Tag Archives: Mass Effect

A return to where it all began in Mass Effect

playing mass effect one more time

With 2012 coming to a close, there’s naturally a whole bunch of “game of the year” talk, with Mass Effect 3 popping up in various ways and categories. Some are for it, some are against it, some loathe its very existence, and some, like me, still haven’t even played it. More on that topic later this month. Regardless, the third entry in the franchise–and the Shepard trilogy–certainly created a response. Loyal fans were disappointed, new players felt confused, some players were pleased nonetheless, a cut devoted themselves to the multiplayer only, some grew angry, some took anti-depressants, some began to eat more junk food, and so on.

So, what am I doing to get in on all of this hot discussion? Playing through the original Mass Effect for a second time…duh.

Earlier this year, I finally took a Big Boy step forward and experienced Mass Effect 2, which was long overdue. Overall, I was not wowed with Shepard’s second adventure, finding the recruiting of crew members to be more akin to checking off a list, but still enjoying all the lore and dialogue and even the scanning mechanic. But I felt a disconnect, probably because it had been so long since I played the original game, as well as that I was unhappy in a number of choices I had previously made. Sure, I could’ve just started fresh in Mass Effect 2, selecting a bunch of choices then and there, but that didn’t feel genuine. And with all the talk about where Shepard started and where Shepard ended, I’ve been itching to go back and remember.

Now, according to my Achievements list, I first completed Mass Effect in May 2009. I dipped back into it some seven months later, continuing on a second playthrough with my first created Shepard with hopes of, I guess, seeing more and hitting that magical Level 60. Think I upped the difficulty level, too, which really built up a wall between me and progress. However, I really wanted to start fresh, and so I constructed my first female Shepard, gave her some pretty red hair, a mean scowl, a whatever background story, and labeled her as an Infiltrator to mix things up. So far, the class has been a little tough to learn, especially since using sniper rifles is extremely difficult from the get-go, with instability a key factor in my missing many headshots. It’s a weapon I’d like to get really good at sooner than later, letting my teammates (Garrus and Wrex) move in with assault rifles and shotguns and special abilities while I hang back and pick off the stragglers.

I’m playing Mass Effect for a second time slowly, mostly because I missed a ton of content my first time through. Think I was just rushing overall. I know this because I didn’t unlock any of the Achievements for experiencing most of the game with X and Y, as well as the one for just seeing a majority of the game. I know for a fact I skipped nearly all the missions on the Citadel, more excited to get out in space and visit alien planets. This time, I’ve spent a majority of my playthrough on the Citadel, running around and solving problems for quest givers. Can’t seem to find two Keepers though. Only just became a Spectre and started exploring the galaxy; I’m staying away from the main storyline planets for now, taking the uncontrollable Mako around on undiscovered planets for side missions and such.

Part of the “playing it slow” tactic has also earned me a new Achievement, one I initially missed on my first playthrough. See here:

mass effect scholar ach
Scholar (25G): Find all primary Alien: Council Races, Extinct Races and Non-Council Races codex entries

To end for now, Mass Effect has some of the greatest music and most infuriating music this side of the biz. The title screen and galaxy map tunes are beautifully calming, and the chomping, dark-as-space riff that plays when you die is just adding salt to your open wounds. I’ve already heard it three or four times, and I never want to hear it again, but know that I will continue to. Technically, it’s pretty rough, hitching up constantly on the Xbox 360 and with lots of mid-level loading and sketchy framerates. That’s still all pretty excusable when you get to have a fantastically written conversation with someone, playing both the good and evil side of things, and learning everything you can in one big gulp.

I’ll be back if any more thoughts come to mind for Mass Effect, and you can probably expect me to play Mass Effect 3 some time in 2013.

Achievements of the Week – The Elusive Master of Fashionistas Edition

Well, it’s been a week, and a busy one at that, at least in terms of my Gamerscore going up, up, up. Since Grinding Down last ran this feature, I’ve unlocked 12 Achievements in total for a whopping 190G, which is nearly on par with an XBLA title that generally offers 12 for 200G; what’s even more amazing is just how meaningless all those numbers actually are. It’s all about e-peen. Nah, not really. Still, they give me content to post about, and that’s nothing to ignore, especially as I am finding myself struggling more and more to, I don’t know, write both intelligently and originally about videogames.

And now, the main event…some of my favs from this week:

From Fallout: New Vegas…

Master of the Arsenal (25G): Caused 10,000 damage with Gun Runners’ Arsenal (GRA) Weapons.

