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Topic: Mass Effect - The Journey Continues

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ralphdibny

In preparation for the monthly switchover in the Game Club thread, I thought it might be prudent to create a thread to continue discussion of Mass Effect and its sequels.

I'm currently still on Virmire in Mass Effect 1. I've had a stonking headache for the past couple of days and while I play a bit, for some reason my saves keep taking me back to the beginning of Virmire so I think I am going to wait until I have a few more hours free (and less of a headache) so I can knock that level out

trev666

are you going to continue after youve completed mass effect 1 and play mass effect 2 and 3 after?

trev666

trev666

@ralphdibny great credits music song the ending was pretty epic

overall did you enjoy it ?

trev666

ralphdibny

Clankylad wrote:

So, Ashley, Kaidan, Virmire… who did you choose?

I went with Ashley in the end. Not really sure what my reasoning was. Maybe I just found her more interesting in terms of her potential to grow as a character. I realised after I chose her that I can't even take her out because there is no combination of characters that has biotic/tech because my shepherd is a soldier lol. She'd only ever come out with Kaiden. I also realise that I'd keep her alive if I did a Renegade run with male shepherd because I chose Liara as a love interest this time so I'd choose Ashley next time. Kaiden just can't catch a break in my multiverse lol. Maybe a third non committal run will get Kaiden saved 😅

@themightyant I am starting to see what you mean about other Shepherd's looking "wrong". I don't really get it so much when I look at male shepherds but when I see another female shepherd, I am just a bit like "who the hell is that?"

@trev666 yeah I loved it, thought it was wicked! 👍. My Saren ended up killing himself in the end which I thought was quite a good end for him. I was a big fan of all the alien planet music and I really liked the broken citadel music in the final stretch too.

ralphdibny

K1LLEGAL wrote:

Great to see a lot of engagement this month with Mass Effect Legendary Edition. I haven’t had the time to join unfortunately. But the first Mass Effect is one of my all-time favourite games (and one of my most replayed games). Is the Legendary version of 1 a big improvement? I might have to go through it. I didn’t understand the excitement for the Legendary release because all the games are backwards compatible.

I can't say if it's much of an improvement because I didn't play the original but I have to say that I did find it a really pretty game in a lot of respects. It helps that I loved and was completely invested in my Shepherd design though so I loved taking photos of her against backgrounds and interacting with other characters.

I really loved messing with the photo mode too which I posted in the other thread. I think the game has the right mix between looking like a "game" and still looking really good. I do have a nostalgia for kind of old fashioned textures and seeing them blown up crisply to high resolutions really makes them shine in my (probably unshared 😅) opinion. I got a few more pics to post in this thread from my playthrough in the coming days, not a lot but a few more at least..


R1spam wrote:

what happened for everyone with Wrex and how many people opted to save the council? .

wrex saw my point of view (thankfully as I love him) and I did save the council but I decided to look up the effects of that one first to see what exactly I was choosing. I have to say that the human only council for the next games does sound appealing though so I am fairly confident that I will do another play through some time in the future!


@themightyant nice review! It's almost weird for me that despite your rose tinted glasses that you found so many (albeit minor) faults. I think without my own rose tinted, while I found some of those faults early on as we discussed, the quality of the game definitely made me forget about it all. That and also I just got used to all the wired quirks.

I didn't mind the abxy thing, it was simple and not too intrusive tbh. Funnily enough, I actually loved all the animations. Face wise, the awkward stares really suited the look of my Shepherd. The way she kinda tilts her head down and looks out the top of her eye lids. I was massively fond of the recycled emotional context animations too. Just the way they looked was really appealing to me in a weird way. It might be because I flick-point at people on real life when I talk to them sometimes. In a tongue in cheek way, not a douchey way 😅. Though I probably come across as douchey because I probably flick-point at people that don't know me that well lol

Edited on by ralphdibny

themcnoisy

@ralphdibny Thanks for setting this thread up. You have to play the next couple of games now

I finished the trilogy a couple of nights ago. I love all 3 games. Such a come down after finishing them back to back. Mordin, Grunt, Garrus and Liara forever in my heart. Especially you Liara, you kinky smurf.

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themightyant

Mass Effect 2 mini review
So I finally got round to picking up ME2 again and finishing it. On the whole I really enjoyed it, once again great to back with these characters in this universe.

