Mass Effect 2 LP with Aldowyn Part 3

And so we continued.  We had to do this section several times before it stopped crashing.  Aldowyn eventually just rebooted everything which solved all our problems–static included.

Aldowyn died a lot in this episode, but at least we were able to find plenty of things to say about the combat.  *Cough* barring the fact we talked about two or three different games in between *cough*.

0:46 – I… couldn’t… resist…

On a more serious note, why do so many shooters feel the need to fill your screen with red/blood/scar-looking things as if (in the case of ME2) Elmo hugged your face really hard and left his fuzz all over you so that it’s impossible to see?  It makes it really hard to see what’s going on, especially when it counts.  Half-Life 2, for example, had the quiet voice of your hazmat suit telling you about things like fractures, and administering morphine.  The game also produced the effect of ringing in your ears if you were near an explosion.  There was no crap like the stuff here covering your screen.

For those curious, the Elmo reference was first made in episode six of the Spoiler Warning season of Mass Effect 2, about seven minutes in.

3:03  – “The implication of the sprawling cityscapes”?  I have no idea what I was trying to say here…

But at any rate, you can argue that in the two thousand years since the Rachni Wars and the Krogan Rebellions that the krogan have built all these cities and have torn them down again, but given the implications of krogan culture (that’s a better use of the word, right?), the fact that all we get on Tuchanka is generic metropolis ruins is pretty disappointing.

In the first Mass Effect when Wrex was talking about the sacred graves of the krogan where violence is forbidden, I guess I imagined a valley, mountains in the distance, sparse trees, and–y’know–mounds with skulls laid on top?  When Wrex spoke of skulls atop graves, I assumed something akin to a traditional grave or even a burial mound.  Some of this is pretty subjective I realize, but one thing I do know is the generic city ruins and nuclear wasteland were a let-down.

8:30 – It’s true, other than the occasional combat taunt you don’t really see Shepard’s team showing any visible signs of coordination, but nevertheless the coordination is still there and depends largely on how active a role the player takes in commanding the squad.  You can flank, combine powers, etc.  It is still all there, but the enemy never reacts to any of it, or even tries to do the same to you.  Like we said, it’s largely a game of peek-a-boo, or whack-a-mole.

9:12 – Okay, we were probably being a little unfair to that moment when the merc contacted Jedore in the middle of the fight.  There’s nothing wrong with it at all, but as a purely observational statement, stuff like this only happens three or four times throughout this particular mission.  We’re also not saying there needed to be tons of radio chatter between the mercs.  Like we said in the video, all that’s needed is a sense that the mooks mercs are coordinating against us.  Case and point: Half-Life 2.

18:12 – Exetera is right.  Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a stealth game, and it really revolves around and rewards the stealth aspect; however, Deus Ex has also always been about multi-path problem solving.  I guess I feel that if you’re going to give as a run-‘n’-gun option and give us armor upgrades, then you should properly support that.  Don’t make us spend 5 or 6 Praxis points on “better” armor, and there’s no noticeable difference in how quickly you die.  I’m not asking we become a damage sponge, I’m just asking that we not die in less than two seconds.

All in all though, DX:HR is light-years ahead of Mass Effect 2.  It is a little depressing when you have a company that has spent years specializing in RPGs and it’s dialogue–overall–can’t compare to another game made by another developer who doesn’t specialize in the RPG field.

21:43 – That was a failure on my part.  It’s just that the name “Collector” seems somewhat silly given the fact we are dealing with a creepy bug race that gathers sentient specimens for its own mysterious (and ultimately disturbing) purposes.  I mean, I don’t think it’s horrible, but maybe if they were called the “Harvesters” or something it would be more effective instead of some awkward nerd-Harbinger looking for a vintage 1960 edition of John Doe.  Or, perhaps rather, an original Shepard.  “Preserve Shepard’s body!  It’s very valuable and has to look good in the case!”

And so ended the foray into Mass Effect 2.  It’s a little disappointing but perhaps a hiatus is called for.

There’s actually a lot more I have to say about the games, bad and good.  I do plan to write more in the future, but for now, it probably does need a rest.

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