Buy or Not Buy?: Mass Effect 1, 2, & 3

#1 Posted by saoakden (129 posts) -

I love Role playing games. These games tend to be long, interesting, have some cool characters and some douchebags that you want to punch in the face or kick in the crouch. The kind of RPGs I play are usually from the Tales series, a few Final Fantasy, Pokemon (if you count it as one), and Baten Kaitos. I have heard some things about Mass Effect some are good and some are bad, well the bad is mostly because of Mass Effect 3's ending.

Is this game worth picking up? Actually this series I should say. Are these games fun or just boring? If anyone can list some of their experiences with the game or games good or bad, it be nice to hear other peoples take on the series.

#2 Posted by Cincaid (2959 posts) -

@saoakden: The first one is surely showing some age by now, though some would argue that the first game is the "most RPG" in the trilogy. The second game was a step-up for me personally, even if they moved more towards action and shooting. I have not yet played the third game.

Judging by your taste in RPGs I can't guarantee you'll enjoy Mass Effect though, as it's a very far step away from traditional JRPGs. I suggest you start with the first game, since it's probably extremely cheap nowadays, and see if you enjoy it enough to move onto the second game.

#3 Posted by probablytuna (3797 posts) -

The series as a whole is freaking fantastic. I loved all three games and even though the ending to Mass Effect 3 may be disappointing, the overall game was pretty damn good. You really should play them.

#4 Posted by Pazy (2601 posts) -

Mass Effect is an amazing series, personally. The characters and the locations feel very "real" despite the Sci-fi setting. The combat in ME 2&3 is fun third person shooter stuff, though not exceptional, but a lot of people dislike ME1's a lot (its an RPG developers first go at shooting) but the characters and setting makes up for any failings you may find there.

I would suggest getting a demo to try out the combat, if you can truck with it then they are fantastic games really worth playing.

#5 Posted by saoakden (129 posts) -

@Cincaid: I have been planning on expanding my gaming libaray for a while now. I hope I do like the game though, it looks fun and I did hear some good things about it from one of classmates a while back. I am now realizing I play a lot of RPGs that originated from Japan.

#6 Posted by UitDeToekomst (730 posts) -

Looking at the list of games you like, you seem to be way into JRPGs, which Mass Effect certainly is NOT one of, so it is hard to say if you'd like it or or. For what it's worth, I love all 3 ME games, but do not enjoy JRPGs at all.

#7 Edited by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

The ending to ME3 is exceptionally disappointing, to the point where it has ruined the entire franchise for many.

But that aside, they're very good games and probably worth experiencing if you're into story/character driven stuff.

#8 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4700 posts) -

You should definitively try them out. The first one may be take some getting used to though. Like you I am a JRPG player and I think the Mass Effect games are great. We are oblivioulst not the same person but I see not reason why you would not enjoy them if you like third person shooter like gameplay and dialog.

#9 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4866 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind said:

The ending to ME3 is exceptionally disappointing, to the point where it has ruined the entire franchise for many.

But that aside, they're very good games and probably worth experiencing if you're into story/character driven stuff.

Fingers crossed for Tuesday, then.

#10 Posted by GS_Dan (1406 posts) -

If you're the type who feels that 30 hours of great gaming can be ruined by 30 seconds of pre-rendered disappointment, avoid ME3. Otherwise, buy them all, they're all excellent- I have a feeling you might like the first one the most if you look past the janky visuals and poor combat.

#11 Posted by MEATBALL (3392 posts) -

Buy them all, they're great games, the internet is fucking insane.

#12 Posted by Korolev (1722 posts) -

Mass Effect 1, definitely. It's cheap, and it'll run fine on most old computers, since it did come out a while ago. It's not without its flaws, but I played ME1 about... oh, I'd say... 6 times over? It's great.

