Update; more Mass Effect, Metal Gear?! and more

I suppose it’s my duty to kick myself at this point. One month ago today, this blog reached its first birthday, and I missed it. June 2012 to July 2013, with ten posts to show for it, averaging out to less than one article a month, even worse considering that three were put out back in June. Hooray?

In fairness, most of this was a large laziness slump on my part, stretching for months on end. I had a ton of ideas, but was slow to start any of them, to the point of giving up. Hell, the ID post yesterday? I was quite looking forward to writing the satire portion, but as I did so, it ended up feeling like a bit of a drag, and to my surprise I had more fun writing the factual piece which came out longer and more detailed than I expected. I suppose for an issue that stark, just parody isn’t enough. I found, as I wrote, that there’s no tiptoeing around the damage done by creationists, and I just had to be direct.

But moving on, I’d like to take a moment to look back at what little I did achieve with this tiny chunk of cyberspace; most of it out of sight of the reader. If there’s one thing that could make up for the connection issues I tend to have with WordPress, it’s their wonderful stat tracking. A few pieces get clicks now and then, or did for a while after being published. Even if just one person got some information on the Westbonkers Baptist Church situation and walked away feeling informed, I’m glad. At least I achieved something there.

One article that’s received consistently few clicks is the DmC: Devil May Cry article. I’d wager that lately it’s been people expecting a defensive review of the game, and clicking away upon finding it’s from pre-release information. For the record, I lost interest as soon as I played the demo. It simply doesn’t measure up to the old games in the series and later alternatives. Sure, I can understand how some can enjoy the stylistic change, but that didn’t require the mechanics to be partly gutted, the controls mangled, and experimentation and freedom replaced with colour-coding. Perhaps I’ll play it further down the line if I come across a cheap pre-owned copy, but it’s not lived up to my expectations after I gave it the benefit of the doubt. I extended the olive branch, but it slapped it away, emphatically and with a yell of “fuck you!”

And of course, I can’t ignore the trilogy of posts on the ending to the Mass Effect, um…trilogy. They still get hits daily, usually the first and third. The stats record a lot of clicks on some of the embedded images and links within the article, so even if only one person commented, a lot are getting something out of it. The last post being used as an information resource is something that makes me glad, and people find it through the most innocuous searches, even just ‘Mass Effect’ and ‘geth prime’. Just yesterday, I was using google to check if I’d run into a glitch in the Citadel DLC and found my own post staring at me in the first page of results.

Yes. I’m playing Citadel. I’m playing Mass Effect 3, a year after I wrote about fifteen thousand words on how much I didn’t like the ending. Full disclosure, and to be honest I should have been more upfront about it, I hadn’t actually played Mass Effect 3 at the time of writing. I hadn’t even played Mass Effect 2. I’d read a lot, heard a lot, and watched a lot. Some of the hearsay comes through in the posts, but I stand by what I said, and feel that, for the most part, I had enough information to make a value judgement. So why am I playing it? Two factors. One was the release of the Mass Effect Trilogy package. I had already played through the first game on Xbox 360 (it was one of the reasons I bought the system. Boy, I got screwed), and replayed it on the PS3 version of the trilogy (I bought the PS3 version as it comes bundled with all the DLC for the first two games, barring Arrival and Pinnacle Station, the latter of which does not work on PS3). I wanted to do a full trilogy playthrough including all DLC (Citadel was already out at this point), and the Trilogy set was a great price for three games.

The second reason? Extended Cut. It made me want to play through the entire series and give it a fair trial. I wanted to challenge my own rant and see if I really could look past the ending, or see an ending that was greatly improved over the original. I’ve purposely almost starved myself of information on the EC for this long. It’s been around a year since that came out too, and I haven’t seen the creation of fiction in the industry collapse. Suck it, Colin Moriarty.

As of now I’ve not long to go. I just have to finish the Citadel party and then attack Cronos Station, which seems to be the point of no return if Hackett’s warning is anything to go by. My War Assets stand at 3,997 (default readiness), plenty to get the best ending fitting of a prepared completionist player. I’ll probably be done in a couple days’ time, and in the following few days I’ll write about my experiences with the entire trilogy, game-by-game. My thought processes have been whirring all the time I played, and I think there’s a lot to talk about in this series. But – and this is a big but – I won’t talk about the ending until the post dedicated to it (and after that, Citadel deserves its own bloody post). I want to weigh everything on its own merit first, and then in light of the ending and some of its mechanics.

After I finally lay this thing to rest, I have some idea where I want to go with this blog; same topics, just regularly. I’m considering finishing the summer with a playthrough of the entire Metal Gear franchise (I’ve already done the original Metal Gear and the PSP exclusive Portable Ops) with articles on each, culminating in some analysis of Phantom Pain. From there, it’s just a matter of posting what comes, more science articles, more gaming and art pieces, and so on. That should be plenty to look forward to for all four of my followers, all of which I actually believe are automated bots triggered by tags!

That you should

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