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No GravatarAs some of you might know, Mass Effect is one of my favorite gaming franchises.  Of course, when I say that, I am looking at the franchise as  a whole (I will not dwell on what happened to ME 3).  However, for those gamers who primarily play on PlayStation consoles, playing the original Mass Effect was not in the cards.  This changed once the game was finally released for PlayStation 3 at the end of 2012.  Finally, PlayStation fans were able to play the whole series through.  I  was one of those fans who got the original for digital download.  Here is what I thought:

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Mass Effect is a science fiction third-person RPG developed by Bioware and published by Microsoft originally, but is now being published by EA.  It originally was released for XBox 360 only, but eventually was released for PC and then Playstation 3.  It uses the Unreal 3 engine.  The game was applauded for its in-depth universe.  To me, the game is the Holy Grail of RPGs, since most do not have the Science fiction twist that Mass Effect does.

The setting puts the game far into the future where the human race discovers alien technology that allows them to travel faster than light (the “mass effect” field).  They have also found mass relays that allow them to travel significant distances in space in short amounts of time.  The human race expands throughout the galaxy, meeting other alien races.  They create the Human Systems Alliance that becomes a rising power among the other, older races.

The game follows Commander Shepard, an elite soldier who is picked to head a secret mission on a experimental ship, the SSV Normandy.  He is also in the running to become the first human Spectre, a black-ops division of the Citadel counsel, a governing body of the “civilized” parts of the galaxy.  As the story continues, the player begins to delve into the richly-designed universe that is Mass Effect and discovers that there are some very sinister things lurking in the galaxy.

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One of the fun things about this game is the ability of the player to go where they want to go in the galaxy.  Sure, there are some parts that you don’t get to decide, but there is a lot of freedom in traveling, allowing the player to go to some really cool planets.  Another interesting aspect (that I’m sure you may have heard about) is the ability to have Commander Shepard have a relationship with some of the characters.  You only get a few options in this game, but it still keeps things kind of interesting.

There’s a lot going on in Mass Effect.  It’s an RPG with XP, leveling up, and different skill-sets you can go through.  However, it is also a third-person action adventure shooter.  It employs a duck and cover system of fighting but also incorporates vehicle battle as well.  It SHOULD be a very diverse game play.  For the main missions, that is correct; the actual main quests are a ton of fun.  It’s the side quests that are a complete bear to play.  They are tedious and difficult in some spots, something that I wasn’t used to from playing Mass Effect 2 and 3 originally.  Because of this, I will have to knock the game play down quite a bit.

There are other aspects of the game play that I would like to cover, however.  The first being the class system.  Players get to choose at the beginning the type of class they want their character to be.  This also includes being able to fully customize the Shepard character: male or female, default or customize completely.  I recommend being on male default because Shepard is sexy.  Besides customizing the character in that way, there are six classes to choose from: Soldier, Engineer, Adept, Infiltrator, Sentinel, and Vanguard.  Each class has its own special perks.  I typically play as soldier.  Each of the classes also have their own special combat abilities.

Another interesting aspect of game play is dialogue and morality system.  As the story unfolds, the player is given options for dialogue.  One is typically the “good” option.  Another is the “neutral” option.  And the third is the “bad” option.  Depending on how good or bad you want Shepard to be will depend on how you answer.  However, sticking with one side opens up special dialogue conversations not available otherwise.

This particular Mass Effect game focuses very heavily on upgrading weapons.  The player can upgrade pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, as well as grenades and armor.  Mods to weapons and armor can also be found as well.  Upgrades are collected while exploring and in battle when an enemy is killed, but it can be a pain keep track of all of them.  Many times, I would have to stop game play because I had accumulated too many upgrades and had to either apply them or convert them into omni-gel (an all-purpose tool that helps with everything for fixing damage on vehicles to hacking locks).  This did get a bit annoying at times.

