Posts Tagged 'Mass Effect'

A History of Mutual Looting, and What Videogames Can Learn From Non-D&D Tabletop RPGs

The historical relationship between videogames and tabletop RPGs is not hard to spot, and they work together very naturally (1): computers present the opportunity to automate the underlying mechanics of game play.  Although the majority of games based on tabletop

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A History of Mutual Looting, and What Videogames Can Learn From Non-D&D Tabletop RPGs

The historical relationship between videogames and tabletop RPGs is not hard to spot, and they work together very naturally (1): computers present the opportunity to automate the underlying mechanics of game play.  Although the majority of games based on tabletop

/ 3 Comments

Love in the age of the high score

In spite of the fact that we have the technology to heal eye problems with laser beams and frighteningly organized robot helicopters, the human race still hasn’t truly defined what the hell love is. The closest we’ve come is narrowing down the brain activity associated with love. Enter The Love Competition from Wholphin magazine, which I hope is an attempt to dethrone the agonizing game of Who has it worse? we all end up playing once a day with someone we know.

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Love in the age of the high score

In spite of the fact that we have the technology to heal eye problems with laser beams and frighteningly organized robot helicopters, the human race still hasn’t truly defined what the hell love is. The closest we’ve come is narrowing down the brain activity associated with love. Enter The Love Competition from Wholphin magazine, which I hope is an attempt to dethrone the agonizing game of Who has it worse? we all end up playing once a day with someone we know.

/ Comments Off on Love in the age of the high score

After pressing start: How tutorials became inefficient

Ever since game controllers became hand-crippling monstrosities developers have had trouble starting their games. Super Mario Brothers could teach us how to play in exactly three seconds: there’s a goomba walking towards you, and you have to press one of

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After pressing start: How tutorials became inefficient

Ever since game controllers became hand-crippling monstrosities developers have had trouble starting their games. Super Mario Brothers could teach us how to play in exactly three seconds: there’s a goomba walking towards you, and you have to press one of

/ 8 Comments

Obligatory: Mass Effect 3 Ex Machina, Michael Bay, a demo

I’ll preface this post immediately: I am not Aram, writer of our many lists about things wrong with Mass Effect 2. Of the forty five items on those lists, I probably disagree with about thirty five of them. That being

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Obligatory: Mass Effect 3 Ex Machina, Michael Bay, a demo

I’ll preface this post immediately: I am not Aram, writer of our many lists about things wrong with Mass Effect 2. Of the forty five items on those lists, I probably disagree with about thirty five of them. That being

/ 6 Comments

The 5 worst things from Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 did not deserve the highly positive response it received. The game is flawed at every level. Sadly, our love of its predecessor has blinded us to the ME2’s many problems. This post examines the five worst elements.

This is the final part of my four part series on the flaws of Mass Effect 2. The first post in the series was about the awful characters. The second examined the hellishly bad decisions in the game’s design. Part three enumerated 20 instances of terrible writing in Mass Effect 2.

These are the 5 worst things from Mass Effect 2.

5: All geth are good geth.

I would like to bring to your attention the codex entry for the geth from Mass Effect 1. Please note the last line:

“It should be stressed, however, that in all forms the geth are universally violent creatures.”

Let’s talk about why suddenly making the geth mostly good-guys in order to teach us a hackneyed lesson about sapience was a terrible idea.

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The 5 worst things from Mass Effect 2

Mass Effect 2 did not deserve the highly positive response it received. The game is flawed at every level. Sadly, our love of its predecessor has blinded us to the ME2’s many problems. This post examines the five worst elements.

This is the final part of my four part series on the flaws of Mass Effect 2. The first post in the series was about the awful characters. The second examined the hellishly bad decisions in the game’s design. Part three enumerated 20 instances of terrible writing in Mass Effect 2.

These are the 5 worst things from Mass Effect 2.

5: All geth are good geth.

I would like to bring to your attention the codex entry for the geth from Mass Effect 1. Please note the last line:

“It should be stressed, however, that in all forms the geth are universally violent creatures.”

Let’s talk about why suddenly making the geth mostly good-guys in order to teach us a hackneyed lesson about sapience was a terrible idea.

/ 16 Comments

20 terrible things from Mass Effect 2: the flawed writing

No matter how many 100s Mass Effect 2 received from the gaming press, it was a deeply flawed game. This post examines the abominable writing.

To prepare for the release of the demo for Mass Effect 3, I’m revisiting Mass Effect 2 in a four part series. Let’s examine 20 instances of the terrible writing in Mass Effect 2. The series will then conclude with the five worst elements of the game.

20: Don’t invent a lame excuse to take away all my stuff.

I think the only reason they killed you in the beginning was so they’d have an excuse not to transfer over your items. Being killed off and coming back to life doesn’t seem to have had any real impact past the first 30 minutes of the story. You don’t struggle with the existential crisis that should come with having been dead for two years and come back. You don’t spend more than perhaps a line or two on thoughts about the afterlife.

