Monday, 30 May 2011

Blogga's Video Game Diary - 30/5/11

So we're still blogging through Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II at the moment. Due to a lack of clear cinematic breaks and story diversion I actually bombed through the second half of the game in one afternoon thinking it was just one long level!! It does show, I think that this game is weaker than the second - especially with it's irritating cliffhanger ending. I loved the first game, though it has it's share of critics, but this one isn't as strong or compelling - still it's Star Wars and if it's storyline canon then I'm going to play, watch or read it!!

On with the new stuff!

New Troopers

Terror Troopers

It's hard to know what to make of these soldiers with their General Grievous faces and odd tactics. They possessed a high level of cybernetics to aid them in combat, which enables them to cloak at will, appearing and dissapearing around the battlefield, stunning targets with their weapon then dispatching them at close range before vanishing again. They were used under the command of Boba Fett to attack the Rebel Alliance, but were mostly wiped out by Starkiller.

Aberrant Clones

There were dozens of failed attaempts at creating a pure clone of Galen Marek. These were kept in the cloning facility on Kamino as experiments. But when Starkiller attacked the facility Vader unleashed the clones to attack him, some were capable of using lightsabers or force powers but all were completely insane, madly attacking anything in their way. Starkiller was forced to wipe them out to get to Vader.

New Droids

Terror Droid

Part of the 'terror' program led by Terror troopers under boba Fett's commands these little droids attacked ships in swarms, overhwelming opponents by sheer numbers. Surrounding a target they would distract them until one got close enough to pounce and pin them down while the rest swarmed in.

Terror Walker

This walker is itself a droid designed to wreak maximum havok with it's powerful energy weepons and clawed legs. Seemingly modeled on the terrifying Acklay, it slahed down at victims and even mimicked the creature's cry. Heavily shielded there was little that could take it down when it attacked the Rebel fleet until Starkiller drove it into the main reactor of the flagship.

Incinerator War Droid

Not much to say about this one, it's basically the Carbonite War Droid from earlier in the game, only this time with a flamethrower!!


As I've said I bobmed through this so there's not much to say. Starkiller reunites with the Rebel Fleet, which features some cool ships! But they have generally appeared in Star Wars before so I won't bore you with the detail, just look the game up on Wookiepedia - one thing I did note was that that ship in the hangar wasn't an A-Wing (phew!) it was a Spearhead - a precursor to it. Anyway when he gets there the fleet is under attack by Boba Fett and the Terror troopers. Starkiller fights them off, but Fett escapes with Juno. The entire Rebel Fleet follow him to Kamino where they launch an attack on the cloning facility. Taking a beating from the Imperials stationed there the Rebels hold out long enough for Starkiller to assault the city, he duels Vader and saves Juno, but still does not know if he is a clone or not. The Rebels take Vader to their base on Dantooine and... well yeah, that's where it ends, with the Rebels gone and Boba tracking them. So there's clearly going to be a third game, but come on that's quite the cliffhanger. I won't be able to resist finishing the trilogy off - but this game was, over all, a little under par.

That's it for Star Waars, next time Mass Effect!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

SF at the Movies - May '11

So it's that time agtain - and just in date!! Here's the trailers for Sci-Fi out this month.

Attack the Block

Released 13/5/11

And that's it - not to worry there are some big blockbusters well on their way!!!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Stuff: Mass Effect - Evolution

As usual SPOILERS abound, I've given up trying to keep them out, I just can't resist somehow!!

This new series focuses on the origins of the Illusive Man, the leader of pro-human group Cerberus who rescues and revives Shepard to work for him against the Collectors in Mass Effect 2. It shows part of how he came to be what he is, what drives him and why he goes to such extreme lengths (Cerberus are often enemies in the first game, rogue extremists and scientists).


The story starts at the end of the First Contact War where humanity ventured into the stars only to venture into Turian territory and come under attack. Battered but still fighting the humans hire specialists to uncover the secrets of the Turians, but find something bigger. A Reaper artifact, which turns people into powerful, more intelligent versions of husks and tasks them to guard it. Affected by contact with the machine Jack Harper sets out to uncover it's secrets and in so doing becomes leader of Cerberus. Saren also leanrs the truth and destroys the artifact keeping it from affecting the Turian race.

New Characters

Jack Harper

Ok, so he's not exactly new, but we do see a different side of him in this. He was the leader of a team of specialists employed by the Alliance to uncover the secrets of the Turians, but uncovered part of the Reaper threat. Most interestingly we find out the secret of his eyes, which are clearly mechanical in Mass Effect 2. He comes into brief contact with the machine, sparks from which turn them cyborg, and his friend into a Husk. These eyes allow him to percieve more, uncovering the meaning of the Reaper threat.

