Sunday, April 8, 2012


Limbo is a creepy, disturbing, unique and amazing piece of art. This puzzle platformer only has a few hours of gameplay, but is well worth the purchase regardless. What I find notable is that the developers really understand ambiance. The art is just simple layers of silhouettes. The music is simple, and usually not even there. There story is simple bordering on nonexistent. You just start off somewhere dark and creepy, and wade through mounds of dark and creepy until you reach a dark and creepy end. And STILL, with all this simple going on, the game sent shivers up my spine and kept me hooked the way many AAA 'horror' games completely fail to do. I want to be clear though: the art, music and design, though 'simple', is very well done. The art is gorgeous, music is fitting and the story is all it needs to be. Highly recommended.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cut the Rope

Next up to bat: Cut the Rope.  If you're in the market for a really simple pick-up-and-play game for your phone (I think it's available for both iOS and Android) I highly recommend Cut the Rope.  Your mission: feed a cute little monster who really wants a piece of candy that's always dangling out of his reach, suspended by various styles of rope. The rest of it's pretty self explanatory. Your score for each level is dictated by how many stars the candy collides with in its chaotic journey to the open maw that is the hungry little beast's mouth. At first a simple premise, but like all games of this genre, it get exponentially more complicated as they start messing with physics and introduce new mechanics. Its just the right amount of difficult, not frustrating enough to make you quit, but not so breezy that you don't get satisfaction when you get all stars on all levels. Well worth the $1 it costs.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Swords and Sworcery

Swords and Sworcery is a game for the iPhone that's another great example of innovative and unique independent developers at their best. S&S is a new take on click discovery gaming that ties in a simple swing-and-block battle system, activated by pulling out your sword (turning your phone sideways). The art style in particular is uniquely amazing. Never have I seen such a vague bundle of pixles leave such little doubt in my mind as to what they're supposed to be. Swords and Sworcery also integrates itself heavily with social media; At any point in the game, you can tweet anything you find on your screen tapping endeavors. The language is a creative fusion of archaic story and dudespeak, and the controls are simplistic enough to support gaming on a phone.  Overall, the game is definitely worth the $5 I spent on it, even if it isn't the kind of game I'd usually go for.


I'm going to kick things off by saying that Bastion may very well be the most impressive game I've played in a very long time. It's a perfect example of a game that didn't try to do too much, and therefore did everything exactly right.  The driving force of Bastion's impressive quality is something I really admire in a game: the warm fuzzy feeling that the game wants nothing more than for you to enjoy it (more on that later). Also, there's something to be said about a game where you honestly can't decide if it's strongest suit is the incredibly riveting storytelling style (The game is narrated real-time by a man that I wish I could pay to read me bedtime stories), the stunning art style of a world torn to pieces, or the gameplay that was polished to a mirror sheen that rivals the reflectivity of Picard's magnificent bald pate. 
Game Quality:
So,  more on that quality I was talking about. Many games feel like they're forcing you to enjoy the game by negative reinforcement. Through many small efforts, Bastion feels like everything its doing is for YOUR enjoyment, and if you choose to not utilize a particular aspect, nothing is withheld from you. Example: where most games would encourage you to explore by placing the best items in obscure areas, Basion also makes all the items you missed via exploration available at the 'lost in found' after the level is completed. And guess what? I still explored every corner of every map, cause I WANTED to. Increasing difficulty via the shrine is optional, and for your enjoyment. You are rewarded, but not with anything that couldn't be obtained through other means. Point is, everything you use in the game, you do because you WANT to. I never once felt bullied into using all of the gameplay mechanics, which happens more often than I'd like with most games.

Gameplay Overview:
Since I can't much cover the story without ruining it, and I don't have much to say for the art besides 'holy pretty batman!', I'll take some time to chat about the Gameplay. Bastion is an isometric hack and slash that sports some pretty slick gameplay augmentations. Its weapon collection/upgrade system is simplistic and efficient; Each weapon is unique, and designed to be fun in a different way. While I did have my favorites, I didn't get the feeling that everyone would choose the same weapons. Game difficulty is unique in that it can be controlled via a 'shrine' where you activate different idols, making your enemies more powerful and the rewards more lucrative. The 'distillery' is a new take character upgrades, and is surprisingly complex when it comes to testing different combinations.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Review: Mario Party 9

It's Mario time!

