Mass Effect : Meet and Fuck

Of the Tabletop, and other, lesser varieties.

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Endless Mike
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Endless Mike » Mon May 12, 2008 3:18 pm UTC

Xaddak wrote:(or in EA's case, stealing what I paid somebody else to work on so I could put my name on their work - why is it that that will get you kicked out of school, but in the corporate world, it is okay?).

EA is one of the better publishers in terms of credits, actually. Virtually everyone who worked on the game from top producer to bottom entry-level tester gets a credit in the game. The developer is still listed in the opening credits, as well. EA still deserves a credit for doing things like financing development and publishing it. And I'm not a big EA fan, but I think you're trying to hard to find things to complain about.

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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Sparv » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:52 am UTC

I didn't see any post about Mass Effect PC and its protection... i'll share my story.

I bought Mass Effect PC something like two weeks ago. I put the first DVD in the player, installed 12 (not 2, twelve!!) gigs on my hard disk, then two more for the French translations, and fired up the shit. And then a nice small window popped up :" an internet connection is required to activate this game". I scratch my head, and checked xkcd to be sure that my connection was working. It was.
I shouted "Motherfuckers" once or twice.
I now know why this shit doesn't work. Securom sucks. Not in the pleasant way, in the "it really sucks" way.

I live on a campus, and we are all behind a proxy. We share our internet connexion with a research lab, so there is a really paranoïd firewall on this proxy: no Peer to peer, no skype, msn video stream. And no activation by Securom.

Conclusion: I got everything which is needed (an up to date computer, a "working" win XP, an internet connection), and i can't play.

I finally played. I called a friend, he downloaded a crack thanks to The Pirate Bay (remember, I don't have any p2p) and he e-mailed it to me. Isn't this great? to play my game, I have to use a crack it, which means that there are bugs and that I executed a maybe dangerous .exe on my computer.

Thank you, EA! Thank you, Securom!

A part from this, this game is a masterpiece.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Berengal » Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:02 am UTC

Yes, I already knew about this, so I downloaded the pirated version after I'd ordered it online and played that instead. Now I didn't have to fight the stupid copy-protection, and I've got a mint case in my bookshelf.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Crescent » Wed Jun 25, 2008 12:12 pm UTC

I've had the PC version since it came out, only had a little trouble with the installation but that wasn't related to the copy protection. Other than that it has been totally hassle free, I didn't even notice the authentication and I can't detect any drops in performance on my rig.
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Phen
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Phen » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:59 am UTC

So, I just completed the game as a total goody paragon of goody-ness. Staying up till 5 in the morning, too. And I'm so, so, SO sorry that I read a spoiler a few pages back -
Spoiler:
That you can make Saren kill himself
- I had already decided to get the game at that point, but there's no way to unread what I have read...
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Sparv » Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:47 am UTC

Phen wrote:
Spoiler:
Something
- I had already decided to get the game at that point, but there's no way to unread what I have read...


It was a real schock for me. I was like uuuuh? Did I really finished the game in this lame (but unusual) way?
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Phen » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:35 am UTC

Sparv wrote:
Phen wrote:
Spoiler:
Something
- I had already decided to get the game at that point, but there's no way to unread what I have read...


It was a real schock for me. I was like uuuuh? Did I really finished the game in this lame (but unusual) way?

It did come almost out of nowhere, yes. I can totally see how I would've been shocked... Damn my curiosity. I was surprised at how quick the ending came about, though - I got bored of doing sidequests and told myself that I'd take the rest after this next planet. And the suddenly... Blam, endgame.
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In war, one should seek to take and hold the high ground. From there, the enemy's movements are clearly visible, and he will struggle just to reach you, let alone fight you. High orbit is the highest ground there is.

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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Irrefutable » Tue Jul 01, 2008 10:50 am UTC

I finished it a few days a go.

I liked it but not as much as KOTR purely because i didnt feel the whole paragon/renagade thing made much effect on gameplay. In KOTR most decisions involved doing something truely evil whereas the renegade choices in the main looked like saying nasty things to people.

Also the whole charm thing was silly, just keep maxing charm and always hit the charm option and you get out of anything even if the actual difference in speach is negligable.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Phen » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:04 pm UTC

Yeah, that's definately annoying. At first I like the dialogue wheel, having a little freedom... Then I discovered that I *need* paragon points to get charm up, so after that it was mostly just mindlessly hitting the "good" options all the time. Really a shame.

