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Mass Effect
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Steerpike
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January 29, 2010 - 3:20 pm
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"Ground Control to Major Toger..."

"Ground Control to Major Toger..."

"Take your protein pills and put-"

dgagiaehgiueangaieurgiwuhgaoreg'ohjejhpejrh

"WHAT THE FUCK?! WHAT THE FUCKING HELLHOLE PLANET HAVE YOU PUT ME ON?? I WILL KILL YOU! I WILL KILL YOU ALL! WHY AM I NOT ON A BEAUTIFUL TROPICAL WORLD WITHOUT SPIDERS??? WHEN I GET BACK THERE I SWEAR TO LUCIFER I WILL Kgjsgnwog serjtghsklrgnerjhtnd;ftgjhaskerjhsikdjfh;ldbn zdfkxcgnmv

---TRANSMISSION ENDED

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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January 29, 2010 - 3:52 pm
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Unexplored hellhole planets indeed.

Hehehe, I'm laughing my ass off here.

Okay, Mako tips coming up:

  • Although its explodey cannon seems fun and powerful, it is not. Seriously, get out of the Mako for combat situations. Not only is it easier (the Mako tends to unexpectedly explode a lot!) to stay alive outside of the damn thing, but often your squad's powers will be more useful against enemies and plus you get a ton more experience points while on foot, if you care about that sort of thing.
  • If you insist on taking out turrets from a distance in the Mako, stay in one place instead of circling, and just use the thrusters or whatever they are to hop over the occasional missiles that fly at you. It works!
  • Mako vs. Thresher Maw = Thresher wins. For thresher maw battles (don't worry, there are one or two in the entire game, and yes, they totally suck) get out of the Mako and stick to the age old shooter tactic of strafing in a circle around your idiot target. Eventually you will take it down. And when you're on foot they tend not to go back underground only to pop up elsewhere (which as it happens is often wherever the Mako is, which instantly kills you!)
  • If you are on some uncharted world in a really ridiculous spot of terrain and just wishing Commander Shepard was never born just hit the wonder button that says "Return to Normandy" (on xbox this is X... on PC I forget what it is. If you go to the pause menu and view the map it should say the button on there). From there you can just hit the galaxy map and go straight back to that planet starting it over (anything you did, like shooting a space monkey in the face, is still registered), or you can say "forget this hellhole" and go somewhere else! In particular, I found the terrain of the worlds in the Maroon Sea Cluster to be exceptionally retarded. You have been warned.

In Mass Effect 2, I can't say that I've missed the Mako thus far. I did enjoy riding around some of the more interesting unexplored worlds, like the one with the red giant and blue dwarf stars hanging in the sky ... but sometimes it just wasn't worth the hassle. R.I.P. Mako McDuff (yes, my mako had a last name).

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Toger
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January 29, 2010 - 6:03 pm
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It's a good thing there's almost no one in our office suite today 'cause they'd be questioning why I'm laughing hysterically! (Luckily I didn't have a mouthful of water or my monitor would have been soaked!) Are you sure we haven't met in person, Steerpike?! That is so completely me. At the end of that transmission, Ground Control would have jettsioned my ass into some black hole to make sure I never came back! hee hee

Bless you xtal. I need those tips.

I did manage to bunny hop while in the Mako to avoid geth fire. Of course, that didn't occur to me while battling the acid-spitting jack-in-a-box known as a Thresher Maw. (I still say it's a Dune sandworm) I committed the ultimate sin of trying to circle (when your driving skills suck this will not end well) and only made myself dizzy on top of being dead. At one point, I drove up a smallish hill and promptly turtled the damned thing. I'd read that I'd receive more XP if I got out of the Mako; however, all I got was insta-death on a stick. When Shepard dies, she goes all rag doll and it's not pretty.

Note to self: Stay away from the Maroon Sea Cluster

My Mako shall henceforth be called Piece of Shit. I'm sure I'll have added a modifier before the weekend is done. [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Scout
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January 29, 2010 - 7:49 pm
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I just had my first ride in the Mako. Hmmm…not so bad so far. I like the bunny hopping. Fun to just hop it around in circles. And the cannon is great. I'll probably hate it soon enough though.

Of course I have a perverted fondness for terribly instituted driving in non-driving games. It was my favorite part of Beyond Good and Evil.

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Scout
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January 31, 2010 - 6:24 pm
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I finally got Liara after getting  my butt kicked back and forth by that Krogan. Man he died hard. I was yelling, "Just. Fucking. Die!" at the monitor the last couple of reloads. It was fun getting the Mako through that narrow gap in the rocks. I made a run at it and nearly made it first time through before getting stuck then wondered if this was possible. Searched and found the "Mako Glitch" threads. It took me nearly 20 minutes to finally do it, of course.

Now me, Tali and Liara are off to chase her momma down at some Area 51 place. I see what people mean about the generic side quests. I can barely bring myself to do many of them so I will no doubt finish this game a lot sooner than I did Dragon Age where I did many of the side quests.

