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Author Topic: The Mass Effect 2 Après Jeu Game Discussion Thread (with spoilers!!!)  (Read 71980 times)

Ozymandias


Oh my god I hadn't even made that connection but I do too.

Also I've been playing Civ 4 as Roosevelt and naming him Buttfranklin.
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Well it's your ship, especially after seeing the wreckage.  The Millennium Falcon is Han's ship and we get to see very little of it.
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I will grant the MF one thing over the Normandy:  Chewbacca.

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I thought grunt was chewbacca of the normandy
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He doesn't have a bromance going on with Shepard the way Chewbacca does with Han Solo, though.
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He doesn't have a bromance going on with Shepard the way Chewbacca does with Han Solo, though.
depends how you look at it...
Garrus and grunt maybe?  Nah grunt is pretty wookie like...but intentionally violent...
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He is the Chewie of the Normandy, but he isn't Chewie, if you know what I mean.
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I'd think he'd still rib someone's arms off if he lost a game though... :wink:

edit to avoid double post:
So I replayed ME1 as a sentinel and did all the side missions that would carry over (shepherds mom, pilgrimage, etc) and this time I let the council live and let Udina become councilor.  I have to say after talking to the council in ME2 everyone seems happier and I got reinstated to the spectres in a respectful way, and Admiral Anderson seems happier than when I made him a councilor and killed the council (and reinstatement to the spectres seemed more like an after thought than a serious matter).  So I guess come ME3 you are still with the council and no longer apart of Cerberus (if you destroy the station?) so the Normandy SR2 becomes your own personal ship and you return to citadel space...perhaps in ME3 you kill the illusive man?  :wink:
« Last Edit: 27 Feb 2010, 20:42 by LeeC »
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so finally got around to doing my 'shepard dies at the end' run.

i'm a little disappointed that there wasn't a little more to it than that.   it seems like such an event warrants much more of a treatment than it was.

but i felt better after the part where it seems to show joker stepping up and carrying on in shepard's place.  maybe cerberus can lazarus project joker and he'll be the main character in me3.   that'd be fun.   and since people don't seem to like mark meer that much, they can listen to seth green the whole way instead.
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I finally played this through. It's good but the actual missions are disappointing and it completely misses out on the epic scale the original occasionally captured. There's no equivalent to Virmire, Ilos or the return to the Citadel. The level design is horrible for the most part, being simply one dingy spaceship to the next. The ending is a big let down. Recruiting the crew and getting them all loyal is fun but then when you embark on the actual game, it's done in an hour or so. I suppose that ultimately it suffers from middle child syndrome. The gameplay and combat was nicely smoothed out but the story was very lacking. I hope they sort it all out for the third because I like the universe and the characters.

Interestingly, my Sheppard is a mature, professional female paragon infiltrator. I wasn't remotely tempted to try to create myself in the original game and I'm very glad of it by the second. Curiously, although I'm a notorious Lothario in real life, my Sheppard has never entered into a romance with anybody, even at the end of this chapter. I don't think that will change in the next episode but I guess we'll see.
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I agree. It was mechanically a huge step up from the pretty flimsy action and basic stat-whoring in the first game, but the levels and characters (although to a much lesser degree, and mostlybecause of what I say next) were lacking in comparison. A person on another forum I frequent calls it a space-dating sim, and he's not far off; the loyalty missions feel a bit tacked on (and I honestly don't see how they couldn't, even with the best writing in the history of games) when compared with the 'hunt down Saren/be a futurehero' missions of the first game. They're sidequests is what I'm saying, and so when you look at it there's really only three missions and some space-dating.

Not that what is there isn't rather good. But Garrus romance is silly and shouldn't exist.
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Just chiming in to say some of the vistas in that game were fucking gorgeous.  They need to keep doing that.  I may have just spent the last 10 minutes collecting a bunch of dog tags, but when I get to the last one near the edge of an icy chasm as solar flares are railing against the atmosphere of the moon I'm on, I don't give two shits about whatever it is I just did. 

