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Tata 03-25-2012 08:23 AM

Rate this Review: Mass Effect 3
 
HIGH The character of James Vega.

LOW An ending that damages the whole trilogy.

WTF Sparring while wearing high-heeled shoes and a dress. Really?

Mass Effect 3 was one of the, if not the most anticipated game of the year. Does it live up to the hype it got? Maybe yes. Does it live up to being the TPS/RPG hybrid the first one was? Definitely not.

While Mass Effect 3 unarguably does a lot of things right, it also messes up so much things for the franchise that those things they did right seems minor.

The first thing that bothered me was the needless amount of cutscenes. While most of the cinematics are great, the cutscenes are way too long, badly animated (which applies for the whole game). In fact, the character animations are probably the worst I've ever seen. Sometimes you want to hug a friend and you end up hugging the air. Cutscenes are also often non-required. This is especially true for the first hours of the game. You basically watch the game more than you play it, and you can't skip a lot of them. Luckily, the amount of cutscenes becomes less with time.

The combat and gameplay; Before I say anything about this, know that I hated the combat in Mass Effect 2, as it was often too easy and reeked of bugs. Unfortunately, these bugs return from Mass Effect 2. You can still shoot through the walls (line of sight bug), getting stuck or character not doing what you want, which is a side-effect of using the space button for everything. So why is it better? It's more like the Witcher 2 with the rolling and finishing moves, which is a great thing, if only a bit too easy even on Insanity. The new probing isn't as mind-numbingly boring as it was with the one in Mass Effect 2. What the problem is with the probing is it has a completely unnecessary extra, which is made pointless by the auto-saves. The quests are usually good, especially the N7 ones, but there are also fetch quests, which are ridiculous. You move beside 2 people talking about an artifact that is important to their people, you get it with the probing, come back, and you get a war asset (Hello, Dragon Age 2!). This is repeated way too many times.

Characters and interaction: I was really skeptical about the new characters first, but, with few exceptions, they are good. In fact, James Vega became one of my favorite character in the series. I was actually surprised that he was this good of a character, because I expected him to be flat. The romance is kind of a mixed bag. My romance option was Liara, and the first half of her romance is disastrous, while the second half is great. The same-sex romances have put quite a controversy, but luckily, it isn't the forced mess that it was in Dragon Age II, but there is a problem with it, which is again true for the whole game;

The lack of choice in attitude. Note that I am not homophobic and I don't have any problem with homosexuality, they should still give you, or more precisely, your character, the chance to choose how you want to approach these kind of things, like in Dragon Age: Origins, but that's not possible, since roughly 1% of the dialogues have a middle option. That's right. You can basically choose whether you want to be a total a** or a exemplary paragon. Quality choices. Why this thing bothers me the most is because the Paragon and Renegade meters are mixed, so the middle choice could finally make sense, but without middle choice, mixing the meters is pointless. The interrupts are still good, though.

Graphics and Performance is mostly good, with some big exceptions. The graphics and models are mostly good, but the background is a train-wreck. If you pay attention to the background, you can see a lot of low-res textures, or even immobile people, even if they are about to step, making them look like statues. There are also problems with performance on PC. Smoke effects can make your game lag like hell, making using sniper against some enemies really, really hard.

What I left for last, is of course, the ending. There has been a lot of flaming about this, and sadly, most of them are right. The ending ignores everything you did on previous games and there is only one thing that matters, your war assets. War assets are the forces you gathered through the whole game. This in itself is a big problem, but even war assets make little to almost unrecognizable difference. The ending neither gives closure nor makes any sense. It is filled with gaping plot holes and, what's the worst for me; It's just a worse version of the Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Human Revolution endings, the situation is copied from the latter, and the endings themselves are somewhat modified versions of the first. This further dampens the replay value that is already not that high because of the cutscenes. There are theories, but they are made up by people who want to make sense from this nonsense. It's unlikely BioWare came up with those in the first place (if it turns out otherwise, I take it back).

While Mass Effect 3 is definitely better than Dragon Age 2, it's still very far from being as great as Dragon Age: Origins or the first Mass Effect, or even being as good as Dragon Age: Awakening or Mass Effect 2. 6/10

Disclosures: This game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on the PC. Approximately 41 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was completed. The multiplayer modes were not played.

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game contains blood, partial nudity, sexual content, strong language, and violence. While I wouldn't recommend anyone under 12 playing this, anyone above that age shouldn't find the game brutal, if only a bit sad.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing: There is an option to turn the subtitles on, so there shouldn't be a problem, and sound is not essential in combat, either.

Li-Ion 03-25-2012 02:50 PM

Re: Rate this Review: Mass Effect 3
 
That doesn't sound like a review, but like a rant. I don't think you're fair to Mass Effect 3 and are fairly biased against it.

I played on the PC myself and didn't encounter the problems you describe. I only got stuck once (during multiplayer) and had no problems with performance or lag or any of that. Maybe your PC needs an upgrade? Opposed to what you claim I've been having no problems at all when using a sniper rifle.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200689)
The combat and gameplay; Before I say anything about this, know that I hated the combat in Mass Effect 2, as it was often too easy and reeked of bugs.

If you hated the combat in ME2, why did you bother playing ME3? Why didn't you go for the narrative mode? Oh yes: you hate the cutscenes... so, why did you play ME3 in the first place?

I don't think you should review a game if you hate it, even if you're an experienced reviewer thatīs a fine line to walk and judging by your review you donīt manage.

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It's more like the Witcher 2 with the rolling and finishing moves, which is a great thing, if only a bit too easy even on Insanity.
You don't review for the tiny elite who generally laughs at everyone who plays games at 'normal'. Your review should be for everyone. I played it on normal and didn't find it all that hard but also not all that easy. Just... normal. This sentence makes you sound to me like an elitist who shakes his head when he thinks about such 'peasants' like me who prefer playing games on normal difficulty.

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The new probing isn't as mind-numbingly boring as it was with the one in Mass Effect 2. What the problem is with the probing is it has a completely unnecessary extra, which is made pointless by the auto-saves.
wut?
Can you elaborate that? I have honestly no idea what you mean.

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The same-sex romances have put quite a controversy, but luckily, it isn't the forced mess that it was in Dragon Age II, but there is a problem with it, which is again true for the whole game;
I don't know what you're talking about. I played both ME3 and DA2 and in neither game I felt some sexual preference would have been forced on me.
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Note that I am not homophobic and I don't have any problem with homosexuality, [...]
Funny. Have you ever realized how many racists justify their racism by saying stuff like "but I have black friends" or start sentences by "I'm not racist, but...", which is usually followed by a racist remark. What do you think a start to a sentence like this suggests? If you're no homophobe then there's no need to say that.

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This further dampens the replay value that is already not that high because of the cutscenes.
I don't understand how cutscenes reduce replay value.