Mass Effect 2 is also absolutely fantastic. It IS a different game from ME1 - much more third-person shooter than RPG. In some ways it's better, in some ways it's worse. While the story of ME2 is not as good as ME1, and while does not feel as wide and interesting a universe, the gameplay, writing, pacing and over-all quality of ME2 is better than ME1, which, to be frank, had plenty of bugs, game-breaking skills/mods, and kind-of-crummy combat. Don't get me wrong - I really liked ME1. I played through it six times. But ME2 is probably the better "game" overall.

As for ME3 - it's the weakest, but if you've got ME1 and ME2, you'll probably have to play ME3. ME3 is by no means a bad game - it's reduced the RPG elements down even more and the ending IS pretty bad (and there are one or two plot points which I found incredibly stupid - Robot Lady, anyone?), but there are also INCREDIBLY good moments in ME3. I'd say that 75% of ME3 is pure gold-dust, but the first 12.5% and the last 12.5% are pretty rubbish. ME3 is a game with a weak start, an INCREDIBLY powerful and solid Middle, and a bad end. Which is sad.

Overall, I got a lot of enjoyment out of the Mass Effect series and I recommend anyone play it. No, it's not perfect (nothing ever is), but overall I am grateful that I picked up Mass Effect on that warm (in Australia) January day in 2008, not knowing exactly what I was getting myself into.

Oh, and PLAY THE PC VERSION OF ME1 IF YOU CAN. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PLAY THE PC VERSION OF ME1! The Xbox version, while it works, has a TERRIBLE inventory and a LOT of bad texture pop-in and more than a few glitches (especially during the boss fight on Noveria - glitched out on me roughly 5 times over my 6 playthroughs).

#13 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4866 posts) -

@Korolev said:

As for ME3 - it's the weakest, but if you've got ME1 and ME2, you'll probably have to play ME3. ME3 is by no means a bad game - it's reduced the RPG elements down even more and the ending IS pretty bad (and there are one or two plot points which I found incredibly stupid - Robot Lady, anyone?), but there are also INCREDIBLY good moments in ME3. I'd say that 75% of ME3 is pure gold-dust, but the first 12.5% and the last 12.5% are pretty rubbish. ME3 is a game with a weak start, an INCREDIBLY powerful and solid Middle, and a bad end. Which is sad.

You are so wrong on that I am prepared to fist-fight you.

Half-joking, of course. About the fist-fighting. Not the you're wrong part.

#14 Posted by Jazz2 (151 posts) -

Didn't play 3 yet, but i think Mass Effect 1 and 2 are fantastic games. Extra advice: pick renegade lady shephard!

#15 Posted by Pikawai (135 posts) -

I enjoyed FF, Tales Of and Pokemon and I did enjoy Mass Effect, I've only played the first one so far and it was an awesome experience, I cannot wait to be able to purchase and play the rest of the trilogy. With steam summer sale coming, you can buy the ME1 very cheap and try it out.

#16 Posted by pweidman (2351 posts) -

Mass Effect is my favorite videogame series so I'm pretty biased, but I really think it's a series of games everyone should play. The science fiction, especially in ME1 is just unrivaled, and the role playing and dialogue is fantastic in all three. ME2 and 3 are streamlined a bit but it makes the games flow better and puts even more emphasis on the improved 3rd person combat. The characters are so well done, you WILL get attached to some of them and face some seriously hard decisions that will affect the whole trilogy. Think about that for a second. Also you can import your Shepard through all three games for series continuity. Just genius imo. All three are pretty cheap so you are one lucky duder TC. Get on it!

#17 Posted by saoakden (129 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan: Seriously I play a lot of JRPGs. Mostly because I own a lot of Nintendo Systems and a Xbox 360. I think Nintendo tends to have more JRPG instead of RPGs like Mass Effect or Dragon Age. Right after I posted this I went to youtube and started watching some Mass Effect gameplay and looks freaking awesome.

Everyone who has commented on this, I know the list of RPGs that I have listed are JRPGs. I hoping to expand my gaming libaray with some other RPGs, life Mass Effect.

#18 Posted by AuthenticM (3786 posts) -

@saoakden: Play the first and second game, on PC preferably. Then read the third game's plot on wikipedia and move on with your life.

