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Mass Effect 3's Operation: Raptor


This weekend, March 30th to April 2nd, marks the third bounty weekend for multiplayer in Mass Effect 3.

From Bioware's blog:

The Reaper horde is growing, so we must as well. Effective military strength needs to increase, and veterans must train conscripts so that they, in turn, can train others.
Allied Goal: Promote 150,000 characters. Victory Packs awarded to all players upon successful completion.
Individual Goal: Promote 2 characters. Commendation Pack awarded to individual players upon successful completion.



Welcome to the next N7 Multiplayer Weekend!
Last weekend our community operatives united to train a record number of new recruits. The time has come to turn these new recruits into battle-hardened veterans.
Join the war against the Reapers online between 5PM PST Friday, March 30th to 5AM PST Monday, April 2nd and promote at least 2 characters to your single player campaign.
This operation includes PC and Xbox 360; we are continuing to work with Sony to enable these types of Operations on the PlayStation 3 platform. We appreciate your patience, and we expect an update later this week regarding Operation Raptor and the PlayStation 3.
Commendation Packs will be awarded to individual soldiers who complete their training, and a Victory Pack will be awarded to everyone if the Allied Goal is achieved. Packs will be available to download the following week. Please note that participants need to set “Upload Gameplay Feedback” to “on” in the online options to be able to participate in Operation RAPTOR.

Lucky Star's Claim Jumper

Place: Lucky Star
Location: Burlington, WI
Burger: Claim Jumper
Ingredients: 6oz black Angus patty, American cheese, thousand island dressing, lettuce, and tomato on a brioche bun


Verdict:

Burlington's Lucky Star is a storied restaurant with a recent history of constant change.  The latest restoration marks the final conversion into a western themed pub and grille.  The change is remarkable and I was hoping that the food would see as much of an upgrade as the decoration.

As of late, I'm drawn to burgers with unique toppings.  Thousand island dressing is (to my knowledge) currently only on one other burger.  It works to great effect on the Big Mac, so I was naturally curious as to how it would fare on a more traditionally prepared burger.  As it turned out, it was delicious.  The lettuce and tomato were fresh and crisp and the thousand island complimented it exquisitely.  The Angus patty was thick and full of smokey flavor.  The exterior was lightly charred from the grill and stood as a refreshing contrast the juicy center.  If ever there were a burger to try in Burlington, this is it.

On the Side:
A hearty helping of plain, perfectly cooked fries


Fred's "Fred Burger"

Place: Fred's
Location: Burlington, WI
Burger: Fred Burger
Ingredients: Ground beef, grilled ham, sautéed onions, green peppers, and Swiss cheese


Verdict:

Fred's advertises having the world's best burger.  It's certainly a bold claim.  Fred's can certainly talk the talk, but can they walk the burger walk?

Fred's namesake burger is quite unique.  It's the first that I've come across where the pork doesn't come in the form of bacon.  The heaping helping of toppings was quite impressive and the gooey Swiss cheese did an impeccable job of holding everything in place.  The burger was fresh and rich with flavor.  A quarter of a way into it, the juices overflowed and rained down on the basket.  Having a tasty, juicy burger is usually a great thing, but the juices kept pouring out.  I never thought it possible to have a burger that was too juicy.  The sliced ham worked well in conjunction with the onions and green peppers.  It was like eating the offspring of a deli sandwich and a basic burger.  When all was said and done, it was a surprisingly tasty burger.

On the Side:
A basket of curly fries the size of my head (that's quite large).


City of Steam Preview

My preview of City of Steam is up at Gaming Climax!

Mass Effect 3's Operation Goliath


This weekend marks the first event for Mass Effect 3.  From Bioware's site:


