Monthly Archives: June 2014

BioWare Bender: Thralling and Indoctrinating

My ladies o'Bioware.

First off, yes, it’s been A WHOLE DAMNED YEAR since I wrote something here. Shame on ME. Pesky life and things happening that don’t involve controllers and consoles. Sheesh.

Bringing it back to you lovely folks of the interwebs, I wanted to talk openly and freely about my obsession with BioWare games. *deep breath* 

Hi, I’m the Samurai Cowgirl, Mel, and I’m addicted to BioWare.

(This is where you say, “Hi *insert jumble of which word you think you’re supposed to say from my name*, thank you for sharing.”)

Those fine, battle-hardened ladies gracing the top of your screen? My FemShep, imported throughout the entire series; my Dragon Age Origins Grey Warden, Akian; my Dragon Age II soldier, Troika. Aren’t they just marvelous? ♥ ♥ ♥

Ahhhhh.

My first foray into the BioWare universe was indeed Neverwinter Nights. Yep, I still have that giant ass GOLD COLLECTOR’S EDITION in my attic, in sparkly awesome condition. After installing and ogling over the damned thing, I enshrined it, keeping it fresh to show my children and future generations how we did PC. And yes, I played the hell out of it. Neverwinter is awesome! And all fine and good! But then… Mass Effect Happened.

My life was forever changed. Not only could I create my character, I could live her life. My choices were hers; her choices, my gameplay fate. It was fucking incredible. The story enthralled me. Indoctrinated me, even. Now yes, I played this way freaking late; Mass Effect 3 had just released when I beat ME1. The most excellent part of my late-bloomer status? I got to play all three Mass Effect games back to back. Thankfully, I didn’t lose a family member, nor did my house catch fire while I was utterly under the surface with Mass Effect. In a less than a month, I had conquered them all. And I’ll tell ya- I didn’t hate the story’s ending as much as the rest of the world.

I knew– I understood– there might not be some grand “everyone comes home yeehaw!” ending. I didn’t expect the hero’s ending, Paragon as I may be. I chose Destruction for my end choice; I had spent crazy amounts of hours fighting the Reapers, and I would not let it stand to simply walk away. I could not force the entire world to meld with technology, and I would not trust a single damned soul to control the Reapers. With my Effective Military Strength through the roof, I annihilated the bio-technology that had ravaged so many galaxies. My only regret? Legion. I’m sorry, buddy.

Ah, good times. And yep! Got that bonus little “*gasp* chest move” update, too. Sorry that BioWare brokeded your game, peeps.

Anyway!

After realizing the story-telling prowess of BioWare beyond my PC screen, I knew I had to play the Dragon Age series. For whatever reason, I started playing II. Then I thought, “Dubya-Tee-Eff, Mate? Why am I doing this? Who are you people? Why are you pretending to be familiar to me?!” Sooooooo~ I had to go back and rectify my whole bouquet of Oopsie Daisies. Origins came highly recommended to me by one of the most awesome chickies I know, so I was quick to bite. I binge-played Origins so hard. Toddler asleep? Origins. Eating? Origins. Seeing a castle overrun by Darkspawn down the street from my house? “Hey! There’s one of those in Dragon’s Age!”

It was tough. Toughly awesome. The game’s end choices had me really WTFing. At one point, I had chosen to make Alistair King, flying solo after hating on that Queen-ho. And guess what? My whole world crumbled. He left me all alone. He was unhappy. I was unhappy. The previous Queen was piiiiiiissed. I moped around my house for a good two hours before reverting my save. I had fought so hard to get the rightful King on the throne, and when he got there, I hated it. So we gave the Queen the throne, killed off her Daddy (biaaaaaaatch.) and went Grey Wardening all over Ferelden together.

Oh, and big shout out to Alistair for being my first hetero-lifemate in a BioWare game! *smooches* Liara was the only one for me all through Mass Effect. Yep, I’m missing the Paragon achievement for ME2 because I couldn’t romance her. I am no cheat.

I also made the REALLY fucked up choice to go along with Morrigan’s plan in my true playthrough. While I am normally quite selfless in a game– Dragon Age wasn’t it. The devastation of losing Alistair to the throne had ruined one night; I wouldn’t let either of us dying ruin another. So I was forced to watch that whackadoo scene where two of my favorite people have sex with not me. Blegh.

So, we saved the day, we both win, all good yay happiness things! Oh, and “This is War” by 30 Seconds to Mars as the end theme? I WAS ALL ON THAT JARED LETO – ALISTAIR HOOOOOOO!

Immediately after, I began Dragon Age II. I’ve started it twice now; one without importing my Origins, one with. Ohhh shenangians. Still working on that playthrough.

The WHOLE POINT OF THIS JOURNEY IS TO SAY, “Hey BioWare, gurl you fine.”

With E3 just passing last week, we got to see some incredible work from Dragon Age: Inquisition, and the new worlds from another Mass Effect title! If you missed it, hereyago:

Mass Effect shenanigans.

Aaaaaaand~

Dragon Age: Inquisition shenanigans.

While I don’t know what to think of Mass Effect 4, as there aren’t enough details to truly judge anything [DID YOU HEAR THAT, INTERNET?!], I will definitely play the next installment. Dragon Age: Inquistion? THROW ME ON THE WAGON AND DON’T EVER LET GO. I’m curious to see if either story legitimately ties in with its predecessors, or if it will be an instance of passing comments and side story, meant for when you click on an NPC way too many times.


“I’ve never seen a better hunter, but the nugs are still on loose.”

And these days, there are very few game publishers that I buy into, heart and soul– I’m not so trusting and naive as I once was. For many years, Square Enix owned a portion of my soul. Their grasp slipped a few times, over some real shady moves (Hey, SE? Yeah, I bought the Final Fantasy XIV Collector’s Edition the first time it came out, ‘kay?), but in general, I trust their gaming judgement. Ubisoft is another publisher that I am on *squee* level with; I am a bona fide BROTHERHOOD member, gitwhatImean? THE LIBERATION OF MY PANTS HAS BEGUN!

Oh Ezio, you know you liked that!

Watch_Dogs is currently melting my face with the astronomical amount of shite I can do right off the bat– at least in Assassin’s Creed, they limited how OCD I could get before forcing me to further the story. Unnngh. But so far, I think Ubisoft has delivered on this IP, too. When it comes to Borderlands, I totally trust 2K. Capcom is full of sneaky bastards who get me to repurchase their games by adding letters, numbers or words onto older titles… or when they re-release Resident Evil 4 again. And again. And again… Did I mention that I own four editions of that game? Moving on. Konami? You’re hit and miss sometimes, but Castlevania is on lockdown-good status; I don’t love them all, but you’ve managed to keep the IP alive for so damned long. Sega makes terrible decisions and good games.

But I hate EA. You hear me, BioWare? I HATE EA. But I love you, baby. For better or worse, sickness and in health, Alistair and licking lamp posts in winter, forever, I do.

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