Ben Hislop

Ben joined Jack's team to strike back at the Turians who killed his brother, impulsive and reckless he got caught in the power of the Reaper artifact and got transformed into one of their monstrosities. Interestingly he retained more of his personality than common, but was driven to protect the device, even though it meant killing his friend. In a last bid of defiance he sacrificed himself in order to stop it being used again.

Eva Core

Also on Harper's team Eva was at Jack's side throughout the stuggle to uncover the truth behind the artifact. She was sadly killed by Ben when she tried to destroy the artifact herself, though her sacrifice inspired Ben to stop the artifact and Jack to become the Illusive Man.

General Williams

Again, not strictly speaking new, but this is the first time we've seen the General. He is the Grandfather of Ashley Williams, who served on Shepard's crew. He hired Jack and his team to investigate the Turians. Dissatisfied with the truce he resigned, but gave Harper his personal ship to carry on his work. He later went down in history as the only General to surrender to an alien force, which tainted even his granddaughter's service record.

Desolas Arterius

Brother to the infamous Spectre Saren, Desolas was a General in the Turian military, who carried enormous weight with the race as a whole. Wanting to see the Turians rise above other races he saw the Reaper weapon as a way to evolve his species, seeing the husks were faster and stronger than ordinary men and women. He struggled to control them however and pursued Jack Harper to find answers. He was killed when Saren blew up the artifact, knowing that his brother was affected by it too.

New Ships

There were a few new vessels in this, but BioWare aren't too forthcoming about ship classes and the like, though they give fairly comprehensive details about almost everything else! So a lot of this next bit is guesswork.

Alliance Dreadnought

I'm assuming this is a dreadnought, basically because it's a lot bigger than the cruisers!! It's an impressive loooking ship at any rate and a cool addition to the mass effect universe, though I can't shake the feeling I've seen it before...

Turian Fighter

I think they're fighters anyway, just from the way they're flying. There have been similar designed ships in Mass Effect before anyway, though I'm puzzled as there's a model of a ship like this in the Kasumi DLC, which she describes as the 'Turian Titanic', seems odd for a one man figter, but maybe there's more than one ship of this frame shape - dunno!

Alliance Fleet

An interesting set of ships here, there's the standard Alliance fighter, plus something new at the front and also a large ship with wheels at the back, which to my mind is a colony ship, but who knows.

EDIT: Looking again the thing at the fron is probably an Alliance cruiser from a different angle. Also made me notice the difference in official markings back then, orange and black not white and red.

I also did some digging on a FORUM and found that the dreadnought is of an unused design for 'dreadnought' from Mass Effect 1 and is the current model for fuel depots in ME2! These unused models have been used a lot as the ship with wheels is a 'human freighter', the turian fighter is originally a human fighter design and the ships seen below are taken from another design too.

Arcturus Station

Mentioned in books and Codex entries, this is the first time we've seen it, which is what's great about these comics. Located at the closest Mass Relay to Earth it is a hive of Alliance activity. Jack Harper is taken there after peace is brokered with the Turians.

General Williams' Ship

The sleek personal shuttle of an Alliance General, I like how it has standard Alliance markings and shapes, but still looks pretty flash for a private owner. Note also the other ships around, I don't know what races they could belong to as it's around the Comercial planet of Illium.

Concept art of these and other things are found on Omar Francia's BLOG

New Species

Turian Husk

Husk is a general term for any species transformed by the Reapers, but it was cool to see Turians and it looks like we'll see more transformed species in the next game. We also got to see a Turian female for the first time, not the shorter spines on the face and the back of the head.

New Technology

Arca Monolith

A Reaper device that transforms being who come into contact into mechanical servants compelled to protect it and bring more to be transformed. Desolas thought he could use this to transform the Turians into a powerful army he could control, but failed. Saren learned the truth and destroyed it from orbit.

And that's it - a great read, and knowing how much the Illusive Man has of a history with the Reapers it makes me more inclined to trust him as I play through the game, though from what I've heard about Mass Effect 3 he still has more secrets and agendas to reveal.

EDIT: I'm not really used to scanning and pinching stuff so I guess I'll just state that the pictures are not my creation and belong to the artists writers and stuff - hope that's ok!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Doctor Who, New series, new species - part 33

Well the new series is well on it's way with a cracking two-parter and some interesting episodes to follow. As ever I'll be discussing any new aliens that appear over the course of the series and that will be the focus of my posts - for more discussion of the episode as a whole please visit Impossible Podcasts in the sidebar for commentary and opinion by my good friends in Cardiff, one podcast even features Me!!

