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Author Topic: Mass Effect  (Read 78859 times)

Scandanavian War Machine

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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #300 on: 18 Feb 2009, 13:13 »

man, that sounds fucking sweet
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #301 on: 18 Feb 2009, 13:37 »

Baldur's Gate II was a pretty amazing game. You should try it out if you haven't!
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Alex C

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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #302 on: 18 Feb 2009, 13:46 »

My love for BG2 is unconditional. I don't even really bother to compare other games to it because it seems rather unfair, all things considered. Voice acting and cut scenes ares pretty much de rigueur these days, and scripting events into an otherwise fairly wide open game world is tricky enough as it is; BGII was actually rather buggy when it first came out. I don't honestly expect to see a game that matches its odd combination of linearity and breadth while still adhering to modern day presentation standards any time soon. When I call a game like Mass Effect one of my favorites, I just mean it's entered the Pantheon of my affections, not that it really matches up with BG2 or Fallout. It also doesn't hurt that those games came into my life back when I still cared perhaps a bit too much about video games in general.
« Last Edit: 18 Feb 2009, 13:49 by Alex C »
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Be My Head

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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #303 on: 18 Feb 2009, 15:30 »

I would put Morrowind on the same level as BG2, I think. Baldur's Gate has the whole isometric thing going for it though, I love that.
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Alex C

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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #304 on: 18 Feb 2009, 17:54 »

I'm not a big Bethesda fan, although Morrowind is better than their other stuff, even if I didn't really particularly care for it that much. I'm comfortable with supplying my own narrative, but only up to a point. Morrowind has a fair amount of freedom but years later, I can't really remember any particularly memorable quests or even who the major bad guy was, whereas I wrote the stuff about the Baldur's Gate II quests pretty much off the top of my head.

Objectively, Morrowind has more substance than BG2 did, but I didn't give a shit about any of it. The books you could pick up and read throughout the game were generally more interesting than anything that ever happened to my character.
« Last Edit: 18 Feb 2009, 18:02 by Alex C »
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Be My Head

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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #305 on: 18 Feb 2009, 19:54 »

I agree, to an extent. Morrowind does have some fairly memorable quests, I haven't played it in a long time but I distinctively remember some really interesting quests you could do for the Daedric gods. And some random cool side quests, those beginning ones in Seyda Neen are really memorable, like stealing the dudes ring.

But then you have such memorable quests in Baldur's Gate 2 like the one where you have to track down a serial killer skinning people, and it spans over several different side quests, epic. Or the cult of the eyeless quest, or the shadow dragon. Yeah, fuck, some really memorable shit there. The expansion had some awesome stuff too, not as good though.

Morrowind's advantage I suppose was always the open ended aspect, though there are some cool things to find, like the Orc who you find carrying "Umbra", or the line of quests where you work for this noble and eventually expose him as being crooked and get him arrested.

Icewind Dale (+expansion) and IWD 2 are the other great ones I don't think anyone has mentioned so far in this thread. Those dungeon crawls are very engrossing, just like actually sitting down in a basement and doing some hardcore D&Ding. I usually play epic Doom metal, like Candlemass.

Knights Of The Old Republic stands as being far more linear compared to BG and Morrowind, but probably the most non linear dialog and memorable story/characters/plot twists of any recent games.

On the actual topic of the thread, Mass Effect, well, I enjoyed it. But one thing that really irked me was the fact that you had little real choice in the progression of the game, and the "side quests" had absolutely no non-linearity, aside from dialog choices that still filtered you into the same situation. Bioware must have known this, I am just going to assume EA forced them to release it ahead of schedule, or the same reason they re-used textures (not enough space on the disc). Well, at least the combat was fun and you had a few choices with that.

And I'll stop my musings on RPGs, as I could go on for pages.
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KvP

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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #306 on: 18 Feb 2009, 20:12 »

ME got pushed back a few times, so I don't think it was rushed, necessarily. If they were planning on making the sidequests any more in-depth than they did they bit off way, way more than they could chew, honestly.

And if anything I'd attribute the linearity of dialogue in post-BG2 Bioware games to their commitment to having 100% of all dialogue VA'd. Although when you really got down to it none of the Bioware games were all that non-linear w/r/t dialogue. The Troika dudes and especially Black Isle under Chris Avellone (hello Planescape: Torment) consistently blew them out of the fuckin' water. Bioware was just good at eliciting a particular sort of epic drama in their games.

As for the Icewind Dales, they're still fun but incredibly linear dungeonhacks in every sense. I know the project lead on them, sorta. It sucks for the guy because he was heading up BG3 and the original Fallout 3 when they got canned and now his current project (the Aliens RPG out of Obsidian) may be cancelled as well. At the very least it's on ice for awhile.
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Alex C

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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #307 on: 18 Feb 2009, 21:14 »

Bioware was just good at eliciting a particular sort of epic drama in their games.

Location, location, location.

BG1 is a great game, but a lot of things happen Out in the Woods or In Some Damn Cave. A lot of the backdrops and setpieces simply aren't all that memorable. It was a fun game, but many of the quests tend to bleed together into one forest green mush, and much like with Morrowind, it could feel a bit repetitive while I was playing it. BG2, on the other hand didn't send you out scrambling through the woods. It sent you to Suldanesselar, or Spellhold, or the Planar Sphere or into the Underdark, and all of those areas had their own visual style and identity. The visual part of the equation is not something to be underestimated by any means either-- go ask Blizzard or the guys at SCE Santa Monica. Neither Diablo II or World Of Warcraft were the best looking games when they came out, and they are both repetitive by nature. On the other hand, Blizzard's art department does a masterful job of giving each area its own color palette and creating visual variety even if there isn't any real gameplay variety. Same deal with God of War; the game never really changes all that much, but people sure seem to remember the backdrops without a problem. The difference between a decent game and genre poster boy comes down to sleight of hand and a sense of drama more often than people think.
« Last Edit: 18 Feb 2009, 22:16 by Alex C »
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Re: Mass Effect
« Reply #308 on: 18 Feb 2009, 21:44 »

I think by and large that is how you sell a repetitive game. 

I do not remember God of War for combat.  I typically hate action games like that.  But it had really fucking good setpieces for the puzzles.  God of War 2 was even better at this.

When I first heard about Mass Effect, I was led into thinking that the other unexplored worlds would be a little more interesting than they were.  I still enjoyed the game quite a lot (I had 2 saves completed and one halfway done before moving on to the games I got for Christmas that year), but the only real difference between each of those places was mostly the color of the ground and/or sky.  I still love the shit out of Oblivion/Morrowind/Fallout 3.  Even though they did not have quite so varied dungeons and locales (this was pretty much the reason I actually bought Two Worlds, what a dumb idea), they found ways to make most of the dungeons have unique qualities.  The notes left behind by corpses, a hidden door that led to a Goonies-esque pirate ship in a cave, a domino setup made of Abraxo cleaner and BlamCo Mac and cheese, the family dungeon in Shivering Isles that had a trap that dropped money on you.  Fuck all if I can remember the names of the ones I've been to, but I remember quite a lot of awesome little things that I found while mucking about.
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