My Thoughts on the Mass Effect 3 Ending
Before you read, please be warned, I will be discussing the endings of Mass Effect 2 and 3. I also mention the endings of Metal Gear Solid 3 and 4. So clearly Major Spoiler is present.
And damn proud of it.
MASS EFFECT 2
I wasn’t a fan of the Mass Effect series initially. Brian, my roommate in college, played the first one and I didn’t find the gameplay particularly thrilling. The conversations looked boring, the Mako looked cumbersome and tedious, and the firefights didn’t seem exciting. Boy did my view on the series change after I met my friends at Mahalo.
Jovenshire, Brett, D, Cliff, Anthony, Shawn, and Flitz could not stop talking about how awesome Mass Effect was; they would talk about what decisions they’ve made, and would debate which class is the best one. Matty Mac and Sohinki joined in on the fun later on, and I recently found out Max has been a fan as well.
But back then, even though I was starting to get excited about the series, I was hesitant to jump in since it reportedly would take me 20+ hours to do a quick playthrough without any sidequests.
The PS3 version of the game came out and I decided to give it a shot. No side quests though - I vowed - that would just take way too much time. No way, I’m just going through the game as quick as possible, giving me more time to do important things.
Like check my Facebook news feed.
I finally started the game. And I was completely blown away.
I was engrossed in a vast world. I loved making decisions, customizing my Shepard, and really feeling like I’m making a difference in the narrative. I was hooked. I could do nothing but play it on the weekends, and think about it when I wasn’t playing. I ended up completing every side mission, romancing Miranda, and destroying the collector base with my squad intact. It took about 40 hours.
“Do you have a minute Miranda?” “Always” :D
I couldn’t wait for Mass Effect 3.
MASS EFFECT 3
Mass Effect 3 really did a phenomenal job of weaving your decisions from ME2 throughout most of its narrative. My whole crew from the previous game had at least one mission dedicated to them, and it was fun to see how they had changed since the suicide mission.
I began to doubt continuing my relationship with Miranda because I started to like Ashley. I never played the first installment, and people who played it would tell me she was ridiculously annoying in it, but she just seemed more charismatic and attractive than Miranda to me.
She clearly knew how to part her hair better as well.
I liked her sense of humor. She also appeared way more often than Miranda did, and quite frankly, I was a little peeved that my interactions with Miranda were so few and far between and almost without any affection at all. It took a long time for me to decide who I would end up pursuing, and I even discussed this with Scott, Joven, and D. I ended up choosing Ashley.
The previous paragraph may seem absolutely ridiculous to you - this is a virtual relationship you are talking about here - and I wholeheartedly agree. But that really shows just how much I was into this narrative. I cared so much about this world, about these characters, that I felt I was going through the journey as well. I didn’t feel like I was just controlling some random space marine - that was me - that was Adrian Shepard.
So when the time came to decide the fate of the Geth and the Quarians I couldn’t believe it. I was literally in charge of saving or destroying an entire race. I thought about the Geth’s endearing backstory, and I couldn’t bring myself to wipe them off the planet. I ended up letting Legion upload the Reaper code, and luckily everything panned out and I achieved peace between the two races.
I then worked on my galactic readiness and played quite a few hours of multiplayer nonstop to raise it from 55% to 100%
As I stormed down the final stretch of no man’s land racing to get to the giant beam of light where blasts from the Reapers are literally killing everyone around you, I felt it. I felt that same nervous feeling you get when you are about to do something big; those goosebumps that run across your skin.
I am a huge fan of Metal Gear Solid, probably one of the biggest out there, and I never have felt that connected to one of those games. I cried in the ending of MGS3 for sure, but I never had experienced the same sense of fear and nervousness that I did during that stretch. This is the culmination of 80+ hours of playthrough for me, this is it.
And then you are absorbed into the base and everything, absolutely everything, starts to go to hell.
You have a long conversation with the Illusive Man, who quite frankly, never explains how he managed to amass that many resources and manpower when the rest of the galaxy was rotting. I eventually charmed my way into having him shoot himself. I gasped for sure, did not see that one coming, but was wondering if this would be it. Surely there must be something more. Surely the end is not just me talking to a disfigured old man who then kills himself by being around me.
I have MGS4 for that.
Well there was more ending. And it wasn’t pretty. This little AI kid tells me a story about creating robots to destroy robots and organics, so organics couldn’t be killed by robots.
The AI’s name was Catch-22-D2.
He then asks me to choose between destroying all synthetics, controlling them, or joining organic life and synthetic life through the third option: Synthesis.
I thought about it, and at first I was thinking, man this is a HUGE decision! This is crazy! I was swept up in the craziness of it all. I thought about how hard I had worked to save the Geth, and thought about EDI.
How could you not think about those…eyes?
