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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Random Thoughts #44 - The Batmobile Handles Like a Freight Train!

Man, it been a little busy around here lately. I’m on days working on a project, I’m getting used to a new gaming console (just guess…), and I’m still trying to keep up with getting in shape. Other than that, it’s all good. Well, there is the whole political spectrum which always looks a bit wonky and crazy. I can’t do too much about that except for throwing it on social media and leaving it to God to sort that all out. Anyway, here are some Random Thoughts.

On Day Shift…Ouch
Day shift is good but it does take some time to get used to it. The sleep pattern’s off and you want to dose off at work. I haven’t done that… recently. Just don’t close your eyes and you may stay awake.  It’ll be a while before I’m Batman again… yeah, that’s what I call my normal shift. For now, my nights are quiet.

Rumors, Ruminations, Expectations, Shocks, and Gasps… Bah!
I think I’m getting tired of the constant overflow of information out there. You get it with politics and even entertainment. I’m not saying that social media is bad, but there has to be a limit to it all. Maybe another break from the stuff is in order.

Movies
It’s another year and another batch of movies that I will see or may see this year. It’s the middle of March and I haven’t been to the theatres yet. Yeah, I’m a little late like that, but there have been other things to do, after all.
  • Get Out – I might wait for this one. I’ve heard it’s good and my sister liked it.
  • Logan – I will see this one probably this week. I’ve been doing my best to stay away from spoilers.
  • Kong: Skull Island – I might see this one. Then again, I might just wait.
  • Power Rangers – Well, I think I will check this out. Even though it could turn out bad, I doubt it’ll be as bad as some of the lackluster Ranger seasons. Besides, I saw the other movies in theaters, so I’ll keep the tradition.
  • Ghost in The Shell – I’m not sure about this one. I’ve never been too interested in the anime itself. I’ll wait and see what the fans say.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – While I had a couple of qualms about the first one, I did like it. I’ll be checking this one out.
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – It’s a King Arthur story directed by Guy Ritche… I might see it.
  • Alien: Covenant – I’m not sure about this one but I may check it out.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Eh, I wasn’t a big fan of the later Pirate movies and I didn’t even see the fourth one. It may be a skip.
  • Wonder Woman – I’m definitely checking this one out.
  • The Mummy – Even though it’s a remake of the 1933 original, I’m not sure on this one. I may just see it to hear Tom Cruise’s hilarious scream.
  • Transformers: The Last Knight – You’re not getting me again, Bay! Even though this looks like it could be good, I may pass like I have on the last two.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming – “####… another one???? Y’all pushed back Black Panther for another one???“ Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I might see it.
  • War of the Planet of the Apes – I’ll probably see this one. I haven’t seen the second one yet though. I need to get on that.
  • Dunkirk – It’s Christopher Nolan directing a film set around World War 2… I’m in.
  • The Dark Tower – I might check this one out.
  • Thor: Ragnarok – While I wasn’t too impressed by The Dark World, this looks like it could be fun.
  • Justice League – You know I’m seeing this.
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Sold.
I might see others that aren’t listed, but it’s too soon to tell.

Women
As for the subject of Women, no comment. Yet. All I can say is this: ______________.


Well, that’s all I got for this post. I’m off to get close to this pillow. Plus, the President is supposed to be coming tomorrow, so I know traffic is going to be crap. Peace, God Bless, and stay cool or warm. This weather can go either way these days.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Favorites - Top 15 Missions from the Mass Effect Trilogy

So… it’s another Mass Effect post. Some say, “Is he mad?” Others may say, “Who’s this dude?” As for me, I’ll just say that I’m one random guy who does what he wants, dang it! I’m back on days, so this is a late post. Anyway, this should do it for Mass Effect for now. I don’t know when I’ll get to play the newest game, Mass Effect: Andromeda, but it might be soon. It comes out in a soon but I barely get games right when they’re released.

I’m almost done with my replay of the trilogy. I have a couple of missions left. For a while, I started to wonder what my favorite missions from the trilogy were. A lot of Mass Effect’s missions were action-oriented. They’d also shake it up at times. Not only did a lot of folk die, decisions were made that had repercussions as you kept on playing. Here are my 15 favorite missions from the trilogy. These are the ones that I was pretty excited on playing again for whatever reason. They’re ones that have everything from good action to good story.