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For the time that the game came out, the graphics were pretty darned slick.  And not only that, but the game has actually aged well.  It is still playable without the graphics seeming to be annoying.  They certainly do not cause me headaches like Final Fantasy VII, for instance.  The in-game graphics are great, but the cut-scenes are really were the money is.

Unfortunately, even though the main parts of the game are a lot of fun, all of the side quests are a pain.  They are such a pain that I almost stopped playing the game.  They are tedious and repetitive.  Technically, I would give the fun-factor of the main game a 10, but I would give the side quests a 1.  Also because of this, I will probably not be revisiting the game, despite the awesome storyline.

As a whole, this game is great.  It’s got some issues; however, if the player just focuses on the main mission, the game is a lot of fun to play.  I’m also a bit picky because I feel Mass Effect 2 is a much better game overall.  Then again, considering that you can get the whole trilogy pretty cheaply and just the original even more cheaply, it’s definitely worth your time.

 

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No GravatarBioShock is a first-person shooter released in 2007 for XBox 360 and PC. It was later ported for PS3 in 2008.  It was developed by Irrational Games (they were calling themselves 2K Boston back in the day) and published by 2K.  The game uses a modified version of the Unreal engine with Havok for the physics side.  It was highly praised for its story, setting, and thematic elements.  It later spawned two sequels: BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite.

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As the player, you take on the character of Jack, a man who survives a plane crash into the middle of the ocean.  Upon swimming to safety, you find a lighthouse.  However, this is more than meets the eye.  After getting into a device called a bathysphere, a type of submersible, you are transported underneath the ocean and are introduced to Rapture, a huge underwater city.

However, there is something completely wrong with Rapture.  Upon arrival, you discover that the once utopian city is now in a state of disarray with roaming “splicers,” creepy little girls called “Little Sisters,” and huge robotic bosses called “Big Daddies.”  I don’t want to get into the story too much because I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but I will tell you that the story is top-notch.  To me, the best part of BioShock is the setting.  I could just walk around in Rapture all day and be as happy as can be.  I know it’s a really creepy place, but it’s also a really interesting place, especially since you have to dig around a bit to figure out what went wrong.  I loved that the game was kind of scary, but not so scary that I wanted to stop playing it.

One of the other great things about the story of BioShock was a lot of really good and really interesting thematic elements of the game.  Rapture’s creator, Andrew Ryan, designed the city to be free of government and free of religion (a nod to Ayn Rand’s Objectivism).  However, without some constraint of morality, the city quickly crumbles into chaos after some bio-engineering and experimentation gone really wrong.  It’s a really interesting and engrossing game.  It’s one of my favorite video game stories of all time.

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BioShock is first and foremost a first-person shooter.  It’s a rather good one at that, especially for the time that it came out.  As an FPS, it plays smoothly and adds some interesting game play elements.  It has a typical style of ever-increasingly fun weapons to play with, but it also adds the “bio” element to it by creating the use of plasmids (a type of genetic alteration involving needles–I told you the game is a bit creepy).  With your left hand, you control your plasmids, which can vary from shooting fire, ice, and even bees out of your fingertips.  With your right hand, you control your primary weapon.  This is a really, really fun combination, and it makes for  some interesting game play.  However, it gets annoying switching back and forth between shooting plasmids and shooting your weapon, since you can only have one or the other at a time.  This glaring issue was later fixed in BioShock 2.

Besides the use of plasmids, the game play also adds some role-playing and stealth elements as well.  The player has options for stealth around security, including cameras and auto-turrets.  Collecting money in the game gives the player options for upgrading weapons, buying new plasmids, or gaining additional ammo or health.  You may also collect gene tonics that give you special abilities.  One of the more annoying parts of the game was the ability to hack certain things like cameras and vending machines.  Although this sounds like a great idea, to hack something, you get pushed into this mini-game, similar to Pipe Dream.  The first ten or so times you do it isn’t bad, but it gets annoying after twenty, thirty, or forty times.

