Chatting with Radio Wammo, Mass Effect 3 and playing with the iPad 3 (sorry, new iPad)

There’s a few thoughts being bombarded at you in this post. Perhaps you should make a cup of tea/milo/cocoa/coffee before you tackle it! Settled, good: let’s begin (by the way, this posting is being serenaded by the lovely tones of Muse’s Supermassive Blackhole, Feeling Good and Uprising).

The new iPad

I loved Infinity Blade on the iPod Touch. It was great fun, if a little bit of a grind at times trudging through the same dungeons fighting similar foes. I’m now playing Infinity Blade 2 on the new iPad (I keep wanting to call it iPad 3 it sounds more natural) and it’s great fun, stunning to look at and an advancement on the original game.

OK, while the story in IB2 isn’t stellar (it seems to involve some shirtless dude who always wakes up in a laboratory when the lead warrior is killed at the end of every bloodline), it really shows off what the new iPad’s retina display is capable of, with vivid visuals that honestly rival what you’d find on a home console. It truly is impressive – although it uses up the battery life pretty quickly and runs hot (not that tech running hot when it’s working hard is just confined to Apple’s new tablet).

Infinity Blade 2 is really the only game I’ve got on the new iPad so far (although I’ve got the lite version of Draw Something, but to be honest, I got bored waiting for the other player to respond so gave up) but I really want to check out some other games. Perhaps Real Racing 2 HD or -dare I say it – Angry Birds Space HD! (Update: I just downloaded Jetpack Joyride).

Mass Effect 3 (spoilers so be warned)

Bioware’s latest sure has been in the gaming news a lot lately, much of it for the wrong reasons. Essentially a lot of fans are upset that the ending (or the variation of the ending) in ME3 isn’t in keeping with the game’s reliance on decision-making and choices throughout the series – and I agree with them. Throughout ME3 and the series  you’re constantly making decisions that shape the direction of the game and its key players. For me the most poignant moment in the game was having to decide whether to save the Geth or the Quarians. The Geth would bring serious technological knowledge and a huge fleet while Zora had been alongside my Commander Shepard from the very beginning, she’d survived the final assault on the Collectors in ME2 and here I was being asked to save one of the other.

It was a major crisis point for me: one that I laboured over for a bit. Who to save? Who to save?  In the end I decided to go with the Geth, much to my regret – but I digress: Decision making and choice plays a crucial part in  ME3 so for the final 15 minutes to take that choice away from you is jarring. Now, I didn’t think the ending was actually as bad as some people are making out (and from memory I only had one option anyway: perhaps my galactic readiness wasn’t up to scratch), and I’m not baying for Bioware’s blood. I actually thought it was a particularly fitting end for Commander Shepard. It went entirely with the character’s do- anything-at-any-cost stance, including sacrificing her self (I played as a female Shepard) for the human race  but I have a questions. A helluva lot of questions, actually, about what exactly was going on in that last 15 minutes (what the hell happened to the Normandy and why was it flying through space and not with the galactic armada around Earth? And where  the hell did the Normandy land?

Bioware’s co-f0under Ray Myzuka said in a blog posting last week that new content will provide more “clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey’. I’d like more clarity thanks, Bioware, but I don’t think I should have to pay for it. Just saying. Free DLC clarifying the ending ould be great, thanks.

Finally, chatting with Radio Wammo

In today’s session with Glenn “Wammo” Williams we chatted about the Humble Bundle for Android 2, the collection of independently-developed games where you get to decide how much you pay and whether it all goes to the developers, all to charity or all to the Humble Bundle dudes. I picked up the Android 2 bundle last week for the princely sum of, ahem, $US6.30, which netted me Android versions of Canabalt, Cogs, Avadon: The Black Fortress, Zen Bound 2 and Swords and Soldiers – and as an extra bonus, today I got an email saying that they were adding Snuggle Truck to the mix. An all round excellent purchase. If you want to check it out, you’ve got six days before it finishes.

Thank you for reading – and good night.

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