I couldn’t bring myself to destroy ALL synthetics, even if it did mean that I would destroy the Reapers. I knew I shouldn’t try controlling them since the Illusive Man attempted to do that and he was clearly mentally unstable - so I went with Synthesis. I didn’t want to condemn the universe into an endless cycle of wars, and that seemed like the best way to do that.
Then the final cutscene plays. And I was swiftly swept out of that craziness.
That final cutscene completely and totally undermines every single goddamn decision you ever made in the entire series and sums up this 80+ hour experience in a little under 10 minutes. 10 fucking minutes. MGS3 had an ending which lasted almost an hour and half – but it provided closure. There was none of that here. Think about it, even the opening sequence in MGS3 is about TWICE AS LONG AS THIS ENDING.
With 100% more mullet.
So the Crucible fires, the Reapers turn green, and they suddenly stop attacking. As a side note, this seemed extremely reminiscent to the scene in the Matrix:Revolutions where the Sentinels perform the same action and just hover harmlessly above the humans.
Okay, I think, that’s cool, I brought peace to the galaxy.
Then the mass relays explode. The explosions are green. What.
Joker is seen fleeing from the green explosions (even though he was clearly in the final battle, where was he going?) and the explosion hits the Normandy. They crash on some random planet - which just happens to have oxygen and lush vegetation. After a brief pause, Joker comes out of the Normandy with blue synthetic eyes and gently puts his arm around EDI.
And what do they have to say after this tremendous emotional ordeal? About their organic/synthetic state? About Shepard’s sacrifice? About the fact that they are all alive?
THEY FUCKING SAY NOTHING!
Are you kidding me?! Not even a single word?! Even a throwaway line like “It’s finally over. Shepard did it.”
I do get a random shot of Ashley though.
Wait. How did Joker pick up the crew as well? Not explained. And you know what? It’s not like that even matters because:
A) With the relays gone, they are literally stranded now, as is the rest of the galaxy. How are they going to get to another system? How are all those aliens from different planets going to get back to their homeworld? What will they eat? It’s not like everybody can eat everything. Not to mention the fact that these relays supposedly had the magnitude of a supernova when detonated. So I very likely wiped out ALL life in those systems. Not even the prokaryotic bacteria were saved.
Or maybe they ended up having adorable blue synthetic eyes.
B) Oh yeah, I’m pushing galactic daisies somewhere.
After that Buzz Aldrin talks to a kid about “The Shepard.” Presumably right after he talks to him about “The Batman.”
“Then The Shepard avenged his parents with the Bat-Omni-Blade.”
No, this must’ve been the wrong ending, I think to myself, there has to be something more. I load it up again from a previous save and pick to destroy the Reapers and all other synthetic life, and guess what?
I GET THE SAME DAMN ENDING – WITH DIFFERENT COLORED EXPLOSIONS AND EYES.
Now the explosions are RED and they come out with their normal eyes. Shepard takes in a gasp of air as he awakens next to random debris. Again, this is all moot since:
A) How the hell is Shepard going anywhere with no mass relays? At least in the synthesis ending Shepard goes out with a bang, sacrificing himself to save the galaxy from an endless cycle of war. With this ending he will literally die of starvation, alone in some shithole in space.
B) Oh yeah, I just ANNIHILATED the Geths, which I risked the extinction of another race to save.
But at the core of my whole rant, the reason why I am so terribly pissed at this ending, is that your decisions from all the events leading up to it had ZERO effect on the ending. Whether your crew survived the suicide mission, whether you cured the Genophage or not, whether you saved the Geth or not - IT IS ALL MEANINGLESS IN THE END.
All you have to do is play a lot of multiplayer and get plenty of war assets and you’re set. You’ll get the same experience every other dude got when he typed “Mass Effect 3 Ending” in YouTube.
…Right after he typed “Mass Effect 3 Liara Romance.”
After investing almost 100 hours of my life into this story, I wanted my closure.
Mass Effect 3 is an amazing game, and playing through these two titles is an experience I will never forget. I loved every second of the third game right up until these final moments. I just wanted an ending that stemmed from the characters, that seemed organic to the story, not tacked on; an ending that did not directly contradict the morals that the game is trying to impart, such as tolerance.
The upcoming DLC may change this, but I just hope it’s something significant and not:
Oh man. I think I just spoiled the upcoming DLC.
My Cosplays - Wolverine, Snake, & Rambo
When I decided to start working on a Wolverine/Logan costume, I never thought that this was actually a thing that several other people do. I had never heard of the term “cosplaying” or had known that there is an entire community behind it. I did grow up in Mexico City though, and that amount of dedication and passion to nerdy things is kind of non-existent there. Or if it does exist, people are very secretive about it.
I would have loved to make the uniform that he wears at the end of the films, but I simply did not have the resources, nor skill, to pull off such a feat. So I decided to model the costume after his Logan costume in the movie.
