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Mass Effect Trilogy - Playstation 3
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368 of 402 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2012
Let me start off by saying that until now, I have never played any of the Mass Effect games, so this is a whole new experience for me. That being said, since I'm so behind the curve when it comes to this game, I won't be reviewing the games themselves (cause let's face it, there are hundreds of reviews already available for the individual games), however I will be taking the time to answer a few quick questions one might have about this Mass Effect Trilogy release for the Playstation 3.

Q. Does Mass Effect have trophies?
A. Yes! This is the first time that Mass Effect (the first title) will be available to play on the Playstation 3 and needless to say, it does include trophy support! So if you were on the fence about purchasing this because you're a trophy hunter and were unsure about this, fear not! There are a total of 47 trophies for the first title to be unlocked (including a platinum). Mass Effect 2 and 3 have the same trophies in this Trilogy set as their individual releases.

Q. Are these titles available to download on the PSN Store?
A. Yes! In fact, if you check the store now (it was just updated) you will see that they just added a 7 GB download of Mass Effect (the original) for $14.99! The rest of the titles (for PS3 that is) can also be found on the PSN Store but you'll easily find them cheaper here on Amazon (with the exception of the first game since that didn't have an individual disc-release for PS3). However, if you'd rather not purchase the Mass Effect Trilogy in disc-based form, then you can purchase the digital version on the PSN Store for $59.99 (at the time of this review) and it will take about 33.4 GB of space (pretty hefty size if you have limited space on your hardrive).

Q. Does the trilogy come on one disc or multiple discs for the PS3 system?
A. Ah, the wonders of Blu-Ray! Since the PS3 can store more data on a Blu-Ray disc, these three games will be split into a total of 3 discs (1 for each game). This is very convenient as on the XBox 360 this is not the case (or at least so I am told). Could they have put it all on one? Possibly, yet what can ya do, ya know? Either way, it's all packaged nicely in a beautiful case, and I personally feel they did a good job with this.

Q. If I already own Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 for PS3, should I purchase this?
A. No. Why? Well as I said above, they just added Mass Effect (the first title) to the PSN Store for $14.99. If you already own the other two titles, it would benefit you to just download that off of the store. It's a 7 GB file, so if you go this route you should make room on your hardrive as needed.

Q. Does the PS3 version come with some DLC?
A. Yes (with the keyword being "some")! The original Mass Effect (as far as the PS3 version is concerned) comes with the "Bring Down the Sky" DLC. Also, Mass Effect 2 (on the PS3 version of this trilogy) will have "Cerberus Network," "Overlord," "Lair of the Shadow Broker," and "Kasumi." However I must be honest in that I'm still not absolutely sure about everything that is included here because I haven't gotten to Mass Effect 2 yet and as I said in the beginning, this is my first time playing these titles. Mass Effect 3 however (as it appears on this Trilogy version) does not come with any DLC included.

Q. Do all the DLCs come on the discs or do you still have to download them all on PSN?
A. At the time that I put up this review, I'm still not that far into Mass Effect (the first game), yet out-of-the-box the Trilogy comes with a slip that has some codes on it. To my understanding, these codes are for the online pass for Mass Effect 3 & the Cerberus Network pass for Mass Effect 2. Lair of the Shadow Broker, Project Overlord, & Kasumi's Stolen Memories are on the Mass Effect 2 disc and as stated, Mass Effect 3 has no DLC included.

Q. Is this collection "complete?"
A. For the most part, yes! You do get all three games included on this disc at a total price (at the time of this review) of $59.99. However you don't get every bit of DLC (as stated above), especially when dealing with Mass Effect 3 (which has no DLC included in this Trilogy version). So if you already have some DLC but have been holding in anticipation of this release, it's probably to your advantage to just buy the original Mass Effect separately on the PSN Store and the remaining DLC.

Q. Do all three games have subtitles in languages other than English?
A. The only game in this set that supports subtitles in other languages is Mass Effect 3. The other two titles only come with English subtitles.

Q. Should I purchase this?
A. Ah, this is the question of all questions. If you're like me and haven't played any of the Mass Effect games before, then absolutely, yes! If you've played some of the titles (or all of them) already, then it might be better to just buy what you already don't have off the PSN Store (whether it be DLC or the original Mass Effect). Otherwise, if you're looking for an "ultimate collection," you may want to wait a while and see if they release a more complete version with all the DLC for each game included (which is entirely possible since developers are notorious these days for doing such things).

