Thursday, 30 August 2012

Mass Effect 3: Sur'Kesh

Yes it's another video post as I carry on through my playthrough of Mass Effect 3 - but anyway I'll let the video do the talking.

video

 
As usual I'll update you on the War Assets found during and around these missions
 
 
* The following are War Assets gained on Sur'Kesh
 
Major Kirrahe (has support of the Special Tasks Group and will aid Shepard even with disaproval of Salarians)
 
* The following are War Assets gained while on Sanctum and exploring the surrounding systems
 
Javelin Missiles (a supply of these missiles are fitted to the cruisers defending the Crucible
Cerberus Research Data (the reaper technology Cerberus was studying again goes to the Crucible project)
 
Data picked up on these missions include improved Biotic Amps which go toward strengthening soldiers and adapted medi-gel which bolsters the Hanar fleet.
 
* The following are War Assets earned through the multpilayer missions
 
N7 Special Ops soldiers (the N7 is an unofficial title but these soldiers have volunteered to join the war effort)
 
My first character Dafydd Ellis - a human Adept weilding deadly biotic powers has completed his missions and has become part of the war effort - I'll update you as and when my other characters join - you unlock characters at random through reward packs - I'm hoping for a vorcha!
 
 


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Mass Effect 3: Eden Prime and the Jon Grissom Academy


Yes it's more  Mass Effect 3 for you as I continue Shepard's adventures throughout this game. In this post I'll cover the From Ashes DLC as well as one of the main storyline missions from the game. After the vid I'll also post up a list of the War Assests earned so far up to this point and update it every post as best I can.



War Assets

* The following are War Assets earned at the Start of the game

The Alliance 1st, 3rd and 5th fleets (the 2nd was sacrificed battling the Reapers at Earth so the other fleets could withdraw)
The Alliance Engineering Corps (largely dedicated to building the Crucible weapon)
The 103rd Marine Division
SpecOps Team Delta
Normandy SR-2
Mineral Resources (your resources from the previous game are used for the war effort)
Diana Allers (her news broadcasts gain support for the Alliance)

* The following are War Assets earned on Palaven and by scouting the nearby systems

The Turian 79th Flotilla
It is also possible to earn fuel and credits by scouting systems

* The following are War Assets earned by completing assignments on the Citadel

Spectre Unit (A team of Spectres assembled by Jondum Bau to assist Shephard)
Hanar and Drell forces (A small fleet and elite assassins contributed in gratitude for saving Kahje)
Terminus Fleet (Assembled under Aria T'loak this fleet combines the might of the Blood Pack with their vorcha troops and Eclipse with a host of mechs and special forces units - Blue Suns are not yet committed)

* The following are War Assets earned on Eden Prime and the surrounding planets

Alliance Cruiser Shanghai (notable for successfully evacuating an entire colony with 0 casualties)
Alliance Naval Exploration Flotilla 
Eden Prime Support (they have overthrown Cerberus and are committed to supporting the Alliance)

* The following are War Assets earned while rescuing the Grissom Academy students

Jack (she leads a team of biotic students from Grissom Academy)
Grissom Academy students (Shephard assigned them to supporting the 103rd marines in a defensive role)
Kahlee Sanders (she takes technically gifted students from the Academy to work on the Crucible)



I forgot to mention that David Archer, rescued from the Cerberus Overlord programme in Mass Effect 2 is present on the station after Shepard freed him. He went with Kahlee to work on the Crucible project. 

And that's it! I'll continue to update War Assets as I go - I'm away for a few days but there'll be more Mass Effect before you know it!!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Blogga's Wall - June/ July '12


Here's what went up on my wall in the months of June and July. 

1) Kinect Star Wars
 
I bought this game with some trepidation but it has proved to be quite fun. The Kinect control isn't the best and it doesn't always follow what actions I'm doing but the various modes offer plenty of fun. The campaign is actually pretty decent and the other modews likes podracing, rancor rampage and dancing are a good laugh too.