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xtal
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February 2, 2010 - 10:54 am
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Ack! That speed boat race was THE worst part of BG&E. Still not enough to tarnish one of my all-time favourites.

Scout, yes sadly most of Mass Effect's side quests are a) very boring and b) very repetitive (in nature, and in architecture). Here are some random side quest tips off the top of my head:

  • Every quest in the Armstrong cluster is related to the geth, and one or two of them are very hard. Bring Tali for her AI hacking, and either Liara (for singularity) or Garrus (general tech goodness) to complement the team.
  • If you know you are going into territory with organic enemies, especially krogan ones, bring Kaiden: his neural shock skill is invaluable in these situations and buys you time. All krogan enemies in the game have a backup mechanism that recharges their health one time when you first put them down. However, if you do this while they are incapacitated (lift, neural shock) they will not be able to use that one-time regeneration. Also bring another biotic, Liara or Wrex, and use any of their abilities (stasis, singularity, lift) for more crowd control.
  • On the Citadel you may receive a trinket from the asari Consort in exchange for helping her out. She will tell you that she does not know what it is for. I don't know how anyone would ever find its purpose without a strategy guide, or one hell of a completionist attitude. The trinket is used on a prothean ruin that you can find on the planet Eletania, which is found inside the dreaded Maroon Sea Cluster. There should be an anomaly (question mark on the map) I believe in the lower left corner. You have to drive through hellish terrain to get there, but if you do there is a neat sort of homage to... well, some other science fiction.
  • Guess what: The Worst Side Quest of All Time also happens to be on Eletania! The alliance will tell you about some lost module that has crash landed on the planet. Once you're on the surface you should start pretty close to the transmission it is outputting. Once you find that you will get a bunch of map marker locations to monkey colonies. You actually are supposed to search every monkey to find this damn thing. Here's a quick tip: go to the marked colony that is, I think, the most upper right (X) on the map. If not it is below or beside that one. You will know when you get there because there is a mine shaft to enter (like the one on Liara's planet). The monkey with the module is deep inside that shaft. You're welcome, I just saved you about 25 minutes. And oh, once you get the module off this vile creature I recommend you save your game. The geth will be waiting for you!

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Toger
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February 2, 2010 - 1:49 pm
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Oh dear god! I thought you were kidding about space monkeys! As if the PoS Mako weren't enough! :face/palm:

I haven't played in several days as ME just isn't feeding my itch like DA:O did.

And I loved the speed boat races in BG&E. Yeah, I'm odd.

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Scout
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February 2, 2010 - 3:46 pm
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I've finally gotten over the hump with this game and am having fun. Keep at it Toger. It gets better though I agree it's not compelling like Dragon Age ended up being.

I got singularity with Liara finally. OMG! I barely have time to hit an enemy before she wipes the floor with them. I finished the Noveria quest soley with Liara and Tali. So far the synergy with them and my Vanguard pc seems pretty good. Since I found some Colossus armor for Garrus I am taking him along on the Armstrong cluster side quests. The first geth outpost was pretty tough, geth swarming out of ships nearly overrunning us. My character seems the weakest still. Liara is just a tank. Since  I have my squads on auto (I can barely handle my own character in the fast paced fire fights) I'm not sure what she is doing other than sweeping up geth with her singularity. With her along I end up using my shotgun more than my own biotics.

I'm romancing Liara and keeping Ash at arm's length. Ash leaves me cold with her "values" driven personality. She is like a high school cheerleader or something. Whereas Liara is like a cute, awkward postgrad geekstress.

I remember the Consort giving me a trinket but I have no idea if I sold it, or if it is in some quest only inventory archive.

I got the "rich" achievement after cleaning up in Noveria and now have some Spectre weapons. I really, really want some Colossus Medium Human Armor for my Vanguard guy. I'm jealous of Garrus.

So Krogan's take two kills to kill. Interesting. I wondered what was up with that. Bastards have the nerve to get up again after I flatten them.

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Steerpike
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February 2, 2010 - 8:00 pm
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Liara is super-deadly with her powers, particularly singularity. I generally brought her along when I thought I'd be fighting living creatures rather than Geth.

Is it weird that I think Tali is actually the sexiest character in the game? It's okay if you guys say it is.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Scout
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February 2, 2010 - 8:36 pm
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Tali is cute (I think) but the helmet sort of puts me off.  But hey, I am eyeing a woman with blue tentacles growing out of her head so what do I know.

Oddly I got a set of Medium Colossus armor the first time I went to the Normandy shopkeeper after my last post. Unfortunately I forgot to add points to tactical armor and can't wear it yet. Doh.