Again, there really isn't a need for me to go over the graphics, sound, or my thoughts on the story of any of these games, because there are already countless published opinions out there. My goal here is to hopefully answer any questions you may have about this purchase! Hopefully I have helped you in some way, and if you have any questions, feel free to comment! As I progress in my playing, I will update this review (if needed)! Enjoy! :)
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2014
This is the series my husband got me hooked with. I am VERY story driven. I am not the gamer in our family. I don't even like to play most of the time... but this game sucked me in! It's like an amazing book series, and the consequences of your actions have ripples into the next games. I was hooked after just a few nights of this game series. I rooted for Shepard and was pissed alongside most everyone else when we got to the end. I have never wanted to replay a game, much less an entire series, the way I want to with Mass Effect. I am a fan on Facebook, I stalk the interwebs for news on ME4... I am a lifetime fan of this game and series. BioWare knows how to put together a game, and do it right. Thanks to Mass Effect, my husband has convinced me that there are games out there that are as good as books.
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2013
If you like creating your own universe and seeing how your choices affect it, then this trilogy is for you.

Mass Effect is probably one of the best series in the gaming world today.

GAMEPLAY:
The games are third-person shooter. The mechanics get better through each game as the creators took feedback into mind. For the most part, you fight in a team of three (Commander Shepard plus two crew members of your choosing) and use all the weapons, biotics, and tech skills of the group to defeat enemies.

There are also small mini-game sections like memory for breaking locks, mini-rover driving for traveling on planet surfaces, and mineral mining for needed materials for ship upgrades (ME 2).

CUSTOMIZATION is at its best here. From the beginning you can customize your Shepard from male or female to the color of their eyes, the length of their nose, or their haircut. You also get to choose from 6 fighting class specialties. High-risk, in-their-face brawler? Vanguard. Sneaky sniper? Infiltrator. etc. Each class has its own unique powers and available weapons to carry. In addition to character looks and fighting style, you also have "skill tree branches" of evolution that enable you to further choose how you want your Shepard to fight. Value health over Biotic Slash? Charisma/Influence over armor? If that weren't enough, YOUR CHOICES DETERMINE EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IN THE GAME AND CARRY THROUGH THE ENTIRE SERIES!

TRY THE MULTIPLAYER in ME 3. I was a HUGE skeptic of it when it was first announced, but have since invested approximately 270 solely on it. I love it; upgrading your characters and weapons is very addicting. In multiplayer you work COOPERATIVELY with three other online players in order to defeat 10 waves of enemies and survive extraction from the level. Each match includes 3 objective waves where you and your squad may have to destroy key enemies, deliver goods, hold down an area for 3-4 minutes, or hack in 4 different locations.

STORY:
This is an intergalatic, heroic epic that focuses on your in-game ego: Commander Shepard and his/her crew and their battle to save the galaxy from an omnipotent alien threat known as the Reapers. Along the way, Shepard uncovers new secrets about the universe's rich history and himself/herself, has the opportunity to fall in love (or just chase some tail), and ultimately save or destroy all sentient life.

The writing and dialogue is top notch here. Character development is unbelievable. You see every character grow and development through the series, and these characters are fully-fleshed out three-dimensional ones with organic heart and flaws. Your choices to befriend or kill a character carries weight through all three games. In addition, your choice to be a paragon (diplomatic, good guy) or renegade (kick-ass, douche bag) affects the world around you and can eventually lead to the deaths of characters (both options have pros and cons).

BE WARNED: the trilogy's ending kinda sucks (this coming from a HUGE Mass Effect fanatic and Bioware game supporter), but the journey is worth it alone. If you buy the final ME 3 DLC (Citadel) and the extended endings, it helps make up for it.

SUGGESTED DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT:
Extended Cut Ending (ME 3), Lair of the Shadow Broker (ME 2), Citadel (ME 3), and all free multiplayer expansion packs.
Also, if you want three additional characters in your party (and possibly at the party in the Citadel DLC, ME 3) pick up these: Stolen Memory (Kasumi, ME 2), Cerberus Network code (Zaeed Masani, ME 2), and From Ashes (Javik, ME 3).

GAME LENGTH:
~60 hours. for the first play-thrus. I had to find and do everything and hear every branch of dialogue.
~30 for 2nd and third play-thrus with other my other Shepards (male and female)
0 --> ∞ for multiplayer (ME 3).
Though the game time may seem long to some, but every minute is worth it. This ride is bliss.

