I Feel Threatened by Change

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Spoilers for some early plot points in Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

Ok, set off another monolith, got the rest of the murderer evidence, drove the nomad fairly well (it’s good to look for those paths), I’m at the third monolith.

Also met Drack the Krogan, and if he doesn’t join my team I’m gonna be pissed.

You MUST travel with Vetra. She rocks, and her banter with Liam is great. How did that Drack thing go for you? She was the one that talked him down. She was all “Be cool, Drack.”

And I found the last component. Gave some backstory, which was nice, and a metric fuckton of research data. Which was nice.

Made myself a sniper rifle.

I can see the mining thing being a pain. The first time I did it, I thought the ship was an enemy and got out and shot at it.

Feminina:

I talked Drack down myself, thank you. I can do my own situation-defusing! I don’t need no badass turian! Although I definitely want one. Next time I go back to and then leave the ship, I will absolutely take her with me.

It’s just weird, previous ME games (and even DA games) specifically prompt you every time you leave the ‘base’ area to choose who you want to take with you. This one, it must be buried in the ‘loadout’ options or something? And if you don’t actively change it, it just leaves you with the setup you had last time.

Which explains why I’ve been using the same gun the entire game. Mr. O’ asked “so what gun are you using most?” and I was like “I dunno, whichever one this is.” I am not finding the gear choices terribly compelling, I guess, so when I leave the ship it’s just “yeah yeah, that’s fine, let’s get on with it.”

I mean, I’ve flipped through the choices a few times, but they all seem more or less equivalent, and I just can’t be bothered. I built one of the pathfinder specials with research points and now I’m just going to lug it around forever.

“Gimme something that will shoot at things and something to wear that will prevent shots from hitting me. OK, great. I’m off.”

Which is all very well when it comes to armor and weapons, but obviously I’ve missed out on choosing different companions. Cora and Liam are probably really ready for a break by now, but too polite to say anything.

Butch:

Vetra’s kinda awesome. And her and Liam really don’t like each other, which makes for good banter.

It is buried in ‘loadout’. There is no prompt. Hell, I didn’t even know Vetra COULD come with me until I stared fidgeting with the menu. I haven’t checked if Drach can yet. Nothing was said.

You can also change dudes at the forward stations. I haven’t been back to the Tempest yet, but I switched Vetra for Cora at a station.

I played a bit more last night and activated the third monolith (good to know Soduku survived for millennia) and finally got to the door thingy and jumped in. Stopped there.

And when I opened THAT door, it went to “choose loadout.” The thing is, it defaults to gear loadout. You have to click over to choose dudes.

So there are times you get prompted. You just have to remember that is also the dude selection screen.

Just remember when you pick a new dude that they’re gonna have umpteen skill points cuz they’ve been sitting in the ship leveling up and wondering why they feel so much more powerful.

So choose different dudes. You’re gonna like running around with Vetra.

I got so used to the assault rifle in the old games, I’ve stuck with it. I just did build a sniper rifle, and I have plans for a shotgun. If they’re awesome I’ll let you know.

And I switched out my blade. That’s awesome.

Feminina:

I was so happy to see sudoku in ancient alien ruins. A great concept cannot be confined to a single galaxy!

I’ve seen the loadout prompt before, but yeah, it always defaults to gear and I guess I just assumed that was all it was. I will actively flip around until I find companions next time I’m onboard or near a forward station! It’s my new goal.

I do also mean to switch out my blade, but keep forgetting. I just have the omniblade at the moment. It still does a decent bit of damage in emergency close-up situations, but if there’s something cooler, I should get it.

Butch:

It took me a minute to realize that’s what it was. I mean, you go up, you find the glyphs, she talks about them, I think they’re important. I so tried to figure out something with just those two symbols, and on and on, until I just said “You know? I think this is just a sudoku.” And it was.

I have the omniblade II. How did I get that? I was just looting a container and did the “take all” (as one does) and I notice in the little text there on the left “Omniblade II acquired.” “Huh?” I said, but, sure enough, when I went to load out, I had Omniblade II. So I equipped it.

You’ve become such a good looter you got loot you don’t even know you got!

I am still mulling how the Remnants fit into theme. I should know soon enough.

Oh, and in the whole “Take what the game gives you?” My character introduces herself as “Sara Ryder.”

Feminina:

I think I noticed I’d acquired some kind of kett blade somewhere? But yeah, it’s definitely at the point where I loot automatically without actually looking at what I’m taking.

“In the cart!” I imagine I say, as I push my invisible loot cart around everywhere. I like the “sell all junk” button when you’re talking to merchants. That’s always a nice way a game can let you quickly clear out some inventory space.

I’m ALMOST tempted to go back and start the game again with the default name…but no. I don’t care that much about having people call me by name.

Butch:

Did they really record all those lines twice? Or when you meet someone is it all “My name is [awkward pause] Ryder?”

Usually, so do I loot without looking. TAKE ALL! But this thing, and an assault rifle I found, didn’t have icons. The icons in the box were just for “weirdassed probably useless gel stuff,” as they are, and then, to the side, popped “Omniblade II.” It wasn’t in the box! Or was it? Who knows.

I still haven’t met a merchant. I guess there aren’t many customers when your planet is only 9% viable.

Feminina:

They must have recorded them twice, because I haven’t noticed an awkward pause, it’s just “hi, I’m Ryder” or whatever. Recording a few lines twice is still small potatoes compared to the way they recorded EVERYTHING with eight different voices or however many it was in DAI. Now that was dedication.

You didn’t run into the guy on the Nexus who buys stuff? He’s around there somewhere.

Butch:

Dude I haven’t been BACK to the nexus. Or the tempest. I got the tempest, I tried mining some asteroid and got 73 iron, and went to Eos, where I remain.