RATING: [3.5/5]

I thought I'd write about something more light-hearted than Mass Effect this time, so I decided I'd do one of my rare reviews. I'm going to talk about Mario Party 9. My boyfriend and I have been playing it a lot lately, and quite frankly it's a lot of fun. There are a couple major flaws with the game, though. We'll get to those in a bit, but first I'd like to talk about what I do like.

No coins/stars system.
I'm sure some people don't like that this has gone by the wayside, but I like that it's new. The coin/star system was getting tired and this is a welcome change. The new mini-star system makes even one mini-star feel important. Coins felt relatively worthless in prior games, and this solves that issue.

Everyone moves together in a car.
This is very weird at first and hard to get used to, but it's actually really awesome. It's really fun trying to figure out ways to screw your friends over, and this makes it a lot easier to do so. Plus, it allows some new dynamics to come into play, like the "captain" (the player whose turn it currently is) and mad dashes away from danger.

Maps are fresh and new.
It's fun trying to run away from rising lava, forcing others to be attacked by sharks, or trying to make it your turn when fighting a boss so that you gain a bonus, and these are just some of the things you can do in the new game. Simply put, the mechanics feel fresh.

All in all, the multi-player party feature is awesome, and makes up for the huge flaws in the rest of the game (though this is probably because you won't often be playing by yourself). Flaws, you say? Oh, indeed so.

Single player is the exact same as multiplayer.
There's not much to say about this except that it's really not that fun. Who wants to play a Mario Party map by yourself? There's a bit of "story" thrown in there, like how you are coming to get Bowser and are going through all the maps to get to him, and Bowser gets angry and sends minions after you. However, the maps are the exact same. The only difference is that your fourth player is Shy Guy, who is playing for Bowser. If he wins, you're screwed. So far, the only benefit I see to playing the single player campaign is earning new characters, which is the ONLY way to do so. Which leads me to...

There's not much to do with your earned mini-stars.
Sure, you can spend them on stuff, but not much. After you buy the one new level or master difficulty for a computer, you're left with different cars to ride in on the maps or star constellations (which do absolutely no good to purchase). I would have liked to see a large character roster that you could purchase with your mini-stars, instead of the current options and a couple extra characters only unlock-able via the story mode.

You still can't play online.
I really thought Nintendo would have added online play this time around since Super Smash Bros had it and did it relatively well, considering the Wii's limited system. Even though the Wii doesn't have a great online gaming system, I still would have played this while Skyping or using Facetime with friends. It would have been a nice addition to be able to play with real people when you have no one to play with at your own house. /Sigh.

The rundown:
The game is a solid installment in the Mario Party series. It's fun, and the multiplayer has a welcome facelift. I just wish the single player did, too.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cosplay rage - The frustration and you

I'm well aware that this is generally supposed to be a gaming blog, but I feel strongly that cosplay fits in the realm that *is* nerdy.

I don't know how many of our (what so far, 4?) readers are into cosplay, or even understand what goes into making the beautiful costumes we see at conventions. There is a lot to it, and most of the time, there is more anger than one would probably like to deal with.

To make a good, recognizable costume takes planning, money (some, anyway... depending on how resourceful you may be), time, and patience.

Here's the issue that I'm currently faced with: I have (really) none of the things mentioned above. I planned as well as I could to work around work (full time office job, looking at your roof), and school. I know school wasn't much. It was a math class that I attended two days a week. And here I sit, with less than two weeks until I'm supposed to show off my mediocre seamstress skills as Batgirl (the Stephanie Brown kind) at Emerald City Comic Con.

Now, I'm raging because I clearly didn't figure into the mix that things would probably go wrong. Crafting dates have been missed, materials weren't gathered in a timely manner, and general chaos has gone on.

Crunch time is upon myself and the group of friends I will be attending ECCC with, and it seems to be showing. This isn't really much of an "I have a TON of interesting stuff to tell you about the wonderful world of cosplay" article, as it is a "hey kids, the moral of the story is plan until your head explodes" thing.

I will definitely update as time winds down for my lovely ladies of the DC Universe, so stay tuned for my inevitable rage.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mass Effect 3 & The Kinect

Since Katey has been kind enough to join the not-so-respectable ranks of 'author' for our faux-journalistic escapades, I've decided to strap on my serious(ish) pants and start writing entries as though I actually intend people to read them.

