Update — get both Mass Effect 1 AND 2 for $50 on Amazon!

I just finished a second game that I haven’t talked about here. My new year’s resolution was to be finish games that I start. I’m easily distracted by new shiny, so I end up with a lot of unfinished games. Last night I finished the second game in a row that ends in “2” — a pair of twos, if you will — Mass Effect 2.

So here’s the progression of games I’ve finished: Assassin’s Creed –> Assassin’s Creed 2 –> Mass Effect 2 (I finished the originalMass Effect when it was released, two years ago).

Both games strike me the same way — way better versions of their predecessors that didn’t feel one bit like publisher cash-ins. Both stories advanced the continuing story of their protagonist in meaningful and interesting ways. Both games improved upon their original mechanics, and both had noticeably better graphics. If you’ve played neither, I recommend them both. If you’ve not played the originals, I have different recommendations for them. I love them both and don’t regret playing either of them, but I also understand just how insane I am about games and know that you may not like the originals as much as I did.

Assassins Creed 2
Assassin’s Creed
The pair of these games are the source of my hesitation. The lore and story are incredible, but the first one was really repetitive. I’m truly enjoying where they’re going w/ the series and will certainly buy the third one (at a discount — I’ve turned into a cheap-games master).

The setting of AC2 (1490’s Italy) was incredible and made me smile on all sorts of levels. Watching my woman’s eyes light up as historically-correct story elements were dropped into the plot made me actually pause the game just to enjoy the moment. I can say that there’s a LOT of factual information in this game that is truly interesting in the context of what the game does with it.

The ending was tastefully done, rolling the credits while you continued to have access to your character, then POW!

My hat’s off to you, Assassin’s Creed 2. You win. That was jaw-droppingly good. Hols & I sat there applauding you.

If you like stealthy action games, I recommend them both. The continuity from game one to the second is not crucial to enjoy the latter, but it adds a layer of history and involvement that I appreciated. From a gaming perspective, feeling the differences in how you climb buildings and use stealth to your advantage made me appreciate the second game even more than if I’d skipped the first.

Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect
Wow. Just… wow. AMAZING.

I realize that I’m gushing a bit more about Mass Effect 2 (ME2) than I did about Assassin’s Creed 2, and that’s unfair, but I just finished ME2 last night around 10pm (44.5 hours), so it’s really fresh in my mind. The game is incredible, the story makes you feel like you’re the baddest ass in the universe and the import of your ME1 game save adds a LOT of meaningful customization to the game.

I’m in the minority of people who enjoyed the first game’s planet exploration vehicle, so I miss having that thing to bump around in, but the offered a small bit of that back to me in the form of the Firewalker DLC pack, so I’m ok w/ the omission.

I love nearly everything about this game, but the resource gathering mini-game is truly boring for the amount that you have to do it. There’s an upgrade that you can to the resource gathering equipment, but hoooooly crap is it still boring. My completist mentality forced me into being very thorough w/ the gathering, and it was worth doing, but ugh. That aside, it’s incredible.

If you’re a sci-fi fan, you’ll probably enjoy the story and universe that Bioware have created. The first game was more of an action game, while this one leans more towards being a shooter. It ended pretty quickly at 45-ish hours, and that’s with every bit of DLC and side-questing done, but it felt perfect.

Bravo, Bioware!