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About
I'm a lady geek who enjoys the finer things in life: Gaming, science fiction (and fantasy too...who can resist a unicorn?!), old movies, vintage (read: Goodwill) clothes, and writing.

I got my undergraduate degree in anthropology and applied archaeology in hopes of becoming Indiana Jones. I dropped out of my fancy graduate school when I realized that archaeologists don't really get to beat up Nazis. THANKS, COLLEGE.

I like cats, Diet Coke and rock music. I currently work for BioWare as a community representative on STAR WARS: The Old Republic. (Clearly my opinions here do NOT reflect those of my employers.) Mostly, I just try to be awesome, and play a lot of games.


This is me.


This is not my dog.

That's it! Oh, and be my Twitter and/or Facebook friend if you want to. Yay, friends!
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Before I get started, let me just mention that Guncannon's podcast (which I appear in) on history in video games is up. Everyone was fantastic and the whole thing is just awesome, even though I sound like some kind of overexcited chipmunk every time I open my mouth.

And now for something completely different:

As I've mentioned about a zillion times, I've moved to California to live in my childhood home. It's a pretty typical 1950's bungalow and has accumulated three generations worth of people's stuff, so things get a little crowded sometimes. My old room, for example, is full of boxes of things of my parents', as well as from my formative years. Slowly but surely I'm going through these boxes, often to awesome effect (Lisa Frank folders! Lion King stationary! Millions of My Little Ponies!). Even some totally hot photos of me in a swimsuit...!



However, everything else I've found so far totally diminishes in awesomeness in relation to today's find.



Seriously. It's just that awesome. And while what I found is by no means rare, it's pretty much the greatest thing I hope to find, EVER. It made my day. In fact, it may have made the GREATEST DAY OF ALL TIME. Sorry, nonexistant future husband, our wedding is going to suck compared to this day. Oh, and yet-to-be-born children? I don't care how cute you are, your births will forever remain disappointments to me, because I'm pretty sure this mf'ing day simply cannot be topped.

I mean, I started with a normal-enough looking box....



AND THEN THIS HAPPENED.






It makes me feel like this:



Thanks, Mom and Dad, for leaving me the BEST THING TO FIND EVER! Now, who wants to come over and play Warlords?!
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O HAI DESTRUCTOID COMMUNITY!

Another boring, quick update from me. Yes, I made it to California without incident, although now that I live here I find myself all of a sudden having a life. Is that weird, or what? I mean, I've hardly turned on the Xbox since I've been here, and at least half of the times I have, it's been to watch Netflix with my grandpa. I am so not hardcore anymore. Next I'm going to start playing Farmville, just you wait.



Speaking of Farmville, it was one of many tangential topics discussed on Guncannon's super-cool podcast of which I happily guested! Guncannon hosted Kraid, Cadtalfryn, and myself to discuss history in games. It was a lot of fun and hopefully it will be up sometime so I can link it and you all can bask in its glory!

Also, I finally joined this century and signed up for a Google Group: The Destructoid LA Google Group, to be precise! Is it weird that I am totally down with hanging out with people I haven't met before? The answer, my friends, is NO, BECAUSE YOU ARE ALL AWESOME. So if you're in California-ish, hit me up, yo. I know all the hip places...well, I mean, I know where the nearest 7-11 is, and I think I might have passed an In-N-Out on the way here. So, OK, I don't know where all the cool stuff is because I'm just not that cool. Is that what you wanted to hear? I hope you're happy.

In fact, I am so not cool that I passed up an opportunity to party in Silver Lake. Don't know what Silver Lake is? Let me give you a hint:



It's a community full of GOOD FOR NOTHING HIPSTERS, that's what.

I just don't have the spirit of irony that being hip requires. Whenever I wear something, it's usually because I like it. (The other part of the time I wear it because it's all I have clean and I am an epic slob.) I mean, if I were to get a unicorn tattoo, it would be because I legitimately think that unicorns are God's most beautiful creatures, not because I think it is hilarious. But you know what is hilarious? THIS.



