How I feel about Mass Effect 3 so far

Negativity surrounding Dragon Age II and Mass Effect 2: Arrival

I don't believe this will have an effect on ME3, it seems to have a longer dev cycle than DAII and the fact that Arrival had so little must mean that they are hard at work on ME3. The consensus in the Mass Effect team is that they hit the sweet spot with Mass Effect 2 and seek to improve upon that rather than go for an overhaul like the Dragon Age team did with DAII.

To say that Dragon Age II worried me when things were shown in its development cycle would be a little strong, but I had concerns and these concerns turned out to be true once I completed Dragon Age II twice. It's proof that changing so much that made one game great may come to bite its sequel in the ass. Fortunately this won't be the case with ME3.

Music: Clint Mansell replaces Jack Wall

If it wasn't someone of Clint Mansell's calibur coming in, I'd be very disappointed about Jack Wall going out. The music in Mass Effect has become one of its strongest points and some of my favourite video game tracks have come from Mass Effect 1 ( Main theme track) and 2 ( Suicide Mission track).

I can't imagine that Clint will do anything other than build upon and create more music that makes Mass Effect as cinematic as it is.

Mass Effect 3

I'm not expecting to get everthing I want out of this game storyline-wise, my list for my ideal Mass Effect 3 crew makes that obvious, but the scene that has already been set with The Reapers has got me ready and waiting with my money.

My Ideal Mass Effect 3 Crew

In ME3 some will turn out to be crew members (some already are), some cameo appearances, some mission appearances and some location-specific appearances. I wish the following were permanent Normandy SR2 Crew.

1. Tali'Zorah nar Rayya

Primary Squadmate (and GF)

2. Garrus Vakarian

Primary Squadmate

3. Legion

Substitute Squadmate

4. Grunt

Substitute Squadmate

5. Urdnot Wrex

Crew member - Would make for some interesting scenes between him and Grunt

6. Jeff "Joker" Moreau

Crew member - Can't not have Joker

7. EDI

Crew member - One of the best new characters in ME2

8. Mordin Solus

Crew member - Comedy value

9. Kelly Chambers

Crew member - Mail, fish etc.

10. Samara

Crew member - Always be picking Samara over Morinth, the fact that she resists Shepard makes her all the better.

11. Liara T'soni

Crew member - Younger Asari compared to Samara, has unique abilities and knowledge.

12. Thane Krios

Crew member - A mission that finds a cure for Thane would be a nice side-quest from all the Reaper activities that'll be going on in ME3.

13. Kasumi Goto

Crew member - Easily the better pick out of the two DLC squadmates. If my Shepard wasn't a paragon I would let Zaeed burn rather than recruit him.


Thoughts on the DA2 companions (Spoilers)