I pulled a few reference pictures from the movie, like the one above, and also went off my Wolverine action figure. I shopped around for the parts I didn’t have, and my brother luckily had bought me some novelty dog tags years before.
I then decided to work on the hardest parts of the costume. The hair and the claws.
For my first stab at the costume, I decided to use some cardboard for my claws and gelled my hair upward for the hair. Here is a pic of me at my high schools costume contest. Sorry about the weird blue thing, I screencapped it directly from the site:
I was happy with it for awhile, but I decided that the hair wasn’t quite there just yet, and my claws could use some work as well.
For my second go, I mapped out just how long the claws should be in relation to my hand. I then cut some cardboard claws with a groove at the end so they could comfortably sit in my hand, but appear as if they were coming out of my knuckles. Lastly, I added some aluminum foil to make them look shiny.
Now came the hair. Boy, did I not anticipate so many problems with the hair. After looking at several stills from the movie (specifically the second film, as the hair was perfected in that installment in my opinion) and going through several blow dryer, shampoo, conditioner, gel, hairspray, and hairbrush techniques (with help from my mother), I got it down pat. As a side note I will add that you need long hair to do the Wolverine hairstyle, as you are essentially feathering your hair upward along with adding a curl on top.
I then grew out my sideburns for two weeks, and used a new leather jacket.
Here is the updated Wolverine:
After High School, I ended up using it twice in college, and decided to make the costume a little more scandalous by reducing Logan to a mere tank top during senior year. I couldn’t replicate the hair as well as I did all those years ago because I had cut it. Below is a picture of me with my friend Scott and his Zombie costume.
I kind of inadvertently decided to start doing a costume for Big Boss. It was sophomore year in high school and the 12 minute E3 2003 trailer for Metal Gear Solid 3 had just come out and every gamer was flipping out about how awesome the trailer looked.These were the days before YouTube, so gaming sites like IGN used to charge users to be able to see their videos - they were only accessible to those with premium accounts. Crazy, but true. So I had to see a bootlegged copy of it which took about 2 whole days to download off of Kazaa. But once I did, it was all I could think about for weeks.
A project in English class came up about predicting how different stuff would be 50 years from now, so I decided to make a video game documentary and predict how games would be in 50 years. I basically said video games would be like “The Matrix.” Naturally, the game that we would be playing then would be Metal Gear Solid, where you, the player, actually go into a virtual simulation of it.
Since the project was due in just a week, I had to assemble as many things that I already had available, as there wasn’t any time to buy new stuff. I am kind of proud what I managed to pull together, given the time, as the costume came out looking a little like a Guerilla-Snake. Below is a “production still” with my Cuban friend from elementary school, Jorge Andres.
Once I turned in the project, I had some time to really take a look at the several parts to Snake’s uniform. They began to release new screenshots of the game, so that helped me get a better look at his facepaint and hair.
I left the costume like that for a while, but it would return with a vengeance in due time.
Halloween rolled around and, inspired by my partial Big Boss costume, I decided to create my Solid Snake costume, which has seen several iterations. I went to several military surplus stores to buy all sorts of equipment, and got the pants and shirt from different department stores. The costume was going to be a Snake inspired by both MGS1 and 2.
At the time I made the first version of this costume, I had a real mullet. Yep. Again, I had no idea this was actually a mullet, I just thought it was a cool hairdo Snake used. Ignorance is bliss right? Below is the costume photoshopped into a scene from The Twin Snakes.
As the years went on I made some modifications to the suit by getting different tops, gloves, and gear.
About 5 years later I donned the costume once again for appearing in “This Week In Video Games.”
And for quite some time that was the final version of the costume. But since I was going to Comic Con last year, I decided to up the ante and don the tights. So I used running clothes I had from Track and Field and it fit quite well with the rest of the gear. I also had my friend Chrissy, a very talented cosplayer, make an awesome mullet attachment for my bandanna. Below is a pic of me at Comic Con with my friends Wes and Hayley cosplaying as Dante and Ramona:
During the convention I also met Crystal, who was cosplaying as Laughing Beauty
DINNER WITH THE SNAKES - SNAKE AND BOSS REVISITED
Let’s backtrack a little bit.
Around 2006, I decided to revise my Big Boss costume and my Snake costume in order to shoot my Metal Gear inspired parody, Dinner with the Snakes.
Liquids costume was missing, but I figured a big old trench coat and some yellow hair dye would do the trick. Below is the short:
Two years later, 2008, I decided to up the ante and revise the costumes for Metal Gear Solid 4 for the sequel to Dinner with the Snakes. Since Old Snake is basically still Solid Snake, but with new facial features, all my time went into creating just that. I made a Solid Eye, bought and cut a wig, bought and colored a mustache, and even got this material that dries up your face to create wrinkles. Lastly, through some make-up, I created a burn on the side of my face.
