Author Topic: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You  (Read 50407 times)

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« on: July 01, 2008, 10:53:52 PM »
I suffered through all of Crysis -- nice game, if you're into cutting yourself for Satan -- just to be able to devote my undivided attention to Mass Effect. While I'm all up in that, I thought I'd document a couple of things that I find a little irritating about the next game that just may sidle into my top ten list.

1. The hair. It's awful. Oblivion had better-rendered hair.

[Rebuttal: Wear a helmet.]

2. There's a *lot* of information that is just overwhelming for the new player.

[Rebuttal: Don't expect to digest it all in one chunk.]

3. It isn't possible to *totally* customize your character's face.

[Rebuttal: OTOH, you don't have to deal with all of the other sliders madly rearranging themselves when you move one, as in Oblivion.]

4. Most of the files are in a proprietary file format -- .upk -- which can't be scavenged due to several reasons, none of which I can find definitive answers on. Which means that modding is limited mostly to .ini tweaking. Bioware hates modders these days, apparently.

[Rebuttal: I have no devil's advocate stance for that. Some things are just indefensible, like mass genocide or MSG.]

5. Some minor bugs here and there, thanks to the Unreal3 engine (streaming textures??).

[Rebuttal: Then again, it's better than using the Unreal 1 engine.]

6. I must say that it crashes impressively, though. When a game takes 45+ seconds to come back after alt-tabbing to Windows (I know better now...I won't do it again!), you KNOW that when it locks up, you're gonna need a crowbar to reboot the thing.

And if that's the worst I have to say about it, it can't be all that bad.  ;D

I'm currently playing with two characters. The first is this guy:



See what I mean about the hair, expecially the facial hair? Yoiks. At least it hides his weak chin (oh, how I wish I could go back and change that).

My other character is female, of course:

 

Yesterday I stumbled across a female NPC on Feros that looked very much like how I wanted my character to look...so today I sat down and messed around with the sliders and stuff and I think I've done as much as I can with the facegen to get that look. The problem is that there are certain parts of the player's face that are non-negotiable. The mouth, for example; while the male's mouth is okay, if you're not careful your female character can end up looking like a duck. Anyway...

The NPC:


Huh...looks a little like a cross between Meg Tilly and Joan Chen.

My Results:


Not exact, but close enough in nature. There are definite differences (I decided to customize a bit), but at least I know that with patience I can get a good face out this game.

And this is just wrong...so very, very wrong:



The armor's pretty interesting so far (love Tali's -- the Quarian -- default armor), but not enough evil black and red armor so far.  :purplelaugh:

[EDIT: Freudian slip: "Yeasterday, I stumbled across a female NPC on Feros..."]
« Last Edit: July 01, 2008, 11:05:34 PM by Silver Sorrow »
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Starfox

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2008, 02:30:22 AM »
I'm in the process of writing a review for this game. No matter the flaws (and there are some) it's the kind of title that rapidly grows on you. I never felt that drew into a RPG since... well, Deus Ex.  And for once the port from console doesn't feel like a port from console which is good. So to comment on your points:

1 and 3. Agreed. Characters customization and stock hairs are not the strong point of the game. One can obtain some interesting things but it's a lot of tweaking just to get things right. It reminds me of this child game where one has to reconstruct a face from basic elements. Mass effect Char Gen is a bit like that. And yeah, hairs are awful.

2. Definitely. People who don't like to read will hate that. On the other hand, reading the whole Codex is not mandatory in completing the game. But Mass effect comes with a lot of info about the game universe, much more than any other game I can remember. On my first playthough I've spent nearly 2 hours just running around the Citadel, speaking to people and learning stuff before even going on my first assignment.

4. Well that's kind of an Unreal Engine thing. You gotta have special tools to unpack the files and you gotta have special tools to repack them because unlike other games where you can just put a new file in a directory to overwrite the stock one, Unreal ignores files that are not packed and correctly referenced in the code. Having coded some stuff for the Unreal engine in the past I know how this can be troublesome, especially if you just want to change graphics.

6. Well yeah it crashes sometimes, in my case for reasons that are not really clear.  Each time it pretends it didn't found a filename but next time you run it no problem... So how can a filename exist at some point and not exist at others... hard to tell. For some reason I would think that Securom is not a complete stranger when it comes to these crashes.

Aha... Wrex with a Phoenix armor... I wouldn't have dared that personally. Wrex doesn't seem like the kind of guy to wear that sort of things and the last thing you want to do is to upset a Krogan :lol: Plus this is one of the worst armor in the game when you reach the higher levels. The company manufacturing it (Sirta) is a medical firm not really into combat grade protections. It is good for a low level character though.