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There are theories, but they are made up by people who want to make sense from this nonsense. It's unlikely BioWare came up with those in the first place (if it turns out otherwise, I take it back).
That's not how it works. You can't just put a claim like this in a review. Maybe if you're Fox News, but anyone with journalistic integrity wouldn't.

Quote:

6/10
This number does not reflect your text.

Tata 03-26-2012 09:33 AM

Re: Rate this Review: Mass Effect 3
 
Note that this is my first time writing a review like this (I've only made some at metacritic myself) and it's much harder when you're at it, like you forget a lot of things and so on.

Quote:

why did you play ME3 in the first place?
Well, I really liked the first Mass Effect but Mass Effect 2 was a typical good, but not great game (8/10), so I thought I'll give a chance for ME3.
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This sentence makes you sound to me like an elitist who shakes his head when he thinks about such 'peasants' like me who prefer playing games on normal difficulty.
No. I simply like challenges, and when I play on the hardest difficulty, I want that game to challenge me. If you try the first Mass Effect on the hardest difficulty, it's damn hard, and depending on the circumstances, so is ME2. I had a lot of challenge with ME2, but there were barely times in ME3 when it was actually challenging.
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Can you elaborate that? I have honestly no idea what you mean.
What I mean by that is when the Reapers interrupt and attack. It's next to pointless, because if you die, you'll start within the same system, and if you're not an idiot with -3 IQ, you'll memorize the places, and the auto-save was not the only problem with this.
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I played both ME3 and DA2 and in neither game I felt some sexual preference would have been forced on me.
Remember when you finish one of the Chantry quest and you speak with Anders? There's basically 2 heart and a broken heart conversation option with a male Hawke. That sounds very forced to me.
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If you're no homophobe then there's no need to say that.
Maybe yes, maybe not. What I thought when I wrote that is that line can be easily misunderstood and can make me look like a psycho. That's the reason for that.
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I don't understand how cutscenes reduce replay value.
It's not the cutscenes that reduce that, but the inability to skip them. There was a time when I reloaded a part and I couldn't skip the cutscene, so I basically had a 5 minute break.
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That's not how it works. You can't just put a claim like this in a review. Maybe if you're Fox News, but anyone with journalistic integrity wouldn't.
As I said, maybe, and I also said I'd take that back should I be wrong.
Quote:

This number does not reflect your text.
What I think is that you missed the positive points of my review. If I really wanted to rant about this game, I'd put in the Day 1 DLC, Origin, EA and whatnot in my review and then give it a 2 or 3, but that's not what I did. I actually tried to be fair with the game.
But as I said, this is my first try at this and it's not quite the same as writing on Metacritic. This review was more like testing myself at this, so it's not a wonder that it isn't the best criticism out there.
Nevertheless, thanks for the feedback. Now I know what I have to change in my writing style.

Li-Ion 03-26-2012 12:40 PM

Re: Rate this Review: Mass Effect 3
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200703)
Note that this is my first time writing a review like this (I've only made some at metacritic myself) and it's much harder when you're at it, like you forget a lot of things and so on.

You might have noticed by this point: this isn't metacritic ;)

Some general remarks then:
* find a unique angle that sets your review apart - especially if there's a review on the site already, there should be something unique to your standpoint that makes it worthwhile to put it next to the main review
* don't impose your playstyle on readers
* don't presume anything about your readers playstyles or preferences, thus:
* if you make references to other games, make sure that also someone who didn't play those games understands what you mean, e.g. your reference to the Witcher, Deus Ex or Dragon Age 2 - I played all those games but if I wouldn't I'd have no idea what you're talking about. Especially since you talk about the ending of Deus Ex, which even people who might have played it didn't necessarily see.
* don't just go through a laundry list of items
* avoid spoilers - the part about the ending being ripped from deus ex is quite suggestive - if you want to talk about the end in detail, how about writing a specific article about the end? You don't have to write a review to write about a game topic.

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No. I simply like challenges, and when I play on the hardest difficulty, I want that game to challenge me.
See above. Don't impose what YOU expect from a game onto your readers. YOU might be looking for a challenge, but many might not look for a challenge but for an engaging narrative or just for a pretty screensaver. The reasons of your readers to play might be completely different from yours, which you need to consider. For example, if you found the game to easy on high difficulties you can write that the game does not offer a challenge on higher difficulties, which some people might be looking for.

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What I mean by that is when the Reapers interrupt and attack. It's next to pointless, because if you die, you'll start within the same system, and if you're not an idiot with -3 IQ, you'll memorize the places, and the auto-save was not the only problem with this.
So why don't you write that then? You let your readers guessing, which is not a good thing. I went through the entire game without being caught once by the reapers, hence I didn't know that. You don't write a review for people who already know what you know, but for people who know absolutely zero about the game in question.

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Remember when you finish one of the Chantry quest and you speak with Anders? There's basically 2 heart and a broken heart conversation option with a male Hawke. That sounds very forced to me.
No, I actually donīt know that. But then, I played a female Hawke. And I still broke his heart since only the saucy pirate could satisfy my needs. ARRR!
Hence again: don't presume that your readers know everything you know.

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Maybe yes, maybe not. What I thought when I wrote that is that line can be easily misunderstood and can make me look like a psycho. That's the reason for that.
No, thats not a maybe. There's no reason to write a disclaimer. I - and every sane reader - will usually assume that you are NOT homophobic, a psychopath or something similar. Not knowing you we'd generally assume a neutral stance towards you. The only reason why this might change is if you'd write something homophobic. Thus the easy solution is: don't write anything homophobic.
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It's not the cutscenes that reduce that, but the inability to skip them.
But that's not what you wrote ;)
Besides, all true cutscenes are skippable. Only cutscenes that cover loading times can't be skipped. The alternative would be staring at loadings screens, would that be better? I take a cutscene over the massive amounts of loading screens in ME2 any day.
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There was a time when I reloaded a part and I couldn't skip the cutscene, so I basically had a 5 minute break.
What part?
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As I said, maybe, and I also said I'd take that back should I be wrong.
It's still an assumption without much supporting evidence.
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What I think is that you missed the positive points of my review.
I have to admit parts where you are positive about the game are pretty tough to find among all the negativity ;)

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Nevertheless, thanks for the feedback. Now I know what I have to change in my writing style.
No problem. Just rewrite it and upload again and I'll have another look at it. Nobody ever claimed writing a review is easy, especially a good review takes a lot of practice. Hence: keep on writing!

