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Default Mass Effect 2 - Scrambled @ The Brainy Gamer

February 9th, 2010, 14:23
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
I agree with JemyM. It's nice to see a shooter with decent storytelling and a dialog system. I quite enjoy ME1 for that, and I expect ME2 will be no different. I am not at all unhappy if more such games are made. Just as long as RPG's with stats and character development and choice are still being made as well. I think even among AA games we have seen some examples that the genre isn't quite dead yet, and then there is the indies as well. The sky hasn't fallen yet.
I have nothing against games like ME2 being made but i do have a problem with describing such a game as an RPG or pretending its setting some new genre.

Ya lets call ME2 what it is which is a shooter with cur scenes. A few dialggue choices and rather simplistic paragon/renegade metre does not make an RPG.

Being able to craft your character through class, skills, talents, armour, weapons, items, and moral/ethical decisions is what an RPG is about because that is how you create a unique character which can experience the game world from a different perspective across various playthroughs. This is not possible in ME2 other than from a most shallow perspective.

I actually enjoyed ME1, even though it was still quite shooter-like. But that was because it had a somewhat meaningful RPG system which effcted the PC and your squad in the same manner. ME2 has made Shepard sort of unique and somehwat configruable but taken away that depth from the squad.
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February 9th, 2010, 14:32
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I accepted long ago that AAA developers moved away from what I enjoy in games, but I don't blame them.

Money is what they smell and money is what they're going for. The market is driven by the size of its audience - and that's how the world works - apparently.

Not something I can support, but I can't expect others to agree because I know I'm in the minority about such things.

Also, thankfully, we have the indie market and the emerging middle-market - which is why I'm not all that pessimistic.

That said, I do get frustrated when I think about the potential of AAA companies. I mean, to imagine what could happen if such teams poured their hearts and souls into an enthusiast title!

Not going to happen, though.

I know, depressing aint it…

I have been having a similar conversation at Frontier Development, Braben of Elite/Frontier/FFE fames game company.

I think what you express above is why we have never seen an Elite 4. Can you imagine xbox players trying to figure out how gravity works in a newtonian physcis environment? There is no way they would have the patience to learn that you cannot stop/turn on a dime in space. After they crashed into the moon at 300klicks per sec for the 3rd time they would just throw their hands up and say its a crap game.

Welcome to the x-factor generation of gamers :-)
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February 9th, 2010, 14:35
Originally Posted by Coldcall View Post
Ya some nice cut-scenes and reasonable but again predictable combat makes Mass Effect 2 a very ordinary game if it was not for the Bioware fanbois who will worship anything that company does.
Yeah, from what I've read about the game so far (I really need to play it to be able to comment appropriately, I guess), the game being from Bioware is the main reason that RPG fans are talking about it. Bioware was known for RPGs and only for RPGs, IIRC, and they are straying from the path. A similar thing happened to Bioshock, albeit to greater extent, which everyone thought to have some redeeming features that could make it RPGish because it possibly could have been similar to System Shock 2 — in the end it was a relatively pure, atmospheric shooter.

For the record, most people here know and love Deus Ex, System Shock 2 and Bloodlines and recognize them as true RPG/FPS hybrids (in the case of Bloodlines even RPG). Well, at least I do.

Originally Posted by Coldcall View Post
No saying its a new RPG genre is just illogical and misleading. in what way is it a new genre?
DArtagnan called ME1 an Interactive Movie once, and I agree with him. The game did have lots of traditional RPG elements too, so personally I'd call it "Interactive Movie (Shooter) RPG".

I haven't played ME2 yet myself, so I have to rely on what others say about the game. They seem to have dumbed down a lot of the RPG elements from ME1, which I suppose would make it more IM/Shooter/Action Adventure and less RPG.

The Interactive Movie classification would be my sole justification for calling it sort of a different RPGish genre — something that is not actually an RPG but could be interesting to people who like RPGs — simply by merit of all the dialogue and NPC interactions. It may well be that this is not enough. I wouldn't know, yet.

