16 December 2012

Addendum to Mass Effect Post, Plus Whatever Came of Locke and Co.

A quick note to my previous post. In addition to playing Mass Effect, I've also recently been re-watching Babylon 5. It occurs to me that the two share a rather similar space, genre-wise. Both are space operas set in our own galaxy with a multitude of exotic alien species. Both focus on the rise of an ancient, mysterious and sinister alien threat. Both deal with the role of humanity in a multi-species world, and the inevitable issue of intolerance. Obviously there's much difference as well, but if asked to compare Mass Effect to any other work of science fiction, I think B5 would be pretty high on my list.

Onwards, then. As I mentioned in an earlier post, before I got the Mass Effect Trilogy I was playing Final Fantasy VI for a while. I got pretty far into it, farther than I played on my first try years ago, but never quite beat it (yet, anyway). Partly out of laziness, but partly the structure of the game was to blame, I think.

I enjoyed the first half of the game a lot. It was a lot of fun to play good, old-fashioned Final Fantasy again, and the game has a decent plot and characters. The second half, however... feels very unstructured and lacking a sense of direction. You get separated from your party members and have to travel all over the world to regain them, which is just tedious. There's plenty of stuff to do, but little guidance. I found myself reading walkthroughs a lot more than I usually do with games like this. Overall it just failed to motivate me to play on, which is a shame.

Another thing about the game... While the plot itself isn't bad, seriously, what's up with the dialogue? A lot of it just... doesn't flow particularly well, or on occasion is downright confusing. I suspect this may be largely a translation issue, although of course I haven't played the original Japanese version.

Well, I guess that wraps it up for tonight. Be seeing you.

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