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Review – Mass Effect

posted on February 28th, 2008 by shota

I am an RPG player. It is worth mentioning this up front as something relevant to the review which is to follow. I enjoy the genre of RPG’s enough to call it my favorite. Now, I say this because I realize that not everyone is like me. One of my best friends confessed to me recently that while he used to be an ardent RPG player in his younger days (when his life generally consisted of boredom and peer hatred in high school instead of daily responsibilities and peer hatred at work) now he simply has no time for serious gaming commitments that last for more than a few hours. Well, apparently, despite having a full and satisfying life, not much has changed for me. Somehow, I am still able to get into, enjoy and complete plot heavy games. Perhaps such a predisposition toward narrative games has skewed my critical perception. If you are inclined to think so, then consider this a caveat for the following sentence, but as it is I shall offer no more personal context for what I am about to say. Mass Effect is the best game I have ever played on any console.

Before I attempt to support such a sizable claim let me say that I am not beyond admitting that the game is not perfect. And yet, the fact that it still manages to captivate me so overwhelmingly, despite the minor imperfections, only strengthens my belief in its greatness. So, before I gush about the game too much, let me get those minor imperfections out of the way. It would feel improper to say what I want to say about the game and then at the end throw in a couple of petty complaints.

I always knew trees were evil.

1. Driving your all terrain vehicle on the similarly jagged surfaces of multiple planets does indeed get tiresome. The execution of the game-play for the MAKO (the name of your ATV) as a whole is not fully fleshed out. The fact that once inside the MAKO pausing the game becomes impossible makes for extremely difficult battles. More then once I was forced to resort to zooming past enemies without killing them in order to progress through the game. Also, as many reviewers have already noted, it is a shame that, unlike everything else in the game, the vehicle is not upgradeable. There is no reason why this should be so. The good news is that, ultimately, this mistake can easily be corrected. I will eat my hat if, in the sequel, BioWare does not revamp the driving portion of the game.

2. Commerce is entirely neutered throughout the whole game. I think in 50 hours of play I bought four or five items/upgrades. There is simply no need to buy and sell when everything you need, including the most advanced equipment, can be obtained through basic exploration. As a person who very much enjoys the item hoarding/collecting aspect of any RPG I should have liked to find some expensive items in shops that would not be available to me through any other means. There is something inherently satisfying in saving up for a piece of equipment for a good while, then purchasing it and instantly improving your capabilities.

And that is it folks. As far as I’m concerned everything else is right with Mass Effect. I’m sure there are other charges that those people who are clearly wrong would level against the game, but as my circular argument already demonstrates those people were wrong to begin with. (Some have also complained that the shooter components are lacking, and that the weapons are not diverse enough, but they are forgetting that this is an RPG and not Halo. Also, they don’t know what they are talking about.)

So, with the ultimately insignificant negatives out of the way, let’s get to why Mass Effect is better than Chocolate Jesus.

The narrative, the innovative third person shooter component, the characters, the planets, the insanely cool intergalactic travel, the intricately fleshed out NPC’s, the unprecedented cinematic visuals, the plot twists, the villain, the simple but deeply satisfying leveling system, the mature and cinematic score, the innovative conversation wheel, and the 100% voice acted dialogue are all superb. Not only that, but the manner in which all of these components fit with each other makes sense. The game and its world feel organic.

With such a plethora of outstanding features it is impossible to point one’s finger at a single aspect of Mass Effect and credit it with the game’s greatness. It is a combination of elements that makes this one of my favorite experiences in gaming. Indulge me in a comparison. Let’s take the Knights of the Old Republic series… this already seems like a natural comparison since Mass Effect was supposed to be KOTOR III. Rather, BioWare did not make KOTOR III because instead they made Mass Effect. BioWare, in my not very humble opinion, is the King of western RPG makers. They have a brand; a signature style; a certain type of game they are great at creating and loved for producing. If BioWare offered no innovation from their earliest efforts I, and thousands like me, would still keep buying their games. But the good folks at BW seem very uncomfortable with resting on their laurels. If the two KOTOR’s and Jade Empire were not enough to convince you of this, Mass Effect certainly will.