Anyway, on with the new series.

The Silence

These were a great start to the series, the concept of a monster that can make you instantly forget them was brilliant and they served as fantastically creepy monsters. Their global conspiracy was interesting too, only ultimately we don't really know what they were up to. Similar conpiracies are uncovered in comic series' like Planetary and Marvel with Secret Invasion, but there is always a goal - we have yet to see the goal for these guys and even though they got wiped out nearly I'm still hopeful that we can see their end goal sometime soon.

The Silence are a mysterious race about whom almost nothing is known, this is due to their ability to make people forget them as soon as they pass out of sight. They have had a presence on Earth for millenia, shaping human civilization to their will, using hypnotic suggestion to drive humanity to build devices that are of use to them. Their ability was used against them when the Doctor sent a post hypnotic suggestion that caused humanity to rise up against them, though they would never remember it.

Siren's Race

No, not the Siren, she doesn't count because she's an AI!! The Siren was a medical AI for a group of Aliens that got stuck in out dimension and killed off by human bacteria, War of the Worlds style. They had horse-like skulls and other than that we don't see anything about them, which winds me up no end - in my opinion you shouldn't put an alien (or spaceship/planet/anything) in a Sci-Fi show without being prepared to include an encyclopaedia article about it somewhere!!

The Siren worked for a race from another dimension, humanoid but with very different features from humans, they became trapped in the Doctor's dimension and killed off as foreign contaminants accessed their ship through dimensional gates. When they were dead the Siren went through the portals between their world and ours and took on human form, taking any injured aboard her vessel for treatment.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Stuff: Star Wars Knight Errant - Aflame, part 2

Right, this is the last of the posts I've got to catch up on, that is to say the last of the posts I'd planned on writing before going away on holiday! So hopefully after this things should be a bit more up to date - as up to date as I ever get on this blog anyway!!

If you've forgotten about Knight Errant read the first part of my post about it HERE

New Vehicles


Is the first vehicle - a heavy loader designed to cross long distances with goods, one was hijacked by the Jedi for a surprise raid on Chelloa. I looked for an image, but I couldn't get one and my scanner's packed in so not a great start!!

Daimanite Starfighter

A model of starfighter used by Lord Daiman at his base in Chelloa and elsewhere. He sent a force of these fighters to attack his brother Odion, and Kerra Holt joined the fight in a stolen fighter so she could sneak aboard Odion's fortress.

Kinetic Corruptor

These immense weapons of mass destruction are actually mining tools, used in mining Baradium, but Odion discovered they could detonate the explosives material even in it's raw form and planned to use them to blow up Chelloa and deprive his brother of the planet's resources. Daiman returned the favour drawing his brother to the planet with his army then detonating Kinetic Corruptors he'd built himself, destroying most of his force.


To be honest I was a bit annoyed to see this ship as it seems odd that a design from three thousand years previous would still be used, but it had already been mentioned in a Darth Bane novel (written by a KotoR writer using his own stuff!) so it was an established part of the timeline and at least they's revamped the design a little. These were used by the Republic in the battle of Aquilaris, which they lost to the Sith.

Mobile Munitions Complex

I really liked this. Due to the constantly shifting competition for resources these mobile cities were built so that when new resources were found the mining and construction facilities could simply be moved there rather than having to start from scratch. When Daiman discovered Baraidum on Chelloa he brought several of these complexes across his space to the world.

The Spike

Similar to the previous, but instead a massive space station, this is the base of operations for Lord Odion. Comprised of several modules around a central spike this facility acts as both fortress and production facility for Odion's war effort. At the time of his battle with Daiman over Chelloa he converted several of the modules to work on Kinetic Corruptors to damage the planet.

Sword of Ieldis

This was Odion's main battle cruiser from which he fought Daiman's radi on The Spike, blocky and functional, it fits the designs of the era and I'm really loving the variety of ships and other designs in this era.

The Freedom Fleet

Again I'm having trouble with getting images here, but there was a large variety of mining and trading vessels on Chelloa, Kerra Holt captured and liberated these and used them to evacuate the people of Chelloa away from the destruction caused by the warring Sith.