CONCLUSION:
I can't praise this game enough despite the ending.
MUST OWN (or at least play). I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS TRILOGY TO EVERYONE.
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52 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2013
I, as an occasional gamer, had a prejudice against shooters, mostly because I find it easier to chop an enemy to pieces with a sword rather than aim with ranged weapons. But these games taught me to enjoy shooting an enemy's head with a gun. I won the head-shot trophy in every game.

Plus, awesome story. I won't be giving any spoilers, but it's enjoyable at all times. Mass Effect 3 actually made me cry. I'm a sensible person, but normally I don't cry with games. But after 3 games of growing to love the characters, and in my case, fangirling over a few of them, you can get teary.

About the trilogy as a product, great price in my opinion, and having all ME1 and ME2 DLCs is a big advantage. There are codes for free download of ME3 multiplayer and other armor customization and weapons (Ps3 version). I was midway through ME2 when I realized there was this middle ages looking armor with a red dragon in the chest, and my Dragon Age fangirl days came back to me. I wore it in the game, and I couldn't stop laughing over a knight in shiny armor saving the galaxy.

Anyway, every other thing I could mention about the game per-se has probably already been mentioned by other reviews. I just wanted to state that the quality of this trilogy is so good, that a girl like me, which takes months to finish games and is bored when the game's story is not entertaining enough, was obsessed over these games and played through them in record time. It has just the right amount of everything.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Three, three, three... three games for the price of... wait... three games for LESS than the price of one!

Add on that these 3 games are some of the best of the best for this generation and you have one heck of a steal here.

Yes, the ending of 3 is pooh. Download the DLC and you can fix that. Yes, the menu system in ME1 stinks. Well, I guess you could buy the game on the PC where they fixed that. And ME2 is easily the best of the 3, has minor issues but was still an amazing and awesome ride. The best of the 3, though I did enjoy all of them tremendously.

Take your character from eps 1 all the way through eps 3. Boom.

One of the best game series of the 360/PS3 era, in a single package, for a great price. Well worth it.

Highly recommended.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2013
My son asked for several video games for Christmas and I chose 2. I got this one because I knew that he would be home for a LONNNNG time and he would need something to keep him occupied. So far, so good, and yes he is STILL here! : - )
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2014
Despite the ending it really is one of the best stories put into video game form. The fact that people got so worked up about the ending is directly a result of how completely immersive and how attached you get to the story.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
The Mass Effect Trilogy is quite simply one of the best collections of games out there, bar none. You are Commander Shepard, a soldier of the Systems Alliance who uncovers a dangerous secret that threatens the safety of the entire galaxy and it's up to Shepard and his/her crew to figure out a way to end the threat. The game's story is an extremely important aspect of the series, so nothing further about it will be revealed in order to avoid spoilers. Rest assured though that the Mass Effect universe is deep, intricate, and fully realized, and as you uncover more about the different alien cultures and enemies you encounter, your in-game encyclopedia will add more background information to be viewed at your leisure. Furthermore, how the story unfolds depends on the myriad choices the player has Shepard make throughout his/her journey. Everything from Shepard's gender, appearance, character class, dialogue options, and how he/she chooses to deal with friends and enemies are up to the player, and many of these decisions will have lasting impacts on future missions, both positive and negative. Certain decisions in the first Mass Effect may not see any resolutions until well into Mass Effect 3. The range of these decisions is staggering. Shepard will be dealing with hostage situations, search and destroy missions, rescue missions, etc., and in many of these situations the player will be faced with moral choices which can range from the selfless Paragon all the way to the opposite end of the spectrum of the selfish Renegade, with some neutral gray areas mixed in there. Unlike in certain other games like the Infamous series which require you to choose only between being a saint or a monster, this series allows you to shape Shepard into any kind of person you desire; an honorable soldier with a bit of a rebellious streak, a bad seed with a largely ignored conscience, a mostly neutral "go with the flow" type of person, or even the previously mentioned saint or monster.

