More screenshots from Mass Effect: Andromeda

Just because I’ve put Mass Effect: Andromeda on pause for the moment, it doesn’t mean that it’s left my purview entirely. Oh no, in fact, I finally had the chance to review my plethora of screenshots recently, which prompted me to put together a new Screenshot Theatre video for Virtual Bastion’s YouTube channel. Like the last one, this one short and sweet, and quiet. So if you have a spare three minutes, click, kick back, and enjoy the scenery.

77 Hours Later, and Mass Effect: Andromeda is in the Bag

ICYMI, I barreled through Mass Effect: Andromeda all the way to the very end. And by “barreled through,” I mean that if I had had two actual free week to complete the game, then maybe my description would be more accurate. Still, me getting through a single game in less than three months is nothing short of a miracle, so my words stand. To see those words, which involve lots of spoiler-free thoughts on the game itself, just click below to see them on Virtual Bastion.

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Actually, 77 and one-half to be precise, but who’s counting? Me, that’s who, because I really can’t believe that I spent anywhere near that time in the world of Mass Effect: Andromeda. But there it is, and now it’s time to talk about it. Where to even begin?! There’s so much to unpack here, but I’m going to keep things streamlined and spoiler-free (but no less opinionated) by exploring the game through five topics: story, missions, characters, gameplay, and graphics. I’m also going to aim to keep the previous Mass Effect games out of the picture. As bound in that universe as Mass Effect: Andromeda is, it’s a different animal from the original trilogy.

TL;DRMass Effect: Andromeda is a solid and enjoyable game with its own set of issues and quirks, none of which significantly detract from the overall experience.

Now, if you want to read, continue at…

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Mass Effect: Andromeda — Screenshot Theater

When life gets busy, there’s nothing like a good ol’ screenshot gallery, amirite?

Wait, what?

Nothing. Never mind. It’s just that I made this super quick Mass Effect: Andromeda screenshot theater video for Virtual Bastion’s YouTube channel, and you should totally check it out. Totally.

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Being over three weeks old now, Mass Effect: Andromeda feels a little like old news. Most people I know who have it have already completed at least one playthrough. Speedy hares they are! I, on the other hand, am the tortoise in this gaming race — slow and steady. And yes, this is a fancy way of saying that I haven’t made much progress in the game since my first impressions post. (sigh)

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What stories will they tell of us in the future?

Being someone with a livelihood that’s invested in historical and cultural institutions, I was quite pleased to stumble into a museum of sorts during a recent session with Mass Effect: Andromeda. The spot is called the Cultural Exchange Center. It’s tucked away in an unnoticeable corner of the Nexus, a massive space station and central hub of the game. The center, while not vast, contains a number of interactive holographic displays of items, such as the Citadel, and races: human, Krogan, Asari, Turian, and Salarian. The room appears to be a work-in-progress, as there are a couple blank displays, as well as one that will likely hold the history of Ryder, the Pathfinder. (Though that’s only a guess.) With the species displays, players are presented with a general greeting from each hologram, and then may choose to learn more about the species’ home world or history. Being the goofy person that I am, I chose to spend some time listening to as much information as each display would give. I summarily found my jaw on the floor each time a display when over its races’ history.

Continue reading “What stories will they tell of us in the future?”

Initial Impressions of Mass Effect: Andromeda

ICYMI: I’m playing Mass Effect: Andromeda! Had a bit of a rough start, but I think we’re all good now. Click on to read my first impressions of the game as posted to United We Game.

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Despite having a wholly exhausting Tuesday (the 21st – release day), I was determined to enjoy all that Mass Effect:Andromeda could offer that evening. The game downloaded in just a couple hours (score one for the new PC!).  After all my nighttime chores, I settled in, only to be met by…uh…sputtering? Well, not immediate sputtering. The game loaded up fine, and I created a new female Ryder. After that is when the sputtering started. The initial opening scenes cut in and out like a buffering video. It happened intermittently every handful of seconds or so, but then things smoothed out after the title card appeared. Once the story began, it looked like I was good to go. No sputtering, no “buffering.”

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Okay Mass Effect: Andromeda, You Got Me

It was only a mere 18 days ago that I decided to give in to Mass Effect: Andromeda. For whatever it was worth, I was on the fence about it for awhile, being excited, then not excited, then totally meh, and then excited enough to place my pre-order. The “me” of years past probably wouldn’t have been so flip-floppy about it, but what can I say? It just took a little more convincing this time around. What drove me into the positive about Andromeda? In large part, it was thanks to new gameplay videos and news stories like the one I riffed off in this United We Game post.

VIRTUAL BASTION

Image (©Bioware) by Flickr user inforumatik (CC)Image (©Bioware) by Flickr user inforumatik (CC)

Regular readers might have caught a post I wrote a c ouple months ago in which I was a little down on Mass Effect: Andromeda. Unfortunately, I was harboring some bad thoughts about what Andromeda was purported to be back in early December, and that something was, as I perceived it, a mere shade of what I had hoped from a new Mass Effect adventure.

Well, here we are now, just twenty days away from Andromeda’s release, and…yep, I have to admit that I’ve changed my tune. I am now, fully and without exception, all aboard the Andromeda train. Woo woo!

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#Listmas2016: Three Reasons Why I’m Not Yet Sold on Mass Effect: Andromeda

Change is tough. I like to think that I’m always down for it; even so, it can be hard to accept. Case in point — Mass Effect: Andromeda. This game will mark a very significant change for this series, one that I adore, and I’m working through coming to terms with that. I recently addressed the ambivalence I’m currently harboring toward ME: Andromeda in this Listmas post over on United We Game.

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By Pottero (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons By Pottero (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons Last week a new gameplay trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda was released during the 2016 Game Awards, and boy oh boy, does it ever look pretty.

It’s one of those trailers that leaves me in awe of the technology of today’s games. It’s almost ridiculous how much power and beauty developers can now fit into any given game, particularly games on this scale.  Plus, it’s Mass Effect, which already has an incredibly appealing universe. Over the years, it’s given us some of the most memorable characters and sites in gaming. The trilogy of original games certainly tops my list of all-time favorites.

That said…

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Thoughts on Mass Effect: Andromeda as an Open World Game

Since first publishing this post on Mass Effect: Andromeda over on United We Game, there hasn’t been much in the way of new news about it. Could it be that Bioware is waiting until E3 next month to offer up some more reveals? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Till then, here are my own scintillating (haha) thoughts on what could be and shouldn’t be in the new Mass Effect adventure.

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Image by Flickr user Beautiful Games (CC)Image by Flickr user Beautiful Games (CC)

It’s recently come to light that Mass Effect: Andromeda might be an open world game, one with a “seamless, open world galaxy,” as the headlines state. Seeing has how I’m currently knee-deep in the vivacious world of the original Mass Effect trilogy (on ME2 now, and loving it more than before), I couldn’t help but wonder what the games would have been like if they had been open world games, a la GTA IV and V instead of the mission-based games that they are.  Does the gaming landscape need an open world Mass Effect game? Would it be good for the series? Are we talking, like, No Man’s Sky meets Dragon Age: Inquisition or something else? And what would that mean for players? Would it have to be connected to the Internet to play? How…?  Why…?

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