I haven’t even got my flirt on! Which is so much more important than a merchant.

Feminina:

Fair! Very fair.

At some point you’ll pick up quests that require you to go back to the Nexus, but you’re quite right, until then, why leave the many potential adventures of where you already are?

Butch:

Especially when peebee is kinda cute.

I like midriffs, you like exoskeletons. We all have our tastes.

Feminina:

And there certainly promises to be something for everyone in this batch of companions!

I need to go back to the Tempest and talk to people, see if I can get any flirting in…one just gets so distracted by map markers, monoliths, attacking kett command centers without save points, etc. I think my past 3-4 play sessions have just been wandering around on this planet.

Butch:

ALL of my sessions for the past forever have been on Eos. There is some serious magpie shit here.

Magpie shit cramps your thang.

Too weird to be a T SHIRT!!!!

Feminina:

Yeah…that one is a bit obscure. Though true!

Butch:

Too weird for us is pretty weird.

BETTER T SHIRT!!!!

Feminina:

And also incredibly true.

The truth is weird, people. The truth is weird.

Humans. Always Wrecking the Mood.

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Minor spoilers for early in Mass Effect: Andromeda and a significant plot spoiler for late in Mass Effect 3

Butch:

Got nothing new, as I decided to make a good dinner, as this damn bug has been making me live on turkey sandwiches and I am SO sick of turkey sandwiches.

But I’ll likely play today. I’ve decided that what I really need to find (I mean, besides a way to the cute Scottish pilot’s heart) are some themes. There’s gotta be some themes around here somewhere. This is usually the part of the game where we start to see themes. We can’t talk about banging aliens for the next three months.

Well, we CAN, but we probably shouldn’t.

[later]

Ok, played a bit. Ran around site 2, did the “secret project” bit but didn’t finish it. Fought a fiend. That kinda sucked. But then the mission objective was still “defeat the kett” and I couldn’t find the last damn kett. Ran all around forever until “Ah ha! there you are, BOOM.”

There’s a lot to do. Sure, there’ll be dumb fetch quests (this “find the dead dudes” thing acts like one), but at least I’ve found interesting stuff at both sites so far.

This going to be a “hubris of mankind” deal? Cuz so far the theme I keep hitting is “everyone is really fucking unprepared for this.” “Like, REALLY unprepared.” Including, dare I say, Ryder. She’s still all “I don’t know why he chose me,” “I’m not my father,” etc.

Feminina:

Dude, I did the secret project up until ‘defeat the kett’ and then couldn’t find anymore kett to defeat! I ran all over looking for some and finally gave up. It still says ‘defeat the kett.’ I’ll go back…sometime…

Hubris could be a theme. Also, I think, maybe a ‘you can’t get away from yourself’ kind of thing. I mean, they were all “we’re going to a new galaxy to make a brand new start and everything is going to be shiny and new and awesome in every way!” and now we’re here and people are still getting murdered, arguing about who’s in charge, getting lost, etc.

We can’t successfully run away from our problems, because–for humans as a species, and/or for each of us as individuals–half of our problems are ourselves.

I mean, yeah, that whole scourge thing isn’t our fault and threw an unexpected wrench in the plans, but if it hadn’t been the scourge it would have been something else. People would have started arguments over the best way to manage the perfect farmland on the idyllic, problem-free planets, if that’s what they’d found. There will be problems, because people (in this game, ‘intelligent species’) cause problems for themselves and each other.

Also, it would be a boring game if there weren’t anyone to shoot.

Butch:

That it would, that it would.

There were two of these kett, way up on this pylon or something, overlooking the lake. Maybe they were a couple, I dunno. They were just chilling all “Wow, what a view. Water, the sand….so nice…oh hey, humans. Isn’t this nice what do you mean I’m a quest objective?”

Hmm….I’ll play a bit more before I weigh in on the ‘running away from problems’ theme.

I WOULD say there was some sort of political tie in. They’re going to “Make Andromeda great” and, well, no. But this game had such a long development cycle that it can’t be that.

I kinda hope that this doesn’t end with Ryder MAKING everything all perfect and stuff. That’s often how games go. “This is about how humans are the problem…they mess everything up, they can’t outrun their problems, that sort of thing, that is, until Ryder shows up and then it’s ALL good.”

That wouldn’t sit well.

I’m very curious how this “First Murderer” one’s gonna end. I’m still not sure, and that’s cool. I have a feeling it’ll be themey.

Feminina:

Isn’t that just how it goes? The one time kett are just chilling, admiring the view, possibly making out (I don’t demand to be the only one who gets romance!), and I have to show up and kill them to complete a quest.

First Murderer is…interesting. See what you think. We can probably get some discussion out of it.

I agree that it will feel weird if everything winds up perfect because of Ryder, but I don’t get the sense that that’s the way they’re going. I hope. We shall see.

Also, you mentioned a couple of threads back how you solved the krogan genophage problem and why were the krogan still talking about it. I wondered about that too, but apparently, the arks left for Andromeda BEFORE Shepard solved the genophage. (So in the middle of ME2? Or even ME1?) So I guess we brought it with us and will have to solve it again. I don’t know why they did that.

Other than I guess Shepard did significantly rework life in the galaxy at the end of 3, so maybe they kind of had to in order to give us a halfway familiar jumping off point. So maybe that.

Butch:

They really were just gazing at the lake. Poor guys. But quest objectives are quest objectives.

I dunno why they did that with the timing, either. Except that it explains the whole Krogan/Salarian thing.

It was late in 3. One of the reasons that the whole Krogan/Salarian thing wouldn’t work now is that’s how Mordin dies. The cure is up in that tower, and he climbs it, knowing it’ll kill him, to release the cure. And Mordin was around for a long time, I think.