About level progression, I must stress one thing because I pulled my hair off on my first play through and I'm nice enough to avoid others to become bald before the age comes. There is NO way to achieve the highest level on the first play through. In the fact, the top level is 60 and there's simply not enough XP points to be gained in the game to reach that level even if you do everything. You'll be lucky if you finish the game the first time with anything near level 50. Level 60 can only be reached by starting a new career with an already existing character after finishing the game. In this case, your character begins the game with its existing level, amount of experience and even the whole inventory including money with which the game was finished the first time. Of course enemies encountered, even in the very first mission are of the same level too. Its a nice touch really. After all, you can replay the game from the start with a character that is not a complete newbie (which according to storyline the character is not supposed to be anyway).

Now for the odd thing:


No kidding, she reminds me of an ex of mine... Well minus the blue skin of course... and the big breasts (that are not featured above). The resemblance is puzzling. Same personality too  :lol: Fortunately your character doesn't get to "romance" her otherwise it would have been pretty uncomfortable to me. Bit of trivia: the voice for this character is Marina Sirtis (for those who remember Star Trek).
« Last Edit: July 02, 2008, 02:41:20 AM by Starfox »


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2008, 12:22:02 AM »
I'm in the process of writing a review for this game. No matter the flaws (and there are some) it's the kind of title that rapidly grows on you. I never felt that drew into a RPG since... well, Deus Ex.

Exactly. I immediately clung to Jade Empire, but even that wasn't as...*deep*...as this. If Bethesda had put as much effort into the TES games as Bioware does...

I mentioned this in a PM, but if you need screens, I have a couple that aren't entirely stupid that you can have.  ;)

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1 and 3. Agreed. Characters customization and stock hairs are not the strong point of the game. One can obtain some interesting things but it's a lot of tweaking just to get things right. It reminds me of this child game where one has to reconstruct a face from basic elements. Mass effect Char Gen is a bit like that. And yeah, hairs are awful.

The worst thing about the female face is that you *have* to be careful with the mouth; otherwise she can come out looking like some sort of duck-monkey thing. I finally put together a face I can live with:



I've restarted the game eight or nine times, just trying to get the face right. Obsessed? Me? Nonsense! It's when I start cracking open files to change a single slider by one value...now *that's* obsessed. Okay, yes, I've tried that. But so far, no luck finding where the game's storing the face settings...maybe in the savegame files...hmmm...

This game needs better hair. Or good hair. Either one.  :lol:  The thing that bugs me the most is how unmoddable this game is. It has nearly limitless potential for modification (new worlds! new armor! NEW HAIR!), but Bioware's being a buncha chumps again. But they made it for the 360 and not for the PC, so I guess that's that.  :P  (Same thing with Jade Empire: very little modability.)

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2. Definitely. People who don't like to read will hate that. On the other hand, reading the whole Codex is not mandatory in completing the game. But Mass effect comes with a lot of info about the game universe, much more than any other game I can remember. On my first playthough I've spent nearly 2 hours just running around the Citadel, speaking to people and learning stuff before even going on my first assignment.

Same here. I wanted to see all I could of the Citadel before I got pulled further into the MQ. As for the Codex, it's one of the best things about the game. I could just read that stuff for hours, soaking up the lore. I'm not a huge fan of TV sci-fi (Galactica, Stargate, et al), but this I like, for some reason.

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4. Well that's kind of an Unreal Engine thing. You gotta have special tools to unpack the files and you gotta have special tools to repack them because unlike other games where you can just put a new file in a directory to overwrite the stock one, Unreal ignores files that are not packed and correctly referenced in the code. Having coded some stuff for the Unreal engine in the past I know how this can be troublesome, especially if you just want to change graphics.

Right. I wish Bioware would start making games for the PC again. That way, if I wanted to customize my Colossus armor --



-- I could just crack open the textures and get to recoloring. But as it is...no. Someone's managed to do this, but it requires a third party mod. This thread details how someone did this, as well as a couple of texture mods he's done.

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6. Well yeah it crashes sometimes, in my case for reasons that are not really clear.  Each time it pretends it didn't found a filename but next time you run it no problem... So how can a filename exist at some point and not exist at others... hard to tell. For some reason I would think that Securom is not a complete stranger when it comes to these crashes.

The ME tech forums are...cluttered. I'm not sure why these people are having these kinds of problems, but I think it may have something to do with Securom. I was having multiple crashes the last couple of days, myself; I think it was because I had switched to the game's hardware cursor, which is off by default...and for a reason, apparently. So after I switched it back (I dislike having my Windows cursor in-game, but I can live with it), I haven't had any problems...oh, and I switched off hardware sound, turned textures down to "high" instead of "very high", and so on.

Btw, anyone who's playing this should try out the Mass Effect Tweak Guide, which helped a bit.

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Aha... Wrex with a Phoenix armor... I wouldn't have dared that personally. Wrex doesn't seem like the kind of guy to wear that sort of things and the last thing you want to do is to upset a Krogan :lol: Plus this is one of the worst armor in the game when you reach the higher levels. The company manufacturing it (Sirta) is a medical firm not really into combat grade protections. It is good for a low level character though.

