Posts tagged ‘bioware’

March 20, 2012

Retake Mass Effect: JSixGun Answers the Critics

Mass Effect 3 ended. Or did it? I don’t think we really know (i.e. the problem). Like all things internet, it has caused quite the stir however, and like all things internet, people have leaped at the chance to argue their opinions (my self being one of those louts).  Naturally, during any good internet controversy, some general themes are

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March 15, 2012

A Comprehensive Look at the Mass Effect 3 Ending

My Thoughts (Spoiler Free):

Five years invested in one of the most brilliant games to ever grace my eyes. Five year’s culminating into the end of Mass Effect 3 and I was left saying, “What?” If you’ve read the interwebs in the last week, you’ll know I wasn’t

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October 11, 2011

The Anatomy of My Bioware Romances, Part Three: Dragon Age: Origins – Jsixgun

I can’t say enough about Dragon Age: Origins, but let me first start by saying to enjoy it you have to be a certain type of rascal.  You have to enjoy the old school RPG feel, the searching for loot, the sheer amount of lore, and reading through lots of dialogue to make sure you pick the right choices for yourself.  In Origins your protagonist is not voiced (hence the reading) while all other NPC’s and companion character’s are.  It was touted as being the spiritual successor to the Baldur’s Gate series, which if you’ve read anything I’ve written so far, you’ll know made a huge impact on my gaming tastes.  So obviously I’m the exact kind of rascal it was made for.

These are NOT the rascal’s I’m talking about.

What Dragon Age: Origins lacked in graphics it really made up for in story.  If there is one thing I’m a sucker for, it’s a good cheeseburger; if there’s a second thing I’m a sucker for, it’s a good story.  The “origins” part of Dragon Age: Origins laid the foundation for that story and did it like no game had ever done before.  Many games let you pick different classes and races, but Dragon Age made those choices into wholly unique stories.  If you are an elitist at heart and chose the human noble origin then the first hour of your game was spent in your keep, fending off invaders and trying to figure out who attacked your family and why.  If you’ve watched Braveheart one too many times like I have, you may have picked the Daelish Elf origin were you’re part of sect of elves who are forced to live in the wilderness away from cities because elves are treated as second class citizens.  However, there were other options and in each origin your character experienced something tragic but wholly unique to the other choices which set you forth on your quest. And lucky for us, on that quest you meet some hotties.

Meet Morrigan and Leliana

Now usually I tend to lean towards the prettier, softer, and nicer leading ladies but in DA:O it was not to be.  I will be honest, however, every part of me wanted to pick Leliana.  For one, she had a very hot accent!  But alas, though I did lust for the red head, I went for the dark and sassy one; I chose Morrigan.  And in the end I was glad I did. You see, Morrigan will eventually win you over once you realize she’s not really evil per say, she’s just a rugged individualist.  She favors one path and that path is the one that betters her, not someone else.  And she expects you to do the same.  Not one for courtesy or favors, she demands respect and will be willing to smite you if you don’t give it to her.  Or in other words, she will make you wear black leathers with a rubber ball in your mouth unless you know how to work her.

Oh I worked her. You win her over with a bit of aggressive flair yourself; show her your every bit the go getter she is and she will eventually come your way.  The best part about her is the plot. She is apparently one of the daughter’s of the famed Witch of the Wilds, Flemeth, who plays an integral part in the Dragon Age universe.  Morrigan catches on to a plan the immortal mother has for her and decides to hatch a plan of her own.  Her plan?  Bang you the night before you kill the Archdemon, perform some ritual and bind the soul of the main bad guy with your seed, and thus spawn a god baby.  Yes you read that right.  While you can choose to not go through with it, the idea of getting to see your spawn in a future game was too much to say no to.  So I once again knocked up a chick in a Bioware game.  This is how that went down if you’re so inclined:

I must say that I hope to see Morrigan in future installments because I want to know what happens to my god spawn of a brat kid.  Anyway, my next installment will go back to the Mass Effect Universe where I find out that my Shephard is not too faithful of a bed companion. Til then…

September 26, 2011

The Anatomy of My Bioware Romances. Part Two: Mass Effect – jsixgun

Once again we find ourselves at the brink of digital titillation as we take a look through the romances of Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. When I first saw the trailers for the Mass Effect, I literally had my mind blown.  Could a game this awesome really be coming out?  Well it was, and it totally reestablished my love affair for Bioware (After Baldur’s Gate I & II, Jade Empire and the AMAZING Knights of the Old Republic, I was ripe and ready for a new IP).  I relived my childhood pleasures (experienced in the original Baldur’s Gate) all over again when creating my Commander Shephard, and at the cusp of completion found my self thinking I was as “Bad A” as Peter Griffin with a Mustache.