After playing the game twice it is obvious to me that the makers of Mass Effect wanted to unburden themselves from the restricting mythology of Star Wars and all the emotional and narrative baggage that comes with it. They wanted to create a new SciFi world. A world with more than two dimensions. Something much more akin to Asimov or Card then Lucas and Saturday morning cartoons. And I am here to tell you that they succeeded beyond my, and probably their own, expectations.

The world of Mass Effect is absolutely captivating. Everything in it breathes with new life and energy. I was not at all surprised to find out that the lead writer for the game is writing a Mass Effect novel. I’ll be buying it when it comes out. The diversity of the different races and the depth of detail in chronicling their evolution have no equivalent in modern console gaming. My favorite aspect of SciFi and Fantasy fiction has always been world building. In the end, it is why we all love Tolkien and Heinlein and even Star Wars. I mean who would actually argue that the plot or characters of Star Wars aren’t as old as storytelling. Some Star Wars characters are actually offensively two dimensional. This, in turn, stems from the fact that the central Star Wars principle, the Dark and Light sides of the force, lacks any and all subtlety/complexity and fosters two-dimensionality. And yet, I still love Star Wars because of its world. I love the world of Star Wars, not Luke or Vader or what they do.

It’s good to see that no matter how far video games come as a medium, they will always be chock full of thin women with huge racks.

And now imagine a game that creates a world even more exciting than that of Star Wars and populates it with fresh, multidimensional, complex characters with lives full of difficult and unpredictable choices that lead to very real and logical consequences. A world full of depth where good and evil are as grey as they are in real life and there is no need for exchanges like:

“But Anakin, the Sith are evil!”
“From my point of view the Jedi are evil!”

There is no need for such blatant explication in the world of Mass Effect because its foundation has already moved past superficiality. This is not to say that the characters we meet do not conform to the many standards of different adventure narrative archetypes. (As a matter of fact, Mass Effect borrows some concepts from Star Wars.) But they do it in a distinctly fresh way while the player is always aware that change, evolution and transformation are always an option. Change, not in the simplistic sense of switching from one side/allegiance to another, but something that resembles a continuous cycle of choices, where past wrongs are not forgotten and your current actions may not have immediate consequences but rather might haunt or reward you in the future.

Mass Effect replaces KOTOR as one of my top ten favorite games of all time because it combines captivating atmosphere with perfectly executed game play and an engrossing narrative far better then anything else I’ve ever encountered on a console.

Mass Effect is the Firefly of video games (if you don’t know what Firefly is, take some time to find out). I had said about Assassins Creed that it is fun to be in the world the game creates and that you could suck on that long and hard. Well, unhinge your jaws boys and girls because that goes double for Mass Effect.

39 Comments

  1. Tony said on February 29, 2008:

    Completely agree with your review. Easily one of the best games I’ve played in a long, long time. I’ve already played through twice (once as a good guy and once as an asshole). I think it’s really cool how they made the story follow basically the same path in both instances, but your reactions to those same events (and more importantly – peoples’ reactions to you) differ so much it’s like playing for the first time. Usually not one for extra-long RPGs, I sank two 40+ hour playthroughs into this game … and the other day I almost started another because I was bored.

  2. John said on February 29, 2008:

    Excellent review. I’m only about 6 or so hours into it and at first I hated the game due to the fact that I kept getting my ass kicked in every battle at least 3 times; once I figured out the ‘pause menu’ style of equipping Biotics and aiming while in said menu it felt like a completely different game. I normally never play RPGs (besides Fable and Oblivion, although I consider those action RPGs) but I can’t wait to get deeper into Mass Effect.

