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Thread: RPG Backtrack: Episode 122 - Follow the Captain Shepard

  1. #1
    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    RPG Backtrack: Episode 122 - Follow the Captain Shepard

    BioWare wanted to convey the ineffectual nature of the human race when compared to other species populating the galaxy. This naturally took the form of having a human lead others into combat, while undertaking decisions that might one day have galactic consequences. Perhaps the human race doesn't deserve all the scorn it receives if that's the case.
    Marines, we are LEAVING - wait, something's wrong....
    It's not what he's eating, but what's eating him that makes it ... sort of interesting.

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    The Gratitude Pokemon Shaymin's Avatar
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    You guys mentioned you were doing Mass Effect a couple of months ago (I think it was the Atelier show?) and I have to confess that I had a similar experience to Phil's experience with the Mako. Built like a bistro, handles like a steakhouse. But I pressed on a bit, got past the first part of the mine sequence so I could get Liara to hang out with my lady Sheperd... and then I hit an unwinnable sequence where I would face ten or so enemies, get my guns/biotics disabled on the first shot, and by the time I recovered I was on half health and the rest of the squad was dead.

    Repeat for two hours. On Easy.

    If I had called in before this episode, it would've been two minutes of "AMPERSAND". It's a shame, because I was getting into the story and actually somewhat enjoying it, but that one sequence soured me on the entire trilogy.
    "The flowers all over its body burst into bloom if it is lovingly hugged and senses gratitude."
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    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    Wow. Thanks for posting this Shaymin! I was getting worried it was just me given how 'beloved' this series is. Validation is a wonderous thing

    The combat just drives me so crazy at times. Everything happens so fast (I guess its realistic, if nothing else) that I hardly have a moment to figure out what's going on. Sure, I can pause. But, as soon as I let go, whatever strategy I thought up seems to go out the window as all you-know-what breaks loose. I guess I'm used to a slower pace where I can think a few things through. I'm the guy who didn't like Baudur's Gate combat because they took the turn based formula and made it a real time affair. It's MUCH harder to coordinate strategies (and not kill your own team members with AoE's) in BG than older D&D games. Mass Effect seems like another step in that direction, as it ratchets up the speed by 3.

    And when I finally get used to it with some adjustments (Put it on easy, for example) and it threw in these 10 on 3 encounters with huge mechs...boy...I was saying a few Ampersands of my own!!! hahahahaha.

  4. #4
    Beard God VonBeardly's Avatar
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    I never got around to beating Mass Effect. The Mako drove me insane with it's controls. The combat seemed kind of stale to me. Can't say much on the story as I didn't get very far in it. I did enjoy Mass Effect 2 and I loved the multiplayer in Mass Effect 3.
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    Games horder Ombres's Avatar
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    Row, Row, Row the boat? LOL

    Well never did get around to play that game maybe, someday I will, but I need to play lot more game that are in my backlog...
    Never been a huge fan of FPS either, but I did have fun with Borderland, so maybe!
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  6. #6
    It's unlikely I'll ever play Mass Effect, so I enjoyed the plot summary. The combat stories were my favorite part of the podcast, especially Phil's story about being forced to use guerilla tactics to survive a particularly difficult battle, and another person's story about resorting to blind grenade-throwing on the highest difficulty setting.

    (Also, Phil, I think your previous avatar image was better. Your old avatar appeared to be a confident, middle-aged captain. Your new avatar looks like an angry teen.

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    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    Wow...Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm glad its helping you all to make informed decisions. I know there's all kinds of reviews out there for these games already, but I believe hearing it from retro-gamers' perspectives years after release can give you insights that you would not normally find in the reviews that came out at the time of game release.

    As far as my avatar, I change it to reflect the game I'm playing. I was playing SMT: Strange Journey, so my pic was of my favorite dude from that one... I forget his name, so we'll just call him Captain Favorite Dude. I have that game on the back burner, as right now I'm focusing on Dragon Warrior II for my RPG Trek. That pic is the hero from Dragon Warrior II as drawn by the guy who does most of the Dragon Warrior artwork, as well as Dragon Ball Z. And, of course, I don't remember his game, so we'll call him Mr.AngryPersonArtist because all of his characters look angry. I swear Dragon Ball Z is a cartoon about very, very angry people. Anywho, you can read about my progress in Dragon Warrior II thus far, if you would like.

