All righty then, this is not a blog post for those not even remotely interested in Video Games. If you fall in that category and continue reading, you do so at your own peril. For the rest of you, especially those of you who have not gotten as far or have finished the game yet, there will be spoilers lurking at every corner and I make no apologies after this warning.
That having been said, my apologies to everyone for my very fangirlish moment: SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE!
Yes, I am really enjoying the game. I haven’t finished it yet, but I have gotten to the second disc and my mind is constantly being blown away. You certainly learn a lot more from what you learned in the first one and it seriously expands on the universe initially introduced. I do have a few quibbles about it, but they are outweighed by rest of the game. Now, Hubby and I are playing the game at the same time basically (which has made us both wish we had a 2nd HD TV and a 2nd copy of the game), so I will be surprised if the 360 does not Red Ring in the near future. It better not. We’ve had a helluva time with getting the game and then getting certain pieces to work right. You all know about us getting the game. What is new to you is getting certain pieces to work right.
Every BRAND new copy of the game comes with a free Cerebus Network card that gives you access to Free DLC, info and upcoming things, etc. Pretty cool, really. I had no problem in setting it up, linking it up through my EA account (which I’ve had for years and years thanks to Sims), and then moving along in the game. Now, we have not really experienced any problems in the past with using DLC on the same console but with different user profiles. We do it all the time with Rock Band, and many other games. We do have two consoles, one used to be Hubby’s road console when he was trucking, and then we have the house 360 which is used for everybody, especially when it’s a game more than one person wants to play, that way and downloadable content can be used across all profiles. Well, with Dragon Age: Origins, Hubby has to load my profile in game first, log me out and then log himself in in order to use the DLC. A pain, but workable. When he tried to use the Cerebus Network on his profile it became clear that families sharing the same console and playing the same games would not be able to use this function. So he did a lot of research, got in contact with this one dude via a friend of ours (thank you, again HB!) and we were given the following offer after our issue was explained; he could send us a new copy of the game, or he could send us the code for the Cerebus Network. Our other options were not satisfactory, and we certainly were not fishing for another copy of the game. So Hubby opted for the code, but even that wasn’t what we were looking for. I mean, with the amount of money I’ve spent on EA alone, we shouldn’t run into problems like these. And add in the money Hubby has spent, then I begin to wonder if EA/BioWare ever thought of things like this happening. I know as a spouse, I don’t feel it needed for me to spend money on something I’ve already spent for the same thing in the first place. And as a parent, if my kids were old enough to play this game, I’d feel the exact same way. If everybody had their own console, and I had the money, it’d be different. I know Hubby and I are a rarity in that both parties in the relationship are gamers, but there have to be more out there like us that face these same problems. We know enough Gaming Couples.
Anyway, that was the only hiccup in getting the game to play and it’s a relatively minor one, that possibly one day could be a bigger one, depending on how EA/BioWare deal with it. It remains to be seen.
Ok, gameplay. Overall, I like the game play. Took me a little while and help from Hubby to figure out where the grenades were. BEST IMPROVMENT EVER. Thank you BioWare! The Back Button in the previous game was an inconvenient spot for it. Now, it’s on the RB and works really well. Especially since they track enemies now :). The weapons system is much improved and more realistic. Easier to control the other squad members too. Though I’d still love to have a four member squad instead of the three, but hey, not really complaining. I do have a complaint about how they just took the inventory system out and replaced it with a mess. I don’t like the fact I can’t sell my unused equipment. I don’t miss the complicated mess it was with upgrades, etc, but I liked the different types of armor for everybody, that I could use Medi-Gels on demand (well, kinda) and that I could SELL my stuff. I hate how unity is locked into the Medi-Gels. I never liked that in shooter games where if you took cover you would heal. Do you know how many times I have died because I am lousy at shooters? Main reason I don’t play them. Halo is about the only exception there. I don’t mind the shooter like quality of the game, but that is one part of the game I outright hate. Well, gameplay wise. And did I mention I miss selling my old shit for new shit? The barter/market system is instrumental to any RPG, in any setting, on any platform, whether its books, PC, console, space, fantasy, etc. And I am sorry BioWare, you fucked that one up. Yeah, getting fish for your ship, plus models, etc is nice. BUT I like being able to sell my stuff I don’t use or don’t want. Hell, I like looking at it! I can’t even really do that. Although I like the upgrade researching and then actually getting the upgrades. I like that different NPCs offer different upgrades. Nice touch there. I like the fact that there are more romance options (more on that later), and there is much more that I like. This game shows that they listened to the fans and tried to do things to make everybody happy. But that is where some of the problem lies. You can’t make everybody happy. But thankfully I’m not going to let a few things ruin my enjoyment of the game. Can’t say the same for a few morons out there *sigh*.
