Tag Archives: Mass Effect

Hating the Greatest Videogames

Over at BitMob, folks are talking about great games that they hated.

In general, I only play games I suspect I’ll like or love. On occasion, there’ll be a game that disappoints me, but hate is such a strong word. I mean, I hate global suffering and depression and money woes and the looks puppy dogs give you when you walk by their glass prisons in the mall…but a videogame? Chances are, I’d only hate a videogame if I spent $60 on it and it took my soul and shat on it. But, as previously mentioned, I only go after games that I will probably enjoy.

That said, here’s some “great games” that I found to miss the mark.

Grand Theft Auto III/Grand Theft Auto III: Vice City

For sandbox value, the GTA series is fine. Amazingly fine. Ever want to do 70 mph down the sidewalk? Go for it. Where I felt short-changed, however, was in every single mission, and more specifically, the clunkiest and most unforgiving boat races ever to grace an ocean’s tide. Not only did these repeat themselves, but controlling boats and cars was always way too slippery for me.

Contra

Savage. Sums up Contra well, I think, and I grew up playing this game at a friend’s house during a time when neither of us knew about the extra lives code. We’d run, we’d shoot, we’d die by the end of the first level, and then we’d go outside to ride bikes.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Button-mash here, button-mash there, button-mash everywhere. Don’t even try to form a strategy. Just hit those buttons and stare in wonder at how a Pokemon is kicking the crap out of Donkey Kong. I don’t know. I know folks love this series, but it never resonated like other fighting games did.

Devil May Cry

The same reason I didn’t like the Bayonetta demo or Super Smash Bros. Brawl: mashed potatoes. Er, I mean…mashed buttons. Frenetic gameplay, bad camera angles, and room after room of enemies just didn’t make for a fun time. I dug the gothic style, but ultimately gave up on this hack-n-slash pretty early.

Mass Effect

There’s a lot to like about Mass Effect; conversely, there’s a lot to dislike. Let’s start with the positives: the world, the lore, the voice-acting, the alien design, many of the combat scenarios, which can be both tense and exhilarating. Now the bad: elevator rides, a horrible inventory system, the constant loading of textures, the way faces look like they’ve been punched one too many times, and driving that car-tank with buttered wheels from place to place. I’m looking forward to reviews of Mass Effect 2 to see if some of these problems were addressed.

Again, these aren’t really games that I hate, but they just didn’t do it for me like they seemed to do for others.

What about you, silent reader? Got a supposedly great game to hate? Hmm? Speak up!

Mass Effect 2 cover art is out-of-this-world lame

See?

It’s not terrible art, but it lacks a certain punch. The hero, the lady with poised gun, the multicolored alien, the lens flare…it’s all just a bit generic, which is a shame as previews would have you believe that Mass Effect 2 is bigger and better than its predecessor. The first game’s cover definitely gave off a “explore the galaxy!” vibe while this one merely says “shoot things!” and “be disgruntled!”

Oh well. Can’t win ’em all, Bioware.

Giving Mass Effect a second chance

My first playthrough of Mass Effect was a bit…disappointing. Not in terms of gameplay or story, but rather in that it was clear from my list of gained achievements, I had not played enough of Mass Effect. For one thing, here’s four that I did not get by the time credits were rolling:

Scholar (25G): Find all primary Alien: Council Races, Extinct Races and Non-Council Races codex entries

completionistCompletionist (25G): Complete the majority of the game

soldierallySoldier Ally (20G): Complete the majority of the game with the Alliance soldier squad member

kroganallyKrogan Ally (20G): Complete the majority of the game with the krogan squad member

Upon initially meeting my multicultural cast of playable characters, I picked Ashley Williams andĀ Urdnot Wrex as my partners in crime saving the world. They stuck out to me as interesting people/dinosaurs, and I faithfully used them in every mission possible. Granted, I really only followed the main storyline. Did some hopping and skipping around the galaxy, but the amount of planets was overwhelming, and the select few I picked to visit seemed to be nothing but barren wastelands. So yeah, I guess I missed a ton of sidequests.

So last night I loaded up my previous save and started a second campaign with my existing Paul Shepard. He’s already at LV 40 so we’ll see how it goes. I’m, however, for the sake of things, contemplating using alternate characters just to experience the story differently (I’m also being a total renegade/poophead to people). I know, I’d like the above achievements, but really, any two ally achievements will be good enough for me because it’ll at least show that I’ve played a “majority of the game,” whatever that turns out to be in Mass Effect.

So, any suggestions on who to go with for the second playthrough? I just arrived at the Citadel, and I dig the Throw and Lift abilities, mostly because my Shepard is an engineer and lacks the Jedi oomph.