2) Knight Errant: Escape #1

 A new series of Knight Errant is underway from Dark Horse with Kerra now infiltrating the ranks of Odion's Sith troops on a mission of her own to save her parents. Very exciting but the downside was that the issue lacks the encounter with the beastie shown on the cover, hopefully it will show up later in the series though.

3) The Amazing Spider-man
I really enjoyed this re-boot of the Spider-Man series with Andrew Garfield managing to create a very convincing Peter Parker who is both the wisecracking hero and awkward teenager in one. The tension with the mystery concerning his father's death is a key part of this movie and future ones in the series. Rhys Ifans (who went to the same school as me!!) was fantastic in the role of the Lizard.

4) The Dark Knight Rises
 
  A Nolan Batman film is of course going to be nothing less than spectacular and with Tom Hardy playing a marvelous interpretation of Bane and Anne Hathaway playing a very convincing Catwoman it delivered on all fronts. I can't say much without giving away the storyline, but if you read this blog I'm almost certain you will have seen this movie by now anyway!!

Next: More Mass Effect!!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

SF at the movies - August '12

Well in time to make a change, this is the rundown of the sci-fi on the big screen this month.

The Watch





Total Recall


Have fun watching!!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Mass Effect 3: The Citadel and Palaven


I'm back discussing more of my playthrough of Mass Effect 3!! This post should really be called the Citadel, Palaven and back again as that's just what Shepard does in this early adventure. Anyway - here's the video.


video

It may have sounded like I swore in that video but I was just the result of me changing my mind mid-sentence honestly!!! 

There are also various people who need help - scientists trying to get better biotic amps or improve the power grid on the citadel, even Barla Von still working for the Shadow Broker not realising his boss in on Shepard's crew now! There are also plenty of conversations to listen into reflecting the effect of the war on everyone - plus a hilarious interactive advert for the Blasto 6 movie!!!

Oh and I did forget to say that Aria's on the Citadel due to the Cerberus invasion of Omega in the Mass Effect: Invasion comic series, but she has some impressive sway, even getting the Asari Councillor to help her pass customs!!

More Mass Effect soon!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Dawn of the Jedi: Force Storm, part 2

My coverage of the first story arc of Dawn of the Jedi continues, in the last post we looked at the Je'daii, the predecessors to the Jedi order who, despite a few majopr internal conflicxts such as the Despot War have enjoyed relative peace isolated in the deep core of the galaxy, but things are afoot in the galaxy at wide and a powerful enemy is looming.

The Infinite Empire

First introduced in Knights of the Old Republic as the hidden creators of ancient technology with a diminished empire and most of them living as primitives. Now we see them in their heyday with their Empire sweeping across the galaxy without an organised Republic. Seeking worlds strong in the force to subdue their quest leads them to Tython.

Predors

Predors are the leaders of the Infinite Empire, Rakata who wield an enormous amount of influence and the power of life and death over those who serve them.

Skal'nas
Species: Rakatan
Sex: Male
Occupation: Predor






One of the senior Predors of the entire Infinite Empire, based on their capital at Byss, he is considered ruthless even by Rakatan standards and his ascent to power is marked by a trail of blood.

Tul'kar
Species: Rakatan
Sex: Male
Occupation: Predor








Tul'kar was an up and coming Predor who had successfully conquered many worlds for the Rakata. However it was commented upon by many that his success is largely due to the skill of his force hound Xesh, which proved ultimately to be his undoing.

Force Hounds

Force hounds are the slaves of the Rakata, trained to find others strong in the force by sensing them across the stars and then helping to subjugate them for their masters.

Xesh
Species: Human
Sex: Male
Occupation: Force Hound








Xesh was the force hound of Tul'kar and gained him many victories through discovering planets and individuals strong in the force. However this changed when a world was sensed in the deep core teeming in force sensitive life. As they arrive in the system Xesh, for reasons unknown even to himself, turned on his masters and killed them. When facing the Je'daii he was confronted with unfamiliar concepts such as mercy and compassion and healing and even felt compelled to aid those he was hunting.

Trill
Species: Unidentified, possibly human
Sex: Female
Occupation: Force Hound








The force hound of Predor Skal'nas, she is a rival to Xesh and clashed violently when he insulted her tracking skills.

