WiiCubeM1 / Member

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My Thoughts on Mass Effect

I just finished a 2 week marathon playing the Paragon and Renegade paths in all 3 games, having bought the Trilogy pack 2 months ago and recently gaining a lot of free time.

I have to say this (some spoilers alert, for those who care):

The first game was incredible with atmosphere and scope. There was so much to do, so much to see, so many interesting people, and I loved the Mako sections, as boring as some of them were. However, the gameplay was clunkier than I thought it would be. The upgrades were tedious, I rarely utilized the abilities other than Barrier (and that was only when I felt bogged down in a fire fight), and I never used the cover system. I somehow didn't even notice it until I fought Beneziah. It all worked once I figured it out, so it didn't take away from the experience, but it took some time to get over the initial annoyance. Altogether, it was a great game with a few issues that could have been improved.

Mass Effect 2 was a completely different experience. The story was streamlined, the gameplay was altered, the upgrading system was heavily modified, but I felt it was all for the best. I went into this series for the individual characters and their stories, something Bioware has always done brilliantly, and I was not dissapointed. The only character I was disappointed with was Shepard himself. He went from the guy in the first game who was willing to make the tough decisions if I made him, but always came across as a man with the galaxy's best interests at heart, to either a glorified dick or the second coming of Jesus; there was no humanity. Everyone else, however, was interesting, varied, and I enjoyed just spending a hour walking around the ship and talking to them, from Jack and her childhood, to Miranda and her past, to Samara and her tough decision to kill one of her own daughters. They were all great people to just learn about.

The gameplay was altered in a way I enjoyed. I didn't have to worry about monitoring all of my equipment or switching gun and armor upgrades every 2 minutes depending on my adversaries, the cover system was definitely much more helpful to me personally, and abilities no longer felt tacked on or took a full minute to recharge. It was streamlined to feel smooth and still offer a challenge based on your own skill, not your ability to farm for XP and gear. The change suited my own preferences to how I like my shooters.

In the end, Mass Effect 2 was an amazing sequel. It improved where it needed to and streamlined where it needed to. I did feel let down by the fact that they replaced the Mako sections with that annoying scanning system, which took away from a lot of the scope of the first game, but the improved character interactions and the scale of variety of environments, along with the better gameplay, more than made up for it.

Mass Effect 3, despite what many people claim, is not what I consider "a massive letdown". Sure, it didn't really make any breakthrough changes to the story or gameplay and felt the same as Mass Effect 2, but I don't consider that a bad thing in any way. It tweaked the gameplay from the second game by adding the weight system which brought back the planning aspect from the first game, but didn't take away from action by having me switch upgrades to deal with new enemies on the fly. I had to plan my equipment before I left. Maybe I needed to focus on long-range combat, but keep myself varied if things broke out in close range and I needed keep my weight low so I could use my abilities when I needed them, so I'd pack an assault rifle with a scope and a SMG with the ultralight frame mod for those close situations, or maybe I'd be fighting in cramped quarters, so I'd grab my Graul Spike Thrower and a Arc Pistol, both with their respective melee attachments. It let me vary my play-style while still feeling simple and streamlined.

The story and character interaction did suffer slightly, in my opinion. One of the reasons I enjoyed the second game so much, as I said, was just the sheer amount of time you could spend with each character, just talking with them, doing their loyalty missions, and it just made them feel that much more fleshed out. The third game just seemingly glanced over a few of them (noticeably Garrus, in my opinion), and the returning characters didn't seem explained too well. So much happened off screen, and it all just seemed tossed aside with a few sentences for each. How has Thane been reconnecting with his son? How has Samara dealt with the grief of being bound by honor and code to kill her own daughter? It's slightly addressed, but not nearly as much as I'd like. Still, the scope of the war can be felt, and what is there is deep and emotional. My favorite additions are the little side-stories that you find on the Citadel as the game progresses, my favorites being the teenage girl talking to the turian officer and the crazy Asari huntress. You can gather how much this war has taken away from these people, even through such little interaction. I loved it. Mass Effect 3 delivers where it matters most and felt the most balanced out of the trilogy in regards to gameplay vs. story: neither took preference over the other to me.

Mass Effect 3 gets more hate than I think it deserves. My favorite will always be 2, but 3 was an amazing game in its own right. The endings left a lot to be desired (a LOT), but I've always been a firm believer in "It's not the destination, but the journey" and The Mass Effect series was one hell of a journey. I enjoyed every minute I spent with these games, and I'd do it again if I could, which is why I'm looking forward to Mass Effect 4. It probably won't match the awe of the first three, but I'll enjoy it anyway.

