Posts Tagged ME2

The Art of Mass Effect – Book Review

I’m a big fan of game art books, actually I’m a big fan of any books relating to the game industry (yes real life books, made out of paper). For another new feature here at gamdo, I will make it my quest to seek out, read,  review and recommend as many game related books worthy of your hard earned credits, bottle caps or plain old cash. It’s a difficult genre to find reviews or recommendations on, and there are certainly very few top 10 ‘gamer books’ lists online (The New York Times Books website skipped this genre, strange?). Most books about gaming atop the Amazon best seller list are guides, by Prima, and they pretty much suck.

The Art of Mass Effect, a great book for any ME fan

Saying that, Prima produced a must have title with “The Art Of Mass Effect”. If you’re a fan of the game, or even if you just played it once, this is one book that you will want to buy, read and keep forever. The Mass Effect universe is a dazzling sci-fi masterpiece, giving us near movie quality visuals, locations, characters and cut scenes not seen in any game before. Infact Mass Effect is more like playing the star in a Sci-fi movie. This makes it easy to play through the entire game without noticing how much hard work was put into the art, instead concentrating on the hugely addictive and rewarding game-play, after all it is a game!

The Art of Mass Effect, a Limited Edition art book will take you back to places you passed through in Mass Effect, bringing back gaming memories like an old holiday photo reminds you of trips you’ve taken years ago. Flicking through the pages you will begin to realise what goes into creating such a fascinating and convincing game world. Every detail is sketched, painted, then re sketched and painted again, until a final design is no doubt argued over and finally chosen, from prospering planets to futuristic furniture and alien clothing to double barreled guns (a signature trait seen throughout all weapons in the Mass Effect world).

With just enough text to keep you interested with a brief intro and history to each piece of art, and enough pages of images to keep you occupied for a few hours, this is a great book for every Mass Effect fan. It also hold’s a big secret that the internet buzzed about for ages, what does the Quarian Tali look like under that mask? The only way to find out is to pickup a copy from your favorite online retailer, although due to it being limited edition, it can be hard to find, but well worth the hunt.

A book worthy of everyone’s collection, but good luck finding a copy.

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Mass Effect 2 Review – and Miranda Sex Scene

Finished ME2, 32.1 hours later and I

I’ve never really been a fan of role playing games (RPG’s). My first experience was an old Final Fantasy back in the 1990’s and I just didn’t get it. It wasn’t until Fallout 3 that I fell in love with the genre albeit an RPG/Shooter hybrid. Wanting more of the same, one game kept popping up in my search, Mass Effect. Winning countless Game of the Year awards on Xbox 360, but not arriving on PC until way into 2008, I waited patiently. I even waited until it was available on Steam, as putting a DVD in a drive feels so 1990’s, besides, my gaming box doesn’t even have an optical drive.

I wish I didn’t wait. Mass Effect combines science fiction, first person shooter and RPG elements, all rolled into a cinematic epic movie like experience that you control, what more could you ask for? Playing it is like watching Battlestar Galactica, Aliens, Star Trek and every other Sci-Fi made, all rolled into one where YOU control the plot and the action. So when Mass Effect 2 came up for pre-order on Steam I was eager to continue the saga. And what a saga.

Mass Effect 2 continues where you left off in the first Mass Effect, so if you’ve not played the game I would highly recommend you either watch IGN’s hilarious recap below, or play it, then watch the recap!

After importing my save game from Mass Effect (luckily I had this saved) I was thrown into an epic opening scene. Mass Effect 2 feels like a movie from the start, and when you do take control the action is much more fluid and fun than the first game. I only played Mass Effect through once, despite hearing about the multiple different stories that I did not see on my play through, I wanted to experience one story throughout so that the choices I did make in the heat of battle were meaningful and final. Saving and reloading to see every bit of the game was never an option for me, and I continued this rule throughout Mass Effect 2. This intensifies every choice in the game, leaving the relationships you make with each character at the risk of being broken at any time, giving meaning to every action as it would in real life.

From early on its clear to see the combat has been greatly improved. As a soldier class, you can just take control as though it was an ordinary FPS (apart from the slight third person view which takes a short while to get use to). I pretty much played through the first Mass Effect with just guns, and began episode 2 the same. But as I progressed I began to appreciate the biotic powers of my team mates. I also added my favorite biotic power ‘Slam‘ to my own character until I could walk around with Miranda lifting swarms of enemies out of my path in a synchronized way that made me feel like Yoda from Star Wars. Replaying this game as an Adept class with nothing but biotic powers is tempting, but I don’t want to ruin the story that I’ve already experienced, and of course the next episode Mass Effect 3.

What makes Mass Effect 2 such a good title apart from the insane combat, is the characters. Recruiting team members, creating new relationships and bumping into old friends all of which have distinct personalities, sub story lines and actual depth and meaning is the key to this titles success, and of course the females. Without sounding like a desperate male, my first chance to find Ashley (my love interest from the first game) was hot on my list of things to do. But this soon becomes of little importance, once you get to know Miranda.