I've gone into a lot of it, but I'll give a rough outline of the plot while I'm at it I suppose. The Republic and Sith have been at war for decades with the Sith carving out a huge portion of space for themselves and settling to squabbling with each other for resources. The Republic is largely concentrating on holding it's lines and defences, but a group of Jedi want to strike at the Sith and go to Chelloa to disrupt the Baradium mining and launch a secret raid. Unfortunately their raid copincides with a sneak attack by Odion who brings his kinetic corruptor, killing most of the Jedi before having to retreat. Kerra tries to take on the Sith alone but can't, realising she has a greater mission - getting the people to safety before the uncaring Sith kill them all in their battles with each other.


I would normally do a map, but instead there's a very detailed account on the are in which the story takes place, including maps which I'll link to HERE.

And that's it, more from me soon.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Blogga's Video Game Diary - 17/5/11

There's not much to say in terms of diary because I finished the game a while a go and am well through my second playthrough. After escaping Kaminio the Apprentice takes Vader's fighter to travel to Cato-Neimoidia (if you watch the movies it's the planet where Plo Koon was killed) to find his former master Rahm Kota to save him and start the search for answers.

New Characters

Baron Merillion Tarko
Species: Human
Sex: Male
Homeworld: Anaxes
Position: Baron of Cato-Neimoidia

A powerful Imperial with friends in high places he was given rule of the rich world of Cato-Neimoidia and quickly took advantage of it's wealth for the Empire and his own personal gain. He renamed the capital after himself (Tarko-Se) and established a massive gladitorial arena suspended under one of the bridge cities, which he used to amuse himself, dispose of prisoners, and make a profit. He aimed to kill Rahm kota in the arena, but when Starkiller arrived he was killed himself in the ensuing battle.

New Troopers

Sith Acolytes

Trained in the Dark Side, these acolytes were deployed on Cato-Neimoidia and other subjugated worlds to instil fear with their use of Sith powers. Instead of weapons they used the force to attack their targets from range, disarming and dislodging them before they could attack. They were no match for Starkiller however, who shunned their force attacks and defeated them with his lightsaber skills.

New Vehicles


I think walkers are over-used and there are too many variants, especially going into the past. I don't mind post-trilogy books adding new types (though there should still be a limit) but there are dozens of walkers added to the Empire's arsenal in these games and other things and it's on the verge of getting ridiculous and takes something away from the awe moment of first seeing AT-ATs on Hoth. (Having said that I loved the AT-CT in the first game!)

These walkers were a devastating attack force able of launching several guided missiles in one burst, useful for guarding bases against an oncoming force, though they were slow and awkward and not useful for attack. They met their match in Starkiller who used the force to deflect their own missiles back at them.

Nemesis gunship

I couldn't find a decent picture of this for some reason, but anyway, this also shows the cargo tram Starkiller was riding when he was attacked by it. This powerful atmospheric gunship was incredibly fast and manoeuvrable and able to launch both missiles and blaster bolts at it's target, swinging round in devastating sweeps of fire before retreating out of range.

New Species


A massive creature, easily able to clutch a rancor in one hand and in the mythology of some cultures as a bringer of death and the end this creature was somehow captured by the Empire and brough to Cato-Neimoidia and kept in the arena pit. Enraged by Starkiller's arrival the Baron ordered the Gorog's release before suitable restraints were finalised. The creature broke free, destroyed the arena, eat the Baron before falling to it's death at Starkiller's hand.

And that's it for new stuff.


Starkiller infiltrates Cato-Neimoidia in search of Rahm Kota, battling his way through the Imperial forces to the arena where he battles the Gorog and escapes with Rahm. Still unsure of his identity he wants to meditate and find more, while the General just wants him in the fight, after falling out with him he drops him off on Malastare and heads to Dagobah, where he meets Yoda and goes into the Dark Side cave where he gets a vision of all the other clones and finally Juno's location, he leaves to track her down, but the Empire is already on her trail.

More soon.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Assassins's Creed: The Fall - Review

Still catching up on old content at the moment, so prepare yourselves for plenty of comics and game reviews over the next few weeks, with a sprinkling of up to date content thrown in too I hope.

I'm review The Fall an original story set in the Assassin's Creed universe. It is fairly unique in that it doesn't feature any character's from the game world (well OK Vidic does make a small appearance!) and isn't a 'deleted scene' or additional backstory like most game comics. It does tie in to a little of the game's backstory but is a fully self-sustaining story set in the same world.

I'll try not to spoil too much, 'cause I really would recommend this to any Creed fans as worth getting whenever the graphic novel comes out. But I doubt I'll succeed so if you're planning on getting this you may want to skim over the details.

