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Hero of Zero

Gaming Mass Effect

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So I beat that epic adventure. Now it's time for my review.

Boy I don't even know where to begin. Guess I can start with the create a character part. My beef with it is that you only have 1 type of face you can use and just change the complexion. Sure you can alter the nose and eyes and whatnot but still, I would've liked to have been able to use different varieties. Heck, I would've liked to use the custom Shepard model and alter that a bit. Other than that, more RPGs (particularly JRPGs) needs to follow suit and let you create a character and choose how you react to things. When I say react to things I mean give different personalities to be.

Gameplay took a while to get used to since I don't really play 3rd-person shooters. But I eventually got used to it and dominated when I could lol. I chose to be a vanguard and I still haven't tried out everything since it was my first playthrough and I practically kept using throw, lift, and Marksman. Got attached to warp a little near the end of the game so I'll experiment with that on my next playthrough. There was one side quest/mission that I thought I would be on forever because I'm terrible at "not" shooting civilians. My motto is to shoot whatever that moves, but I saved them all eventually, after 5-6 restarts. Speaking of restarts, my goodness it seems like it's been forever since I've seen a "game over" screen. I guess that's because I cheat and use a walkthrough with most of my games (I usually play just to feel like I'm dominating. I also play on the easiest level too. I don't need no challenge to have fun). Driving the Mako is not fun and I'll leave it at that since I've expressed my hate for that thing quite enough already.

Graphically speaking, Mass Effect might be the best looking game I've seen on the 360 so far. Traversing from planet to planet never looked so good and the only time I actually enjoyed driving in the Mako was to admire the landscape. Imagine my face when I decided to land on Luna. But those graphics did have noticeable issues. Late appearances in textures don't bother me but you easy to notice. And while this is more of a technical issue but there were 2 instances when I had to reset the game because of Shepard got stuck and I couldn't move worth a lick. It only happened twice and the camera was way too close up on something.

Characters personalities were great. [spoiler]I've never had hard time choosing someone to sacrifice before[/spoiler], mainly because I've yet to play another game that actually does it. In JRPGs [spoiler]I'd love to sacrifice so many characters in them because they were so annoying. Hell, I'd sacrifice the main character if given the chance (Sora, Tidus, Fayt are all standouts that would be sacrificed in a heartbeat and I'd have no regrets). Anyway, I ended up sacrificing Kaiden. Here's where the problem with characterization (or rather conversation) kicks in at, and I'm assuming it would probably be the same if I were to sacrifice Ashley. After Kaiden's death it was like only 3 people actually spoke about his death. Everyone else kept on repeating the same stuff we spoke about at the beginning.[/spoiler] I know there was a lot of work put into this game but that seemed like laziness on the developers end.

Then there's the audio. Voice acting was great. Then again I've played quite a few games where the voice talent really made the game great (Halo, Gears of War, God of War) and then we have the music. At first I didn't think much of it. Nothing really stood out, that was until I hit Virmire. It's like the music ramped up right then and there. Also, the music that was playing [spoiler]while on the Normandy after Kaiden/Ashley's death[/spoiler] really fit the mood. It's just too bad that majority of the folks you can speak to had nothing to say about it.

Oh yeah, I have the completionist achievement (do these achievements even matter? I don't play games for achievements) and my Shep's a paragon. I forgot what level everyone is at but I think it's in the late 40's.

4/5 from. The game is epic but it's not perfect.

Edit:

Just for haha's [spoiler]what did everyone choose when deciding the Council's fate?[/spoiler] Edited by Magus

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[spoiler] well I did both... but on my main characters profile I spared them... as much as I hate that hard a** turian. and I always put the admiral in charge... screw politicians...[/spoiler]

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[font="Palatino Linotype"]I've been getting back into Mass Effect (ever since I picked up a new Xbox), with the thought that I want to finish it before playing Mass Effect 2.

It's kind of interesting to return to this game after a long hiatus. I've just passed Virmire, so I'm not sure how close that puts me to the end of the game [spoiler]actually, I just "borrowed" the Normandy after it was grounded at the Citadel[/spoiler].