I AM looking forward to replaying it being as renegade as can be, though.
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In war, one should seek to take and hold the high ground. From there, the enemy's movements are clearly visible, and he will struggle just to reach you, let alone fight you. High orbit is the highest ground there is.

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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Axman » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:34 pm UTC

Has the point about Mass Effect's gameplay mechanic been thrashed here yet? It's a phenomenal game, don't get me wrong, I love it. But it's horribly flawed, and it will be a long time before I play through it again. By the way, Paragon and Renegade bonuses stack, if you hadn't noticed.

I'm just surprised that many game reviews fail to note that Mass Effect scales badly and is so, so vastly easier to finish the game than it is is to start it. Also: Bioware, stop fucking around with the minigames! It barely worked out with the top-scrolling shooter in Jade Empire, but did because you worked your ass off and made it a complete game, but I would literally prefer playing Moon Patrol--and it is Moon Patrol--to driving the Mako. Every time I teleport out of the thing I feel like I and my crew just got pooped. Nitpick: why the fuck can the ship find a matriarchal tablet in an asteroid field spinning around a gas giant but my truck can't see A GOD DAMN LIVING SKYSCRAPER UNTIL IT PUNCHES ITS FACE ALL THE WAY THROUGH IT.

Sex doesn't replace dialog options with your crew. Oh yeah, and what the Hell, why do the elevators all suck balls? The music's funny as shit, though.

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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Kag » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:19 pm UTC

Irrefutable wrote:In KOTR most decisions involved doing something truely evil whereas the renegade choices in the main looked like saying nasty things to people.


Punching that dude in the face at the beginning was pretty entertaining, though.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Amnesiasoft » Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:04 pm UTC

Kag wrote:
Irrefutable wrote:In KOTR most decisions involved doing something truely evil whereas the renegade choices in the main looked like saying nasty things to people.


Punching that dude in the face at the beginning was pretty entertaining, though.

It was also quite fun

Spoiler:
making Anoleis kill himself and his secretary

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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Phen » Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:19 pm UTC

Amnesiasoft wrote:
Kag wrote:
Irrefutable wrote:In KOTR most decisions involved doing something truely evil whereas the renegade choices in the main looked like saying nasty things to people.


Punching that dude in the face at the beginning was pretty entertaining, though.

It was also quite fun

Spoiler:
making Anoleis kill himself and his secretary

I did that by accident as my paragon Shepard. Just to see what'd happen. *quickload*
I'm a wizard. We know these things.

In war, one should seek to take and hold the high ground. From there, the enemy's movements are clearly visible, and he will struggle just to reach you, let alone fight you. High orbit is the highest ground there is.

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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Axman » Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:03 pm UTC

Irrefutable wrote:n KOTR most decisions involved doing something truely evil...


Yeah, I've always hated that about KOTOR. I mean, yeah, that's one way to turn to the dark side, but it's not... reasonable? It seems silly that you'd be vicious and psychotic just to stay the path; I hope that with the next game--please let there be a next game--there's a way to fall to the dark side, to be tempted or forced. I'd like to see the dark side path be literally easier or something drastically different than just different conversation options. That would be less less crazy than:

I'm a Jedi!
Help, I'm trapped under this plasteel crate full of gizka jizz!
Your butt's sticking out....
NOOOOOOOO!
Alright, lighning powers FTW!

Paragon/ Renegade seemed a little more natural, seeing how you were still trying to save the fuck out of existence.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Irrefutable » Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:16 pm UTC

Well the think is KOTR was a genuine dilema

Addmitedly there were some moments of just pointless evil (I love stabbing the crazy man through the locker for no explicable reason) in KOTR most of the evil offered more benefits than the light side. So you actually had a dilema.

Mass Effect it either made more difference or forced you to fight more for the most part if you wanted to be evil.
Spoiler:
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Berengal » Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:34 pm UTC

A one-playthrough game with several design flaws (minigames, character progression making you too powerful too soon, evil/good making no difference). It still says something about BioWare that the game's very good, despite its lacks and consolification.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Jessica » Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:28 pm UTC

Bought it for the PC. Will read comments when I'm finished.

