I love it…not the poo part that didn’t actually happen. Well it did in the figurative sense let me explain. Mass Effect is a technical mess, it really is! In almost all phases visually, structurally, and the controls weren’t fully fleshed out until the PC release. An entire segment of the game (using the Mako to traverse unexplored planets) was so awful it was effectively axed entirely from the sequel. Between texture pop in’s or textures just plain not loading at all, frame rate issues (sometimes the game doesn’t even run, it just sits and thinks) and collision detection problems, ME runs like poo...or more like diarrhea, I didn't want to say that though, but I guess I just did! The first time I played ME my character (David Ryder Shepard) got stuck in a wall while trying to exit after an exceptional long elevator ride, aren't they all? Which brings me to the thought, the long elevator rides are supposed to mask a lot of the visual miscues, texture loading and such? Instead when I step onto a new floor walls are bare, tree’s in the Citadel aren’t visible until approached, and most NPC's have to wait until about 2 to 3 different texture's load in on their faces. With corrupt save files and crappy autosaves I’ve been forced to start ME over numerous times…but in the end, Damn it I don’t give a rat’s ass! I LOVE THIS GAME!
The Universe that Bioware has created in my mind is on par with what Star Wars is for space cinema and what Star Trek is for space faring television. It’s one of those truly transcended pieces of media that despite it’s many faults I still now and forever will contend that it’s a masterpiece. Think about that, most games would get thrown in the trash if they even had half as many problems as Biowares space shooter, not Mass Effect!
Character is what makes ME so great I actually and truly care about the many inhabitants of the Normandy. I love them all! Be they tentacle headed mono gendered blue aliens or painted space vultures (talking to you Garrus), or walking turtles that have less intelligence then Bane from the Joel Schumacher Batman and Robin film.
The Gameplay in ME would have to wait until Mass Effect 2 to fully reach it’s potential, yet it did so in glorious fashion. Still after beating Mass Effect 2 multiple times I went back to the original just to take a trip down memory lane. Their sure are a lot of pot holes on memory lane, and Mass Effect Park has a lot of bullet holes in the welcome sign! It’s was a mess the first few hours, but then it all clicked back in. Hearing the electronic tunes and conversing with various aliens (the Elcor are just plain awesome!) I realized that despite it’s faults the original ME is still good.
Its flawed -- yes, but not fatally. Was it over-hyped, potentially! Is it still a damn fun roller coaster ride of a game even if the seats on the ride are about to break? Yes, and yes again…I'd stand in line to ride, again and again!