I think I'm gonna go look at pictures now.
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well, the meat of the game really isn't the collectors thing, it is the work of gathering your team and doing their loyalty missions. in that sense i'm actually quite enamoured with what bioware did. the space opera stuff didn't pan out as well in this game (except i actually quite enjoyed a bunch of the environments, with the grandiose sequence in the heart of the collector ship and the bit where you're running around on a derelict reaper, the port side of which is exposed to space, being standouts) but where they did succeed is that they made the universe concrete, tangible, and interesting in a way it previously wasn't. the characters you collect are meant not as stereotypes of their species but individuals who codify and exemplify certain traits, and "earning their loyalty" inevitably means learning something about their culture which was hitherto fascinating/unrevealed/unexplored.

i think that's what makes the idea of shephard's relationships with them as kind of "friendship through therapy" work – the situations they're anxious to achieve closure with largely reflect their culture. with grunt, it's krogan infighting and a fear of a culture dying. with mordrin, it's serious doubts about how his species uses its gifts for science. with miranda, it's grave concerns about fate, genetics and personal ownership of the two. &c. bioware reveal these anxieties by having you blast/talk/blast-talk your way through them, and while there might be disagreements over how effective that can possibly be (full disclosure: i dig blasting dudes and chatting with dudes as primary gameplay modes so i found it basically effective) the point is more that it's something they try to do, and that as both an exercise in storytelling and a narrative hook it's at the very least super interesting.

i'm a bit bummed about how you aren't primarily a galactic superhero anymore (and i'm incidentally still bummed about how straight-up evil some of the renegade options are!) but if that's the tradeoff i have to make in order to make shephard feel like one character in a smartly-populated universe, it's one i'm willing to make.
« Last Edit: 06 Nov 2010, 10:19 by Johnny C »
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the other thing i'll say, which will probably make me seem condescending but i'm going to say it anyways, is that bioware makes it clear on the back cover that the vast, vast majority of the game isn't the collectors missions, and that staffing your ship is going to take up a significant chunk of your time. so i mean i don't think the "three main missions" point is an especially valid one to make; there's three that the game forces you on, but the main missions are patently the "side missions" of gathering your team. the collectors stuff is a macguffin; it's a way to get you out into the game world to start doing what they really want you to do and to make your choices within those "side missions" have, in some cases, consequences. and while it's a macguffin with a bit of payoff (creepy post-fetal death robot... MADE FROM HUMAN ATOMS!) it's a macguffin all the same.
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I just have to say, this series is the only reason I regret choosing a PS3.
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My problem with ME1 is that it had a few good primary missions and then everything else kinda sucked. Maybe the events in ME1 were more important on some kind of galactic scale, but I was dealing with more throwaway NPCs and my sidekicks didn't really give a shit about any of the missions we went on, so it didn't really feel very important. You save the universe so damned often in video games that I don't really see "Space Super Hero" as a big hook at this point, particularly if it turns out Bioware can keep delivering neat set pieces even when touching upon "smaller" stories, which is something I think they accomplished in ME2.

It also helps that I found the ME2 party members far more interesting than in the first game. It's not a matter of which group of personalities I liked better so much as it comes down to the simple fact that the characters had so much more to work in this one when it came to making an impression. I liked some of ME1's party members, but aside from a few big events and ship conversations things were always pretty impersonal, whereas ME2 is manifestly about the characters to a much large degree. My favorite characters in Mass Effect 2 are probably Mordin, Garrus and Tali, yet despite 2 of those characters being in the first game as well I feel as if the gap between the two games is much wider than that. It's because in the first game Garrus and Tali are basically there to play good soldier. They stick by you, they all agree stopping Saren is the most important thing, and everything else takes a back seat. In ME2 they play their parts willingly but their own problems are simultaneously more personal and more important than in the first game.