I'm expecting a twist (haven't read any spoilers, but I've played Kotor and Jade empire). I assume someone will betray me, and that I'll be some evil dark secret or something. Probably like a progenitor's child, or the leader of the humans is actually working with the evil. Or maybe I'm a cyborg. Whatever. I know something will come up, because it has to.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Irrefutable » Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:50 pm UTC

Enjoy your stay :)

I was thinking along similar lines to you tbh, especially after KOTR (I never got far in KOTR 2, was there a twist in that)

Spoiler:
Unfortunatly you dont turn out to be a renegade geth or a Reaper or anything.. which tbh i was expecting. There was no mega bad ending in this version, logically if one ending is the universe being saved then the evil one should be its enslavement to you.. but no such luck
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Belial » Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:49 am UTC

I think people conflate "renegade" with "evil", which isn't really accurate. Paragon and Renegade are just "Upstanding Supercop" and "Loose Cannon Police Officer". The Renegade isn't Doctor Doom or Darth Shepherd, he's the guy who hears "Damnit, Shepherd, One more stunt like that, and you're off the force!.....Good job on getting the guy, though" once a week. Same goal, same basic morality (at the very, very core), radically different approaches to reaching and upholding them.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby superglucose » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:53 am UTC

This game... so close to perfection and yet so far.

For the record: I really liked this game. I really did. I can't wait for Mass Effect 2 because I know Bioware can get their act together and fix the flaws of this game. But I don't think this game is 'the' RPG of the century, or even the year. In fact, this game is, in my opinion, barely a B game. Probably an 8.4 or so, not the 10 most of the media wants to give it. Maybe I'm just a tough grader.

First, "Huge game world" my ass. There's like, a planet a system you can land on and most of those have two or three things you can do: get minerals, clear dungeon. Add that to thirty or so systems? Maybe it's because Bethesda spoiled me, but I'm used to 'huge game world' meaning "there's ALWAYS something new, no matter HOW long you've been playing it." I felt rediculously cramped playing this game, and it didn't help that you visited all of like three colonized planets, excluding the tutorial planet. Seriously now.

Second, where are the goddamn rockets? The Geth and every single effin pirate in the galaxy has rocket launchers, and I'm supposed to buy that the council sends a fuckin' specter up against Geth tanks with an assault rifle? I can't even buy grenades! WTF is this?!

this second complaint is really just a subsidiary of the 'Oh me yarm Oh it isn't my game' complaint. I heard this game would be 'open world' and 'free' to make my 'own path.' Instead I find out that no matter what I do it ends up with me, Shepard, shooting some guys and
Spoiler:
starting up intergalactic space autocracies no matter how goddamn anti-authority I am.


I didn't feel free for one second in Mass Effect, I felt like everything was forced on me in one way or another. In the end I managed to find I hated every single goddamn member of the Alliance and as such when
Spoiler:
the endgame the stupid fucking ambassador is asking me to put him on the throne of the galaxy I just wanted to rip his and every other human's throat out.


Each level is linear. Sure, on some of the more stupid levels (like the one where you go rescue the asari) they wind the linear route around and artificially make you backtrack (hint: it's not a real puzzle if one of your crew members shouts out the answer) a bit before getting to the destination, but overall this game is Halo. Point A to Point B, killing everything that moves in between.

Hell, in Morrowind and Oblivion, and even Halo, I can shoot (and kill) whoever the hell I please. Well, not so much in Oblivion (stupid fucking crown of invincibility) or Halo (some guys, like Sgt. Johnson, are invincible [not that I'd ever harm a hair on Johnson's head]), but even in those games the vast majority of people, even good guys, are killable.

I can shoot up the presidium without the guards at C-sec even blinking an eye. There are no, read: 0 consequences to my actions, and when I finish a quest the last word on it is some kind of fake news report blandly telling me stuff like "Some Alliance member went and killed Asari Commandos." Goody goody gumballs!