The Mass Effect Trilogy manages to combine the best aspects of an RPG with those of a third-person shooter. The player can choose from several character classes for Shepard which determine what weapons and powers he/she will possess. Certain classes are more skilled in specific types of weaponry such as pistols, assault rifles, shotguns, and sniper rifles; their uses and functions differ depending on which game you're playing. In the first Mass Effect, weapons have unlimited ammo, however firing a weapon repeatedly in rapid succession could cause it to overheat, requiring the player to wait a few seconds for the weapon to cool down before being able to fire it again (this can be remedied by switching to another weapon). Mass Effect 2 and 3 end up throwing this gameplay element to the wayside and have you rely on standard ammunition for your weapons. While there is normally enough ammo lying around for you to pick up, it's still possible to run out of ammo in certain high risk firefights. Both of these gameplay elements for weapons have their own perks and limitations and can tense things up in their own ways, however I personally preferred the overheating weapons in the first game.

On the flip side, the first Mass Effect had more limitations on the types of weapons you could use depending on your chosen character class. Aside from the Soldier class, the other ones could normally make use of only one or two types of weapons. The Vanguard class for example can only effectively use a pistol and a shotgun, and although that class can still carry a sniper rifle and an assault rifle, they will not be able to do much damage with those weapons or even aim with them. Mass Effect 2 and 3 change things for the better and give each class a wider range of weapons to use effectively. Upgrades to weapons and armor also differ between each game. The first Mass Effect will give you scores of additional upgrades which can be purchased or found during missions that can affect armor and weapons, whether they include adding regenerative properties or stronger shields for your armor, or using radioactive or heat ammunition for your weapons. These upgrades can be changed or removed at any time during gameplay. In the other two games, mostly in Mass Effect 3, weapons and armor are given more general, but still useful upgrades that also affect weapon strength and the effectiveness of armor and shields. However, most of these upgrades have to be either purchased or traded in for mineral elements (the latter option is prevalent in Mass Effect 2). Furthermore, whatever upgrades you choose to start a mission with are for keeps until the mission ends (unless you find a new weapon or a weapons workbench along the way in Mass Effect 3).

Complimenting Shepard's weapons are special powers that he/she possesses depending on the player's character class. Most classes have special powers that revolve around the use of tech and biotics. Tech abilities give characters skills that allow them to not only bypass locked doors and security systems (mostly in the first Mass Effect), but also affect synthetic enemies and launch attacks that affect enemy shields and armor. Biotics give characters the ability to manipulate dark matter and attack enemies with the power of the mind using levitation, immobilization, or shockwave attacks. These special powers operate on a cooldown timer, so once a power is used and its cooldown period has ended, the player will be able to use that same power or other powers again without having to worry about running out of "mana" or "MP". Much like with the weapons, the way these powers function differs between each game. In the first Mass Effect, using a power will make it unusable until its cooldown period ends, which could easily take 45 seconds or longer depending on the power, which is quite a long wait. Thankfully, while you wait for one power to cooldown, you can still rely on your other powers so that you're not completely defenseless. Mass Effect 2 and 3 change things by making all your available powers unusable after activating one of them until the cooldown period ends. In other words, after you use a power against an enemy and its cooldown period starts, you have to wait until the cooldown period ends before you can use any of your powers. However, the cooldown periods have been significantly reduced to an average of 6 to 10 seconds, sometimes even less depending on the power. In this particular gameplay element, Mass Effect 2 and 3 again come out on top.

The biggest difference between the first Mass Effect and its two sequels is planet exploration. When Commander Shepard and his crew land on a planet in the first game, there is normally a lot of ground to cover. When on foot, Shepard and his crew will typically be in a large base or port where they can interact with lots of NPCs, and in order to reach another main area they will have to ride in an APC type of vehicle called the Mako. The areas in which the Mako can be driven are normally very large and roomy, although they're actually more linear in the main missions than they are in the side missions. Also, depending on what planet you're on, the environment could be flat and sprawling or rocky and mountainous. In some cases, the environment can even be hazardous to your health if you step outside the Mako for too long. In Mass Effect 2 and 3, the different environments are far more linear in design, especially when in an area with enemies. Certain hub locations with shops and other points of interest require more exploration, but are still comparatively linear. On the plus side, the environments in the second and third games have more variety in terms of appearance and architecture compared to the largely carbon copied environments of the first game. Due to the more linear structure of the second and third games, vehicle exploration is largely nonexistent, however Mass Effect 2 has a couple of DLCs that require you to ride a hovercraft vehicle called the Hammerhead in order to advance. While the Mako was a slower ground vehicle with far superior armor and stronger firepower, the Hammerhead had much greater speed and an impressive jumping ability that allowed it to fly circles around enemies. On the downside, the Hammerhead had almost no armor and could be destroyed by just a few well placed shots by even standard weapons fire, although its armor could regenerate much more quickly. Both these vehicles have their advantages and disadvantages. Fans of the games have expressed very polarizing opinions on the gameplay for both the Mako and Hammerhead, and many have expressed which vehicle they find to be the superior one (I'm team Mako). It is largely due to these differences of opinion that Mass Effect 3 has no vehicle use or exploration whatsoever. For better or worse, Mass Effect 3 is still a blast without access to a vehicle.

