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Mass Effect 3 – Completed

Posted in Completed, Games 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 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, 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, 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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Shadowrun: Dragonfall completed

Posted in Completed by Armagon on June 4, 2015

Thanks to the public holiday I stayed up until 3 am and continued after getting up, so I’m finally done with Shadowrun: Dragonfall. It’s so good! I finished it in ~18h according to Steam, which is more than twice the time than Shadowrun Returns – but I think I didn’t skip any side quest this time.

My main character was (again) a Ranged Street Samurai (this time Female Troll named Tar instead of Male Orc named Zip) and I used only Rifles (Assault and Sniper) and a Shotgun near the end. I mostly played with Dietrich (Shaman) on Support, Eiger (Sniper) and Glory (Melee) but sometimes took Blitz (Decker) over Glory. I totally didn’t see the Cyberware menu for the first ~10 hours, so only used the active stuff in the end.

There are two things I didn’t like, first of all the loading times when starting the game. At times it took 2-3 minutes to get into, this is a bit weird (but it wasn’t on my SSD, so ok). When moving from zone to zone (which doesn’t happen that often, maybe twice per hour max) it was a lot quicker, but still a bit slow. And the grand finale was just too easy. Or maybe I minmaxed a little too much, but in the middle of the game I sometimes struggled with fights (had to abandon and reload once), and in the end I was just waltzing through. Didn’t even use my medkits anymore and hardly a heal. Also only used one summon out of three I had.

Everything else was basically perfect, I am so much looking forward to Hong Kong now.

I might even try to get a few more achievements out of this game and play as a non-Samurai, we’ll see.

 

But now I can finally listen to that AggroChat episode without being spoilered 🙂

Shadowrun Returns completed

Posted in Completed by Armagon on May 24, 2015

I remember buying Shadowrun Returns quite a while ago and promptly started to play. For about 30 minutes and then somehow I never came back.
Now I know that was a huge mistake. Shadowrun: Dragonfall was marked down quite a bit on Steam and I pondered buying it, in the knowledge that the predecessor still sat there unfinished. So I set out to give it another chance (because I actually love the Shadowrun world and played the pen & paper for quite a bit). This resulted in me spending most of Saturday (nearly 9 hours to be exact) playing through from 30min in till the end credits. And I can only say: WOW, it’s so good and so much fun. I think at around the 4 hour mark I alt-tabbed to quickly buy Dragonfall (which I started to play just now, it looks equally well done so far)

It’s not revolutionary, but it’s a solid single player role-playing game with turn-based tactical combat. (Queue memories of Syndicate in the 90s) I think I played on normal and only had to reload once because I lost a fight and I needed to peek into a walkthrough three times. One of those was genuine (at the UB), the other too I could blame on the game itself. First I didn’t know where to go because I didn’t get that “Sure you want to leave the scene?” in combat mode is not a bad thing, just the way to the next zone. And then nothing happened where something should happen, but I should’ve just walked around a bit for a turn or two. So I don’t call those two cheating, only the first thing I mentioned (at the UB).

So yeah – no crashes, perfect difficulty level, it was just a bit short. According to some research it should’ve been around 10-12h and not 9, but maybe I forgot a few side quests. I am quite happy it’s not 20+ because I love to finish a game once in a while.

Still undecided if I grab the preorder for Hong Kong on Steam or if playing Dragonfall is now enough in the near future.. We’ll see.