It's too bad, as Ashley looks so cute in pink. I'd like to keep her that way forever. Wrex, however... :'(  Also, the Phoenix armor reminds me of Princess from G-force (the one in pink), so I guess that's another huge chunk of my childhood that needs exorcising.

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About level progression, I must stress one thing because I pulled my hair off on my first play through and I'm nice enough to avoid others to become bald before the age comes.

I appreciate it, but it's too late for me: I ripped all my hair out playing Crysis. I didn't stop at *just* ripping out my hair, though. Now I'm just a skull.

Quote
There is NO way to achieve the highest level on the first play through. In the fact, the top level is 60 and there's simply not enough XP points to be gained in the game to reach that level even if you do everything. You'll be lucky if you finish the game the first time with anything near level 50. Level 60 can only be reached by starting a new career with an already existing character after finishing the game. In this case, your character begins the game with its existing level, amount of experience and even the whole inventory including money with which the game was finished the first time. Of course enemies encountered, even in the very first mission are of the same level too. Its a nice touch really. After all, you can replay the game from the start with a character that is not a complete newbie (which according to storyline the character is not supposed to be anyway).

This gives me extra incentive to get my character's face *just right*. This is my agony, this is my burden. If I have to live with her face for more than one game, I might as well like it. Unlike in real life, when you have to live with the cards you're dealt (unless you can afford plastic surgery)...except for me. As I mentioned earlier, I'm just a skull now.

Anyway, I like the come-back-with-your-beefed-up-character thing, especially since you don't have to play on an insane skill setting like you did in Jade Empire. Unless I'm wrong...can you play Casual or Normal with the old character?

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Now for the odd thing:


No kidding, she reminds me of an ex of mine... Well minus the blue skin of course... and the big breasts (that are not featured above). The resemblance is puzzling. Same personality too  :lol: Fortunately your character doesn't get to "romance" her otherwise it would have been pretty uncomfortable to me. Bit of trivia: the voice for this character is Marina Sirtis (for those who remember Star Trek).

Ooh. Ouch. Can we say "uncomfortable encounter"?  ;D

Oh, yeah...here are those breasts. You're welcome.  :purplelaugh:



Y'know, I didn't really notice it was Marina Sirtis' voice until I read the manual. Some Star Trek fan I am, huh? :lol:  Although I did recognize Keith David's (Captain Anderson), Seth Green's (Joker), and Lance Henriksen's (Adm. Hackett) voices right away...weird. Just about *everyone* is in this game (Jennifer Hale, Grey Delisle, Kim Mai Guest...); it's like a who's-who in the voice acting world.  :ok:
« Last Edit: July 05, 2008, 12:27:46 AM by Silver Sorrow »
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Starfox

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2008, 04:37:14 AM »
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Unless I'm wrong...can you play Casual or Normal with the old character?

Yeah you can. The difficulty level can be changed at any point during any game and you can start a game with a beefed up character on casual if you want, you know, just to appreciate the view because those who already played the game know that the Casual difficulty could very well be called "tourist mode"  :lol: It's extremely difficult -- nearly impossible -- to die on Casual. One has to do something pretty stupid like jumping in a pool of lava. I don't have anything to say against Casual though... It avoids me to have to use the "god" command to take combat screens :ok: In fact every game should come with that kind of difficulty level. Let people choose if they just want to stroll around a game or get really hurt (that's what the hardcore and insane levels are for).

The only thing you have to remember when starting a game with a beefed up character is that your inventory also contains everything your squadmates were equipped with when you finished the previous playthrough. So when starting a new game this way the first thing you should do is to suit up Kaidan before the first fight otherwise chances are that he will get hurt pretty fast since unlike you NPCs automatically start the game with low level equipment (I hate the Onyx armor).

So you hit the Colossus armor one of the two best armors in the game, for humans at least. The very best armor is for Wrex and is manufactured by Geths for their Krogan allies. I'm not particularly happy with the Colossus coloring myself. Particularly in its light flavor, it just looks like a pretty common biker suit.



Anyway, most of the armors in the game are a recoloring of a couple of basic designs with different properties. Not that I really complain. Better for Bioware to put times an efforts into the storyline, characterization and game universe rather than developing a whole bunch of fancy armors. Same applies to guns. There are two basic designs with recoloring for each different manufacturers. Graphically it's not the best but as far as the gameplay goes it gets the job done so it's fine.

If you haven't taking notice yet, you should take a look to the achievements in the options for your profile. Unlike other games, a lot of achievements when completed really unlock additional features like additional damages, stronger shields, the ability for all classes to use an additional talent even when the class normally can't use it (like Assault rifles for Engineers). Or additional XP points to be gained for each task completed (which allows a faster progression in the subsequent games).