Anyway, I think that my biggest beef with Mass Effect is actually the plot, honestly. I mean...it's so bland. I would say that it's only just started to pick up within the last hour or so - I'm now not entirely sure how I waded through all the Citadel-related crap at the beginning. *shrug*

Also - and this is a minor point - but why the forced romance with Ashley? It just felt really jarring to me and it sort of came out of nowhere. When I think back, Shepherd and Ashley actually disagreed quite a bit (or at least, when I played they did - I tended to get annoyed by her attitude and I let her know, haha). So to all of a sudden have her throwing herself at Shepherd? WTF? It was irritating and it felt like BioWare had just thrown that in for the sake of doing so.

I'm still really enjoying the game, despite my complaints. The combat is what holds it together for me, even though it can feel a bit stilted at times (apparently the combat is a lot better in ME2, so we'll see how that goes). I kind of hope I'm close to the end in a way, because I really want to see how my decisions in the first game effect the second (especially [spoiler]releasing the rachni queen! Haha[/spoiler]).[/font]

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[quote name='James' timestamp='1296429066' post='704552']
[font="Palatino Linotype"]The combat is what holds it together for me, even though it can feel a bit stilted at times (apparently the combat is a lot better in ME2, so we'll see how that goes). [/font]
[/quote]
I totally disagree with that claim. ME2 may be a better shooter, (they added good gun control, a self replenishing health system like most of the current brands, and a cover system) but they lost all the originality they once had. The strategy element in combat, finding the best team and set of powers for you becomes much less important (if it even exists... I submit that it does not) and you can punch Krogans to death!!! in the first game I was never more afraid than when a Krogan got close.

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[quote name='CaNz' timestamp='1297032883' post='704729']
I totally disagree with that claim. ME2 may be a better shooter, (they added good gun control, a self replenishing health system like most of the current brands, and a cover system) but they lost all the originality they once had. The strategy element in combat, finding the best team and set of powers for you becomes much less important (if it even exists... I submit that it does not) and you can punch Krogans to death!!! in the first game I was never more afraid than when a Krogan got close.
[/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]I picked up Mass Effect 2 on Friday and I played a [i]lot[/i] of it this weekend. Actually, I haven't played a game so much in one weekend in a long time! I think I clocked in like 7 hours or something, haha.

In any case, I think Mass Effect 2's combat absolutely wipes the floor with the combat in the first game. I honestly don't find it to be any less strategic. In fact, this time around I'm finding that I am choosing team members based largely on their biotic skills and how those skills complement each other (in other words, how each team mate's biotics can work together - for each of them as well as with my own).

That's not to say that this was non-existent in the original game, but I felt a much keener sense of cohesion in Mass Effect 2.

In terms of punching krogans to death...I'm not sure why you mention that. I found the krogans to be relatively tough in ME2, especially when there are a few coming at you simultaneously. I would never have run up to them and punched them to death, a) because it would take too long and b) because it would leave me vulnerable to attack. I was killing krogans in much the same way as other enemies - with a combination of firepower and deliberate combinations of specific biotic powers.

This may be just imagined rather than real, but I felt that there was a much greater degree of finesse and clarity regarding the relationship between shields, barriers, armor and health. I really liked the way it was presented and I loved the interplay between enemy shields/barriers/armor/health versus player weaponry and biotics. It just made a lot of sense and it was very clear, but also strategic.

The only real difference I noticed with them was that in the first game, they seem to really charge at you. In Mass Effect 2 they do move towards you, but they seem to have a slower and more deliberate pace. I didn't mind that - the "rushing" in Mass Effect annoyed me at times.[/font]

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I also think the combat in ME2 is better but I prefer the combat in ME1. This might be because I'm still not used to the aggressiveness in ME2 and prefer to just dominate enemies. (Seriously, I've never had such a hard time playing a shooter on its easiest difficulty) Admittedly, though, I might have to up the difficulty since Garrus is stealing my kills in ME1. The guy is too much of a beast with the assault rifle.

