Mass Effect Discussion (spoilers)

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#21
I started the series late last year when a friend bought me the trilogy pack for my birthday. I was a big fan of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which I kind of view as a predecessor to Mass Effect, so the game was right up my alley.

I really loved the series and I've been wanting to do a few more playthroughs. I was a bit of a completionist (and was playing during school) while I played so it took me around 6 months to finish my first.

I'm embarrassed (actually not really) to admit that I have a bit of a girl crush on Liara, and she was my romance option (though I had a brief foray with Garrus in ME2). Mass Effect 2 was probably my favorite in the series, though, because I liked the focus on the individual party members... ME1 had a great story (or, well, they all do) but some of the mechanics were weird and the side quests were really repetitive. ME3 has the Citadel DLC, though, which as far as I'm concerned is the most justified $15 I have ever spent.
 

Azuardo

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#22
Liara was my first romance for my MaleShep, too. Then I went with Ashley. I ended up keeping different save files to hook up with Miranda and such, as well. It was a little annoying with ME3 that you couldn't, for example, take Miranda as a main party member and pursue a relationship with her like the others.

But I'm glad you mentioned the DLC for ME3 because I've yet to buy them. They're pretty expensive DLCs, and while I'm sure they're worth it, it's just too pricey for me. But I'm pretty sure they'll be getting PS Store discounts soon, so that's the point that I'll be jumping on them. I can't wait to play Citadel.
 

APZonerunner

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#23
I started the series late last year when a friend bought me the trilogy pack for my birthday. I was a big fan of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, which I kind of view as a predecessor to Mass Effect, so the game was right up my alley.

I really loved the series and I've been wanting to do a few more playthroughs. I was a bit of a completionist (and was playing during school) while I played so it took me around 6 months to finish my first.

I'm embarrassed (actually not really) to admit that I have a bit of a girl crush on Liara, and she was my romance option (though I had a brief foray with Garrus in ME2). Mass Effect 2 was probably my favorite in the series, though, because I liked the focus on the individual party members... ME1 had a great story (or, well, they all do) but some of the mechanics were weird and the side quests were really repetitive. ME3 has the Citadel DLC, though, which as far as I'm concerned is the most justified $15 I have ever spent.
Liara has, in a sense, completely ruined Lightning for me. Liara's a really special character, I think; really well written, really well acted and, yes, without a doubt my space wife forever. But really, I can't hear Ali Hillis' Lightning performance - or any other performance of hers - as its own thing, as I just hear Liara in her.

Several of the ME3 DLCs are basically required reading. From Ashes adds ME3's most important squad mate, who has VITAL things to say in several places, especially on Thessia. Leviathan adds majorly needed explanation and foreshadowing for the ending and the background of the Reapers. These are must-have.

Citadel is must-have if you have any love for the characters at all. So much good scripting. Y'know, during the party in Citadel there are more choice triggers being read from past decisions across the three games than in the whole of KOTOR 1? Just in the party! Insanity.

Omega is the only mediocre one, and even that has its moments.
 
#24
Liara has, in a sense, completely ruined Lightning for me. Liara's a really special character, I think; really well written, really well acted and, yes, without a doubt my space wife forever. But really, I can't hear Ali Hillis' Lightning performance - or any other performance of hers - as its own thing, as I just hear Liara in her.
I'm no big Lightning fan and was actually surprised when I realized (sometime in ME1) that they had the same voice actress. While I was playing FFXIII I was actually really critical of Lightning's voice acting. She did the required deadpan for the character really well, but the "emotional" scene between her and Snow (I never finished the game so there could be others) I thought fell really flat, and I was critical of the VA for it. However, now that I've heard Ali Hillis play Liara I'm starting to think it wasn't really her fault.

Liara is a great character though. All of the returning squadmates experience a lot of growth but I positively loved seeing Liara turn from a bookish shut-in to a sassy, galactic information broker. The transformation was so well written and she's just such a standout character, to me (and adorable to boot).
Several of the ME3 DLCs are basically required reading. From Ashes adds ME3's most important squad mate, who has VITAL things to say in several places, especially on Thessia. Leviathan adds majorly needed explanation and foreshadowing for the ending and the background of the Reapers. These are must-have.
I have both Leviathan and From Ashes, never bought Omega because people said it was meh (enjoyable but one to pass over if you didn't want to spend $40+ on DLC). Javik is nice to have around (especially on Thessia, as you said) and I liked his 'awakening' mission. I had Liara and James in my party during it and they had some nice dialogue.