SAM: Life of the Party

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some minor spoilers for characters and mechanics early in Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

Well, when it comes to pneumonia, there are pros and cons. True, the cons are coughing so hard you almost barf and being tired and pulling muscles and stuff, but the pros are the kids get taken out of the house and you can play.

So, you know, a wash. Kinda.

Got on the tempest, which is a cool assed ship. Even cooler than the Normandy. I kinda love it. Flew to Eos, which I can tell will take some time. Did the bits of finding codes that make a quest longer than it needs to be. Now I’m about to turn on a generator and get attacked.

THOUGHTS!

I’m already kinda into Suvi. Just met her. She’s cute. She sounds like Cait. I’ll still play the field, no doubt, but I dig her.

This game is doing something the first three did that I never understood. The first games, and this one, do a really good job differentiating Krogan, Asari and Turians from each other. There’s folks in those races with different voices, personalities, etc. Salarians? They all sound the same, act the same, etc. I mean, are they ALL slightly neurotic people with very similar voices? They never are able to really get into that.

The memory fragment this is quite a reach, isn’t it? He just scattered them about the undiscovered galaxy? Even SAM was all “Look, just…don’t ask, ok?”

But, that said, I’m digging it. I figured things would pick up enormously once I got a ship, and, sure enough, I’m already finding it more interesting now that I have a ship. Though, nothing against Cora and Liam, I like Cora and Liam, but I want a couple of other potential squadmates, and soon.

I’m really not seeing what the beef is about so far. It’s good so far. I really think this game suffered from the same review bias as three (It’s not as good as ME2 so I’ll dock it a couple points even though very little is that good), which, as I’ve mentioned, is a problem as we tend to forget that ME2 was, though great, flawed itself. Also, I have a feeling that a lot of the reviewers who wrote this one up were the same reviewers who wrote up HZD, and, gotta admit, HZD is a tough act to follow.

Not disappointed yet. Step off, internet.

Feminina:

Focus on the pros. You can play! In between coughing fits!

I do like the Tempest. Nice Shakespearean, ‘brave new world’ reference.

The ‘memory fragment’ thing is SUCH a reach. Dad…dad…why didn’t you ever tell anyone you had the power to somehow stash memory triggers all over an entire, unexplored galaxy? Every time I find one in some out of the way spot on some uninhabited planet in a system we’ve never been, I think “…really, dad?”

And yet no one is interested in investigating this mysterious power he had! It’s all just “oh, sure, I’ll pick up ‘memory triggers’ left by my father on random planets where humans have never set foot, seems normal enough.”

I’ve recruited a few extra people, but I’m so used to traveling with Cora and Liam that I haven’t remembered to swap them out. In the two occasions that I’ve gone off the ship recently.

I’ve been in the one place lately, and dude, just…when you attack a kett command center, DO NOT DIE. I spent about 10 minutes on it, battling waves of dudes, achieved a couple of checkpoint-y objectives, and then died…and reloaded way back at the beginning. Fine. Spent another 15 minutes fighting waves of dudes, achieving objectives, died. Reloaded back at the beginning. Turned off the game in disgust.

Came back the next evening filled with nerves and terror and the determination to NOT DIE and did make it through, but…man…save points are good. It sort of added to the realism, I suppose, being that worried about dying (I mean, one presumably WOULD be somewhat worried about dying in the middle of a laser gunfight with a bunch of aliens), but it was also super, super annoying to have to replay all that stuff.

So, tip: someday you will attack a kett command center on an icy planet. When that day comes, be very careful not to die.

They do help you out by strewing health canisters everywhere. As usual in games, when you see healing everywhere, be very afraid.

Butch:

It’s a pretty super cool ship. Nice to give me a king size bed.

Yeah the memory fragments was a bit of a mess of a narrative device. But respect to the game for not even bothering to give a fuck about explaining it.

“Just…..go with it, ok?”

Maybe part of her brain is still frozen.

I didn’t even KNOW I could take the turian badass from the ship until just now. It didn’t really tell you “Hey, of the million people you met, this one will follow you.” I, too, have gotten used to a fighting style that includes Cora and Liam. But I think I just met a friend I’m going to like…..

Ugh. Hate that experience you describe. There’s reaper moments, and there’s disgust at save point moments. They’re the worst.

Healing or ammo: danger signs. That just happened to me.

I took advantage of pneumonia (which really, really, REALLY sucks) to play. What did I do, I ran around site 1 a lot. I got the nomad, I drove (or tried to drive) over to the monolith, said FUCK THIS and just ran to the monolith, met PB (I’m going to like PeeBee), did all that, got back in the nomad, decided to do the “First Murderer” bit cuz I thought it would be quick. It wasn’t. Found the first two pieces of evidence, got into a TERRIBLE fight, ran back to site two, got another quest, hit save.

I like PB.

But you know what I really, really don’t like? Driving. I HATE driving in games almost as much as I hate swimming. I’m TERRIBLE at driving the nomad. When I’m doing well, I look like I’ve had 27 drinks. When I’m NOT doing well, I get stuck and have to reload a save point. TWICE.

Fuck the nomad.

You know what else is a reach? SAM being able to talk to ghosts and shit. Ah, well. Go with it.

I’m into it. I like the whole creepy “they came close and died” ghost colony vibe. It’s just the right amount of creepy.

If only I didn’t have to drive.

Feminina:

Yeah, there’s a lot of driving. Good thing the nomad is pretty sturdy, because I’m constantly ramming it into things, driving it directly off cliffs, etc. (It will survive a fall off a fairly high cliff! Although there are limits.) I like your 27 drinks theory. From now on I’m just going to imagine that as soon as Ryder gets in that thing she takes a big swig of rum.

“All right…time to drive. Cora, pour me another.”

