Midweek deals and thoughts

So I'll start with a quick few gaming thoughts off of the top of my head:

- I've been playing a lot of Mass Effect 3 and so far am digging it.  For my initial play through I am not doing an import of one of my prior Mass Effect 2 campaigns as I want to approach it using default settings, something like a new player would experience.

- I'm doing a lot more of the multiplayer than I had originally thought I would.  The mulitplayer ties into the campaign mode by raising your Galactic Readiness - which impacts the final ending it seems.  I got mine to 100% in all areas in about a day and change of heavy multiplayer.

- Multiplayer Pros: The variety sprinkled into the missions is nice, and the ability to create and use a bunch of different classes makes leveling up lots of fun.  The credits system works for me too, because as a one-time sports card collector, the idea of 'opening' a pack of 5 random items is sort of fun, especially if you get a rare or uncommon (I tend to save up for the top-shelf Specter package).

- Multiplayer Cons: The matchmaking needs work. When the host leaves, it gives you a message that you are mgrating, but in truth you're just getting punted back out to the loby.  Also, there needs to be a way to force people to 'ready' status after a time.  You can have four people to a team, 3 of them ready, and you can sit there twiddling your thumbs on that fourth unready person indefinitely.  When you find a good group of 4, you can plow through the waves pretty wel, but for every 1 really good group, I go through about 5-15 failed matchmaking attempts just to get a round of play going

- I'm probably about 1/3 of the way through the single player campaign and I am thoroughly enjoying it so far.  I got the collector's edition, so I will be touching on that as well as my regular review soon.  I'll be kicking off a series of Mass Effect reviews starting Friday I believe.

- Speaking of big, backlogged games, my Skyrim review will be going live soon too.  I don't really plan to go through my impressions quite so much as Mass Effect 3, which is a much newer title, but suffice to say I have enjoyed Skyrim quite a bit as well.

- RPG Maker VX Ace has been awesome so far.  I've been digging into it several different ways.  I made a very short game as just sort of a test demo for my son to play, and I have approached it from the building standpoint, to the ease of adding your own materials and also applying and tweaking scripts.  I will do two different write-ups on the software.  One for Otaku Gaming that is a straight review of the experience, and one here on this blog discussion it and the changes I see from being a heavy RPG Maker XP user and skipping VX to go to VX Ace.  The tiny game I wrote up for my son (seriously, it's like a 10 or 15 minute play through) is something I may post somewhere for others to view as well if interested.

- A little title called Diablo III is announced to be releasing exactly a week before my birthday.  I know what I'll be asking for. :)

So the above are just some bullet point updates for those interested.  I definitely have more on tap to post about here over the coming weeks, but my hope is you will really enjoy the Mass effect series, which will probably span about two weeks of posts on here.  Now, for the weekly deals on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network and more.

Gamersgate has Warhammer 40,000 for 66% off, The Guild Complete for 75% off and Neverwinter Nights 2 for the Mac for a whopping 95% off.

Amazon has a couple of smaller deals like a discount on the latest Mario and Sonic Olympics and an offer to get FF XIII with the purchase of XIII-2.

Steam's midweek madness deal is Portal 2 for half-off and their daily deal up until around 1PM EST today is Spellforce 2 Gold Edition for $3.74.

The Deal of the Week is all Bioshock 2 related - with DLC packs and Avator items being 50% off on Xbox Live for Gold members.

With the PlayStation Plus it is pretty evident that most of the free stuff happens at the beginning of the month, but some of the deals throughout the month are definitely of note too.  This week?  Huge emphasis on the Final Fantasy titles.  Here's the full list below of PSN updates:


PSN Games

Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc HD ($9.99)
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine ($39.99)
Warriors Orochi 3 ($49.99)


Vita Games

Sumioni: Demon Arts ($19.99)


PlayStation Minis

SAR: Search and Rescue ($2.99)


PlayStation Plus

Dissidia Final Fantasy (PSP)
Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection (PSP)
Final Fantasy V (PSone)
Final Fantasy VI (PSone)
Final Fantasy VII (PSone)
Final Fantasy VIII (PSone)
Final Fantasy Origins (PSone)
Final Fantasy Tactics (PSone)
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)
Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc HD


DLC

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon -- Various DLC (Free-$4.99)
Blazblue: Continuum Shift Extend -- System Voice Arrange DLC ($5.99)
Disney Universe -- Various DLC ($0.99-$2.99)
EyePet & Friends -- Various DLC ($0.69-$2.99)
Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk. 2 -- Various DLC (Free-$2.99)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning -- The Legend of Dead Kel ($9.99)
MotorStorm RC -- Various DLC ($0.25-$0.99)
Ninja Gaiden 3 -- Online Pass ($9.99)
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City -- USS Wolfpack Uniforms ($2.99)
Rock Band 3 -- Various Tracks ($1.99 each)
Rock Band Network -- Various Tracks ($0.99-$1.99)
Rocksmith -- Various Tracks ($2.99 each)
Saints Row The Third -- The Trouble With Clones ($6.99)
Tales of Graces F -- Various DLC (Free-$3.99)
UFC Undisputed 3 -- Upsets Pack ($4.99)

Vita DLC

Blazblue: Continuum Shift Extend -- System Voice Arrange DLC ($5.99)
MotorStorm RC -- Various DLC ($0.25-$0.99)
Ridge Racer -- Various DLC (Free-$1.49)


Demos

Birds of Steel
Rayman 3 HD
Under Siege


Discounts

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon (DLC)
Coconut Dodge (Mini)
Dissidia Final Fantasy (PSP)
Final Fantasy IV: The Complete Collection (PSP)
Final Fantasy V (PSone)
Final Fantasy VI (PSone)
Final Fantasy VII (PSone)
Final Fantasy VIII (PSone)
Final Fantasy Origins (PSone)
Final Fantasy Tactics (PSone)
Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions (PSP)
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