Throughout the majority of all three games, Shepard is accompanied by a large collection of trusted squad mates. Some join you no matter what, but most squad mates (especially in the second game) can be recruited at your leisure, should you choose to do so. While cruising around in your Normandy starship between missions, Shepard can chat with his squad mates to find out more about them, gain their trust, access specialized missions, and even gain new powers and abilities. Many missions and cutscenes will play out very differently depending on which squad mates you have with you during missions. Shepard always has two squad mates at his/her side during missions and they can normally hold their own against enemies, but the player can also issue commands to have them take up better defensive positions or attack enemies and targets with specific attacks. However, there will be times when some squad mates will simply ignore your commands or even move back to hide behind a wall and leave you to do most of the fighting; this appeared to be entirely random. In short, my squad mates were normally right there and had my back during most firefights, but every once in a while they would suddenly decide to be extremely incompetent for no apparent reason and just stop shooting at enemies. Despite the bipolar tendencies of my A.I. companions, the action packed gameplay was a joy to experience. Enemy variety is a bit on the low side, but most of them are fun to fight. Most are human, alien, or robotic enemies who shoot at you with guns and use their own tech and biotic powers. There are also the occasional mechs and more freakishly monstrous enemies to help round things out, as well as a handful of boss fights which are normally just tougher versions of normal enemies. As simplistic as this may sound, the game's combat is still great and doesn't get old, although some repetition may creep in at some point during the first game.

The last gameplay element that also goes through slight changes between each game revolves around navigating the galaxy map and setting courses for the Normandy to visit different clusters and solar systems. The first Mass Effect was the most straightforward of the games with regards to exploring the galaxy: you simply point and click at each solar system or planet and poof, you're there. Mass Effect 2 and 3 add a bit more depth to the exploring aspect. While in a certain cluster or solar system, you control a miniature representation of the Normandy and fly it to whichever nearby planet you want to visit. While traveling between solar systems, the Normandy uses up fuel, which must be replenished at some point at fuel depots. Scanning planets and using probes to find important materials or locations also play a big part in both games, although while Mass Effect 2 kind of overdid it with the amount of scanning required in order to find things, Mass Effect 3 streamlined the whole scanning process to make it less time consuming. Furthermore, Mass Effect 3 adds a risk taking element to scanning solar systems and planets: if you use the Normandy's scanners too much while in enemy territory, then enemy ships will eventually locate you and attempt to destroy you, forcing you to hightail the Normandy out of your current solar system and return later after things have cooled down.

There aren't many negative things I can say about this trilogy. Some cutscenes may glitch out to the point where the sound cuts out or the lip-synching of character dialogue may be off; or in one particular case I experienced, an entire scene may be skipped. These glitches seemed to occur more with the first Mass Effect and Mass Effect 3, with Mass Effect 2 being largely glitch free. Also, combat and general movement controls tend to feel a bit stiff in the first game, but greatly improve in the sequels. Fans of epic science fiction featuring aliens, starships, and galaxy hopping will do themselves a great injustice if they choose to pass on this series (and this is coming from a merely casual fan of similar series like Star Trek and Star Wars). Those who enjoy action-RPGs should also give this trilogy a shot due to its solid gameplay and incredible story that can change on so many levels simply because of the many choices you make. By the way, make sure to download the extended cut for Mass Effect 3, it greatly enhances the different endings to an astounding degree and provides true closure. A must play series if ever there was one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Game is epic, graphics are as good as the PS3 can possibly render, narrative, dialog acting, the story... this is a masterpiece. The box is well built, disks have good printing... this is a great product.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2014
The first one is pretty hard and a little boring. Don't much like playing it but may finish someday.

The 2nd one is AWESOME! I was also able to get my lost extra character with this. Already beat it before buying this but figured I'd get a better deal plus an extra game so I could play the 3rd.

The 3rd one isn't bad but lacks the same appeal as the 2nd. There were some extra campaigns you can download for this at no cost. I'm sure I'll finish it someday, just not into it now.
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