The ONE mission that stood a chance of changing this game for me, rocking my world, and absolutely amazingly turning this game's story into the single greatest stories of all time?
Spoiler:
There's a point where it's revealed that Saren has developed a way to reverse the Genophage his people released on the Krogun. If at that point Saren's true intentions had been to use the Reaper's technology to cure the Genophage to help the Krogun out of some kind of penance for his people, I would have had to put down my controller and said, "Oh shit, how do I rationalize killing Saren now?" I was anticipating that twist from the point I first heard wind about Saren working on the Genophage thing, and I was giddy with ecstasy at how cool the story was... until I advanced it. What really happened? Oh, Saren was manipulating the Krogun so that he could live longer!!11!!1!1! Booooo-riiiiing... so the super-evil-dude is really just a super-evil-dude with nothing on his mind but domination... or rather living through the domination. After that revelation, and the revelation of his true intentions, I found his character rather shallow and boring. He wants to live! And yet I still managed to convince him to kill himself? My god...


Also
Spoiler:
I heard it doesn't matter what you chose in the space battle at the end, the Council still dies. WTF?! You want us to feel like we get to chose our own path, mold the destiny of the galaxy? THEN FRIKKEN LET ME SAVE THE GODDAMN COUNCIL! Every major 'decision' you get results in the same end regardless of the choices you make. Annoying as hell, especially if they claim I'm supposed to have 'freedom.'


As for the freedom thing, why don't I have the freedom to map my own controls? At last count there are buttons utterly unmapped for combat (the clickies on the two sticks) and two (or is it three?) separate buttons who's only function is to draw/store your weapons. All this would be fine, except that the Dpad is also unused and the grenade button is... the back button. Um well er um, WHAT?! All the options available for buttons, the limited (c'mon, you don't even need a jump button) actions we can do, and the best option you had for grenade was BACK?! Let me map my controls! I'd love to see a company use the sticks properly for magic, where you click the stick and point in the direction of the spell you want, and then release to cast the spell, but baring that at least give me D-pad functionality! Instead I can map 1 (count 'em, 1) power for my tech/bioticist who unleashes the fury with five separate powers per battle.

The system is nice and fluid, except the allies. I feel like I'm in this game right here. I feel like any time my team wields a weapon their target is me, and any time they use stuff like Sabotage their target is Me. I have Ashley permanently on my team because her lack of biotics/tech means that she's less powerful, meaning she's less able to rip apart MY defenses. Though it must be noted that my second time playing through I have noticed that if I boss my teammates around less they shoot me less. I also got in the practice of staying the frack away from enemies, something that was the opposite of what my shotgun-soldier needed to do.

There are some grips about the system though. Why, pray tell, do I need to master pistols before shotguns? Throw before Lift makes sense, but pistols go to shotguns and assault rifles go to snipers? This is especially confusing because they can't even argue, "pistols and shotguns are similar like assault rifles and snipers" because when krogun battlemasters learn shotguns, they don't master pistols first, they master assault rifles. This is frustrating because I wanted to build a tech/bioticist who used sniper rifles to pick off enemies from a safe place while using techs and biotics to support the team and control the battlefield. No dice on that, though I can play a sniper/tech dude. Only problem there? Six of my skill points get sucked up in a skill I really don't want my character to have: assault rifle.

Custom classes would be a much welcome addition to ME2. And don't give me that "you can do the prestige class thingy and you get to chose how you progress and there's six options for classes!!1!!" crap. KotoR (the original) had a few things you could do, and only one or two of them were halfway decent, but at least I could chose to make a different style of character! At least I could make a sneaker who specialized in [choose weapon here].

The upgrade system was nice, but I'd like to see more of the crunch behind it. A before/after comparison (like when switching weapons) would have been REALLY nice, because I always felt like my upgrades did nothing, especially the combat scanner. And if upgrades really do nothing at all, please don't include them. Save the data for something useful, like a new planet.

Most of the fluff was REALLY cool. I read for hours about spaceship types and battle strategies, hungering to command, or hell, even see one of these. One problem: I have to go through two menus, one of them the start button, to get to it. Way to break immersion. Instead there should've been a computer on your ship you could look this stuff up in, or something. Immersion is so close to being there it's painfully absent. Also having more people tell you about the current politics would be nice. You hear a lot about "holy crap politics" in the beginning, though it's somewhat an unbelievable "humans are under the thumbs of the galaxy! onoes!" At least it's there... but I want more.

The music kills immersion. It takes immersion and stomps it to a bloody pulp and absolutely murders anyone near it. For one thing, while the opening theme is cool to hear once, when it's the only goddamn song in the game it gets grating. For another, WTF WITH THE GALAXY MAP PEOPLE?! Lots of information on those planets and I couldn't/didn't want to read it because a) the text is the size of a small virus and b) THAT INFERNAL RACKET WAS IN THE BACKGROUND.

