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 Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...

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SimianWonder
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PostSubject: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:49 pm

Okay, so having beaten the latest DLC for Mass Effect 2and loved every minute, I was hit with the unfortunate realisation that there's a fair bit in the original ME that I didn't see, despite putting in well over one hundred hours. That being the case, and with the LotSB DLC still fresh in my mind, I've decided that I'm going to do something which is likely a touch silly. I'm going to go back and play Mass Effect again. Then, once I've finally got something close to 100%, I'll import into ME2 and ace that again.

Why is it silly? Because both are huge games. Potentially I'm signing myself up for one hundred and fifty hours, depending on how quickly I can get things done and how much ME1's notoriously dull side quests grate on me. Still, ME2 is far and away the best game I've played this year, it's a stunning, stunning game, and while ME1 isn't in the same league, taken on it's own it's still an engrossing and very enjoyable adventure with some great characters and plenty of Bioware's trademark flair.

Okay, onto Mass Effect.

Commander Shepard. Male or female? Got to go with male this time around. Background? I'm going for the ultimate good guy run, so I'll go with Spacer (meaning my Shepard has lived on starships most of his life as his parents were in the Alliance Nacy) and War Hero (he single handedly fought off an entire enemy platoon ensuring that one of humanities first colonies remained safe.)

Time to choose a face. I've tried to make a passable in game representation of myself, but they never work very well, and especially in ME2 where the graphics are that much more detailed, anyhting other than the default Shepard looks a little odd. Luckily, I happen to very much like the default Shepard, so that's what I'm going for.

Alright, time to choose a class. I've played through the game lot before, so I'm pretty familiar with what's what, and unlike ME2 there's no class specific super power, so the differences between classes aren't quite so pronounced. I'm going to chance my arm as an adept, (a mage by any other name) , because they're hugely powerful once they're levelled up a bit even if it makes things harder to start.

Right, off we go.


Last edited by SimianWonder on Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:59 pm; edited 2 times in total
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SimianWonder
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:57 pm

First impressions?

The graphics are still pretty good. The facial models, while not quite as detailed as ME2s, are excellent, even if every other aspect seems to have had considerably less effort put in. I'm also running the game installed onto my HDD, so thus far I haven't come across any of the notorious texture pop in that was so apparent when running off the disc.

The combat seems old fashioned though. ME2 was criticised by some for focussing to heavily on it's combat, yet you couldn't argue that said combat was incredibly well polished. This feels a bit...woolly in comparison. It's not bad by any stretch, but it's not as tight and doesn't hide it's RPG roots quite so well; you can fire your gun straight at someone and miss, whereas ME2 did a much better job of hiding all the stat gubbins.

Bonus points for having lots of Captain Anderson at the start too. Keith David is awesome, and was sadly underused in the sequel.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:33 pm

You might want to change from adept when you import to ME2, while the class was fun in the first game I found it painfully boring in the second.

Good luck with this though, I'm still tying up loose ends for a couple of my characters so I know full well how long it could take you.
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SimianWonder
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:39 pm

I'll go vanguard in the second. I tried replaying an older ME2 save whilst doing the Shadow Broker DLC, and playing as a soldier was just dull... I missed the Vanguard's signature biotic charge.

I did actually quite like adept in ME2, even on insanity, because it actually made you think carefuuly about who else was on your team, and about when and where to deploy your abilities.

Still, for ME1, adept is a monster and unlike ME2 you don't need to strip armour, barriers or the like to hit the whole room with singularity or lift... good times.
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SimianWonder
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:44 pm

Anyway, I'm on Eden Prime, the first planet you visit. Just bumped into a human, who remarked "You're human, thank the Maker!"

Reminded me of Dragon Age.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:49 pm

Just bumped into Saren, the main antagonist, and something struck me. I'd never noticed before, but his left arm is synthetic, looking very much like a geth arm, and he had a multitude of wires / pipes feeding from his back.

Spoilers for end game below!

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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:54 pm

Fair enough, personally I just hated slowly chipping away at barriers and armor with the crappy SMG (Kasumi wasn't out at the time) before spamming warp explosions. The only time I ever did anything different was against husks and scions, singularity works wonders in those situations.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:17 pm

This is freakin' awesome... on account of doing a Soldier playthrough already, my Adept can now use an assault rifle. Not just use it, I can specialise in it. I have all the firepower of a soldier, yet have full biotic might to fall back on.

I'd also forgotten how much I dislike Ashley. I almost can't wait until Virmire...
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:40 pm

Knowing how the game plays out, Captain Anderson sounds like a bit of an idiot the way he's ranting about Saren at the moment. He keeps talking about how 'he knows Saren is only out to exterminate humans'.

Anderson and Saren have history, and Anderson has the mother of all chips on his shoulder, which is ironic because that's exactly what he accuses Saren of.

Oh and, Anderson? You don't know the half of it!
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:48 pm

I'm now a Spectre, yay!

Into the meat of the game proper. I noticed whilst looking at my achievement list that I've missed a good few, two of which involve completing the game with Liara and Tali as the mains of my squad. Whilst that means, sadly, no Wrex, I might as well give it a bash, especially seeing as the romance plot with Liara is part of the reason to try another play through.

