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Mass Effect 3 – Completed

Posted in Completed, Games, RPG by Armagon on March 20, 2017

Finally made it! (Only a few days before Andromeda is released and which I have not preordered, but still)

After 29-30h of playtime I finished Mass Effect 3 (Digital Deluxe Edition) as an Infiltrator FemShep (with pink armor, which looked totally rad). TLDR: I liked it a lot. Maybe not as good as ME2, maybe roughly as good. Scanning was worse and I had to set down the difficulty from Normal to Casual in the last damn fight. Everything else worked fine with a few deaths here and there (not as many as in ME1 by far).

The DLCs I have are: Reckoning, Retaliation, Earth, Extended Cut, Rebellion, Resurgence, From Ashes, Digital Books, Collector’s Edition Materials and the Soundtrack. Didn’t touch Multiplayer, so I guess half of that was useless. It was recommended I get the Citadel DLC, but so far I haven’t.

Apparently I have either 35 or 36 of 50 Achievements, Origin shows both numbers. /slowclap

This time I managed to do all side quests (besides the one that stays in your mission log if you fail to do it 100% on the planet) and I mostly enjoyed them. The Citadel ones were kinda meh, as it involved mostly scanning the exact planet – which would have been fun without the Reaper alertness mechanic which made any straight-on approach infeasible and killed my enjoyment. Get quest, look up exact location in wiki, scan, done, hand in. Meh. Everything else was ok, good, or really good. I think I got stuck not finding the way on one mission and had to look up the way to go. I did most missions with Liara and James. Liara died all the time, but when I tried Javik or Tali, they also died all the time. I was not very happy with the loadout screen before the missions. More than once I misclicked and started the mission early because the buttons are not clearly labelled. But that didn’t really matter, just a small nitpick.

So that’s 3 BioWare RPGs down (and I liked all of them), now I’m unsure if I will start Dragon Age: Origins (which I own, think I got it for free from Origin) or if I will buy Mass Effect: Andromeda. I’m kind of not in the mood for fantasy stuff right now, but maybe playing something else than an RPG *now* would also be a good idea.

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Mass Effect 3 – First impressions

Posted in Games, RPG by Armagon on March 5, 2017

I finally started playing Mass Effect 3 in earnest (I think I played for 2h late last year, then stopped again), ~14 hours in total so far. It’s awesome. Playing my (imported from ME1 and ME2) female Shepard as an Infiltrator with a Sniper Rifle as usual, but either it’s a lot easier or I somehow managed to learn along the way, because I’m playing on Normal and not Casual and still don’t die all the time (I did die a few times). Quests are mostly varied enough and only some have some “doh” moments where I go look something up.

I think my main point of criticism are the Citadel quests you overhear that are “get me some X” and the X in question is on one of the 50? 100? non-mainline story missions somewhere our there. Also scanning got worse again. Overall nothing big.

Also something about my character’s cheekbones is off. Maybe related to importing and I can live with it, still a little annoying.

I was told to absolutely get the Citadel DLC and maybe I should, but 1200 BioWare points is 15 EUR (twice as much as I paid for the game, but that’s not really a problem) and maybe I’d rather buy Andromeda once I am done here…

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Completed: Mass Effect 2

Posted in Completed, Games, RPG by Armagon on January 23, 2016

As I wrote already, I am catching up on the Mass Effect universe.

I’ve started ME2 not long after I had finished ME1. I imported my original character (would have loved to fix the nose, but it’s not so bad that I have to) and continued there.

normandy

The Steam version of ME2 works a lot better than the ME1 one – I’ve had no problems at all (Win7) with Fullscreen and a 2nd screen connected. Either I grew accomodated or they even fixed the horrible menu PING sound. I am not sure I found any of the Digital Deluxe Edition ingame items – if so, they were unexciting.

Warning: Mild spoilers – it’s been long enough, even I have played it now after 5 years.

I didn’t love the combat in the beginning, but I liked it better than when starting ME1. The whole game feels more like a shooter, but also easier (again on “Casual” setting, I’m not fond of shooters anymore, sorry).

I don’t get why they changed all the keybindings. Space is LShift, E is Space. Quicksave went from F6 to F5. WHY? Not as bad as with AC2 -> Brotherhood, but still.

I do like the Paragon/Renegade system, but it would be cool to see if I *really* am at 100% Paragon already. It looks like it, so I’m chasing some more Renegade points, but whatever.

I do like my companions, but I find it odd that they would add Personal Assistant that only sometimes correctly tells me about my mails (mostly correct, but sometimes too late, when I already read them) and rarely ever about other companions who want to talk – but maybe I was diligent enough that no one felt left out because I’ve been visiting them pretty regularly.

The new scanning mechanics are very good – the old one was ok, but with the probes and the graph it made for an enjoyable 1-2 hours of acquiring resources without having to go on a trip in the Mako – which I didn’t like at all in ME1. Also the research system to use up those resources is awesome, although I didn’t really get why it would sometimes show 2-3 greyed out weapons or armor research items. Apparently I had them, as I couldn’t buy them, but others vanished once I had bought them – weird, but not a big deal.

The dialog menu is still fine, dito the galactic travel. The fuel mechanic is useless so far, and I doubt that will change as I finish it up.

The ingame soundtrack is awesome again, so is the voice acting. I only have one slight complaint – when the characters are looking neutral, everything is fine, but if Shepard or Jacob smile… ugh, bad modelling work.