Here's why I don't like liberal Redditors too much...

ALL drugs are soft drugs because they're either poor quality or "misunderstood".

/r/atheism takes itself way too seriously.

Conservatives are too religious and ignorant for their own good, but I'll take someone who can be educated over someone who thinks they know more than they ever actually did.

Legalizing marijuana will not stop all gang violence, pay off a portion of the national debt, or cure cancer.

A trend with new games, from the perspective of an old Nintendo fan...

A thought occured to me today, as I eat Mexican food... Why is it games today are held to such high standards that small flaws often lead to otherwise-amazing games being reduced to the likes of ET and Superman 64... Games like Skyrim, Super Smash Bros Brawl, etc.

The answer, at least what I think, is that these games were built to balance out all styles of play, leaving those who grind, or practice a single strategy, or are very devoted to a single type of play, to feel less accomplished when what was traditionally a difficult path to follow becomes open and accesible to many people. Skyrim no longer makes it a chore to become a mage, and Brawl no longer caters to those who play it competitively. Many gamers feel as though these games abandoned their fanbase for a larger audience, when in my opinion, they simply made the games more fun and less unappealing to those who would normally never even think about playing them.

The people who call Skyrim bad feel that because their once-difficult play style is no longer a chore to do, the game in and of itself is bad. The people who call Brawl bad feel that because they can no longer pull off the Wall of Pain or continuously spam Captain Falcon's down throw as they did in Melee, the game no longer has a competitive play because they can't rely on old tricks. These gamers feel betrayed by their once-favored companies, and their opinions are they ones most heard in gaming circles.

I am a huge fan of Nintendo and Bethesda. I've been with both Smash Bros and Elder Scrolls since the 90s, and feel the series have only gotten better with time. Many call me sheep, which I don't deny, but I never look at a game and judge it on how it caters to my play-style. I look at a game in its entirety before I make a decision on it's appeal. Skyrim has flaws, yes, but so does every Elder Scrolls. People who call Skyrim bad due to bugs, yet praise Morrowind and Oblivion, are not to be listened to. People who call Brawl terrible because they can no longer win every match due to competitive tricks such as L-cancelling and throw spamming due to tripping and tweaks to speed really don't have a case in my book.

In my eyes, and many others who never speak up, these people come across as the worst among us, the obsessive fanboys who hate even the best of games. Diablo III, a fantastic game, is universally hated and despised by PC gamers all around. Mass Effect 3, another great game, is considered terrible because many peiople found the ending sub-par. I'm not saying their reasons are unfounded and shouldn't be noted, for most are legitimate problems with the game, but to base an otherwise great game on a few chinks in the armor is a terrible thing.

Many nostalgic favorites, such as FFVII, Ocarina of Time, Pokemon Red and Blue, Wasteland, DOOM, and many others suffer many unfortunate problems, but few people will call these games legitamately terrible because of our memories of these amazing games as an experience, as a whole. Some people do, yes, but who among us takes them seriously? We defend theset games because we know, deep down, these games truly are great. We can overlook small flaws that don't affect the experience because we know they don't matter in the long run, but then we'll turn around and judge today's games on these same flaws and write them off as terrible, a disgrace to those that came before.

I'm deeply saddened by this current trend in gaming. It's a problem I can't ignore, but must to protect some of my integrity. As a fan of games as a whole, I only wish others could see them the way I do.

More things that piss me off about video games...

I've been playing Soul Calibur V recently and have come to realize things that computers seem to do that a normal human player either wouldn't do or just seem impossible for us to comprehend. I am, of course, referring to the "cheating computers" argument.

It may be anger making me write this, as I continue to get my ass kicked by Siegfried in Legendary Souls made, but ever since I bought the game, it seems that Namco has changed the CPU player's strategy from the old games. In the old days, computers would change up their strategy, focusing on juggling horizontal hits, the stunning vertical hits, or just kick you right into submission. Blocking to them was an occasional thing. Yes, they always seemed to do it more than human players, but they would always do it as they got up or after a combo hit, seemingly like another human player. Namco seems to have raised their blocking percentage by infinite. I've had plenty of matches where the cpu would run up to me and just block while I'm blocking, then we'll just sit their locking eyes until one of us makes a move. I've never seen a human player in an actual match just run up to a foe and just block. Blocking is meant as a way to shake off an onslaught of attacks and open room for a counter-attack, not your main strategy when you are not attacking. This is the first thing that pisses me off about Soul Calibur V is the excessive blocking. In any other fighter, I would decimate the opponent, human or CPU, my attack always hit their mark and only people with an intuitive action towards blocking could use it to their advantage instead of just prolonging their eventual demise. The CPUs in SCV just seem to block all the time. I've had them cancel mid-attack just block and incoming Critical Finish. I didn't even know you could do that.

