lizbee: (Games: Shepard (mine - Jane))
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/29WgntR at July 21, 2016 at 06:40AM
liz-squids:
  • Why haven’t I been playing as an Engineer all along?
  • …okay, I hardly use any power other than Incinerate, BUT I CAN BLOW THINGS UP and also hack geth, that’s quite awesome.
  • My engineer!Shepard is named Yoshimi. She has a blackbelt in karate.
  • I’m running ME on the Bootcamp install of Windows on my MacBook. This creates some fun bugs, like how, throughout ME2, I was continually getting stuck in high places, unable to move or even change weapons until I was finally killed (or survived to the next cut scene).
  • And that is how I killed a thresher maw with nothing but a handgun and my powers.
  • I wish there was a mod to give Miranda and Jack proper clothes. 
  • Also, I think my Shepard is a lot thinner in ME3, and it’s kind of weirding me out, like, she’s meant to be a space marine, and she can throw James Vega over her shoulder, but she has no musculature whatsoever.
  • I think there’s a mod for a buff Shepard, but honestly, I feel like I’m already pushing it with the Bootcamp thing.
  • Jacob is hella boring, but he looks like Kanye West, and that is the entire reason I romanced him.
  • I’m slightly bitter that I can’t romance Anderson or Hackett, stop judging me. 
  • The second half of ME2 was really slowed down by my need to stop and sing “Dear Theodosia” to Grunt every time he turned up.
  • I hate Cerberus so much.
  • Even before the Illusive Man endorsed Trump, I hated them. 
  • I’m up to the Grissom Academy mission in ME3, but it’s so hard to play, because it’s basically TERRORISTS ATTACK A BOARDING SCHOOL IN SPACE, and that needs to be a YA novel, like, now.

Tags:and dreamwidth, mass effect
lizbee: (Games: Shepard (mine - Jane))
I didn't really mean to, but somehow I sped right through picking up Legion, doing his loyalty mission and then zooming straight into act 3 and beyond in an afternoon/evening.

I probably would have finished even sooner, like, a couple of weeks ago, except that I didn't spot that installing the Reaper IFF would trigger a countdown to an ENTIRELY INVOLUNTARY beginning of act 3. And I wasn't nearly ready to begin the suicide mission, but nor was I willing to sacrifice my crew while I faffed around. So I did what any sensible starship captain would do: I went back to my last save before I got the Reaper IFF and resigned myself to playing things twice.

(Star Trek: Voyager taught me many things, including that the reset button is a perfectly valid narrative tool SO THERE. SHUT UP, IT'S GREAT.)

ANYWAY, suicide mission complete, no casualties. Galaxy saved ... FOR NOW.

Okay, so I kind of was playing on the casual level, but first I had a cold, and it's hard to play on 'normal' when you're constantly stopping to blow your nose. And then I found I just didn't have the attention span to cope with massive, endless waves of Husks. Like, I'm not racist, but I really hate reanimated corpses that try to kill you. (Also, I kept mistaking Jack for a Husk. Hey, she's bald and shirtless, they're bald and shirtless. Could happen to anyone!)

Now I'm like, "...Welp." When I unexpectedly finished Mass Effect one night, I turned around and started playing ME2. But I don't have ME3 yet, and can't afford it for about a fortnight. I've ahemmed the Paragon Lost anime thing, but what is the point of ME without Shepard?

(Specifically FemShep. Like, I'm partial to mine, obviously, but at least I recognise the default Jane Shepard. MShep turns up, and I'm like, "Who's that guy?" I also can't tell him apart from Kaidan. It's a problem.)

Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe I will begin a replay with the new, Lucy Liu-based Shepard (Joan) I put together. Although I think I need to start her again, because I really want to play as a Biotic. HMMMMMM.
lizbee: (Games: Shepard (mine - Jane))
Some weeks ago: a doctor tells me my inflammation is sufficiently bad that my glands are swollen.

A couple of weeks ago: the gastroenterologist said my bloodwork indicated I was having a major arthritic flare-up.

YESTERDAY: I go, "Hey, I'm tired all the time and routine activity wears me out, I wonder if this is related to the arthritis?"

