Archive for Mass Effect

The Citadel DLC

Posted in Games, Science fiction with tags on March 28, 2013 by Cara Marie

I started playing the Citadel DLC shortly after I moved into my new flat. Shepard’s apartment is cooler than mine. It was quite nice though; I opened up Anderson’s recordings and I unpacked my own things while they way were playing.

(I guess it says something about my priorities that my computer was set up and my internet and I still hadn’t unpacked everything.)

Anyway, Citadel is fun and silly. Your companions all have their own dance animations! (Traynor is the best dancer. Kaidan is even worse than Shepard.) Zaeed struggles with a claw machine! There’s fights and things! Miranda makes a dig about your fish-murdering habits! Shut up, Miranda, Shepard has a lot on her mind!

It’s fun and silly and then the party is over and everyone heads back to the Normandy. And Kaidan tells Shepard that she’ll find a way to win, and he’ll be waiting when she does … and there’s sad music playing …

Let’s just say it was very emotional.

I think I’m going to have to go back and actually play Omega now. Because it would be very sad if the only female Turian I ever saw was when I was trying to get Garrus laid!

Moral choices and Mass Effect

Posted in Games, Science fiction with tags , on April 3, 2012 by Cara Marie

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That ending

Posted in Games, Science fiction with tags on March 24, 2012 by Cara Marie

So I was having trouble imagining what sort of an ending could have everyone so pissed off.

Now I’ve finished Mass Effect 3, and I know. Because my thoughts on finishing the game were, ‘Wait, what the hell just happened?’ Read more »

Mass Effect 2 is eating all my time

Posted in Games, Science fiction with tags , on February 2, 2010 by Cara Marie

I have a big vid review post planned, but alas, Mass Effect 2 is out, and that means I produce nothing. Yes, I am enjoying it ♥

It’s structured quite differently from the first game, or from Dragon Age – instead of having a few big epic missions with lots of little tasks interspersed, you have many, shorter missions, recruiting your companions and ensuring their loyalty, plus the compulsory ones that move the main plot forward. Which I like – you can play in smaller doses and actually feel like you’ve achieved something. Plus it means lots of hanging out on your awesome ship. Which is good, except when you forget to feed your fish and they die D:

I’ve played through the loyalty missions for Miranda and Jack so far, obviously because I care more about the girls than the boys. They tend to be the ones I take with me too. When you get your characters loyal, you unlock an extra outfit, and I find it quite amusing that the unlockable outfit for Jack is less revealing than her usual costume. Not that that’s hard. You have to help her blow up the cell she grew up in, then you can tell her to put on a goddamn vest. (Except I then decided I preferred no vest. Why would you want to cover up those tattoos, pssh.)

So, lots of fun. Being Commander Shepard is still awesome, ILU game.

Only gay for aliens

Posted in Comics, Games, Manga, Science fiction with tags on January 13, 2010 by Cara Marie

So, according to this interview on Mass Effect 2, girls can still only be gay for aliens.

It’s not that I have a problem with extreme exogamy, but what, none of the female love interests could possibly be interested in my Shepard? Also, apparently the Asari don’t actually count as women – I don’t think ‘asexual’ is really the right word there – because the species is mono-gendered. Whereas I think, aren’t they kind of a universal female, as they can bear the children of any damn alien they want?

I bought the first issue of the Mass Effect comic today, and I felt real dorky doing it – like, what’s geekier than buying a tie-in comic for a video game? It’s a sort of prequel for the second game, and focuses on Liara. She is totally cute and also kicks some butt, and there are some good spidery type aliens (where good means EVIL). So it’s all sweet.

It also has a column by Carl Horn at the end, and I hadn’t realised that Dark Horse were going to be redoing all of CLAMP’s stuff. So I may be buying a replacement set of Magic Knight Rayearth, come September – it’s the first manga series I ever owned, from back when TokyoPop was MiXX and their translations were awful and the binding fell apart (and also your friends who you lent them to got paint on them).

My course this year is located right opposite the comic shop; that could be bad news…

I’ll be over here then, not existing

Posted in Comics, Games with tags , , , , on November 9, 2009 by Cara Marie

So, I was reading back on masseffect, which is all abuzz for Mass Effect 2, what with the new squad member announcements and whatnot. One of whom is the woman on the game’s cover, Miranda Lawson (voiced by Yvonne Strahovski from Chuck!) And, why yes, she is wearing a ridiculously body-hugging suit. And that is a considerably bustier model than any of the other Mass Effect females have been (whilst still looking like, you know, actual breasts, and not levitating balloons). I certainly understand why you might want to critique that.

