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Default Mass Effect - Review @ Gameplanet

February 5th, 2008, 12:07
Kiwi site Gameplanet.co.nz has a review of Mass Effect with some criticism of the side quests and some technical issues but also plenty of praise and a score of 4.5/5:
STAR WARS, STAR TREK, Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, The Matrix… If any of these names have any appeal to you then Mass Effect is the game for you. And if none of these appeal to you, keep reading anyway; because Mass Effect is still an experience no one should miss! To say this game is epic in design is an understatement. This very well may be the first real step we've seen towards an interactive movie. This feature production is brought to you by Bioware, a developer than seems unable make a bad game; especially when they are Role Playing Games (RPGs). Before we get into all the details and goodies of the game let us quickly get the negatives out of the way.
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February 5th, 2008, 12:07
I've picked this game up again recently and I'm having a blast with it. There are a bunch of decent side-quests, though not all of them are great. The ones you can pick up in the Citadel aren't bad by any means. Sometimes a little short, like a this conversation you overhear about a man whose brother died and the pregnant widow arguing about whether or not to have gene enhancement procedures done on the baby. It's just a small conversation, but it adds life to the place.

Not a bad game at all, although I can see how the RPG/action hybrid parts may be off-putting to hardcore cRPG players.
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February 5th, 2008, 12:20
I'll certainly check it out when/if it comes to the PC. Sounds like the planetary exploration is underwhelming but I've heard nothing but praise for the main trunk. As for the action, I read this is a KotOR replacement and the combat in that was pretty weak, so I'd actually prefer more action-oriented combat.

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February 5th, 2008, 13:44
I think I've spend about 15 hours with the game so far and I've only explored a planet once. I didn't think much of it, really. Maybe there's some interesting stuff you can find on planets, but it doesn't have to be a huge part of the game.

Some of the decisions you make in conversations are pretty much day and night in terms of outcome, though. Might raise a few eyebrows here and there.

Interestingly, I've reinstalled KotOR as well and I think the combat in that game pretty tactical and challenging. Less first-person-shootery than Mass Effect and a bit more possibilities in skills/feats/force powers.

But then the cut-scenes in Mass Effect are… just great.
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February 5th, 2008, 16:41
The non-main quest planets are mostly like random encounters in other games. You can ignore them if you want or use them to get some extra experience. However, some planets and ships do tie in loosely to the main quest or are party NPC background story quests.
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February 5th, 2008, 16:51
Interesting, because I did learn about some of my crew's background and agreed to help them resolve some of their issues. Those side-quests seemed to have interesting enough writing and dialogue. I'm not sure if aimlessly exploring planets, hyped up feature or not, is worthwhile if there's no quest tied to it.
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February 5th, 2008, 17:26
I think of exploring the planets as being, well, exploring. If you're the kind of person who likes the wandering, then this may be fun. I found them most enjoyable when I'd finished a major world and didn't want any big cutscenes for awhile — I just wanted to blow stuff up. (Just about every landable planet has a bad-guy building of some kind.) And some of my favorite minor conversations are at the end of those fights — little conversations that aren't important to the overall game, but have some nice roleplaying opportunities.

The big drawback of the uncharted worlds is that they're such a departure from the gameplay of the rest of the game that they feel out of place. People who go there expecting a bunch of conversations or a world as detailed as the Citadel or Noveria are gonna be disappointed.

It's something being talked about for Mass Effect 2 — providing exploration that doesn't feel like a disruption of gameplay, uncharted worlds with more on them, major planets with more exploration. We know how to do it, but resources didn't allow us to do it in the first game, and we want to make sure that isn't the case next time. (Well, not "we". It's "they" at this point, as I'm on another project. But I talk to 'em at lunch.)
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February 5th, 2008, 17:45
And if you skip the planet exploration/sidequests you're going to miss out on most of Lance Henriksens voice acting and that would be a shame

Besides, every explorable planet has a sidequest attached to it at some point in the game. The only exception I can think of is 1 quest dedicated to Paragon players and 1 quest dedicated to Renegade players (i.e. the quest for the opposite side of your current disposition is unavailable for you).