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[quote name='Magus' timestamp='1297034764' post='704733']
I also think the combat in ME2 is better but I prefer the combat in ME1. This might be because I'm still not used to the aggressiveness in ME2 and prefer to just dominate enemies. (Seriously, I've never had such a hard time playing a shooter on its easiest difficulty) Admittedly, though, I might have to up the difficulty since Garrus is stealing my kills in ME1. The guy is too much of a beast with the assault rifle.
[/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]I've found Mass Effect 2 to be hard at times (I've been playing on normal difficulty), but funnily enough I'm not finding it as frustrating as the first game. Somehow the combat feels tighter - I can't quite explain why.

The part where I had the most trouble was, I think, the Horizon mission (where you first fight the Collectors and that big hovering bug thingy). That was kind of painful. My squad mates kept dying and in the end I just went it alone until they got resurrected by default.

The other part where I had some trouble was later on, during the battle on the [spoiler]Collector ship[/spoiler]. I died once during that fight, but the key there was just strategy - I was doing it the wrong way, haha.

For me, the real key is using biotics well - not only having your own good load out, but using combinations of biotics effectively. If you pay attention to the enemy's shield/barrier and you adopt a sequential approach (i.e. use attacks that kill off the shield or barrier quickly, then use different attacks for the armor, etc...) you will have an easier time.

Also combining biotics makes a huge difference. I've found that life is a lot easier when you combine the biotic powers of your squad mates - I think this is the key to turning the tide in very tough battles.[/font]

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Biotics do make the game easier, but as for team selection and using the powers I think its less important. All the abilities are linked, sou a biotics user in 2 doesnt have to worry about leveling up multiple skills. if you want an offensive one choose warp, a defense choose push or singularity. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you tried a simple strategy like that you would have one power every thirty seconds. the Adept role could be used if you could protect it... the midway classes had had significance. Technicians (used to help with opening stuff to get free material... now.. they just have a power ability that works almost the same as biotics.) were smart to include and Biotics were able to establish dominance in shorter fights.

Another thing I miss is the different weapons and armor. purchasing high quality specialty weapons or a balanced arsenal was up to you. You could pick who gets what gun and the better weapon might influence how you used them. Like, I bought tough heavy armor for Rex first. so that I could have a good tank. this bit of planning made my first few fights a breeze.

Also, no weapon upgrades. you get two different types per weapon (other than the heavy weapons... which I admit are really fun, but don't take up a lot of game time) in ME2, were in ME you had tons of brands with different strengths, you had leveled guns, and most of all... weapon upgrades and Ammo (also leveled). With certain sets you could make difficult problems easy. like there are shredder and Tungsten rounds, Anti-personnel for living targets and Anti-synthetic targets (Geth). Most people could use two weapons so I used one kind of ammo on each, I would then switch there guns and my attack pattern based on the opponent. You can make tons of great combinations too, such as my shotgun with proton bullets and damage increases so that I could get quick kills, a near bottomless clip support assault rifle with the two cooling upgrades, and so many great combos with explosive rounds! I had a sniper that could punch a hole through a colossus... or take out any bunched up troops.

Basically all the fun I was having came from strategies I came up with during the game, stuff that wasn't hand fed to me like the cover system, health recharge, and easy abilities. The weapon upgrades are all mostly increased damage.. and I can use any method I want to take out enemies without much of a change. As you can see... I like the intricacies far better than streamlined gameplay.

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[quote name='James' timestamp='1297039422' post='704738']
[font=palatino linotype]The part where I had the most trouble was, I think, the Horizon mission (where you first fight the Collectors and that big hovering bug thingy). That was kind of painful. My squad mates kept dying and in the end I just went it alone until they got resurrected by default.
[/font]
[/quote]
Same spot for me except it was me that kept dying instead of my squad. Stupid Husks or whatever they are kept running up on me while I was trying to take out the bigger things. This was also the stage where I really found out that you pretty much have to use your abilities as well since I went through majority of the earlier parts of the game without the need of any abilities.

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[quote]Biotics do make the game easier, but as for team selection and using the powers I think its less important. All the abilities are linked, sou a biotics user in 2 doesnt have to worry about leveling up multiple skills. if you want an offensive one choose warp, a defense choose push or singularity. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you tried a simple strategy like that you would have one power every thirty seconds. the Adept role could be used if you could protect it... the midway classes had had significance. Technicians (used to help with opening stuff to get free material... now.. they just have a power ability that works almost the same as biotics.) were smart to include and Biotics were able to establish dominance in shorter fights. [/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]I guess that what I find is that each character begins with a couple of key biotic powers which you can then expand as they level up. I am finding that I have a tendency to choose squad member based on a) their biotic abilities and b) their weapon load out.