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One of the unique game play aspects of BioShock is fairly original concept of “roaming boss battles.”  In order to gain more power, the player must take on Big Daddies in order to get to the Little Sisters.  There are a set amount of Big Daddies in each level that will appear in various places (but sometimes can feel like at random).

The graphics were very good for the time that it came out.  It has still held up well for an older game.  In fact, it has held up much better than games like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and even the original Infamous.  Even going back and playing it now, I don’t get headaches from playing a game with crazy old graphics.

One really enjoyable thing about the graphics (and the setting) is how it highlights the amazing Art Deco designs of Rapture.  This is one of the reasons why I will actually play the game just to wander around and explore (I can’t say that for many other games).

I don’t care if the game play is perfect.  I don’t care if the graphics are perfect.  BioShock will always be one of my most favorite games of all time.  It is probably my favorite first-person shooter.  This game is just plain fun.  It has been the most fun that I have had in a game in a long, long time.  It is the reason why I have been so backlogged on so many games: I keep wanting to play this game over and over again.  BioShock made me expect more out of my first-person shooters.  It is a complete must-play, trust me.

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Paranautical Activity is a rather infamous game for reasons known to many in the PC Gaming community. But beyond the infamy, I needed to ask, is it actually a good game?

PA is a first person shooter that uses randomly generated levels similar to rougelike games. Its a neat take and the gameplay itself is rather interesting. The FPS elements take inspiration from games like Quake but can be done fast paced or slow paced and the controls are very intuitive, at least as far as I played. The graphics feel like an HD version of a mid 90’s PC first person shooter, if that makes sense, and actually look really good on a big screen TV.  The enemies, while not the most diverse, are serviceable but the bosses leave a lot to be desired. I don’t know what it was, but it just felt like the bosses were lacking for some reason. It felt like they could have been done a lot better.

The game did not have any frame drops that I noticed, or any screen tearing, but the audio was no the best. I felt the soundtrack just didn’t fit the game properly and that was a bit distracting.

But now the question is, is the game fun? Yes and no is the answer. The game fills a niche, of both classic FPS games and games that are similar to rougelikes, while many will be turned off by it. The truth is, it took me several days to get any idea of what I felt about the game and I’m still unsure really. I do like what I played and did enjoy it at times, but other times it just felt flat. However,  the times I did enjoy it, I enjoyed it a great deal and thus I’m unsure what to say now. I think this game is worth checking out and give it a slight recommendation, but be warned that it might not be for you. This game definitely is not lacking for content though and there won’t be boredom here,

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Imprisoned on the Infinity, the largest space ship ever built by mankind, you are set free by a mysterious woman who has taken it upon herself to guide you on your escape for unknown reasons. As you make your way deeper and deeper into the ship, you’ll slowly learn more about the Infinity’s purpose and where you fit in amongst all the chaos. It is a different approach in the Runner genre since most games are mainy focused on the high scores. Plus you are a werewolf running in space, so enough said.

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Infinity Runner’s greatest strength is how unique it is, with a sci-fi story that plays out like a movie. You awaken on a ship, naked and confused, with the voice of a woman telling you to run. And run you must, because everything is trying to kill you. You will soon learn more about your character, the ship, and your strange ability to turn into a werewolf as you go. The game plays like any endless runner would: your character never stops moving. You are restricted primarily to close corridors, and have to make split-second decisions. Most of these decisions involve things like turning before running into a wall, and attacking enemies. Attacking enemies is simple enough; a button prompt appears on screen and you have to press them before a brief timer runs out. These are more deviations than the main gameplay, but they blend in well with the experience. Another important aspect of the gameplay are the “action” sequences. These are usually “Hollywood” style action scenes that once again require quick reflexes. These also help break up the narrow corridor running, and although some scenes get repetitive, it is not something particularly game breaking. Graphically the game looks great. the corridors of the ship and all the elements create a great atmosphere which sets up Infinity Runner as something else among runners.The music also plays an important role, with having a good soundtrack and the voices are acceptable for this.

