, , , , ,


Minor spoilers for Mass Effect: Andromeda and Star Wars: Episode 3


Well I still have this “cold.” 11 days in, and still coughing shit up and not sleeping and pulling muscles in my chest. Seems to be slowly getting better, but this is cramping my style in any number of ways.

But the good news is I did play for, like, 20 minutes and Mrs. McP did all the chores cuz I can’t breathe and the kids have camp today so maybe I’ll get to play more.

Found the cave with the happy growing plant (ForeSHAAAAAdowing), then had one of those “We’re so glad you’re here” fights where I did very little.

I love those. OBJECTIVE: Defend the helpless people! Go! Now!
“Ok! I’ll go!” run run run run take cover, look around, fumble with gun, get lost, run some more, notice all the dudes I’m supposed to be saving are shooting, chucking grenades, shouting things like “GOT ANOTHER ONE!”, finally find a bad guy, miss a couple times, kill it.
NPCS: “Thank God you got here in time!”

Yeah….that last guy would have fucked ALL Y’ALL up. I’m a god damned ACTION HERO!

Now I’m going to loot the 42 guys you all killed. Thanks for that.

Figured that was enough hero for a day I was sick.


Ugh. Dude. I’m sorry.

I’ve had that cold, although not recently. It ends up with people saying “are you sure you should be at work?” and me saying “what, you want me to just stay home sick for a month? Because that’s how long I’m going to be coughing.”

Fingers crossed yours retreats soon!

I do love those fights.

Them: Thanks so much for coming! We couldn’t have done it without you! You arrived just in time!

Me (suspiciously): Is that sarcasm? No? I guess you must really rely on the Pathfinder’s moral support, then. Anytime, people, anytime! Sooo…were you going to loot that corpse? No? Mind if I just…?

I played a bit. It’s hard to maintain the momentum, though, when the kid keeps wailing.

I feel like we’re both getting off to a really slow start on this one, for different reasons, and I wonder if that’s why we can’t seem to find much to say about it. Hopefully it’s more that, than that we don’t think it’s that awesome.

I mean…I’m playing it. I don’t know. I don’t feel all that excited about playing it, but maybe that’s because I hardly ever get to.


I can’t blame the game for this. You can’t judge any game until you’re out of the hinterlands, and I don’t feel I’ve even GOTTEN to the hinterlands. I could be playing a game where you screw Morrigan every night and I’d be playing exactly as much as I’m playing this one.

I’ll go try to do some now.


I THINK I’m out of the Hinterlands.

And yeah, it’s true, I wouldn’t be playing a whole lot more than I am, even if it was nonstop fancy dress balls, heists, and making out with brooding aliens. I mean, I might try a little harder to squeeze in half an hour here and there, whereas lately I’ve been more “enh, I only have half an hour, it’s not worth the energy it would take to load it up,” but there’s only so much one can do.

I did have fun playing, the brief bit I did recently. Picked up some more quests, in one of those “well, I didn’t come here to NOT solve the problems of every single person on this planet” moments.

“Sure, I’ll help with that! No problem, that too! Yeah, I can help you out there!”

It’s what I do. Even when, unlike in HZD, I sometimes technically have the option to refuse.

Good luck playing!


Ok there! Played! And it got more interesting!

Got to the deserted Nexus thingy.

Ok, for realsies here: I do not like the trend I am seeing with dead Fathers in games. Rost, Lord Croft, now this. It’s getting to the point you see a dad and you know he’s out by the time you get to the hinterlands. C’mon, games! Shit’s bringing me down. Dads are awesome!

But I’m more into it now. I’m getting the sense that thing are now interesting. Not much was going on there. Now we have some mystery, that sort of thing. I’m even vaguely intrigued by the bad guys. That bit when the bad guy is trying to mimic what dead dad did there, and have it not work, was rather cool. I like that they, too, seem to be from elsewhere. This isn’t the usual fare. But I guess it wouldn’t have gone over well if the point of the game was to show up in a new place, kill everyone living there and take their planets. Mass Effect: Imperialism doesn’t sound good.

I also noticed a good reason to keep the default name: Everyone’s calling me Sara. What are they calling you?


