America - Front
America - Back
26th Jan 2010 | 1,620 views
Let me start off my saying that I do have a general distaste for WRPGs. They are hard for me to play. Not litterally hard to play but it is hard for me to take interest in them. I do however LOVE JRPGs. But I am happy to say that I have found my favorite WRPG so far! and that baby is Mass Effect. However this game is not without its flaws.
In this game you play as Commander Shepard a veteran solider who is being considered for spectre canidacy. As the story progresses you will face new enemies and eventually will have to try to put an end to the plot to destroy all life as we know it. Let me start off by saying that the story is by far the best thing in Mass Effect. It is well written and has moments where you want to say "damn that was epic." Especially towards the end of the game. Anyone who has played the game will definitely tell you that the ending makes you crave for more. But sadly the story isn't all that long. I put a total of approximately 30 hours into Mass Effect. I did just about everything I could do garnering myself the completionist achievement. I bought the Platinum Edition so I got the bonus DLC "Bring down the Sky." I am glad it was free because it was also very short. The cast of the game is actually decent. They are characters that I will remember.
The gameplay is a mix between third person shooter with mixed RPG elements. I never really felt like I was playing an RPG. The game felt more like a TPS for me. Also let me say how I really hate skill trees. Now in Mass Effect it isn't necessarily a skill tree but you do alot points into skills as you level up through the game. I'm glad to say that for a game with this type of system I never really felt limited. Biowares new RPG Dragon Age: Origins is a game I could never play. I really dislike how they make you choose, and if you screw up your pretty much screwed. I am the type of person who likes to max myself out and to master every ability I can possibly obtain. As you kill enemies you gain experience and obtain new items or credits. Credits are used to purchase new weapons, armor, or special key items. Credits aren't really that useful though. I bought maybe 10 items through the course of the game. Most of them were upgrades that upped my grenade count or medi-pack count. By the end of the game I had a max amount of credits. The game really gives you so many items that you never really need to worry.
The sidequests of this game take up the majority of your playtime. Some of them are very interesting and can be quite fun but in the end all of them feel as if you are doing the same thing over and over again. Whether it is killing off a bunch of mercenaries to shutting down some sort of machine or visiting a new planet. Something I was beyond dissappointed about in this game was the amount of times they re-used area layouts. I am not kidding about this. You will go to the same mine, the same building, and the same spaceship about 10 times apiece give or take. Most of the time they would only alter a few items inside the layout but still that is not enough. I considered this very lazy on the part of Bioware. Another thing that was sadly re-used is character models. You will see the same human, the same asari, salarian, krogan, and every other race in this game many times. You will see them once, and then 5 minutes later you see them again with a different hair style or a different suit on. I found this quite annoying as well. But at least they all seemed to have different voice actors. It is also funny on how just about 90% of the species in the galaxy all speak english. This really isn't a complaint but more of a funny fact.
The technical issues in the game suprisingly aren't that bad. I played this game about a year ago when I rented it from Gamefly. I will be honest I absolutely hated it. I found it atrocious and wanted to throw the disk at the wall. I was more interested in getting back to playing The Last Remnant. Which is a very good game in my opinion. But that is a different story. Back then I played it at a friends house who had his brothers children over which were annoying the hell out of me and they were crying. The load times were extremely long and the way you played just agravated me. My general hate for WRPGs combined with the children made me want to blow a gasket. But fortunately I did decide to give this game another chance. and I am very glad that I did. When I started over, I noticed that the load times were not all that bad. The only load time that I found to be somewhat of a nuisance but not too bad was the elevators. I am not sure if Bioware fixed up the Platinum Hits version, but to me it seemed alot faster this go around. You will encounter some slowdown in this game. Mainly in action packed areas where the story missions occur. But it never is so bad that the game is unplayable. I noticed alot of people complaing about the upcoming JRPG Final Fantasy XIIIs grass textures. I'm suprised no one ever mentioned Mass Effects because they are worse than XIIIs. But it is just grass in the end and I could care less about it. There is some screen tearing occasionally but nothing too bad and some texture pop-in here and there. There was only one real technical issue that was really getting on my nerves and that was the biotic push glitch. The enemy would push me and I would litterally fall out of the level or one time and I am honest to god telling the truth when I say this. My characters head wrapped all the way around my body and out the backside of my characters buttocks and his assault rifle was in the back of his head.
The moral decisions definitely give the game some replay value. I am the type of person who generally will only play games once, and will shelve it until the end of time. A game has to be litterally amazing to get me to play it again. Only a few games have got me to do this such as Final Fantasy VIII(8), Metal Gear Solid 4, Final Fantasy X(10) and Star Ocean: Till End of Time. But for the people who love to play games over and over again. Then this game will be a treat for you. I personally played the game through as a hero. Though I would have loved to see what happens when you play the villain. I only did one renegade action. and that was punching a scientist in the face and it was hilarious. I'm not sure if I will play it again.
The music has some very good highpoints when it came to the story and were good during those "epic moments" that I talked about. But sadly for me the track isn't really that memorable. But from what I did hear it was enjoyable, but I think it could have been better.
The graphics of the game are quite beautiful. I loved to just sit there and check out the galaxy map and check out all the pretty colors of the universe and to check out new planets. But exploring new planets wasn't all that fun really. Most of the time every single planet was just a big chunk of rock that was either green, or red, or blue. They would just switch up the ground color and occsionally you would get some new weather effect. You will explore to find ancient relics or dead personell and to collect items. Though I will say being able to land on the moon was sheer awesomeness. I probably admired the sites for a good 5-10 minutes. The character models were also well done and were very detailed but that came at a cost.
Anyways I think that pretty much gets my main likes and dislikes of the game acrost. This is a very well done game and is deserving of a purchase from any RPG or TPS fan. I encourage those who dislike WRPGs to give this a chance or at least give it another chance. Like I said before this is my favorite WRPG to date. But that could end today because the sequel it out today! I will be heading to pick it up shortly. Just got to get a ride to go pick it up. Where is the damn normandy when you need it.
Well told story
Being able to travel through the vast galaxy
Well rounded cast of characters
Short main storyline
Re-Used Character models
Re-Used Map layouts for sidequests (Seriously Bioware, UNACCEPTABLE)
Slightly Repeitive Sidequests
Minor Technical niggles
Ambassador Udina for being a douche. Captain Anderson FTW!
Rating: Excellent (A very good game but has its problems, but nothing too bad from having a good experience)
For those of you who are die hard number fans. It would equal out to around a 8/10.