(Luckily we missed the exit and ended up seeing Crazy Heart in the unhippest of places, Century City. And I have now seen enough of Jeff Bridges half-naked and sweaty to last me a lifetime.)

Now I have web sites to maintain, but before I go I will leave you with a question: If you could recommend me only one game for either PC or Xbox 360 to pick up this month, what would it be? I've got to get back into my old gaming habits, or so help me I will start going out and socializing. God forbid.
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So I've been away from Destructoid-land recently as I've been preparing for a move of epic proportions. As such, I've had to cut back on the internet time for fear of becoming a scrappy vagabond with naught but a penny to my name but a song in my heart. (Actually, I think I prefer the term "wastrel" to "vagabond." Don't you? It sounds so much more Dickens-ian-ish.) Whatever, I am so drinking right now.

Anyway, SUP Y'ALL? How was Valentine's? Mine was pretty pimp, no lie, not least because of Bioshock 2. Is it possible to both love and hate something at the same time? Like children, or waffles? Because that's the feeling that Bioshock 2 inspires in me. The plot is absolutely nonsensical, there are no surprises, but the gameplay is like 23092830298 times better, and multiplayer!!!! is awesome. Actually, multiplayer is hella buggy and freezes the Xbox periodically, which may have made me fling my controller at my cat (I later apologized). But I still can't tear myself away. I mean, I have HEAT-SEEKING GRENADES and a MELEE ROLLING PIN. And the fact that their version of Capture the Flag involves forcibly grabbing young girls makes me happy. Ahh, implied child murder. Classic.

Anyhow, this was my reaction upon receiving Bioshock 2:


Delicious.

Oh, noticed the hastily Photoshopped-in Bender poster next to my gaping maw, have you? As you may have noticed (probably due to the handy arrow) it's the same poster as in the background behind my huge noggin. Which brings me to my next point...

I AM TOTALLY GIVING AWAY AN AWESOME BENDER POSTER.

So, I'm moving, right? And I can't take all this shit with me. I have a spare of the poster pictured that's all brand new and stuff, just taking up space like a bastard. Would you like it? Because it can be yours, my friend. All you have to do is write a Futurama-themed haiku in the comments. You shall know of your victory (or non-victory) by Sunday, which is the day I hit the road. You can enter as many times as you can haiku, and you shall be judged by an objective outside source (no, not Jesus). And, like the Highlander, THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE (winner). Because I only have one poster. Duh.

K, time for more packy packy. Here is some Billy West to tide you over until my return.

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Despite being a grown-ass woman, I still have a not-so-secret passion for cutesy things. Perhaps being raised on Sailor Moon and Fun Dip has caused saccharine sweetness to run through my veins. (That sounds like the origin story of the lamest supervillain ever. AFTER I DRESS UP MY CAT IN CUTE OUTIFTS I'M OUT FOR YOUR BLOOD, SPIDERMAN!) That being said, it should come as no surprise that I love Valentine's Day. Like, LOVE it love it. So much that I would, in fact, marry it.

I know that many of you out there don't share that sentiment. I contend that the reason you don't feel the same way is because you have been unable to find the perfect Valentine's Day gift and thus feel hopelessly insecure about your virility and sexual prowess. Well, no fear, my friends. Because I have come up with the BEST VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT GUIDE OF ALL TIME.

I'm not talking about the prepackaged Valentine's grossness that retailers thrust in our faces year after year. I'm talking awesome, adorable, geeky gifts that will have your significant other ripping your clothes off faster than a Rancor ripping into a Twi'lek dancing girl.



So, here it is. Shop with confidence knowing that I used my discriminating taste to ensure that each item on this list is full of WIN.

* Pretty much nothing is more standard a Valentine's gift than jewelry. (Well, at least as long as you disregard candy and flowers.) So why not get them some awesome game jewelry?! I'm sure that it won't get them made fun of or anything...