Should you play Mass Effect 3 with the kinect?
Voice Command Guide for ME3

The answer is an ambiguous that depends.

I suppose the easier question to get out of the way is, does it work?  As long as you can manage to ensure that nothing else in the city makes a noise louder than a mild mannered gentleman's ahem while you're trying to issue your commands, you'll find that the Kinect works most of the time. In all honestly it worked better than I expected it to. Granted, I ended up rolling with EDI and Liara because my Kinect apparently didn't like hearing someone else call out Garrus' name, and it absolutely abhored the way I pronounce shotgun, but aside from that it seemed to get the gist of what I was trying to say.

Looking past the actual functionality of the voice commands, a lot of this decision rides on whether you give a rat's ass what your companions are doing while you're in combat.  If you're more into letting them do whatever they want (which is anything from decimating all life to picking their nose in a corner) then the only commands you'll get any use out of are switching your own weapons and using the 4th skill you probably don't have. I found these mildly helpful at best (possibly due the whole shotgun thing) and rarely used them.

Oh, and I guess there's the commands whose only purpose are for shits and giggles.
You can tell Bioware was hoping that using voice command would overwhelm you with that new technology feeling by all the absolutely useless opportunities they give you to use it.  At a doorway, you can say 'open' to do guess what, and during conversations you can recite a line to choose it.  Both of these things are more time consuming and less likely to work than their button counterparts, so the only real purpose of them being there is to make you fawn over how your 360 finally understands you, bringing you one step closer to eloping together.

I do feel obligated to take a moment and say that despite the fact that most of the time it's like trying to walk upriver through mud, reciting lines for conversation does have its advantages when you've decided to busy your hands with something else during those long conversations. Like stuffing your face with food or jerking off.

Now, if you're the kind of player that micro-manages your players, you stand the most to gain. However, how you play the game and what you want out of it still play a big part in whether you'll actually like it. If you're not a fan of real time combat and find yourself wishing whimsically for the days when turn based combat was in vogue, you might not enjoy the perks of a device that allows you shed all need for the menu systems that pause combat, seeing as that's what it was made to do. If the game stopping dead mid-combat doesn't break your immersion, and you honestly like the excuse to take deep breath and collect yourself enough to work out some tactics, you probably aren't going to take advantage of the system. Also, if you're really into the menu system because it provides you with the ability to use 3 skills simultaneously, you'll probably be disappointed with voice commands, seeing as you can only issue one command at once.  2 if you use it in concert with a button.

Alternatively, if a game's ability to 'draw you in' is important, you should seriously consider giving it a go. It's true that I had to repeat myself from time to time, but that didn't seem break the immersion nearly as much as I thought it would. I'd gotten so used to issuing commands vocally that I foolishly started thinking aw shit, they didn't hear me instead of I wish my Kinect would quit being an asshole. Having to sort out tactics hiding behind a box while things were shooting and/or screaming at me, and then having to execute those orders in real time and in a realistic manner well made up for in immersion what it lacked in success rate. I suppose this only works if you're not a cynical ass who refuses to meet anything halfway, so if you aren't going to try to like it, don't even bother.

The technology is new and its obvious, but I still think its a great step forward for more interactive gaming. I'm a big fan of using the voice commands, and aside from a very depressing half an hour when it was too loud to use it, my game never had to stop dead.  It had its issues, but that half an hour without taught me how much I really really enjoyed the system.

Dear Kinect:
Love, Me.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Why Mass Effect 3's Ending Didn't Suck

Before I get started, I just want to say that I already know this post will be unpopular with a lot of you. I want you to know that I don't care, because I think you're all a bunch of babies. I should also say that these opinions are my own, and not necessarily KT or Amanda's (and certainly none of yours). Now that that's out of the way, I want to talk about why Mass Effect 3's ending didn't suck. Also, before you continue reading, please note that THERE ARE PROBABLY SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN'T BEATEN THE GAME. Of course, if you couldn't figure that out, I can't even...

These are what I have been hearing the most when people complain about ME3's ending:

  • The ending was too short!
  • There was really only one ending since no matter what you chose, the variations were so minute!
  • I didn't like the little boy!
  • I didn't feel like the ending was what MY Shepard would have done! Wah!
  • There wasn't an epilogue for any surviving races! I wanted an epilogue for the quarians and the humans and the turians and the krogan and the asari and the nyancats!
  • I wanted Shepard to live damn it!
  • I jumped on the bandwagon and read that the ending sucked before I finished the game so of course I thought it sucked because I follow what others tell me!
I might have gotten a little mean there, but I'm just being honest. Why don't we look at those one by one?