Initially, I was worried about this one as it seemed like every GRA weapon available to purchase at the beginning of the game was crazy expensive, save for Energy-based weaponry. Well, my fourth playthrough character is not going the Energy skill route so I had to save up some bottle caps. That took some time because it’s not like there’s a lot of employment available in the Mojave Wasteland; it’s all about just collecting everything you find and selling it no matter how bad the deal is. Anyways, after some scrounging, I purchased the 5.56mm pistol and a bunch of different ammo types for it and went to town, killing super mutants and nightstalkers and White Legs galore. Didn’t take long, and I’m still using the gun (until I can afford something cooler). Pew, pew, pew!

O Daughter of Babylon (30G): Crushed the White Legs.

Read about me completing Honest Hearts for a second time by utilizing your Comprehension perk and clicking this very sentence.

From L.A. Noire…

Give My Regards (20G): Shoot every letter down from the tower at the Broadway Hotel.

In The Naked City DLC, during the final showdown, you can either pop the criminal on the run quickly or take your time destroying the lit-up sign, one letter at a time. That’s what I did, and now I’m 20G richer!

The Big Unfriendly (20G): Complete ‘Nicholson Electroplating’.

Compared to The Naked City DLC case, Nicholson Electroplating was an extreme disappointment. I couldn’t believe it was over so fast. Like, under an hour and half, I think, while the other case at least stretched a little longer than that. And it had a lot of potential, with a crazy great explosion in the beginning, hints of suave espionage, and a big shootout at the end. Oh well. Might replay it for the other Achievements I missed, or I might just buy the other two DLC cases and see if they’re any good.

From Mass Effect 2…

Missing in Action (5G): Save your crew from an overwhelming attack

I’ve already covered how weird it was to actually earn this during the demo version of the game and then magically unlock it once Microsoft could confirm that I now owned a copy of Mass Effect 2.

Very Elusive (10G): Return to active duty

SPOILER! Shepard returns to active duty!

Fashionista (5G): Personalize your armor in your quarters on the Normandy

I turned Shepard’s armor a nice mix of green and yellow and then picked some odd cowboy-like attire for his casual wear. He looks ridiculous in cutscenes with it on, and I do plan to change him into anything else.

Merciless (10G): Make 20 enemies scream as they fall or are set on fire

I…guess this is something I did? I never actively pursued it, just shot dudes and aliens and robots that were, well, shooting back at me.

I’ve said this time and time before, but BioWare puts some freaking love into their Achievements images, both in their Mass Effect franchise and Dragon Age franchise. These war medallions look fantastic and are extremely detailed, making me want to unlock them all and then cover my shirt with them until you can’t tell I’m wearing a shirt anymore.

Think that’s enough for now. This weekend is going to be full of snow (???) and a wedding, so I’m not sure how much gaming I’ll honestly get done. Plus, I’m trying to finish up my 31 Horribly Bad Horror Comics challenge and a number of other artsy projects. But, at some point, I’ll probably give all the above more time, as well as more puzzles with Professor Hershel Layton and, uh, Oblivion. I popped it back in the other night to refresh myself and also give me a point of reference for when it comes time to play Skyrim like woah. Which is soon. Oh so soon.

This Mass Effect 2 Achievement certainly isn’t missing in action

I unlocked an Achievement before I even began playing Mass Effect 2, and this left me momentarily confused, wondering if I’d ever escape game glitches or if I was doomed to be trailed by them until biological aging takes me down into the dirt. I have Tara as my witness that this Achievement popped on the main menu’s screen after selecting to start a new game with my simian character from the original Mass Effect:

Missing in Action (5G): Save your crew from an overwhelming attack

Blinking back into reality, I then realized that my save data from when I gave the demo version of Mass Effect 2 a spin back in June 2010 had been accessed. That demo consisted of the very beginning stage, and then a stage much later in the game wherein Shepard and company were trying to rescue a biotic named Jack on some crazy, floating prison. I remember a message popping up that told me my data for the first chunk of the demo was being saved, but nothing further than that would get collected. Okay. So, in the demo, I saved Joker and as many crew members as I could as the Normandy tore asunder, earning me the above Achievement without it actually popping. Then, when it was clear that I had a full copy of the game, a year and some months later, the Achievement pops. Yet I still have to play through that opening part again because I loaded up an older Shepard character and not the one I used in the demo. Weird, but whatever.

