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Some combat- and story-related spoilers for Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

Some random thoughts I don’t want to forget:

Jaal and hope. Did you get the email from Lexi? After we were all “There’s hope! We might be able to bring them back!” LEXI went and convinced him otherwise. Made him “see reason.” She undid our choice. When do NPCs undo our choices in games? Especially when we’re trying to be “good?” We gotta talk on that.

And the exiles. We didn’t really talk on that.

And the Krogan, and their attempts to cure the genophage. Did you get the data for that doctor krogan? Who said he was trying to end the genophage but the data seemed to be about making krogan supersoldiers? Ooops. Stop the bomb, give them supersoldiers. Way to go, me.

Also:

Sweet surfing California Jesus that fight. That fight. That fight sucked.

It never ended, I kept getting lost, I kept getting confused, I kept getting dead. It was terrible. So I did the unthinkable:

I turned down the difficultly. Yes, yes I did. And..here’s the thing…then did the whole thing in one go, without any real problem.

Which was all I had. Now I’m in a cave about to probably get the bomb back, but probably not cuz all I’ll likely do is kill some dudes, then find a datapad telling me the bomb is really on the other side of the planet. Or on another planet.

Now….difficulty.

We have praised a lot of games of late for finding that sweet spot of “hard enough to feel challenging and exciting, but not too hard to be frustrating.” TW3. Horizon. Even RotTR. MEA? MEA is bad at this. Really, really, REALLY bad at this. Before I reached this impossible, confusing, controller throwing, rage inducing cluster fuck, I was getting to the point where combat was boring. Easy. Call the drone, hide a while, pick off enemies as easily as clicking on them with a mouse. This fight? There must have been eight times where I didn’t even get to the second phase, the second of, what 27 phases?

A game should not switch from “boring unless you turn the difficulty up to hard” to “Impossible unless you turn it to casual” fight to fight. Not even early game to late game, fight to fight. That sucks. Want the game to be easy and narrative based? Fine. Want the game to be hard? Also fine. But to switch from one extreme to the other fight to fight? Not fine.

Boo.

Feminina:

Yeah, the Flophouse was a nasty one. I didn’t turn down the difficulty, but then, I’ve been on ‘normal’ the entire game, so it was basically the same thing. (No wonder I’m so far ahead of you!)

As for the bomb being in another location…this is the remnant drive core we’re talking about? And you’ve already tracked it through several locations to get to the Flophouse? If so, I think this might actually be where you find it.

Or, if you haven’t already tracked it through several locations, than yeah, you’re totally going to do that.

In the spirit of nasty fights, I finally tackled a Remnant Architect over the weekend. It’s basically the same deal, when you think about it. Wave after wave of things you have to shoot, scampering around collecting health and ammunition, trying desperately not to die and have to start all over…it does have the added element of “keep wearing this one thing down” but then, we have that with the kett dudes who have that shield-and-orb combo.

So it’s nothing we haven’t done before, it’s just a lot of big things. I did finally finish it off. This was the one on Kadara, so hey, only three left! I suppose I should go back and try to find those missing scientists on Voeld next.

Butch:

Oh I know. I fought one for 45 minutes. Irritating.

I’ve already chased the bomb all over the damn planet. At least I got to listen to Suvi. It better be in this cave.

I’ve been playing on normal! Which has been easy! I even did the kett facility in one go. I had to go from normal to casual! I was this close to turning it to hard cuz I was bored!

Wait….three more? You HAVE to kill them? And you’re STILL not done?

Shit. On many levels.

Feminina:

No, you don’t have to kill them. I think you can completely ignore the remnant architects, as I have done until now, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the game. It’s just the bragging rights, man! The completionist in me!

I died several times the first time I tried, then quit and went to bed, and when I went back last night I finished it in one go, so…it’s about that challenging. Tough, but if you’re in the right mindset, you can polish it off OK.

I thought you started it on hard. I was going to be all impressed that turning it to normal made it super easy, because I did the Flophouse on normal and it was a pain in the neck. I agree, for the most part normal is pretty easy lately, which I’ve been going with because hell, I do want this game to be over EVENTUALLY. Normal is hard enough on the big fights, and by this point, 700 hours in, I think I’ve earned easy on the little fights.