You could definitely just use warp and push or singularity, but where's the fun in that? I love to combine multiple biotic powers strategically. I also find that I'm using way points a lot more than in the first game. I think this is because the AI seems a little smarter and combining this with the use of biotics seems to work really well.[/font]

[quote]Another thing I miss is the different weapons and armor. purchasing high quality specialty weapons or a balanced arsenal was up to you. You could pick who gets what gun and the better weapon might influence how you used them. Like, I bought tough heavy armor for Rex first. so that I could have a good tank. this bit of planning made my first few fights a breeze.[/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]I agree that the first game had way more customization in this regard. You're right there. I guess that I don't mind the relative limitations on weapons in Mass Effect 2 for two reasons: first, I like that some weapons can only belong to some characters (it gives characters are more distinctive feel and I think it also makes character selection more strategic) and secondly, I like that all ammo is essentially the same unless you use a biotic power for incendiary rounds or whatever.

In the original game I didn't actually mind all the weapon and ammo options, but by the same token, if I had a choice...I'd prefer to emphasize strategy on the battlefield rather than in a menu screen beforehand. I like doing [i]some[/i] prep for missions, but not a lot. That's where I sometimes get bored with very complex RPGs, admittedly.

One thing I did like in the original was that you could have a couple of upgrades per weapon and per armor. You can still do it, but it's been simplified a great deal now. I don't prefer one system or the other though - I'm indifferent on this. I like both.[/font]

[quote]Also, no weapon upgrades. [/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]There are a ton of weapon upgrades in Mass Effect 2, except that they function differently to the first game. I can see where you're coming from, in that there's a lack of per-weapon customization...but depending on what you find and how you use research, it's definitely still possible to upgrade weaponry.

You mentioned all of the different ammo types - that was the kind of thing that annoyed me about the first game. I felt at times that there were almost [i]too many[/i] options. A different ammo type for each type of enemy...I don't know, it wasn't really my thing. That's where the first game started to bore me a little.

I can understand though that it's valuable for people who want to squeeze every inch out of the experience. But as I said earlier, I'd rather spend less time worrying about endless setup options and more time employing direct battlefield strategy.[/font]

[quote]Basically all the fun I was having came from strategies I came up with during the game, stuff that wasn't hand fed to me like the cover system, health recharge, and easy abilities. The weapon upgrades are all mostly increased damage.. and I can use any method I want to take out enemies without much of a change. As you can see... I like the intricacies far better than streamlined gameplay. [/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]Yeah I think that's the crux of it. We have slightly different tastes in this regard.

I don't agree though that the cover system, health recharge and "easy" abilities are examples of hand feeding though. I think these are direct improvements that the previous game lacked to a fault. The cover system adds an important dynamic to battles that just wasn't there before. And the health recharge feature feels like a godsend compared to the constant need for Omni-gel before (I much prefer the way health is deployed in ME2).

When I think back to the first game, I actually felt that combat was a lot less varied - and that's despite all the different ammo types and such. So I managed to play the original without taking huge amounts of time to modify my load outs.

I guess that I like Mass Effect 2's variety of enemies and battle scenarios a little bit more. I like that the emphasis is on the physical action rather than the combat planning (while still allowing for a degree of preparation in advance).

I see these changes as taking about some of the unnecessary busywork and replacing it with genuine action. But yeah, I guess that gets to the core of why we have different views on the game. :)

I'm wondering if they will try to reach some sort of middle-ground with Mass Effect 3. It'll be very interesting to see what happens there.[/font]

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[quote name='James' timestamp='1297118958' post='704766']
[font="palatino linotype"]I guess that what I find is that each character begins with a couple of key biotic powers which you can then expand as they level up. I am finding that I have a tendency to choose squad member based on a) their biotic abilities and b) their weapon load out.