From L-R, clockwise: tianarutledge, spugmeistress, TheClayCollection (both sets of cufflinks), countryjedi, spugmeistress again.


* Maybe you should give them something to cuddle on those long, cold nights without you, so they don't turn to another human being instead. Keep them out of the arms of their tennis instructor with these adorable plushes!


L-R: t0fugurl, amyjoshandmade, callykarishokka, mpoust7, randomhouse, and t0fugurl again.


* Perhaps you'd like to tactfully suggest that your loved one should stay in the kitchen instead of voicing her opinion or worse, showing herself when company's over. Lovingly guide her to where she belongs with these awesome kitchen-y goods:


All kitchen-y goodness by PoppysGardenGate.


* I couldn't resist the lure of these cell phone charms, so they get their own section. They would of course be adorable on a cell phone, but there's also a spot on the Nintendo DS to hang these, so you can go EXTRA geeky!


All charms by iKtizo. Awww!


* Maybe your loved one has narcolepsy. Or perhaps you don't have a loved one, and spend your nights crying yourself to sleep. Well, what better object to smother in your tears than AN AWESOME PILLOW?!


L-R clockwise: Bellapoms, r4pwnz31, raindrops23, Bellapoms again, getyourgameon, PoppysGardenGate, LiyoLabs, raindrops23 again.


* These things were all pretty much random, so they all got grouped together on my own geeky Island of Misfit Toys. (In case you can't tell what these are, I will tell you (L-R clockwise): An iPod/iPhone case, controller ornaments/mobile, 500gb external hard drive (HOW SWEET IS THAT?!), vegan chocolates, Pokemon flash drive (!!!), and Tetis wine glass markers.)


L-R clockwise: yummypocket, useyourdigits, 8BitMemory, chocoagogo, 8BitMemory again, countryjedi.


* Lastly, regardless of whether or not you get them any other gift, you HAVE to at least get your S.O. a card. So get them one of these instead of some insipid Hallmark Precious Moments shit.


L-R clockwise: tracychong, martinivixen, RADROBOT, LandMdesignworks, candyspotting, ArgyleWhale.


Welp, that's about it. I leave you with this touching Valentine's Day message:

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Yeah, I know you were all DYING to know what I think of Mass Effect 2 now that I've beaten it. This will be my last Mass Effect post; there's only so much I can say without getting into completely arbitrary territory (which, let's face it, I've already got one foot in). As it contains observations from the second half of my playthrough, it might be slightly spoiler-y.

Here's what I know:

* So basically we’ve mastered space travel, yet haven't figured out a way to automatically feed our space-fish?

* Mordin is probably one of the greatest characters in the whole game. I was pretty upset when I found out that he couldn’t be my space boyfriend. DREAMS CRUSHED.

* If a character is voiced by a celebrity, is it a rule that those characters must resemble the celebrities who voiced them? I spent half the game wondering why no one had busted Martin Sheen for running a galactic criminal organization and when whatsherface from Chuck had gone brunette.


I think we all know who Miranda and Illusive Man are putting on their Facebook profiles during Doppelganger Week.

* I love how much livelier the Mass Effect 2 world is compared to the original. Overhearing conversations, advertisements, space hamsters…all made the game that much more real.

* What’s up with Quarian accents? Based on Tali I figured they all sounded like either Boris or Natasha. Imagine my surprise to find out that they also come in Gruff Generic Military Guy, Bored American Mall Rat, and OMG LOGHAIN AND MORRIGAN varieties.

* Was anyone else weirded out by Liara’s new profession and outlook on life? I can’t figure out her drastic transition from sweet-natured archaeologist and historian into a vengeful bitch with no interest in any of her previous endeavors. The old Liara was obsessed with Prothean culture and technology…so how is it that now she could care less about encountering honest-to-goodness Protheans in favor of seeking revenge against the Shadow Broker…?