  8. #8
    For me, the first Mass Effect was the best in the series, I found the other two, especially the second one, quite lacking. I played an Infiltrator, and finished Insanity. In retrospect, I wish I'd played a femshep, but c'est la guerre. At this point, I don't really recall any of the major decisions anymore, but what I do remember is that I ended up killing Ashley off instead of Kaiden, simply because I've never had a good interaction in real life with girls named Ashley. Had she been named anything different, she'd have survived XD. I can't even remember who I romanced in that game, I romanced Tali in the other two but I don't recall if she was an option in that one. I might have romanced Liara, maybe. I also remember accidentally finding a glitch in the game where a conversation you can repeat with someone allows you to max out both the Renegade and the Paragon meters in one playthrough. Unfortunately, this game had the worst two DLC of all three games, neither of which were worth the money.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Jmustang1968's Avatar
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    I am disappointed I missed out on this one due to some family and life stuff going on.

    I really love this series, and are in the mix as my favorite games of that generation. I look forward to share my thoughts in the ME 2 backtrack

  10. #10
    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    And if you ever want to do like a short recording with your thoughts on ME1, I can add them in to a backtrack down the road.

  11. #11
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Jmustang1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcservant View Post
    And if you ever want to do like a short recording with your thoughts on ME1, I can add them in to a backtrack down the road.
    We've talked about such things before, and I've considered it. My issue is that I think I am much better doing a back and forth discussion with others than just a monologue where I sit there and talk. Not sure I could pull it off well enough

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    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    Oh... you can do it with me leading you with questions. YOu can write up questions for me to ask you to lead the convo, or I can improvise

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    Member ghaleon80's Avatar
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    When playing Mass Effect 1 I couldn't help but think the entire game *Ya know if only we could replace Commander Shepard with Spike from Cowboy Bebop this game would be much more interesting*

  14. #14
    not listening to the podcast atm but I must grief about Mass Effect since that seems to be on the menu. Unlike EVERYBODY else I loved the Mako in ME1. I mean I kinda remember running it off this bridge like 1000 times but other than that. See thing I liked was the AWESOME exploration and mining! It felt like old school Star Flight (an old school *good* EA [before they became greedy bastards] 4x space exploration PC game) in fact it was a pretty much updated Star Flight! PLUS YOU GOT TO SHOOT COWS (and marauding renegade troops but more importantly COWS)!!

    I never got through ME2 or even tried 3 cuz there is NONE of that. I consider the Mako a necisary evil in all of that, without that the ME series, to me, is nothing all that special.

  15. #15
    Member Texside's Avatar
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    My experience with Mass Effect is very limited, but I liked the voice acting; one of my biggest holdups with Dragon Age: Origins was the silent, expressionless protagonist. Sometimes the gameplay would cut away from some person spilling their guts to... a blankly staring silent person.

    Mass Effect, from what I saw and gathered, did not have that.

  16. #16
    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texside View Post
    My experience with Mass Effect is very limited, but I liked the voice acting; one of my biggest holdups with Dragon Age: Origins was the silent, expressionless protagonist. Sometimes the gameplay would cut away from some person spilling their guts to... a blankly staring silent person.

    Mass Effect, from what I saw and gathered, did not have that.
    This is a huge plus of M.E. IMHO. It's a shame that more games don't have speaking protagonists IMHO.

  17. #17
    Member Texside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcservant View Post
    This is a huge plus of M.E. IMHO. It's a shame that more games don't have speaking protagonists IMHO.
    Totally. When they don't talk, they just don't feel like part of the world, you know?

  18. #18
    Member ghaleon80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texside View Post
    Totally. When they don't talk, they just don't feel like part of the world, you know?
    It really depends for me. Sometimes I like having a character with his/her own personality and a voice to go with that but sometimes the silent protagonist works for me as well. It let's me put myself in that role. That's how it was for me with Dragon Age Origins.

  19. #19
    Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff jcservant's Avatar
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    I just have a hard time putting my voice into it...when I never say anything! EVIL!!! :P I'm sure there's a really funny comic or cartoon to be made with this silent protagonist idea.

    At the end of the day, that's why I will also have a home in my heart for pen and paper... the only medium where you can truly role play a character by voice. Whatever voice you want... meek, angry, weak, haughty, etc... you can do that, and a world, via your imagination, interact with it. Awesome sauce! Sadly, too many of our young friends have never given this medium a proper try

  20. #20
    Member Texside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcservant View Post
    I just have a hard time putting my voice into it...when I never say anything! EVIL!!! :P I'm sure there's a really funny comic or cartoon to be made with this silent protagonist idea.

    At the end of the day, that's why I will also have a home in my heart for pen and paper... the only medium where you can truly role play a character by voice. Whatever voice you want... meek, angry, weak, haughty, etc... you can do that, and a world, via your imagination, interact with it. Awesome sauce! Sadly, too many of our young friends have never given this medium a proper try
    That's me, too. I just can't put myself in the person's shoes, and it doesn't ever capture that magic of pen and paper. There's just something about the combination of impromptu acting, the response from the rest of your table, and even the feel of the dice that even the most well-written game with a silent protagonist can't capture for me.

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