You could definitely just use warp and push or singularity, but where's the fun in that? I love to combine multiple biotic powers strategically. I also find that I'm using way points a lot more than in the first game. I think this is because the AI seems a little smarter and combining this with the use of biotics seems to work really well.[/font]
[/quote]
I agree that in 2 characters are more personalized. you picked a group based on skill were in the first game it was based on class. I ca't say that this is worse or better, because even though they have less skills they are all individual and have many more recrutable characters to choose from. However because of the lack of characters, you had to carefully mold the ones you had in order to preform at your best. In ME2 you could easily just swap out characters. if you wanted a tough fighter use Grunt or Garrus or Jacob, If you wanted a versitile fighter use Morridon, or Tali or Thane orMiranda or Legion. If you want a Biotics powerhouse you have Jack or Sumara. their skills varied a bit but essentially they all did the same thing in combat.
In ME the only two characters that were close to the same were Rex and Kaiden... and Rex had different skills because he was a battle toad.

[quote]
[font="palatino linotype"]I agree that the first game had way more customization in this regard. You're right there. I guess that I don't mind the relative limitations on weapons in Mass Effect 2 for two reasons: first, I like that some weapons can only belong to some characters (it gives characters are more distinctive feel and I think it also makes character selection more strategic) and secondly, I like that all ammo is essentially the same unless you use a biotic power for incendiary rounds or whatever.

In the original game I didn't actually mind all the weapon and ammo options, but by the same token, if I had a choice...I'd prefer to emphasize strategy on the battlefield rather than in a menu screen beforehand. I like doing [i]some[/i] prep for missions, but not a lot. That's where I sometimes get bored with very complex RPGs, admittedly.
[/quote]
as far as the ammo that the individual characters use goes... it acts more like an ability. if you have the ammo type you will just always use it. The soldier classes can switch, but they don't use many other abilities so its not much different than other classes.
as far as strategy on the battlefield is concerned, I don't really think either game had much... the teamates are always doing whatever they please unless you watch them like a hawk in ME. Enemys preform the same ways in almost every situation so if you see an enemy you ran into before, you will probably be prepared for them ahead of time.

[quote]
One thing I did like in the original was that you could have a couple of upgrades per weapon and per armor. You can still do it, but it's been simplified a great deal now. I don't prefer one system or the other though - I'm indifferent on this. I like both.[/font]
[/quote] really its just another RPG element that got taken out to streamline the game.
[quote]
[font="palatino linotype"]There are a ton of weapon upgrades in Mass Effect 2, except that they function differently to the first game. I can see where you're coming from, in that there's a lack of per-weapon customization...but depending on what you find and how you use research, it's definitely still possible to upgrade weaponry.

[/font][font="palatino linotype"]I can understand though that it's valuable for people who want to squeeze every inch out of the experience. But as I said earlier, I'd rather spend less time worrying about endless setup options and more time employing direct battlefield strategy.[/font] [font="palatino linotype"]

You mentioned all of the different ammo types - that was the kind of thing that annoyed me about the first game. I felt at times that there were almost [i]too many[/i] options. A different ammo type for each type of enemy...I don't know, it wasn't really my thing. That's where the first game started to bore me a little. [/quote]
the difference is the upgrades just made your weapon better... whatever you bought was probably better for your weapon. the upgrades in ME gave you one trait to make better, and you could choose between them. there is only one upgrade for each weapon/ Armor at a time. [/font]the system in ME2 more resembles leveling up of weaponry rather than modding them like in ME.
[quote]
[font="palatino linotype"]Yeah I think that's the crux of it. We have slightly different tastes in this regard.

I don't agree though that the cover system, health recharge and "easy" abilities are examples of hand feeding though. I think these are direct improvements that the previous game lacked to a fault. The cover system adds an important dynamic to battles that just wasn't there before. And the health recharge feature feels like a godsend compared to the constant need for Omni-gel before (I much prefer the way health is deployed in ME2). [/quote] it isn't hand fed as in you can jump right in and master it., you have to get good at utilizing cover, however I think its hand fed because everyone has to use it. You can't do well in that game without using cover correctly implementing the abilities of teammates and paying attention to your health. but these things are all streamlined with a nice cover system,. a total of 6 skills to master with only four points each, the timed rechargeable health, and leveling up based on missions rather than individual xp.