We haven't reported much about Bioshock 2 because Bioshock, which was great for what it was, wasn't interesting enough from a RPGer's point of view.

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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February 9th, 2010, 14:39
Originally Posted by Coldcall View Post
I know, depressing aint it…

I have been having a similar conversation at Frontier Development, Braben of Elite/Frontier/FFE fames game company.

I think what you express above is why we have never seen an Elite 4. Can you imagine xbox players trying to figure out how gravity works in a newtonian physcis environment? There is no way they would have the patience to learn that you cannot stop/turn on a dime in space. After they crashed into the moon at 300klicks per sec for the 3rd time they would just throw their hands up and say its a crap game.

Welcome to the x-factor generation of gamers :-)
Again, I think you're confusing intelligence or capacity for complexity with differing interests.

The casual gamer isn't more stupid than you or I - at least there's nothing to base that claim on. They're simply CASUAL - which means they're not willing to invest themselves in a game because they have other interests that mean more to them.

In that same way you could call me a VERY casual fan of sports - because I really don't give a shit about anything except for the occasional entertainment value of whatever I decide to watch. That's not because I'm stupid, but because I simply don't care.
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February 9th, 2010, 19:42
Arhu,

"DArtagnan called ME1 an Interactive Movie once, and I agree with him. The game did have lots of traditional RPG elements too, so personally I'd call it "Interactive Movie (Shooter) RPG".

I haven't played ME2 yet myself, so I have to rely on what others say about the game. They seem to have dumbed down a lot of the RPG elements from ME1, which I suppose would make it more IM/Shooter/Action Adventure and less RPG.

The Interactive Movie classification would be my sole justification for calling it sort of a different RPGish genre — something that is not actually an RPG but could be interesting to people who like RPGs — simply by merit of all the dialogue and NPC interactions. It may well be that this is not enough. I wouldn't know, yet."


Yes i think interactive movie-game is an apt description, but this is not new, there were a load of mystery or action type games along this line back in late 90s early 2000s. In mE2 (when not just hanging out on the Normandy)your time is divided rounghly 75% shooting 25% cut scenes/dialogue.

I think why I am quite a few others are sort of pissed off about ME2 is that Bioware should have been a little more forthcoming about how the changes from 1 - 2 would effect overall gameplay. There is no doubt in my mind that the game was developed with a marketing plan in mind to capture the xbox shooter market. So i dont believe it was development driven from the sense of lets implement all these neat ideas. It was "the shooters dont like the complexity of skills, inventory, weapons, armour in ME1; how do we dumb this down but keep the compelling stroyline and make combat more like a pure shooter…"

I'd be interested in what you think after youve played. By the way, you should enjoy the first playthrough as i did, as it certainly can be entertaining but i found i was living for the cut scenes that would invariably add pause to the relentless shooting mission after shooting mission.
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February 9th, 2010, 19:46
Cutting the stuff they did from ME1 was an improvement. ME1 had some really crappy mechanics, overall ME2 makes more sense. As a storydriven shooter that is.

I have still to come up with an inventory system that was crappier than ME1.

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February 9th, 2010, 19:53
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Cutting the stuff they did from ME1 was an improvement. ME1 had some really crappy mechanics, overall ME2 makes more sense. As a storydriven shooter that is.

I have still to come up with an inventory system that was crappier than ME1.
It makes sense for what it turned out to be, but not for what some of us were hoping for.

They could have opted to improve features instead of removing them.

But they didn't - and the result is what it is, but it doesn't mean what we got is what we wanted or that it's as good as it might have been.
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February 9th, 2010, 20:10
I would like a system like KOTOR or Baldur's Gate. The inventory systems have gone downhill. Remember Jade Empire?

I miss the inventory slot systems with paper dolls. But I can understand why they cut the Inventory system completely from ME considering how much people hated the first one, but it was really poorly done. I have no idea how that got out of QA.

