Thursday, 14 February 2013
Here's what went up on my wall this January
1) Marvel Encyclopedia - Second Edition
A Christmas present to myself, it was on a ridiculously cheap 2 for 1 at WHSmith so I bought one for a friend and kept the other. I really like having this summary of the key marvel characters as well as records of key events such as World War Hulk and the Secret Invasion. As a fairly casual Marvel fan it's nice to have this record of the wide range of characters and to have concise summaries of their stories as opposed to the bafflingly complex biographies you find online!
2) 'Star Wars' #1
The quoatation marks are there because this latest comic series from Dark Horse is called simple that - Star Wars. Set almost immediately after Episode IV with Luke, Leia and Han dealing with the aftermath of the Death Star's destruction and struggling to find a new home for the Rebellion with the still mighty Empire hot on their tails. 'In the shadow of Yavin' is a five-part run that is already on the third printing of the first issue - get it while you can!! Expect a review at the end of the arc.
More soon folks!
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
This is getting to be something of a joke as I've now finished Halo 4 and am making progress into The Old Republic which is now fully free to play to level 50 with some restrictions but anyway Mass Effect 3 was an amazing journey and well worth playing so I'm going to finish chronicling my adventures in the game here regardless.
Fresh from battling the Reaper and grieving over the loss of his friends to the War Effort Shepard has to force himself to keep going to see this battle through. A heads up from Admiral Hackett sends Shepard and the Normandy crew to Cyone, where a critical fuel depot has gone dark.
Shepard arrives to find the place swarming with Reaper forces battling a handful of surviving security forces. To make things worse the battle has caused toxic gases to leak across sections of the base. Shepard manoeuvers around the hazards to eliminate the enemy forces and restart the supply chain.
Soon after the Normandy returns to the Citadel on a summons from the Asari Councillor, she informs Shepard that Thessia, the Asari homeworld is now under siege from Reaper forces, but that is not why she has summoned Shepard. Hidden in an ancient temple is a powerful Prothean artifact, which may hold the key to completing the Crucible, which requires an unknown component called the Catalyst before being ready to fire. This temple is so secret that most Asari, including Liara, don't know that it holds such a powerful artifact.
Shepard lands as close as possible to the artifact but the city is under attack from several Reapers. Shepard meets up with a squad of Asari commandos who aren't too pleased about having to help as they are fighting for their lives but Shepard persuades them of the importance of his mission and they clear the way for him. Shepard battles past wave after wave of Reaper troops through a devastated city to an overrun outpost where he has to fend off powerful Harvesters and reinforce the Asari lines before proceeding.
(Note, I'd say it's almost essential to take Javik with you on this mission, you get a lot more out of it that you would any other way - plus he's great in a fight!!)
Shepard and his squad cautiously enter the temple to find it abandoned, the science team have been murdered but there's no sign of Reaper activity inside. They set about examining the various artifacts in the building to see if they are the source of the hidden technology. Liara recalls the ancient legends they portray, while Javik poses that these are due to his people using advanced technology to protect the primitive Asari.
After interacting with the large statue at the back of the temple and interfacing with other key artifacts linked to it Shepard uncovers a Prothean beacon, similar to the one he found on Eden Prime where hiswar against the Reapers began. Able to interface with it due to his experiences with Prothean artifacts, Shepard gleans that this is the source of the Asari's advanced technology and culture, a fact the Asari leaders have kept hidden even from their own kind. Continued interaction causes a Prothean VI to activate.
The VI 'Vendetta' shares knowledge with Shepard, despite the fact that it believes it is too late to stop the Reapers. It reveals that the Crucible is not a Prothean design but rather has been developed by numerous races over the cycles of extinction and was compiled and nearly contructed by the Protheans. When asked why the weapon was never finished it reveals thast a splinter group of Protheans believed that the Reapers could be controlled instead of eliminated, much as Cerberus are trying to do. Vendetta says that they turned out to be indoctrinated agents.
Before he can say more Kai Leng, who has been cloaked in the shadows springs out and with a gunship for fire support destroys much of the temple, leaving Shepard and his crew fighting for their lives as he downloads the data and escapes. Shepard watches hoplessly as Leng flees the scene and as he steps outside watches the Reapers continue to descend on the planet.