Tata 03-26-2012 03:34 PM

Re: Rate this Review: Mass Effect 3
 
Thanks for the reply. It actually gave me insight into my flaws.
Quote:

if you make references to other games, make sure that also someone who didn't play those games understands what you mean
That's what I was really afraid to do. I thought if i had done that, half the review would be about other games and not ME3, making the review way too disjointed from ME3 or being more like a longer essay. Now that you mentioned it, I wouldn't have any idea of what I just said if I hadn't played any of these games. :)
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if you want to talk about the end in detail, how about writing a specific article about the end? You don't have to write a review to write about a game topic.
You mean not mentioning the ending at all in the review or I should direct readers to another topic about the ending with a link? It would look really awkward if the LOW would be about the ending and I don't even mention it in the review (I know this is was talked to bloody bits already, but I actually thing the ending was atrocious.) :D
And what you said about the final point I gave and the positives of the game; I eventually realized you were right. As I said, I forgot a lot of things I wanted to write and I ran through the complete review only once. Now I learned I should wait minimum one day with the actual posting, as I really left out a lot of positives (like the weapon mods, some boss fights, etc.), so I should have given it a better point (6,5 or 7 maybe).
Also, I finished Planescape: Torment this January and I'm also playing Fallout 1 right now. These are classic RPGs, and I think they affected my judgment way more than they should have.
I'll definitely give a new run to the ME3 review, paying more attention to the points you mentioned.
Thanks again.

Li-Ion 03-26-2012 04:22 PM

Re: Rate this Review: Mass Effect 3
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200709)
You mean not mentioning the ending at all in the review or I should direct readers to another topic about the ending with a link? It would look really awkward if the LOW would be about the ending and I don't even mention it in the review (I know this is was talked to bloody bits already, but I actually thing the ending was atrocious.) :D

Since you think the ending, respectively how it was handled, is a lowpoint, you should mention it in your review of course. But be careful to not spoil too much about the game's ending. I saw it countless times that reviewers got so excited (or depressed) about certain plot points that they spoiled the fun (or disappointment ;)) for their readers.
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And what you said about the final point I gave and the positives of the game; I eventually realized you were right. As I said, I forgot a lot of things I wanted to write and I ran through the complete review only once.
You should have a look at this review over at rock, paper, shotgun:
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012...t-3-review-pc/
The reviewer there has his share of criticisms and openly declares for example:
"No, I never really did like the way it handled combat, and that has been lit up neon for me here.", but he comes towards "Yes, I did love the characters and cast, and the sci-fi world they were set to inhabit. Yeah, it was a bit generic space soldiery, and a legion of Space Opera others had been here before, but that hardly mattered. When Mass Effect 3 hit the ground running, I found myself unexpectedly caught up in its events. It dragged me along, and I was glad to see it move so fast, and cover so much ground. It’s a big game, and a worthy conclusion."
Which makes clear that ME3 has it's flaws, but also that it has plenty going for it. (btw. RPS is one of the few websites which does not rate games with numbers, so don't search for it ;))

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Now I learned I should wait minimum one day with the actual posting, as I really left out a lot of positives (like the weapon mods, some boss fights, etc.), so I should have given it a better point (6,5 or 7 maybe).
In the end it doesn't matter what number you put under the text, as long as it fits what you wrote. And what you wrote should sound fair towards the game in question.

One final note: ME3 is the end of a trilogy of rather massive games. While you mention briefly ME1 and 2, you never really write what the main differences are between the games. I don't mean necessarily game mechanics (ME1 is clearly more old-fashioned 'classical' rpg-ish while ME2 and 3 are more guns & conversations games) but also the mood and atmosphere the games have. I found the atmosphere of all 3 games to be quite different. As I wrote in another thread, I found ME1 to be about a wonderous journey in new and unexpected lands. ME2 on the other hand was a game about ressource collecting. Collecting a crew and funky materials in a tedious minigame. ME3 is all about war. Everything you do is connected with shooting at reapers and the normandy feels more like a submerged submarine than a spaceship venturing between the stars.

RandomRob 03-26-2012 07:35 PM

Re: Rate this Review: Mass Effect 3
 
One of the guys at Loading Ready Run recently said of the ending that it was on the level of the ending of the film Sunshine in that it was emotionally draining, and that it just reached this point where you wanted everything that was going wrong to just work out alright, you just wanted everything to end ok.

I haven't played this game yet, but am sorely tempted from the sheer amount of hostile animus I'm seeing directed at the last 10 minutes of a 30-something hour game. As a fan of science fiction, I welcome convention defiance as part of the genre, so a 'down-ending' doesn't seem so crazy to me. I thought the whole ME series had a tragic feel to it from the get-go. Am I alone in that?

Anyway- regarding the review- not as verbose as Li-Ion, but I agree with his main points. In that, criticizing the behavior of the game on your system without at least providing some technical specs is not a compelling fault. Even if it was, it doesn't inform me about gameplay very much, which imo is what the bulk of the review should be about.

I don't really agree with the criticism of not having middle choices either. The qualifying remark about not being a homophobe shouldn't be necessary. I wasn't aware ME3 had a compulsory gay character arc, does it? (Actually I'd applaud that lol)

Anyway--- the idea with polarized dialogue is that you get perks AND disadvantages for going a certain way... if you follow being a paragon it gets you a plus HERE and a minus THERE, and being a Renegade gets you a plus THERE and a minus HERE... then it follows having a middle option would be a zero sum, no perk or disadvantage, so why bother.

It's an adventure story; take the high road or the low, but who wants a middle of the road character? I get the complaint, I just don't think it works in a meaningful way in these games. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm saying you could argue it better- maybe tie it to your point about the ending-

Apparently Bioware has made a tentaive statement about making some changes for a re-release, so something IS going on in the company with regard to this problem of the ending.

I would like to see you write a review in which you imagine the game HAD the ending you wanted. Review the game IN THAT spirit, then conclude with how the ending disappointed, and see if there's a way to either a) Understand why they did it or b) Talk about how they could fix it.

And those are random suggestions, not gospel. :D

And thanks for the submission! This place is tough, but it will keep you honest, if you stick with it!

RandomRob 03-30-2012 09:48 AM

Re: Rate This Review: Mass Effect 3 (2nd edition)
 
Tata, just FYI- you could've re-edited your original review in the thread you already started, so I've moved it.

I'm glad you've worked on a re-edit, but this review is at 2,500+ words. :(
You have to get it down closer to 1,500 to be critiqued properly. You have to narrow down which things to discuss, because you want to support your opinion that the ending has ruined the franchise, etc. That's your big point, your thesis. Everything should support that. Telling me the background textures are lame doesn't. Scifi-Rpgs always suffer from 'shiny hallway-itis'.. it's just the way they are.

When I say try to support your points- Look for example at your paragraph about the combat.. you say it's worse than the first but better than the second, except it has all the problems of the second, then you talk about all the things you liked about it, without explaining what was better about ME1's combat (and I would like an explanation of that!)---

for the examples you're giving after you say it's buggy and not as good, it sounds like you liked the combat. The point's not clear.

