Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Star Wars Knight Errant: Escape



It seems like ages since I last did a Star Wars comics review - well it's been a few weeks anyway, with my slimmed-down collection and a busy hokliday period I haven't had many opportunities to visit my local comic book place so these reviews are even more out of date than usual.

Knight Errant takes place 1000 years before the trilogy with the Sith on the rise one lone Jedi is working alone in Sith territory, trying to do good among the Sith lords who are as much about destroying each other as they are about threatening the Republic if not more so!! This mission becomes even more personal and challenging for Kerra as she joins up with Sith forces to uncover a deadly secret.

As always I'll start with updates

New Sith

Malakite
Species: Human
Sex: Male
Occupation: Sith Lord








Part of the Calimondra family this Sith Lord rules over a realm known as the Menagerie. His forces are known as the mutates, bred from centuries of Sith alchemy he leads countless forces of corrupted species and powerful beasts into battle to defend his holdings. He came into conflict with Odion when he invaded Malakite's territory - unknown to him there was a powerful artifact on his world of Skarpos.


Wayman
Species: Human
Sex: Male
Occupation: Claimer








Wayman worked as a claimer for lord Odion, working in Daiman's territory he recruited force-sensitive individuals and others with special talents who had had enough of life in Daiman's realm and freed them so they could go and serve Odion's death cult. He recruited a girl named Mercy, unaware that she was really Kerra Holt, a Jedi. He later clashed with Kerra while fighting at Odion's side.

Doyan
Species: Feeorin
Sex: Female
Occupation: Novitiate








The leader of the Novititates, force-sensitive servants of Odion she lead his elite forces into battle. She clashed with Kerra who had infiltrated the order and whose tactics weren't befitting a follower of Odion who should seek death above all else! When Kerra's deception was discovered she was eager to kill the young Jedi but Odion kept her to use her anguish to power his dark side ability. Doyan died later in the ensuing bloodbath.

Glenk
Species: Kubaz
Sex: Male
Occupation: Novitiate








Glenk was a force-sensitive individual who worked for Odion's Novitiates. During the conflict on Skarpos it emerged that Glenk was in fact a spy for Daiman who added his forces to the conflict. Glenk was killed when, under Odion's dark side influence, he attacked his master in a force-induced rage.

Xelian Calimondra
Species: Human
Sex: Female
Occupation: Sith Lord









Known as Xelian the Destroyer this Sith Queen is the mother of the rival brothers Odion and Daiman. Odion was set to inherit all, though he was repulsive to his mother, until the birth of Daiman his lifelong rival.

Vilia Calimondra
Species: Human
Sex: Female
Occupation: Sith Lord








The source of all the trouble in the Grumani sector she possesses most of the influence in the sector and has a vast wealth and territory. She promised her share of the wealth to her children who fought each other for dominance and now the fight for power is ongoing amongst her grandchildren with Daiman and Odion fighting the most bitter rivalry. She appeared in the novel but this is her first visual appearance. When she learned of Odion's plan she ordered all her grandchildren to unite against him before he went too far.

Story

No map as most of the planets are new. Kerra agrees to work for Daiman, who is after intel on Odion, because she has a personal motive to discover what became of her parents, which she is willing to risk everything to find out about. After fighting against Malakite on Skarpos as one of Odion's Novitiates she is recalled for a new mission to find the Helm of Ieldis, which could amplify his power to spread across many worlds at once. Odion suffers from an affliction where living beings cause him pain so his life's work is to end all life - he has the ability to drive others insane through the force making them fight simply for the sake of ending their lives and has persuaded many followers to join his death cult. She follows Odion's general Yulan to find that Odion keeps children cloistered in pens to feed off their misery and to breed warriors eager for death. Kerra finds that her parents died to keep the helm from Odion but in her quest to find them she has led him to it. With Daiman's army arriving a bloodbath ensues fueled by Odion's use of the helm until Yulan, stunned by the honour of the death of Kerra's parents frees the children, their joy overloads Odion's helm, killing him and ending the conflict. Kerra rescues the children but her work is far from over.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Blogga's Video Game Diary - 18/1/13

Over the Christmas period I had a chance to resume an old tradition - that of playing Gears of War in the dark with my best friend, we managed to plow our way through another act of the final chapter of the game - though with Gears of War: Judgement coming out we haven't seen the last of the COG or the Locust hordes in the prequel game.

