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Old 01-12-2008, 11:23 AM   #1
Achilles
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GameBanshee's Game(s) of the Year - 2007 Awards

Categories are: Best Story/Writing, Best Original Setting, Best Graphics, Best Sound/Music, Disappointment of the Year, Independent RPG of the Year, Action RPG of the Year, and RPG of the Year.

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Old 01-12-2008, 01:01 PM   #2
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I'm disappointed in their choice for Disappointment of the Year. How can the best story of the year also be the biggest disappointment of the year? I have not played “The Witcher,” but I finally made myself go back and play NWN2 and Mask of the Betrayer after hating the original camera angels and fighting controls and I did enjoy it. It was a very good story, yet I would (and did) rank their disappointment of the year ahead of it both in story and game play, but to each his/her own.


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Old 01-12-2008, 01:25 PM   #3
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I knew when I posted it that we would be hearing from you

Sorry about your sacred cow, my friend.
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:41 PM   #4
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Mass Effect bigest disapointment? I think someone has had too many shrooms. Put Hellgate London there instead, and strip it of its silver setting award.


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Old 01-12-2008, 01:48 PM   #5
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Even though I enjoyed (And still enjoy) Mass Effect, I can't help but think of it as the letdown of the year - And if it was a disappointment and I still enjoyed it that much, you'd imagine what I was expecting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamebanshee
they developed it for the masses.
I don't agree. Reducing feats and skills to one wasn't all that bad. The same goes for the substitution of the aging d20 system. Even though I expected something less like a FPS on the game. A little more strategy wouldn't hurt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamebanshee
[...]and landing on uncharted planets is, well, not what it was cracked up to be.
My main complaint: Bioware said that there would be dozens of regions, with dozens of stars and hundreds of planets, some of those will be thrilling cities, buzzing with life and some will be "desolate, backwater rocks with nothing interesting to do". They only forgot to mention that every side planets - that is, the ones not crucial to your mission - are "desolate, backwater rocks with nothing interesting to do".

Perhaps I wouldn't even mind the Mako sequences much, if every dammed planet I landed didn't make me drop from the Normandy unto the planet's surface to long and dull explorations.

That was the game's main failures, that I hope will be fixed on the following games of the trilogy. Mass Effect universe deserves better.

If a game deserves be "awarded" as such, it's Hellgate: London. Good multiplayer, but too over-hyped.

________________________________
Comments about the other choices: Never played The Witcher, but on a year without Final Fantasy it's easy . Still, based on this year's RPGs I played, I would go for Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix +

Bioshock is one other I haven't played yet, but from all that I heard, it seems to deserve every award it won.


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Old 01-12-2008, 03:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
I knew when I posted it that we would be hearing from you

Sorry about your sacred cow, my friend.
And why wouldn’t I defend the second greatest game every produced just behind Tic Tack Toe. The only real disappointment I have with Mass Effect is it is not KOTOR 3.

The Character creation alone is enough not to call Mass Effect a disappointment. I created myself. It looks like they scanned me for this game (they change my lack of hair style), but it is me I am playing as, right down to the scar in my eyebrow (in the game it is on the wrong side). It did take me two hours to create it. I’ve also played with female PCs that looked reassembly like Natalie Portman and Kristen Bell (although the Natalie one was suppose to be Keira Knightley. In game it looked like Natalie). I would love to see what someone with patients (like stoffe) could do with this system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ctrl_Alt_Del
My main complaint: Bioware said that there would be dozens of regions, with dozens of stars and hundreds of planets, some of those will be thrilling cities, buzzing with life and some will be "desolate, backwater rocks with nothing interesting to do". They only forgot to mention that every side planets - that is, the ones not crucial to your mission - are "desolate, backwater rocks with nothing interesting to do".
There is a reason they are called uncharted worlds. They would have to change the name if you were running into a town every fifty feet. I actually was disappointed with this at first, but it fits the story. It is only 26 years after first contact. Humans are settling a wild region of space (the story does take place in human territory). There would not me many settlements in that short a period. Just a few people out to try to get rich quick (miners and pirates, which is who you find on these uncharted worlds). Having three human colonies out there is an achievement in only 26 years. I found some of the uncharted worlds’ assignment fun: the Listening Posts , the Geth Outposts, Rogue VI, the ones dealing with Cerberus. I also love looking for and then destroying Thresher Maws. My major disappointment is the lack of party member communication on these uncharted worlds. Just a small comment here and there about the beautiful sunset or about how cold it was would have been nice.