Bottom Line Infinity Runner is a good endless runner. It does something different with the way it tells its story, has some collectibles to unlock, and the sci-fi vibe creates something different. If you are a fan of the genre, or are into sci-fi stories this is for you, the gameplay is solid and can be fun playing it.

 

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Shantae is one of those series that just gets better all the time. The first Shantae on the GBC was one of the most innovative games on that platform. It did a metroidvania style of gameplay that was almost hard to believe, and had great characterization and a day and night system.

Shantae Risky’s Revenge Director’s Cut is the follow up to the GBC classic and the predecessor to Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse. How does the game work in comparison to its prequel and sequel?

Shantae Risky’s Revenge DC is an absolute blast to play, with movement so precise, that there is no way to blame poor controls when you mess up. The levels are awesome to explore and the enemies fun to fight. The enemies themselves come in diverse groups and are a major highpoint of the game as with all entries in the series.

Risky’s Revenge DC is not as big or innovative as Shantae and the Pirate’s curse which came after it, but it is still very much worth getting. Shantae and her cast of characters have real fleshed out personalities and it feels great to interact with everyone. The game can be very suggestive at times which might be awkward for younger players but it really shouldn’t pose a problem for parents.

The game is gorgeous and runs well and you will really appreciate just how beautiful it is, only when you start to play it. The music is also fantastic and I have not heard such great music since the last Shantae game I played. The sounds perfectly convey each scene and set the mood and ambience.

If you like metroidvania games, then you need to get this game. No ifs, ands, or buts. I cannot recommend this game enough. I played for a week to make sure I would not get tired of it, and if anything I found myself loving it more. Get it now!

 

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Assault Android Cactus is a game that first came to my attention in early 2015. What I saw of it was interesting and I felt that the game could have a lot of potential. Now that it is out, I got a chance to see if my initial thoughts were right or wrong.

 

AAC is a twin stick shooter staring a cast of androids, each with unique weapons and abilities. The androids, including Cactus, all have brilliantly fleshed out personalities and have real character which really made the game stand out more to me. The characters faces really convey emotion well in cut scenes, which brings me to another point. AAC actually has a decent story, which isn’t something you usually see in a twin stick shooter like this, and in my mind this makes it more unique.

The gameplay involves defeating waves of enemies to complete a level and levels are accessed on a world map. You can move around freely on the world map as well which was a neat touch.  There are numerous powerups to get such as speed increases and extra weapons which can really help you out. However there are some downsides to this system. The androids need to recharge their batteries and to do so you must get them as a powerup. In some cases this is far easier said than done, especially if there are too many enemies in the way, enemies which can cause you to lose power faster. The low battery signal also gives off a very loud and annoying sound that can cause you to become distracted and even dies several times. Its a mechanic of the game that I found really takes away a lot of enjoyability, especially in the later levels, and while I understand that it was put there to add a challenge, I don’t feel it was implemented well.

That said, apart from the battery issues, the game is immensely fun. The different characters’ weapons are all a blast to try out and the secondary weapons really pack a punch, even if you have to be mindful that you can only use them for a brief time. The bosses are big and challenging and really well designed.

The visuals in this game are nothing short of amazing. The game ran at a stable 60 frames per second and there was no screen tearing. The levels were just as detailed as the characters and it just made the game look better than many AAA games out there.

If you like Twin Stick Shooters and want one that really adds to the genre, then I must recommend this game to you.

 

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This is one of the more unusual games I have come across, not that that is a bad thing. Inside My Radio is a journey inside a beatbox to bring back the music that has gone away. Strange premise aside, I found myself liking what I saw.

The visuals are excellent and really give off a great techno vibe while also not being too strong for people with visual stimulus issues. The game is colorful when it needs to be and the obstacles are never obscured like it could have been with other games of this genre. I really had a lot of fun just watching the game’s visuals as I progressed and I never got tired of them.

