18 February 2012

Re-taking Demo Watch: Mass Effect 3

Okay okay, maybe I was a bit too harsh with my initial judgement of the game, or what impressions the demo gave about the game. Hear me out for a second while I try to explain it.

I had a perfect fem-Shep on my Xbox 360, a half-Asian tomboy with a shaved head (as you have seen in several entries about ME2). Of course, I had her character code written down. Well, my Xbox busted so I bought ME2 for PS3 because an investment in a new Xbox would have been a bit too much at the moment (and unfortunately still is). I created my Stam Shepard with the code for the PS3 version but she didn't look right. It's because PS3 has some limitations when it comes to Unreal engine. As a result, some lighting, shadows and polygons were cut out from the game. I had to create a new Shepard for PS3 from the scratch. It took several attempts. Failed attempts. I got sick of re-starting the game, enduring the horrible Genesis comic and playing to the point when I saw the character for good in-game environment instead of a sterile character creation lightning.

Finally I got her right. Rinko Shepard was born. I modeled her after one Japanese actress and named her after another. In some angles and lighting she looks uncannily like her model. When ME3 demo became available, I used a code for Rinko Shepard and adjusted only the hair and the eyebrow color (which was strangely turned from black to grey).  But oh dear oh dear. In-game she didn't look anything like Rinko Shepard in PS3 ME2. Still with me? Bear with for a second still. Everything about her was so wrong, so I guess - and now comes the important part - the game felt more wrong than it in reality perhaps is. Also, the new much-touted official default fem-Shep looks ugly with droopy nose, implant lips and washed-out eyes.

Profile in the character creation. Not too bad...
Today I made a new fem-Shep for a PS3 demo. This time I didn't fashion her after anyone, just after some idea in my head. She looked quite nice in the character creation screen and oh yes, in-game too! Woohoo! ME3 rocks after all! With the right face! You see, it's all about the character and that's where the beauty of ME series is. I know there are a bunch of people who make their characters look like jokes in games or just goes with the default choices but me, I always spend a good amount of time tinkering my characters' appearances. Depending on the complexity of character creator, it tooks about 1+ hour.

...and in-game. Not too bad at all!

Also, I now can see there are some crude cuts where I guess should me more conversations and dialogue options, making the story telling part of the demo abrupt. Still I don't like how Anderson's VA keeps shouting all his lines and pushes Shepard around like she were some wet behind the ears rookie!

Waiting for ME3... still with some reservations but not with anything so severe I wrote earlier. And yes, I still have that Sixth Sense, er, sense about it... I hope it's a false alert!

[edit] Still not supporting EA's cash-in DLC policy so I will be voting with my wallet and opt not to buy ME3 on the launch day. I can wait a bit longer...

A couple of caps from a video I shot with my mobile. Looks so young and innocent, even though she's a veteran of... very severe happenings.

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