Liquid Ocelot wasn’t too difficult, as he essentially is wearing different layers of clothing. I definitely went to several sunglasses shop to find just the right pair though. I made his small ID tag and used a new wig and mustache for him as well.
You can see both costumes right here in Dinner with the Snakes 2:
I used Big Boss as my costume for Halloween during my junior year in college.
I also ended up using my Big Boss costume in anticipation of Comic Con for This Week In Video Games. As you can tell, I added a plethora of new features to it including a new military vest, radio, gloves, various pouches, and a knife:
Here’s a pic from that same show with my friend Shawn, cosplaying as Leon Kennedy:
And here’s a pic of Jes V, Shawn, Chrissy, and myself about to exterminate some poor vermin on the floor.
This past year I wanted to dress up as someone different for Halloween.
I chose Rambo because he is one of my favorite characters (Snake clearly owes a lot to him), and I absolutely love the films as well. Action at its purest. My Yorkshire terrier back home is even named after him.
As I began to search for reference pictures and re-watched the films for the umpteenth time, I noticed that several people had an idea of what Rambo looked like, but never actually bothered to check if that idea was correct. Take a look at this “costume” that appears when you google “Rambo costume”:
Absolutely everything about this costume is inaccurate. I don’t blame them though. Rambo is remembered for his crazy hair, the bandanna, muscles, and his large gun. This costume is like a holistic impression based on a fuzzy memory.
People tend to forget his blade, his skill with the bow and arrow, and the fact that he does have a special ops uniform of sorts; he doesn’t just wear regular old camouflage pants. Take a look:
I assembled all the components I needed by visiting military surplus stores, sporting goods stores, an archery store, and finally picked a decent wig, which Chrissy once again cut. Even though the costume was based on how he appears in Rambo 3, I did change his bandanna color to red since I feel if I had left it black (as it appears in the third film), people would’ve been confused. Red is also more closely associated to Rambo than black. I also picked using the blade from the second film as that is the one which became iconic to the series. It’s even on the cover for the Blu-ray collection.
Now came the hard part. Making a fake blade that resembled the real deal. I already owned the real blade, but I knew I couldn’t take that 10 inch blade around on the street, much less to parties, so I needed to make the prop knife. Hayley, a very skilled cosplayer, suggested several different things for me to make this knife. I eventually ended up using plastic, black rope, acrylic paint, a dremel, and even the top of a breath mint bottle for the cap the knife has.
Here is a pic comparing it to the real blade:
Now that I had all the components assembled, I donned the costume for the first time in its entirety on Halloween.
Below is my favorite pic:
And with that I bring my cosplaying entry to a close. Creating a costume is definitely a fun experience and it is something that I intend on doing well into the future. I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
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A Video Game Hero with One Face
I’m sure you’ve heard of “A Hero with a Thousand Faces,” a book where Joseph Campbell breaks down a bunch of different stories and shows how they are all structured in practically the same way.
The funny thing is that in video games, it seems that the modern day video game action hero has one face with slight variations. And that face is a ruggedly handsome chap with short black hair, straight nose, wide square jaw, good amount of stubble, a piercing gaze, and a muscular build.
Those are eight protagonists from eight different action games all released in the last decade. Black Hair? Check. A perfect five-o-clock shadow? Check. A notorious desire to dispatch untold amounts of violence while still being able to crack witty one liners? Hell yeah.
So why has this become the de facto video game action hero look? I think it owes itself a lot to action movies from the eighties, the movies that video game developers watched while they were growing up. If you think about it, the action video game hero is basically a combination of Stallone’s imposing facial structure, Bruce Willis’s intense eyes, and more often than not, Schwarzenegger’s build.
And you know what? I’m cool with this look. You see these video game protagonists running around performing these incredible tasks like destroying a giant robot, climbing up a train as it hangs precariously from a cliff, or even surfing a 747, and you believe it. The guy looks the part.
I don’t think this holds true in modern day action films.
The action film genre has taken a 180 pivot from the eighties and has settled into a completely different look. The Bourne Trilogy is a really well written action series, but I could never get behind Matt Damon playing a highly skilled agent. Shia LeBouf keeps getting parts in tent pole action films like Indiana Jones, and he does absolutely nothing to contribute to the films. The most recent heinous crime to this trend is Taylor Lautner in Abduction. I applaud him for buffing up a little, but I don’t think that merits “action star” status.
It nowadays seems that instead of an actor working his way up to become an action star, like Stallone and Schwarzenegger did, the action star status is simply handed out based on an actor’s popularity and bankability.