  3. Shota said on February 29, 2008:

    Thanks fellas. Tony, you bring up a good point about replayablity that I forgot to mention.

    There have been a few instances in my life when after finishing a book i immediately turned to page one and started reading it again; but this is the first time it has happened with a game. It’s one thing when puzzle games make you want to play them over and over again it’s a whole another level of accomplishment when a narrative game makes you want to do the same. I started my second game of mass effect the second the credits finished rolling on my first play-through, and the fact that i already knew the story did not deter me at all.

  4. pat said on March 3, 2008:

    i got a 360 and this game as my birthday present from my girlfriend (i knew id figure out a way to brag about that on here). i played the first few hours over the weekend and i have to admit, im pretty blown away. my concern is that the game is actually a smaller step than it seems like it is to me since i never played kotor. so my question is: how big a leap is mass effect from those games, and would i be less impressed if i had played them?

  5. Shota said on March 3, 2008:

    Pat, I think the game as a whole is indeed a sizable leap from KOTOR, especially when we are talking about the execution of individual elements and the manner in which they harmonize. You might find a few specific features that are only marginally improved as compared to KOTOR and a few that are wildly innovative but overall, with all things considered, this is a game the likes of which i have not seen before. Just because i can trace its origins to KOTOR does not mean ME is not fresh as hell.

    Also, KOTOR was 90/% meele combat, unless you chose not to play as a Jedi and then i have nothing to say to your stupid ass. I am fairly convinced that going from Mass Effect back to Kotor will diminish the pleasure derived from Kotor but not by enough not to make it worth playing. Get the first one, (i”m sure you know that 360 is backwards compatible)i’d be curious to see what you think.

  6. Shota said on March 3, 2008:

    Also, jay, how does it make you feel now that both Pat and i have a 360? huh? Does it feel good? Huh? Does it sting?

    Right, Pat? Gimme 5!

  7. Max said on March 9, 2008:

    Great article, Shota. Like you I fell completely in love with this game. The best testament to that is the fact that my wife gave birth to our first child at the time when I was about 50% through the story, and despite the madness of the first month of baby rearing, I still managed to finish it two weeks later. It says a lot when you have 6 hours a day to sleep and you still choose to spend 2 of them every night to play a game :) As you say, the game has some imperfections, but they are completely forgettable. When we were writing the review for GameLemon (I actually collaborated it with another one of our writers on it), I was shocked to find out that many people were apparently bothered by loading times and elevator rides. It’s something that I personally never even noticed, because I was so engrossed by everything that was going on in the ME universe. Beyond the physical beauty and sheer imagination of Star Wars, it also has the wisdom and humanity of Star Trek, which makes it one of the best sci-fi universes in recent memory.

  8. Shota said on March 11, 2008:

    Holy Shit Max! I think you officially take the hardcore gamer award. Perhaps you can hang it above your child’s crib. Give the little one something to look up to. I thought i was bad ass with my full time job and social commitment juggling with gaming. Gaming in the first month of your first childs life. – touche.

    Like you said, it’s a testament to the magnetic pull of Mass Effect.

  9. pat said on April 2, 2008:

    those of you who have played it – what do you think of the way gamerpoints or whatever they are called are integrated into the game? i feel like mass effect was meant to be experienced on the player’s terms(evidence: how many choices are left to the player concerning just about everything) rather than according to strict rules set up by the developers. yet making points available for things like having party members in your party the whole game detracts from that. thoughts?

    i guess this comment could apply to any 360 game, but this is my first game on the system so i figured i would ask it here. it also probably applies more to ME than to most other games.

  10. Shota said on April 2, 2008:

    Pat, are you talking about unlocking achievements? Because those are stupid and vapid. And anyone who acctually cares about unlocking them is beyond my comprehension.