 As Johnny said, the themes involved are deeply rooted in the cultural identity of the characters. Garrus keeps trying to help the galaxy like a good Turian but in both games now taking down a Turian who once had good intentions becomes a primary focus, and it's pretty clear the stress is getting to him. His wounded pride makes him a less malleable character than in the first game and helps him make a stronger impression. Likewise Tali is a full-on adult by Quarian standards and her responsibilities to the flotilla require more sacrifice than coming back with some cube.
« Last Edit: 06 Nov 2010, 13:58 by Alex C »
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I just have to say, this series is the only reason I regret choosing a PS3.
If you'd just be superhumanly patient, you'd get to play it too! It's coming out for the PS3... sometime in 2011, I think?

i think that's what makes the idea of shephard's relationships with them as kind of "friendship through therapy" work – the situations they're anxious to achieve closure with largely reflect their culture. with grunt, it's krogan infighting and a fear of a culture dying. with mordrin, it's serious doubts about how his species uses its gifts for science. with miranda, it's grave concerns about fate, genetics and personal ownership of the two. &c. bioware reveal these anxieties by having you blast/talk/blast-talk your way through them, and while there might be disagreements over how effective that can possibly be (full disclosure: i dig blasting dudes and chatting with dudes as primary gameplay modes so i found it basically effective) the point is more that it's something they try to do, and that as both an exercise in storytelling and a narrative hook it's at the very least super interesting.

...

the other thing i'll say, which will probably make me seem condescending but i'm going to say it anyways, is that bioware makes it clear on the back cover that the vast, vast majority of the game isn't the collectors missions, and that staffing your ship is going to take up a significant chunk of your time. so i mean i don't think the "three main missions" point is an especially valid one to make; there's three that the game forces you on, but the main missions are patently the "side missions" of gathering your team. the collectors stuff is a macguffin; it's a way to get you out into the game world to start doing what they really want you to do and to make your choices within those "side missions" have, in some cases, consequences. and while it's a macguffin with a bit of payoff (creepy post-fetal death robot... MADE FROM HUMAN ATOMS!) it's a macguffin all the same.
I think that's a really valid point, but at the same time I don't think Bioware really came through on the consequences bit, in that they've still painted Shepard into a heroic corner by simple virtue of the narrative (which is something most developers do, but still) - They pulled off renegade options much better in ME2 than they did with ME1, but at the end of the day being a renegade still doesn't make any goddamn sense, and the game reinforces this notion by having you outright fail unless you ingratiate yourself to the crew, whereas the first game every backstory built up Shepard as a person who was perfectly capable of getting shit done without anyone else's help, as a paragon or renegade.

That in itself is not much of a problem, since there can be odds that even Shepard can't overcome and it won't break the setting, but more than that there is an obviously optimal choice to make instead of several choices that would make a game decision difficult - the writers are too enamoured of their characters and will essentially punish the player for ignoring at least the few of them from which you purchase Normandy upgrades. This is reflected in choices from the first game as well - the Rachni Queen decision, for example, clearly shows how a paragon character essentially gains while a renegade character essentially loses. That could be rectified in the third game, but I'm not holding my breath. If anything I'll expect the overall narrative of the trilogy to show how togetherness and tolerance and goodwill are the only real way to succeed. Certainly not a bad sentiment, but a boring one for an RPG. One wonders why they put in an alternative mode of playing when they so obviously are uncomfortable with developing for it. Was it just to allow Shepard to look like a Terminator?
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The post-fetal death robot made of human atoms was so fucking cool.
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Was it just to allow Shepard to look like a Terminator?

