Throwback Thursday Review – DLC Remix – Mass Effect 2 – Arrival

If you know me then you probably already know that I’m a BioWare fan girl and that their games are some of my favorite games. Dragon Age of course comes in first with Mass Effect coming in as a very close second. If I had to count each game point wise to distinguish who got first place and who got second in my mind it’s separated by half a point. Seriously, these are my games and I know them inside and out. That being said, I also know the DLC inside and out because I’ve played so much. Arrival was one of those DLC’s that I waited to buy just about until Mass Effect 3 was coming out. I wasn’t big into DLC at the time, even though I loved Mass Effect 2 but I figured I wanted the whole story before Mass Effect 3. Was it worth it? Keep reading to find out.

Arrival can be played anywhere throughout the course of the game, but for my own cannon, I like to play it right after the suicide mission, assuming that my Shepard comes out alive. Let’s face it though, she’s Shepard so of course she makes it out along with her whole damn team because she’s that good. Anyway, you’ll do a special mission for Admiral Hackett to rescue a friend of his, Dr. Amanda Kenson. She’s being held in a Batarian prison for her deep undercover mission that basically pin points the arrival of the Reapers. Shepard of course wants to stop the Reapers, it’s been her mission through the series so she’ll save this doctor and hopefully help in saving the universe, but will she be in time? Turns out that she’s really not and no matter what she does the Reapers are coming. It doesn’t help that when she safely returns Dr. Kenson that she along with her whole team are basically indoctrinated. In the end, Shepard will have to make the hard choice of saving a colony of Batarians or destroying their relay to delay the Reapers.

OooOoo… I’m a really strong believer of the Indoctrination Theory when it comes to this trilogy. This DLC kind of goes with it because if you think about it, look at how indoctrinated those people were in the DLC just from being around the Reaper artifact. If by the end of this DLC Shepard isn’t indoctrinated then it’s kind of impossible considering how much Reaper tech she’s been around in the span of two games. I am interested to hear how many of you believe in the Indoctrination Theory as well so let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

I really did not like this DLC. It was a complete waste of money to me and I hate saying that because Mass Effect 2 is an awesome game. The DLC lasts about 90 minutes and really only serves as a reason to put Shepard in jail no matter what she does in the beginning of Mass Effect 3. That’s the only purpose of this DLC as well as to expose her to even more Reaper tech. (The Indoctrination Theory is real!) I didn’t like that after playing a whole game that depended on Shepard trusting her squad and her squad trusting her that she had to do this alone making it even less interesting because let’s face it, some of the more exciting and fun moments of this game comes with Shepard being paired off with two of her squad members. Other than that the only thing this DLC pointed out was the fact that “the Reapers are coming” which we already knew.

The playability of this DLC, which is the same as the rest of the game, is a little different because you now have to play differently since it’s only you. You no longer have a squad and can tell them where they need to be for the best line of defense because you’re the only line of defense. This lead to a few frustrating moments depending on what class you were playing. I found it most frustrating as a biotic since I feel that biotics depend heavily on other people. Anyway, that’s just me. Everything else for this DLC worked perfectly though and played right into the game without a problem.

The graphics for this DLC were the same as the rest of the game itself. The area’s you’ll get to explore are new and fully fleshed out. That being said, I like the overall graphics for Mass Effect 2. I will say that I have played this DLC recently, about a year ago, and I still think that they hold up today and if this is your first time playing that there shouldn’t be a problem.

Trophies, there are an additional three trophies added to Mass Effect 2 thanks to this DLC. Two of them are unmissable and just require you to play the DLC, the third on the other hand is a pain. There is a point in the game where you’ll be attacked by five waves of enemies. No matter how you look at it it’s going to end the same way, so die right away or fight your way through five waves. Here’s a tip though, if you want the trophy you’ll fight your way through the five waves of bad guys that isn’t easy considering you’ll have to do it alone.

There’s no multiplayer for this game and I have to say that when I first heard that multiplayer was going to be introduced into Mass Effect 3 I rebelled against it. Little did I know that I would be spending 100’s of hours playing it. Anyway, this game and DLC are multiplayer free and that’s just fine.

Overall I give this DLC a 1 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ The end of Mass Effect 2 and basically the beginning of Mass Effect 3.

What’s Not So Great:
A 90 minute game play that no matter how you play results in the same outcome for the beginning of Mass Effect 3.
Gone are the squad mates that you got so used to playing over 50 hours with them in the main campaign and Shepard will do this one Solo.
This DLC let’s you know that the Reapers are coming, as if you didn’t already know that.