Disappointingly, Mass Effect 2 suffers from tiny text syndrome, which the original game did not. Most of the dialogue is spoken, making this not a problem, but the dialogue choices left to Shepard are not said aloud, meaning a lot of squinting and sitting directly in front of the TV to make sure I’m going the Paragon route and not the dickhead one. And I can forget about actually using the Codex, which, like in Dragon Age: Origins, is just brimming with cool lore and details, but is no use to my bad eyes/lame TV. So yeah, that’s that.

Otherwise, it’s fun so far, with interesting characters and crazy-looking aliens. At this point, I’ve changed Shepard’s armor and casual attire, learned how the hacking mini-games work, and got a fast-talking alien scientist to join the cause to stop the Collectors. Seems like there’s plenty of others I need to recruit, and I’m looking forward to it. Not sure where to go next, but I’m sure Shepard doesn’t mind bumbling along across the galaxy; also, I totally forgot who I saved–and let die–in Mass Effect, so it was nice that I got a little refresher before the game began. Refreshers are great. Saves me time from reading wikias and getting spoiled prematurely.

30 Days of Gaming, #17 – Favorite antagonist

There’s a reason I didn’t just dive into the next topic train from the 30 Days of Gaming meme after the relatively easy previous two topics, and I’d like to think it’s a sound reason. Antagonists, by their very nature, are not meant to be liked. They are the reason the heroes we root for are stressing out so much, crying over dead girlfriends, striving to be a better person, or trying to save the world. Generally, videogame antagonists are one-dimensional, a single being with a single goal and a single way to get to it; this also makes them hard to like, their lack of depth. If only George R.R. Martin wrote every villain, right? Then this would be a different case indeed. SIDE NOTE: I’m doing drawings of characters from A Song of Ice and Fire.

Not every videogame has a clear antagonist. In some occasions, it’s time; on others, it’s your skill level. And that’s okay, not everybody needs to be poked and prodded forward.

I mean, there’s been a ton of antagonists that are memorable, but being remembered is not the same as being liked. Dr. Nefarious from the Ratchet & Clank series was over-the-top and goofy, but a perfect mad scientist to take down in the end. Psycho Mantis did wonders at freaking me out and telling me how many hours I’d logged in Suikoden as he battled Solid Snake. Clockwerk, a large, robotic owl, ends up doing some truly evil things. Gideon Graves gets all Dragon Ball Z-like, going from just an average dickhead to a larger-than-life threat and nearly impossible to beat. I still can’t say with authority if Final Fantasy IX‘s Kuja is a guy or a girl. Saren Arterius is a big jerkbag that released the Reaper fleet back into the galaxy in Mass Effect. Lastly, always fresh in my mind, is Koopa King Bowser, and how jumping over him or running under him–now a rather simple task–was exhilarating those first few times because he was three times Mario’s size and the little plumber that could was taking down Goliath.

Are any of them my favorite? No, never. But they’re still worth writing about, just not lovingly.

30 Days of Gaming, #5 – Character you feel most like

This is gonna be a tough one, Grinding Down readers.

Mass Effect‘s Joker, real name Jeff Moreau, suffers from brittle bone disease, which is more scientifically called osteogenesis imperfecta. It’s the sort of disease that steers your life, causing extreme brittleness in the bones. Ultimately, Joker was born with severe fractures to his legs, and, as an adult now, he can barely walk. That didn’t stop him from excelling at flight school though and becoming a pilot. The Normandy‘s bridge is his home, his heart.

I don’t suffer from osteogenesis imperfecta. I do, however, have a bad left knee prone to popping out of place, and I walked on my tippy-toes for the longest time as a young child, but other than that, Joker and I are far from physically alike. Save for the beard. We both have sexy beards. I’m not gonna be a beardhole and claim that mine is the better. You can make that call yourself. But yeah, we’re total beard buds.

So, Joker and I are not alike physically. Wherein our sameness sits is in how we interact with people. Seth Green voices Joker, and 97.6% of Green’s acting work has been in comedy. He’s got a funny voice, a funny way of replying, good snark, all that. It’s natural then that Joker is, like Firefly‘s Wash, a funny pilot, often cracking jokes and commenting light-heartedly about Commander Shepard’s actions outside of the spaceship. He’s both comic relief and a rock that keeps everybody soaring safely through the galaxy. Depending on how you play Mass Effect, that’s all he could be, too. Paul Shepard, however, was a good guy, an everyman, and took the time to talk to Joker, to listen to the sad story of his upbringing, to understand where the bitterness lining his jokes came from. And he kept coming back after every mission, to include him, to hear his thoughts…to make sure he was doing a-okay.