I get the feeling that you are questioning the validity of this decision but obviously that can't be right. Obviously.
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My problem with ME1 is that it had a few good primary missions and then everything else kinda sucked. Maybe the events in ME1 were more important on some kind of galactic scale, but I was dealing with more throwaway NPCs and my sidekicks didn't really give a shit about any of the missions we went on, so it didn't really feel very important. You save the universe so damned often in video games that I don't really see "Space Super Hero" as a big hook at this point, particularly if it turns out Bioware can keep delivering neat set pieces even when touching upon "smaller" stories, which is something I think they accomplished in ME2.

For me the only reason to play with the different characters in ME1 was to get the achievements.  In ME2 I wanted to keep changing characters just to see how they reacted/their dialogue on different things.



Also Dark Horse is continuing their Mass Effect series with a back story about the Illusive Man.
« Last Edit: 06 Nov 2010, 20:37 by Blue Kitty »
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I understand that Bioware was trying to get to the motivations and all that of the characters rather than a big Space Opera save the princess plot, I guess I just disagree with them. The problem that seems to crop up with all RPGs is that the abundance of sidequests makes everything in the main story seem less urgent because you can take your time to rescue a puppy; developers can get around it by dedicating the first act to exploration and having the plot come up slowly, e.g. Torment had very little plot exposition occur the first time you saw Sigil, but I get the feeling Bioware has been trying to avoid doing that for a while now.
Also, you can still win the game by recruiting a bare minimum of characters and not doing loyalty missions, which goes against that a bit; you'll all die but the day is still saved right.
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Yeah, and see, I don't think I've cared about saving the world or even really space opera since I was 9. Beyond that, we still have practically every other developer on the planet making crazy space opera plots and saving the world anyway. Given that their primary strength is writing I rather feel like Bioware should stick with the direction they're slowly heading in. To do otherwise would be kind of a waste.

Besides, Mass Effect 2's plotline wasn't exactly low key anyway. By design it didn't have the pacing of a tight action movie, but I honestly have to wonder just how "epic" (christ, I hate that word) the game would have had to of been for some people to be happy with it.
« Last Edit: 06 Nov 2010, 22:09 by Alex C »
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Ironically I did treat the main quest in ME1 like it was urgent serious business and the whole game's experience wound being far less rewarding than it probably otherwise would've been.

Actually, all of my problems with my ME1 experience pretty much stem from trying to roleplay too much, hurf. Instead of just picking the conversation options that'd score me the best stats I tried to be genuine and in the end a lot of important choices were taken out of my hands later in the game and I just generally felt very railroaded regarding some pretty important choices, particularly in the whole Wrex thing.
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On a related note, I picked up the Mass Effect books the other day because, well, Mass Effect, and dear god the first of the series is so awful, it's hard to believe it was written by the same guy who wrote a good portion of the games.

Though I suppose writing a book and writing for a video game are two completely different beasts
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Because of this thread, I decided to start playing it again last night.  I probably shouldn't have, I have homework to do.
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On a related note, I picked up the Mass Effect books the other day because, well, Mass Effect, and dear god the first of the series is so awful, it's hard to believe it was written by the same guy who wrote a good portion of the games.

Though I suppose writing a book and writing for a video game are two completely different beasts
Don't feel bad, I once had a craving for Baldur's Gate 2 that was so strong I sat down and read a trilogy of his Drizz't novels. It was exactly like this.
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Just chiming in to say some of the vistas in that game were fucking gorgeous.

I honestly thought they were garbage. KOTOR was far more impressive and that was seven years ago. In fact, the level design was better back then too.

It's not a big deal because the characters and the story are good but man, I would be so stoked if the next game was not moving from one series of adjoined concentric boxes to another. Even if they furnished the rooms a little better it would be less sad. Every single place you go in the galaxy has a series of random walls and some crates. Maybe a table here and there. So bad.
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Blame it on consoles. It's less pronounced in ME2, but the reason the "epic" Citadel felt so cramped in ME1 was because the engine was constantly hitting the upper limits of the 360's power at the time. Corridors are the only thing they can implement to maintain a decent framerate. That sort of thing still happens - The Strip in Fallout: New Vegas is weirdly segmented and cramped because all the lights and scripts murder the 360's hardware. People have framerate issues even with the tiny little areas.