As much as I love this game and this franchise, I’m going to tell you to give this DLC a huge pass. It’s really not worth the money ($6.99) since it’s not going to change the outcome of anything. No matter what you do you’ll always be wrong and this is getting to the point that got a lot of people frustrated which was that your choices don’t matter. I would say that if you’re new to Mass Effect then you really don’t need this DLC and can just skip over it. If you’re a Mass Effect super fan you’re going to want to play it because it has some extra lore in it that you’ll probably enjoy.

Now for next week, I have to let you know that sadly this series is coming to an end as I only have an additional 3 DLC that I have completed to 100% and never reviewed them. Sad I know because I really liked this series and being able to go back and talk about some DLC that I finished. Anyway, we’ll be ending this series with Mass Effect 3 and we’ll start with the first DLC that was released from the game From Ashes. I’ll let you know what I thought about this DLC next week.

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Throwback Thursday Review – DLC Remix – Mass Effect 2 – Zaeed: The Price of Revenge

This DLC was one of the DLC that came with the game but had to be downloaded separately because it wasn’t part of the package. It was weird, but anyway after finally hooking up my PS3 to the internet, it took me weeks to come up with a PSN name that I thought was so cool at the time and is now just a major face palm and then I downloaded this DLC. I had already played this game various different times and figured it would be nice to have an additional squad mate. Keep reading to find out what I thought about the overall DLC.

This is strictly a character DLC. Yes it comes with its own story, but mostly you’re paying to get a new character to add into your crew. Another person that you have to keep alive when it comes to Mass Effect 2 and if you already have your set squad, it’s probably someone who will sit in his part of the ship and say the same thing over and over again when you go to talk to him. Anyway, this DLC introduces you to probably one of the coolest guys in Mass Effect, Zaeed. Zaeed is a mercenary for hire and he’s only going to help Shepard if you help him. Isn’t that the way it works with any Mass Effect game / character? Anyway, you’ll get some backstory on Zaeed and find out he was one of the original members who had started the Blue Suns. You’ll learn that the other original member of the Blue Suns, a notorious gang in Mass Effect, is there and now Zaeed wants him dead. It’ll be up to you to go for the original mission or to help Zaeed get his revenge.

RIP In 2013, Zaeed’s voice actor Robin Sach’s died at the age of 61. Robin played the part of Zaeed perfectly and brought life to this character giving him some pretty memorable moments and some memorable quotes in the Mass Effect universe. I remember when he died there was a Mass Effect 3 MP event that paid tribute to him and a banner to go with it. That will always go down as one of my favorite banners for the Mass Effect 3 MP. Thank you for your work Robin, you did an amazing job and you are missed.

Character DLC’s are kind of BioWare’s thing. It’s not the greatest and this hasn’t been the first characters based DLC of theirs that I played. This being one of the earlier ones, isn’t really that great compared to my personal favorites which is From Ashes, but we’ll talk about that in another blog. Unfortunately I didn’t use Zaeed all that much because I pretty much had the perfect squad of Miranda and Garrus. Although I did enjoy the short story that went along with him, after that he didn’t really contribute that much to the overall game and he was kind of a take him or leave him character. Did you need him? No. Was he fun to have around? Yes.

Like with the rest of the game, the playability for this DLC had some very similar experiences of stalling and crashing. This is never fun, but it’s a common BioWare problem. That being said, it shouldn’t be excused and I think at this point the company should have this problem fixed but it seems to be a staple point in each game. Other than that, the DLC fits perfectly into the overall game making me think that Zaeed should have always been included and given a bigger part, but that’s just me.

The graphics for this DLC are the same even though you’ll be introduced to a new planet / area. It’s the typical structure for Mass Effect 2 along with some wildlife around it. It’s kind of a repeat of pattern that has been used in the game before and wasn’t all that original to begin with, but it works.

Finish this DLC and gain Zaeed’s loyalty to get 1 trophy. Yes 1 single trophy. Fail to get his loyalty and he’ll probably die at the end of Mass Effect 2 <- obvious spoiler, then you’ll have to play all over again to get the trophy. To get his loyalty you kind of have to play as a Renegade, but you can still do this and end up as a complete Paragon. I’ve done it multiple times and it wasn’t a big deal.

Mass Effect 2 was strictly a single player game, like all RPG games should be. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the introduction of MP in Mass Effect 3, but it just wasn’t needed. Yes it was fun and it made me dump 900 hours of my life into it and I can see dumping another 900 in the upcoming Mass Effect: Andromeda MP but this game didn’t need it and it didn’t have it.

