- Favourite Game of the Series -
It’s only the first damn day and I’m already a negative, rambling Nancy. This literally devolves into a post about me violently morphing into a bitter Bioware veteran and I’m so, so sorry. My absolute favorite was Mass Effect 2 because goddamn if it wasn’t goofy as shit. The plot was a complete clusterfuck, the meat and potatoes of the story lackluster at best, and I loved every millisecond of it. Unlike Mass Effect 3 (where the plot was also a complete clusterfuck, like, the rat king of clusterfucks), it didn’t take itself deathly seriously.
The main problem I had with 3 is that the story depends on you to implicitly trust the Overarching Mass Effect Plot Hammock while not looking too hard at the raggedy threads that tie it together and the holes in the fabric which you could probably fall through if you turned over. What 2 did far better was force you to place your trust in what could really support your weight: the characters. And they’re all so, so solid.Anyway, all this stuff is probably pretty old-hat by now, I’ve never played Mass Effect before and I had a lot of thoughts about the series as a whole. Looking up the developer notes/concept art though just really sent me into this downward spiral of parental disappointment. I feel like some kind of tiger mom like, “Yeah you might have got an A-, but why isn’t this a perfect score? Remember when you got a 110% in the early 2000s??? Huh??? DO YOU????” And I needed to get that all out. I needed that. Thanks all you anons out there reading this.***
This is kind of turning into a tangential rant about how I’m mad about Mass Effect 3 not being as good as it could have been, but man, we could have had it all. We could have had it all. Mass Effect 3 definitely gave me far, far more emotions than 2, and had me sobbing alone in my room at the end, but it was all because of the characters. I didn’t give a shit about Cerberus, I didn’t care about this philosophical farce the writers tacked on in a shoddy attempt to play dress-up as Planescape: Torment*, I cared about Shepard! My Shepard! I sobbed, sobbed, as she struggled up that final path to the Citadel! I let out this dramatic, strangled cry originating from the most subconscious corners of my psyche as she tried to reach for the console in her dying moments— “What do you need me to do?” hurt me in places I didn’t even know I had and it was beautiful. It was so beautiful I really needed to use all those italics just to get across the painful emotions I was having. Imagine the little diagonal lines are my tears streaming down my face as I tilt my head 45 degrees to the left.
Anyway I have a lot more to say about the plot/ending of Mass Effect 3 but tl;dr for the sake of getting back to the original goal of this post: the ending is… conceptually brilliant, but didn’t fit with what went on in the last game.**
So pretty much the main reason I dig 2 over 3 is how 2 tied it all together. The ending of Mass Effect 2 was very much based around your characters— the emotional drama came from trying desperately to keep them safe, trying to rescue your crew. Hell, the whole game was pretty much just you recruiting new bros to hang out with and aliens to bone. “Collectors? Whaaaat? Too bad, I just got A COOL SPACE NOMAD IN MY PARTY.” And it was awesome.
3 definitely had better dialogue (and simply more of it!) with your squadmates, hands down. But 2 is the numero uno for me because in that game the mediocre plot hid behind the solid wall of characters, while 3 hid the characters behind a plot wall made of dead leaves. 2 is a beautiful, hot hot mess because of this, and 3 is just kind of that burnout hot, hot mess that hangs out on your porch Saturday nights. They’re still pretty rad to hang out with, but you can’t help feeling sad at the fact they never brush the tangles out of their hair.
Although they did get a radical party wig called the Citadel DLC. Almost makes you forget about the bad hair.
So, uh, since probably everyone on this planet has played the Mass Effect games by now, what do you all think? What’s your favorite game, what do you think about the Mass Effect 3 plot? I am filled with “that ineffable post-game adrenaline you get after playing a really good series for the first time” and it’s totally clouding my judgement right now and I need to know, must know, your opinion. Tell me!
*although it would have been hilarious if Shepard could debate the citadel star boy out of existence, then go to some infinite plane of a battlefield and go all God Madoka to fight the reapers for an eternity. that sounds fucking awesome in the worst way possible. mass effect: torment.
**I actually don’t think the overarching plot is that bad, it is just Okay (with a capital O), but what really gets me upset is what could have been. look up the original dark energy plot planned until the head writer left partway through mass effect 2. WE COULDA HAD IT ALLLLLLLLLLL!! IT WOULD HAVE BEEN LIKE A TRAGIC GURREN LAGANNX100!!!!! *kicks and throws a tantrum*
***it is worth noting I think mass effect 1 has the most coherent plot, but that’s probably because bioware still had their shit together before being bought by ea. I blame ea for like 75 percent of the things that went wrong. I blame ea for all my life problems, actually.
- Male or Female Shepard? Why? -
- Favourite Class -
I’m so boring, I play every game the same goddamn way. bioshock, skyrim, doesn’t matter. step one: never use magic/biotics. step two: max out sneak and the slowest, heaviest weapon in the game. step three: use a melee feature 50% of the time. step four: never use healing potions/recovery. if your party members die THEY ARE WEAK AND DESERVE DEATH.
Infiltrator was like, made for me.