So here's the new stuff.

New Gears

Bernadette Mataki











The lover of Colonel Hoffman, she has appeared in many of the comics and bovels but as far as I'm aware this is her first appearance in-game. She gave assistance to Delta Squad when they arrived at Anvil Gate but while they commited some of their forces to help Marcus and his squad she remained to defend Anvil Gate for as long as possible.

New Enemies

Lambent Berserker
 
















Delta Squad encountered this fearsome Lambent creature in the battle of Anvil Gate. Deployed by lambent stalks this massive enemy has the brute force of a locust berserker but flailing stalks protrude from it and immulsion leaks from it's chest. The squad retreated into the fortress and used the Hammer of Dawn orbital weapon, but even that didn't stop it. The squad managed to take it out on foot by firing at the exposed immulsion in it's chest.

Formers











It always amazes me how quickly the Gears come up with names for the new enemies they face!!'Former' is short for 'former human' as these wretched beings are humans that have been exposed to imulsion and have become lambent creatures. Like all other lambent they are grossly distorted and explode upon death.

Story

Marcus and Delta Squad arrive at Anvil Gate, bringing Locust forces in their wake, as they battle to defend the city lambent arrive including a formidable lambent berserker which wreaks havok across the fortifications until finally downed by the squad. While the rest of the squad do battle Baird manages to decode the data from Prescott about Marcus's father who is in a hidden city Azura hidden by an artifical hurricane, the data speaks of a solution to the Lambent problem forever. With the city inaccessible colonel Hoffman suggests commandeering a submarine. The submarine requires fuel so the squad along with their comrade Dizzy head to the town of Mercy with a fuel tanker. When they get there they find the town abandoned and the furel refinery shut down. When they ask the few stranded about this they are attacked by 'formers' humans infected with the lambent plague. Locust forces arrive hot on their tail and a three way battle ensues between the Gears the Locust and the Lambent until Dom sacrifices himself, blowing up the refinery to save his friends and stop the infection from spreading to humans. It was a sombering moment especially when you're playing as Dom!!



Next: Some Star Wars comics for you - it's been a long time!!!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Mass Effect 3: Rannoch


Yes there's more Mass Effect and I'm afraid I'm abandoning my video posts, while they are fun to make they are time consuming and have put me way behind on Mass Effect 3 progress when I've actually finished the game and am now progressing through Halo 4 which I'm eager to blog about!!

So here's what happened next on Mass Effect 3

The Far Rim

After gaining the support of the Leviathans, Shepard turned his attention to the Quarians, there had been reports of events brewing on the Geth border but with the Galaxy under occupation there was little time to investigate the Quarian fleet but now the Quarians were reaching out and the Normandy was dispatched to try and gain their help.

The Quarian Envoy ship bears the style of Quarian frigates but has several modifications including a stealth drive similar to the Normandy's.






At a waypoint in the far reaches of space Shepard meets with the Quarian Admirals to discuss their situation. They are in the middle of a battle to retake their homeworld from Geth forces, a battle they were winning until the Reapers came to the aid of the Geth and enhanced their capabilities.

Tali'Zorah is the latest Quarian Admrial, taking the place of her father and earning her position through her expert knowledge of the Geth and Reapers. She is eager to aid Shepard and join him on his missions.







Geth Dreadnought

Shepard agrees to lead the Normandy on a mission to infiltrate the Geth dreadnought, a massive vessel which is transmitting Reaper software and tactics to the Geth, helping them resist Quarian countermeasures and fight them more effectively. Shepard and his crew arrive in the middle of a huge space battle.


video






Due to the Geth not relying on an economic society they have no restrictions in building a massive dreanought but aquiring the raw materials to do so. Upgraded by Reaper technology this is a formidable warship, barely dented by the might of the Quarian fleet.





Once aboard Shepard and his crew battle their way through Geth forces to find the source of the Reaper Code that is being transmitted throughout the Geth fleet, making them such effective opponents of the Quarians. After a long and drawn out battle through the ship including travelling along it's massive energy cannons they find the source of the signal.

Legion returned to the Geth consensus after serving with Shepard against the Collectors. Warning his people of the return of the Reapers they prepared for war but the arrival of the Quarians forced them to turn to the Reapers or face extinction.






