Mass Effect 2 Screenshot

Spent last night and part of today playing (surprise!) Mass Effect 2 on the Xbox 360.

So far it's been a wonderful to return to a universe that I fell so hard for the first time around, and at the same time, I felt a bit of dismay over some of the changes. I'm still extremely early in the adventure so I'm not going to shoot my mouth off just yet (plenty of time for that later) but I will say that the game isn't be the "insta-10" that some readers might have assumed I'd peg it as.

While on the topic of Mass Effect, if you haven't played the first game, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND doing so before starting ME2. To that end, cool guy Andrew Doucet has created a pretty kick-ass PDF that clearly and concisely guides players to a full 100% completion of the original Mass Effect. I used it myself on my second playthrough, and ended up finding a few quests I had never seen before. This PDF is good stuff.

In the meantime, I had a ton of stuff to clear out of the inbox, so here it goes:

I had the chance to play a pre-release version of the new title coming from Nathan Fouts over at Mommy's Best Games—Shoot 1UP. I really can't say enough good things about Nathan and what he's doing. The guy's ideas are just spot-on in so many ways, and this new title is no exception.

Shoot 1UP is a vertical shooter where the hook is that each life collected appears onscreen instantly. By collecting 1UPs, the player rapidly amasses a swarm of clone ships raining shots on the enemy. The cool thing about it was that the spread of ships could take up the entire bottom of the screen, or they could be retracted to the size of a single ship. Even better, when they're spread out, they combine energy and unleash a massive laser that continuously blasts from the middle of the swarm.

If you're a shooter fan, this is some pretty cool stuff going on here. It's fresh, it's original, and best of all, it features a boss that attacks with detachable robo-breasts. Look for the game to hit Xbox Live Indie in February.

Chris Vandergaag over at The SideMission is having an easy-to-win contest with the prize being ANY GAME OF YOUR CHOICE! If you've got a funny FPS story to share, you've got some good odds at winning.

…Now, back to Mass Effect 2.

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway

Brad Gallaway has been gaming since the days when arcades were everywhere and the Atari 2600 was cutting edge. So, like... A while.

Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.

Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.

Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway
Brad Gallaway

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7 Comments on "Shooting 1UP while Mass Effected"

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Jacob H

Well, Brad, your review convinced me to get ME, and it is now my favourite game, so i went and got the CE for ME2, and it is one of the greatest games i’ve played. The “dumbing down” of combat has just improved it ridiculously, it’s so much better than before, sure they have brought in shootery mechanics, but no-one thought the combat was the best part.
So far i’m feeling 9.8

Anony Mouse
and at this point, I’d have to say that this game is a solid 8 or 9, but not a 10. In particular I don’t like the “Planet Mining” mini-game. Whoever equated looking at a radar screen and some squiggly lines as being fun must be missing a few screws. Also disappointed that a vehicle is not a default part of the game. On this same website a few years (?) back I criticized the Mako, but looking back now, the Mako, although flawed, offered something that I find lacking in the sequel–exploratory freedom. I am liking the characters better… Read more »
I get the feeling you’re a tad ahead of me, but even six hours in the gameplay changes have yet to really hinder my experience. There is that initial shock of “whoa, this is different, my options are so stripped I’m wondering if Bioware is starting to think I’m dumb,” but after a few hours of poking around and interrogating the living tar out anything remotely sentient, I’m so impressed at how well Bioware is maintaining that trademark ME1 sense of wonder and flow that the gameplay changes are feeling increasingly immaterial. Of course, the game hasn’t started curb-stomping me… Read more »
Because it’s a sheer joy to play. Every issue that was raised in the first game has been addressed. You get the sense that BioWare is making the right choices to craft a perfect playing experience. Even if those choice might not be realstic within the context of the game world. Mass Effect 2 is the game BioWare wanted to make in 2003 but couldn’t. Forget KOTOR, forget ME1, this is the shining example that should be held up before all to claim, ‘Look, here! This is what fine game design is all about!’. I understand your criticism that it… Read more »
Matthew K
I’m only about 5 hours in to the game so far, but like you, Brad, I’m very disappointed by a game that has been revered by the media like the second coming of Jesus (or an enlarged iPhone). Dear Bioware, I’ve played your game before. It was called “Knights of the Old Republic” way back in the early 2000s and it’s still the SAME DAMN GAME. Only the graphics and characters ever seem to change. Improved shooter mechanics over ME1? No. Having to pause the screen in order to do anything noteworthy? Still there. Crappy party management? Still there. Worthless… Read more »
agreed brad- at first the changes made to mass effect 2 startled me since i also held the first game as one of my favorite experiences ever- but play more and soon you’re sucked right back in just like before- think of mass effect as that girl you had an amazing relationship a couple of years ago that left and you haven’t seen since; then all of a sudden she’s back. things about her might be different, like hair color or the existence of a cover button, then you remember, but 10 minutes alone with her reminds you just why… Read more »

Mass Effect 1 Rating: 10. Mass Effect 2 > Mass Effect 1. Therefore, Mass Effect 2 Rating: 11. Seriously, it is leaps and bounds better than the first one in every way. No hyperbole intended.