Sometimes I'm a bit slow, okay? Although Google tells me denial is a common feature of flare-ups. I keep going, "Well, I'm not in that much pain, really, just [insert laundry list of aches]." (But seriously, I've been in much worse pain before, which is why I didn't really notice the rest.)

Anyway, today I'm going to take it easy, work on a few things, tidy up a bit, and play Mass Effect. I took the weekend off gaming, on account of how Harbinger kept killing me, and that's kind of embarrassing since he's a bit crap. Although his whole "You will know pain, Shepard" routine always makes me smile, because it puts me in mind of Na'Toth and G'Kar's cheery "You will know fear." / "And you will know pain." / "And then you will die." routine in early Babylon 5.

And that makes me smile, because it reminds me how ME and B5 are very similar in a lot of ways, and B5 would have been so much better if Jane Shepard had replaced Commander Sinclair in season 2. Not to mention the passive-aggressive rivalry between the Minbari and Asari for the crown of Best and Most Wisest Space Elves Who, Okay, Sometimes Snap and Kill a Lot of People.

On the other hand, if we merged the two universes, between the Krogan and the Narn, the entire galaxy would be drowned in Sad Lizard Tears. (Krogan cry on the inside, okay?)
lizbee: A picture of a Japanese toy in the shape of a fat, orange, happy cat (Random: Fat nomcat)
So after many months of generalised gastric distress, my gastroenterologist has reached a verdict: I am gluten intolerant. More precisely, the current state of my small intestine suggests I'm pre-coeliac. Also, my bloodwork is overflowing with auto-immune factors, and she wants me to see a rheumatologist, as she suspects I am in need of disease-modifying drugs.

Exciting fact! Coeliac disease is also an auto-immune disorder, and is closely linked with rheumatoid arthritis, and also every other condition in my immediate family.

For now, I am to be entirely gluten-free for six weeks, then have more blood tests, and (she thinks) I will be able to have occasional amounts of gluten and not worry too much about cross-contamination, etc.

Having been gluten-free for four days, I have to say that I have not suffered a single digestion malfunction, and I'm in slightly less pain.

I'm trying really, really hard not to be that person who talks about her food intolerances all the time, but it's a challenge! So far I've discovered that gluten-free bread is much nicer than it was a couple of years ago, although one slice does not make enough toast soldiers for the perfect boiled egg. And I'm really going to miss dumplings and steamed buns.

(Luckily, I'm not really into cakes or biscuits any more. And gluten-free pies seem quite nice so far!)

*

In matters unrelated to my digestion, I'm sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooowly catching up on Welcome to Night Vale. I feel quite disconnected from the fandom, though, because not only am I quite uninterested in Cecil/Carlos, but I don't even like Cecil that much.

See, WtNV is, on some levels, a satire of America. And Cecil represents those parts of the mainstream media which congratulate themselves on insightful and truthful journalism, while they're actually shoring up problematic power structures. This was driven home in ... I think it might have been "Eternal Scouts", where the city council decides that death is a privilege earned through productivity, and there's the whole death-as-health-care-analogue routine. I find it hard to like a character who's sincerely spouting Republicanesque opinions, you know?

Also, more generally about WtNV, because the only voice we hear is Cecil, I just find the whole thing quite ... dudely. I know Mara Wilson and Jasika Nicole turn up later, and there are women being discussed, but they aren't exactly there, you know? And I struggle with media that's devoid of women.

*

Media that's not devoid of women: Mass Effect. I feel a bit bad about my decision to have Shepard stay faithful to Liara through this full playthrough, because I just love Garrus so much. On the other hand, do I love him as a pixel-friend, or as a pixel-love interest? Who knows?

When I'm done with Pointy Cheekbone/Tight Bun Jane Shepard, I'm going to have a go with Joan Shepard, The One Who Looks Like Lucy Liu, and she might get a Garrus romance. If she's lucky.
lizbee: (Games: Shepard (mine - Jane))
I didn't mean to start playing ME2 on Saturday night, but I finished my second playthrough of the first one and ... well, I was honestly just going to import my Shepard and set it up, but somehow 90 minutes and the entire prologue passed.

