Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Stuff: Star Wars Knight Errant - Aflame

Knight Errant is a great new series for the Star Wars line, set in a brand new era. The series takes place during the New Sith Wars, around about a thousand years before the movies. We know a lot about this story from so0urcebooks and largely due to the popularity of side characters like Kyle Katarn, who first introduced the valley of the Jedi to us and Darth Bane who has spawned a series of novels - but all these events occur at the culmination of the war, a war which lasted decades and spanned the galaxy before turning into a huge groundfight on Ruusaan.

The Sith have carved themselves a huge amount of territory, and are busy squabbling over it as much as pressing the attack on the Republic. the Republic is determined to hold it's ground, but a few Jedi determine to go behind enemy lines and take the battle to the Sith.

New Jedi

Kerra Holt
Species: Human
Sex: Female
Homeworld: Aquilaris
Position: Jedi Knight

Kerra is the hero of the series and she's a really fascinating character. She has been brought up in a time of war and has known conflict with the Sith all her life. It's a really interesting exploration of what the Jedi path means when you've been at war your entire life and the Jedi are called to be front line troops. It's a bit like how the Clone Wars changed the Jedi only over decades instead of years.

Kerra is headstrong and eager to strike at the Sith, but she is also compassionate, while stopping the sith is her main priority in this arc, she is not so blind that she won't stop to save the innocents and her friends along the way. She is also innovative, her one-woman assaults frequently land her in trouble, but her quick thinking gets her out of trouble just as quick! As she battles against the Sith, she begins to learn what a Jedi is, and what real victory is too.

Vannar Treece
Species: human
Sex: male
Position: Jedi Master

Vannar was a wealthy and influential Jedi Master during the New Sith wars who believed in pro-actively attacking the Sith. Early in the war he was involved in the defense of Aquilaris and rescued a young girl called Kerra Holt, taking her to be his apprentice. He eventuall called a number of Jedi to go on a mission to strike at Sith supply lines and increase hostilities between the Sith lords in order to weaken their position. He lead the group to Chelloa and battle Sith Lord Odion but was defeated by him and killed.

Other Jedi

Species: Quarren

Dorvin Eltrom

Species: Cerean


Species: Trandoshan

These and a number of other Jedi went into Sith space with Vanner Treece, but sadly they all perished when Odion activated his Kinetic Corruptor weapon on Chelloa.

Gorlan Palladane
Species: human
Sex: male
Position: former Jedi

Palladane came to Sith space with Vannar Treece, but disagreed about how they should act. Gorlan stayed on Chelloa, believing that helping the people meant more than striking at the Sith. He gained influence and was able to ease the strain on the people serving the Sith and settled on the planet, even marrying and having children, but with reluctance he brought the Jedi to his world, and with regret he brought the sith too. He disagreed with Kerra over her plans to strike back, but got out his lightsaber when they needed to save the people.

New Sith

Species: Human
Sex: Male
Position: Sith Lord

Odion, along with his brother Daiman was born into the Sith ways. As is the way of the Sith he betrayed his master and careved out his own chunk of Sith space, however so did his brother and they became great rivals, attacking each other as much, if not more, than the Jedi. Odion believed the purpose of all things is to die, and made himself an agent of death, planning to bring destruction to all from his mobile platform 'The Spike' using whatever weapon needed.

Species: human
Sex: male
Position: Sith Lord

Daiman controlled a substantial portion of space and had a rather...unique viewpoint on life. He viewed himself as the creator of all things, but being the creator he also gave himself challenges in the form of the Jedi and Odion and vowed to overcome those challenges, whatever the cost to the other beings he created!

Hmm, this is getting long...and late - I'll post the rest soon, that's it for characters anyway!

Oh yeah, and it's a great series, you should check it out!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Heroes: Slow Burn

OK, this is it - the end of an era, the final set of Heroes webisodes.

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

That's all folks!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Video Game Review: Mass Effect 2

As I've already stated I want to do some Mass Effect themed posts in the future, looking at the complexities of the different races in the game as well as the prospects for certain characters. More importantly I will also be including the DLC for the game in my continuing Video Game Diaries. I've played most of the DLC, but I've got a few packs still unplayed and the final pack 'Arrival' is out soon too. So more important to get an overview of the game up here on the blog, even if it is a rushed job.

There be SPOILERS ahead folks!

Rough Plot

OK, the game has HUGE spoilers from the start so I'm just gonna have to risk it. Shepard dies! Or nearly dies, but he is rescued and resurrected by the mysterious Cerberus group. They want Shepard to take the lead against the Reapers, and are pretty much the only group who willingly acknowledge their existence. It takes two years to restore the Comander and he finds the Galaxy much changed, as is his life.