Legion had been captured by the Reapers and due to his unique nature was used as a focal point to transmit the new Reaper code to all Geth, improving their networking capabilities and enhancing them as individual programs to the nature of true AI. He gives them advice on how to counter the Reapers and disables the Dreadnought's shields, prompting the Quarians to attack with them still onboard. Legion hijacks a Geth fighter and gets them to safety just in time.

Admiral Koris

With the Dreadnought destroyed the Quarians have bought themselves some breathing room but the battle is far from over and several urgent missions come to Shepard's attention before the main thrust against the Geth can be completed. Firstly Admiral Zaal'Koris vas Qwib Qwib, leader of the civilian fleet is shot mdown by a planetary cannon. The Geth liveships, while heavily armed are full of civilians unequipped for war and require his leadership, he is also one of the few leavel-headed admirals who tried to stop the fleet from blowing up Shepard so Shepard takes Tali down to the surface to find him.

One of the Admiral's crew dies in peace, having set foot on the homeworld






Shepard moves to take out AA guns on the surface to the Cortez can man the shuttle to blow up a jamming tower masking the Admiral's location. Despite the Admiral's protestations Shepard has to make a tough call, rescuing the Admiral at the cost of abandoning the rest of his crew for the good of the fleet.

Geth Fighter Squadrons

The Quarians aren't happy about having Legion on board the Normandy, but Shepard, still angry over their actions on the Geth Dreadnought leaps to the defence of his friend and includes him in the battle plan. Legion points out a server on Rannoch from which Geth Fighter craft are controlled, he takes Shepard to the surface to delete the Geth programs manually, disabling the fighters. Due to the progress on Project Overlord Shepard is able to directly interface with the Geth Consensus.


How the Geth consensus is percieved by Shepard's mind.









When deleting Geth programs Shepard views footage of the original war of the Geth against their creators, seeing that there were some Quarians who sheltered the Geth and opposed their destruction. Legion is also hard at work, liberating some Geth programs from Reaper controll and installing them in Geth Prime hardware to aid the war effort.

Retaking Rannoch

 The surface of Rannoch, once thought lost forever is now a battleground where the future of two races is deperately fought for.









While the distribution of the Reaper signal through the Dreadnought was stopped the origin of the signal is still strong on Rannoch and the Geth continue to grow stronger. Shepard agrees to return to the surface to tag the source of the transmission for an orbital strike and to bring an end to the conflict. Shepard battles through the Geth base with Tali and Legion, fighting their way to a control panel to open the blast doors concealing the transmission source.

The transmission turns out to be a Reaper Destroyer similar to the one encountered on Tuchanka.





Suddenly in a fight for his life Shepard speeds away on a Geth transport then decides enough is enough and goes head to head with the Reaper, using the targeting device to call down an orbital strike from the entire Quarian fleet and downing the reaper. With it's parting words the Reaper declares that it is working for the good of organic beings and that there is no war, only the harvest - echoing the truth revealed by the Leviathan as to the purpose of the Reapers' creation.

With the destruction of the Reaper seeming like a victory two fleets are still poised on the verge of mutual self-destruction.







With the Reaper dead the Geth are thrown into confusion while the Quarians see this as their chance to wipe out their dreaded enemy. Legion adds to the dilemma by asking Shepard to support him in uploading modified Reaper code that will alow his people to become true AI, to be free beings. Tali is reluctant to allow this but is persuaded by Shepard and convinces the fleet to break off their attack.

In order to complete the upload Legion must disseminate himself into the Geth consensus, no longer existing as the individual he was. His sacrifice brings freedom to the Geth.






Against all odds the Geth come to the aid of the Quarians and help them reclaim their world, build new settlements and even adapt their suits to help their weakened immune systems recover more quickly. Tali thanks Shepard for this unbelievable peace and takes off her mask to breath in the air of Rannoch.


Here are the War Assets gained on these missions.

Shepard completed an N7 mission on Noveria, taking down a Cerberus Fighter Base, gaining him this War Asset







Advanced Fighter Squadron - These latest model fighters were liberated from Cerberus on Noveria and put to good use against the Reapers.

The following are War Assets gained during the conflict on Rannoch







Admiral Zaal'Koris - Rescued on Rannoch he leads the Civilian Fleet with a cool head and an open mind.

