Long time no update.

So I’ve had a lot going on the last month. Been playing a lot of Starcraft 2 and Heros of the Storm in my downtime from work, which isn’t a lot.  

I just recently got back from a good friend’s wedding in Texas which I officiated. It was a 2000 mile round trip, so needless to say I’m catching back up to regular work schedule. 

I went back to work yesterday to find out I’m now a regular employee with full benefits starting Saturday. Our pay period starts Saturday, so this is a little milestone in my work life that will open up further opportunities. 

I’m also slowly working on a screenplay script that I believe has great promise on being an excellent show. I just need to hunker down and actually write, so far I’m just in drafts and a million little ideas stage. 

There is also this Mass Effect Andromeda collaboration review I need to get to. 

I’ve basically fallen off the map lately. I just need to get back into my routine. 

Now I just need to get ready for work. 

That is all for now. 

Lack of Update

Been busy doing the work thing and playing StarCraft 2, but figured I’d share something.

So as far as music goes I’m typically more of a Nine Inch Nails fan, but this little girl is a personal favorite of mine.

Grace VanderWaal. Never much for TV show famedom stuff, but she is remarkable. Hearing her music always cheers me up and this cover is way better than the original.

At least in my opinion.


13 Reasons Why

So I have a story about the author of this book, that is now an extremely well done series on Netflix.

When I was still a student at NKU, Jay Asher came to do a book signing, it was an auditorium presentation followed by atrium selling and autograph session with a smaller open floor readings upstairs. I never heard of him before or read his book. 

I was there to read something I wrote because someone invited me to come. It was an extremely dark piece, one that actually was dark enough that the person who talked me to coming stopped really talking to me after hearing it. 

I was in serious pain at that time in my life. Depression, divorce, constant suicidal thoughts. 

My hands shook with each line I read, my heart pounded so loudly I don’t remember hearing myself. It was a very personal thing, emotions and all. Very dark. 

I had multiple people talk to me afterwards asking if things in it were true. 

That is the last piece of my writing I’ve ever read publicly. 

I remember that look on Jay Asher’s face, I wasn’t sure how to define it. He gave me another glance later before I left after everyone was done with their readings and now I wish I would have taken the time to talk with him. 

I never read his book that he was promoting. 13 Reasons Why. Wasn’t that interested in the concept of the story. So last night I saw it was on Netflix, I thought, “why not? I met te author” I binge watched 8 episodes in a row, I have to work in like 6 hours or I’d be on my way to finishing it. Episode 8 is what made me think of my time briefly meeting him, after seeing that episode I think I understood that look he gave me. 

It wasn’t the same kind of look the potential friend I never made had on her face. Kind of like he understood the personal depth that piece had, and maybe some worry. 

Maybe I may find a copy of it sometime, however that person is no more, so sharing it even after a hefty edit wouldn’t matter.  I was spot editing in pen on my printed copy minutes before I read it, including long lines moving paragraphs and sentences around, rewording, the works. What reads in my head doesn’t always flow spoken English in a correct manner that sounds right out loud. That sentence for expample probably makes no sense. 

Luckily for you, the blog reader, this is usually a brain dump, flaws and all. I can edit the hell out of other people’s work, but editing my own stuff is usually kept to a minimal on thought exercise vs professional work. If I’m getting graded or paid, you better believe it will be edited with the level of criticism that makes me hate myself. 

Either way, watch this show, read the book, do both. After I’m done I will be buying the book, like I should have done when I could have had him autograph it. 

I will say as a warning, there are subjects in this that may be triggers for some people. If you have no idea what a trigger is, you’re probably someone who really should read this. 

Mass Effect Andromeda Completion

So I’ve managed to finish the main story, the only things left for me are minor tasks without waypoints and muliplayer.

Everything else is just waiting for dlc and more story.

Overall impressions. The end leaves a lot of questions still. Like I thought before, the end would just be the beginning of this new galaxy. Things left unanswered and still no real word on the Quarian Ark. This lack of word could have multiple implications regarding departure timeline.

Other things in question, what happened to the main director of the Initiative. Kett. Angarian future relations. Remnant tech.

After finishing there is some minor things to do, or go back to finish if you didn’t, but I did everything I could before the final mission that could be tracked, including exploring all planets. No side quest left undone. Like I said, tasks that are not important, and cannot be tracked. Things I leave for later when I can YouTube more ambitious over achievers to find the last couple things I didn’t do. I have plenty of resources and credits, I had a good outcome with everything for the most part. Nobody died that I recall. The ending just kind of resolved, happily ever after.