“Stop laughing. I’m telling you were booking Zac Efron for Die Hard 5”
I’m sure there are dozens of talented actors that could have played either roles discussed above ten times better than Shia LeBouf or Taylor Lautner, but they weren’t given a shot because they wouldn’t have been bankable. For example, Scott Adkins is one of this generations most talented martial artists:
And although Adkins does have a pretty decent career in straight to DVD films, he sadly keeps getting shafted to bit parts in big films. He plays a random agent Damon knocks out in Bourne, and most recently played Ryan Reynolds stunt double in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Hopefully his inclusion in the upcoming Expendables 2 will give him some deserved recognition.
But there still is hope. Actors like Jason Statham and Gerard Butler have earned their action star status, and continue to keep the true badass action hero image alive. Video games are also certainly doing their best to help as well.
Transformers Dark of the Moon
This week I got to play Transformers and I really am enjoying the game so far. What is nice about it is that it is not directly based on the movie, it is actually a prequel to the upcoming movie, very much like how Tron Evolution took place before the events of Tron Legacy. I like it when games do this because then it is more motivating to play the game since there won’t be any spoilers to the actual movie. This method also gets you excited about the upcoming film since you feel you get a little sneak peak to it. Below is a pic depicting how Megatron appears in the game:
So the basic plot of the game is that there are still several Decepticons left on earth and the Autobots are working hard with the humans to be able to eliminate them. Meanwhile Megatron is busy setting up his ultimate plan of unleashing the deadly assassin Shockwave in order to once and for all take over Earth. The gameplay consists of switching sides between the two robot factions as you uncover the story leading up to the third movie. What I am liking so far is that the robots all control very differently from one another, and you do actually have to switch up your tactics when dealing with enemies since they can very easily overwhelm you if you are not tactful if how you deal with them. Below is the opening level:
Pretty cool huh? I do wish the driving controls were a lot more simplified since it is kind of a hastle to drive in this game. Your standard vehicle mode is “Stealth Attack” mode where you basically control your vehicle like a hovercraft and are able to shoot missiles and bullets out of your car a la Twisted Metal. But if you want to drive you have to press and hold L2. And the car will then turn into full vehicle mode and accelerate very quickly. Therefore you cannot control how quick and slow you are going.
You also have a boost which you can set off by pressing R1, and you E-break by pressing R2. And for some odd reason you control your vehicle with the right analog stick instead of the left when you are in full vehicle mode. This is pretty problematic because most of the time you end up with a strange gamerclaw trying to control the vehicle.But luckily there aren’t that many driving sections in the game, and you do eventually get used to it, so it isn’t that much of a nuisance.
Below is the first part to Ironhides level, and you can see how he controls very differently from Bumblebee. Where Bee is very agile and quick, Ironhide is much slower, but is able to deal massive amounts of damage with the weaponry that hs is equipped with. He also gets to fight a boss and even save Ratchet.
Overall I am enjoying the game and can’t wait to be able to pass it next week!
On This Week In we talked a lot about E3 and we each gave our opinions on our favorite titles from the show. I talked about Payday The Heist and also gave an inside scoop on the upcoming Star Trek. I of course also talked about Metal Gear 3DS. Still very excited about that one. I also decided to bring in one of my coolest toys, My Venom action figure.
He is a very unique display piece and fantastic action figure due to the insane amount of detail on him. To this day he remains my favorite adaptation of a Venom toy. Check out the episode below:
In completely unrelated news I am going to be seeing Green Lantern tonight and I am kind of scared. I already bought the tickets, and unfortunately they are only playing the 3D version at the Regal. I am scared because I haven’t had a single recommendation from the people who have actually seen it. They all unanimously agree that it is bad. And I sincerely hope its not Origins level bad because that is just sad. I thought we were beyond making poopy adaptations of Super Hero films a la Fantastic Four and the god-awful Daredevil. But I guess it is still a crapshoot. Oh, and in case you haven’t seen it yet, here is how to draw the Green Lantern:
Planning on seeing the movie this weekend? Kind of a tough choice isn’t it. People are saying it isn’t as good as X-Men First Class, and is actually around the quality of Origins and X-Men 3. I personally did not mind X-Men 3, it was entertaining. So if it is in the same level of quality as that, I would be fine with that. But if it is an origins level movie, bah.
Anyway, check out Kenny’s video below!
He is a very talented artist and this is pretty damn cool.
