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Gaming Mass Effect 2 Review

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Sifter3000, 26 Jan 2010.

  1. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    That's fine, apply for the job then, i'm really interested how informative your review would be vs joe's.

    God knows i'm not a blind follower of bit-tech reviews (just look up the threads for the Titan Fenrir reviews), but i'm with Joe on this one. He did not say you are an idiot, he was making a rather good point, namely that reviews ought to be written by somebody who is passionate about the genre, because that is his reader base. A review is a general buy/dont-buy advice, and as such has the function to inform those who were concidering the purchase anyway.
    Your point that this advice is hard to interpret for non-fans is not even disagreed upon by him, it's a conscious choice in the way he goes about doing his job.

    If you are not a fan of the genre, you are not a member of the target audience of this review, hence you shall have to do some thinking of your own before you can decide on your purchasing decision. Aside from the negativism, you seem perfectly capable of doing so, so what's your problem? :confused:
     
  2. Xtrafresh

    Xtrafresh It never hurts to help

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    doublepost, plz delete ;) :duh:
     
    Last edited: 27 Jan 2010
  3. banshee256

    banshee256 New Member

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    I don't buy a lot of games, because they're getting so bloody expensive that I'm limited to one or two a year. So when I do buy one, it has to have some gimmick that allows me to play it through more than once. Or be very, very long and enjoyable.

    Couple of years ago, I made the HUGE mistake of wasting my money of Mass Effect. Don't get me wrong. The game was great. For an entire weekend. Then it was over. Done. Complete. I expect a game to keep my interest at least a few months, not a few hours. But Mass Effect didn't.

    The replay value was zero. The higher difficulty levels only gave enemies more HP. A LOT more HP. So much more, that it was completely ridiculous. And ruined the experience completely.

    The side-missions were crap. Just the same bunker over and over and over again, with the same boxes, but (slighty) different enemies. And only one way to complete them. Find the base, kill the bad guys, job done. Very few had any sort of conversation or consequences.

    The random loot system was crap. It was crap in Oblivion, it was crap in Fallout 3 and it was still crap in Mass Effect. When I find a derelict satellite, that's been laying around since the dawn of time, I don't expect it to hold modern weapons and armour. But they did.

    The promised DLC never came. There was 1 DLC worth mentioning and it was more of the same. True, it added a bit of variety, but not much. Certainly not enough to be hyped as much as it were. And over all it didn't add more than an hour or so to the hugely disappointing short game anyway...

    The character development was way, way too forgiving. You could pretty much max out every aspect of your character. Not completely, but pretty much. I haven't played it since the DLC became available for the PC, but I vaguely recall that each class had about 6 or 7 characteristics and then 3 at the bottom of the screen, one of which was your 'alignment'. But you could max out 5 or 6 of them and still have enough points to max out the remaining 3.

    My question to you, Mr. Joe, is: Have any of these problems been fixed? Mass Effect got a 9 or 10 as well and it was hugely disappointing, so I can't really use the score as any sort of guide. Based on this criticism, is Mass Effect 2 worth my hard-earned money? Or should I just forget about it and wait to the price is reduced by at least 75%?
     
  4. GravitySmacked

    GravitySmacked Mostly Harmless

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    Hope my copy lands today, cannot wait!
     
  5. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Not really, it's just that you're tempering your opinion closer to your own stance and Tim and I are tempering ours the other way. You're suggesting that a non-fan (I'm picking up now that you don't mean non-gamer) would have valid opinions on what makes the game great. I agree. You seem to think that those opinions would be useful and relevant to a wider audience? On some level I agree.

    The problem though is that bit-tech's wider audience is very much targeted in particular ways - i.e. PC gamers with an interest in hardware and games. We also have to assume that if you read an article then you're interested in that product - so mainly RPG fans will read the Mass Effect 2 review. If RPG fans are the main audience then what use will they get from listening to someone who doesn't share their passion (even if we assume they are a gamer in general and share the same level of knowledge).

    An excellent example is the facial animation system you talk about it. You admit that you don't really like RPGs and you point that out as something you don't like because it's tedious and gets in the way of the action and plot. I'm an RPG fan however and personally I flipped between loving the animation for giving me more of a link to characters and not noticing it at all because I know dialog and convos are a big part of the genre. RPG fans will likely lean closer to my opinion than yours in this case.