Overall I give this DLC a 3 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ The introduction of Zaeed who is an awesome character in the Mass Effect universe.
+ You get an extra mission and an extra squad mate at the end.

What’s Not So Great:
Re-used area for Zaeed’s story based mission.
After the mission, there’s not much for Zaeed to do because you probably already have your set squad mates.

This DLC was mediocre at best and basically a money grab for people wanting to add additional characters into an already overloaded ship of squad mates. Seriously this game had so many squad mates that you could have not had Zaeed and you would have never known the difference. That being said he is a really cool character and he’s well developed because that’s one thing BioWare does, they make sure each of their characters are memorable in some way and have these pretty cool back stories to go with them. Unless you are in desperate need of a new squad mate I would say skip this DLC unless it comes with the game, which in my case it did.

Now for next week, another Mass Effect 2 DLC. I waited a really long time to get this DLC because I thought it was a lot of money. Funny how now DLC’s range anywhere from $10 – $20 and here I was complaining. It’s not my favorite DLC and might even be the worst. You’ll have to see my full review next week of Mass Effect 2 – Arrival.

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This Week in Trophies 06-19-2016 – 06-25-2016

This was an interesting week in trophies to say the least. I didn’t get that many, which is usually the case lately, but I did manage to get one trophy that I’ve been working on for a very long time, keep reading and I’ll tell you just how long, and I got my newest platinum trophy. Like I said, an interesting week. Take a look at just how interesting this week was.

Mass Effect 2 – 100%

This was one of those games that was on my list of games that needed to be at 100%. If you remember, I started replaying the Mass Effect series a few months back and got a bunch of trophies that I was missing for the first game, but was only missing one for the second game. I am proud to say that this week I was able to get that last DLC trophy making my total completion time on this game exactly 5 years and one month. So, The Last Stand trophy will forever in my book go down as the 5 year trophy. Not something that I’m all that proud of, but at least it’s finally one more trophy checked off my list.

Tropico 5 – 72%

I finally finished this game this week, yes it’s not 100% because I have no plans on purchasing the DLC, and got a super Ultra Rare platinum trophy. Depending on where you look it has a 0.1% achievement rate on PSN and a 3.73% achievement rate on PSNProfiles.com. Either way it was no easy feat and I’m extremely happy to have finally gotten it. I’ll have my review for the game as a whole posted this week.

Tropico 5 Tropico 5Tropico 5 Tropico 5Tropico 5 Tropico 5Tropico 5 Tropico 5Tropico 5 Tropico 5Tropico 5 Tropico 5Tropico 5

That was it for this week, but now you can see why it was so interesting to begin with. Now for the upcoming week, I plan on playing some Mass Effect 3 since I already finished two. I have a bunch of DLC trophies to get for this game but I’m looking forward to fully completing my newest Shepard’s story since this is the first time I’ve played the series though starting from the first game. Now that I’ve finished Tropico 5, it’ll also be time to move onto something else. While I’m not really sure what I’m going to play, I think I’ll stick to what’s on my system and not play anything new. I’ll let you know how things turned out next week.

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Weekly Trophy Tip – Mass Effect 2 – No One Left Behind

Since I’ve been replaying Mass Effect 2, it seems fitting that one of my weekly trophy tips be for a game that I basically know inside and out and at this point feels like I can play with my eyes closed. It’s taken a while to get to know this game as much as I do and it feels right to share that knowledge in case you may be struggling with some of the harder trophies for this game. So, let’s make sure no one gets left behind in your playthrough and you get this highly missable trophy.

Mass Effect 2 – No One Left Behind
Keep your team alive through the Suicide Mission – Gold
TIP: This trophy can be achieved on any difficulty level, so I would say to play on the difficulty that you feel most comfortable with. There’s no shame in playing this game on casual as it is one of the more difficult Mass Effects to play on Insanity. Anyway, the very first thing that you want to do is to make sure your Shepard is either a complete Paragon or Renegade. Playing both sides won’t help you in any way this time around as you need those Paragon or Renegade options to unlock in order to break up fights between your squad mates so that you aren’t choosing one of the other. Once you’ve decided how to play make sure you take every chance to make every single Paragon or Renegade move the game has to offer. I know playing as a Renegade you may be tempted to make the occasional Paragon choice, but don’t. You can do that in another playthrough when you’re not trying to save your whole team. I will say though that it’s easier to keep the whole team alive playing as a Paragon but it can be done playing as a Renegade as well since I’ve successfully kept my whole team alive playing as both.