New Species

That's it for characters let's see what new aliens this series threw up. 

Kumumgah
Designation: Sentient
Planet of Origin: Tatooine









This species lived on the lush ocean world of Tatooine until it was descended upon by the Rakata. The Kumumgah dared to fight back against their opressors and so their world was devastated to the npoint where it became a vast desert. The kumumgah eventually degenerated over thousands of years, becoming the sand people and the Jawas.

Rancor-dragon
Designation: Mutated non-sentient
Planet of Origin: Tython









This creature named 'butch' by Shae Koda was created at the Temple of Science altering the rancor through alchemy in the force (considered a Sith technique in later times). While ferocious in nature the rancor-dragon was extremely loyal to it's creators who bonded with it in the force.

Riding Mount
Designation: Non-sentient
Planet of Origin: Tython





These creatures were commonly used by the Je'daii as a way o0f transportation around Tython, particularly in difficult terrain such as the Abyss of Ruh.

Saarl
Designation: Non-sentient, possibly plant-based
Planet of Origin: Tython









Saarls, known as 'rift-worms' resided near the Abyss of Ruh. Powerful creatures capable of attacking even starfighters at close range they are almost impossible to defeat on foot. When the Je'daii journeyeres encountered one, their only hope lay with Xesh, the mysterious invader.

Wraith
Designation: Non-sentient
Planet of Origin: Tython






These mysterious creatures live deep in the Abyss of Ruh and have been encountered by very few except Xesh who named them wraiths. Stangely they were able to absorb and consume force lightning, though this was possibly due to the force storm ocurring on Tython effecting them.

New Vehicles

It ain't a Star Wars strip without some new spaceships so let's see what they used in ancient times.

Rakatan Ship






These powerful cruises, produced by the Star Forge are the mainstay of the Rakatan fleet and converge on planets, blacking out the skies. Xesh led Tul'kar's ship, the Devourer, to Tython where it crashed, killing all the crew.

Hunter-class Starfighter




These swift fighters are capable of inter-planetary travel and are used by the Je'daii to travel on missions between the planets of the Tython system. Hawk Ryo followed the Rakatan ship in his Hunter.

Cloud Chaser







These lighter-than-air vehicles are used for intra-planetary flight all through the Tython system.

Peacemaker-class cruiser






These cruisers are used by the Je'daii to travel between the planets of the Tython system on diplomatic missions. After healing him the Je'daii to Xesh to the moon of Bogan in a Peacemaker.

Tho Yor











 These ships are the guiding force of the origins of the Jedi, built by unknown forces and guided by only the force itself they called to those who could hear the force on worlds throughout the galaxy, bringing them all to the otherwise inaccessible deep core world of Tython. Around each of these Tho Yor a temple was built, founding the Je'daii Order. 

Map

Fairly self-explanatory - I've included a local map of the Tython system as this is where most of the travelling occurs, however most of the action takes place on Tython itself.



















Story

Not much more to say really, the Je'daii order is rebuilding after internal wars when Xesh arrives from the Infinite Empire.  As he clashes with young Je'daii journeyers who feel drawn to him the planet itself reacts to the arrival of the darkness, making the planet unbalanced in the force. As the Je'daii strive to help the three young adventurers they must also strive to save their homeworld itself!!


A really great series this - I've been reading this with my wife and it's a great introduction to Star Wars comics as there isn't much prior knowledge required at all. Legacy was a fresh series but you still needed a bit of knowledge of the Vong etc. to fully understand it but this is all new (bar the Rakata but playing KoToR doesn't make much difference besides you having seen the Star Forge before) so easy to follow with someone not familiar with the main continuity.

Recently announced at Comic-Con is a new story arc Prisoner of Bogan  and also a new Dawn of the Jedi novel Into the Void. Looks like the tie-in approach, as seen with Knight Errant is working well. You can read about all the new announcements including a beand new comic series and several new books HERE.

Next: More Mass Effect!!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Assassin's Creed: Bonus Content

Yes, I'm back with more about video games, but I'm afraid I can't quite let Assassin's Creed Revelations go without discussing a few added extras which came at the end and the news and advances they brought.