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Old 01-12-2008, 08:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
The Character creation alone is enough not to call Mass Effect a disappointment.
I agree. But it could be even better if they copied the The Sims 2 system utterly. I sure wouldn't mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
There is a reason they are called uncharted worlds. They would have to change the name if you were running into a town every fifty feet. I actually was disappointed with this at first, but it fits the story. It is only 26 years after first contact. Humans are settling a wild region of space (the story does take place in human territory). There would not me many settlements in that short a period. Just a few people out to try to get rich quick (miners and pirates, which is who you find on these uncharted worlds).
That much is true. Still, I think that there wouldn't be a problem if there were Asari settlements, Turian villages and Salarian outposts here and there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
Having three human colonies out there is an achievement in only 26 years.
Wait, out of the Local Cluster there's only Feros! Noveria is a multiracial colony and Virmire... Damn, Tortuga says you something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
I found some of the uncharted worlds’ assignment fun: the Listening Posts , the Geth Outposts, Rogue VI, the ones dealing with Cerberus. I also love looking for and then destroying Thresher Maws. My major disappointment is the lack of party member communication on these uncharted worlds. Just a small comment here and there about the beautiful sunset or about how cold it was would have been nice.
Oh, those quests were fun, but the problem it that there was just a handful of them. I also didn't liked the "I'm ready!" comments of your partners on those places; another show of how generic those points are.

____________________

If the next game is set, I don't know, the Terminus Systems perhaps, I want to see more populated planets... And the fires that are always burning there of course: The political instability, raiders and pirates, and the Batarians.


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Old 01-12-2008, 11:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ctrl_Alt_Del
That much is true. Still, I think that there wouldn't be a problem if there were Asari settlements, Turian villages and Salarian outposts here and there.
Why would there be within Alliance space?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ctrl_Alt_Del
Wait, out of the Local Cluster there's only Feros! Noveria is a multiracial colony and Virmire... Damn, Tortuga says you something?
1. Exodus Cluster – Utopia System – Eden Prime
2. Attican Beta – Theseus – Feros
3. Horse Head Nebula – Pax – Noveria (granted Noveria is a multicultural research colony, but it has to be humans running it as no one but humans can be that stupid and negligent in their research.) Plus it said to be a colony by that Volus salesperson in the markets on the Citadel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ctrl_Alt_Del
If the next game is set, I don't know, the Terminus Systems perhaps, I want to see more populated planets... And the fires that are always burning there of course: The political instability, raiders and pirates, and the Batarians.
I agree. The next game should take place outside of the Alliance territory and as you enter known space there should be less exploring. That would also mean less raiders and pirates as you are entering a more civilized part of The Milky Way. Can't have it both ways, well I guess you can since this is a video game and not real life.


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Old 01-13-2008, 08:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
Why would there be within Alliance space?
I suppose you have a point. But if the next game isn't set quite some time on the future, I doubt humanity will have more than Noveria to rely on outside the Local Cluster (Since ExoGeni Company announces it'll leave the colony for good). Thirty years on the future might be fair. We still could have Liara and Wrex on the next one, but not Shepard, which is all fine by me.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
1. Exodus Cluster – Utopia System – Eden Prime
Completely forgot about Eden Prime. I don't think the Geth took the entire colony out anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
3. Horse Head Nebula – Pax – Noveria (granted Noveria is a multicultural research colony, but it has to be humans running it as no one but humans can be that stupid and negligent in their research.) Plus it said to be a colony by that Volus salesperson in the markets on the Citadel.
Still, the colony administrator is Anoleis, a salarian.
spoiler:
And can be Lorik Quinn if you do his quest properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
I agree. The next game should take place outside of the Alliance territory and as you enter known space there should be less exploring. That would also mean less raiders and pirates as you are entering a more civilized part of The Milky Way. Can't have it both ways, well I guess you can since this is a video game and not real life.
Civilized should be quoted. From all we heard, the Terminus Systems isn't exactly the most stable region of the galaxy.


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Old 01-13-2008, 10:26 AM   #10
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After have seen they made Mass Effect biggest disapointment, Gamebanshee lost much of my respect or whatever you can call it i had for that site ^^
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:12 PM   #11
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Mass Effect is essentially an action title with subpar RPG elements
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Best Story/Writing - Mass Effect
Well, there's another reminder why I rarely lend much stock to site-written reviews.

My opinion on this may be uninformed given that I've not played Mass Effect (and until it's released on PC I don't plan to - nothing interesting out on the 360 and I'd essentially be spending $350+ for one game), but I'm very skeptical that its story could be placed ahead of MotB's. Apart from Torment there really is not one that can compare with it - a love story gone horribly wrong that questions divine right to rule and throws in soul-eating/personal correlation to the PC without the fate of the world being in his/her hands is pretty hard to beat. (The well-done party members were also a plus.)

In contrast from what I know of Mass Effect and have heard from friends is that it's basically another BioWare 'save the galaxy from certain doom' story that tries to be original by throwing in teleological and deontological answers to conversations. While that's a vast improvement from their typical 'oh help me, my innocent newborn baby girl has been kidnapped by evil baby-eating slavers!' dilemma where the choices are 'I'll rescue her and risk my life for free', 'what's the reward?', 'I'll kill you!' and 'I'll be going now', whether the ends justify the means is hardly new and can be put into almost any game.