I hate playing games with the music off, I really do. People put effort into the music and a lot of it works... but for Mass Effect, only the title worked. Also the elevator music worked, but that's just offset by the fact that...

loadscreens are everywhere. Haven't they heard of "one huge overworld"? Morrowind has a huge overworld and... it's 1 load. Sure, it sometimes pauses to load as you go along, and if you fast travel there's a load screen, but that's soooo much better than this "Hmm, I would go down and talk to Ashley about how the mission went, but I have to sit through a five minute elevator ride to get to her. I'd rather just click on the galaxy map and finish the story." The ship in particular is not that big... why is there a loadscreen, and why is it such a huge load screen? I'd rather have a smaller ship and just have everyone accessible without pain than the slightly larger ship I get out of the deal.

Mass Effect was a good game, but by no means a great game, or even nearly as good as it could have been.

I look forward to ME 2 because I have faith that Bioware will fix the product that is Mass Effect and release something truly substantial and noteworthy.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Berengal » Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:49 pm UTC

superglucose wrote:Also
Spoiler:
I heard it doesn't matter what you chose in the space battle at the end, the Council still dies. WTF?! You want us to feel like we get to chose our own path, mold the destiny of the galaxy? THEN FRIKKEN LET ME SAVE THE GODDAMN COUNCIL! Every major 'decision' you get results in the same end regardless of the choices you make. Annoying as hell, especially if they claim I'm supposed to have 'freedom.'
Spoiler:
Uhm, I saved the council. It was a rather sweet cutscene, where humanity finally got to show those uppity council races that we kick ass.


And the load screens weren't so bad, although a few of the elevator rides were somewhat misplaced in funny, sometimes bordering on hillarious, ways. I could also remap controlls, put special abilities on a quickbar type of thing, activated by numbers keys, which are conveniently placed above wasd.

I played the PC version though, and from what I've read PC > 360.


Other than that, I agree with you.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Irrefutable » Thu Jul 03, 2008 2:03 pm UTC

superglucose wrote:
Also
Spoiler:
I heard it doesn't matter what you chose in the space battle at the end, the Council still dies. WTF?! You want us to feel like we get to chose our own path, mold the destiny of the galaxy? THEN FRIKKEN LET ME SAVE THE GODDAMN COUNCIL! Every major 'decision' you get results in the same end regardless of the choices you make. Annoying as hell, especially if they claim I'm supposed to have 'freedom.'



Spoiler:
I saved the council, so im afraid thats not true.

Apart from that i agree with you
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby superglucose » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:50 pm UTC

Like I said, that's just what I heard. I'm playing it through again to see what really happens.

If I have to make one more autocracy though...
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Kag » Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:35 am UTC

Irrefutable wrote:
Spoiler:
I saved the council, so im afraid thats not true.

Apart from that i agree with you


Spoiler:
I'm pretty sure it only happens for Paragon.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Berengal » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:29 am UTC

Kag wrote:
Irrefutable wrote:
Spoiler:
I saved the council, so im afraid thats not true.

Apart from that i agree with you


Spoiler:
I'm pretty sure it only happens for Paragon.

Spoiler:
I was 5/6 renegade, 1/6 paragon, and it happened to me.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Kag » Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:33 am UTC

Well then I guess superglucose is just crazy.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby superglucose » Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:39 am UTC

Kag wrote:Well then I guess superglucose is just crazy.


Or maybe I just heard about it, like I said in the original post and in a clarification post?

Another gripe about Mass Effect:

The goddamn sight on the Mako is friggen USELESS! Grrr... if the Mako has a minimum range, please don't drop the sight to point at something the Mako can't hit. So many times the sight actually tells you nothing about where the shot is going to end up it's annoying!
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Toeofdoom » Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:03 pm UTC

Something I posted on another forum summing up my thoughts on mass effect. Spoilered the bit that gives away some minor parts of the story. Some of these thoughts may originate from this thread, notably the one where belial mentioned that you arent really good/evil it's just how you're going to save the universe.

If you want to know my reasons behind saying something, ask. Obviously this would be far longer if I justified everything fully.