Blocking pisses me off.


Rumors show up that the Wii U may be packing hardware on par with current systems and all of System Wars bury the console before it even releases. In the parallel universe where this would actually happen I see lems, cows, and possibly hermits mocking the Wii U simply because they believe that their consoles would be rocking the high tech stuff, while Nintendo has the generation-behind console they had this gen. In short, because they believe their consoles would be more powerful, they mock the Wii U for the "rumors" ( I repeat, RUMORS!) that it would be a generation behind again, basically dooming it.

Then yesterday a rumor starts up that the PS4 would be on par with this gen due to Sony deciding to use off-the-shelf parts with little, if any, modification. What's the reaction? Cows are praising Sony for creating an affordable and reliable console. What happened? Where's the "this gen is technologically primitive" viewpoint? Last week, they were the same people mocking the Wii U for possibly doing the same thing as Project Orbis. I'll tell ya what the difference is: Sony. I'm not going to state "once again, cows are mindlessly sucking up to Sony" as we already all know it's true. I'll tell you what, It's appalling the state cows and lems are in. They mindlessly suck up to any decision their own company makes, hipocritically ignoring the fact they mock each other for the same dicisions only because it wasn't Sony or Microsoft who did it.

I know my standpoint on Sheep being the best of the 3 is biased by myself being a sheep, but the evidence supports this. When the Wii U had their rumors initially release, their wasn't one sheep thread praising Nintendo for doing that, hell, there were threads by noted Sheep such as Charizard openly mocking it. We didn't suck up to Nintendo, some of us criticized the rumors as if they were true. There were also droves and droves of threads mocking the Wii U by the same cows who are now openly praising Orbis for doing the EXACT SAME THING!

I don't know how next gen will play out, and I'm still pulling for Nintendo, but if you expect next gen to be worlds above the current gen hardware-wise, please don't change your views just because your favorite of the 3 decided to do what you were just openly mocking, as cows seem to have already put themsleves at the bottom of the list.

Update on My Stance of Fanboys.

A few months ago, if you had asked me what I thought of the 4 groups of Fanboys, I'd have this to say:

Sheep - Don't start anything, just defend mindlessly sometimes.

Cows - Generic, idiotic, egotistical morons who start **** just to inflate their already oversized egos.

Lems - Idiots, just a bunch of testosterone-fueled, mindless idiots. Don't cause too much harm, just annoying.

Hermits - Rarely seen, but are possibly the worst of the 4 due to the fact that they literally think of themselves as Gods.

Nowadays, my views have changed a little.

Sheep - Still probably the best of the 4, but incredibly blind. Not stupid, but will defend Nintendo simply because it's Nintendo.

Cows - Still as idiotic and egotistical as before, but beneath their ego are scared little hipsters and 17 year olds who chose it either because it's not popular or they thought it was cool.

Lems - Still mindless drones run by hormones, but some are quite intelligent, and most still don't cause TOO much of a ruckus, but are still as annoying as hell.

Hermits - Lately, they've been coming out in DROVES. Even people who identified themselves as Lems and Cows are now all of a sudden PC-only. I remember seeing this back in 2006 when the PS3 and Wii were releasing before I made this account, and even then they were relentless. They take advantage of any kind of confusion among the consolites and use it to drag people to the dark side, or just to flaunt their customized hardware. I take back everything I said about them earlier: They are, by far, the worst group here, they barely count as human. When in groups, they show up in every thread, every board, demanding attention to their side. They are like a cancer that only shows every 6 to 7 years, a dormant evil that must have it back lashed at some point in the future.

I Really am Becoming Obsessed with the Forums...