Brief overview of choices

  • Played as a people pleasing Paragon again
  • Saved everyone in the team in the Suicide Mission
  • Destroyed the Collector base
  • Kept the Genophage data
  • Rewrote the Heretic Geth
  • Tali cleared. Not guilty of charges or exiled.
  • Samara killed Morinth
  • I wanted to continue my relationship with Liara, but that doesn't get you an achievement, so I had a fling with Miranda... it didn't mean anything. lol

What I didn't like
I had quite a few smaller issues with the game, again much like ME1 this list is quite long. I want to be clear before my little rant that I really enjoyed the game, most of these issues are minor. I do think it's more rounded than ME1 but as someone who loves RPG's and their depth I didn't like much of the streamlining, seemingly to appeal to a broader audience. So many systems were replaced for simpler ones. Or bad systems from ME1 were replaced with equally bad ones here.

  • The mission and game structure felt too formulaic. Gain ally -> chat to ally -> get ally upgrade -> do ally loyalty mission. Times twelve. It felt very inorganic, perhaps Shepard was indoctrinated after all
  • Talking of missions I hated the "mission complete" screens, completely broke the fourth wall and made it feel more of a video game and less of a sweeping adventure. A bit like when the Animus breaks you out in Assassins Creed. Don't break the immersion!
  • A feeling of smaller choices on the Galaxy. Most choices seemed to boil down to your squad. Did you have them, were they loyal or not, and through that who lived and died. While I understand it's often difficult to make middle chapters of a trilogy have weight, I missed having choices that felt like they affected the larger galaxy, though there were a few that have big impact in ME3. Most were more personal, choices didn't feel as grand in scope.
  • Even within missions there was less choice. I look at some of the best missions in ME1, especially Noveria, where there are many different ways to solve the mission. ME2 felt much less like an RPG, with fewer choices of how to solve things, more like an action game with choices. Missions were often much shorter too. Personally I prefer the complexity and choice in ME1.
  • There was a huge gap between those that felt unique (the main story quests and DLC like Shadow Broker, Overlord, etc.) and the run of the mill missions that felt like the B team were working on them. Several felt dialled in. Though a step up from ME1's identikit side missions
  • Too many squad members? There were several I barely used (ahem Jacob, Kasumi) and when it came to the suicide mission you only got to pick a handful of allies. I understand why but it made several feel pretty unimportant.
  • Citadel became a 3 story shopping centre in this game not a hub for galactic rule.
  • I didn't like the weapon system. No stats, no way to find out which you preferred without trying them all. This would be fine if you could change mid-mission, or had a firing range to test them all out easily, but you didn't have either. End result: I just stuck with a weapon I liked and barely used the others.
  • I hated the Hammerhead. Honestly these were the weakest missions in the game, each had instant fail states or turrets that could kill you in 2 seconds on harder difficulties. Frustrating and again breaks the narrative. I understand the Mako wasn't universally loved - personally I liked it - but again this felt like a step backwards.

All in all I AM nit-picking here, but also being honest, several things felt like a backwards step to me.

What I liked
While this list is shorter, I feel far more passionately about these points than the list above.

  • Characters, universe, story, lore.
  • A really good middle chapter. Usually the middle act is the weakest aspect, not here.
  • Pacing at the end. Much like ME1 there is a real crescendo at the end, felt epic along with the score.
  • Mordin Solus. What a great, well rounded character. From tears in my eyes as he wrestles with the genophage in part because I know what's coming in ME3, to laughs and smiles as I get him to sing Scientist Salarian. Wonderful character, plus handy in battle, Incinerate is highly useful at stripping armour quickly.
  • Garrus, Tali, Thane, Legion, Joker & EDI all stood out in particular but most were good. Who were your favourites? Who was dead weight?
  • Graphics are quite a step up from ME1, even in the remaster where ME1 was most improved.
  • Shooting and powers felt much better, though still not as good as ME3. (I briefly started it)
  • Minigames better than ABXY

Conclusion
I really enjoyed playing the game again, experiencing these characters, this story and universe. But at the same time it didn't quite reach the lofty heights it hit on release in 2010 when I scored it 9.5/10. It may on paper be a better game than Mass Effect 1 in most ways, and is more beloved, but personally having played them virtually back-to-back there are definitely things I missed from the first game that marked it down a touch. Much like Morrowind -> Oblivion -> Skyrim improved so many aspects but at the same time simplified and removed some depth, choice and systems that I love.

My score: 8.5/10

P.S. Looking forward to completing the trilogy. But for now taking a little break to become a cat (Stray), return to my studies (Escape Academy) and have a life of crime (As Dusk Falls).

Edited on by themightyant

themightyant

trev666

cant really argue with much of that pretty much agree. The various outcomes it generally comes down to things you have or havent done rather than a choice you make (apart from final mission) results in who survives and then who isnt in your mass effect 3 game. I will point out that if you dont make all the right choices or even if you do and play on higher difficulties squad members can die even shepard can die in mass effect 2

trev666

themcnoisy

@themightyant Mass Effect 2 was designed to be played a couple of times. Try different choices, partner with different characters etc a couple of generations ago. If you are playing a continuity from ME1 and going for trophies a lot of the stuff won't be uncovered.