* I'm loving Garrus' character re-do. Who knew there was a sense of humor in there?

* On a related note...um, sex with party members is a billion percent less creepy than in Dragon Age.



* For being a big bad organization, Cerberus sure does have boring-ass employees. Yeah, I’m looking at you, Miranda and Jacob. I don’t know why the developers limited Miranda’s conversation options; perhaps they couldn’t afford to pay Yvonne Strahovski for more dialogue? Whatever the reason, they could not have made a no-nonsense, shoot guys in the head-type any more boring. Not to mention that despite her “The mission is number one priority” attitude, the writers somehow get her into a high school catfight with Jack which can result in her sulking in her office for the rest of the game if you don’t play your cards right. LADIEZ, WE’RE ON A GAZILLION-DOLLAR MISSION HERE, NOT FIGHTING OVER QUIZ RESULTS IN TIGER BEAT. JOE JONAS IS NOT GOING TO DATE EITHER OF YOU. GET OVER IT.



* And Jacob? Oh, Jacob. He had potential…unfortunately, it never got past that. I thought Kaiden was bland…but Jacob is beyond bland. Sigh. He has even less to say than Miranda. I wish they had given him a personality outside of being good and doing the right thing.

* I ended up really liking Samara and Thane a lot.

* The marketing of Subject Zero was way off base—in game, I didn’t find her to be particularly psychotic, just annoying. Unfortunately the developers mistakenly believed that it wouldn’t be incredibly irritating for the player to have to coddle her throughout a damn suicide mission.

* They also screwed up by promoting the hell out of Subject Zero ahead of time. By doing so, they killed any surprise that might have occurred by discovering that the killer badass Jack was actually a woman.

* I wasn’t sold on Grunt until after I did his loyalty mission. Then he was pure fun.

* Once again, Mass Effect disappoints with its lack of gay romance options. I swear, gay gamers are the new women gamers; underrepresented and basically ignored. The first Mass Effect had completely sexist gay options; women and men could both romance Liara, whose species is supposedly dual-sex, thus allowing for a lesbian cutscene for gay lady Shepards and…a straight cutscene for gay male Shepards. Because as we all know, lesbians are hott whereas gay men are just gross, thank you. Mass Effect 2 did even worse by its gay players; there are literally zero options for same-sex lovin’. I guess BioWare just figured that it WOULDN’T BE RIGHT for a galactic hero to be gay, because as we all know, there have never been any gay leaders in the history of the world ever. (Except Hitler.) Never mind that you can have sex with a completely different species—my spaceboyfriend Garrus is essentially a sentient iguana—but same-sex human couples? ESCANDALO!



Despite my various and random complaints, BioWare did a great job with this game. That much is obvious; people all over the internetz are shouting its praises from the rooftops and I personally played it in lieu of social interaction for several days. I am SO PSYCHED for Mass Effect 3 it's ridiculous.

You stay classy, San Diego.

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I’m not putting in any spoilers unless it’s something that can easily be deduced from the official promotional site; I’m not here to make anybody cry. NOT TODAY. Also, I’m holding off on analyzing the characters too much until I’m done with the game; as it stands, I’m probably not even halfway through yet and we all know that crazy shit is bound to happen.

Here are a few things I’ve noticed while playing Mass Effect 2 thus far:

* When you start a new game (without using old save data), the game assumes that if you’re playing as female Shepard, you TOTALLY saved Kaiden in the previous game, and you TOTALLY had a relationship. Um, he wasn’t THAT cute.

* Apparently the future has regressed from laser weapons to guns that use actual bullets. Yes, I know what the official explanation is; these are HEAT SINKS, NOT AMMO, OK, except for you use them like ammo, and you can’t shoot any more if you run out of “heat sinks” (which is ludicrous; logic dictates that your gun has to cool down at some point, whether or not you have heat sinks). And I don’t know about you, but I expect the future to have weapons that can KILL A MAN WITH LIGHT without needing “heat sinks” every time you take a shot. So, yeah, totally bullets.