His squad have separated, Ashley/Kaidan has gone back to the Alliance. Liara is embroiled in a private war against the Shadow Broker (more in DLC) and Wrex is attempting to unite the Krogan clans on Tuchanka. He gets a new ship and assembles a new squad, picking up some old friends along the way.

He is working for The Illusive Man (who we're finding out about in the current comic series) a powerful man with many contacts, who yet is willing to let Shepard lead his investigation in the way he chooses, advising him of worthy contacts and important assignments, but largely letting him choose his own path, leaving his own aims very ambiguous.

But the threat is urgent, a mysterious force known as the Collectors have been attacking human Colonies and abducting the humans found on them. Cerberus believe them to be working for the Reapers and send the Normandy crew after them to find out where they come from and what they are up to.

Along the way Shepard has to deal with his crew's unfinished business, as their mission is nearly suicidal, and settle conflicts between his crew, which even includes a Geth member!! As they drive further and further they bond as a team and are able to eliminate the Collector threat, though the Reaper threat draws ever closer...

that's about as rough as it gets!!


Most of the gameplay from the first game survives, you still have to talk a lot, and your decisions in conversation have a big impact on the direction of the game. You can now 'interrupt' conversations to act in either a dark or light way, adding to your score. You now scan and collect minerals from orbit, and the minerals actually have a purpose, allowing you to conduct research and upgrade your weapons and ship. There aren't as many planets to land on, but there's much more variety on the ones you do land on, travelling around a wrecked spaceship hanging off the edge of a cliff was a great change from the rocky terrains of ME1.

Worth Playing


I do intend on going into much more detail in future posts, but for now - thanks for reading.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Assassin's Creed: History

Well I've had some time to reflect on Assassin's Creed, a series I am very much still into and eagerly anticipating more of and I thought it would be interesting to note a few of the things I've actually learned by playing this series, which while fictional is rooted in history and features a whole host of historical characters.

I'm not going to go into detail, just mention things I've found interesting.


OK, this one I did kn0w, I did know that the word 'Assassin' is derived from this Islamic tribe active during the Crusades and so a true assassin is more than just a killer. This was actually what drew me to the game in the first place and it was really cool to see the imagined perspective of these soldiers in their real setting.

Knights Teutonic, Hospitaller and Templars

OK, i did know about the Templars, and obviously in the game they are the main villains, but I think I learned about how grand an operation this was , how these different groups of knights, from varying lands and with varying roles all played a part in the epic crusades.

The Crusades

I think the main other thing I learned from the first game was the scale of the crusades themselves, I hadn't really grasped how long they lasted or how wide the conflict spread. It was really interesting to be in Acre, a city filled not only with British soldiers, but also shop keepers, bankers, scholars and beggars - a bustling city in enemy territory that things had spread so far was amazing to see.

Leonardo Da Vinci

OK, there is so much stuff in ACII and Brotherhood that I'm struggling to hold it all in, plus I'm out of time so I'll stick with the main fact that has stayed with me - Leronardo da Vinci is so called because he was born in the town of Vinci of ignoble birth and people not of a noble house were named simply after their toen of birth, as was also the custom for others such as, for example Exio Auditore da Firenze (of Florence). He was also probably gay!!

right, hope that was fun - gotta run!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

SF at the Movies - March '11

So we're going to have a quick peek at the Sci-Fi goodness that's going on in March, and the new format is I'm going to let the trailers do the talking unless there's anything in particular to talk about.

Age of Dragons

Released: 4/3/11

The Adjustment Bureau

Released 4/3/11


Released 6/3/11

Battle: Los Angeles

and that's...well quite a lot - enjoy your movie watching!!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Blogga's Video Game Diary - 19/3/11

OK I lied... well I didn't mean to lie, but sill I should have known better...

So yeah, I managed to find a few more things as I continue my playthrough so I'm gonna post them up so I hope you'll indulge me in a little more Halo minutiae. Well I suppose I am at least blogging as I find things, which was the original intention of the posts!


As this is meant to be a diary I suppose I'd better let you know what I've been up to. Well as you've no doubt gathered from previous posts I have been replaying the campaign on Legendary. This was no mean feat, but with a little frustration thrown in, it was a lot of fun. I started using the theatre mode a lot more for this, but also got some fun shots, such as the one above of Brutes trying to engage my Falcon.

After finishing the campaign my priority has been finishing off achievements to go with ut. I managed to get myself up to Lt. Colonel by completing challenges as I went along, and to get the achievment purchased the JFO Helmet to go with it.