Miranda, voiced and modeled by the equally hot real life Yvonne Strahovski is the star of Mass Effect 2. It felt like the majority of the game I spent with her at my side, fighting, talking, gaining her loyalty and of course flirting like mad to reach the inevitable sex scene below (spoiler alert). Apart from her obvious curves, Miranda has, well great curves. She also has a great history, it’s a typical Sci-Fi story which you will no doubt find out if you attempt to seduce her and take her on the mission in search of her sister. All the characters, not just the females have something to offer, although some I just had no interest in (like Jack) and others I couldn’t get enough of (like Samara). Spending time on the team members individual missions, uncovering their past, gaining their loyalty and perks and forming bonds in Mass Effect 2 is very rewarding.  These bonds you work so hard on then feel totally threatened in battle as you are making leadership choices and viewing events that risk the lives of all your team members. Never before in a game have I felt so much connection and worry for an NPC (mainly Miranda and the Asari chick), the risk of losing someone you’ve spent so much time and effort with really makes this game shine.

Of course my Mass Effect story is totally different to the next gamers, each choice and reaction in game can spawn a huge number of story lines. If you choose, your love interest can be any character. Take your pick from the selection of weird and wonderful aliens or humans, females or males, or just run around blowing things up and ignore the cheap chat up lines and sex scenes altogether. Either way I can guarantee some connections with at least a few characters, and some that you just will just ignore or enjoy sending to their deaths. However you choose to play Mass Effect 2, you are going to have a colossal adventure in space, and at the end you will be left gagging for the next episode. For once you will be thankful for trilogies.

9.5/10 An epic cinematic masterpiece.

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Mass Effect 2 – Can’t Place the Monument at Normandy Crash Site?

Press F to place monument not working? Try your melee key!

I seem to be stumbling upon a few bugs in Mass Effect 2, and all are down to making a few changes to the standard key bindings. You can clearly tell this is an Xbox port!

If you have access to the Cerberus network and have downloaded the moving ‘Normandy Crash Site’ DLC, you may be stuck like I was, laying down the monument. Despite pressing the F key multiple times, as instructed when you walk over a suitable location to drop this tribute, if you have changed your melee key, no matter how hard you hit the F key, you will get nowhere.

The on screen display telling you what keys to press has always been faulty, if you change any key in the options it will display the original bind, a widely known and documented Mass Effect 2 bug. So if you do not use standard key layouts, and cannot place the monument, go to options and work out what you bound your melee key too. Simply press the melee key on your chosen location when the ‘Press F to place the monument’ message appears. Voilà. An ugly gold statue placed and mission complete, you can now return back to your ship DLC complete, once of course you do the good deed and collect all 20 dog tags. Its the honourable thing to do in this emotional DLC, a free download and a touching tribute to some charachters that you may remember from the original Mass Effect. So get searching, the dog tags are quite easy to find and would mean alot to the families of the fallen original Normandy Crew. RIP.

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Mass Effect 2 – Can’t Bind The Delete Key?

How to bind the delete key, dont give up it is possible!

The first annoying bug I have found in Mass Effect 2 is not being able to bind the Delete key, as pressing it deletes any key binding. Despite its popularity, not everyone uses the traditional W A S D key layout, some of us use the strangest set of keys for movement. Before you shout ‘what NEWB uses up, down, delete, page down for basic movement’, in my defence I have been using the keys for over 13 years, and thus I challenge you to a round of quake to prove that I am not a newb. Moving on, the solution to binding the Delete key in Mass Effect 2. Please read all the way through and follow this guide exactly otherwise Mass Effect 2 will not load up.

First download notepad++, standard windows Notepad is not only a complete mess but does not seem to save the file correctly resulting in ME2 not loading up. Locate the following file, Coalesced.ini which can be found in (your Steam folder)/steamapps/common/mass effect 2/BioGame/Config/PC/Cooked/ if you purchased it via Steam, or if you have a retail copy then (where you installed it)/BioGame/Config/PC/Cooked/. At this point I suggest making a backup copy of the file, one change to this file can stop Mass Effect 2 from loading.

Once you have a copy, open the original Coalesced.ini using Notepad++. Search for the text [SFXGame.SFXGameModeDefault_INT] and the first line below it should be LocalizedBindings=( Name=”A”, Command=”PC_StrafeLeft” ), change the “A” to “Delete”. This is not the end, you must now make sure the number of characters in this file matches when you first loaded it up, so as we have added 5 extra characters binding the delete key (“A” minus “Delete” = 5 extra characters “elete“). Somewhere we need to remove 5 characters so the total character count adds up. I kept it simple by finding a bind with 5 characters, search for the following text, Bindings=( Name=”Seven”, Command=”PC_HotKey7″ ) and simply delete the 5 chars by deleting the entire word “Seven”. This will unbind the key 7 but you can sort that out when you get back into Mass Effect 2.

Next step is to load up Mass Effect 2, go to Extras, Options, Key Bindings. Click “Restore Defaults” at the bottom of the screen, as the change we made above is now hard coded into the default key layout. You will find Strafe Left is now bound to Delete, so now just go through and bind your surrounding keys, and don’t forget to rebind that 7 key we deleted earlier!

This has wasted hours of my playing time, so I am eager to get back in. Frustrated with my lack of natural control without my key layout I felt someone else out there may benefit from this! Let me know if this helps, this guide can be used to bind the BackSpace or Delete key, to any possible command as long as you follow the basic rules outlined above and maintain that char count and use a decent editor like Notepad++. Have fun, Mass Effect 2 is proving to be just as good as every review out there is saying. Shepherd out.

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