Although describing things and comparing it to other franchises is very good. You've just got to be clearer with where you're going. Stay on the point you're making.

Peace!

Tata 03-30-2012 10:25 AM

Re: Rate this Review: Mass Effect 3
 
HIGH The character of James Vega.

LOW An ending that goes against everything that happened in the trilogy.

WTF Sparring while wearing high-heeled shoes and a dress. Really?

Mass Effect 3 was one of the, if not the most anticipated game of the year. Does it live up to the hype it got? Maybe yes. Does it live up to being the TPS/RPG hybrid the first one was? Definitely not.

I really liked the first Mass Effect, but the second game disappointed me. Not only did the atmosphere of the second Mass Effect feel.. crippled, but the game overall, couldn't live up to Dragon Age: Awakening for me, something I played before the Mass Effects. I still thought Mass Effect 2 is good, though, just not great like the first one. I didn't like, or more precisely, hated, the new combat which was reeking with bugs, didn't give such a challenge as the first one on higher difficulties because of overpowered abilities and generally easier combat, very much like the Jedi Knights series; From one game to another, they changed the style of the game for a different base of players. While Jedi Outcast could give the challenge I sought on the hardest difficulty, Jedi Academy couldn't do that, because you could get the strongest power not much after the beginning of the game. You also got a "guide system" (Force Seeing), which made the puzzles feel like being a rat that is lead through a labyrinth. Back to Mass Effect 2: I also felt the gameplay was worse. The first one gave quite a lot of hard choices, but those were scarce in the second. There was also bonuses, which made an excellent atmosphere for me (Quasar, armor customizations, exploration) and made the first one far better for me. The second Mass Effect was more of a shooter than an RPG, and the story didn't live up to it's predecessor's either. A 8/10 for me, while the first one was a 9,5/10, or even a 10/10.

While Mass Effect 3 unarguably does a lot of things right, it also messes up so much things for the franchise that the things they did right seem minor.

The first thing that bothered me is the needless amount of cutscenes. While most of the cinematics are great, the cutscenes are way too long, and they are badly animated. In fact, this game has the worst animations I've ever seen in a game, and it's present at conversations, cutscenes, and even at walking. For instance; You want to hug a friend, and because of the bad animations, you end up hugging the air. Cutscenes are also often non-required. This is especially true for the first hours of the game. What is worse, you can't skip a lot of them (like the beginning, the DLC cutscenes and so on), which makes replaying the game (or at least these cutscenes) unpleasant. You basically watch the game more than you play it, which was not the case with the first Mass Effect, but became common with the second game, another thing I didn't like about it. Luckily, the amount of cutscenes becomes less with time.

The combat is better here than in Mass Effect 2, but it is still worse than the combat of the first one. Why? Because the combat system in Mass Effect 3 is an upgraded version of the one in Mass Effect 2. It has the same bugs as that one had. They barely corrected anything about it. You might not get stuck so often, but line of sight is still non-existent here, which means you can shoot through walls. Space is still used for way too many things, which means control is still hard, and you can't change the key-bindings. It's all put under a tab: Storm/Roll/Cover - Space. So why is it better? As I said, it's an upgraded version, and that's true. It took a few things from the Witcher 2, which was a great idea. This game made a lot of good change over its predecessor. What I mean by that is: You can roll, and it works pretty good, which I didn't expect. There's also a heavy melee attack, which is a omniblade that makes big damage, and is quite spectacular. I call it finishing move, because it usually kills your target instantly, especially if upgraded (No, you can't one-hit Reapers with it, whether you like it or not :)) and something similar was used for Witcher 2, except that there it is actually called finishing move and it's used against knockdown-ed or stunned enemies, and it actually one-hits them. I mentioned upgrading your heavy melee. That is a very good part of the combat, or accurately, the leveling. There are more branches of upgrades you can take, so it gives a choice in what kind of position you will take in combat. It's like the 2-way branch at the end of a skill in Mass Effect 2, except it's used multiple times in Mass Effect 3. Weapon mods also return from Mass Effect 1, which I really liked in that game, and it made me really happy to see them here, even if there aren't so many of them. What my other problem was is the challenge it gave me. I usually play games on hardest difficulty if I know how they play. Because of the same reasons as in Mass Effect 2, I found the combat not so challenging here, not even on Insanity. There was like 2 or 3 times where I had to try that part more times, whereas in Mass Effect 2, there were more of these challenging parts, and it was rare in Mass Effect 2, too. There were much better boss fights, however. I think the combat is definitely better than in the second game. The only reason why it isn't better than the Mass Effect 1 combat is because it had a bad basis to start with. Too bad.

The game got a new probing system, which is definitely not as mind-numbing as it was in Mass Effect 2. There is, unfortunately, a new, completely unnecessary and pointless addition. To know if there is something salvageable in that part of the system you are in, you have to do a scan. This will gradually alert the Reapers about your presence. So what is the problem? The mini game itself is like some web-based game. They come in, go after you, they try to pile on you, and Critical Mission Failure, or you can evade them, and you can come back after 1 mission without the Reapers, or immediately, with the Reapers still present. In any case; No animation, effects, nothing, just a pile of Reapers over your ship in case of failure, or a report about a successful evasion. To make matters worse, because of the possibility to die during scan, there are auto-saves after every jump or when you enter a new system. If you die once, you can easily memorize where the salvageable...things (These consists of assets, fuel, artifacts and credits, nothing else.) were, and avoiding the Reapers becomes way too easy this way, and this is not the only fault the mini-game has.

The N7 assignments return, and they are usually good, and so are other assignment quests, with one exception; Fetch quests. These quests are about overhearing 2 people talking about an artifact that is important to their nation/people, you get it by probing it, return the artifact, and done. For this, you can get Reputation (A mix of the paragon and the renegade meter, I'll talk about this later on.), War Asset(s) and/or Credits. These kind of quests didn't work in Dragon Age II and neither do they work here, and they are repeated even more times here. The other disaster is the quest log. It only tells you a "summary" and that's it. There are no sub-objectives like in the previous games, which makes tracking what you just did or what you have to do impossible.

While the story of Mass Effect 3 sure won't become the Planescape: Torment of our time, it does its job. The game is centered around getting an army for the retaking of Earth and finding solutions for longtime problems. The game leans heavily on the War Assets system. It is basically follows the details on the army and support you have. It is also affected by the Multiplayer, which can get you extra assets, but I couldn't really care about the Multiplayer at all, as I had my fun with it in the demo. These War Assets will determine how ready the Galaxy is, and also "determines" what ending you can get. The way you go on with the main quests is completely linear. You can't choose which race you want recruit first, or what problem you want to deal with first, which doesn't help the replay value. In fact, the missions feel linear as well. There are a few items you find in the room you are in or near some rubble, but exploration isn't much of an option here.