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xtal
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February 3, 2010 - 11:06 am
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If you have the Bring Down the Sky DLC you can obtain Colossus armor as a quest reward. Though if you use Tali I'd recommend getting it for her, as quarian armor is very rare. Tip: if you complete this quest at a low level you will receive lower level quest rewards, most likely. I tended to save BDtS for later in the game– if I felt like doing it at all; it kind of sucks.

And the trinket the Consort gives you doesn't appear in your inventory, you simply have it until you find what it is used on.

As much as I am enjoying Mass Effect 2 over the original (almost entirely because the combat is actually good this time) I have to put it down once I beat it…. not like I did with ME1 and just keep going again and again. So many games piling up that I still have to start and/or finish…. Batman: Arkham Asylum, Stalker, Dead Space (fun, fun, fun game!), Assassin's Creed II, H3: ODST (ugh, not that fun), and Dragon Age: Subtitled To Let You Know We Plan On Making It A Franchise. Oh yeah, still haven't reinstalled The Longest Journey since my new computer either… must do that. Phew.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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Steerpike
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February 3, 2010 - 12:29 pm
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That's quite a list, Xtal!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Toger
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February 4, 2010 - 12:50 am
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So I've figured out what orbiting rock I'm on - Therum - where I've noticed that I cannot press X to go back to the Normandy. WTH? Reading the manual claims that I need to call up the map and THEN press X? Since when? *sigh*

Well, I managed to mop up the geth at the refinery and went out the back. Suddenly, I'm under fire from some geth sentry waaaaaaaaaaaaay on the other side of a lava lake. I can't even see them in order to fire back, yet they can hit me with unerring precision. [Image Can Not Be Found]

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Scout
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February 4, 2010 - 12:04 pm
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I'm near the end already I think. I am on a lush tropical island called Vimire. I just got to the Salarian camp and am preparing for an attack.

I had to decide to send either Kaiden or Ashley with the Salarian suicidal frontal assault which I'm guessing will be the end of that character's part in the game. I sent Kaiden as he was the character I used the least anyway.

I finally have the Colossus armor for Shepard and also a set for Tali. I had somehow overlooked the fact that Liara wears human armor and kept wondering where all the Asari armor was. Now she is wearing Shepard's old set.

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Steerpike
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February 4, 2010 - 12:30 pm
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Virmire is a key mission, Scout, though how close it is to the end depends on what you've done ahead of time. But it is sort of the coming together of the plot, when some of the big decisions are made. Have fun!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Scout
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February 4, 2010 - 8:50 pm
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That was fun. Now that I'm closing in on level 50, the cap I think, combat is getting easier. I'm thinking about running it up a notch above Normal and try out some side quests. Must admit it's fun to splat krogans  against the wall. My but there are a lot of guns lying around this particular universe.

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xtal
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February 5, 2010 - 2:36 pm
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Scout said: My but there are a lot of guns lying around this particular universe.


One thing I like about the sequel (though this depends on what type of RPG-er you are) is that it does away with 99.9% of loot collecting. To clarify: I love gathering loot in top-down games like Diablo, Neverwinter Nights, and Torchlight. I despise it in three-dimensional RPG worlds ... I don't know, it really just bores me and makes me a bit twitchy.... always scrolling my character around the screen to see visual queues pop up (very different from adventure game pixel-hunting; that I can live with). I think that is why I loved Jade Empire so much: 95% combat and role-playing, 5% character item/stat management.

In Mass Effect 2 you will start off with your basic weapons and throughout the game find only a handful more, instead upgrading them through a terminal on your ship.

While I loved Meho's rant on Mass Effect 2, I couldn't disagree more. Save a few shitty things about the game (scanning planets for resources, having to watch The Illusive Man stick cigars in his lower lip) to me it has so far been a nearly perfect video game experience. 8.5 / 10 ..... maybe 9 by the time I'm done! I'm really becoming less demanding as I get older ... hell, not every single game churned out can be Super Mario Bros., UFO Defense, SimCity (I said it), every 1990-1998 LucasArts game, Unreal Tournament, Thief or Braid (best 3-hour game of the decade...anyone?)

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Scout
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February 8, 2010 - 10:09 pm
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Finished the game tonight capped out at level 50.

I went with Liara and Tali all the way playing as a Vanguard. As I mentioned before Liara was so deadly I pretty much had to move fast just to kill something.

I'd give the game a Thumbs Up, about 80% approval. The ending was pretty good and stayed on track. So many times a game jumps the shark at the end and just leaves me bewildered but, though I had some complaints, for the most part the ending seemed "right".

Comparing it to the last game I finished, Dragon Age, I'd say it was a notch below, esp. in the character development. I'm looking forward to Mass Effect 2 though and am glad I played Mass Effect first.

But not right away…I need a break from Shepard.

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xtal
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February 11, 2010 - 11:13 am
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Nicely done. Having Liara on your team is always the surest path to victory … she is just unstoppable.

edit: http://www.gamespy.com/article.....470p1.html

^ this is about how I'm feeling right now, regarding my stack of unfinished games.

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