#19 Posted by Genkkaku (738 posts) -

Defiantly check them out, even just to play Mass Effect 2.. Because that game demands to be played!

@Oldirtybearon said:

@Korolev said:

As for ME3 - it's the weakest, but if you've got ME1 and ME2, you'll probably have to play ME3. ME3 is by no means a bad game - it's reduced the RPG elements down even more and the ending IS pretty bad (and there are one or two plot points which I found incredibly stupid - Robot Lady, anyone?), but there are also INCREDIBLY good moments in ME3. I'd say that 75% of ME3 is pure gold-dust, but the first 12.5% and the last 12.5% are pretty rubbish. ME3 is a game with a weak start, an INCREDIBLY powerful and solid Middle, and a bad end. Which is sad.

You are so wrong on that I am prepared to fist-fight you.

Half-joking, of course. About the fist-fighting. Not the you're wrong part.

I have to agree with ME3 being the Weakest and the beginning and end being pretty bad.. It soured my experience more when I went back and played 2 after finishing 3 because I forgot how good that game was.. But the beginning is not so great mainly because it's made for new comers, "Here's Shepard and this is why he's awesome, this is his relationship with Anderson, Oh and heres why you hate the Reapers.. This is the Normandy now go save the universe"..

#20 Posted by Jayzilla (2570 posts) -

I bought 1 and 2 and I am totally cool with the franchise ending there for me. Never bought 3. SO I can't comment on that.

#21 Edited by phrosnite (3518 posts) -
#22 Edited by MattyFTM (14423 posts) -

Don't let the talk about Mass Effect 3 put you of playing the series. Mass Effect 3 is a great game. I personally thought the ending was fine, and even if it wasn't, everything apart from the last 5 minutes is definitely awesome.

Right now, the main barrier to entry to the series is the dated nature of the first game. That game's combat is terrible. It was pretty bad at the time, but now it's absolutely awful. The story is awesome. The story is the reason to play it. But the combat is horrible. And you spend plenty of time in that game shooting dudes. If you think you can put up with that for an amazing story, then go for it. But if the idea of playing through hours of shitty combat is too off-putting, then just forget about it. Ignoring Mass Effect 1 and jumping straight into ME2 doesn't seem like a great option either - so much of what made ME2 awesome is seeing the continuation of the story in the universe you helped to shape. Personally I think it's worth putting up with the combat in ME1 for the awesome story of the entire trilogy, but you might feel differently.

Moderator Online
#23 Posted by EXTomar (4916 posts) -

As with any game, you should only buy it if you have the time to play it. Considering how much time it takes to run all of the games that is a serious investment.

Specifically, I consider Mass Effect 1 somewhat unplayable in modern standards. If you get that game you will have to expend more patience to get through it than the others.

#24 Posted by Fjordson (2453 posts) -

Tough to say. They're pretty much the complete opposite of the sorts of games you mentioned in the OP. They're really third-person shooters with RPG elements.

I'd say 1 is worth playing, but the series goes downhill after that. None of the games were terrible, just mediocre. And the series has one of the most offensively terrible endings in the history of video games.

I'd save yourself the heartache that you'll feel over the initially promising plot and universe completely shitting the bed as the series goes on and just go play some other RPG's.

Online
#25 Posted by killacam (1286 posts) -

just play 2.

#26 Posted by Jimbo (9931 posts) -

Depends how much you mind the first 90 hours being rendered pointless by the last 10 minutes. Maybe play until just before the ending, then stop, bury the disc in concrete and make up an ending in your head.

#27 Posted by BrockNRolla (1702 posts) -

I loved 1 and 2. I hated how 3 concluded, which soured my feelings on the general storyline of the series (Which I thought was the most important element of it all). So, I actually think that's a pretty tough decision. It's tough to play 2 and not feel like you'd be missing something without playing 3, so I don't know that I can suggest just playing 1 and 2. But boy, it's so dissapointing to get super wrapped up in the fiction just to have it fall apart on you in the end. Kind of like the Matrix movies if you've seen those, only there isn't exactly a stand alone game in this series given how interconnected they are.