The new characters are mostly good, which surprised me, as I thought they will be shallow or uninteresting, and was really skeptical about it at first. In fact, James Vega became on of my favorite character in the series. I was surprised that he turned out to be this good of a character, as I barely knew anything about it, because I haven't read the comic and my first actual contact with the character was the demo. My romantic partner was Liara, and her romance left me with mixed feelings at first, but turned to "goodish" by the end. The first half of the romance is disastrous. I couldn't decide if my save bugged and forgot who my romance was or this was actually the romance. Luckily, the second half turned out to be great, especially the near-end part. The cameos and returning characters were excellent. Only a few of them had different voice actors, and none of them had a surgery like the returning characters from Dragon Age II. This is one of the strongest points of this game. There is actually time for the characters to tell you what happened to them but they don't distract you from the other things that happen. The same-sex romances were probably the biggest controversy of Mass Effect 3, but luckily, it isn't the forced mess that it was in Dragon Age II, where, if you had a male protagonist, you would actually hurt one of your male companion's feelings if you didn't "play along". That really bothered me there, and I'm glad it's 100% optional here. There is still one problem with it, though, and that's true for the entire game.

Your choices on how to approach a situation are way too limited, for example: In Dragon Age: Origins, if you romanced a bisexual character with a female protagonist, he would come up to you and ask if you have a problem with him being gay. You have a wide choice of options, and you can tell him that you do have a problem with that and after that, no surprise, he breaks up with you and gets really unfriendly at you. I really liked these kinds of options, that gave you choice in situations. There is no such option in Mass Effect 3. You can be either a total a** or a exemplary paragon. That's right. I really liked in previous Mass Effects that if you didn't like the extremums, you always had the middle option, a neutral one that helped the game not to feel so black and white. Now roughly 1% of the dialogues have a middle option and what makes this sadder is that the paragon and renegade bars are mixed (Now it's called Reputation.), but without a middle option, there isn't really a point of it if you can only do the extremes. The interrupts are still great, though.

The general graphics are good, but the background graphics were swept under the rug. If you pay attention to the background, you'll realize it's a train-wreck. For example: Lots of walls have low-res textures, "statue-men" (Paused, immobile models of characters) in some of the more stuck-away areas (Purgatory entrance, for example), sprites (2D textures as distant characters instead of actual models) way too close for the eye. There were serious problems with performance on PC in the demo. Most of these performance bugs were cleaned up nicely. Of course, there were some "left-overs", but new driver patches can correct those flaws, too. Framerate is very good even without the drivers, and with the drivers, it's pretty much flawless.

The ending. I know this has been talked to bloody bits, but I sincerely didn't like it. I'll try to explain what the problems were. The developers, before the release of the game, said that your choices would have a great effect on the ending of the trilogy. That's not true. There are basically 3 endings, all 3 being way too similiar to each other. The ending also gives zero closure. Nothing is told about what happened afterwards, and the plot holes are just too big to ignore. The things you are told and you see during the ending doesn't make any sense, either. What is worst for me, is that the endings are too much like the endings from 2 games I really like: Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The actual endings are like dumb versions of the first Deus Ex endings (Deus Ex: Destroy, Join, Control -> Mass Effect 3: Destroy, Join (Synthesis), Control), and the situation when you choose is pretty much like in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. There are theories about why the ending is like it is. The most popular is the Indoctrination theory (Really big spoilers, only for those who finished the game!), but the game also wants to suggest something during the final scene (Stargazer), but it's hard to peel out what it's trying to say. Unfortunately, the only thing that can maintain the epicness of the ending, is the music. The music is pretty good all the way, which is typical for the Mass Effect games. The best thing we can hope is to get a DLC (hopefully free) that expands the endings, and it won't make things even worse.

So how did I feel after finishing the game? I was disappointed. I truly was. I wanted to forget the ending and remember the rest of the game, but I simply couldn't, I could barely remember the feeling of the game, the atmosphere it had, only that it was fair. Everything else I could remember was the lazy ending that not only ruined the final game, it damaged the trilogy as a whole. The ending takes away most of the replay value, because of the nature of the ending. The rest of the game had good to mixed feeling, but that's really pulled down by the ending, and you probably won't even want to see the icon of the game after you finish it.

I wanted to like this game, I really did. I wanted to give the trilogy a chance that maybe it'll fix the things Mass Effect 2 ruined, or even the damage that Dragon Age II caused to BioWare, but even beside the ending, the game messes up so much things that it's impossible for me to rate it better than I do now. While I still have hope, it's just not that lively anymore.6/10

RandomRob 03-30-2012 02:42 PM

Re: Rate this Review: Mass Effect 3
 
some thoughts on your re-edit****
(which is clocking in at some 2500+ words.. you've got to get it down closer to 1500)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
HIGH The character of James Vega.

LOW An ending that goes against everything that happened in the trilogy.

WTF Sparring while wearing high-heeled shoes and a dress. Really?

Mass Effect 3 was one of the, if not the most anticipated game of the year. Does it live up to the hype it got? Maybe yes. Does it live up to being the TPS/RPG hybrid the first one was? Definitely not.

here you're making the case that the 3rdPS gameplay is inferior to the first game. This is your leading statement. It's a criticism many would disagree with. Does your review support it?
Larger question: Is Mass Effect about shooting, or is it more about light scripted adventure action?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
I really liked the first Mass Effect,

Why? What did YOU like about it?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
but the second game disappointed me. Not only did the atmosphere of the second Mass Effect feel.. crippled, but the game overall, couldn't live up to Dragon Age: Awakening for me, something I played before the Mass Effects.

Crippled: how?
Didn't live up to DA:O: how didn't it live up to it? And why would it need to?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
I still thought Mass Effect 2 is good, though, just not great like the first one.

You have to substantiate stuff like this. People don't read reviews to nod their heads, they want to hear someone else's ideas-


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
I didn't like, or more precisely, hated, the new combat which was reeking with bugs, didn't give such a challenge as the first one on higher difficulties because of overpowered abilities and generally easier combat, very much like the Jedi Knights series; From one game to another, they changed the style of the game for a different base of players. While Jedi Outcast could give the challenge I sought on the hardest difficulty, Jedi Academy couldn't do that, because you could get the strongest power not much after the beginning of the game. You also got a "guide system" (Force Seeing), which made the puzzles feel like being a rat that is lead through a labyrinth.

What specifically has changed from ME to ME3? Are you saying the combat felt 'dumbed down'?
If so, what made combat in ME feel NOT 'dumbed down'?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
Back to Mass Effect 2: I also felt the gameplay was worse. The first one gave quite a lot of hard choices, but those were scarce in the second.