Point in case, I'm somewhat skeptical of their giving MotB second even though I've not played Mass Effect myself. BioWare stories are usually good and have a deep character or two, but they're simply not on the same level as what Avellone and co have delivered. The idea they were able to suddenly write something that provided more depth (or was simply better-written) than MotB astounds me, especially since that would make it better done than all their previous titles - which is quite hard to do with an original setting.

I don't suppose anyone who's played Mass Effect and MotB would say otherwise? As it stands I see very little reason to take GameBanshee seriously, and that's not even having played both titles.


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Old 01-13-2008, 08:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
I don't suppose anyone who's played Mass Effect and MotB would say otherwise? As it stands I see very little reason to take GameBanshee seriously, and that's not even having played both titles.
I haven't played MotB yet - hell, I haven't even played NWN2 yet - still, I can tell what I know about the Mass Effect story.

"Save the galaxy" plot indeed. Like on Kotor, you'll have an ultimate evil group to defeat (Curiously, you don't met more than one of those) and still you can be the universal @ss on an Renegade ending (Let's just not say evil here, Bioware made quite sure that Paragon and Renegade aren't really different alignments, just different ways of thinking and acting).

Still, is this pattern plot that bad? They actually raised a new mythology from the ground, built into a very stable universe, on a game that'll keep instigating the player, inevitably dragging him to the ending. There's a plot twist, not as big as in Kotor, nor as obvious, but it's there. There's a character that impersonates evil, but in the end, he isn't. There are friends to look after, but they are expandable if you wish.

Did the NWN, Kotor or Jade Empire dialogs always bugged you? Why the heck your character rarely spoke more than two lines of dialogue while an NPC spoke 10? None of that is on ME, thankfully, the new "wheel" system flows quite well. And I still think that Bioware writes the best dialogs on RPGs to date.


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Old 01-13-2008, 09:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
I don't suppose anyone who's played Mass Effect and MotB would say otherwise?
You are truly evil Emperor Devon are you trying to get me to be critical of my sacred cow?

These are my personal taste. I am also not impartial; I hated the combat system and the controls of NWN2 and only went back to it after reading post on this forum about NWN2 and MotB.

Character Creation: Mass Effect
Game Play: Mass Effect
Communications with Party Member: MotB
Dialog System: Mass Effect
Party Members: Split
Equipment: MotB
Graphics: Mass Effects
Side Quest: MotB
Story: MotB
Mass Effect is not deep, but it is a good story. Both are good games with good stories and I have no problem with either being game of the year. I do have a problem with either being called Disappointment of the Year.


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Old 01-13-2008, 09:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
I don't suppose anyone who's played Mass Effect and MotB would say otherwise? As it stands I see very little reason to take GameBanshee seriously, and that's not even having played both titles.
I've played both, and completed both multiple times, so I consider myself well qualified to say that Mask of the Betrayer had a much, much better/more interesting story. Both were pretty good games though, but Mask is the one I'm more likely to still be playing in years to come.


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Old 01-14-2008, 01:41 AM   #15
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Mask of the Betrayer, I wouldn't touch with a six foot pole. Why? They fudged NWN2's storyline, why on Earth should I suspect that they did any better with the expansion? NWN2 hasn't been on my computer since a month after I first installed it for a very good reason.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:36 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Corinthian
Mask of the Betrayer, I wouldn't touch with a six foot pole. Why? They fudged NWN2's storyline, why on Earth should I suspect that they did any better with the expansion? NWN2 hasn't been on my computer since a month after I first installed it for a very good reason.
Hmmm... So you couldn't stand The Witcher and thought NWN2 sucked so bad that it wasn't even worth the effort to try it's expansion. I'm curious, what was your RPG of the year then?

Having only played Jade Empire: Special Edition and The Witcher in the RPG category of 2007 releases I'm really not qualified to comment on GameBanshee's choices, though I was surpised that Mass Effect got best story and biggest disappointment. But IIRC it is their first year giving out these awards so maybe this can be chalked up to inexperience?


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Old 01-14-2008, 11:50 AM   #17
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not enough variety...


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Old 01-14-2008, 12:35 PM   #18
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not enough variety...
What exactly are you talking about? Variety of choices?


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Old 01-14-2008, 02:16 PM   #19
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And no comment on the Indie RPG of the Year, Geneforge 4? I've been playing the demo, and the storyline there was actually pretty interesting, having the same theme of: "Oh noes, what if, when fighting your enemy, you becomes it?" of ME, but having two factions in the process, with real choices (instead of being constrained to just one faction in ME). Also, you get to summon creatures, and I love doing that. However, I might prefer the earlier Geneforge games becuase they have you join up to 4 different factions...