The music is top notch, which makes sense as this is a rhythm platformer set in a radio. The game could have taken the easy route and put in the minimum effort but they went all out and put in great sounds to create a very appealing soundtrack for this game. I have to compliment them on this.

Now for the gameplay. The game is a rhythm platformer as I mentioned above and you need to time your movements to the beats and, while this may seem hard, the game gives you the option to see on screen when the beat will happen so you can follow the instructions. If you feel this makes it too easy then you can turn this off but I felt this was a great touch. To be perfectly honest, on the night I was first playing this game for this review I happened to be under a lot of stress and this game actually helped relax me and calm me down. That may seem strange but its true and it just made the game seem better in my eyes.

 

All things considered, I have to say this is a great game. I recommend this to anyone who wants to try a rhythm platformer or just a new indie game altogether.

 

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Replay: VHS is Not Dead is a puzzle platformer. I’m sure you are thinking, okay but we have played so many of those that this wont be a problem. Ah but what if I tell you that Replay: VHS is Not Dead also involved time travel elements and precise movements? I see I now have your interest. How about a game where you are put into VHS movies and have to travel from pirate movies to sci-fi movies and more and manipulate the cassette. You do this by rewinding to travel back and reset your moves  so you can progress.

Replay: VHS is Not Dead is not your typical puzzle game. You have to make your move but you are playing not just as one character and you are constantly rewinding the game to sync all the characters movements. This seems simple at first but it gets very challenging quite fast and you will either be engrossed in the game or utterly frustrated….or quite possibly both. As mentioned above, you rewind the game but doing so can cause issues so you must be careful. You can set up an exit or cause a death trap to come into being, so choose your moves wisely.

The music in the game is fun and energetic and helps keep you hooked even when you are frustrated. It shifts music genres several times but each time  it remains high quality and fun to listen to.

The art style is great and resembles an SNES game graphic wise. Its a visually appealing game that has a great hook. But its also frustrating as all hell. The game seems to get really hard but as with all puzzle platformers, there is a simple solution. Its just that the game gives you so many ways to miss that solution that you will get so angry, you might accidentally find yourself having to buy a second console after some therapeutic stress relief…..not that I am suggesting destroying your console of course.

If you like Puzzle Platformers then this is great for you, but if you aren’t into puzzle games then you should pass as you will not enjoy it. I enjoy the genre to an extent so it was fun for me. Just be aware that people not into puzzle games will not have a good time.

 

Replay: VHS Is Not Dead is also available on Steam, PS4 and Xbox One

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Blood Bowl 2

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(Not Your Father’s Football)

 

This weekend the majority of us will be gathering with friends and families watching pigskin get thrown around during Super Bowl 50, but not I.  I’m not exactly what you’d call a “sports guy” so when I was given the review codes for Blood Bowl 2 I almost passed them off to our resident Madden aficionados.  I’m very pleased I didn’t.  Blood Bowl 2 is brought to us by Cyanide Studios and published by Focus Home Interactive and is based off the hit Board Game Blood Bowl created by Jervis Johnson for British games company Games Workshop.

Blood Bowl 2 is a football game much the way Mario Bros. is a plumbing simulator.  There may be some pipes and plumber, but that’s about it.  BB2 takes place on a football field with you trying to get to your opponents end zone and score… and that’s pretty much where the similarities come to a rest.

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Blood Bowl 2 is a turn based game based in the Warhammer universe and pits two team on a hilarious collision course.  At its base you select a team from the races that are available: Humans, Orcs, Dwarfs, Skaven, High Elves, Dark Elves, Chaos, and the Bretonnian. Each has their own perks and advantages, as well as disadvantages.  Dwarves sponge up damage and can run through most attacks, but can throw about as well as a penguin flies.  The two elf races available from the beginning are pretty much the opposite; they can run fast and pass the ball the length of the field, but their defense leaves them vulnerable to harder hitting races like Chaos or Bretonnian’s.  Each turn consists of you moving all your characters once (if they’re not disabled, dead or injured), with one special attack or “blitz” allowed per turn.  Success on turns and moves is based off your characters stats and the races overall abilities.  As of the writing of this review for the PS4 version, there are 2 new races available for download.  One is another race of Elves (Wood), and the other is the Lizardmen.