Today I was rummaging through System Wars when I saw the new issue of System Wars Monthly was out, so I took a quick look. Upon finishing the article on Survival Horror (which was excellent, BTW), I saw the Article I sent to LegendofNerd had been published. I was dumbfounded as I had no thoughts that it would actually be published in the Magazine as I wrote it quickly at 4 in the morning when I was writing a response on a thread about Fanboys. I even recieved an PM from one of the mods that it was slightly censored before publishing. Upon reading what I had wrote, I sent it into the Magazine thinking they might get a quick laugh out it. To my surprise, they must have found it entertaining enough to publish in the magazine. Even looking back at the title of the thread, I can tell it was named after my short article on the horrors of Fanboyitis. To me, a nobody on the great, wide internet, any kind of recognition for my work is deeply appreciated, but at the same time reminds me that I may be a little obsessive. I signed up 3 years ago, but never used the site for anything more than cheat codes until last February when I rediscovered my account. I browsed the forums and their depths, uncovering a vast ocean of hatred and loathing. I couldn't have been more at home. After my computer broke in May, I was without System Wars for 6 months until I recieved my computer back from Best Buy in Novemember. I was a level 2 back then. Within 3 months, I had a grand knowledge of System Wars and am still learning more everyday, while I quickly rose to level 11 as of today.

The way I see it, that bit of self-loathing comedy was just my way of paying my respects back to System Wars, and I hope I can continue to do so in the future.

Evolution of my Obsession...

To anyone that has known me and the games I play in real life, to know I've been playing a Zelda game would surprise them. To get it out of the way, I am a HUGE Nintendo fan. I'm not quite to the level of "thinking Nintendo can't fail because they **** pure gold", but pretty damn close. My family and friends know me as the guy to come to when you have a question about platformers, like Mario or Banjo, and Pokemon. It was these games that defined my childhood. I never let my 64 out of my sight when I had access to it and never spent a waking moment not playing Pokemon on the good old Game Boy Color. The one thing I never was was a Zelda fan. I don't know what it was, but as a child, I never had an interest in the series. It even went as far that I can say that at one point in my life I HATED Ocarina of Time (gasp). The first Zelda game I ever owned was Oracle of Seasons, one of the two games made in conjunction by Capcom for the Game Boy color. It was here I garnered a love for the 2D Zelda's, but I just couldn't bring myself to like the 3D games. Even to this day my favorite Zelda is, and always will be, Link's Awakening for the original Game Boy. But, starting this year, I began to play the 3D Zelda's, beginning with Twilight Princess. Now, I have always tinkered with the 3D games. I would mess around on Majora's Mask when I was at my cousin's and I would play Wind Waker when I wanted to mess around at my uncle's, but I never once actually tried to play the games. Twilight Princess was the first 3D Zelda title I started playing from the beginning. I was blown away by the realism of the series. I never thought Zelda could be realistic, as I, and everone else, was used to the cartoony Zelda we grew up with. After playing throught this game, I came to love the 3D Zeldas quite a bit. I bought Ocarina and played through it and can say it's a great game now, and I bought Skyward Sword on Day One. Although not a grand fan of the series, We'll see where my new found obsession will take me.

WiiCube's Update

Hello to the zero people that follow me, just thought I would post an update on my current situation with games. First, I would like to apologize to any gamer who will be hurt or annoyed at my previous blog, I was angry and very pissed off that day. I had just failed a Biology test at college and needed to vent my anger somehow. Second, I will get back to the update. As any of you may know, I am a huge fan of older games. Right now as I tye this I am playing Sonic the Hedgehog on my Sega Genesis. I recently beat the second game, so I thought I would take a pcrack at the first one again. For 13 years I have been trying to beat this game, but I can never seem to clear past the Marble Zone. That whole freaking Zone is a deathtrap. The caterkiller badniks can't be jumped on, plus there are tons of traps jus trying to kill you. First on the list is the lava pit. This would be fine, but the **** platform decides to sink into the flipping pit, killing you if you are just a tad to slow. Then come the fireballs from the walls. It's not that you can't predict their movements, it's just that they always seem to move faster when you are not paying attention to them. Then comes the green pillar of death. I don't know about you, but I can NEVER clear this stupid thing, it always crushes me. Then comes the lake of lava where you have to push the block in and float on it to safety. I always jump off after the pillar of lava goes off because it scares me almost every time. Then comes the spike chadelier(also of death) and its first cousin - the crushing metal sandbags of doom. It may just be me, but I always happen to forget which room they are in, so I always get crushed. Then that boss at the end... just to clarify, it has been 10 years since I made it past the Marble Zone, then I died on the first part of Starlight Zone, so I gave up. Well, that wraps up my rantings on Sonic 1. Stay tuned.

