On Mass Effect Andromeda

On Mass Effect Andromeda

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 in Commentary, featured, PS4 |

Mass Effect: Andromeda is a half-baked mess. What was supposed to be a new and exciting adventure turned out to be a broken, limited game with lackluster characters and no compelling story. It’s like Bioware suddenly forgot what makes Mass Effect what it is after releasing the original trilogy.

I’m going to start with what they got half-right: the action. Combat in Mass Effect features third-person shooting mixed with the spellcasting. The game does not call it spellcasting, of course, but when characters are throwing fire and lightning from their hands then it’s just semantics. Andromeda got rid of character classes so players can buy any ability they want, which is great because mixing and matching abilities is something the series has never done before.

The problem is that the game limits usable abilities to three. Yes, only three. This design choice does not make any sense. First, what was the point of making all abilities available if you can only use three of them? Second, previous Mass Effect games had no such limit, even while running on last-gen consoles! Dragon Age Inquisition, another Bioware title, also allowed multiple ability usage.

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Mass Effect Andromeda: A Ryder Ring Build

Mass Effect Andromeda: A Ryder Ring Build

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in featured, Guides, PC, PS4 |

This build for Mass Effect Andromeda focuses on creating an infinite offensive loop around your powers and weapons. By combining skills and mods, it’s possible to make Ryder self-sufficient, removing the need to resupply on ammo and health. I’m calling it a Ryder Ring. And yes, this build works on Insanity difficulty.

Powers, Skills and Augmentations

Lance: Damage & Force, Anti-Shield, Shield-PoweredAllows Lance to be spammed as long as shields are available. Hold off on the last upgrade until shield regen is at a decent level.
Energy Drain: Recharge Speed, Extended Drain, DamageYour go-to power for taking shields down. Also restores your shields, making this better than Overload for this build.
Barrier: Unyielding Barrier, Biotic Alacrity, Active BarrierMore shields.
Incinerate: Radius, Anti-Armor, Double IncinerateYour anti-armor power. Also works wonders on unprotected foes.
Offensive Biotics: Amplitude, Detonation, Biotic ExpertBoosts the raw and combo damage done by Lance.
Team Support: Support, Team Recovery, Life SupportHeals you when you use tech powers. The heal works even when you don’t hit anything.
Weapon: Dhan Shotgun with Bio-Converter and Seeking Plasma augmentationsReloading draws from your health instead of your ammo stock, which you heal by using your tech powers.
The seeking plasma aug turns the shotgun into a pseudo-rocket launcher.
Note: Using a Shield Oscillator mod on your weapon will restore shields per reload but will not provide infinite ammo. No infinite ammo, no Ryder Ring.
Armor: Remnant or Pathfinder Chest with Shield Oscillator augmentationRemnant boosts health and shield regen while Pathfinder boosts power restoration and defense. Choice is up to you.
Shield Oscillator aug restores shields per kill.

 

 

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On Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker

On Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker

Posted by on Jun 30, 2017 in 3DS, Commentary, featured |

 

I went into Record Breaker almost blind. I knew it was a Shin Megami Tensei spinoff and that it plays like a tactical role-playing game. That’s it. Now that I’ve finished one playthrough, my thoughts are a mess right now but I’m going to try to summarize them as best as I can.

I found the Persona elements surprising if a little forced. Once again, the protagonist is almost a blank slate. Choosing the responses that play it cool and make large leaps of logic usually result in a relationship boost. It can be off-putting at times, but the latter can also be said of any Persona protagonist. What makes it rewarding in Persona is the series’ dedication to relationship-building. Record Breaker makes a half-baked effort at it, with matching results.

Demon fusion is fun thanks to the skill transfers. I found myself going back and recreating some of the lower level demons in order to give them late-game skills, ones that they would not normally have access to. I was mostly doing it for the ridiculousness of it.

Demon fusion also feels more important than it is in Persona because I wasn’t only concerned with the protagonist’s demons. I had to make sure that everyone’s minions were up to par. It was tedious at first but eventually got better once the interesting skills started appearing.

The plot was standard SMT fare. That means it’s bleak as hell. But I’ve always found it difficult to take anything chibi seriously. Sure, the characters are drawn like normal people during dialogue scenes, but anytime things switch to gameplay mode then things turn chibi. Or chibi-ish. Chibi-like? Anyway, you get the idea. And yes, I’m aware that horrifying things happen to some of those super-deformed figures. I remain unaffected.

By the way, I only played the Septentrione Arc.

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Persona 5 and Fighting Games

Persona 5 and Fighting Games

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in 3DS, Commentary, featured, PS4 |

Finishing Persona 5 created a Persona itch so I scratched that with Persona Q. That game was release in 2014. I bought it then, played it for a bit then ignored it until recently. Now that I finally finished it, I now know that Etrian Odyssey-style floor puzzles are not my thing. I don’t have enough patience to figure them out by myself.

Playing on the 3DS led to purchasing two more games for it: Bravely Second and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Since they’re both old games I got them at a lower price so that’s nice. I haven’t decided which one I’ll play first.

As much as I love Street Fighter, my interest in Street Fighter V is waning. I bought it on launch, gave it a year to improve, and now I think not only did it not do that, I believe it got worse. I don’t like the direction that the game is going.

With that said, both Tekken 7 and Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 are looking good though. I’m also waiting for Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 to go on sale.

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South Park: Will It Surprise Every One Again When It Finally Comes Out?

South Park: Will It Surprise Every One Again When It Finally Comes Out?

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in featured |

It seems like it’s been forever since it was initially announced, but we might finally have an idea for when the new South Park RPG will actually come out. South Park: The Fractured But Whole was initially announced in 2015, but has been plagued by a number of delays that have seen its release pushed back from December 2016 to spring 2017, and now even later into the year. Fans have been eagerly awaiting the follow-up to the 2014’s surprise hit, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and it seems like there might finally be an end in sight for this long and seemingly endless development cycle.

A recent story from the International Business Times reports that it’s likely the game will be released in September, based on news of tie-in merchandise for the game set to hit shelves around the same time. Ubisoft has yet to confirm anything officially, but this feels like the most likely candidate. Not only is there already merch in the works, but the newest season of the show is also set for a September release and it would make the most sense to line the two up together.

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