Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mass Effect Galaxy Review

Let's quickly establish how big of a Mass Effect fanboy I am. I am a huge Mass Effect fanboy.

With that said I was surprised with the high production values that this game had. It looks like Bioware had their hands in this (okay maybe just one hand). The stylized cut scenes are worth playing the game for alone. The story is your basic, run of mill, "Batarians are trying to take down the Citadel," type of story and it is funny because the Batarian ambassador, who we are introduced to rather quickly, looks like a stuffed animal (but perhaps that was the point).

You then, quickly, get into the combat and realize that what you are playing is a high production value cell phone game. Everything has nice animations and it works well but it is the same rinse and repeat gameplay throughout the entire game.

The combat takes place in "combat scenes" where you must kill every enemy in order to pass through to the next one or to the next conversation. You typically get 3-5 combat screens before you get to your next conversation (I would honestly take a stab at it and say that there are probably only about 25-30 combat screens in the entire game).

The gameplay is not hard (it might take you five minutes to learn how to play) and I only died about 4 or 5 times throughout the game and that was just because I was seeing how far I could push Jacob.

All of this is not to say that I did not have fun while playing the combat scenes but I do not see myself playing this more than once more. It is missing the addictive driving point that most addictive cell phone games have and in the end the entire game might take you anywhere between 2-4 hours to complete [and 4 hours is being pretty generous].

Other than the cut scenes the other place where the game shines are the conversation pieces. Usually you are given between 3-5 different things to say and they all have varying responses (ala ME1). Your facial expression changes based on each selection and you can also avoid conflicts based on what you say (also akin to ME1). But like everything else in the game, it still feels watered down. You can threaten people or you can be their saving grace but in the end it is all for naught because there are no Paragon or Renegade attributes rewarded. Essentially you could tap through all of the conversation pieces, without changing anything you say, and you would end up with the same ending that I recieved.

Ending Thoughts: The game was fun enough to play and I'll get my five bucks worth out of it, if just for the reward that it gives you for Mass Effect 2, but overall it was disappointing. I didn't go into it expecting to be disappointed but at the very least there was some decent addition to the Batarian (albeit very short (maybe the length of one or two Sci-Fi book chapters)) backstory. Only the hardest of core Mass Effect fans need apply and still then you are stretching it pretty thin. I have read both books and played through the game 4 times and I still think that this game was bare bones (very pretty bare bones).

"Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."


jarvisslacks said...

Nice review. I think I'm going to pass it on this, though. I rarely play games on my touch. Still, what sort of extra-bonus thingy does this game give you for ME2? I still haven't heard what that is yet.

Nate said...

Yeah, they do not really specify.