I understand your dislikes, agree with the formulaic approach. The end of mission summary does take you out of the experience. Strange design choice.

I like both the hammerhead and Mako. I originally disliked the hammerhead. Now after finishing my 3rd or 4th play through, I absolutely love it! You can zip around the missions. The Mako was undeserving of the hate, however it's gone in the opposite direction for me. It's taken a long time but I'm happy to never ride the Mako again. Although I loved cruising around in a Death Stranding kind of way. (Wonder if you've played Death Stranding as if you enjoy the Mako, you will 100% love DS)

ME2 is definitely less of a typical RPG and more of an action adventure 3rd person shooter. Similar to my prior comment I used to prefer ME1 over 2. Now the pendulum has swung as the variety is better, try different weapons and builds.

The citadel shopping early game stuff is plain garbage, agreed. Makes little sense as you are bouncing round with Cerberus, shopkeepers asking for recommends. Again a silly design choice which would be better without its inclusion.

As for the missions, you have around 20 If you run all the loyalty missions. I can forgive the developers for the weaker side missions. I see them more as window dressing. One in particular - you literally power up some electricity and flick a switch - was a bit pants.

So yes, a good critique of the game Mighty. I don't think you can judge the choices in 2, until you have finished 3. (And you really should jump straight in) Did you keep the crew alive? 3 will play a hell of a lot differently if you lost some or all of your crew. Also what did you do during the asteroid mission? As bigger choice as any in the game. You will see!

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themightyant

@trev666 @themcnoisy Thanks. I just reread my review and it definitely comes across more harshly than intended. I really did love playing the game again, it IS a great game. It's just that personally I missed some of the deeper RPG elements that Bioware were known for and made me fall in love with their games. It was what made me buy Mass Effect on Day 1 for X360.

At launch ME2 was in my Top 5 games ever and it's interesting to me that I now prefer ME1, despite acknowledging ME2 is objectively the better game. I think a part of that is seeing many RPG series I love Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Mass Effect dumbing down a little to appeal to a broader audience, there are so few really deep nerdy RPG's anymore. Apparently Disco Elysium fits the bill.

Re: Choices. Yes everyone survived and I made the Paragon choices that should set up some nice conclusions in ME3 Mordin & the Genophage, Rachni Queen etc. .

And yes in Arrival I tried to warn the Batarian colony but was cut off and then destroyed relay and the colony along with 300k Batarians. If memory serves this doesn't actually make a great deal of difference as the Reapers invade Earth in the first chapter regardless of your choice and you either get the Batarians or another armoured division in your war assets. So i'm a genocidal monster!

I forgot to mention Project Overlord. How bleak was that? Poor David, despite being a Paragon I wanted to punish his brother.

I'm hoping to get to ME3 before I go on holiday in 3 weeks, but i've got loads of IRL stuff to do. We'll see if I get there. But I have already finished both Stray and Escape Academy, both are brilliant btw.

@ralphdibny How are you getting on? Played any more?

Edited on by themightyant

themightyant

ralphdibny

@themightyant yeah it was good actually once I got into it! I was talkin to Lavelera about it over in the "last game I beat" thread. It's a bit weird that I hardly play any RPGs except Pokémon in my entire life and then I end up playing two huge ones in a row! 😅 (More if you include all the Yakuza games I polished off this year!)

I'll probably go back and read your review of ME2 once I've gotten around to playing it as I probably want to go in fresh.

I got a few games in the pipeline at the mo before I get around to it. I should really finish Halo Infinite which I played about half of when it came out but put on the back burner when I decided to finish the Yakuza series. Also Murder by Numbers on the Switch and Fullblox on 3DS. At the moment I'm playing Dead Space (only one level in) and I'm quite keen on playing Avengers and GotG soon as they are playing Guardians over on the PS game club atm.

Are you gonna move straight onto ME3 or have you got some other games in the pipeline?

themightyant

@ralphdibny I'll check out that thread with you and Lavelera and hopefully chime in.

Glad you are enjoying so many RPGs. For years they were my favourite genre, and in some ways still are, but they are often such a time sink too, and gameplay can be repetitive. But when you DO get into them there's little like it. Like an epic book or TV series. Absorbing.

Not sure re: ME3. Ideally i'd like to get it done before I go on holiday in a few weeks but not sure that's realistic. I've been getting through quite a few short indies and have a few other games I want to finish up that i'm in the middle of. Seems unlikely but we'll see, stranger things have happened.

Also Xenoblade Chronicles 3 just arrived in the post 3 days early! But I don't have time to play it right now. (we'll see how long that lasts) Was thinking of taking that on holiday, Switch is good for that.

themightyant

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