[quote]
When I think back to the first game, I actually felt that combat was a lot less varied - and that's despite all the different ammo types and such. So I managed to play the original without taking huge amounts of time to modify my load outs.

I guess that I like Mass Effect 2's variety of enemies and battle scenarios a little bit more. I like that the emphasis is on the physical action rather than the combat planning (while still allowing for a degree of preparation in advance).

I see these changes as taking about some of the unnecessary busywork and replacing it with genuine action. But yeah, I guess that gets to the core of why we have different views on the game. :)
[/quote] I will admit that without all the upgrades and slight intricacies I implored the game might not feel exciting.. It is a third person shooter at heart for the combat.. and traditionally they are just point and shoot. I just like it better because The RPG aspect made it feel different, where as ME2 feels more like a worse Gears of War to me.
[quote]
I'm wondering if they will try to reach some sort of middle-ground with Mass Effect 3. It'll be very interesting to see what happens there.[/font]
[/quote]
Noooo! count on it being like two... once you make things simple, you never go back to making things complex again.

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[quote]In ME2 you could easily just swap out characters. if you wanted a tough fighter use Grunt or Garrus or Jacob, If you wanted a versitile fighter use Morridon, or Tali or Thane orMiranda or Legion. If you want a Biotics powerhouse you have Jack or Sumara. their skills varied a bit but essentially they all did the same thing in combat. [/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]I think that there's probably a bit less variance than in the first game, but you have to take into account the fact that a) they each have different weapon load outs, which makes a substantial difference depending on the enemy type and b) loyalty can play a substantial factor in terms of unlocking new biotic powers.

I suppose that it's really six of one, half a dozen of the other. I would just say that Mass Effect 2 has a slightly different approach to combat, but it's no less strategic than the first game in my view - I think it's just that the strategic elements are different (i.e. battlefield-focused rather than "setup"-focused).[/font]

[quote]as far as strategy on the battlefield is concerned, I don't really think either game had much... the teamates are always doing whatever they please unless you watch them like a hawk in ME. Enemys preform the same ways in almost every situation so if you see an enemy you ran into before, you will probably be prepared for them ahead of time.[/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]True, but I think Mass Effect 2 is geared so that any strategy used is battlefield-focused. I think that this is partly evidenced by the fact that the game places weapon load out areas in the field itself.

In terms of teammates, I find that I let them do as they please maybe 60% of the time. I often use way points and I [i]very[/i] regularly control their use of biotics. In fact, 90% of the time I'm the one controlling their biotic powers. So I'm pretty hands-on in that sense.[/font]

[quote]the system in ME2 more resembles leveling up of weaponry rather than modding them like in ME.[/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]We agree there. There's definitely a linear "level up" type of approach in ME2. I don't mind this though; as I said earlier, I'm very much neutral about the difference here. I could go with either system (modding or leveling up).[/font]

[quote]you can't do well in that game without using cover correctly implementing the abilities of teammates and paying attention to your health. but these things are all streamlined with a nice cover system[/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]Right - you can't do well without managing all of those things. I think that's where the strategy is self-evident.

As for being streamlined with cover...I actually think cover adds a lot to the game. It's something the original game actually lacked, to the point where when I compare the two...the original seems almost archaic in this regard. Cover is a little bit over-played in Mass Effect 2, but it works so much to the game's benefit that I don't really mind.

Also cover is not the be-all and end-all. There are numerous times (especially in the later game) where cover is valuable, but certainly no guarantee of success. There are plenty of enemies who aggressively try to root you out of wherever you are parked, which can make quite a difference.[/font]

[quote]I just like it better because The RPG aspect made it feel different, where as ME2 feels more like a worse Gears of War to me.[/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]Yeah that's fair enough. I like the RPG aspect too, but for me... ME2 gets the balance right. I'm glad it's [i]not[/i] Gears of War. For me it feels a lot like Resident Evil 5, actually. Haha.[/font]

[quote]Noooo! count on it being like two... once you make things simple, you never go back to making things complex again. [/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]I wouldn't bet on that. It's not necessarily about simple versus complex. Mass Effect 2 contains many complexities, particularly in terms of dialogue options and Paragon/Renegade features (these areas being more complex than the original, I think). But I think where Mass Effect 2 succeeds is in the way it takes these complexities and implements them so elegantly. The simplicity is not so much in the content, but in the implementation of that content.