The majority of the persuasion based solutions to dialogs takes place in sidequests and there are some really good ones out there that it would be a shame to miss out on.

And then there is …
Spoiler – Possible spoiler for the sequel

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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February 5th, 2008, 22:58
Originally Posted by PatrickWeekes View Post
It's something being talked about for Mass Effect 2
Ooooh, excellent! I was just recently thinking that Bioware must surely have paid attention to every criticism they had thrown their way, so that Mass Effect 2 and 3 promise to be even more excellent. Not that I don't want to see more of the same, but I'm looking even more forward to what a refined and enhanced experience in the sequels can bring. Like, perhaps, HD caching? *winkwink*

I have full confidence in the series, but I haven't even played through this one yet. I'm almost afraid to because I don't want the story to end yet.

Originally Posted by fatBastard() View Post
Lance Henriksens voice acting and that would be a shame

Besides, every explorable planet has a sidequest attached to it at some point in the game.
That's good to hear. I wasn't sure. Like I said, I explored a planet once to see what it was like. I didn't find much to do there and I didn't look very hard.

In that case, I don't really understand why everyone goes on about bland planet exploration if there's some good unique dialogue on all of them. It obvious that they're not going to be as exciting as the main quest, anyway. I also don't think controlling the Mako is all that bad.
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February 6th, 2008, 10:29
Can we go back to talking about how BioWare is basically doomed forever now that they have sold their souls to EA? All this talk about Mass Effect makes me want to buy a 400$ XBox just to play this one game..
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February 6th, 2008, 16:41
Why would you want to play a dumbed down console game, anyway?
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February 6th, 2008, 16:51
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Can we go back to talking about how BioWare is basically doomed forever now that they have sold their souls to EA? All this talk about Mass Effect makes me want to buy a 400$ XBox just to play this one game..
The game was made BEFORE Bioware was bought.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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February 6th, 2008, 20:41
Im still waiting for the xbox that isnt put together with glue and chewing gum. Also its still a bit pricy for a console. But one day I might buy it and the games - if they never reach PC.

I still have enough of new quality PC/PS2 games to play for years to come so there is no hurry.
Last edited by zakhal; February 6th, 2008 at 20:49.
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February 6th, 2008, 23:44
I must admit that the Xbox was a piece of crap in the beginning and I still hope I don't have to send mine back another time to have its main board replaces. They say they fixed it and, well, I'll believe it when I see it.

The difference between PC and console gaming has also been diminished for me since I do everything in my living room on a 36" LCD now, although I must admit that sometimes the simplicity of a wireless gamepad controller can be very relaxing on the couch. All those complicated key combinations that those confusing PC games tend to have are just too hard.

But seriously, Sam & Max Season 2 operated from the couch with my wireless mouse: pure gaming bliss! 200% better than from behind an office desk!

When put in that light, PC and console gaming really aren't that different, with PC gaming allowing for more complex controls in most situations. My Xbox 360 can churn out better graphics than my PC currently, however!

/offtopic for a bit
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February 7th, 2008, 00:28
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
The difference between PC and console gaming has also been diminished for me since I do everything in my living room on a 36" LCD now, although I must admit that sometimes the simplicity of a wireless gamepad controller can be very relaxing on the couch. All those complicated key combinations that those confusing PC games tend to have are just too hard.
There are many pc games that be played on gamepad. All "games for windows" -games in example. I bought xbox360 wireless for PC for that sole reason. Its the best controller for games like GTA and gears of war (as long as you have big screen). I also play old jrpgs with it.

Kinda relaxing for the aching mousearm and twitching back to sit on a couch once a while and let your wrists rest on the gamepad.
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February 7th, 2008, 10:50
Yeah, I have have a Logitech Dual-Action wired gamepad connected to my PC now. I still want to buy a wireless receiver for my Xbox 360 controller. I play some old PlayStation games on the PC with my gamepad, like FF7, too. Not too complex, but very relaxing. Many PC games can be played with just the mouse, too, which is almost as good.
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