Geekly Review #175

As another week rolls by it’s time to check in and see what we’ve been playing and doing!

Mass Effect Andromeda

The next game in the Mass Effect series releases this week after what seems like forever, and it hit Origin Access and EA Access last week that allowed members 10 hours of game time – both some single player and multiplayer.

I’ve played for around 6 hours and all of that has been spent in single player and I’ve loved it so far. There seems to be a crazy amount of hate for the game swirling around at the moment and I feel like it’s all gone over the top, with Bioware having to issue a statement about harassment of lead animators Quite frankly that’s embarrassing behaviour from a small group of the internet. I’m sure most of you have already seen the copious amounts of videos and gifs showing off janky facial animations. Are there some odd animations and a few glitches here and there – yes, but I don’t think they’re as bad as people are making them out to be.

I loved the Normandy, but the Tempest is a beaut!

It’s got to the point where I’m now avoiding anything Mass Effect related on the internet, not because of spoilers (although partly that), but because it’s just getting crazy. As I said, I’ve played around 6 hours and so far it’s been a lot of fun. The story – to me, has felt interesting and engaging, I like the fact that we are the aliens, I also like the fact that there isn’t impending doom – although I’m sure it’s not far off. Right now the story feels like it’s more about exploration and the advancement of our species, along with others. It’s about survival in an unknown Galaxy and it’s interesting!

I’m quite surprised about how attached I already feel to Ryder. With me having such a soft spot for Shepard I thought it was going to take a lot more and a lot longer for me to like Ryder, but I actually already like here quite a lot and yes, I’ve started as Sara Ryder instead of Scott. Not sure why, I just felt like a change from usually playing as guys. I’m also liking what I’ve seen from my crew mates with Liam Costa being a particular favourite at the moment.

The combat is also a real highlight, it’s a lot of fun comboing powers – with my favourite being lift and push together. I haven’t had the chance to use many guns yet, but I like what I’ve seen, if you’ve played any Mass Effect game then they will instantly feel familiar.

The game is stunning too and so far seems to run pretty smoothly for me too. I’m not sure what FPS I’m getting as I haven’t checked but it feels good and doesn’t seem like there have been too many drops in frames, and seeing as I’m running the game mostly in high and ultra I’m happy about that!

It’s not a perfect game and I know not everyone will like it, but so far it kind of makes me think of how the new Stars Wars made me feel, similar enough to make me feel at home and at ease with it, but also being different  enough to make it interesting. The trial of the story ends on a nice cliff hanger and I’m desperate to play on and see what happens next.

-Will

Well, it’s not too difficult to guess what I’ve been up to since last week’s Geekly Review is it? Although I did take a little break from Zelda to visit the cinema to watch Beauty and the Beast, and then watched Doctor Strange in anticipation for the next chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

WARNING – CONTAINS SPOILERS – SCROLL DOWN FOR ADDITIONAL GEEK TALK AFTER ZELDA

So, yes, another week another few marathon sessions of Zelda. Last week I mentioned that I was striving towards collecting heart containers in order to get the Master Sword and also to just avoid being one hit killed. Well I’m now up to 16 heart’s so definitely feeling stronger. I have to confess that I did take advantage of something that will greatly aid my adventures. The bowling. Hit a strike and get 300 rupees, if you don’t hit a strike you can still get anything from 20 to 100 rupees. I took a quick look online for the best practice to guarantee a strike each time. I’ve successfully mastered the technique and made some money rather quickly. I then decided to go on a shopping spree buying all variety of arrows, and armour. And to finish off the exploration I went searching high and low for great fairies to improve my new shiny armour.

With my new improved Link I decided to progress on with the 3rd Divine beast in the Gerudo desert. This one had been causing me issues due to the Riga Clan base. I now know you can stealth your way through it, but was getting frustrated with being one hit killed in the earlier stages. Turns out no matter how many hearts you have you’ll still die with one hit in there, so I wasted many Ice arrows and bomb arrows taking out all of the Riga in there. The final Riga boss however was a piece of cake.

So moving on from here, I now went on to tackle the 3rd Divine Beast. The objective of shooting it’s feet out was the toughest so far I’ve tried, and the end boss was also the most difficult one yet too. But I managed to get it done and now have 3 beasts down and 1 to go. Since completing this I decided to push my luck at fighting Guardians in Hyrule field and try to parry their laser attacks. It takes some time to get used to, but I eventually managed to get the hang of it successfully taking down some of the walking guardians aswell as the broken motionless ones.

And my last bit of adventure from the week was uncovering more shrines. I came across one that was guarded by a dragon that had been possessed by Ganon. You had to shoot off the bits of calamity that were stuck all over him. 4 in total, the annoying this was when taking one down, the beast would fly away and you’d have to follow him to remove the next bit. Eventually though it was done and I unlocked the shrine.

Beauty & The Beast

So aside from Zelda, I went to the cinema on Friday night to watch Beauty and the Beast. There’s not an awful lot I can say about this film. If you’ve seen the original animated version, then you’ve effectively seen this film. They did add an additional bit to this live action version, a bit of a back story to Belle and her father about their inventiveness, but yeah its very much the same. The casing for the roles was pretty spot on, Luke Evan’s portrayal of Gaston was perfect. Same catchy songs you remember from watching the animated version all those years ago. I wasn’t completely aware of the full cast, so at the end to find out Ewan McGregor and Sir Ian McKellen were Lumiere and Cogsworth was a legitimate surprise. Again both playing their roles perfectly.

Bonus – Zelda Collection

Not much in terms of news, but I’ve been sorting my gaming room out. Retiring some older consoles back to their boxes and putting them in storage. Putting games away to make room to move my PS4 and WiiU into the games room (they currently live in the bedroom). While doing this I decided since I’m currently addicted to Zelda, I’d take a picture of my current Zelda collection.

Not bad, but still missing lots

– Murr

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