Leviathan was really sick, imo an essential addition, and it added a lot more to the ending of the game. I love the lore of the series so that alone makes me a fan of Leviathan, but this was one of the first gaming experiences to actually make me pretty frightened (in a good way!).
Citadel is must-have if you have any love for the characters at all. So much good scripting. Y'know, during the party in Citadel there are more choice triggers being read from past decisions across the three games than in the whole of KOTOR 1? Just in the party! Insanity.
Citadel is just so entertaining. It's hilarious. The clone mission alone is amazing, but then throwing the party... just great.

I'm not surprised to hear it! Citadel was so expansive. KotOR definitely shows its age if you play it after the ME series. It is my unrealistic (it's never happening, I know) dream that they'd one day do an HD remake of KotOR, with the same love put into it as ME.
Liara was my first romance for my MaleShep, too. Then I went with Ashley. I ended up keeping different save files to hook up with Miranda and such, as well. It was a little annoying with ME3 that you couldn't, for example, take Miranda as a main party member and pursue a relationship with her like the others.
Oh I played as FemShep. :) After KotOR I am really in love with Jennifer Hale, to me there was no question about it. I'd like to romance a lot of the other characters (Miranda, Tali, etc) just to give them a go, but Liara is my girl.

Big question tho: Virmire--Kaidan or Ashley?
 
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soup or mann

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#25
Friends of mine think I'm crazy for not being able to get into these games... and perhaps I am. But I just can't. I've started a game of the first Mass Effect probably around five times and end up quitting shortly after leaving the Citadel. I just can't seem to become interested in the characters, story, or world. I must just be really picky when out comes to science fiction. I love Halo, but not Mass Effect. I love Star Wars, but not Star Trek... the list goes on.
 

Tsukiyomi

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#26
Friends of mine think I'm crazy for not being able to get into these games... and perhaps I am. But I just can't. I've started a game of the first Mass Effect probably around five times and end up quitting shortly after leaving the Citadel. I just can't seem to become interested in the characters, story, or world. I must just be really picky when out comes to science fiction. I love Halo, but not Mass Effect. I love Star Wars, but not Star Trek... the list goes on.
Don't worry, I havent played any of the ME games. I didnt even know you could pick a female protagonist until the thirs game was out!
 

Azuardo

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#27
Big question tho: Virmire--Kaidan or Ashley?
Yep, like I said in my OP, saving Kaiden is the one thing I haven't done in a playthrough yet. So that definitely needs to change. I also haven't done a FemShep run, so perhaps the two should go hand in hand. The problem is that I can never help myself and choose MaleShep anyway lol.

Perhaps we should all do what we're gonna do with replaying FFIX, and do a replay thread for Mass Effect at some point. This series' different options would be really cool to discuss whilst we're all going through the same games. But that's something to think about for the future, anyway.
 
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Azuardo

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#29
I used to be all about saving Ashley because Kaiden is a boring ass dude, but, man, Ashley is a space racist bitch. I spent my whole ME3 playthrough wishing I'd saved Kaiden.
Ha, yeah, that's the kind of impression I got with Kaiden, but then I realised Ashley was into all this religious stuff, too, so I was like "Hmm..." But I decided to put up with it for her face.
 

Aethergoggles

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#30
Ive been playing them since I got the first game on launch, and have several playthroughs on each. Have always played a femshep though, and her OTP was with Kaiden, though the Garrus relationship on my second character grabbed me even more.
 

APZonerunner

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#31
Garrus I think is still my favourite character, my male Shepard's bro for life. He and Liara are a close call, mind, and there's so many other great ones - Thane is excellent, Tali iconic, etcetera.
 

Azuardo

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#32
I've never been really interested in the Mass Effect series, so...should I play it, yes or no? Honestly, I've never really liked western RPGs (from what I've seen, how is Mass Effect an RPG?), but almost all I hear is good things. Wondering if I should try to borrow the games or not.
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Fuck yes.

