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Garibaldi

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  1. Garibaldi

    Mass Effect Andromeda

    Completed this last night and, well, it's fine. In some places it flirts with being really quite good, but there's definitely an identity crisis going on with Andromeda; which fits with the development summary I read where Bioware spent years playing around with randomly generated planets, found out it wasn't as enjoyable as they'd hoped, then brought in a crisis manager to steamroll it all into an actual game in one year. The settlement mechanic, for example, is kind of interesting, but also oddly 'hands-off.' Your interactions with the settlement when it's established are limited, and as far as guiding its conception goes you can choose either a scientific or military focus and that's it. That's it for every settlement, I should say, as whatever you form from then on in adheres to your first choice - despite some planets being blatantly more suited to one focus over the other. The story is safe. That's the best way I can think of to describe it. The Angara are the safest possible race you could write for the player to encounter and ally with. Andromeda was screaming out for an alien race who were..alien. Not space-african cat-faces, which is what we got here. It needed aliens who were repugnant in certain ways, incomprehensible in others, but you were forced to ally with them to fight the Kett. MA:E takes some stabs at moral quandaries, but they feel lazy and rote, when it would have helped enormously with the sense of 'we're a bit fucked here, aren't we?' to have the principled Andromeda Initiative hold its nose and make faustian deals for future survival. K mentioned this previously, but the initial intrigue of arriving at the Nexus and finding it dark and abandoned quickly became like turning up to a B&B out of hours - you surprise one worker who then turns all the lights on and fetches someone to book you in. The devs kept saying they wanted to do something new with Andromeda, but whenever it ventures into potentially dark waters they immediately yank the rudder to steer us back to anodyne blue ocean. Combat was great, though.
  2. Garibaldi

    Tombstone - The Western Film Genre

    Open Range is really slow, to the point that I gave up halfway through on first viewing. Only found out a few years later that there's a fantastic ending gunfight if you manage to tough it out.
  3. Garibaldi

    Mass Effect Andromeda

    Not like it would even be uncharted territory, either. I'm pretty sure games as far back as Baldur's Gate 2 closed off certain romance paths depending on the alignment of your character. Obviously that's not something that's directly transferable, but could easily be segued into certain actions/choices you take in the story making people open or closed to your advances. I think Bioware have fallen into the Bethesda trap of being afraid to make the player feel less than king of the universe; which is a shame as it would be really refreshing to have a romance option that's doomed to fail no matter what you try.
  4. I knew from the moment they split the team there would be this problem. All the zany, enthusiastic personalities went to the East Coast, whereas the drier, more cynical personalities stayed on the West Coast. The thing is, having one entire team of the former isn't a bad thing, but an entire team of the latter would be deadly under normal circumstances - except it also has Brad, who would rather be anywhere else at this point, and Ben who...well...is Ben. So these are terminal circumstances. Peak Giant Bomb was when they had the two kinds of personalities regularly playing off each other, which is best seen is some of the older Mario Party videos. I used to watch the 'best of' vids religiously on youtube, now I might click on one if I feel like taking the chance that it's not too west coast focused.
  5. Garibaldi

    Star Trek Discovery

    I gave up on Lost for the same reason. Spent an episode making you finally care about a 2D character because it was going to kill them at the end of it. Hack writing.
  6. Garibaldi

    The Division 2 - Nothing like Sekiro

    Anyone noticed problems with the ambient audio? There’s a big thread on Reddit about it. Sometimes as you’re walking around the game just seems totally silent, and other times ambient noises like birds etc randomly kick in. I think someone said that the mix is currently way off, as in a silent area they turned their volume way up to the point where a gunshot would’ve deafened them and could hear the ambient noises then. See also thunder and rain sounds not playing together during a storm. Hopefully will be resolved soon as it’s making me hold off on a purchase. DC needs all the atmosphere it can get.
  7. Garibaldi

    Mass Effect Andromeda

    Yeah, that's fair. I'd say there have been just enough ME moments to keep me playing, but not enough for any lasting satisfaction. In other news, the research/development bit in this game bothers me a tad. I now have access (I assume) to all blueprints, but can't craft a shotgun that's superior to one I found early on in the game. I've started using an inferior choice just because I wanted a change!
  8. Garibaldi

    The Division 2 - Nothing like Sekiro

    Fixed that for you.
  9. Garibaldi

    The Division 2 - Nothing like Sekiro

    Still a fucking ridiculous day one update. This shit is getting worse and worse.
  10. Garibaldi

    Days Gone - Sons of Anarchy x Last of Us

    Gameplay vids from two/three months ago showcased a battle against a horde, with journos trying various approaches etc. Most likely they just didn’t feature in whatever part of the game this three hour slice was taken from.
  11. Garibaldi

    Mass Effect Andromeda

    I think comparing it to Star Trek: Voyager is spot on. There’s all this effort to paint a desperate picture ‘The nexus is under supplied/under powered/not finished! Where are the other arks?’ but none of it transfers into the actual game. I want to be making some tough, Mass Effect style decisions, but there’s no sense of urgency whatsoever. The plot itself is so boring and tropey (religious zealot aliens, technologically advanced, dead civilisation, mysterious father...) that it really grates. Not that ME didn’t hit the tropes, but it did so with a sense of energy and style, whereas Andromeda sort of sleep walks into them. Buuuuut it’s not terrible. Often mediocre, but not terrible. The ME setting helps it a great deal (when it isn’t reminding you how great those were by comparison), and combat feels much improved. Also some of the planets do look great, and exploring them is enjoyable - as long as you don’t drive yourself bananas going to every small Kett camp on the map to find very little (flashbacks to the original Mass Effect there.)
  12. Until digital games release as equal cost to physical versions (and that’s a pretty low bar, let’s face it), let alone +£10/20 RRP, I can’t really get psyched about this. That said, the subscription services are definitely improving, and at least MS give you digital games as opposed to Sony holding them hostage under PS+.
  13. Garibaldi

    Star Trek - Jean-Luc Picard returns

    The Jean-Luc Picard Mystery Crew! ‘It’s time to see who this Cardassian really is. *tears off mask* Commander Tomalok?!’
  14. Garibaldi

    The Division 2 - Nothing like Sekiro

    Contrary to my earlier comments, I was playing in the DZ yesterday and the game looked damn gorgeous. All the heavy urban decay with early morning sunlight blasting in, superb! Game is a bit all over the place visually. I think Washington suffers because, for six months, it’s already going too far with the urban decay but also can’t go far enough to make the landscape interesting. Maybe setting it a year/few years past the original Division would’ve been better (though likely not a fit with their storyline.)
  15. Garibaldi

    The Division 2 - Nothing like Sekiro

    Going back after the last beta, the graphics remain a bit of a shock. Not that they’re terrible, but I don’t know if it’s something wrong with the lighting model (or whatever) but colours seem oversaturated, blacks are crushed, and there’s a distracting sense that everything is too sharp or not sharp enough (I know there’s a setting for this. Those two options are my results from using it.) Gives me the hunch that maybe they were able to use the original Division’s weather to cover up some visual shortfalls, but D2 has no such pervasive cover and suffers for it.
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