But, I haven't played through even the first level, so, eh. I should restart the demo and 'restat', and see how it is.


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Old 01-14-2008, 03:47 PM   #20
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Bah, Geneforge. I'm more partial to Avernum/Exile.
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:31 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
You are truly evil Emperor Devon are you trying to get me to be critical of my sacred cow?

These are my personal taste. I am also not impartial; I hated the combat system and the controls of NWN2 and only went back to it after reading post on this forum about NWN2 and MotB.

Character Creation: Mass Effect
Game Play: Mass Effect
Communications with Party Member: MotB
Dialog System: Mass Effect
Party Members: Split
Equipment: MotB
Graphics: Mass Effects
Side Quest: MotB
Story: MotB
Mass Effect is not deep, but it is a good story. Both are good games with good stories and I have no problem with either being game of the year. I do have a problem with either being called Disappointment of the Year.
I'm getting NWN MotB now. If you, out of all people who seem to love Mass effect, say that..

Personally I enjoy RPGs from both Bioware and Obsidian (Avellone). Though, while I have played a lot of Bioware titles, I did play just one Obsidian title: Kotor II. I got PS: Torment, but I can't bring myself to endure the 640xwhatever..
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Old 01-16-2008, 12:36 PM   #22
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I got PS: Torment, but I can't bring myself to endure the 640xwhatever.
Your loss. Perhaps you should sell it on eBay. There are many others out there who would "endure" it happily.


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Old 01-16-2008, 01:25 PM   #23
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What exactly are you talking about? Variety of choices?
variety of choices, they all, besides bioshock, looked like RPGs to me. wonder why oblivion goty didn't get in.


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Old 01-16-2008, 01:38 PM   #24
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variety of choices, they all, besides bioshock, looked like RPGs to me. wonder why oblivion goty didn't get in.
That's because they are. Even Bioshock, which is a FPS RPG.


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Old 01-16-2008, 02:12 PM   #25
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Your loss. Perhaps you should sell it on eBay. There are many others out there who would "endure" it happily.
Well I started playing it and everything apart from graphics is awesome. I think I'll give it another try when I have time to fully immerse myself.
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Old 01-16-2008, 03:38 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Monance
Well I started playing it and everything apart from graphics is awesome. I think I'll give it another try when I have time to fully immerse myself.
I would play it in Windowed Mode if you aren't already. Sure, everything gets smaller, but the graphics won't get as horribly pixelated as when blowing up 640x480 to full screen on modern monitors.


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Old 01-16-2008, 10:24 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimartin
You are truly evil Emperor Devon are you trying to get me to be critical of my sacred cow?

Story: MotB
See, that wasn't so hard now was it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corinthian
They fudged NWN2's storyline, why on Earth should I suspect that they did any better with the expansion?
For starters there's the general (if not completely agreed) consensus of everyone who's played MotB on this board that it trumps the OC by a long shot. Hells, even RPG Codex praised its story - I always thought they were incapable of liking games other than Torment and Fallout. While other people's opinions are by no means something to judge how your own experience with the game would be, I think there's some stock to its story receiving universal praise.

For some non-spoiler specific details, pretty much everything to do with NWN2 was purged in MotB. The setting takes place in Rashemen (countless leagues away from Neverwinter, no more sword & sorcery European setting), with none of the characters or companions from the OC present at all (except for two cameos and the dreamscape sequences). No kingdoms are at risk, no giant bad guys await to be stopped; even saying the game has a central antagonist is ambiguous (rather like how it was in Torment). It's a completely personal and very well-written story about the curse your PC's soul is under. Definitely not the generic 'save the world' one the OC was.

Anyways, if you liked Torment you'd like MotB for sure - you're definitely missing out if you're judging how it'll be by how the OC was. (You wouldn't be the first person to chuck that away in unfinished disgust and then rave about MotB either - there were a lot of cases of that at the Codex.)


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Old 01-17-2008, 08:28 PM   #28
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Speaking of the codex, a few of the members of the gamebanshee staff have spoken about these very awards over there, if anyone is at all interested.

As always with the codex, beware of naughty language if you're sensitive to that sort of thing, or there are small kids around:

Click here.

This was what the guy who chose ME as biggest disappointment had to say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckGB
Hey guys, I just thought I'd drop in here to try and address some of the criticisms about my decision to label Mass Effect as a disappointment.

Let me start off by saying that I've been playing tabletop and PC RPGs for 27 years, I think the D20 system is pretty solid in terms of variety, and I grew up watching (and really enjoying) Star Wars episodes IV - VI. As a result, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was a good match for me and I enjoyed it immensely for many different reasons that are sort of out of the scope of what I popped in here for.