I'd forgotten how funny Wrex is. He's not trying to be, but he's just so.... krogan. As much as I liked Grunt in ME2, he's no Wrex.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:02 pm

Tali is the one with the Hijab or something, right?
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:44 pm

Yeah. She's a quarian, which basically means she's a space gypsy. As a result, a lot of the other species in the universe don't like her people. She's young, but she's your tech expert in ME1 and a possible romance option in ME2. In the first game she's a little dull, but she's very warm in the second, and while I did pursue the relationship in one save file, it ends up feeling a little like taking advantage of someone who has a crush on you in high school. Not that I ever did that in high school. Chance would have been a fine thing.

Anyway, I've now picked up all my squad members... all six of them. Yes, the squad's less than half the size of ME2s. I'm going to try and do some of the aforementioned sidequests before getting into the main story too deeply, chiefly because a chunk of the side missions are boring as hell and I'm going to try and grind out a few in between the story missions to help break up the boredom.

As part of my good guy (Paragon in ME) run, I've already torn a strip off Ashley for being a xenophobe and warned Garrus that I'm getting things done the right way, not the quick way. I love Garrus, he's like your brother, at least in ME2, largely because when you import into ME2, your actions and conversations with him dictate his attitude. If you're an all out whiter than white good guy, so is he. If you're a results at all costs type, so is he.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:28 pm

Something you usually take for granted in most RPGs is that changing your armour and equipment changes your on screen appearance. Yes, it does that here too. Thing is, it feels odd after ME2s system. Basically, in ME2 everyone has their trademark outfit. Any upgrades are made to the technology within, so nothing changes externally. I'd gotten used to that, especially given how you can tailer Shepard's armour to your liking in terms of colour scheme etc.

ME1s more traditional way of doing it just seems a little antiquated.

I'm also glad I've got a stupidly big expensive TV. ME1s frame rate leaves a little to be desired at times, it's running about half of what ME2s does, yet with the refresh rate set to 100hz you can barely tell the difference. I'm such a tech whore.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:10 pm

Okay, seriously, you must be lying about something in your life. I don't understand how you have the time to do this.

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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:16 pm

It'll take a while, granted. Also, the Mrs works at least three evenings a week, so those are evenings I have entirely to myself.

I've managed to clock up three hours tonight, but that said I'm now off to bed. I need to iron a shirt, shower and have a shave and I'll be out of bed about half six tomorrow. Which sucks.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:57 pm

Damn you to heck, I wish I had that kinda determination.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:50 pm

Simian, have you got Overlord? I just played it for the first time and was really impressed, I didn't think it was going to be that intense and the Hammerhead sections were loads better than the Firewalker chain.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:09 am

Live Action Sonic wrote:
Simian, have you got Overlord? I just played it for the first time and was really impressed, I didn't think it was going to be that intense and the Hammerhead sections were loads better than the Firewalker chain.

I think Kimarous has mentioned that game before.

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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:06 am

Not Overlord the game, Overlord the DLC for ME2.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:10 am

He's talking about the "Project Overlord" DLC, not the Overlord game franchise.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:41 pm

Live Action Sonic wrote:
Simian, have you got Overlord? I just played it for the first time and was really impressed, I didn't think it was going to be that intense and the Hammerhead sections were loads better than the Firewalker chain.

Yeah, it was good, though even in my Renegade run through I just couldn't leave David with Cerberus, the poor bastard. LotSB is even better, but then it costs half as much again so it ought to be.

Anyway, onwards. Didn't get anything done yesterday, but hopefully can get stuck in to a bit more tonight. Currently doing random assignments on the Citadel.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:51 pm

SimianWonder wrote:
Live Action Sonic wrote:
Simian, have you got Overlord? I just played it for the first time and was really impressed, I didn't think it was going to be that intense and the Hammerhead sections were loads better than the Firewalker chain.
Yeah, it was good, though even in my Renegade run through I just couldn't leave David with Cerberus, the poor bastard. LotSB is even better, but then it costs half as much again so it ought to be.

Anyway, onwards. Didn't get anything done yesterday, but hopefully can get stuck in to a bit more tonight. Currently doing random assignments on the Citadel.
You know somebody is evil when the Paragon interrupt results in you punching him.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:37 pm

He didn't punch him, so much as twat him in the face with the butt of his gun.
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:40 am

Finished LotSB last night, those split-second paragon interrupts forced me to fight both bosses twice because I missed them >_>
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:59 pm

Yeah, LotSB was great. The paragon interrupts didn't do much to be honest, but the whole package was just so well put together, and the way Shepard and Liara bounced off each other throughout was so genuine. I know Bioware are always good at dialogue and characterisation, but this was just superb, especially little touches giving Shep the opportunity to drop his mask for a fraction of a second and admit he had no idea how they were going to stop the Reapers.

Now playing through ME1, it's odd to see Liara being meek and awkward again. She was such a hardass in ME2, so cold and almost unflinching, and to see part of that drop again in LotSB really made it for me. A cracking bit of DLC, it really was.

Back to ME1 then.

I've tidied up a few assignments on the Citadel, and am now on the way to Peak 15 on Noveria, where Matriarch Benezia is known to be. As well as being Saren's right hand, she's also Liara's mum so the opportunity to get them face to face should elicit some interesting dialogue.
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