Mass Effect 3

February 23, 2013

[SOEE #53]

This has been the most requested Gonzo show in history. For a project of this magnitude we needed a Dynamic Analysis, and one that stretched out to cover the real world aspects of the controversy surrounding Mass Effect 3. So what I have assembled for you guys is a document of opinion. I have accrued the strong viewpoints of many many people, some of them Gonzo regulars, some of them newcomers, some of them are representations of the strongest views on this game, BioWare and indeed its fans and detractors that have been circulating on the internet for the last year and a half.

What I’ve found is evidence of something more approaching a civil war. It is my intention to accurately represent the views of both sides with as little bias as possible. The ideal would be to hear everyone out, but that may be a big ask for some. This gets pretty heated as you might imagine. As a result, and considering many of you will hold views of your own I have time-stamped each section so that you can jump to the next if what you hear is too objectionable. 

Angry Joe: Indoctrination Theory (08.50)
Jeremy Jahns: Mass Effect 3 Ending and Why We Hate It (31.20)
Holly Dotson - My Experience With Mass Effect 3 (39.50)
Bob Chipman: Game Overthinker #69: Game AfterMass (51.02)
FilmCritHulk: A Few Words on the Ending of Mass Effect 3 [Read by Alex Shaw] (1.05.18)
Sharon Shaw: The Third Choice (1.25.45)
J.C. Hutchins: Blood on My Hands: My Failure and Redemption in Mass Effect(1.35.15)
Leelee Scaldaferri - The Center of the Universe (1.57.35)

Now that much of the debate has been heard regarding the end of the game, this episode focuses on the rest of it. There are definitely still issues with combat and structure that affect the gameplay experience regardless of how you felt about its close, but there is also a deep and rich adventure to be had finding everyone and everything in the last hours before the galaxy takes on the Reapers. There were so many people who wanted to talk about this game that I couldn't not confine them to a single, epic round-table, so instead we have three. 

Appropriately you'll meet many old faces and some new. Everyone has something to say. At the close we spend a good 48 minutes talking about the Citadel DLC with full plot spoilers for that as well as Leviathan and Omega. Everyone present agreed that Citadel was downright essential if you love the characters of Mass Effect so if nothing else, play that before you listen to the last third of this show. 

Alex Shaw: On Taking Back Earth 
Round Table 1: Margeurite Kenner & Alasdair Stuart
Alex Shaw: Some Statistics
Round Table 2: Neil Taylor, Jerome McIntosh & James Perkins
Round Table 3: Matt Ramsey, Leelee Scaldaferri & Sharon Shaw 
The Idea Channel: Will Space Travel Save Us?
Alex Shaw: Shepard Effects

Margeurite can be found on Cast of Wonders, Leelee is the artist for Extra Credits. You'll also hear a segment from The Idea Channel which is available on YouTube and something I sincerely suggest you each spend a few hours delving into. Some incredible, funny, lightly delivered, deeply considered six-minute lectures on there. Kind of like TED Talks but with more visual flair and packed to the gills with blink-and-you'll-miss-it geeky references. 

It's been a great ride on the Normandy. I hope some day soon we can come back and re-enter this universe which has played host to some of our favourite games of all time.

If you enjoy this episode or some of the others I've put out in the past year, why not take part in our 2013 donation drive and give a little something back. I've got a ton of content lined up for 2014 and you can support me in crafting it for everyone. All donations welcome, just go to Gonzo Planet and look for the button in the top right hand corner. 


Mass Effect 2

February 22, 2013

[SOEE #52]

This is the second part of our epic trilogy of review podcasts focusing on the Mass Effect game series from Bioware. Game two was a significant polishing up of the original's formula with tighter combat, more fluid and dynamic presentation and a greater focus on characterization. As a result and for many other reasons detailed within, this is widely regarded as the most beloved of the trilogy.

So in this week's episode my crew and I go deep into the shadowy world of the resurrected and reinstated Commander Shepard, now assembling a small army, all of whom must be ready to die to protect our galaxy.

If you haven’t played it, once again we keep the major spoilers regarding the finale and the essential Shadow Broker DLC for a section at the end. Returning to the Normandy are Matt Ramsey of the DO Try This at Home podcast, Neil Taylor and James Perkins of GameBurst and Jerome McIntosh of the Gonzo Planet community. We’ll be back in a month to talk about Mass Effect 3.


Mass Effect

February 21, 2013

[SOEE #51]

This is the first part of our epic trilogy of review podcasts focusing on the Mass Effect game series from Bioware. Originally released in 2007 on Xbox 360 and following on the heels of Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire, this was the Canadian developer’s original take on a serious Sci-Fi space opera.

The first game is not without its flaws and the frustrating combat, slow beginning, vehicle sections, simplistic hacking, texture pop, and crazy glitches are all hauled over the coals, however, this is balanced with effusive praise for the characterization, in-depth discussions about the textured and detailed worlds they have built, first rate voice acting, storyline and narrative sweep.

If you’ve played it and enjoyed it overall you will be well at home. If you haven’t played it we keep the major spoilers for a section at the end so you can listen in and find out what all the fuss is about. My crew are Matt Ramsey of GamerDork, Neil Taylor of GameBurst, James Perkins of GameBurst and Geek Wad, Justin Smith of Last Save Loaded and Jerome McIntosh of the Gonzo planet community. We’ll be back in a month to talk about Mass Effect 2 and then four weeks after that for Mass Effect 3.