“Mass Effect” Review by Jesse Schaffer

My name is Vigil. You are are safe here for the moment, but that is likely to change. Soon nowhere will be safe.

When I purchased my first Xbox 360 back in 2007, I did so mainly because I wanted Halo 3. I owned the first two on the original Xbox and so for me it was an easy decision to make. However, I’ve never been much of an online gamer so once I breezed through Halo 3’s disappointingly short campaign (oh yes, we will get to that in a future post), I was left looking for something else to sink my teeth into.  Then one day I was at a friend’s house and he was playing this little game called Mass Effect. I wasn’t necessarily a stranger to the game. After all, BioWare was the developer behind Mass Effect and they just happened to also create Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which is quite possibly my favorite game ever. For whatever reason, I just hadn’t stayed up to date on Mass Effect but knowing that BioWare was behind it and seeing it in action for myself, I made a mental note to buy my own copy when I had the chance. Then my fucking 360 broke.

Ah yes, all you 360 owners out there know what I’m talking about: the three rings of death, the ultimate middle finger to anyone who dropped $300 or more on a faulty product. Being a poor college student who was paying rent, it took me about a year to replace the damn thing, but when I did the first game I picked up was Mass Effect. I was relieved to be back on my digital saddle and excited to finally play it for myself, but little did I know that I was about to embark on the beginning of my all-time favorite video game trilogy.

Continue reading

“Gears of War” Review by Jesse Schaffer

Cut off the head of the snake, and the body dies. We will win this war. It’s only a matter of time. 

One of the things I wanted to do when Kevin and I started Pegboard was to incorporate video game reviews into our content. Not necessarily because I am an expert on the subject and am out to enlighten people, but rather that I just really admire games these days and think they are worth talking about. When I approached Kevin about the idea, I was convinced that he would share my enthusiasm for the project. “Yeah, you should take that,” he said. “It’s not really my thing.” Well then. So much for that.

However, you shouldn’t judge him based on that one exchange. The dude is halfway around the world right now, living the celebrity life and handing out his autograph everywhere he goes (no, I’m serious, ask him). He has more pressing matters at hand than to embrace his inner geek for the enjoyment of our beloved followers. I, on the other hand, have far more free time than a 24-year old man should and am happy to fill in the gap while Kevin is away. And now that the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Wii U are fully entrenched as the current-gen consoles, I think it’s an opportune time to look back at some of my favorite games from the previous cycle and cherish the hundreds upon thousands of hours I spent playing them by myself while dating absolutely no one.

So here we go, come join me on this digital trip down memory lane. First up: Gears of War. 

Continue reading