Much like Harry earlier this week, I have good news and bad news. The good news is I’m vacationing in Englewood, Florida, next week! Hooray for me! The bad news is I didn’t do any Circuits ahead of time, so there will be no new Circuits on the 11th, 13th, or 15th. Usually I do them ahead of time, or at least try to arrange a little something something for you guys, but I’ve been spending most of my extra time working on the impending First Circuit Book, and so I was unable (unwilling?) to squeeze in some extra extra time to give you something to read while I was away. Bottom line: I am a lazy person. I do care about you… just not enough to make me not be lazy.

Seriously, though; making a book is a lot of work! I guess that’s why you don’t see everyone just making books all the damn time, for no good reason. Right now I’m knee deep in the tedious stuff that involves prepping old comics to be book-friendly. It is indeed boring, but there is a hint of excitement as well, because I can see ahead to the finished product, and it will be awesome. As for the old comics, I promised not to “George Lucas” them, which means I didn’t touch up any of the old explosions, nor did I replace old Anakin with young Anakin. I am, however, tweaking all the dialogue balloons and fonts to be more consistent with the ones I use currently. I didn’t change any dialogue… I just changed the outward appearance of the existing dialogue. I’ve had three years to figure out how to properly format comic dialogue, and I realized very quickly that most of the early strips were flat-out wrong in the way they used dialogue balloons. Like I said… boring. But it’s going to look spiffy when I’m done.

Now, I would love to talk about the newest Mass Effect 3 DLC, Citadel, because I got it yesterday afternoon and played it for a couple hours. I can’t really say much, yet, because 2 hours was just enough to get a little taste, but not enough to tell you what I really think of it. I will share my first impressions, though.

Let’s get this right out of the way… Citadel does not change the ending to the main storyline, so if you were hoping it would, then you will likely be disappointed. As I’ve mentioned before, however, I made my peace long ago with the ending of the game, so I wasn’t expecting any revelations from the new DLC on that front. So, going in with an open mind, and the realization that I miss playing ME3, here are my initial observations:

It is very well-written, and funny. The dialogue is cheesy at times, but it’s all tongue-in-cheek, and quite engaging. It’s clear the whole writing team came back for this one.

It is, tonally, much different from the rest of ME3. It really feels isolated from the main game, which is probably quite jarring if you were to play it in the midst of a regular Mass Effect playthrough. Reaper threat reaper threat reaper threat BAM CRAZY SIDE MISSION WITH ALL YOUR PALS… yeah, I can see having a tough time reconciling that with the rest of the story at large. But for me, playing it months removed from the main story, it actually feels like a nice break from all the regular gloom and doom associated with saving the entire frackin’ galaxy.

It is blatant fan service. This is not a bad thing.

Wrex is awesome. No one can break stuff like that guy.

The first major action scene does not give you enough ammo. I think the game wanted me to be sneaky for this part, but Mass Effect is not a stealth game. My Shepard is a “vanguard” class. He doesn’t do sneaking.  I’m a bit rusty since I haven’t played in a few months, so maybe I wasn’t doing it right, and my aim was off, but I ran out of ammo really quickly, and so there was more than one instance where I basically had to let Shepard get killed so I could restart with more ammo. Weird and unnecessary, if you ask me. It felt like Bioware was trying to get cute with the Mass Effect combat system, and wanted it to be something it wasn’t. I wasn’t really a fan of that part, but I got through it without turning the difficulty down, and with only a touch of light cursing.

That’s all I can say right now; once I’ve played through, and messed around with all the extra content that’s included apart from the main side quest, I’ll have more to talk about. It won’t be until after I get back from my vacation, however. My vacation from work and Circuit will also be a vacation from video games (gasp!). I’ll play some more today, though, and I look forward to playing it more when I get back home. Just based on my initial moments with it, though, I’d say that even if you were really disappointed by the ending of the main story, try to put that aside and play this DLC. You might end up enjoying it in spite of yourself.

Again, no new Circuit or blog posts next week. I’ve already posted the new comic for this Friday, but that’s the last you’ll hear from me until Monday the 18th. At which point I’ll be gearing up to go to PAX East! So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice. 

See you soon!

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