Here’s five games to whet your hack ‘n’ slash appetite during the final countdown to Diablo III.

(

Diablo III open beta impressions

Welcome back, old friend! I almost didn’t recognize you.

(

Legend of Grimrock

Legend of Grimrock strikes a perfect balance between accessibility and nostalgia.

(

The Black Prism

With The Black Prism, the first entry of the Lightbringer series, Brent Weeks paints a fully-realized world of war, religion, magic, guns, and the struggle for power.

A big bucket of thank you to my good buddy Rob, for introducing me to this book.

(

20 years later: Faxanadu

After playing Faxanadu for the first time in 20 years, I’m happy to say that it’s even better than I remember.

(

CM9 Alpha 2 on Touchpad impressions

Now that we’ve had a chance to put CM9 Alpha 2 through its paces on our 32GB Touchpad, we figured it was time we put up our impressions.

(

Dragon Age II revisited

Upon finishing Mass Effect 3, I decided to load up Dragon Age II (note that this was not inspired by the recent news that Bioware is officially done with Dragon Age II; it ended up being a happy coincidence of timing.) The review I wrote shortly after DAII launched still holds true today, almost word for word. The only exception to this is the DirectX 11 problems, which have long since been hammered out. Now, the game positively sings on my 560ti running at 1920 x 1080, with all of the graphics options spiked and the hi-res pack enabled.

As a sequel, Dragon Age II was rather disappointing. When taken as its own independent experience however, it’s actually quite an enjoyable game. Give our original review a read, then go and load up another trip into Kirkwall; I think you’ll be pleasently surprised at what you find.

Dissecting Mass Effect 3′s ending

We here at Living With a Nerd thought the ending to Mass Effect 3 was a fitting, beautiful way to cap off the Mass Effect trilogy, so we’ve decided to break down our opinion step-by-step, inch-by-inch. We’ll be doing this by looking at themes explored throughout the trilogy, and comparing them to how they’ve been represented in the final moments of Mass Effect 3.

It goes without saying that this article is filled to the brim with spoilers, so if you haven’t finished ME3, it’s highly recommended that you turn back now.

(

I finally got a chance to finish off Mass Effect 3, cementing my opinion that it’s one of the best sci-fi stories to come out in a long time, one that has already found itself a permanent place in my memories. While the ending, in my opinion, wrapped things up perfectly (and emotionally!), it appears that a lot of people have a major problem with it. From forums to gaming sites, people everywhere are up in arms, even going so far as to create a petition to goad Bioware into changing the ending. Granted, they’re using the opportunity to raise money for Child’s Play, but still…a petition?

Ben Kuchera, formerly of Ars Technica and currently of Penny Arcade Report fame, wrote an article that sums up almost exactly how I feel about Mass Effect 3′s ending. The article obviously comes with a big ol’ spoiler warning attached to it, but if you’re interested in checking it out, you can do so right here.

As for Living With a Nerd’s look at Mass Effect 3, it should go live sometime later this week.

EDIT: Gabe and Tycho, aka Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade fame, also wrote fantastic blog posts regarding their take on the ending. Spoilers abound once again, but they’re here if you want to read them.

(

Overcoming Mass Effect 3′s character import issue

Mass Effect 2 character on the left, rebuilt Mass Effect 3 character on the right.

As you may or may not be aware, there are widespread reports of people being unable to import their Mass Effect 2 character’s appearance into Mass Effect 3. Specifically, this is occurring when attempting to import a character who’s appearance remained untouched between ME1 and ME2.

While this is obviously frustrating for many people, I myself took it as an opportunity to correct certain…atrocities my female Renegade Shepard was previously subjected to.