Speaking of which, there's a mod out for the PC version that makes the Strip one big level, but at this point it breaks a lot of pretty important quests. But it looks amazing, which is the most important thing.
« Last Edit: 07 Nov 2010, 14:28 by KvP »
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man if that's how you feel then your imagination must be a dark and terrible place

cuz to me that shit is awesome

mining structures all on the verge of collapse on the side of a cliff

gigantic avian lizards flying across a purple sky far in the distance

standing on some alien tropical paradise with small curly monkeys all hoppin around
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It's possible that it was just because I'd just played a bunch of next gen games right before ME2, which literally looks a decade old graphics and design wise. If you compare the scenery with essentially any other game released this year, it looks borderline comical by comparison. From massive open world vistas in Assassin's Creed II and Red Dead Redemption to the linear but well dressed locations of bog standard action games like Modern Warfare and Gears of War, they all started to look reasonably convincing some years ago. Comparatively, ME2 just looked bland, empty and unimaginative by comparison.

On the one hand, yeah the graphics don't matter so much. That's why it's still a very good game because of the story, characters and interface. I understand that and I have no problem. However, it's still a valid observation because I never felt very sucked in by the locations, which made the game less involving overall. It felt like they put a lot of time into the Normandy, which was a convincing "lived-in" environment but the rest was really poor. There really hasn't been a lot of development since KOTOR, which was a good game but also came out roughly seven years back. I think ME3 is absolutely the last game they can make using this format before more people will be pointing out the fact that they've been more or less remaking the same game for a decade.
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ME2, which literally looks a decade old graphics
ehhhh, design I'll give you, but this was released ten years ago. ME2's textures were of considerably high quality outside of faces and hair, which have always been a problem with UE games.
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Yeah, to be honest I enjoy some exxageration to et a point across, but that's akin to saying Fallout 3 look worse than Morrowind, which is something someone has told me with complete sincerity.
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Deus Ex is a really good example! The locations were definitely more convincing. There were offices and houses which actually looked like people lived and worked in them. They got the combination of big open areas and small, convincing areas just right. The people looked shoddy back then but that was just the technology. ME2 had decent looking characters, no question. It was the levels and locations which were lazy. I didn't make that clear at all though.
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The last few days have had CDNs (Cerberus Daily News) that all had to do with the clash between a mining / salvage corp and the Quarian Flotilla. The last one was this:
Quote
11/30/2185
November 30th, 2010
Earlier today, the Migrant Fleet rescued an Eldfell-Ashland Energy employee drifting through the Nubian Expanse in a lifepod. Navigator Camilla Gutierrez, the only survivor of the MSV Stanislaw, says that quarians had nothing to do with the attack that stranded her: “The ship’s silhouette was just massive. There’s no way the quarians had that monster in their Flotilla. I’ve never seen anything like it.” Asked about the attack itself, Gutierrez reported, “They blew out our engines before we knew what hit us. Smoke was everywhere. I heard the captain yell something about boarders before he ordered us to the lifepods.” Eldfell-Ashland says it is relieved Gutierrez was recovered, but that the Citadel investigation should continue “until all parties involved are satisfied.”

Foreshadowing?
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it's funny how easy it is to kill the final boss, if you have the cain and enought heavy ammo for 2 shots, you just aim for his nose and if both hit he dies, i killed him in like 30 sec
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I will mail a flaming box of poop to the first person who suggests I "haven't met the right person".

