I Like the Way Mass Effect Ends

There has been a huge shit-storm in Mass Effect fandom over the way ME 3 ended. I can’t say I’ve been on the forefront of these… discussions, but some of my friends have been affected by the depression and have kept me informed on the hopes and fears boiling within the community. Like I said elsewhere, I think the particular ending(s) have little to do with the high emotions; I think the fans are mourning the passing of the entire series.

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Mass Effect 3

This is not a review. In fact, I don’t know if I’ll ever have the stamina to write one; you know, with objective criticism and all that. That would be exceedingly difficult, because, see, this game pulled on all my strings so hard. Other than some minor annoyances, I’d say that everything was done exactly right. Or, to allow for some weaseling, everything was done exactly to my taste.

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Quests – Design, Theory, and History in Games and Narratives

by J. Howard

A bridge-building book that connects the literary genre of the romantic quest narrative (exemplified by the Arthurian legends), and the wide category of “quest games” that includes, but isn’t limited to, RPGs and action-adventure games. The parallels are undeniable and familiar to any person who enjoys playing such games, but it’s a real pleasure to see someone publish a book filled with good arguments and examples to use in debates with game critics who dismiss games as an art form and just a “waste of time”.

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Dragon Age II

I wasn’t sure I wanted to write about this game. I struggled with the dilemma for several days. The conflict revolves around the strange kind of guilt I often feel about the time I waste (or invest in) playing games. The choice of words, “waste” against “invest” is important. When I play a very good, worthy game, it’s clearly an investment and I don’t feel bad about spending such and such hours with it. When I start playing a bad game, I usually just give it up before the issue of wasting time comes up at all. But then there are games such as Dragon Age II, that simply make me feel guilty for enjoying them.

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