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Although I did recognize Keith David's (Captain Anderson), Seth Green's (Joker), and Lance Henriksen's (Adm. Hackett) voices right away...weird. Just about *everyone* is in this game (Jennifer Hale, Grey Delisle, Kim Mai Guest...); it's like a who's-who in the voice acting world.

I have the European release, so I have the possibility to switch between the original version and the French one. And what bothers me is that we still have apparently to learn that voice acting is pretty important in games, especially in that kind of game. The French voices for the main characters would be fine... for Quake 4! It's like if the whole characterization was going down the drain in the French version because of the voice acting. And, with the noticeable exception of Liara, the few voices that would have been adequate for main characters, they plugged them into second roles that barely have a few lines in the whole game. Fortunately I can stick to the original version... which I do. That's very fortunate because each time I hear the French voice they gave to Ash I feel like an urgent need to strangle her. French voice acting when it comes to games seriously lacks of professionalism which is odd since the same voice actors spend their time working for the movie and TV business so I don't know what their problem is regarding games. Poorly paid? Don't like them? Whatever...


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2008, 12:38:19 AM »
Ah, good. Jade Empire was a pain in the ass when it came to replaying with the same character, so I had hoped that they would remedy that in future games. Personally, casual is good for me when I'm having a less-than-ideal day and need the ego boost. Look at that...I just killed all the Geth with one shot. Very cool.  ;D

That's good to know; I'll keep that in mind when I go back to Eden Prime...although I won't bother building up Jenkins' arsenal. Poor dumb bastard. :lol:

Find the Colossus armor? Um...yeah! I did! I did NOT use the console!  :angel:

...okay, maybe I did. I wasn't actually cheating in terms of gameplay, though; I went through all of the human armors to take screens, to see what they all were. I have screens of all the male and female armors (light, medium, and heavy), and I'll be working on the other races once I get them...

...speaking of which, the light Colossus for Turians? Abysmal. :throwup:  I actually *did* find the light Colossus for Garrus in a random pickup, though. Hell of a lot of good it does ME.

Cheating With Silver Sorrow:
Go to My Documents\Bioware\Mass Effect\Config\ and find your BIOInput.ini file. Back it up first. Then open it (with Notepad, if you like) and find [Engine.Console]; add the line ConsoleKey=Tilde under it. It should look like this:

[Engine.Console]
ConsoleKey=Tilde

Save it. Now go to this page and cheat like a bastard. Here's a freebie:

Bring down the console and type: giveitem self 10 humanh manf_kassa_armor_colossus ...there you go. Level X Colossus heavy armor. :ok: (For light and/or medium, substitute humanl and/or humanm for humanh, respectively.

And that was Cheating With Silver Sorrow. I am not responsible for any feelings of utter disappointment and self-loathing you may feel after screwing yourself out of an honest gameplay experience.  :purplelaugh:

...anyway...

I don't like the light Colossus very much (biker suit, indeed); the heavy is great, though...I would've toned down the red to make it more ominous, personally. That guy in that Bioware forum thread I mentioned has done just that, so I don't have to worry about cracking any of the damned files open somehow to get at them. Actually, I would have liked something in black and dark gray...

There's enough of a variation on the same basic weapon and armor designs that I'm not disappointed; I even like the white armors, oddly enough. :onethumb:  The black Spectre weapons are amazing...

The random armor pickups are a little wonky, though; during one instance on Eden Prime I got the medium Hydra armor, which is a very nice-looking armor, while playing Eden Prime with other characters I would get things like medium Turian armor, heavy Krogan armor, or even heavy Phoenix armor. It's sort of strange, and a little aggravating, since by the time I can put those armors to good use, they're practically useless. (Although I *always* get the Scorpion armor right after meeting Ashley; that's obviously a deliberate placement.)

Here's something probably a little weird: I had taken one of my characters -- the guy with the weak chin, as depicted in my first post -- up to almost the end of the game; I could buy Master Spectre Gear (level 7) from my Acquisitions guy in the Normandy. I got sick of looking at his bad chin (I mean it...these things bug the HELL out of me), so I deleted the character and started over with a remake of his face -- as you can see here -- and...well, after Eden Prime when my new character went to see the guy to sell off the crap he had cluttering up his inventory, the guy was selling Master Spectre equipment. I couldn't afford it, of course, but it is nice to see a glitch going my way for once.

(Btw, the secret to getting that guy's face right? Build up his chin without the beard; exaggerate it a little. Then add the beard. That way, it will appear to be fuller, like an actual beard, instead of dirt smudged on a chin. The beards are a mess, but they're WAY better than that godawful shit Bethesda tried to pull on us.)