So it's very possible that Mass Effect 3 will incorporate more options in terms of weapon customization for example - what matters, though, is how efficiently those features are implemented. With Mass Effect 2, I think it's clear that BioWare learned a lot of lessons from the first game.[/font]

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I think you are right on all fronts, I just think you get the same kind of in battle strategy in countless other games. ME1 had a fighting system that I had never seen before, and one that I have gone back to because of that unique feature. ME2 makes a great shooter, but there are plenty of shooting games out there that I feel do a slightly better job. I enjoyed both games tremendously and would definitely be in line for the third.

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[font="Palatino Linotype"]Fair enough. :)

So I have a question. I started Mass Effect 2 with my existing character from the first game - that's been truly awesome and I've loved seeing how my choices in the first game have affected the second. I think it's one of the most innovative features of ME2.

But I'm wondering if the game is substantially different when you start a new character (I'm thinking maybe a female and a totally different class). Is that worthwhile at all?[/font]

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[color=deeppink]I can't speak on characters built from scratch, but playing through again with a different class/gender does create a significantly different experience. I originally played an Adept, then switched to Vanguard, and both legitimately felt like I was playing a different game, unlike Mass Effect 1 where it didn't really feel all that different switching classes.

In ME1, I played Vanguard and Infiltrator, and it was the same thing both times. Shoot and take cover when necissary. The only difference was how far away I could be when I hit those sumbitches. There's even less variety when picking between two classes with similar abilities, like Adept and Vanguard or Infiltrator and whatever the full-tech class was (although a fully powered-up Stasis makes you a beast).

In ME2, my entire playstyle was completely different. As an Adept, I strategically sniped (originally with powers, then with an actual sniper) enemies from decent cover, knocking them about with pull, push, and singularities and then picking them out of the air.

With Vanguard, I used whatever that teleporting-punch thing is and hopped all around the damn battlefield like a maniac, flanking enemies I never would have flanked with the other class. I actually prefer that.

Different gender doesn't matter that much... just a few minor dialogue changes and different romance options (still no Mordin D:).

Didn't really answer your question, just wanted to talk about it, heh.[/color]

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well... you must know by now that i am
a ME1 nut.... but I still think you are eglecting the fact that you picked two similar classes. try going soldier or adapt in ME1 and you will see some changes! I agree that in 1 engeneer and biotic skills were too similar... but they were both useful (unless you always kept Garrus on your team... since he was the perfect engineer)

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[color=deeppink]I wouldn't say that Infiltrator and Vanguard were similar classes; their abilities had different enough effects, it's just that their method of application was the same. I never varied my tactics; shoot/power from cover. The main difference was whether I hurled them through the air or shut down their abilities.

I also had a playthrough as an Adept, albeit on a lower difficulty level. I'm not sure how you can think giving up a shotgun and medium armor for Stasis constitutes more of a difference than between Vanguard and Infiltrator... I know it, again, didn't change my strategies. I never even used Stasis until I powered it up with a class change to Bastion.

Soldier is, well... just boring. I don't like giving up flashy powers just to shoot different guns. Again, it wouldn't change my strategy; I've tried all the guns, never varied what I did with them.[/color]

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[quote name='Nerdsy' timestamp='1297745384' post='705008']
[color=deeppink]
Didn't really answer your question, just wanted to talk about it, heh.[/color]
[/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]No worries - it was very interesting. :)

Your discussion about strategy is what I was trying to explain earlier when I talked about battlefield strategy versus "menu strategy".

What I'm interested to see is how different the actual story and dialogue is if I have a "new" Shepherd (either male or female). Given that the game seems to be based quite a bit around my play history (with fairly regular references to ME1), I'm curious to see how the plot outcomes change. I've read that there are some quite big changes in this area, depending on whether you play as your original Shepherd or a new version.[/font]

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