Now, eschewing the D20 system for Mass Effect was fine, but I didn't expect BioWare's proprietary character development system to be so generic. There are no character attributes, no noteworthy non-combat skills, and only forty talents - most of which are nearly identical. For example, all four weapon talents use the same progression with one unlockable skill within each that more-or-less increases damage, the three armor talents reduce damage and increase shield regeneration, and the six biotic talents serve either a direct damage or crowd control purpose. The talent pool also includes class specializations, which can only be perceived as an afterthought. Ascending to any of them just lets you allocate six more points into a slightly modified version of your previous class talent. They're practically transparent.

The Paragon/Renegade system might enter into grey areas more than the Dark/Light and Open Palm/Closed Fist systems, but it's still the same approach. Top choices on the radial menu are for Paragons, bottom choices are for Renegades. Whenever there is an option to Charm, there's an option to Intimidate. It's not a terrible way to handle dialogue considering that there are no attributes to reference or anything, but there's definitely nothing unique about it. The game was supposed to have some real hard-hitting player decisions, too. There are two major decisions you have to make in the game - which of your squad members dies at the hands of the Geth and whether or not to wipe out the Rachni race. Aside from potentially losing a romance option, there are no consequences to either of these actions.

It might not matter to some, but having unique equipment with interesting descriptions is a must for me in a role-playing game. With Mass Effect, it's as if they just opened up a thesarus and grabbed all the one-word synonyms they could find for the weapons and armor. Some of the names are even duplicated (Avenger is the name of a sniper rifle AND an assault rifle, Striker is the name of a pistol AND a sniper rifle, etc.) and there is no naming differentiation between light/medium/heavy armors for any of the four races (resulting in the same name being used for up to 12 different armors). Additionally, I'm the kind of guy who actually reads the six paragraphs that describe how The Snow Maiden's Reaver came to be. With the equipment in ME, there are no item descriptions and no statistics to consider aside from three simple scores. The whole equipment system just feels uninspired and boring to me.

Aside from the main quest planets (which were pretty well done), I never really felt any satisfaction from exploring the game's galaxy, either. The idea of exploring uncharted planets sounded great to me, but when you're just landing on the same square patch of land devoid of anything but crashed space probes, minerals waiting to be surveyed, insurmountable mountain ranges, and the occasional side quest that takes place in an unremarkable building or mining facility, the novelty wears off fast. When coupled with the simplistic, bouncy, and slow-moving Mako, most of my planetary exploration has felt like a chore.

I should also add that I'm not a fan of enemy and loot scaling, especially when it's used exclusively and ruins any sense of danger (and adventure) in the game. I was actually hoping that I'd be able to land on some exotic planet and be slaughtered by a sinister alien species, but that never happened. In my opinion, that type of thing encourages players to continue to build their characters, re-equip their characters, or otherwise utilize some other strategy and then return to the challenge later on. It was also pretty disappointing to get a few dozen credits and maybe a suit of Explorer I armor for quests and Geth kills at the beginning of the game, only to discover that those same quests and Geth could suddenly be worth tens of thousands of credits and a suit of Explorer X armor if I killed or completed them when my squad was of higher level later in the game. Some scaling is acceptable, but Mass Effect's progression was just too strict and linear for me.

That's my take, anyway. Mass Effect is certainly not a bad game (I still contend that the storyline, cinematics, voiceovers, and music are great), but I couldn't help but scratch my head at the many poor design decisions. It had a lot to live up to for me and as a result was my biggest disappointment this year. Hellgate: London was a close second, but I went into that game expecting Diablo-style skill trees and some quick cooperative fun, nothing more. As a result, my expectations were met.


...
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:51 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckGB
Now, eschewing the D20 system for Mass Effect was fine, but I didn't expect BioWare's proprietary character development system to be so generic. There are no character attributes, no noteworthy non-combat skills, and only forty talents - most of which are nearly identical. For example, all four weapon talents use the same progression with one unlockable skill within each that more-or-less increases damage, the three armor talents reduce damage and increase shield regeneration, and the six biotic talents serve either a direct damage or crowd control purpose. The talent pool also includes class specializations, which can only be perceived as an afterthought. Ascending to any of them just lets you allocate six more points into a slightly modified version of your previous class talent. They're practically transparent.
Considering that whatever action system they used on ME allows so much more than a old, aging, system that works better on tabletop RPGs, we don't really need a Exotic Weapon Mastery Lv.3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckGB
The Paragon/Renegade system might enter into grey areas more than the Dark/Light and Open Palm/Closed Fist systems, but it's still the same approach. Top choices on the radial menu are for Paragons, bottom choices are for Renegades. Whenever there is an option to Charm, there's an option to Intimidate. It's not a terrible way to handle dialogue considering that there are no attributes to reference or anything, but there's definitely nothing unique about it. The game was supposed to have some real hard-hitting player decisions, too. There are two major decisions you have to make in the game - which of your squad members dies at the hands of the Geth and whether or not to wipe out the Rachni race. Aside from potentially losing a romance option, there are no consequences to either of these actions.
They were honest and straightforward here. if they did messed with the wheel system, shuffling the Renegade, Paragon and neutral answers, they would just make the dialog more tedious to the player, as he would have to figure out for himself, not that this does matter. After all, it don't matter if you are a Renegade or a Paragon if you get the job done... That, and that there won't be a Dark Side transition, nor people lecturing or congratulating you for your choices.

