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Jumping the Shark Podcast #116

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Featured in Jumping the Shark #116 Brandon sends Angry Birds into deep space, while Bill takes a swing at the new Kinect-enabled Tiger Woods game and continues his throw-back adventure into Resident Evil 4. Oh, and it’s possible that we might talk just a little bit about a Mass Effect 3 ending that fails to satisfy and why it’s really not that honking big of a deal.

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Todd Brakke

Todd was born in Ann Arbor with a Michigan helmet in one hand and a mouse in the other. (Never you mind the logistics of this.) He grew, vertically anyway, and proceeded to spend over 16 years as a development editor for Pearson Education, publishing books, videos, and digital learning products under the Que and Sams Publishing imprints. Because that wasn't enough of a challenge, Todd has also been a 20-year part-time snob about video games, writing reviews, features, and more for multiple outlets. Follow him on Twitter @ubrakto or check it out his website at

7 thoughts to “Jumping the Shark Podcast #116”

  1. Kai Leng sucks. What a terrible character- he is so out of place in Mass Effect it’s not funny. He’s like some schmoe from a b-grade Japanese action game circa 2002. Or maybe some kind of cheapjack rip-off of Raiden from MGS. I just rolled my eyes when he showed up, exactly the kind of idiotic “cool” character that numbskull kids with screen names like “Sephiroth666” cotton to.

    And yeah, he’s pretty darn racist. Seriously, if they had an African-American character named Leroy Washington with a giant afro it’d be less of a stereotype.

    I like all of the races in Mass Effect, there’s some really well-done SF world-building and I like that they follow on with Star Trek that they’ree still essentially human. Why blow a potentially good character by making him the dreaded Asian cyborg ninja?

    I do agree with the comments that there is some really, really good stuff in ME3. Rannoch and Sanctuary in particular. And I don’t know that there’s a better moment in all of the ME games than shootin’ cans and shootin’ the shit with Garrus on top of Citadel. A nice, natural sense of levity and friendship.

  2. Wait, is Kai Leng in Mass Effect 3? Does he physically appear in the game?

    What about Kahlee Sanders? Please tell me Kahlee Sanders is a character in Mass Effect 3!

    Kahlee Sanders is the most egregious example of a Mary Sue character I have ever read in a published novel. She makes Wesley Crusher look like Jay Gatsby. She’s beautiful and athletic, sweet and down to earth, a master of hand-to-hand and firearm combat, and the galaxy’s foremost expert in at least five unrelated fields. Depending on the needs of the plot, Kahlee Sanders is a better soldier than Anderson, a better pilot than Joker, and a better turian than Garrus.

    1. You’ll be delighted to know that Kahlee Sanders *is* in the game, briefly.

      However, not having touched any of the Mass Effect tie-in stuff, I had no idea she was an appalling Mary Sue instead of some random npc that knew Anderson back in the day.

      1. I had no idea who she was either. In the game she’s just sort of there to give Anderson some fleshing out.

      2. Back in the day? No no no: Kahlee Sanders has been single-handedly thwarting Cerberus’ schemes for years. She’s survived countless ambushes by the galaxy’s top assassins, rallied terrified marines back into battle, and inspired lifelong criminals to seek redemption. Near as I can tell, she also invented EDI and the modern biotic amp, though I’m sure she had a super swell team to help out.

        You are very wise to have avoided the BioWare expanded universe books.

        Jeez, cameo or not, now I can’t wait to see how a character this absurd is acknowledged in the game! Does she emanate a soft golden glow? Is Shepard awed by her presence? Does your XBox 360 cough out gold doubloons whenever she’s on screen?

  3. I agree that they could have done better than Kai Leng, but in the podcast one of the reasons mentioned was that the mass effect repertoire of species. Even though it makes sense that cerberus would use a human.
    In ME2 they often mentioned how unusual it was for cerberus to cooperate with aliens.

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