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29 January 2010 @ 09:48 am
Apparently, Bioware owns my soul.  
 I have so many things I should be posting about.  Jewelry.  Bread.  Writing.

But no, I'm too busy playing Mass Effect 2, which first required me to actually finish Mass Effect 1, since Bioware has designed it as a trilogy, and you import your ME1 character, and all of the decisions you made and things you did in the first game shape the second.  I literally had to start over (my original game was w/the default Shepard, because I didn't know you could switch genders and play a female MC.  Which I did this time around.)

Anyway.  Mass Effect isn't quite as awesome a RPG as Dragon Age (same company), but it isn't really fair to compare them, as ME is a completely different style of game.  It's an RPG AND a shooter.  I do not play shooters.  But I find that placing the difficulty on casual, I am enjoying the heck out of the combat in ME2 - very surprising.  They've made it much smoother and more seamless than the more cumbersome combat in ME1, or for that matter, in most RPGs.  And as much as I thoroughly enjoyed the story in ME1 (which I played for something like twelve hours on Wednesday to finish), ME2 takes my breath away.  It makes me laugh, makes me mad, surprises me, and brings up lots of tiny little details from my play experience w/ME1.  It is, in a word, AWESOME.

And while it lacks the many, many party conversations that thrilled and amused me in Dragon Age, it has some definite gems.  

Like the crew member who sings a version of "Major General" from Pirates of Penzance.  HILARIOUS.

I am very early into this massive game, but I've spoiled myself for some paths my MC will NOT be taking by clicking links to youtube.  For instance, there is a character that carries over from ME1, an alien sniper named Garrus.  He was one of my go-to party members.  He's a badass with a sniper rifle, and I tend to see things the same way he does, so we agree a lot of the time.  Apparently some female gamers complained they couldn't romance him in ME1, so Bioware made him a romance option in ME2.  I don't really get this.  He's an awesome character, but he's, well...he's just too different, species-wise, to romance IMO.  No lips.  Lots of teeth and other...things.  Just....no.  (Now Thane, in ME2....maybe.  He has lips, and a very human body.  Just green skin scales and black eyes.  We'll see.  I haven't actually added him to my squad yet, so I don't know.  But I'm not ruling him out based solely on his species, as Garrus is.)

Anyway, so I know I won't be romancing Garrus.  But others have and will, and apparently there are some pretty funny bits, conversationally.  For instance (remember, he's a sniper):

Shepard, teasing him: "So, when should I book the room?"
Garrus, serious: "I'd wait, if you're okay with it.  Disrupt the crew as little as possible...and take that last chance to find some calm just before the storm." (all casual-like) "You know me.  I always like to savor the last shot before popping the heat sink."
Shepard: ...
Garrus: "Wait. That metaphor just went somewhere horrible."

LMAO.  I laughed and laughed.  That was actually very in character for Garrus. :)

In any case, Bioware knows their stuff.  Maybe because I ended ME1 one day, and picked up ME2 the next, but the opening sequence of game 2 gave me chills.  Very well done.  The combat and leveling systems are both much, much smoother/better than ME1.  Of course, there are people whining on the forums.  I don't get it, but to each their own, I guess.  Seems to me, Bioware has outdone themselves.  I can't wait to see what they do with ME3.
a joyful girl getting loudperi_peteia on January 29th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
OH THANK GOD. I was beginning to think I was the only person in the world who doesn't get the fixation on romancing Garrus. Don't get me wrong, I would consider myself at least SOMETHING of a fan of Garrus Vakarian. But the thought of a physical relationship with him leaves me somewhere between "?!" and "...OUCH."

But then I can barely work out sexual attraction to most humans, so what do I know!

I am kind of in awe that you played through all of ME1 in a day in order to import into ME2. I was too lazy to even get my three main Shepards (Paragon, Renegade, and Neutral, hobvs) to level 60 for the extra bonuses upon importing. Two of them were 58 and one was 56, but I've played through ME1 so many millions of times that I couldn't pretend that I was going to put down Dragon Age to finish playing through it YET MORE TIMES as I waited the last few days for ME2.

My relationships with Mass Effect and Dragon Age are so interesting to me now because Mass Effect was always My Game and Dragon Age was always something that I was indifferent to until I decided I needed SOMETHING to pass the time until ME2. But now playing ME2, which is great mind, there are things I miss about Dragon Age! Not REALLY the combat (though it's fun in its own WoW-like way) since I love shooters and thus immediately loaded up ME2, imported my Soldier, cranked up the difficulty and went to town. But I think ME2 could def be improved by some of the party interaction dynamics of Dragon Age. Very, very different games, for one Dragon Age is substantially longer it's looking like and obviously has a lot more variability, but I'm having a hard time feeling much connection to the party members in this installation. A much harder time than I did in Mass Effect and a much harder time than I did in Dragon Age.


Edited at 2010-01-29 07:01 pm (UTC)
rhienellethrhienelleth on January 29th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, I didn't play through the whole thing in a day. It took me about a week, actually. The last two major story elements took me that twelve hours on Wednesday, and I just gave up getting every single resource and side mission somewhere in there. Driving the Mako over all these insane, craggy mountains was sort of fun for the first half, but it got real old, real fast.

I just did the one playthrough, and ended with my character at something like level 43. So, not as big a bonus importing into ME2, but that's okay.

Garrus...yeah, cool character, but romance? I DO NOT SEE IT. I'm not even sure I'll be able to see it with Thane, and so far Jacob has not tempted my Shepard to be disloyal to Kaidan.

WHO JUST TOTALLY BROKE MY HEART ON HORIZON, OMG. WHAT?? I was DEAD for two years, and he's mad at me? Okay, I get it. It does kind of look like I'm working for those untrustworthy bastards, Cerberus. But I tried to explain, and he didn't listen. And to think, I was ridiculously thrilled to see his picture on my desk in my quarters, and grateful that at least I saved his life when the original Normandy got blown up...


I hear staying loyal to him will reap big rewards in ME3. It better, after hardly seeing him in ME2, and then having my heart handed back to me.

I haven't been playing long enough yet to feel much of any connection with my new squad. Garrus always has my back, although I am unhappy that his loyalty to me is neutral. Really, Bioware?? After everything we went through together in ME1? I don't much like Miranda, Jacob is "meh". I do enjoy the doctor, he is amusing. And I haven't had much contact to speak of yet with Grunt or Jack. But Jack irritates me less than Miranda so far, so we'll see.
a joyful girl getting loudperi_peteia on January 30th, 2010 12:01 am (UTC)

Dude, I was so pissed off about that I MADE AN ENTIRE POST AT THE ME COMM ABOUT IT.

I like most (though not all) of the party members fine. I just don't really have any interest in romancing any of them.

And yes I was so annoyed that somehow GARRUS ISN'T LOYAL. What the hell?! We went through hell together and yet somehow he is just as loyal to me as random obnoxious chick I picked up from a prison?! That was just nonsensical.