Planet exploration. I bitched about the Mako in the last game almost as much as where the grenade button was. I miss the Mako. I don’t really care for the scan and probe concept. Rather tedious and boring. Some really like it, and that’s fine. Me personally, I think if they could have found a way to combine the two, then it would work. The Normandy could scan and probe the areas that are hard for the Mako to get to and you could still do actual planet explorations and meet up with pirates and enemies and gain more experience that way. Not enough planetary quests, that I’ve found anyway. I’m not done with the game yet, so that last little statement might change.
Joker. Best NPC ever. Haven’t gotten tot he point where you actually control him, but I can’t wait. I love Seth Green’s voice acting here. He does a wonderful job and it adds to the character. I love that BioWare gave him an expanded role in this game as he was a huge fan fav from the first one. His quips and jokes, and over all help is the best. Plus, who else would be crazy enough to pilot for Commander Sheppard??? I agree with a few that have said they would have liked to see him as a romance option. *sigh*
Speaking of romance options: WTF Kaidan?!?!?!?! Do you know how pissed I was when I found out I couldn’t romance my romantic interest in the first game and then couldn’t even get him to join my team! Pissed does not cover it. I was furious! I can’t blame Kaidan, as it stays with his character and how betrayed he’d feel at finding out Sheppard is still a live, and then working with Cerebus. But still, I miss him! I tired romancing Jacob in revenge and I think I messed that one up. So I think for this character, she is going to stay loyal to Kaidan and see what happens in the thrid game. But there are certainly more romance options this time around. Tali is now an option and apparently so is Garrus, though I have seen conflicting reports on that one. May have to try a create a character to find out. Let’s see, we have Miranda and Kelly and they round out the known human romance options. Then you have your aliens: Thane and Samara. I think that covers everybody… You all can correct me :). Oh and for the record, it is my understanding that the sex scene in this game is just like in the previous one, and it is still an option. So, FOX News, as much as I love you, Fuck off :P.
The story. Holy gods. It’s amazing. I love how when you import your save from the first game that it picks up ALL the little details, even things you forgot about. You run into people who seemed minor in that game and are now bigger players in this one. You meet up with old friends and get thank you notes (or hate mail) depending on what you did before. That fact that BioWare accomplished this makes me feel better for the thrid game. They succeeded at making the gameplay and story more immersive and enjoyable. They’ve always created games that the ending is based on your actions in the current game. Well, now your endings are based off not only your current actions, but the ones from the previous game as well! Talk about having a chance to have a different experience in each play through! I love it.
And they build on the story beautifully. You learn more about the organization of Cerebus, about who the Protheans were and how the history of everything is tied in together! I haven’t finished it yet, but I can’t wait so I can add more to the story part of this blog. It’s all done so well and so seemless. This is where they make up for the shortcomings.
I guess that’s it for this part of my Mass Effect 2 ramblings. As I get further into the game and finally finish it, I’ll write-up more about it. But this was all that I had in my itty bitty head this afternoon. Now I need to get some stuff done around the house and then hope that the road will allow me to get the car out in the morning with all the ice we’ve had last night and today so I can go to work tomorrow. Hopefully at most I’ll be a little late, but we’ll see. Going to call them tonight and let them know I might be a little late depending on all that. Hope those that got the snow are enjoying it!
General disclaimer: Mass Effect is owned by EA/BioWare and protected by the copyright laws. Any images and info used in thsi blog post are not meant to infringe on those rights, only to allow this fan a postive outlet and to share her thoughts about a game she loves and adores :).