Johnny C

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yes but it is also badass to do that
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tHEfOOL

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i didn't even need to take cover behind anything, i just stood there and shot him in the face with my mini-nuke launcher till he died
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Dimmukane

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that sentence is probably the most badass way to depict your feelings of nonchalance
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all clothes reflect identity constructs, destroy these constructs by shedding your clothes and sending pictures of the process to the e-mail address linked under my avatar

Blue Kitty

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The comic explaining the Illusive Man's origin comes out tomorrow if anyone else is interested.
« Last Edit: 18 Jan 2011, 19:29 by Blue Kitty »
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scarred


They actually retconned his name to "Mr. Plot Device."
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JD

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It looks a hell of a lot better artistically than the other comic.
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Blyss

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i didn't even need to take cover behind anything, i just stood there and shot him in the face with my mini-nuke launcher till he died
:lol:

That's pretty awesome.  I can actually picture that in my mind. 
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Buttfranklin

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Last time I fought him was on Insanity with an Adept.  That was stupidly hard since I didn't bother getting the Cain.  I really should have.
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Tom

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It looks a hell of a lot better artistically than the other comic.

It might seem like nitpicking, but so far the only the problem with the art has been an inconsistency in whether or not the characters actually inhabit their environments. There are also some awkward poses. The fidelity to Mass Effect 2's tech/character design is welcome as are the lack of clan markings on the Turians.

Also, lady Turians.
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Blyss

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So, I went through the game twice as Male/Soldier Shepard.  Now trying Female/Sentinel Shepard.  I can see the differences, some good some bad.  For some reason, it's more fun flirting with everyone as female Shepard.  Not sure why, but whatever.  Still fun even on the 3rd playthrough.  That is a pretty good benchmark for 'good game' status in my book.
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Ikrik

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picked it up for PS3 last week and binged on this game.  I think it's completely awesome in every sense of the word but then again, it scratches almost every single one of my itches when it comes to games. 

With the Playstation release they added in this little interactive comic which tells the backstory of the first game and gives you 4 different choices.  The art is nice and the choices are actually interesting but they really should have introduced the game this way, instead they throw it after a few minutes of gameplay.  It's awkward and jarring and I really wish it was placed elsewhere because it really just destroys the immersion of the game.

I wish that they'll play more with the character creator because trying to make a non-hideous Shepard is quite difficult and I resorted to going to Mass Effect 2 Faces after fiddling with all the options forever.  It's not as bad as the one in Demon's Souls, where it is impossible to make someone not hideous, but with the level of attention paid everywhere else, they really need to work on that.

As far as graphics go I really think they would benefit from a much better lighting engine.  And to stop making the technologically advanced cities look like Coruscant, I don't like getting Star Wars nostalgia when I'm playing a totally different Space Opera. 
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satsugaikaze

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For some reason, it's more fun flirting with everyone as female Shepard.

Anyone who believes Mark Meer did a better job all-around than Jennifer Hale is beyond redemption.

Just sayin', you know.

Mass Effect face builders aren't as bad as people make them out to be, imo. There's just the option for you to make a batshit hideous dude or lady if you're really a fan of those sliders.
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cyro

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I dunno, I'm not saying he's better, but Hale just seems a little too... deadpan, in certain circumstances. Not that Meer doesn't have his Narmy moments but his are entertainingly bad where Hales are more uncomfortable.

Meer was decidedly worse in the first game though, I'd say 2 closed the gap a fair bit.
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satsugaikaze

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I usually think of the point where Shepard sees the SR-2 for the first time, and when Mark Meer says "we'll have to give her a name" he sounds kind of joking to me

Whereas Hale says it like she fucking intends to call it the Normandy, etc.

I kept wincing every time she yells out "I'LL TAKE IT" or "THIS'LL COME IN HANDY" though. Right in the middle of nowhere. Jesus.
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cyro

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See I think the joking tone fit's that scene better. It's like there going to have a full blown conversation in sarcasm.

Shepard: We'll have to give her a name
Joker: Really? Well whatever shall we call her.
Shepard: I have no idea. I'm sure we'll think of something.

Just me?
« Last Edit: 14 Feb 2011, 00:43 by cyro »
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