* When trying to get to know Miranda (whom I actually really like; more on that at a later time) she says something like “I’m not here to make friends, I’m here to do a mission.” It TOTALLY brought this to mind:



* Jacob kind of looks a lot like Kanye (might be the haircut).



* The ship’s AI, EDI (pronounced eedee), looks like…umm…a talking vagina. Well, a talking vagina mixed with one of those electricity ball things they always used to have at Radio Shack in the mall back in the day. I wonder if the name EDI is an inside joke, because I get a case of E.D. just looking at that thing if you know what I’m sayin’...(OH YES I DID JUST GO THERE.) I can’t believe someone actually approved that design. “Hey, you know what the Normandy needs? A talking space vag!” “AGREED. Great work, Kevin!” It totally brought Monty Python to mind, but I couldn’t find the video online to link to (please post it in the comments if you find it and know what I’m talking about!).



* Archangel was a totally sweet and unexpected surprise.

* Subject Zero isn’t quite as bad as I was expecting, but I still feel like opening the airlock on her from time to time.

* I love the Professor and wish I could have his beady-eyed babies.

* All the talk about the Omega 4 relay reminds me of the Omega 13 device:


I could only find it in Spanish, which somehow makes it even MORE awesome.

* Whenever I run in-game, my squadmate’s disembodied heads (the health/shields display) float perfectly on my butt. It looks pretty hilarious and awesome.

* The club Afterlife on Omega has the same ol’ asari strippers we all know and love from Chora’s Den, with a few changes. The ass cutouts are a nice touch.

* OK, I know I promised no spoilers but I know the biggest question on everybody’s minds: “Are there elevator rides?!” Well, let me tell you, my friends: FUCK YES THERE ARE. Though there’s really only one (on the ship) that I’ve seen so far, and the boring-ass animation has been replaced with a loading screen (which is all the elevator rides ever were to begin with). So, elevator ride purists will likely be disappointed.

I don’t have many complaints but the few I do have are major:

Tiny-ass font. This is almost a game killer for me. I don’t have a 40890” TV and the font is RIDICULOUSLY small. Additionally, there’s no way to change the display except to get another TV. Sooo, all of the cool backstory, conversation options (!!!) and interesting codex entries (just kidding, pretty sure nobody reads those anyway) are lost to obscurity. I’m terrified that I’m going to select a “Motion for Ashley to kill Wrex”-type conversation option by mistake, and I do NOT like living in terror, thank you. At least Mass Effect has voiceover for player characters (unlike, say Dragon Age), which is the only thing that prevents me from going all Wendy O. Williams on my TV. (Semi-relatedly, the tiny font does make for some interesting reading errors, such as misreading a quest for the ship’s chef as “The Normandy’s cocks…” Heeey-OOOO!)



Mining. OK, so taking the Mako out whenever you wanted to scan a planet was kind of boring, but it was like being in a bouncy house filled with candy compared to the new scanning mechanism in Mass Effect 2. I like the idea of upgrading your weapons/armor/ship based on the materials you find, but there has got to be a better way than scrolling your cursor over a planet and launching probes (which you have to keep buying). Head, meet desk.

Infuriating cover system. This could be primarily operator error; I have no one to compare myself with, so who knows. All I know is that the cover system is killing me. I’m all for leaping behind Mass Effect 2’s many scattered crates when under fire, but maneuvering while in cover is maddening. Half the time I find myself exiting cover unintentionally; the other half is spent trying to move around and angle myself juuust right so I can actually fire at a target. HELLA FRUSTRATING.

That’s about it so far. I can’t wait to finish the game, but I also don’t want it to end. It’s pretty damn great. If you’ve been putting off playing due to the less important things in life like work, school, or offspring, STOP IMMEDIATELY and pick this game up. Your kids can feed and clothe themselves for a damn change.
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