Sunday, January 29, 2012

Known Photo Album Issues

Update 3/27/12 - Whoops!  I forgot about this.  The last five posts are now complete which means that all images should finally be re-linked.

Update 2/7/12 - Only five more entries to go!

Update 2/6/12 - Only January and February 2011 remain picture-less.  I will have those fixed by late tomorrow night.  As you can see, the latest ME2 post "Reflection" has already been posted.  Be looking for another ME2 post come 2/11/12, and at least one or two non-ME2 posts in between.  See you then!

Update 2/1/12
- It turns out that all the images except maybe five of them needed re-linking.  What on Earth, Picasa?  I have a little over half of the blog restored, and hope to have the rest of the images restored come the middle of next week.  Sorry things are dead this week.  I've had unexpected car trouble, and a number of other things have been keeping me busy.  The next post is taking place aboard the Normandy, and I will have it up before Wednesday.  After that, it is back to Omega in search of this doctor that Aria is so keen on.

I want to make a quick apology for the number of missing images this blog currently has ... especially in the older posts.  Picasa (the program that blogger uses to hold this blog's pictures) has been freaking out on me by showing some images, but removing others.  Some images are alternately available and unavailable depending on when I load the page, while others are simply missing altogether.  The funny thing is that it has only happened to this blog and not the art ones I have.  Maybe Blogger doesn't like video games?  Who knows.

Google searches have informed me that the only real way to fix this is to re-link the offending (read: not showing up) images to the blog. A little testing on my part shows that this does indeed fix the problem.  The main issue, of course, is that re-linking images in a screen cap-heavy blog like this is no small feat.  Even so, I will be engaging in this process this afternoon in an effort to return to normal.  In the meantime, I beg your patience as the process will be tedious and time consuming.

I will try to have Meriel's new log entry up today, but given this unexpected turn of events, it will most likely be pushed off until Tuesday.  See you then!

Image: Source

Friday, January 27, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Let's Watch - Toegoff's Plea to Gamers Regarding SOPA, PIPA, and Piracy

This is my last post on the subject.  I promise.  The Let's Player Toegoff, however, just posted a very good video regarding his opinion in SOPA/PIPA, piracy, and the need for gamers to take responsibility for their actions and personal decisions.  While, unlike him, I would advocate innovation on the industry's part to deter piracy (as opposed to laws with vague terminology), his thoughts on piracy itself just about mirrors my own thoughts on the subject 1:1. As I said before though, L'Épée Magique is not a political/advocacy blog and I have no desire/intent to turn it into one.  This is the last you will hear from me on the subject.

Tune in tomorrow for the next entry in Meriel Shepard's personal log.

Edited to add: Follow up video specifically about piracy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Let's Talk About - SOPA/PIPA Blackout

As you may have noticed at right, I am a member of the Entertainment Consumers Association (the ECA) which is dedicated to preserving the rights of gamers and advocating for the gaming community as a whole.  I am not a very political person, but some recent United States legislation has had me quite up in arms since it was first introduced - the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act.  While not directed at gamers, this legislation (if passed) could have negative effects internet wide - both inside and outside of the United States' borders due to bills' extremely vague wording - wording that would make abuse of the law far too easy.  The potential impact on the internet gaming community/industry alone could be detrimental.

As such, I have decided to join that January 18 online SOPA strike.  I have installed java code into this blog that should replace my blog with this, or forward you to a similar screen.  There is no guarantee that this forwarding will work, but I have at least made a full faith effort.  Either way, L'Épée Magique will not be updated in anyway for the whole of the 18th.  This is something I feel very strongly about, and hope that you will understand the reason for this inconvenience.

For those of you who live outside the United States, take a moment to read what has to say about the legislation.  Good Old Games (GOG) is a much loved and much respected digital distributor that is best known for their classic computer games and strong anti-DRM stance.  They are also the sister company of CD Projekt RED, the developer behind The Witcher and The Witcher 2: The Assassins of Kings.

Everyone please also take a moment to watch the video below, and help keep yourselves informed.

I am sorry for the heavily political nature of this post as L'Épée Magique is not a political or advocacy blog in any form or fashion.  In fact, I make a habit of never discussing politics IRL either.  Let that alone tell you how important this is to me.

Monday, January 16, 2012

ME2 - Rejected

Betray me once, shame on you.  Betray me twice ...

