Sunday, August 22, 2010

Beginnings, and Mass Effect 1 and 2 .

For all 13 of the people who will ever read this I bid you welcome to Torentsu's game blog. You may remember me from my antics on youtube, and from my articles for Unseen64. Since its hard to make game reviews during the school season I decided to load up the ole Google account and use the Blogger feature.

A word about my gaming media.... Its not really that well themed. I'll talk about almost ANY game of ANY type at ANY TIME. If you don't believe me check out my youtube channel.

For example, today Im talking about Mass Effect, but tomorrow I could review some awful SNES game.
I'll admit it, I was a bit late to the current generation of gaming, and I only snagged an Xbox 360 around March of 2009. One game that I absolutly HAD to try once I updated was Mass Effect. I had heard alot about this game and how it had supposedly changed gaming , story telling , and the art of making bread, so I decided to mosey on down to the now defunct movie gallery and rent this bad boy. I wasn't disappointed. This was the first Bioware RPG I'd ever played and the dialouge options are really superb. Mass Effect to sum it up is a space soap opera about a military guy (who's background you decide) who finds out about an ancient race of aliens that will soon return to destroy the galaxy as they have done countless times. Mass Effect is planned as a trilogy so naturally the problem won't be solved in the first game, or even the semi new Mass Effect 2, which I have also just finished playing. As Commander Shepard (the previously mentioned military type (who's background you decide) who finds out about an ancient race of aliens that will soon return to destroy the galaxy as they have done countless times) you travel the galaxy searching for leads on a bad guy named Saren (who has become the agent of the evil alien machines known as the Reapers) . Apparently a staple in Bioware RPGS (This is the first one I've played) your characters reputation and personality are determined by you and the choices you make in dialouge. Lots of nice guy actions will open up more nice guy options to get you out of tricky situations, and likewise lots of mean actions will let you intimidate people into giving you what you want. Since Shepard is a Spectre (agents that can do anything they want as long as they get the job done) the dialouge system really lets you play the part. Being the loser goody two shoes that I am I played Mass Effect 1 and 2 the whole game through as a paragon soldier , but I did pick a few of the renegade choices every now and then, usually when it would make Shepard say something awesome. Most of the battle action is over the shoulder shooter stuff, but I like that. There's still LOTS of rpging micro management to do so never fret RPG fans....unless you want to play the second game.
Mass Effect 2 removed alot of the RPG elements (wonderful dialouge system made in back in though thankfully ) . It also revamped the HUD which was workable in ME1 but less modern, and they've also made it easier to heal teammates(who I thought died way too easily in the first game) . You're still going around the galaxy, but this time you must build a team to prepare for a suicide mission . I won't spoil much, but of course its possible to live or die during this mission when you finally get to it. The game plays alot more like a standard modern third person shooter. with elements of RPGs mixed in. Despite the heavy game engine changes you can import your character from ME1 to continue his story, and reap the consequences of your actions in the first game.
Like any game I play I must find SOMETHING to complain about. Both games have what I call sudden death syndrome. That is your character is likely to end up in situations (in most non wimp difficulties) where you drop dead from unknown enemies or reasons. In Mass Effect 1 this is especially frustrating because in order to facilitiate the text selection system you have to watch sometimes long cutscenes over and over again while trying to get past a frustrating part of the game. I recall a section in ME1 on the mission to rescue a kidnapped Asari scientist . After the rescue you must fight a Krogan which are the battlehardened near indestructable alien race of the game. the boss fight is conviently placed after :
1. Converstaion
2. A load time diguised as an elevator ride
3. More conversation
A simple autosave containing all the choices you made the previous time would have sufficed but instead you must watch it all again. Also annoying is the fact that the fight starts out with you wide open and facing two enemies. Eventually I found my way into cover and took out all but the Krogan. After my team mates sat there and let him kill them he decided to run and charge me (because one melee from him will devastate me however point blank shotgun/sniper rifle bullets will not stun at all ) . I activated my character's sprint and made it all the way across the room. , amazingly out of nowhere the Krogan followed me and ended the whole thing with a quick blow to the head. I turned around just in time to see his character model glide across the floor and kill me .WAY TO GO BIOWARE. Also Mass Effect 2's missions quickly fall into the go somewhere find a reason to kill everyone , repeat zone. While this is alot of fun it removes some of the depth the first game had. I recall a mission in ME1 where the whole first half of the mission could be done almost entirely through talking to the right people and saying the right things, ME2 pretty much has you going in knowing there's gonna be someone to shoot. These are both really nitpick things though and shouldn't hinder your enjoyment of the game (especially since the ability to swap difficulty after starting is there) . According to the developers they want more RPGness for ME3 so here's to hoping it'll be the perfect blend of ME1's RPG elements and ME2's focus on solid action combat.
Seriously though its a great game worth playing( they both are really) So try them out.


I'm commander Torentsu and this is my favorite RPG on the Xbox.

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