What game has he played? Then
spoiler:
Saving the Council, or not; Change the political order on the Council space and eliminating erratic core characters
aren't considered major decisions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckGB
It might not matter to some, but having unique equipment with interesting descriptions is a must for me in a role-playing game. With Mass Effect, it's as if they just opened up a thesarus and grabbed all the one-word synonyms they could find for the weapons and armor. Some of the names are even duplicated (Avenger is the name of a sniper rifle AND an assault rifle, Striker is the name of a pistol AND a sniper rifle, etc.) and there is no naming differentiation between light/medium/heavy armors for any of the four races (resulting in the same name being used for up to 12 different armors). Additionally, I'm the kind of guy who actually reads the six paragraphs that describe how The Snow Maiden's Reaver came to be. With the equipment in ME, there are no item descriptions and no statistics to consider aside from three simple scores. The whole equipment system just feels uninspired and boring to me.
Nah, the guy's ranting at nothing here. Of course, it coulda have been more interesting if Bioware had included different descriptions for a Predator II and a Predator VIII, but that isn't really the end of the world, is it? The aspect that bothered me on that was the item limit... 150?
Quote:
Aside from the main quest planets (which were pretty well done), I never really felt any satisfaction from exploring the game's galaxy, either. The idea of exploring uncharted planets sounded great to me, but when you're just landing on the same square patch of land devoid of anything but crashed space probes, minerals waiting to be surveyed, insurmountable mountain ranges, and the occasional side quest that takes place in an unremarkable building or mining facility, the novelty wears off fast. When coupled with the simplistic, bouncy, and slow-moving Mako, most of my planetary exploration has felt like a chore.


Quote:
I should also add that I'm not a fan of enemy and loot scaling, especially when it's used exclusively and ruins any sense of danger (and adventure) in the game. I was actually hoping that I'd be able to land on some exotic planet and be slaughtered by a sinister alien species, but that never happened. In my opinion, that type of thing encourages players to continue to build their characters, re-equip their characters, or otherwise utilize some other strategy and then return to the challenge later on.
True.
Quote:
It was also pretty disappointing to get a few dozen credits and maybe a suit of Explorer I armor for quests and Geth kills at the beginning of the game, only to discover that those same quests and Geth could suddenly be worth tens of thousands of credits and a suit of Explorer X armor if I killed or completed them when my squad was of higher level later in the game. Some scaling is acceptable, but Mass Effect's progression was just too strict and linear for me.

If we remove the same characters/name-of-garments thing, we come to notice that every RPG to date works alike.


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Old 01-17-2008, 09:08 PM   #30
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Ctrl_Alt_Delete, um...please forgive me for responding, but since I like gamestories, erm...:

Quote:
They were honest and straightforward here. if they did messed with the wheel system, shuffling the Renegade, Paragon and neutral answers, they would just make the dialog more tedious to the player, as he would have to figure out for himself, not that this does matter. After all, it don't matter if you are a Renegade or a Paragon if you get the job done... That, and that there won't be a Dark Side transition, nor people lecturing or congratulating you for your choices.
...

"It doesn't matter if you are a Renegade or a Paragon if you get the job done". It DOESN'T MATTER? That's the problem! It should matter!

There has to be in-game consquences. For both Renegade and Paragon. If you are a Paragon, willing to follow moral constructs and do the right thing every single time, then you should pay the consquences, as you won't effectively fight the enemy, and heh, maybe even go out and actually harm your side if one of your men start doing something immoral ("I must stop the genocide of the So-And-So Race, so I will abandon my post and let the Ghet take over, because if I do nothing, I will be condoning horrors"). If you are Renegade that will do whatever it takes, suffer the consquences as well, with people depising you, false charges be made by those who you harmed in the past, and crazed Paragons wanting to stab you and ignore the much more pressing threats. And what about escalation for the Renegade? If you start doing more immoral stuff, then the Renegade's enemy may choose to 'escalate' the threat, and begin committing even more immoral actions in order to try and secure victory.

Any RPG where you get to pick and choose what you want to do without any sort of problems in the long term...well, that's not breaking the mold, that is the mold of both KOTOR and Fable. "I'm feeling frisky today, let choose evil and see if I can charge the loading ramp of that wealthy Widow!" Strangely enough, the only game, that I played, where you actually have to make a meaningful choice, and in which that choice will break you in some way, is Hidden Agenda, a 1980's political sim. Not even an RPG, but, well, it's actually quite developed for its stark moral delimmas and consquences.

