My Reaction: Mass Effect Andromeda

The first thirteen minutes of Mass Effect: Andromeda has been released, and oh how beautiful it is! I’ve written about my hopes for the newest addition to the series before, and we are able to actually see the first chunk of the game. I just watched the video and it was such a smart move for BioWare to release this “sneak peak”. It did not give much away at all in terms of the storyline; however, it reveled enough to keep me guessing.

The main reason why I’m so excited is because of those freaking graphics! Human faces can be difficult to replicate in video games, and I’m impressed by how human those characters look and react. You know that face you might make when something strange happens and you make eye contact with someone else and they also have no idea what’s going on and you make that face that is kind of like an elongated frown? The Asari doctor in the video actually makes that face! I’m not sure if I made any sense with that sentence, but if you watch the video you can see what I mean!

Another great change is the conversation wheel. For those of you who have played one or all of the first three Mass Effect games, you can understand my initial appreciation for an upgrade to the wheel. It no longer categorizes responses into ‘Paragon’ or ‘Renegade’, but instead as emotional, logical, casual, or professional. I love this. I will no longer have to be stuck between playing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ character. Instead I can choose to respond in a way that reflects the type of personality my character has. For someone who appreciates character development and story I feel the decision to change the wheel was a very smart one.

Next up for discussion are the existing relationships between characters that the introduction reveals. Especially how your character’s father reacts to you. It definitely sets the stage for possible hardships in the future, like how is my character going to deal with their father’s apparent scorn. And what will happen if that father ends up dying on the first mission, which is how I think your character becomes the Pathfinder themselves. It also seems your character knows a couple of the possible party members already, and those relationships give the player a sense of continued story. In other words, these characters have a past and the present in the game cannot be disconnected from the implied lives that these characters have lived.

After watching the video a second time I am more excited about playing Andromeda than ever before. What are your thoughts on this video or the game in general? Leave me a comment below!

-Sabrina Arnold (iwouldliketonerd)

How I’m Exploring Video Games Like I Did When I Was A Kid

From the time I was old enough to click a mouse or hold a controller I’ve been playing video games. Freddie the Fish, Scooby Doo, Yoshi, Ratchet and Clank, Tony Hawk, Portal Runner, all of the Dragon Age and Mass Effect games were some I especially loved. I narrowed my focus down to open world RPGs because I enjoy everything about those games. I went through a phase when I was in middle school when I did not play video games very often, so I didn’t go through that exploratory stage where I tried many different types of games. After playing different genres of video games that either my parents would give me or my brother would let me borrow I just stopped playing games. When I picked a controller back up it was out of a desire to connect to something again (hard times and such), and I just so happened to pick up my brother’s copy of Dragon Age 2 and I just played it. That was the beginning of my affinity for both BioWare and RPGs, and I did not try other genres after that. I skipped a whole period of discovery!

As of recently, I have decided to play games I might not necessarily pick out as “my type of game”. My roommate has shown me Harvest Moon and Pikmin, which I has never even heard of. I’ve watched people on Youtube play other types of games as well. For instance, Seananners playing King of the Kill and Prop Hunt, Markiplier playing Resident Evil 7 and Soma, and GassyMexican playing Until Dawn. It’s just as fun for me to watch someone play a game, especially when I myself do not have the funds or time to play as many games as I would like. Shooters are the next genre on my list. Don’t get me wrong. I still play RPGs regularly and I’m stoked for Mass Effect Andromeda; however, I feel like I need to explore this world of games that I love so much. I’m playing Gears of War right now. I’m not that great even on casual, but I’m liking it. I think starting with Gears of War instead of Halo or Call of Duty or something of that ilk has helped because everyone seems to be so freaking awesome at those games. It made me feel like I couldn’t and shouldn’t play them because I’m not good. I’ve figured out that it’s alright to be horrible at a game. It’s not a competition when you’re playing for fun. Also, new worlds and stories are possible to be a part of in different genres. I was under the impression that to get new ideas and stories I had to play RPGs. Each genre has pros and cons for everyone and they differ for each individual, but it’s fun to expand ones horizons and play or watch other games. Maybe you’ll find something else you love.

Let me know which games you’re playing in the comments below!

-Sabrina Arnold (iwouldliketonerd)

What I Want to See From Mass Effect: Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda’s release is fast approaching. Here’s what I want to see.

For those of you who know and love Mass Effect, you probably already know that Mass Effect: Andromeda is set to come out Spring 2017. Many speculate that the newest installment of the series will be released on March 23 because that is the date the Mass Effect: Andromeda book is set to be sold. Mass Effect: Andromeda is set in a future where humans and aliens have already been introduced. The game involves your character being cryogenically frozen and sent to find a new home in a different galaxy, Andromeda. I am a huge fan of Dragon Age and Mass Effect, and I have played both series many times over. I’ll admit right from the start that I am biased. This post isn’t about whether or not the game will be good because I believe it will be, but it is about what I want to see from this game.

BioWare’s most recent game, Dragon Age Inquisition, used the new Frostbite 3 engine, which will be used again for Andromeda. That means beautiful graphics and dynamic worlds. Of course, the conversation wheel will be utilized again. The newest gameplay trailer shows the return of trigger actions during certain conversations; however, the game will be moving away from the paragon and renegade designation. I’m hoping that the decisions the player makes really effects the outcome of the game more so than it did in the rest of the series. The trailer speaks of being able to make enemies and allies when exploring planets in the Andromeda galaxy, and I’d like these choices to come into play in a big way throughout the game. Biotics are another aspect of the game that I’m really looking forward to. Basically, some people have the ability to use force-like powers due to nodules implanted in them that contain element zero (a resource in the game). Gameplay shows a biotic shield, which I’m stoked about. I’d like the overall gameplay to continue to improve and since I’m a horrible shot some aiming help from the game is appreciated. Jetpacks have also been placed in Andromeda, so hopefully that means the world environment has some deviation from walking or driving everywhere.

By the time the game is released I’d like to hear a bit more about the actual plot of the game other than exploring. BioWare has said that they want to move away from Captain Shepard’s storyline and that might include the reapers as well. I want a new story that has nothing to do with the reapers, but many people suspect that we might meet the group that built the reapers. It’s an interesting idea, but it would be insane if that group had survived over the unfathomable amount of years the reapers seem to have been around. No, I believe this fourth installment will bring about a fresh story and a whole new set of villains.

What do you guys want to see in Mass Effect: Andromeda? Leave a comment below.

-Sabrina (iwouldliketonerd)