I also *finally* got a good female face. I ran into Maeko Matsuo (on Noveria), and liked what she had going on (sorta Joan Chen-like, in a way), so I think I got a fairly close likeness, with my own small adjustments:

 

Tell ya, getting that mouth right was a ponderous ordeal. I finally sat down today and recorded how many settings are available for each slider -- okay, so I have a lot of free time and I'm not well most of the time, so it's either that or experimenting with whatever's in the medicine cabinet -- and I think I have this down to a science now. For example, Jin's Facial Structure is:

Facial Structure: 3/8 (3 clicks to the right)
Skin Tone: 3/5 (ditto)
Complexion: 0/3 (all the way to the left)
Scar: 0/11 (ditto)

(Although if you count the the very first setting as 1, then it means that the Facial Structure, for example, would be 4/9.)

And so on. The benefit is that if someone likes a face I create, I can tell them exactly how to get it.

Achievements: Good to know. I glanced at the Achievements, but the benefits of achieving didn't really register at the time. :lol: (Dr. Cooper: "That's because you've never excelled at anything in your life.")

They just phoned it in, eh? That bites. Actors: pfft. ::)

Thinking about this, though: I wish the guys at Bethesda would look at how Mass Effect (and other Bioware games too) handles NPCs and such. If they have nothing to say, you can't select them or talk to them. You acknowledge them by tracking them with your head, but they don't talk to you. Had Oblivion done this, it would've made the game a lot less irritating. And really: what was the point of talking to those people, anyway? They're just boring and have nothing useful to impart (unless you like hearing the same crap about the Colovian highlands being bordered on the west by Hammerfell over and over again). If I wanted to hear important rumors, I could go to a merchant and ask them. Problem solved. And I wouldn't have to hear the same damn people's voices constantly. Here's a hint, Bethesda: you could probably hire a bunch of lesser-known, yet equally-talented voice actors for the same price as getting six or seven lines from Captain Picard.

I mean it: people complain that the TES cities seem lightly-populated, and I agree. All they had to do was emulate, say, Jade Empire, by putting a bunch of NPCs without solid-body physics, voice acting, or RAM-intensive schedules into the cities. At 6 am, put 'em in the cities. At night, take 'em out. Easy.

And I go on like this. For hours. Never mind me, I'm just cranky. Don't get me started on Mass Effect's DRM, either.  :blowingpmad:
« Last Edit: July 07, 2008, 12:45:12 AM by Silver Sorrow »
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Starfox

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2008, 10:49:57 AM »
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although I won't bother building up Jenkins' arsenal. Poor dumb bastard.

Precisely the reason why I didn't mention him...  :purplelaugh: Why bother?

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well, after Eden Prime when my new character went to see the guy to sell off the crap he had cluttering up his inventory, the guy was selling Master Spectre equipment. I couldn't afford it, of course, but it is nice to see a glitch going my way for once.

I talk about that in my review somewhere (but of course it's not online yet  :lol: ). Not a glitch. Not really anyway. the availability of the Spectre Master Gear is not linked to any character level but to an achievement. As soon as you successfully banked in 1 million creds, the Spectre gear is made available from both the Normandy Quarter Master and the SSC requisition officer whatever the character level is and it remains available for all the characters created after that since the achievement is unlocked for the whole profile, not just a single game. Accessing the Spectre gear level 10 requires the appropriate level though (and the appropriate amount of money -- 1 million creds a single gun). What sucks is that that makes the finest weapons in the game available early on while you may have to stumble in the same old crappy armor for a very long time since accessing a good one is really a matter of luck, even with merchants. Well, you can still cheat... but It's not the way I like to do it.

As for the colors what would have been fine is a system where you can buy an armor from a merchant and they let you choose the colors that suit your taste. But well, maybe that's asking too much.

Personally I keep 3 armors for my characters (as soon as *and if* -- stupid randomization issue -- I can get them). A Colossus, a Predator (the one from Armax Arsenal, not the crappy one from Hadne kedar) and an armor from Devlon Industries (like the Explorer or the Liberator). The Explorer and the Liberator are not combat armors but in case you didn't notice yet, Devlon armors are the only one able to sustain harsh environments on hazardous planets. In other terms if you wear one on a planet categorized as level 1 hazard, the hazard counter will never trigger (the weird thing about it is that only one member of your squad needs to wear one and it protects all the squad... Not really logical when you think about it). As for the difference between the Colossus and the Predator they are both very good armors but the Predator is more suited to a certain kind of enemies (tech/biotic) while the Colossus is very good against Geths. Beyond that it's just a matter of taste though  :lol:

I would have an example to give about the inadequacy of the French voice acting but that would involve an enormous spoiler... mmm OK, let's try this:

WARNING WARNING WARNING: PRETTY ENORMOUS SPOILER AHEAD: DO NOT TRY TO UNCOVER THE NEXT BIT UNLESS YOU'VE COMPLETED VIRMIRE!

YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!!!