Mustache culture is pretty cool

One thing any “Bad A” hero must have is an as fittingly “Hot A” companion. This isn’t misogynistic, this is an equation for success and Mass Effect glows with success like the Olson twins glow with an eating disorder (for those interested in photometric units that equals about 1 lux, or the radiance of a full moon overheard at tropical latitudes). However, Mass Effect 1 only gives you two choices to act out your sci-fi finagling:

Meet Ashley Williams and Liara T’Soni

If your first thoughts are, “eww, ones blue,” than I can accurately label you as a xenophobe and will promptly be reporting you to the police, because yes, I do know the number to 911.  Now that I have done my part to vanquish bigotry we shall continue.  The cool thing about Mass Effect is that it makes you make choices, hard choices and choices you can’t take back.  This same concept is present in your love interests.  Furthermore, if you start the game trying to be Mr. Casanova and court them both, they will eventually confront you and make you choose between them (score one for monogamy). So who did I chose in my original play through? Ashley Williams.

I’m a sucker for a woman in overbearing armor.

When you first meet Ashley, she’s fighting for her life on Eden Prime.  With her entire squad almost taken out by the Geth, you lend her your skills and you both make your way to the Prothean Beacon that Shephard was sent to find.  I won’t go into what all that means, but lets just say you and her are together when humanity finds out that something is quite amiss in the universe.  Eventually she winds up on your crew and the rest is intergalactic history. One thing I found extremely alluring about Ashley is her strong ingrained religious beliefs.  Though reluctant at first to share them with Shephard, at one point she comments, “How can you look out at this galaxy and not believe in something?”  Maybe it’s because I’m from the South, or maybe it’s because too few video game characters delve into those topics, but I was immensely hooked by the deepness of her convictions throughout the entire game.  Honestly, it was a breath of fresh air because I felt like I wasn’t dealing with a stereotypically hot video game broad; she had an original background that served her well.

As you build rapport with Williams, you help her overcome the tainted military past of her father and grandfather, which she is always trying to overcome (one of the reasons she’s very guarded at first). All your hard work finally culminates, after flirting and a healthy dose of poetry by Walt Whitman, into a kiss and the not so implied sex scene:

I just love it when a plan comes together.

Isn’t love grand? I think it is and if you disagree with me you are worse than Hitler.  In regards to Liara, well she just never turned my crank.  She was a cool character for sure, but Ashley just seemed so much deeper and relatable.  Interesting enough though, Liara could be a love interest even if you played as a female Shephard. While I won’t start a discussion if art should so accurately imitate reality, and how putting the option for a lesbian scene is kind of just fodder for 13 year olds to giggle about, I will say that it just wasn’t for me. Anyways, till next time when I look at Dragon Age: Origins, and more chicks wearing armor…or not.


September 24, 2011

The Anatomy of my Bioware Romances. Part One: Baldur’s Gate II – jsixgun

This is not an article on how I love Bioware, although in fact they are my favorite developer. If they make a game you can bet I’m buying it, neglecting something important, and putting a minimum of 40 hours into it. This, however, is an article characterizing the unique, albeit formulaic approach to the Bioware romance and why through the years I have picked or not picked certain leading ladies to venerate me throughout my adventures. So sit down (actually if you’re standing up while reading this you’re probably a freak), grab some dark chocolate (might I suggest it enveloping a strawberry?), light the scented candles (lavender mayhap?), put on some R-Kelly, and wonder whether I can put something in else in parenthesis. Here we go.

In reference to R-Kelly, “My heart is telling me no – but my body is telling me yeasss.”