The second thing you need to do is to make sure that you actually interact with each of your squad mates and do all of their loyalty missions. Doing this basically ensures that they make it through the suicide mission because they are loyal to you. Another thing that helps? Fully upgrading your ship no matter the cost. Yes it means that you have to probe a bunch of planets and it can feel like a huge waste of time, but it’s not. Without a fully upgraded ship, things will go wrong and it could mean the death of one of your squad mates.

Lastly, when you finally decide to go through the Omega 4 relay, you’ll have to assign certain team members to do certain things. Some of the team members cannot do the things you want them so it’s always smart to assign them correctly in order to assure they don’t die. Here’s a breakdown of who I choose for each task.

Collector Base Infiltration
• Tech Specialist – Tali
• Diversion Squad Leader – Jacob

The Long Walk
• Biotic Specialist – Samara
• Second Team – Garrus
• Escort for the Survivors – Grunt

This means that during the final battle I take into battle with me Miranda and Thane, but you can choose whoever you want as long as they aren’t already assigned to another mission. Follow these steps and you’ll look like a “Big Goddamn Hero” as Zaeed would put it when you’re whole team survives. I also want to comment that it makes you feel really good to when you do the impossible and bring everyone back from what was supposed to be a suicide mission.

Have anything additional to add to my tip? Let me know in the comments section below and I’ll add it in and give you credit. Need help with a specific trophy? I’m always looking for my next weeks tip so throw out some suggestions in the comments section. If I have the trophy I’ll post a tip on how to get it.

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Frequently Asked Video Game Questions – Was the Illusive Man a Bad Guy?

Submitted by Anonymous Was the Illusive Man a Bad Guy?

I have to say, that I adore questions like this.  Mostly because it allows me to express my opinions, but also because it opens up a ton of discussion.

So right down to it.  Was The Illusive Man a bad guy?  At the end of Mass Effect 3, I’m going to say hell yes he was a bad guy.  Just like Saren in Mass Effect he was indoctrinated.  The Reapers had totally messed with his mind and everything that he had set out to do was corrupted and he became power hungry.  But the real question is, was he always a bad guy?

I’m going to say outright that The Illusive Man was not always a bad guy.  In a time where aliens ruled and had little interest in human welfare, The Illusive Man founded Cerberus.  Yes they came off as xenophobic, but who else cared about human interests?  Let’s not forget the man spent major money to bring back Shepard.  He was the only one who believed the threat of the Reapers when no one else did!

This is why I count The Illusive Man among one of my favorite villains, which you can read about here.  He started off as wanting to do something good, but like so many got corrupted along the way and eventually turned into a bad guy.

SPOLIERS, but Kudos At least at the end of Mass Effect 3, The Illusive Man got the chance to redeem himself and realize what he had become, so good on BioWare for at least doing that.

Have a video game question that you want answered? Go ahead and leave your question in the comment section below and I’ll make sure to add your name into the blog that features your question. If you prefer to be anonymous, then go ahead and type your question into the search box. I’ll be able to see it and maybe one day you’ll be able to see it on this blog.

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Throwback Thursday Review – Mass Effect 2

I’ve been a gamer for a long, long, long time. I don’t even want to count the years because it will make me feel old, but that’s not the point. Only recently have I started adding in my two cents via gaming reviews and opinion pieces, so I thought it would be fun to go back and start reviewing games that I’ve got the platinum on or simply got a 100% on. I’m going to call this series Throwback Thursday, and I hope you enjoy it!


Ah, my first platinum. Everyone remembers their first platinum trophy. When they got it, the struggles they faced to get it, the anticipation of having just one trophy left before getting the platinum. My very first platinum was Mass Effect 2. I have to admit that I wasn’t really a trophy hunter before this game, but after getting this platinum I was addicted. I specifically picked this game to be my first platinum. I had already played this game over six times and did everything except my insane playthrough and finding someone to romance. I absolutely loved this game and figured that it would be best for my first platinum. Here’s what I thought about the game:

The second game in the series, you play as Commander Shepard savior of the galaxy and all around space badass. The only problem is that within the first 10 minutes you die. Yeah, you get spaced after your precious Normandy is destroyed and you help most of your people to safety, really just the ones that matter to the series. Everyone else? Yeah, they’re totally dead. Not coming back at all. Your journey as Shepard doesn’t end there though. Cerberus brings you back to life so that you can risk your life once more and go on a suicide mission…where you could possibly die…again.