Spoiler
So there is this special mission where you have to sacrifice either Kaidan or Ashley (your choice but you can't save both -- as far as I'm aware anyway, I've tried almost all the possible combinations so unless something really escaped me...). After the mission debrief, everyone in the crew is really down for obvious reason and Seth Green makes a perfect job conveying the emotion when Joker asks Shepard if a link to the Council must be established for mission report. Even though you never see Joker, only the voice tells you that something is very wrong and sad.

In the French version? Well, it's just like if the guy asked if you want a glass of water. No emotion whatsoever. That's what is bothering me so much, you get the feeling that they recite the stuff not that they are living it. So yeah, as you say, they phoned it, period. With that being said I wouldn't completely blame the actors though since I also know that for cutting the cost the greedy French tends to make the voice acting as fast as possible so there's not much room left for actors preparation to get into the character skin/dialog context.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2008, 11:15:39 AM by Starfox »


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2008, 03:21:21 AM »
I'm almost to the point with my current character where I can afford the Spectre VII assault rifle...that should make things a little more interesting.  :purplelaugh:  I wasn't aware of that particular Achievement spanning characters, and I'm not quite sure what to think about that, but I guess it's good for those of us who are just screwing around the galaxy, looking for space monkeys to mistreat.

Btw: I accidentally ran over a space monkey and got 4 Renegade points. Both of my companions griped at me about it ("That was a little extreme, commander!" "I woulda just thrown rocks at the thing!"). It's not like I ran over the thing on purpose. That Mako's hard to control.

I'm not too happy with the armor pickups of late; it seems the game wants me to outfit my entire crew with low-level Phoenix armor.

Yeah...customizable armor and weapons! I like it! ("Oh, God. Here comes that Shepard person again. I keep telling him that I don't stock paisley armor, but he just doesn't get it...") There was one game that let you do that...oh, right: Jedi Academy, where you could choose your outfit colors. That should definitely be an option; I mean, you can customize your face, why not your wardrobe?

I need a Bag Of Holding. I got all kinds of ammo and explosives and weapon mods and armor mods and different armors for different occasions (formal combat, casual combat, and Bar Mitzvahs)...I didn't know about the Devlon armors negating hazardous environments, but it makes perfect sense. I mean, with my first character I had noticed that I wasn't being harmed by certain environments, but I never made the connection.  :hammerhead:

Still, there is the feeling of liberation one feels when one has shed his or her earthly baggage and is relying purely on Armor Piercing Rounds I and a Combat Sensor II. These people are commonly referred to as "corpses".

Btw, Wrex? Reminds me of Black Whirlwind (from Jade Empire, people), for some reason...just a lot less approachable and not prone to amusing stories. Still, the thing about the Genophage had me rolling on the floor. "One in a thousand??" I shrieked, "that's freakin' PRICELESS, dude!" Then he started kicking me. Most fun I ever had belowdecks, apart from the time I parked the Mako on Ashley's neck.

[Side Note: is Ashley supposed to be some sort of Jolie tribute? Because it looks like she's having a reaction to the Botox. And another thing: what's with the eight-inch necks on the human female characters? And why don't you ever see any female Turians and Salarians? Do the Asari just fill the gap, so to speak?]

That just goes to show that you absolutely cannot cut corners on the voice acting. A lot of people deserve a Tazer to the testicles for that sort of thing -- Bethesda, are you listening?? -- but having access to the English language version gives you the invaluable insight into the primary difference between Americans and Canadians: how we pronounce "against." They stress the hell out of the second syllable (uh-GAINst), while we tend to be more mellow (uh-genst).  ;D

Then again, I'm probably talking outta my sphincter. :-\

Face update: I got a good look at Hana Murakami (on Feros) again, and good grief...she has the WORST profile. Now I don't feel so bad that I couldn't get the face exactly.

FRONT:


3/4ths VIEW:


Still, I did manage to get a workable face out of her anyway:




And onto other matters. Garrus isn't happy about this, but at least it isn't pink:



And Shepard visits Chora's Den. This looked much better with the medium Hydra armor:



That's all for now. Gotta sort through about six zillion screenshots... :hammerhead:
« Last Edit: July 08, 2008, 03:25:32 AM by Silver Sorrow »
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Starfox

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2008, 06:40:31 AM »
Quote
I accidentally ran over a space monkey and got 4 Renegade points. Both of my companions griped at me about it ("That was a little extreme, commander!" "I woulda just thrown rocks at the thing!"). It's not like I ran over the thing on purpose. That Mako's hard to control.

Ah, space monkeys... that was an amusing bit... If you have Garrus with you on this mission when you realize that you will have to crawl through a good part of the planet he says "Well... That should be fun".