End fight was easy, granted I was maxed on all abilities I used, along with all passives, had a good weapon arrangement, and modded some killer weapons. The worst part of it is the waiting time that seems pointless. Hurry up and wait. Shoot, kill kill, shield regen, dodge, repeat. Nothing fancy, nothing special, the first Architect fight was more difficult because I didn’t know what to expect.

I kind of wanted more, I’m not disappointed, just feel like it wasn’t enough. How clean the ending was, was almost like BioWare kissing everyone’s ass after how ME:3 ended before the patch. How it ended seemed less likely than the reality of the situation.

Maybe I need to explore a bit more and finish some tasks, make sure there is nothing I missed, but it just seems empty now. Less than 100 hours of gameplay.

I feel less inclined to replay this right away, would definitely buy DLC, but it’s just over. I have way too much AVP, it registers negative 3k for next unlock. I have plenty of research points, for mostly weapons I don’t care to make, because the ones I have acquired blueprints for without research are better, even for improved versions, the only exception being my maxed Black Widow sniper.

I finished the game just to hit the beginning of a story that hasn’t even started. Dark space.

Mass Effect Andromeda First Week Impressions

Okay, so this is the entire first week of my play so far. My progress is a bit over 60 hours, and the game says 73% complete. I’ve done a lot, and know more than some may that try to play the first time spoiler free.

This game is exciting the further in you go, it kind of drew me in the more involved I got with the characters. I have done almost every loyalty mission minus one, which I think I got the start of last night before logging off of my weekend binge.

There are many decisions I feel will have lasting effects, yet they are tough calls. Most involve killing a specific person, or saving one over many. It’s not hard to see the potential outcome but even seeing it is a hard one. It feels like playing Rick from TWD in trying to give certain people the benefit of the doubt, the further I go I feel more like Alexandria Rick than Hershel farm Rick.

There doesn’t seem to be a visible renegade paragon system like previous ME games unless I missed it somewhere. And usually and conversation trigger prompts involve shooting first or hugging. More Han vs Greedo than Danny Tanner moments for sure.

I don’t really know what else to say I haven’t in my previous reviews so far other than, it grows on you the more you do.

There are obviously more bugs the further you go too. I’ve had many enemies fall through the floor or inside walls. Ryder’s cup disappears a lot while he takes a drink at a bar. I’ve been engaged by enemies while in a dialogue screen with no quick way to back out of that screen so I die. I’ve been locked out of objective doors forcing a quick reload.

Bugs aside, the combat system is fun, the weapons and customizations for them are fun. The story makes more sense once you unlock the last of Sr. Ryder’s memories on where it fits into the previous Trilogy.

I haven’t finished it yet, but I feel the end is just going to be the beginning of a true Mass Effect experience that could rival the old Trilogy. This is just the little corner of Andromeda we have been let loose on. The building of new civilizations, and the mention of quarian ark being late to follow could have big implications if you know what I know as of right now.

The only Milky Way species in Andromeda at the moment are Human, Turian, Salarian, Krogan, and Asari.

They mentioned the Quarians were late departing, but it was a very small note in the important rush of everything else going on, and there has been a lot. Most everything is made urgent, and feels like you should rush too it right away. By the time Sunday hit, I had twelve side quests that all seemed urgent, and spent the day making sure they were all dealt with before the next “Priority” mission.

It’s a lot to process still. Real life catches up however, and now I need to get ready for work.

Mass Effect Andromeda Third update.

I didn’t push as hard rolling into my Thursday night, Friday morning.

The game has seemed underwhelming at first but the more I play it, and the story fleshed out, the more I wonder why I had mixed feelings about it. Then I realized that it was basically because I went into this game the same way the hero does. Cryo storage into a new universe. It’s not like Fallout 4 where you start the game in your previous life. You just wake up, expecting a new exciting adventure, then shit hits the fan quickly. You don’t have time to process all the new stuff, things are frustrating, and you don’t get to go back home.

This new hero experience is the same experience the player is getting between our first Trilogy and the long dark wait for something new. A fresh start.

I will say the more I play, the more interesting bugs/glitches I find. Enemies falling between walls, being able to use the sword to warp behind doors, dialogue windows locking as my team engages hostile units. Nothing that crashes the game so far,

The Nomad works better with speed and traction upgrades, but still works better in reverse. This vehicle should handle how it does in reverse, instead of forward.

That’s it for now, I’m pretty much done with Hoth, went back to Tatooine to finish some side things I didn’t do. Saved some alien lives and a matriarch. Killed an alien commander point blank with a sniper rifle one handed unsupported.