Oh, interesting–they call you by the default name! I guess that makes sense. They just call me ‘Ryder’ (which potentially could get confusing if my brother wakes up) or ‘Pathfinder.’

That is always a slight awkwardness in games where you make and name your own character–the attempt to make it seem natural that even your best friends only call you by your last name and/or your formal title.

It worked OK for Shepard, because…Shepard, man! It worked less well for Inquisitor in DAI, and I’m not sure yet how well it’s going in this one. I feel like they don’t even really try in Bethesda games.

Here’s something we lose with voiced games as opposed to text-based ones, where you could have your name just get swapped in no problem.

“Oh, thank heavens [Bonehead], we’re so glad you made it to this fight you were totally useless in! We couldn’t have done it without you!”

ME: Imperialism DOES have a ring to it…though not necessarily one that would really draw in the crowds. At least, not the crowds we want to hang out with.

Explore a faraway galaxy and kill everyone in it! Woohoo!

And it’s true, dads are really taking a beating here, but at least they put in an appearance before they die. There are no moms at all–they all died years ago.


The use of name is a nice touch. When in doubt, default!

I love when the character you’re banging calls you by your last name or title. “Thank you so much for last night, pathfinder….nudge nudge….”

At least in DAI Sera makes up pet names for you. That got around that problem.

I’ll still take voices over names inserted into text. Though I’m not into the voices in this one so far…..maybe I was spoiled by HZD.

Yeah….’explore and kill’ would be a tough sell. Odd bloggage. But something that’s a bit of a problem in any “find a new home” game. All the best locations are either already taken or about to become Chipotles.

And hey, man, in HZD you ARE your mother! Sorta. Mom’s in the WHOLE GAME. Sorta. Tomb Raider, yeah, ok, I’ll give you that one. Lady Croft was kinda lame.


Yeah, exploration and colonization are fraught topics these days. Now that “kill the benighted savages and take their land for our own noble purposes!” is no longer QUITE the order of the day. At least not quite so frankly.

It’s all very well to say Aloy was her own mother, and it’s true in a sense, but not a sense that’s very useful if you’re looking for someone to give you maternal hugs and tell you bedtime stories or whatever moms do. (Wipe noses and say “please don’t swing that lightsaber near the TV,” mostly.)


It’s amazing how often “Don’t do that near the TV!” has to be said.

See? Lightsabers. Another thing rife with daddy issues.


MAJOR daddy issues.

And, again, no mommy issues because no mom. I mean, those kids COULD have had legitimate mommy issues if they knew that Padme apparently just gave up and died of a broken heart or whatever rather than stick around to raise them after their father became evil (“single mom of TWINS? Screw that, I’m out”) but they don’t seem to have ever learned about this.

It’s like people said “you know how moms in stories are always ‘the evil stepmother? That’s a super tired trope. Let’s ditch it.'”

And then they replaced it with no mom at all.

Which, don’t get me wrong, you’re probably better off with no mom than with a wicked stepmother, but still.


Wait, what? I thought she died in childbirth.

She wouldn’t ditch anyone! Not Natalie Portman!

(Question how they can bring people back from getting arms cut off with lightsabers and falling in lava and shit, but women still die in childbirth. Or don’t. Probably better not to.)


Well, yeah, she died in childbirth, but “there’s nothing medically wrong with her, but it’s as if she’s lost the will to live,” according to the medical droid. Or something along those lines.

Definitely there was a bit about her not having the will to live, i.e., she thought about changing two sets of diapers for the next 3 years and gave right the hell up. (Which is obviously silly, because of course they have droids for that!)

And yeah, let’s not even get into how you can be submerged in molten lava and lose all your limbs and still survive to be a fearsome warrior, but giving birth in a medical setting with–presumably–the best in hospital droids to oversee the process, is still taking your life into your hands.

I really kind of hate that part of the story, actually. Padme was all kickass and everything, fighting for her principles, serving as a powerful voice on the Senate, etc. etc, and then she just freaking gives up and dies, leaving two innocent newborn children who presumably would benefit from her care, because her dude is gone? Way to demonstrate that there’s more to your life than the love of a morally questionable dude, lady.