Butch:

Nope, I’ve been normal all the way. As I said, the small fights are a whole lotta nothing. One, I just hid until Drack and drone killed everyone. I’m at a point now where if something only has a red bar, it doesn’t even register as a thread to me.

Once again, though, you have proven uncanny in your ability to mention something and have it happen. Just played some. Got the drive core, decided to give it to the krogan (which I instantly regretted), got an outpost, and promptly got the “Kill the architect” quest. Just like that.

You allied with the krogan, too, didn’t you?

I don’t feel like killing an architect right now. Fuck that. Gonna magpie for just a little while then off the the tempest to flirt and find that other priority thing, which better fucking be shorter than this.

Feminina:

Normal is great! There’s no shame in normal! Normies unite!

I did ally with the krogan. We’ve been talking all over about how they got a bad deal and have been treated shabbily by the Initiative and so forth. Gotta make up for some of that. Give the krogan some respect.

I haven’t regretted it so far, but we’ll see. I suspect all kinds of tensions will come to a head once I finally get around to pursuing the main story again.

But yeah, totally ignore the architect. “It’s on its way to the settlement!” Yeah, whatever, it’ll take its time getting there. No rush.

Butch:

But…how would we know normal is great?

Indeed, some long due respect. Though that head krogan was kinda nasty.

HA! Yeah. “It’s close…if it finds us we’re dead for sure…” Yeah, it’ll be cool. Legs, then head. You’ll be fine.

I wanted to say “Sister, I’m the last person you need doing that. I found one of them on Voeld, and the Asari I was with said ‘Architect!’ and I said ‘what?’ and the Angaran I was with said ‘aim for the legs!’ and I said ‘really? You know this how?’ Like, seriously, sister, EVERYONE knows more about these things than I do. Ask someone else.”

Feminina:

Good question. Well…I didn’t mean NORMAL normal.

And hey, that’s true! I was with Jaal and Vetra, and Jaal kept yelling “aim for the legs!” Since when are you the architect expert? But since you are, YOU aim for the legs.

It’s also true that Morda was kind of a jerk, but the other krogan seemed pretty cool (I loved some of their message strings on the terminals, like the guy selling jerky, and the new fathers group–incidentally, so they’ve managed to overcome the genophage to some extent? momentarily referencing the things you didn’t want to forget but that we’re still failing to discuss?–and the bit about the Sadie Hawkins dance or whatever.) I’m going to be chill, and Morda will come around. That’s my plan.

Butch:

Of course not. That would be weird.

Whoa…circular….

Exactly, though! PB shouted “architect” when we were REALLY far away! I didn’t even see it yet! I was all “What? What’s an architect? Where? Oh, THAT! Uh…if you say so…”

How did they know? However they did, they should go deal with those things. I’ll chill with Suvi.

Krogan do lead to some funny moments. Which is both enjoyable (cuz funny) and the source of some narrative dissonance. Why is the humor coming from the race that is always fighting, got hit with the genophage and nuked their homeworld? They are, by any yard stick, the darkest race in the game. And yet, they’re always good for a chuckle. Did they do that to avoid making them TOO dark? I dunno.

Feminina:

Well, you know…black humor, always a thing. Being able to stay a little amused by their situation is probably what keeps them slightly sane. And us from feeling too terrible about their situation, of course.

“It’s fine. I mean, they’re singing in the fields! Making jokes! They’re HAPPY the way they are!”

Riiiiiiight.

Butch:

Good point. And a bit of a cheap cop out by bioware, now that I think about it.

Feminina:

“Look, you can’t expect me to spend a lot of time worrying about the krogan. Seriously, humans weren’t even spacefaring when all this happened! We weren’t responsible, and we refuse to think about how our behavior in the present day supports or challenges the perpetuation of age-old injustices we personally had nothing to do with. Besides, you can tell the krogan are totally fine–some of them are funny! And rate among my best friends!”

Butch:

We’re biting today!

Must be Tuesday.