I can be sarcastic; I can make nearly anyone laugh; I can bottle everything up and do my job–because it’s my job–and resent things I have absolutely no control over, and I can dance around topics with the swiftest feet this side of the Atlantic Ocean. We both wield humor as armor and wear it well, fully, careful to show no gaps. Unfortunately, we don’t need to wear it all the time, but lack the strength to undress ourselves, to show our companions and comrades who we are, to sit quiet and still, in the buff, brittle and scared, ripe for the reaping. With his weakened legs, he can only go so far; with my damaged heart, so can I.

I don’t love zombies, but I’m probably gonna eat up I Love Zombies

Gotta be honest here…I’m not a huge fan of zombies.

Nowadays, the gaming trends seems to be “add zombies.” They’re coming soon to Red Dead Redemption, they’re swarming about in Borderlands, they’re funnily enough in PopCap puzzle games, they’re in Crackdown 2, they’re sort of in Fallout 3/Fallout: New Vegas, they’re in Mass Effect (don’t try and deny it, Husks), they are most definitely in the Left 4 Dead and Dead Rising series, and they are most likely not going away any time soon.

Hey, some people really dig ’em. Me? Not so much, and not just because I’d totally die super fast during a zombie outbreak.

Of course, there are exceptions. I’m totally in love with Cherie Priest’s books Boneshaker and Dreadnought, which feature zombie-like minions, nicely dubbed rotters, and I also happen to have really enjoyed Tobias Buckell’s Sly Mongoose. Guess I don’t mind the undead too much in fiction form.

That said, Zombie Daisuki (“I Love Zombies”) looks like a lot of fun. It’s a recently announced new Nintendo DS game that puts the player to the task of rebuilding one’s farm during a mass zombie outbreak. So, a survival farming sim? That’s gotta be twenty-six times better than a boring fantasy dungeon crawler farming sim, right? Check out how adorable it looks so far:

I Love Zombies will be released in Japan on January 20, 2011, for JPY 5,040 (approx. USD 62.36), with a B rating (12 and up). There’s not a lot of information out currently, but I’m definitely going to be keeping tabs on this one. It could very well be the title that changes my snobbiness towards zombie-heavy videogames for me.

Level up, level down, level me all around

Right. There’s a slew of games in my collection that are demanding I level up my character(s) to a set mark. Most of these are just to get Achievements, but they will also help bring about closure in my mind, as sense of completion, and then I can move these games aside and tackle other projects. Let’s take a look at few in my collection and see what they need of me…


There’s three checkmarks I need to hit by leveling up now, and they are Level 50, Level 51, and finally Level 60. It’s gonna be a slow climb, especially since I played some single player Knoxx DLC last night and managed to only go from Level 43 to a wee bit into Level 44. Might need some co-op help here. Hmm…

Shadow Complex

Gotta take Jason Whateverlastname up to Level 50. This one has been frustrating because it’s the last Achievement I need to unlock to get the full 200 Gamerscore. But I’ve played the game three times now and it’s just not as much fun running back and forth shooting the same dudes over and over and over…

Fallout 3

Besides one Achievement that puts me to the annoying task of finding 100 steel ingots (ugh), I also have to hit Level 30 with evil karma, and then play through the game a third time for the neutral karma Achievements set to ping at Level 8, Level 14, Level 20, and finally Level 30. I’m worried I won’t ever get the time and passion to do this. And I love Fallout 3. But it’s all about the time management right now.

Dragon Age: Origins

There’s three level-specific Achievements in this one, and I was lucky enough to unlock one of ’em during my first playthrough. The other two are for reaching Level 20 as a warrior and rogue. Considering how long the game is (and slow)…I just don’t know if this is feasible. Every time I think about having to do that Circle of the Magi loyalty mission again my body caves in on itself. Seriously, being stuck in the Fade for like three hours? Who thought this was a rockin’ good time? Speak up!

Mass Effect

A character–doesn’t have to be Shepard, I think, but most likely will be–still needs to hit Level 50 and Level 60. Hahaha. I think I’m somewhere around Level 40ish on a second playthrough that I walked away from some months back. There’s still so much I need to do in this game that it’s kind of crazy I even completed it once.