I predict you also find mining annoying. Or, partly it’s the mining itself, and partly its that fact that SAM has to tell you Every. Single. Time. you enter an area that can be mined. “This area can be explored for minerals, Pathfinder. You can launch probes via your mining interface.”

Really, SAM? Just like the last 15 times? Thanks for the heads up, man. I never get tired of your dulcet tones telling me that I can mine using the mining interface. It’s not as if I can see the symbol on my screen or anything.

I like that badass turian. Her name escapes me at the moment, but I like her. I should note, being a woman and therefore naturally obsessed with gender at all times, that I appreciate how they’ve included a few more female characters from other species, which we didn’t really see in the previous games (aside from the asari).

We’ve got what’s her name the badass turian, what’s her name the krogan scientist…I feel like we also ran into a female salerian at some point? (Although don’t I vaguely recall from previous games’ codex materials that female salerians are rare for some reason?…ah, thank you wiki, ‘social rules’ mean that 90% of them are male.)

Anyway, given you’d presumably want to send a healthy number of both male and female members of a species if you want to establish a population in an unexplored galaxy, I like to see a few of them.

I do like the king size bed in my quarters. That’s right, designers of this ship! YOU understand my priorities!

Butch:

And Liam? Try not to get car sick. Again.

SAM and mining… That and the radiation. “Radiation levels have spiked, pathfinder.” “Really? Once I went through that, you know, radiation barrier?”

Imagine having SAM in your head….all….the….time….

That would be Vetra, your turian companion. And yes, they have included many more women. Mix it up!

Social rules for salerians? What? I dunno. More of that “hard to animate” thing, I bet.

But why is she on about the genophage? I ended that! My little ending slide show (cuz I played the altered version) had a nice Krogan couple cradling a baby! Was it all for NOTHING?

The ship’s designers do understand me! And a view to boot! Shep had that windowless space. Kinda bland when you’re trying to get your thang on. Though Ryder doesn’t have a stereo, does she? Gotta get the tunes on. Set the mood.

I do hope I can romance some non squad mates. I do like that Scottish pilot….. but I may grow to like PB.

Feminina:

Yeah, Liam. Just because I always wind up driving nearly vertically up and down cliffs is no excuse to let your stomach get the better of you.

He wouldn’t have enjoyed the several minutes I spent going around in circles trying to squash one of those spider/lizard things that pop up. Just so you know, it turns out you really can’t damage things by driving over them with the nomad. I’ve tried it with the kett, so you don’t have to. I suppose the gentle approach to interaction with the outside world that allows it to survive my driving also results in not doing a lot of damage to other things.

Dad probably picked me to be Pathfinder rather than Cora just because he knew she’s too fierce and impatient to deal with SAM’s constant helpful comments. The radiation! The temperature! (Right now I’m on a cold planet, so every time I walk away from a heater or go outside he says “I’m registering a temperature decrease, Pathfinder.” Thanks! So much! The whistling icy winds definitely didn’t give it away!)

Cora would have gone right over the edge in twenty minutes. Me, on the other hand, after a youth spent playing video games with helpful tips on the load screens…I can handle it. (This is not part of the official backstory, but I’m filling it in.)

“Yeah yeah, SAM. Remind me to use my weapons to damage the enemy next time I’m in combat, will you?”

Butch:

I mean, it’s only a LITTLE worse than re-entering a hostile atmosphere that’s super charged with weird energy. I’m not THAT bad of a driver.

HA! “Come back here so I can run over you! And….that did nothing.” Nice try, though. I’d’ve thought it would do something.

SAM’d probably wreck a vacation. “I’m sensing an increased level of intoxication pathfinder.” Fucking buzzkill, that.

“Remember to reload by hitting square, pathfinder. The game can save your progress automatically, pathfinder. Always pick the dialog choice with the heart, pathfinder.”

Feminina:

“Please keep an eye on my alcohol consumption, SAM, so I can appreciate how TOTALLY WASTED I’m getting hahahahahaha!!!!”

Oooh…SAM’s going to be weird to have around while I’m romancin’ someone.

“This life form seems receptive to your amusing anecdotes. Try putting your arm around its shoulders in a casual fashion.”

“SAAAAAAAAAAM! A little privacy?”

Butch:

HA!

Yeah, I don’t really want to know what’s increased and elevated.

(I’m going to chalk all this up to the fact that it’s Friday and we haven’t had our usual derail in a while.)

Feminina:

“Pathfinder, I’m detecting–”

“SHUT UP SAM.”

Also, I assume we can answer SAM silently in our head, since it can talk to us that way? Otherwise we’re going to look really weird walking around talking to ourselves.

“SHUT UP SAM.”

Love interest: “What did you say?”

“Nothing. Sorry.”

Love interest: “Um, your anecdotes were amusing, but that angry expression you have on your face and the way you’re muttering under your breath is creeping me out. Later.”

And thus SAM destroys another budding romance.

Butch:

EDI never would have done that.

But maybe that’s why we couldn’t romance EDI (who was hot in ME3, and cool, and would have totally been on my list). I mean, she’d be all “Hey now….you’re thinking WHAT? Dude….uh, look at the time.”

Or worse, she’d come storming into your room all “You picked the heart option with Ashley? The HEART option? It’s so over.”

Feminina:

Plus EDI always liked…uh…that guy. The pilot. Too much. I want to say Seth Green, but that’s the actor, not the character. Joker. That’s the guy.

Anyway, she always liked him. Shepard wouldn’t want to interfere with their love.

This Cough Has Too Many Hit Points

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

No spoilers

Butch:

Fuck this. Coughing even harder. Can’t eat, sleep, talk, play or breathe. Going to doctor.