You were dead, then you “got better.” This should be a major plot point, in Shepard’s character arc in ME2. At the very least, there should have been more questions about the process.

Instead Shepard walks through the game like an unthinking automaton, stumbling around the edge of this enormous plot hole. They missed an amazing storytelling opportunity.

Shepard’s death in ME2 also negates anything you might have accomplished with multiple play-throughs on the same character in the first game.

As a result, Shepard’s death and unexplained recovery seem only to be an excuse to take away your stuff.

I liked my stuff.

/ 45 Comments

20 terrible things from Mass Effect 2: the flawed writing

No matter how many 100s Mass Effect 2 received from the gaming press, it was a deeply flawed game. This post examines the abominable writing.

To prepare for the release of the demo for Mass Effect 3, I’m revisiting Mass Effect 2 in a four part series. Let’s examine 20 instances of the terrible writing in Mass Effect 2. The series will then conclude with the five worst elements of the game.

20: Don’t invent a lame excuse to take away all my stuff.

I think the only reason they killed you in the beginning was so they’d have an excuse not to transfer over your items. Being killed off and coming back to life doesn’t seem to have had any real impact past the first 30 minutes of the story. You don’t struggle with the existential crisis that should come with having been dead for two years and come back. You don’t spend more than perhaps a line or two on thoughts about the afterlife.

You were dead, then you “got better.” This should be a major plot point, in Shepard’s character arc in ME2. At the very least, there should have been more questions about the process.

Instead Shepard walks through the game like an unthinking automaton, stumbling around the edge of this enormous plot hole. They missed an amazing storytelling opportunity.

Shepard’s death in ME2 also negates anything you might have accomplished with multiple play-throughs on the same character in the first game.

As a result, Shepard’s death and unexplained recovery seem only to be an excuse to take away your stuff.

I liked my stuff.

/ 45 Comments

10 terrible things from Mass Effect 2: game design hell

What makes a game good? It has to have the whole package. Sadly, Mass Effect 2 lacks in every category and the game’s design is no exception.

With Mass Effect 3’s demo coming out in less than a week, I’m revisiting Mass Effect 2 in a four part series. This second post takes a look at some of the awful choices made in the construction of the game and its mechanics. We’ll follow up with a post examining the writing and concluding with the five worst elements of Mass Effect 2.

10: Waking up in a room and fighting a bunch of robots.

So, you wake up in a room with no memory beyond the brief interactive cut-scene that failed to explain how you survived falling from orbit. Then you get the standard new game walk-through, which involves fighting a bunch of personality-free robots that have, unsurprisingly, gone rogue.

Why is there absolutely no value in the beginning of the game?

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10 terrible things from Mass Effect 2: game design hell

What makes a game good? It has to have the whole package. Sadly, Mass Effect 2 lacks in every category and the game’s design is no exception.

With Mass Effect 3’s demo coming out in less than a week, I’m revisiting Mass Effect 2 in a four part series. This second post takes a look at some of the awful choices made in the construction of the game and its mechanics. We’ll follow up with a post examining the writing and concluding with the five worst elements of Mass Effect 2.

10: Waking up in a room and fighting a bunch of robots.

So, you wake up in a room with no memory beyond the brief interactive cut-scene that failed to explain how you survived falling from orbit. Then you get the standard new game walk-through, which involves fighting a bunch of personality-free robots that have, unsurprisingly, gone rogue.

Why is there absolutely no value in the beginning of the game?

/ 17 Comments

After pressing start: Dragon Age: Origins

(After Pressing Start is a new series running on Nightmare Mode every Friday by resident narrative guru Tom Auxier. It focuses on beginning, on the stories that happen directly after pressing start, and how those stories influence the arcs of

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After pressing start: Dragon Age: Origins

(After Pressing Start is a new series running on Nightmare Mode every Friday by resident narrative guru Tom Auxier. It focuses on beginning, on the stories that happen directly after pressing start, and how those stories influence the arcs of

/ 9 Comments

More Mass Effect 3 multiplayer munchables

Bioware’s Mass Effect 3 producer Jesse Houston was recently interviewed in order to answer some questions for the fans of the upcoming climax of the sci-fi trilogy. Here’s the juicy bits: You can completely ignore the multiplayer if you don’t

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More Mass Effect 3 multiplayer munchables

Bioware’s Mass Effect 3 producer Jesse Houston was recently interviewed in order to answer some questions for the fans of the upcoming climax of the sci-fi trilogy. Here’s the juicy bits: You can completely ignore the multiplayer if you don’t

/ Comments Off on More Mass Effect 3 multiplayer munchables

A Portable Hole in the heart

I miss when fantasy could be just that: fantasy. I miss optimistic worlds, where things might get rough but the player characters could pull through in the end. I miss the sense of wonder at what’s different, and the appreciation

/ 8 Comments

A Portable Hole in the heart

I miss when fantasy could be just that: fantasy. I miss optimistic worlds, where things might get rough but the player characters could pull through in the end. I miss the sense of wonder at what’s different, and the appreciation

/ 8 Comments