EDIT: OK I failed completely! If you want to stay spoiler-free, wait to buy the comics!

New Characters

Nikolai Orelov

A member of the Russian assassin's order in the late 19th century he was ordered to assassinate Tsar Alexander the 3rd in order to obtain The Staff, a piece of Eden held by Templars but failed. He led a mission to capture the staff but it was destroyed by Tesla and his weapons before he could retrieve it. Wanting to make sure it was destroyed he tracked down the final shard, which was used by Rasputin to gain influence. He took the shard and used it to escape Russia for America to start a new life.

Daniel Cross

Daniel was a descendant of Orelov. As a child he was kidnapped by Abstergo, who sued brutal methods to extract his genetic memories before turning him loose. Plagued by visions of the past as a young adult Cross turned to drugs to escape his visions and became a low-life criminal. He was picked up by members of the Assassin Order, who helped him uncover his identity as an Assassin and trained him. He went on a quest to find The Mentor, who he discovered in a vision, but when he did an impulse embedded by Abstergo drove him to kill The Mentor without knowing why. He had to flee the scene and eventually returned to Abstergo, having nowhere else to go.

Paul Bellamy and Hannah Mueller

Paul Bellamy was the leader of the training facility which took Daniel Cross in. He was in contact with a number of senior Assassins and was able to obtain information on Daniel's heritage and The Staff. Hannah Mueller was a fully trained Assassin, though her role was a hacker and computer expert, stopping the Templars from subverting Elections and other things to their advantage. They both supported Cross and helped him in his quest to find the mentor, not realising what it would cost.

The Mentor

A title once held by Ezio, this title was passed on to the leader of the Assassin Order, each giving it to his successor. This man was head of the Assassin's Order, remotely commanding the Assassin teams around the world to do the work of the order. The Assassin's largely worked through non-violent means to ensure that free will was preserved, thwarting Templar plans by other means. He had a base in Dubai as he thought it symbolic of Templar methods and ideals. After inducting Cross into the order he was betrayed and killed by Cross, throwing the Order into disarray.


This was a great story, it works on it's own, but also explains the Tunguska event, part of the wider backstory and also shows how the mighty Assassin Order came to be the scattered, hunted group that it is in 2012. It was nice to see the Assassin's around the world, from Japanese businessmen to Buddhist monks to desert training camps. Well worth a read and a great addition to the franchise.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Blogga's Wall - Catchup!

OK so I'm VERY behind on this one!! I've obviously missed a bit due to my holiday, but it also looks like I didn't do a post for February either so this is a big catch up here - right, better get on with it!!

1) Mass Effect: Evolution

I won't say much as I'll be reviewing this series before long. Basically this delves into the origins of the Illusive Man from Mass Effect 2, who aids and funds Shepard's mission to stop the Reapers, though his ultimate goals remain a mystery. Set during and after the time when humans first stumbled into Citadel space this story explores the young mercenary, and the discover that drives him to become leader of Cerberus.

2. Darth Vader and the Lost Command

Another new comic series from Dark Horse, I'll also be reviewing this soon, when the final issue comes out in a month or so so I won't say too much. Darth Vader leads an army to recover a lost Imperial Unit sent to the Ghost Nebula, tracking his target through traps, mysterious worlds and betrayals.

3. Outcasts

This was a great BBC series, set on a new colony world of Carpathia. Set as a new colony ship arrives at the new colony it explores the power struggles of people who were important on Earth against the established rulers of Carpathia. As this goes on it opens up a wider angle of what's going on, with rogue clones waging a secret war against the colony and further on an alien force intent on wiping them out - unfortunately this series isn't going to be resumed so we won't find out what happened next, but it was a great ride.

4. Assassin's Creed: The Fall.

Again will be reviewing this soon so I won't say much at all, in fact I think it's my next post so I'll say nothing!

5. Legacy: War #3

Another series I'll be reviewing in a month or so, it's sad to say that the FINAL issue of Legacy is out soon - I don't know what I'll do with myself after.

6. Caves of Steel

A great Asimov novel, basically a detective story in a future Earth with robots, spacemen and the future of humankind in the balance! Humanity has taken to the stars, but those that remain have built great enclosed mega-cities and feel little need to leave so when a group of 'spacers' return and establish a colony on Earth the tension is high, and when a spacer is murdered the tension is higher - Baley, a detective must be partnered with a robot (3 laws and all that) to uncover the killer before war breaks out and finds a bigger plan at work too. Great read.

And that's about it - normal service will resume soon.