    This is something we've learned by doing too, it's not just some tripe I'm inventing. One of the first reviews I wrote for bit-tech was of the PC version of DMC4. I didn't really like fighting games like that at the time and pointed out that the games plot was stupid to the point of being offensive, questioned the floating-attack mechanic for jump attacks and said that really the game was nought by gloss and mash. I appreciated the mechanics enough to give an average score, but I slated the bulk of what genre fans love and accept about the game. I rightly got slaughtered in the comments thread and have since taken action to prevent that happening again, such as giving some genre of games to other people to review.

    There are places where the idea of non-fan reviews are useful and an excellent example if graphics cards, where it's important that the reviewer isn't a big fan of Nvidia or ATI or a particular architecture because it is easily revealed and severely damaging and because the bias is based on a fairly simple choice - one or the other. With games though, which are more of a qualitative assessment than a quantitative one and where there are many more genres, developers, tastes and opinions to contend with it's not feasible to do non-genre-fan reviews; especially for a site which caters specifically and explicitly to the hardcore fan audience.

    Of course, if you want to have more non-fan reviews then I can always get my little sister Faith back in to do some reviews.
     
  6. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    It's still a very similar game in many ways, so if I were you then I'd probably wait until the price has dipped a bit if you can and look elsewhere for RPG kicks. I'd suggest Deus Ex, Knights of the Old Republic and Baldur's Gate / Planescape Torment / Fallout 2 if you're mainly interested in length and replay value and depending on whether you want FPS, third person or isometric gameplay. They are all very long, replayable, cheap games.
     
  7. banshee256

    banshee256 New Member

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    Thanks for giving me a short answer to my rather lengthy post :p

    Funny, isn't it... All those games you've mentioned. I own the lot of them. But the newest of them is, what, 6 years old? 5? Torment is 10 years old. And they're still played. I don't think there's a lot of people still playing games that were released last year. It's all become a 'play and forget' affair.

    I'm off to download KoToR 2: Restored Contents Mod and see what it has to offer then. Thanks for the advice.
     
  8. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    That's not totally true across all genres, I don't think. For RPGs though, yeah. I think it's to do with the graphical economy of games. 5 years ago the graphics weren't as advanced, so a three year dev cycle may have afforded a lot more time for writing and content making - especially when you didn't have to involve voice actors all the time and could essentially recycle content a lot more. Now though, with graphics a far more important aspect of the game the developers spend a lot more time on that. I like to look at the Elder Scrolls games on this topic - you can essentially chart how the graphics/content/replay value/play time variables interact.
     
  9. dinjo_jo

    dinjo_jo New Member

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    Guys i"m finding pretty difficult to play the game , i have not played any RPG before
     
  10. Bede

    Bede Well-Known Member

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    RPGs are fairly obvious, they're like a simplified and extremified version of real life. You make decisions, kill the bad guys and loot their corpses for things to sell or wear or shoot :)
     
  11. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Just try to be consistent in what you do. Focus on being all renegade or all paragon if you have troubles, upgrading the abilities you use the most. If you're really have difficulty then by far the easiest class to play as is Soldier.
     
  12. Apocalypso

    Apocalypso Fully armed and operational.

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    Instabuy!

    I loved the first game enough to put about 75+ hours in to it.
     
  13. Hovis

    Hovis New Member

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    The locations are far more diverse. The inventory system with all the loot and such related to it was binned completely in favour of a new one. There's no more generic bunker full of crates missions. The character system has been rehashed so it is more streamlined, for example you don't have to upgrade weapon talents individually. I wouldn't say it's entirely forgiving though as actions have consequences that mere stats cannot protect you from.

    I'd say if it's not too late try playing as a Soldier class. I wouldn't say it's necessarily the easiest, but it'll be the most familiar to somebody without experience of Mass Effect or RPGs in general. It's the old Lots Of Guns approach, and it's pretty epic.
     
  14. banshee256

    banshee256 New Member

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    Arena: All countries and cities of Vardenfel(sp?) open to exploration. Much of it done by a random number generator though, but there was still so much contents you couldn't hope to see it all. Graphics were crap, though, and just getting it to run was a pain.

