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Default Mass Effect - The Replay Value of RPGs @ Bitmob

July 20th, 2010, 06:50
A strange article at Bitmob entited The Replay Value of RPGs compares Mass Effect (1) and Mass Effect 2 to presumably prove RPG streamlining has reduced replay value, although the point of the excercise isn't clearly stated. From the intro:
For the purposes of this particular discussion I will compare and contrast the original Mass Effect with its sequel, Mass Effect 2. I will look at the four elements I find necessary for a game to offer replayability, namely:
  • Relatively deep character development customization
  • Strategic combat
  • Robust inventory management
  • A great story that gives the player choice
I will examine how these elements were implemented in the first Mass Effect and how they changed in the sequel. I will try to then try to argue why the first game is replayable but the sequel is not.
More information.
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July 20th, 2010, 06:50
I think it just proves that BioWare has mastered dumbing down RPG's thanks to the console crowd.

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July 20th, 2010, 09:08
Didn't play ME2 yet, but why do people act as though ME2 is Satan's child? It is a game. I won't freak out over a bad movie, or a bad book, why should I freak out over a game?
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July 20th, 2010, 09:45
Originally Posted by SveNitoR View Post
Didn't play ME2 yet, but why do people act as though ME2 is Satan's child? It is a game. I won't freak out over a bad movie, or a bad book, why should I freak out over a game?
Because ME2 is the first sign of the apocalypse!!!

@ortucis: On behalf of the console crowd, you're welcome.
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July 20th, 2010, 12:09
I've finished playing ME2 recently and am currently playing ME1. I do agree that ME2 has no replayability but I don't see why that is such a bad thing, especially in comparison to ME1. If things continue as it is in ME1, I don't see myself replaying ME1 either. I think they picked a bad game to compare replayability…. But that's just my opinion.

While I'm at it, I think ME2 is heck of a lot more fun than ME1…. (again, my opinion).

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July 20th, 2010, 15:03
The major issue with ME1 is that you can't continue the game with DLC's after you finished the game. You can with ME2.

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July 20th, 2010, 15:05
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
The major issue with ME1 is that you can't continue the game with DLC's after you finished the game. You can with ME2.
DLC? you mean, playing 2 more hours for a side quest a month after you finished the game? Nah thanks
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July 20th, 2010, 15:37
There were DLCs for ME1 ?

And I guess they aren't in the budhget version of the game ?

Youd be a very good indirect copy protection for EA.

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July 20th, 2010, 16:00
I don't get the whole replayability thing.
If I'm not fed up by a game by the time I finish it I will want to play again regardless of whether it will have slight differences - and I will want to play the same game anyway.
If I had enough of it I won't play it again just to see those slight differences.

Sure, having such differences might help making the second playthrough a bit more interesting bu they are never my reason to play again.

As far as I'm concerned, having several option is good because it makes me feel that I'm 'in control' even during the first playthrough.

The games that I have replayed the most are the ones that have gameplay that appeals to me a lot and not the ones that are a little bit different every time.

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July 20th, 2010, 16:00
Originally Posted by SveNitoR View Post
Didn't play ME2 yet, but why do people act as though ME2 is Satan's child? It is a game. I won't freak out over a bad movie, or a bad book, why should I freak out over a game?
That's not the point. I would have happily played this game, found out it was really primarily a shooter, enjoyed it for what it was, and promptly forgot about it and probably never bought the sequel.

However, I could not do this simply because Bioware hyped, marketed, and sold this as being the future of rpgs. Moreover, it was almost universally hailed by critics and players as the revolution of rpgs and the template for what all rpgs should be in the future. This despite the fact that this was a highly "streamlined" action game that was streamlined from an already pretty weak "rpg" game. Basically, they put a decent action/fps game with story elements in the very superficial skin of an rpg and told us this is what everyone, including me, want from an rpg. Everything else about rpgs, according to this view, is silly, pretentious, boring, niche, and elitist.

I have no problem with hybrids or with other genres taking on "rpg elements" but don't tell me its the future of rpgs when it really is an entirely different type of game. I think people are increasingly seeing the limitations/trade-offs of this game and, thank god, acknowledging them. But for a good while there one could not say anything mildly critical about this game or discuss the trade-offs and genre focus without being labeled a heretic and hater, even on this site.
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July 20th, 2010, 16:14
I disagree with their list of requirements.

