Message Coming In, Commander (Mass Effect)

I’ve really been having fun with this Mass Effect game. Other than being periodically ninjamanced and having to ride over endless mountainous terrain in the annoying Mako, this game is definitely taking it’s place on my pedestal of “great Bioware games” along with the Baldur’s Gate series, Neverwinter Nights 1, and Jade Empire. Of course, those are every Bioware game I’ve played so far, so they really haven’t let me down yet. I’ve been playing this game almost exclusively for days.

I’d actually been interested in Mass Effect since before it was released. I would see things about it on the Bioware website and forums and I would have played it right when it came out except….I didn’t have an Xbox 360. At the time, Mass Effect was to be exclusive to the 360 and I only had a gaming PC and an original Xbox. I also hadn’t been planning on buying a 360, so I recall being very irked that it wasn’t coming out on the PC.  Eventually, Bioware did release a PC version but by that time I was either deeply immersed in MMO’s and/or Oblivion and just never got around to buying or playing it.

Something inspired me to buy a 360 a couple years ago though. It was right when Modern Warfare 2 was released and there was a 360 elite Modern Warfare 2 bundle that seemed to be at a pretty good price for someone who no 360 or accessories. I bought it, played through the single player campaign of Modern Warfare 2, tried out Hexic HD, bought a few 360 games that included Mass Effect, and then got back to playing Everquest 2 (and sometimes Sims 3) for many months.  Other than a couple fitness games with Kinect, the 360 was mostly idle.

In the past few months though, I’ve really started to enjoy playing more games on my 360, and it’s kind of weird that though I’d been so gung-ho about PC gaming vs. consoles, I’m actually kind of enjoying playing the games on the 360 more than on the PC. Maybe it’s because I actually like playing games with a controller, and the 360 controller is really nice even compared to other controllers I’ve used in the past. It’s also more mobile so I’m not stuck sitting in the chair like with the keyboard. Of course when it comes to game mods and modding, PC is still superior hands down.

So back to Mass Effect. I’m currently on my second playthrough. My first was with a male, default soldier, paragon Shepard, and my current is a female, adept + assault rifle, renegade Shepard. Although I’m having fun with this Shepard, the renegade options aren’t very natural for me and I’m glad I don’t know this Shepard b—- in real life because I’d really dislike her.  I’m planning to make another paragon soldier later with singularity as his bonus skill, so I will be able to look forward to being less mean and nasty again for the future. 🙂

I’m finally starting to like the adept class more now that I’ve built up more of the skills. Earlier in the game I would try the skills and it seemed rare that anything fascinating would happen. I’d recall Kaiden using a bunch of cool stuff when I was playing my soldier though, so waited it out to see if things got better and at last, they did! I’ll definitely be bringing this character over to Mass Effect 2 once she’s up to level 60. My goal is to have both a level 60 paragon and renegade to import to the next game. It will take a long time though as I’ll need multiple playthroughs for each to get to that point.

One thing that has happened with this character that has upset me a bit in real life (though my Shepard character is fine with it) is that she was mean to Tali and didn’t give her something that she needed and now Tali is mad with my Shepard and (rightfully) won’t talk to her except for this one snide sentence. The thing is that Tali is one of the two squadmates that I always bring on missions and it just feels weird and kind of upsetting to always have her there helping after what happened between her and Shepard. My current Shepard doesn’t care, of course, but I just feel horrible about it. She is such a meanie! So much stress for me with the renegade playthroughs!

7 Responses to Message Coming In, Commander (Mass Effect)
  1. Rakuno
    October 17, 2011 | 8:27 am

    Think of all the mean actions as a necessary evil to save the Galaxy… I mean, some hurt feelings, some strong words and a pile of dead bodies are all worth to save the galaxy, right? Right?!?

    Speaking seriously though, companions still hanging around the main character despite being treated as trash is something that always bugged me. I can understand it from the mechanical point of view in traditional fantasy RPGs. In those companions can play a role you can’t like being the meat shield, the big nuker, the healer or the lockpicker.

    In the Mass Effect series though I never felt the different characters abilities were that different to make certain companions pretty much essential if you didn’t pick the class that has the same abilities. It always felt to me that as long as you had the firepower you could get through the different missions without much problem.

    Perhaps I am miss remembering how things were in Mass Effect 1. But in Mass Effect 2 that is how it definitely felt. Except in the end mission of Mass Effect 2 though where picking the wrong companion for the wrong job could have some pretty bad results.

    Also, as far as being mean goes, no Bioware game (that I played) can take away the crown of Dragon Age 1. In that it goes beyond being a simple jerk and more into a backstabbing, selfish, evil bastard. It was still interesting for a second play-through though.

    • a.girl.IRL (Rebecca)
      October 18, 2011 | 9:33 pm

      I think the abilities become more important in ME1 when playing at the higher difficulty levels…at least so I’ve read. I haven’t yet played past normal mode myself. The only abilities outside of firepower that I had to make sure I had were decryption and electronics to open locked chests, consoles, etc. In my first playthrough as a soldier, I kept Ashley (another soldier) and Kaiden the whole way through, so I definitely had some redundancy there. That was my nice character though, so the companions were happy to stay with him.

      I think my next RPG after Mass Effect (and possibly Mass Effect 2) will be Fallout 3, and then I might do Dragon Age 1.

      • Rakuno
        October 19, 2011 | 7:30 pm

        Oh, yeah. You are right. Back in Mass Effect 1 you had to have decryption and electronics for those. In Mass Effect 2 I don’t remember those being necessary. I *think* there were some stuff to make those mini-games easier but not something that was necessary.

        Now that I think about it that might be another reason for all the outrage of Mass Effect 2 being “dumbed down” from its predecessor.

        Or I might just be confusing everything. Too many games! Too many games for my tiny brain to remember!

        That sounds like a good plan for your next games. Keeps things varied. *nods*

  2. MMOGamerChick
    October 18, 2011 | 4:35 pm

    Such a great game. Though when Mass Effect 2 came out, I liked it even more, and now it’s actually hard for me to go back to 1 and play it again, even though I think I should, since you can miss so much on a single playthrough!

    • a.girl.IRL (Rebecca)
      October 18, 2011 | 9:34 pm

      That might be part of why I’m trying to make the most of ME1 right now since it may be hard to go back to it after I start ME2. Of course, I still go back and play Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall every now and then, so it might not be a problem. A single playthrough of ME1 is definitely not enough to see everything!

  3. CopTop1
    November 3, 2011 | 2:36 pm

    I got to play ME3 for about 15 minutes at New York Comic Con. Can’t wait for the next installment in the series

    • a.girl.IRL (Rebecca)
      December 8, 2011 | 9:27 pm

      I try not to get too caught up in the hype too early, but I’ve yet to be disappointed with Bioware, even when I’ve disagreed with some things. Should be fun!

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