On top of each races normal attributes they each have their own star players who have abilities to help turn the tide in your favor.  You have linemen, blitzers, runners, and in the case of Dark Elves assassins who sole purpose is to take out the opposing teams best players.  Now playing against the Elves as the Orcs seems like a losing battle with the Elves’ speed, but this is where the game becomes more about how you use your team.  Let’s say, for example, the Elves just caught the ball and are yards from the in zone.   There’s no way any of the orcs can get there on my turn.  What I can do is take one of my fast Goblin runners and put them next to my towering lineman of a Troll.  This gives me the option to throw my Goblin down field at the Elf down there.  Unfortunately, being a turn based game success is based off a dice roll and your player’s stats.  I say unfortunately because this particular roll did not go my way and my Goblin was eaten by said Troll, which is highlighted by hysterical animations and dialogue from the two announcers via Cabalvision.  Basically, any confrontation or violence is zoomed in on and commented on by either Jim or Bob. Blood-Bowl-2-Screens-

The game has two main modes where you can play vs. or play the campaign.  Once you familiarize yourself with how the stats and dice rolls work you can move on to the season play where you make your own team and upgrade their abilities and stats, hire new players, and manage your team much like you would if you were a real coach.  The real downside to the season play is if you lose a character (dies from injury), or in my case, they get eaten by a Troll, that character is gone for good.   This makes player management and selection much more key towards what your style of play.  It also forces you to weigh sending that player you’ve spent hours on into the fray.

Honestly, I enjoyed Blood Bowl 2 quite a bit and it’s nice to play a game that moves outside of the conventional genres of RPG, sports, or puzzles and playfully combines them all into a hysterical mix of violence and fun.  It reminds me of how Battle Chess was, except relocated to a football field in the Warhammer universe.  That being said, this a great time by yourself or co-op online with friends.  Don’t pass this title by if you’re not into sports or football, because, there are plenty RPG, action, and puzzle elements to keep you entertained for hours.  Let’s be honest, we can all watch football any weekend, but how often do you get to see a Troll eat a Goblin after trying to throw him downfield to prevent a touchdown by an Elf?

 

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No GravatarEvery once in awhile, a very special game comes along and really captivates you.  For me, Mass Effect 2 is one of those games.  I have put more time into it than any other game except for Skyrim, which deserves a special place all by itself.  With an estimated 260 or more hours in the game, four play-throughs, an numerous romances, there is something very amazing with this game.  It’s also one of the few games that I have shed tears for (in a good way).  A few weeks ago, I finished my last play-through of the game.  It’s time to move on.  But I want to share with you all how amazing Mass Effect 2 is to me.  Sure, it’s far from perfect, but it is very special.  Though this is a bit belated, here is my Mass Effect 2 review:

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Overview

Mass Effect 2 is a third-person, action RPG developed by BioWare and published by EA in late January 2010.  The game uses the Unreal Engine 3 and displayed what a game could do in the middle of the last-gen cycle’s heyday.  Although it is somewhat overshadowed by the disaster that was Mass Effect 3, it stands alone as an amazing game.

Story

Warning: If you haven’t had the chance to play this game, please do.  This review will contain some spoilers in the story section.

There are not many games that open with a bang like Mass Effect 2.  I don’t know of many that would kill the main character within the first scene.  But ME2 did, and it was awesome.  The pacing and intensity of the main story continues strongly from there as the player learns that Shepard has been “redone” by the questionable Cerberus group and has been asked to join them to stop the Collectors, an alien race that is harvesting human colonies.  After some digging, Shepard and his team eventually find out that the Reapers are behind this evil scheme.  The game is a wild ride, complete with old faces from the original game and some new but very memorable ones as well.

