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Taking Notes: Mass Effect


Last Friday I posted a blog about diving back into Mass Effect, and trying to take a look at the game in a critical light. In an attempt to sound smarter and also make specific references to moments in the game , I took notes on my latest playthrough. This blog is purely me translating my notes from a mini spiral notebook onto the internet verbatim; in the hopes that someone finds entertainment in reading my dumb and poorly written thoughts.

  • Cool character creation. Alliance database thing/data corruption/profile reconstruction
  • Takes background into effect.
  • Love all weapons at all times.
  • Spoken word codex.
  • Strong film grain.
  • Infinite ammo is cool.
  • Soldiers salute when you walk by.
  • I love the mystery and how no one believes in reapers at the beginning.
  • Nihlus is a good representation of a cool spectre character.
  • Renegade female for a different experience.
  • Protheans were still very mysterious and cool.
  • Sarens ship as a reaper was an amazing reveal.
  • Framerate is an issue.
  • Non hostile targets on Eden Prime nice touch.
  • Grenades are cool.
  • Great introductions to the various species through citadel embassies.
  • Still seems ok graphically.
  • Crazy UE3 pop in.
  • Armor variety is awesome.
  • Battle not very fun, powers janky.
  • Always miss one keeper on the citadel.
  • Like different armors and that you can armor everyone with different (aesthetic) armor.
  • Long elevators. (20 sec)
  • Amazing speech when becoming a spectre. Great swelling music.
  • Love muzak version of main theme in elevators.
  • Renegade choices seem to often deny quests, which is an annoyance.
  • Another great speech moment when you take over the Normandy.
  • I like the Mako. It's Janky but fun to run over geth in.
  • Hard for me to be renegade towards my companions.
  • High risk planets are a cool idea.
  • Collection quests suck. i.e. minerals and turian insignia's, medallions, etc.
  • Level 1 and 2 hazards that limit movement outside the Mako due to extreme climate.
  • Cool quests related to the background you pick. i.e. earthborn has "Old Friends" quest involving helping your old gang from back on Earth.
  • Side missions are ok, not great. Stories in these missions are often fairly benign, or end seemingly prematurely.
  • Some awesome planets i.e. frozen planets, planets with constant meteorites.
  • Side quests get old fairly quickly. They have a formula of:
    • 1.Small story bit.
    • 2.Combat.
    • 3.Unsatisfying resolution.
  • Burnout at about 10 hours in. Mainly referring to UNC quests.
  • Early Citadel quests are still interesting as they focus more on conversation and world building.
  • Like personal quest like Wrex family armor, wish there was more stuff like that.
  • Stopped doing UNC quests after 5, incredibly boring. Continued to do other quests. Only exception to this was the moon AI/VI mission.
  • Most planets are drab mountain ranges, some cool exceptions.
  • Appreciate the amount of lore written, incredible that every planet, even unexplorable ones have a fairly lengthy description.
  • Bring Down the Sky has a compelling opening that really draws you in.
  • Bring down the Sky stunning skybox.
  • Missing miners quest in Bring Down the Sky is a waste of time, no payoff.
  • Enjoyed navigating minefield.
  • Enjoy the introduction of Batarians. (complete assholes)
  • Realized that the main problem with side quests is that narrative is the only reward worth anything, and it's always sparse/throw away. The way the loot woks there really is no reward that could satisfy and XP flows so fast and furious that those rewards don't mean anything either. Money also becomes meaningless quickly. Only things worth buying being upgrades and spectre weapons.
  • Sprinting is super fast but very limited.
  • Very interesting moral choice at the end, one that isn't as black and white as usual. Do you let the bad guy go to save a handful of lives? Or do you sacrifice them to ensure the bad guy can't harm anyone else?
  • Equipping party individually using lockers is cool conceptually, but annoying in practice.
  • Skipped colony side quests on Feros. Partly because they seemed boring, partly to roleplay as a no nonsense renegade only concerned with finding Saren. 
  • Nice bit of foreshadowing with Fai Dan about the real nature of the colony. "Most serene place imaginable." (Watch video for real line)
  • It was in the middle of Feros that I realized I really wasn't having much fun, and I started mainlining the game in the hopes that the main plot would keep my interest. Which was a stupid hope since I'd played the game before and knew all that was going to happen.
  • Eventually combat becomes boring as your gear and powers get stronger.
  • Decryption minigame gets old very quickly. Eventually I started using omnigel all the time, since money wasn't really an issue. I had a ton of stuff to turn into omnigel that I could use to open boxes full of useless stuff for the most part. It is a vicious cycle done in the hopes of finding something worth using.
  • Loot starts out cool but becomes a hassle quickly. There is just to much junk that is thrown at you.
  • Mako is a bitch on Feros thanks to the tighter spaces of the skyway and tunnels.
  • The knock out grenade for the crazy colonists is a nice touch.
  • Fai Dan resisting and killing himself is a nice scene. Made me think that if it was in ME2 it would probably have a renegade interrupt to kill him.
  • Like the mind meld Asari can do, Star Trek nod.
  • Funny that the Protheans look so different than they do in later incarnations.
  • New found respect for Kaiden now that I'm romancing him. He is a good character, I never gave him a chance before, I would always let him die.
  • Talking with your crew after missions is easily the highlight of the game.