But then someone in the comments has to bring up the idea that, in ‘real life’, people with breasts that large are never that skinny.

It’s not nice being told you don’t exist.


Reading Tanya Huff

Posted in Books, Games with tags , , , , on April 12, 2009 by Cara Marie

I’m two chapters into Sing the Four Quarters, the first book on Tanya Huff’s Quarters quartet… well, no wonder they just say ‘Quarters Novels’ on the cover.

Our heroine is pregnant.  (It’s not a spoiler if it’s on the back of the book!)  She’s also bisexual.  Gay ‘joinings’ are permitted in the Quarters world, so this is utterly no big deal.  Also there’s no stigma against abortion.

Tanya Huff, you are awesome.  Why have I not read these books before?  (Okay, it’s because the library hardly ever had them in, and I think when I tried to read Fifth Quarter I just didn’t get into it.  Anyway…)

There’s a line in Princess Maker 2, where your daughter is writing you a letter in the game sum-up: “It’s thanks to your care that I’ve grown up so healthy.”  That’s the phrase I think of when I think of reading Tanya Huff and Tamora Pierce as a teenager, in terms of attitudes towards gender and sexuality.  I have an untyped essay on the varied portrayals of sex in Pierce’s books.  I think of these books that I love, and I’m grateful for their example that allowed me to ‘grow up so healthy’.

For example, possibly the only time I was uncomfortable in Mass Effect – there’s a species called the Krogan who were subjected to what is called the ‘genophage’, which basically rendered most of them sterile.  In one scene, you have to talk the Krogan member of your team into agreeing to let you destroy a cure for the genophage (it makes tactical sense in the game).  I found this really difficult because I have a fundamental belief that one should not interfere in the reproductive capabilities of another people.

But – what?  How did I even develop such a belief?  I wasn’t thinking about it in terms of eugenics, say, but in terms of other sentient species.  As in aliens, as in fantasy races.  That, before it ever occurred to me as a girl that you could apply the same idea to a human race; to so much as a single person.  I developed the disgust in a fantasy context, before I ever realised that the issue was relevant to our world.

For which I can thank Tanya Huff.  In Wizard of the Grove, one of the things Crystal (the titular hero) sets to right is what the first wizards did – created a race of werewolves, but ensured that they would never be able to easily reproduce.  And that’s the book that ingrained in me how very important reproductive rights are.

Who says that fantasy never teaches you anything?  I’m just glad I read the books I did, that I had such healthy models to replace the distorting ones.

I read an interview with a male fantasy novelist once, talking about his few female characters – because that’s how the world was, you know, to have women had babies, and so didn’t have the power that he was interested in telling their stories, in that fantasy world.

Well, gee, isn’t that what fantasy’s for?  If you’ve thought enough about it to defend your choice, couldn’t you have thought a little harder and come up with a way to have a more equal world?

No wonder I didn’t bother to remember his name; he’s obviously not writing the types of books I want to read.

Tanya Huff is.

Another reason Mass Effect is my favourite

Posted in Games with tags , , on April 10, 2009 by Cara Marie

I’m playing Oblivion at the moment.  I’m enjoying it – except the bit about being poor (I want to get to the part where I can buy a house!) and also the bit where I kept dying.  Also, the more I play it, the more I realise how well-designed a game Mass Effect is.

I don’t know for sure that it was deliberate, of course.  But why else the long elevator scenes, the decontamination period before you got on your ship?  Maybe some people find it annoying, but I thought it was brilliant.  Mass Effect has built-in wristbreaks!

Oblivion, on the other hand, does not.  If I want to make sure my hands do not die, I have to keep track of time myself.  With Mass Effect I didn’t worry about it; there were enough cut scenes and things where I could flop and not have to distract myself from the game.

Right.  Off to save the city and earn myself some moolah… just hopefully not for too long all at once.

ETA: And then my sister told me that they didn’t do it just for me, it was just disguises for loading pages. But regular, predictable loading pages that were actually integrated with the story! So still superior.