As one of the few games to actually get a setting in space done right, ME2 has an amazingly rich setting, complete with a detailed set of back-story or “Codex.”  Although the game is Science fiction, the explanation of everything from the Mass Effect fields, to the relays, to the use of biotics seem to be plausible enough to seem like it could really happen.  The game really is Sci-fi at its best.  With an interesting universe filled with cool aliens and beautiful, yet dangerous places, Mass Effect 2 really is the complete package.

The feel of the game is also incredibly epic, as it has one of the more memorable hero characters in video game history.  Commander Shepard, even when played as a badass instead of a paragon, embodies everything that a hero should be: intelligent, charismatic, skilled, and even good-looking.  Moreover, he (or she) is an incredible leader who demands the very best from his team.  It makes for an amazing game.  I still remember the first time that I beat it; I may have shed a few tears because I had fallen in love with all of the characters.  Unfortunately, the gaming industry doesn’t make many games like Mass Effect 2 anymore.

Game play

Besides having an amazing story, Mass Effect 2 is a blast to play.  Though it seems like a standard duck and cover, third-person shooter, it really is a full blown, action RPG.  The missions are fun, including the side-missions.  Sure, the planet-mining is probably the game’s greatest downfall, but it isn’t too annoying overall.  The make-up of a player’s team also can greatly affect the game play.  By balancing, biotics, soldiers, engineers, and the big “heavy-hitters” with the types of opponents (i.e. geth, mercs, Collectors), the game can feel different with nearly every mission.

ME2 is not a typical open-world RPG because that would be extremely hard to do with space ships.  However, the game does give the player free roam of the galaxy as well as mission selection, making the game still feel expansive.  There are a few missions that a player must do at certain times, but for the most part, the game has a go anywhere kind of feel to it.

One of the great gaming elements of ME2 is the fact that the player can change the outcome of the story based on the choices that he or she makes in the game.  The ability to make decisions that will have affects throughout several games is one of the best parts of the game.  Also, players have the option to play the character of Shepard however they’d like.  With dialogue options that range from good, to neutral, to badass, each of the game does not have to be the same.  Don’t even get me started on the romance options.  Like any typical BioWare game, I have played through a couple of times just to do a different romance option.  Why not, right?

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Graphics

Even though the graphics for Mass Effect 2 are starting to look a tad bit dated in comparison to what is out for this current generation of consoles, for the time, they were pretty amazing.  The cut-scenes were sharp, and the actual game play looked great for the time.  It is definitely a game that one can go back and continue playing on a last-gen console without feeling like the graphics are eye-straining, especially as TVs get better and better.

Voice performance

This is a category that I used to not have, but I think it is becoming more and more important as the story and dialogue of games become more important.  I adore the voice actors in this game, and it really is an all-star cast for the game.  Look at some of the celebrities who helped with the voice work of this game:

Adam Baldwin as Ka’Reegar

Claudia Black as Admiral Xen

Seth Green as Jeff “Joker” Moreau

Tricia Helfer as EDI

Michael Hogan as Captain Bailey

Carrie-Ann Moss as Aria T’Loak

Martin Sheen as the Illusive Man

Lance Henrikesen as Admiral Hackett

The list goes on and on.

I have special admiration for Tricia Helfer, who did the voice of EDI.  Unlike some other robotic characters in a game that starts with a D and ends in a estiny, she gives off the perfect performance as an AI with a sarcastic and saucy attitude.  It is one of the more memorable performances in the game.

Overall

Mass Effect 2 is a very special game for me.  It is an amazing combination of great story and good game play.  Yes, it has its flaws, but it still remains an epic game.

REAL OTAKU GAMER is using WP-Gravatar