 Perfect excuse to use this humourous picture I found!
  • BioWare's improvements to the combat system make me want to use her more than I ever wanted to use Alistair or Loghain
  • Her companion mission with Guardsman Donnic is my personal favourite of the entire game.
  • Haven't tried her as a love interest yet, will do at some point.
  • Voice actor ( Joanna Roth) does a great job with what I believe are few standout moments. Maybe that's not the point with Aveline, she's exactly what she's there to be, a hard as nails woman who rarely tells a joke outside of sarcastic comments.
  • Much better design than her Dragon Age: Origins version.
  • Now that the dual-wielding warrior no longer exists I keep a close eye on Isabela for when I play a rogue in my third playthrough.
  • Don't blame her for looking after number 1, was a little angry when she just left a note and never appeared again in Act 2 though.
  • Currently my love interest in my second playthrough, looking forward to anything I might have missed with her in my first playthrough.
  • Voice actor ( Victoria Kruger) is one of the best performances in the game, if she's not nominated for Best performance by Human Female at Spike Awards 2011 I'll be shocked. "Tits and arse," should be right up their alley.
  • Had zero opinion of her from the Dalish Origin in Origins, the new design has worked wonders
  • Not being able to use creation spells AKA Healing plus buffs is very damaging when picking a party
  • Liked her innocence regarding Blood Magic but thought she got what was coming to her at the end of her companion mission
  • Felt like an inferior version of Mass Effect's Tali'Zorah. Not sure if they meant to go that direction or not.
  • My first love interest, I suspect the most likely to stay with Hawke longterm considering she has nothing to return to.
  • Hope the eluvian is resolved in DLC, maybe with Hawke and Merrill travelling through and meeting The Warden and Morrigan? I can dream I suppose.
  • I literally just found out the voice actor of Merrill as I'm typing this. Eve Myles who fans of Doctor Who and Torchwood will recognise did a brilliant job bringing an also-ran character from Origins to life in DAII.
  • Unique design and background story, those are positives right?
  • Complete ass who I don't want following me around moaning about mages and whatever else he's angry about.
  • If I need a warrior I'll use myself as a two handed sword user or Aveline any time.
  • I'll use him more when I go on a evil playthrough, siding with the Templars and other bad descisions.
  • Gideon Emery is the voice actor responsible for me playing through Final Fantasy XII for as long as I did, his performance as Balthier was that good. If I don't use Fenris more in future playthroughs I'll feel like I've done the man a disservice.
  • Best all-round for design, playstyle and party banter in my opinion
  • Brian Bloom is the best male voice performance for me
  • Hope Varric returns in DLC
  • A pity his companion missions fell into the Dragon Age II reuses too many areas for missions flaw.
  • For a religious Chantry guy he wasn't as annoying as I was expecting, but that is probably due to his royal background more than anything regarding the Chantry.
  • I'll never pick him over Varric unfortunately.
  • His companion mission was responsible for meeting and chatting with Leliana so thumbs up for that.
  • I wish I had his armour for Hawke, best designed in the game.
  • I'm not familiar with his previous work but for a 36 year-old to be described as a veteran actor/ voice actor as he is on his GB page, Alec Newman seems to be doing well for himself and it shows in his work as Sebastian. Though I wasn't convinced about Sebastian's loss when Anders blew up The Chantry.
Anders (+ Justice)
  • Wasn't impressed by the changes made to Anders, his design was better in Awakening I think.
  • The Justice union wasn't really fleshed out enough for me to care that much, maybe if there was a boss fight against Vengence Anders.
  • The underground mage who blew up The Chantry and started the whole mess didn't have to be Anders, the Anders I know from Awakening certainly wouldn't have done it
  • The change in voice actor only cements the dislike I have for DAII Anders, Greg Ellis will always be Anders for me, not Adam Howden.
  • Had we spent more time in the Fade I would've liked to have a chat with Justice, see how he's himself in the Fade, what his opinion is on his Vengence self that's inside Anders. For the little dialogue he had Adam Leadbeater (He needs a GB wiki page creating) was perfectly competent.
Bethany/ Carver Hawke
  • No interest in either of these two due to them only being playable in Act 1 which is a pity as it would've added a little replay value.
  • Carver looked a little bland, Bethany looked a bit better.
  • No knowledge of anything Nico Lennon or Rebekah Staton have done previously. They did what they could I guess, wasn't really interested in anything either of the characters had to say.
  • Lots of different choices with their outcomes which was a nice change from everything else in the game which felt as if your choices in situations never really mattered.

Here's the world I'm importing into DAII, yours? !!!SPOILERS!!!


Name: Limus FLStyle 
Level: 32
Race: Male Human

Origin: Mage
Class: Mage
Specialisations: Arcane Warrior, Spirit Healer and Battlemage
GF/BF: Morrigan

Origins Story

Dalish vs Werewolves - Zathrian ended the curse, killing himself and the Lady of the Forest, turning the werewolves back to humans. Recruited the Dalish.
Bhelen vs Harrowmont - Destroyed the anvil, killed Branka, put Harrowmont on the throne. Recruited the Dwarves.
Mages vs Templars - Cleared the tower out of the blood mages and abominations, protected innocent mages (Wynne recruitment), saved Irving. Recruited the Mages 
Ashes and Dragon - Used my wordy skills to convince Sten to follow orders, slaughtered the cult, killed the High Dragon, kept the ashes pure
Connor, Demon and Arl Eamon - I cleared out the Magi Tower beforehand so Irving and some mages gave me a hand, I killed the demon, saving Connor, Eamon and Isolde in the process, sent Jowan back to the Circle. 
Landsmeet and Ritual - Killed Loghain, put Alistair on the throne and Anora in a tower. Did the Ritual with my GF Morrigan who was sad to leave. Asked that the Grey Warden's sacrifice never be forgotten again, got a GW statue.
Characters - Recruited everyone, did the missions for Sten, Morrigan, Oghren, Wynne only.
 Combat Limus

Awakening Story

Fully upgraded Vigil's Keep, saved Amaranthine. Proclaimed a hero.
Alligned with The Architect against The Mother.
Oghren helped out his kid.
Anders and Nathaniel survived, stayed with the Wardens for a while and left.
Justice was killed
Vellena disappeared into the Deep Roads when she thought she saw her sister.
Sigrun.. did something or went somewhere, didn't care.

