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Mass Effect as a serious artistic work.


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#1 Diabolical_Jazz

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 08:01 PM

I saw this article and I thought it was neat! It starts off a little pretentious, but it gets good from there. I really love the Mass Effect setting, so perhaps I'm biased, but regardless it is an interesting read.

http://io9.com/58861...-our-generation
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#2 Chukkzy

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 06:58 AM

I love the arguments going on below in the comments about how its shallow and generic compared to star trek lol.

I totally like Mass Effect.
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#3 Diabolical_Jazz

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 04:07 PM

Anyone who thinks that Mass Effect is shallow and generic clearly hasn't paid attention to it.
But I doubt that those people really meant it anyway. They were prolly trollin'. =P
I don't think he needs to be immortal. I think all he needs to do is to write the right story. Because some stories do live forever.

#4 Bad Wolf

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:38 PM

That was a good read, thanks for the link. Personally I can't believe that anyone could see it as shallow or generic (I've come to think of Mass Effect as one of the only true RPG's out there). However I would bet the people who think it is shallow just raced through the game, not reading or caring what they did.

#5 Diabolical_Jazz

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 01:09 PM

No problem. ^_^

Yeah, I'm not actually sure how someone could consider it shallow, but perhaps they were talking about the deeper philosophical implications? I mean, even then, they're wrong, but that would be the only reasonable way to compare it against Star Trek.
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#6 Kirihime Natsuno

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 08:40 PM

That was a good read, thanks for the link. Personally I can't believe that anyone could see it as shallow or generic (I've come to think of Mass Effect as one of the only true RPG's out there). However I would bet the people who think it is shallow just raced through the game, not reading or caring what they did.

To be honest, it is generic. It's the same cookie-cutter formula as most other RPGs. Must save world/country/star system from Giant Evil Entity, to do so you amass a group of varied races/genders/abilities and fight through countless grunts in order to eventually face Giant Evil Entity in a battle to save your chosen realm.

The problem with Mass Effect 3 is that it's only good if you've played the previous two games and imported your file. For myself, a PS3 player, the game isn't as much fun because many of the more important choices come from the first game, and the lack of it means the game becomes much, much shorter and much, much more boring. Many characters from the first game don't appear at all if you don't import a file, as the interactive comic seems to presume they are dead. An example would be Kirrahe, the salarian whose catchphrase was "Hold the line!" In both ME2 and ME3 he doesn't exist unless you import an ME1 file. Sure it doesn't seem like much, but the games are full of this kind of thing.

They should've charged less for the game on release, because it isn't a full game, nor will it ever be on the PS3. And actually the PC as well, since they only released 3 on Origin, which is incompatible with the Steam copies of 1 and 2.

I beat ME3 in a smidge less than 30 hours, with every sidequest completed and the "best" ending. For such a hyped-up game with a claimed 100+ hours of gameplay, I'm disappointed. I don't even care about the ending, I just think the game itself didn't live up to the hype.

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#7 Diabolical_Jazz

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 04:59 PM

I mean, while it does follow the standard RPG world-saving-plotline trope, that in and of itself doesn't really make it generic. That's a narrow view of the game. There's a lot more to it, both technically and thematically.

And while I'll agree that the ability to bring your decisions and many characters with you through to the sequels was a major part of the game, I don't think it's fair to call ME1 an incomplete game because of that. Or to call ME2 or 3 incomplete. Each game contains a reasonably self-contained storyline, with it's own characters, tone, and each tracing a pretty complete character arch for each character, including Shepard.
It's like saying that the first Star Wars wasn't a complete movie. Sure, you cared about Kirrahe. But you only cared about him because you knew him from the first game. He's like Wedge Antilles. What does it matter to someone watching the Return of the Jedi whether Wedge Antilles lives or dies? So Mass Effect 2 and 3 didn't include Kirrahe. And maybe that's disappointing if you played the first game. People who didn't play the first game won't even notice. You noticed because you switched consoles between games. And yeah, that's a bummer, but Bioware didn't engineer that situation. They just made a great game that has an incredible continuity feature. What other game even HAS that? This is a unique problem for a unique feature. By all means, complain about it so that it's fixed in future games with such features, but don't write off the game entirely on that basis. It's silly, and it also makes it less likely for other games to include stuff like that.

I don't see length as any measure of the quality of a game, either. 30 hours is a long time. And yeah, I wish there were 100 hours of gameplay in every Mass Effect game. That's a testament to their ability to deliver a compelling game. But I don't feel slighted by them 'only' including two and a half waking day's worth of gameplay.

As an aside to this, there's a website somewhere where you can download other people's uploaded saved games for ME 1 and 2, so that your ME3 game can have all the same decisions and such as your original ones. I played ME1 and 2 on x-box, and then ME3 on PC, and I just downloaded a saved game with the continuity that I wanted, and used a separate downloaded tool (found on the same site) to modify the character's name and class, so that I had exactly what I had left off with. All free. So that's an option.
I don't think he needs to be immortal. I think all he needs to do is to write the right story. Because some stories do live forever.

#8 M_GORILLA

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 05:42 PM

I really loved playing mass effect and i thought it was very stylish and artisticly done and to compare it to star wars or star trek would be a slight against the game cause honestly it is it's own thing just like star wars was and star trek before it.

#9 Glitched

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 06:51 PM

what a great read, thanks for the link.

The mass effect series is an amazing piece of art. It's an immense universe, the characters aren't one dimensional (they have very distinctive personalities) and the concept was fantastic. I had no idea it was linked to so many philosophies. What made the trilogy so memorable for me was the realistic characters, the interactions with them and the enjoyable gameplay mechanics.
I literally felt attached to my crew and when I was sometimes forced to make those tough decisions that strongly effected some of them, It definitely dragged out an emotional response from me.

It was also astonishing to see the vast amount of history behind each alien race, it was details like this that got me completely immersed in this (unfortunately) fictional universe .
I do urge for a discovery where humans find intelligent life at some point in time (hopefully sooner than later). I also hope that this alien life is superior in some regard or they have some sort of leverage and neglect humans (like in mass effect) until they prove their worth to the rest of the galaxy. I think only then will humans put their differences aside (like race, sexuality, gender) and work together unanimously.
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