Tough call. I guess I'd say, "Move along." There are plenty of good games out there so I would hate to suggest you get invested in something that will disappoint you in the end.

#28 Edited by NTM (7516 posts) -

Buy. The problem is that if you don't really know much about them, you're going to be in for a long ride. If you're like me, you're going to want to play through them multiple times since you'll feel like you didn't do your best on a playthrough, and each game is at least 30 hours long. In the first ME, the side missions can become tedious from a goal and setting stand-point, and for the most part, probably not worth doing.

The second ME is fantastic, but if you do all the side missions in the first you'd probably feel better about it going in on the second since some minor characters come back, and the third... well, yeah, the third. Superb game. The fetch/side quest stuff feel like filler, and no matter what, everything you do in it will round out to be around 30 hours, which is pretty short, but it's not necessarily bad, just could have used more of that time doing better stuff, like what you do in the main missions.

BUY IT! Although it's kind of sad that you'd jump on board just now.

#29 Posted by Vinny_Says (5721 posts) -

Unless they have fixed THE GODDAMNED FRAME RATE ISSUE with ME1 on console then you might as well get the series on PC. Otherwise just play the games, they are very good. I came into the series with Mass Effect 2 but still felt completely satisfied with my experience, I then later on played Mass Effect 1 and although the framerate was disgusting I could still see the awesomeness behind it all. If you're completely hooked by Mass Effect 2 then you'll have no choice to play Mass Effect 3, don't worry about it. You might feel weird about the way the series closes out but it won't completely ruin you previous 100 hours of gameplay.

Probably one of my favorite series this generation despite its few shortcomings. Go grab 1 & 2 on the cheap and by the time you're done ME3 might be cheaper to buy.

#30 Posted by AnxiousTube (199 posts) -

Short Answer: Buy.

#31 Posted by EXTomar (4916 posts) -

Not that I would suggest how someone should spend their free time but suggesting they spend hundreds of hours doing anything is a serious commitment. The average person would struggle to complete all three games once. Suggesting they should play them multiple times is kind of crazy.

#32 Posted by bchampnd (108 posts) -

When ME1 came out, I only had a PS3 so couldn't play it. I picked up ME2 when it came out on PS3 and had a blast. Recently got a 360 so figured I'd try ME1 - it can be found pretty cheaply online and it only costs $20 on games on demand which imo is worth it because you don't have to search around online, worry about the condition of the disk if you're getting a used copy, and can get it on your 360 almost instantly depending on internet connect and get the lazy man bonus of not having to get off your couch to pop in the disk.

Combat was definitely better in ME2 and I preferred the streamlined experience. I'm not the hardest of hardcore RPG guys so ME2 worked for me but I find ME1 harder to get into because games have evolved quite a bit since it came out so ME1's warts are now more apparent like the clunky controls and dated visuals (they're really not too bad - considering how old the game is, I was pleasantly surprised). The more detailed upgrade system can swing in either direction depending on whether you are a hardcore RPG player or someone who doesn't want/need that level of character customization. With that said, the story is the real star of the show so I'm toughing out the combat just because the ME universe is an interesting place and I want the backstory that ME2 tried to provide but really couldn't with its interactive comic.

If you haven't played 2 or 3, you should definitely pick them all up and start at the beginning. For anyone that's played 2 or 3, I wouldn't recommend 1 unless you're patient and willing to deal with a good amount of clunkiness.

#33 Posted by believer258 (12082 posts) -

@saoakden said:

I love Role playing games. These games tend to be long, interesting, have some cool characters and some douchebags that you want to punch in the face or kick in the crouch. The kind of RPGs I play are usually from the Tales series, a few Final Fantasy, Pokemon (if you count it as one), and Baten Kaitos. I have heard some things about Mass Effect some are good and some are bad, well the bad is mostly because of Mass Effect 3's ending.