Golems of Amgarrak Story

No moral choices of note, killed the boss and left, everyone survived. Assume that with some of DAII taking place in the Deep roads there will be a mention of my warden-Commander fighting the monsters here.

Witch Hunt Story

Left with Morrigan through the eluvian hopefully to return one day with Morrigan and God-child as trio of powerful mages.

European GBers: TNT and Happy Hour starts at 23:00, not midnight

As you know the clocks went back an hour last week, meaning that when Ryan and Jeff say that TNT and Happy Hour starts at 4PM PDT, that means we have to be at at 11PM, or we'll miss the first hour like I just did with this week's Screened's Screening Room this evening.
According to the internet, the USA's own clock change happens this Sunday, so we'll be back to midnight next week.

  You've been warned! 

The UK is getting a dedicated gaming channel - My thoughts


  • It's called Ginx (I don't know what this means)
  • It's by the people who did/still do the UK gaming programme "Gameface" on the Bravo channel which wasn't unwatchable
  • It launches this November
  • It's being billed to do for games what MTV did for music (presumably when it was actually about music and not reality TV) which the guy in charge would know about as he's the former head of MTV Europe


Gaming ads are on TV more than ever so they should be able to make a bit of money, music albums, film trailers, even sports, all fine. Hopefully it won't drift into Disney channel adverts, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did. I don't know what sort of subscription services they could implement, it seems a lot easier to do that sort of thing for websites. On the other hand you could go the porn route late night. I really hope they don't do that. 


 Anything that doesn't follow awful gaming shows of the past I'm happy with. Yes I'm talking to you Gamezville, with your tournaments starring kids who don't know how to play the games they're on and the apparently constantly high Game's Guru who would answer emails on cheats and gaming history.
 Gamezvile's "Games Guru"
There was only one good UK gaming show and that was Gamesmaster. Reruns of that show would be great, but I would like show good original content. The problem lies in the fact that even with their studios and producers and money I don't believe for a second that they could do anything on Giant Bomb's level. But Gameface gives me hope that they can repeat that level of success and intregrity. I remember once seeing a decent five-minute seqment comparing the pros and cons of Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2. It was pretty obvious stuff, DA:O's story and characters and more developed but Mass Effect 2's gameplay and overall experience is superior (in their opinion, not mine, I love all things Dragon Age and haven't gotten around to trying Mass Effect 1 and 2) but they were far from ignorant.

Will the UK mainstreamers "get it"?

And by mainstreamers I mean people who don't visit this site or any IGNs and Kotakus, people who walk around swearing in public as much as they do on Modern Warfare 2. I wouldn't want them to have any influence on a starting gaming TV channel, but you know that it won't survive without them. So put some FPS content in there and they should be satisfied. If they can give me some RPG time in HD I can make the compromise.

Turn your Twitter Feeds into Newspapers ("Whiskey Media Daily")

  You can create 10 Newspapers per user and can create them based on a user, a # tag or a list. It displays all links posted by those included in the feeds (which explains the Engadget link, tweeted by Jeff) and features youtube videos and Live Streams. I think it's a pretty cool little app, thanks to Stephen Fry for drawing my attention to it.

I've bought more PSN than bought PS3 this year

Let's see, Street Fighter IV, Valkyria Chronicles, Persona 4 and those were ages a go. Recently on the PSN I've bought Worms, Zuma, Fat Princess, Final Fantasy VII.
They're cheaper, proven quality and I don't have to leave the house to get them. But I can see myself getting Arkham Asylum, Tekken 6, FIFA 10, Dragon Age: Origins on disc whereas the only downloadable left that I really want is Trine so maybe it's just a case of timing.


Go Manchester United!

Hell yeah I'm ready for Football, the new season starts next week and I couldn't be more excited. My Fantasy Football team is already done and ready to go.
PS. Handegg sucks.


Question for (former) FFVII players (Sticking with 3 characters)

Because of the Materia system I feel no need to change my characters just for Limit Breaks. Also, the changing of Materia has been a tough task. If there's some way of changing without the PHS I haven't found it.

I'm almost set on sticking with Cloud, Barret and Red XIII for the entire game. Any problems with this? Are either Barret or Red XIII killed off before the end of the game (without spoiling how and when)? I'm already staying away from one certain character because I know what happens to her eventually through videos on the net over the years.

Currently I'm one disc one, at Red XIII's home.