Second, I have never felt more out of step with the public than I do with Mass Effect. The full review will be posted next week, but for now I want to make a couple of observations -- with the help, as always, of Metacritic.
Planet Xbox gave this game a 98, while noting:
Other than the AI issues, graphical glitches, and insanely confusing equipment screen Mass Effect is the perfect video game.
Oh, other than that. How often do you even have to contend with AI, graphics, or the equipment screen? Just, oh, every ten seconds or so. The perfect video game!
A site called Gamer 2.0, scoring Mass Effect a 92, has this caveat:
It may be difficult for some to overlook the new combat system, but once you get a grip on it, and look past the shoddy vehicular combat, you’ll find a game worthy purchasing.
So if you're willing to look past, er, a gigantic component of the game that is horribly and irretrievably broken, you'll find a game "worthy purchasing" [???]. And this excerpt doesn't even mention the menus!
Da Gameboyz [???] observe:
But in the end it really is the gameplay and story that counts here, and Bioware has wonderfully combined both in such a way that any of the minor complaints can be ignored.
The thing about minor complaints is that when there are so many things to complain about, as in Mass Effect, they stop seeming so minor. It's like death by paper cut. How can you enjoy the story when it's such a chore to get from plot point to plot point?
The excerpt from Hardcore Gamer Magazine most accurately captures my feelings, although again their review is largely positive (an 80):
As it is, it's merely very good on several different levels, and is more or less a must-play for RPG fans. It will drive shooter fans completely up the wall, though.
Up the wall and out through the ceiling.