Posts Tagged ‘Mass Effect’

Web: Close, but not quite

One of the categories in my Second Coming series of posts for Mass Effect was for minigames, and for the heading image I made this:


6) Minigames

The picture in the top left is of Mass Effect‘s sole minigame, the QTE sequence that has you pressing the buttons that light up on screen. It was the only decent picture I could find but it wasn’t perfect because it’s not in English. Where it should say something like ‘hacking’ or ‘bypassing’ it says the Polish version instead, ‘przejmowanie’, and Ashley’s dialogue is also subtitled in Polish:


Not how I played the game.

(click here to see the image source over at

It wasn’t much of a problem because it showed what was important and the image was ultimately shrunk down enough that it was difficult to even tell, but as Google Images let’s you search for similar images I thought it was worth a try:

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Categories: Gaming, Web Tags: , ,

Gaming: Second Coming – Mass Effect Part III

December 11, 2010 2 comments

This is the final of my three-part series of posts looking at the improvements Bioware have attempted to make between the first two Mass Effect games. You can read the first part here (which covers combat, sidequest integration and sidequest level design) and part two here (covering galaxy exploration and interface, general interface and mingames) or read on for part three:


7) Checkpoints and Autosaves

Image sources: Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2

(I couldn’t really get a suitable picture so I went with Geth instead)

This maybe doesn’t seem like such a big deal compared to some of the subjects so far but when a game gets this wrong it can be incredibly frustrating as you’re forced to replay huge chunks of a game over and over. As I mentioned in my recent post about Mass Effect it really did have poor checkpoints and autosaves, mostly because every area would only have one, right at the start. Land on a sidequest world and the game autosaves, and then you could spend twenty minutes driving around in the Mako to explore the area, enter a building, fight through a couple of rooms, get killed near the end and be put all the way back to when you first landed on the planet. Main story worlds were not much better, forcing you to replay huge chunks if you’d forgotten to save recently, and which happened to me quite often because I’m so used to games  taking care of such things for me nowadays.

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Gaming: Second Coming – Mass Effect Part II

December 8, 2010 3 comments

This is the second of a three-part series of posts looking at the improvements Bioware have attempted to make between the first two Mass Effect games. You can read the first part here, which covers combat, sidequest integration and sidequest level design, or read on for part two:

Galaxy Exploration & Interface

4) Galaxy Exploration & Interface

Image Sources: Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2

In Mass Effect the galaxy map was essentially an elaborate menu. The overview showed every cluster you knew about and clicking on one would go down a level to show every system you knew about within that cluster, while clicking on a  system would take you inside to see the planets. To explore and scan most planets you clicked on them and, if there was something there, clicked a button to retrieve it (the same button would get you to land on the planet when that was an option instead). It wasn’t very involving but it did what it needed to, although some of the buttons didn’t do exactly what you would expect and it was easy to accidentally cancel out of the entire interface by mistake, and outside of the main quest planets tracking down which ones you needed to visit for each sidequest was cumbersome (you can read an in-depth breakdown of the galaxy map’s problems on Game Design Reviews).

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Gaming: Second Coming – Mass Effect Part I

December 3, 2010 5 comments

While you rarely get a second chance to make a first impression it is still possible to really turn things around with a sequel (Assassin’s Creed is a good example, having turned a relatively disappointing début into a critical and commercial success with Assassin’s Creed 2). With some time to go before I’m finished with Mass Effect 2 and ready to put up a final opinion post about it I’ve decided to do a direct comparison of what I feel didn’t work in the original game and what Bioware have done to try and fix that in the sequel (so essentially it will be like my Bioshock 2 opinion piece unintentionally ended up as).

So far Mass Effect 2 feels very much like most sequels these days, directly building upon its predecessor’s technology and re-using or tweaking existing assets while attempting to iron out the flaws (the other type of sequel being something along the lines of Bioshock Infinite, preserving core concepts while being far removed from the original game), so how many of these improvements were successful? This comparison will be broken down into sections and, thanks to my general inability to keep things brief, will be split across three separate posts rather than one huge one.


1) Combat

Image sources: Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2

As I mentioned in my brief post about completing Mass Effect again I didn’t find the combat in the original game to be anything more than okay. Using a different team with more variety definitely helped but it was still nothing more than a basic third-person shooter, lacking the balance and design of something like a Gears of War or Uncharted (games focused around third-person shooting) as well as not having anything like the strategy and depth of a classic Fallout or Baldur’s Gate (games focused around strategic, pause-heavy combat).

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Gaming: Completed Mass Effect

November 18, 2010 1 comment

I did plan to use a new image but it's so much easier to reuse the same one than find a new pic and resize it. Plus the Normandy still looks great.

As expected, the length of the game and my diminished play time meant that my replay of Mass Effect took some time, with almost a month passing between this post and the one I made about starting it. I have completed it now though and my opinion hasn’t really changed. The combat was definitely better this time around having a full biotic Shepard partied with Tali and Ashley, instead of my original soldier-heavy choice of soldier Shepard with Wrex and Garrus, but it’s still not great and fights against biotics (which actually aren’t that common) can leave you ragdolled on the ground unable to move while your health is drained, which is never fun.

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Gaming: Playing Mass Effect

October 25, 2010 1 comment

This is a genuine attempt to create quick and brief blog posts that up the posting schedule a little. With me currently playing through Mass Effect (which I’ve already played and won’t write a post about) ahead of a playthrough of Mass Effect 2 (which I will post about when it’s done) there aren’t many gaming posts in the pipeline, and considering the length of the Mass Effect games that’s not going to change for a while. I do have a Halo: Reach opinion piece that’s been written but is waiting on screenshots (I want to use my own but need to upgrade to a Gold Live account). So here are a few thoughts on Mass Effect:


The Normandy

I'm a fan of the design of Shepard's ship, The Normandy. The image comes from the Mass Effect wiki (click on it to go to the source).

Having had some hard drive trouble in the past I was a little surprised to discover my original Mass Effect playthrough is still there and waiting to be used in Mass Effect 2. That was a level 50 paragon female soldier, so to refresh my knowledge of the game’s setting, characters and quests (necessary to see just how an existing save affects the sequel) I’ve started a renegade biotic character, again with a female Shepard (who is absolutely the real Shepard, no matter how many more people play as male).

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