  11. pat said on April 2, 2008:

    yes, i did mean unlocking achievements. im an xbox noob so i dont have the lingo down yet. they are probably offensive to me in general, but they seem specifically out of place in a game like mass effect. i have actually made a point of trying not to know how to unlock the ones that are available (the keeping party members thing i learned before i could get off the screen) so it doesnt influence my play.

    ps – i knew you would respond that way.

  12. TrueTallus said on April 13, 2008:

    I’d say the achievements setup in Mass Effect is actually implemented fairly well. All major combat skills are given equal rewards in gamerscore to reinforce equality in character customization, both ends of the ruthless/merciful role playing element are represented and the game uses achievements as a great incentive for replays (many achievements are unavailable on the first play through or add new features on a second go around). For a system BioWare was required to implement, they did a fairly solid job of doing so while preserving (and in some ways encouraging) the type of game they meant to make.

  13. christian said on April 13, 2008:

    Hey guys I’m playing this right now.

  14. D said on April 13, 2008:

    @Pat and Shota:

    My take on achievements with respect to Mass Effect is that they offer a gentle nudge of encouragement from the developer to explore elements of the game that are impossible to cover in one or even two play-throughs. If achievements are well-structured, they should open up the gamer to try out something within the title they’d not have bothered with. This title requires at least three play-thrus (or more with poor planning, as was my case) to unlock every achievement, and by the time I’d completed every achievement I felt as though I’d had every nuance of the game’s brilliant design conveyed to me. At times it felt like a chore (breaking the 75% complete mark for a third time and beyond was definitely grinding), but in the end I’m left knowing everything I could possibly know about the galaxy and my possible impact on it. Most importantly, all of the achievements are perfectly attainable, unlike many of those in multiplayer titles that are truly remarkable and thus an achievement for the very few greats. If there had not been achievements within reach, I might have still played through Mass Effect a second time, but certainly not a third time or more.

  15. TrueTallus said on April 14, 2008:

    That’s a great point about the benefit of all the achievements in Mass Effect being attainable by standard humans, D (though beating insane mode still seems pretty grueling to me at this point). Having goals that are inline with what people would actually want to do as they progress through the game instead of goals that seem created for the sole purpose of being badges of drudgerous endurance definitely encourages non-masochistic players to see all that the game has to offer.

    Also, Christian, what are your thoughts on the game so far?

  16. Christian said on April 14, 2008:

    TrueTallus – I’m not entirely sure! I haven’t gotten terribly far in it (I’m at the Citadel for the first time), and I have many thoughts. I need to think on them for a while, as it is a combination of agreement and dissent with others here, and I need to find a way to present it clearly so as to spark rigorous debate.

  17. Shota said on April 14, 2008:

    @ TT RE: “Having goals that are inline with what people would actually want to do as they progress through the game instead of goals that seem created for the sole purpose of being badges of drudgerous endurance”

    1) If goals are “inline” with what people would acctually want to do then why have goals at all. People will do these things anyways.

    2) If the goals are “badges of drudgerous endurance” then they are stupid, pointless and not fun.

    Thus, in either case, achievements are unnecessary, and unwanted. (at least by me)

    I want to say that unlocking achievements is stupid for all games, not just Mass Effect. If a game comes about where I think it’s warranted (even though I can’t imagine one) I will change my opinion. So far experiences with 360 games like ME and AssCreed only further cement my belief in the uselessness of achievement unlocking. It’s like giving someone a buffalo nickel as an incentive for masturbating 15 times in a day. It’s stupid. Either you want to masturbate 15 times a day or you don’t. You should only do if for pleasure; not for some faux token of distinction.

    @Christian:

    I’m glad you are holding off on your comments on ME. Because the brief action prior to Shepard’s visit to the citadel is not enough to form a well rounded opinion of the game. They thrust you into the citadel fairly early and make your visit last at least 3 hours of gameplay. It’s when you leave the citadel and juxtapose the rest of the galaxy and the action to be found there against the citadel that the true flavor of the game emerges.