Feminina:

Oh man, that sucks! Do you have pneumonia? O’Jr. had that last summer. He was on antibiotics for a while.

Hope they can do something. Fingers crossed for you.

Butch:

Thanks. Who knows? Need something. Want to play.

Feminina:

We can’t talk if we don’t play! Germs must yield to this necessity.

Butch:

I can’t talk anyway. It’s the swallowing thing that has me most concerned.

Feminina:

Being unable to swallow does present certain concerns. Rooting for some drugs for you, dude.

Butch:

Fucking pneumonia. Waiting for X-rays.

Maybe this means I get to ditch the kids. For their own protection.

Feminina:

Oh man. Yeah, x-rays…that’s exactly what happened to O’Jr. He was in the hospital for hours waiting for x-rays. NOW I remember this, right? Some help I am. I should have told you a week ago, “sounds like pneumonia, get to the hospital!”

But ditching the kids, well, there’s one relaxing bit of news. Only a problem if you have to leave them with the console, rather than being able to send them somewhere else and leave you alone with it.

Dude, feel better. Hope they can give you some useful medications and stamp it out.

Butch:

Well, I started with pills and an inhaler. I really, really should have smoked a bunch of weed in college, because I really don’t think I’m doing the inhaler correctly. Mrs. McP, who smoked all sorts of shit in her day, was trying to school me, and she just wound up laughing and shaking her head. She was all “Did it get in your lungs?” and I said “How the hell should I know?”

I feel stupid.

It doesn’t seem to do much.

Probably good I never tried to hit the bong. I’d’ve lost all respect from everyone.

Feminina:

The tragic consequences of sobriety and clean living. Let this be a lesson to you, kids!

But are the Mutineers Attractive?

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Very minor spoilers for early in Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

I’m still coughing. Got that “I’m hacking so bad I think I may barf” thing the other night. It’s a strange experience, sipping Lemon Zinger on your bathroom floor at 3AM. That’s a new one.

Life. Always something new.

I did play, though. We’ll talk. Later. You know. 

[later]

Ok, so met the dudes on the Nexus (no one bangable, sadly), and did a little who dunnit about panels. Let the guy go.

SOME THOUGHTS!

I really like the fact that no one knows what they’re doing. The first MEs were such god fantasies: “I am the mighty spectre! I am N7! I am the most bangable dude in the GALAXY! HEED ME!” This, everyone’s stumbling around in the dark. It’s a cool change in games. And it explains why they’re going to listen to this unknown. Always have to sort that out.

I’m gonna get sick of that train, aren’t I? I already kinda am. But hey, gotta get rid of them load screens. It’s NOT A LOAD SCREEN, OK???

How are you not banging the Turian guard captain yet? Or ARE you?

I needed that big play session. I feel slightly more into it now.

Though I am kinda starting to agree with the reviews in that this doesn’t feel a whole lot different from earlier games. This feels like, well, Mass Effect….circa 2013 or so. Not that that’s a BAD thing, per se, but…..

Feminina:

I let that guy go too. Because…I dunno. Everybody’s full of legitimate grievances. I’m sure we’ll get to fight him later when he’s become a space pirate.

Dude, this is BioWare…you have to LEAD UP to dragging people into your cabin for passionate interspecies love. I’ve got my eye on the captain, sure, but I haven’t even had a flirty conversation option yet.

Although there’s another Turian later on that I like even more, and there was a hint of flirting there…I’m keeping my options open.

Yeah, that train…definitely NOT A LOAD SCREEN! You can tell because the news announcer guy keeps chatting while you’re on it. It’s totally a lively, active part of the game! The news guy is not ever going to start giving helpful tips like “when in combat, try shooting at the enemy with whatever weapon you have equipped.”

I played some yesterday as well. I’m exploring a planet right now.

It does feel like there are a lot of things here that are reminiscent of other games. I don’t really mind that, but…hm. I guess it still hasn’t really gelled for me in terms of “OK, this is what I’m doing, this is why I care, this is why I play this game”…it’s fun, and I feel like it’s starting to come together (odd how that will happen if you actually get to play), but I’m not quite there yet.

Butch:

Nor am I, but, to go back to the prior day’s worry, I felt more into when I, yes, played it. I really hope real life didn’t mess this game up for us.

I also am not yet taking sides, here. I mean, ok, mutiny is probably bad, but we’re trained to be open minded early in games, right? If these pirates are, like, hot…I mean, if they have a legitimate world view, I don’t want to alienate them early. And they might be hot.

Re: train–ha! Though that would be funny.

“Today, Helpful combat tips!”

Absolutely not a load screen.

Feminina:

Right? We don’t want to alienate a hot space pirate and potentially miss out on the love of our life!

And you’re right, I just got here and I’m unfamiliar with the situation: I can’t be taking sides until I’ve had a good look at the mutineers. I mean, heard their version of the story.

Butch:

This is bioware after all. You never know. Sera was never quite the wealthiest girl. Some say she lives in a tavern. But she was the one for me.

Feminina:

There’s probably a seedy space tavern out there, frequently by the space pirates, and space Sera is waiting. You want to get off on the right foot, by showing you can forgive a little sabotage and destruction of common property. Word will get around, you know.

Butch:

Maybe not Sera, but I will be stunned if we do not find a seedy space tavern filled with pirates. Stunned.

Driving. Shooting. Good Times.

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Not spoiling is a skill we really master when we’re not playing

Butch:

No one wants me to play this game.

I was playing! I was! But then the kids acted up in the middle of a key cutscene so I had to go back to the save point. I put the kids away, and started over. I saw the cutscene, haughty salarian, rude Brit, slightly swishy Krogan, and got to “Explore the Nexus.” “Oooo!” Thought I, “that cool part of the bioware game where I get to meet dudes!” I picked the rude Brit, got to that part where there are, like, seven things to ask…..