Quote:
What game has he played? Then
spoiler:
Saving the Council, or not; Change the political order on the Council space and eliminating erratic core characters

aren't considered major decisions?
spoiler:
What does it matter as a gameplay consquence? The game ends anyway. No matter what, the Humans STILL win. In a sequel to ME, then it might matter, with a Human-dominanted galaxy being much different from a galaxy dominated by aliens with Humans playing second fiddle but rising in the ranks and eventually dominaitng.

But there is no sequel to ME right now, and what if Bioware doesn't allow for a person to choose his own ending? Once the game ends, the game ends. And regardless of choice, you know the enemy will come back soon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:34 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
"It doesn't matter if you are a Renegade or a Paragon if you get the job done". It DOESN'T MATTER? That's the problem! It should matter!

There has to be in-game consquences. For both Renegade and Paragon.
It does surprise me seeing you complaining about that. You are always criticizing old RPG clichés, and looking for something new on the story, completely ignoring gameplay aspects ( ). I even suspect you're teamed up with Emperor Devon and his illegal underground sect that plans on burning down Bioware's office on Edmonton and impaling Ray Myzuka, all at the sound of their holy chore: "Bioware only make 'let's save the galaxy' game themes!".

Haven't this been done before? NWN, KotOR, JE are more than initials, those are games that included a good/bad side on them, and made your character follow every idiotic/well-behaved/neutral/jerky action course you wanted your character to take. Plainly: Mass Effect doesn't have a good/bas side, it has a Paragon/Renegade side.

Quote:
If you are a Paragon, willing to follow moral constructs and do the right thing every single time, then you should pay the consquences, as you won't effectively fight the enemy, and heh, maybe even go out and actually harm your side if one of your men start doing something immoral ("I must stop the genocide of the So-And-So Race, so I will abandon my post and let the Ghet take over, because if I do nothing, I will be condoning horrors"). If you are Renegade that will do whatever it takes, suffer the consquences as well, with people depising you, false charges be made by those who you harmed in the past, and crazed Paragons wanting to stab you and ignore the much more pressing threats. And what about escalation for the Renegade? If you start doing more immoral stuff, then the Renegade's enemy may choose to 'escalate' the threat, and begin committing even more immoral actions in order to try and secure victory.
I see that as finally broken chains. "Let's get 75% of all Renegade/paragon points to get an achievement, then let's do what the heck we would want to do on our own lives". That, IMNSHO, is RPing, and THAT, is the grey side we've been asking for so long.

Quote:
Any RPG where you get to pick and choose what you want to do without any sort of problems in the long term...well, that's not breaking the mold, that is the mold of both KOTOR and Fable. "I'm feeling frisky today, let choose evil and see if I can charge the loading ramp of that wealthy Widow!"
That's, as I have said before, isn't the case of Mass Effect.

Quote:
spoiler:
What does it matter as a gameplay consquence? The game ends anyway. No matter what, the Humans STILL win. In a sequel to ME, then it might matter, with a Human-dominanted galaxy being much different from a galaxy dominated by aliens with Humans playing second fiddle but rising in the ranks and eventually dominaitng.
I remember you saying somewhere that you appreciated philosophy. Right? Because you're a philosopher. To the core.

Why bother living if it's finite, anyways?


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Old 01-17-2008, 09:36 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
"It doesn't matter if you are a Renegade or a Paragon if you get the job done". It DOESN'T MATTER? That's the problem! It should matter!
Why should it matter? If the point of the story is to get from a to b. Then the entire point of the story is b. You have to get to b. What the Renegade and Paragon system has to do with is how you get to b. The easy way by stealing the kid’s bike or the difficult way by walking while carry the poor crippled children on your shoulders. The entire point of Mass Effect and most RPG games is the journey not the destination. Mass Effect is no different in that regards than KOTOR. Kill the bad guy and save the galaxy. Lightside/Paragon or Darkside/Renegade or anywhere in the middle you still end up at the same destination.


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Old 01-18-2008, 02:08 PM   #33
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Quote:
It does surprise me seeing you complaining about that. You are always criticizing old RPG clichés, and looking for something new on the story, completely ignoring gameplay aspects
...Bioware broke the barriers of gaming by basically simply renaming Good and Evil.

I'm frankly underwhelmed.

Quote:
Haven't this been done before? NWN, KotOR, JE are more than initials, those are games that included a good/bad side on them, and made your character follow every idiotic/well-behaved/neutral/jerky action course you wanted your character to take. Plainly: Mass Effect doesn't have a good/bas side, it has a Paragon/Renegade side.
Well, following "every idiotic/well-behaved/neutral/jerky action" does in fact sound like RP. Abliet, forced RP, but at least you are playing an avatar and not playing as yourself. Sterotypes are not original, but at least they are a good starting point to RP from. When you get down to it, you can break down an "original charater" to sterotypes anyway...

