The game I've been playing since writing my review of Mass Effect 2 is Wipeout Fury, which is really an expansion of Wipeout HD. I had downloaded Fury almost as soon as I had come back from Australia, but last Summer was such a busy gaming period I didn't have the chance to play it. And I'd honestly forgotten how much fun it was. Wipeout, to me, epitomises gaming. And it's bizarre just how much more gratifying it is than many story-led games. I suppose it's just that I love stories so much that I'm always harsh on a video game's story when it doesn't live up to the highs achieved by other games.
And so I go back to Mass Effect 2. I was going to anyway, since I did want to make a comment that would have seemed out of place in my previous diary entry, especially since this doesn't affect my opinion of the game whatsoever. For some reason, every so often I'd come across the opinion that the ME2 soundtrack sounds somewhat like Tron: Legacy's soundtrack. Even Nathan suggested it. No it doesn't. It never does. A lot of the time I was comparing ME2's soundtrack to what an arcade beat 'em-up track would sound like.
Not to say the soundtrack isn't good, it's very good, it's just far more varied and different than the tracks you hear in Tron: Legacy.
Now at this point I will reveal to you the epiphany I had about Mass Effect 2, as well as my realisation as to why it's so lauded. Its story is more successful than its gameplay. I mean, yes, even in the story aspect there are problems (the characters never talk to each other unless in a cutscene or with Shepard, it's almost like once Shepard's out of sight they blink out of existence) and I already criticised the game for not allowing Shepard to express herself more. But then, I almost never customise characters, I like to be provided them and take them as they are. In the case of Shepard's past, I was so disappointed with the paper-thin backstories to choose from that I created my own. I have figured out Shepard's entire childhood and am still working on her young adult life.
And that's just it. Bioware created its universe so well, so expertly, it refuses to leave my head. So I now have an itch to play it again just so I can tinker around in its universe a little more. (That and I'm so close to maxing out my character level.) Interestingly enough, the little stories and character scenarios I've come up with for Shepard and her crew I've decided to never write down. I don't want to share them, I don't want to know other people's interpretations of the universe either. Usually, I enjoy exploring fanfiction and seeing other people's interpretations or the directions they use when toying with an established story. But not this time. This time, I know the differences are going to be expansive and I like what I've come up with too much.
It's my Shepard!
Oh...Bioware you evil geniuses. Seriously though, it's so rare for a video game to have a more successful story than gameplay, when the other way around is far more common, so Mass Effect (any of them) and Bioware, I salute and applaud you.
On another note, it's because Lent has started that I have started up a specific blog documenting a project I'm embarking on. I plan to write a blog on that one every day if I can, up to Palm Sunday anyway, so I'll be writing far less than usual on this one.
I call it the Redwall Diet