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February 9th, 2010, 20:20
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I would like a system like KOTOR or Baldur's Gate. The inventory systems have gone downhill. Remember Jade Empire?

I miss the inventory slot systems with paper dolls. But I can understand why they cut the Inventory system completely from ME considering how much people hated the first one, but it was really poorly done. I have no idea how that got out of QA.
To be honest, I have no idea why something so utterly simple can be so hard for them to do.

But if they don't have the design talent to create a meaningful loot system with a meaningful inventory structure - then by all means remove it entirely.

It's just not what I would have done.

Mass Effect suffered from no sorting and extremely silly amounts of samey crap. Just ensure that players don't find anything if it's not something of interest or potential value to them. Don't call loot I, II, II, etc. and expect people to want to carry around anything but the highest number.

Really, a child could have designed those aspects better.
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February 9th, 2010, 20:54
Sounds a lot like Dragon Age to me. Even if that one wasn't as bad, "managing" the inventory was boring. It was just a list of stuff, mostly junk. It's one of the downsides of catering to consoles, next to too much streamlining (which isn't bad per se, but it can be overdone. Hm, wasn't DA supposed to be a PC game first? How did the inventory thing happen, then?); I imagine that a BG style inventory / paperdoll wouldn't work too well without a mouse. On the upside, I do like the influence of consoles in that they slow down hardware requirements for modern games. I can still play most of them even on a mid-range system.

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February 9th, 2010, 20:58
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Sounds a lot like Dragon Age to me. Even if that one wasn't as bad, "managing" the inventory was boring. It was just a list of stuff, mostly junk. It's one of the downsides for catering to consoles (hm, wasn't DA supposed to be a PC game first? How did the inventory thing happen, then?); I imagine that a BG style inventory / paperdoll wouldn't work too well without a mouse. On the upside, I do like the influence of consoles in that they slow down hardware requirements for modern games. I can still play most of them even on a mid-range system.
The list inventory of ME wouldn't be so bad if they implemented proper sorting and did the obvious thing and forgot about item limits. It's pointless in the context of already having much, much more than anyone could carry.

Of course, the less said about the numbered scaling loot the better, and in that way even the absence of an inventory in ME2 is an improvement. But it's an incredibly lazy improvement.
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February 9th, 2010, 21:02
I loved the inventory systems in Fallout 1/2 and the Infinity Engine games. The fact that you had to actually pay attention to who carried what, and how much it weighed. I know some people thought it was tedious, but I liked it a lot more than the simple, stripped down inventories we're seeing today.
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February 10th, 2010, 01:46
What a bunch of condescending nonsense in this thread. Tastes reflect IQ, that is definately a new one….

Why discuss what is an rpg and what isn't with someone who has their mind already made up? Or in the most astunding bit…never played the game. It's an rpg with limited stats.
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February 10th, 2010, 03:03
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
Why discuss what is an rpg and what isn't with someone who has their mind already made up? Or in the most astunding bit…never played the game.
Uhm.. that's why most of my comments were about ME1. And it's also why I studied the Mass Effect Wiki entry on ME2 and used lots of conditionals when talking about it. I thought that was enough to be able to have at least some form of opinion about the game's mechanics.

It's a bit ironic that you seem to have your mind already made up about this issue as well, just from an opposing point of view. I'm glad you are more open-minded about genre classifications, though. Seriously, this stuff bugs me, which can dampen the fun. Not the fun of playing (overall, I liked ME1 a lot), but the fun of thinking about a game in terms of substantial RPG elements.

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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February 10th, 2010, 04:19
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
What a bunch of condescending nonsense in this thread. Tastes reflect IQ, that is definately a new one….

Why discuss what is an rpg and what isn't with someone who has their mind already made up? Or in the most astunding bit…never played the game. It's an rpg with limited stats.
Thing is, when review after review talk about the game as 'redefining' and 'reinventing' the RPG genre, isn't it a worthwhile counterpoint to discuss (a) iwhether or not that is crap and (b) if the RPG genre needs reinventing and (c) if THIS is what any sort of reinvention should look like.

