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 Post subject: Re: What game ya'll playin'
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:01 pm 
hell knight
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Been playing Mass Effect 3. I finally got around to finishing the franchise.

The universe is still really cool and I love to learn about it. I think my favorite part of the game is the codex lmao. The worst thing about the game is easily the handholding. Every decision is clearly marked as good or bad and the good dialogue option is always the one at the top. You never have to think for yourself.

As usual the combat is a bit boring but I've come to expect it. I really preferred Mass Effect 1 in terms of RPG elements but I guess this streamlined version makes more sense for the FPS action side of things.


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 Post subject: Re: What game ya'll playin'
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:06 pm 
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One of the things I noticed about Mass Effect 1 that was gone by 2 that nobody noticed was that the companions were the best worldbuilding in the game. Because the setting was completely new and alien the rainbow coalition Shepard puts together actually works instead of coming off as uninspired.

Hell, even though nobody likes KAshley because they don't have blue penises they're arguably the two best characters because of how well they showcase humanity's transition into galactic politics and the xenophobia that comes with it (Ashley being xenophobic and Kaiden a victim of it).



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 Post subject: Re: What game ya'll playin'
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:34 am 
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@jozoz

Yes, I just played through the Mass Effect series lately, and I hated the handholding as well.

Morality in Mass Effect 1 was done better in my opinion, because you actually needed to invest experience points to become better in conversations, thus sacrificing experience in weapons etc, like it is the case in all RPGs that focus on conversations.
In 2 and 3 it just became an issue of QTEs and always choosing the above (or below) dialogue option, thus limiting your freedom as well, because if you wanted to play as an Paragon character, you would deliberetaly avoid thinking of what to do, because you always wanted to press the above right option on the conversation tree.

The other thing I didn't like about the series in general, is that unlike every single RPG that exists, it makes a clear distinction between combat and conversation mode. You can't initiate combat whenever you feel like but only when the game wants you to. I think this applied more in 2 and 3 than Mass Effect 1, but the action in Mass Effect happens into a "parallel" structured game with linear levels, while the conversations occur in a hub world, where you can't do anything other than just explore and talk.

I don't think this is a result of the game being more story driven than other RPGs (like the open world Baldur's Gate for example to name one made by Bioaware), because the Deus Ex series is also very story-driven but exploration, conversation and combat are merged together and are not distinct.
I think it was a design choice, that breaks the immersion, in my opinion.

However, while I consider Mass Effect 1 as more of an RPG than the sequels, I still don't think it's a superior game, than 2 or 3.
Yes, it is closer to an RPG over the sequels, but it takes more bad points of what an RPG is, than positives.

The positives are the emphasis on experience points and leveling up. The negatives are huge empty worlds with boring exploration, bad shooting and bad enemy and companion AI that ruins the combat.

All of these characteristics can be found in any RPG, but because Mass Effect 1 is more focused on action than RPG, and lacks the freedom of other RPGs, cannot redeem itself.

At least Mass Effect 2 and 3 acknowledge that and just focus straight up on combat, while keeping mild RPG elements.



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 Post subject: Re: What game ya'll playin'
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:07 am 
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Yeah Mass Effect 3 definitely feels like a 2 part game.

One part is where you talk to people and the other where you shoot stuff. The two never overlap. At least not so far for me. It gets a bit weird because I keep thinking stuff like: "Ok now I wanna go shoot stuff" and then I'll go do a mission to break the monotony of talking to people endlessly. It just feels very very video gamey. It's maybe a bit contrived in the way there's two parallel gamemodes almost.

One very minute thing I liked in Mass Effect 1 was how your weapons didn't have ammo but they could overload. I know it's not exactly unique - Halo did it many years before and probably other games. I just felt like it was a bit more unique than the ammo system now in the game. Not a big deal but to me the combat lost a bit of identity.

Something I thought a lot about is how the choices affect the story. I can't help but wonder what happens if Wrex is dead in Mass Effect 1. I know the answer is probably something boring like a replacement Krogan who ends up doing the same stuff, but I can't help but wonder. I looked up what happens if you kill the Rachni queen and it seems like there's basically no difference, because the Reapers will make an artificial queen. That really sucks imo. I remember back in ME1 I thought that was such a huge decision and it would probably have immense impact on the rest of the story but no.