Mass Effect is essentially an RPG in the sense that you build characters' stats through levelling them up (though it's pretty basic), but mostly for its way you develop the story but actually choosing the decisions your character makes with regards to conversations and altering the actual story and gameplay experience.
 

Azuardo

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#33
Haha. Well I'll see if I can nab a copy of the first game. Heard about the infamous ending from last year and my interest was piqued. Thanks for the response.
Please do! Would love to hear thoughts from someone completely new to the franchise. I'd be inclined to play it at the same time as you, in fact, kinda like that current FFIX replay thread. Or even to watch you stream it!
 
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Azuardo

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#35
Actually, stupid question. Is Mass Effect on PC too? I could run it at 720p on my stream if that's the case, but I would have to buy it on Steam.
Yep, the best running versions are most probably on PC, followed by 360, then PS3. See how much they are on Steam - I've seen them do ME1+2 bundles before now at reduced prices, but not sure if there are any offers on atm.
 

Azuardo

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#36
Better on 360 over PS3, huh? That's a first. :p If that's the case, then I think I'll go ahead and get it for 360. I really don't want to buy it if I can help it, make sure I enjoy the first and move on to the second and third.
I believe the PS3 versions suffer from some framerate issues when compared to the 360 version. There's actually a lot of games that run better on 360 than PS3, but when a game's built for the PS3 first, it's the other way around. I do own the PS3 versions myself and I've come across graphical glitches, although I don't know if they're PS3-specific, and I have heard of glitches being in all versions of the games - lazy on BioWare's part. Ultimately, not one version is unplayable, but I suppose given the choice, you'd rather go with 360.

But yeah, safe to buy ME1 first, see how you like it, then move on. I'm sure you'll want to get them all :]
 
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APZonerunner

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#37
ME1 & 2 are on Steam. ME3 is only on Origin, unfortunately.

How are they RPGs? Two ways, really--

1) As previously mentioned, you have a party of characters. In RPG tradition, when you go on missions and quests, you select who comes with you. Different characters fit into archetypal RPG classes with their powers. In the ME universe, the equivalent of magic is Biotics and Tech; Biotics is a bit like the Force, where you can manipulate space and warp time and things like that. Tech is hacking technology and things like that; that all plays into combat. There's combinations you can do by ordering your allies to act in a certain way; Hey, Biotic, lift that guy off the ground, and then I'll use my Biotics to throw him backwards, things like that.

Within all these powers you level up, and there's a basic tech tree that branches, so you can get different variations on powers depending on how you level them; do you want them more or less offensive, etcetera. You create your own character and you choose their class; do you want to be a soldier, who just uses guns (basic third person shooter gameplay) or do you want other powers?

2) Story stuff. I think in terms of playing a role, this is the bit that really draws people to ME. The choices you make are big, have an effect, and carry from game to game. I was seeing consequences to choices I made in 2006 or 2007 in 2012 in the first game when I played Mass Effect 3, which was pretty amazing. The choices you make really attach you to the characters and your personal story, which will be different to everybody else's, which I think is great.

The core gameplay controls like a third person shooter, but there's a lot of RPG stuff under the hood. I've seen people do playthroughs of ME1 where they don't use guns at all and ONLY use the powers, so there's a lot of scope there.

Look for a copy of ME1, but it may be the case now that the cheapest way to buy it is to buy the trilogy box set.
 

Azuardo

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#39
Another question I thought of. Is there DLC for all three Mass Effect games? I remember, really vaguely, something about DLC...just curious, really.
There is indeed. In fact, DLC plays quite an important role in this series. Depending on whether you go PC or not, you might want to try and look into getting a version packed-in with DLC already, if possible. I mean, I know for fact that ME2 on PS3 already contains some DLC episodes on the disc, but this isn't the case for the 360 version of that game, as far as I am aware, and you would need to purchase any ME2 episodes for 360 separately. I would guess that with Steam, you might be able to buy bundles of games + DLC, but I can't say for certain.

There are two DLC expisodes in ME2 that grant you completely new characters, and one in ME3 which does the same thing. It would be ideal not to miss out on these. ME3 in particular has a lot of very important story DLC on top of this (APZ talked about it earlier in the thread), although I have sadly missed out on much of it, because it is expensive when you add them all up. I'm waiting for a ME DLC sale on PSN, which I believe is happening soon, so that will be my chance to snag them all and catch up on what I missed out on.

