"F" That Game - Mass Effect

 This is over a week late. I dunno if you all know about this, but a little ol' game name Mass Effect 2 came out recently. I kind of got addicted to this game. Well, I wrapped that game last night and can now finally write my blog post for the first Mass Effect game.
 
It all started roughly a year ago. My roommate came home from his buddy's place boasting that ME was actually really good. I was never truly a big fan of Bioware's RPGs. I was a late adopter of the Xbox, so I missed out KoToR and my first Bioware RPG was Jade Empire. I found the fighting to be decent, but the dialogue trees kind of put me off. I'm an information sponge and after an hour of talking to NPCs, and picking every damn option available, I was burnt out on the game.
 
Flash forward a few years. My roommate comes home. Returning from the same buddy's place. Talking up Fallout 3. On a complete whim, I go out an buy it. My roommate's word is pretty solid. He hasn't let me down so far, and this just solidifies that. I flippin' LOVED Fallout 3. That game eased myself into the western RPG genre. So when my roommate came home talking about Mass Effect, I did the same thing, I went out and picked it up.
 
The year after that was a blur. Persona 4 hit me, and hit me hard. 2 full playthroughs of that game, plus a 95% playthrough of Persona 3, and 3-4 months are gone. Mass Effect fell to the backburner as I played through other games that occupied my library.
 
As hype built up for ME2, I felt more and more compelled to pop this one in. With a little over a week before the second one came out I started the game . So Zwain's -This guy will get his own blog post, cause his story is EPIC- ongoing quest continues as he now finds himself in the universe of Mass Effect.
 
I kept hearing about how this game pales in comparison to it's sequel, but it never really bothered me. The texture popping was unfortunate. I never had major issues with the frame rate. Maybe because I'm usually a PS3 game player, hyuk hyuk. But I thought, on the whole, that this game looked graphically more impressive than Dragon Age, at least when comparing Xbox version to Xbox version.
 
Something that happened way back when I started playing Fallout 3. I started liking the idea of picking one thing and living with that choice. Roll with the punches, so to speak. Mass Effect was no different.
 
One thing that could've been better was that Shepard's ending conversation sentences always felt so forced. Someone would just open up their heart to you, and you pick seamless dialogue choices during the conversation. When there is nothing left to say, Shepard tops it all of with a "I should go" as if the other person said something so awkward that he feels the need to get the hell away from them. All this after seeming like he truly cared 10 seconds earlier. Maybe Shepard is socially inept.
 
Another thing that could've been better was the Mako's controls. One stick was too sensitive and the other was too delayed. So I was either overcompensating or driving was a series of aim, turn, aim, turn, aim, turn. Which could get me through the bulk of the game. However, when it came to circle strafing Thresher Maws, that's where it fell apart. The left analog stick is direction based on the camera. So if you're wanting to drive in a circle around something you have to slowly compensate for the angle in which you aim your gun. If only I had a nickel for every time I started reversing as a result of this. This control scheme reminded me of how janky it was to control Snake or Raiden when they crawling on the ground. Sometimes back was crawl backwards. Sometimes back was turn right around. Drove me bonkers.
 
About a quarter of the way into the game, I stopped opening lockers and other things that required that Simon Says game. That was just too tedious. I might've missed out on some cool guns or armour, but I made due with what I had. It seemed as though Shepard only needed his trusty assault rifle.
 
The characters in this game were awesome. Wrex and Tali were my main choices. I liked Wrex's bitter, sarcastic jock attitude and Tali's youthful spunk. Garrus was really cool as well, his stories about C-Sec were pretty cool. Liara had this awkwardness about her that made he pretty cute. Or was that the fact that her eyes were twice as large as anyone else's?

Finally there is Kaidan. My man. My bro. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I always sensed some sexual tension between Shepard and Kaidan. I think this scene is designed with the female Shepard in mind. Every time, Shepard slowly walked into scene in his skin tight shirt, Kaidan was always wiping sweat off his brow in his skin tight shirt, and the way they’d look at each other. I found it kind of amusing. These two dudes are part of the same squad. Have been together for quite some time. Who knows if there was a little bromance brewing.
 
I can't help but feel that the Wrex spoilers might've swayed one my decisions in the game, but I did like the dude enough that I could've easily made that my choice anyhow. That was the only decision where that happened. Sometimes I made choices, and thought I saw where they were going, only to be forced with a much grander choice. Choices that sometimes had me pondering in excess of 30 seconds. This felt great. Like I was taking a pivotal role in my story. Always thinking of the greater good for everyone. Sacrifice a few to save many.
 
So Zwain Shepard lives to fight another day. With the cheesiest closing shot ever. I think it would've been better to end on that shot where he's walking passed the camera with a smug grin on his face, all like.. "Awww yeah!"
 
This game marks a beginning. A grand epic beginning that I have no idea how it's going to pan out, and that frightens and intrigues me. Let's see how far the vastness of space really goes.

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