Back on the Normandy Liara is furious at Javik for his people's interference in her culture, but he answers that the Protheans saw something in the Asari, something greater than they had in themselves, which is why they nurtured them as a primitive race. Despite this consolation Liara is devastated by the loss of her homeworld and there is little Shepard can do to comfort her. Shepard resolves to stop being on the defensive with Cerberus and take back what is theirs. EDI and Samantha Traynor track Leng's ship to Horizon, but at the same time Shepard recieves a special request which gives him an opportunity to pay Cerberus back.
- Here are the War Assets gained during these missions.
The following War Asset is gained on Cyone
Advanced Starship Fuel - Fuel from the refineries on Cyone makes transporting materials to the Crucible more efficient.
The following are War Assets gaine travelling to Thessia and exploring the surrounding systems
Synthdiamond Heat Sinks - Synthetic diamonds make heat sinks for weapons more effective
Emergency Fuel Pods - Recovered from a debris field these help power the Crucible's reactors
Alliance Frigates Leipzig and Hong Kong are added to the Alliance 3rd and 5th fleets
Armali Sniper Unit - A highly trained team of Asari commandos specialising in long-distance engagement
Serrice Guard - A heroic team of commandos originally formed to combat the Blood Pack
Dr Jelize - A famed Asari scientist specialising in nano-circuitry, is now building circuit boards for the Crucible's weapons
Elcor Flotilla - After a plea from the Elcor Ambassador on the Citadel Shepard sends the Normandy to assist the Elcor evacuate their homeworld Dekunna. A flotilla of military ships and Elcor warriors bearing heavy weapons emplacements on their backs join the united cause.
Monday, 11 February 2013
The latest installment in the Purge line, which focuses on Vader's extermination of the remnants of the Jedi Order in the days after Order 66, is a two-parter as opposed to the usual run of one-shots. The story not only focuses on Vader's hunt for a rogue Jedi but also how he has to deal with a planet which idolizes the Jedi Order.
Occupation: Jedi Knight
A powerful Jedi Knight, weilding two lightsabers in battle (not too hard when you have four arms I suppose!) he and two other Jedi escaped Order 66 in the Clone Wars and journeyed to the world of Vaklin where they led an insurrection agaisnst the forces of the Empire who came to occupy the planet.
Unidentified Jedi Knight
Occupation: Jedi Knight
One of the insurgent Jedi on Vaklin, he and his Master were captured by Vader, leaving only Cho'na Bene on the planet. The Master was spaced by Vader as he was too good a swordsman to risk leaving alive while this Jedi was kept for interrogation. He succumbed to Vader's techniques and gave up some critical information and was later killed by the Dark Lord in an escape attempt.
Several other Jedi of old are mentioned, as the people of Vaklin built statues in their honour.
- Trivak Ninegun, a Jedi Master who led colonization efforts on the planet and set up Jedi recruiting efforts
- Prokeisha, a Jedi Master who stopped the rust plague and fought at Malastare
- To-La, a Jedi Knight responsible for ending the thousand-year War of Flowering Knives
- Khen Reo, a Jedi Knight who brought law and order to the Null Sectors
- Uru Koo, a Neti Jedi Master whose cuttings were planted on the planet
- Kanzhei Opli, a Jedi Beast Master, responsible for rare species
- an Unknown Master who arrived on Vaklin and died shortly after
An altered form of the Sith Tuk'ata beast, which while just as fearsome could be tamed and controlled by those other than the Sith. Extremely rare, the last pair in the galaxy were used by the insurgents to battle Lord Vader.
Pretty easy this time as all the action takes place on Vaklin, the exact location is a guess but it's in the right grid reference.
Vader is despatched to the planet Vaklin to put down an insurgency led by Jedi Knights, while succeeding in batlle against some of the Knights Vader faces a bigger problem, a planetary population devoted to the Jedi Order and willing to give their lives in it's honour. Assisted by an insightful ISB officer Vader and the Imperials set about wiping all trace of the Jedi from the planet and discredit as well as destroy the Jedi on the planet.