It was too short.
Really? Really? I loved the series too, from start to finish, but I didn't need to see a whole MOVIE at the end of the game. The whole ending fight was the ending. If you pretend that you didn't fight and that it was a cutscene, then the ending was very long. I remember in Metal Gear Solid 4, you all complained about how the whole thing was basically a movie and that the ending was so long. Now, it's not long enough, even though it was pretty lengthy. There's no pleasing you!

Only one ending.
Okay. Let's make this clear before I continue: yes, I am aware that there is basically one ending, and no, I am not disputing that. What I will dispute is that it's a valid complaint. Why should Bioware have to have a ton of different endings if it's the end of the series (not to mention the other Mass Effect games endings weren't that different from each other anyway)? It's not like it's the middle of a series where anything could happen. It's the conclusion, the final one, and they had a plan in their head for how they wanted it to end. Fans, you do not OWN the series just because you played all three games and have your own ideas of how you wanted it to end. This is Battlestar Galactica all over again, and it's sad. Just because the game didn't end how you thought it would or thought it should have doesn't mean that the ending is wrong. Also, everyone seems to forget that they're supposed to get ONE ending, not five. It's based on what you chose, and there didn't need to be 10 options for those. You have every right to be sad that it ended differently, but you really shouldn't be up in arms threatening to burn down Bioware's building or something. Seriously.

The little boy sucked.
I'm going to make this one short. You all are complaining that it was a little boy. I bet if it took on a different form or was just a voice, you wouldn't complain. All I have to say is that if you didn't realize the little boy was only "the little boy" because Shepard chose to see him that way due to prior events, then you're dumb. Moving on.

My Shepard wouldn't have chosen any of the end options.
Oh really? Your Shepard? Shepard isn't yours. Shepard is a character, created by Bioware, and they gave you the amazing ability to control him/her while still limiting your options to the story line, and they did no differently here. Then again, I feel like the only people complaining about this specifically are the people who created a Shepard so evil that they would have punched the little boy and let the reapers kill everyone. That, of course, makes no sense as a legitimate option since Shepard would have given up long ago if he/she wanted to let everyone die.

I wanted epilogues!
This is the only one I am remotely sympathetic towards, because everyone wants to see what happened afterwards. However, I still don't think this is an argument worth fighting for. Mass Effect is a very cinematic series, obviously. The ending itself was cinematic. It ended like a movie, people! It ended with the final, sad scene and then rolled credits with a surprise at the end (and you DID stay to see the end, didn't you?). Plus, the ending was already relatively long. You wanted epilogues with all the races? Really? Because that would take an hour. If your argument is that they could have shown the important races, well, who's to say what race is important? What if my favorite race is the krogan, but the endings were for the turians, asaris, and humans? I'd be more upset than if there were no epilogues, and you would be too. You'd be up in arms, just like you are now. So calm the fuck down.

Shepard died.
Yes, Shepard died. Deal with it. It's the end of a series, and it felt right for his/her story line to come to an end this way. If at the end everything was completely happy, we'd have complainers about how it wasn't realistic and how the series can't end with everyone happy and going about their lives. What was important about the ending is that Shepard had to choose between some VERY difficult decisions, and Bioware had every right to make this the ending if they felt it was the most appropriate option.

I hate it because everyone else does.
I swear at least half of you fall into this category. Let's face it, this is the internet, and the internet tends to cause bandwagoning. I bet if that same half didn't read anyone's comments before and instead just played the game and came to their own conclusions, most of them wouldn't hate it.

Now, why I liked the ending.
Look guys, I liked the end of Mass Effect 3. I really did. I felt like everything was appropriate and everything was explained to a satisfactory level. I was sad and emotional during the entire ending. It was with great heartbreak that I made the decision that I did as Shepard, and I liked that the game ended there. It felt right, as I was controlling her throughout the entire series. Her life ended, and so my experience should also end. I also liked the ending because although this is the last game in the actual series, the way it ended leaves it open for more games to occur in the same universe. Maybe we can have a new set of problems with a new hero! Maybe you'll get to be whatever race you want! Maybe it'll be set 3000 years in the future with a new race! The beauty of it ending the way that it did is that it leaves the door open for so many more things. 