Personally I am not so worried about 'how RPG it is' since it is obviously a hybrid that favors the story first and shooter elements second.

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February 10th, 2010, 04:35
Originally Posted by rune_74 View Post
What a bunch of condescending nonsense in this thread. Tastes reflect IQ, that is definately a new one….

Why discuss what is an rpg and what isn't with someone who has their mind already made up? Or in the most astunding bit…never played the game. It's an rpg with limited stats.
Dude, with all due respect, you really seemed to have chugged the koolaid for this one and are way too defensive. These are, for the most part, valid criticisms and comments and just meant to be a thoughtful discussion about game trends. You pick out the one silly and biased comment about IQ and then dismiss everything else. Hell, that poster was roundly criticized for that within the thread.

The vast majority of the posters here are not anything close to being condescending. None of these posters is calling anybody an idiot for liking this game and pretty much all of us agree its a very good game for what it is. That being said, its fair to discuss what the game is and what it is not. If anybody is coming to this with hardened, preconceived notions, perhaps you should start looking at home.
Last edited by dagoo7; February 10th, 2010 at 14:42.
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February 10th, 2010, 05:47
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Again, I think you're confusing intelligence or capacity for complexity with differing interests.

The casual gamer isn't more stupid than you or I - at least there's nothing to base that claim on. They're simply CASUAL - which means they're not willing to invest themselves in a game because they have other interests that mean more to them.
As a console gamer, and as someone who's probably more casual about the hobby than most people here, I have to say "Thank you."

Not every console gamer is a moron (ok, some of us are…).

Sorry, I know that's not the point of the discussion. I just wanted to interject. I always appreciate it when a PC player stands up for non-condescension toward console gamers. It's nice to see.
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February 10th, 2010, 05:56
Originally Posted by Anderson View Post
As a console gamer, and as someone who's probably more casual about the hobby than most people here, I have to say "Thank you."

Not every console gamer is a moron (ok, some of us are…).

Sorry, I know that's not the point of the discussion. I just wanted to interject. I always appreciate it when a PC player stands up for non-condescension toward console gamers. It's nice to see.
Also implied is that not all console gamers are casual and not all casual gamers play consoles.

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February 10th, 2010, 10:23
I'm glad

But really, if anything is silly it's expecting people to be stupid because they're different from you. There's nothing "good" or "smart" about loving games - it's just a passion for some of us - where others are passionate about other interests.

Seems pretty simple to me.

That said, I do feel strongly about the direction of the market the last decade or so, but I do understand that my personal interest isn't the driving force of the economy - nor can I expect it do be.

However, on the flip-side - I don't understand people who can't appreciate that my hobby has been halfway ruined and we enthusiasts - even as the minority we clearly are - have been severely neglected. I don't expect sympathy or anything like that - just a measure of understanding.

In many ways, we're the "pioneers" of gaming - and our passion has made it flourish and spread. I don't expect gratitude either - but our existence is what made it happen in the first place, along with those who went on to develop the games themselves and sell them to us.

So there's always two sides
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February 10th, 2010, 11:20
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Thing is, when review after review talk about the game as 'redefining' and 'reinventing' the RPG genre, isn't it a worthwhile counterpoint to discuss (a) iwhether or not that is crap and (b) if the RPG genre needs reinventing and (c) if THIS is what any sort of reinvention should look like.

Personally I am not so worried about 'how RPG it is' since it is obviously a hybrid that favors the story first and shooter elements second.
I agree. While i dont "hate" ME2, as it has some good production values, it is the hyped fawning and exaggeration in the game reviews which really piss me off.

Its an insult to our intelligence to pretend ME2 is genre defining in any way whatsoever.

My one caveat is the interrupt system which i think is an innovation. Being able to stop an NPC in mid-flow coversation is something i have wanted to do in many games before.

So its not all bad, but the hype is just so annoying.
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