IT WAS GREAT. I feel like Shepard being brought back from the dead against her will, revived early and thrown into battle, scarred and off-balance, is exactly what the game needed to start moving me from mere enjoyment to outright obsession.

ON THE OTHER HAND, the gameplay is different in minor yet key ways, and I'm having trouble coping with that. Aiming is harder! Movement is more sluggish! (Or, possibly, my mouse needs a new battery!) Tracking health and manipulating objects and switching weapons are all different! I DON'T COPE WELL WITH CHANGE! And also I find the new interface a bit rougher on my elderly eyes. Or something.

But I'm persevering! Even though I am totally thrown every time Miranda opens her mouth. No one warned me she was Australian! I don't expect Australians in my space opera! I can only think of one other Australian space opera character EVER, and that was a one-off ex-boyfriend of Ivanova's in Babylon 5. Who, come to think of it, was also pro-human space racist. WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY, AMERICAN MEDIA? At least Miranda has a proper accent, though.

And don't think I'm not side-eying all the Normandy crewmembers who went, "Welp, Shepard's dead, might as well go join this pro-human terrorist group!" MY SHEPARD IS SIDE-EYEING YOU TOO, GUYS.

Oh, and the paragon/renegade things aren't always as clear as I thought. Like, I got renegade points for saying I didn't trust Jacob? SHEPARD HAD ONLY KNOWN HIM FOR, LIKE, FIVE MINUTES. On the other hand, she accidentally started flirting with him a bit later, which is awkward. It's really hard to construct an outwardly reserved and ascetic version of Shepard when the dialogue options are all flirtatious, I'm just saying.

The best thing so far, apart from the potential epic Shepard angst in being brought back from the dead by terrorists, is how the screenshot function finally works. Look at that face! You could injure yourself on those pixelly cheekbones!

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lizbee: (Games: Chell (file))
(As I type this, I have some epic cat bites and a mildly sprained wrist. It's a slow process. I JUST HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS.)

I've been playing Mass Effect for a few weeks now, and I'm totally enjoying it. So much so that I finished my first playthrough of the first game, then turned around and took that same Shepard (female, colonial soldier, war hero, paragon) back to play again, this time with all the side missions I skipped.

(I am quite in love with my Shepard, who has red hair in a tight bun, cheekbones that you could cut yourself on, a long mouth and a long, thin neck. Sadly, screencaps don't seem to work, presumably because Steam knows I am am a fake gamer girl. Or something. Hence my Chell icon here. Use your imagination.)

(I do keep thinking how much better ME would be if Shepard had a portal gun, although I'm not sure Portal would be improved with Geth.)

ANYWAY, on this second playthrough, I'm having trouble deciding what I want to do with the love interests.

See, first playthrough, I was basically flirting with Kaidan with the intent of sending him to die on Virmire. Only I quite got to like Kaidan, and at the same time got really tired of Ashley's space racist routine. Then Ashley went and shot Wrex, and I had to play that scene, like, three or four times before Wrex came out of it alive, and I began to hold a grudge against Ashley. I REALLY LOVE WREX AND I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT KROGANS.

The problem with all this was, once Ashley was dead, I started having massive guilt about keeping Kaidan alive just because he's my pixellated love interest and also less racist than Ashley. So a certain amount of resentment crept in as I felt bad for making a potentially unethical choice involving the lives of tiny pixel people.

(This is why my Shepard is a paragon. Sometimes I accidentally make a choice that leads to some renegade points, and I feel really bad! And I like that my Shepard is quite professional and not a horrible bully.)

MEANWHILE, there's Liara, who's pretty great, and Shepard is partially responsible for her mother's death, which is apparently a kind of shipping kryptonite for me, I don't even know. And I do enjoy a socially awkward centenarian, but I'm not sure if Shepard is really feeling it.

(I'd love for Shepard to hook up with Gianna Parasini, the internal affairs agent on Noveria. BUT NO. STUPID GAME, WHY DO YOU THWART ME?)

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