  18. pat said on April 14, 2008:

    my position on this is probably a bit softer than shota’s but i agree with him more than anyone else. i don’t think these achievements are things that would take place in the normal course of gameplay. the game gives you a variety of characters, some of whom are stronger against certain types of enemies or in certain situations than the others, and then the achievements encourage you not to use them? why wouldnt i use tali when cruising around in the mako and ashley when attacking organic mercenaries? because the achievements dictate i shouldnt?

    i think some games may benefit from achievements. give dedicated players extra credit for speed or skill; thats fine with me. but a game like mass effect, which gives you a world to live in and tells you to do it as you see fit should not then encourage you to make certain asinine decisions. if bioware had to include achievements, they should just have given you 1,000 points for completing the game.

  19. Christian said on April 14, 2008:

    Note to Shota: I think dropping the player into the Citadel for three hours shortly into the game is perfectly reasonable for the game and story they are aiming for. That thought never crossed my mind.

  20. Shota said on April 14, 2008:

    Christian, in that case I am even more curious to hear your debate sparking comments. :)

  21. TrueTallus said on April 15, 2008:

    I’d agree that the “ally” achievements are definitely the week spot in Mass Effect’s implementation of the system, Pat, but I’m inclined to think they may be an indicator of the way the game was intended to be played. These achievements, combined with the fact that no level penalty or forced party arrangement (excluding at the beginning and one specific occurrence later on) affects party member selection leads me to believe that there’s a good possibility BioWare was trying to get people to stick with a squad they liked throughout the game. It’s certainly great to play a game any way we choose, but personally I’m always at least CURIOUS to go through a game like Mass Effect with an eye open for the way the developers are trying to lead me.

    That makes for another possible use for achievements (what can I say, Shota, as a completionist obsessive, it’s my duty to defend them)- using them as a way to guide players to a more engrossing experience with the game in question by encouraging them to play it in the way it was designed to be played. I just finished going though Amped 3, for instance, and while it has some obligatory achievements for getting gold in every event or trying out an obscure feature or two, the vast majority of its gamerpoints are doled out for going through charmingly bizarre story mode. This pull towards the game’s story and weird presentation helps the gamer know how and where to set their expectations: Amped 3 is technically a trick focused snow boarding game, sure, but it’s really about all the crazy crap that happens in-between said snowboarding. This use of achievements seems like a valuable tool to help people avoid disappointment by training them to enjoy a game for what it’s trying to be, not what they want it to be.

  22. Shota said on April 16, 2008:

    TT, don’t get me wrong I also love to explore a vidogame world from A to Z. I open every chest I check every corner I speak with every NPC. And I do try to keep an open mind as to the experience that the Dev’s had in mind vs my preconceived notions. But I do these things naturally. Which is to say I don’t need incentives play this way. Perhaps it is this fact which blinds me to the fact that other people do not play in this manner and they do need guidance and incentives in the form of achievement points in order to provide them with a full experience of the game. In that case, your point is well taken.

    But on the other hand…

    What is wrong with not getting a ‘full’ experience. So I’m the kind of player who only partially explores all the possibilities in a game world. What’s the problem? Let the player decide how he wants to play. Because again, those of us that are a bit more anal will create our own challenges. Because we want to. Incentive or no.

    Let’s say for example that there was an unlockable achievement of “Asskicker Supreme” if you kill every single enemy on a planet while staying inside your MAKO. Would you be more inclined to do it? I would not give a shit. I hate fighting from the MAKO so no incentive is high enough. on the other hand even though the incentive for mining all the minerals was not high enough at all I still spent hours doing it because I enjoyed the process. All i’m saying is that this is a game, and pleasure not fake rewards should determine gaming.

    All of the above mentioned applies even more acutely to open ended games like Mass Effect and Assassins Creed. (which was Pat’s original point) It seems counterintuitive to apply restrictions to a game that touts freedom of choice. Conversely with something like a puzzle or a strategy game it seems entirely appropriate. People have been doing it even before videogames. Applying challenges to games with already stringent rules, I mean. Think of chess puzzles.