Is this game worth picking up? Actually this series I should say. Are these games fun or just boring? If anyone can list some of their experiences with the game or games good or bad, it be nice to hear other peoples take on the series.

I'm just going to make it clear that Mass Effect is far closer to a third person shooter than an RPG as far as gameplay goes, and it isn't anything close to a JRPG like Tales or Final Fantasy.

#34 Posted by WarlordPayne (705 posts) -

They are absolutely worth trying for RPG fans as long as you are coordinated enough to play a third person shooter(not saying that you aren't, but I know people who aren't).

As people have said, the shooting in ME1 is pretty terrible but if you avoid the Soldier class you will have enough powers to play around with that it won't be too bad. Has the best story but the weakest cast of characters, excluding Wrex.

ME2 strips out or simplifies a lot of the RPG mechanics and has a shift in tone, which can be pretty off-putting at first, but vastly improves the shooting. The story isn't great, but the characters are fantastic. It's well worth playing if you enjoy the first.

ME3 is the best game in the series mechanically. The character customization elements are more streamlined and have more depth than either of the other two games. The shooting and enemy variety are also improved. Unfortunately the ending sucks and they didn't adequately deliver on some of the choices that you make throughout the series, but it's still a hell of a game and should be played by anyone who enjoyed the first two.

#35 Posted by saoakden (129 posts) -

First off, Man this little forum started up quite a conversation.

@bchampnd: I agree with you. After I wrote that and read a couple responses, I took a look on youtube for some Mass Effect gameplay. The first 5-10 minutes I believe were just cut scenes. When they landed on Eden Prime, some shooting went down for the next 5 minutes I think. The player shoot a few robots, started walking, then shooting once again.

From what I can tell from my own experince with JRPGs, the main character is usually a teen or young adult. From what I saw, the player character in Mass Effect was all grown up, and was a survivor from some kind of battle and gave off a more serious vibe as oppose to an arrogant teen from a JRPG.

#36 Posted by GoofyGoober (937 posts) -

Yes, they are great games.

#37 Posted by gregjay24 (31 posts) -

Play the series. Its the best video game trilogy of all time, no comparison. Its universe is so intriguing/filled/deep, the characters are so well-written and really keep you emotionally attached, the story is excellent, and game-play is pretty solid as well. Just get it. But be prepared to for a well spent (bare-minimum) one hundred hours of your life. Probably closer to two hundred.

#38 Edited by Rohok (554 posts) -

The first one is by far the best. You can tell the difference between 1, and 2+3. The difference in quality and care is astounding. It's like 1 was made by a completely different company. The gameplay may show it's age but every other part of that game is top notch. The story, the acting, the conversation, the choices. Everything is ten times that of 2 and 3 combined, simply because thsoe two games were AAA blockbuster money grabs, and the 1st one was a genuine display of art and creativity.

I'd rate 1 with a 10/10, 2 with a 7 or 8/10, and 3 with a 5/10. 3 was full of cyborg ninjas and retarded crap that didn't need to be there, plus it only had three different types of bad guys... Cerberus, geth, and reapers. At least 2 had mercenaries and all that. 1 had a whole range of enemies you ran into, and it was an awesome game.

Shit, did 3 even have you fight krogan? What the fuck.

Honestly looking back, the only one in the series that was worth the 60 dollar price tag was 1. The rest were more like 40 dollar purchases for me. I like more high-caliber RPGs like Morrowind and KOTOR. If you can get these for 30 dollars or less, don't even hesitate, because they're surely worth that much.

#39 Posted by clumsyninja1 (817 posts) -

Also, if you play the ME versions for the PC you can add a variety of different looks to Shepard through saves/patches...Obama Shepard still is awesome. i'm waiting for the Romney one...

#40 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

Depends how much you mind the first 90 hours being rendered pointless by the last 10 minutes. Maybe play until just before the ending, then stop, bury the disc in concrete and make up an ending in your head.

or play the last 10 mins and spend the next year complaining about it on the internet

#41 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3081 posts) -

The first two are great, and if you're going to get them, you might as well get the third as well.

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