And Nana called.

Why did Nana call?

“Oh, to talk to the kids.”

Seriously.

So I gave up.

I really worry that we’re going to harsh on this game because we suffered so many non game related setbacks in that crucial “Get hooked” part of the game. It’s even worse, cuz there’s all sorts of complicated stuff that gets confusing if you keep taking breaks. I feel I’d be far more into this had I done everything I’ve done so far in three days instead of two weeks.

And that’s not the game’s fault.

Feminina:

I agree. I am worried. I took the day off, just to have a day off, so I’m going to try to play a bit. Although we’re also going to the movies.

Butch:

We must keep our perspective. We must. For the sake of impartiality.

What you seeing?

Feminina:

Wonder Woman. Gotta keep up with the super hero scene! Or whatever.

Also just spent some time shooting kett and driving around in a burning vehicle. Good times.

The Long Dark Night of the Cough

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

No playage, no spoilage

Butch:

Fucking old republic should have researched how to cure gunky awful coughs that won’t quit after TWELVE DAYS because I was going to write and play and stuff but NO cuz I fell asleep because I haven’t slept cuz I have a gunky awful cough that hasn’t quit for TWELVE DAYS.

This sucks.

Like, really sucks.

Feminina:

They probably would have filled your lungs with molten lava and then replaced them with a mechanical ventilator. Problem solved! As long as you haven’t lost the will to live yet.

Sounds like you’re on the edge there. Sorry, man. I’m still unsick, but not playing because of unsleeping children. So basically nothing to talk about.

Except molten lava and its association with the will to live.

Butch:

I am on the edge. It’s at that point where it’s just better enough to give me hope that it may, someday, end, and then I cough again.

Cruel.

Feminina:

I’ve had that! It sucks.

“Maybe this is an improvement! …nope.”

Perhaps a lava flow cocktail would help.

Butch:

That looks good. Needs to be in a bucket.

The other problem of the crushed hopes and dreams phase is it makes the going to the doctor option even less relevant.

It’s either:

“You sound ok.” “Well, yeah, I feel ok right now…” “Then why are you here?” “Cuz I won’t feel ok in 45 minutes….” “Riiiiiiiight.”

or

“Well, you don’t sound as bad as you said you were when you called last week….” “Well, I AM better, but…” “So you’re getting better?” “Well, I suppose….” “So just give it more time.”

I suppose there is a third option:

“WHOA you’re getting over a pretty nasty infection there!” “What? Can you do anything?” “Well, ten days ago, antibiotics would’ve cleared it right up, but now, it’s almost over on its own. You have a good immune system! Keep drinking fluids.”

I hate the world.

Feminina:

It needs to be in a LARGE bucket.

It’s true, medical science is so useless when it comes to colds.

“Yup, you’ve got a cold. Carry on.”

On the plus side, I suppose, you saved yourself the hassle and expense of a doctor’s visit by playing through all the options yourself.

“Have a bucket of rum and try to get some rest.”

Butch:

You’re vaguely in medicine, explain me something:

Why do they have to add “fluids?”

“Drink plenty of fluids.”

As opposed to what? What do we drink that is NOT a fluid? Is it even possible to drink something that is not a fluid?

Is it because they don’t want to say “Drink a lot?”

Feminina:

Yeah, I think partly they don’t want to say “drink a lot” and partly it’s an imperfect translation from the obscure doctorese, like they would normally just say “increase fluid intake” but they’re trying to sound more like a normal human so they’re like “that means drink, you know…like you normally do with fluids…”

It’s just one of those phrases that’s kind of silly no matter which way you approach it. What would you drink, except fluids? How would you consume fluids, except drink them?

Stop the redundancy!!!!

Butch:

It’s just another reason to hate the damn world.

At least I got not one but two naps in.

Feminina:

When you’re sick, naps are key.

Or, as Daniel Tiger informs us, “when you’re sick, rest is best.”

Butch:

T SHIRT!!!!!!

And, for some reason, my voice always goes and my coughing returns when the kids come home.

Feminina:

You’re probably allergic to them. This whole thing is their fault.

Butch:

They’re very verbal. And they expect me to be just as verbal.

Feminina:

And then there’s all that emphatic reminding of them to not wave light sabers around near the TV. I understand.

Butch:

We need hand signals for that, we really do.

Feminina:

Or maybe just a red flag to wave at critical moments.

The Hard Lot of Video Game Parents

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

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

Butch:

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.
OBJECTIVE: COMPLETE.
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.

Feminina:

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.

Butch:

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.

Feminina:

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!

Butch:

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?

Feminina:

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.

Butch:

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.

Feminina:

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.)

Butch:

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

See? Lightsabers. Another thing rife with daddy issues.

Feminina:

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.

Butch:

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.)

Feminina:

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.

 

Looking for Love in All the Weird Places

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Some unexpected story spoilers for Horizon Zero Dawn, as well as minor early game discussion of Mass Effect: Andromeda and some tiny throwaway mentions of characters in Dragon Age: Origins and Fallout New Vegas. Be warned!

Butch:

Well, I got nothing new. Nugget has been very good this week, so he got King’s Quest, which remains very good. But no more shooting grumpy aliens.

This must be tough for you. The bad guys I’ve met so far have been rather gravel voiced, bony dudes. You must feel that every fight is seven or eight love interests you’ll never get to meet.

Going to try to get some in today, as it is rainy, and Junior and Meatball seem to be getting the coughing awfulness that I STILL HAVE (haven’t slept in days…getting loopy) so it’s a stay in kind of day.

This cold sucks.

Feminina:

I played some. Cheetos worked! Ha. Not really Cheetos, but he went to sleep anyway, so whatever.

