Archive for February 6th, 2010

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It’s the Little Things…

February 6, 2010

I was playing Star Trek Online just fine until one of the game servers must have crashed, so I figure I’ll take the time to write a quick post while I’m number 753 in the server queue trying to get back in. This one is dedicated to the little things we notice in our MMO games, the stuff that doesn’t affect gameplay but puts a smile on our faces nonetheless.

Three little things that make me appreciate Star Trek Online:

- The whirring sound the things in my inventory make when I move them around. Sometimes I click stuff randomly in there just to hear that sound effect. Easily amused? You bet I am.

- After a fight, I can kick the resulting debris and pieces of rubble around on the ground (though I think I might have been able to do this in Champions Online too, I can’t recall). The first time it happened to me, I was like, what the hell are those, space roaches?

- Overheard from an NPC on Earth Spacedock: “Have you seen Commander Sulu lately?”

On the flip side, three little things that bug me in Star Trek Online:

- I can customize my character and my bridge officers down to the shape of their eyebrows but I can’t make them smile? Right now they all look like they’re posing for their mug shots or a Canadian passport photo.

- The groups of NPCs patrolling the corridors on certain spacedocks can get so thick sometimes, turning a corner and running into them is like slamming into a brick wall. Reminds me of walking down a sidewalk stuck behind a family of five taking their sweet time and walking shoulder to shoulder.

- Warping out through a planet. That must hurt.

What little things do you notice?

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Thoughts on Mass Effect 2 Companions Pt. 3

February 6, 2010

Well, my better half is nudging at me to slow down a little in Star Trek Online so he can have some chance of catching up to me. After all, I did start playing a few days before him thanks to the early start program for us pre-order buyers. So I took the day off from STO today and instead played a couple hours of Mass Effect 2, finishing off my companion loyalty quests. I had left Mordin, Jacob and Grunt for last because I had decided earlier on that they were the three companions I was least interested in. However, it turned out that their quests were three of the most fascinating and fun. Go figure.

Mordin Solus

Okay this guy scares the crap out of me, in the Steve-Buscemi-in-Con-Air kinda way. He’d never been on my away team until this point, when I finally let him off my ship to do his personal quest (and it’s a quest that raises some serious ethical issues that are far heavier than anything I had ever expected to find in a video game). When I was done, it made me realize that Mordin freaks me out even more than Jack. At the same time, I’ve decided he’s also the most interesting companion on my squad, hands down. Even when he’s talking slowly enough to understand, everything that comes out of his mouth just makes me cock my head and go, “Say what?” There’s a side to him that’s pragmatic to the point of callousness, but every once in a while you also get to catch a brief glimpse of compassion. A killer doctor and a benevolent psychopath, this Salarian is just a walking contradiction. I love it.

Jacob Taylor

For the first half of the game, every time I talked to Jacob, the thought “Gee, this guy is feeling more and more like Kaidan version 2.0″ kept running through my mind. His personality bored me, his conversations bored me, and his background story bored me. It wasn’t that he was a terrible character, but compared to all the other colorful personalities I had on my ship, Jacob just felt…bland. I figured he was just another soldier boy with a pretty face and a troubled past, and I wasn’t expecting all that much when I went along with him to do his quest. But as it turned out, there was more to this guy than I thought. Granted, it had more to do with the nature of his quest than Jacob himself (the quest did have some bizarre circumstances), but for now, Jacob gets a pass from me. A little too late to hop on the Jacob romance train though; at this point, I’ve already decided that Shepard’s heart belongs to Garrus…so brace yourselves for lurid details on some alien love in the days to come.

Grunt

Me no likey Grunt. Again, one of those characters with a decent backstory, but comes up short when compared to some of the others, especially considering we got some really cool aliens this time around. Besides, the tough-Krogan-with-a-ferocious-appetite-for-violence act has been done before — it’s called Wrex (and he was a lot more badass too, if I might add.) Since there’s only room in my heart for one Krogan companion, sorry Grunt, this just makes you the Diet Coke of Wrex. But man, your personal quest was damn cool, I’ll give you that.

Go back to Part 1 or Part 2!

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