I agree, Wrex has a bit of Black Whirlwind in him, but well, no jokes (actually considering what Whirlwind was constantly telling, I'm not sure it's a bad thing  :purplelaugh: )

Achievements: In fact it's not just this achievement. All achievements bringing benefits span across all subsequently created characters. For example, if you kill 150 NPCs with the assault rifle (not hard to do), the assault rifle talent is made available for all the characters you create after that even when their class can't normally use it (only the Soldier can normally use Assault Rifles). If you unlock an achievement giving more damage or more shields, all the characters created after that will benefit from that too and so on.

And I would suggest to unlock all the benefits before trying insanity difficulty mode. You know that little fight in the med clinic early on that you can wrap up in just 1 minute on Normal and even less on casual? It took me about 6 minutes on Insanity yesterday... Insanity is definitely for S&M people. It turns even the smallest of the fights in an all war event that goes on for ages.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2008, 12:28:06 AM »
I did it! I did it! After two days of beating my skull against the concrete wall of my own non-intuitive nature, I give you Heavy Colossus armor, female. with gray bits:

   



:partying:

Next, I'm going to see what I can do about the light and medium armors.

EDIT: Can't do anything about the helmets yet; it's still red and black. That's okay, but I hope someone figures it out, anyway.

Ah, the monkeys. Or, as Clouseau might say, "spehs minkeys."

"Excuse me?"

"I said, those spehs minkeys took mah module."

"Did you say that those space monkeys took your module??"

"That is exactly what I said!"

Garrus is an interesting one; sort of a Dark Side Closed Fist Renegade sort of guy, who only tends that way because he's tired of not being able to do his job effectively. A character with depth: amazing, really. Quite novel. Dear Bethesda, Please pick up a copy of Mass Effect. Take note of the techniques used to add dimension to the characters. In the meantime, please take a few creative writing classes before you make another game. Sincerely...

As for the aliens in general, I really like the turians, for some reason. I'm not a big fan of the asari (tentacle heads...yeeks), but the salarians are fairly amusing.

I kept waiting for Wrex to say something about storming a citadel naked and drunk, but I'm glad that subject never came up. :P

Aha! I see...EDIT: Wait, no: I didn't. [Idiot Me] ---> :hammerhead:  In my defense, I had my brains scrambled by one of those headaches this morning.  ::)

Epic battles, eh? I may skip the Insanity experience (much like I eschewed JE's Jade Master skill), I guess. I have very little patience with drawn-out confrontations, which makes gaming something of a problem for me at times. ;D  (If I can't kill a 900-foot tall four-armed demon boss thing within one minute or one shot from my ridiculously overpowered .357, I tend to get bored...)

An Actual Topic:

Would this game have been better off using the Source engine and then relying upon Steam for distribution?

It seems that many of the issues people are facing can be traced to various problems with the Unreal 3 engine, compounded greatly by Securom. Part of it, I speculate, has to do with the fact that the game is a port; not really optimized for the PC, although Demiurge has done a terrific job with what they had to work with.

I would like to see Bioware licensing the Source engine for the next game; this would give them better support, graphics, stability, and so on and so on. Most of all I hope it would get rid of that stupid lens flare effect that's been an irritating "given" since Unreal came out. ::)

EDIT: Finished! Level 50. I'd start over right awqy, but it's almost 5am and my system crashed three times trying to get to the end, so I'll have mercy on the kid and let 'im sleep in tomorrow.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 04:52:53 AM by Silver Sorrow »
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2008, 08:49:57 PM »
So I decided to see if I could make a better, darker red.

HEAVY: Mine versus the original:
     

MEDIUM: Mine versus the original:
     

From the back, medium (left) and heavy (right):


From the front, heavy (left) and medium (right):


See what the weird light on Eden Prime does to the standard reds (the helmets)? My red looks better, only because it's so dark as to be impenetrable to the light.  :purplelaugh:  Anyway, I gotta get to the Citadel and try these out in better lighting. Maybe by then I'll have the light armor done. Love this stuff: straight recolors; ten minutes in PSP and Photoshop, and the armor looks better already. Who says you need talent anymore?  :lol:
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 08:54:08 PM by Silver Sorrow »
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2008, 01:34:17 AM »
Several Mass Effect-Related Things I Wonder About (With Pictures!)

1. Why is it that all of my Asian-themed Shepard girls all look alike? As much effort as I put into them, the major difference in all of them comes down to their eyebrows. It's driving me CRAZY!

2. This is asari commando armor:



Why is this not available to the player???

3. This is an asari character you'll meet on Noveria:



Is it just me, or is she a dead ringer for Drew Barrymore?

4. This is my Shepard, Wrex, and Tali, all in Colossus armors:



Why am I reminded of the Nazis?

5. Why am I doing this??
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2008, 11:13:38 PM »
Instead of starting a brand new thread, why don't I just post in the existing one? Why, I think I will. Thank you, Silver! No, thank YOU, Silver!

More random thoughts.

