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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mass Achievements

As I reported yesterday, I finished Mass Effect late Sunday night. The game was pretty impressive leading up to the final fight. But Mass Effect's blockbuster ending was pretty incredible. Imagine a mix between the endings of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and Star Trek VI and you'll get a good idea of how things went down. Lots of action, great cinematics, and a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to this first chapter of the Mass Effect series of games.

But on to more pressing matters: what achievements did I pick up while finishing up this beast of a game?

All told, I cleared 26 of the 45 possible achievements available for Mass Effect. Well, I guess there are now 46 achievements when you count the Mass Effect expansion mission "Bring Down the Sky". In any case, I collected 600 of a total 1000 points available of my first run through Mass Effect - not too shabby.

Here are the achievements I cleared in my final push to save the galaxy.

Stasis Mastery [15 GamerPoint]: Use biotic Stasis 75 times.
This was another one of those "use a power X number of times" achievements. It took me quite a while to use Stasis 75 times, mainly because I didn't really want to use it. The power prevents enemies from moving or attacking. At the same time, I was unable to attack them. What's the point?

Paramour [10 GamerPoint]: Complete romance subplot.
After countless conversations with Ashley Williams, Shepard finally closed the deal while traveling to [end-game planet] to deal with Saren. I didn't watch the scene but my wife said it was scandalous. After a little pillow-talk (Shepard/Ashley and not me/wife), I was awarded 10 gamer points.

Soldier Ally [20 GamerPoint]: Complete the majority of the game with the Alliance soldier squad member.
I used the soldier, Ashley Williams, and the Quarian, Tali, exclusively throughout the game. Ashley's brute strength and Tali's tech skills balanced well with Shepard's focus on Biotics. We were an unstoppable killing machine.

Completionist [25 GamerPoint]: Complete the majority of the game.
I finished all but three missions in the game. One mission involved collecting various minerals from the numerous planets available for exploration: thanks but no thanks. As for the other two missions, I finished them but couldn't really "complete" them due to a story-related constraint. Damn...

Tactician [25 GamerPoint]: Complete playthrough with shield damage greater than health damage.
Shepard wasn't strong enough to warrant duking it out toe-to-toe with the many enemies in Mass Effect. I had to rely on quick Biotic-power hit and runs in order to take out my enemies. Thankfully, this meant that Shepard managed to get through the bulk of the game with nary a scratch to show for it. Cowards rejoice! Actually, I should mention that towards the end of Mass Effect, Shepard was able to walk into a room crawling with bad guys and destroy everything and everyone in seconds.

Medal of Honor [100 GamerPoint]: Complete Mass Effect Playthrough.
I saved the galaxy.
Well, Shepard saved it...but I helped!

Quarian Ally [20 GamerPoint]: Complete the majority of the game with the Quarian squad member.
I think there should be more gamer points awarded for this achievement. Tali was pretty useless until her powers were maxed out. I spent the bulk of my time ressurecting Tali's lifeless corpse.

With my first play-through of Mass Effect finished, I look forward to trying my hand at the game a second time. For my second attempt, I'll play as a soldier and follow the Paragon (a.k.a. squeaky-clean) path. My renegade character did a lot of bad things while saving the galaxy and I'm looking for a little redemption.

As for achievements, I'm going to try and clear the following achievements:

  • Paragon: Accumulate 75% of total Paragon points.
    Time to play the role of the good guy!

  • Colonial Savior: Complete the Bring Down the Sky mission.
    I don't mind spending a few MS points to acquire a cool new mission for Mass Effect.

  • Sentinel Ally: Complete the majority of the game with the Alliance sentinel squad member.
    Oh Kaidan! I totally ignored you (and worse) on my first play-through of Mass Effect. Let's be friends, ok? Kaidan's biotic speciality should work well with Shepard's soldier class.

  • Turian Ally: Complete the majority of the game with the turian squad member.
    Garrus, a former member of C-Sec, is a Turian. I also ignored him on my first run through Mass Effect. He's a tech specialist and should work well with Kaidan and Shepard.

  • First Aid Specialist: Use medi-gel 150 times.
    I should be quite close to acquiring this achievement. Tali got hurt quite a bit during my last crack at Mass Effect. As a soldier in my next game, I'm sure I'll run into all sorts of sticky situations that require the quick use of medi-gel.

  • Sniper Expert: Register 150 Sniper Rifle Kills.
    I'm going to shoot 150 enemies about the head and chest with a sniper rifle.

  • Assault Rifle Expert: Register 150 Assault Rifle Kills.
    And then I'll take out another 150 bad guys/robots with some well-placed assault rifle bursts.

  • Shotgun Expert: Register 150 Shotgun Kills.
    Geth are susceptible to gaping shotgun wounds in their chests...

  • Long Service Medal: Complete 2 Mass Effect Playthroughs on any setting.
    That's right - this will be the second time that I complete Mass Effect!
Over the next few weeks, I plan on finishing up Saints Row and possibly Kameo: Elements of Power. Poker hasn't been kind to me lately so I'm more than willing to drown my sorrows in a sea of pixels, gangland violence, and fairy-princess ass-kicking.