Since I only played it once I don't know how many of the choices impact everything, but I have a worrying suspicion that it's much like in Telltale games where the choices literally have zero impact. If a game is gonna go choices like that I'd rather they just remove choices in general. It's patronizing to me.


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 Post subject: Re: What game ya'll playin'
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:54 am 
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Your choices have no impact at all; tbh it's worse than what Telltale did.

What bothers me the most is how once the writing went full retard (with like three exceptions in ME2) everybody started praising it for the story. It's more or less become a parody of itself shackled to the baggage of proper science-fiction, so hopefully Andromeda will just drop all pretense and just be rainbow-**** fanservice in space.



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 Post subject: Re: What game ya'll playin'
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:41 am 
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Yes, I also thought the weapon thing was more unique in Mass Effect 1. It really was important to uprgade your weapon so it wouldn't overload quickly. In the second and third part, you always had enough resources since after every firefight you could find ammunition around the bodies. On the other hand however, it was a bit annoying to almost always have your weapon overheated, especcially since some enemies were so bullet-spongy and required huge amounts of bullets to go down.

I have played through the series only once as well, but after reading the wiki everytime I made a choice, it really doesn't seem to have huge impact. I think the only choice that has huge impact is whether you save the man or the woman in the original. All of the others characters that are supposed to reappear later in the series (the Krogan companion, the Geth companion etc.) are replaced by a generic individual.

As for the plot, I do consider the original superior than the sequels. Mass Effect 1's plot was so intriguing because it had a clear enemy (Saren) whom you get to know from the begining and is not just a name, and because Sovereign was so mysterious and powerfull. The Reapers as they turn up in Mass Effect 3 are very underwhelming.

Mass Effect 2 didn't even offer anything. Bioware could literally skip Mass Effect 2 plotwise and go from 1 to 3 without sacrificing story elements.

However, when it comes to endings, I think Mass Effect 2 did it perfectly. The suicide mission at the end is a very good way to make your choices in the entire game affecting the outcome. It is possible to make everyone survive or to kill everyone.
Mass Effect 3's endings was horrible, not only because the actual cutscene was sub-par, but mainly because the final choice depends on whether you go right, left or straight up. This is pure lazy design and is the epitome of your choices in the entire game being meaningless.



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 Post subject: Re: What game ya'll playin'
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:05 pm 
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Yup, I agree with basically all of that. Especially the part about ME2 being filler. However:

alerommel wrote:
However, when it comes to endings, I think Mass Effect 2 did it perfectly. The suicide mission at the end is a very good way to make your choices in the entire game affecting the outcome. It is possible to make everyone survive or to kill everyone.


I disagree quite heavily with this. I think it's awful choice and consequence (MrBTongue did a video on this). It makes no sense that because you help Mordin in his loyalty mission about the genophage that he then doesn't get killed by a stray bullet through a closing door. There's no logical causality.

I get that it provides replayability and different outcomes depending on what you do but it comes across as lazy and cheap to me. I think in the video MrBTongue states that choice and consequence is both overrated and underrated.

He says that the Mass Effect 2 method is overrated, and he uses an example of underrated C&C from the original Fallout where getting the Water Merchants to send water to your thirsting Vault gives you more time to complete the mission but it reveals the location of the Vault to the Super Mutants at an earlier time than normal due to it no longer being a secret to all of the Wasteland. I think that's one of the key things that differentiate good and bad writing.


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 Post subject: Re: What game ya'll playin'
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:12 pm 
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@Jozoz,

That's interesting...
Can you tell me which video of his is that? I am not familiar with that guy at all...



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 Post subject: Re: What game ya'll playin'
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:37 pm 
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I'm envious that you never watched his videos. I've watched them all many times haha

Very very informative.


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 Post subject: Re: What game ya'll playin'
PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 4:19 pm 
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I watched the video. Very interesting. I will watch more. From what I understand, he is not uploading very often though.



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