15. Project Overlord (Mass Effect 2)
“Overlord” was a DLC mission for ME2. You go to a planet where a Cerberus VI (Virtual Intelligence) has taken over all the technology in the facilities. The VI is even reactivating inoperable geth in the area. When you find the project leader, you end up learning that a human mind is behind it all. It’s a good mission but it does get dull at times since you’re driving around in the Hammerhead. Towards the end, the story takes a twist as you find out the truth. The ending is still pretty shocking and messed up today. I won’t spoil it here though. Let’s just say that you really want to shoot the project leader at the end.

14. Rite of Passage (Mass Effect 2)
Grunt’s loyalty mission wasn’t like the others. Since he was genetically engineered, he had no family. He still had the primal urges of a krogan and that began to mess with him. They go to Tuchunka and it turns out he’s sick. In order to balance himself, Grunt must undergo a rite of passage and face a craptton of insects and even a thrasher maw. It’s pretty fun overall. You even get to face a krogan who sounds a lot like a Klingon by the name of Worf. It may not have deep introspection, but it does pack a lot of punches.

13. The Adart-Yakshi (Mass Effect 2)
Most of the missions from ME2 were loyalty missions and some of them revolved around the companions’ families. While most like Miranda’s and Thane’s were okay, Samara’s stood out to me for a few reasons. In the mission, she wants to track down her daughter, Morinth, who is an Ardat-Yakshi. Let’s just say that while most Ardat-Yakshis are fine, Morinth is one of the bad ones and she’s killed many people. Samara tracked her down to Omega. In order to lure her out, you get to play as bait. It’s such a weird mission and it’s one that doesn’t involve any gunplay. At the end, you even get a chance to get Morinth on your team if you’re really that messed up in the head. It’s a weird mission to find one weird asari.

12. Dossier: Archangel (Mass Effect 2)

In ME2, you have to go around space in order to recruit your companions. One of these companions was a vigilante who went by the codename of Archangel. Considering it’s a turian, you can only guess who he is. I’ll just say that he is my favorite companion. During the mission you have to fight through legions of gangs who want Archangel’s head. It even gets pretty challenging at some points.  It was definitely a mission that brought the fun.

11. Leviathan (Mass Effect 3)
Leviathan was another DLC for MS3 and one that really should have been in the game proper. It’s part- mystery and part-shooting range. You find out about reports of a weapon out in space that can take on the Reapers. As you learn more and more, you find out that it may also be a Reaper or a rogue one. All of your searches and research take you to a planet where you find out some pretty shocking things. It’s a nice mission for a couple of reasons. It’s one of the only missions that centers on the Reapers themselves. Plus, it even makes the ending (which most folk don’t like) make some sense. It’s also a one tough one to beat, so be ready.

10. Old Blood (Mass Effect 2)
Unlike most companions, Mordin Solus’s mission revolved around heading to Tuchunka and finding Maelon, a young colleague who’d been kidnapped by the Blood Pack. On the mission, we find out that Maelon has been conducting experiments on krogans in order to cure the genophage, a disease that was created by the salarians in order to stop the Krogan Rebellions over a millennia ago. It basically made the krogan infertile and kept their numbers down. Not only is this a good mission to blast some of the Blood Pack, we find out a lot about the genophage and Mordin’s guilt about the disease. It was this mission (and other conversations) that made me think that Mordin was one cool dude.

9. Priority: Earth (Mass Effect 3)
This is the final battle on Earth and it’s pretty much the last level of the game. You make it back to Earth and face Reaper forces on the ground in London. You go up against all of the assimilated enemies you’ve faced throughout the game from Husks to those freaky-looking Banshees. Afterwards, you get to the pretty controversial ending. While this mission isn’t the best final mission, it’s still a good one. You get to put on an epic fight with the Reapers, you get to say farewell to your companions, and you get to change the scope of the galaxy for good or bad.

8. Noveria (Mass Effect 1)
On Noveria, you track down Matriarch Benezia (aka “Matriarch Hotness”) as she is playing with experimentation. She’s trying to bring back the rachni, a group of intelligent insects-like aliens (more or less) that waged war centuries ago. They’re the reason why the krogan were made cannon fodder by the salarians and why the krogan eventually became a problem. The ME universe is full of problems, ain’t it? Fighting the rachni and geth here is pretty tough as well as creepy especially when the rachni are involved. Benezia is another matter. She and her squad of fighters are pretty challenging even on a low difficulty. You also have the choice to commit genocide by killing the rachni queen.

