Saturday, November 1, 2014

30 Day Mass Effect Challenge, Day 1: Favorite Game in the Series

I can appreciate all three of the games in the Mass Effect series in their own rights, and God knows that I've played all three plenty to back that statement up. When my Xbox freaked out, I lost about fifteen saved games, and I sadly admit that I cried a little bit. Okay, a lot. It's always difficult to narrow things down, especially since all three games have positives and negatives that can cancel each other out, leaving you with no decision made as to which is your favorite one.

Via Total Wallpapers
With that being said, ME2 only edges out ME1 by a tad. It was, oddly enough, the first that I played, and it was kind of an impulse buy, if I remember correctly. I'd heard a bit about the game and anticipation that came with its release, but I knew next to nothing about the universe in which the story was set. I started with Wrex and the rachni dead, Udina on the human-led Council, Kaiden pissed at me for being dead and not immediately calling him, and everybody on the Citadel pretty much hated me because I had apparently let the Council die in the previous arc. Coming with no prior experience, I was okay with this until I finally purchased the greatly discounted first game. And that's when ME2 solidly sucked me in. I got all excited to see Rebekah and Michael on the Citadel, arguing over whether or not to buy little Jacob some immuno-boosters, and when Helena Blake showed up outside Afterlife on Omega and revealed she was now a social worker, I was delighted/skeptical (I wish they'd done more with her character in ME3, but whatever) about her motivations. I actually had a reason for Shepard starting a relationship with Garrus now - or, later on, the multiple other options - and not just, "Um, sure, because Jacob is boring!" ME2 did an amazing job of expanding on relationships, even if they did sometimes have to include loyalty missions*. The plot wasn't as clean as the first game, or even the third, but it suffered from The Empire Strikes Back syndrome. It wasn't necessarily telling a stand-alone story, although it could have done so, but instead was showing the second act of a three-act play. That's a tough place to be, and it was done superbly well.

It was significantly less of an RPG than the first game, although I was fine with that, particularly since I didn't have to roam all over planets with blah scenery in a Mako to find minerals and all those Prothean discs, Matriarch Dilinaga's writings, turian emblems, and salarian IDs and what have you. However, that being said, if you were to hand me two games, one RPG and one FPS, and tell me that I could only pick one, I would go with the RPG every time. And I do like shooters for the most part; I'm just someone who likes a little bit more control of what my character does/says/chooses. I didn't feel that ME2 took that much away from the RPG experience, although I wasn't one of those people that really enjoyed being able to customize my weapons and armor**. This is probably because I really don't get anything - except frustration - from playing a game on Insanity (you can check my achievements on any of the games and notice that those are the only accomplishments that I haven't completed), but I honestly couldn't tell you if that's true or not. It was a nice mixture of the two, in my humble opinion.

Anyway, I don't want to get into too much detail because a lot of what I loved about ME2 will be coming up later on this month, so be sure to tune in tomorrow for "Male or Female Shepard?" I bet you are just dying to know which I choose. Ha.

* These were a mixed bag for me, but I'll get back onto that on Day 14.
** The only customization that I really liked was getting the medical exoskeleton that brought my health back up. Oh, and the flaming bullets. Those were cool.
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