Gameplay choices or story choices? Or both?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
There was also bonuses, which made an excellent atmosphere for me (Quasar, armor customizations, exploration) and made the first one far better for me. The second Mass Effect was more of a shooter than an RPG, and the story didn't live up to it's predecessor's either. A 8/10 for me, while the first one was a 9,5/10, or even a 10/10.

Numbers don't tell people how you feel about something. Question: why do you think certain elements were sacrificed for ME2?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
While Mass Effect 3 unarguably does a lot of things right,

Like what?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
it also messes up so much things for the franchise that the things they did right seem minor. The first thing that bothered me is the needless amount of cutscenes.

This series has been loaded with cutscenes from the start. And any final story is going to be loaded with a lot of extra exposition. Question: is it worse than MGS4?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
While most of the cinematics are great, the cutscenes are way too long, and they are badly animated. In fact, this game has the worst animations I've ever seen in a game, and it's present at conversations, cutscenes, and even at walking. For instance; You want to hug a friend, and because of the bad animations, you end up hugging the air. Cutscenes are also often non-required. This is especially true for the first hours of the game. What is worse, you can't skip a lot of them (like the beginning, the DLC cutscenes and so on), which makes replaying the game (or at least these cutscenes) unpleasant. You basically watch the game more than you play it, which was not the case with the first Mass Effect, but became common with the second game, another thing I didn't like about it. Luckily, the amount of cutscenes becomes less with time.

You're unclear, here. You say that they're good and bad, and again, complaining about graphics just makes me wonder what kindof machine you're running the game on, because the ingame video I've seen looks like a AAA game.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
The combat is better here than in Mass Effect 2, but it is still worse than the combat of the first one. Why? Because the combat system in Mass Effect 3 is an upgraded version of the one in Mass Effect 2.

What is it about the first one that makes it a better engine?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
It has the same bugs as that one had. They barely corrected anything about it. You might not get stuck so often, but line of sight is still non-existent here, which means you can shoot through walls. Space is still used for way too many things, which means control is still hard, and you can't change the key-bindings. It's all put under a tab: Storm/Roll/Cover - Space. So why is it better? As I said, it's an upgraded version, and that's true. It took a few things from the Witcher 2, which was a great idea. This game made a lot of good change over its predecessor. What I mean by that is: You can roll, and it works pretty good, which I didn't expect. There's also a heavy melee attack, which is a omniblade that makes big damage, and is quite spectacular. I call it finishing move, because it usually kills your target instantly, especially if upgraded (No, you can't one-hit Reapers with it, whether you like it or not :)) and something similar was used for Witcher 2, except that there it is actually called finishing move and it's used against knockdown-ed or stunned enemies, and it actually one-hits them. I mentioned upgrading your heavy melee. That is a very good part of the combat, or accurately, the leveling. There are more branches of upgrades you can take, so it gives a choice in what kind of position you will take in combat. It's like the 2-way branch at the end of a skill in Mass Effect 2, except it's used multiple times in Mass Effect 3. Weapon mods also return from Mass Effect 1, which I really liked in that game, and it made me really happy to see them here, even if there aren't so many of them. What my other problem was is the challenge it gave me. I usually play games on hardest difficulty if I know how they play. Because of the same reasons as in Mass Effect 2, I found the combat not so challenging here, not even on Insanity. There was like 2 or 3 times where I had to try that part more times, whereas in Mass Effect 2, there were more of these challenging parts, and it was rare in Mass Effect 2, too. There were much better boss fights, however. I think the combat is definitely better than in the second game. The only reason why it isn't better than the Mass Effect 1 combat is because it had a bad basis to start with. Too bad.

But isn't the combat in Mass Effect 1 the basis of the combat in Mass Effect 2? This paragraph has too many ideas in it. Also when you start by mentioning 'bugs', you're implying the game is broken. I don't think it's broken, it's just NOT a realistic tactical shooter. Bringing up weapon mods is good, that's an example of something you liked in ME1. That helps.
It sounds like you liked the combat in the game, but weren't challenged by it. That could be clearer.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
The game got a new probing system, which is definitely not as mind-numbing as it was in Mass Effect 2. There is, unfortunately, a new, completely unnecessary and pointless addition. To know if there is something salvageable in that part of the system you are in, you have to do a scan. This will gradually alert the Reapers about your presence. So what is the problem? The mini game itself is like some web-based game. They come in, go after you, they try to pile on you, and Critical Mission Failure, or you can evade them, and you can come back after 1 mission without the Reapers, or immediately, with the Reapers still present. In any case; No animation, effects, nothing, just a pile of Reapers over your ship in case of failure, or a report about a successful evasion. To make matters worse, because of the possibility to die during scan, there are auto-saves after every jump or when you enter a new system. If you die once, you can easily memorize where the salvageable...things (These consists of assets, fuel, artifacts and credits, nothing else.) were, and avoiding the Reapers becomes way too easy this way, and this is not the only fault the mini-game has.

THIS is a really good point. It sounds like they want to pad the running time of the game by making you do really boring stuff over and over.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
The N7 assignments return, and they are usually good, and so are other assignment quests, with one exception; Fetch quests. These quests are about overhearing 2 people talking about an artifact that is important to their nation/people, you get it by probing it, return the artifact, and done. For this, you can get Reputation (A mix of the paragon and the renegade meter, I'll talk about this later on.), War Asset(s) and/or Credits. These kind of quests didn't work in Dragon Age II and neither do they work here, and they are repeated even more times here. The other disaster is the quest log. It only tells you a "summary" and that's it. There are no sub-objectives like in the previous games, which makes tracking what you just did or what you have to do impossible.

This is also not bad, though you should explain why they didn't work in Dragon Age 2.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
While the story of Mass Effect 3 sure won't become the Planescape: Torment of our time, it does its job. The game is centered around getting an army for the retaking of Earth and finding solutions for longtime problems. The game leans heavily on the War Assets system. It is basically follows the details on the army and support you have. It is also affected by the Multiplayer, which can get you extra assets, but I couldn't really care about the Multiplayer at all, as I had my fun with it in the demo. These War Assets will determine how ready the Galaxy is, and also "determines" what ending you can get. The way you go on with the main quests is completely linear. You can't choose which race you want recruit first, or what problem you want to deal with first, which doesn't help the replay value. In fact, the missions feel linear as well. There are a few items you find in the room you are in or near some rubble, but exploration isn't much of an option here.

I'd keep most of this, too. Also I'd mention that collecting heroes or assets has been a running theme throughout the series, hasn't it?


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
The new characters are mostly good, which surprised me, as I thought they will be shallow or uninteresting, and was really skeptical about it at first.