I'm (sort of) sorry for being rude, but I am so sick and tired of people getting up in arms about things not ending the way they felt it should end. Maybe you should write a game series and set events how you want them to. But, you didn't write this one. So, as Chris Crocker said about Britney, leave Bioware alone!


New Bawkables Writer!

Hi guys. I promised I'd get something up here and introduce you to myself. My name is Katey, and I'm a new writer for Bawkables! I grew up in the same town as Amanda and KT back in the day, and like them, I've been gaming forever.
   To give you a quick rundown of who I am and what I like: I grew up in the pacific northwest, in a small town in Oregon, and lived in Portland for many years before moving to Seattle for a little bit to work. I love gaming, though my first console was a Playstation 1. I DID play a lot of PC games before that thanks to my dad and always having a modern PC in the house. I grew up playing a lot of platformers and JRPGs, but my current favorite type of game to play is an action-RPG. 
   When I'm not playing games or out doing something, I usually watch tv with my boyfriend. I just finished taking him through Doctor Who and also Battlestar Galactica. We're trying to get through Caprica and Firefly next. My guilty-pleasure TV shows are Glee and New Girl. I know. Shut up.
   As for what I'll be writing on the site, it's going to be mostly editorial pieces and previews for upcoming games. I don't have the time to actively review games and, due to school, it usually takes me a while to beat them too. 
   Nice to meet you :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Old Republic : Master and Apprentice System

A thought about the Master and Apprentice System
"Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it."
―Darth Bane

I have not done any research into the possibility of TOR integrating a system similar to the one I talk about in this entry. It could be that they, in all their infinite wisdom, have something planned just like this. I don't have any knowledge about TOR's plans for the future, and like it that way.  Surprises make me happy. 

I don't know how much I buy into the whole 'rule of two' thing from the Sith, but I do believe that the relationship between a Master and Apprentice is something that gives a lot of depth to the Star Wars universe, Sith and Jedi alike.  

Seraphki - My  Pretty Sorcerer.
For the Jedi, the relationship between Jedi and Padawan has always been represented as a deep bond that is uncharacteristically tolerated in the Jedi world. Teachers of the Jedi way generally have their panties in a twist about letting your emotions obstruct your logic, discouraging indulgence in any sort of personal relationship, lest it confuse your rationality. Or cause fear, and we all know where fear gets you.  However, in the movies as well as many stories in the expanded universe, many dramas revolve around the loss of a Master, betrayal of a Master, ect.  It makes sense, considering that's bound to be the most common source of Jedi emotion, and lets face it: a story without ANY emotion might get old after a while. Think about it: the episode where Spock goes all crazy cause he desperately needs to bang something? Interesting as hell! Chaining down emotions only makes it more interesting when they're unleashed.

Then we have those crazy Sith.  The relationship between Master and Apprentice for the Sith is just good old' fashioned evil fun. I mean, at first glance, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Why in the world would you train someone if, by taking them as apprentice, you update their goal in life to becoming your DEMISE. "Aaarrggg... curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"  However, Sith are crazy evil and therefore their motives can't be rationalized, and that's not the point anyway. The point is, it's a big ol' dollop of opportunity for writers to create all sorts of amusing mayhem.

The goal of this whole rant is to point out one simple fact: The master and apprentice relationship is important to the Star Wars universe.  Therefore, its my belief that it's current representation in TOR is... lacking.  Right now it seems more like a convenient quest dispensing mechanism than anything.

As of now, the storyline provides you with a master (or a few, depending on how many you kill) that does nothing but send you on quest after quest. While some good plot lines come from this, I think it would add some depth if the Master and Apprentice system were player based, and the current 'Masters' were simply high ranking Jedi or Sith NPCs (or whatever) who see you as a convenient source for delegation.

Why in the world do you want this?
Imagine that you're just starting out; You've got a fresh new copy of the game, and you're excited to take on the Universe. You're wandering around the starting area, completing your various quests, and you notice that there are a lot of high level characters around, inspecting the new blood. Imagine there are arenas that you can compete in to prove yourself, and therefore win the favor of a high level character. Imagine having a high level character ask you to complete a quest that THEY invented to prove your worth. You check their card and see that they've successfully trained 3 apprentices, and that they're a very renowned player. Imagine the excitement and realism this would add! Interactions from NPCs can be cool, but I guarantee no NPC will cause the excitement that a player who as established themselves as a badass in the game will.