 

While writing all of the above I’ve been 24h in and finished every single side quest this time. I have all companions, and all are loyal to me – just my love interest in ME1 left me feeling bit ignored.

Update after 27.5 hours: Done. Apparently the “No one left behind” achievement is a bit too hard without reading up, so I lost people.

In general I have 43 Achievements and am missing 9 of them, but there should be 63. I see 12 for the DLC, kind of add up, I guess.

Summary: Awesome game! Can’t wait for ME3 now. Downloading all the DLC for this one right as I’m writing this.

Apparently I should’ve downloaded the DLC earlier, but this is the first game I’ve ever played that kind of did it like this. And last time I didn’t even find anything on that BioWare social site. Too bad, but I’ll just have a look what’s there now. New companion, yay.

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Mass Effect

Posted in Completed, Games, RPG by Armagon on January 10, 2016

I bought Mass Effect 1+2 when they were on sale because some people had told me repeatedly that I simply had to play it.

shepard.jpg

First of all, the Steam version of ME1 sucks. Badly. It doesn’t launch from Steam at all, then via finding the .exe, giving it Administrator privileges and compatibility mode kind of works.

Then I was greeted by the most atrocious “select menu item” sound I’ve ever heard. Seriously, this made me reconsider even creating a character for a minute.

Character creation was ok, but I didn’t notice in there that my character’s nose is totally awkward. 4h in this is still annoying me, but I sure as hell won’t restart now.

The controls might be ok, but not for me. R is autorun in all my MMOs, so I keep on flinging grenades left and right. Mousewheel should zoom in and not draw weapons. Gladly nobody minds getting a Sniper Rifle in their face on any planet.

I hate the combat system. I’m playing on the lowest difficulty setting (“Casual”, haha) and I keep on dying left and right. It feels like playing Quake with my hands tied behind my back. QuickSave (F6) is my new best friend.

But the story and real RPG elements are nice. I like the dialogue system and the voice actors. Not sure yet about all the NPCs. Sometimes a line gets repeated too often, but that’s ok.

That was the “first 5h review”, played in 3 chunks of ~1.5h each.

8 hours in, I’ve managed to finish the two combat encounters I ranted about above successfully. Level 15 now, cleared some pirate outpost, got better weapons. Still not sure what the pause function via spacebar is good for, maybe I should use more biotics? But it’s a lot more fun right now

12 hours in, I’ve spent a lot of time on the Citadel, did a lot of quests and less shooting and I’m enjoying it. Now off to Feros and/or Noveria and continue with the story, although the Geth are the least fun part of the game as of now…

15 hours in, I’ve completed Feros (for the main storyline) and generally been destroying everything in combat now. Some things still feel a bit clunky, and as I’m maxed on Sniper Rifles, packs of enemies in melee range aren’t so easy, but overall it works. My combat team is Wrex and Ashley or Kaidan. I’ve also advanced with the romancing… I guess. Still very happy with this game, although now it already told me to hurry up and advance the main plot instead of doing every other quest.

And I finished after 21 hours with Level 42. Too bad I couldn’t continue with my unfinished random assignments after the main plot ended. 😦
I had been doing mostly side quests until after Feros, then I started pushing through to the end.

In the end I managed to get 16/45 achievements, although the wiki tells me there should be 49, not 45. The romance stuff was ok, but I liked the SWTOR one better.

In summary: Nearly a perfect role-playing game besides the first few fights. Awesome story, some of the crew members are a bit meh and I expected to have more dialog options with them, but overall… pretty cool.

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A wild single player RPG appears

Posted in Games, RPG by Armagon on December 20, 2015

Recently there was talk about the Mass Effect series and again I noticed I had never played any of them. But I had bought ME1 and 2 on June 20th this year (surely in a Steam sale, or via GOG, or HumbleBundle…). So I set out to at least start playing before half a year is up.

My knowledge of the series was and is still very basic – I only knew about Shepard and that’s a SciFi RPG. I think I’ve never played any of the “big” BioWare RPGs besides KotOR – so even that didn’t help. But now I’m 3h in and I really like it. The music is pretty good, the controls are relatively ok (besides Space not being used for jump – I drew my gun in the face of a lot of people in the Citadel already, but they didn’t seem to mind).

But there’s also a few downsides. First of all the beeping and sounds in the menus. While creating my character I was already close to turning the sound off. WTF. Everything in the 80s on a GameBoy was less annoying. Then I only noticed too late that my character’s nose is not good. I’m usually not the one spending half an hour in the character generator, but I couldn’t adjust the nose, now it’s annoying me in every cutscene. Ah well, the rest of the head is ok-ish. But for a 2007 game I’m a bit disappointed. Sure, that’s 8 years old, but as I wrote above I’ve never played more recent games besides a few MMOs. And while cartoony – I wouldn’t say WoW’s 2004/05 Humans looked worse than the ME1 characters.

I’ve also yet to experience the “great Bioware writing”, Shepard got some introduction and also Captain Anderson, but the rest of my squad haven’t had more than 2minutes of screentime yet. And what’s with the endless elevator rides? Yes, they’re funny the first two times, but I bet I’ll hate them very, very soon.

So yeah, too bad I have a Marvel Heroes character to Cosmic Prestige (hit 56 today and there’s a +200% buff plus event) and a GW2 Guardian to level (40 already) and there’s also the Winter achievements in GW2. I especially like their Rock Band mini game.

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