Justifiable renegade move.

I need to sleep, maybe tomorrow I will visit Citadel 2.0. I haven’t been there since first contact with my new aliens and even earning their trust and establishing trade and cooperation, so basically some people there are going to have a lot to say to me that I don’t have time for tonight.

Mass Effect Andromeda Take Two

Again, with as little spoiler as possible. The game is growing on me more as I develop my relations with my team and learn the combat system more. Jump jets and boosting will come in handy when something the size of a reaper kills scientists and you gotta take it out on foot.

Bonus points for the husk being visible in orbit.

Basically they’ve made Mass Effect more like Dragon Age in this installment. Instead of connect the dots, you get alien sudoku. This game feels more like the game I was expecting Destiny to be, without having to rip off everything from Mass Effect, because it is Mass Effect. (Seriously, vex were just like the prothean reaver drones, collectors? If I remember correctly.)

I upgraded the Nomad to hopefully have a better drive experience on my next planet. I’m done with one planet for the most part and have yet to finish off a few side things on the first one. I shall nickname them Tatooine and Hoth for now, when you experience them, you’ll know what I mean.

Seriously though, if you have yet to fight something giagantic in size, start practicing your strafing with jet boosts asap. It will make the fight easygoing. That and a high powered sniper rifle, so keep upgrading and making new ones. Don’t let your guns fall behind your level progression.

The hardest part for me is I’ve been spending so much time trying to play between work, I haven’t been able to keep up with mineral resources to ensure I have the latest blueprints developed for my level and have the resources to make them when I do.

The new friendly race is probably my most preferred companion.

And get an Asari Sword, it makes the omnitool look like a toothpick in battle.

Wish I had it during my big Hoth assault on a base, especially with the four augmentations I made it with.

As lackluster as it seemed diving in, I feel like I was more engaged and can’t wait to find out more. This weekend cannot come soon enough. Housing and feeding myself takes too much time from exploring new galaxies. Off to sleep now, what little I get this opening week.

Mass Effect Andromeda First Impressions

Without spoilers, I would like to say, if you’re a BioWare fan, and love exploring, this is what you’d expect.

The Trilogy was absolutely one of my favorite game series ever, and this new adventure seems like an impressive way to keep the universe alive with a fresh take.

New planets, new mysterious alien tech, new aliens. Yeah not much in Science Fiction is original anymore, and like most BioWare games the dialogue is horrible and the delivery isn’t exactly perfect with the animation, but it’s better than most.

The only thing I absolutely hate in the game so far is the Nomad controls, it feels too sluggish for what it is the primary method of travel. You’d think something with six wheels could go up a little hill easier than it does. If it hits too low of a speed, your six wheel drive mode is just as useless as your boosters. If you want better traction, hit six wheel in reverse up that hill and use boosters when needed. The only time the Nomad feels useful is when you’re going downhill. Even flat terrain with minor obstacles or rocks has moments of weakness.

So far the characters don’t shine too much, they mostly fit stereotypes of their species, with the exception of an Asari who is basically an Alien version of Sera from DragonAge Inquisition without as many annoying characteristics.

Your Krogan is a Krogan, your Turian is a typical Turian. You have mostly Human Crew, and a Salarian pilot who is no Joker.

I’m not saying any of this is bad, as it feels like a Mass Effect game, but its starting over with characters whom I have no connection with. No familiar faces. I played countless hours piloting the Normandy, played three games with mostly the same Crew who almost all lived to the next game and in multiple replays. None of these new characters have that history with my gameplay, so it will take some time to get to know them.

The new species crew member I’ve had for less than an hour. We shall see how this turns out and if anyone will win me over.

I most likely won’t have a good idea of how to rate this game until I’ve had time to play that isn’t between my work schedule. So more to come after a few more evenings and a sleepless weekend of nonstop playtime.

One thing is for certain though, the weapons and research/crafting system makes this the best game so far in this department. Previous weapon systems in the other games feel less personalized, more cookie cutter weapons with definitive upgrades. Being able to research and custom build weapons to my preferences on my build is a nice concept that I feel is well implemented into this games economy and resource gathering capacity.

That’s all for now, time to sleep for the couple hours before I wake myself up for work.

Mass Effect Countdown

I have been intentionally keeping away from game teasers. Aside from seeing the main trailer and knowing it’s after our last Trilogy, I’m going to fully immerse myself in this new universe once it becomes available. Meaning, my fights in any Blizzard universe will come to an end. What even is a season 10 in Diablo 3? 

Nova and Arbathur can wait. 

WoW? I need to cancel that subscription, I keep forgetting.