Bioware has some of the better characterization in American RPGS right now. Why did you have doubts?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
In fact, James Vega became on of my favorite character in the series. I was surprised that he turned out to be this good of a character, as I barely knew anything about it, because I haven't read the comic and my first actual contact with the character was the demo. My romantic partner was Liara, and her romance left me with mixed feelings at first, but turned to "goodish" by the end. The first half of the romance is disastrous. I couldn't decide if my save bugged and forgot who my romance was or this was actually the romance. Luckily, the second half turned out to be great, especially the near-end part. The cameos and returning characters were excellent. Only a few of them had different voice actors, and none of them had a surgery like the returning characters from Dragon Age II. This is one of the strongest points of this game. There is actually time for the characters to tell you what happened to them but they don't distract you from the other things that happen.

So the characters and writing were well done.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
The same-sex romances were probably the biggest controversy of Mass Effect 3,

I think the biggest controversy is ME3 is the fan reaction to the ending. I think the removal of same-sex relationships in ME2 after having them in ME1 was a controversy. I think putting them back was meant more as an apology.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
but luckily, it isn't the forced mess that it was in Dragon Age II, where, if you had a male protagonist, you would actually hurt one of your male companion's feelings if you didn't "play along". That really bothered me there, and I'm glad it's 100% optional here. There is still one problem with it, though, and that's true for the entire game.

Your feelings about Dragon Age 2's system might be better served by a whole separate article about games and sexual identity. I agree no one should have certain situations forced on them, but this is adult entertainment we're talking about.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
Your choices on how to approach a situation are way too limited, for example: In Dragon Age: Origins, if you romanced a bisexual character with a female protagonist, he would come up to you and ask if you have a problem with him being gay. You have a wide choice of options, and you can tell him that you do have a problem with that and after that, no surprise, he breaks up with you and gets really unfriendly at you. I really liked these kinds of options, that gave you choice in situations. There is no such option in Mass Effect 3. You can be either a total a** or a exemplary paragon.

Here you start talking about enjoying the freedom of alternative orientation options, and then compare that to the good/bad of the morality system. That's an awkward jump. I get that you're talking about freedom, but what do you want the freedom to do more of? Have more sex drama on the Normandy? :D


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
That's right. I really liked in previous Mass Effects that if you didn't like the extremums, you always had the middle option, a neutral one that helped the game not to feel so black and white. Now roughly 1% of the dialogues have a middle option and what makes this sadder is that the paragon and renegade bars are mixed (Now it's called Reputation.), but without a middle option, there isn't really a point of it if you can only do the extremes. The interrupts are still great, though.

How does taking a middle path that's neither confrontational or compassionate serve a story about conflict and war?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
The general graphics are good, but the background graphics were swept under the rug. If you pay attention to the background, you'll realize it's a train-wreck. For example: Lots of walls have low-res textures, "statue-men" (Paused, immobile models of characters) in some of the more stuck-away areas (Purgatory entrance, for example), sprites (2D textures as distant characters instead of actual models) way too close for the eye. There were serious problems with performance on PC in the demo. Most of these performance bugs were cleaned up nicely. Of course, there were some "left-overs", but new driver patches can correct those flaws, too. Framerate is very good even without the drivers, and with the drivers, it's pretty much flawless.

I think if you look back these problems exist in all the ME games. Comparing the graphics in the demo to the finished game is unnecessary.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
The ending. I know this has been talked to bloody bits, but I sincerely didn't like it. I'll try to explain what the problems were.

As Yoda would say, DO or DO NOT. There is no 'try'.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
The developers, before the release of the game, said that your choices would have a great effect on the ending of the trilogy. That's not true. There are basically 3 endings, all 3 being way too similiar to each other.

This is called 'advertising'. Did you REALLY expect the ending to be that different? There's only so much consequence you can script into a game before it becomes a sandbox, and then you have to jettison the story.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
The ending also gives zero closure. Nothing is told about what happened afterwards, and the plot holes are just too big to ignore. The things you are told and you see during the ending doesn't make any sense, either. What is worst for me, is that the endings are too much like the endings from 2 games I really like: Deus Ex and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The actual endings are like dumb versions of the first Deus Ex endings (Deus Ex: Destroy, Join, Control -> Mass Effect 3: Destroy, Join (Synthesis), Control), and the situation when you choose is pretty much like in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. There are theories about why the ending is like it is. The most popular is the Indoctrination theory (Really big spoilers, only for those who finished the game!), but the game also wants to suggest something during the final scene (Stargazer), but it's hard to peel out what it's trying to say.

Why does the series need closure? Do you not feel that ME as a series has had a 'feeling of impending doom' from it's start? How would you have resolved the story?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tata (Post 200724)
Unfortunately, the only thing that can maintain the epicness of the ending, is the music. The music is pretty good all the way, which is typical for the Mass Effect games. The best thing we can hope is to get a DLC (hopefully free) that expands the endings, and it won't make things even worse.

So how did I feel after finishing the game? I was disappointed. I truly was. I wanted to forget the ending and remember the rest of the game, but I simply couldn't, I could barely remember the feeling of the game, the atmosphere it had, only that it was fair. Everything else I could remember was the lazy ending that not only ruined the final game, it damaged the trilogy as a whole. The ending takes away most of the replay value, because of the nature of the ending. The rest of the game had good to mixed feeling, but that's really pulled down by the ending, and you probably won't even want to see the icon of the game after you finish it.

I wanted to like this game, I really did. I wanted to give the trilogy a chance that maybe it'll fix the things Mass Effect 2 ruined, or even the damage that Dragon Age II caused to BioWare, but even beside the ending, the game messes up so much things that it's impossible for me to rate it better than I do now. While I still have hope, it's just not that lively anymore.6/10

Alot of people I've talked to reported 'feeling drained' by the ending. Did you stop caring about the characters? What happened? Did not having enough choice make it feel empty at the end? It wouldn't be the first time that's happened, as you mentioned.

K-Unit 03-31-2012 03:28 PM

Re: Rate this Review: Mass Effect 3
 
I can't say much about the content of the review when it comes to ME3, as I have not played yet, however, when reading your review it felt very choppy and did not flow well. Also you referenced other games far too often, remember we are reading your review to understand how you felt about this game, and shouldn't have to play other games to make sense of these comments. Last, I do feel as if some of the comments about things in the game (probes) were vague and hard to understand. I did play ME2 and don't have any memory of a probe... but maybe that's just my memory.

hope this helps

Tata 04-10-2012 05:20 AM

Re: Rate this Review: Mass Effect 3
 
Quote:

Is Mass Effect about shooting, or is it more about light scripted adventure action?
What did YOU like about it?
For me, it's a mix of TPS and RPG. The fights are good and exploration is really nice, too. Leveling was well adjusted with difficulty (Like getting more XP while on foot and not in the Mako.), and as I said in the review, small things like Quasar and such.