With my most recent character, I decided to try out Hardcore just out of curiosity. Since I'm not a masochist, I gave myself some nice (super) armor (check out those shields!)...because after four completions of the entire game, I think I'm allowed to screw around with the console a bit. And that's *super* armor, btw, with the Hazard model. How do I get that, you ask? Why, aren't you precious! Here you go:

giveitem self 10 qasuperarmor manf_jorman_armor_hazard

[You can use any armor you like, but since the superarmor cheat uses the light version of any armor chosen -- straight "giveitem superarmor" is the Survivor light armor, done so that the QA people would know someone was cheating -- choosing the Cerberus, Batarian, Jormangund, HKShadow, or Spectre03 armors is interesting, as they all look the same no matter the class. Light, medium, and heavy use the same model, simply stated. If you like the heavy Colossus but don't want the light armor as super armor, try manf_spectre03_armor in the code above in place of manf_jorman_armor_hazard.]

Okay. I was well-nigh invincible until the 30's, and that's when the rockets started to chip away at my shields...slightly. I mean, I got into a free-for-all with three Krogan at level 55 and only lost two shield bars. THAT is how great this armor is. Of course, I couldn't fight effectively in the Mako, since its shields are like wet toilet paper against Geth on this skill...so I fought most of the time on foot, racking up HUGE amounts of xp. This is how I got to level 56 before the end of the first playthrough.  :ok:

Now that I'm starting ALL OVER AGAIN PLEASE GOD NOT ANOTHER SOLDIER BUILD I--

>>SLAP!<<

Thanks. I needed that. Anyway, I see, now that I'm near the end of Eden Prime, that I currently need something like 42,000 XP to reach level 57. I ask myself, in an irritatingly rhetorical way: is it worth the effort? I was also trying to get the sniper rifle Achievement at the same time, but I'm sort of at a loss for motivation here. I'm considering just consoling a bunch of XP in, getting the Achievement, and trying out a Biotic-oriented or techie character.

Really, many of these Achievements don't seem to be worth the effort. I mean, the boost in XP awards and unlocking the weapons across characters is an excellent idea, but what do I get for finishing on Insanity? A cash prize? A lifetime supply of deodorant? Stalking dibs on Diane Mizota? I don't really see the benefits here. I've read that you get gamer points and a profile pic or two with the Xbox, but how does that help me?

Wow. Need a break. Play something else. CoSaS Mission X? Seal of Evil? Enclave? Right this way...hahahahaHAhahaHAhahahaa ... :hammerhead:

Btw, I upgraded my Nvidia drivers to the latest, and it seems the game loads faster now. Imagine that.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 11:18:44 PM by Silver Sorrow »
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2008, 01:35:25 AM »
Interesting. Not only does the game load faster with the latest Nvidia drivers, almost all of my crashing issues seem to have disappeared. :realconfused:

Still, it doesn't help soothe the pain that comes from realizing that all of the effort I spent on developing THE perfect female Shepard face has been a relative waste; they all look the same, except for eyebrow shape, eyeliner, and the size of the nose. :madatwall:

Illustration: one of my first attempts is really not so different from my most recent attempt, in this side-by-side comparison:



Which leads me to the following Smiley O' Frustration:

:blowingpmad:

Although, I will admit that my labors have made *some* improvements to the basic concept; I just think it should look more...well...okay, I suppose that what I really REALLY want (more than a pony made of Gummi bears) is the ability to recreate my beloved Oblivion character, Black Qin:



I've come to terms with this by loading up Oblivion -- which, in a small bit of irony, doesn't run as well as Mass Effect -- and killing shit left and right with Qin when I get frustrated with Generic Asian Shepard. Wish I could get some of that cool red Mercenary armor for Qin, though...

On a side note, I'm thinking of using "Commander" as Shepard's first name. It makes being called "Commander" that much more personal.  ::)

And why am I the only one playing Mass Effect right now???
« Last Edit: August 27, 2008, 01:47:09 AM by Silver Sorrow »
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline bobdog

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2008, 07:42:19 AM »
Hey Silver, what exactly does the new DLC provide? More levels/maps? Pretty ponies made of gummi? BOGO tooth extraction?

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Re: Mass Effect: Bigger Than You
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2008, 07:48:04 AM »
And why am I the only one playing Mass Effect right now???

I can only speak for myself, but...

Probably because I found it to be a fair-to-middling experience throughout.  Boring story, replete with some of the most overplayed tropes of the genre, and god-awful combat that tries to mix both action-game and RPG and never quite manages to pull off either.  I really, REALLY hated the combat. 

Once through the game with a male Shepard was enough for me for the sake of completeness.

And Joker drives me nuts.  I don't care if Seth Green or even RED GREEN for that matter voiced him (actually, that latter might be kinda cool), but I found him to be a tremendous ass and wanted to hit him square in the face every time he spoke.

Though I will admit that Female Shepard's VA was much easier on the ears than the Male one...

*cough* But obviously, I'm in the minority.  ;)
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