    If games like Culdcept or any SRPG’s really, have bonuses and built in game awards (medals in case of Culdcept)for beating a board in a certain number of turns or beating an opponent with a certain ration of difference in gold, well that sounds just fine by me.

    Collecting 100 flags hidden all over Jerusalem in AssCreed SO THAT I can get 10 gamer points is another (insipid) matter all together. (Again, to clarify, I capitalized ‘so that’ to focus on the reasons behind a particular gameplay. If collecting flags gives you joy, be my guest.)

  23. pat said on April 17, 2008:

    well said shota. you made my point more clearly and succinctly than i did. incidentally, i also disliked the mako at first, but i’ve come around. its still handles like, well, a tank, but once i accidentally realized i could fire rockets with it the combat became a bit more manageable and fun.

  24. Shota said on April 17, 2008:

    WHAT!!! THERE’S ROCKETS?! WHERE?

  25. pat said on April 17, 2008:

    i thought that might be the problem, but didnt want to make it sound like a startling revelation in case you already knew. its the button above the right trigger that fires the machine gun. if it were a playstation controller R1 would fire rockets and R2 would fire machine guns. i accidentally fired a rocket while panicking and trying to flee from some kind of ambush and realized it could be useful.

  26. Shota said on April 17, 2008:

    Wow, thanks Pat. I’m going to try this as soon as I can. I’m assuming rockets don’t require accuracy, which is the big problem with fighting from the MAKO with a machine gun. So if you just fire a rocket in the general direction of the baddies it kills them. If thats the case I will have to rethink one of my only complaints about ME.

  27. Max said on April 17, 2008:

    Haha, ok, so I am not the only one who didn’t discover the rockets until like half-way into the game :) And I just thought it was me being thick :) Getting around with just the machine gun was getting EXTREMELY annoying, and then I looked at the little radar thingy that shows when you are overheated, etc. and noticed that there is an indicator there for another weapon type. I then started playing around with the buttons and low and behold, discovered that the Mako in indeed equipped with a rocket launcher. Makes life MUCH easier, needless to say.

  28. pat said on April 17, 2008:

    you can be less precise, but firing from distance or on uneven ground can still be tricky. the rockets kill some enemies in one shot, and take down larger ones (dropships, thresher maws) much more quickly than the machine gun. i probably would have skipped many of the side missions that i have done (geth incursions would be a nightmare, for example) if not for the rockets. a favorite strategy of mine is to hide behind a ridge, then jump and fire. you stay safe and, after a few attempts, can usually hit what you are firing at.

  29. Shota said on April 17, 2008:

    I’ll have to try that jump and fire, Pat. Sounds hilarious.

    And Max, I beat the game twice without having a slightest clue that there are rockets. So, who’s thick here? (taking down the thrasher maws with just a machine gun was a nightmare but afterwards I was very proud of myself.)

  30. pat said on April 17, 2008:

    you killed a thresher maw with the machine gun? you deserve an achievement for that.

  31. TrueTallus said on April 18, 2008:

    No rockets? At all!? You aren’t exaggerating when you say you found Mass Effect to be the best game you’d played on any console- there’s no other way you could you have put up with 2 playthroughs without rockets. Just thinking of killing a thresher maw with only the machine gun makes feel depressed. How DID you beat the geth incursion missions?
    I guess I can see how you could miss something like that, though. I read the manual and I still didn’t know about the super sniper zoom in the mako till partway through Virmire.

    As far as your points about achievements go (I’m so funny), Shota, I get what you and Pat are saying about how out of place they feel in games dedicated to player choice and that for any game really, no one needs someone over their shoulder telling them they get a high five if only they’ll do whatever wacky stuff the developer decided was worth being high fived for. Still, I like the potential of the system as a means to help people (namely me) get the most out of a game by giving me a general idea how to play it.