I also got two other achievements that I'd missed on the way through, the first was to complete the second mission on foot without using a vehicle - simple enough and as I was able to play on Normal when I was used to Legendary the thing took no time at all. A harder one was to take out the Corvette's engines and fighter escort in under 3 minute on Heroic in the level 'Long Night of Solace'. This was made tricky by the fact that if you fail you have to go right back to the rally point and go through all the space combat again - which is a real pain! The main trick I found was to fly straight down for a bit and then you can get missile lock on the engines before the objective even comes up!

While I was wondering around in space I spotted a

Nav Beacon

These are used by the UNSC to aid navigation and detect enemy slipspace ruptures and provide an early warning system. One of these beacons was in rang of the Covenant Corvette the UNSC captured, but I also saw this one just outside Anchor 9 where the mission starts and couldn't resist grabbing a screenshot.

and speaking of beacons...

Distress Beacon

Sorry about the image size and quality, it was really hard to get a decent screen grab of this one as it was so small and partly buried in the ground so a zoomed out shot was the best I could get. These beacons were used by Army Troopers on Reach to summon help. A small group attacked by the Covenant left one of these beacons, prompting Noble Team to investigate and discover the invasion.

I'm not even going to bother saying it's the last one...but it might be!!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Blogga's Video Game Diary - 18/5/11

This should be the last one on Halo Reach...I'm pretty sure!

I've finished the campaign again on Legendary, which was challenging, but a lot of fun. I've found pretty much everything I wanted to find except these...


Datapads are an extension of current PDA technology used by the UNSC to store vast quantities of information that needs to be portable. They don't really play any part in the game, but are rather a hidden object, like skulls and terminals in Halo 3 and payphones in ODST. They tell the story of a mysterious group of AIs acting on Reach. You have to collect all the pads to get the story, but to do that you have to replay the whole thing on Legendary and go rummaging to find them - not something I'm going to do in a hurry!

Instead you can read the transcripts HERE on the Halo Nation Wiki.

As I said that should be it, I'm going to be looking at some stuff I missed in The Force Unleashed II next before replaying Mass Effect 2 so plenty of Video Game stuff to come.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Blogga's Video Game Diary - 5/3/11

OK so I didn't quite expect to be posting again so soon, but I'm obviously getting the hang of playing Halo on Legendary as I stormed through this level to grab some more screenshots for y'all.

These are from the level 'The Package' where a demo op on Sword Base turns to be something more significant. I've managed to get a screen grab of the large Forerunner artifact from which Cortana gained the data and knowledge to understand Halo and alter the course of the war forever. The artefact is pictured above.

Also there was the

M8 'Wolf-Spider' Automated Defense System

It was hard to get a decent shot of this, but as there still isn't a pic on the Halo Wiki this'll have to do. These turrets were stationed outside the research lab under Sword Base. They were fully automated, and intelligent enough to identify friend from foe, but they did require an operator to activate them, if they took significant damage, the turret would fold down into it's armoured casing, protecting it while it recharged, but requiring an operator to then reactivate it.

Well that should be it, but who knows...

Friday, 4 March 2011

Blogga's Video Game Diary - 04/03/11

So I'm not quite done with Reach it would seem. I've been replaying the game on Legendary as I've completed all my other games and felt like a breather before the mammoth task of completing Mass Effect 2 again with added DLC! I hadn't thought there'd be anything to post, but as I was going though I found a few fun bits.

I've already talked about the epic nightclub fight with four hunters, which I was not relishing on Legendary, but my friend mentioned an Easter Egg. There is a switch hidden in a remote corner halfwasy across the city, when you press it the club turns into a proper club, only with grunts dancing and even a Brute DJ!!

Hilarious as it was, it was also a great opportunity to admire the design that went into this level, I would absolutely love to hang out in this place were it real and all the details, such as the holographic decks seen above, were much better to admire without a hunter at your back!!

I also remembered there were some things that there weren't images for when I went through Reach, so I got this image, using Theatre Mode, on my run through of this level.

Covenant Jammer

These devices caused immense disruption to communications of the UNSC and even caused low level disruption to any electronic devices that came near them. The Covenant deployed these around the city of New Alexandria, preventing forces there from co-ordinating with the military across the planet. Noble Six took a Falcon around the city and eliminated all the jammers before returning to Noble HQ. They were sturdy and resistant to small-arms fire, but could be overloaded manually if a user got close to them.

And that's it, but there may be a few more things I can get before I finish my replay.