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Back in February of 2012, my friend introduced me to one of the greatest games I have ever played. I didn't think I'd like it because I was still in my CoD fanboyism, but once I had recruited Garrus, I started to fall in love with Mass Effect 2.
I played the game six times over, totaling a game time greater than my six prestiges on Black Ops (in half of the time), trying to perfect my playthrough in preparation for Mass Effect 3. After playing Mass Effect 3, I really wanted to go back and play from the very beginning. So in late June, I purchased Mass Effect, and thus "The July of Mass Effect" began. After I had finished the entire series, I was satisfied (even though the ending still irks me to a point), and happy that my Shepard "lived." Then I sat back and thought, "sperez2012: what was YOUR favorite Mass Effect?" Oh...one of the most difficult decisions I had to name.
The last Mass Effect I played was Mass Effect, and boy am I glad that it was. If I had played Mass Effect immediately after CoD, I probably would never have finished it. The biggest thing I had to get adjusted to with Mass Effect was the combat. I don't think I've ever died as much in a Mass Effect game as I did in Mass Effect. It got to the point where I had to play on Casual just to stand playing it. I played Infiltrator because it was the class I had the most fun with in the other two Mass Effects. Everything was difficult: the Sniper Rifle was unbearable to use in the beginning, everything was too too shaky, enemies were too small of targets, and Shepard moved WAY TO DANG SLOW. After I had reached higher levels and maxed Fitness and other things to boost my health, the game became much more bearable, and more fun. Powers were different, but they didn't bother me. Although I didn't realize how much I took mapping powers for granted until ME.
THERE WAS WAY TOO MANY OPTIONS FOR CUSTOMIZATION. GAH! I got used to it after a while though.
One other thing that irked me about ME was the constant saving. Again, I took certain gimmies in the other two for granted. By the end of my ME playthrough, I had 80 saves. I remember the first time I died after not saving for a long time. I up and raged-quit for a day.
The Mako wasn't that big of an issue for me, but don't get me wrong: it was the worst thing to do to a player. Especially since the maps were so huge, and you're dropped equidistantly from everything.
Besides the few things that made playing Mass Effect IN THE BEGINNING a chore for me, I loved many things about the game. For one, (the biggest reason) I LOVED how open the dialogue was. There was very few scripted lines for Shepard, and pretty much every line for Shepard was left up to you. I like the way they did the Charm and Intimidate options as a skill (I maxed those pretty early), and I felt I could say anything without hurting myself too too much. Furthermore, there were many, many more decisions that Shepard could take. I liked meeting a ton of side characters and deciding their future. It made me feel like I really had control over the story.
Besides that, the story was amazing. The way characters were introduced and written was good. I liked Wrex's story, and many minor characters were awesome, (like Kalisah, Conrad, and many others). Romancing Liara was fun, (and by far the most interesting romance when pursued throughout the entire series including LotSB). I really felt sad leaving Ash behind on Virmire even though I knew from the beginning I was going to leave her behind. Like the other Mass Effects, I was so drawn in.
THE ENDING WAS SATISFYING. Seeing the entire might of the Alliance Fleet sacrificing themselves for a higher cause was amazing to see, emotionally and cinematically. I knew Shepard would live, but I still couldn't help holding my breath for a few seconds at the end.
Mass Effect 2
ME2 was the first ME I played, and I'm glad it was. Transitioning from CoD to ME was pretty easy. The fast paced combat made me feel right at home, and getting used to powers wasn't that difficult. The only thing I really didn't like about ME2 was how one needed to be nearly 100% Paragon/Renegade to not get locked out of certain decisions in game.
I hated how I could only max a few powers, and how I had to put points in certain powers to gain access to others. I just felt limited in this respect.
I liked all the characters. Some more than others, but I found them interesting all in their own way. Some were cliche, but I didn't mind. I loved Garrus. He was, and always will be my bro. Mordin is always good for a laugh, Kasumi had quite a few great lines and was a great squadmate, and Thane is just deep, captivating, and has given me a few things to ponder over. I really wanted to see them all live in the end, and I was able to.
The ending was epic as well. I felt scared going into the suicide mission for the first time, and was relieved to know that I only lost one character my first time through. 'Nuff said.
Mass Effect 3
Well. Where do I begin...
I loved Mass Effect 3. I will not let the ending overshadow how much I loved it. For me, everything was improved, (even if the game seemed to be changed to appeal to a larger audience). I loved the weapon and armor customization, the improved combat movement and speed, and just powers in general. Playing as an Adept in this game couldn't be any more fun. It make it easy playing my Insanity playthrough currently.
Although ME3 does not NEARLY have as many conversation options as ME and ME2, I still love the conversations. One of my favorite parts of the game is meeting my crew on the Citadel. I finally get that bro time with Garrus, and I felt really close to Liara in that moment.
Even though we got slighted when "our decisions would ultimately affect much of how ME3 is played," I still liked seeing how all my decisions carried through from ME affected ME3 in SOME way. I chose certain squadmates for certain missions (like Garrus and Liara for Sur'Kesh just to have a mini Normandy SR1 reunion with Wrex. Man that was awesome). I was really sad to see Mordin, Legion, and Thane die, and never felt happier getting revenge for Thane at the end. Again, I felt drawn in to the game as I always have, and it made playing the game an amazing experience. Although there is definitely much more trudging than ME2, I like talking to my crew after every mission. I like how they changed it from ME2 to ME3 (just pressing A or X in front of them to hear what they have to say). It made it more open and flexible, and many more funny lines were present.
So. My favorite Mass Effect is Mass Effect 3. I have to say though. Every single Mass Effect had something amazing to it.
Mass Effect was amazing in it's dialogue options, and at the end, I really wished the other two were just as open. I loved feeling like I had total control over my game experience.
Mass Effect 2 just had an epic feel for me the whole time. I felt like I was really gathering a team of epic specialists to take down a humongous threat. It was so satisfying sticking it to the Illusive Man at the end. The ending kept me coming for more.
Mass Effect 3 for me had much more of a sentimental tone. I felt really connected to my crew more than any other Mass Effect. Sharing laughs, and tears, but the whole time I feel this weight of fighting the Reapers at the end. It scared me. Throughout the whole game I acted very carefully for that optimal ending. I didn't want to see any of my squad die. I didn't want Shepard to die. I didn't want the galaxy to be cleansed of life. I wanted to win.