And our adventure continues. Well, this all happened about six months ago, but I refrained from posting my own commentary due to the major technical hurdles of this particular episode in hopes it would get fixed, which never happened for various reasons. But rather than let this vanish into oblivion, I thought I’d finally publish the last of my commentary and give the videos some closure. Plus my blog is somewhat starved for content when I wrestle with school and my chronic writer’s block. And I have these two perfectly good posts ready to go.
This particular Let’s Play has been dropped indefinitely for now. School being a major factor for all of us, as well as the time that has to be put in for simple editing and uploading on Aldowyn’s part. We did get together to film the following week’s episodes, but the technical problems were so severe we ended up calling it quits and never got around to picking it back up. In addition to that, the internet was still on fire after the Mass Effect 3 debacle, and even though there was plenty of good discussion and analysis going around, the consistency of that and the bile just sort of took it out of us.
The afore mentioned technical hurdle is that something happened to the video when Aldowyn uploaded it: starting at 16:10, it loops the previous 8 1/2 minutes of footage (approximately) leading back up to where it cut off at 24:46. So you could either jump ahead from there, or go ahead and skip to 16:10 from 7:34.
Some of the behind-the-scenes fun is that the game crashed once where episode nine ends and where ten begins, and several times where ten ends; so that’s what I’m talking about at the start of the episode when I say, “We didn’t lose much,” referring to progress. Aldowyn’s mic was also generating a lot of static for some reason. He’s managed to clean up most of it, but there’s still some to be found. Please be patient with us.
I’m saying “um and “like” a lot in these videos. I need to cut that out.
I was also afraid that I was talking a little too much throughout this. The guys assured me I was fine, but that doesn’t completely stop me from worrying.
Nerves, I guess.
At around the eleven minute mark, we mention Spoiler Warning, which is Shamus Young’s Let’s Play show. It’s pretty much what inspires the direction of Aldowyn’s LP. There was also some static there. If I remembered what Exetera said, I would gladly translate. Again, we plead leniency.
Starting at about the twelve minute mark (or at 20:30ish if you jumped to 7:34) I talk about how easy it is to die in Mass Effect 2 (though in all fairness, Aldowyn DID stand around in the open, so he was kind of asking for it there), the over emphasis on the reliance on cover, and (what I was trying to say, but kinda failed) how all the various combat mechanics revolve around the crappy cover mechanic. At the other end of the spectrum is Mass Effect 1’s combat which, while more clumsy, acknowledges and rewards the playstyles of different classes, as well as the cautious player and the more bravado player. In ME2, powers are nerfed and/or cut–a player may have five or so powers (including ammo types which is considered a power that you have to put skillpoints in now) and a squadmate will have two or three–a global cooldown is imposed so you can only use one power at a time. Not only that, but now certain powers can’t be used when enemy shields are up. This cripples power-based classes like the Adept and Engineer, forcing them to use weapons more. In addition, weapons now need ammo. The amount of ammo you can carry is also limited, especially for weapons like shotguns and sniper rifles, which are the backbone of hybrid-classes like the Vanguard or Infiltrator, so even some weapon-based classes are crippled. Damage output is high enough that it’s extremely easy to die in general, but the toughness of enemies varies with difficulty. So what do you do while you’re reloading or waiting on your cooldown timers? You hide in cover–it all comes back to the friggin’ cover mechanic.
At around the 15:50ish mark I mention Kinaesthetics. If you’re curious what that means, in the context of games it’s basically the aesthetics of play, or how a game feels when playing it. Campster of Errant Signal did a fantastic video on it. I love that term. I luvs it so much. I REFUSE to call it “game feel”. Exetera claims it “shows my influence” from Campster, who often uses the term. I don’t think so. In my defense, my gripes with ME2’s combat have always been there, I just didn’t know there was a word for the “feel” of a game for the longest time.