The Lost Archive 

The Lost Archive is a piece of DLC that lets you delve into the memories of another Assassin, Subject 16 and follow his brief life as an Assassin. As with the Desmond memories the game is played through a series of puzzle maps where you must negotiate by placing bridges and ramps to get past pits, laser gates and other dangers in the fragmented mind of this character.

I found the Desmond sequences quite bewlidering and a little frustrating at times and this could also be frustratingbut there was more of a payoff, with access to Abstergo documents and big revelations along the way.

New Characters

Clay Kaczmarek

















Clay is the famous 'Subject 16' who has been a secret presence all the way through the series, leaving hidden messages for Desmond in his cell and also in the animus, including the famous Adam and Eve video in Assassin's Creed II. Clay appeared in the storyline of the main game, his memories remaining inside the animus while his body is gone. In the 'animus island' he helps desmond escape and regain consciousness, in the end sacrificing himself to do so, even though he had hoped to escape the animus somehow. In the archive we follow his story, his difficult relationship with his father, joining the Assassins and being sent to inflitrate Abstergo where he was betrayed and eventually died, but death did not stop him in accomplishing his mission of helping Desmond.

William Miles
 
















Can't believe I left him out of my previous post and nearly forgot him here!! The father of Desmond, Bill Miles is a senior member of the Assassin Order. Mentioned in a throwaway line in The Fall comic I quickly put togewther who he was as soon as the words Bill was spoken by Shaun. Bill trained Clay and Lucy Stillman to infiltrate Abstergo, but his plan had further reaching consequences than he ever could have thought...

Story

Clay joined the Assassins at an early age and was quickly entrusted by William Miles with the task of inflitrating Abstergo. While exploring the depths of the animus he was able to speak to Juno who entrusted him with the task of helping Desmond, who would come to be an Abstergo captive. He was to be helped by Lucy, who had been working for Abstergo for some time as an outsider, her ties to the Assassins had been cut at the age of 17 so she could inflitrate the organisation. However, it transpired that she had felt betrayed and joined the Templars and the reason she helped Desmond escape was so that he would get more data for Abstergo in the trusting hands of the Assassin, data she would later retrieve. Looks like 16 was right to try and warn Desmond and Juno was equally right to take control of Desmond's body in the shock ending to Brotherhood.

Gameplay

As I've mentioned the game uses the complicated puzzle mechanism of the Desomnd Sequences. Along the way you collect 'decipher fragments' which are required to complete the game. However Subject 16 is trappedf in 'the loop' meaning once he accesses his final memories he loops back to the beginning. Fortunately you can access the DNA memory to replay key parts and break the loop without replaying the whol thing.

Embers

 Embers is an animated short movie exploring the end of the life of Ezio. Now retired from the life of the Assassins and living in comfort with his wife Sofia and his children Ezio reflects on the time he spent, and the little time he has left. However an unexpected arrival changes things for him.

Shao Jun











A member of the Chinese Assassins and formerly a concubine of the Emperor she accompanied her leader on a journey to seek the council of former Mentor Ezio Auditore. Unfortunately they were attacked by soldiers of the Emperor leaving her alone to seek guidance so she could rebuild her order. While there they were attacked by soldier of the Emperor, she fought well with a range of weapons including what looked like a hidden blade in her shoe. After defeating the soldiers Ezio imparted his insights into being an Assassin, formerly that love of the people and of liberty should be what drives an Assassin.

That's kind of it really, I've covered most of the story there, but it's well worth a watch after you've played the game.

More video game content soon!!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Mass Effect 3: The Solar System


OK this is it! Months after it's release I'm finally blogging my way through Mass Effect 3, letting you know what I'm doing as I play it as I always intended to do but never did. In this post I cover Shepard's journey out of the Solar System as he goes to get help from the Citadel Council, with a little stopover on Mars on the way.

video

One thing I forgot to mention was that the kid you saw in the opening video died in the Reaper attack, further strengthening Shepard's resolve to return and defeat the Reapers in a pretty emotional moment. A bit later in the game, Shepard has a nightmare about him, further driving him to take Earth back.