first an amazing showing at the Kotei now a really good rpg. A really good rpg. Seriously, I can't begin to say how much I enjoyed Mass Effect, I mean hell, I might actually play it twice, just for the evil play through, or for that matter just for one of the other classes. I played a Vanguard, which means nothing if you haven't played the game, but basically it is a quick and dirty close quarters fighter with a few telekinetic abilities.

So I got to blow shit away with a shotgun and fling the other targets around with my mind. It was like Psi-ops only without the bullshit. I really enjoyed the idea of Psi-ops, but it was really hard to manage to keep that enemy TK'd in front of you as a shield while shooting around him. The fun thing is really that there are so many options. The engineers seem kinda lame at first, only being able to use hand-guns and light armor, but the skill for cracking files also gets you bonus shields. And then on top of that they can blow up the enemies shields or overheat their weapons. Then there is always the Adept, it's the games mage, a psionic prodigy. All the basic throwing abilities my Vanguard had, but with a few new spicier skills. Singularity just sounds like a promising ability for a high powered telekinetic character to have.

The story was better than KOTOR in my mind, probably because Bioware was doing it's own thing instead of having to trip over Lucas Arts's feet all the time. The combat was also a great blend of standard rpg menu popping for skills mixed with run and gun shooting. In theory if you were playing a soldier you could never use any skills the entire game, just run around shooting like it was Halo, but I think that would miss out on some of the fun. There was nothing more fulfilling than when I TK toss someone into the air for one of my sidekicks to kill while the other hacks the AI on the enemy combat drone and turns it on them. The cinematics were pretty good, I mean it's almost hard to really tout them seeing as how wonderful the regular game looked, the different worlds you explored looked like different worlds. There was an odd lack of trees that I did find unsettling in most cases, but I figure those were sacrificed for load times.

I'd say that the most disturbing thing in some ways was the end levels. I'll admit, I level whored a little, I think I hit level 50(the max on your first playthrough) right as I touched down on the last world you go to. Seriously the first mob down gave me the level. Landing cut scene, bang, ding. Despite that though I was expecting a bit more challenge there. Maybe it is Fable 2's fault, because the guys you run into that game are no joke most of the time, as long as they are not a boss. No goon on Ilus or during the final stage did anything to really scare me, which was almost a let down. There was a few times my shields got blanked by a sniper or a giant robot, but I never even had to use my revive ability on one of my mooks. Arguably though, when you're at the end of the game and your level is maxed out it is nice to basically be able to walk through all the monkeys you run into without much trouble.

Now unlike Fable 2 the final boss is no pushover in Mass Effect. Fable 2, the guy just stands there and prattles on through this big speech and I kept waiting for him to get done and I was just like "holy crap, the asshat is monologueing, I can't believe he is monologueing." It was around that time that I accidentally hit the button to pull my gun in my impatience, found I could, lined up the shot, and got him in the head. He flopped off his pillar leaving me really disappointed. The final boss in Mass Effect though, I swear it took ten minutes to kill him if not longer, I was burning through powers and grenades, and things that reset the charge time on powers like nobody's business. I think the part that annoyed me the most was when there was a cut scene in the middle of the fight to update you on the fleet engagement going on outside and when the fight came back it had refilled his shields. Seriously if he sat still at all that wouldn't be so bad, but you have to be tracking all over the room with him jumping constantly so whittling down five bars of shields to start hurting him again was pretty damn frustrating, and I still loved it, all the mooks on the way here were chumps, because thats what they were, lackeys. This was the main event, the fight the game was building up to. No sudden lol here is your new villain, well there sorta was(and yet wasn't), the game made you want this guy dead so hard and when you finally get to fight him you have to fight him with every ounce of kill you can muster and then squeeze out a bit more.

I really don't know what I want to follow it up with, I was meaning to go back to Armored Core: For Answer, but it just feels like a let down after Mass Effect. I might try Lost Odyssey again, see if I can get past the feeling that the protagonist is a raging douche. I've been waiting for a good rpg for a while now, glad to see that they still make them.
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