I drove around, looked at things, talked to people, accepted quests I’ll get around to pursuing someday.

The kett ARE appealingly hideous, but like robot dinosaurs, they aren’t openly angsty enough for me. Everything’s just shoot shoot shoot with those guys. No brooding, no dark pasts, no moldy flag obsessions.

BOR-ing.

Now someday when we meet that one brooding monologuing one, I’m all over it.

Butch:

Why do I have a feeling there’s gonna be a lot of driving around looking at things?

Really, this is like “Mass Effect: House hunting.” What about here? Nah, too many mutants. Here? Hmm. That poison smoke might not be good for the kids. Here? Not bad, but that third bedroom is kinda small.

And to think that’s all the hordes of baddies need. Lavender would be such a failure.

I can see it now: Kevins being all “Hey, with these awesome puce ensembles we’re totally cool. No one will think we’re bad guys. We’ll just mosey on by her and….wait….why is she making out with that sawtooth that was reading Sartre before? Why are they BOTH attacking me?”

Feminina:

Poor Kevin. Nothing ever makes sense to Kevin. Kevin doesn’t understand true love, or whatever.

Butch:

Dude, I don’t understand you and love, either.

I make perfect sense. Cute, British lesbians. Or Chloe.

Feminina:

Or whatever.

Butch:

Hey, all I’m saying is, with the notable (and hard to understand) exception of Garrus, you generally pick the least popular romantic option. Shit, they had to toss in a (totally informational) naked pose of the PC to even make screwing Blackwall worthwhile.

Well, maybe Allistair was more popular than Zevran. But not by much.

Feminina:

Alistair was TOTALLY the popular option. He was a golden-haired prince, for heaven’s sake! Zevran was the roguish bad boy, it’s true, but he came along so much later in the game…I bet Alistair got a lot more romance.

Also, I romanced everyone in Fallout 4, so…popular and not-popular both. Also moody, not-moody, cute, not-cute. EVERYONE MUST LOVE ME!

I’ll give you Bennie in New Vegas, but that wasn’t exactly romance. Can a lady not have a one night stand with a sleazy guy who once shot her and left her for dead without everyone getting all dreamy-eyed and picking out clothes for the wedding?

It kind of depends on the game, I guess.

Butch:

Hey, that time in college you had that fling with the sleazy guy that shot you and left you for dead I was totally non-judgemental. Hippie liberal arts college, that wasn’t even close to the strangest thing I saw.

Yeah, Zevran appeared on the scene too late. If you’re an NPC that’s going to get any, you have to be there in act one.

Unless the game doesn’t really LET you flirt in any way, like Horizon. I mean, I met Petra late, and, had I committed by then, I would have been so disappointed, but, as it now stands, I hope she’s in the sequel.

If you know what I mean.

Feminina:

It’s true. You didn’t judge. You understood that sometimes people just have needs and/or morbid curiosity. I appreciate that.

And I know what you mean. Petra was a charmer. Also, her being a smith, I’m sure she has strong, skilled hands…and so forth.

Butch:

Plus she rocked a work apron that accentuated her charms.

Feminina:

And I bet she’d always be doing sweet things like making you a better giant gun and leaving it on your pillow as a surprise. A total keeper.

Butch:

I agree.

Erand, it was fun while it lasted.

I’m sure he’ll take it well. He seemed emotionally stable.

Feminina:

He’ll probably stay drunk for a month and then move on. Now isn’t a good time for him to be starting a relationship anyway–he needs to deal with his sister’s death-wait-she’s-not-dead-oh-wait-now-she-definitely-is.

Avad too. WAY too soon for him to try moving on. He also needs to grieve Ersa properly.

Butch:

Plus dating kings always seems like a good idea but it isn’t. You have to be second fiddle even if you’re the cloned chosen one, and I bet he has to wear that big plastic headdress all the time.

All. The. Time.

Feminina:

Yeah. I don’t see Aloy standing for that.

Any of that.

I mean, they’ll still be friends, and she’ll stop by when she’s in the neighborhood, and maybe he can throw some institutional support her way if she needs to build a research facility or something, but romance would just get too awkward.

“Why weren’t you at the state banquet? I needed your moral support!”

“Sorry, poking around in ruins and fighting thunderjaws. Lost track of time.”

Man…that’s how much we liked that game, that we’re still talking about it even though it’s been weeks and we’re now playing something else.

Butch:

What’s funny (and, probably educational) is that we weren’t all that pumped to play it in the first place. We ordered it because “Well, there isn’t anything else, really, and maybe robot dinosaurs will be cool.”

And we wound up loving the hell out of it.

It’s been true of a couple things of late: Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Gone Home, that sort of thing. Sure, we’ll play our sequels, but we seem pretty happy when we take chances on stuff that isn’t predictably good.

It’s why I got that Tales from Borderlands, and Until Dawn, and things like that.

Now, sure, there’ll be duds from time to time (remember Transistor?) but we have to be bold in our choices!

Feminina:

It’s true!

“Well, this is going to be goofy and weird, but whatever…”

Happy surprise that we ended up enjoying it so thoroughly. Fingers crossed the sequel isn’t disappointing!

But you’re right, we’ve been lucky lately playing semi-unheard of things. (I remember Day of the Tentacle more than Transistor in the ‘not for me thanks’ column, although I know you liked it OK: at least I FINISHED Transistor.)

Butch:

You just seem to have an aversion to point and click games. It’s cuz you didn’t play in the 90s. Live and learn.

Finishing Transistor wasn’t….something I’d do again.

Feminina:

No, nor I. But at least I could stand to do it once.

And yeah, no doubt my failure to play games in the 90s has prejudiced me against that style, and I’m missing out on cool stuff. Someday I’ll try another…no, never mind, I won’t.