When I used to play Ragnarok, the first hunter to max his level on my server once helped me out with a quest cause he was bored, and I was lucky. I was SO excited and flattered, being able to say that 'Meepo helped me with a quest!'... Imagine a renowned character taking you under their wing! 

In today's MMO world, interactions from high level characters can be... unsavory. A lot of them couldn't care less about a newbie character, cause the POINT of the game is to make YOURSELF a badass. But if you could help yourself by helping others, and you had to actually act like a human being in order to gain this facet of renown...
I like the idea. Obviously.

Now imagine that your character has grown old. You've seen and conquered the universe, and you've run out of things to do. You've become bored of the arenas, done all the flashpoints, and are looking for something new. Now imagine there is a space on your character's profile, their legacy if you will, that shows how many characters you took as apprentice, and the general proficiency of these characters. A whole new dimension of renown is added to the character, and a whole new opportunity to do things once you've become tired of the rest of the game. Gameplay between two friends would be pushed to another level, the more experienced player feeling responsible for the younger character's progress, since their reputation would be on the line; People without younger level friends would be left to scout low level worlds for good potential Padawans or Apprentices. New titles like Trainer of Heroes start cropping up for people who've trained a certain number of people who have now maxed their levels.  Trainer of Champions for people who have trained a certain number of people who have an arena ranking over a certain threshold.

For low level characters, it adds a level of excitement above and beyond being accepted into a stellar guild. For high level characters, it gives you something to do when you've done everything you can with your character, and you're looking for something else to do to gain yourself some renown.  It just. Makes. Sense.

I understand that there's a really good reason they hobble a high level character's ability to help you level up. I've been in a game before where they hadn't yet instituted such rules, and high level areas would be rife with high level characters spawn-camping all the bosses while low level characters sat around the edges of the map leeching the experience.Without control, too many people abuse the system and the game becomes less fun for those who are there to play for realsies.  However, that doesn't mean it shouldn't happen ever. 

If you were to institute certain restrictions, (e.g. Once you take an apprentice, you can't take another until said apprentice reaches a certain level.) it could be balanced enough to make it fun. Especially if you gave extra motivations to the high level character (Legacy points anyone?)  and integrated special game mechanics for this.

Now, since I'm avidly argumentative, even with myself, I've made many good points to myself about why this wouldn't work.  I've also attempted to argue back.  I decided to write out 2 of those arguments, for funsies.

Wouldn't that kill those carefully plotted storylines they came up with?
But Amanda! I say; Wouldn't this severely effect how the current storyline unfolds? Good question other Amanda! While this is a good point, my rebuttle is that a lot of your interactions with the current NPC 'Masters' aren't unique or personally involved.  Admittedly, I haven't played through all of the class storylines, but it seems to me that the characters assigned to be 'Masters' for your characters act as much like your masters than the random people you encounter in town that ask you to do things for them.  They never accompany you on missions, (though, to be fair, for the Sith this might be more accurate) and they rarely teach you anything. They just have you do their bitch work. Hell, the guy who teaches you skills is a random ass dude in the nearest temple. I feel these characters would be more suited to being cast as politicians within their respective fields, taking an interest in you as a way to gain favor or popularity within whatever political system they're batting for. For example,  in the Jedi world, this could mean a member of the council who has taken a special interest in you.

I think it would be much more interesting if your 'Master' was a player character that could either send you on quests (much like you send your current companions on randomly generated BS quests) or go with you to accomplish other quests assigned by NPCs. Said character could also be your 'trainer' for new skills, and all you'd need is another section in your companion window. (You could even pay THEM for it: more motivation for high level characters)

What if nobody likes you enough to be your Master?
There is already a companion system, use that to make a dummy-master. Dun. If you had a 'dummy-master' to start with and then picked up a player character master, you could either kill your dummy-master (if you're a Sith) or just tell your master to meet you on Alderaan for a cup of tea and then never meet them (if you're a passive agressive Jedi).

You do realize there are more than just Jedi and Sith, right?
Yeah yeah, but Jengo had Boba, and Luke threw around the word 'cadet' which I think suits other classes perfectly. It still applies. (Grow your own Chewbacca kit!)

I'm tired of writing now.