We went to E3 this year and it was amazing. I personally could have not been happier with how our coverage turned out and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to go.Things started off really bright and early, as we were all required to wait in line for Nintendo’s press conference. It wasn’t too bad since as soon as it was 7:30 the line started moving and we were briskly given our wristbands for the conference. We got a great seat up front neat the side and Chad promptly began to film the conference. Several new games were announced, and you can catch the entire press conference if you would like on our E3 playlist, but perhaps the biggest announcement was their new console. The funnily dubbed “Wii-U.” According to the Satoro, this emphasizes that this new model of the Wii, capable of HD graphics, is made for everybody including “U”, the hardcore gamer, or the casual gamer, or anybody really. Here is our video of that announcement:
After the conference finished, we promptly divided up into our teams and proceeded to divide and conquer the conference. I stayed with Brett and Cliff and we had a bit of hands on time with the new Nintendo 3DS titles that were announced, including Luigi’s Mansion and Star Fox 64. I really enjoyed Mario Kart, as driving in the water and in the air is a completely seamless and fun experience. If you would like to check out some more impressions, take a look at the video below:
Once we moved on from Nintendo’s Booth we decided to head on over to the main building and become acquainted with the media hospitality room. We got settled and then proceeded to wait in line for the doors to open. A massive crowd had already gathered and as soon as the doors open, hundreds of people were trying to go in to the conference. We had Sony Online Entertainment scheduled first, so we headed on over to that direction. I interviewed several developers, including the director of DC Online Universe, and the senior producer of Clone Wars Adventures, but the one which most caught my attention, both for his personality and his game, was Ulf Andersson. He is developing a game which tasks you with robbing a bank with a couple of your buddies. The build I played was very enjoyable and I can’t wait to see how this PSN downloadble title turns out. Check out the interview right here:
After Sony we headed on over to THQ where Cliff took over hosting and got some awesome stuff with the developer of the recently released Red Faction game and Saints Row The Third. I was lucky enough to sit in on the demonstration of Saints Row and couldn’t be more excited with how it is looking. From punching pedestrians in the most insane ways possible to hijacking a plane capable of launching a missile strike, this looks to be so much more than a simple GTA clone. A definite improvement over its previous installments. Check out Cliff’s interview with Saints Row right here.
Brett meanwhile managed to score an interview with the legendary UFC fighter, Royce Gracie.
As the day went on the rest of the team was also busy conducting their interviews and hustling to get even more interviews than the ones I had scheduled. They did an awesome job as we managed to score impromptu interviews with countless AAA caliber games, such as Deus Ex, Uncharted 3 , and many many more. I also really need to tip my hat to everyone who edited while in the conference as they had the insanely tough task of taking all the copious amount of footage we were getting and turn it into entertaining videos.
Another cool event some of the guys got to go to was the Battlefield 3 Demo, and the Tomb Raider demo. Sohinki even got a chance to play the new build of Kotor, while Brett interviewed the lead art designer of Tomb Raider. I recently got into Tomb Raider and am almost through the relaunch of the first installment, and the thing which I was most curious about was whether this was going to be as puzzle heavy as the first one, or if it was going to be more action oriented like the Uncharted series. By the looks of it, they are very focused on the action part, although the demo sadly doesn’t reveal much about the combat, and they are also not talking about the combat either. But the whole look of the game, and the survival theme are definitely intriguing and I am definitely going to be buying this game. Check out the interview below:
I got a chance to interview the director of Need For Speed The Run, and though I did not enjoy the controls of the car very much, I do like that they are actually bothering to include some sort of story in this game. Matty Mac, Cliff and I worked the Konami booth and I got to get some hands on time with some of Konami’s upcoming titles including NeverDead. I am still a little skeptical of this game as I am not a fan of the dual shooting system as it feels a little wonky to me stumbling around the stage looking for my arms. But who knows, it may end up working out. Skullgirls was actually pretty fun, and I can see people playing it quite a bit. The characters are very very different to control. And the designer of the game is very confident that it will be competition worthy.
I finally got some hands on time with both Peace Walker HD and MGS 3DS, and cannot wait for the final build of the game to come out. Everything is as smooth as it should be and I had no problem adjusting to the new controls. I might end up playing the 3DS version with the 3D effect turned off though, as you really need to be holding the thing in an exact angle in order to make it work.
The highlight of the event for me was interviewing Yoshikazu Matsuhana. He is the creative producer behind the upcoming Metal Gear Solid title on the 3DS and I was honored to be able to be in the same room as him. It wasn’t a long interview, but I was able to ask questions which I genuinely did want to know about being a huge Metal Gear fan. It was a strange experience for me as well because I would ask him a question, then his translator would do his job, then Yoshikazu would reply directly to me and even though I did not understand a word he was saying, except “eetto” which means “um” in english. Despite all this, I felt like we were actually having a conversation. Below is the recap of the interview:
By the end of the conference I was absolutely exhausted and shocked. E3 was an amazing experience for me and I could have not gone with a better team. Every single member performed to the best of their ability in either tracking down an interview, hosting it, filming it, recording it, editing it, or even writing about it. We took the event seriously and I think the evidence of our hard work is in our videos and the response we have had so far from our fans.
And before you go though, please make sure to check out this hilarious video about E3. Phil is truly is a talented actor, as is the rest of the Mahalo team. I have seen it multiple times already and it get’s funnier every time.
See you guys next week!