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies

In order to obtain extra side missions, I need to reach certain level checkpoints with specific vocations. It seems the sweet spots right now are for Level 15 and then Level 40. Got a ways to grind still. I don’t mind this for the vocations I currently am using, but the idea of switching jobs and resetting to Level 1…it’s not that the game isn’t fun, it’s just that that kind of devotion doesn’t exist inside of me. Same reason I’ve only collected 90 or so Pokemon in HeartGold; there’s playing a game and then there’s completely obsessing over obtaining every item, every spell, every skill, and so on. I used to do this (hello, Ratchet and Clank!), but can no longer…sadly.

Maybe this is my just desserts though for enjoying and playing way too many RPGs.

More like the Illusive Demo from Mass Effect 2

Look, I don’t claim to know and fully understand how this videogame industry works. I just have opinions and thoughts and sometimes I put them down on e-paper here for a couple of people to read. But this is just plain confusing. Most videogames release a demo a few weeks prior to their shipping date so curious consumers can get a taste of what they’re selling and maybe–just maybe–decide that they’d really love to play the full experience.

Mass Effect 2 came out on January 26, 2010. The demo for the game hit Xbox Live this week. A-buhhhhhhh…

Right. Well, I somewhat enjoyed the first game and have been curious about what was changed for Mass Effect 2 so I downloaded the huge demo (I think it’s around 1.6 gigs) and…watched a lot of cinematic scenes for a bit. It opens like every episode of LOST, with a “Previously on…Mass Effect” as if this is some kind of high drama TV show that we’ve been watching for years. Our narrator tells us about Shepard and the things he/she did to better our galaxy. The beginning of this demo is basically the beginning of the actual game going off of Greg Noe’s first hour review. The Normandy gets blown to bits, Shepard dies, his DNA is recovered by the secretive Lazarus project, and he’s brought back to flesh through the miracle of science. And you thought you’d totally get to keep your level and hard-earned stats from the first game! Ha!

So, with a new Shepard, we can give him/her a new look. I choose to make him look very simian again, with a low brow and big pouty lips, plus an extremely bad complexion. Scars, pock-marked face, the whole thing. Dark hair and a chinstrap beard round him out perfectly. I was really surprised that the demo came with this as I fully expected them to just give us a static Shepard design to play with. After this, we see a scene with some scientists named Miranda and Wilson looking over Shepard as he suddenly wakes up. Drugs put him back down. The second time he wakes up, the entire base is under attack and he’s being ordered to get moving. Grab a pistol and some armor and then take cover behind some boxes; taking cover is very easy now with the press of a button. It feels natural and awesome at once.

The demo then shows me some stuff I already know, like how to fire my weapon and select a new one. These aren’t geth attacking us, but mechs on the fritz. Find some audio logs and listen to Miranda talk about the progress they made reconstructing me. The hacking mini-game is a bit different from Mass Effect, but not the worst thing in the world galaxy. I meet up with Jacob and Wilson and get a few answers to some burning questions, but we need to get to safety and find Miranda. Wilson believes she sabotaged everyone as the mechs were theirs and rewired to attack innocents. Hmm. I am a born-again Shepard so I don’t really know who I can trust at this point…

Well, for spoilers-sake, I learned that I can’t trust…Wilson. A shame, as that’s a great name. Miranda tells me a bit about her boss, the Illusive Man, and then we’re off this trashcan. Does it explode behind us like a good l’il cliche? Hmm, nope.

This section of the demo ends, and I’m told that everything I’ve done so far has been saved and can be readily used once I purchase the full game. All right. The demo will continue (yay!), but anything else will not be saved progress, and we’re also jumping ahead in time. Text on screen tells us that the Illusive Man has given us the quest to collect a ragtag team of the most elite and deadly characters around. Miranda, Jacob, and I are visiting a prison cell planet called Purgatory (wink wink) to collect a biotic named Jack. There’s a pretty tense scene in the beginning where a turian (I think that’s their race; it’s been some time, people) tells me I can’t bring weapons on-board. I convince him otherwise, and I’m glad I did. Turns out it’s a trap, and we’re doing a lot of fighting here. There’s some larger mechs that are harder to take down, and I eventually died after releasing all the prisoners from their cells in order to free Jack, who is not what we expected. I’m sure the demo goes on a little more from there, but at that point I was extremely tired and decided to call it a night. Might have to give the demo another swing later on as a female Shepard; I’m both surprised and pleased at how much is given to us and how smooth the shooting is. Maybe, just maybe I’ll get a little excited about Mass Effect 2 in the near future.