There are spoilers after the break.  Continue reading at your own risk.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

ME3 - Will Not Happen Unless Changes Made

The Bad News
Bioware/EA announced today that all PC copies for Mass Effect 3 (both digital and retail copies) will require the installation of EA's Origin client.  I, under no circumstances, will install Origin on my computer.  This is extremely disappointing for me, but there are some corporate decisions that I simply cannot financially support and this is one of them.

The Good News 
This in no way affects Meriel's story in Mass Effect 2.  It just means that unless the Origin requirement is removed for retail copies, there will be no Mass Effect 3.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ME2 - The Crew

... the rest has been replaced.

There are spoilers after the break.  Continue reading at your own risk.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

ME2 - Amusing Oddities 1

It has been a while since I did one of these, since there really was not a great deal odd about Mass Effect despite the prolific nature of convenient boxes for cover-based shooting.  Now that I am more familiar with Shepard's world though, there are a number of Amusing Oddities that have already reared their collective head in Mass Effect 2.  Below are a number of things in the game that were rather befuddling or simply made me laugh.

Eternal Makeup

You have to admire Miranda's attention to detail.  The Illusive Man told her to make sure Shepard emerged from the Lazarus Project the same as she was before death.  He wanted her personality to be intact, he memories intact, and her appearance intact.  Apparently he also wanted her makeup to be intact.  In Meriel's case this is actually rather appropriate, since she wore red lipstick for a very specific reason.  It is unlikely that Miranda could have known that though.  I wonder how many times the resurrected Shepard's lipstick was repeatedly, freshly applied during the two years she spent on the laboratory table.  Was it Miranda's job to apply the lipstick, or did she simply tattoo it (in a realistic manner) on Meriel's face?  I suppose the world will never know.

Click to Enlarge

Missing Scar

While we are on the subject, what happened to Shepard's scar? In Mass Effect, Meriel had a facial scar which began above her right eyebrow and crossed diagonally across her face, ending halfway down her left cheek.  Like the red lipstick, Meriel had proudly wore this scar (choosing not to have it medically removed) for a very specific reason.  As such, I was very sad to see it missing post-Lazarus Project.  Granted, Meriel now has those glowing facial scars working in her favor, but they are not quite the same.  The scar from ME1 was a testament to her past with the Tenth Street Reds.  During her time in the slums, had been in a vicious knife fight (in a world ruled by biotics and guns), and managed to emerge the proud victor.  By retaining the scar, Meriel was warning everyone she met that she was not someone you should mess with.  Again, it is possible that Miranda did not know this, but the Illusive Man knows so much about Meriel that you think he would have known this as well.  Why would he have taken such pains to have her brought back "as is" (right down to her makeup) and yet not have Miranda replicate facial scarring?


I would like to take this moment to rejoice.  The new Normandy not only has one bathroom, but it has three! There is a common men's room, a common women's room, and a private bathroom in Shepard's quarters (seen above).  If femShep walks into the men's room, she even hears an audio message telling her where to find the women's shared bathroom.  Brilliant.  These restrooms not only have showers and sinks, but you can even flush the toilets! This seriously makes me all kinds of happy.  It does beg the question though, of where crew on the first Normandy used the restroom.  Did they simply hold it in between planetary missions? Come to think of it ... I do not believe there were any bathrooms on the planets they visited either.  It is nice to see that the galaxy wised up during the two years that Meriel lay dead/unconscious on a table.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

ME2 - Returned

Some of what was lost is now regained ...

There are spoilers after the break.  Continue reading at your own risk.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

ME2 - Collected

The missing colonists.

There are spoilers after the break.  Continue reading at your own risk.

TES - Digital Spy's Morrowind Retrospective

Digital Spy has a very brief, but highly nostalgic, Morrowind retrospective that can be found here.  It is no secret that TES III remains my favorite video game to date, and nearly ten years later it still remains the gold standard by which I personally judge all open world games.  Skyrim certainly made very valiant effort to supplant it this year last year, but I simply do not think that it is possible for this very awesome (and very flawed) game to be replaced.  

Happy New Year folks, and I'll see you in a few hours with yesterday's entry in Meriel's story.  Sorry for the delay.  I unexpectedly spent the evening with friends last night and decided that Meriel could wait.

Image: Source

Bonne Année

Happy New Years, Everyone!