December 1, 2007

Best. Saturday. Ever.

Why, you might ask? Probably mostly because I completed Mass Effect today, and that game is just absolutely phenomenal. The ending does a terrific job of tying up that story arc while doing an excellent job of setting up the sequel. Really, I'm not sure I could recommend the game more highly, all the elements (action, strategy, story, exploration, etc.) are balanced so superbly that the game just flows smoothly from beginning to end. It's cinematic, it's exciting, and it's the best game I've played this year (no small feat considering some of the competition), and probably the best I've played in the last few years.

Energized by my victory over Mass Effect, I decided to make a day of it and only do minor housework and project management tasks instead of getting deep into my FY-Iceworld map as I had originally planned. I recognize this is the second or third time I've decided to put off my FY-Iceworld map, but I imagine it will be okay. I've been feeling pretty burnt out lately with all these final projects swarming around at the end of the term, and I think today was just what I needed to recharge and hit the ground running for the rest of term. Plus, my temptations to play Mass Effect are significantly diminished (though not entirely absent) which should help me to focus on my upcoming projects.

Anyway, while today was thoroughly enjoyable, it has put me behind a bit from where I intended to be at this point, so I should get headed to bed soon and prepare for a long couple days: Alpha on Tuesday, Programming assignment on Thursday, FY-Iceworld due Friday. Yep, it's the home stretch, but there are quite a few hurdles between here and there.


  1. I'm not nearly as far in mass effect - 14 hours - but only recently have I been truly excited to play it. I've wanted to play it, but the sidequests don't feel as fulfilling as I want. Some of them seem so random. The main story is excellent so far though. we shall see if I reach the same level of recommendation as you.

  2. So I've got like 18 hours into Mass Effect so far. I'm playing on Veteran. I'm surprised you don't have more quibbles about the game. I agree the story is pretty cool, and I do like me my space ships. But, there are so many things in the game that fall short. They don't stop it from being good, but the execution is so poor on all of these things:

    Texture popping
    Lighting (occasionally one person in a conversation will be nearly completely covered by glare from one of the internal lights)
    Makko controls
    All non-conversation menus

    All of those things are by not first rate. It's the kind of crap I would expect from a Movie adaptation game.

    And some of the other stuff in the game is sort of a strange.

    Combat, I could go for more fetch stuff/find stuff missions and bit fewer kill these people or get ambushed missions. Also the 3rd person shooter elements should either be better implemented or less important.

    Dialog, seriously, there is to much. Can I have an option for 'I read the Codex so not every damn person has to explain how the world works'. They also didn't revolutionize rpg dialog. It's not that different the dialog trees in previous bioware games. It's definitely executed better, but flow and options are the same. For example the flirty dialog sections are pretty cool, but there is a bunch of crap in those same conversations, I want to have more back in forth with double entandras(sp) and less tell me about your life.

    I'm still playing and I like it, but its videogame craft is so poorly executed it does the great world/story a huge disservice.

  3. Awesome comic about Mass effect

    I agree with most all of the complaints in this review although I think the 7 is to low.

  4. I guess as far as Mass Effect (or really any game) goes, I am willing to overlook technical issues to embrace storyline and immersion. To be quite honest, I'm pretty sure Mass Effect is KoToR through and through in terms of it's technical capability vs. it's story and environment.

    Since I don't have a lot of time right now, I can't get into all the reasons why I love the game. i think the simple fact is that, for me, it offered exactly what I expected and wanted. It is a fully realized world with an excellent story, and a thrilling conclusion. A lot of games seem to be missing out on the last one lately. Add to that some of the most fun CRPG combat I've yet to experience, and that's what makes it my game of the year.

    Admittedly, if you cite it's technical or gameplay shortcomings, it may seem wanting, but I think the whole is more than the sum of the parts. As far as the technical aspects are concerned, I don't think they are of critical importance, and I think it's gameplay is some of the best featured in an RPG, though I think it is tending to be compare to 3rd-person shooters since it emulates them so closely.

    Anyway, I've ranted longer than I intended, and I still need to write a post. We can definitely talk more later. Potentially when my term is over and I actually have time.