7. Priority: Rannoch (Mass Effect 3)
This is another mission from Mass Effect 3 that brings an end to a long conflict: the quorian/geth war. Basically, the quorians decide to take back their homeworld from the geth and all heck breaks loose. Since the Reapers are involved, it’s up to you to possibly save both groups. The fighting itself is cool and pretty challenging especially when you go up against a few Geth Primes… ugh. Then, top it all off with a battle against a Reaper… sort of. Also, you get the choice of either destroying the geth or allowing Legion (or his double) to upload a virus that’ll save the geth. Either way, tears may be shed. It definitely pulls on the heartstrings whichever way you go here.

6. Treason (Mass Effect 2)

This loyalty mission was Tali’s and it revolves around her being accused of treason by the quorians for sending active Geth stuff back to their fleet. Tali knows she didn’t do this. The situation is made worse when it turns out that those geth have taken over a ship where Tali’s father is stationed at. It’s a mission that’s part-Matlock and part-Star Trek: First Contact. We also find out more about the quorians and how they operate out in space. It’s a mission full of speechify-ing, sadness, and some dead geth.

5. Shore Leave (Mass Effect 3)
Citadel was part of a DLC made for MS3. The whole mission has you and your companions on shore leave. Instead of enjoying yourself, you get embroiled in a fight with your clone. Yeah, the story for this mission is a little too on the nose especially with how the companions act. Still, it’s a fun mission that has one pretty tough battle against your clone. Dang, I didn’t know I was that good! It also has an added bonus after the mission ends: more time to spend with your companions. Even former companions from previous games (living ones, anyway) come back for one more good time before all hell breaks loose with Cerberus and Earth. By the way, save this mission for the end before you chase after Cerberus. That way, you can get everyone in on the fun.

4. Ilos/Final Battle (Mass Effect 1)
This is pretty much the final mission from the first game. It’s split up into two parts. On Ilos, you find Saren and his forces have amassed here.  You ultimately find out why Saren came to Ilos and that the Citadel is key to Sovereign winning. Not only is it a cool mission where the MAKO is actually cool to ride in, it’s also got some good music that sounds like it came from The Terminator. The second part of the mission brings you to the Citadel where you have to fight through legions of geth and beat Saren. You get to fight in space (sort of) and Saren is one tough sucka to beat. Overall, it’s not the best final level ever, but it’s still cool to me.

3. Priority: Tuchunka (Mass Effect 3)
In Mass Effect 3, you’ll have to do certain things for races in order to get them to help you with Earth. One of those things is ending the genophage. While genetic engineering isn’t one of Shepard’s strong suits, there are certain salarians that will help you get this done. Unfortunately, you have to deal with a Reaper literally blocking your way. Luckily, you’ll get some help from one big thrasher maw. You also have the choice in making sure the genophage continues. The mission is awesome for a lot of reasons. Not only do you get to help end (or continue) the genophage, you get to (possibly) team up with some former companions. Plus, that fight between the thrasher maw and the Reaper is awesome.

2. Virmire (Mass Effect 1)
Obviously, Virmire is up here for a few reasons. It’s pretty much the turning point of the first game.  It’s also where I got invested in the Mass Effect universe. A lot of stuff happens in this mission. You personally go up against Saren for the first time. Krogans are also being created to be nothing but mindless soldiers. You find out what Sovereign truly is. You also have the potential to lose not only one, but two, squad mates. Top all of that off with Virmire being a really good-looking place to shoot up geth. This was another area where the MAKO seemed pretty cool and did its job by running over geth. It’s one where you really have to make the big decisions.

1. Use the Omega-4 Relay (Mass Effect 2)
There are a lot of reasons the suicide mission against the Collectors is number one. Pretty much everything goes into that final mission. All the decisions you’ve made go into how it plays out. You could get out with a few scrapes or you could lose your whole team. It’s all up to how you play the game. You fight through legions of Collectors in order to save the day. While the final boss itself (a human Reaper) was a little weird, beating that thing was a bit of a challenge. It’s a final level that I can honestly say is one of the best final levels in a video game.

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Well, that’s where I cut this ME love off for now. As I said before, I don’t know when I’ll get to play ME: Andromeda. I actually don’t have anything good to play it on yet. Plus, even if I did have something, I’m probably going to be catching up on some games anyway. I will talk about it someday though. Here’s hoping that it is worth talking about. Well, I’m out. Peace, God Bless, and remember to do this one thing... Hold The Line!