Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quaff, O quaff this kind nepenthe

Mass Effect 2 is good, of that there can be no arguement, but what exactly is it? It's not an RPG in the traitional sense of the word, in that I am not hoarding items or min-maxing my character. On the other hand I am certainly playing a role, and it was quite nice to see my old Shepard again. Killing him in the opening cinimatic was a bit rough, but they had to reset my level 47 solider of hot leaded death back to zero somehow. Battles have a decidedly western real time flair to them, but dealing with team members almost feels like creepy Japanese dating sim. (side story: while talking to a new, male crew member Shephard smoothly states 'tell me about yourself,' then leans back on a table, slowly stetches, and leers at the poor guy, waiting for a response. Apparently getting spaced turned my Shepard 180 degress from his previous weakness for blue alien girls. Anyway.)

I have the unfortunate habit of pidgeon holing games within a few hours of play. Mass Effect 2 has refused any sort of classification, and by doing so has created something appealing for just about anyone. I miss the inventory management and constant weapon upgrades, but I still have branching dialogue trees and dozens of planets to boringly mine for resources (I really wish I was joking, but every planet will be stripped clean of anything I can use, there is no prime directive in the Mass Effect universe, so to hell with indiginous peoples). Anyone who is looking for a little more, well, excitement than interseller excavations will see an excellent looking third person action game with a squad that will keep itself alive with even the most general directions. It is a complete product, even more so than the first game, and I find the cross genre appeal fasinating.

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