others it was horrrrrible to maneuver or fight those sandworms. Maybe can I get a flyer/helicopter/vtol instead? Nah, they won't do that, but I can always hope. (Like Ted in the sitcom How I Met Your Mother; great show) Please less Maco, more ground fighting.

Will I get this for the pc or 360?.... i want the achievments (unlock addiction!!!).. but I feel badly for my poor computer that only really has Heroes of Might and Magic 5 to play consistently while I get over my Dragon Age burnout. Not to mention as long as I don't have issues *coughDragonAgecough*, if I get it for the pc, i'll be able to post good pics as well.




The author and many commentors complained how there is no point to playing this (DLC of Mad Moxxi & The Underdome) as there is no reward.

Trying my best to not sound like a fan boy myself, but more like devil's advocate, the question I pose then: was there a distinct reward for playing Horde mode in GoW or Firefight in ODST?
Answer: Yes.
1. there was for the fun of it (multiplayer strategy)
2. the variety of play (sniper, bunker , run and gun strategy)
3. the rare achievements

What Gearbox manages to add to this mix is:
4. loot and skill points

Granted it may not be super fantastic loot as people have seen (but have you played 4 player yet? I haven't and in the normal game I get great drops alone), and maybe we're applying more scrutiny on a game that has experience and lvls of loot.. but its exactly like GoW/ODST. And did we have that many people making the same complaint? I personally never saw it, but then again, I never looked at the forums and found these trolls. lol

God Hates Fanbois!!


Mad Moxxi Review

Get it, get it now.

Things to know:

800 points

This is Gearbox's attempt at the success of Horde/Firefight that was so popular in Gears of War and Halo ODST; 5 rounds consisting of 5 waves of enemies. Each arena has different monster types that spawn. Similar to ODST there are skulls (see: buffs/debuffs) that are applied to both the player and the npcs each wave which can change the way the game is played. Between waves, ammo and health is randomly thrown into the arena and at the end of each round, random gear drops from the central location.

You're able to solo but its hard. And if you can't get second wind, you have to start on the first wave of the round even if you were on the 4th or 5th.
No experience gained from killing enemies.
So far.. no proficiencies gained either from dlc (makes sense)
Exp IS gained when completing challenges, which is good for those times you are too weak for certain quests and are bored of grinding in the normal areas.

Yes! there is storage provided in the dlc!

When playing splitscreen (atleast), if one person accesses storage, it freezes the other person if they are in their own inventory screen.

The Good

The foyer of the Underdome

- great atmosphere; just like how everyone quotes Smash TV, you are a contestant in a unrelenting horde, if you're doing well, Moxxi will let you know. If you get knocked out she'll taunt you about that too, not to mention the sexual inneundo she makes is funny and follows the Borderland's humor

- love the music, some the best music i've heard in a game besides mechassault 2

- good drops; the first time i realized they dropped items under Moxxi, there were 2 green and 1 yellow(!!!) and that was just solo play; i can imagine so phat lewt

- made for team play, just like GoW/ODST, you need team work, otherwise you'll lose quickly

- strategy is needed, one can't just be guns blazing unless you like being in the penalty box

- penalty box; when you can't get second wind, you go to a high area in the game and are able to shoot out of it to help your team mates (so bring a sniper rifle or rocket launcher), and you respawn once the wave is done

- varied baddies; different arenas = different baddies

- lots of ammo drops; at the end of each WAVE, there is ammo/health drops in random places; not like GoW where people sometimes fight for a box/weapon drop, or ODST where you have to wait for the end of a ROUND to get ammo

- the storage area; who doesn't like storage space?

The Bad

Beat those baddies again and again to your heart's content!

- storage area; isn't linked to all your characters.. so you gotta transfer items the old fashioned way

- end of round drops; once the mini boss is defeated with adds, the tower that Moxxi is standing on drops weapons/gear and if you're at the other end and you're with pugs, they'll steal the gear before you

- if you didn't realize that the gear dropped from end of rounds, they then disappear.. or even worse: in approximately.. 8 full rounds completed (5 by my hunter and 3 by my siren), half the time some gear was stuck to the ceiling and you lost out on them (Dammit Gearbox!!)

- ammo and health drops bounces too far sometimes

- storage area; you have to spend money to get additional storage area (weak..)

Having to buy storage sucks.. especially when it costs 1million credits..


In the last wave, a mini boss comes out with adds for you to defeat as a mini climax.

Borderlands is still a great game which may never get the full attention it deserves. I've seen many complaints on the forums about it being too hard solo, but the response was and still is: Borderlands is made to be a multiplayer game and not pure solo.

So if you don't like pugging, or don't have friends *cough* .. to play with, this dlc may not be for you.

Otherwise, if you do have friends, don't mind pugging, want additional storage (!!!!!) or are generally have a good time with Borderlands, buy it. Buy it now! :D


You may not be old enough

Currently playing: Borderlands
Going to download: Borderlands Mad Moxxi Content

An article on East vs West who does cosplay better:

What mainly caught my eye was at my very first anime convention I saw a gorgeous girl in this same outfit:

Its amazing how meticulous fans get when they create their costume:

Granted these seem to be girls who work for Playstation.. the costume adaptation is amazing.

Just like:
An if you haven't got your fill of cosplay yet... (i missed the one in December.. bah), you may like:

Lastly, an interesting chart of internet speeds and average cost.. lets all go to Japan! ;)

Click image to enlarge..