- Paragon or Renegade? -
paragade 4 lief.this picture has basically nothing to do with the prompt. I just wanted to draw default femshep putting on some fresh eyeliner because in-game she looks like she just came back from a party… two days ago.
- Favourite Character -
Every once in a blue moon, when I’m reading a book or watching a show or playing a game, there will be a character that comes along and really gives me this jaw-dropping appreciation for the art of storytelling. Mordin is a hodge-podge of many aspects: the cold and calculating academic, the comic relief, the tragic elder, the insane doctor, and many messianic archetypes across the spectrum of good and evil. It shouldn’t work, it shouldn’t all come together to create an utterly realistic character— a character who is so very, very human and so very, very alien.
So, here’s to you, Mordin. You’re the only character I’m aware of who could have pulled all this off. It had to be you, you perfect, perfect Salarian.
- Favourite Male Companion -
"Legion!!!" I scream, to no one in particular. "Legion!!! Legion is how AI characters should be written!!!"
- Favourite Female Companion -
Ashley in ME1! I liked her so much in the first game that even though the writers apparently forgot she had a distinct personality in 2 and 3 (and put her in a fucking unarmored catsuit for some reason), she remained one of my favorites throughout all the games.
- Least Favourite Companion -
does kaidan get better in 2 & 3? I just… I just could not deal with his shit. I was happy to see him go.
- Favourite Romance - I like how their romance turns from “let’s have as much weird alien sex as possible” to “I will literally die for you. also we’re having krogan babies.” also happy valentines day! how convenient.
- Least Favourite Romance -
my boyfriend made me a quality valentine about this very topic.
- Favourite Alien Species -
- Favourite NPC -
Liara’s dad. Hands down, no contest. Running into her in ME2 was the best damn part of Illium. I screamed in joy when she showed up in ME3, and waggled my hands in the air like an utter fuck during that “you’re a quarter krogan!” scene. I’m sad I didn’t have time to draw fanart of her today, but you bet your sweet tentacled ass I’ll draw her soon.
- Favourite Story-line Mission -
Priority: Earth. One of the few parts in any goddamn game I’ve ever played that elicited an earnest verbal emotional response from the deepest caverns of my gaping maw. Shepard struggling up that incline was just… so hard on me, that cut deep.
- Favourite Loyalty Mission -
Mordin’s. It wasn’t the combat or level design that was good (that award goes to Miranda’s mission), nor was it the most unabashedly fun (like Samara’s), but it was a really twisted look at what makes Mordin who he is. The impact on how you perceive him after said mission is immense. Mass Effect 2’s strength was its characters, and I think Mordin’s mission was really the shining paragon of what ME2 was to me.
- Favourite Side-Mission -
The Rouge VI on Luna one… but only retroactively. I actually thought it was kind of a shitty quest (besides for the fact we were on the moon in the distant future, which I thought was rather charming), like the combat was really repetitive or whatever and the whole thing was just “meh.” The only cool part was when the VI spit out it’s little binary cry of help, which was kind of jarring, but I completely forgot about it… until the very end of the third game. When EDI mentioned that was her… Oh man, I cried out dramatically, “EDI NOOOO!OOOOO!OOO! I’M SO SORRY!” Femshep did not display my over-enthused tragedy to my disappointment.
I fucking love EDI, and that just piled on the backstory I didn’t know I wanted. Great stuff, yo.
- Favourite DLC - (being lazy here just look at the post)
- Worst Mission/Loyalty Quest/Side-Mission -
the main story/collectors missions in me2 (with the exception of the incredibly awesome suicide mission) because they were just such a letdown after the plot of the first game and had really shitty gameplay. I’m glad there were only like, what, three of them?
- Best Protaganist (NPC) -
Joker because he’s a cynical hilarious asshole who, through various dialogue choices, literally attempts to fuck his spaceship. also I get to fulfill my dream of taking out my frustrations on Seth Green through renegade options. “THIS IS NO TIME FOR JOKES, JOKER, YOU FUCKING DOUCHEBAG.” ([sic] Commander Shepard).
- Best Antagonist -
Pickin’ up where I left off with… Saren Arterius. Dang was he a good antagonist morality-wise—- black&white enough for campy space opera, gray enough for a good story.
- Best Part of the Game -
I was going to be a cynical cock and answer with “the part where I killed Kaidan,” but no, no. no, I can’t lie to myself. I can’t lie to Kaidan’s sweet, grizzled face.
the best part was the part where I killed Shepard.
