Entries in tali (3)


Mass Effect 3 review - A bittersweet goodbye

Note: No specific story beats are spoiled in this review, but it centers heavily around the general tone and nature of the ending. If such things are a concern, turn away now.

I stared blankly at the screen. The names scrolled slowly past, each one mocking my stunned visage in the darkness. My mind reached for words, silent when it knew it should be racing. I felt the controller slip slowly out of my hand.


Music rang lifelessly in my ears, little more than a distant murmur. Soon all was silent. I sat still for a few minutes more, waiting for it all to make sense. 

“This is it, isn’t it?” Liara had said only hours ago. 

The beautiful blue-skinned alien had stared sadly into my Sheperd’s eyes, her tone a mixture of lingering disbelief and the burden of dawning acceptance. The words bubbled to the surface of my disquietingly calm mind, an apt metaphor for my own feelings. 

Even now I still can’t quite grasp the truth. I feel there is a piece missing, as if some part of the experience simply escaped my memory and flew away. The last thing I had been led to believe I would feel at the end of this journey was incomplete. I can’t help but feel a little deceived.

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Mass Effect 2: Achievements and the RPG Experience

I can honestly and proudly say that I am not addicted to achievement points. I am not one of those poor souls who dedicates his entire playing experience to squeezing out every last point possible and doesn’t give up until every tedious, impossible task is done.

That simply doesn’t appeal to me in the least.

I’m not immune to the allure of the points, however. I know how satisfying it can be. I am aware of the double edged sword they can present. At their best, they give you incentive to play the game in fun ways you might never have thought or bothered to otherwise. At their worst, they lure you into wasting your time doing boring, unnecessary crap just for the increased achievement score.

Basically, my interest in points extends exactly as far as that line of boredom and insanity. I will happily chase a few points for fun, as long as it actually remains fun.

But I have recently realized that even my merely casual affection for the points can have a greater influence on my game playing than I thought.

The original Mass Effect contained a good number of fairly interesting cast members. This should have been a good thing, but the game’s structure combined with those blasted achievement points actually turned it into a negative for me.

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Mass Effect 2: Friends or Foes?

My gigantic assembly of party members in Mass Effect 2 has me a little perplexed.

See, I like them all. They’re a fascinating bunch. Even the evil bastards that I don’t agree with are interesting (I’m looking at you, Jack).

But I can’t help but think that there’s something missing.

This is not a comment on the quality of the characters themselves. I have previously said that I think Mass Effect 2 has a high quality cast and I stand by that statement, but something feels off about the assembly.

It took me a little while to put my finger on it. My moment of revelation came when I finally got my old friend Tali back in my party again. It was nice to see a familiar face.

And that’s when it struck me. I don’t feel any camaraderie here. We may be a bunch of capable individuals working toward the same goal in a broad sense, but I wouldn’t dare call us a team yet. Hell, the only people I even trust so far are the two that were with me in the last game. I guess newcomer Jacob seems like a decent guy. Cerberus goon though he may be, his head seems to be in the right place at least. Miranda, on the other hand, I’m not so sure about. And she’s not the only one.

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