Funny E3 Video
One of our team members didn’t get a chance to go to E3 this year, so as a gesture of kindness some members of the team decided to bring E3 to him. Hilarity ensues :D
Phil is an awesome guy for doing this and I found it genuinely hilarious. I am glad that everybody went all out on it and I think it perfectly parodies all the elements of E3. From the hardware, to the booth ladies, to the tediously long press conferences. Make sure to leave a comment below if you enjoyed the video!
X-Men and E3
I just saw the X-Men First Class movie yesterday, and I was absolutely blown away. It is a great movie that is definitely worth spending your hard earned money on. It’s got great performances from the two leads, an engaging storyline, and really cool action sequences.
I think I am kind of a unique fan to the X-Men series because I don’t see these films the same way I see the Spider-Man films. I am a huge Spider-Man franchise fan. I have seen the films, read the comics, read the books about the comics, bought the toys, etc, etc. But when it comes to X-Men I really wasn’t a fan until the first film came out, so I don’t know much of the mythology.
When the cartoons were coming out for these two series in the nineties I preferred seeing Spider-Man, and thought the X-Men looked a little silly, quite frankly. I never really cared for their uniforms and didn’t really know much about their powers in general. The one episode I saw was at a friend’s house around third grade. We saw it after we played some Mighty Morphing Power Rangers: The Fighting Edition. Man, that was sick.
Awesome. Anyway, back to X-Men. As soon as the first film started being advertised I was immediately intrigued by the new look. It definitely helped that Bryan Singer went for an all black look with the uniforms, as it is akin to what Tim Burton did with Batman. The first film came out and I absolutely loved it. I naturally became a fan of Wolverine and thought he was incredibly cool. Then the second came out and solidified my fanboyism of Wolverine, and I knew I had to dress up as him for Halloween:
Then the third film came out, which was okay, I give it a lot more credit than others do. And then Origins came out. My God. That film was so damn terrible with its clunky plot, atrocious special effects, and ham fisted acting from the guy playing Stryker. The only good thing that horrible film yielded was the amazing video game. I even did the walkthrough for it a couple months ago, check out a vid right here:
Brutal huh? Wally, in celebration of First Class, even made a a top 5 best X-Men games of all time, and Origins made it on the list. Check out the video right here:
So because of the shitty fourth film I really wasn’t expecting much from First Class, but like I said in the beginning, First Class is a great ride and I highly recommend it. I especially enjoyed how you get to see the friendship between Charles and Erik instead of just hearing them talk about it. The two cameos in the film were also much appreciated! My complaint with it is that it kinda messes with the already messed up chronology of the films. Below is an explanation of it.
-When exactly did Professor X lose his ability to walk? In First Class, he loses it by the end of the film, around the 1960’s. But in both X-Men Origins Wolverine and in the opening scene of X-Men 3 Professor X is seen walking around just fine. So according to the films he lost his ability, then gained his ability, then lost it again?
-Also, when exactly did Professor X and Magneto split ways? Again, in First Class they completely go opposite ways by the end of the film. But in the beginning of X-Men 3 both him and Magneto go on over to Jean Gray’s house as buddies to try to recruit her. Again, according to the films they went separate ways, reconciled, then broke up again.
- This is kind of minor, but still a note, Wolverine’s hair doesn’t make sense. In this film, which happens before Origins, Wolverine makes a cameo and is already sporting his Wolverine style hair. But in Origins he sports some sort of shaggy looking thing, then acquires his Wolverine style hair by X-Men. So again, according to the films he had the hairstyle, lost it, then decided to use it again.
- Speaking of spoilers, my good buddy Lasercorn who joined me in my viewing of First Class yesterday, also made a kickass 2 minute montage of Portal 2:
But as a standalone film, First Class works really well. Like I said before though, I do not know how faithful it is to the comics, but I respect the hell out of it.
And next week my friends, is E3. Ever since I bought my first EGM way back around 1997 I have wanted to go to the E3. I cannot think of a bigger convention for any other form of media in the world. I went to pick up my badge for it today and was absolutely mesmerized by just how big a convention it is. I had to walk for about 10 minutes just to go pick up my badge. There are set to be quite a few surprises at the show, probably the biggest one being the unveiling of Nintendo’s next gen console. Will it be a Wii-2? Will it be something completely different? Who knows. But we will be there to find out!