  • Big fan of the political intrigue/corruption on Noveria. Much more interesting then Feros. I enjoyed taking down the administrator. Made me feel like a badass space cop. Plus he's such an asshole that I had a lot of fun taking him out.
  • Noveria has some actually good side quests such as the hanar smuggling and the corporate espionage one. They are both interesting plot wise and have many outcomes. These are the kind of side quests I wish there were more of.
  • The shield takes way to long to recharge on the mako. It's into the minutes to get full shields from near empty.
  • Puzzle to fix VI on Noveria is still annoying. I suggest paying the 100 omnigel.
  • I feel like Noveria is composed of all the things that make ME great: Alternate paths, dialogue with a variety of people, some mako but doesn't overstay it's welcome, combat is tolerable, great final choice.
  • Wrex argument on Virmire is tense, it really put me on edge even though I'd seen it before.
  • Captain Kirrahe's speech on Virmire is easily one of my favorites, just excellent cinematography, sound, and writing.
  • We held the line!!
  • I love the whole of Virmire. The mission itself has a sense of grandeur and scale. It makes me feel like I'm in a real battle. The comm chatter is fascinating. Even though I was playing renegade I was happy to help Kirrahe at every opportunity.
  • Sovereigns introduction is amazing. Gives me chills. I love how threatening and overwhelming he is just in conversation.
  • Sarens introduction on Virmire is badass, he rolls up on a floating platform and just blasts biotics like a boss. The conversation afterward is telling, letting the player see just how effective indoctrination can be.
  • The ensuing boss fight greatly undermines the following cutscene where Saren nearly kills Shepard. Classic RPG trope of winning the boss fight but losing the plot battle.
  • The death on Virmire is a pivotal point, but one that doesn't have much punch as the 2 party members that can die are easily the weakest of the group. I did however appreciate the survivors remorse Kaiden expressed in the wake of Ashley's demise.
  • Thought the commanders quarters on the Normandy are utterly useless.
  • I like that if you rescue the person you put on the salarians team they are also rescued and appear on your ship to thank you.
  • Nobody stabs me in the back Udina, nobody!
  • I kind of enjoy the chemistry between femshep and Kaiden, it actually seems legit which is a hard thing to pull off.
  • The lock in a the the citadel seems stupid to me, the game drills into your head repeatedly that you have supreme authority, yet Udina can just shut you down in an instant.
  • Sex scene is even tamer than I remember. Comparable to a lifetime movie at best. Although I do find the dialogue afterwards hilarious "I don't think I've worked out all my stress yet."
  • Prothean statues on the world of Ilos are really inaccurate when compared to later renditions.
  • Not a fan of Ilos aesthetic. Normally I like overrun urban areas but here it just doesn't seem that well done.
  • I like that Shepard can understand Prothean, good reveal with your teammates saying they can't understand the language while all you hear is English.
  • Vigil has one of the best information dumps of all time. I like that after so many hours you just get a ton of questions answered in one conversation.
  • The small relay in the citadel being an actual relay is a great reveal.
  • The massive space battle at the citadel is awesome. Makes for a good setting to end the game.
  • Love space walking on the citadel. Skewed perspectives make for an interesting environment.
  • I appreciate that they let you talk Saren into suicide. I wish that they didn't make you fight his husk afterward. I feel like ending the game on a conversation is fitting.
  • Letting the council die doesn't exactly feel like a renegade choice in the moment. It only makes sense to concentrate on Sovereign, the risk is just too great to waste ships on anything else.
  • Saren boss fight sucks. It's just an annoying bullet sponge kind of fight.
  • The next to final scene of Shepard coming up from the rubble is great. The swelling theme really makes it feel epic.
  • I don't like being railroaded into an all human council. It seems really improbable to me that humanity would just take all seats on the council like nothing. I get that one of the main themes of the franchise is humanities rise, but it seems impossible that such a thing could happen in the world they built just because Shepard saved the Citadel. Especially since it's clear in ME2 that most people don't even believe in the reaper threat.
  • The credits song is kick ass
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About CoruptAI125one of us since 11:56 PM on 09.23.2009

I'm Josh, and this is my assuredly amazing blog that everyone should read. I'm primarily a console gamer, thriving on RPGs and action games, but playing pretty much anything I can get my hands on. I'm on a quest to write something about every game I play through...it's not going well.

Games I'm currently playing
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
Cthulhu Saves Christmas
Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale

What I'm watching
Random Docs I can find streaming

Books I'm reading
The Sparrow
Halo: Fractures

GOAT Podcasts
Hardcore History
The Nextlander Podcast
Uhh Yeah Dude
The Dollop
The Giant Bombcast

Some of my favorite games (Alphabetical order because I have list commitment issues)
Call of Duty: World at War
Deadly Premonition
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3
Fallout 3
Final Fantasy X
Gears of War 2
Gone Home
Jetpack Joyride
Life is Strange
Mass Effect 2
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Nier Automota
Resident Evil 5
Sonic 2
Syphon Filter
Tales of Vesperia
What Remains of Edith Finch

Xbox LIVE:xRaW Corupt AIx
PSN ID:CoruptAI125
Steam ID:CoruptAI125


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