Although the main story revolves around saving the galaxy as only Commander Shepard can do, there is also the sub plot to the story which is gathering your new crew. Some faces will be new and some will be familiar. Each crew member is important to your overall mission and you have to work to get them on your side to work not only with you, but also with each other. The whole mission as well as their lives and your own depend on it.

Till this day, I can not get enough of this game. This is one of the games that after I got the platinum I still play from time to time just because. There is nothing about this game that will bore you, nothing that will make you feel like you’re completing the same task over and over again. Every part of this game is interesting and will have you hooked. I know it’s weird for me to say, but for some reason I also really enjoyed the whole data mining the planets thing. I spent way too much time looking for resources and picking up side missions, but I still found it fun. Not to mention all of the DLC that will keep you coming back for more.

The characters in this game are one of the reasons that this game is so awesome. The crew of voice actors used in this game bring it to life in ways that will give your crew a more human aspect to them. As Shepard you’ll have lengthy discussions with them, help them with some personal missions, and come to care about them. You’ll even get the chance to form some romantic relationships with some of them because lets face it, when you’re going on a suicide mission you want to get laid before the big battle just in case you die.

Kudos: I have to give a major kudos to BioWare for creating some pretty awesome characters and awesome stories to go with the characters. The characters in each game, especially this one, are as real as can be. They have very human flaws and very human qualities making them not only relatable but also likable.

Boo: While I just gave a major kudos, I also have to give out a boo. it hurts, but I didn’t like the fact that there were no female options for my FemShep just a continuing relationship from the previous game. (To me, Kelly Chambers doesn’t count. I just used her from time to time to feed my fish so they wouldn’t die. What? They were expensive fish!) Jack, Miranda, and Samara were all unavailable leaving me to have to ultimately romance Thane just to get a trophy.

The playability of this game isn’t bad, but it’s not the greatest either. For a game that is supposed to be an RPG, the gunplay is actually quite decent and enjoyable when mixed with specific powers that your Shepard has. Playing as a biotic I enjoyed using those powers to help not only myself but my squad as well as we fought our way through various different enemies. The cover system is a bit sketchy and at times awkward to control, but it’s decent. I did have a problem with various different bus and glitches throughout this game. I always create a backup save and lucky I do because on a few occasions my game hard froze and when restarted my file was corrupted.

The graphics on this game are pretty decent when you think about the time it was released. If you’re playing this game today for the first time then the graphics still hold up and the game looks good. I think that graphics holding up to the test of time is a pretty big thing since not a lot of games can accomplish this.

There are a total of 59 trophies for this game including all of the DLC trophies. All of the DLC is included with the purchase of this game with the exception of Arrival. All of the trophies are pretty much do-able with little to no work. For the specific powers trophies you can use your squad mates so you don’t have to play a class that you don’t like, and gaining the loyalty of your squad mates is easy as long as you play as a full paragon or renegade. The only two trophies that gave me a hard time were Brawler and Insanity. With Brawler, you have to punch and knock back 20 enemies and then shoot them as well as kill them. The melee in this game is awkward so I suggest doing this on the husks since they are the easiest to kill. As for Insanity…I’m not going to lie, the insanity mode is just well…insane. Unlike the dumbed down insane difficulty of Mass Effect 3, this insane difficulty is extremely hard. You will die…like a lot. You’ll most likely scream and yell and curse the game as you spend 3 hours on a side mission, but it’s worth it.

This game came out way before the era of every game needing to have a multiplayer, so it has no multiplayer. This is perfectly fine with me too because I like my RPG games to be single player and have no multiplayer aspect to them at all. An RPG is about my experience as a character and that’s it. It doesn’t need to be shared.

Overall I give this game a 4 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Great Story.
+ Likeable characters that are flawed in their own way making them more human.
+ Huge replayability factor, I’ve played this game more then 6 times now and each time I find out something new

What’s Not So Great:
Game breaking bugs. Files getting corrupted and not being able to use them anymore is a big deal

Out of the three Mass Effect games, this one is by far my favorite. It has everything you could possibly want in a game and more. If you haven’t played the Mass Effect series, then you’re missing out especially since the first one is now available on PS3. Or maybe you played the first one and hated it, then you’re still missing out because this one is 10 times better and will make you fall in love with the series. This is definitely a game that every gamer should experience at least once.

Join me next time when I review my second platinum – Mass Effect 3! (Surprising right? Seeing as how much I loved 2 that my second platinum would be 3. I like to keep people guessing.)

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