    Daggerfall: Reduced to 1 country. Much better design of cities and stuff and graphics looked better. Didn't play it very much but I seem to recall a 3D in-game map or something. It was pretty sophisticated for it's time.

    Morrowind: Still just one country/continent. Everything was more or less designed by hand. Graphics were brilliant and a fair few people struggled to squeeze a playable framerate from it. Except for a few House/guild-quests, everything could be achieved in one playthrough. It took a few more, if you wanted to see what the different guilds had to offer.

    Oblivion: Still just one country, but it had been reduced in size, compared to previous titles. Few cities too. Everything designed by a human being, instead of a random number generator. Graphics were again very advanced and getting a playable framerate from it stole more of my time than actually playing the game. But everything was doable in a single playthrough, incl. being the master of multiple guilds. Worst random loot/enemies generator ever conceived (possibly to save time for other stuff like graphics).

    Conclusion: Graphics goes up, everything else suffers.

    But why does EVERY game need to do this? Except a few companies (Blizzard springs to mind) and indie games, everyone else's focus is on graphics and gimmicks instead of story, gameplay and replay value. And what is more important? It's like cereals; colourful, shiny boxes, a fast and easy meal, but zero nutritional value. Empty calories. Bleh... It's disgusting.
     
  15. SNIPERMikeUK

    SNIPERMikeUK New Member

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    I picked up ME1 (PC) recently for £9.99 in gamestation sealed, and it's a great game, I bought it after being recommended it upon returning Dragon Age:O which I did not enjoy, cool thing was I got it with the money refunded for that game and still had £20 towards something else, best decision I made, just ordered the sequel....
     
  16. smoke63b

    smoke63b New Member

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    If large games like this had no small meta games there would be nothing "rpg" about them. They would be all action. Not every single meta game can be as popular and strategically challenging as Tetris or something. Point is that using probes and getting minerals is a way to pace the upgrades you get and a nice side bonus while SEARCHING FOR SIDE MISSIONS, which is really what it's for.

    Graphics haven't improved much? You either have a low end system or didn't take the time to actually go to "configuration" from the start menu and turn on AA and everything else. Yes, AA is on there. Some of the close-ups of the alien races faces/bodies are amazing. The textures are SO detailed. Looking at one of the blue aliens up close, the skin looked so good that I could actually tell what that would feel like. The graphics in this game are far away better than ME1 and ME1 was pretty good in it's time as well.

    RPG Light? If your definition of "Heavy" rpg is lots of character micro-management via skills etc... then you're mostly correct. My interpretation of an RPG though involved character building, interaction with people on a meaningful level, a sense of a real place in the world (or galaxy), deep and meaningful plots. This game has all of that in spades.

    My only issue with this game is the way they decided to fix item management. I like the system as a whole but in an rpg, I love to find equipment and physically manage that. If they could've given us more item diversity through drops AND brought in this new modification system on top of that, it would have been perfect. Other than that, excellent game. I'd give it a 9.5 compared to my personal opinion of ME1's 9.0. The story and interaction is where it's at for these two games.
     
  17. Hovis

    Hovis New Member

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    If 'RPG light' means less stats and number crunching I'm all for it. The fact that Mass Effect 2 could almost have been titled 'Rainbow Six: Terminus Systems' to me is a plus. The stats weighed down the first game, particularly on high difficulties where the mobflation was horrible.
     
  18. Mustangdelta

    Mustangdelta Who knew?

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    Played the game for about 5 hours last night and would agree with the Bit-Tech review.

    Streamlined where it needed to be, interesting storyline, amazing graphics and harder to get lost in the beginning.

    Not to keen on the achievements flashing up on the screen a la Modern Warfare and although it doesn't sit right with me currently, I'm sure I'll grow to like the paragon/renegade choices during gameplay. It went to a cut scene the first time I chose one, it took me by surprise:D.

    Good point mentioned in an earlier post about the graphics. It appears you can only set the graphical preferences once you've started your first game. Nearly missed it myself and certainly makes the game pop from the screen.

    Did they have the vaulting in the first one? If not, nice touch.
     
  19. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    Nope
     
  20. MacWalka

    MacWalka New Member

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    Anyone know if ASDA, Tesco, Morrisons etc will be doing a cut price introduction for this like they did with MW2?

    I'd like to get this cheaper than the usual £40 XBox price tag.
     
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