Speaking of games, you’ve pre-ordered Uncharted: Lost Legacy? I don’t know if I’m going to be done with MEA by August 22nd!

Make that, at this rate I’m highly unlikely to be done with MEA by August 22nd! What will we do?

Butch:

Actually, it occurred to me that the reason we played Horizon is that MEA got delayed.

You know, the game we’re playing now and not really talking about.

(True, I haven’t played that much, but still.)

And WE will do what I always do!

Have the new game mock us, in cellophane, as we finish what we’re playing.

Feminina:

That’s all very well for you. I’ll have to watch Mr. O’ playing it. AS CHLOE.

And that’s true…if MEA had been out on time, we might have decided we could skip the weird new thing. Although it got good reviews, so we might still have picked it up later.

Butch:

We certainly would’ve done this first, as Mass Effect is Mass Effect and this was just some weird game with weird robot dinosaurs.

Feminina:

But come on, though…sooner or later we would have succumbed to the lure of ROBOT DINOSAURS. We couldn’t have held out forever. How could we? It wouldn’t happen!

Setting Some Priorities

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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Minor early-game spoilers for Mass Effect: Andromeda

Butch:

Ok, today’s the day. Today’s the day I get back to playing games. I THINK I remember how. X is jump? Down on the cross is scan? Or something?

Who cares, I just want to date everyone.

Of course, I haven’t slept in ages cuz of this cough, I’m gooned on mucinex (which really doesn’t help you sleep at all), and I forget how controllers work, so I’ll likely be terrible, but one does what one must.

Leliana’s got a universe to save!

Feminina:

I’m kind of sad you didn’t actually just name her Leliana. That would have been pretty fantastic.

Good luck with the controller. You’re going to do great.

I didn’t play anything.

Butch:

Cheetos, man. Grigio needs to let you play.

Feminina:

Amazon delivers giant bags of Cheetos, right?

Of course right!

Butch:

I was gonna play but I slept instead.

We’re pathetic.

Feminina:

Damn. We ARE pathetic.

Siiigh. Maybe tonight! Load the baby up with Cheetos and I’m on it!

Man, now I want Cheetos.

Butch:

Ok, to salvage some dignity, I played! Badly, but I played!

Some thoughts!

On the load screen, the music there, the first interval (da..daaaa) is exactly the same as DAI. For real.

Man oh man oh man this game is not going to be good for people like you who just HAVE to magpie. Little hollow hexagons all OVER the damn place. Even in what I think is still the tutorial! I still don’t know how to heal!

How do you heal?

And is there a way to access the map without the options menu?

Or a way to holster the gun without the weapon wheel?

See, I don’t know any of this and I did, I think, FOUR optional quests!

This game is going to drive you nuts, isn’t it?

If you ever buy cheetos.

Feminina:

Nice!

You heal by walking near a ‘health kit,’ the same way you collect ammunition by walking near an ‘ammo box.’ (That took some getting used to. Looting–even just ammo–doesn’t seem real if I don’t have to hit X!) And sometimes there’s not a health kit around. But that’s the only way I know to do it, other than fleeing back to the ship.

I do not know how to access the map other than through Options, but let me know if you find one, because it’s kind of annoying.

I believe you can holster a weapon by pressing the touch pad, though. (Which in some other games would bring up the map, so all kinds of confusion here.)

I am already worked up about the hollow hexagons everywhere, although I soothe my compulsivity by saying “it’s probably in an area that’s too dangerous for me right now, so I’ll get it later.” (Some of them, indeed, have been too dangerous, mostly in terms of environmental hazards, so I’m telling the truth!

How do you feel about mining from the Nomad? I’m not a huge fan. I mean, I don’t hate it, but I can’t seem to care about it, even though Sam has to mention it EVERY SINGLE TIME we get somewhere with minerals.

Wait, have you been in the Nomad? Am I spoiling? I promise it’s nothing important, if so.

Butch:

No, no nomad yet. As I said, played badly. And I just HAD to explore alien ruins, find greer, check on that other guy…

Plus I died a couple of times, and I had to reload a couple of times cuz I told my friend to go to a place somehow and couldn’t figure out how to tell him to stop it and he just stood there like a damn statue. I did that in the other games, too. Silly feature.

I’m so with you on the looting! I kept thinking “Did I get it? I got it. Wait, did I get it?” and running around it like a crazy person. X you know. You GOT it, cuz you hit a button to get it.

I guess I haven’t found a health kit.

The hexagons. The hexagons will haunt your soul.

Feminina:

Well, you know ME always has a thing you drive, and the Nomad is the thing you drive in this game.

And of course you had to explore and check on that guy and so forth! It’s what you do! I’ve only completed about 6 side quests so far because I’m constantly being distracted by picking up other side quests. As one does.

I see the hexagons in my dreams…taunting me…

Butch:

You can’t NOT pick them up! I mean, it was bad enough that Aloy couldn’t say no. Here, you just get within 100 yards of them and BOOM. Now THAT’S an inability to say no.

And that they all say “optional” is just taunting. Like we really have an option. Psychologically, I mean.

Feminina:

Exactly. I mean, what’s our REAL option here?

Try to ignore the quest lines in our journal while they drive us slowly mad? I think not.

Butch:

Especially as we know that, at times, you need to complete those side quests to get laid, which is, really, the point of all bioware games.

Feminina:

Yes! They taunt us with the knowledge that missing one of those side quests COULD potentially do damage to our overarching goal of getting into the pants of the most attractively brooding and angsty character we can find.

THEY KNOW OUR WEAKNESS.

Butch:

Or the one that looks like Morrigan.

Or…OOO…the one that’s voiced by the same actress who did Cait in FO4. I wound up with her, you know.

So many options….

I love bioware.

Feminina:

So much.