- Worst Part of the Game -
weird fanservice and outfit sexualization that didn’t even make any sense. I’m looking at you, mass effect 2&3.Tagged with #why give edi a cameltoe #why give a fucking battle paladin a weirdass titty bodysuit #why give lady turians tits #and why... just... ashley in 3. why. #im not even mad about fanservice in general like i was aok with miranda because it wasnt like character breaking or anything #but ashley though. i will never get over it
- Hardest Part of the Game -
this is the worst story ever but I’m going to tell it anyway because, whoop, there’s the meme.
so. picture the scene. I’m a piece of shit who did the Liara mission dead last because I had no clue that’s when you got her nor did I pay literally any attention to the importance of the order of the main missions. anyway I go through the missions, rescue Liara, and watch that long ass cutscene where you ride up the elevator. little did I know that this would be the first time of many I would be watching that fucking cutscene.
anyway I get to the top, and then the fight starts. I was an infiltrator, and infiltrators are unmovable glass canons in the first game, like there’s no way to de-aggro or hide yourself at all besides for finding cover. the way the battle after the elevator scene is spawned causes the big three hitters to IMMEDIATELY target me, and not my big ol’ tanks ashley and wrex, so the first battle I die within like twenty seconds.
second battle: watch cutscene, run like hell behind wrex and actually start ordering my party members to do shit. this works for a while but there’s pretty much no goddamn cover on the platform you’re on so I die with two more npcs to kill.
third battle: we do it, we kill all the npcs except for a lowly geth. I’m bloodied and almost dead, but ashley and wrex are still truckin along. I start to move to a position where I can shoot the geth from… and I glitch through the floor.
forth battle-sixth battle: random agroing without cover leads me to my doom every time
seventh battle: did it. I did it. I beat this fucking stage.
to put this into perspective, this is the only time in all three games I had to retry more than twice. the only time “twice” happened was for that one collector battle in 2 where you meet the virmire survivor. god I will remember that fucking elevator cutscene forever.
- Saddest Moment in the Game -
man I gave up trying to avoid repeats. here, I’ll just list em off: 1. mordin. 2. shepard.
bam, day completed.
- Opinion on the Genophage? -
alright everyone, lets all face the salarians and chant “you fucked up. you fucked up.” all together now.
- Opinion on the Quarian/Geth Conflict? -
same answer as yesterday. lets all face the Quarians and chant “you fucked up. you fucked up.” all together now.
- Place You Would Most Like To Visit -
Alright, I bet you’re looking at that picture like, “what the fuck why does oxfordroulette want to visit the fucking moon when she could go to the citadel or illium or literally any other sci fi realm in the whole galaxy?”
And this is the weirdest answer I’m going to give for this challenge but here it is: I just want to see our home.
Going to Luna in ME1 was one of the best parts of the whole game series for me for completely unintended reasons. After tromping around the whole galaxy as Commander Shepard, after seeing in this fictional future what we’ve accomplished, how far we’ve spread, where we’ve moved and evolved and lived without our beautiful blue Earth… After seeing how big, how grand and wonderful we’ve become, how powerful we are, it was this terrifying homesickness that descended upon me when I tilted the camera to view our home.
I think I looked up at this silly, sci-fi recreation of our planet for at least five minutes before moving on. Like, we’ve become so big, and we started right here on the moon! We started just leaving slow little steps in the dust and now we’ve all got the whole galaxy right in the palm of our hands. We started with just a handful of people in space and now we can all live and operate there like it’s nothing. We’ve met aliens, we’ve saved the whole fucking galaxy, and it all started right here with putting one of us on moon.
If, barring all physical impossibility, the world of Mass Effect was reality, I would probably be deeply moved if I went to visit Luna. I’d bawl for fucking hours. We managed to all gang together and struggle through hatred and war and catastrophes and make it here. And we’re still kickin’.
- Favourite OST Track -
the only song I can distinctly pick out from the entirety of the mass effect games is that fucking galaxy exploration one, but I can’t listen to it without wanting to probe things.
so uh, pass on this one, I guess.#excuse me just going to keep this stick in my ass while listening to VINTAGE bioware soundtracks #thats what REAL GAMERS listen to. you FAKES. Tagged with #god wheres all the TAVERN MUSIC what A SHITTY GAME #why isnt mass effect TURN BASED?? WHERE ARE ALL THE DICE ROLLS??? #why doesnt shepard have a fucking POLYMORPH check??? thats just not realistic #why are there more than 60 polygons in a model jesus that is too many polygons #1998 hot tub time machine
- Destroy, Control or Synthesis? -
Destroy. Control (which is an awesome choice) isn’t what my Shepard would do. Synthesis is utter space magic bullshit, lauded as the be-all-end-all “third choice”, but god, it’s fucking awful. I’m hella down for a robot-merger, but we’ve gotta come to that shit naturally. It’s like communism, pretty cool but you can’t force it or you regress to shitty capitalism (coughs, prc. ussr.)
Also I’m a sucker for the suicidal hero in Destroy. Walking into the explosion??? SO UPSETTING. GOD I COULD CRY what a good ending.
- What Would You Like To See Next? (DLC, More Books, Spin Off, Nothing Else) -
please don’t make me4 a bro game please don’t make me4 a bro game please don’t make me4 a bro game...
- Overall Opinion on the Mass Effect Trilogy -
This is probably my favorite game series I’ve ever played (and I’ve played plenty-a-series). Every game was a joy, and while there were bumps in each individual part, the way the trilogy as whole worked together was remarkable.
A++ would play again. And again. And again.
Masterpost here for permanence's sake. Art and meta under the cut!