Yeah people played it ages ago. I dont care, I'm reviewing it anyway, because I just played through most of the PC version. Might add more thoughts once I finish it. All comments apply to the PC version and compare it to PC games.

So first, graphics:

Technically, graphics are decent, but much of it goes without striking me as really awesome (and this is on max). This pretty much sums up all aspects of graphics, animations, shaders, shadows, textures etc. Also the film grain thing started to piss me off so I turned it off. The most notable thing compared with most games is the lack of any massive bloom effects. This is sometimes a good thing, but I liked massive bloom effects :(. Also, it's generally less shiny. Probably the best graphics bits are in the galaxy map when looking at specific planets, and the worst on some NPC uniforms with lower res textures. Given that nothing has pushed the graphics barrier immensely this year, the time since its release doesnt affect this too much.

Artistically, the graphics vary. Pretty much everything on a story world looks really nice. Everything on a non-story world will probably be seen on half the other non-story worlds, and the terrain on such worlds is really quite annoying. The Normandy (your ship) is very nicely done and not particularly cliched. Characters look very good, pretty much equal with the best I've seen.

Character equipment is good but just a little too colourful really, and not all that functional. Differences between specific pieces of equipment are there, but are not nearly as obvious as the differences between mass effect equipment and anything approaching reality. This is one of the major points, where things dont quite seem to fit.

To sum up the graphics: Everything is good, but compared to other recent games none of it looks incredible, artistically or technically.


Now, the rest of the features.

Story:
This is pretty cool and probably Mass Effects strongest feature as I see it.
Spoiler:
You pretty much get a choice between different attitudes towards saving the universe, in terms of the good/evil thing, so evil isn't really that evil. The overall concept is nice and isn't really repeating anything that I've seen or read. They also manage to throw in a few things that are unexpected, not relating to the main storyline directly but fitting into the world, such as an admiral inspecting your ship and asking you about it, and a TV interview. The characters and conversations are about as real as they get in games and while it would not make a good movie, they could happen in real life. Excluding the parts where you ask the same person the same thing 5 times and they fail to catch on, or where some NPCs fail to get new dialogue.
The point is, the main storyline is pretty good, and the interaction system is the best there is, but it's just an incremental upgrade from what we already had, nothing revolutionary.

oh, also, the random clip of actual video footage that they show at many points is really annoying.

Open world:
Really, this bit serves best as a distraction from the main story. Doing a few of them extends the game a few hours, doing too many gets repetitive. The vehicle you drive around uncharted planets is cool at first, but it never changes and neither do the planets. The driving sections on uncharted planets arent really that entertaining anyway. The only things to make it worth it after the first couple are the random snippets of lore.

Sound:
Can't say much different here. The sound is done competently, but typically nothing that makes it incredibly awesome. The music does match the mood very well in my experience though, so that's good.

Gameplay:
The main gameplay here consists of gunfights with psychic powers and tech powers. You can use cover as in gears of war, or pause the game to tell your squad what to do somewhat like NWN2. However, once you get to higher levels, it becomes less challenging as you become more powerful and used to the controls and enemies. I pretty much stopped using the cover mechanics, and this was on difficulty 3/5 ( 4 and 5 are locked at first) without dying excessively. Combat is well designed however and does not become a chore, remaining interesting with some pretty cool effects of the tech/psychic powers I mentioned.

Also, it's worth mentioning that the combat system seems alot like that of tabula rasa, except you also get to control a squad. Tabula rasa also didn't have as cool powers, but yeah, worth mentioning.

The open world gameplay, that in the Mako (vehicle), is really just annoying. The Mako has six wheels, a gun and a typical tank turret, combat is pretty generic and the weapons that can actually hurt you move slowly so they can be dodged with ease. The terrain you have to drive over isnt really fun to drive over, because it isnt smooth enough for you to build up speed or do jumps and theres nothing to crash into. Sure, none of those would make much sense, but what is there only really serves to transport you to the next place where you jump out and fight stuff on foot. Also, I think there are like, 2 buildings for uncharted worlds and thats just annoying.

The hacking minigame present in the PC version is simple and quick and seems to fit in well enough in the small doses it's in. Nothing to complain about there, anyway.

