Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mass Effect Journal 6 (but really 4): I’m using Final Fantasy numbers!

I’m running around and exploring the galaxy, for reals now! Is it weird that space in Mass Effect kind of reminds me of Spore? You hop planet to planet, search for resources and rare artifacts without actually landing on said planet, with the occasional 1 planet within each system that you drop in and explore with your vehicle. You shoot at the bad guys. You save the good guys. Jump back into your ship and repeat! And occasionally you take over a planet to keep your little Spore civilization going.

Except in Mass Effect I don’t have to worry about my fuel levels. And I don’t think I have to concern myself with trade routes…yet? So other than that, ME space is just like the Spore space section. Even the way the galaxy is laid out for you to move in and out of each system. Way to share content EA. Way. To. Share.

On this play through I wanted to focus on progression though the story, because my ass was getting bored of the Citadel. There is no one right or wrong way to go about moving forward, at least according to all of the walkthroughs they have available. Anywhere I go will work!

(BTW I’m not using the walkthroughs to play the game. I’ve been reviewing them after each play session to see how badly I screwed up, or what I missed out on. XD I don’t use them to look and see what’s coming up next, just what I’ve already accomplished. I’m curious to find out how other people played the game and if that affected their interpretation of the content.)

The NPC’s gave me 3 areas to go to and it was my job to determine which one to follow. I’m going to go after the scientist that’s related to the Matriarch. She probably knows something. So we’re off to the excavation site! On a rocky, volcanic planet; Yea! Tharum. It just sounds like a bad place, doesn’t it?

Well now I’m finally able to really put my new equipment to the test. As well as Mako, the road buggie. Not exactly the best driving mechanics, but it’ll do. I figured out quite fast that one of the best ways to kill a Geth is to run your vehicle into it and start shooting. I’ve have yet had to worry about damage to my buggie because I keep smacking down the enemies before they can get a shot off. Unintentional design or years of GTA experience? You decide.

The layout for the planet was pretty straight forward. Follow the path and you’ll get to the exclamation point on the map where there are, undoubtedly, more enemies to stop you.

This is also the first time where I could experience the enemy AI in more open areas. With the prologue on Eden Prime, the area for movement was restricted. But on Tharum, even with the rock “barriers” to prevent you from falling off the map, there was a lot of room to move. So I also figured out that the enemies are neither passive nor aggressive. They tend to cycle in a particular pattern. Even the larger Geth creatures that required the buggie to kill, they never proactively came after me if I was only a few meters outside of their area of interest. They might shoot at me, sure, but they weren’t the active enemies I had anticipated. Of course, playing the tactical monkey that I am, the sniper rifle was put to a lot of use during this run.

My likes with the sniper rifle; it’s kind of like a real one in that you have to calibrate for movement and it’s not a straight, steady shot. My dislike is that it’s kind of like a real one and you have to take your time to line everything up. Damn Halo for spoiling me. But a head shot, is a head shot, is a head shot. I’ll take it.

So we get to the dig site. We shoot more Geth. I beefed up Tali even more because she’s so awesome. Don’t ask why I like her. I don’t quite understand it myself. She’s not evil enough. Yet. :D But clearly this is where I’m meant to go.

In we go, and down, and down, and more down…so many elevators. BioWare was obsessed with the slow elevators in this game. And there’s Liara. Stuck in a bubble within the shield.

“Please help me!”

Hang on lady. We’re coming.

“This shield is impenetrable. But you have to break it open to release me.”

Well sh*t. Explain how I can do that. Please. Because if that’s the case, you’re better off staying in that bubble so the Geth can never get to you. You will probably die but you will die free!

Oh hey. There’s this laser here that can poke a hole into the floor. That’s how we’ll get around the system! Design flaw working to my advantage~ Great job ancient super-smart alien race.

And then we go up another slow elevator, which was already readily available after I blasted the floor. Game logic and all that. Ok. Let’s get this scientist out of the bubble and we’ll go back on the slow ass elevator to the top and make our escape!

The rest is really uneventful. The expected cronies show up and I wipe them out. The dig site is collapsing and we must get out in time! No cut-scene button pressing. Just watch the pretty pictures. We all knew Shep would live to fight another day. And there’s our wonderful ship that couldn’t help us out. Wouldn’t it just be easier to shoot first and ask questions later? This sounds like a wonderful plan. Sarrus might be onto something here. I could have saved myself 60 minutes by shooting everything before I landed and went down into the dig site. I’m just saying~

So we do that back story thing again, talking to the crew, gauging their feelings, and being the nice guy (I’m totally going to be an ass in ME2). Yes I think you’re on our side Liara, but I’m going to tell everyone else that I agree with their concerns so I get more awesome social points. Onward to more adventure!

“Commander Shepard. I need to speak with you about a special request. But we can’t talk over the unsecure channel. Meet me at the embassies on the Citadel.”

See you next time Spacers~


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