January 22nd, 2014

da - brosca

Some Thoughts on Mass Effect: January Blogging Meme

This question, asked by [personal profile] spindizzy, was actually for Monday: "You didn't seem to enjoy Mass Effect as much as you did Dragon Age - would you mind talking about it and/or why it didn't grab you?"

In a way, this question is a little unfair. True, I didn't love the Mass Effect games nearly as much as the Dragon Age series, but then it's rare that I've fallen as completely in love with a game as I did Dragon Age: Origins. So that's a high bar to set it up against.

Also, I did like Mass Effect, quite a lot. I enjoyed playing all three games, found strong points and favorite missions and characters in each. Commander Shepard, as played by Jennifer Hale anyway, is one of my favorite protagonists of all time. (I've never played as m!Shep, so I can't comment on that interpretation of the character.) The series was worth playing, and I might pick it up again someday for a Renegade run, and I still need to replay endgame to see the Extended Cut ending. But I didn't connect with it fannishly at all, and it's never going to rise to the level of most beloved game.

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All that said, who really knows why I connect with one game, one fictional universe, and not another? Sometimes I can say exactly why, but other times it's more nebulous. It's also entirely possible that Bioware fandom set my expectations for Mass Effect much too high. Maybe if I'd played the ME games first, I'd like them better, or if I'd spread them out over the years rather than binging on the whole series within a few months. In the end, I'm glad I played them, and that's always enough to hope for.

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