Itemization isn't overly complex and gives you enough choices in the form of equipment upgrades that you can customize stuff as you see fit. The itemization is suitable for the game, but would probably not suit a less action oriented RPG, which can include most MMOs.

Conclusion:

Mass effect is a well made game, but no boundaries are pushed particularly far. This may be being a little harsh, to expect every game to have something amazingly new. It probably didn't help that major parts in the story were spoiled for me due to the delay in it getting to PC. Like I said, the story is still its strongest aspect. It has it's cool parts and a few annoying bits, however if you havent played it and like this sort of game (action/RPG/FPS mix of some sort + SciFi) then you'll probably enjoy it.

Oh, theres also a sex scene. Did I miss that? Sorry.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Axman » Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:25 pm UTC

Creating a squad-based real-time shooter RPG isn't pushing boundaries?

Anarchy Online and COD4 don't exactly count. Maybe S/B-Shocks and STALKER, but anyway, I'm diluting my own point. The very method of playing the game is new--although I still prefer my squad-based, turn-based tactical games--I may not be able to enjoy any shooter, operatic or otherwise, without some kind of character-building aspects.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby superglucose » Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:47 pm UTC

Really? I do'nt think story was the best part of Mass Effect at all. Maybe it's because Jade Empire and KotoR spoiled me, but I thought the ME storyline was by-the-books without anything particularly shocking or interesting at all. They came close, as I said in my huge post, but overall it was just "onoes! bad guys coming to kill everything! lucky for us, SHEPARD is here! Oh and traitor with mind control."
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Toeofdoom » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:28 am UTC

Axman wrote:Creating a squad-based real-time shooter RPG isn't pushing boundaries?

Anarchy Online and COD4 don't exactly count. Maybe S/B-Shocks and STALKER, but anyway, I'm diluting my own point. The very method of playing the game is new--although I still prefer my squad-based, turn-based tactical games--I may not be able to enjoy any shooter, operatic or otherwise, without some kind of character-building aspects.


Tabula rasa has almost the exact same control system, and in my experience, controlling the squad was mostly limited to "move out of the damn way (of my bullets)", "move out of the damn way (of their bullets)" and using abilities which might as well have been my own. It may push boundaries, but it doesnt seem like it pushes them very far. Although I must admit having 2 people along with you at all times did change the feel of the game and I see your point.

superglucose wrote:Really? I do'nt think story was the best part of Mass Effect at all. Maybe it's because Jade Empire and KotoR spoiled me, but I thought the ME storyline was by-the-books without anything particularly shocking or interesting at all. They came close, as I said in my huge post, but overall it was just "onoes! bad guys coming to kill everything! lucky for us, SHEPARD is here! Oh and traitor with mind control."


I think I was referring to the way it was implemented. The core plot is pretty typical, but there are plenty of ways other than that where it differs from other games I've played.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby superglucose » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:53 am UTC

Oh wow. Upon the playthrough, my favorite character on that boat (Ashley) just got even cooler!

I've never seen anything quite like that in a game before... she believes in God? And the way it's handled is pretty awesome too. New kudos to Mass Effect for handling religion well, something that's almost never done in games!
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Endless Mike » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:49 pm UTC

Ashley is also racist.

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Re: Mass Effect

Postby superglucose » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:56 pm UTC

Specieist.

Which, considering the way many of the other races are... (the Genophage and every other race's just general acceptance of the genophage? constantly squelching Humanity?)

But anyways, it helps make her character cool that she's a specieist. Better than this sugar-coated crap most games/books/movies these days are putting as a main character.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Edawan » Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:44 pm UTC

I finished the game yesterday.
The end battle was a bit underwhelming, I really destroyed Saren too easily. (improved stasis did help for that). The space battle scenes were cool, though. :)
I played the game on normal as an adept, and I'm starting again on hardcore as a soldier.

Endless Mike wrote:Ashley is also racist.
I hated her for that.
"I can't tell aliens from animals" I wanted to shoot her for that.

I mean come on Ashley ! it's just a game !
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby willwithskills » Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:01 pm UTC

A lot of people on other forums complained about the lack of depth in the characters compared to KotOR. This is true, but what they are completely missing is that the actual universe you are in is the place that is given the most back story. You learn all about the social climate, the wars, and all the interesting things that are happening. Bioware really created an interesting universe to fight in.
So it goes.

