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Mass Effect Trilogy

elements of the first game in favor of a more action-oriented sensibility. In terms of the play style’s evolution, Chris Remo of Gamasutra refers to Mass Effect 2 as a genre experiment, saying that:

If Mass Effect was a sci-fi shooter saddled with excess RPG micromanagement, Mass Effect 2 is the ideal evolution. If Mass Effect was an RPG that tips its hat to third-person action games, Mass Effect 2 may be less satisfying than expected.

Isaac Handelman expands on this, stating that ME2 felt like a more “confined experience,” but the “focused scope of the sequel” led to “vast…

Oct-Nov Roundup – ‘Game Changers’

…of a game changer, isn’t it?

Last but not least, Pete Haas chose to kill off Kaiden Alenko Who didn’t? He was rubbish. Mass Effect’s triumph was that your actions had consequences in subsequent games: in a medium where decisions can be erased by random data loss, they have to migrate beyond the game they originate in to have that kind of an effect. Of course, Mass Effect 3’s ultimate failure was to remove the player’s volition, to fail to live up to our lofty expectations.

Alright, so it’s time to choose a winner. As it received the most nods,…

April 15th

…of any community is built from a mix of individual isolation and the impression of interpersonal links. In this way, Skyrim is a nation in its own right.

From Skyrim to Tanelorn, Patrick Holleman profiles the rich community space of a Minecraft roleplaying server named for the work of fantasy novelist Michael Moorcock. Meanwhile, Krystian Majewski compares the worlds and gameplay of Suikoden and Mass Effect and discovers some interesting parallels.

Speaking of Mass Effect— you know we couldn’t go one week without touching upon the ending controversy. In fulfilling that cosmically-ordained quota, Paul Tassi sits down with the people…

Geometric image from Nier: Automata

April 2nd

…the problems to anyone unfamiliar with the arguments at hand.

  • What’s in a Name?: Mass Effect: Andromeda and Inclusion – Not Your Mama’s Gamer Lee Hibbard makes clear what the problem is with the trans representation in the latest Mass Effect game.
  • Mass Effect Andromeda is another failure for trans representation • Eurogamer.net Sam Greer compares the trans characters in two Bioware games, showing that a big part of representation is preparation.

In a blog post discussing the creation and writing of Krem, Patrick Weekes notes: “A minor character like a shopkeeper would have no reason to explain

This Year In Videogame Blogging: 2017

…Waypoint – Cameron Kunzelman and Austin Walker Austin Walker comes back to the Middle-Earth series to join Cameron Kunzelman in a discussion about fantasy slavery, loot boxes and existential horror engendered within.

Mass Effect: Andromeda

  • Does Mass Effect: Andromeda get past old colonial ideas? Not quite | Gamasutra – Katherine Cross Katherine Cross finds that Andromeda attempts to challenge the legacy of colonialism only replicating “a kinder, gentler form of it.” Only in escaping its fantasy can we truly critique it.
  • In defense of Mass Effect: Andromeda and other messy games | Polygon – Sophia Park Sophia Park…

October 31st

…blog looks at the Arts & Crafts aesthetic in Kirby’s Epic Yarn.

Adam Ruch at Flickering Colours talks about ‘The Great Undiscovered of Minecraft’ [mirror], dissecting the appeal of the game by breaking it down into two primary feelings: The first ‘is akin to being a small God in a simple universe’ and the second is ‘a strong feeling of presence. Tele-presence one might call it in the parlance of the late 90s game scholarship.’ I do love me some late 90’s game scholarship.

Alex at Batrock explains ‘Mass Effect: The Road to Shepardition’ and why a Mass Effect film…

March 25th

…by discerning between “primary” and “secondary” epics and how Mass Effect 3 fulfills the description of a primary epic in the classical sense. Meanwhile, Cox likens the story to mythology in the broad sense and Christian narratives in particular, suggesting the ending has frustrated players because it cannot be interpreted in the same literal fashion as the rest of the franchise:

[T]hat it is where we find Shepard in the end: on the plane of mythology, removed from the plane of men. And that is also where many players feel they lose Mass Effect, because until the final moment, the…

December 12th

art.

IGN UK’s Michael Thomsen, the same man who declared Metroid Prime to be the Citizen Kane of video games, writes a lucid Contrarian Corner post on Fallout: New Vegas [mirror].

Jose Gonzalez Bruno on his blog gamereader (which he should tell some people exists) writes about the “Tyranny of the Masses” [mirror] with regards to the Mass Effect 2 player data, saying:

As we have seen, publishers and developers have profoundly different ways of looking at the world, and this creates the possibility of conflict when it comes to interpreting player data. Developers may look at a statistic such

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

January 13th

…Haggis-Burridge about bisexual perception, performance, and erasure.

  • Sexy Medieval Men Are Waiting For You In Robin Morningwood | Kotaku Kate Gray profiles an upcoming queer indie game and contextualizes it against the recent chill on games with sexual content on major platforms.
  • To Be Gay in Mass Effect Is An Act of Rebellion – Into The Spine Kenneth Shepard re-examines Mass Effect‘s long, long road to a place for gay men in the galaxy.
  • “Getting through Mass Effect 1 and 2 with your identity intact as a gay man is an act of resistance. It’s to look a heteronormative…

    Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

    A reading list on trans representation in games

    …two Bioware games, showing that a big part of representation is preparation.

  • What’s in a Name?: Mass Effect: Andromeda and Inclusion – Not Your Mama’s Gamer Lee Hibbard makes clear what the problem is with the trans representation in the latest Mass Effect game.
  • ‘We Know The Devil’ Taught Me To Be Proud – Waypoint Jennifer Unkle recounts struggles over trans pride and the helpful releases found in We Know the Devil.
  • Surveys

    We’re starting to see people create databases of trans characters in games that stretch back through the entirety of videogames history. Here are some examples: