Mass Effect 2 Review by Dan Hunt

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Polly
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Mass Effect 2 Review by Dan Hunt

Postby Polly » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:00 pm

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Discussion topic for Dan Hunt's review of Mass Effect 2
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Bpwner
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Re: Mass Effect 2 Review by Dan Hunt

Postby Bpwner » Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:00 am

Now that I've finished the main campaign, I finally got around to reading this review. The impression that I got from Mass Effect 1 was that, from a design standpoint, most of the development man-hours were expended getting the five or six "must do" locations fleshed out as far as maps and environments go, and then they just allowed three or so copy-pasted warehouses to suffice for the optional game, where you spend 70% of game time if you really want to flesh out your character. I'm not being original or groundbreaking in this complaint, but with this "glaring in comparison with the new and improved version" flaw held in contrast with Mass 2's level design, I still can't help but feel that having more unique areas but less of them in total doesn't quite strike the balance that I was hoping it would. Oh sure, they're worlds more fun to actually play than the old maps, but I felt like I hadn't done quite as much as I had in 1 despite having more characters' errands to run and putting an equal amount of game time in as a typical Mass 1 playthrough.

I think most fans are going to be on board for 3 for the increasingly cinematic portrayal of the story and universe at this point. The streamlining of the gameplay could very well become as pared-down as, say, Jade Empire, with some unnecessary combat refinement thrown in to compensate. I'm thinking grappling hook physics and chainsaw guns. Not a gun with a chainsaw on it, a gun that shoots chainsaws. I haven't played Dragon Age 2, just the first one, which felt like Guild Wars with Bioware pausing to me, but I can only see a future Mass Effect having less RPG elements. If 2 was a streamlining of the tedious ammo-swapping and omni-gel arts and crafts of 1, 3 will probably either do little to change what 2 "fixed" or further de-RPG-ify what was already essentially a graphical adventure with troublesome cover-shooter parts that you have to endure to get back to the enjoyable moralizing and making out with space lizards.
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Re: Mass Effect 2 Review by Dan Hunt

Postby evilpaul » Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:13 pm

Aside from the resource farming being terrible that the Citadel was reduced to like the waiting room in one guy's office from this massive place with tons of shit to do was disappointing. And fuck the handwaving about "Oh, it's like damaged from the attack and stuff!"
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Re: Mass Effect 2 Review by Dan Hunt

Postby Bpwner » Mon Sep 19, 2011 6:33 pm

I kind of liked having multiple "towns" rather than one megatown, but the Citadel felt more like a subway terminal than, well, the Citadel. I also had trouble remembering which kiosk in which town had whatever tech upgrade I couldn't afford at the time (money was almost always a problem for me in 2), and the time it takes to make your space jumps and sit through loading screens, then actually walk to the end of town you need to be on is excruciating compared to getting around your average 16-bit JRPG.
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Re: Mass Effect 2 Review by Dan Hunt

Postby Polly » Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:35 am

I'm having a terrible time with money in 2. Everything is so damn expensive and mission payouts that aren't story missions are entirely laughable. It's like, yeah I COULD buy that upgrade that gives me 5% damage on some weapon or another, but it seems so pointless and would be 1/4 of my scratch. I'm really not the biggest fan of how all the RPG'ey stuff feels and how not receiving some kinda payout for enemies you down during a mission makes gaining levels and Squad Points feel rather grating. The rewards never feel worth the time invested a lot of the time. I mean, yeah, Mass Effect 1's system was way too damn much stuff, but 2's feels like you're just never getting enough. I dunno. I'm a big baby or something! I just like feeling a sense of progression and this game is terrible at providing that.

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Re: Mass Effect 2 Review by Dan Hunt

Postby evilpaul » Tue Sep 20, 2011 6:34 am

I went with a Paragon Vanguard in my playthrough of ME2 and piled most of my Shepard upgrades into whatever the class upgrade was and whatever fire ammo was before I did other stuff. Watching an LP of one of the DLC things I realized I didn't get how the rock paper scissors armor shields something worked. ME1 I just felt like they made me compare and contrast in an unfriendly loot system to see if my shit was better or not. (If the thing sucks I sell it for "gel" that buys something I'm not exactly sure what. In ME2 they always wanted creidits I never had. Almost like some JRPG that needed a 16 bit remake so you didn't need to buy Potions one at a time. ME2 they just shitcanned that entirely to have a few classes of weapons (which they tossed me a sniper rifle and assault rifle in the last mission to fool around with anyway. The sniper rifle fucking rules, btw.) There were a few "Heavy Weapons" things that sounded varied, but there was a Geth laser or something that I used once and it didn't kill anything. It had lots of fucking ammo though. Boredom waves, I guess?

My real problem with Mass Effect 2 was that the alignment system is shit. You can either be a paragon or an epileptic schizophrenic douchebag. ME1 had like a hostage situation with people who had shitty implants with terrible side effects. You could basically go in there and tell them their situation will be heard or shoot them. ME2 has a mission where you're standing in front of Garrus's sniper rifle target who sold his people out in an attempt to save his family (who were unfortunately murdered) or let Garrus shoot him. The black and grey morality only carries so far.

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