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Re: Mass Effect

Postby superglucose » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:18 pm UTC

willwithskills wrote:A lot of people on other forums complained about the lack of depth in the characters compared to KotOR. This is true, but what they are completely missing is that the actual universe you are in is the place that is given the most back story. You learn all about the social climate, the wars, and all the interesting things that are happening. Bioware really created an interesting universe to fight in.


Yeah but then they failed to make the fighting terribly interesting. Or pretty much anything that actually pertains to the game terribly interesting. I mean, yeah, it's good FPS mechanics with decent 'magic' stuff thrown in, but in the end only a select handful of powers are usefull in any situation, and some of them are so good that the bosses have to be immune to them for the fights to be interesting.

Also while the universe is interesting, the world that you are in, the one with Liara, Ashley and co., isn't particuarly awe inspiring.

My whole thing with Mass Effect is this: man, you have a TON of great ideas. Now you get Mass Effect 2 and 3. Polish it up and you can make the greatest game ever known!
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:42 pm UTC

Having just completed this game, I shall raise this thread from the grave (lest I incur the wrath of the mods for creating a new one).

First of all,
Spoiler:
how do you get Saren to kill himself? Choosing the charm option when you encounter him on Virmire doesn't seem to do it, should I use the intimidate option instead?


And what are the evil endings and how do I get to them?
Spoiler:
I've only seen the good ending - quickload let me see the versions where the council lives and where the council dies


Finally
Spoiler:
I don't suppose there's any way to save both Ashley and Kaiden on Virmire?
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby thecommabandit » Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:42 pm UTC

I got this game a week or two ago. Had an absolute blast playing it. I knew I'd love it anyway since I love sci-fi so much.
Spoiler:
I think it's the final confrontation with Saren that you can use Charm to make him commit suicide. I'm not sure since I never sunk many points into the conversation skills.

I don't think there is a way. That's the point, it's a situation where either way someone dies and the person who lives feels bad about it.

Personally, I loved this game. Some of the set pieces were amazing like
Spoiler:
the final assault on Citadel Control. The battle on the central spire all the way up to the control room just felt pitched. Unlike a lot of other games where the last battle before the boss is interspersed with quiet periods where you can sit and take stock of the situation, this one just kept throwing geth and krogan at you and really gave a sense of urgency; it felt like an important and decisive battle and that you had to keep on going. The way they built up and sustained that momentum for so long was masterful. The fingers/tentacles of Sovereign moving, while obviously irrelevant, were also pretty amazing.

Graphics-wise, I only have two annoyances: A lot of the self-shadowing on faces (usually the shadow of the nose or the shadow under the chin) was kinda grainy and had bits which should've been shadowed but were bright. The other is that fairly frequently the game would stutter for around five, ten seconds. This wasn't so much a problem in combat (I'd just hold space and when it recovered I'd be in the tactical HUD) but in conversation I would pick an option, it would skip, then I'd hear a half-second snippet of what was said which would then cut out, leaving the character gesturing with their head, face, hands and eyes but their lips not moving. It kinda ruined several parts because I didn't know what people had actually said.

I think the biggest disappointment were the explorable worlds. In honesty, I didn't expect much from them as I had heard almost unanimously that they were lame. I explored most of them, mainly because I'm an explorationist and I don't like leaving things untried or unseen (it distresses me to leave boxes locked beyond my skill unopened).

One thing I hated was the way humans were so whiny and up themselves. Every other human you meet is all "Oh waaaaaah, aliens don't like us or listen to us. Waaaaaah. I want a colony here but the council won't let me, damn those human-hating aliens! Waaaaah, we need to show them what humanity is capable of because we're better than everyone else but no-one pays us any attention. Waaaah!" Especially Ashley. I wanted to punch her when she says random things like "I can't tell the animals from the aliens" and other stupid xenophobic bullshit. I think she redeemed herself through conversations though, especially that she believed in God.

The disappointments were almost completely mitigated by the shining awesome of it though. It's pretty epic, in both senses of the word.
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Re: Mass Effect

Postby Belial » Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:23 pm UTC

Especially Ashley. I wanted to punch her when she says random things like "I can't tell the animals from the aliens" and other stupid xenophobic bullshit.


You're not really....supposed to like that about Ashley. It is by way of having flawed characters.
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