Baby, you can drive my car…in Borderlands (cause I don’t want to)

I’m beginning to wonder what videogames with vehicles would be like without their vehicles. Most likely better, to start.

The Mako in Mass Effect was frustrating to control, and unsatisfying when you finally did get the hang out it because then you’re mostly standing still, bunny-hopping incoming rockets, and firing your own weaponry off into the great distance. Not fun, and it might have just been easier–and more fun–to walk the path from Mako point A to Make point B then drive like a loon. I was extremely glad to hear it got the ax for Mass Effect 2 though they seemed to have added in a flying ship of sorts. Not sure how it controls.

In Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, if a single block was off or the wrong type of fuel was attached, the vehicle would be classified in the local paper as 100% jalopy/clunker/hooptie. This made making your own vehicles un-fun, and using the ones provided by the game until you hit a spot where none of them would work. Wish it was a platformer again instead of a car circus.

And Grand Theft Auto IV‘s vehicles are just hahahahaaa ahaha ahahahahah ha. Ahem.

But I’m not here to harp on Mass Effect‘s shoddy future tank or Banjo Kazooie‘s pickiness. No, no. This blog post is all about the vehicles in Borderlands.


Actually, nothing. But there is something terribly wrong with the control scheme for them. So, once you’re inside the driver seat after accidentally climbing into the gunner seat a few times, you’re ready to burn some rubber around the wasteland. To do so, on the Xbox 360, you have to press forward on the left analog stick. Okay, weird. Old-school design. So how do you steer then? Oh, you also use the left analog stick. “But,” you ask, dear reader, “how can you effectively hold it forward to drive and tilt left/right to steer the vehicle away from sharp rocks?” You can’t.

I really had a lot of trouble figuring out how to use the vehicle once I got in it. And so far, after trying to use it on two missions to speed up travel time, I’ve found myself stuck on a rock or down a ditch thanks to hard-as-vault controls. It really boggles my mind, and I can’t seem to find a way to change the scheme myself. Why couldn’t you hold A for gas and steer with the analog stick? Makes no sense, I tell you.

Now I’m just waiting to unlock fast travel because driving vehicles, especially in a solo game where no one is watching my back or driving for me, is not a good time. Of all time. NOT A GOOD TIME OF ALL TIME. Shooting bandits is much more desired.

Yet somehow–and I assure you there was no skill involved here thanks to previous mentioned controls–I unlocked the following Achievement:

Get a Little Blood on the Tires (20G): Killed 25 enemies by ramming them with any vehicle

Seriously, at this point, I think the only game with vehicles I’ve ever greatly enjoyed is Super Mario Kart. Those things handled perfectly.

First Aid Specialist in the House

That’s right, readers. I guess I can push Y like a true pro because I finally unlocked the following achievement last night:

First Aid Specialist (15G): Use medi-gel 150 times

Funny, considering that the previous achievement unlocked for Mass Effect was eight months ago and it was this:

Medal of Honor (100G): Complete Mass Effect Playthrough

Er, but yeah…all this recent excitement about Mass Effect 2 brought me back yet again. This time I saved more frequently because the biggest problem for me was I’d forget to save, go on these long planetary treks, and then get shot in the face and have to restart from the very beginning. If you don’t know what that feels like, stick a wrench down your throat and twist. You’d think Fallout 3 would’ve taught me more about frequent saving, but then you’d be assuming…and we all know you’re a monkey’s uncle.

Right, moving on. Finished up Noveria last night though with the turian Garrus and doofy-faced Kaidan. That was a tough section to get through. Frustrating, to get the wording right. I died twice just driving the MAKO to Peak 15, and then I further died six times trying to take down Benezia. Call me a n00b (editor’s note: please don’t). I was so annoyed by this that the Rachni Queen felt the full brunt of my frustration. Death to all hive-minded insectoids! Genocide FTW!

Not sure where I want to go next. Continue with the story to Feros or to find Liara? Hit the Citadel back up for those 1,067 sidequests? Explore some boring planets for things like minerals? Funnily enough, all the planets I want to explore I can’t, like the ones tinted blue from way too much methane. Boo to that.

Also, does anyone know if the achievements for biotic skills (i.e., Lift, Throw, Neural Shock, and so on) carry over into the next playthrough? I’m not actively keeping track of how many times I’ve used them, but between this playthrough and the previous one…I suspect I’ve Thrown enough Geth to get it. Seriously, I love Lift and Throw.