I am also excited about plenty of other upcoming games, and can’t wait to see what the publishers have to show off. I am mainly stoked to see something new for Metal Gear Solid 3DS, and anything related to Metal Gear. I found out this week about the ports, and I frankly cannot wait to play MGS2 on my PSP with Kojima’s “transfarring” technology. Hopefully this doesn’t mean I have to buy the game twice though because then that is downright silly. Another silly thing was Flitz’s top 5 list on This Week In Videogames. I talked about Yoshi this time around:
I am also extremely excited to find out more about the upcoming sequel, Uncharted 3. Uncharted is such a fantastic series, and it really is what best approximates the phrase “playing a movie” as the cutscenes are top notch bar none, and the dialogue between your characters even when they are not in a cutscene is believable, witty, and very entertaining. And as far as the gameplay goes it has one of the slickest cover and combat systems I have seen. Perhaps they will make combat a little more complex than square square triangle, but I don’t really mind if they keep it the way it is. And just to show my excitement for that, I even did a cameo voice over for Shawn and Sohinki’s countdown, seen below:
And that’s it for me this week guys, be sure to check back next week and be checking our awesome blog over at mahalogaming.com for all of our E3 updates!
Portal 2 in 2!
You have probably all played Portal 2 by now, and in case you haven’t, but would like to see the story, check out what the guys at Mahalo have cooked up! Be warned that there are plenty of spoilers in the video below!
I have not had the chance to play it yet, but after watching the video I feel like I have to. The sense of humor in the story is what most makes the game interesting to me. I know there is a nother fun Portal 2 video coming up in the next few weeks, and I am really looking forward to that. With the huge success of Portal 2 , I do wonder if they will round off the Portal franchise with Portal 3.
Mass Effect 2 vs Mario Galaxy 2
After 32 hours I beat Mass Effect 2, and my God, was it an experience. The final mission is absolutely insane and I was on the edge of my seat in every single cut scene as I knew that there was a chance that my team members could die.
Tali was awesome in going through the vents and closing the door, and she luckily did not get shot. Miranda also led the distraction team twice and although a bullet did graze her body or something, she was just peachy afterward.
I promptly sent Mordin back to escort the crew as he is a scientist not a warrior. Samara kept my squad and me safe. The entire crew of the Normandy was also saved. The teams I took along for my firefights were Miranda and Garrus for the fight against the big ball robot, Garrus and Thane for the first and second assault, and for the final battle I took Jack and Miranda. I mainly took them because I wanted to put as many strong characters as possible to hold the line, and I knew Jack was really unstable as every time I would come by her quarters for a little chat she would promptly respond “Fuck Off.” I then chose to continue my game instead of starting a brand new one.
This game turned out to be an incredible experience and I might go back and go through it again as a Renegade. I really do understand now why it won so many awards last year and I do think it rightfully deserves them. A game that will unlikely win any awards this year though is Brink, as demonstrated by Lasercorn and Wes in their review below:
So now that I finished Mass Effect 2 I am able to go back to playing Super Mario Galaxy 2. As I was playing it yesterday I started to notice that both of them really do share quite a few similarities besides both being the second installment to a series, Don’t believe me? Well lets go through them:
- They are both set in space, and feature different galaxies for you to explore.
- They both feature a main ship from which you access your different missions, or planets.The Normandy in ME2, and a giant Mario head in MG2.
-They both send you back to the ship upon completing a mission.
-They both feature characters you can interact with while you are on your ship. Miranda, Garrus, etc in ME2, and several Toads in MG2.
-You receive messages in both of them. Mail in Mario and E-mail in Mass Effect.
- You have decisions to make in the game. Obviously Mass Effect 2 is way more complex in this, but you can occasionally say no to things in Mario.
- In both you are gathering resources to prepare yourself for the final battle. You are building up a team in Mass Effect 2 to go up against the Collectors, and in Mario you are collecting stars to go up against Bowser.
-They both feature a character which lets you know what’s going on with your ship. Kelly in Mass Effect 2 and a purple guy in Mario Galaxy 2.
Funny huh? Although the gameplay in both of them is totally different, the structure of the game is surprisingly similar. I am having a blast so far playing Mario Galaxy 2 as its gameplay is absolute perfection.
I just went through that section. Yoshi obtains a power up which allows him to run at blistering speeds up walls. The platforming is challenging, and in almost every single level some brand new mechanic or design is introduced which spices up the game. Another thing that spiced up the office was Phil’s amazing Shift 2 review. This guy has been shifting for about a month now and you can tell in his hilarious review:
Awesome huh? Matty Mac and Anthony also did a phenomenal job with their Goldfish analysis video, and Chad and Wally did a great job with providing commentary. Here it is again in case you missed it last time:
Over on This Week In I decided to bring in my C-16 Takara Dinobot, an excellent remake of Dinobot from Beast Wars. The toy is much more faithful to Dinobot’s appearance on the series, and not to mention more aesthetically pleasing than the original toy. Not that I dislike the original toy in any way though, as I actually made a stop motion animation a while back of the original Dinobot and Dinobot Transmetal 2 duking it out. Here it is:
That took about 2 weeks to make, and 1978 pictures. Pretty cool though no? But without further ado, here is the review of the toy on the show. You even get a little bonus talk about the Beast Wars series as well.
See you guys next week!