But without any consquences, you make the choices meaningless. Paragon and Renegade seems like 'personal preference', just like in KOTOR (because to be honest, it's personal preference if you want to save the galaxy or take it over). But KOTOR had at least some 'nominal' consquences for your 'personal preference'.

Without any consquences at all for your 'personal preference', ME falls flat. This isn't Gray at all. It's 'choices for the sake of choices'.

Quote:
I see that as finally broken chains. "Let's get 75% of all Renegade/paragon points to get an achievement, then let's do what the heck we would want to do on our own lives". That, IMNSHO, is RPing, and THAT, is the grey side we've been asking for so long.
RP is roleplaying. You play as an avatar.

But being granted a sandbox to choose what "pretty color" block you want to pick, as the choices you make are mostly cosmetic, with no real effect, is utterly deveasting to the core of any serious Roleplay that could explore more serious themes. You have to make a choice, and when you make that choice, it must affect you, so you must seriously stop and consider what you are doing, and realize if what you are doing is right or not (or if you are really a cynical powergamer, wheter that choice will benieft you or not). That is the ethical 'gray side'.

Make the choices affect your gameplay. If you really have to, reward evil and punish good. That will really throw a wrench into things, and showcase many 'compromises' in morals needed in order to ensure that you can sitll survive. It also makes good something more to strive for rather than just being a 'paladin'.

Quote:
That's, as I have said before, isn't the case of Mass Effect.
Yes it is. In fact, it seems to be even more like Fable than KOTOR. Fable, you still got to go to the exact same desitnation, and the journey is the same. You can choose if you want to do Good or Evil. It's the same exact choice, with no consquence really on if you, say, kill off your best friend or if you do not. No matter IF you are Good or Evil, you still save Alibon, just that your methods are different.

Even Fable got a level-scaling system just like ME. Even sex too. Turns out Peter Molyunex really was a revolutionary.

Quote:
Why should it matter? If the point of the story is to get from a to b. Then the entire point of the story is b. You have to get to b. What the Renegade and Paragon system has to do with is how you get to b. The easy way by stealing the kid’s bike or the difficult way by walking while carry the poor crippled children on your shoulders. The entire point of Mass Effect and most RPG games is the journey not the destination
Then you can see that I'm proposing something different. The Destination matters too. The affect on the galaxy, your choices and your actions, and the actions of those around you, should affect what road you take. The road you take should lead to terrible consquences, and in the end, multiple destinations. The destinations matter because why else are you heading there? The destinations matter because while the game ends for us, it does not end for the characters.

Otherwise, the game is really just a 'sandbox', with no inherent meaning other than what we assign to it.

Basically, make our choices mean something important. Enhance any 'illusion of control'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here

Last edited by SilentScope001; 01-18-2008 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 01-18-2008, 02:45 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Then you can see that I'm proposing something different. The Destination matters too. The affect on the galaxy, your choices and your actions, and the actions of those around you, should affect what road you take. The road you take should lead to terrible consquences, and in the end, multiple destinations. The destinations matter because why else are you heading there? The destinations matter because while the game ends for us, it does not end for the characters.
I'd agree with you to a point with this. You see, while I think consequence is important - even if only employed as a tool for ego stroking - I do think you are discounting the importance of the journey up to a decision.

Consequence is only the half of it and unfortunately the oft forgotten half is nigh on dead because the developers of RPGs are so averse to the idea of a one choice decision; how does a good character deal with the idea that they have to kill an innocent man to get what they need to "save the world"? The squirming, the sweating, the guilt and the attempts to avoid that decision are what define the character, not actually doing the inevitable (i.e. killing the man).

Hamlet isn't Hamlet because he kills Claudius (minor spoiler there ) he's Hamlet because he can't do the deed until right at the end - and indeed he doesn't know himself "why yet I live to say 'this thing's to do'".

While I wouldn't say Mass Effect does them brilliantly (10/10, good job, and gold star), it does at least try to give you morally ambiguous and difficult decisions. The difficulty in making the decision and the idea of playing a good character who occaisionally has to be the bad-guy, is just as interesting - to me, at least - than the consequences of my actions.

The journey's important too .

Last edited by Pavlos; 01-19-2008 at 03:06 PM. Reason: Glanced up and saw a typo!
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Old 01-19-2008, 02:48 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Yes it is. In fact, it seems to be even more like Fable than KOTOR. Fable, you still got to go to the exact same desitnation, and the journey is the same. You can choose if you want to do Good or Evil. It's the same exact choice, with no consquence really on if you, say, kill off your best friend or if you do not. No matter IF you are Good or Evil, you still save Alibon, just that your methods are different.
What comes next on those games, then? You save the land just to become a worst scourge.


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Old 01-20-2008, 02:57 PM   #36
SilentScope001
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What comes next on those games, then? You save the land just to become a worst scourge.
I never said the Fable's storyline was actually good.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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