While people will say that the DLC is very important and that you really should try your best to get a hold of them (not least because the missions themselves from them are also awesome, and in many cases, better than the actual main games missions), it's not a huge deal if you don't/can't. Even though I already got some DLC free because they were PS3 versions, I did still miss out on some, and I missed out on all of it in ME3. But what I will say is that this series, even with missing many of the DLC, still became one of the most fantastic series I've ever played. Considering I only started playing it in 2012, and the fact that it already ranks right alongside FF and Zelda as my fave games series, that really is saying something. At least with the fact that I have missed out on DLC (particularly with ME3), I still have a lot more to look forward to! There must be a good few hours worth of gameplay for me still to discover because of them. So I would say that, if you can't get them, it's okay, though getting the extra character DLCs in the games would be recommended, but otherwise, try looking into getting the rest/all of it in the future.
 
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APZonerunner

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#40
Azuardo covered it pretty extensively above, but here's my take on all the DLCs. I've reviewed some of them on RPG Site, so definitely worth hopping over there and searching for the DLCs in question if you want more info.

@Azuardo, you may find this a good record of what ones are worthwhile when a sale finally happens. :)

ME1:
  • Bring Down the Sky - Cheap or Free depending where you buy the game. Fun, worth your time, slightly different twist on the rest of ME1. Has minor repercussions in later games - background stuff in 2 changes based on this, and in 3 a major sidequest changes based on actions you take here.
  • Pinnacle Station - Shitty wave-based combat area, don't bother unless you're really into the combat. Has a cool reward, though, an apartment for Shepard.

ME2:
  • Cerberus Network Stuff (Normandy Site, Firwalker etc) - Free. No reason not to.
  • Zaeed - Free. New squad/party member & a fun mission. Changes the final mission strand significantly and adds several pieces of side content to ME3. Must-have.
  • Kasumi - As with Zaeed, new squad/party member with the same consequences. Awesome character, a Japanese Thief girl with a stealth speciality. Her mission strand has you infiltrating a party and planting bugs and things, James Bond style. It's cool & different. Must-have.
  • Overlord - Awesome DLC that brings back planet exploration in a vehicle (removed from 2 proper) and tackles some major series themes in a different way. That said, not essential. But highly recommended.
  • Lair of the Shadow Broker - Must-have. A largely enclosed story that's like a movie - 3-4 hours of content all in one go with a very defined arc. Not only badass as all hell, but massive repercussions in ME3. My favourite slice of Mass Effect period.
  • Arrival - Important story DLC leading into ME3 with terrible ass combat. How much do you value knowing all the story beats?
  • A bunch of DLC weapons - Optional. How much do you like combat? Some of these are pretty good. My go-to gun is in one of these packs.
  • A bunch of DLC costumes - I think these are pretty crap, but they're not bad designs if you want them.
  • Genesis - Unnecessary if you've played ME1.
ME3:
  • From Ashes - An additional squad member. Series-shatteringly important, it fills in MAJOR gaps in the lore. Bit of a dick move by EA, cutting this from the core game, it's vital. This squad member has a mission, some incredible flashbacks and also commentary throughout the game and scenes on the ship. Major. Required.
  • Extended Cut - Free, Major, must have. Don't finish the game without this.
  • Leviathan - Major foreshadowing and a big info dump for the ending wrapped in cool, experimental gameplay. Mass Effect meets LA Noire (or Phoenix Wright), you're solving a murder by finding clues and using them to narrow down where in the galaxy the killer fled to. When you get there, there's an awesome creepy Dead Space-like horror atmosphere and then some combat. Highly recommended.
  • Omega - Boring snoozefest in gameplay with some really cool story nods for fans. Find out what happened to a major ME2 location and the people behind it. Oh, and -- female Turians. Skip unless a mega fan of the series, this location or the people in it.
  • Citadel - Major goodbye to the cast and crew of the games. Perfect cadence ending to the series. Highly recommended, but noy necessary.
  • A bunch of DLC weapons - Optional. How much do you like combat? These are less good than the ME2 ones.
  • A bunch of DLC costumes - I think these are pretty crap, but they're not bad designs if you want them.
  • Multiplayer DLC - All free, varying in quality but multiplayer is amazing. Must-have.
 
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