Admiral Daro'Xen - Head of Special Projects for the Quarian fleet

The Quarian Heavy Fleet, Patrol Fleet and Civilian Fleet declare their readiness to fight the Reapers







Geth Prime Platoon - Powerful Geth platforms that can act as mobile networking hubs co-ordinating Geth resistance against the Reapers

Geth Corps - The bulk of the Geth platorms are commited for ground offensives







Geth Fleet - saved from destruction by the Quarians the powerful Geth fleet is perfectly co-ordinated due to the synthetic nature of the Geth and their ability for networking.


Thanks for Reading - in my next post I'll be discussing Gears of War

Monday, 7 January 2013

Doctor Who - New series, new species part 41

Well the Christmas special has come and gone so time to discuss the aliens seen on our TVs Christmas day.

The Great Intelligence










OK this is technically breaking my rule as the Great Intelligence has appeared before in classic Doctor Who episodes and has battled the Doctor on previous occasions. I really enjoyed the creepy pop up snowmen in the lighthearted but moving Christmas day romp. I found the defeating the monster with love to be a little dull as it has been done so many times and so many wayds on Doctor Who but it was an exciting ride and I'm intriogued to find out more about the new companion who keeps popping up through time.

The Great Intelligence is a disembodied mind that has battled the Doctor many times taking different forms. In the Victorian era it took the form of snow, reaching out through the mind of a lonely child to build it's intelligence and attempted to become more human so that it could through subtlety replace and control the human race.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Blogga's Wall - November/December 2012


A Happy New Year to you all - I hope you have a wonderful 2013 with good times as well as cool movies, games and comic on the horizon!

Here's what went up on my wall in the last few weeks of 2012

1) Red Dwarf X








 Thanks to  the mostly re-run based channel 'Dave' we now have a brand new series of Red Dwarf. The long running BBC series came to an end a while ago much to the dismay of fans of the classic space comedy. Dave experimented with a min-series 'Back to Earth' a while ago which was quite fun but it was really exzciting to hear of a full series and it really hasn't missed a beat - there are some great moments, such as Rimmer meeting his brother and Lister dealing with parenting when his son is actuaslly himself!!!

2) The Assassin's Creed Encyclopedia











I was really excited to get my hands on this, ordered from UbiWorkshop earlier in the year the re-print of their exclusive encyclopedia details all the characters, events and locations of the exciting franchise including Assassin's Creed III. As I've yet to play the latest game it's a book full of spoilers but there are plenty of 'safe' articles I've enjoyed reading.

3) Halo 4
 










You'll be hearing plenty about this in the near future - a Christmas present I've thoroughly enjoyed starting this game. The campaign feels very true to the original games and while I do miss Firefight the co-op missions in Spartan Ops are well worth playing, though be warned it is set a few months after the campaign so you may be due some spoilers. When I eventually catch up on Mass Effect 3 you'll be hearing more about this game!!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Star Wars Legacy returns!!!






Yes that's right!! Star Wars Legacy is due to return in the new year. With a new creative team (Corinna Bechko, Gabriel Hardman) replacing John Ostrander and Jan Duursema who were the original creators of the Legacy comics and who now write Dawn of the Jedi.

The new series follows on from the climactic events of the 'War' story arc with a new protagonist Ania Solo who is just trying to make her own way in the galaxy despite her famous lineage, but like Cade Skywalker she can't escape her destiny for long!!

The series starts with 'Prisoner of the Floating World' #1 due out in March 2013. So while I am slimming down my comic book orders there will still be plenty of Star Wars comic posting going on here still!!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Mass Effect 3: Leviathan


This post discusses the Leviathan DLC pack for Mass Effect 3 - see the video below

video

And here are the War Assets gained by completing this mission.

The Following are War Assets gained by exploring the galaxy in search of Leviathan

Liquid Assets - A group of influential business leaders are contributing financially to the War Effort and, though they don't know it, funding the construction of the Crucible.


Dextro Rations - Luxury food items suitable for Turians and Quarians provide a morale boost for troops about to go into battle


Husk Neural Map - Studies made of Husk brain patterns aid the fight against Reaper troops

(there are more available through new systems uploaded in the pack but these are the ones I found while playing the mission)

The following are War Assets gained by finding the Leviathans

Dr Ann Bryson - here research into ancient technology is invaluable to the Crucible's construction

Leviathan Enthrallment Teams - Highly trained commandos deploy Leviathan devices behind enemy lines to turn Reaper forces against each other and slow their advance across the galaxy.