WiiCube's Blog (The one place I rant about crap I hate you like) Volume 1

Don't let the category fool ya, This is indeed a rant. I feel I need to start off my blog just ranting about things that piss me the F off in video games. This is to all of you retrogamers who hate new games or systems, I salute ye noble men. (Just as a disclaimer, the main fight between retros and newbies is the basic argument over whether it is quality or content that makes a game truly great. Retro's believe in the defining characteristic of addicting gameplay, well made controls, and thought poured into the tiniest crevaces of each game. Super Mario Bros has been proven to be able to be beaten in less than 5 minutes, yet the same people are still trying to beat their own records 25 years later. Newbies believe it is just a game filled to the overflow with DLC and explorable areas that make a game great. This has it's points, like with Fallout 3. I love this game just for the sheer amount of crap there is to do. You could wate half your life just wandering the deserts and towns without even finishing the first quest. But this has it's limits, and it seems to desensitize younger gamers to the work put in to different games made nowadays. When COD4 released, many people thought it was amazing, but as soon as MW2 released, NO ONE CARED FOR IT ANYMORE!!! Gamer today are just mindless drones who will shovel out 60 to 70 dollars for the same crap they bough only a few months earlier because it has "new maps, guns, and perks'" (I swear I heard someone say that about FF XIII). All I am trying to get at is that Retrogamers want to hang on to the pst, to relive the fun days of our youth just sitting in front of a TV trying to make it to that next level on Contra, or get that new difficulty on Goldeneye. Newer gamers just seem to ave less respect for the games and companies that make them. They take the privelege they have now for granted without realizing the agonizing steps that gaming as a culture had to make to reach the point where we are now. First off, as a retrogamer, I can't stand the new generation of gamer. Today, all kids care about is the new shooter or whether or not their "precious" games have the graphics quality to back it up, even when the things it is backing, such as the gameplay, isn't enough to wipe ass with. I. of course, am one of those rare gamers who couldn't give less of a crap about graphics, I care only for the gameplay. Since when does flashy visuals outweigh the replayability of a game? I spent more time trying to perfect my speed run of World 4 in Super Mario Bros. than I spent beating the campaign in Halo: Reach. And to make matters worse, my generation of gamer is practically extinct. I come from that awkward age between 2D and 3D, when the Genesis and SNES were gaining huge followings, and the Playstation and N64 had yet to be thought of. As a result, I grew up on games such a Street Fighter II, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario World, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, and even Mrs. Pac-Man. I remember the first time I laid my eyes on the 64. That sexy beast of a console took me by storm, and I still clock almost 20 hours a week playing those early 3D games. When I speak of near-extinction, I mean everytime I talk to fellow retrogamers, it seems that a few more are lost everyday into that dark realm I call CODZone. Sure, there is nothing wrong with the COD franchise, I play when I have the chance and I will admit it is a very well put together game, but when people begin to believe it is THE defining moment in gaming history, that truly brings my blood to the boil. I have a friend who, up until 6 months ago, couldn't stand the site of 12 years screaming in 1337 speak over their headphones, trying to piss off people they considered to be noobs, though they themselves wouldn't be crap without a little friend known as the noobtube. Then he bought Modern Warfare 2, and all hell broke loose in our conversations on what makes a game truly great. I stick to those old ideals that it isn't the gimmicky content that truly makes a game, it's the hardwork and care put into the final product, made by people who only wished to make a good game, not just crank out crap and gimmicks for a quick buck, while my friend (who USED to be like me) now believes it is online DLC and graphics that truly define a games worth. I ask you people who read this blog, does that truly make a game? Consider Mortal Kombat, Tekken, hell, even Sonic... these games were all ported into the new age, yet even devoted games find them from lackluster to "crap wouldn't bother gracing your putrid surface". What happened to these once noble titles, you may ask? Corporate greed to make money, not just create a game that people will remember. Imiss the days where games were simpler, yet challenging and just fun for years to come. I respected the companies that created gaming and continue to support them today. A good 8 times out of 10, if you ask a young gamer today what he thinks of Nintendo, Sega, Atari, and Namco, you'll probably get answers like "The Wii's for Girls, "Sonic sucks", "What?" and "Who?" (respectively). When I look at gamers today and their games I only see shooters and RPG's. I miss the days of platformers, shooters, Puzzle games, racers, and those dozen or so obscure sub-genres of the games. Their is a definite division between the two forms of gamers, and something has got to be done about it, and I don't see either side willing to make the first move... And that's one thing that pisses me off.