"Operation Goliath
Citadel Allied Command is mounting a galaxy-wide operation to cripple the Reapers’ shock troops: the turian-krogan hybrids known as “brutes.” To flush out Reaper ground forces, N7 teams are deploying to engage the enemy in key theaters. Heavy reinforcements are expected anywhere fighting begins.
Community Goal: Inflict heavy casualties on Reaper “brutes” on March 16th, 17th, and 18th.
Community Unlock: If this goal is met, all N7 squads will be awarded a Victory Pack that can be unlocked the following week.
Squad Goal: Successful extraction from a Reaper-held zone at a Silver threat level or higher.
Squad Unlock: Your squad will be granted a Commendation Pack.
Your allies are counting on you. Now is not the time to let them down.
Any player who is part of a squad that beats the Reaper faction on Silver difficulty or better will unlock one Commendation Pack. This means that at least one member of the squad must be extracted at the end of the mission – this will earn all squad members the reward. Each player can earn a maximum of one pack, and each pack contains a random N7 Arsenal Weapon. Originally only available as single-player weapons via the N7 Collector’s Edition, these multiplayer variants will be exceptionally rare and are NOT obtainable through regular purchasable Reinforcement Packs. The Commendation Packs will contain one of the following guns at random: N7 Crusader Shotgun, N7 Eagle Pistol, N7 Hurricane SMG, and N7 Valiant Sniper Rifle.
Destroy as many brutes as possible – if the multiplayer community kills a combined 1 MILLION brutes within the hours of the challenge, ALL players will receive a Victory Pack as a reward.
All rewards will unlock on Tuesday, March 20 at 5pm PST. You’ll have seven days to redeem your packs in the multiplayer store menu, at which point, the packs will expire and cannot be restored.
This challenge is only available on Xbox 360 and PC. Unfortunately, due to technical limitations, we are unable to extend this program to the PlayStation 3 platform.
Need some strategy help for this multiplayer N7 challenge? Take a look at these two new videos giving you some pro-tips from the minds behind the game!"

TERA European Beta Preview


Read my first preview of the TERA European beta at Gaming Climax.

Release Calendar: March 2012

March 06:
Mass Effect 3  (PC, 360)
X-Com  (PC)
Street Fighter x Tekken  (PS3, 360)
Ridge Racer: Unbounded  (PS3, PC, 360)
Test Drive Ferrari Racing Legends  (PS3)
The Sims 3: Showtime  (PC)
MLB 12: The Show  (PS3)
Top Gun: Hard Lock  (PC)

March 07:
I Am Alive  (360)

March 11:
Mario Party 9  (Wii)

March 13:
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations  (360)
Tales of Graces F  (PS3)
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D  (3DS)
Journey  (PS3)
FIFA Street  (PS3, 360)
W.A.R.P.  (PC, PS3)
Silent Hill: Downpour  (360)
Silverlicious  (DS)
Yakuza: Dead Souls  (PS3)

March 14:
Shoot Many Robots  (360)
Defenders of Ardania  (360)

March 20:
Silent Hill HD Collection  (360, PS3)
Kinect Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure  (360)
Rayman 3 HD  (PS3)
Gogo's Crazy Bones  (DS)
Warriors Orochi 3  (360, PS3)
Armored Core V  (PS3, 360)
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City  (360, PS3)
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2  (360, PS3, PC)

March 21:
Sine Mora  (360)

March 22:
Ninja Gaiden 3  (PS3)

March 23:
Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai  (PC)

March 27:
Capcom Digital Collection  (360)
Rayman Origins  (PC)

March 30:
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13  (PS3, 360)
Top Gun: Hard Lock  (PS3, 360)
Scarygirl  (PC)

March 31:
Gas Guzzlers Combat Carnage  (PC)

Webzen's C9 Editor Awards

Why, hello there.  My name is Christian.  You may remember from such articles and reviews as Rusty Hearts, Is It Socially Acceptable to Cyber for In-Game Gear or Currency?, Single Player Multiplayer, and now C9.

Well, my preview of C9 can potentially earn me a trip to Webzen's studios in Korea.  To win that trip, I need your help.  Webzen is holding a contest.  There are nine previews up on their site.  Between now and March 14th, readers can vote for their favorite preview on a daily basis.  The writers of the top three previews will then take a trip to Webzen's studios!

Voting is a multi-step process.  To vote, readers will need to create a Webzen account.  Once their email address is verified, readers are free to vote for their favorite preview once a day.  To make that process easier, I've created this handy guide.

Step One:

Head to the Webzen contest page.


Step Two:

Sign up and create your Webzen account.  After creating your account, you will be sent a verification email. Check your email to verify your address and finish creating your Webzen account.


Step Three:

Fantastic!  Your account is created.  The hard part is out of the way and you simply need to log in from here on out.  Now, head back to the contest page.  Read the previews, pick your favorite and vote.  Vote daily to improve your favorite writer's chances.