    I’ve certainly run into many games over the years that I didn’t appreciate as much as I could have had I come into them with the right expectations. If, for example, I’d of played Kingdom Hearts as an exercise in collecting crap and brand whoring (two things I’m not entirely opposed to in other games), instead of a hellishly awful platformer I might have enjoyed my time with it. This is one of the reasons I come HERE, to Videolamer- it helps me adjust my expectations and come at games from a fresh angle. I’m actually looking forward to Civilization: Revolutions, (despite the fact that I’ve never really played a Civ game before and always thought they looked too intimidating) because reading through all of Golden Jew’s articles has given me an appreciation for what the game could be. I guess I’m saying that I think achievements hold the same potential to guide me into giving the games I play a chance to be enjoyed and evaluated based on where they are coming from, not where I’m trying to get them to come from.

  32. Shota said on April 18, 2008:

    TT, your point is so reasonable that I have to tip my hat to it. If achievement points help you get a different perspective, one which you enjoy, there is nothing wrong with that.

    Not only did I kill a thrasher maw with just a machine gun but I have killed two of em. And not only with a machine gun but also with an ordinary pistol. I switched between getting in and out of my MAKO to prevent it from being blown to bits and while I was out I shot with my pistol. (the downside is that I have only killed 2 thrashers in the whole game. Because as the rest kept popping up I grew tired of the effort) The geth incursions were acctually easier compare to the Maw. (This is fun! I’ve never done anything this hardcore in a game… Apparently!) Although the ones on the long roads were too hard with just a machine gun, so often I just rode over them and kept going.

  33. JonnyRo said on July 11, 2008:

    Mass effect is a lot of fun, even for a person not used to RPG style games. It took me a little bit to get used to the fighting techniques. After halo i tend to run in and destroy everything without care or thought, but with this game you have to plan a bit and use techniques like ducking behind corners.

    My only complaint is that i’m not a big fan of the galaxy map method of navigating. It looks cool, but feels a bit restrictive. Maybe i’ve grown spoiled by the linear games I’m used to playing.

  34. pat said on September 24, 2008:

    i heard shota was trying to start a feud with me (offline) by saying i defended achievements. since this is the only place i could think of where i discussed them with him, i returned to the scene of my purported crime to check the record. allow me to clarify my point:

    i think achievements in general are a bit silly. that said i downloaded two arcade games this weekend which should offer some insight into my more nuanced thoughts behind “silly.” braid is the type of game for which achievements are ludicrous and offensive; a game played for the experience. therefore i think whoever is responsible was right to award points for doing things that you will do anyway (so far for me at least), thereby making them pretty irrelevant. rez, on the other hand, is a game mostly about high scores and speed runs and having the biggest gaming dick and what not, so awarding achievements for performance above and beyond the call of duty is less offensive to me, if still a bit silly.

  35. shota said on September 25, 2008:

    First of all Pat, I’d shoot the messenger, (Jay) since it is he who misrepresented your take on achievements.

    Second, i agree with most of what you said in the previous post. But my major point of contention is that I hate that the achievement system is built into the xbox interface and saves all of them onto the hardrive. I want some sort of distinction between games, with distinct features and savefiles that vary from game to game; where the achievement system could (and not necessarily would) come from the designers of the game depending on weather the game warranted it. slapping achievement points onto a game like asscreed is indeed silly.

  36. jay said on September 25, 2008:

    No, it was not. We were sitting in your new apartment playing Lost Odyssey and you started ranting about achievements and decided Pat had taken a pro-achievement position in Mass Effect and I tried to convince you that either he didn’t or he said something much less offensive and blatant. Glad to see you commenting though, asshat.

  37. Christian said on September 25, 2008:

    Next on Donahue…

  38. shota said on September 25, 2008:

    Stop being a factanista Jay. I’m mouthing from my gut here.

  39. christian said on September 25, 2008:

    call him a pixelante

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