Anyone who has played a Bioware game knows that you’re introduced to a host of colorful companions, some of which you can choose to profess your love or lust for throughout various parts of the adventure. (Let me insert here if you have not played a Bioware game, WHY NOT?). To understand the anatomy of my Bioware romances it will be easiest to do it on a game by game basis. Let us tackle this chronologically, as doing this chronologically is both the logical and gentlemanly way to do things, do not question this point.

Baldur’s Gate II

Baldur’s Gate II was the first game to introduce me into the world of dating computer characters, and to this day it’s the one I blame for the inefficiencies I see in modern women (this whole  sentence is a joke).  However, truth be told I found it as interesting a feature then as I do now. When developing a character created by you it really helps the immersion to add things as simple as romance options. If you want them you can go after them, if you don’t your character can husk around all day like they’re too cool for love and hate 80’s pop music. Either way, in Baldur’s Gate II you had a few options:

Meet Aerie, Jaheira, and Viconia

Each of these three characters was vastly different, and a lot of who you decided to romance kind of hinged on your own personal moral compass, however not entirely. Throughout my original play through many years ago I found my self being most drawn to Aerie. This is somewhat interesting to me though, because it seems she’s the least favored on the internet. Many people complain about her incessant whining and pity parties, but to me that was the allure with her. Understand that picking your protagonist’s love interest was never as easy as point and click. You literally had to delve into their personalities, consider their potential feelings on every decision you made, and pick the right dialogue choices whenever they confronted you. Mess up, misread their intentions, or generally fail to understand what made them tick and you would find your self being more out of place than Ryan Seacrest at an NFL game.

“Wait, so the object of the game is to get in the endzone so you can do a dancing number?”

When you stumble upon Aerie, you find her in a circus gone gaga, and by gaga I mean crazy, and by crazy I mean as bad as Gaga’s music. You, being the epitome of all that’s virtuous in said fantasy world, save the day and can then choose to bring her along or leave her slaving away in the circus. Let her tag along and you discover a lot about Aerie throughout the game that really explains why she is so seemingly fragile all the time, if not a bit of whiner, as discussed earlier.  You learn she comes from a race of winged elves who are almost all forgotten, and what’s worse, she’s spent much of her life as a carnival attraction because of those fancy pantsy wings. Unfortunately, living life in a cage did not serve her emotional health, or her wings very well and they eventually had to be forcibly removed (insert Heidi Montag joke here). If you’re thinking potential major mental issues would be the result, you’d probably be right. So what gives? Who wants to choose the emotional distraught, formerly winged girl, whose borderline manic depression has her breaking down all the time? I did and this is why:

As you build a relationship with Aerie she actually begins to round out her personality quite well. You find that she has terribly low self esteem because she doesn’t have her wings, and is surprised that anyone could actually love her. If this sounds horribly sappy, that’s because it is, but it also works to make you like her as a character. This all culminates, if you play your cards right, into the famed implied sex scene. You see at this point you’ve made obvious attempts to show kindness to her, you’ve encouraged her when she’s been down, comforted her when she was scared, and basically did the best at simulating a Nicholas Sparks novel that you could do.  Right before the dirty happens she has some apprehension because of the scars left by her wings, you tell her you think she’s beautiful and I’m pretty sure you end up hearing Michael Bolton playing in the background.  Boom you’re in.

Michael Bolton and Aerie look oddly alike...

What you find is that through nurturing her relationship in the game, you take her from being a troubled, scared little thing into a strong character. What’s cool, if not a bit creepy, is that if you put enough hours into the game she gets her own little bun in the oven. That is; you knock her up if you don’t understand baking metaphors. If you succeed in all of this you are treated to a special romance ending and a score created just for her romance- pretty cool (see below).

Ahhhh.  The sound of love.

Why did I not pick the others? Well in short… Jaheira’s husband gets murdered in front of you and who wants to step in to that too soon? That’d kind of be like someone dying on their birthday and you gorging on their Bday cake at the funeral; a bit odd if you ask me. And Viconia, well she’s just kind of a mean broad. Aerie is kind, gentle and grows into the strongest developing character, at least in this writer’s nerdy opinion. Till Next time.