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Posted by Tearhead

So my last final was on Friday, and like many of us who are in college, we simply have no time to play all the games we want while busting our asses for that once lambskin ticket to better employment. So now, with the Christmas vacation upon us, I am trying to go back and finish those games that I simply had no time to even look at before. 
 
The first that caught my eye was Mass Effect. I bought it back in summer for $5 off of steam and played it for seven hours (according to Steam) during that same summer

 I hate you...
period. In that first few hours with the game, I have to admit, I didn't see what the big fuss was about. The game, I felt, did a lackluster job of introducing me to their beautiful universe. So much sci-fi jargon was being flung at me, pages after pages of codex entries, and a horrible tutorial of how the many gameplay mechanics worked. All the while, the story never stopping or even slowing down for you to keep up. This all culminated in me not really caring about the universe or the menagerie of wonderful characters that inhabited it. I got into a habit I HATE to do within RPGs, which is to be on what I call "quest autopilot," where I gloss over text and narrative so I can just get to my end goal. These things, however, were not the reason for me completely abandoning the game for over four months. What was it you ask, let me spell it for you, M-A-K-O. The mako is one of the most poorly implemented mechanics of a game I have ever played; complete dog shit. When compared with the meticulous attention to detail and construction of the awesome game surrounding it, I can only wonder how Bioware let this happen. It almost feels like they ordered one guy to create each explorable planet and the other guy to create the vehicle in which to explore the planet. These two people both produced bad work, and never even talked to each other on how to properly join these two aspects of the game. The mako handles horrendously, and feels completely separate from the world. It got to a point, when trying to drive out of a pit surrounded by almost 90 degree cliffs, where I said "Fuck this shit!" and spent the remainder of the summer doing far more enjoyable things in Barbados.
 
Now that the school term is over, I have decided to give Mass Effect another chance, and looking at the fact that I have played like 17 hours in the past two days probably shows that I'm really digging this game now. I sat down and forced myself to get out of that pit, and after doing so, forced myself again to read the codex. After gaining the knowledge of how this universe works, I am completely engrossed within it. The combat system is great in theory, however, I feel that the controls and mechanics were not built in such a way to perform your actions elegantly. This, and the fact that I still quiver whenever I see that I have to "Land" on an uncharted planet are simply speed bumps within in an awesome experience. Bioware is a developer that is currently unmatched in their form of storytelling, and only getting better at creating wonderful games. I know I'm late to the Mass Effect party, but I'm really enjoying my time here, and cannot wait to move on to Mass Effect 2 (c'mon Steam, lower the price for your holiday sale, please).
 
P.S. I didn't care for the Star Trek series, so I'm even more surprised that I'm loving this game.
Posted by AjayRaz

glad to hear you're enjoying it, but what's up with the MAKO? everyone hates it but since i haven't touched mass effect, i have no idea what's so bad about it.

Posted by Grelik

It just controlled really poorly.  Had a tendancy to get stuck in weird spots for no apparent reason.  Slid more than any car you'll ever see in Ridge Racer.  Basically wasn't fun to use in any capacity.
Posted by benjaebe
@Grelik said:
" It just controlled really poorly.  Had a tendancy to get stuck in weird spots for no apparent reason.  Slid more than any car you'll ever see in Ridge Racer.  Basically wasn't fun to use in any capacity. "
In addition to the fact that the Mako sections were long and boring as goddamn hell. And if you didn't save periodically, you'd end up falling off a cliff or something and restarting the whole thing over again. The fact that every planet exploration mission played out the exact same way didn't help either.
Posted by Surkov
@Tearhead: You and I are in the exact same boat. I bought it a year ago for $5 off of steam. I just started it last night.   
 
I'm not much of a sci-fi space drama person, but I am actually liking it so far.  
 
I too was too busy with school. (curse you calculus 2)
Posted by yevinorion

The worst part of the Mako sections for me was when a Thresher Maw would randomly decide to pop up directly beneath you and instantly kill you causing you to have to load your last save. *shiver* 
 
If you play ME2 even remotely close to finishing ME1 you'll be astounded by the leaps forward they made. ME2 is truly a masterpiece of a game. I loved part 1 and still found ME2 to be head and shoulders above it. Hope you get a chance to get it soon man!

Posted by Tearhead
@yevinorion said:
" The worst part of the Mako sections for me was when a Thresher Maw would randomly decide to pop up directly beneath you and instantly kill you causing you to have to load your last save. *shiver*  If you play ME2 even remotely close to finishing ME1 you'll be astounded by the leaps forward they made. ME2 is truly a masterpiece of a game. I loved part 1 and still found ME2 to be head and shoulders above it. Hope you get a chance to get it soon man! "
I finished ME1 and am now playing ME2. The difference is like night and day! The graphics are so amazing, I am astounded I can run this game at 720p with the highest detail. These characters I am meeting along the way are also some of the greatest characters ever to be constructed in an RPG. To put this all in perspective, before playing ME2, my GOTY was Red Dead: Redemption, now after playing over 16 hours, it's Mass Effect 2. This game is brilliant; not only my game of the year, but also one of the greatest RPGs ever made.
Posted by yevinorion

Glad to hear you're enjoying it so much. I feel you on the GOTY thing, I have ME2 as my number 1 and RDR as my number 2. It's such a tightly wrapped package and so perfectly flows from mission to mission and keeps the story engaging, it had me gripped to the very end. I still have to go back and play the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC though. I was almost considering buying this again on PS3, but I think I'll try to resist the temptation and continue my Shepard on the 360 when ME3 comes out next year.