Why is robust inventory management "necessary" for replay value? And what makes an inventory management system "robust" anyway?

Strategic combat? WTF? That means no RPGs have replay value.

I actually did play ME2 twice all the way through and thoroughly enjoyed it both times. On the other hand I couldn't bring myself to even contemplate playing Gothic 3 a second time despite it being "better" on some of the article's replay value scales. It was just too tedious.
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July 20th, 2010, 16:35
ME2 is a great game. Way better than ME1.

The only issue I have with it is that after several missions, it feels a lot like a shooting gallery. Playing on normal, all you have to do for the most part is hang back, and take your time killing stuff. You really only run into problems if you rush into the middle of things. Oh, and the Firewalker vehicle thing stinks, but thankfully was pure add-on and has nothing to do with the plot.

But it's a great game that I loved playing.
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July 20th, 2010, 16:47
Originally Posted by BillSeurer View Post
Strategic combat? WTF? That means no RPGs have replay value.
As I am sure we have discussed before ad nauseum, that claim makes no sense and is wholly indefensible, most turn-based rpgs and many action rpgs (but not all) have involved combat that requires and/or allows strategic options that vary gameplay and approaches to solving situation as opposed to fps shooter duck/cover/shoot/activate single power/repeat.

We have had this discussion before and don't know why I am bothering to resurrect it as you clearly feel the need to defend the game for what it is not. It can be a great game and not be all things, thats ok, you can relax. Let's all move on now. I know I am.
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July 20th, 2010, 17:57
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
DLC? you mean, playing 2 more hours for a side quest a month after you finished the game? Nah thanks
It took me an entire day to get through all the DLC's (Kasumi, Firewalker and Overlord). The Overlord DLC was very well written and memorable. It actually brought me to tears in the end. Well recommended for anyone who kept their saves.

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July 20th, 2010, 18:02
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
There were DLCs for ME1 ?
And I guess they aren't in the budhget version of the game ?
Youd be a very good indirect copy protection for EA.
Bring Down the Sky is a quest addon where as Pinnacle Station was more an arena I think.

I played neither. Mostly due to the fact that they couldn't be played once you finished the main game and the second one had no appeal to me.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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July 20th, 2010, 18:18
Bring down the sky was free if you got the PC version. Well worth trying out in my opinion. The other one is simply an arena, not all that interesting, though the reward is pretty decent.

I'd say ME1 has higher replayvalue than 2, primarily because the choices feel like they might have some sort of impact - in ME2 I simply never got that feeling.

The inventory system is bad in both games (doesn't even exist in 2), so I wouldn't say either game had any replayvalue based on that.
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July 20th, 2010, 18:49
Actually I found the opposite - ME2 is much more replayable to me than ME1.

Largely, it's the enjoyment factor - ME2 lets me play at my own pace and is on the whole quite enjoyable. ME1 has some good moments, but too many sections of it feel (on replay) like a chore. Combat for example.
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July 20th, 2010, 20:15
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
The inventory system is bad in both games (doesn't even exist in 2), so I wouldn't say either game had any replayvalue based on that.
The inventory system in ME1 was so horrible that removing it was an improvement!

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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July 20th, 2010, 20:56
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
The inventory system in ME1 was so horrible that removing it was an improvement!
True. That scrolling list of everything was a total pain and there were just way too many minuscule variations that made no real difference.

And in the end it doesn't really matter in most games. You just buy the best weapons/armor/whatever that you can afford for the spot you are at in the game and nothing has really changed. Does it really matter if you are using the Sword of Slashing or the Mace of Smashing or the Halberd of, uh, Halberding? And the +1/+2/+3…/+X doesn't really make any difference, either.

I kind of like how Obsidian did it in Alpha Protocol. There are just a few basic weapons that are very different and then you can "pimp them" with attachments to fine tune them to your style.
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July 20th, 2010, 20:59
I can agree with "a robust inventory". A lot of the draw for me for an RPG is the inventory system. If the items aren't interesting ( ex: ME & DA:O with scaling items ) or if the UI is a pain to use ( ME, countless others ) I'm a lot less likely to want to replay the game.
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