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 Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...

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SimianWonder
Simian D. Wonder
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:12 pm

Alright, Noveria down, and the Rachni Queen was released. Only had about three lines of dialogue between Liara and Benezia which was a little disappointing, though given Liara's admission they weren't that close I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

I've done a few more quests and have just started my second of the main quests, Feros. Before that though, a word on the Mako, the oft maligned tank; yes, it really is as frustrating as I'd remembered. On a flat surface it's fine, but even driving in a straight line in next to impossible on MEs bumpy terrain, especially when trying to navigate the various mountain ranges. The stupid thing just jumps and hops all over the place. Grr.

In anycase, I've made at least one of the vital decisions in any ME game, and I've chosen to romance Liara instead Ashley. Ashley will suffer at Virmire. For those of you who know the game, you know what I mean, for those who don't, suffice to say it doesn't end well. I plan to carry this romance right through to the conclusion of the trilogy, so it'll be nice to see where it leads. Marriage, old age, and lots of little blue children. Well said, Shep.

Incidentally, love the sig Sonic!
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SimianWonder
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:07 pm

Done a few more assignments tonight, got bored pretty quick. I don't care what people say, the loss of planet exploration in ME2 was no tragedy. The planets look pretty, but the combination of the Mako's handling and the general sparseness of the environments just makes navigating a frustrating chore.

Went to Feros, did another major storyline quest. Again, full paragon (how I think ME should be played!) saved all the colonists, cut a deal with Exogeni, saved Shiala (the asari given to the Thorian by Saren) and saved all the colonists in the process. Yep, Shepard's a hero, a bloody icon, all right.

Aaaaand now back to a few more tedious sidequests. My quest for 100% is going to take some serious grinding...
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SimianWonder
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 19, 2010 11:53 am

Ahahahahaha!!

Sorry, that's the laugh of someone going a bit stir crazy. I've just finished the last of the assignments (the side missions) and to say they were getting a bit repetitive would be an understatement. Still, they're done now and I can get on with the best part of the entire game; Virmire leading into Ilos, leading into the final confrontation.
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SimianWonder
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 19, 2010 1:56 pm

Just finished Virmire, one of the high points of the game. I left Ashley on Virmire, and managed to calm down Wrex... I cannot imagine anyone purposely playing the game to have him die, so he's all good for ME2 / 3.

On a vaguely amusing note, I was just talking to Kaidan on the Normandy about fighting the Reapers, and Shep remarked how he'd 'give them a boot in the ass.' Kaiden responded with 'I think we're going to need a bigger boot,' almost definitely a reference to the famous line in Jaws. I don't recall hearing him say that before, and it tickled me a little.

Onwards!
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SimianWonder
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 19, 2010 4:22 pm

Had to leave things for now, midway through Ilos.

One of my goals was to try and reach level sixty this time around, because it's just another thing I've never managed; problem is, it takes almost as much to go from level 59 to 60 as it does to go from 1 to 50. Even doing every sidequest possible, I think I'm going to fall short again, which is annoying for three reasons; A) I'm a completionist, B) I wanted the achievement, and C) you get a starting bonus in ME2 for doing so.

I'll reflect properly on the game once I'm done, but suffice to say I don't think a lot has changed my mind the past few days in terms of it's strengths and weaknesses. On the plus side, I've ripped through the game far quicker than I'd initially allowed for. I reckon I'll be finishing up in well under thirty hours, maybe even twenty five depending on how quickly I can finish up Ilos and the final section. Bearing in mind I'm still aiming for 100%, and I'm well on course for that, I think that's fairly swift.
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SimianWonder
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:34 pm

Okay, that's me done with the first game.

I've managed to complete every available quest, excluding the few short bits of DLC that I don't have (and have no intention of purchasing now), and I've done it in twenty four hours and forty eight minutes from start to finish.

Yes, I've beaten the game numerous times before and knew what to expect, but even so that's pretty bloody swift for a 100% run.

So, the game itself.

I love Bioware, I'll make no secret of that, they're pretty much the only company whose games I will buy blind. So how does ME measure up after three years?

Pretty well really. As mentioned at the outset, the facial models are still great (far superior to Dragon Age: Origins) even if everything else is a little bland, something that, I suspect, is going to be highlighted going straight into ME2. Gameplay wise, it's a mixed bag. When it's good, it's still brilliant. The main narrative is pretty strong, the story is excellent (better than ME2s certainly) and it's paced perfectly. When it's not so good, it falters badly. The majority of the sidequests are dull, the Mako handles terribly, and they detract hugely from the pace of the main narrative.

As a game, judged as a whole, I'd say it's inferior to the aforementioned Dragon Age: Origins. I prefer MEs story, but it's not quite so cohesive a whole, and neither can hold a candle to the majesty that is Mass Effect 2.

Of course, ME2 is my next stop. I'll likely leave it a couple of days before I start that, otherwise I think the Mrs will start to notice my absence.
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SimianWonder
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:38 am

Started ME2 this morning.

I'm importing my ME save across, so I'll fully reap the benefit of those hours grinding out assignments. It also means all my major decisions from ME transfer over. I'm going to go for another Paragon run, but I'm opting for a change of class now. Adept in ME was fun, but in ME2 it was changed somewhat (though not necessarily nerfed as a lot of newcomers say) into something that required a good deal more strategy. Adept in ME2 is great at crowd control, but that's not always such good fun.

If you want fun, there's only one choice and it's Vanguard.

For those who don't know, vanguard is a hybrid soldier / adept, who specialises at close - mid range, and specialises in the shotgun. His main selling point is his signature biotic charge. Essentially Shepard dashes forward, phasing through most objects en route, to strike the target. At higher levels it also recharges your shields, and finishes with a brief window whereby time is slowed and your target takes massively increased damage. Great fun.

I'm also going to raise the difficulty a touch. I know ME2 like the back of my hand, and while I was happy to trundle through ME on normal, I want a bit more from the sequel. That being the case, I'm opting for hardcore. It's not quite as tough as Insanity, but still gives a decent challenge.

Okay, here we go...
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SimianWonder
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:43 am

Wasn't expecting that.

Okay, I was a little, but ME2s graphics are leaps and bounds above MEs. The facial models are even more detailed, but it's everywhere else you notice the improvement. The effects, the particle, the smoke, the texturing the attention to detail. It's a seriously good looking game this, even if a couple of the faces still look a bit odd. *Coughjacobandmirandacough*

Oh, and ME2 has one of the best prologue sections of any game ever. I'll not spoil it here, but suffice to say for anyone who plays ME then comes into ME2, it's a real 'WTF?!', a sign of supremely confident story telling.
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SimianWonder
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PostSubject: Re: Simian goes through Bioware's magnum opus...   Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:35 pm

Heh, been a slow week. I'll pick this up again next week.
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