Quote:

Crippled: how?
Didn't live up to DA:O: how didn't it live up to it? And why would it need to?
By crippled, I mean the fighting felt dead for me, and so did the atmosphere of some place(Normandy, Citadel Presidium), and since the game was overall, for me, worse than the first Mass Effect, the good feeling didn't stay with you for much time.
Dragon Age Awakening was a great game for me. The only problem I had with it was with the bugs. But everything else was good, the story outmatched Mass Effect 2 for me, combat was upgraded well, which can't be said for ME2, and so on. And as I said, I played the first two Dragon Age games before the Mass Effects, so the comparsion was probably different for me.

Quote:

You have to substantiate stuff like this. People don't read reviews to nod their heads, they want to hear someone else's ideas-
Excuse me? I wrote down how the combat felt wrong for me, and I even brought up Jedi Knight as an example.

Quote:

If so, what made combat in ME feel NOT 'dumbed down'?
Biotic powers that affected you, actually challenging gameplay on harder difficulties. Overall I had more fun with that combat system.

Quote:

Gameplay choices or story choices? Or both?
Story choices, mainly. There wasn't any choice to make in Mass Effect 2 like on Virmire. There were choices to make during the Suicide Mission, but those were based on simple logic. While the 2 choices about the Collector Base were good, it felt way too black and white for me.

Quote:

Why do you think certain elements were sacrificed for ME2?
Why? Probably to attract the younger audience, but this is just a guess. That question is a bit irrelevant. What matters is it was dumbed down for ME2.

Quote:

Like what?
Characters, Cinematics, Combat; Things I mentioned later?

Quote:

You're unclear, here. You say that they're good and bad, and again, complaining about graphics just makes me wonder what kindof machine you're running the game on, because the ingame video I've seen looks like a AAA game.
Quote:

This series has been loaded with cutscenes from the start. And any final story is going to be loaded with a lot of extra exposition. Question: is it worse than MGS4?
True, there had been cutscenes in the first two games, but there was like the double of that in ME3. Is it worse than MGS4? I haven't played a single Metal Gear Solid game, so can't comment on that. Sorry.

From what you wrote, it sounds like you don't know the difference between a cutscene and a cinematic. Also, animations don't depend on what kind of PC you have, it depends on how they make it. Why would ME1, ME2 and even Bulletstorm's animations work perfectly on my computer if all 4 game is using the same engine?

Quote:

What is it about the first one that makes it a better engine?
You mean combat engine? I said it already. The combat of the second one reeks of bugs and it's not so challenging on higher difficulty.

Quote:

But isn't the combat in Mass Effect 1 the basis of the combat in Mass Effect 2?
It is the basis, but upgrading something doesn't always go right, and I feel it really, really didn't go right here.

Quote:

Also when you start by mentioning 'bugs', you're implying the game is broken. I don't think it's broken, it's just NOT a realistic tactical shooter.
Sounds like you didn't play as much as I did. I can assure you it has it bugs. If you try to go behind a corridor, but your cross-hair is on the enemy, you'll shoot through the wall. That was a game-breaking bug for me, and I tried really hard to avoid it. About realism, it doesn't have to be realistic, because you wouldn't call it Sci-Fi or fantasy then.

Quote:

It sounds like you liked the combat in the game, but weren't challenged by it. That could be clearer.
No, I can tell when I don't like something or I feel it's easy, and I can confirm that I didn't like the combat of ME2.

Quote:

THIS is a really good point. It sounds like they want to pad the running time of the game by making you do really boring stuff over and over.
Finally someone understands. I really felt stupid when I was the only one who thought that reaper-chase thing makes no sense, and I think...

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, though you should explain why they didn't work in Dragon Age 2.
neither does the fetch quests. Why it didn't work in DA2? "Don't wave that around!" What do you think the guy is talking about? No one would guess, it's a corpse! They recorded random lines for the fetch quests and played those at each one, and the result were waving with corpses and such.

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Also I'd mention that collecting heroes or assets has been a running theme throughout the series, hasn't it?
Well, maybe the second one, but not the first one. The first one was more like stopping the impending doom with the few things you have. I admit, the second game was really about collecting an army.

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Bioware has some of the better characterization in American RPGS right now. Why did you have doubts?
After the disappointment DA2 was for me, I prepared for the worse. The characters in DA2 were atrocius, and only did they make bad new ones, they ruined the existing ones, too. Ever since DA2, I don't believe any hype about Bioware. Nevertheless, I'm happy I was wrong.

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I think the biggest controversy is ME3 is the fan reaction to the ending. I think the removal of same-sex relationships in ME2 after having them in ME1 was a controversy. I think putting them back was meant more as an apology.
I didn't really think about that. You make an excellent pont here.

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I get that you're talking about freedom, but what do you want the freedom to do more of? Have more sex drama on the Normandy?
Hehe, not exactly that, but if you played Dragon Age, you know what I'm talking about, and if you played the Witcher... :)

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How does taking a middle path that's neither confrontational or compassionate serve a story about conflict and war?
Well, I'll pick an example for this. There was a part in KOTOR2 where you can decide you won't take part in that argument, and all of them reply "Apathy is death.", after which they all attack you. Sure, it's not the brightest example, but it's an example. :D

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Comparing the graphics in the demo to the finished game is unnecessary.
I know, but it looked like would be a severe problem, and I'm glad they corrected those.

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As Yoda would say, DO or DO NOT. There is no 'try'.
Great quote from a great movie, I must say. I'll try to avoid these in the future.

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Did you REALLY expect the ending to be that different?
Not really, but that doesn't diminish the fact that they lied, and it's not just a tiny lie.

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Why does the series need closure? Do you not feel that ME as a series has had a 'feeling of impending doom' from it's start? How would you have resolved the story?
Well, I think that a last game/movie/book or whatever in a trilogy should give closure. The game should at least explain what happened to the others, or why are the gaping plotholes plausible. They are releasing a new DLC, and free, which I didn't expect, so I'll take back what I said about the ending part if the DLC gives closure and doesn't make things worse.

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Alot of people I've talked to reported 'feeling drained' by the ending. Did you stop caring about the characters? What happened? Did not having enough choice make it feel empty at the end? It wouldn't be the first time that's happened, as you mentioned.
I didn't stop caring about the characters, I stopped caring about the games until the ending was fixed. It's not the lack of choice that made it that bad in the end. A pink ending wouldn't make it better. It's the nature of the ending; How it uses Deus ex machinima in the last few minutes, how it doesn't make sense, and plotholes, and so on. There's just way too much problem with the current ending that makes it impossible for me to care about anything Mass Effect related.

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Remember we are reading your review to understand how you felt about this game, and shouldn't have to play other games to make sense of these comments.
I think I explained those this time, and what I didn't can be easily googled (Planescape, for example.) About the probing, there is a probing part of ME2, but it's different from the one in ME3.


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